Showing posts from August, 2008

Summer's OOOoooo-VER

We had a great summer, and our Disneyland trip was a definite highlight. We had two days and an overnight at the Staybridge suites. It was fabulous. We went on every ride, and many rides we went on multiple times. The Indiana Jones ride, for example...we probably went on that ride nine or ten times, no joke. We loved checking out California Adventure and really enjoyed the Soarin' over California ride. Here are some fun pictures--notice how I'm strategically absent. School starts Monday. Too bad, so sad.

The SKETCHES arrived! Hooray!

Last week I was thrilled to receive David Catrow's sketches for our upcoming book, THE MIDDLE CHILD BLUES. He is incredibly talented, and I'm very excited for this book. The sketch above (remember these are rough, to get the layout correct, etc.) made me laugh out loud. Our hero, Lee, is mad that his older brother can order from the adult menu and his sister gets a meal with a kiddie toy. (As you can see, she's shot him in the forehead with it.) Mom and Dad are still ordering at Jack in the Bun. What fun!

I also found out that one of my manuscripts has now been moved to an acquisitions meeting, which means it may be close to a sale. I'm crossing my fingers so hard, they're blue.

My kids are all home from their summer visits with their other parents. We're back to a full house. Noise. It's a great thing.

David Catrow Sketches

Today I’m just like a little kid on Christmas eve...or a little kid standing in line at Disneyland. That’s because I’m about to get my first glimpse of David Catrow’s sketches for my upcoming book, THE MIDDLE CHILD BLUES. My editor says the sample sketches should arrive Fed Ex today. Holy cow. Talk about exciting. Keep watching my blog, and maybe, just maybe I’ll give you a sneak peek.

Baby Mine, Don't You Cry

Today my five-year-old daughter started to cry, and said, “Mom, I don’t ever want to have babies, ever.”

And I said, “Why do you say that?”

“Because it hurts you. They have to cut your tummy with a knife. And that hurts a whole lot. I just don’t want to.”

I was speechless for a moment. Where had she heard about tummies being “cut?” I decided she’d probably seen one of these birthing television shows on A & E or something. It seems like childbirth is everywhere on T.V. these days.

“Well, honey, not all mommies have their tummies cut. And there’s medicine that makes it so it doesn’t hurt. Anyway, you don’t have to worry about that for a very long time.”

“Yeah,” she whined, “and then if I did have babies, you’d be old like a grandma and then you’d probably die. Just like your mom died when she was a grandma. And I don’t want you to die. So I don’t ever want to have babies. Never EVER!”

She tossed herself onto my bed in a heap, crying dramatically. I stroked her hair. I though…

Torture Chamber

In case anybody was wondering, the business of writing picture books can be sheer torture. Torture I tell you, torture! It’s mostly the waiting that drives me insane. Since early February I’ve had a manuscript with two publishers—and each had given me good hope—but I’ve yet to hear anything from either one. Not a yes, not a no. Six months of waiting. It’s agonizing. I wait a few weeks, until I’m practically biting off my fingertips and then I finally cave in and write my agent. She’ll give me reassurances but no final word (if she doesn’t have one she can’t give it).

So we wait. Sometimes my agent makes a very polite inquiry with the editor who took the manuscript, and we might hear a tidbit or two about who’s currently looking at it and what the picture book sales “climate” is. But nothing about the final decision. I end-up waiting several more weeks, until we’re brave enough to make another inquiry. Sheeeesh. Meanwhile I write new stuff, filter it through my critique gr…

From the Secret Files of a Nutty Mother, Episode 1

Tonight I walked through a pitch-black park by a stream, and put a tablecloth on a picnic table. Then I set out a vase with flowers, lit two candles, put out four Ben and Jerry’s ice creams with spoons, and waited. I waited for the signal. It didn’t come.

I started to hear noises. You know, scary noises like rustling in the bushes, whistling, and footsteps. Where was the blasted signal? Darkness makes me nervous. And with the candles lit, my eyes could see absolutely nothing beyond ten feet of me. More sounds. Noises. Somebody breathing? I paced around a little, tempted to just leave. This was beyond the call of duty as a mother. I mean, please. Covert operations in the woods on a dark night? I’m too old for this.

Finally, the signal. A text jingle. I read the code letter. “D.” That’s all the text said. It meant “we’re standing by the duck pond.”

I texted my response. “A.” That meant, “I’m at the first location we chose. Plan A.” You see, we had to pick two lo…

Releases, Reprints, and Realities

I walked into Deseret Book the other day, and there was BEDTIME AT THE SWAMP, staring me in the face. Hey, that was unexpected but very cool! So if you’re looking for a copy, try Deseret. It’s curious to me because they never carried COOL DADDY RAT. Not sure how these decisions are made.

Yesterday my editor at HarperCollins emailed me, saying she was “very happy” to report that only one week after its release, BEDTIME is already into its first reprint! I guess that’s good news, as far as sales go.

Now everybody around these parts is getting ready for the release of BREAKING DAWN, by Stephenie Meyer. I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to be her. She’s got fame, fortune, and a movie in the works. This was a girl who graduated from BYU, a young LDS mom who loved to write. Did she ever imagine this? How has it affected her family? I’d love to talk to her, mom to mom, someday.