Monday, November 25, 2013

A Pre-Thanksgiving Thank You

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the comments here and on Facebook, the e-mails, and the cards I've received from you since my mother's death. Each one meant a great deal to me.

I wish you all a happy Chanukah and/or a happy Thanksgiving and/or a happy rest of the week!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I Guess My Brain Went The Way Of My Thyroid

I went to see Dr. Thyroid on Friday. Why, I don't know. You'd think since I no longer have a thyroid, he'd have lost interest in me.

He asked me if I was still planning on retiring (a topic of fascination to a surprising number of my acquaintances), and I said yes. He then asked me if I knew what I was going to do after I retired, and I was forced to admit that I was still working on that.

I could have said, Well, my mother died less than two weeks ago, and I'm learning to cope with that, but I didn't feel like moving the conversation in that direction.

My blood pressure was up, but that was because they'd kept me waiting for half an hour, which ordinarily wouldn't have been a problem, because ordinarily I would have brought a book, but the last time I saw Dr. Thyroid he mentioned that he never ever reads, and we can't have that, so I brought him a copy of The Dead And The Gone, which is a pretty darn thick paperback, and it took up all the room in my pocketbook that would have otherwise been occupied by something to read, so I was stuck with a Woman's Day filled with Christmas cookie recipes and a People magazine from late September.

By the time they called me in to Dr. Thyroid's office, I was close to tears, but that was because my emotions are a little over the top these days. I usually don't start weeping in a doctor's office for at least 45 minutes.

Anyway, I now have one less book in my storage closet and Dr. Thyroid's vistas have been expanded. He doesn't want to see me for another 6 months, and I'll be seeing him in his other office, which has a much better variety of magazines. And I'll bring a book. And tissues, just in case.

Every now and again I come up with an idea for a book, and I devote a few of my remaining brain cells to developing it. Here are the most recent three:

1. A science fiction girly novel with a lot of set up, a reasonable amount of middle, and a really good ending, only the whole thing is doomed to failure because there's no need or market for a sci fi girly novel. Sci fi maybe. Girly maybe. The two in combination? Uh uh.

2. A maybe suspense novel/maybe serious YA problem novel with a good set up, a potential for a lot of interesting structure, and no ending whatsoever. That no ending business is a real issue, because the serious YA problem isn't one that can resolve itself to my satisfaction, and if I wrote it as a suspense novel, it would feel a lot more like work.

3. Another science fiction novel, this one not particularly girly. Entirely too much set up, hardly any middle at all, because I was having too much fun with the setup, and no ending because there's no middle. Presumably if there were a middle, there'd be an ending, but given the only part of it that seems to intrigue me is the setup, the likelihood of a middle showing up is pretty dismal.

Still, each time one of these ideas pops up, I get all happy and excited and I think about it and ponder it and explore its finite possibilities. But then I remind myself that I'd have to write it (okay, that might not be too bad if I really like it), and then my agent has to read it and decide if it's marketable, and then even if it is marketable, it has to get submitted and I have to wait around to see if any publisher is going to want it, and most probably won't, and sitting around waiting to hear and alternating between hopeful and dejected isn't any fun whatsoever. None. Not a single scintilla of fun.

I think that is the very first time I ever wrote the word scintilla. Hmmm... Maybe I should devote my retirement to using words I've never used before.

Now that could be fun!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Freda Pfeffer 1911-2013

My mother died Sunday night.

There had been a noticeable decline in her condition for the past couple of months. My brother and I found it easy to mark it as starting on her birthday, September 5, but the downward slide had probably already begun by that point.

The decline accelerated dramatically over the past couple of weeks. Since I visited her twice weekly, it was easy to see, and the staff at her nursing home was also aware of it.

On Friday I was told my mother would most likely not live more than a week to ten days. My brother came up Saturday to say his farewells.

The next morning, I received a call from the nursing home staff saying my mother would probably not make it through the day. I knew that Marci, who has devotedly been visiting my mother on Sundays for several years, would be coming by to see her. I called my brother and he made the trip up again.

Marci said her goodbyes, and my brother and I stayed on for a few hours longer. We kissed our mother goodbye and went back to our homes. I received the call around 11 PM that my mother had died.

Her death was a peaceful one. She was no longer conscious when I saw her on Friday, and to the best of my knowledge, she never regained consciousness. But she was in no pain, and at 102, she had certainly lived a long and full life. 

The funeral was Wednesday. My brother conducted the service. One friend read the 23rd Psalm, and Marci delivered a wonderful eulogy. I spoke briefly as well. Then we went to the cemetery, and following that, there was a reception at the retirement community where my mother had lived for her last 17 years.

If you wish to read more about my parents, this is a lovely remembrance.

My mother was a very special woman. I was extremely fortunate to have her in my life for so long, and I know I'll miss her every day for the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Facts And Information About Susan Beth Pfeffer

Susan Beth Pfeffer
Born: February 1948 in New York City
Raised: Woodmere (Long Island) New York
Currently lives in Town Of Wallkill, New York
Graduated: George W. Hewlett High School 1965
New York University 1969
Parents: Leo Pfeffer and Freda Pfeffer
Leo Pfeffer

Freda Pfeffer

One older brother
One cat

Reasonably complete list of books I've written.

List of awards my books have won:

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award (Vermont) for Kid Power.
Sequoyah Children's Book Award (Oklahoma) for Kid Power.
South Carolina Young Adult Book Award for About David.
South Carolina Young Adult Book Award for The Year Without Michael.
Nutmeg Book Award (Connecticut) for Life As We Knew It.
Black-Eyed Susan Award (Maryland) for Life As We Knew It.
Truman Readers Award (Missouri) for Life As We Knew It.
Garden State Teen Book Award (New Jersey) for Life As We Knew It.
Volunteer State Book Award (Tennessee) for Life As We Knew It.
Evergreen Young Adult Book Award (Washington State) for Life As We Knew It.
Buxtehude Bulle Award (Buxtehude, Germany) for Life As We Knew It.

How I came to write Life As We Knew It.

A short Wikipedia article about me.

Languages My Books Have Been Translated In:


Interviews I've Given:

Scripts And Scribes

Zola Books

J. M. Cooper

Jason's Bookstack

Snarky Books

The World in the Satin Bag

Steven's Crybary


The World In The Satin Bag

Interactive Reader

Liv's Book Reviews

The Yayas

The 5 Randoms

Publishers Weekly

Sci Fi Wire

Inkweaver Review



Library Dad

The Unread Reader

Lucid Conspiracy

Book Journal


Guest Blog Entries:

The Big Idea

Adventures In YA Publishing

Writer Unboxed

Campaign For The American Reader


The Blog Entry Right Above This One

Will probably be of no interest to you. But on occasion I hear from students who are writing reports about me, and I figured it might be helpful to them to have a one stop shopping entry, where they should be able to find out what they need to know and wander around the various links.

So this entry is to announce that entry, which makes this one not all that interesting either!