Three years!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy anniversary!

To who? To me and Beth, natch. Today is our third anniversary, in fact, and in celebration, Beth went off to work and I stayed home with Sam!

Wait, no.

Last night, while I was at my awesome Loft class (which, by the way, was a riot last night; everyone seemed drunk, in a good way), Beth made a batch of maple glazed cookies with coarse sea salt. They are amazing. I have eaten at least 8 since then, and do keep in mind that it's not even noon here and that I was asleep for about 8 hours between when the cookies were given to me and now. The point is, though, that I recently Twittered that I was having bona fide maple lust. It is sated -- for now.

In other, less interesting news, YA MS the Third is done. Again. I think. I am in the middle of a read-through right now, and then I'll pass it off to Beth, as she is my favorite first reader. It's very short. Like, too short for most editors to look at seriously, I think. The AE is okay with the length, so that's reassuring, certainly. But he's a maverick!

In truth, I probably wrote lazily and could have include more action here or there.

My next task, after Eric Stevens finishes his latest assignment, is to fix and finish the trailer for |-1|. Not that there's any hurry.

Did you guys know Josh Berk is eating a burger a day for a hundred days, to celebrate the release of his debut, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, on the 100th day? How jealous are you? Or more to the point, how jealous am I?!

I wish I'd named my book The Absolute Value of Negative Pizza.

One post, two Sams

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're skipping ECFE this morning, I'm sorry to report. Sam's fighting a cold that has his nose running like a faucet, so rather than spread the cold to twenty other toddlers, we thought it best to stay home. I'll do some laundry. We'll have a blast.

Anyway, drop over to the Stone Arch Books blog today. They've posted a guest post I did about my favorite character from the Field Trip Mysteries. (Between you and me, she was also named for after my son.)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The cover meeting with the TKBs was excellent. I'm not surprised. Seeing the rough concepts on the big screen was pretty fun; some of them are very cool, and the whole process has me pretty excited. I won't say any more about the cover ideas themselves. Of course, once the cover's final, the Exile will probably be the first place it gets posted publicly.

Here are some highlights of the meeting:

  • A cover mock-up designed and illustrated, with flap copy (a review from the Times!) and everything, by one of the TKBs. At the end of the meeting she handed it to me and said, "Happy birthday." Slightly late--or early--but I love it and will cherish it. I'd post here but since I didn't ask her if that would be okay, I won't.
  • One of the senior TKBs: "I cried at the end. I curled up in a ball in the corner and cried." I took that as a compliment.
  • After cover discussion, several TKBs decided to hurl a few questions at me, and they weren't softballs, either. That was hell of fun. I want a whole session of that right there.
  • Adela, TKB advisor/leader, is planning to head to Pino's! As a native of New York (sure, Flushing and a Mets fan, but we must forgive our friends and neighbors), she undoubtedly misses our world-famous thin, floppy, foldable pizza, and has taken my review to heart! My apologies to her for not immediately realizing just what Pino's is. Not good with names, I suppose.
  • I got a TKB T-shirt! It's black! (That means it's straight into priority rotation for this shirt, of course. Black T-shirts are always win.)

Overall, like I said, excellent. Those TKBs who read the book seemed to take something away from it, and generally I'd say they thought it was pretty good. So I'm happy.

Two more things!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I had to pop in one more time today for two reasons.

1. I am answering the Six Questions over at Minnesota Reads today. Check it out!

2. The Exile is one year old today! It was on October 13 of 2008, the first Monday after I attended the Minnesota SCBWI conference, that I posted for the first time. (The blog had been sitting unused for some time.) It was unabashedly an attempt at creating some kind of internet existence for myself, non-anonymously. I think it's going pretty well. But as the ultimate goal at the time was simply to sell a book, I'd say it's going very well, tyvm.

Full stack

Here's the thing about pancakes:

If you're hungry, and someone announces they're going to make pancakes, you're like, "Awesome. I love pancakes. I can eat TEN. Make at least TEN for me." Or if you're on your way to breakfast on a late Saturday morning, you're all, "Man, I am getting a FULL stack of PANcakes, because I love pancakes and I can eat like TEN right now."

Then the stack shows up. You dig right in, after application of ample butter and syrup, of course. Five, even ten bites in, you're still trucking. It's so good. Every bite is delectable (I mean, unless they're totally crappy pancakes--I'm looking at you, Neighborhood Cafe). With each bite, you're certain you could eat pancakes for the rest of your life, nonstop, and never get sick of pancakes.

A switch suddenly flips in your gut. It says stop. Stop eating those pancakes. But your head is still in its pre-pancake mode. It replies, "No, no! We said ten pancakes. We will eat ten pancakes!" Your mind continues forcing your arm to move that damn fork back and forth, back and forth, your gut shouting, or anyway mumbling as best as a rock-laden gut can: "Stop! For the love of all that is holy, STOP."

Finally the gut wins out. It's not like the head says, "You know, you're right." It's more like the blood supply to your brain is far too slow at this point for your mind to do any strenuous work, like fork manipulation. Your arm is probably numb.

The pile of pancakes on your plate is embarrassingly large. You wonder if the server will ask if anything was wrong with the meal, or, god forbid, if you want to bring the rest home. You stare at the mutilated full stack. The butter and syrup have cooled and coagulate in pockets here, and there. The cakes themselves are stone cold. Even if you were fresh to the table you wouldn't want them anymore. As you feel now, you could wretch at the sight of them. You poke at the plate, then let your fork drop, even letting the fork's handle fall into the cold syrup, knowing full well that will make it completely useless.

The point is we went to Highland Grill last night for dinner and I got pancakes.

Tonight, the AE and I and some other folks from Carolrhoda are meeting with the TKBs for the second time. Very excited and nervous. Updates tomorrow.