Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bracelets Help

This doesn't have to do with writing and publishing, but it's for a GREAT cause. Please consider buying a Cure Diabetes Bracelet. They're only $2 apiece, and $1.50 goes directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Very cute; they're a lot like the LiveStrong bracelets.

I got us a big boatload of these when they first came out. They now are available in both children's and adults' sizes. "Stay Positive--Get Involved--Make a Difference."

New Literary Awards Program To Be Televised

I don't know how I feel about this. Do you think it'll get more people reading?

"Roll out the red carpet: The publishing industry is trying to apply some glitter to its image with a new televised book-awards program that is a cross between the Oscars and the People's Choice Awards.

"A new philanthropy called the Quills Literacy Foundation announced last week the formation of the Quill Awards, a slate of 19 annual book prizes, most of which will be voted on by the public."

Is that really the problem with books these days? That they're not TV? Ughhhh.

How Much Would You Pay For a Paperclip in Laguna Niguel, CA?

It's quite lovely. The seller comments (emphatically):

This is a ordinary paper clip, nothing special, just your everyday run of the mill paper clip. Why would I put a paper clip on Ebay? Well, I will list the reasons.

1) This paperclip is not special, it is not shaped in the form of the Virgin Mary or John Lennon or anything like that, but it is a damn fine paper clip. It holds like 10 pieces of paper at a time!

2) I am not poor, but I would like to get a lot of money for this paper clip. I work way to hard and never get to see my kids and wife. I would like to get a lot of money for this paper clip so if you know somebody who is rich, please forward this link to them so they may consider buying my ordinary paper clip.

3) It is a good tax write off? (Probably not, you should consult your tax professional, maybe you could use it as an advertising, office supply, or some other expense category that the IRS comes up with every year.)

4) Will I give the money to the poor? No, I need to simply take a break from working day in, and day out, to pay the bills. You can understand that can't you? There is so much money going to the poor every day, this is a welcome change so an ordinary guy can catch a break. I have usually zigged when I should have Zagged. I am not dumb, just a bit unlucky. Maybe you can help me catch a break?

5) Who in their right mind would buy this paper clip for a lot of money? Well, I am going to do a news release to all of the well known news services telling of the buyer, and the sales price for a paper clip. It may even make the person or company buying the paper clip richer via the publicity, but maybe not. We both could hope to get on the Tonight Show or Oprah or something like that?

6) So, lets see how much this normal, everyday, slightly used paperclip will sell for. Place your bid today! .... (;-) Forward this to as many people as you can...

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Desperately Seeking Sweet Cal Athlete!!!

Aren't we all?

No, seriously. If the guy who emailed me a REALLY nice letter about living with diabetes and being a double-scholarship athlete at Cal is reading this, PLEASE email me again with a different return address. I've tried twice now to reply to you, and I keep getting bounced. Thank you so much. Your message meant a lot to me, and I appreciate the time you took to write it.

Everyone else, I'm sorry to send out this blanket statement, but I am really hoping to reach this very nice person.

Write Naughty Words, Get Banned in South Carolina

As a teacher, you've just gotta love Chris Crutcher. His work is PERFECT for reluctant readers because he writes about issues kids care about without talking down to them or getting preachy. Often in middle school or high school, I'd run into a student who said "I hate reading," but if he or she loved sports, Chris Crutcher was my "in." I could hand the kid a Crutcher book, and BINGO! Problem solved.

Recently Crutcher's novel Whale Talk, a story about a 17-year old boy coming to terms with his multiracial heritage, was removed from the South Carolina state reading list because of its "coarse" language. Yesterday, Crutcher met privately with State Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum to discuss his book. Previously Tenenbaum had said: “It’s an excellent story he tells. But if it was made into a movie, I’m pretty sure it would be rated R because of the language. I just felt that wasn’t something we ought to be endorsing.”

No word yet on whether she's changed her mind after meeting with the author. Story here.

Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Just so y'all don't worry your l'il hearts to pieces about me, I'm surfacing to let you know that I'm still breathing. A couple of days ago I learned that my Mom reads my blog, so I wondered if she'd call me to see if I was still alive, but nope. I feel so unloved...

While I was sick, I sifted through some of the Google searches by which many of you arrive here. "Martha O'Connor" + "Bitch," well, that's just a GIMME. I can think of about 657,984 folks who'd type in THOSE terms. My newest favorite is "album by Hilary McDuffie." Then there's always "my naked neighbor." I'm sure this entry was just a TAD disappointing. No nakey pictures here, sorry, Mom. Aw, come on. I KNOW that last one was you.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


For all intents and purposes, I have DIED today. Don't mind me, just step over my body if you can.

To make things more interesting, we all have decided that this would be a LOVELY day to SKATEBOARD IN THE HOUSE.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Double Whammy for Andrea Levy

Okay, I always love it when someone who seems like they were once a slacker makes good. Andrea Levy has become the first author in history to win both the Whitbread Award and the Orange Prize in the same year. She walked away with the honors for her novel Small Island, the story of Jamaican immigrants to England in the 1940s who fight with the English against Hitler but then find their own country less than welcoming.

Levy barely passed her English A-level (British college entry exam; correct me if I'm wrong, British readers). All right, I know that doesn't NECESSARILY MEAN she used to be a slacker. But I kind of like to think she was.

Also, I TOTALLY ADORE THE FACT that British bookies make ODDS on LITERARY AWARDS. What do you s'pose the Vegas odds are on Marilynne Robinson winning the National Book Critics Circle Award? Anyone? Anyone?

From the article:

"Although she has recalled being 'too busy sitting in the toilets talking about boys' at school, the combination of a second-generation immigrant and British working-class perspective in her writing has led to her being compared to British Asian writers such as Hanif Kureishi and Meera Syal, as well as novelists such as Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby....

"In just a few months, she went from being the 7-1 outsider to win the Orange Prize for fiction to being the bookies’ favourite for the Whitbread after she beat such literary grandes dames as Rose Tremain, Margaret Atwood and Gillian Slovo to win the Orange Prize.

"She then won the Whitbread novel award against heavyweights such as the 2004 Booker winner, Alan Hollinghurst, and Louis de Bernières."

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. I have a feeling this novel is coming to a book club near you.

DieHard Cubs Fan Walks for Diabetes Research

Yeppers, I'm one of those dyed-in-the-wool Chicago Cubs fans (I think the author bio on the British version of the novel is even going to say that!) and have been since I was a kid. Wrigley Field is still one of my favorite places on Earth.

When our son developed Type 1 Diabetes this summer, we spent a good deal of time looking into atheletes and role models who have the disease. The Athens Olympics were in full swing, and we all were so inspired watching Gary Hall Jr. (dxed with Type 1 in 1999) swim to the gold in the 50-meter, his 10th Olympic medal. In fact, watching and reading about him helped us get through the first difficult months. (I've got a lot to say about this remarkable athlete, but that's another post, to be written at another time.)

At the time of our son's diagnosis, I wasn't much aware of Ron Santo's diabetes (All-Star Chicago Cubs third baseman, first and only major league ballplayer with Type 1 Diabetes). My years as a Cubbie Fan started with Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe, Jody Davis and that unforgettable 1984 season. Ron Santo was ancient history as far as I was concerned. I just knew him as a name from the broadcast booth.

In a way I'm glad no one went out of their way to tell his story to me at that time, because for quite awhile the prospect of complications (Santo lost both legs to Type 1 Diabetes) would flip me out and I would literally spend the day in tears. Don't get me wrong; I still am VERY upset about diabetes--I fucking HATE the disease and I wish for a cure more than I wish for anything else in the world. But I am no longer a fragile disaster who falls to pieces at words like "dialysis," "retinopathy," etc. We plan to reduce our son's chances of the complications of diabetes by keeping his blood sugars under control, but there's a good chance he will develop one or more of them in his lifetime, unless there is a cure... about which I'm hopeful, but for which I'm not holding my breath. So I suppose that I have adjusted to our new reality.

During the time he played for the Chicago Cubs, Santo kept his diabetes a secret, thinking it would cost him his job. He did not test his blood sugar during games and would inject insulin or have a candy bar based purely on how he felt. Last year, Ron's son Jeff made a documentary titled "This Old Cub" about Ron's life and career, not glossing over his father's amputations or the other terrible complications of Type 1 Diabetes. Much of the proceeds are going to the Juvenile Diabetes Reseach Foundation.

While I'm sure it's a fabulous movie, we haven't watched "This Old Cub" as a family. Our son is quite young and we aren't ready to talk about complications. I'm not ready for him to see Santo's amputations and to be told that diabetes was the reason. Right now, we are focusing on getting through each day, staying upbeat, with his blood sugars as stable as possible. Also, although I admire Santo greatly, and I realize he dealt with his diabetes when there was less understanding than there is today... I'm not a huge fan of keeping major health conditions a secret. But we'll see it someday, I'm sure.

Anyway, after watching "This Old Cub" several times, 56-year-old teacher Bill Holden, a lifelong Cubs fan, was inspired to take a walk. A very long walk for diabetes research. 2100 miles, in fact, from Camp Verde, Arizona, to Wrigley Field, between now and June 30. He hopes to raise $250,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
"Filmmaker Jeff Santo is planning to shoot footage of Holden and put the clip on his Web site, He is also donating $5 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from every DVD and VHS sale at between now and June 30 in the name of Wild Bill's Walk for the JDRF.

"If you want to contribute, you can send a check to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Illinois Chapter, 500 N. Dearborn, Suite 305, Chicago, IL 60610. You may also call (312) 670-0313 or donate by visiting"
Bill Holden's an All-Star in my book. You can read an article about "Wild Bill's" walk here, and get the play-by-play at

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Someone just told me I've been blogged by BuzzGirl in her report about upcoming big titles from St. Martin's. OmiGOSH. She sent everybody over here, too.

But, erm, SHEESH, I'm feeling a TAD self-conscious now. Like somebody opened the bathroom door while I was taking a shower. Or like some straightlaced PERFECTO Stepford Mommy dropped by and walked into my living room, which is decorated with crumpled underwear and petrified cereal bowls and little nippy-nappies from packages and paper airplanes made of medical bills and math sheets that say I HATE MATH at the top and one pink rainboot and oh, that SAND AND MUD stuff that always seems to be tracked in, and, and, and...

Does this blog make my butt look fat? Tell me the TRUTH, people.

An Incredibly GLAM Entry about Libraries and SPOON

Perhaps you envy me my incredibly glamorous writerly life (snerk), but to tell you the truth, the last few days have been rather dull. Even drifting around the Internet for links, I'm just uninspired. (Check out Maud maybe.)

I ain't got no super HOT HOT HOT tips on writing contests (which I basically STEAL from other people and post here). And there's nothing I can really blab about regarding MY book or writing, other than the fact that I still love the library (there is NO WAY I can fuck around there). But, boo hoo, they don't love me. Yesterday I got yelled at TWICE for my cellphone going off. Now, before you curse and chastize me for my library rudeness, keep in mind that my son could potentially go into an emergency hypoglycemic state at any time, so I need to be reachable.

But still.

(Cue Nokia theme.)

I agree, I agree. 'Tis incredibly irritating. I am so very sorry.


Again, a thousand apologies.

One call was a WRONG NUMBER.

The other call was my husband wanting to go to lunch. OK, very sweet, but at that moment, I wanted to throttle him.

Before y'all tell me what a DUMBASS I am for not putting my phone on "Silent" mode, I figured it out all by my very own self last night! I pushed all the buttons myself and set it up and EVERYTHING. So now that's solved. But I think I'm doomed to be a Library Hate-ee. I never check out any books, and I owe so much in fines I'm afraid even to go up to the desk and ask. But I do put my reference books away and push my chair in! I swear I do!

In other developments, there is a new game in my house, and it is called SPOON.

Would you like to learn how to play? It's very simple. The first player in Spoon gets as many spoons as there are other players. The Spooner gets to be in the kitchen while the other players sit in another room. Then The Spooner finds the most bizarre, yucky, yet edible stuff to put on the spoons. The only rule is that the Spooned Substance has to be "carbless." That means no jelly, no honey, no oatmeal. (Hey... diabetes affects a lot of things, even The Rules of Spoon.) But you could Spoon, say, curry powder. Or Mike's Flamin' Hot Salsa. Or Lea & Perrin's worcester sauce. Or Splenda artificial sweetner. Oh, the possibilities boggle the mind!

Once the Spooned Substance has been decided upon, The Spooner feeds it to the other players. Whoever doesn't spit their Spooned Substance all over the floor is the WINNER and gets to be The New Spooner.

If you do try SPOON, let me know how it goes, OK? I'm not very good at it, myself.

Monday, January 24, 2005

What If Your Life Was Just a Very Clever Novel?

'Kay, this just seems odd... but in a good way. Stranger than Fiction is Marc Forster's (Finding Neverland) latest production. Starring Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Queen Latifah, Maggie Gyllenhaal... yes, I do believe this could be a very weirdly good (goodly weird?) movie.

Ferrell stars in the film as an IRS auditor who all of a sudden begins to hear a voice that is narrating his life. He, however, is the only one that can hear the voice. Turns out the voice is that of an author who is writing a novel about the life of the auditor. When Ferrell's character starts to take the author's advice, his life takes a turn for the better.

Gyllenhall will play Ferrell's love interest, while Thompson would take on the role of the writers-blocked author. Queen Latifah would play an employee of the book company whose job it is to get blocked authors writing again. Zach Helm penned the script.

Yep, I'm down for this one. They say it's "in development..."; if anyone knows when it will actually be out, let me know!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Dragonlance Fan?

Margaret Weis, author of the popular Dragonlance fantasy series, which have sold over 20 million copies worldwide, is appearing RIGHT! NOW! on BackSpace Forums. (Scroll down to "guest speaker.")

Forums require a subscription, but the first five days are a free trial, so hey... if ya didn't like it... you could always just cancel.

My Cover's Up on Amazon UK

No cover yet on Amazon US (St. Martin's is putting on the finishing touches), but there it is on Amazon UK. Yes, they changed the title there.

Howdy, Here's a Writin' Contest for Y'all

Do you write books set in the West and featuring women? Did you have one of these books published in 2004? Then, whether or not you're female, you are eligible for the WILLA Literary Award.

This just in from Gail Jenner from Women Writing the West:

"Feb. 1 is the deadline for entries into the Women Writing the West WILLA Literary Awards. Women Writing the West (WWW) honors books that are among the best of the literature published each year concerning women's stories set in the west during any time period (not just female authors, however!). A WILLA Award-winning book must be a work of sufficient quality to stand the test of time. The 2005 WILLA Awards honor books published initially during 2004; there are 7 categories: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir/Essay, Original Softcover, Children's/Young Adult, and Poetry.

"Check out guidelines and application, info, at: or contact me, Gail Jenner, gfiorini[at]

"In 1999, Women Writing the West (WWW) established the WILLA Literary Award Contest, designed to honor the best literature featuring stories of women stories set in the West. The annual contest, with a rolling application deadline of March 1, honors literature first published during the previous calendar year. The contest is open to, anyone female or male, member or nonmember of WWW.

"WWW enlists the assistance of highly qualified librarians and librarian/historians to judge the entries. These judges have no connection with the authors, the books or with the Women Writing the West organization.They are instructed to select a winner and as many as two finalists in each category, but each book must meet a standard of literary excellence. Thus, being a Winner or a Finalist in the contest is a true honor and a tribute to the quality of the writing. WWW presents the awards to winners and finalists at its annual conference in the fall of each year.

"Previous winners include a plethora of fine books and authors, including those both nationally known and regionally published. Among those honored in previous years are Isabel Allende, Annie Proulx, Cindy Bonner, Pam Munoz Ryan, Pam Houston, Kanthleen Jo Ryan, Louise Erdrich, Joan Lowry Nixon, Jo Ann Levy and Margaret Coel. "

New Link

I've added a new link to my "Blogs I Read" list on the right: Natalie R. Collins, author of Wives and Sisters (St. Martin's Press). Natalie co-owns a Yahoo writing group called "The Write List" and is a very lovely person in addition to being a successful author. Wives and Sisters is the story of a young woman trying to escape the repression of her Fundamentalist Mormon background, against the backdrop of a horrible, unsolved crime. Natalie's got blurbs from Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner, and her novel is DEFINITELY on my To-Be-Read list!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Have a Little Southern Comfort with Karin

Karin Gillespie makes me feel so damn lazy. Just look at all this good stuff she's blogging.

Karin's continuing series about book promotion just gets better and better. Pass the Southern Comfort, please.

South African Writer Found Hanged

Award-winning writer K. Sello Duiker found dead in Johannesburg at age 30. So sad. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this one.

More at The Mail and Guardian online.

Teenaged Diabetic Inmate Dies for Lack of Insulin

As usual, I'm running all over the place this weekend, but here's a story I received via my friend Rachel, who also has a son with diabetes:

January 15, 2005
Family sues over inmate's jail death
The Associated Press

The family of a 15-year-old inmate who died in the Forrest County jail last March has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sheriff Billy McGee and two jail employees. Hattiesburg attorney Jay Jernigan filed the lawsuit this week in Forrest County Circuit Court on behalf of Malcolm Simmons' family. The family is seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

An autopsy showed Simmons died of hyperglycemia, a condition consistent with diabetes.

"Had he gotten just one shot of diabetic insulin, he would be alive today," Jernigan said. {more}

I can't even tell you how much this story upsets me. Type 1 Diabetes is a LIFETHREATENING condition. That means if my son, if Rachel's son, if ANYONE with this condition is deprived of insulin--THEY DIE. That simple.

Although this young man had committed a crime and was awaiting transfer to a youth offenders program, he didn't deserve TO DIE a long, painful death from DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of high blood sugars). Our son was in DKA at diagnosis, and he had been losing weight steadily for two weeks. Near the end of the ordeal, he could not speak or move and could barely breathe. We were told later that he had been hovering at the brink of coma. It wasn't pretty. And, erm, YES, WE KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. So we took him to the ER, learned he had diabetes, and the doctors treated and stabilized him.

This young man didn't know he was diabetic; it is a disease that develops over time. DKA can be hard to diagnose in its early stages (the weight loss, etc.) because it looks a lot like a flu bug. That's what we thought was wrong with our son initially, and even the pediatrician told us it was strep throat and sent us home.

However, at a certain point, it is pretty clear there is something seriously wrong with the person. When our son could no longer TALK to us and could only BLINK for yes or no, when he began hyperventilating and could no longer STAND, we said, "Screw the pediatrician. We're going to the ER."

I know other parents whose children were in coma at diagnosis. If someone does not wake up, YOU TAKE THEM TO THE HOSPITAL. Their kids are fine now.

It is NOT POSSIBLE that this young man up and died without losing consciousness and showing other signs of being seriously, seriously ill.

It absolutely breaks my heart that prison officials would let Malcolm get sicker and sicker and finally let him DIE.

I'm so angry about this story, I can barely think straight.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bombproof Your Horse...

...was the winner of The Bookseller magazine's title fight for oddest title of the year. Other goodies were The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunch Box and Sexual Health at Your Fingertips. More fun 'n' games, chills 'n' thrills, here. (I'm s'posed to be writing today, so that's all for the moment.)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Change Baby

'Kay, I dunno what it is about me and books with the word "baby" in the titles (see this entry), but the novel CHANGE BABY by June Spence is a real treat. (Cover image hotlinks to Powells. I mean, y'all can buy it at Amazon or BN if you REALLY WANT TO, but I personally am very fond of Powells.)

June was an MFA student at Bowling Green State University when I was taking my BFA. When I was just a wee young thing, I got to read an early draft of one of the stories that made it into MISSING WOMEN AND OTHERS, June's first book, published to much acclaim. CHANGE BABY is the story of Avie Gross, a young woman born late in life to a now-ailing mother. After a devastating house fire in which her mother is injured, Avie must return home to care for the woman, uncovering secrets along the way. It's nice and compact (240 pages), the writing is just beautiful, and the South June portrays is so genuine. You get the sense that this was the story she was born to write.

My only beef is with the cover. I'm not sure I would have picked up the book if it hadn't been June's, because pears in my experience don't have very exciting lives. But it could certainly be argued that I'm a bit too literal; I know these types of covers are at the very height of fashion. And hey, it's not the cover. It's the words inside.

Again, CHANGE BABY by June Spence. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Literary Journal Editors' Panel

Dan Wicketts from Emerging Writers Network has done a very interesting E-Panel interview with 8 literary editors. Participants are:

Michelle Herman - Co-Editor, The Journal
Dave and Josh Koch and Josh Melrod - Co-Editors, LandGrant College Review
Kyle Minor - Editor, The Frostproof Review
Hannah Tinti - Editor, One Story
Kim Dana Kupperman and Peter Stitt - Managing Editor and Editor, The Gettysburg Review
Mike Steinberg - Founding Editor, Fourth Genre:Explorations in Nonfiction
Rod (R.T.) Smith - Editor, Shenandoah
Felicia Sullivan - Editor, Small Spiral Notebook

Lots of good stuff for those of you wanting the inside scoop on litmags.

Am I in Your Book? How Pathetically Unfashionable.

For those of you who don't know, I come from a really small town in Illinois. The highlight of the town is the local WalMart store. Most of the people I grew up with still live in the same ole town, or just a few miles away. If you made it as far as Chicago--BIG NEWS. Head for DC, San Francisco, New York, or LA--CALL CNN. So you may not be surprised to hear that for the most part, my old classmates are still in the same town.

My dad called me the other day. "I ran into an old friend of yours working at the WalMart pharmacy. She's so proud of you," he said. "About your book and all. " In short order came the brutal question, "She told me to ask you... is she in your book?"

Oh, GAWD. Do you know how many times I've been asked that? I guess it's because the book takes place in a small Illinois town. Everyone assumes it's my hometown, and therefore, disguised versions of people I know are in my book. ('Cause ya know, I don't have an IMAGINATION or anything.) My mom even said, "I guess I'm supposed to be the ex-hippie, cocaine-addicted mother."

People, people, PEOPLE. it's fiction. That means it's NOT TRUE. My kids learned this a few years ago from an Arthur CD-ROM. You all are supposed to be adults....

But I there must be some human instinct to seek ourselves in everything. Oddly, I think through writing the book I came to have a genuine fondness for my old hometown... though I can't see myself moving back there or anything. (It's 6 below zero there right now, and on Sunday it was so lovely HERE we went scootering!) I definitely don't miss those midwestern winters. I have bad memories of walking across campus in blistering January wind with my head partly shaved (compliments of my friend Andrew, a great guy and a wonderful writer, who happened to be my hairdresser at the time. Yes, I told him to do it. No, I didn't lose brain cells; not from the cold, anyway.)

But you know, I'm a small town girl at heart. I guess I always will be.

HEY, MASSIVE ASIDE HERE, but another small-town gal makes good... I just heard from blogging author Joshilyn Jackson out of the blue. Her new book, Gods in Alabama, is going to make a big splash in April. From the book description, it looks like Fannie Flagg crossed with Lolly Winston. Congrats, Joshilyn!

And in other news, I've been informed by my daughter that I'm not merely uncool, but PATHETICALLY uncool. (By the way, the word is not "cool." It's "fashionable." Where the hell have YOU been?) Those black clothes I favor? WAY passé. It's all about pinks and plaids and "preppy punk." (Preppy punk? I can't even make those words go together in my head.)

Is Morrissey cool anymore? Indeed, WELL MAY YOU ASK. The answer doesn't even require words, only rolled eyes. I may as well have mentioned Mick Jagger. And the Pixies? "Who's that fat bald guy? Ohmigod, he's SO PATHETIC!"

I feel so, so, so... OLD. And so, so, so... PATHETIC.

Fortunately, she's agreed to squeeze me in for some "fashionable lessons." My first assignment is to memorize the music of Jesse McCartney, Lindsay Lohan, and the incomparable HILARY DUFF. I also have to start wearing WAY more pink and a TON more lip gloss. I have about 4 months before my book tour starts, so by then, you may be saved from the pathetic fashion disaster that is me. I may even be sporting some Stuff by Duff!

Pardon me. I think my generation gap is showing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Boxer's Well-Placed Jabs

Sorry I haven't been around today, but I've been glued to this.

Monday, January 17, 2005

US Conducting Secret Missions in Iran

They'll be talking about this one in the morning. Actually, it's creating a buzz already. Hot off the presses at the New Yorker, another article from Seymour Hersh about the US's ever-escalating military involvement in the Middle East.

"For more than a year, France, Germany, Britain, and other countries in the European Union have seen preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon as a race against time—and against the Bush Administration. They have been negotiating with the Iranian leadership to give up its nuclear-weapons ambitions in exchange for economic aid and trade benefits. Iran has agreed to temporarily halt its enrichment programs, which generate fuel for nuclear power plants but also could produce weapons-grade fissile material. (Iran claims that such facilities are legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or N.P.T., to which it is a signator, and that it has no intention of building a bomb.) But the goal of the current round of talks, which began in December in Brussels, is to persuade Tehran to go further, and dismantle its machinery. Iran insists, in return, that it needs to see some concrete benefits from the Europeans—oil-production technology, heavy-industrial equipment, and perhaps even permission to purchase a fleet of Airbuses. (Iran has been denied access to technology and many goods owing to sanctions.)

"The Europeans have been urging the Bush Administration to join in these negotiations. The Administration has refused to do so. The civilian leadership in the Pentagon has argued that no diplomatic progress on the Iranian nuclear threat will take place unless there is a credible threat of military action. 'The neocons say negotiations are a bad deal,' a senior official of the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) told me. 'And the only thing the Iranians understand is pressure. And that they also need to be whacked.' {more}

There's so much more in-depth stuff here. Please, go and read it yourself.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Two New Ones from AM Homes!

I am so totally thrilled to hear this news, I can't stand it. From Publishers Lunch:

A.M. Homes' novel THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, about a man in his mid-fifties who lives a cloistered life, estranged from all including himself, who is brought back into the world by an attack of unbelievable but unlocalized pain and a sinkhole which begins to open up outside his house in the Hollywood Hills, leading him into a deeper relationship with his son, and into a life full of meaningful connections with other human beings, for publication in April 2006, and a memoir, IN THE MISTRESS'S DAUGHTER, examining what it was like growing up adopted, and fleshing out the story of her birth mother, a nervous and secretive woman who never married, also looking at the more universal themes regarding the nature of the family and how we form attachments and construct a sense of self, for publication in April 2007, to Paul Slovak at Viking, by Sarah Chalfant at The Wylie Agency (NA).

Homes' short story "A Real Doll" is available online. A cult classic, it appears in one of my favorite books, THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS. It's a wickedly deranged and wonderful story about a kid's affair with his sister's Barbie doll. Her interview at Barcelona Review's a few years old, but you gotta love this exchange:

BR: Do you see yourself being groomed for the role of spokesperson for so-called women's issues or issues of domestic or sexual violence? Is that a role you are willing to accept?
AMH: The End of Alice was my fourth book and while there's a lot of sex in the book, it is a novel about ideas, about culture, morality and sexuality. I am not interested in being a spokesperson for anything. I am interested in writing fiction which raises questions, which provokes discussion. I think it is the job of fiction--of art in general--to generate work which encourages people to look at themselves and the world we live in more closely, or perhaps from a different point of view.

Elizabeth Janeway, Dead at 91

Novelist, early feminist Elizabeth Janeway dies at 91

By Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

The New York Times

Elizabeth Janeway, 91, who began her career as a best-selling novelist in the 1940s and later distinguished herself as a critic, a lecturer and an early advocate of the women's movement, died yesterday at a retirement home in Rye, N.Y.

Her death was reported by her son, writer and editor Michael Janeway.

Most of Ms. Janeway's earlier books were novels that focused on family situations and occasionally the pressures on women of modern society and were cited for their psychological acuteness and good sense. All the while, she reviewed books for The New York Times and other newspapers, and was credited for helping to introduce English writers such as Anthony Powell to an American audience and for defending the artistic merits of "Lolita," by Nabokov. {more}

While I'm not familiar with Janeway's work, she sounds like an absolute class act and a wonderfully strong woman. Plus, I'm a fan of anyone who's a fan of Nabokov! I've made a memo to myself to pick up a few of her books.

SuperDog Saves Diabetic Owner's Life

This isn't a new story really, but the subject matter isn't common knowledge, and I find it VERY interesting.

Pioneer Pooches Detect Diabetes Crises
By Zoe Francis, Correspondent for Tri-Valley Herald

PITTSBURG, November 12--A 1-year-old black Labrador puppy named Benton may have saved Mark Ruefenacht's life.

Ruefenacht was traveling in New York City five years ago with Benton, a guide dog in training, when the normally well-behaved dog roused his traveling companion from a deep sleep.

"He was pawing at me," Ruefenacht said. "He had his paws on the bed and was barking. It was activity that was unlike the normal personality of this dog."

Ruefenacht has diabetes that he manages with insulin shots. That evening, he had given himself extra insulin so he could have dessert. He then made the mistake of going to bed without checking his blood.

The extra insulin caused Ruefenacht's blood sugar to plunge to a dangerously low level.

"I knew I had a problem, but I was having a hard time bringing myself up to consciousness," Ruefenacht said. "Benton persisted in waking me up until I was able to get out of bed to help myself." Ruefenacht has no idea how low his blood sugar dropped that night. He shudders at the thought of what might have happened if Benton hadn't been so relentless. {more}

I've spoken with Mr. Ruefenacht about his Dogs4Diabetics Program, where he trains these amazing dogs on diabetic alert. What a wonderful idea. And I've heard through the grapevine that the dogs are going to be provided at no cost to the diabetic patients. The Dogs4Diabetics site hasn't been updated for awhile, but you may email him through a link there. Be patient--he gets hundreds of emails each day from all over the world. They expect to go live with their dogs program in about six months.

Another program like this is HeavenScent Paws, also wonderful. They require a fundraising commitment, as these dogs take around $12,000 to train, but no one has ever had trouble reaching the fundraising goal.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Under the Influence of...

I'm just out the door, but I loved reading this article. Hot off the press, from tomorrow's NEW YORK TIMES:

A little more than 20 years ago, the Book Review asked a group of fiction writers, age 40 or younger, to name the writer or writers who had most influenced their work and to explain how. It seemed like a good time to put the same question to a new generation of young writers. Here are their replies.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Stephen Elliott's Powells Interview

I was first turned onto Stephen Elliott's work by the inimitable Maud Newton. When I read HAPPY BABY, I was completely blown away by the emotion and truth that the pages contained. I write "risky" fiction too, and HAPPY BABY simply broke my heart.

Since that time, I was lucky enough to participate in a Q&A with him at BackSpace Forums, and I learned he is an incredibly nice guy in addition to being a fabulous writer.

HAPPY BABY is now in paperback, and Stephen recently was featured in one of Powells' famous author interviews. You can read Stephen's interview here. In it he talks about how he came to write HAPPY BABY, the themes he explored, and lots of other interesting stuff!

I've also linked to Stephen's website and blog on the right hand links column. Please do pay him a visit!

If you haven't read HAPPY BABY, please go and read it. Immediately. In fact, since Powells was so cool as to profile Stephen, why don't you order his book from them? Powells has free shipping in North America for all orders over $50. {/commercial}

(Book cover image is a hotlink.)

Salman Rushdie and Others Fear British Censorship

After 200 British writers from a variety of religious backgrounds, including Salman Rushie, Monica Ali, Zadie Smith and others, signed a letter expressing concern over new British legislation designed to prevent religious hatred. Their concern is that the legislation will smother artistic freedom. Now The Home Office has agreed to meet with them.

From The Guardian:

Their concerns have been fuelled by the recent demonstrations over the play Bezhti, by a Sikh writer, which was cancelled at a Birmingham theatre after a riot by Sikh protesters and by the demonstrations prompted by the showing of Jerry Springer the Opera on BBC2 at the weekend. Christian groups attacked the show as "blasphemous" and it drew around 50,000 complaints.

In the letter to Mr Clarke, the writers said that the legislation would "make it illegal to express what some might consider to be provocative views on religion". It could, they say, serve as a "sanction for censorship of a kind which would constrain writers and impoverish cultural life".

Get the whole story here.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I'm Still Mad About Mad Max Perkins*

More Mad Max Perkins delectables: Gerry Howard at Doubleday and Marjorie Braman at HarperCollins talk about the dreaded midlist. Two quick quotables, and then you're on your way over to Max's house to read the whole thing (but please come back here for some tea when you're done)...

From Howard: "Stick to your knitting and you eventually get a hell of a lot of sweaters."

And from Braman: "So yes, for two reasons, the midlist is the back bone of publishing. One, because everyone needs to spice up their hotdogs, even if they don't eat hotdogs every day; and two, because you never know, one day everyone wakes up and on the very same day, has a taste for something that cries out for mustard. And then you got yourself a bestseller."

Honestly, that's true, writer-friends. Keep writing and writing and writing 'til you can't write no more and eventually you too will have your slot at Barnes and Noble (or WH Smith, as the case may be). And you might just have a mega-hit on your hands. Stranger things have happened....

*Here, "I'm still mad" means "I'm still carried away with enthusiasm," not "I'm still carried away with intense anger." Just, you know, for the record.

Guardian UK Competition/Free Books

The good folks at The Guardian are running a book giveaway. All you have to do is answer one simple question and you could win one of 10 each of the following titles:

Hegemony and Survival by Noam Chomsky, Not on the Label by Felicity Lawrence, Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser, and So Shall We Reap by Colin Tudge.

Hint: When answering the trivia question, it helps to remember Chomsky is a world-famous linguist.

Mad Max on the Midlist

A hot literary debut bought from Nicole Aragi for $175,000 ends up with ho-hum sales. A "niche market" nonfiction bought from Emma Parry for $50,000 gets a glowing review from Michiko Kakutani of the NEW YORK TIMES and takes off. This according to our anonymous publishing-insider-in-the-know, "Mad Max Perkins." Does slow and steady win the race? Here's Max's take on big advances (by which, I think, he means six figures and up) and how they relate (or don't!) to sales performance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

More Goodies from the Book Hype Hag

Are you a writer? Here's another GREAT entry on Karin Gillespie's Live Journal about publicizing your book. Karin's been there; she's promoting her second novel now. I hope to learn from her experiences. Karin begins:

"Today I typed up a description of my novel just as it would appear if it were on the New York Times best-selling list, and taped it to the number one position, just above The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Now it’s tacked up just above my desk, where I can see it whenever I look up. If you want to get somewhere you have to know where you’re going...." {more}

Definitely worth a look if you care about book publishing and publicity.

Dear Library Guy, Sorry for Stealing Your Hat; or, The Advantages of Writing in Public

Lately I've been having trouble concentrating on my writing here at home. Much of it is due to the incredible distraction of the Internet. If you're here at my blog... you know what I mean.

So this week I started loading up my stuff and heading to the library. I stake out my table and pull some reference books off the shelf (baby name books for characters... an atlas for place-names). It works out rather well actually.

The best thing is that I can become completely lazy as a writer by working at the library. Here's what I mean...

I was trying to think of a visual oddity for a character of mine. She's very gorgeous and skinny and model-perfect, but I wanted there to be something different about her. Something quirky and distinctive.

All of a sudden this guy walks into the library, wearing this butt-ugly blue-and-white pointy crocheted hat. Now, some crocheted hats out there are very cool. Some are Bob Marley-ish. Some are funky and rather jaunty.

This particular crocheted hat looked like something that Library Guy had stolen from a baby in a stroller. I went Googling for something similar so you could see what it looked like. The closest I came was this:

Don't get me wrong; it would look adorable on a baby. On an adult, it is perfectly ... UM... distinctive, quirky, and unforgettable. Now, I'm all for quirkiness. Some would say I'm just a TAD quirky myself. So is my character. In fact, this hat was MADE for her. This is the hat she's been DREAMING about ALL HER LIFE, but could never find. And she would have had to continue dreaming about it, were it not for Library Guy!

I love writing in public! I'll never stop doing it now. And yes, my gorgeous, skinny character now comes complete with a butt-ugly, babynapped, pointy crocheted hat. I must say--she looks FABULOUS in it.

Q&A with the New Chief at Publishers Weekly

For those not in the know, Sara Nelson (formerly the books editor at THE NEW YORK POST, and before that, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER) was recently named editor-in-chief of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. She's gonna do a little shaking up, and it's about time. I wonder if she'll lower the subscription price.

Article here

I Guess This Is What They Mean By "Synchronicity"

Imagine you write an 800-page novel that no publisher will touch. Imagine that this heartbreaking and frustrating experience makes you give up on writing... for THIRTY YEARS. Imagine that just as you've about put your publishing dreams to rest, you make friends with the company head of an audiobook company. Imagine she agrees to do a recording as a favor to you, making your novel an oddity-a book available ONLY in audio form.

Yes, imagine you are this chap here, RON MCLARTY.

And--this is the big one--imagine that a published writer like, oh, say, STEPHEN KING, happens to LISTEN to your audiobook and LOVES it. Loves it so much he writes about it in a magazine like, oh, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

Now imagine you're looking at a $2 million advance and movie deal with Warner Brothers.


Rescued by Stephen King
Longtime writer Ron McLarty finally sees print

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ron McLarty wrote an 800-page novel at age 24. When publishers showed no interest, he wrote another and another. After the third, a novel called "The Memory of Running," he finally gave up sending manuscripts to

But he kept writing.... {more}

King found McLary's audiobook while listening to books-on-tape, a hobby he developed when he was recovering from being struck by a car near his home. In the EW article, King called THE MEMORY OF RUNNING "the best novel you won't read this year."

Erm, guess he'll have to change that little word "won't."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Above All, Don't Refer Publicly to Your Editor as "That Bitch"

Ohmigod, I am laughing SO HARD over this entry at Paperback Writer's blog. It's from November, but still as fresh as ever.

Ten Things You Should Not Do When You're a Published Author:
1. Have your cover photo shot taken at that photo chain in all the malls. Soft focus and off-the-shoulder caribou collars don't make you look prettier. They make you look fuzzier and stupid. Get a real photographer.... {more}
Thanks to author Karin Gillespie again, who is HOT these days!

(For the record, my editor is a goddess....)

This Makes Me SO MAD!!!

Officer uses pepper spray to subdue diabetic suffering from insulin shock

Citizen Staff

KEY WEST — An assistant manager of a local pizza shop who became nonresponsive after going into insulin shock was pepper sprayed by a police officer after a customer told police the man appeared to be "stoned out of his mind."

While a police official said that nonresponsiveness to an officer's commands often means danger, the man and two co-workers who witnessed all or part of the incident questioned how it was handled.... {more}

This is why we need to EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE. There was no reason for this to happen. You would think they might offer him some juice or ASK if he was diabetic, especially if his co-workers knew that he was. But no, let's just PEPPER SPRAY THE DIABETIC GUY.

Visit children with DIABETES for more information about Type 1 Diabetes.

20-Year-Old Novelist Gets £400,000

Wouldn't you love it if this happened to you?

"I Didn't Know I Was Writing a Novel"
10 January 2005, Guardian-UK
Helen Oyeyemi wrote her first book in seven months while studying for her A-levels. By the time she got her results, she had signed a two-book, £400,000 deal. Anita Sethi meets her.

"Boundaries are forever melting away in the unstable world of The Icarus Girl, 20 year-old Helen Oyeyemi's debut novel. Rooms widen and contract, floors cave in, walls 'tilt sickeningly' as the protagonist, eight-year-old Jessamy, gets carried away by uncontrollable flights of fancy...." {more}
I'd hate to have had anything published that *I* wrote at age 20. I'd have had to crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment. I'll be interested to read her novel, though. She is probably much more MATURE and CENTERED than I was at 20. Brava, Ms. Oyeyemi!

You may now go back to your regularly scheduled day, feeling completely inadequate.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Angst of Parting with My Last ARC

Today I mailed away my last ARC. It is headed toward someone who I hope will review the book. My publicists (in-house and at Goldberg/McDuffie) and I decided that I would contact those few media people whom I know personally ('cause ya know, I'm basically A GREAT BIG NOBODY), and they'd go for the big name people.

I put the ARC in an envelope along with the galley letter my Goldberg/McDuffie publicists wrote, a copy of the cover, the catalog copy, my bio, and $100 cash. Just kidding about the $100.... No reviewer worth her salt is gonna be bought off for less than $250. Kidding! Don't hit me!

So what is an ARC, you may ask? An ARC is an Advance Reader's Copy. It is like the book in all respects but is paperbound. One other difference--while the ARC's been typeset, edited, and copyedited, it has not been proofed. In my case, there is one more, fairly major, difference. The cover is different from the cover you see on your right--the one that will be on the hardback in May. That's because during the time the book was being typeset, St. Martin's was trying out a number of different covers, and they hadn't settled on a design by the time the ARC needed to go to press. So instead, my ARC is covered with my blurbs going from left to right in blue type. On each line, they picked out a letter to put in red. Reading from top to bottom, the red letters say THE BITCH POSSE. I'll upload it; it's kind of a cool effect. You should be able to blow it up larger by clicking.

Inside is a beautiful letter from Jen Enderlin, who is my editor as well as the Associate Publisher of St. Martin's Press. In her letter, Jen talks about how excited she and St. Martin's are about the book and why people should read it and review it.

I was given only 10 ARCs, but I ended up sending several of them back to my agent so they could go to the foreign rights people. I sent a few to media people I know, and handed out a couple at bookstores.

And My. Last. One. Is. Now. GONE!!!!

{insert mournful music here}

Well, ARCs must be cheap, you may be thinking; they're paperbacks! You're the Author, Martha... so just MAKE 'EM PRINT SOME MORE!

Nope. ARCs cost WAY MORE to make than a published book. (I wanna say $40 or so? But don't quote me on that; I couldn't substantiate it anywhere. I'll ask around tomorrow and post the answer here.) The reason it costs so much is that the print runs on ARCs (the number of copies printed) are much smaller than a regular print run of a published book. And believe me, I'm low woman on the totem pole regarding the ARCs; my publicists (in-house and at Lynn Goldberg) and agent get them first. I kinda don't think I'll be getting any more.

And I gave my last one away today. So now I am ARC-less, and I feel really naked.

I guess that means I'll be bidding on them on eBay in four months, because I really, REALLY want one for a keepsake.

Advice from a Second-Time Novelist

I'm just running out the door to start my day, but a friend of mine from Readerville, Karin Gillespie, has a great LiveJournal entry on how to publicize your first novel. (Her second novel's coming out this summer.) Worth a look-see and a bookmark!

'Course, I'M going, "Did I do this? Did I do that? OK, gotta do X, and Y, and Q, and L, and, and, and...." And my head is spinning.

Why? Because I'm a neurotic writer, that's why.

Oh! On the right-hand side of the page, I finally figured out how to make an Amazon link where you can pre-order THE BITCH POSSE. I wish my Amazon page had a cover image and a book description, but, well, it doesn't.

Here's the St. Martin's catalog copy for the book instead:

"In high school, Amy, Cherry, and Rennie were outcasts. They were rebels. They had a bond that no one could understand or break. In the present day, one is a writer who struggles with self-destructive relationships, another is married, pregnant, and trying to create what she thinks is a 'normal' life, and the last is in a mental hospital--and has been for fifteen years. In 1988, a series of events leading up to a shocking confrontation marked their lives indelibly. This event has torn them apart while at the same time binding them to each other with a secret that can never be brought to light. THE BITCH POSSE is an electrifying, heart-wrenching debut about friendship, betrayal, trust, and--ultimately--hope."

More later, my chickens!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Kinda Makes You Wonder about the World Today

Now HERE'S a rotten story.

Teen robbed of insulin device

What kind of people would steal a girl's insulin pump? This really burns me up. Plus, what the hell are they going to DO with an insulin pump? Insulin to a non-diabetic person, fries your brain and can kill you. Back in the days of barbaric treatment for the mentally ill, insulin shock (purposeful overdose of insulin) used to be used, along with icepick lobotomies, to destroy part of your brain in order to calm violent mood swings. Now THERE'S a fun prospect for a Saturday night.

And that young woman needs her pump. Now she's on shots again, I guess, poor thing. Good luck getting insurance to pick up the tab for another pump. Dangitall.


More on This Whole Anti-Chick-Lit Concept

I've been thinking a lot about this "x-rated-anti-chick-lit" thing since I got that notebook promo from my UK editor. (Aside--here's my UK cover--isn't it cool? I love how they made it look like an old-fashioned notebook.)

The "promo" notebook is a spiral-bound dealie with this cover on the front. Then several pages behind it have more doodles and my author blurbs. You can see it by clicking HERE.

They say all kinds of lovely things in that notebook, from calling THE BITCH GODDESS NOTEBOOK (their title) a "devastating debut bestseller," to comparing it to some of my favorite films. One thing they say about it is that it's "x-rated-anti-chick-lit."

(Clearing throat in preparation for speech. Some would call it a rant.)

Now, first of all, let me say that I totally LOVE the way my publishers are promoting the book, both here and in the UK. And over the holidays, my British editor sent me so many cool things--and she told me that notebook's being handed out to all booksellers in the UK! And they compared the book to HEATHERS and AMERICAN BEAUTY (two of my all-time favorite movies)... And they say it's going to become a "word of mouth bestseller"... Check my vital signs, am I still breathing here?

But what do they mean, "anti-chick-lit"? And how did my book get this X rating? (well, I kinda know the answer to that one... never mind) But, ya know, if someone opens my book expecting Bridget Jones in bondage, they're gonna be disappointed.

I have to wonder how AM Homes or Mary Gaitskill would feel about being described as "X-rated-anti-chick-lit." Because I feel a lot more literary kinship with them than I do with ANY of the chick lit books.

Well, I chatted about this with a few people, and something my friend David (also a writer) said really stuck in my head. "You know, Martha... like it or not, a novel is a product. And you're a new writer, so you don't have a brand name like Philip Roth or Joyce Carol Oates. And... just like with cars... SEX SELLS."

Well, OKEY-DOKEY then. "X-rated-anti-chick-lit" it is. Hey, I'm just the author. And again, I'm totally fucking THRILLED about what they are doing for my book, both here and in the UK. They can call it anything they want!

Still, I'd like to think my book is more than just NOT something else. Way back when St. Martin's bought my book, my American editor said to me, "We could position it as the female version of FIGHT CLUB." Again--I'm totally flattered and HONORED by that comparison. But I would also like to believe I've created more than just the female version of something that someone else wrote nine years ago. Besides, there is no one in the book remotely like Tyler Durden or Jack.

Anyway, I guess we didn't go with that FIGHT CLUB for girls thing. I haven't heard anything about it since, anyway. Just as well. I'm not much of a boxer.

Here's Edmund White's blurb on my book: "A debut worthy of Joyce Carol Oates."

Now THAT'S a comparison that thrills me, because Joyce Carol Oates is my literary idol. In fact, I have a shrine to her in my house and I burn incense on it nightly while reciting bits of BECAUSE IT IS BITTER, AND BECAUSE IT IS MY HEART.

I'm only kind of kidding.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Just What is X-Rated Anti-Chick Lit?

I hafta say, I really dislike chick lit. MOST of it, anyway. I will confess to liking Bridget Jones' Diary, but I didn't need to read it three million times under various titles, ya know? My book is very different. Dark. No gay best friend, no bitchy boss! And get this! There is not one single brand name shoe in THE BITCH POSSE! (other than Doc Martens... heee.)

Anyhow, when they sold my book, they called it "anti-chick-lit." In the UK now they're comparing it to AMERICAN BEAUTY and promoting it as "X-rated-anti-chick-lit." Gotta love that... whee!

ANY-WAY, I'm just messing around with this whole linkage thing and wanted to see if I could successfully link a photo album. Orion (my UK publisher) created this very groovy notebook which they're handing out to booksellers. (Remember, they're calling the book THE BITCH GODDESS NOTEBOOK in the UK.) Here's where you can see it! If you click on the word "slideshow," the pages will skate past you so you will almost feel as if you're turning the pages on a notebook.

children with DIABETES - Quilt for Life

Here is a link to the children with DIABETES - Quilt for Life.

I think we'll be making a square for our son. He's almost 8 and was diagnosed over the summer. He was very ill, in a state called DKA. I'll write about it sometime. I think this quilt is a great tool for acknowledging the fact that he has diabetes, but in a really positive and creative way.

Children with Diabetes is a great group run by Jeff Hitchcock and co-moderated by Laura Billetdeaux, two AMAZING human beings who give and give and give... I recommend that site for anyone who is close to someone with Type 1 Diabetes.

Some ex-friend of mine told me that because our family was getting so involved in diabetes advocacy and research, we were making diabetes the center of our son's life. Things that make you go, "HUUUHHHH?"

A Tornadoachtige Prozadebuut

Happy New Year all! This is the year of The Bitch Posse, and I am so excited! The Bitch Posse: A Novel by Martha O'Connor.

I learned my pub date is May 12, 2005. Next week my publicist at St. Martin's and I are going to talk about my author tour and which cities I'll be going to.

Oh! And I have an Amazon page... no cover image up yet, though, wahh. And here's my British Amazon page. There's a little plot spoiler on that one. The Brits are calling it The Bitch Goddess Notebook.

Here's the page from the Bzztoh site (Holland). You have to type in my name or the title De Bitch Posse into the search engine on the site to see the cover. I sent their description through a translator and I ended up with this plot description.

"End years eighty finds three meiden each other on a middle school:Amy, cheerleader which its gewoonheid are tired, Cherry, theverzorgster of her to drugs addicted themselves, older becominghippiemoeder, and Rennie, the most brilliant student of the schooland the one which expectsmost of living. They share their passie for music, their itself-written poems, their clothing choice, their hatred against theirsurroundings and finally blood also their: they are the Bitch Posse,the most fearless strength conjugation in hostile surroundings.Fifteen years later the three women wrestle with their life. Rennie are a docent to a secondary teacher training which goes withmuch of its students to bed. Cherry have suicide inclinations and are incorporated in a clinic. Amy have married, weet that she leads a splendid life, but is always frightened for the future. The threewomen are however also pursued by the past, by large secret of the Bitch Posse, that one time in a terrible manner has house-obliged.The Bitch Posse are tornadoachtige the prozadebuut of the Americandichteres Martha O'Connor, a real ' anti-chicklit novel ' in a verydirect and sharp style, in what the lifelike meiden of the pagesafspatten."

Sounds irresistible, heh?