The Five!

1. Okay, so the biggest news is….(via PW Children’s Bookshelf, couldn’t find a direct link):

Regina Hayes at Viking Young Readers has signed YA novelist Sarah Dessen’s 11th novel, The Best After Ever, which will be released in May 2013. Set in the fictional beach town of Colby, where several of Dessen’s novels take place, it features 18-year-old Emmeline, who is spending her last summer before college working for her family’s vacation rental business and enjoying a summer romance with a young aspiring filmmaker. Leigh Feldman at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.

So now you know why I wasn’t blogging, was talking about how tired I was AND kept posting encouraging writing-related quotes on Twitter. Because I was finishing the book I began ALL the way back in September 2010. I kept working on it all the way up until last April, when I had to set it aside to promote WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, then picked it back up in December. Whew! Thanks for your patience. I’m so excited to share more with you about this as I can. And there’s more fun book stuff, too! Stay tuned….

2. Today is also a Big Day in that my parents are moving from the house where they have lived since 1973. This has been a long time coming, but it’s still bittersweet to me. I’m happy that they’re moving to a smaller place with less upkeep and more of a community. But this is the house I spent my ENTIRE life in until I was 18. I watched Good Times and M*A*S*H there with my brother. Wrote my first stories on a manual typewriter at a little desk in the TV room. Covered my bedroom walls with quotes and pictures in high school when I was tormented and dramatic. SO much happened in that house, and today I’ll go over to watch everything be carried out. I’ve never seen it empty, ever. I think it might make me feel empty, too. Am bringing a camera. And tissues. Last night, I was up in my old room, where my mom now has her office. She’d taken everything off the door, exposing what was underneath: some quotes I’d written there, probably around 1986:

Yes, so that WOULD be Pink Floyd and the Talking Heads. The other quote you can’t make out is from THE BELL JAR: “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.” Yes, I had a quote about a dead baby on my bedroom door. As you can imagine, I was a lot of fun in high school. Sigh.

3. Over in the coop, one of my hens is sitting on eggs. Again. This is the third time she has tried to have chicks, and I am SO crossing my fingers for her. Because man, it’s NOT easy to be a hen on eggs. The other chickens, for whatever reason, totally gang up on her. They hover and cluck. Poop on her HEAD to get her to move. And I thought pregnancy was tough! But she’s such a tough girl. She stayed right there, poop and all, until my husband moved her and the eggs to their own mini coop. We are not yet telling my daughter there might be chicks: too much risk of the whole “circle of life” thing. But Spring makes me hopeful, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. You have to love a tough Mama, whatever the species. You GO, girl.

4. This week’s book recommendation: YOUR VOICE IN MY HEAD by Emma Forrest. I’d heard great things about this book but because I was finishing my own novel, I was brain dead and reduced to reading mostly US Weekly and my horoscope. (It happens. Towards the end of a draft, I can barely write my name.) But now that I’m done (yay!) I’ve had time to read and finally got my hands on a copy. It’s a memoir and it is SO GOOD that now I want to go find all her other work, which is how you can tell you really love something. PLUS when I Tweeted about how much I loved it, she tweeted me back. WHAT?? My day=made. Whoa and whoa, again.

5. Finally, a big thank you to everyone for reading this, and being so patient while my entries were so few and far between. Things have been crazy here, writing and chickens and moves and otherwise, but I’m hoping that between now and when revisions begin I’ll be able to start doing more entries. I miss this blog! But writing has to come first. I can’t BELIEVE I’m at number eleven. I feel like THAT SUMMER just came out, like, yesterday. You guys rock for reading and tweeting and helping me through those tough writing days, even when you didn’t even know you were doing so. So thanks. Here’s to what comes next!

Have a good weekend, everyone!