Sunday, May 18, 2008

Six Pictures Are Worth At Least Six Thousand Words

The pictures come later. I'll start with the words.

There've been a couple of additions over on the right side of the page. Those of you with keen eyes and nothing better to do may have noticed (okay, none of you have noticed) that a new state has been added to the list of states where Life As We Knew It has been nominated for young reader awards. New Jersey put it on their list of nominees. This is very exciting for me, since my brother and sister-in-law live in New Jersey, and I asked them to devote all their spare time to campaigning for my book. Lucky for them, they have no spare time.

This brings a kind of total of 20 states to the list, only I dropped Rhode Island when LAWKI didn't win there, and the Pacific Northwest award includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. I gleefully e-mailed my editor to say LAWKI had therefore been nominated in 25 states, and she responded by saying that was almost half of the U.S.
Editors are naturally gifted in keeping writers in their place.

However, if I ever doubted Harcourt's love for me (which I'm prone to doing whenever I'm waiting for money from them), I have actual evidence of their feelings. Note, if you will, that I've added another engagement to dates I'm looking forward to. I'll be at NCTE in November. I was there in Nov. '07, as the guest of Harcourt, and did some autographing. It was held in NYC then. But in 2008, it'll be in San Antonio, Texas. And I'm going to be on a panel, so NCTE loves me too. Okay, I'm one of four people on the panel, so NCTE doesn't love me to excess. But I'll take all the affection I can get.
Speaking of dates, Tuesday night from 7-8:30, I'm going to be giving a talk at Middletown Thrall Library (Middletown, NY), and I hope all of you who live within a 500 mile radius will be there. I'll read the Yankee Stadium scene from the dead and the gone, and there will be cookies. Even more exciting, there will be Marci, who, sweetheart that she is, promised to come. It's my hometown library and even my robust healthy ego will be bruised if she's the only one in attendance.
My robust ego is delighted to report that Publishers Weekly just gave a starred review to d&g. I added the new wrenching comment in the appropriate section to the right.

Back to numbers. I was going to announce that LAWKI had gotten its 50th review on Amazon, because it did, but before I had the chance, it got its 51st and 52nd. Number 52 was a 5 star review, and therefore my favorite.

The Summer Blog Blast Tour starts on Monday, and I'm delighted to report that I'm one of the more than thirty authors interviewed by the various bloggers. What a great thing this is. Here's a link to the list of all the writers who are participating (and where their interviews can be found):
I actually got interviewed twice for the Summer Blog Blast, because I'm such a little chatterbox. Okay, not so little.
In addition, I got interviewed by The World in the Satin Bag. And I got interviewed by Liv's Book Reviews. For those who might be interested, I'm linking to the interviews on the right side of the blog.

Ooh ooh, now onto the pictures. I figured out how to get my lovely new digital photographs to load smack onto my blog. I took pictures of my den, where I work and blog and waste vast amounts of time, and here they are:

The pictures below are of the chair where I read and the chair where I don't read because the light isn't as good. The pictures make the room look bigger than it is, because there are only four bookshelves across, but one of them shows up twice. Also, even though the den looks very cluttered, the rest of the apartment isn't. Really.

See the bookshelf by the window? That's where I keep all the books I've written. On the bottom two shelves are books written by people I know, but the top five are filled with my books, in their various editions, plus textbooks and the suchlike that have used selections of my writing. On the floor in the picture on the left is the Junior Library Guild Premiere Selection Award for LAWKI, and my honorary degree from Mount St. Mary College. On the floor in the picture to the right is my Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award for Kid Power. I keep lots of good stuff on the floor because when I moved into the apartment almost four years ago, I was retired and decided to use what minimal wallspace I had for my movie memorabilia, rather than displaying career awards and honors. In spite of being sort of temporarily unretired, I haven't redecorated.

Also, on the bookshelf on the left is an Albert Einstein doll. I have a Sigmund Freud doll as well, but it had fallen onto the floor, which is why you can't see it. I've picked it up since then.

Here's another picture of the shelf with all my books. The plaque with a panhandle is the Sequoyah Children's Book Award from the state of Oklahoma. I won it for Kid Power also.
On the top shelf to the left of all my books are various Rocky and Bullwinkle stuffed dolls. The redhead is Sherman. And that fabulous picture of a total eclipse of the sun was taken on Jan. 24, 1925. I got it in a junk shop for a dollar.

The picture below is of my computer desk area closet thing. Very fancy, and it cost a lot of money. It seems to be kind of cluttered also, but it's really very practical. Most of the yellow post-its to the left list my passwords, which I'm prone not only to forgetting but to writing down in code which I also forget. Other than that, it's a great system.

That midsized piece of white paper to the left of the computer monitor is a list of events that happened in the late semi-lamented version of the third book. I really could take it down. Oh, and see those top two post-its? They're not interesting, but the one below them to the right lists the results of the ghost poll I had on my blog a little while ago.

There's actually a lot of interesting stuff on the right side door as well, but I could only photograph so much. And I bought a new printer since this photo was taken, but it didn't seem worth taking another picture just to show you.

On the windowsill to the left of the monitor are two Aflac ducks, which my friend Janet Carlson, to whom d&g is dedicated, gave me. The blue thing in between them is a two footed calculator, on which I multiply imaginary numbers of books sold by the percentage I'd earn in royalties.

When I first decided to keep a blog, my sister-in-law said I should write about my cats. I haven't all that much, but here are their pictures. Emily, the calico, loves having her picture taken, but isn't particularly photogenic. Alexander, the orange tabby, doesn't understand why I'm taking his picture when I could be scratching his ears, but he has a model's classic looks. He sheds a lot more hair than a model, most of it on the chairs in my den.
And with that, Emily, Alexander and I say farewell until the next time I can find either some other pictures or a few thousand more words!


Marci said...

The cats look very beautiful in their portraits. That is a classic Emily pose.

The photo of the office does not show the cat hair that is frequently found on the chair in which you read, as well as the chair in which you don't.

I am going to frame a good print of Alice's moon photo to give you to go along with the antique eclipse. Consider it a gift. You'll get it eventually. You can put it on the floor.

I will be at the book talk and I won't be the only one there. And I expect to eat cookies. Do I get to go EEEEWWW! in the appropriate places when you read the notorious Yankee Stadium scene?

Linda Jacobs said...

Thanks so much for the book plate! It arrived today and I've already put it in its place of honor.

I love your bookshelves and writing area.

Wish I could attend your talk(okay, I'm within the 500 mile radius, just barely) but Tuesday is a school night.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
I am currently writing a book report on LAWKI and I was having some trouble on the siterary settings essay. Then I thought, who better to ask than the author herself?

Anyways, I was wondering if there were any events in your life/books your've read/people in your life that influences the way you write, or the writing of LAWKI?

Thanks so much


Anonymous said...

501 miles away according to mapguest. Darn!

(THank you for the bookplates, by the way. It was very kind of you.)


Anonymous said...

Looks like home. Much, much more interesting, (and appealing, and fun, yet elegant), than other author's writing spaces, as seen in the author's writing spaces book.

W. Slezak

Dawn said...

What lovely pictures of kitties! I love the pics of your studio. So interesting to see the place where you come up with so much death and despair is actually quite lovely. ;)

Wish I could make the booktalk but I am way past 500 miles out of the loop.

Thank you so much for the bookplates!! I can not wait to put them in my library's copies of LAWKI and D&G. Unfortunately (or fortunately) all copies of LAWKI are checked out and we have not yet received our copies of D&G.

Take care,

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi to Marci (who I'll be seeing in a few hours) and Linda Jacobs and Glen and W. Slezak and Dawn-

So none of you are willing to move within 500 miles of Middletown by this evening? Humph.

Somehow I fear that everyone within 500 miles of Middletown will chose to move 501 miles away by 7 PM tonight. Le sigh. If no one shows up, I'll just attribute it to American Idol and Dancing With The Stars (thank goodness for excuses).

Oh well. The fewer people there, the more cookies for me (I'll let Marci have a few).

I'm glad the stickers are arriving safely. I still have plenty more if anyone is interested (in fact, I got an e-mail this morning from a girl in India requesting some).

Scholastic New Zealand referred to LAWKI as an "international best seller." This is hyperbole at its loveliest, but after sending stickers to Australia, New Zealand, and now India, I am feeling kind of internationally beloved.

Now if I can just get all those people to move to Middletown by dinnertime...

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Rena and welcome to the blog-

The biggest influence in my life, as far as my writing is concerned, was my father. He was a constitutional lawyer, and the first book he wrote was published when I was in first grade. It was dedicated to my mother, my brother, and me, and I still remember the pleasure I took in seeing my name in print.

But more importantly, it showed me that writers weren't strange, exotic people. My father did it, and so could I.

My father, who died fifteen years ago, was very supportive of my writing. My mother and brother still are. I was always encouraged to follow my dreams.

If you need more information, go to any of the four links to blog interviews with me. They're on the right side of my blog. All the interviewers asked really good questions, the sort that I had to think to answer. So there's a lot of information there that you should be able to use.

Thanks again for your comment/questions. I hope I've been some help with your book report.

Caroline said...

Oh wow, I finally had the time to look at my PO Box and I found the autographs! Thank you so much. I love them! BTW you have so fast mail! LOL.

Also you know how I did that oral presentation on LAWKI? Well I got a really good grade for it! Yay =) and a lot of people were interested in the book which is good!

CaroleMcDonnell said...

Hi Susan:

Chris over at stuffasdreamsaremadeon simply loves your books. Now he has me all interested. You KNOW I've gotta read them. Good luck with your book promotions and signings. -C

Lee said...

Is that a photo of Peter Schickele behind the chair in the first photo? :)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Caroline and welcome CaroleMcDonnell-

I'm delighted you got your bookplates already, Caroline. I guess it really is a small world. And congratulations on your oral presentation going so well. LAWKI really is a fun book to talk about (at least I always enjoy talking about it!).

What a great review of d&g at
stuffasdreamsaremadeon. I e-mailed it to my editor so she could enjoy it also. Thank you Carole for letting me know about it. I hope you'll continue to visit the blog.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Lee-

You commented while I was commenting.

Yes, it sure is Peter Schickele contemplating a bust of P.D.Q. Bach. I used to organize celebrity auctions for the Friends of Thrall Library, and when that picture came in, I bought it for myself.

Many years ago, my friend Pat gave me a used copy of The Phil Rizzuto Story, so for one of the auctions, I sent Mr. Rizzuto the book and asked if he might autograph it. He did, and included an autographed picture as well.

When it came time for the auction, I realized it would break my heart not to have my copy of The Phil Rizzuto Story, so I had to buy it and the photograph. For a fair amount of money too.

The moral of that story is don't organize celebrity auctions unless you're willing to spend money!

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to add, I just didn't like that there were '13' comments so I made it '14'.

Crazy Glen

Marci said...

You bought the book signed by Eleanor Roosevelt at the last celebrity auction. But I think you gave that one away. You are always your own best customer when it comes to celebrity auctions. Which is why we're not having any more.