Alert! I’m doing an author talk at StoryStudio Chicago on Saturday, May 30th, along with Stephanie Kuehnert and Simone Elkeles, and we’ll be talking about living the literary life, Chicago-style (because that’s what the program says), which lately for me involves whole days spent indoors eating nothing but pitas from the Al-Khayyam bakery on Kedzie and watching all kinds of unspeakable stuff that I’ve Tivoed from the Hallmark Channel. (For research!) Anyway, both Stephanie and Simone write young adult novels, and seeing as how I write for an adult market and edit for a children’s one, it sort of balances out to YA, right?Â I think between the three of us we’ll be able to help you. And I promise that if you come to this it will way be better than if you’d just written me an email asking whatever it is you want to know about writing and publishing, because when you email me it puts off the completion and subsequent publication of my next book by at least forty-five minutes. I’m almost serious here. Really, just come to this thing on the 30th.
It’s great to be writing a book and working on it every day, and yet there are so many things I would rather be doing than writing a book. For instance I wish to high heaven that I could take part in this VC Andrews Reading Challenge (see also here!) because for the past two years or so Chris and I have been going through the books in the original Dollanganger series, wherein I read them aloud to Chris while we’re on long car trips (he drives, I read) and then we thoughtfully discuss the various motifs that appear throughout the series, such as The Lifestyles of the Rich and Dismal (Do the Foxworths always have to go with the heavy draperies and crystal goblets and extremely long dining tables? With all that money, couldn’t they could figure out how to be less creepy?) and Extreme Ballet (Cathy’s pirouette-and-slap fighting technique is unstoppable!).Â We are on Garden of Shadows now, which is way much better than the horribly-paced soapy fizzle of Seeds of Yesterday; so much better, in fact, that I’m pretty sure the ghostwriter studied the proto-feminist themes of Daphne du Maurier in grad school, because it is kind of loaded!Â I wish I had time to write a paper on it or something!Â But read this excellent recap of Flowers in the Attic instead. You will not be sorry.
Oh, and GUESS WHERE I WAS LAST WEEK.Â And I was here, too. That’s practically all I can tell you right now, but I will say that when I was in Missouri I met the awesome Catherine Pond, who saw some of the same stuff I did and became my friend. It made me very pleased to know that another writer could tell I was a writer, because, like I said, when you spend half the week at home eating pitas and rearranging sentences and being stuck for hours at a time in the chewy pita pocket of your own mind, you can kind of forget what you are, and sometimes you just need to get out and see little houses.
(Incidentally, I’m interested in hearing from people who have intriguing or hilarious anecdotes about visiting any of the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites, so drop me a line if you have something to share.)
Chris and I are off to New York this weekend, but more when I get back. See you on the 3oth, too.