Sunday, December 10, 2006

Highlights of the week

I met Louis Sachar yesterday! You know, the Newbery winner for Holes, and author of twenty-something other children's books including the very funny Wayside School books that my 8-year-old just happened to be re-reading this month anyway. Mr. Sachar spoke at an Austin SCBWI meeting yesterday, at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Austin. Then I got to speak to him very briefly when I stood in line to have him sign my copy of Holes, a new copy of Sideways Stories from Wayside School for all of my boys (which we already had...but this copy does have new art), and a Marvin Redpost book for my 8-yr-old. 

Not that I could really think of anything to say. During the question & answer time, I asked a question that I think seemed stupid in that setting, but which I had really wondered about before--that is, whether he'd had really mean teachers growing up. I only asked it because he had just related a story about a real-life mean teacher (not his) who had inspired part of one of his other books. To my surprise, he said he could only remember one mean teacher, and didn't seem to think his books had many. But the third Wayside School book, which we'd just finished two nights earlier, has several really mean teachers and other school authorities, his book Someday, Angeline has a particularly mean teacher in a more realistic setting, and of course Holes is chock full of cruel authority figures. I think the third Wayside School book actually gets pretty dark, especially for a humor book. I also asked why he chose to write for kids, but he didn't get around to answering that part. I think I've read, though, that the first Wayside School book got started when he was actually working at a school. Anyway, he was a friendly, personable guy, and I was glad he agreed to speak at our meeting! He lives here in town, but rarely speaks in public, at least here. (He did mention a book tour he recently went on, though, where he met a young woman sword swallower who had a potato tattooed on her ankle like one of the kids in a Wayside School book, & appeared on a reality TV show about tattoos, getting another tattoo based on one of his books!)

In other news, I'm 32 weeks pregnant now. Meaning I'm due in just under 8 weeks, but again, expecting the baby anywhere from 4 weeks on. We're not at all ready, but...I do feel ready to stop being so huge & uncomfortable! I can't believe how active this little guy is, and how hard it is for me to do basic things anymore, like roll over in bed, tie my shoes, or lean over to something up! At any rate, I'm glad I've gotten this far with no complications! I'm on a group for moms expecting in February, and two of the members have already had their babies! One at 29 weeks, one at 30--the babies seem to be okay, but are both in the NICU, of course. I'm really glad I'm far enough along now that if the baby decides to show up early, he will likely do pretty well. But here's hoping he at least holds out until 2007!

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