1. Have you heard Neil Gaiman's graduation speech for the University of the Arts about creating art? It's a good one.
2. Got stuck behind a police roadblock on my way home from a screening of Library of the Early Mind at The Loft at Congress. It took about 4.2 seconds to find out Mitt Romney was coming through. There were so many people stuck waiting for his motorcade to pass that we got out of our cars and HAD A TAILGATE PARTY! The uber-cool writers who were at the film's screening shared FOOD leftover from the event. So we ate cookies, chatted and watched about a bazillion police cars and motorcycles zoom past.
Finally, a dozen cars (one of which was armored) whizzed by. They were going too fast to see which car Romney was in. And it was over.
A little boy threw his arms up and shouted in disgust, "Well, that was BORING!"
Indeed, it was, Little Man. But the cookies were delicious!
3. Hilarious post by Tosca Lee about what it's like to write with Ted Dekker.
4. I noticed something strange when I checked my BookScan numbers on Amazon. In Louisiana, for the past three weeks, I sold a grand total of 2 books. Last week, 88 books sold. Hmm.
After a little investigating -- thank you Google search engine -- I discovered that HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL is one of twelve books on the Louisiana Young Reader's Choice list for 2013. (That makes the fourth state list -- TX, NY and IL.) THANK YOU, LOUISIANA!!! (Hammy is honored!)
5. Did you hear about the hilarious mix-up between FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Ruta Sepetys's incredible novel, BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, which won the Golden Kite Award this year? NPR did a story about it called "One Sexy Mix-up."
6. Places to go and people to annoy:
- Texas, here I come! Thanks to my hard-working host, uber-librarian, Kay Hawkins, I'll be visiting schools in Allen, TX. I'll also be yapping and signing books at A REAL BOOKSTORE in Fairview, TX on May 22nd at 7 p.m. (Stop by and say, "Howdy!" You may win a giant pen. And how could you possibly go on without winning a giant pen?)
- May 26th will find me at the Young Authors Celebration in St. Lucie County. I love this event! I was the guest speaker last year, too. The proud parents and eager young writers melted my heart. (There will be giant pens given away there, too. Big ideas require big pens!)
- Delighted to be co-teaching a workshop about writing middle grade fiction with agent Tracey Adams from Adams Literary on June 16th. If Orlando is on your radar, there's still time to sign up for the mid-year conference. Looks like a GREAT line-up for writers and illustrators!
- June 20th at 2 p.m., I'll be speaking and signing at the North Miami Beach Public Library. It's FREE and open to the public and I'd LOVE to see you there! (I'm not above bribing you . . . with giant pens.)
- Finally, you'll find me living at James Thurber's boyhood home the end of June and most of July, doing a number of events, teaching writing to young people and working on my next top secret novel during the Children's Writer in Residency Program. So excited!
Stay tuned . . .