Saturday, October 23, 2010

So if we are not writing...

We all seem to be in creative hiatus unto hibernation at the moment - a flurry of typing right before a meeting and then slipping back Which gets in the way of all good writers!

So this month we'll share what we are reading - professionally and personally!

With the much anticipated Harry Potter 7 Part 1 due out in November, I am re-reading Deathly Hallows so I can complain loudly about everything that was left out. Before that I re-read Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, one of my very favorite authors. Every sentence needs to be read twice just to get the meaning and then to appreciate the language. This summer I read Cutting for Stone which is up there with Kite Runner as an all time best.

In the car I listen to books on CD and tried to get through as many Newbury winners this summer as possible. Two stand out - although they were all good - Al Capone Does my Shirts and Belle Pratter's Boy.

Oh - yeah - I had two radio interviews this week! The Baby Bible Christmas is being reissued with new improved art and Cook Publishing hired a publicist! So it has been reviewed in several blogs and now "on the air"! I think in Texas but one of them is podcast at from October 21.

Trying to stay perky as the world darkens.....come on Christmas lights!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

progress?? ummmm...

What progress have I made in my writing over the summer? hahahahahahahahahaha
Honestly, the only thing I can say is that my novel characters haven’t died--they’re still in my head, sometimes whispering about subtle changes that might work or just repeating their story as I know it. As it is now Halloween season, I see things that remind me of my Ghoulsby family or my witch who was making the yet-to-be-better-named BooGoo. That I have read a couple blog entries by agents (almost always forwarded to me by my fellow Peabodies) or other authors is an accomplishment!

In terms of reading children’s books, my search has been quite specific. One of my twins shares a name with a beloved literary character who appears in a series of picture books, almost all of which I already own. I had to do a search for books whose title character has the name of my other twin. I was delighted to find a couple really nice picture books! I even found a borderline picture/next-level-up book for my preschool son in which the title character has his name. I don’t think it’s particularly well-written, but he likes it. In this day and age, you can easily find pre-written books where you personalize it so your child’s name is in the story. I like those, too, but it’s fun to find books that were written to be children’s lit rather than manufactured just to sell product.

I would also say that my immensely sleep-deprived imagination does get a bit of work out--when I think up all the responses I would love to actually say to people who make stupid comments or insist I enact their methods when they have never had twins themselves, let alone one with colic and one with eczema and possible milk allergy, both with a little reflux thrown in. (As much as I try to keep them on the same schedule as often as possible, people fail to realize that they are not a unit, they are two individual beings with their own personalities.) Or the dialogue I dream up when faced with a stroller brigade of annoying moms invading my neighborhood park. I got the worst vibe as they emerged from their mini-vans, set up their gear, and strode three abreast, practically in slow motion, down the sidewalk to the playground with their giant too-old-for-strollers single “babies.” Bad vibe confirmed when their older, preschool-kindergarten, progeny acted like shameless little jerks. The loud “leader” mom was worrying that whatever was going on with her was affecting Little Miss Precious Bossypants at school. She should have been worried about what kind of a socially incompetent brat she is unleashing on society (“Uncorrected personality traits that seem whimsical in a child could prove to be ugly in a fully grown adult”--Robyn Hitchcock.) And even though my son and I had an easily overheard conversation about how unfriendly these other mites were, the only thing any of those mothers said to me, with a look of disappointment when realizing that I would garner more attention from any passing strangers, was “oh. twins? you have your hands full.” In my head I replied quite elaborately. In reality my son had yelled “Some nice kids are here now,” so I wheeled the babes over to chat with the nice kids’ delightful mom, during which her daughter came over to inform us that “those kids are being mean to me!” So it wasn’t just me.

Back to “progress”--most of my writing has consisted of addressing birth announcements. And I STILL need to catch up on reading what my fellow Peabodies wrote over the summer. I don’t feel so bad though when I hear that they have been disappointed in the amount of product generated these recent months and that they, too, have had major life events with which to contend. Mostly I feel inspired by what they have done, though, envious of trips they have made and retreats attended, and grateful that I am still entrusted with reading their work! Cheers!