Thursday, March 31, 2011


To the students of Prof. Ciresi's literature class, I had such a great time hanging out with you on Tuesday! Thanks for the awesome questions and I hope you all get A's in class.

More later,


Tuesday, March 29, 2011



I love this! Found it at the ever lovely Tulips and Flightsuits.

More later,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aw, Charlottesville

Thanks to everyone who came to my talks during the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville! I had such a great time, as is always the case when I'm back in my old stomping grounds.

To the students at the Village School, I'm wearing the awesome ice-blue Village School hat I got after our talk, but sadly, it's already too hot for the hoodie. I'll keep it tucked away until next year. Thanks for all the great questions and the lovely afternoon.

To the parents, staff, and families of the Charlottesville Catholic School, thank you once again for hosting Sweet Reads, which was a fabulous evening for us authors. We all couldn't stop saying how grateful and touched we were by your thoughtfulness.

I hope you enjoy reading Kindred!

More later,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This article in the NYTimes: Last Defense at Troubled Reactors: 50 Japanese Workers brought tears to my eyes. Fifty people are sacrificing themselves at this moment in time to save their countrymen and women. They are working in darkness, crawling through the wreckage with only their flashlight for illumination, with explosions in the background, exposed to fatally high levels of radiation as they try to stop this slow moving nightmare of radiation leaks and nuclear catastrophe. This pretty much sums up my idea of what hell looks like.

I know there are times that call for the sacrifice of ourselves for the greater good and this certainly qualifies. But how would we react if placed in such a situation? Would we step up, or run and hide? Fifty people in Japan know the answer and it humbles me and amazes me; they are giving their lives as we speak to save their fellow man.

Read the article here.

More later,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just horrible

I've been horrified by the situation in Japan, my heart aching for a country dealing with 3 major disasters in a row. I've been amazed by the calm and dignified behavior of people who are hurt, hungry and freezing, who have just lost loved ones as well as all of their possessions, as they continue to place the needs of others above their own.

Below is a link to satellite images of areas in Japan before and after the quake/tsunami/explosion.

It puts our little problems into sobering perspective.

More later,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Books & Books

I went for a book signing at the fabulous Books & Books in Miami a couple of weeks ago. You know it's going to be good when an independent book store has an international reputation. This is like the Natalie Portman of book stores - classy, successful, hip, and definitely someplace you want to hang out (and attend a book talk, which they have all the time!)

So after my little talk and after I signed the books, I wasn't in any hurry to leave. And good thing, too! The most interesting things in life always happen when you're not in a hurry to leave, don't you think? (And so why am I always in such a hurry again?) But anyway, there I am, hanging out with the events coordinator (hi, Debra!) and the children's book buyer (hi, Becky!) when I hear the story of Becky's tattoos. As you might have guessed from KINDRED, I have this slight fascination with tattoos.

Remember how I said that Books & Books is awesome? How they have signings practically every day? That's because every author who tours goes there (I'm really not exaggerating.) So when Eric Carle (he of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame) came by for a signing, Becky was suddenly seized with daring inspiration. She handed him a Sharpie and asked him to draw the very hungry caterpillar and told him that she was going to get his sketch on her arm tattooed in place. He drew it. She ran over to a tattoo artist who tattooed over the sketch. Her first ever tattoo.

Eventually she had Mo Williams (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) draw his pigeon, and Lane Smith (It's a Book) draw his monkey. She's mulling over who should be next. And one day, when she becomes a children's book illustrator, she'll draw her own character and have it tattooed.

I think that is one of the coolest things I've heard. It's like her arm should be in a museum for modern art and children's literature. She's a walking national treasure.

More later,