September 14-30, 2010:

Big catch up. I hope this will work on the resurrected Air.

Obviously I got home from Scotland, but it was nightmarish. On the front end,  I had booked a later flight–at noon instead of 7 a.m.–so Debby and I could have a leisurely start to the morning. But the Pope (yeah, that guy) decided to visit Scotland on the day I was leaving. So traffic to and fron the Edinburgh airport was going to be backed up and rerouted. So we ended up leaving at 7 a.m. anyway, which meant I was up at 4 to get everything finished, bed stripped etc.

Plane to Newark was easy, and then everything went pear-shaped.

There were tornadoes (yeah–those storms) in New York. And though I had a 9 o’clock in the evening one hour flight back to Hartford where Heidi was to pick me up, the plane was pushed back an hour. And at 10, though we’d been assured the plane was going, Heidi called me to say it was listed as canceled. I asked again and the guy checked his schedule and said, “Oh–it HAS been canceled.” So at ten p.m. I scrambled–along with the other  v/i/c/t/e/m/s  er passengers of two other canceled flights to get in line for. . .we had no idea what. But I’d been up over 24 hours at this point.

Finally the line was so long, I dodged out of there, called my cousin Pam in Stamford, found a cab willing to take me there (can we say $200 boys and girls?) and spent the night. Took a train in the morning to Springfield.

Heidi picked me up, though traffic delayed her. We took a detour through Maddison’s school. And home. Six hours sleep in 36 hours. It took me days to recover.

But some nice books stuff: a poem, “The Gospel of the Rope” coming out from Mythic Delirium, the editor of Snow in Summer has already read 1/3 of the revision and likes it. Some book money trickled in. A new Dino book (board book of opposites) accepted. A poem out in the latest Asimov’s. Nice conversations begun with the editor of the Things To Say to a Dying Man poetry collection. Signing at the World Eye Bookstore went well. Editor Steve Meltzer likes a book proposal sent to him, though of course it has to get through committee. Editor Sharyn November liked a trilogy proposal sent to her, ditto. I had my first copies of Hush Little Horsie and How Do Dinosaurs Laugh Out Loud, two starred reviews for Switching on the Moon (added to the two for Elsie’s Bird). Two phone interviews about my 300th book.

Some not nice news: one picture book and one short story turned down. Both have gone elsewhere. “Never let the grass grow underfoot” is a good unsold book motto to have.

Visited a very sick friend, did a touch-up for the voice-over narrative I’d taped before Scotland, had a small operation removing a fibroma from my upper gum. (Dr. Soft Hands was the perfect dental surgeon for the job, no pain and no bleeding).

Heidi and Maddison and I plus two friends raced into New York for Tony DiT’s book launch of WONDLA. Had tea with my old elementary school chum, Marcel, catching up on sixty years in two hours. Must be a world’s record.

Two writing group meetings, cousin Mal for an overnight visit and the Carle Museum visit, a flu shot, a birthday party for a friend, a q&a with poet laureate emeritus Rita Dove,  and an Illustrator’s Guild pot luck later, and I think I’m back on track for this journal. More anon.

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