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Friday, April 23, 2010

When Life Comes Together Like. . . Like. . . Like a Music Video!

Don't you love it when life just comes together?  This year I volunteered to be part of a technology cohort for Library Media Specialists in our district and I got information recently on a website to create short videos.  Well, I've had the most FUN making all these little 30-second videos for school (check out my book trailers for some of the 2010-2011 Gateway Nominees I've been reading at ) I thought I should try my hand at it with some personal things.  The obvious choice to start with:  my launch party.  Were you there last November?  Here are the highlights.  Enjoy!

Create your own video slideshow at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How Do You Spell Relief?

Do you remember the old Rolaids commercials?  "How do you spell relief?  R-o-l-a-i-d-s." 

I'm facing my 42nd birthday this Tuesday.  No biggie.  Mostly right now I'm jazzed about the beautiful spring we're having wondering how you spell the name of that gorgeous flowering shrub that's just started blooming all over town.  Rhodedendron?  Maybe.  Anyway, they are brilliant and all over the place!  In fact, all the flowering trees and shrubs have put on the most wonderful show this spring.  After a long, cold winter, that's how I spell relief:  s-p-r-i-n-g.  Whew.

Also, I'm really jazzed about young adults.  As I'm sure I've mentioned in the blog before (because I'm mentioning it every time I turn around and see someone standing there lately and because I'm signing off on so many emails these days with "Go Falcons!") I'm going back to high school next year.  So, I've started reading the 2010-2011 Gateway Nominees and I'm having a blast!  Also, I've begun writing a new novel (at last!) and have a writer at the New York Times to thank for the inspiration. 

Reading so much YA (not to mention reading a not so nice blog review of No Penalty in which I was the writer of something like "boring and oh, so chaste dating descriptions") kind of got me thinking that I might like to try my hand at the YA myself.  After all, in writing No Penalty I had a lot of fun creating Able and was particularly proud of that character.  So, why not write more like him?  Turns out it was, if it turns out to be nothing else, a great jolt to the creativity, because I've been finding myself thinking about my characters and my story more than any other project I've started and subsequently quit on in recent months.  Yippee! 

Between reading Gateway Nominees, joining YALSA, ordering The Big Pink Bible of Teen Services, and thinking and thinking and thinking about the high school scene where I'll be next year I'm feeling vibrant and alive again.  Say what you will, but teenagers, while sometimes surly and sometimes downright rude, are full of life and it's refreshing to be around that.  So, yeah, Go Falcons!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Waiting for Rejuvination

There's an old song with the line, "They say it's spring that's made me daft as a daisy".  I'm feeling pretty daft these days.  Daft and so tired!  I don't know if I'm so inflexible that the time change is still throwing me or if it's that over Spring Break I slept in until 8:30 and now am getting up at 6:00 again.  At any rate, I'm pretty much a zombie.  I'm waiting for rejuvination.

Tomorrow is Good Friday and Sunday is Easter.  The season reminds us of the wonderful reality of resurrection, of new life.  I'm grateful for that reality.

It's funny how my mind has been so busy lately and yet I am having such a hard time writing.  I want to so much I can taste it, but I sit down and. . . nothing.  Or at least too little to really work with.  I feel like McGee on NCIS when he wouldn't own up to his (dare I say it?) writer's block.  I remember I had this problem before.  It was after I knew Stained Glass Theatre was going to do my play Welcome to Joe's.  There was this huge gap of two years between the time they accepted the script and the time they produced it.  I was so anxious about seeing Joe's happen that I wasn't very productive on anything else.  Then, as soon as Joe's closed I dashed of Related Spaces in nothing flat!  After Related Spaces played, I wrote No Penalty.  After No Penalty was published I finished the one that's setting at Avalon now.  In those times of waiting, I find that's all I seem to be able to do.  I guess it's that wish for life to be in tidy packages.  One project completed before another is begun.  It doesn't work that way.  I've got to pull my head out of the fog and get busy!

Spring is supposed to be the most romantic season.  I'm looking forward to some of  my favorite springy things to rejuvinate the romantic in me.  Maybe you could try these, too!

1.  Eat breakfast outside.  Bruce and I eat on the porch when it's light enough and warm enough because we can watch walkers and dog walkers go by.  We always laugh that people are saying, "Look!  They're eating on the porch!  Weird."
2.  Fill the birdbath and watch for visitors of the feathered variety.
3.  Do what my editor Chelsea did:  wear yellow to celebrate spring!
4.  Sip a glass of iced tea with lemon and mint.
5.  Read some Nikki Giovanni poetry.  It's fun.
6.  If you live near a college campus, walk on over and stroll around.  Take in the sights and sounds:  frisbee on the lawn, touch football in the stadium, bicycles on the brick bike paths, music drifting out of open dorm windows, bulletin boards announcing auditions for summer theatre productions, the fountains.
7.  Paint your toenails - but not if you're a man, please!
8.  Pick out one bird's song and listen for it every day near the same time.  We have one around here that I call "Our Little Singer".  I can never find him, but his song is quite distinct.  I think I figured out what kind he was last year, but have forgotten since.  He sings, "Oh, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada."
9.  Get your bird books off the shelf and figure out what kinds of birds are visiting and singing all around you.
10. Breathe deeply (if your allergies allow it) - take in the scents of lilac and fresh green growing things!

Cheers to you and cheers to spring!