Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Magic of YouTube

I’m working on a new middle grade novel that I absolutely love, but recently, I hit one of those rough spots. I’ve been putting off Chapter 7 for about a week.  How come?  It involves my main character, a figure skater, trying to do something she hasn’t mastered yet — a double toe loop.  She […]

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Historical Fiction & Revision at the NYSEC Conference

I spent Thursday at the NYS English Council Conference in Albany, giving presentations on historical fiction and revision, chatting with other writers on a children’s literature panel, and signing copies of Spitfire and Champlain and the Silent One.  The fabulous Merritt Bookstore handled book sales for the conference & took terrific care of the authors – […]

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The Amazing Boomerang Manuscripts

What sounds like a circus act is actually the reality of having several different projects going on at once, all at different stages.  Out on submission, revising, copy editing, Lately, when I sit down for my writing time at night, I have to ask myself… What’s on my desk right now, and what’s off it? […]

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The Truth About Leaf Collections

As a middle school teacher in a school where the huge 7th grade leaf collection project is downright infamous, I thought I’d done my research for THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z (Walker Books, Fall ’09).   It’s a funny, contemporary novel about a girl whose 7th grade leaf collection project is ruining her life.  I’d heard […]

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Detour for the Snow Geese

A Columbus Day author visit this week meant a sunny day drive through some of the most beautiful October scenery in the Northeast.  I enjoyed every minute of the mountains and the maples.  Helen wasn’t as appreciative of the scenery, though.  This is Helen… …my GPS unit. Usually, Helen and I get along, even though we’re […]

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Huzzah!!

The National Book Award finalists have been announced, and some of my favorite books of 2008 made the list! Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains (Simon & Schuster) Kathi Appelt, The Underneath (Atheneum) Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic) E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion) Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now […]

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An Author Visit in Vermont

It’s been a long day, but I’ve promised some new friends that I’d post blog photos tonight, so here are some highlights of my author visit to Lothrop Elementary School in Pittsford, Vermont. A town hall full of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders greeted me as soon as I arrived.  We talked about Spitfire and […]

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Collecting Leaves on Mount Jo

What do you do when your middle grade novel about a 7th grade kid whose leaf collection is ruining her life is off in New York City being edited?  You head for the mountains to collect leaves, of course! THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z won’t need my attention until copy edits are complete, and […]

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Friday Five

1. I got an ARC in the mail this week that made me very, very happy. This one is for older readers (12+) than Lisa Yee’s earlier books, and it’s terrific so far. More when I finish… 2. Sarah Miller, author of Miss Spitfire, posted a video-blog about her use of Darcy Pattison’s shrunken manuscript […]

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October Guests

I keep talking about cutting back the asters that grow along the front walkway.  They’re enormous and overgrown, and when it rains, they droop over the sidewalk so you can’t get inside without your pant legs brushing through them and getting soaked.  I haven’t cut them back, though, because butterflies and bees love them, especially […]

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