Archive for November, 2008

Not to brag…

Monday, November 17th, 2008

But I just got back from Grand Cayman.  I’m not even kidding.

Family trip, for my step-dad’s birthday, and it was WONDERFUL.

Turns out I love to snorkel.

I chased a sea turtle and poked around the reef for hours on end. I took Mose and Lew splashing in the green blue waters, and we fed fish off a dock.  We made sand castles and ate lots of yummy things and I drank rum punch and stayed salty for 3 days.

I was deliciously happy, and offline the whole time.


The Blog Blast Tour…

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Miss Erin has done a really fun interview with me, as part of the Blog-blast tour.

I’m really grateful to her for this one. I love love love being given the chance to mull (in public) about the distinctions betwen “adult” writing and books for kids, as well as the differences between the genres I tinker with.  I think its important stuff, but since blogs tend to be devoted to one “type” or another, I find that most interviews are wholly about poetry, and others are entirely about kidlit.

I really relish the chance to talk about them simultaneously, and want to thank Miss Erin!  I only wish I could meet her in person, for a coffee or soemthing, and chat for hours about this geeky wonderful topic.


Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Not only am I “Cynsational”,  now I’m on the verge!

I’m Cynsational!!!

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I’m honored to be interviewed today at Cynthia Leitich Smith’s place! I won’t pretend you don’t know Cynthia. Lots of folks  know Everyoneknows Cynthia…


Slidy goes live!!!

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

My awesome (and hot, and verrry tech-savvy) friend Amanda has put Inside the Slidy Diner online. The whole dang thing!  Check it out!

She also plays bluegrass music.  How cool is AMANDA?


Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Just back from Canton, GA, where I visited a sweet little bookstore. We read Slidy Diner, and then a group of awesome kids helped me write a NEW book called “Inside the Broken Bookstore” using a kind of mad libs format. So fun!

And now, tonight, I’m reading poems, Actual POEMS. To grownups, with a slew of other awesome folks. At Wordsmiths. Come at 8, and we’ll get a drink after. Yay!

Working, working, working…

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

(nice example of a “Penny Dreadful”)

So, I’m in the throes of NaNoWriMo, and I have to say… I’m really nervous about what I’ve written so far on “Penny”.  Can I really put copious vomiting, neurotic parent spoofs,  and a child taxidermist in the same book?

Right now everything feels off kilter and fluffy. Everything feels messy.  I know this is only a first draft, but I’m scared.

I wonder if others are NaNoWriMoing books under contract? I wonder if this was a mistake.  If the “serious” nature of work that’s been sold and the zany/spontaneous nature of slamming out 1500 words a day are incompatible.

I console myself with the fact that I always have time to do-over if this is a miserable failure. I also console myself with the fact that I’m a much better rewriter than I am a writer.  Something learned in all those years of poetry workshop makes me a very tight tinkerer, and terrible at just throwing words onto a page.

But right now I’m nervous.

One other, unrelated, note… I’ve been re-reading Gone Away Lake, because there are things I need to learn from it to write this… and I’m struck by the (Joe and Beth Krush) art in the book.  It looks SO MUCH like the (LeUyen Pham) art for Any Which Wall.  Which is AWESOME. But weird.

I only wish…

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

We could’ve delivered Georgia.

Last night was amazing, gigantic, alive.  Mose and Lewis didn’t understand what was happeneing around them, not really.  Mostly they were excited about the cookies and strawberries.

But I kept thinking that this fabulous man will be THEIR president, as Carter was mine.  They will know his name, his face, see the effects of his conviction in the world they inhabit.

I cried (tears of happiness) to think that they were going to form their early understandings of country in THIS America, not the broken America we left behind yesterday.

Nobody can say what will happen now. Our country is terribly bewildered, lost in the sea of dollars and wars, off kilter and inequal.  But I do believe that if anyone can do this, can inspire US to do this, repair our world, it is Barack Obama.

Be glad.

Blog the Vote!!!

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Colleen Mondor, always brilliant, suggests that we BLOG THE VOTE over at Chasing Ray.

I’m in!

And to begin with, I just want to take a second to talk about how we can involve children in the “Democratic Process,” how important I think it is that we do so.

When I was a kid, politics were all around me. My dad was active in Democratic and Socialist (yes, SOCIALIST!) organizations in the Baltimore area, so I grew up in the basements and backyards of such groups.  My dad also ran for sheriff of Baltimore City at one point, helped work for wonderful candidates, and took us to demonstrations, which always felt to me the way state fairs feel to some people.  Boisterous, energized, holidayish.

By the time I was in high school I was working for my own candidates, referendums, and demonstrating for my own causes. I understood all of these things to be essential to the American experience.  Being American and patriotic was about making one’s voice heard.  USING ones freedoms.

But  in my adult life, the state fair quality felt like it had disappeared altogether. Until this year.

This year, people are out in the streets, gathering in bars to watch debates, talking and thinking about issues.  This year people are passionate.  And THIS YEAR I have my own children.  So for me, right now (I already voted) the election is about kids, most especially my own.

As a mom and a children’s author, I’m thinking a ton about kids, and about how making a place for our children in the political process is the best way to insure we have a next generation that wants to participate.

So tonight, we’ll go rally with our chosen candidates at  the state capitol.  And tomorrow, I’ll be taking the boys to host  an “Election storytime” in a public place .  And then, tomorrow night, we’ll go to an election party and stay up late, watching returns come in.

Not because any of that stuff  will affect THIS election. But because all of those things will affect my boys, and the other kids present.

And I really really want to believe  THAT will affect elections down the road.  However my kids align themselves politically, whether they agree with me or not, I desperately want them to love politics. I want them to feel like they’re a big part of how this country works. Starting NOW!

What’re your kids doing tomorrow?