Monday, June 9, 2008

There's No Place Like Home (Now That The Air Conditioning Has Been Fixed)

It was a great weekend, and if anyone is interested, I'll put some more details later in the blog (I personally find travel stuff on the boring side, and sympathize with all who agree).

Naturally, while I was gone, a really exciting, can't wait to tell my blog, thing happened, and that is an interview on Publishers Weekly.com. You may recall PW gave the dead and the gone a starred review (notice how even if you don't remember, I've subtly brought it up). Every week PW online interviews a children's book writer, and in May they interviewed me (or as I like to think of it, ME!). I didn't know when the interview would go online, so naturally enough, there it was on Thursday. I read it on my cousin Fran's laptop (always nice to have relatives to show things off to; I spent the weekend with my cousins Fran and Nancy), but since I didn't have any kind of usable internet access, I couldn't blogbrag (blag? brog? There ought to be a word).

Note, not merely the wonderful interview but the even more wonderful photo credit under the picture of the real pretty flowering tree and me:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6566872.html?nid=2788

The interviews go online on Thursdays, and I don't know what happens to them after that. So if you're interested, try to read it before Thursday.

Be forewarned-there is a big d&g spoiler in there (honestly, not my fault).

One of the great things about traveling out west for me is waking up between 3 and 4 AM (I go to sleep sometime between Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune). Since the rest of the west doesn't wake up for hours after that, I get to do a lot of work. Which I did this time on The World We Live In. It all came together by Saturday morning. I even wrote a chapter outline (although given that I have listed for Chapter 15 Something Happens, it may need a little more work).

There are only three things keeping me from writing an outline that I will include along with the sample chapters for Harcourt to read and accept/reject. I'm still exhausted from my trip, the air conditioning in my apartment only got fixed about an hour ago, so things are still cooling off, and my brain is busily adding new details. I love this time when I'm writing a book. My brain is roaring, and soon even Chapter 15 will have some action.


All right. Here's the travel stuff. Feel free to stop reading:

I reread The Good Soldier on the way there and read about half of The Damnation Of Theron Ware on the way back.

I gambled $18.00, mostly in a Wizard Of Oz slot machine, and won $15, so I ended up losing $3. My mother was very relieved that I didn't develop a gambling addiction.

We went to the Elton John Red Piano Show Friday night. We'd been told it was for mature audiences, so we tried to behave ourselves. Elton John puts on a good show, and I knew all but one of the songs. He said the word that rhymes with truck twice (both times, I think, in reference to Celine Dion), and there was a big screen that showed movies, many of which included women without blouses. There were also big big balloons, and someone in the front row kicked one and it hit Mr. John on his head while he was singing. You could hear the laugh in his voice as he continued performing, which I found endearing.

Saturday we left Las Vegas and Fran drove us to Hoover Dam. We took the expensive $35 tour, and saw all kinds of things people on the $9 tour didn't get to see. Our guide was great. I asked him if there had been damage to the species that lived in and around the Colorado River, which was completely rerouted for the dam. He said the ecological damage was enormous, and they're still trying to correct it. He also said the striped bass will eat anything, and they particularly enjoy feasting on trout (so do I actually).

They're building a bridge over the Hoover Dam. The people working on it must be very brave.

Dry desert heat is very hot. Humid New York heat is very hot. Air conditioning is a great invention, and I'm glad mine is back to work. Soon I will be also!

7 comments:

Mrs. Corbett said...

Hi Susan,
I opened my June issue of VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) today to an article about YA books for adults. There was a list of books recommended for those who want to sample the best of YA literature, and LAWKI was included.
Congrats!
Patti

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you Mrs. Corbett and welcome to the blog-

I e-mailed your comment to my editor, and she replied almost instantly to say that was great and she hadn't known about it.

Neither had I, so you made at least two people happy!

wild-force71 said...

Hi Susan,
Just dropping in to say I put stickers in all the copies of LAWKI and d&g I have in stock, added one to our store autograph book, and sent the left over three to my sister store. We're both very grateful!

Your trip sounds really good. I'm glad you enjoyed.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Wild-Force71-

I'm glad the LAWKI/d&g stickers are being put to good use. It's fun to think of them all the way in Ireland.

I'm spending the day writing the outline proposal for The World We Live In, but this evening I'll be signing about forty more stickers to send to various people who've requested them.

My plan is to mail them off tomorrow morning, so if anyone has Ask For Stickers on their to-do list, e-mail me today, and I'll include them in tomorrow's batch.

And now it's back to work I go.

Victoria J said...

Hello Susan,

welcome back from your travels. I have to say, consider yourself lucky to have air-conditioning at all, wonky or not. London is sweltering as well, and most of us poor Brits don't have domestic aircon: the UK summer doesn't generally merit it, but for those rare, hot weeks we wilt and melt and carp and complain.

This to say that I finished LAWKI and td&tg is winging its way to me as I type - I can't wait! The US covers are so much more atmospheric than the UK ones, though. (This seems to be a trend; UK covers for YA/children's books are often awfully garish, compared to the lovely artwork found on US covers - Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series being real cases in point.)

Hoping your outline proposal for The World We Live In is shaping up wonderfully.

Kindest wishes,
Victoria

todd said...

It certainly says something about the world we live in when teens are concerned about leaving Earth with hairy legs.

More importantly, did you see Joba's second outing?

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Victoria J and Hi Todd-

I actually like both my UK covers a lot. The one for LAWKI is similar to the Harcourt cover, and the one for d&g is completely different but I think equally evocative. I've been very fortunate with the cover art (and with having working air conditioning).

The outline for The World We Live In is essentially written, which is to say it is written but there are a couple of things I may change. Since I'll be writing the first 50 pages or so to send to Harcourt along with the outline, I have some time to make my decisions. Wish me luck.

And no, Todd, I didn't get to see Joba's second start. I was either in Vegas or on a plane- I don't remember which day he pitched. What I do regret not seeing was Big Brown coming in last. Nothing against him, but it would have been fun to be at one of those Sports Bet Poker (which I kept reading as Sports Bet Polka) places at a casino while the race was being run (or in Big Brown's case, being jogged). But that was Hoover Dam day, and by the time we got back to the hotel, I'd totally forgotten about the race.

Which, I gather, Big Brown did also!