Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Chance to win VEE!

The amazing, fun, and fabulous site YA Fresh has posted an interview with me today! Whoo-hoo!

Come check it out and learn all about moi and better, enter to win a signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE! Just leave a comment in the blog so if you don't win at The Page Flipper, you could win here!

Thanks for entering, everyone!

Random Thoughts on a Friday

Beachy Goodness!

Ninja Webmaster and I took a trip to the beach on Wednesday afternoon to clear our heads and get some perspective - the beach always helps that. The weather was fine but the water was oh-so-cold!

Here's the Ninja dipping his toes very carefully in the water:

And here he is, all close-up and personal, showing off his funny t-shirt:

(And no, this was not a purchased tee; just some hilarious swag from my days at the network.)

Of course, what is Leigh doing? Reading a book! The best time to catch up on reading:

In this case, I'm devouring Claire LaZebnick's THE SMART ONE AND THE PRETTY ONE, which will be released in a couple of weeks and you should all check it out.

Check this out too. Ninja's latest video...wish I could say it was my idea but I was there when it happened! Does that count?

A couple of important reminders:

--If you haven't already done so, make sure you enter a comment over at Chelsea's blog on to win a signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE! Contest ends this weekend!

--The lovely Harmony has posted her review of ALL ABOUT VEE on her website, Harmony Book Reviews. Yay! It still tickles me that she liked it so much and thought it was far deeper than she anticipated it would be. It does my writer's soul good to read that.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mad Hot Documentary

Anyone who has not seen "Mad Hot Ballroom" should immediately put it on their queue or go to their local Blockbuster and rent it. Both HH and I wanted to shout out the window, "See this movie!" right after we watched. More than a dance movie. More than an issues film. This is entertaining, enlightening, and sweet.

We meet several groups of schoolkids in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx (and eventually Queens, the winners of the previous year) as they train for a ballroom competition among New York City's public schools. They are 5th graders on the cusp of teenhood, with backgrounds and personal development as different from one to the next. They are both older and younger than their chronological ages: they know what adulthood means but they don't want it.

They discuss their parents' divorces, the kind of boys they want to date and marry, what it's like to dance with a girl who leads, why the Bible says gay marriage is okay. They are amazing kids, frank and open and smart, and dancing ballroom -these old-fashioned styles of movement - has an influence beyond anything they could have predicted. One girl who was clearly on the "wrong path," straightens herself up all on her own. One boy who might have joined a gang steps up and becomes a leader.

And they can dance! I loved how they supported one another, how they didn't become competitive among themselves. I would have liked to have seen a little better sportsmanship being encouraged by the teachers, especially the youngest woman who couldn't help but tear up as she talked about their progress, but eventually I think they all got the right message.

An amazing, wonderful film. How many stars can I give it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Teens Read Too Gives VEE 5 Stars!

Whoo-hoo! What a great review from Teens Read Too!

Here's an excerpt and honestly, one of my favorite lines ever about the book:

"ALL ABOUT VEE was, to use a single word, unexpected. I didn't realize there'd be so much depth in the novel, despite it's length. I figured it'd be something between GOSSIP GIRL and SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE, but it was something so much better than that."

Thank you, TRT! And thank you Harmony for reviewing the book! It's so great when a reviewer gets more out of the book than she thought she would - I'd so much rather be "unexpected" than "disappointing." I can't wait to get this review on my website.

Now I'm off to the beach! Cheers~

Monday, August 25, 2008

VEE Contest at The Page Flipper!

Free Vee?

Can it be?


Chelsea at The Page Flipper is holding a contest to win a SIGNED copy of ALL ABOUT VEE! All you gotta do is post a comment over there and maybe YOU will be a winner! Whoo-hoo!

I will personally sign the book - with your name or maybe the name of someone you'd like to give it to (any name as long as it's not "Ebay" hehehe) - and ship it out to you. From my own post office! Yes, that's right! The post office right up the street from me which I will walk to and hand deliver to the post office person (they don't say "mail man" anymore, tsk-tsk).

And in October, I'll be doing a chat with The Page Flipper herself and her fantastic friends - many of whom I met in June during my first awesome chat! Can't wait for that!

Now, how much more incentive do you need? Get on over there and enter the contest!

Free Vee!


Cool Stuff About Cool Friends

Many congrats to a few friends of mine who have some awesome things going on in their lives (through which I plan to live vicariously):

First, kudos to Lisa who will be on The Tyra Banks Show! Whoo-hoo! Lisa told me they flew her out to NYC for the taping, which is about dieting and how it affects relationships. They did her hair (fabulous) and makeup (fantastic) and put her in some gorgeous clothes (ooooh!). She doesn't have an air date for the episode yet but she promises to tell me when it will be so I can tape it and watch it over and over!!

Second, kudos to Holly whose poetry was turned into a short film that will be shown at the Healing Through Creativity art festival being held in West Virginia this Fall. Check it out here at their website for more information. Holly's film is called "Cycle" and will be on the big screen on October 17th PLUS she will be reading aloud from some of her work. If anyone's in the area, I hope you'll check it out for me since I won't be anywhere near there on that date!

Third, kudos to Chris whose short film "Fleece" was shown at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this weekend. I saw this hilarious short at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival last week and thought it was fantastic! The audience went crazy for it!

I'm so thrilled for Lisa, Holly, and Chris and I can't wait to read/see/hear more about their experiences very soon!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

The in-between time.

1. I finished "Twilight" and am now debating if I want to continue on with the series, knowing there are 3 more giant books to go. I kind of want to spread out my reading time on other books in my stack (there are many, many novels threatening to topple over my nightstand).

2. I finished a short story and am now debating if I want to try to enter it into a contest or send it to magazines. My Ninja Webmaster wants to put it on the website for readers instead but then is that considered "published"? Hmmm....

3. I'm finished with the Olympics. Last week was swimming and gymnastics and this week was gymnastics and track and volleyball but I think I'm done. All the stuff I enjoyed is over and things are winding down. I have books to read and movies to watch.

4. I'm finished with teaching for the summer. The studio where I teach is closed until after Labor Day so now I suddenly have my evenings free. Whatever shall I do? Um, read books and watch movies? And yes, go to the beach!!!

5. I finished a knitting project and am waiting for more yarn to come in so I can get started on the next 6 projects I have to do. And oh yeah, I have to order more yarn.

I hate being between things, between projects, between jobs and books and writing. I am not good with down time. I can take vacations (kind of) but I still want to check my email and my Amazon numbers and write in my blog. So then I guess that's not really a vacation.

I hate the in-between time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Post #301

No time to write here. Am reading "Twilight."

Yes, I know, finally. I got it from the library on Monday. I'm sure to finish this morning.

One word: unputdownable.

{Is that a real word?}

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Great dance resources

Yesterday, while searching the internet for a concise dictionary of ballet terminology I could use for my new basic beginning ballet class, I found some amazing sites:

Dianne's blog, Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes, is a tremendous resource for dancers of all ages, although she does focus on young dancers and the issues that face them. Truly, the information she provides is very, very helpful for anyone who dances. Plus, she put a picture of my leg warmers on there which I thought was an amazingly nice thing to do (Thanks, Dianne!).

My new class is for the very new dancer so I wanted to provide a list of common terms and maybe some helpful photos. I found Learn to Dance dot com which had some on-line instruction as well as this fantastic list of ballet terms, their pronunciations and their definitions.

And then I discovered a terrific compendium of images (Do vs. Don't), tips, and technique at Dance Hug. This was the material I cribbed ultimately since it gives the new dancer some very specific things to look for and mimic on their own bodies.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Olympics and Leigh - both on TV!

All right, so it's not the Olympics with a billion people watching and Michael Phelps and his gold medals but it IS television. In Los Angeles. On cable. Today.

That's right, for those of you who missed it, my interview on "Connie Martinson Talks Books" is airing again today: at 3PM and 11:30PM on Channel 35. As before it will also stream live if you want to watch on your computer. Check my website for more info on how to do that.

Meanwhile, did you see the amazing Romanian marathoner, Constantina Tomescu, who won at the age of 38? And how about Oksana Chusovitina, on the German team, who took the silver on the vault at age 33? Anyone over 25 is practically ancient in women's gymnastics. Then there's Dara Torres, the 41 year old swimmer who nearly had the gold in the 50m free and who helped her teammates get the silver in the relay -fantastic display of sportsmanship when she took it upon herself to hold the race when a competitor had a swimsuit issue.

These are athletes in their prime. Amazing and impressive. When I grow up, I want to be just like them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

The waiting is the hardest part of writing.

Ask anyone. It's not that difficult to pound out a bunch of pages. If you have a story to tell, you're probably pretty excited to write it and you have characters you want to visit and stuff you want to describe. So you set yourself a deadline and give yourself a goal and voila! A few months or a year later, you have a story.

And then you wait.

Because you can't rewrite immediately. You need to give yourself a few weeks or a month or more to let the story settle and to let your love of your own words evaporate so you can return with fresh eyes and rewrite the darn thing. As we all know, everything needs to be rewritten. So you do this and you rewrite and you send it to a trusted friend for him to read.

And then you wait some more.

The friend has this material and it's not the number one thing in his life. I know it should be, but it's not. He has his own life and his own things and he may like you an awful lot because you're cute and funny and he likes hanging out with you but he really does need to go to work and maybe take care of the family pet and watch some of the Olympics.

Try to put it out of your mind. Try not to imagine where your friend is and what he's doing while he has your material. Try to stop thinking about emails you could send him that might remind him of you. He knows he has your material. He'll get to it.

Of course you're thinking what I'm thinking which is, "Is it any good or have I wasted my time? Am I a lot worse than I thought I was? Is this the most horrible novel that's ever been written?"
The answer from your friend is not nearly as bad as all that. Not usually. Sometimes it is but you should probably already know when that's going to happen. As the creator, sometimes you get blinded by your own vanity but eventually, you too will recognize when you've written crap. Instead, your friend likes pretty much all of it except for a few things that confused him. So you exhale, finally, and do a little more rewriting before you send it to your agent.

And then you wait some more.

The agent loves you, she really does, but you haven't written a bestseller that needs to get out to the world RIGHT NOW. You've written a good story. And you hope she likes it enough to send it out. Maybe she needs a few tweaks; maybe it's good as it is. She sends it to some editors.

And then you begin a massive wait.

And these are NOT people to whom you can post a quickie email like, "Hey, did you happen to..." No. Not. At. All. You have to suck it up and work on something else to keep your mind occupied. Bugging your agent won't work because she knows these people way better than you do, which is to say, you don't know them in the least. She will keep up, follow-up, and then step up when they are not being responsive. That's not your job. You go back to the computer and think up new stories - better stories - bestseller stories - while you wait because truly, this is not a bestseller you have written, although you always think Maybe this is the one.

No. It's not.

Most of the time the answers will be rejections. That's simply the law of averages. Most people - agents and editors - will turn you down. But eventually one person - one agent, one editor - won't. You will think this is the best thing that's ever happened to you in your entire life and up until that moment, it is. But even after you do more rewriting and you go through draft after draft with your editor and publisher and you discuss titles and cover art and they explain why your ideas suck and they're going with their marketing department's ideas instead, it finally gets printed and shipped and guess what?

Yep. You wait. Because now your readers have to find you and read you and blog about you and recommend you - or not - to their friends.

This happens every single time. It doesn't change once you've finished a book, or secured an agent, or even if you've been published before. Because after each book you write, each draft you finish, you always ask, "Is it any good?"

I'm still waiting.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Knitting up a frenzy

Recently I've had a number of requests for more information about the leg warmers pictured in the right hand column of this blog. One person wanted to know if I was holding a contest for them; another wondered why they're there in the first place. So I thought I'd clarify a few things...

First of all, these specific pairs are not for sale. The white ones are my own personal pair and the blue ones are my friend Algie's. They are merely the samples to show what certain yarns knit up like.

Second of all, I knit them myself. Just me by my lonesome when I'm watching television or chatting, no sweatshop workers slaving away to produce, produce, produce!

Third of all, I'm always up for bartering. If someone is interested in a pair, everything can be negotiated...I learned that from my dad.

And last, I love to knit but I'm not terrifically skilled. I suppose I could learn to make sweaters and socks and such but that knowledge would probably push out other crucial stuff from my brain, like my cell phone number. Plus I like to make simple useful items: blankets, scarves, hats, and now, leg warmers. As a dancer and dance teacher, I love to have new clothes to wear to class and for a few bucks, I can knit up something new - plus they make great gifts for people.

There you have it. It's extremely satisfying to make something for someone else or for yourself. And fun too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A new MEG review!

Holly at Woman Tribune has given LOVE, MEG an amazing review! 4 stars! She calls it "a fast, exciting and exceptional read" which makes me go, whoo-hoo!

Seriously, though, please take a look when you can and while you're there, check out her other fantastic articles. I happen to love Holly's site and I think she offers women a lot of tremendous advice about business and life, as well as her own reviews about books and movies.

Thanks, Holly!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympics, big time reality television

Ya know, I always say I don't want to watch them. And then I do. I get totally sucked in! I love how the producers of the games really go for your heart. They tell the story of 33 year old Oksana Chukovitina from Germany who is competing in her 5th Olympics - as a gymnast! Imagine, when most teams are struggling to provide proof that their gymnasts are actually 16, this woman already has an 8 year old son and has changed her residency to compete for a country that saved her son's life. Wow.

And then there's Dara Torres, the 41 year old swimmer from the US, who has been competing since she was 17. She too has a child, which is why she missed the last Olympics, but she's here and they're subjecting her to a ton of drug tests because they just can't believe she's as good as she is without some sort of enhancement.

And speaking of enhancement, there's the amazing Michael Phelps who has already won 6 gold medals but who is so competitive he wants to beat Mark Spitz's record of 7 gold in a single Olympics as well as the record for most career gold. At age 23. They test him a lot too. Someone so driven as he will surely be a success in life.

Most of the athletes who come to the Olympics will never win anything. They won't stand on the podium and hear their nation's anthem. They won't have the words "medal winner" attached to their names for the rest of their lives. And they likely won't make big bucks having their faces on a Wheaties box. But they will have come to Beijing to compete and that's such an amazing accomplishment. In front of billions of people around the world, they represent an achievement we normal people can only dream of: dedication, passion, sacrifice.

I get sucked in every time.

And for more great Olympics stuff, check out my friend Paula Yoo's post about how she wrote "The Sammy Lee Story," about a Korean American swimmer in the 1948 Olympics.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hopkins The TV Series

Did anyone else like this show as much as HH and me?

We fell in love with the doctors and residents and interns who lived and breathed their medicine.
We cried when children and babies died.

We cheered the successful transplants and complex surgeries.

We cringed at some of the bloody footage.

This was a great short series. If anyone is interested they should hope Netflix will carry it so they can see all the episodes and become inspired.

A side note: I attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for one year of college and thought I'd become a doctor (LOL!). Wowsa, how far from that am I now?

Here is the link to the show's webpage on

Friday, August 8, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

Things I Wish I Knew Long Before I Knew Them (Writing-related)

1. You really don't need an agent until you really do need one and then you'll get one. I spent years - as do many people - thinking all I needed was an agent and then I'd be on my way to writing success. When I finally did get an agent, it was because I actually had material that other people might be interested in. Until then, though, I wasn't ready for one; all I had was junk.

Lesson: spend no time worrying about an agent until you actually have a finished product (or several) and have had that product vetted by friends and trusted readers. Just write the best thing you can. Seriously.

2. More important than a big advance is the marketing plan a publisher has for your book and you. So much thinking time is wasted on how much of an advance a writer is getting for her book. A large number would indicate a writer is more valued and to a certain extent this is true, if she is a humongous name like a Barbara Walters or a Jackie Collins. But aside from a terrific editor (who has a huge influence on your book), a visible marketing push is what you want from your publisher. That has far more of an effect on sales than anything else.

Lesson: ask questions of a publisher regarding their plans for marketing your book and be willing to take less if a competitor can offer more advertising, etc.

3. A publicist can be a good investment if you are not getting the marketing from your publisher. And sometimes even then, it's not bad if you can afford it. I had heard from other sources that you should spend whatever advance money you get on publicity and promotion yourself and I never realized just how true that was. I did a little of this with my first book but not enough with the second. Again, it's super important to have the lines of communication open with your publisher so you know what and when things are planned for you. And if things change, you need to know that too so you can jump on the promotion yourself. I could have started on this for my second book a LOT sooner than I did.

Lesson: stay in touch with your publisher and know exactly what is planned and then seriously consider a publicist of your own to promote the book, preferably 3 months in advance of the book's release. This is an investment in you, remember.

4. The Internet and blog reviewers are extremely important, especially if you are writing for the YA market. Jump on this right away. I didn't understand Myspace and Facebook and how to find bloggers who review books so when my first book was coming out, I hadn't been in touch with any so I could have my publisher send galley copies to them for review. And I spent very little time on their sites, thinking that my own website and blog would generate traffic to Amazon and the bookstores. Ha! No, not at all. I wish I had spent more time getting to know online reviewers so I could have sent them both books for review. That would have generated more buzz about me and my books than my own blog and site.

Lesson: before the book is published - or even purchased - establish a web presence and get to know your potential readers. Their input is immeasureable. Plus you can learn an awful lot from other authors.

More to come...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cheers for the Underrated

Sometimes I feel like I am completely out of touch with the rest of the world, that I like things no one else seems to like, that I'm writing things no one else seems to want to read. And I don't know why that is. I grew up in a very conventional nuclear family in leafy suburbs and attended a decent public school and excellent colleges. It's not like I went to Hampshire or anything.

And yet, I'm not a fan of super-quirky things that get their own websites and booths at Comic-Con. Some of those totally off-the-wall books and movies and characters have really hardcore fans that post fanfic and dress in costume when they go out. And I can't say I have any interests in those kinds of things.

When I see a movie or read a book that everyone thinks is fantastic, I really want to like it too. I want to be a part of the general zeitgeist and expound on the virtues of Dan Brown and Tom Cruise. But much of the time, I don't get it. This is especially true of music, which I freely admit I know nothing about and probably won't ever. Why does Matchbox 20 get a bad rap? Why do people diss Alanis Morrissette? Is it wrong to like them? Why?

I guess my favorite sorts of things are not necessarily the under-liked but the underappreciated, those books and TV and movies that may eventually become popular but are easily dismissed among their contemporaries. I wonder if other people feel this way too.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Vee Review! New Website Video!

Not one but 2 very cool announcements:

Numero Uno:

Jocelyn at Teen Book Review has posted a beautiful review of ALL ABOUT VEE. I love how she describes the book and the main characters. She really captures the spirit of Veronica May. Check it out on her blog here. And while you're at it, take a look through some of Jocelyn's other fantastic reviews and author interviews. She's got a lot of great stuff there (and I don't say that just because I did a guest blog and because she had nice things to say about my book..;)). Thanks, Jocelyn!

Numero Dos:

My Ninja Webmaster has posted the interview I did with Connie Martinson last month for her show "Connie Martinson Talks Books." Yes, it's right here. And if this isn't enough for you - you absolutely have to see it happen live on your television or computer! - the show will air again on August 18 at 3PM and 11:30PM on Channel 35 here in LA.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Conventional Wisdom Means Nothing in LA

I've lived in LA for almost 9 years, if you can believe that. I can't; I thought I'd be gone in five years, back to New England to live out my days in pale misery. But no, I'm still here!

When people think of LA, they think smog, earthquakes and traffic. It's true, we have all three of those but there's nothing you can do about the first two. The only one you can really have any control over is the third. So herewith are some driving tips from moi, based on my many years of experience here in this town.

First of all, throw out everything you learned about driving in every other city in this country. As I said above, conventional wisdom just doesn't hold here.

1. The right lane on the freeway is the fastest. I know it feels wrong! Everyone is merging in that lane, it must slow down. But no! People merge in and then immediately move to the next lane to (they think!) zip past everyone. Plus, people move into the right to exit so that frees up space. Trust me on this one.

2. Whenever possible, avoid making a left turn in this town. There are more left turn signals than when I moved here but there aren't enough to keep things moving. If you must make a left turn, know that 2 cars turn after the light turns red. That's just the way it is. In other cities, they jump the light and make the turn before the oncoming traffic moves but not in LA. Just make sure you're inside the intersection or else you could get snagged with a ticket from the cameras.

3. When computing the amount of time you think (or Google maps thinks) it will take you to get to your destination, multiply that by 3. Unless you like getting to movies and shows and dinner parties late, you want to give yourself a lot of time for some major catastrophe like someone getting a flat tire on Laurel Canyon. Which reminds me that...

4. Traffic on the LA roadways is a delicate balancing act. One small change to it (a signal being out, a fender bender, something fun to look at by the side of the road) will have a HUGE impact on your commute. And by the time it works its way out, people have forgotten how it began.

5. Wednesday is the worst day of the week to travel between any 2 points in LA. Again, throw out conventional wisdom which would tell you Friday but actually, Friday is the easiest day to drive. Perhaps people are staying home to make the weekend longer or maybe they're just traveling off-hours on that day but in order of worst to best, it goes like this: Wednesday, Thursday, Tuesday, Monday, Friday. Again, you just have to trust me, not your gut.

6. LA drivers don't use their turn signals out of laziness. They're simply afraid that if they convey to you their desire to move into your lane, you'll speed up and box them out. Why? Because that's what they would do.

7. Traffic at some point will suck like you can't believe. It will take you an hour to drive a mile. Twenty minutes to get out of the Arclight parking garage. You will actually want to drive to the west side for some ungodly reason. Just make sure you keep sufficient tunes or an audio book in your glove compartment; it will save your sanity.

Enjoy driving in LA!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Twilight Phenomenon

Anyone who has perused the internet chat boards for YA readers or wandered past a bookstore knows this was the weekend of "Breaking Dawn," Stephenie Meyer's fourth and final installment of the "Twilight" series. As with JK Rowling's final "Harry Potter" book, the readers of BD were waiting anxiously at midnight for the book's release and then devoured it (no pun intended!) in a day or less.

Sadly, I have not read Meyer's books - yet. I am on the library's waiting list for them which will mean I will get them sometime around 2010. I wish I had unlimited book funds but lately I have been buying some fantastic novels and books by friends of mine, like Paula Yoo's "Good Enough," Michael Reisman's "Simon Bloom," Lisa Yee's "Millicent Min," CG Watson's "Quad," Joyce Lee Wong's "Seeing Emily," Liane Bonin's "Celebrity Skin," and so on. I do scour the used bookstores, just in case someone has parted with a copy!

In the meantime, I'm on a quest - a Meyer quest, to learn all I can about the books. What is the one thing that makes them "must-reads" for you? When I ask readers this, I get answers like, "It's so great!" Or "It's an amazing book!" Or "I love those books!"

Give me specifics, people! Is it the character development? The narrator's voice? The tone of the books? The relationships? The action? Do you like the supernatural element? The writing style? The dialogue?

Thank you for helping me with my research!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

1. My episode of Connie Martinson Talks Books will be on television again here in LA on August 18, at 3P and 11:30P! And again, if you're not in the area or don't have cable (like me!) you can watch it stream live from LA City View Channel 35. I have all the info on my website.

2. Yesterday was my first earthquake! I was in ballet class, in the middle of plies, when the floor started shaking and the lights overhead began swaying. We all sort of looked around at each other like, "What the heck is this?" The guy at my barre waltzed on over to take cover under a doorway but the rest of us just stood there. It seemed to go on forever! But when it was over, our accompanist began playing and we went right back to plies. Dancers are pretty hardcore, I guess. It's impossible to get us to give up our class.

3. Check out this thread over at Reviewer X's blog. Not just because she claims I inspired the post with my question on an earlier thread but because I think there's a lot of great information i there. I am the sort of person who hates to bug people for reviews. Sure, I have gently cajoled my readers here about posting reviews at Amazon or on their own blogs but when I send books out, I kind of try to let them go and not worry. But I do! I am always anxious about people with my books. And I have a tendency to assume people don't like them if they're not responding right away.

4. This weekend is the big national convention for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Although I'm not attending for various reasons, I hear it's great and lots of authors, especially local ones here in Los Angeles, are going. So if you're trying to get in touch with your favorite SoCal writer, that's probably where they are.

5. I am still totally jazzed about the new book I'm working on. Still. That's a good sign.