October 5-25, 2011:

A lot to catch up on as I have been in a whirl the past twenty days, having been in New City for a conference, Minnesota for two readings, speaking at Mt. Holyoke, at a workshop at the Eric Carle Museum, have six writers on a retreat at my house, and got a lot of book work done as well.

So let’s begin way back after my return from Scotland.

On the 5th I dealt with getting tickets to Minnesota, Heidi and I spoke with our Bad Girls editor, and I tried to catch up on mail.

6th: I did a SKYPE visit with some 7th graders studying Girl in a Cage, managed to work on some small rewrites for the Last Laughs book while admiring the amazing illustrations. And waded through more mail, and fell into bed early.

7th: Worked during the day on a new chapter for the Seelie Wars trilogy and sent it off to Adam, then had tea at 4 with friend Patricia Lewis in Northampton.

8th: Went to the Paradise City Arts Fest with my friend Bob Marstall, bought a few Christmas presents, had lunch with our old friends Bobbin and Eric, John&Polly, with lots of reminiscing.

9th: Worked much of the day on house stuff, and had dinner with Heidi and Maddison and the DiTerlizzis.

1oth: Poetry day, working on Thunder Underground poems and some adult poetry as well and worked on two speeches, one for Mout Holyoke and one for an Indiana Library conference.

11th: A full day of writing, catching up on reading a lot of magazines, more house work, laundry, picking up books from huge piles, reading a good section of a biography of Denys Finch Hatton.

12th: Spinning of poetry wheels, mostly Thunder Underground, managed to delete much of the day before’s work, had dinner with Ann Wheelock at Green Street Cafe which is always fun.

13th: I took a morning train into New York, reading magazines (more catch up) and more Denys Finch Hatton bio and wrote some more poetry. Staying over at friend Bonnie Bryant’s apartment, went to a panel on writing fantasy with Holly Black, Delia Sherman, and other smart, articular women writers.

14th: Breakfast with agent, lunch with editor Jill Santopolo, dinner with another friend and Birdland Big Band Jazz. Wish I’d remembered my earplugs. It was great but we were practically sitting in the drummer’s lap. A dinner in the Village at a found restaurant which proved delightful.

15th: Signing Last Dragon at Comicon with Rebecca Guay, did two interviews with her, but the place was too overwhelming for me to stay long. Though I did seek out David White and bought a book from him, and then Peter Beagle where I bought two from him (all Christmakkah presents). Then I met my Birdland friend at the Metropolitan, where we saw the Steiglitz show, then had a lovely dinner, and afterwards a long and cozy walk along the Highline.

16th: Drove home with Rebecca Guay and Scott Fischer, and managed to get to bed at a reasonable time, though my friend Steve Gould–here to see his daughter who is a freshman at Smith–arrived too late for me to spend any time with him.

17th: So Steve got up early in order for us to have a chat before Heidi arrived to take me to the airport and off I went to Minneapolis. Adam and Betsy picked me up, and I spent the day with them until 5 when the editor of my poetry book Things to Say to a Dead Man got me for a quick dinner and then I gave a reading of the book at Hamline University. We used up half of three boxes of tissues and sold lots of books.

18th: Betsy and I went clothes shopping,  had lunch, bought gifts, and when the kids got home, we all went out to dinner at my favorite Greek restaurant, Christos.

19th: Adam and I worked on several projects, including a book trailer for Snow in Summer, and plotting much of the first book of the Seelie Wars. We’ve already written 10,000 words. Then my editor Jim picked me up for my second reading at The Loft. Sold more books. In fact, between the two readings, we sold 83 Things to Say to a Dead Man, not bad for poetry!

20th: I flew home on an early flight, and then went to get my hair done. In between, much to do about various mail and email.

21st: Patricia Gauch was doing a master class at the Eric Carle Museum on writing picture books, and I sat in on it and was a second voice. Then we went out with a group of folks from the Museum and another author but service was so bad at the restaurant that after waiting two hours for the main course to be served, I had to leave without eating because I had an early start for the next day.

22nd: At 9:15 I gave the keynote address for the Mount Holyoke College Write Angles Conference and stayed most of the day. But I was too exhausted by the end to go out to a movie with friend Bob.

23rd: Six writers showed up between the afternoon and evening, who were staying at the house for a writers’ retreat. Besides more revisions on Thunder Underground, I began work on a new book proposal for short novel, Centaur Field. Heidi and I went off to see Glen and her boyfriend Jason’s new apartment in Northampton and to meet Jason’s parents. All very lovely.

24th: Retreat in full swing. I got a flu shot, had tea at 2:30 with friend Jody, and dinner at the Green Street Cafe with friends Geri (complimentary aunt) and Susan who’s daughter Gavi is a freshman at Smith. Much fun talk ensued, though Gavi had to leave early for a dance class. Heidi and I gave the retreat writers a tour of the children’s book art in the house from 9 p.m. to 10.

25th: Retreating writers still here. I went to my regular writing group, which I had missed sorely the last five months. Then back in time for dinner with the retreat group. In between I finished the two chapters and book proposal for the new middle grade novel, Centaur Field (will go over it tomorrow and send it on) as well as worked over the first proofs for How Do dinosaurs Celebrate Christmas and How Do Dinosaurs Celebrate Chanukah, two  books for 2012 with Mark Teague’s best art ever.

After that snap shot of twenty days of my life, I wonder if you are as tired as I am!

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