Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sibling rivalry

Matty is not thrilled about Ruby. He has turned into Eeyore McGrumpy.

Ruby is oblivious and thrilled by every blade of grass.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A good time was had by all

Yesterday I did a book signing at the grand opening of a new animal shelter.

Despite the dreary weather, lots of folks stopped by.

There were dogs doing their thing.

There were plenty of activities and freebies. (I came home with LOTS of healthy dog food samples and tennis balls.)

There was music and dancing.

And there was me! (Many thanks to Michelle Laney of Buttonwoods Books in Cohasset, MA, for helping with this event.)

Me (left) and Michelle Laney

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FSG is moving

Effective Monday, new address for Farrar, Straus & Giroux:

175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's a party!

Actually....it's 50 parties!

Book birthday parties, that is.

Thanks to the always amazing Mitali Perkins!

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis celebrates its birthday on September 15.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If you're in the neighborhood

I'll be signing at the grand opening of the Scituate Animal Shelter in Scituate, MA.

Sunday, June 28

2 to 4

Come on by and help the furry guys. (Um, that would be dogs and cats...)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis Book Trailer

I present....for your viewing pleasure.....

the book trailer for

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis

(Due September 2009)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Me and Rupert Goody

I received the Korean edition of Me and Rupert Goody last week.

The jacket is made from some kind of funky material that feels almost like leather.

Under the jacket is a different, very shiny cover. (I wonder what she's saying....)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Drip, drip, drip....

.....those are the first three words of my upcoming novel, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis.

So apropo.....

....since it's raining, raining, raining here.

In celebration of this coincidence, I decided to start a big ole buzz, hype, build-up....


....my Great Galley Give-away.

So, stay tuned....

....I'm going to be posting a "contest" (i.e., a drawing) SOON.

That's all I'm sayin....

Friday, June 19, 2009

To market, to market....

I just formed a new company:

By-the-Seat-of-Your-Pants-Book-Promoters, Inc.

The days of staying home in your jammies and writing are over (if they were ever here in the first place).

Nowadays, authors have to get out there and participate with their publishers in book promotion.

But, for me, it's HARD!!! (whine, whine, whine.....)

I'm not very good at it - but I try to learn by watching others.

My two favorite book promoters/marketing mavens are my friends, Mitali Perkins and Grace Lin.

I've decided that I'm going to stalk them.

I'm going to watch their every move.

And then I'm going to copy them.

I'm in awe of Grace's hard work promoting her beautiful (three-starred-reviews so far) new book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

I was fascinated to see that to help prepare for her online book launch, she made a little drawing!!

So I made a little drawing!!

Now I have to go bake sugee cookies.

(But I wish she would stop decorating cupcakes. I hate decorating cupcakes.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I love kids

I recently received a great letter from a student telling me how much she liked How to Steal a Dog.

She wrote:

I love the way you use writing crafts, like zoom in, elaboration, vivid verbs and strong nouns. Do you have any more brilliant books?

How can I not love that?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fish camps and Andrew Jackson

Went down to North Carolina last weekend to attend a get-together with cousins.

My husband (a Yankee from Buffalo) thinks that the concept of "fish camps" is strange and oh-so-Southern.

I adore fish camps.

As a child, my family used to go to one called The Old Mill Stream. It was on a beautiful creek (or, um, a "stream", I guess) in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Everyone sat together at rustic old picnic tables on screened porches with the stream running beside it. (Oh, the sound of that stream!)

The table was covered with newspapers and the boiled shrimp was dumped right out onto the table.

Except for boiled shrimp - EVERYTHING at a fish camp is FRIED, FRIED, FRIED.

There are always unlimited refills on giant pitchers of the best sweet tea in the world at fish camps. (And, by the way, a REAL fish camp never serves alcohol - so forget the beer.)

The best part is the baskets of fried hushpuppies. Sometimes those big round kind and sometimes those little sausage -shaped kind.

But always SOOOOOO good.

So, of course, when I went to North Carolina I had to go to a fish camp.

And when you go to a fish camp, you have to eat fried catfish.

(By the way....I'm a little over-dressed for a fish camp....but I went there straight from the airport! I always dress well when I fly because once my family was flying to Ireland and got chosen to be upgraded to first class based solely on the way we were dressed. It has never happened since, but you never know.....)

I also decided to rent a car and head to Waxhaw (North Carolina) - in search of a spot to retire about the year 2048.

Guess what?

Waxhaw is the birthplace of Andrew Jackson.

Who knew?

And of course, I had to check out the library.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bye, y'all

I'm heading down South for the weekend.

North Carolina, to be exact.

A good old fashioned backyard barbecue with the cousins.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We're celebrating

This is my good friend, Kim Marcus, getting ready to pop the champagne cork during our critique group meeting yesterday. (Yes, it was 9:30 a.m., but who cares?)


Because she has some good news....

....she just sold TWO YA novels to Random House!!

Go, Kim...go, Kim....go, Kim.

Quote of the Day

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it's raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.

--E. L. Doctorow

(Hey, it's a slow news day. What can I say?)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cool and kinda cosmic

My beloved dog, Phoebe, passed away in February.


I still miss her terribly.

We recently discovered a bird's nest under the eaves of our screened porch.

Guess what kind of bird it is?

A Phoebe bird!!??

That's cool and kinda cosmic, right?

Oh, you shouldn't have....

I was at a school in Texas this year.

When the kids filed into the library for my program, I was so impressed that they were all dressed up.

The boys were wearing jackets and ties!

The girls were wearing fancy dresses and little high-heel shoes and ribbons in their hair.


All dressed up for ME!

I guess I really was a special guest.

Later that day....

.....I found out....

......it was PICTURE DAY!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Little black notebooks

I love this blog!

I adore little black notebooks.

I love them almost as much as I love containers and label makers.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I've been accused of condoning dog stealing.

(Which, by the way, I do NOT.)

But the other day (1 a.m., to be exact) while I was in the waiting room of the emergency vet (don't worry...nothing life threatening), I was strolling around twiddling my thumbs and reading every sign on the bulletin board....

....and came across this!!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bird's nests

I love to collect things.

I collect state map tablecloths...

...and engraved baby cups...

...Smoky Mountain memorabilia...

...and bird's nests.

My collection isn't very large because, well, how often do you find a bird's nest? (And I don't think you can buy them on eBay.)

(That monkey playing the saxophone is a candleholder. Isn't he cute?)

(That gavel was given to me by my family because of my obsession with Judge Judy.)

I haven't found one in a long time.

Yesterday, while walking my dog, I found one!

I take that as a good sign. (I'm superstitious like that.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Puppies again

Four and a half weeks old.

Could they be any cuter?

(Kirby Larson and I are battling it out for the Most Obnoxious Puppy Picture Blogger of the Year Award. I think I'm winning.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The quote of the day on my Google home page today:

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.

--Jules Renard

Hello summer!

My last school visit of the school year was yesterday.

My last time of starting the day like this (for a while).

And look who greeted me at the door!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Listen up...

The Los Angeles Public Library (that's LAPL, not to be confused with LAPD) asked me to read a chapter from How to Steal a Dog for their podcast page.

It took me a gazillion hours to figure out how to do it.

Then it was on their web site.

Then it was not on their web site.

Then it....


(It's supposed to say "Click here to download" but last time I looked it said "Media not yet available." Hmmpf. It was there at one time. And I noticed that Old Geezer Susan Patron's is there....but.....whatever....)

So - since it took me a gazillion hours to do it, I put it up here just in case there is anyone on the planet Earth who is even remotely interested in listening, besides me and my dog).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Greetings from Massachusetts

Greetings from Nowhere has been recommended for the Massachusetts Book Award, presented by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.



Thanks to the ever vigilant Mitali Perkins for the heads-up on this!