Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"A laundry basket of cheese"

It's a scramble around here. My tasks:

1) Reading classic middle grade fiction, both for fun and to prep for MG Book #3, which has its own notebook, but not its own title or much else yet. Latest titles:  What Would Joey Do?  The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (a re-read which may spur me to re-read all of Aiken in one gothic gulp.)  

"It's a horrible place! But don't let anyone hear you say so! The school is full of tale bearers. Everyone is always hungry---and Mrs. Brisket rewards anyone who carries her a tale against another person. She gives them a bit of cheese. She has a big laundry basket in her room full of bits of cheese, ready cut up."

2) Preparing to host Poetry Friday this week. This was the kick in the pants I needed to write a new poem and practice the "just get something on paper" I've been preaching to those who've asked me about writing lately. The biggest writing sin? Ignoring the impulse to write. Second biggest? Judging what you've got before you've got it.  Train yourself not to cringe. ;)

3) Completing an author bio/publicity questionnaire for Scholastic, which involved tracking down contact info and forcing myself into marketing mode. Actively ignoring the fact that ARCs of Operation Yes have been sighted and in some cases, read.  (Why, oh why, do I always suddenly realize with a stab of terror how public my work is?) Which relates to the next item....

4)  Daydreaming about being invited to the National Book Festival.  PLEA FOR HELP!!!  Does anyone know how authors are invited?  I know I'm small potatoes, but Michelle Obama has a stated mission of support for military families, which would dovetail perfectly with the story of Operation Yes.  But I have no idea how the Library of Congress draws up its lists of authors. Any help would be appreciated. 

4) Brainstorming ideas to pre-write posts for the Operation Yes blog I'll be launching in September---I want it to be a place for teachers and kids to find out more about military families, improvisational theater, cool kid projects, and the story behind the book. Also, prizes!

5) Keeping my senior on track to graduate. Today, his car wouldn't start and he didn't have lunch money. But I think the ten lines of iambic pentameter he wrote for AP Lit last night were in his fist as I dropped him off. (He said "fare thee well" as he left, so something is soaking in.) Maybe I should put out a laundry basket of cheese, both for him and me.

6) Oh, and I almost forgot: for the Bridgett Zinn benefit auction, I bid on and won a custom teacher's guide for Operation Yes, prepared by Natalie Lorenzi.  She and I have been emailing back and forth to start that project rolling. Whee!


  1. Wow, lots of cheese in this meaty post! I agree, you HAVE to be at the National Book Festival. And the part about your son saying, "Fare thee well," made my heart pitter patter.

    SO excited about your new book and website! Wow, you've been a busy girl :).

  2. I am exhausted reading your list.

    I also need to remember your #2 - I really need to work on that not cringing part.

  3. Yay to a new notebook!

  4. That basket has to be the most memorable children's book cheese ever...maybe it's time to start read Wolves to my boys.

  5. What a list!

    Any chance I could get an ARC of Operation Yes!? To add to MY list!!

  6. Sadly, Mary Lee, I have no ARCs at the moment. But let me see if I can figure out with whom to plead. :) I'm not even sure if they were at BEA yet. Adrienne got hers by asking her Scholastic rep when he came by the library.

  7. I think I might be able to figure out the National Book Festival thing. I've wondered about this often myself, and I know a couple people with LoC connections. Will report back.

  8. Whew . . . well I'm glad to see you'll be relaxing and taking the summer off.

    You can do it!

  9. You are going to love and be amazed by Natalie's curriculum guide. I promise you. Also, if you and Adrienne figure out the NBF thing, will you let me know? So we can both have our books there and, more importantly, go out for dinner together????

  10. okay, I realize this is obvious, but have you considered writing a letter to Michelle Obama? sending her an advance copy? leaving a copy on the White House lawn?


R-E-S-P-E-C-T (or you will be deleted)

You can receive followup comments to this conversation by checking the "notify me" box below the comment window.