Archive for August, 2009

Opening up…

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

There is a strange quiet space right now in my head.  And I’m not sure how best to fill it.   I’ve handed in PENNY DREADFUL and (domestically speaking) our lives are kind of… (is it possible?) sane.

So the obvious next thing to do is to sit down and begin work on a new book, but I’m a little scared. I’ve decided NOT to sell the next book on proposal.  I want to write it first. I want all the time in the world to get it right, before showing it to anyone.  And sitting down to begin feels like it might be the first step of a very long journey.

See–here’s the thing:  all three books I’ve written so far have been almost fully invented, from my ‘magination, or rooted in  other, older books.  But this, this new book, this book I’ve taken to calling, “The magical divorce book about seagulls” is, to some degree, my own story.

Unless it changes dramatically (it could! They usually do!) from what’s in my head, this book will be about an 11 year old girl who moves, after a divorce. It will be about being an older sister, and about missing your father, and blaming your mom.  It will be about magic, and matter.  It will NOT be (obviously) autobiographical, but it will draw on my own childhood experience in Baltimore.  Which is something I’ve been afraid to do, until now.  It may be in first person.

Also, it will likely be a terrible mess.

There is a magical breadbox in it.

Yes, a magical breadbox.  And seagulls, lots of seagulls.

God help me.

<bites fingernails and buries head in hands>

Heading into fall…

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Sorry to have been gone so long.  It has been an interesting run here.  I found myself, suddenly, overwhelmed by the amount of time I was spending online. So I’ve taken some time away, and now I feel better. I think I have a handle on it.

Meanwhile, I’ve been finishing up the current draft of Penny Dreadful, and seeing sketches for the cover of the book, which make me all happy and tingly.  I’ve also just gotten the rough art for Baxter: the pig who wanted to be kosher.

In family-news, the boys are wonderful. Lew is talking up a storm and potty-training, and Mose is checking out chapter books from the library and obsessing over superheroes and bad guys.  Both are now napless, for the most part, and that means they  go to bed at a sane kid-bedtime-hour.  Five mornings a week they both attend a half-day preschool, and that has been a HUGE shift for me. I’ve now got 20 hours a week to work!  20 HOURS!  It is a happy happy thing.

On the inside, I’m feeling ready for a change.  For transition, for fall. Ready to start in on a new book. Ready to put on a sweater and  make soup.  Ready to begin thinking about the next phase… whatever that may be.

How’re you?

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast…

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Popping back in to tell you that one of my very-favorite-blogs-of-all-time has just done a big post about Any Which Wall!

Complete with art and excerpt!  Go, read, and leave a comment over there!

And I promise, I’ll return next week. I’ve been… umm… sorting things out.

Serenity prayers…

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Dear everyone.  Please forgive my absence.

In all seriousness, I’ve been working this week on cutting back my time spent online. I appear to have… umm… developed an addiction of sorts.To Twitter.

No, I’m really not kidding.

I’m trying to hammer out the line between “useful tool” and “complete obsession” and I’m  finding that clarity requires some distance.  (more on that later)

I’ll be back soon, with a clearer head I promise!

Everyone’s a geek..

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Everyone’s a geek for something, and I’m a geek for midcentury romps in the land of middle grade magical fiction.

A question has been asked, about the best order for reading Edward Eager’s seven amazing books.  And here’s my answer to THAT

Half Magic, THEN  Magic by the Lake (they’re set earlier).

Knight’s Castle, THEN  Time Garden (they follow the stories of the offspring of the Half Magic kids).

THEN Seven Day Magic (a one-off, but very like the others).

THEN Magic or Not and Well Wishers  (they’re a little different).

Contrary to (if not popular than occasional) belief, the books are not a SERIES of seven.  They follow the lives of four different groups of kids. The first two take place during the twenties, and the rest are all set later.  Some are linked.

While I myself must admit that Half Magic is probably the BEST of the seven, I’ll admit to loving Seven Day Magic best of all.  Not quite sure why… I loved the library as a kid (still do)

Today is sunday…

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

It feels very sunday.

Rainy. Quiet.

Puppy #1 is napping.

Puppy #2 is “helping” his father put new strings on a bass guitar.

I am rereading a book I like.

Later… there will probably be noodles.  Almost certainly.

There usually are.