Monday, May 26, 2008

May is Full of Promises

Key West --May was full of promises.

May 7 --Visited a 4th grade class at Poinciana School in Key West. The kids were well prepared with questions but there's always the unexpected when you visit with a class of 9-10 year olds and this time I got a marriage proposal. That's right -- first he professed his love for me, then he sent a girl from his table to give me a message -- he wanted to marry me. He understood that meant I'd have to divorce George but that was okay with him. George doesn't seem worried.

May 8,9 -- Gail Rosenblum, reporter from the Minneapolis StarTribune came to Key West, along with photographer Steve Rice, for a story to coincide with an event on June 12 at the FitzGerald Theater in St. Paul, sponsored by the StarTribune, the Loft, and Minnesota NPR.

Gail interviewed me at length. I think she knows more about my life and work than I do. Steve was also making a short video that will run on the paper's online site (info to come). Then we rushed off to tap class where Gail observed, and seem to genuinely enjoy, our group. Steve followed us with his video camera. Bruce (our teacher) put us through one of our best, and fastest moving classes. I thought we were going to drop by the end, but troopers that we are, we all made it to the end.

May 10 -- Today would be my mother's 104th birthday. She died twenty years ago. But there's still so much I'd like to talk with her about. So many questions I wish she could answer. She always wanted a great grandchild and she'd be thrilled to know Elliot, who's named for her. We always celebrated her birthday and Mother's Day together. Even after I became a mother, I thought of Mother's Day as her holiday.

Yesterday I received a package from Randy with a blue hoodie, perfect for the Vineyard. Holidays mean a lot to her and I feel sad that we're not together this year. I know we will be soon -- I'm speaking in the Boston area on June 6 and I'll stay with Randy and Elliot. Also spoke with Larry, Amanda, and Elliot. Sweet. I'm lucky!

May 13 -- Pub date for Cool Zone. Exciting! This is the second book, following Soupy Saturdays, in the Pain & the Great One series. Can't wait to hear from kids telling me what they think. There's a story about a bully on the school bus who finally gets what he deserves, another about losing a first tooth. All of the stories are about life in school.

May 14 - I'm working 7 days now, writing and revising Friend or Fiend, the 4th book in the Pain & Great One series. (The third, Going, Going, Gone! will be published in September.) Just today when I added up the pages of my manuscript I realized I have 15 too many. This is better than having 15 too few but it might mean cutting one story from Friend or Fiend. Or cutting down each one. My goal is to send it to my editor next weekend. That will leave me a couple of days to pack up here and prepare a talk for the Book&Author breakfast at BookExpo in LA on May 30th. (Update -- I cut one story out.)

Although I have to stay away from the political blogs for now (in order to concentrate on my book) things are looking good for my candidate, Barack Obama. I'll be holding my breath until it's official (see my April 1 blog on why I'm supporting his candidacy).

Have also been working on a Q&A intro to The Best American NonRequired Reading, an anthology edited by Dave Eggers. I'm a fan of Dave's and couldn't say No when he asked. Will I never learn?! This is a stressful time. I'm trying to take it one day at a time but time is running out.

I'm missing dogwood, lilac and peony season in the northeast.
I hope spring brings them to you -- or something equally fragrant and beautiful.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Alert -- 50 Free DVDs

Sheila the Great on DVD....
First 50 Teachers to Write Receive Free Copy!

May, 2008—Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great is finally available on DVD through Judy's website. This is Judy's favorite of any adaptation of her books. She hopes teachers and parents will enjoy it with their classes or at home. The DVD also features a discussion between Judy and her son, Larry, who directed the movie. If you're a teacher and would like a copy, send a message to Judy's Guest Book telling a bit about your class. The first 50 teachers to write (include your school's snail mail address) will be sent a DVD.