June 22-30, 2010:

I have been so engrossed in working on my novel (up to 22,000 words so far) I have forgotten to do things like update my journal. But tonight–knowing I am about to go off and do touristy things with Maddison and Heidi who have just arrived–I thought I’d better do a catch up.


For a while I thought I was doing just fine on the novel. Chapters were spilling out of me. The snake-handling sect chapter seemed pretty darn good. Chilling and awe-filled at the same time. I’ve been reading three different books on the Signs Following snake-handlers. But something was nagging at me and today, as I drove to the Edinburgh airport to pick up H&M, I realized what was wrong. Not how to fix it, mind you, but at least I identified the problem. The wicked Stepmama is a construct and her nastiness is not yet making sense. And why she doesn’t kill both Summer and her father outright and get it over with is not clear. So before I can continue with my forward movement, I have to give this problem a deep and heavy think. And then go and fix it before starting up again. Sigh. I hate when that happens!

Meanwhile, I was also toying with a new proposal with Jason, called WING BEATS which will be about flying birds, their wings, and the science of flight.

And a couple of tries at some HOW DO DINO board books as well as an odd poem here or there.

And then some dynamite news: An absolute rave in School Library Journal by the always- fascinating Betsy Bird for the new picture book I have with David Small, Elsie’s Bird.

Also, Hush Little Horsie has been taken by a book club. A possible Hungarian sale of Briar Rose–possible in that I got a lovely email from the Hungarian publisher but neither my agent nor I knew anything about this. And Bob Harris and I had to go to my Scottish lawyer to get a contract notarized for a musical theater production of. . .wait, I’m not allowed to say which book yet.


*My Scottish car died, battery ran down. Fixed.

*Went to hear Professor Bob Darnton (head of the Harvard Library) speak at the St A University with friends Nora and Rob. Bob was my high school boyfriend! I think the last time we laid eyes on one another was 25 or so years ago at a Fairy Tale conference in Princeton. An said maybe three words then.

*Tea with Vanessa Samuel at the Cheese Farm. Will be loaning her my Massachusetts house for a week as her physicist husband will be at a conference in July at Mt Holyoke.

*Tea at Wayside with friend and neighbor, Robin. Alas, she and family are going off to live in California. I shall miss them.

*Friend Peter came for dinner, and we wandered around town as well.

*Did the St A garden scheme with friend Christine and her nephew Dan. Walked around the town and got into about five gardens, and enjoyed the day immensly

*Drove to Edinburgh airport and picked up H&M, they took a walk into St A and crashed early.

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