Friday, December 23, 2011

Onward, 2012

I'm still tergiversating about what to write, blogwise. You'll find me at Project Mayhem on Boxing Day, and there is an exciting blog tour, featuring a middle grade historical, scheduled on Middle Grade Mafioso for mid January. So even as I eat, drink, and make merry, the writing wheels are turning.

Thank you all for reading this blog, and the two afore-mentioned, this year. It is always nice to read your comments and to have your comradeship on this grand adventure. If you have any movie recommendations for the holidays, or know of a great literary quiz, let me know.

Otherwise, have a happy end of 2011, and a happy New Year. See you in 2012!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Your "Word of the Year?"

From my beloved Shelf Awareness:'s Word of the Year: 'Tergiversate'

"Tergiversate" ("to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate") was named's 2011 word of the year, the Huffington Post reported, observing: "So we could say that, in 2011, the stock market tergiversated; or that the public tergiversated about Occupy Wall Street."

Jay Schwartz,'s head of content said, "We're taking a stand on this choice. We think that it's immensely rewarding to find existing words that capture a precise experience, and this year, tumult has been the norm rather than the exception. There are contested public spaces around the world, where people are demonstrating in one direction or another. Opinions and circumstances have been oscillating so much."

This year's verbal shortlist included "occupy," "austerity," "jobs" (both the noun and the person), "zugzwang" and "insidious."

Don't know when I'll next be using tergiversate in conversation. Or "zugzwang," for that matter. I have just googled it and found it means "compulsion to move" and is often used in chess. Perhaps I'll tell my Christmas dinner companions that I'm "tergiversating about my zugzwanging."

After which, I'll probably have to dine alone.

Any wonderful words you'd like to share from 2011? What's YOUR word of the year?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bakers' Dozen Agent Auction Update

To recap: My MG novel, Shakespeare on the Lam, was one of the entries in Authoress's Bakers' Dozen Agent Auction. Which meant my logline and first 250 words got a whole bunch of amazing and helpful critiques. And then on Tuesday, starting at 11 EST, the agents started bidding.

Was I glued to the action on screen? Well, I would have been--except that Tuesday was the day for my annual adventure with my father-in-law to snag the cheapest Christmas tree in the tri-county area. Last year I blogged about my trophy, the $10 tree that fell off a helicoptor on its way to Mexico. This year, we took a much more leisurely tack and bought $20 Groupons for Christmas trees and a half pound of organic coffee out at Boring Bark. (The Boring bit is the name of the town, not too far from Portland.) My father-in-law's 9 foot Noble is a nice-lookin' tree--and without the Groupon it would have cost $60. So we were chuffed little happy campers.

I got home around noon PST, to an excited voice mail from my wife. She'd been snooping over at the auction and called to let me know that several agents had been bidding, and that the full manuscript of Shakespeare had gone to Victoria Marini, an agent at the Gelfman Schneider agency (the agency that represents one of our favorite writers, Chris Bohjalian.)

I followed Authoress's instructions and e-mailed the full to Ms. Marini. She has a week's exclusive. After that, other bidding agents can make requests.

It was great fun, and I have to thank Authoress for the auction and for the sense of community she fosters on her blog. If you haven't found Miss Snark's First Victim, do yourself a favor and check it out. As one commenter once wrote, it's like for agents and authors.

A couple of the other entries I liked did well also: Karen Akins's LOOP and Tara Dairman's GLADYS GATSBY TAKES THE CAKE.  Read them if you have a moment. They're great.

So there you have it. I'd worry and fixate, but I still have a ton of Cybils books to read and a Christmas tree to decorate. Have a great weekend.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm Being Auctioned Off

Ever wondered what sort of stuff I write when I'm not entertaining the world with my blogging and tweeting skills?

Well, you have the chance to view--and even critique--the opening of my middle grade novel, SHAKESPEARE ON THE LAM (Lucky Number 52). It was one of 35 YA/MG entries (out of 350) to be chosen to take part in Authoress's Bakers' Dozen Auction over at Miss Snark's First Victim. Come Monday, 15 agents will be doing the agent equivalent of the Black Friday dash into the Mall of America, nudging each other aside as they bid on the number of pages they want to read from the entrants they most covet.

Till then, the rest of us get to comment and critique. I would love to see you there--and I promise that if you have any constructive criticisms I will be delighted. I want this piece to be the strongest it can be.