Archive for June, 2010

BAXTER gets a star!!!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Baxter’s first review is as sweet as maple syrup!

And I’ll always remember this one… as my very first ever star!

When an old Jewish man at a bus stop extols the joys of Shabbat and its traditional dinner, Baxter becomes a pig possessed. All he can think about is how “the candles gleam and glow and dance while our sweetest voices lift in song!” But then Baxter learns that being part of the Shabbat dinner has an entry requirement: you have to be something called “kosher.” Stuffing himself with kosher pickles and challah bread, as well as trying his hand at being a cow (“He acquired a handy set of horns. He cultivated a taste for clover”), are a few of the ways Baxter futilely attempts to achieve that goal. Snyder (Inside the Slidy Diner) and Goldin (Go-Go-Go!) go together like matzo balls and chicken soup: the bright, daffy prose and ebulliently goofy cartoon and photo collages will persuade readers that they don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Baxter’s spiritual journey–which ends, happily enough, at the Shabbat table of a kindly rabbi. Yes, of course he’s a guest. What did you think? Ages 4–8. (Aug.)

When I say kids, I mean KIDS!!!

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Often, people I love refer to my books as “young adult.”  This is usually because the nice person in question is old enough that they remember books like A Wrinkle in Time being classified as YA.  Or Dicey’s Song. Or something like that.

I remember that too! Basically, when I was a kid, anything that was older than Frog and Toad was called YA.

But a lot has changed over the last few decades.  YA has changed.  Nowadays, YA tends to be older, darker. There is usually kissing (EWWWWWWWW! KISSING!)  in it somewhere. There is sometimes sex (SEX? What’s THAT?).  Increasingly, a YA novel has at least one vampire/dark faerie/ fallen angel.  YA books tend to be inward looking. I’ve blogged about this before.

Of course, there are tons of amazing YA books (and YA blogs)  out there, but I don’t write them. I write MG, or Middle-grade.  I write for kids.  Like, KIDS!  I write for girls who don’t yet shave their legs.  Boys who still build forts.  (I hope).

Well, just in case you still need clarification, I have GREAT NEWS!   Now there’s a place on the web where a slew of us middle-graders are hanging out together. Offering book lists and blog posts, interviews, and news from the publishing world.   We’re hoping that our group site, From the Mixed Up Files, will become a resource for people who serve the needs of KIDS!

You know, KIDS!  Remember them?  They’re the short people with stars in their eyes.  The ones in the sprinkler outside your window.

Out and About…

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Baxter took a field trip to my Havurah this week, and I can’t resist posting this adorable shot of my friends getting to know him.

Photo by the talented Webb Roberts.

For the small set…

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Now that I’m seeing it in various places online, I think I can unveil the cover to my FIRST BOARD BOOK!  With the sweetest art by Tiphanie Beeke (best known for the Fletcher books).




Something like a book…

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

I’ve been writing a book, a book that has been absorbing/demolishing  me.

It’s called


It begins with a line from a song:

Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?

Actually, it begins with two lines from two songs. The other one is:

Everybody’s got a hu-u-ngry heart…

The book opens with these words:

The first thing I missed when we got to Atlanta was gulls.

And now, for the moment anyway, I think that I have figured out  the words at THE END:

I guess maybe some people do leave.  Some people let go and forget.  Some people rip things apart.

But some people don’t.

All this to say, I’ve got something that looks like a draft. And whether the book is unpublishable, or whether it is the best thing I’ve ever written in my life… I can’t possibly guess. Right now it feels like both.

It’s a mess. It’s a disaster. But also–it feels truer and more honest and MINE than anything I’ve  written.

I wonder how I’ll feel about it tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010



I’ve set up giveaways for  signed copies of three of my books, over at Goodreads!

Enter here to win ANY WHICH WALL!!!


Enter here to win PENNY DREADFUL!!!



I’m not exactly sure how these giveaway things work, but I’m always open to finding new ways to distract myself from working.

What on earth did we do before the blessed internets came along to suck our time away?

Baxter is a tease…

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

BAXTER, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher isn’t out until August, but Barbara Bietz asked me a few questions about him this week, over here:

“It’s like– R Crumb and Dr Seuss went to a deli with Henry Darger. Or something like that.”

Me on… me!!!

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I’m not an expert in very many things, but I know as much as almost anyone about ME!

You can’t have it all. But you can have a little bit of everything. So figure out what bits you’re actually willing to give up. Carve a life for yourself with a razor blade, not a chainsaw.

I’m a great mom, but I don’t bake, or clean much. I’m a poet, but not a poetry scholar. Every time I add something to the list of things I’m not trying to do, I find more energy for the things I do want to do.

Whether or not you read the interview, check out the site. It’s great.