I am flattered that The Tanglewood Terror is one of four finalists for the 2012 Minnesota Book Awards, in the category of Young People’s Literature, where the Friends of the St. Paul Library include both YA and middle-grade books. Also nominated are Brian Farrey’s Stonewall honor book, With or Without You, Pete Hautman’s The Big Crunch, and Jacqueline West’s The Book of Elsewhere: Spellbound. Other really deserving books included Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs, Kelly Barnhill’s The Mostly True Story of Jack, Steve Brezenoff’s Brooklyn, Burning, and Sheila O’Connor’s Sparrow Road. I live in a literary state that’s simply steeped in talent so I don’t envy the committee’s job of picking only a few from such a great lineup. I doubt any state our size can match it.
You’d think, from these updates, I simply didn’t have any. Perhaps you’re thinking of sending out a search team with dogs…. they won’t be needed. I’m here, closing in on the first draft of the robot novel, taking the toddler off of the stereo cabinet, teaching online, taking the toddler off of the end table, working through copyedits of the Topps League chapter books, taking the toddler off of the bookshelf, playing my way into an elite group of Angry Birds addicts, and taking the toddler out of the cat bowl.
I do have exciting things afoot, including The Most Exciting School Visit Ever™ about which I remain mostly mute until later, but suffice to say that me and immortality have plans. At the end of February I’m going to Chicago for AWP, a virtual small city of serious writers that convenes every winter. (If you’re going and want to say Hi, find the Loft Literary Center’s table). I am also going to two more conferences in April, including one here in Minneapolis which I am helping to organize (expect a special appearance from Topps League illustrator and Frankie Pickle author/illustrator Eric Wight), and one in Missouri with several other authors and several hundred kids. On April 1 the first two chapter books will come out, baseball cards and all. Somewhere in there I’ll finish the robot book, which is, in my expert opinion, a masterfully plotted adventure with both brains and heart. I’ll also teach my class again, which you can sign up for here.