April 15-April 25, 2011:

This is the time of year that I run around like a crazy woman, writing on the fly, because of three reasons: 1. There are lots of children’s books conferences, and other speaking opportunities and I seemed to have accepted all the invitations (which is why Heidi has now taken over the job of my schedule   2. Everyone in New England begins to stick his or head head above the ice and breathe deeply again and so lunches and dinners abound  and 3. As I am to leave for Scotland in a month and will be gone until Fall, everyone here wants a piece of me before I go. That includes families, friends, the IRS, people I owe money to, and people I owe poems/stories/books to. (Though the last should realize I do my best work when I am happily ensconced in Wayside, my Scottish home.)

Where have I been recently? So glad you asked. In Chicago to speak at a library, to Minicon the Minnesota Science Fiction Convention and also four days with son Adam and his family in Minneapolis, lunch with two editors there, dinner with the children’s book mafia in Plainfield MA (Bob Marstall, Diane deGroat, Alice Schertle, Susan Pearson, Shelly Rotner), as well as reading the mss sent for the Hatfield Elementary Scool’s Jane Yolen Writing Contest (21st year).

And did I write, you wonder. Why yes, I did. A number of poems for a book of poems about my father’s family, some work on a possible new picture book with pictures by Roberto Innocenti (a Red Riding Hood story and as his pictures are finished, I am writing the story to go with and around them, a process somewhat akin to working with a great big jigsaw puzzle). And as Adam and I have had an actual offer/counter-offer/better offer on a middle grade trilogy proposal, I reworked the first chapter and sent it on to him and we discussed it quite a bit when I was in Minneapolis.

Am I ready to go off to Scotland? Not even close. I still have a trip to Orlando, a trip to South Carolina, and a trip to New York City on the docket. I have two groups of friends staying over before I leave. Oh it’s a social whirl here, my friends. F. Scott Fitzgerald, where are you now that I really need you?

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