Friday, April 30, 2010

The Polls Are Up

Help cast the non-existent Life As We Knew It movie. Three polls to the right.

Ooh, I like this. My shortest blog entry ever (except now maybe it isn't)!

Monday, April 26, 2010

And What A Mom Joan Crawford Would Have Made

I get asked on a regular basis if there are any plans for movie versions of Life As We Knew It, the dead and the gone, or This World We Live In, and the answer is no.

It's not like there's a law against it, and I'd certainly be thrilled if the answer were yes, but as of this moment, there are no plans.

However, since my life is currently a giant blob of rewrites on Blood Wounds and taking care of a variety of elderly mother issues, I'm more than happy to indulge in a little career fantasy.

So I'm opening the issue of casting the great LAWKI/d&g/TW saga up to you. Jon already offered suggestions as a starter (and feel free, Jon, to bring that cast list over here). Money is no object, since only reality requires a budget.

If there are multiple suggestions for casting, I'll put up a poll or two or three. If no one wants to play the game, then I win (Betty White as Mrs. Nesbitt!).

I hear something. Is it the siren call of rewrites? Or is that Scooter rehearsing his Oscar acceptance speech for Best Performance By A Supporting Cat?

Either way, it's trouble!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Empire Expands And With It The Waistline

I knew I was going to have a wonderful time at the Missouri Association of School Librarians Spring Conference and I did.

Of course, having Life As We Knew It be the first winner of the Truman Readers Award didn't hurt.

I got home to a series of mini-crises, none of which have been resolved, so I'm simply ignoring them. Instead, I rearranged The Wall Of Ego. I think it looks unusually fabulous.

Before I left, I got the German version of Life As We Knew It. And yesterday, I got the audiobook version of This World We Live In, read by the incomparable Emily Bauer.

See that little tail like thing to the bottom left of Die Welt Wie Mir Sie Kannten? It's a bookmark ribbon, a very high class thing for a book to have.

With the new arrivals in place, I staged a brand new LAWKI family reunion.
The stories they could tell!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blame It All On Those Pesky Volcanoes

In this case, "It" refers to the total incoherence of this blog entry.

Tomorrow, volcanoes permitting, I'll be flying to Missouri to attend the Missouri Association Of School Librarians Spring Conference. I'll be doing a couple of presentations (on my favorite subject- ME!), autographing books, and receiving the very first ever Truman Award for Life As We Knew It. And I'm going to get to see my incredibly nice friend Beth, who moved to Missouri a few years ago and is driving a great distance to have lunch with me.

We all miss Beth a lot, and I have secret instructions to kidnap her and bring her back. Assuming she'll fit in my carry on luggage (I love Beth but not enough to pay those extra luggage fees).

Yesterday, my mother and I got our hairs cut. As soon as we walked in, the woman who cuts our hair excitedly handed me a Delia*s Catalog. Here's why:

The same ad is also running in the April/May issue of Justine Magazine. It looks unusually pretty in person.

For the most part, I don't know where you live (actually I don't know if you exist, or if you do exist, if you're really named Anonymous), but if any of you live near Kingston, NY (as I do), I'll be signing books at the Barnes & Noble there on Sat. April 24 at 2 PM. I look unusually pretty in person also.

I am also unusually chatty. Here's a link to a new interview at Reading with Tequila.

Since I'm currently not working on Blood Wounds, I've had time to devote to more historic matters. One of the NYC sports stations was running an All Time All Star New York Baseball team discussion, and with the help of my brother, we have most of the positions filled:

Pitchers: Sandy Koufax, Christy Mathewson, Mariano Rivera

Catcher: Mike Piazza

First Base: Lou Gehrig

Second Base: Jackie Robinson

Shortstop: Derek Jeter

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez

Right Field: Babe Ruth

Center Field: Willie Mays

Left Field: Undecided

I really loved Roy White, but he doesn't exactly belong in an outfield I couldn't even get Joe DiMaggio on. So we're open to suggestions. My brother says Jackie Robinson played left field on occasion, as did Yogi Berra, so we could just slide one of them in there, but it doesn't seem right. But I've devoted a great many brain cells to this all star team, and it is a shame leaving left field unoccupied.

My father adored Sandy Koufax. Babe Ruth was his favorite player when he was growing up. And although he was a lifetime Yankee fan, he also loved the Dodgers for being the first team to integrate (and for having Sandy Koufax on their staff). Oh, and in honor of my father, the All Time All Star New York Baseball Team designated hitter is Ron Blomburg.

Now if my father only played left field, we'd be set!

ETA: I just remembered. The incredibly nice Beth gave me the Figure Skating Bunny Rabbits. Where would Scooter and I be without them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Reasons To Celebrate

Just a couple (if you don't include Evan Lysacek doing the tango and the Yankees winning their home opener and the upcoming appearances of Adam Lambert on American Idol).

I was too tired yesterday from The Great Scooter Battle to announce that we have sold the Brazilian rights to Life As We Knew It, the dead and the gone, and This World We Live In to Editora Bertrand Brazil. This is the first time any of my books will have been published in South America and the first time any of my books will have been translated to Portuguese. I am muito feliz. I'd be muito excited except the online English-Portuguese dictionary couldn't find excited. But I'm more than feliz to be feliz.

Another truly excellent reason to celebrate is that today is the official release date of Listening Library's audiobook version of This World We Live In, read by Emily Bauer. I don't have my copies yet, because apparently Listening Library doesn't release anything until the official release dates (or at least not anything to me). Presumably today, they sent off my copy, but probably not to me. I think it goes to my agent first, and then to me. Le suspiro (that's French/Portuguese to add a true note of class to the procedings).

Quite possibly any number of people will have heard Emily Bauer read TW before I do, but then again, any number of people have read the German version of LAWKI, and I still don't have my copy. Admittedly, I won't read it when I do get it, but at least I'll learn how to say "Lisa is pregnant" in German. If I'm ever sent the German LAWKI audiobook (read by Stefanie Stappenbeck), I'll truly learn how to say "Lisa is pregnant" in German.

There's a thin line between celebrating and whining. One that I'm more than happy to cross!

Monday, April 12, 2010

He Favors His Wah Wah Fresh Flushed

I took Scooter to the vet today for his annual checkup. Scooter's, that is. I have no idea how often the vet gets checked up.

It took fifteen minutes to get Scooter into the carrier. We reenacted much of The Miracle Worker during that time. He was Helen Keller and I was Anne Sullivan.

Scooter screamed all the way there and all the way home. At the vet's though, he didn't make a sound.

For those of you keeping score at home, Scooter weighed in at 13 pounds 4 ounces. His stool sample was negative, his ears were clean, and he didn't bite once. And I don't have to take him back for a year (thank goodness).

Once I got him home, I raced back to my car, and drove to Walmart. A couple of months ago, someone at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt told me that Walmart was going to be carrying one or more of my books. She wasn't sure what though, whether it was just going to be Life As We Knew It or the dead and the gone, but she did say they'd only be carrying the paperbacks.

I went to the neighborhood Walmart a few times since then to see if the books were there, and they weren't. I considered the possibility that I'd hallucinated the whole thing. Stranger things have happened.

But recently I've gotten a couple of emails from people saying they saw This World We Live In in their neighborhood Walmarts. One person even sent me a photograph.

So today I went back, and by golly, Walmart had all three books. I took it upon myself to tidy the display, and inspired by the email I'd been sent, took a picture.

Then, when I came home, I found a package containing the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award that Life As We Knew It won. I knew it was coming, but I wasn't expecting such a beautiful silver platter.

I took many pictures (it's hard to photograph a silver platter). At one point, Scooter suggested that the file cabinet might be a good place to put it (I begged to differ).

What I haven't taken a picture of is the revised first draft of Blood Wounds. However I'm delighted and somewhat relieved to report it's done. Two bad things happen in the first 70 pages or so, and I changed the second of the two bad things after I'd written the first draft, so I had to rewrite a good amount. I also completely rewrote (well, I recycled about five pages) of the third section of the book.

I will now ignore it until after I get back from Missouri, where I'm going next week to get the Truman Award for Life As We Knew It. Then I'll polish that sucker like it was a silver platter. And I'll hang up the silver platter, which I don't want to do until I see what the Truman Award looks like.

Between now and then, Evan Lysacek will be doing a tango on Dancing With The Stars, the New York Yankees will have their home opener, and Adam Lambert will be mentoring and performing on American Idol.

If Scooter knows what's good for him, he let me do all the screaming!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Here's A Little Excerpt From ThIs World We Live In Audiobook

Google, which loves me like no other, sent me a link to the Fairfax County Public Library, which has a tiny excerpt from the beginning of the Listening Library version of This World We Live In, read by Emily Bauer, who did such a wonderful job reading Life As We Knew It.

Since I haven't gotten my copy yet, this is the first I've heard any of it.

I want to hear more!

But in the meantime, if you feel like visiting Fairfax County for a tiny taste, here you go.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Visit Whatever With My Big Idea

John Scalzi, a science fiction writer famous enough to have a very long Wikipedia entry, has his own blog called Whatever. On occasion he shares his space with other writers, even those like me who aren't famous enough to have any kind of Wikipedia entry.

He calls the visiting writer entries The Big Idea, and I was fortunate enough to be allowed to write one. In it, I tell the completely unvarnished true story of how I came to write This World We Live In.

I'm most grateful to Mr. Scalzi for letting me borrow a bit of his blog to tell about the inspiration for This World (and for Life As We Knew It and The Dead And The Gone). His big idea is very big with generosity, and I truly appreciate it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Last Survivors Have Survived

I got all three of the Marion Lloyd Books/ UK Scholastic versions of Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In in the mail today.
They look very different (on the outsides at least) from their American cousins.
When the German version arrives, I'll have a family reunion.
Don't worry. I'll be sure to bring my camera!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Official Publication Date Of This World We Live In!

It's kind of a strange Official Publication Date, because This World We Live In has been out for weeks now. I quit posting blog reviews at number 35, but my guess is there are 50 or 60 of them by now, plus some magazine and newspaper reviews.

I have a particular fondness for the favorable ones.

Scooter, always eager for a cause to celebrate, woke up at 5 AM to play a rousing game of Let's Knock Over The Bud Vase. It roused me to hide the bud vase in the bathroom sink, which led to Let's See If We Can Break This Cute Little Box.

I prefer to think these games are an Official Publication Date event and not something I can look forward to every single morning for the rest of Scooter's life. Purr On The Neck is sufficient for me, if not for him.

There are other ways I know this is the Official Publication Date. For one, I dumped the countdown box on the right side of the blog. I noticed yesterday that it was already reading 00/00/0000, which was kind of a disappointment. I'd hoped to be there when it hit all those magic zeros, and for that matter, I hoped when it did, there'd be some bells and whistles. Well, if there were, I missed them, but I doubt any of you will miss the countdown box. So it's gone.

And Amazon is acknowledging the Official Publication Date by publishing my Official Letter To Amazon Readers. Scroll down the This World We Live In page and there it is.

They had asked for a brand new picture of me, so I had Marci come over a few weeks ago to take one. But for some reason, Amazon is using my old picture. Maybe they thought I was torturing Scooter (as opposed to vice versa, which is considerably closer to the truth).

I'll be spending the rest of the Official Publication Date procrastinating and eventually doing revisions on Blood Wounds. It gives away nothing of the plot (have you noticed I'm giving away nothing of the plot?) to say there are two big bad things that happen within the first 60 or so pages. I decided to change the second big bad thing, and that's where I'm currently stuck. Or, to put it a little more positively, that's where I'm currently positioned, and if I ever stop procrastinating, that's what I'll be working on.

All right. I'm off to go to my mailbox (filled, no doubt, with Happy Official Publication Date cards) and eat lunch, and procrastinate some more and then, finally, get to work.

All of which (except the working part) is a glorious way to start a potentially glorious April!