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The Best Day Ever! (That's hyperbole, but it was really, really good!)

Guess where I went on Wednesday!
I'll give you a clue:

Still don't know?
Okay, how about a multiple choice question?
a) A chocolate factory. (Nothing but truffles all day.)
b) A spa. (Nothing but massages all day.)
c) A book store. (Nothing but reading all day.)
d) The offices of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (Nothing but pinching myself because I'm actually going to be a published author all day.)

And the answer is... (drumroll, please)
I had a fabulous lunch with my editor. We talked about books, publishing and life. I came away knowing, even more than I already knew, that my book is in great hands. I also got to meet many other fabulous folks at FSG. And even though none of them had heard of me yet because my first book isn't even out of copy-editing, I still felt quasi-famous as I was introduced around the office! (Which is, by the way, exactly as a publishing house office should look. Books and papers piled everywhere!)

As if my day wasn't already fab enough. Later on, I went to Penelope Cafe:

True or False: Jenny met her fantabulous agent there and they talked so long she almost missed her flight, which in the end didn't matter because the flight was cancelled due to bad weather, and she was told that there were absolutely no flights on any airline from any airport that could get her back to Chicago for at least 24 hours!

The answer is false! There were no flights for 48 hours! ACK!

But all turned out well in the end. United opened up a new flight, and I only had to stay over one night. Phew!

Now I'm home and so motivated to get back to work on my latest WIP. Because I want to have more visits like this one!



First Draft

once upon a time
on a laptop far away
there was a blank screen

there was a writer
a whisper; an idea;
a pile of words

which, in some order
that is still a mystery,
become a novel


My Second Meme

Okay, the rules:

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

This is going to be tough.

1. I am Marcia Brady. Well, sort of. There are three boys and three girls in my family and I'm the oldest girl. (However, I have never been pegged in the nose with a football.)

2. Sometimes I write my books while I'm sleeping. That is, I wake up hearing my characters talking in my head and I know that I was dreaming about them.

3. I once shot an M-16. (At a target!)

4. I am still sort of afraid of the dark. I no longer take giant running leaps onto the bed to avoid monsters grabbing my ankles, but I don't like walking around the house at night without lights on. Did you see the movie Sixth Sense? This is why.

5. My first kiss was in France on a hill overlooking the most idyllic view of the French countryside. We rode up there on the boy's motocyclette. It's a better story than it was a kiss.

6. In fourth grade I witnessed my teacher save a classmate from choking on a Twinkie by giving him the Heimlich maneuver. He tried to swallow the whole thing at once on a dare. It put me off Twinkies for life.

7. I love board games!

8. I'd rather be reading would be the perfect bumper sticker for me.


Seventeen Year Cicadas and New Books

So here in the north suburbs of Chicago we are enjoying the seventeen year cicadas. (These are bugs that live underground and come out only once every seventeen years to mate.) Since I didn't live in Chicago seventeen years ago, this is my first Cicada adventure. I was all set to be plagued by these critters in a biblical way, you know? Because, most experiences are cool at least once.

However, even though I practically live in the middle of a forest--I really do, it's nearly illegal to cut down trees in my town--i've barely seen a single bug. Nor are my ears vibrating from the cicada's incessant hum. While only a mile away, driveways are coated with these purportedly excellent sources of protein and neigbors are going deaf in their din.

I can't help but wonder, was is something I did? Did word travel through the underground about my evil treatment of cicadas' fourth cousins twice removed, the mosquitos? Ah. I feel left out.

However, soon I will be leaving my town and traveling to New York. (For the day, but still...) There I will have lunch with my editor! Possibly even meeting other wonderful people at FSG. Possibly even discussing revisions of GIRL IN WAITING, which should begin sometime mid-summer.

Then I will meet my agent! (Who I am really looking forward to getting to know!) I recently sent her book number three, a middle-grade comedy about a fourth grade boy.

Now I'm going to get back to book number four. (Which I just started, so the only thing I can tell you about it is that it's written with words.)

May your day be purple!

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It's my first Meme!

That's some sort of right of passage, no?

1. Are you a writer or an illustrator? Or both?
Writer, definitely writer.

2. How long have you been blogging? Who inspired you to begin blogging?
I've only been blogging consistently for a couple of months, (although I made one post a year ago when I set up my account. It's since been deleted because it said something dumb, like "Look at me, I have a blog." I was inspired to blog by all the other great children's book writers whose blogs I enjoy reading.

3.Where do you blog? What noise is in the background?
Well, I blog at my dining room table, in the comfy chair in my office, in bed, on the couch. Right now the noise in the background is my toddler reading himself Byron Barton's Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs.

4.What is the primary reason you blog?
Well, I guess it's to market myself, but that doesn't sound so nice, huh? How about I blog because I have a lot of random things to say and I think the world might be a better place if I put them in cyberspace?

5.What has been the unexpected delight of blogging?
Getting comments, definitely! People actually read this?

6.What has been the hardest part of blogging?

7. Describe your day in detail from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed.
Are you kidding me? If I did that you'd understand that I really don't have time to do that.

8. Have you ever had a guest blogger or done a virtual book tour?
No. I think you have to be cooler than I am to do that.

9. Of all the blogs you read, what is your favorite?
Well, I always check Brotherhood 2.0 and John Green's blog. I also enjoy reading Lisa Yee's blog, Editorial Anonymous, Fuse #8, Meg Cabot's blog, Maureen Johnson's blog and Blogging for Mom

10. Which kidlit blogger would you like to meet in person?
That'd be John Green. For the laughs, and because maybe some of his magic sheds and would get stuck to my clothes.