Monday, November 29, 2010

Good News!

Yipee!  My mom, who is the sweetest, actually cheers, claps her hands together and shouts "yipee!" when something good happens.  It is exactly how you want someone you love to react.  I love that.

The good news is on several fronts!  I do not like 1,2,3 sort of ranking.  It feels like the higher numbers, the 4's and 5's get a bit diminished in the process and so will give everybody letters instead; sort of like sitting down to a round table instead of a rectangle.

A. Booksellers have started sending back their reviews and they are so lovely and generous and kind!

B. My middle school students are all flying through their books and have discovered S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume and have become reading addicts.  I am delighted!

C. My high school student is zipping through Jane Eyre and not only understanding the finely threaded nuances of the text but is enjoying the story.  I couldn't be happier!

D. My college student is tackling Tolstoy and loving every minute of his first semester of college.  He can feel his brain reaching and stretching and I am so very, very proud of him!

E. I have now worked out all the London omnibus routes for 1906-1910 and have moved on to train timetables...

F. Nell got chosen to be part of the Target "Emerging Author's Program".  I am over the moon!

And it has started snowing...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First (and wonderful second) Review!!!

Nell's first review!  So terrifying but in a good way...  Publishers Weekly  liked her!  I am delighted.  She is delighted.  We are going to go out and eat cake.

More cake!  The lovely Book Quoter from the lovely blog A Thousand Books with Quotes wrote an astonishingly lovely review.  It is so warm hearted and beautifully crafted.  She chose some of my very favorite quotes.  Definitely, more cake.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Children's Books

Sometimes, I can remember the whole book: "In an old house in Paris, all covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."  Madeline, Miss Clavel, Pepito, the bad hat, Genevieve, the dog, they all ring clear, straight bells.  

Sometimes, I can remember the pictures: the maroony colors of the Hungry Caterpillar or the sketched line drawings of Noisy Nora, the tinyness of Matilda, and puffed cheek cloud of The Runaway Bunny.  

Sometimes, I remember the words: "So, he called his dog Max, and he took some red thread, and he tied a big horn on the top of his head."  Mount Crumpit?  Seuss was a genius.

And sometimes I forget that I ever knew anything about a book, until I see it again.  And then, not only the words, pictures, rhymes, rhythms and stories come back but the sense of soap bubble, giddy, reasonless glee.  Recently, I went with a wonderful friend to a wonderful bookshop called Daunt.  It is  Edwardian and has that lemony paper and wood smell of a long loved bookshop.  Lined in lean oak shelves, it is perfect.  And there, in slim volumed rows, they all were.  

I love how smell and image and sound and rhythm and memory come together with such a clean snapping thump when all at once, a book that made you so happy comes bouncing back.  We giggled and looked and shopped and brought some goodies home for her wonderful children and so it starts all over again...

pages written so far this week: 2

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lunch with St. Exupery.

It is the 11th and I have not written since the 1st.  Terrible.  Book writing and researching have somewhat taken over at the moment.  I spent yesterday in the Transport Museum, looking up early 20th century London omnibus routes.  No, I started looking up bus routes and then wound up falling down the fascinating rabbit hole of WWI propaganda literature.  Terrifying, brutal stuff.  As today is November 11, that seemed to justify the enormous diversion.

Now, I am back to working on my Author Portal.  Yes, the same Author Portal I was meant to have finished a month ago.  It is again the classic pattern of Priya writes and then Priya deletes ad nauseum.  Don't you love that the ancient Romans used the same sort of teenage phrasing as we do?

This week, I also helped my ingenious, dearest, artist friend with her installation on imagination.  It was heaven.  Lunch with a old friend who asks you "If you did love a flower that lived on a star, would it be sweet to look at the sky at night?" is a lucky thing.

Pages written this week: 16

Monday, November 1, 2010

This is Chico--identical, if more socially adjusted twin of my parents' perfect pooch, The Major.  Chico's mom, a dear family friend, just finished reading Exit the Actress!  She, my wonderful friend Tora in Hawaii, my brilliantly supportive brother and my fantastic, soon to be sister in law are the first ones to read it!  The first ones, that is, other than my ever patient, ever helpful, can't write without her, editor mother.

Just had to put this up as between the sweater and the ears and the soulful dachshund eyes--he is adorable...