Friday, June 29, 2007

I am running away.

Seriously. I am awol for Sunday and Monday.

My good friend, HB, has offered me her empty house if I balance the chemicals in her pool and water a few plants. Works for me. Dumping a bottles of chlorine and muriatic acid into a pool and spritzing plants in exchange for some quiet writing time. Someone else will have to deal with swim team, water polo and music. Someone else will get to play with our out-of-town company. Someone else will have to give Dorothy the Dog her antibiotics.

For two solid days, I'm hanging out with a bookful of characters who need revising.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Editing, editing, editing...

Yesterday the UPS man delivered my manuscript.

It's scary. There's lots to think about. And rewrite. And add. And delete.

Because a brilliant New York editor, Wendy Loggia, wants to make my manuscipt the best it can be.

I have butterflies.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Garden-Path Sentences and Jokes

Word play makes writing even more fun.

Here's a link for garden-path sentences and garden-path jokes.

I also love ambiguous sentences. They often pop up, unplanned, in whatever I'm writing and end up edited out.

My all-time favourite ambiguous sentence is: Visiting relatives can be a bore.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I heard from my editor!

I'll get edit notes from her next week!

I can't wait! I've read a few books edited by Wendy, and I'm really, really lucky to have her as my editor.

For a while, I was totally sick of I So Don't Do Mysteries. But lately I've been missing it. And now I'm excited about jumping back in, armed with Wendy's brilliant suggestions.

There's a lot of stuff about writing that's tough. Like rejection and waiting to hear back from agents/editors/contests.

Then there are wonderful days like today. When you get a wonderful email from a wonderful editor.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Another name for it is "housewife's eczema." Commonly found on the palms.

What causes it?

Stress. Like when you have a summer with lots of writing to do AND lots of kids, kids' activities, out-of-town company, at least one family vaca.

What else causes it?

Sunlight. Chlorinated pool water. Soap. Something I didn't totally understand involving fungus.

I obviously need to hire a nanny, drain the pool, use only disposable plates and cups, stop bathing, eat mushrooms and move to a dark cave with my MacBook.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Online Interviews

So, I'm reading a couple of online interviews with authors, and I start thinking...

Could I actually email real, live writers and ask them to let me interview them here? On this blog?

Like maybe Norah McClintock? Or Jennifer Allison? Or Libby Sternberg? Or Blue Balliett.
(I'm writing Middle Grade mystery, so I'm thinking along the lines of Middle Grade/Young Adult mystery.)

Anyway, it's all just blue sky at this point. Still, I might actually give it a whirl.

In the meantime, here are links to a couple of online interviews with YA authors. The first is an interview by Vanessa Barneveld wih Sara Hantz. Sara's a fellow UberAgent client. Her debut YA, The Second Viriginity of Suzy Green, hits the shelves Sept. 1. The second is Sara interviewing Stephanie Hale whose first YA, Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, will be released July 3. interview or not to interview...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

BIG news!

BIG NEWS #1: Rachel Vater just announced publicly that she moved to Folio Literary Management.

Folio looks fantastic, and I'm thrilled to be following her.

BIG NEWS#2: Melissa Marr's debut YA fantasy, Wicked Lovely, is now available. I've only read an excerpt and am already hooked.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Weird facts about sleep. Cows sleep with their eyes open. Giraffes sleep for 1.9 hours every day while bats sleep for 19.9 hours.

Migratory birds sleep while flying across the ocean. Dolphins sleep with 1/2 their brain at a time so they can keep on swimming and breathing. Rhinos (who figure heavily (pun!) in mystery #1, I So Don't Do Mysteries) lie down for a deep sleep and curl their feet up to one side. Dorothy the dog sleeps 10-12 hours daily.

Humans need about 8 hours of sleep. We use this time for activities like restoring energy supplies, repairing muscle, secreting growth hormone. If we don't get enough sleep, we lose our sense of humour, are cranky, less coordinated, less creative, and look older. Worst case scenario: total sleep deprivation for too long will kill you.

Do you get enough sleep? Do your characters?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Two Stars!

Congratulations to Child #1 who graduated from high school today! Child #1, please, please do not become one of the 58% high school grads who doesn't ever pick up another book. Why? Your life would be a much sadder, grayer place without books.

Congratulations to Child #3 who, at the ripe old age of 11, came second yesterday in a ballroom dancing competition! His lindy hop was pure genius!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

There is a reading revolution...

Some sad readng stats from Eileen's blog:
~58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
~42% of college graduates never read another book.
~80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
~70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

And I'm throwing in a sad tidbit of my own: To become a US citizen, you have to take a written dictation test. Consisting of two first grade level sentences. Make sure you watch out for the tricky parts. Which are to begin each sentence with a capital letter and end with punctuation. Obviously the bar is not too high.

To be part of the reading revolution, you must buy at least ONE book this summer. I charge you to add to this: email a writer whose book you liked.

Also, I promise to keep the "I'm currently reading..." section of this blog updated. I left Tyrell by Coe Booth up there for days after I'd finished the book. Which, by the way, is great. I totally felt like a black, homeless, high school drop-out, male teen when reading it. Excellent book.

Watch for details about the revolution.

I'm off to email Coe Booth.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lovin' Life

So, I'm sitting here, at my new armoire desk, writing on my new MacBook, listening to The Rocket Summer and whatever else Pandora (thank you for the link, Gina ) throws my way. The windows and doors are wide open. It's sunny. Dorothy is asleep on a rug by my feet. The words are flowing okay. Life is good.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Music and the Muse

Relient K. Rocket Summer. Dashboard Confessional. Gym Class Heroes. Matchbook Romance. Sublime.

What do these all have in common?

The music from these bands explodes from my ear buds as I plot and write my current manuscript (as yet untitled). It's more YAish than MG. And these bands definitely plunge me into that teen world of angst and moodiness.

Music is great for writing. Who knew? Obviously lots of other writers who share their song lists in their books or on their MySpace, website, etc. I didn't think music would work for me. I pegged myself more as a total-silence kind of writer (when I was home alone or in the library) or a chaotic-kid-noise kind of writer (when my kids were home). But not a music kind of writer. Until I took Crystal Green's great seminar on tickling the muse with music. So, thank you Crystal Green for the music wake-up call. (Wondering what you're listening to for your vampire series. :) ) And thank you Child #1 for the music uploads.

Anyone else write/work/whatever to music?

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Not trying to be a slacker blogger. Will post later about middle grade mystery stuff. :)