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 revision technique this week.  If you’re looking for a way to see the big picture on a finished draft of a novel, you’ll want to check it out.

3. My 7th graders are doing a literature circles unit this month, and there have been some great moments in their discussions.  Their selections this time include The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages, The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin, Cracker by Cynthia Kadohata, and The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, among others.  I had to deliver Kleenex to the table reading Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson yesterday.  If you’ve read it, you know why.

4. I am plugging away on my new MG novel, Sugar on Snow.  I was stuck last night but got on the treadmill for about twenty minutes, and that managed to shake loose an idea for Chapter 6.  My goal is a finished draft by the end of November.

5. And finally, in what I can only appreciate as a brilliant twist of irony on the part of the universe… 

I have very recently finished revisions on my Fall ’09 middle grade novel for  Walker Books, The Brilliant Fall of  Gianna Z.  It’s about a 7th grade girl whose school leaf collection project is ruining her life.  I have been eating, breathing, and sleeping leaves since I started writing this book two and a half years ago.  The day after sent in my line edits, my 7th grade son came home with a packet for me to sign from school… the requirements for a ginormous leaf collection project, due at the end of October. 

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