Book 2: First Draft in the Can

…And by that I don’t mean the trash can. Or the toilet. (Though maybe there were times in the process that I wanted to put the WIP in one of those places.) No, I just mean that it’s done, and yesterday I sent it off to my excellent editor. There’s a certain amount of relief to get it off of my desk, and maybe an extra hour or two of sleep that can be had while it’s on hers.

What’s more of a relief is knowing that I have a foundation in place for the novel. When it comes to writing, I’m definitely more of the revising type. It always feels a little easier once there’s something to work with, when some of the choices are narrowed down. Sure, there will be a ton of things to fix and add and change, but that’s the fun part. Like coloring in between the lines. In the meantime, zzzzzz.

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So Completely Back

I’m back from the SCBWI conference. It was a whirlwind few days but I got to meet a bunch of my Apocalypsies pals, take some great workshops and hear some LEGENDARY people speak about their life and work.

John Green was supposed to be one of them, and he had to cancel at the last moment for a health emergency, which was a bummer. But his replacement was Judy Blume (!). Hearing her talk during an interview session with Lin Oliver was life-changing, tear-jerking and awe-inspiring. You see, not only do I (along with practically every kid-lit writer of my generation) regard her as an early and important influence, but I also wrote a biography about her. So I feel this connection to her without ever having met her. And it’s Judy freaking Blume! I mean, she’s a giant of the genre. A very petite, funny, friendly-seeming giant with excellent shoes.

Everyone (well, my mom and my sister at least) wanted to know why I didn’t get to meet her, but there were 1,300 adoring fans at this conference and I just didn’t run into her at the Starbucks line as I was hoping. But it doesn’t matter, because I am newly inspired and energized from the experience. Sometimes, an almost-sort-of brush with greatness is good enough.

(Also in L.A., I got to eat salt and pepper ice cream. The weather was amazing. They really do serve avocados on everything and there really are people talking about movies everywhere you go. Plus, they have an entire radio station devoted to old-school hip-hop.)

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Going West!

Tomorrow I leave for L.A., where I’ll be attending the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) summer conference. It’s my first national conference for this amazing organization that’s filled with the nicest, most dedicated people you could ever imagine. It’s also the first time I’ve been to L.A. since a family vacation when I was 12 and we were caught in an earthquake in the middle of the night (our skyscraper hotel was swaying ever so slightly). Needless to say, I’m psyched!

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Hello, and welcome to my brand-spanking new site. So glad you could join me here!

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