Saturday, June 1, 2013

So many things

No caption.
Holy shit, time is flying.
I've neglected you.

I am in revision insanity for GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE. What is revision insanity, you ask? Revision insanity is: When you have to fit a kickass revision between your two other jobs and you have exactly 14 days to do it as well as pack most of your house up and manage to see your kids at least once a day.

I feel I should catch you up at the same time as working on this revision insanity because soon, I will forget the last few weeks and that would be sad because there were so many things.

First: Anthology news I can finally share!

On September 1st, LOSING IT will come from Carolrhoda books and I can't wait. The book description reads:
A travesty. A violation. An ecstasy. A disappointment. An instant. A lie. A theft. A rite of passage. Whatever you call it, there's only one first time. A.S. King, Melvin Burgess, Keith Gray, Patrick Ness, Anne Fine, Sophie McKenzie, Bali Rai, Jenny Valentine, Mary Hooper, and Andrew Smith. Some of today's leading international YA authors contributed to this hard-hitting collection of original short stories: some funny, some moving, some haunting but all revolving around the same subject—virginity.

So...I went to Ann Arbor Library to speak at the Teen Short Story Awards ceremony on May 11th and it was AWESOME. I got to talk to an audience of teen writers and their parents about education as empowerment and talk about my long journey to here...which, I guess is defined by revision insanity today, but I didn't tell them that. I DUG MICHIGAN. It was my first time. One more state crossed off my list. Here are my two--yes I know, very impressive, TWO pictures of Michigan.

I stayed in a hotel that still uses keys. It was rad.

 I would like you to think hard about #6.
#6 is very important.
I love how they put that in bold, as if it will help a human really remember
to not panic. Because bold works, right?
Also: Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor ROCKS LIKE CRAZY. I hope to get back soon and a huge thank you to those who came out to see me on May 10th. What a groovy crowd! Here's a blog about it.

Somewhere in there, we got word that we got the house we were bidding on. That was good news. I'll say no more until the signature is on the damn line. Okay. I'll say this: After 20 years living with no real neighbors in sight, we are moving to a town. I believe this will mean less drum-playing. Oh well.

Next up was Mr. King's graduation, which included him being blinged out with two medals, two stoles, braids for his Honor Society and his Magna cum Awesome and also included him as commencement speaker with a speech that made me not-cry. (That's a lie.)

You can't see it, but the pagoda is directly behind my head, waving at you.

So that was very very very cool. Two more years and the man will be out and ready to kick some ass. For the moment, he is working in the coolest library ever.

Someone reviewed REALITY BOY already and I love the early buzz. Rock it! Five months to go!

Thanks to the fantastic Don Lafferty for this photo.

And then there was Backspace 2013 Conference in NYC. A keynote speech I'd worked on for a few weeks that apparently inspired attendees and made some of my favorite people cry.

Somewhere in here I said something clever about using trauma in fiction.
Photo cred: Karen Dionne/Backspace
That's Karen Dionne and she GAVE STELLA SOME PIE!
(Pie is significant because I used to be the baker of cyber pie.)
(It's a long story.)
Photo cred: Karen Dionne/Backspace

This will be the last Backspace conference, so it was a particularly sentimental weekend, which explains why the open bar was a very bad idea and also explains why I haven't touched a drink since last Saturday morning.

But as always, the conference was fantastic and I got to see some old friends--Keith Cronin, Karen Dionne, Chris Graham and his awesome wife Shar, Jonathan Mayberry, Don Lafferty, Randy Susan Meyers, and I got to meet people I've always wanted to meet like Maureen McGowan, Nathan Bransford and three kids in the elevator who agreed to stop smoking cigarettes before they turn 25 and simultaneously invited me to their room to smoke weed. I declined. Obviously. But it was an interesting scene for an upcoming book.

If I left anyone out, forgive. My head still isn't right. But anyway.

I think that covers it. The next few weeks will be boring.

Oh! You have two ways to spend Summer Solstice with me. You can catch me at Ephrata Public Library for a writing workshop on June 21st. I'll also be doing a 10 minutes 2 pages workshop later that day. You have to register, so get to it if you're interested.

Or, later that night, you can catch me at Clinton Book Shop in Clinton NJ with some of my favorite guys EVER IN THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD for their Openly YA Tour. See David Levithan, Bill Konigsberg, Alex London, Aaron Hartzler and me at Clinton, but click on this link to see where else they're going.

I stole this from Aaron's blog. I didn't even ask permission.
I am a horrible friend. 

After that, I am done with being on the road until a festival in September.

Oh! That's not true. I will be in Vermont for most of July at my first semester of teaching at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I am so stoked, I can't even begin to explain it.

If you are thinking of booking me for a school or speaking event contact Hachette Speaker's Bureau here. Fall is booked. Spring is getting there.

For now, we buckle down and kick this book's ass and slowly empty our house into boxes.
We're all very excited to move. We will miss this haven in the woods. My gods--forest in every direction--what a gift of a layover house between Ireland and starting life over again here. (And yeah, 8 years is a damn long layover, but how can one leave a forest paradise? It's very very hard.)

Now. Random pictures and a massive disappearing act. Have a great summer.

You will love it.
Trust me. 

This is a sock puppet. She is me. From now on, I am doing all
of my readings and speeches through this sock puppet.
Just kidding.
But wouldn't that be kinda cool?

Small town bus station sign.
  I also have photos of it in Spanish and Korean.
No standing or squatting!

This is one of my favorites. Bus bathroom toilet paper.
It's the name of the air freshener that intrigues me.
It's a car air freshener...named Black Ice.
I'm sorry, but I don't want anything named Black Ice to get near my damn car.
Call me superstitious, but seriously.
A million names they could have given that thing and they called it Black Ice.
Also: What does Black Ice smell like?

I have no idea what this picture means.
Found next to two red DON'T pictures, this is the DO picture.
My guess: Dancing and drinking beer while there is a small human
trapped in the bus bathroom trashcan is totally okay.
You get the green light for that.
(Though I would like to note that one should put the toilet seat down.)

Did I say have a nice summer already? I'll say it again. Have a smashing summer. I'll see some of you in Vermont.


Unknown said...

I don't think those people know what they are talking about. I believe their rules about how to connect with readers are loopy. Sometimes, the story happens at a little after 6pm.

Caroline said...

That last bus bathroom photo is truly bizarre. I cannot figure out what it means, but I love it.

Lots of cool stuff going on in your life, by the way. Congratulations!

Sammie_DD said...

drum playing is totally expected in your new town... it is home to a "Rock Penthouse" after all :) A will come over and be in the jazz combo with G, his trombone playing isn't too horrible to listen to anymore :)

Shari Green said...

Wow, that last pic Not throwing the baby out with the bathwater comes to mind, only it's more like "do throw the baby out with the pills and liquor".

Congrats on your new house. I hope the move goes smoothly. :)

Happy revising!

Martina Boone said...

Congrats on all the goodness and blingy things! And that instruction pic is hilarious. Do they keep a small bathroom attendant under the sink who needs to be given a drink now and then? Except it kind of looks like he is standing inside a dishwasher. This beats my bathroom label pics from Singapore hands down!

Matthew MacNish said...

Black ice smells like cold concrete.