Friday, January 30, 2009

Free Rat, Stays, Unicorn Untitled, The Virgin's Blood, Wishes

These are my current projects.

One is a film-book idea, one a short story, the rest novels. All but Wish, for 2-4th graders, are YA. One include two voices, one art, one text, one a development situation with an agent who will look at early work and contribute, the rest with my beloved literary agent.

I am working long days now, knowing that in about a month I will be starting the last book in my Resurrection of Magic trilogy. They are complex books: two stories go back and forth every other chapter, taking place about two hundred years apart (though that gap is closing). The first story causes the second one. There are two equally weighted protagonists, both in the same place--which has changed over time, of course. So, once I begin consumes me.

Before I am consumed, I want to have a killer-diller partial book/complete synopsis of STAYS (which is shaping up to be *really* interesting) A good summary-start on Free Rat, which is fascinating as it grows, a finished Faeries Promise: Wish, a completed Unicorn Untitled, and a few chapters and synopsis of A Virgin's Blood. So I won't be posting as often for a bit...

That odd little thing is starting to happen to me again. I think about how upset a character will be when they find out another character is hurt, then remember they are in separate books. Or are they?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My friend Sonya Sones, (Lovely person and fabulous poet/verse novelist) is judging a fun, teen writing contest. Entries will continue the story in her new book, What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know. Go check out all the rules and instructions. Here are the basic rules. To qualify you must state (truthfuly!!):

That you are the author of the entry
That you are 13 to 18 years of age on the date of entry
That the work(s) is/are original and unpublished
That you agree to the rules of the competition (details on the link above)
That you are entering only one work to the competition
All entries must be received by 11:59PM EST on April 3, 2009, the contest deadline. Limit one entry per person. Keep it short but sweet - no more than 1,500 words or ten pages

Have fun and good luck if you enter.....!!!


Coming in for a landing, I think.

After wrestling with the Free Rat story for...years...
I think I have the basic plotline now.
How did I finally manage it? The truest thing is this: I finally got out of the way.


This is Nashville TN from 15,000 ft.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


President Obama has asked us all to do our best.
Martin Luther King said that if your job was washing floors, to make sure that you were the best floorwasher.
My mother said self respect is earned, not given. That has always made sense to me.
Whatever you do, do it well. Whatever you use, use less of it. Don't waste half of it--or any of it. The world can't afford its citizens to be foolish or asleep any longer. There are too many of us, too many problems and too much work at hand. I am inspired and encouraged and ready to work.

Friday, January 16, 2009


If you ever read Sacred Scars, these are the cliffs, and this what Hahp did, with a very different sort of wingsuit. And oh, yes, he will do it again. Who wouldn't?


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Looking forward to Feb!!!

I will be in Milwaukee for the Wisconsin Reading Association event Feb.4-7th. I look forward to speaking to educators, librarians and readers there. And seeing friends. They have a gazillion authors coming...
February 26-28 I will be in Altlanta to keynote the SCBWI spring conference. Session titles: "Art, Craft and Filthy Commerce" and "Bricks, Mist, Voices, and Heart - Tools to try".

I include the titles, because I like them. The last two speaking gigs have had terrible titles, truly lame, I have no idea what happened to my brain. Maybe the '08 travel extravaganza? The Sacred Scars dash-to-deadline? Whatever. Embarrassing.

After these two events, I will be locked in my office until May, for BEA in NYC...then nothing else until August. I have a lot of projects in the works this year and have to stay home and write until the release of Sacred Scars.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

bumbling stupid day...

I rarely have completely useless writing days, but this was the perfect one. I have five projects in motion and none of them went anywhere. I give, I am off to do anything but sit here and try to write. Tomorrow will be better...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I cleaned a corner of my office yesterday and came across the National Book Award finalist medal that was given to me (such an amazing gift) in 2007. I am not sure I can explain what it meant to me. More than anything, the gift was a feeling that I really am a writer--that I really can write pretty well.
I finished Sacred Scars today--the copyedits, I mean, I am now free. It is the second book in a trilogy. Perhaps these characters will hush for a while, now, and I can think about other projects.

This picture was taken at one of the NBA award events--an auditorium in the New School in NYC, full of YA kids from all over the city.

Sarah Zarr and I are talking beneath the radar of the tall people all around us...left to right: Brian Selznick, me, Sherman Alexie, Sara Zarr, Sindy Felin