May 30, 2009


The bee.

Vanessa Rothrock here. Have you been watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee? I have. It's so exciting.

A girl from Florida, Serena Laine-Lobsinger, went to the semi-finals and appeared on ESPN. She was a championship finalist! You can read about her here. Way to go, Serena!

I was biting my nails during the finals. Weren't you?

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S to all the fabulous spellers and the big winner -- Kavya Shivashankar. She went all the way by spelling such doozies as mesophilic and bouquiniste! Hooray, Kavya!

I still can't believe that I got tripped up on a cookie during my bee experience. As if!

If you want to read about my spelling bee misadventures, check out AS IF BEING 12 3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!

Well, gotta book. Mom just challenged me to a game of Scrabble. Maybe this time I'll actually win. Hey, a girl can dream, right?


P.S. Here's a hilarious bit I just discovered from the fine, funny folks at McSweeney's.

May 21, 2009

Blog Update . . . Finally

Hope you've been playing nicely while I've been away from the Blog-o-sphere.

Here's what's been going on:

Professionally . . .

  • Finished revising HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL (without getting your head flushed), DEAL WITH AN EX-BEST FRIEND, UM, GIRLS AND A HEART-BREAKING HAMSTER . . . again. (Release date April 13, 2010.)
  • Found out that when AS IF BEING 12 3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! goes into its fifth printing, it will do so with the Sid Fleischman Humor Award seal affixed to its cover.
  • Last week, I was contacted about two school visits this fall and presenting at a writers' conference.

Personally . . .

  • Family in town from New Jersey and California. (Thank goodness I finished revisions!)
  • Here are a few happy snaps . . .

(Our oldest son prepares for a shootout with his thumbs-up grandpa.)

(Nephew, Ethan, and sister, Sherry flew in from CA, and are their arms tired!)

(The gang's all here . . . well, almost.)

(Sister Sherry, Dad, Donna)

What have you been up to lately?

May 8, 2009

Florida Book Awards

Yesterday, hubby and I had the pleasure of attending the Florida Book Awards Banquet in Orlando.

A panel of five winning authors from a variety of categories had the opportunity to speak to a group of librarians about our books before the banquet. I spoke first, so I got to relax and enjoy listening to the sprints and stumbles of the other authors -- Patrick Kendrick, Loreen Leedy, Kristy Kiernan and Terri Witek.

Here's Patrick Kendrick, talking about his novel, Papa's Problem.

This is part of the audience. Patrick's sons and wife, Lisa, are front and center.

Wayne Wiegand of the College of Information at Florida State University did a fabulous job of hosting the event.

In the evening, we had the pleasure of sitting at a table with several librarians and Loreen Leedy, fellow book award winner, and her hubby, Andrew Schuerger, who is a scientist and author. We talked about things like earthworms (imported here from Europe) and honey bees (imported here from Europe) and microbes (necessary for life but responsible for much death) and how major plagues that killed off a huge chunk of the population have helped forests grow and reduce CO2 levels and greenhouse gases. Fascinating stuff for this very curious writer!

After dinner, the book award winners were announced. We were given medallions and framed posters to commemorate the event.

(l. to r.) Marlene Lee, juror in the children's literature category and former Youth Services Coordinator in Broward County, me for As if Being 12 3/4 . . ., Loreen Leedy for Missing Math: A Number Mystery and Susan Womble for Newt's World: Beginnings.

A huge thanks to all the jurors, Micah Vandegrift, Wayne Wiegand and all those involved in promoting Florida authors and their books.

With appreciation,