Archive for October, 2008

Nashville Skyline…

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

I’m back from Nashville, where I was honored to do 2 fun panels at the Southern Festival of Books!

Highlights of the festival included hanging with my 2k8 friends Kristin Tubb and Jenny Meyerhoff, reconnecting with old chum Bret Johnston, and meeting my new favorite people Alan and Wendi Gratz!

I did NOT shmooze with  nervewrackingly famous writer types, harmonize with Dolly Parton, of make it to Hatch.

I DID delight in Irish whiskey and dirty limericks in the hotel bar, sleep 9 consecutive hours, and get a blister.

All in all, a really  good time!

My only real complaint about the festival had to do with book sales. For some reason, my picture book did not get stocked besides the picture books of the other authors on the panel. And while it *did* seem odd that the people lined up at the “signing collonade” all had all the OTHER books, and not mine…. I’m a newbie, so I just figured they didn’t want my book because they’d never heard of me.

But THEN the second to last person (who had a copy of my book!) explained to me that my book had been in another part of the book sale area, and that it had been COVERED UP by some other shmuck’s book!!!  So then the very last person was all, “Oh!  I was sad I couldn’t find it!” and  ran off to get one too.

And I signed it and realized that in all likelihood, all the OTHER people just hadn’t seen Slidy Diner. And might have bought it if they had.

Grr. Live and learn.  Next time I will be sure my book is in the right place.

If you want something done right…

Report from the nest…

Friday, October 10th, 2008

I’m leaving today for Nashville, for a whirlwind 30 hours of time alone. Or rather, time with people I didn’t make.  I’m excited!

But that’s not what I want to post about.  I want to take a second to just say hello.  Life has been crazy lately. It always is, but lately it has been a little extra crazy, busy, frenzied.  I’m delighted of course, as I’m a frenzy kind of chaos girl, but I’m also aware that I haven’t been able to take time, for myself, or other people.

So I want to ask… how *are* you?  How have you been?

And I want to tell you that over here, at my place, we’re really good. Maybe better than we’ve ever been.  Lew is understanding so much of what we say– shaking his little head yes and no to questions, and following directions, and asking for specific people, and pointing at things he wants very specifically.  And Mose is a BOY. He really is–in his “skateboard shoes”. He likes some songs and not others, he explains things to me in detail, tells me about his day, misses people when they’re gone.  Speaking of which, Chris is getting ready for a trip to Holland, liking his work, and longboarding on the weekends.   And me, I’m writing.  I’m finishing edits on the new book, and starting another.  I’m growing my hair out, as always.  I’m making real dinners again, at long last.

And we’re all dreaming, and talking, about the future. About new things that might be poking their heads out, waving at us from far off.  It’s exciting!

And we’re concerned, as everyone is concerned, about the economy and the world.  But for once we’re living what feels like a “real” life, settling nicely into patterns, routines.

Things are good.

Eclectica Review!!!

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

(If Tom wrote a picture book, Jaime Zollars would HAVE to illustrate!)

It’s funny how different people get different things from a picture book. In her awesome review of Slidy Diner (for Eclectica), Colleen Mondor points unwittingly to my secret debt to the Tom Waits record, Bone Machine. Genre-defying punk-rock calliope?  Ummmmm, yeah!  I’ll take that, and write 10 more if someone gives me half a chance. Here ’tis:

Laurel Snyder combines a bit of grossness and some sly humor for her off-the-wall treat, Inside the Slidy Diner. The perfectly charming and cute protagonist Edie explains that she spends her days in the diner because she once “stole a lemon drop from the box behind the counter, and got caught.” Ethelmae, who runs the diner, “sees everything.” Edie sort of works at the diner to repay her transgression but mostly she observes all the strangeness, from the sometimes odd patrons (“a gray man at the counter who mumbles and smells like mice”), to the disgusting dishes (if it’s crunchy avoid it all costs). She happily points out the grease and leads her companion on a trip to the bathroom which becomes reminiscent of the search for the Grail and results in a most exquisite surprise.

Slidy Diner is genre-defying but dwells on the side of story-telling where carnivals and puppet shows and calliope music reside. It’s not a scary book at all—it’s too over-the-top for fear—but Snyder does dance right up to genuine fright; she almost dares the reader to think she will go over. But if you are brave enough to turn the pages past the icky food and slimy seats and through the flooded out basement then what you find is stars and crowns and giddy fun. So why is Edie really there and what is the Slidy Diner truly about? I have no idea but this odd little story with Jaime Zollars’ big lush illustrations, is something that has to be read to be truly appreciated. I don’t know how Snyder came up with it (I can’t imagine how she came up with this) but it’s an intrigue and curiosity and close to a punk picture book fairy tale. (If you like your fairy stories a bit dark and sneaky of course.)

Today and tomorrow…

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I’m wishing you an easy fast.

Or a delicious breakfast, if you’re not Jewish.

What a review!!!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Wow! Wowowowowowowowow!  Seven Imposible Things totally gets the Slidy Diner!

Ever waited tables, Jules?


Monday, October 6th, 2008

NaNoWriMo! And this year, I’m totally doing it too!

I’m also a pep talker, which is about the coolest thing EVER!

With apologies…

Monday, October 6th, 2008

In which I apologize to Sarah Palin.

No fooling.

Ahhhhhh’m coming home…

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Ahhhhhh’m coming home.
Made up my mind that’s what I’m gonna do.
Can’t love nobody on the telephone,
So I’m coming home to you…
(name that tune, anyone?)

Yes, the trip was grand.  SCBWI Philly, and the Baltimore Book Festival, and Rosh Hashanah at Bolton Street, and most of all the wedding of a dear old friend in the gorgous low mountains of Western Maryland. 

Maryland. Home, home, home where I’m from and will always, in some part, reside.

But now I’m ready to be home, home, home, where I live.  Where we live, my feller and I, with our boys. Home.  Where the key fits.  Where the blankets smell like mine. 

So tomorrow we’ll be back on the road, the kids and I, for 12 hours of fire engine noises.  Wave when you see us pass. 

Don’t worry. We won’t be stopping!!!

L’shana tovah, everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

May you be inscribed for a sweet new year.

May you keep your job, your house, your health care. 

May you come over to my place for a bowl of soup and a glass of wine sometime soon!

Seriously, I miss you!

Shop Talk!!!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Thanks to Laura Bowers, for the awesome interview! 

Not enough people ask about my hair, which has had a long and sordid past of its own.