Thursday, January 21, 2010

"In The Heights," "The Magician's Elephant," "Curse of the Bane"

We were lucky enough last night to go see "In the Heights," the Broadway musical, at the Boston Opera House with my niece. What a great show! Kyle Beltran as Usnavi was fantabulous. I can't imagine anyone doing the role any better. *Loved* his voice, his persona. Great sets, lighting, score, big music numbers, a terrific cast. Runs through the weekend; definitely go!

Just finished reading The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo today. The gorgeous cover illustrated by Yoko Tanaka made me grab it; the name Kate DiCamillo sure didn't hurt any. Sweet, elegant, brimful with affection for all its characters. It made me cry. Strongly recommended.

I'm working my way through Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice series, and read Curse of the Bane a few days ago. If you enjoy tales of the macabre, or if you have a middle-school boy who does, these are worth their price.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Catching up

2010 is nine days old and I still haven't jotted in my journal the list of goals and plans for the year that I'd intended to record. Off to a great start! The second half of 2009 was a whirlwind of travel, book events, and crazy writing deadlines, and my blogging wasn't the only thing to suffer neglect because of it. Now that the holidays are behind me I'm digging, sifting, dusting, and sorting my way through the chaos. There were so many wonderful visits to schools, libraries, and bookstores that I should have recorded, and perhaps I'll be able to catch up on that a bit. For now I'll lead in with the present.

I just finished reading The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch today and enjoyed it thoroughly. A great read for fans of spooky stories. Boys and girls should enjoy it equally. I especially love the artwork.

Got a package from UPS yesterday from Bloomsbury, always a happy thing. This contained an editorial letter and marked up manuscript for my upcoming hardcover teen novel, slated for October 2010 release. The current title is SECONDHAND CHARM, which may or may not remain the final title. I'd say there's about a 70% chance it will stick. Must turn around some revisions quickly. I'm looking forward to diving back into that manuscript.

Over the holidays I cleaned out my office, with the help of my friend Diane. This was a monumental achievement. Prior to the great purge, I could barely walk across the floor to reach my desk. I had to leap and hope. But now the bare surfaces sparkle and pretty little houseplants catch the light from the south-facing bay windows. My thought was that with an orderly office I'd have a less cluttered mind with which to envision new book projects in 2010. But I still seem to spend all my writing time tucked under the blankets in bed with my laptop resting on my thighs. So I'm not sure I deserve such a pretty office.

My newspaper column with The MetroWest Daily News is another thing I neglected in 2009, so I was happy to squeak out a column for them that appeared last Sunday. Here's a link to "You can always count on Mom." I hope to submit more soon.

Everyone's healthy and happy here at Camp Berry. Hope the same is true for you.