Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday in the Park with George

New York -- tell me it's not true! Tell me summer isn't over!

In case you're thinking Judy must have had the greatest time because she hasn't blogged in two months, think again. In my last blog I told you about a producer who was coming to the Vineyard to talk about a screen adaptation based on Tiger Eyes. Our meeting went well and the next day Larry and I sat down to talk about the screenplay and how we were going to collaborate. Flash forward two drafts -- and weeks of 12 hour working days -- and there's still a lot of work to do. Stay tuned...

Oh, did I mention stress? And how I got Shingles -- yes, that dreaded condition often associated with stress? I couldn't believe it. Thought it was a spider bite. Went to the walk-in clinic where a doc told me, Unequivocally, this is not shingles. Guess what? He was wrong. Luckily, I was seen by another doc the following day and got on the meds in time. I had just enough discomfort/pain to understand what a bad case could be like. Not fun. I'm telling all my friends (of a certain age) to get the vaccine. I meant to get it last spring. So much for good intentions.

Every winter in Key West I accept professional invitations for the following fall. I feel it's my obligation to my publishers and my readers -- you know, Get out there and show them you're still kicking! But this fall it's out of hand. Some people can handle all this easily. I find I can't - not anymore - and especially not when it involves writing talks, even five minute talks. This is crazy, because I've given a million talks. But it's stressing me out.
On Sunday George took a look at me (well, I was lying on the floor then, after a long day at the computer) and he ordered me to get dressed. The sun was shining and we were going to the park. Here we are in a rowboat. $12 and I felt I was in heaven. The greatest mini-vacation ever. Thank you, George! You're the best.

Yesterday I was at Yale, doing a "Master's Tea." This was fun. I like meeting with/talking with college students. I like an informal Q&A. And the students who came to the tea were a lively, interesting group -- mainly young women but a handful of guys, too. Last time I spoke at Yale was right after 9-11, a really tough time for all of us. But Yale has had a tough beginning to a new school year with the murder of a graduate student. Even though it wasn't a campus crime, even though it could have happened anywhere, it was shocking, painful, and unbearably sad. Especially hard on the freshmen, I think, who've just come to college, just started classes. But I know they're going to get through this. They'll be okay.

On Thursday George and I will head down to Washington for the National Book Festival. When I accepted this invitation I thought, Oh good -- a big party celebrating books! Well, yes - it will be that. But it will also be three days of interviews, signings, and talks. Every moment is scheduled. My first talk will be Friday night at the opening ceremonies. I'm honored to be one of five writers who'll speak at this event. President and Mrs. Obama are the co-chairs of the festival. I wonder if they'll be there in person? I hope so! If you're in the area, join us on the Mall! If not, I'll let you know how it goes.

Coming up on October 4 -- I'll be at Symphony Space in NY. It will be a family day celebrating books and readers and I'll be reading from Friend or Fiend?, the latest in my Pain&Great One Series.

The biggest event of the season for me -- a celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the National Coalition Against Censorship on October 19 in New York. There will be a show called Judy Blume & Friends, a night of comedy. We've got great talent lined up. Actors, stand up comics, musicians. If you're going to be in the city try to come. It's a benefit so tickets are pricier than say, seeing a movie, but what a good cause.

Banned Books Week begins on Saturday! Check out my last year's post, Don't Read That Book, of October 5. And READ a banned book. Support your local teachers, librarians, students and writers when a book comes under fire. Those who would censor rarely read the whole book. They take words out of context and try to scare the rest of us. Don't let them scare you!

Is this a great poster or what?

xx Judy