The Friday Five!

1. Today is the first OFFICIAL day of summer, as well as the longest day of the year. It’s like it was made JUST for a summer loving girl like myself. (Yeah, it’s all about me, even the seasons. I kid!) Despite the long day today, I feel like the summer is already speeding past me in a blur. The early part of this month was all about touring, and the time since trying to get rested up. Next week I have a bookstore event and ALA 2013 in Chicago, then I’m officially done with work stuff, at least for a little while. It’s the weirdest contrast, and happens every single time I go through the process of a book release. There’s all this buildup, and excitement, followed by a blur of activity and then the sudden realization that it’s kind of, well, over. At least until the next book release. Which I can’t even think about right now. And now I need a nap. Whew.

2. As I said, I have a few events coming up this week. First up, on Tuesday the 25th, I’ll be answering your questions all day long over at Goodreads. You can follow the discussion (or post a question) by going here. Then, Wednesday night, June 26th, I’m at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, one of my VERY favorite local indies. You need a ticket for the signing line, and all the info is here. After that (whew!) I’m off to Chicago for ALA 2013, one of my VERY Favorite conferences. If you are a teacher or librarian attending, here’s where I’ll be:

Friday, June 28th:

YALSA Pre-Conference, “Ten Years of YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten”

YALSA Pre-Conference, “YA Lit Blogger’s Summit”

Saturday, June 29th: 

10am: : Signing at Penguin Young Readers Group, Booth #2320

1pm:    Signing at Follett

3pm: Signing at Perma-Bound Booth, #1905

And THEN, a week from this Sunday, on July 30th, I’m doing a chat with Penguin UK and the fab writer Cathy Cassidy. I’ll have more about this leading up to the event, but here’s the early details:

penguin chats

Reading over all this, I see I’m actually a lot busier than I thought. Hmmm. Better start stocking up on sleep again….

3. In non-book news, it’s been a big week around here at the house. Yesterday, we finally moved our youngest chickens, the black Australorps, into the coop with our little bantam hens. This was the equivalent of moving kids from middle to high school, with all the enusing drama. The bantams were NOT happy, and stood off on one corner shooting sideways looks at the chicks, who clumped together in a far corner of the run, keeping to themselves. It was bringing back serious adolescent lunchroom memories for me, but I may be a BIT too invested in the lives of our poultry. Last night, my husband and I went out for date night and I wore one of the dresses I bought for BEA and cute shoes and carried a small, nonsensical purse. But when we got home, I changed into shorts and a t-shirt and threw my hair into a ponytail so I could go out and help chase and grab the chicks so they’d know where to roost. One minute I am in Trina Turk and having a nice glass of wine, the next I am grabbing a scrambling chicken as it bolts away from me. Sometimes, my life is just SO strange. But in a good way.

4. One thing about life slowing down a bit (chasing chickens aside) is I have a bit more time to catch up on summer reading. This week I finished J. Courtney Sullivan’s THE ENGAGEMENTS, which I began while on tour. It got me through several boring flights and made the time fly, and I LOVED it so much. Now I want to go back and read her last one, MAINE, which I haven’t gotten to yet. Next up is Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE, followed by an ARC of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling prequel (!) IT LIST #1. Then (can you tell I have a big stack waiting?) Sara Zarr’s THE LUCY VARIATIONS. On audio, I just finished listening to Brian Stelter’s TOP OF THE MORNING, which is all about the battle between GMA and Today and basically written JUST for a morning TV geek like myself. Now I’m listening to BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, the memoir on which the recent HBO movie (which I am totally obsessed with since watching it in my Boise hotel room while on tour) was based. There’s always this gap between finishing promoting a book and getting back to writing where my brain feels SO mushy I can’t do much of anything, and reading is one thing that feels just right. But I DO need to get back to writing, somehow. Someday. Okay, now I’m tired again.

5. Finally, another big thank you to everyone for your continuing support of THE MOON AND MORE. The book hung on for a another week on the New York Times Bestseller List (yay!) and I have just LOVED reading all your comments and tweets about it. I’ve been pretty bummed out that, as of now, I can’t swing a trip to my beloved Emerald Isle this year, due to so much other traveling and commitments, but people keep posting pics of the book on Twitter and Instagram with the ocean in the background, which is the next best thing. It’s so hard to be out talking about the beach so much and not getting there myself! The other day, on my laptop screensaver, a picture I took of a shrimpburger from the Big Oak in Salter Path, NC, came up and I almost wept. There were also onion rings. I mean, I am ONLY HUMAN! Okay, since you asked, I will share it. You’re welcome:



Okay, that seals it. I WILL get to Emerald Isle, even if it’s just for the day and one of these. How can I not? The pull is too strong. But until then, keep those beach and book pictures coming. You’re helping me more than you know. Then again, you always do.

Have a great weekend, everyone!