Thursday, September 23, 2004

So much to report! Where to start? Hmm...

Writing: I got my copies of The First Line with my story in it, and was very impressed with the whole publication! I felt honored to be included.

Reading: In a strange turn of events for me, I've been reading some fiction written for adults instead of kids. I read The Nanny Diaries last weekend and greatly enjoyed it--laughed out loud a lot, but also cried at the end. (As pure fiction it wouldn't have moved me so much, but I assumed much of it was a fictionalized composite of real experiences, and in that light it made me sad for the children whose eventual therapy will scarcely be able to undo their fear of forming attachments.) Right now I'm reading something completely different--Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which Salon described as "Harry Potter meets Jane Austen." I'm 317 pages into it and still less than halfway through! It has 782 pages of fairly small type. I'm finding it quite delightful, though, and haven't had trouble staying engaged with it (in fact, I'm anxious to get back to it right now). Oh, and on the subject of fiction for kids, Austin writer Greg Leitich Smith's novel, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, mentioned earlier in this journal, just won the Teddy Children's Book Award for Long Works from the Writers' League of Texas. Congrats, Greg, and for everyone else, check it out if you haven't read it yet!

Music: Speaking of winning, my husband recently won concert tickets to a Sting/Annie Lennox concert, including passes for a meet & greet with Sting before the show. We went to the concert in Dallas this past Sunday night. I had always thought that if I met someone really famous they would just seem like an ordinary person, but Sting really did seem like a rock star to me! (He was nice, though.) It was the first "big" concert my husband and I had ever been to together, so it was a fun way to celebrate our (gasp) 13th anniversary last week!

Wieners: Speaking even more of winning, Oscar Mayer recently held an "Oh, I Wish" essay contest, in which 50 people nationwide would win a day in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, based on what they said they would do with it. I said that as an aspiring children's writer, I have a passion for literacy and would like to use it as a bookmobile, to pass out free books to kids. And I won!! On Saturday, October 9th, my family and I will be riding around town in the Wienermobile! I'm nervous about the publicity, but I adore the Wienermobile (that's for you, Jason) so I'll deal with it! As plans currently stand, we'll visit two local libraries to donate new children's books both to the libraries and to kids in the parking lots, though it's still possible we could end up going to other locations. I'm also hoping to get some of my writing/SCBWI friends involved. If you are near the Austin area, stay tuned for more info & turn out to support the causes of wiener vehicles and literacy! ;-)