Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Writing on the Walls...

...doesn't go away!

The creative, free-spirit thing is great, until it comes back to bite you.

I'm moving out of my old home, a home I was sure would someday fall apart around me and be hauled away for scrap far in the future.

Imagining myself to be the last owner of this particular place, made me feel quite free and happy about writing and painting on the walls and ceiling.

Five layers of primer later, what's the thing that refuses to disappear? The kids Crayola marker ink. That stuff doesn't wash off and doesn't hide beneath paint. That ink is frighteningly tenacious.

So, trying to look at the sunny side of things, the cherry on top side of things, just like one of the paintings that did get covered up yesterday, I think I'll use the Crayola markers to my mental advantage rather than my personal torment...

I can remind myself that I can be just as tenacious as Crayola ink when it comes to my writing. I can try to make my words strong enough and bright enough to keep showing up. A corny metaphor, sure, and as such, maybe not the most brilliant. But when the writing on the walls refuses to come off, it's nice to think it can teach you something... other than the usual "Don't ever draw on the walls with a Crayola marker" lesson.

I'll take an uplifting metaphor over self-chastisement and criticism any day! (Even if I have to twist it a bit to make it work.) Meanwhile, it's time to go add another ten layers of primer to the old house. But first I have to write a bit--on my computer, not on the walls.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Today's Savvy comes from another member of the Preston Junior High School Savvy Summer Book Club in Fort Collins, CO:

My savvy would be to read people's hearts, not minds.

Our hearts and our heads don't always tell us the same thing. I think this distinction is a great one!

Check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Savvy Screenwriter

It was announced yesterday that screenwriter Karen Janszen has been selected to adapt Savvy for Walden Media.


Among other projects, Ms. Janszen adapted the Nicholas Sparks book A Walk to Remember, which, of course, made me cry...

To read the article in Variety online, click HERE.

I am a tremendous movie fan and have been known to regularly see movies multiple times while they are still in the movie theater. Books and movies, what would I do without them? I just love stories in all shapes and sizes and formats.

So I say: Yay, Karen! Welcome to the Savvy team! Take good care of my kids... they're in your hands for awhile now.

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Today's savvy comes from Stephanie, a young member of a Colorado book club I had the pleasure of visiting recently (see picture below):

Stephanie wrote:

I think I would like my Savvy to be making clothes really quick and really good because whenever I want new clothes I could just make some really quick. I think my savvy might get bad because after awhile I wouldn't have enough room in my dresser. I'd have to be careful of not making too many. My friends might think I was rich and that would make them jealous. I would always have nice fresh clothes to wear and my mom wouldn't have to do the laundry because I could just keep making new clothes instead of washing the old clothes.

For more reader savvies, click on the What's your savvy? label here on the blog. And check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be.

Check out these awesome Savvy readers!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What's with all the jars?

...if you've read Savvy, then you already know about Grandma Dollop's savvy jars. But I like taking an everyday object and putting a twist on it. What else could a jar be good for? How else could we shake up reality a bit?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kathie Lee and Savvy on the Today Show!

Yay! Kathie Lee Gifford plugged Savvy this morning on the Today Show!
Click HERE to watch... she mentions Savvy about 4 minutes and 43 seconds into the clip.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Today's savvy comes from a student at the Preston Junior High School Summer Book Club in Fort Collins, Colorado:

If I could have a savvy it would be to grow plants anywhere, no matter the season, and make them do or be whatever I want them to. I want this savvy because I really like plants, no matter what kind, and I think they are amazing. I love to plant plants but sometimes they die or you can't see them because of the season, like when it's winter. If I could make plants do whatever I want then I could make them grow really large or I could bring them back to life.

Check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Savvy This Week

This week, my savvy is: Good Timing

At the beginning of the year I bought a lot of soap. A LOT of soap. I thought it would be fun to make Savvy soap wrappers and put little hotel soaps into gift bags for my pre-pub tour in January. Only, it turned out that the smallest quantity I could buy in bulk was 1000. So, I had a lot of soap.

Today I decided that I would never actually use that many tiny bars of soap, but I knew that the local homeless shelter probably could.

My timing was perfect. When I dropped off the 800 bars I had left, I was told that they had just run out that morning. It turns out that homeless shelters love the travel-sized toiletries. So if you are someone who travels frequently, think about collecting those little soaps and shampoos to give to your local shelter. Maybe your timing will be perfect too!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Two of My Favorites

"Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people."
-- Garrison Keillor

In the June 29th edition of London's Sunday Times, Nicolette Jones called Savvy: "A quirky feel-good narrative with the homespun warmth of Garrison Keillor or Sharon Creech."

For me, being compared to these two people is both tremendous and humbling. Sharon Creech is such a consistently amazing writer. Love that Dog and Heartbeat are two of my favorites. And Garrison Keillor and his radio show A Prairie Home Companion have been fixtures in my life since I was a kid. In fact, when my daughter was an infant, I used to tape-record Mr. Keillor's Lake Wobegone monologues to listen to in the night when I'd be up with her. Even at 2am, he could make me laugh or touch my heart with a poignant, human moment.

"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted." -- Garrison Keillor

And from Sharon Creech...

"And so I started thinking about life insurance and how nice it would be if you could get insurance that your life would be happy, and that everyone you knew could be happy, and they could all do what they really wanted to do, and they could all find the people they wanted to find."
-- Sharon Creech, The Wanderer (Cotler/HarperCollins, 2000)

Both Creech and Keillor seem like gentle people with their own blazing campfires--no, bonfires. It's wonderful of them to share their light with the rest of us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Save Your Pennies! Savvy e-book... free for a limited time!

Penguin will be teaming up with 35 tween Web sites to give away free e-book copies of Savvy for a short time. From July 14 to 20, visitors to these sites will be able to download a copy of the book via Penguin's minisite for Savvy. The e-book can be read through Web browsers and posted on blogs or social networking sites; the book will only be readable during the week-long promotion.

Here is a partial list of websites and blogs participating in this promotion:



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Writing Tools

Getting myself in the groove to write can be tricky sometimes. I need a lot of things around me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Amazing kids are everywhere! And there's nothing I love more than hearing what some of them have to say about what they think their own savvy might be, or what they wish it might be, or what they know for a fact it already is!

So, check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be.

Today's savvy comes from a member of the Newbery Book Club at the Northport-East Northport Public Library in Northport, New York:

I think that my Savvy would probably be finding four-leafed clover. The only reason I say this is that in the past three years I have found about 46 four-leafed clovers. I amazingly tend to just see them on the ground. I once even found a five leafed clover. I don't intend to see them, I just do and if I happen to glance at one and walk away I can come back in a few moments and find it with ease.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Savvy hits the U.K.

Today, Savvy is being released in the U.K. by Puffin Books.

I've begun to receive many, many wonderful emails from fans of the book, but my very first paper letter arrived in the mail a few weeks ago from a thirteen year old reader named Daisy from London, who got to read the ARC (advanced reading copy) before the book came out.

I also want to say thanks again to Jenny D., who works in a Borders store in the U.K. (and is a fellow BTVS fan), for contacting me back in March to let me know how much she enjoyed the book.

It's fun to know that Savvy is starting to pop up all over!