Archive for November 2007
Three weeks ago today, the nicest editor in the world, MY editor, mailed me a surprise package. MY BOOK! It was absolutely the best mail I've ever received. It is beautiful. I can say that because I had very little to do with the appearance of my book. And yet, it is exactly as I would have wanted it to be. Even though I didn't know it when I wrote it.
It has raised lettering on the spine. I think that is probably THE most ridiculous thing to melt over, and yet I did. And I can't help pointing it out to everyone who sees it! But it is a tiny, perfect little detail that a detail-oriented person like myself LOVES.
I had seen sketches and proofs and a book jacket along the way, but it wasn't the same as my book. And I realize I was lucky to see any of that stuff in the first place. Very, very lucky. Very. Lucky.
But with this book, I feel luck has been with me all the way. I had F-U-N writing Hush, Little Dragon. I wrote what I wanted to write. I blindly queried Abrams Books For Young Readers because they have gorgeous books and they've done some retellings in the past. Not the most informed research.
I sent it to "Manuscript Acquisitions" because I couldn't really find any editor information that seemed pertinent. And I don't really know exactly how it ended up with MY editor, and I may never know, but that isn't really important. What is important is that she found my letter and wanted to read my sweet little book about dragons that eat people. And then, after she read it, she wanted to share it with other people.
Thanks, Maggie. You rock.
I'm going to just be upfront about the fact that I love Mo Willems. It's a very one-sided, unreciprocated, unrequited kind of love, as I've never met him and he doesn't know me and there are marriages to other people involved, and I actually should clarify that I'm in love with his mind (although his adorableness is inarguable). I love his books, as you can tell by my recommended books page being a little Mo-heavy, and think he's a genius at writing for kids. In fact, I would say that Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus is one of the (and possibly THE) thing that made me WANT to write for kids, as opposed to just enjoying reading them.
So I happily stumbled upon his Pigeon Contest the other day and my kids are contemplating their own entries and I was, of course, curiously, anticipatorially, pondering the question of WHAT does that Pigeon want THIS time....until I read Fuse #8's blog
on the subject.
And now, well, let's just say my brain is filled with visions of her scenario.
It is, of course, the only real
Getting in the holiday mood...
I will try to refrain, on this blog, from going on and on about my kids. However, they are fabulous kids and each one of them has more talent in his/her little finger than I have had in my whole lifetime. And they love books as much as I do (well, Jack, not so much, yet, but if there were more books around like The Cat On The Mat Is Flat by Andy Griffiths he'd come around much faster...) and I write books for kids and they are kids so it's all kind of interconnectedly-related, don't you think?
So, occasionally I may mention something they did or said or made, like this, made by my 11-year-old, Henry:
Merry Christmas, indeed!
Picture Book Art
I have a confession to make.
I just bought this picture book
and I based my entire, impulse-buy decision on the artwork. I judged a book by its cover! I've never done that before. Ever. I mean, I'm a writer
. It's supposed to be all about the writing
Fortunately, it is not a bad picture book. I don't really do book reviews, because I'm not very good at explaining why
I like things, but it's a cute story, and it does have a DRAGON ... but the ARTWORK! The artwork MAKES this book. It is wonderful! I am an official Melanie Williamson fan.
My website is finally up. I am happy and my family is happier. Life is returning to normal. It was a little, um, weird here for a while with me screaming about divs and links and padding and JPEGs and rolling my crazy/scary eyes and throwing frozen pizzas at them for dinner.
It lacks the bells and whistles I'd love to have, and ended up much more basic than I had intended it to be. But I can live with that for now. I've been humbled. I HAD NO IDEA how hard it is to build a website from scratch.
I got Dreamweaver and installed it back in August and sat down with my can-do-anything-I-set-my-mind-to attitude (some might say know-it-all-attitude and they might be right...) and after a week I had a blank page. Oh, it was turquoise, but blank. I was determined to do it "right" with CSS and clean, beautiful code (because that's the "right" way to do it and we control freaks like to do things the "right" way) and I couldn't even figure out WHERE to start. I read two manuals, cover to cover, and couldn't figure out Step One! I have never felt so stupid in all my life. Although 8th grade geometry runs a photo-finish second.
But I kept googling help sites and re-reading the manuals and staring at my turquoise screen and trying obviously-wrong things and eventually something clicked and I finally got some things on that page besides a color. It is not, however, done entirely the "right" way. That took some adjusting to, but I think I'm okay with it now. Just don't look at my code and tell me how wrong it is-ha! And then, of course, I'd make a mistake and spend a couple of hours fixing it, so it was definitely two steps backward for every one step forward.
And it looks nothing like what I originally intended. In fact, my husband and I both have a clear recollection of a conversation back in August when, in researching colors, I stated that the one color I knew I didn't want to use was turquoise....
Ah, well, isn't that the way life goes?
My first post!
This blog entry, my first blog entry, drags me kicking and screaming into a place I said Iíd never go. I said I would never blog. Yet, here is my blog... (Happy, yíall? Ha!)
By nature, Iím not an overly social person. Iím not anti-social, donít get me wrong, but things like small talk and chit-chat and inefficient communication tend to drive me nuts. Plus, Iíd generally rather be reading...
The other problem, of course, is that I am overly-opinionated and sarcastic.
So, although Iím not exactly sure what the focus of this blog will really be, and it will probably end up being something very different, most likely, from what it is in itís genesis, I will try to be pleasantly social. And also not tick anyone off.
Wish me luck.
That said (because I canít exactly sign off my first blog post on a note like that, can I??), I think Iím looking forward to blogging. A little bit anyway.
Iím an information junkie and love to share what I learn. I love to recommend books to people. I love the children's publishing business and want to share bits and pieces of my path to publication in case it might be helpful to others. I love things that make me laugh and like it when others laugh with me (as opposed to at me, of course...). So I guess Iíll be doing a little bit of all that on here. Or maybe not. I really have no idea. Weíll see.
And anyway, if I sit here quietly, blogging away, and don't exactly advertise it, per se, am I really "blogging" anyway? Hmmm....