Virtual Travel

ChairStarting Monday, December 17, I will be on blog tour. It’s my favorite kind of travel, accomplished from this big chair in my living room. The first stop is Kirby’s Lane, home of my good friend and splendid writer, Kirby Larson). Stop by and see what we have to say. 

She will lead you to subsequent stops. No ticket required. And no security screening. 

Thank you, Vashon

Vashon BookshopHere’s a small portion of the terrific crowd that turned up for the Will Sparrow’s Road launch last Friday. I couldn’t get them all in one photo but I saw lots of friends, several other writers, and many young people. We all talked and then had snacks. Thanks to Nancy and Morgan and the Vashon Bookshop for a great event.

Thank you, PW

Will Sparrow's RoadWill Sparrow’s Road is out today, and Publisher’s Weekly has given it a starred review plus named it one of the Best Books of 2012. I suggest you get a copy and see for yourself.

If you are lucky enough to live on Vashon Island, come join me at Vashon Bookshop, Friday, November 9, at 6 PM. There will be snacks.

Autumn

Autumn beauty“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

October has come and mostly gone here in the northwest but it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I tore a ligament in my right  knee and had to cancel long-anticipated events in DC, Texas, and California.  I’m mightily disappointed but as I sit here watching leaves turn color against the grey sky, I am grateful for the beauty of the season, the kind understanding of everyone I let down, and the fact that it could have been much worse. Pretty mature, huh?  If I live another 70 years, I might even become wise.

Writing Irresistible Kidlit

Writing Irresistible KidlitOn quiet afternoons, I love to sit curled up in a chair and read books about writing (really!). I’m a writing book nerd. Mary Kole, literary manager at Movable Type Management who blogs at kidlit.com,  just sent me a copy of her new book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers. And ultimate is right. I can’t think of a topic Mary doesn’t cover. The book is lively and helpful—my only quibble is the term kidlit in the title. It’s my pet peeve, but a pretty minor quibble for what is a terrific book. If you want to write for children or are a writing book nerd like me, take a look at Writing Irresistible Kidlit. I recommend it. 

It’s Wordstock!

Wordstock FestivalAll you Pacific Northwesterners out there (you know who you are)—come join me at the Wordstock Festival in Portland. I’ll be speaking at two events on Saturday afternoon, October 13. Both times I have the pleasure of sharing the stage with Katherine Schlick Noe, the author of the remarkable Something to Hold, winner of the 2012 Washington State Book Award. Come and ask us lots of questions. No rotten tomatoes, please.

Sheepdog Trials

Sheepdog trialsThe sheepdog trials returned again to Vashon Island. We had a lovely day watching border collies try to herd sheep. I know now why there is no metaphor saying “smart as a sheep.” They do not make it easy for the poor dogs. For those of you who think it rains here all the time, note the dry grass on the field. I am going outside to do a rain dance (not a pretty sight).

Expect the Unexpected

The Great UnexpectedFinally, Sharon Creech’s new book The Great Unexpected is available.

“In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town—like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree.”

Doesn’t that make you want to read more? I sure do and plan to dive in as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. Brava, Sharon.

What if …

Every Day… every day you were someone else. No, actually still you, but in someone else’s mind and body. I have just finished an advanced reader’s copy of David Levithan’s new book, Every Day. At first I doubted he could pull it off. I thought he could not make me care for the narrator who was different every day. Or for the bodies and lives he inhabited for a day. I wouldn’t spend enough time with any of them to care about them, would I? Wrong. Every Day is a lovely, thought-provoking book about truth, identity, and love. I highly recommend it.