October 18-24, 2010:

Autumn has crept up on us, having itself been confused by the warm nights and warmer days. Then a huge downpour stripped many of the early-turners of their leaves. But now with the sharp shock of a drop in the temperature, autumn has leafed out in all its glory. Never better than to live in New England this time of year.

It’s been another busy week. I have been into New York City, then Long Island. Much of it book-related, though some personal and fun stuff as well.

I trained in to Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station midday on the 19th, wrote some 2,000 words on my novel The Thirteenth Fey along the way, and stayed at Bonnie Bryant’s apartment downtown. Went out for dinner in the Village with my old friend Marcel, near the Cherry Lane Theater where I lived when David and I went out on our first real date. Dinner at the aptly named “The Little Owl,” restaurant, then we walked through the Village and I marveled at how much things have changed yet stayed the same. Finally, we walked the High Line, an old elevated railway spur originally dedicated to the meat packing district’s use, now a blocks-long high garden. The almost-full moon overhead was bright and Venus was hanging on its lower lip. We could look out across the Hudson and New Jersey was lit up like Christmas and Chanukah together. It was breathtaking. Ended the evening at the 9-11 site to watch the new building go up as men (and I suppose some women, though I never saw any) worked round the clock on it.

Next morning (Wednesday), I saw three editors at the Simon & Schuster group and in the afternoon three more editors at the Penguin group. All in all, one rejection, possibly four books sold (never count those before the contract is in hand is my motto!). One small hitch in the otherwise good day: as I walked across Times Square, there was a sudden enormous and loud police presence, many cars, some with sirens going. I believe I levitated across and down three streets and found a cab and got out of there in thirty seconds or less. Seems there had been an unattended car in front of a major hotel and no one was taking any chances. I was not waiting around to find out. Told all this to my friend Bonnie at dinner.

Thursday I saw my agent in the morning and then we cabbed together to Scholastic where the Branding Meeting for the Dinosaur books was to take place. My goodness, I felt like the belle of the ball. Mark Teague and I were toasted, petted, made much of. We got to hear about all the new projects and ideas, about the 6 1/2 million books sold world wide in the Dinosaur series. And we got to toast the team back, and give them some of our ideas as well. It was pretty amazing.

Then a hire car took me back to Bonnie’s where I picked up my luggage and then got me to Penn Station. And off I went to Long Island where illustrator Mike Cavallero and I were both presenters. Of course we talked about Foiled and graphic novels in general. Lots of interest, signed many MANY books. Then left for home.

Train was almost an hour late. Friend Bob Marstall picked me up, and on the drive home we saw a fireball in the sky, too close for a shooting star, too fast for a falling plane. Found out later it was part of a meteorite shower. It was pretty stunning.

The next two days–Saturday and Sunday–I worked hard, had dinner at Heidi’s, wrote another few thousand words (revising really), and saw my near friend AK who has been quite ill. She’s looking quite a bit better and has put on some of the lost weight, and has an incredibly positive attitude. I felt quite buoyed up by her instead of the other way around which is what I’d planned.

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