Monday, December 27, 2010

Wishing A Happy And Prosperous New Year

To: Abigail, Alison, Andrea, Anonyous (each and every one), Aoife, Apirl Henry, Arshiya, Bailey, Barbara, Becky, Bee, Beleth, Blueicegal, BookGirl, Brad, Brandi, Brenda Nepomuceno, brian, Bruce, Candice, carbar, carlie, Caroline, Carrie, Carrie Ryan, Chris, Chrystal, C.K., Claus, CubanDiva, danny, Dawn M., DeviouslyCartoonified, diego hoyos real name, die Hexe von Blogspot, donna, Elaine Marie Alphin, Emily, Emily H, exBFF, Farrah, Fear Death By Water, Frank Mochrie, Friendly Neighbourhood Bookseller, Gavin, Gigi, GenericName, Georgia, Gillian, Glen, grrlpup, Hailee, Heather, heather t, HiddenWords, holdenj, Ing, Jack, Janet, Jean, Jen, Jenni, Jen's Quilts, Jessamyn, Jessie, Jill, Jon, Jan van Harz, Judi J, Judith, Julia, KAH, Karen Strong, Katie, katie smith, Katharina, Katherine, Kathryn, Kay Richardson, Kats, Kiley, kkroenlein, Kristin Morales, Kristy, KSSxJonas, Kylie2450, L, Lauren, leacat, Lee, Lemurkat, Leslie, lexi, life as we knewn it,Linda Jacobs, Lisa, lisa-marie, Lisa-Marie Jordan, Liz, Liz X, Lorielle, Lori Pappas, Luker, Lulu, Lupe, Megan, Marci,Madeline, mary sue,Meaghan W., Mindy, Missie, Moe, Moses, Mr. Cavin, Nancy, Natasha, NicktheNinja222, Nicole, Nina, Nora, Paige Y, Phebe H.L., qwertyulop, Rachel Maria, Robin, rock4ever95, sarah, Sarah, Sean, SehvertherhaveTM, SeeYaSoonBookDeal, Sharde (Shar-day), Shirley Shimer, Shweta, Slightlynorsk, S.M.D., Smilinmera, Soccerluv, Sonu, Sophia, Suburbia Public Library, Sunbrarian, Susan, susancolebank, Term Papers, Tez Miller, Think, tigerlily*, Ulrika, Vanessa, Wanda Vaughn, Wendy, Zombie, and everyone else who has happened by ths blog in 2010,

From Susan Beth Pfeffer and Scooter!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My 2010 Reading List

While there's still a week and a half left to 2010, all my spare time (and some time I can't spare) seems to be going into this crazy book I'm writing, so my guess is I won't be reading any more books until January. If I do somehow, and it's worth noting, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, here's my semi-adequate 2010 reading list. In defense of its seeming sparseness, I did write most of Blood Wounds in the winter, and I go through two newspapers a day, not to mention a great deal of internet discussion of American Idol (I may not watch the show, but I do love the analysis). Plus, my current obsession with TextTwist has enabled me to learn many six letter and under words (I still don't know what an ort is, but it comes in singular and plural).

Okay. Here's the list in chronological order. F stands for Fiction and N for Non-Fiction (it'd be a little silly if it were the other way around).

The Lace Reader- Brunonia Barry (f)
Dead Certainties- Simon Schama (n)
The Game- A.S. Byatt (f)
Consuelo and Alma Vanderbilt-Amanda Mackenzie Stuart (n)
Sunstroke- Jesse Kellerman (f)
An Unspeakable Crime- Elaine Marie Alphin (n)
From The Beast To The Blonde- Marina Warner (n)
Notes On A Scandal- Zoe Heller (f)
While I Was Gone- Sue Miller (f)
Ballerina On Skates- Zoa Sherburne (f)
You Call It Madness- Lenny Kaye (n)
Innocent- Scott Turow (f)
A Stranger In The Family- Robert Barnard (f)
The Dead Lie Down- Sophie Hannah (f)
Teresa Of Avila- Cathleen Medwick (n)
The Great Warming- Brian Fagan (n)
Doomed Queens- Kris Waldherr (n)
Madame de Pompadour- Evelyn Lever (n)
Stonewall Jackson- John Bowers (n)
Born To Be Hurt- Sam Staggs (n)
Revolutionary Road- Richard Yates (f)
The Bible Unearthed- Finkelstein and Silberman (n)
The Dive From Clausen's Pier- Ann Packer (f)
The Big Bam- Leigh Montville (n)
The San Francisco Earthquake- Thomas and Witts (n)
Gilead- Marilynne Robinson (f)
The Big Picture- Douglas Kennedy (f)
A Reliable Wife- Robert Goolrich (f)
Henry of Navarre- Henry Dwight Sedgwick (n)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Have I Been Up To, You Ask

I ask myself the same thing.

You may recall a few weeks ago, while on my exercycle watching the TCM series about moguls and movie stars, I was inspired by one of the names I heard. In spite of my commitment to being retired, I couldn't shake off the idea. I woke up thinking about it, played with it during the day, and tried not to think about it when I went to bed at night.

A couple of weeks after I got the idea, I made up a chapter outline.

(I'm not worried that this could be regarded as a spoiler because my handwriting is so bad not even I can read it. And I've changed some stuff. Those numbers on top are my effort to estimate the length of the book [15 pages times 13 chapters]).

But no matter how much I loved the idea (and I did and I do with an unhealthy passion), I couldn't make myself sit down and start writing. You know,Page One Chapter One. That sort of writing.

So I've been letting myself write sections of it instead, scenes I've been fixated on, hoping to get them out of my system. I figured if I enjoyed writing the scenes enough, at some point I'd write Chapter One and all that, and slot the previously written scenes in.

I may still do that. I'm writing more and more scenes. I'm even rewriting some of the material, as my mind plays around with the plot. My guess is I've written 30, maybe 35 pages. No Chapter One yet, or Two or Three. Not even the end of the book, which I know pretty much word for word.

I've never written a book this way before, so I'm not sure I really am writing this one now. Maybe I'll lose interest and never get around to the disciplined writing of Chapter One, Chapter Two. Or maybe I'll decide that much as I love the story, it is a little on the crazy side, and best left in the privacy of my own computer.

But meantime I keep writing and exploring and playing with the story. If this is what retirement will be like, I kind of enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dank Sie Anonym

My new best friend, Anonymous, left a comment this morning to announce the name of the German translation of The Dead And The Gone: Die Verlorenen von New York. Anonymous says that means "The Lost Ones Of New York."

As we all know, the extent of my German is "pfeffer" and "Ich bin ein Berliner." So I'm taking Anonymous's word on this (as I'm taking some English/German translation service that Dank Sie Anonym means "Thank you Anonymous," and for that matter, I'm hoping that's German and not Danish or some other language that could be abbreviated as de).

As soon as I learned what the title was, or more accurately, will be, I scurried over to German Amazon to see what I could find.

And then, I actually taught myself how to take an image from the internet (in this case by way of German Amazon) and post it here!

I think this cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I love the translated title. So today I am a very happy and grateful unlost person of New York.

Danke again Anonymous!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Someday I'll Be Sure To Return The Favor

My brain is currently like a kitten chasing its tail, burning off a great deal of energy while accomplishing very little.

So instead of sharing the Santa Claus movie dream I had last night or pondering the effect cellphones have had on hit and run accidents, I'll let the New York Times write this blog entry for me. At least, I'll link to two very different very interesting articles.

The first is about a new website for young writers. If you are a young writer, or know someone who is, you might find this place worth exploring.

The second article is about the effect ebooks are having on romance novels. The ebook phenomenon is of fascination to me. I don't own any kind of ebook reader, since I'm still working my way through the books I already own (I'm finally reading that biography of Henri IV that's been sitting on my shelves for a few decades), but I do understand they're going to change publishing in ways none of us can envision, so I was quite intrigued by this article.

All right. I'm off to do my recycling and have lunch with my mother. Maybe by the time I get home, chasing my tail won't be quite so enticing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

While We're On The Subject Of Germany

I'm pleased to announce that Carlsen, the German publishers of De Welt Wie Wir Sie Kannten (aka Life As We Knew It) and soon to be German publishers of The Dead And The Gone (I don't know what its German name will be) will also be publishing This World We Live In in the spring of 2012.

I certainly don't know what they'll call it, since De Welt Wie Wir Sie Kannten, according to Google, translates to The World As We Know It, which could add to the confusion. And as we all know, I'm confused enough.

Confused but very very pleased!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

For Anyone Out There In Germany

I received notice this morning that the German version of Life As We Knew It (Die Welt Wie Wir Sie Kannten) has been shortlisted for a readers choice award.

Naturally, I'm thrilled.

If anyone here is from Germany and feels like voting (from Dec.3-10), here's the link!