Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Best date I've had in years

My youngest is an avid reader, but my oldest has never shown an interest, which (as you might imagine) bothers me to no end. Over the years, I've tried everything. I've read to him, read with him, coaxed, cajoled and bought every kind of book you can imagine to lure him the wonders of a good story... but never with any luck.

At least, not until a week ago when a friend gave him a book he just couldn't put down. He finished it in three days and would not stop talking about it. Without prompting, he recounted the plot from start to finish (in mind-numbing detail) then told me all about the protagonist, the secondary characters and even a few of the walk-ons. He was brimming with enthusiasm, so much so that when I realized he'd been reading Book One of a nine book series, I drove into the city and bought him the next four!

Fast forward to today: My youngest is in a basketball camp this week with a buddy, so I decided to surprise my twelve-year-old and take him on a "date" to see the new Harry Potter movie, just the two of us. I told him last night and he was thrilled. Said he couldn't wait.

He was still in bed when I got up this morning (rare for him) and when I stuck my head in his room I found him reading Book Two ("I'm almost done," he said.) I made breakfast and while he ate, he read. On the 20 min drive into the city, he sat next to me in the passenger seat... reading. Then, for 30 mins while we waited for the film to begin in a semi-dark theatre, he used his iPod as a flashlight and continued to read.

He watched the movie, but as soon as we left the theatre and began driving home... out came the book again! He was still reading when his brother walked through the door after camp, and when his dad got home from work he only had 5 pages left. On his way to bed tonight he set Book Three on his nightstand for the morning. Then he gave me a hug, grinned and said, "Thanks for the movie, Mom. Best date I've had in years!"

What he said.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hawaii bound for writing inspiration

It's impossible not be inspired when attending the Hawaii Writers Retreat & Conference. Not only are you in Hawaii, which screams relaxation, you're also surrounded by like-minded writers.

This year, I'll be spending time with good friend and fellow author, Jacquelyn Mitchard, whose sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller The Deep End of the Ocean comes out Sept 15th. (The Deep End of the Ocean was the novel Oprah chose to launch her book club years ago, remember?) Jackie's sequel is titled No Time to Wave Goodbye. If you haven't pre-ordered a copy, do so now.

I'll also be presenting at the conference with fellow author Patricia Wood, whose debut novel Lottery was short-listed for the Orange Prize and has been sold in so many countries I've lost count.

Oh, and of course I'll be writing, putting the finishing touches on my 4th novel so I can hand it over to my agent and have her sell it sometime this fall. So... if you're a writer, what are you waiting for? Flights are cheap right now. Sign up and come join us in Hawaii. You won't regret it!