Certified Library Lover!

Seriously, I've never met a library I didn't love.

My affection began with the tiny one-room library in my hometown of Arcadia, Indiana (population 1200), because that's where I met Peter Rabbit. :)

From that moment on, I was hooked.

It was at the library where I traveled west with Laura, from Little House on the Praire; where I sobbed my heart out over Old Yeller, and Black Beauty, and where I became a bff of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone.

I learned to crotchet at the library.
I borrow movies from the library.
I've spent time in Russia and Afghanistan and Hogwarts at the library.

Gosh, I even found my agent at the library!

It's been many years since my introduction to the little Arcadia library, and since that time, I've probably paid more overdue/lost book fines (seriously) than anyone on the planet, and I still love libraries! Because what's not to love about libraries?!

In Bloomington, we are fortunate to have a totally outstanding library. And if you check out the blog of juliakarr, you can meet a couple of the staff members. Even better, Julia is donating money and books to our library for every response she receives.

So don't delay ...
Visit Julia's blog,
and Love a Library today!
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Another book giveaway contest (The Universe made me do it!)

Well, I had a one-on-one with The Universe yesterday, and confirmed her answer to my dilemma. Yes, keep going with the WIP, she said, and "while you're at it, get your other books out there! Have a holiday giveaway."

So who am I to ignore my new bff? She even wrote the blurb for me, and here it is, straight from Universal Press:

to a budding young heirloom thief.
All you have to do
is go to
and enter.

And that's it, folks. Hope to see you there. :)
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Wow!! This book sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it.

(Coming 12/22/09 from Bloomsbury...

Nimira is a music-hall girl used to dancing for pennies. So when wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing accompaniment to a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. In Parry's world, long-buried secrets are about to stir. Unsettling rumors begin to swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry’s involvement in a group of corrupt sorcerers for whom the rules of the living and dead are meant to be broken for greater power. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing fairy gentleman is trapped within the automaton, she is determined to break the curse. But even as the two fall into a love that seems hopeless, breaking the curse becomes a perilous race against time. Because it's not just the future of these star-crossed lovers that's at stake, but the fate of the entire magical world.

Want to win an ARC with original sketches from the author inside? See for details!
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Ouch! My neck and and shoulders hurt . . .

which is a really good thing, because it means that I'm working at the computer again.


After several months of indifference I'm all about my WIP again. I hadn't really worked on it in ages. Had only talked about working on it, and piddled with notes and ideas.

Then on a whim I decided to change the opening, and wow!! Something clicked. It's very different. Darker. I like it much better. Now I'm going through the 22,000 words I'd written so far, eliminating at least half of them, changing things around. What I've noticed in particular is that it's WAY too wordy. (Kind of like this post.) Geesh! How did I ever get so chatty?

Anyway, I'm happy that I like my story idea again, and very relieved I've regained that obsessive desire to write. For a while, I'd actually thought I'd lost it forever; I couldn't muster up any excitement.

Have any of you ever felt that way? Just total indifference, like "What the heck? Who even cares?"

It's been a year and a half since I first started this manuscript. If I'd only stuck with it, I'd be done by now!

Oh well, better late than never. At least I have my mojo back. And if I keep at it, I might have this story finished by the end of the year.
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crit groups and pineapple pizza

Yesterday was a fun day! I met with my in-person critique group--just the 3 of us; we've been together for a long time.

We met at Julia's . . . juliakarr, and ordered out for spinach/pineapple pizza--J's idea, and YUMMMM; it was so good!! And then we kicked back in her lovely living room (shared by 3 dogs and 4 cats; all very well mannered, I might add) and discussed our WIPs.

I can't imagine a writing life without writing buddies. Besides receiving invaluable advice, it seems as though they nourish my creativity.

And speaking of nourishment. I now (unfortunately), cannot quit thinking about spinach/pineapple pizza! :)

Hope you all have a happy Tuesday.
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My hair . . .

is very very short today. If Banjo Boy hadn't returned from his bicycling adventure with my camera no longer functioning, I would show you just how short it is.

But for now, this military image comes kind of close . . .

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Hello on a Tuesday, everyone!

Long delayed greetings from this VBB (very bad blogger).

yikes! I haven't posted anything For Ever. And it seems like the longer I put it off, the less I feel like I have to say.

But today today dawned with inspiration and a brand new me, and I've vowed to become a VGB (very good blogger).

Perhaps the enthusiasm started with ALA--I'm back from a too-short half-day of the conference. I drove there from a gem and mineral show in Livonia, Michigan, with bff juliakarr on Friday, then met up with lisa_schroeder, robinellen, kmessner, and cindy_pon that evening. You can see pictures on any of their journals, I believe. I was without a camera--son had mine on his bike trip.

What a fun time! It just couldn't have gotten any better: great company, lots of writerly chatter, and really yummy food . . . that famous Chicago deep-dish pizza!

We could only stay a couple of hours at the conference on Saturday, but it was amazing!! Huge crowds, high energy, bags filled with books. Wow! Such a testament to the love of reading.

And guess what? It made me want to run home and write a book. :)

I hope you're all having a wonderful summer. This VGB will talk to you soon.
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Good news

Hooray!! I'm very excited to post that Tracking Daddy Down is a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year for 2009. :)

And another fun thing . . . I saw on the Internet that TDD is one of five books nominated for the Blue Hen Book Award. This award is sponsored by the Children's Services Division of the Delaware Library Association. This summer, kids will vote on their favorites from the list of MG books.

Thank you, thank you! I am so honored by both of these distinctions. :)
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