September 30-October 18, 2012:

Book and Writing News:

What an up-and-down three weeks, consisting of some writing, some signings and readings, and a book I thought sold come loose from its moorings and float away into the Land of Unpublished. At the same time the weather has alternated sun and rain in such dazzling succession, that we are all feeling quite bipolar. Meaning hot and cold. Received the copies of Ekaterinoslav, and the very first early copies of Bad Girls.

I continue to write a poem a day, have been consolidating some of the poems I actually like into possible collections. Been working on two new pieces for the National Geographic book on true animal stories–did Balto the dog who lead the team that brought the serum to save the children of Nome, and Hoover the seal that could talk. Am beginning on a very short novel called Sea Dragon of Fife, based on my short story of (right now) the same name,. Wrote a pretty good song lyric that I may be in the process of ruining. Worked on the second scene in the first chapter of my Holocaust novel House of Candy (this section takes place in the Lodz Ghetto.) Working a bit on a proposal for a historical (though snarky) look at nursery rhymes. My usual patchwork quilt of projects.

Heidi and I had a really great signing at the Conway Festival of the Hills where, this year,  the rain held off until fifteen minutes before we were packing up to go. As it was, we’d overstayed our signing time by an hour and a half anyway (it was going that well!).

I was also one of the main readers/speakers and a judge for the Literary Death Match at the Brattleboro Literary Festival and had a super time. Didn’t sell that many books, but made some new good friends and had tea with my old friend Crescent Dragonwagon as a lovely finish to the three days.

I had a brunch with old friends Jane and Steven Schoenberg, talking about writing a musical together. Went to a Kids Lit Drinks Night in Northampton (just four of us.) Went to Forbes Library for Leslea Newman’s very moving reading of poems from her new book about the Matthew Shepard murder, October Mourning. Did several interviews for online magazines and blogs. Hosted my writer friend Steve Gould here to see his Smith college daughter and do some college visits with his other daughter, including Smith


Health news:

Ugh. Two huge cavities which needed filling at the same time. Many blood tests showing little, but a bit of plaque in my carotid artery so am now on something called Red Rice Yeast pills or maybe Red Yeast Rice pills to lower cholesterol. I can’t do statins.

Too many friends in cancer treatments right now, or failing and frailing in other ways.A constant reminder of End of Days.


Politics and Other Stuff:

My Obama signs are on the lawn. Elizabeth Warren signs ordered. I watched the debates and therefore stayed up much too late and my stomach in a twist from them all.

Still reading the Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies.(Did I get it right this time, Marcel????)  Finished another William Alexander middle grade novel which was delicious and gorgously written.

Saw  “Marigold Hotel” which I only sort-of liked. Went to the Three County Fairgrounds for the Paradise Crafts and Artisan Fair. Went to a star-studded party at Mo Willems house.

But mostly kept my head down and trying to be sensible about getting enough sleep. HArd to do when I wake up every four hours on the dot!


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