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 So, my last post was on Alix's last day at Valley Forge, and now it's one of her last days of being a real civilian.  She reports in at West Point on Monday, June 28th.  That's 3 days from today . . . 

This month has been insane.  I've had two book tours in June -- Seattle area (June 1-5) and then Chicago area (June 14-18).  In between and before those two trips, I've been getting Alix ready to head off to West Point with boot and shoe shopping expeditions, wisdom teeth pulling and various other doc appointments (we are now in NY, staying at the Residence Inn in Fishkill (about 23 miles from West Point), dealing w/ my house constructions (we literally ran out of money, so construction had to stop temporarily while we try to scrounge funds -- embarrassing, but that's what happens; it always costs more and takes longer than ever anticipated!), and the usual soccer mom stuff.  I'm pretty exhausted.  No writing occurred w/ the new book.  Not a surprise, but a disappointment nonetheless.  Hopefully, July will be a more productive month where I can concentrate better on my writing.

My Seattle trip went fabulously.  I made new author and librarian friends!  And Andy was able to be out there at the same time.  Just one of those lucky ducky things -- he had a couple of courts-martial out in Ft. Lewis the exact week that I was scheduled for my book tour.  So, we got to spend some time together.  Anastasia came out, too, and hung out w/ us.  Alix was home watching the rest of the kids, and we wanted Anastasia out of the picture -- too much for Alix to handle w/ Sass thrown into the mix!  So, she had some quality time w/ Mommy and Daddy which I think she really loved.

And speaking of really loving, I LOVED LOVED LOVED running in the NW!  I felt like a super-hero running at sea level.  The steep hills weren't all that fun, but it was so beautiful running around my old running routes.  And it did that misty drizzle stuff that is perfect for running.  I miss it soooo much.

My trip to Illinois went well, too.  My hometown library really was responsible for bringing me to the area -- thanks so much, Sarah! -- and I was able to do some workshops with nearby libraries, too.  Again, met some really great librarians.  One even took me to Chicago, and we had some really great cocktails, some classic ones -- thanks, Megan!  And two of my fav teachers came to hear me speak!  What a surprise to see them!  Mr. Stanko (my cross country and track coach!) and Ms. Ward (my music teacher in elementary school and also my band teachers in middle school and high school).  So weird to see people after so many years (like 25 plus) -- you can recognize them for sure, but we're all just older.  Mr. Stanko gave me a thorough tour of my high school, too.  It's so very different (bigger) after 25 years.

After I got back, I had only a few days to get ready for our NY trip.  We flew all the kids, plus Andy and me, out here.  Thanks to all the frequent flyer miles and Marriott reward points that Andy has racked up over the years, the trip was pretty much covered!  

We arrived yesterday, got settled in the hotel, and then drove down to West Point to go . . . running!  Insane, huh?  I decided to run up past the Cadet Chapel to Lusk Reservoir.  Wow, what a hill!  My lungs were handling things fine (thanks to all my altitude training!  Ha!), but my legs were quite jelly-like after that butt kicking hill!  And the humidity -- now, that's not something I am used to at all anymore.  My shirt was completely soaked after my near 4 mile run.  The temps aren't too bad, but it's just so muggy and, well, WET, here.

Today we got up bright and early and headed back down to West Point again to do Mock R-Day.  Alix stayed at some friends in Highland Falls (she couldn't do the mock R-day as West Point really doesn't want the new cadets to get a dress rehearsal!) and Kat had to stay w/ her because she was too young, but Ari, Anastasia, Andrew, Andy, and I got to pretend we were new cadets for a few hours.  Andy of course was a very naughty new cadet and made the cadets laugh at some of the stuff he said and did.  I think my kids had a good time, and now they will be that much more prepared if they should choose to attend West Point one day.

We decided to go see Toy Story 3 this evening -- such a good movie! -- and then I spent the rest of the night walking around for about an hour and a half wearing Alix's low quarters, trying to break them in for her.  I had ordered them through the Army/Air Force exchange weeks ago, but they never arrived at our house before we left, so I had to order them and had them overnighted to the Residence Inn in Fishkill directly from Bates, the shoe company.  Alix's feet are really badly blistered for some reason (mostly from her trying to break in her boots over the past weeks), so I decided to put on her shoes and try to get them a little soft for her.  What moms will do for their kids, huh?

Okay, we head down to NYC tomorrow morning so the kids can get a taste of the city and see the touristy sites, so I better end this post and get some sleep.  I will try to write more often . . . now that June is almost over and (hopefully) things will start to settle down. 

Mother's Day

I finally got my espresso machine.  It's been like my Christmas gift and B-day gift for a couple of years running now.  My problem is that I can't decide which one to get!  So, I procrastinated . . . and finally Andy just ordered me one (for Mother's Day).  I used it today for the first time -- this morning before heading off to church.  I had a Swiss machine a couple of years ago that was fantastic, but it broke, and I couldn't find a way to get it fixed (procrastinated); it prob would've cost almost as much to fix it as it would have to buy a new one, anyway.  But this new one, I don't think makes espresso as well and doesn't froth the milk as well, in my opinion.  But maybe I just need to give it some time and practice!

Today was Alix's last day at Valley Forge.  She spends 5 days w/ her roommate in Pittsburg, then flies home.  She'll have about 6 weeks until R-Day (entrance day into West Point).  I can't believe she's finished w/ her prep school -- time just flies.

Last night Andy and I went to Indulge -- a French restaurant in Denver -- for dinner w/ friends.  I don't know, I'm just not crazy about French food for some reason.  The red wine was good, tho, and then we went to a different place for dessert in Highlands.  That was fun.  But all day today, I've felt like I'm dragging.  Not sure if it was the moderately late night (a little after midnight), the 3 glasses of wine, or the 7 miles I ran yesterday, but I just can't seem to shake the fog out of my head!

Andy did yard work w/ the kids.  I went to Cherry Creek mall to get sheets and a duvet cover -- something I've been putting off for a while now.  And I took a walk w/ Anastasia; she needed to get some Mexican pastries for extra credit in Spanish class.  So, we walked to a local Mexican bakery about 1.5 miles from our house and bought them, then walked home.  It was a beautiful day -- sunny and warm.

Now, I'm going to clean the house -- or try to get some done.  I know it's not exactly the sexiest thing to do on Mother's Day, but I'll feel better about things if I get ahead on the work for the week.  I also have to do some picking of stuff out for our porch construction and etc.  I really hate making decisions, but having a deadline makes things easier!

Chocolate Chip cookies

 So, Ari (middle child) made cookies w/ her friend today after school.  The rain kept coming all last night and most of the day today (Okay, the rain was cool yesterday, but I'm done with it now, thanks!), so practices again were cancelled.  So, her friend came home, and they made cookies.

And . . . I think I ate 10 of them!  Seriously.

And I didn't even run today.

What else?  Well, I had to meet one of my kids' teachers (second child) at 7:15 AM to help mediate an issue between them.  I know most teachers are hardworkers and care about their student, etc., etc., but . . . anyway, I was nice-ish to her (I hope).  And we didn't get anywhere, of course.  I probably should've just stayed in bed.  Then kid number 2 (Anastasia) convinced me to let her skip journalism class ("We have nothing going on right now, and everyone skips it!"), and we had some quality daughter/mom time at this good breakfast place nearby the school -- they have just about the best pancakes around (and that's quite a feat to pull good pancakes off!) and omelets.  Then I took her back to school and headed off to National Jewish to get my weekly allergy shots.  Then I got home and cleaned house.  Then picked up my kids from school, stopping off at the King Soopers to pick up some food on the way back.  And THEN I ate those aforementioned10 cookies while watching the 2010 BBC production of Emma on DVD I recently ordered from Amazon -- so cute!

I've been reading some books -- a lot of books -- lately.  You know, it's amazing how many mediocre writers there are out there who get published!  And then you pick up a book off your pile that's been collecting dust with the others under your bed, like Matt de Pena's BALL DON'T LIE, and the words just pop on the page.  And you think, "Yes!  That's what good writing looks like!" 

Matt (I think I mentioned him a couple of posts back) was at the Teen Literature conference where I was a panelist a couple of weeks ago.  I had the good fortune of having dinner w/ him afterwards.  He's very understated, doesn't think too highly of himself (good trait!).  I had decided I was going to get his book and see what I thought.  I know he was one of the keynote speakers and all, teaches a creative writing class at NYU (how did he get that gig?!), but . . . that doesn't always mean anything.  Well, haven't finished his book yet, but from the very first paragraph, I just KNEW he has the chops.  He can drop those words on the page and make you want to keep turning those pages.

Okay, now I get to burn some calories cleaning up the kitchen that Ari left trashed this afternoon.  

And I will pack up the rest of the cookies and lock them in a Rubbermaid container far, far away from me.

Rain, rain, [Don't] go away . . .

 I love rain.  I love when the Colorado sun hides behind the gray clouds.  Everything looks greener when it rains.

Okay, but I HATE the mud that comes with the rain.  My horde of kids (and dog) drag it in, and then there's more work dumped on me.  Blah!

But I LOVE running in the rain, as I did today.

Went for a 7-8 mile run from my house through downtown Denver around lunchtime (I wanted to see people today for some reason) to City Park and back.  Sunny skies when I started, and the longer I ran, the more ominous the clouds looked -- puffy cottony grayish blackish clouds.  And then the drizzle began when I as about a mile from home.  Awesome!

Soccer practices were cancelled -- the grass is so delicate here in the mile-high desert that the parks and recs around here feel like they need to protect it; it may never grow back.

So, that gave me a chance to make a huge pot of chilli in my pretty blue "le Creuset" dutch oven and a batch of southern (perfectly sweetened -- not too much and not too little) cornbread, and rice.  (No dropping by Chipotle or throwing together tuna melts or Campbell's tomato soup w/ grilled cheese sandwiches -- or worst of the worst, cold cereal -- for us tonight.)

And I downloaded some rain-appropriate songs from iTunes.
 So, today I accomplished almost nothing.   I did work out at the Y -- weights for nearly an hour and then swam a little over an hour.  Then did some errands (like grocery shop since my refrigerator had next to nothing within it, and my kids were complaining this morning that they had no snacks to take in their lunch and no bread with which to make their sandwiches and only half a gallon of milk remaining, which would not be enough for breakfast tomorrow.  I also had to go to Home Depot and get that clip thing that holds the removable shower head in place because it broke over the weekend.  Our first floor shower (that's off the kitchen -- very weird, I know, but we live in a 1890 Victorian that was remodeled a bunch of times, and that's where one of the "full" bathrooms is currently) is inoperable because the tile is falling off the shower wall.  Yep, some Einstein decided to put tile directly on dry wall in our shower, not that special board stuff they were supposed to use, so if we don't want our entire house to fall down due to mold and mildew and water damage, we have to quit using that shower.  Our top floor shower (in Ari and Kat's bedroom) is torn apart right now because the contractor who put that shower in 2 years ago did something wrong, and THAT tile and grout is all messed up and cracked and the shower door won't shut.  So, two showers out of three inoperable at the moment.  And then the shower clip thing broke on Sunday morning, so everyone had to take a bath over the weekend -- NOT CONVENIENT!  Oh, and we have a hot water issue most of the time, so some of us had to take cold baths.

Oh, how I love the money pit that we call our humble abode.  This house is so ramshackle, it's embarrassing.

Anyway, the contractor didn't come back today to finish up that third floor shower (he is letting the floor boards dry out; they have been in the process of "drying out" for like nearly a week now.  In Colorado, it doesn't take long for things to "dry out" since it's basically a desert.  Can you say, "Contractor Slacker?").

Other than working out, I nailed down some stuff for my little WA state book tour I'm doing in June.  I hope to add more "gigs" to my schedule.  Thus, very good that I've procrastinated getting my tickets.  I can't wait to see the Seattle area again!

Picked up my kids from school, got one of Andrew's soccer teammates so that I could take him down to the fields for practice, too.  And basically just wasted 105 minutes soccer-mommying around, socializing with whoever was hanging around watching practice.  None of my soccer mom friends brought their "walking shoes," so we couldn't do a couple of quick laps around the lake that's beside the soccer fields, so I couldn't make good use of my time.  And I blew off reading the book that I'm trying to determine whether or not I will blurb (I leaning towards no, even though the author is a pretty well-known author).

Got home around 7:15 and tossed some dinner together.  This place about 1/2 mile from my house is a combo barber shop/walk up take out place that makes the most amazing gumbo.  It is a weird place, kinda sketchy looking, but you've gotta try this yummy stuff!  Anyway, that gumbo was dinner (over brown rice which I made, thank you), salad, and I made some spaghetti squash w/ butter and salt and pepper.  Oh, and grilled out salmon patties I got at Whole Foods.  Well, I know it was a kinda lame dinner, but it was better than eating out tonight . . . 

Such a glamorous and exciting life I lead, huh?

So, almost 2 months go by and . . .

 I can not believe all this time has flown by and no blogging out of me!

A lot has happened . . . well, sort of.

1.  Andy finally returned from his trial in Boston.  I think I mentioned in my last entry that he was leaving for 6 weeks.  Well, he was gone that long, and only came home one weekend -- see item #2.

2.  My sis-in-law got married on March 20th.  So, we got to see family from all over the place (including Andy being home).  That was fun!

3.  My third kid, Arianna, went to Las Vegas for a big soccer college showcase.  She was guesting with the top team in the state a year older than her own age group.  While in Vegas, she got asked to become a permanent player on their roster, so she is very excited (and scared to death).  Andy was going to try to cut out of Boston and get to Vegas to watch her play that weekend, but at last min. had to cancel his flight and hotel there; some big "emergency" happened with the case, and he couldn't get away.

4.  My daughter, Alix, FINALLY got her appointment to West Point last week, so we are all super-excited!  I told her that now that she got in, she will have to work really hard to STAY in.  And her response was, "I will graduate from that place.  If you could graduate from West Point, I can graduate from West Point."  There ya have it -- moms of teenaged girls are the biggest idiots who ever roamed the earth.

5.  My 2nd kid, Anastasia, had to have surgery TWICE in less than a month for that non-ossifying fibroma she was diagnosed with.  I think I mentioned this issue in an earlier blog?  Anyway, the first surgery was to repair it (clean out the cysts and the fibroma tissue and plug the remaining "hole" that was left with bone grafting material). The second because the incision site got badly infected -- swollen and yellow puss gushing out of the wound and lots of pain -- and so the doc had to clean up the wound and sew her back up.  But, currently, things are healing up nicely.

6.  Last weekend, I was part of a YA author panel at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference here in Denver.  What a great conference!  I got to meet a lot of amazing people -- authors and librarians and teachers.  And as I was sitting on the panel, I was actually squirming -- one of the questions asked had to do with when as authors do we write, what is our schedule like, etc.  My fellow panelists were so full of good writer wisdom.  They journal.  They schedule their writing time into their days and keep that time sacred (meaning, they don't get off track by picking up dog poop in their yards, as one of my fellow panelists (Todd Mitchell) said to the amusement of everybody).  They view their writing as a job.  They even unplug their wireless (that from Laura Resau) so that they don't get distracted by Facebook and emails and Googling.  They give up their social lives in order to maintain their writer lifestyle.  They have special places -- studios -- where they write (in Laura's case, a 1950's trailer).  And so on.  When it came to me, I had to confess that I don't journal, I get distracted by the internet, I don't set aside time to write hardly at all, etc.  In fact, I told the audience, "Do NOT do what I do!"

So, I was all motivated to get working on my next book this week.  And did I? Nope.  And I wrote nary a word since the last time I blogged.  Pathetic!

7.  I did learn this week that AFTER is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award this year!  And I'm invited to the award ceremony in Aspen in June.  I did get my rear window in my suburban fixed -- the morning of the teen literature conference, I discovered that (8.) the night before, some thug in my 'hood smashed in my Suburban's rear window.  So, I had to call the police and have them file a report AND catch a ride to the conference because I was NOT going to be seen in that rattle trap of a vehicle.  I mean, seriously!  I'm supposed to be presenting myself as a professional.  A ghetto car does not accomplish that at all!

I did meet some authors who inspired me greatly (yes, "real" authors can and do get inspired when they attend writers conferences, I discovered), and I am determined now to get out of my Mommy cocoon and start acting like a "real" author myself.  I don't know what my deal is, but I need to get my act together.  I met Ellen Hopkins of CRANK (and her other novels in verse) fame and Matt de la Pena, who were both keynote speakers at the conference.  I met some local authors (fellow panelists) who have emailed me before, but we never met in person, like Laura Resau (mentioned already above, and she's also a finalist for the Colorado Book Award -- yikes!)  I also met Becca Fitzpatrick after meeting her briefly in the fall at a book signing -- she wrote the bestselling HUSH, HUSH, and she just finished the draft of its sequel which everyone is breathlessly awaiting publication.  And Todd Mitchell (mentioned above), who was very articulate on the panel and has written his second (I think) book to come out very soon -- one I am looking forward to reading.  And, finally, Tucker Shaw, who has the uncanny talent of writing a teen girl's voice (many of his protagonists are teen girls, and IMHO, he nails it!).  Tucker is also the food critic for the Denver Post, and because of his job and the necessity to visit restaurants "incognito", finding a picture of him anywhere -- book jackets or Google or Facebook --  is almost impossible.  So, the big mystery buzz was "What does he look like?!"  Many of the female librarians/teachers, I've later learned, were all agog (is that a word?) with the two exceptionally good looking male authors at the conference -- Matt de la Pena (one of the keynotes) and Tucker Shaw, and were very disheartened to learn that Matt has a girlfriend in NY, but are holding out hope for Tucker because, as he said while on the panel, his dating life suffers because he is a writer!

9.  And then a lot of "little" things happened during my blogging lapse that I'm sure were very important at the time, but I now can not recall.  Tell me, what's more important -- cleaning toilets in your house for the upteenth zillion time?  Or starting work on your next novel for teens?

10.  Got asked to blurb a couple of YA's.  One I'm going to turn down (I'm just procrastinating because I don't know how to tell the editor), and the other, I'm currently reading, so I'm not sure yet.  I've decided that if I blurb a book, it really has to be good.  I know many authors like to blurb books to keep their names out there, but I feel that the book I blurb is a reflection of me and my own personal values.  If I wouldn't recommend the book to a friend or my kid, I don't think I have any business "recommending" it to the general population!

11.  One of my fav coffee haunts may be closing its doors by the end of this month if the owners don't find buyers.  So sad because that's usually the very first stop I make almost every day after dropping my elementary-aged kids off at school.  To be honest, I have no idea how I actually get from my house to their school w/out ingesting the caffeine kick-in-the-butt first, but somehow I manage.  So, keep your fingers crossed that somebody coughs up the cash to buy Novo Coffee in Arvada!

Okay, it's late.  My husband is already in bed and prob mad that I'm not there with him.  He thinks that, lately, I have a more meaningful relationship with my Macbook than with him . . . no comment . . . .

Wow -- what an exhausting week

 So, Monday I talked to my agent about my latest book idea.  She's giving me the thumbs up and told me to try to get something to my editor at Viking before [my editor] leaves for maternity leave.  That means, before May 1st.  Okay . . . . Yeah . . . 

Tues, I talked to my editor about ideas for my latest book.  We had a good conversation, and I'm feeling excited about the direction I'm thinking that I'm going to take it.  I really need to get writing, but after Tues, things just sorta fell apart w/ my home life.  Like a sweater unraveling.

This week is high school girls soccer tryouts.  Need I say more?  I have a daughter who's a junior and another who's a freshman.  I thought that the junior was the shoe-in, and the freshman was the one who'd have to work her butt off to get noticed.

Well, as things sometimes go, I was wrong.

The junior had two conflicting, but mandatory, events during soccer tryout week:  mock trial regional tournament AND state qualifying debate tournament.  Despite the fact that she participated in the week-long pre-tryout camp (10 hours) last week, her coach told her that he's enforcing the tryout week with her.  Despite the fact that she played varsity starting keeper at another high school for both her freshman and sophomore years, and the team she came from beat her current team she's going to come to 4 to 0 the last time they met.  Despite the fact that snow fell over the wknd and made playing on the school's turf field impossible (it was covered).  The coach wanted my daughter to bail on her other commitments (team commitments) so that she could be present during the tryout week.  Even though, looking back on the week, the coach was only able to observe players for 2 out of the 5 available days, and my daughter was present for one of those 2 days.

Have I ever mentioned that I can't stand rigid, inflexible people?  UGH!  Oh, and this particular coach has a closed door policy when it comes to parents.

Well, I opened his door with both guns blazing.  Needless to say, a stressful and exhausting week.

Part of the tryout requirement was to be able to juggle the ball with only the feet 50 times without dropping the ball.  My freshman daughter juggled it 480 times, blowing away her closest competition (which only juggled 139).  So, right there, she cemented her place on the team.

Andy is out of town until mid-next month, doing a trial.  SO . . . I've been lone rangering it.

Today I found out that my junior (the goalkeeper discussed above) needs surgery on her non-ossifying fibroma because it also has cysts on it.  She is in a lot of pain, and has been, for about 3 months.  She thought they were shinsplints, but they were not.  So, next week, I will be scheduling that -- scraping out of the fibrous tissue and cysts and doing a bone graft.  Sounds awful, but the doc said the recovery is 4-6 weeks.

I didn't exercise much at all this week.  I am taking a little time off of running, but that doesn't mean I do NOTHING at all.  I didn't clean house, either, or write.  Or cook much.  I think all I did was fret.  I didn't sleep much, and I didn't eat much.

Well, this was a boring post.  I guess I'm tired and not in the mood to write.  I know that comes as an absolutely shocking surprise.

This upcoming wknd is going to be insane.

Okay, I literally can not keep my eyes open.  The computer screen is blurring.  This is a hint to stop typing, save this entry, and log off.  Then shut down my computer.

The school project girl, Ali

 I know this is really weird, but I feel bad that a girl named Ali wanted some info about me for a school project.  I replied to her livejournal msg, but it got kicked back because she has a setting on her email so people can't email her.  A safety thing, probably.

SO . . . I hope she checks back here.  If so, this is my reply to her email!

Ali,

Thanks for reading my blog and contacting me!  I have to run and pick my kids up from school right now, but why don't you first go to my web site (www.amyefaw.com) and see if some of your questions can be answered there.  I have a bunch of info about my military school life and writing life and etc.  And then once you do that, email me at amy.efaw@gmail.com with more specific questions that you want to know.  Sound good?  Well, thanks for your interest in AFTER, and I'm excited you're doing a project on me and my book!

~AMY

I know this was weird, but I just felt bad for Ali.  Didn't want her to think I was blowing her off!

Well, it's been a month . . .

 WOW.  Can't believe almost a month has gone by.

Andy is out of town for a month (gone for a trial), so I'm going back to my night owl ways.  Case in point, it's 11:11 PM right now!

Let's see, what's new?  Well, yesterday I got the page proofs for the re-release of BATTLE DRESS -- to hit bookshelves fall 2010 (don't have a pub date yet).  I need to read through them and make any changes.  There shouldn't be many, but gotta do it nevertheless.  I love the cover (topic of my last blog entry, so I won't rehash my sentiments).

Yesterday, I also talked to my agent about my new book idea -- she's supportive of it, and today, I talked to my editor about the same thing!  So, now I'm very motivated and inspired to get cranking.  Not telling the idea yet because ya never know -- it may never come to be.  Plus, it's top secret!

High school soccer tryout week for Ari and Anastasia, so lots of angst and drama.

The cold and snow is getting annoying at this point.  I want warmth and green (or as green as Colorado -- the Mile HIgh Dessert -- can get).  I mean, today during tryouts, the girls spent the entire time shoveling snow off their turf field.

I'm pretty much wrapping up things with this year's crop of West Point candidates.  Such great kids.  I wish they would all get in, but I know that's not going to happen . . . The number one kid I'm concerned with getting in at this point is my own Alix!

Been on a diet -- South Beach inspired -- for about 2 and a half weeks.  I'm being a good mom and supportive for one of my kids, who is on the diet.  But . . . I'm not feeling too happy about it.  No sugar, NO MOCHAs anymore (I'm stuck w/ sucking down nonfat lattes with Splenda -- yuck), no carbs.  Not fun.  The first 2 days were utter torture.  I'm feeling a little worn out w/out some of this strict diet stuff, but I think it's more because I'm not really eating all that much.  I'm just lazy and don't want to go through all the chopping up of vegetable ordeal that's really required for this kind of diet.  Haven't really lost much weight, either, so all the misery isn't really paying off!

I've had this spot on my lip (upper lip) that got chapped and split and just won't heal!  And it hurts and is driving me crazy!  It looks like a herpes lesion!

I'm taking a couple of weeks off of running.  I've had this plaguing hamstring/butt muscle injury that I was to rest.  So, the combination of no running and starving has not been a fun experience.  I'm surprised I haven't killed somebody yet!

Okay, well, sadly, this is all I can think of to write.  Pathetic.  My life is so unexciting.

Maybe I'm just tired.  And in desperate need for dark chocolate!

News Catch-up

 Okay, so I have a link to the Border's "Original Voices" Award (children's/teen category) 2009: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/borders-announces-2009-original-voices-award-winners-81521202.html

Also, last week I learned that at the annual Mid-Winter ALA (American Library Association) Conference, AFTER was selected for the 2010 Best Books for Young Adults list AND their 2010 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list.

My editor emailed me a couple of days later and said only eight books had made both lists, so that's pretty exciting.

AND, I got a concept cover for the paperback reissue of BATTLE DRESS, and I LOVE the cover idea!  So so so much better than Harper's TWO covers they came up with.  Even my agent agreed that Viking has really done right by me.  If I can figure out how, I may paste it here.

What else since my last post?  Not much.  Have been dabbling in research for the next book, but haven't done a whole lot.  My goal was to get writing by Feb 1st, but as per my normal modus operandi, I won't be making that self-imposed deadline.  But hopefully it won't be too long before I start.  One reason for my delay is all the time/stress I've been devoting to the stupid house loan that just won't go through!  Thanks much, Freddie Mac and friends, we get to suffer the fall-out when we actually have the bucks to afford a loan.  The bank ordered the wrong appraisal, our house appraised WAY low, the comps were absolutely wrong, the appraiser was an utter moron and made glaring mistakes (like the neighborhood we live in, like the house was classified as suburban rather than urban, that we have a fireplace when we don't, the square footage calculation was way off, etc. etc.).  So, that has consumed my time.  And I've been interviewing USMA candidates and writing up evals -- that always comes rolling in about this time each year, a result of both my procrastination AND my candidates'.  A couple of my fav candidates this year got offers, so I'm super happy.  Not sure yet about my most fav candidate this year, Alix.  Still keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, etc. crossed and will broadcast the (hopefully) good news once I learn it.

I think I'm still recovering from some virus; I'm cold all the time and have no motivation to pound the pavement or really exercise much.  This is not helping me get hot on track toward my new year's resolutions!

Well, pathetically, looks like I've run out of things to write!  So . . . til next time!