Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best birthday gift ever

My husband's away on business and it's the typical 'Kennedy zoo' around here, but this morning my son's surprised me by remembering that it's my birthday (possibly prompted by the 7 a.m. phone call their dad made from some airport to remind them?)

Here's the best part: Over breakfast, my boys informed me they're taking me for dinner tonight. Their dad left money in an envelope and after a heated discussion behind a closed bedroom door this morning they've decided they're taking me to (drum roll) ... Joey's Seafood, where, as my 9 year old said with a proud grin, "We want you to order whatever you want!"

So I have a seafood date tonight and I get to spend the entire day writing a scene I woke up thinking about this morning, a scene I can't wait to work on. Who could ask for more?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Raising a little nonconformist...

It's Memorial Day in the U.S., but not so in Canada and that means today's a work day for me. However, before I get writing let me share a brief anecdote about my youngest. Last week he carried home one assignment four nights in a row. The first night his teacher asked him to complete a question he'd left blank. Here's that troublesome question and the progression of my son's answers as each day went by:

Q: How would you describe a poetic moment?
A: I wouldn't.

Q: Note from teacher - Please try anyhow.
A: I'm not a poetic kid. I like basketball.

Q: Same question + a new note that says, Please complete the assignment even if you aren't poetic.
A: Find a picture that makes you feel warm and write words about it. P.S. Nobody cares about this stuff.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Depression and Oranges

Sorry for the lack lustre posts as of late. I've been busy writing (a good thing), finding myself more & more immersed in the novel I'm working on.

One section is set in the depression era so I found a bunch of photos like these and tacked them up next to my computer to wrap my mind around what it was like raising a family back then. Not an easy task, for sure...

On a separate note, Patricia Wood's debut novel Lottery has been short-listed for the prestigious Orange Prize which will be awarded June 2nd, so send good karma her way over the next few days.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Busy book club week

Monday night I spoke with a book club from Portland, Wednesday it was nine women in Tampa, and last night I talked to Lydia and her crew from Chicago. Here's a smattering of the questions I was asked:

Q: Any writing superstitions?
A: I seem to have developed one that's here to stay. ie., I don't like odd numbers. The Tin Box has 29 chapters, which has always bothered me, but The Penny Tree has 32 and The Silver Compass has 26, and I already know that the novel I'm working on now will end with an even numbered chapter.

Q: Do you like long chapters or short?
A: I like 'em bite-sized, and I do my best to write my own this way because I think they make it easier to hold a reader's attention.

Q: Are there any books you've read recently that you would recommend?
A: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, told from Death's POV, which shows you how talented this man is to pull it off the way he does. It's won numerous awards and at first I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it really is well done (thanks to Pat at Orion for giving it to me :)

Also, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, told from a dog's POV. I was fortunate to read an early ARC months ago, although it debuted this week on May 13th. It was bought for a seven figure advance and I've no doubt it'll leave it's mark on bestseller lists.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May in the Rockies...

There's always a lot to see and do living in the Rockies, so much so that I often dread having to write when summer finally arrives. That wasn't a problem this weekend, though. Matter of fact, hunkering down to write Chapter 6 of Book 4 was pretty easy after waking up to this.

P.S. Mother's day was nice, and yes, I did get those ear plugs I was asking for.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What do you want for Mother's Day?

I know there are mom's out there fantasizing about unwrapping jewelry, enjoying spa treatments, or having dinner in a revolving restaurant on Mother's Day while the waiter (who's so hot she can't stop staring) keeps the wine coming.

Not me, though. All I want is a box of earplugs for those days when I'm trying to pen a scene while the phone keeps ringing and doors keep slamming and half the neighborhood arrives at 3:30 to play with my kids, who won't stop arguing about whose turn it is! My husband thinks I'm kidding, but I'm not -- Ear plugs. Real simple. Someone please talk to him for me?

P.S. For anyone who read the post about my son's aggressive relationship with the tooth fairy earlier this winter, here's an update. He lost another tooth last night and when I got up this morning he was at the kitchen table with a $5 bill under one elbow, eating breakfast with his brother.

"Dude, she gave you five bucks?!" the older one said.

Thumbs up from the other side of the table. "Yup," my youngest replied. "And this time I didn't even have to threaten her!"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Come visit me at Chris Eldin's blog

Chris is hosting author's on her blog all week and today is my day for The Silver Compass. Pop by here and leave your guesses to the three questions she picked based on the excerpt I submitted. The winner will be announced later today and he/she will get a copy of the book!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Good news! May's reading list just got a whole lot better...

Has this ever happened to you? You finish reading a good novel and then... you just can't seem to find another one you're even remotely excited about? Well, it happens to me, as it did yesterday, and then I remembered that fellow author and good friend, Jacquelyn Mitchard, has a new one out!

Based on a true story, All We Know of Heaven was released last week. It's the sort of novel that will move readers of all ages. Like all of Jackie's stories, this one grabs you by the throat and immediately makes you want to run out and buy a few copies for gifts.

I tried, but couldn't copy her video clip about it over onto my blog, but it's great, so take 20 seconds, click on this link and go listen to it. It's an incredible pitch (Jackie never does anything that isn't top notch -- ie., I'm always green with envy when I look at her website.) Happy May reading everyone!