Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Random Musings on the Sands of Time

I found this quote today and it made me laugh:

“You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you’re sitting on your butt. And no one wants to make butt prints in the sands of time.” – Bob Moawad

Of course, I found this quote while I was flipping through a book procrastinating. I'd come to a scene in a new piece of writing that was giving me fits and was looking for ways to avoid tackling it.

I wonder if the sands of time are by a beach? Then we wouldn't have to worry about what kinds of marks we might leave because eventually the waves will lap them all away (and we'd be at the BEACH).

If the sands of time were in a desert, windstorms would carry our marks away all the time (and there might be snakes).

If the sands of time are in an hourglass... well, those would be the 'Days of our Lives' of course - the sand would always be moving and someone would have to wear an eye patch (yes, the only years I ever watched Days of our Lives were 1988-1990 when I had a job at which everyone watched the show at lunch--strange, but true.)

Have I really been rambling about the sands of time? Already I can feel mine slipping away. (Or maybe just getting trapped inside my shoes... so uncomfortable.)

The sands of time are also probably very difficult to vacuum out of the carpet.

Enough about sand. Aren't you glad I didn't decide to start rambling about butts instead?

Hmm... you'd think I don't have anything better to do.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Few Party Pictures

So many people came to the Scumble release party last Friday! The signing line went on for nearly two hours. Some before my reading, some after. Thanks to everyone who patiently waited in line.

The audience was great - so many terrific kids and families! I enjoyed seeing familiar faces from school visits, book club visits, and other past appearances (not to mention all my wonderful friends and family who came) and new faces of people I got to meet for the first time that night.

Artist Lisette Walker ( www.lisettewalker.com ) made a Scumble spare-parts jackalope! (Photo below from the Lafayette Public Library's Facebook page. Photos above courtesy of Holly Wolfe.)

There were Scumble crafts, temporary tattoos, raffle prizes, and trivia! Many thanks to the librarians at the Lafayette Public Library for throwing such an amazing party, and to the many teens and young people who volunteered their time to set up, help out, and clean up.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Amazing Party / Wonderful News

Just a quick post right now since there's too much fun party stuff to share as soon as I have a bit more time (and photos!)... but the Scumble launch party last night was awesome. I can't believe how many people came. If you were one of those wonderful people - THANKS!

So, until I have more to say about the party, I'll just announce that Scumble is #9 on the New York Times Bestsellers List this weekend!

Another HUGE thanks to everyone who helped put it there - especially the fabulous independent bookstores across the country. On the Indie Bestseller List this week, Savvy is #6 and Scumble #9. Who'd'a thunk?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Party Sparks

Launch party tonight at the Lafayette Public Library in Colorado!

I didn't have a launch party for Savvy. I'm very fortunate that the wonderful librarians in my hometown wanted to throw me this party or I might not have had one for Scumble either (I lack the requisite organizational skills). Parties are a lot of work. My deepest gratitude goes out to my friendly neighborhood librarians (superheroes, in my mind, easy).

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." - Victor Hugo

If you're in the area, come join the party and spell out a few sparks of your own! (See link to appearance info in the sidebar.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gina, Allykatzz, and Scumble... Teen reporters rock!

I had the enormous pleasure of answering questions for an interview with Gina Lewis (pictured) of Allykatzz.com recently. Allykatzz is a monitored online social networking site for girls ages 10-15. The site has all kinds of fun features, including articles by tween/teen reporters who cover everything from celebrities to science. Gina asked me some great questions!

Want to know which three people, living or dead, I'd invite to dinner if I could? (That one made me think for a while.) Click HERE to be redirected to the interview on Allykatzz to find the answer.

There is a teen girl reporter in Scumble--Sarah Jane Cabot. I invented Sarah Jane so, of course, I'm very fond of her. But Allykatzz.com reporter, Gina Lewis, is better than fiction. It's great to see young people who are already fostering their own talents. I'm all about that... in case you haven't noticed. ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Love Fan Art!

I just received this fabulous artwork from Anna G. in Minnesota. The picture above is of (left to right) Grandpa Bomba, Fish, Mibs, Samson, and Bobbi in Savvy. The second (below) is of Samson with some fun added illustration.

We're big anime and manga fans in our house, so I really enjoy the style of these drawings. But no matter what style you draw in, I love seeing how you envision the characters, the scenes from the books, or even pictures of what you imagine your own savvy to be.

Thanks, Anna!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bobby Thomson

I just heard on the radio that the famous "Shot Heard Round the World" outfielder, Bobby Thomson, died yesterday.

It was startling to hear because, earlier this week, I was trying to find an mp3 of the Russ Hodges call of Bobby Thomson's most famous game to try to use a bit of it for one of my traveling 'Grandma Dollop jars'. If you know Savvy or Scumble, you know that Grandma Dollop's savvy gave her the ability to can radio waves. Here's a blurb from Scumble that memorializes Bobby Thomson:

"Why are we taking these?" I'd asked Dad as he loaded our collection of jars into the van. I'd helped him haul the box up from the basement, then watched as Mom dusted and tested each of them, filling the kitchen with music, news reports, and old-time radio shows. Dad and I had listened twice to the goose-bump-raising, sauerkraut-scented call of Bobby Thomson's historic home run against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Dad had wanted to keep that one. Mom packed it anyway.

How sad that Thomson died on the same day Scumble came out. But now I'm extra glad this little tidbit made it into the book. I was recently accused of being a nerd about my own books. But when you work hard on something and spend time doing research and trying to make everything just right, it is difficult not to feel a deep kinship to all the pieces that came together to create the story, even those that slip by to others in passing, or are forgotten as soon as they are read.

But some events and people are remembered for decades. Just like Bobby Thomson and that 1951 ball game.


I don't think there could have been a better way to end the day yesterday than to read an email from a reader who said she'd woken up early Tuesday just so that she could be sure to be ready to go to the bookstore to buy SCUMBLE as soon as the store opened. This wonderful reader wrote me late last night to say she'd already read to page 205.

I think that was even nicer than seeing the book in the store with my own eyes.

Thanks to everyone who called, emailed, and sent good wishes yesterday!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pub Day, Busy Day... in a non-book sort of way

Well, Scumble is finally out and available. Phew! And while I've been busy with some interviews, preparation for the party next week, and upcoming travel, I've also been busy because it's Back To School in our neck of the woods. So, instead of flitting about and celebrating today, I have other things to think about: volunteering at my daughter's school as the kids go in to register, appointments, some last paperwork to fill out, that sort of thing. So it's much more of a Mom day than an Author Day, which is fine.

Though, we may have to stop into a bookstore just so that I can see for myself that Scumble is actually on the shelves. When Savvy came out, my daughter and I sort of lingered awkwardly by the book in the store the first time we saw it. Then we each poked the cover and ran out of the store giggling. We may have to do something like that again today. I'm sure we can find a few spare moments to go book-jabbing.

I've been looking forward to another release today: Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice: Rise of the Huntress. Only, I've listened to all the previous Last Apprentice books on audio, so I'm distressed to discover that there doesn't seem to be an audio version of the new book yet. Do I change my pattern and read the book instead? I really enjoy the audio. Dilemma.

Meanwhile, thanks again to everyone who's read Savvy and supported me in every possible way as I wrote Scumble.

I hope you enjoy the new book!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mailing List

So, it has taken me three years, but I think I'm finally ready to become a More Organized Author. Part of my new Pledge of Organization is to create an official mailing list in order to send out occasional, brief announcements or news blips about my books. (And, no, I'm still not on Facebook... I'm socially backward even when it comes to online social networking. This blog, and answering email is about all I can keep up with at the moment and still get anything new written.)

If you want to be on my mailing list (email only), simply send me your name, email address, and the names of both the city and state in which you live, so that I can send you appearance announcements when I'm in your area. Send your information to:


Hopefully my best-laid plans at changing my disorganized ways will work and you will, on occasion, hear something fun from me. If you don't, I'll simply lie to you now and tell you that any future lapses will most likely be caused by my having:

A) been eaten by hungry baby alligators, or...
B) drifted to an uncharted island in a hot air balloon captained by monkeys, or...
C) fallen over the side of an aircraft carrier and been carried off by mer-people.

Though, rest assured, I will only use the information you send me for Good. Unless the mer-people are evil and force the information out of me by making me eat seaweed and squid and raw sea onions. Then your inbox will probably be flooded with mer-messages and lots of tiny fish. (Have you seen the little fish I just added to the blog? Scroll down if you haven't... you can feed them with a click and they will follow your cursor--very useless, but fun.) But I will try not to let evil mermaids get your information. I promise.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Word of the Week

Ooh... just got this one from Dictionary.com:


Which is how you say the number:


(that's one, followed by forty-five zeros)

To find out more about this word number--and how to pronounce it, CLICK HERE.