Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This and That

Don't all die of shock since I'm posting two times in one week. It's just that I have some fun things I want to share. Music, please!

*My friend Stasia Kehoe has exciting news. She has another book deal! I'm so happy for her! Congratulations to Stasia!

*SCBWI Western Washington had a Kid Lit Drink Night on Friday. It was a rainy night, but those of us who went had a really nice time.

front row: Kevan Atteberry
back row: Margaret Nevinski, me, Rowena Russell, Andrea Lawson, Christina Wilsdon, and Jennifer Mann

Kevan is not a camera hog, leaping in front of everyone else! Jen Photoshopped him in because we didn't think to pull out cameras until he'd already left. Personally, I think the Photoshopping makes the picture so much better!

*Have you seen the Dora the Explorer movie trailer by CollegeHumor.com? Wee-hee-hee!

*Writer-friend Barb Davis-Pyles has a fun blog called The Mind's Elbow. If you haven't discovered it yet, I recommend you check it out!

*This Thursday, Thistle and Pepper will turn eight years old!

Pepper and Thistle

In honor of Thistle and Pepper, people all across the United States will gather with family and friends on November 22, celebrating. Obscene amounts of food will be consumed, and there is going to be a huge parade in New York City--and Santa will be there!

(Okay, I admit it might not be all about Pepper and Thistle. Just don't tell them that.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Classics

ANNA KARENINA is now in select theaters, and the trailer is beautiful. I can't see the movie yet, though. I'm reading the book for the first time.

I'm at the part where--Nah, I won't say. No spoilers here! I'll just tell you I'm about 3/4 of the way through the novel, and I'm looooving it!

I've been treating myself to other classics lately, too. I go through phases where I especially crave them and feel nourished by them. I suppose it's ironic that old stories make my writing spirit feel new again. In talking with other writers, however, I'm not alone in this. It makes sense: the classics have withstood the test of time for a reason. Maps change, wars begin and end, languages evolve, technology improves, and we can feel so far from the world as it was in the times of, say, Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy, Twain, or Fitzgerald. Yet...the human heart remains the same, and a good story is a good story.

How about you? Do you often read or reread the classics? What feeds your writing spirit?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Last weekend, I went back to Southern California to spend time with my family. Along with the joy and good times, visiting can also bring a bittersweet twang of what we left behind when we moved away from California. Don't get me wrong: I love Washington, and I'm very happy here. But...I was also very happy there, and going back often makes me ponder the definition of "home."

Is home where we currently reside?

Is it where we were born, where we were educated, or maybe where we lived the longest?

Is it where we're the happiest, where we feel the least lonely, or the most like ourselves?

Is it the first place that comes to our lips when we're traveling and someone asks where we're from?

Is it...

Where we have the most friends? Where our children are? Where we first fell in love? Where people remember our parents? Where our kids grew up? Where people have the accents of our family? Where we go in our dreams when we're asleep? Where we go in our dreams when we're awake? Where loved ones are buried? Where we feel safest? Where we feel loved?

I agree that home is where the heart is, but my heart is in many places. And I feel blessed.

* * *

Two of my completed manuscripts have themes that deal with "home," though they don't have much in common beyond that. Do you have any recurring themes in your work? How do you define home?

Click here for Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound."