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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Whew... the trilogy is complete!

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Hey guys,

Last week, I discovered this in a little padded envelope at my doorstep: an advanced review copy of The Jade Notebook!

And then the brand new paperback version of The Ruby Notebook arrived! It made me happy to arrange the trilogy in a row, sit back, and say whew... because man oh man, is a trilogy a lot of work. 

There were fun moments, of course... like research trips to Ecuador, France, and coastal Mexico.  But the hard part for me (next to the tight deadlines) was putting another story on hold while I finished the Notebooks series.  I signed the contract for the series in 2007 (or maybe 2008?)  Anyway, it was 4 or 5 years ago.  And after writing Indigo (while revising Queen and Star and drafting Ruby and Jade and becoming a new mom), I started developing a story idea that I LOVED...

... but I didn't have time to write it!  So I stole moments here and there to scribble a bit about the story in my notebooks, and I couldn't wait to really dive into it... Then finally, this year, I've been able to fly with it... I'm going to be mysterious (sorry!) because my creative process works best if I spend my energy *writing* the story rather than blabbing about it... but suffice to say, I'm really, really excited!

On a different note... Lil Dude and I just did a holiday craft project together.  The key to engaging him in an art project is to 1) make it last no longer than three minutes and 2) involve violence of some sort.  So, I decided to skewer oranges with him (which, predictably, transformed into a sword-fighting scenario).  We then stuck cloves into the gouged-out holes, and ta-dah, we have fragrant little orange orbs trying to forget their traumatic past.

Love and happy winter wishes to you and yours!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Personalized Books for Holiday Gifts...

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Hey everyone!

A few days ago, I walked around to my favorite indie bookshops in Old Town, Ft Collins, and signed their stock... so if you want to give an autographed copy of one of my books as a gift, and you live in this area, you can go to Old Firehouse Books, Matter Bookstore, or The Clothes Pony.

If you live out of my area, you can still get signed copies sent to you (or to your giftee)! Just go to the Old Firehouse Books website here (this links to The Queen of Water, but if you're looking for another one of my books, just scroll down on that page and write the title in the "search" field on the right sidebar.)  I'll come into the store within the next few days and personalize the book to whomever you'd like!  During checkout, in the "comments" section, note that you'd like an autographed copy, and the name you'd like me to sign it to.  The only catch is that if you need these to arrive before Christmas, you need to order them by *Dec 15*!

If you are in Ft Collins, check out this great article (by Kerrie Flanagan, new literary arts columnist for the Coloradoan!) with recommendations for books by local authors-- it's a handy list for holiday shopping...

A brief update on the current craziness in my life, in case you're curious: We're in the midst of a GIANT house renovation, and, since it's taking longer than we'd initially thought, we have to move out of one rental home and into another this week.  Not fun, not fun at all.  (Our house will be ready in March.) Lil Dude calls our new apartment a "hotel"... and it will be a bit like a hotel since there's only one bedroom in it (but alas, no room service or indoor pool).  Wish us luck!

Hope you're enjoying winter-- hopefully yours is more peaceful than mine.  Time for me to have chamomile tea and sleep... Lil Dude will awaken me well before dawn, as usual.  Sigh.  Yawn.  G'night...


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lil Dude's Literary Debut

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Hi everyone!

A few days ago was my 4-and-a-half-year-old Lil Dude's "Gotcha Day" -- the anniversary of the day he came home with us from Guatemala. He's been with us four crazy-wonderful years! In honor of his Gotch (his nickname for the big day), I thought I'd share with you his first literary efforts.  Like his mommy,  he just finished a trilogy.  Unlike his mommy, he took not one year, but a single day to complete each masterpiece.  Last week, I found one of these waiting for me each day in his cubby at preschool.

POO.... the raw, graphic, edgy new trilogy by Lil Dude!

As you may have guessed, we're living in the midst of potty humor stage.  And I must admit, I'm guilty here... You see, Lil Dude is a wildly exuberant child who has a pretty limited attention span for sitting quietly and practicing letters (which is fine.) But then one day... a miracle: he was sitting quietly and asking me how to spell words!  The words were "poo" and other potty words that fascinate 4-year-olds, but I didn't care.  I was so delighted he was sitting quietly and writing my dictations that I just went with it... I was willing to embrace the idea that potty humor might be his path to literacy.  But it occurred to me too late that he might take his new poo-writing skills and run with them...  

And voila... here you have it, the Poo Trilogy.
Have a happy day!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

I love my writers' group!

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Me, Laura Pritchett, Karye Catrell (aka Cricket McCrae), Dana Masden

Hey all,

The night before last, my beloved Old Town Writers' Group did our annual event-- this year the theme was "Feast of Fools."  Our idea was to read stories and essays that turned the good cheer of the holidays on its head... or something like that. After hearing everyone's readings at the event (and reading my own), I realize it would've been more accurate to call it something like "Death, Destruction, and the Holidays".... Or "Murder, Mayhem, and the Holidays."  But then, we might've scared people from coming... ;)

 Sarah's husband, Travis dressed up as the "Bad Santa emcee" and did roasting-style intros... (er, don't ask about the bottle he's holding...)

If you're wondering why the  photos are blurry, it's 1) because of the current extremely messy state of my house which prevented me from locating my easy-to-operate camera in the mad dash to get out of the house on time (the priority was helping Lil Dude locate every one of his policeman costume accessories for the outing...)  and 2) because I'm the opposite of mechanically-minded-- already Lil Dude (age 4) has surpassed my abilities in this realm...

Thanks for reading! Happy weekend!

Laura  P.S.  *And nice news-- THE QUEEN OF WATER  is a School Library Journal Best Book of 2011!  Thank you, SLJ!!!*