Wow! It's been a while, eh? And I have SO much to share. My husband, four children and I just returned from a trip to Minnesooo-tah and Wisconsin. My jaw still hurts from picking up the dialect. I can do a mean "You betcha" and "You know, eh?" right about now, but I can feel it fading away. Back in my other life, I was really into acting and theatre, and I really studied accents. SO I'm still a little in the habit of trying to emulate them all. A bit annoying to all in my presence, I must admit.
I don't even know where to start. The coldest day was 19 below with a 45 below wind chill, so by the time it got up to zero, it actually felt warm. Crazy how your body can adjust. My kids had such a ball. We skated, skiied, snowmobiled, sledded, you name it, and of course, the redneck trip to Mall of America. My favorite place in the Minneapolis is the Russell and Hazel store. Are any of you into Russell&Hazel? It contains all the splurges a writer could ever want. Writer friends, if you don't know what I'm talking about, google it. The patterned rubber bands are my favorite splurge.
SO...I have some big news. (How nice to be at a time in my life when my big news ISN'T related to pregnancy!) An editor at a Henry Holt imprint has asked to see the first three chapters of my manuscript. I'm SO excited but trying not to get crazy about it. So everybody say a little prayer for me and Marina, my mc.
Traveling with four kids is not easy and packing all that winter gear including ice skates, skis, bibs, big puffy coats, etc. was insane, but all worth it. I'll talk more about my trip later. My mission today was just to let you know I'm still alive AND tell you about two books I read on the trip.
Book 1: LOOKING FOR ALASKA I know I must be the last mg/ya writer alive to read this book because so many people have told me to read it, but I finally did, and it's so fantastic. Catcher in the Rye meets A Separate Peace meets Bob Greene's Be True to Your School (obscure but awesome if you haven't read it). I thought LFA was brilliant. Truly. I can't say enough about this coming of age story. My husband is reading it now (my husband NEVER reads fiction--instead option for nail-biters like Why Do Men Have Nipples). Anyway, a must-read for anyone writing this genre or has ever been a teen-age boy (or married one. okay, it seems like I'm leaving out lesbians, not intentional, so I'll extend that to anyone who has a dad or brother). Worth every bit of its Prinze recognition.
Book 2: FEATHERS Not finished but almost. A darling little young mg book about an african american girl, set in 1971, and a 'white' boy comes to their school for the first time. The premise is brilliant, imho, and I love all the cultural bits about 'jive talk' and loving Michael Jackson. It also won a Newbery nod. I haven't read the whole thing, so I can't yet comment on the worthiness of that yet IMHO, but I'll get back with you on it.
Well, I've got to run now and make my son lunch, so he'll go down for a nap, and I can print out my first three chapters to send. Woo hoo! Everyone take care. More on traveling with children, cold weather travels, and hot dishes (making one tonight for my already homesick hubby!). But I've got to unpack and finish all the laundry first!
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.