3 Authors at HHS Library

Um… Happy New Year?

Sorry for the crickets around here, but I’ve been taking time off to hang out with my new(ish) baby. The Spud  is awesome and busy and exhausting! I’m finally getting back into the writing groove though, and clearing out 2014 (and *gulp* 2013) e-mails in pursuit of Inbox Zero and a fresh start on things. I came across a link to this video from my first post-Spud author event, a panel at Haverford High School Library with Marie Lamba and Ellen Jensen Abbot. We talk a lot about writing, so I thought it would be worth sharing with all the young writers out there.


This was recorded the day after The Silence of Six was published, and shortly after the Spud arrived; I was so tired, I totally forgot to read from the book, but it’s okay, because I talked about why I love libraries instead. (If I say anything too wacky, chalk it up to sleep deprivation.) This was a fun Q&A with some terrific—and unusual—questions. Thanks again to the HHS English Depts and Monica Lalor for producing such a fine video. Enjoy!

ETA: Here’s that post on “Books vs. Babies” that I alluded to in the video.

cracking the code: media portrayals of women in STEM

source: http://tvdramas.about.com/od/24/ss/24season5photos_10.htm

The Paley Center for Media in New York in association with Girls Who Code is putting together what looks to be a terrific panel program about media portrayals of women in science, technology, engineering, and math, with:

Elizabeth Henstridge, “Jemma Simmons,” Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Carrie Kemper, Writer, Silicon Valley
Aisha Tyler, Actress, Archer, Whose Line Is It Anyway?
David Bushman, Television Curator, The Paley Center for Media
Moderator: Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code

Tickets are on sale now ($15) for this event in NYC on Dec. 8 at 6:00 p.m., and they say they’ll be streaming the panel online at 6:05 p.m. here. (I’m not sure if that’s free to anyone, but I hope so.)

For more details and to buy tickets, visit the Paley Center.

libraries are awesome

I’m thrilled to be participating in PA Forward’s Speak Up for PA Libraries events today with some school visits in Haverford! School and local libraries made me the reader I am, because there was no way my mom could afford to buy me all the books I wanted to read. It was through libraries that I discovered William Sleator’s Interstellar Pig, which introduced me to the science fiction books that influenced me as a person, and eventually as a writer. (I know: Writers are technically people too.)

via the-toast.net

via the-toast.net

Libraries are so vital to our communities, even in this information age of computers and internet: They offer much more than entertainment, including valuable resources and educational opportunities, and don’t underestimate the importance of a safe place outside of the home where kids can go to hang out and make new friends — if not with other kids, than with books. I still love to be in a room full of books! Kids all over the country, and especially in Philadelphia, don’t necessarily have access to high-speed internet or books; many of us take these things for granted, and today is a great day to acknowledge and celebrate how invaluable libraries and librarians are in curating their collections, reaching out to patrons and fostering a love for reading, and developing incredible, fun programs for young readers — including bringing illustrators and authors like me to schools and libraries, which is one of my favorite things about being a published author. I never met any authors when I was young; if I had, I might have pursued a writing career sooner!

Tell me about your favorite library in the comments below. Why are libraries important to you?


the year of doing less and more

My last photo of 2013, just before midnight.

My last photo of 2013, just before midnight.

Wow, it has been a long time since I last blogged! Sorry about that. See, I’m under a deadline on a Secret Project™, and I have to focus most of my writing time on that these days. I should be able to pay more attention to the blog in February, when I’ll try to catch up on the many posts I’ve been meaning to write, including some TV, film, and book recommendations. I also have some other things I want to try out this year to mix things up a bit. Oh, and I have some late e-mails and miscellaneous tasks to take care of too. Next month, I promise!

But I didn’t want to leave an old post up on the first day of a shiny New Year, so here we are. I used to do those year-end recap posts with the number of words written in the last year, stories sold, milestones, and all that, but I haven’t for a while. I don’t track things that way anymore, and it takes too much time at the end of the year to add all the numbers up, which feels kind of like doing taxes. (Ugh, taxes.) Looking back, overall 2013 was very good to me personally and professionally. No complaints. And I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead in 2014.

One of my first images of 2014. So, not that different.

One of my first images of 2014. So, not that different.

I also don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but recently I’ve been trying to cut back on doing too much. I’d like to do more of that—more of less—which is difficult because I like helping people and doing interesting and different things, and I consequently have trouble saying no; however, in order to reserve more time for my family and writing and yes, even give myself a chance to relax once in a while, I’m limiting everything else as much as I can. Apparently time management requires you to concentrate on the things that are really important to you instead of trying to cram in more, and there’s some room for improvement there.

But… I do still have trouble saying no.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a successful and memorable 2014.