Monday, July 31, 2006


It's Monday and the coffee is yet to infuse my brain cells with their magic, which means I am sitting in the office wondering if three shots is enough.

The weekend was spent working on Book #2 and the Disney project - so it was a back and forth, see-saw of creative energy that sometimes actually connected. On a walk yesterday with my wife I wondered aloud (for the millionth time) if, given my issues of insecurity, anxiety and childhood trauma, I really made the right choice doing this whole "writer" thing. She kindly reminded me (again) that I go through these feelings every time I am in a new project. I gave her the "you have no idea who I am" tortured look, which really means, "I love you".

Watching my son play The SIMMS I realized he was practicing to become the writer he already wants to be. In the game, you create characters and give them attributes and then let them wander around. They tell you what they "need" and if you give it to them (or help them find it) you get rewarded. In the game that means they continue to live. Of course in my case, if I succeed in making my characters happy, I get more pages. Not a bad reward!

Given I have now written two entries and spent a half hour trying to convince Blogger to upload my cartoon....I think it's time to round up the muse and turn the music up.


Thursday, July 27, 2006


Just a little thing - as I have way too much to do and have already spent all of my procrastination chits for the day!

No surprise - I am new to BLOGGING and my stumbling upon great kid-lit sites is sporadic and haphazard (thanks to all who point and click the way for me!) But today I fell into CHASING RAY, which is the blog-world of Colleen Mondor, reviewer extraordinaire. Not only did I get lost in her vast site of opinions and reviews of all kinds - I recalled the name as the same who reviewed my book in a spring issue of ECLECTICA MAGAZINE.

Nice to link you Colleen!

And for those who want to see the POND SCUM review that made me want to send flowers - (it's the third one on the page)!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


So I've got a new dilemma: instead of procrastinating on one project, I have managed to get myself into the situation of procrastinating on TWO! Now as any writer, artist or sous chef can tell you - staring at the empty bowl can create more than a fair share of anxiety. We all know that sudden fear that seems to start at the nape of the neck and spread hither and yon - the "This is another fine mess I've gotten myself into" voice. Sure there are tricks to loosen the wheels - games to be played that might yield a sentence or perchance paragraph! But it all comes down to the same thing - deadlines, dreams, ideas that are just out of reach and that desperately want to be put onto paper if only they can be tamed (or lured) to the bait.

Lucky for me, not only am I working on the mysterious "BOOK #2" (shhh!) but I have a TV movie to write for the Disney Channel - and with it a hard and fast deadline (which seems to get closer by the day!). Staring down the pipe of just one project - I find the terror of too much wide open space and simply find myself going out for the proverbial walk. But now that my time has been impaled by (gasp) actual paying work...I miss my book writing like a best friend shipped off to an asylum. And I have to, HAVE TO LIKE MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT get the other thing written (the tic-toc of Hook's crocodile always by my side). So do I sit and dilligently pound it out? Nay! I go out for the proverbial walk.

The thing is - my procrastination seems to diminish the more things I have on the burner - and with two competing needs in front of me, why I think I've solved a problem. Now I can work on the "one" while letting "the other" languish on the vine. And as soon as my brain wants to wander away - I can flip to the project in the wings, giving that baby the attention it craves - until of course I find a way to wander from both. Perfectly allowable and encouraged: there are always cookies in the kitchen, iced espresso waiting for more ice cubes and then the 5 minutes or so it takes me to pick the right colored straw. Because as all writers, artists (and sous chefs) will tell you - sometimes it comes down to the straw in the iced coffee!)

But alas, as the crocodile is tic-tocing again and my hooked hand aches at the reminder - it's time to turn one of my heads to the project most needing to be soothed.

As soon as I get the right straw.


As you know I just received the paperback cover for POND SCUM and raved about it a few posts ago. I gave credit to the harcover artist, Dave Roberts for his whimsical take but neglected to mention who did the new art. Hyperion has informed me the new graphical take is none other than JOHN ROCCO, he of the amazingly mystical Percy Jackson covers (and I am again giddy to have my cover done by someone else so talented and terrific). You MUST check out his website ROCCOART to get a true sense of his genius.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Okay, here's the thing. Stop whatever you're doing with the exception of reading this, of course. Head over to Big A little a for the amazingly compelling and varied Carnival of Literature #5. (I particulary am enamored with Fusenumber8's eyebrow fiasco at the Newbery/Caldecott Awards, such pathos - and good food!) The roundup of kid-lit blog entries are varied and amusing with some great reviews thrown in and "A rather hysterical piece by Mr. Pinkwater," says Alan.

For more laugh out loud blogging - it's a quick dash directly to the Disco Mermaids for their Fondue Friday #2. A must-read!


Much can be said about the road us writer-folk wander: it's bumpy and full of demons whispering for you to step off the journey and just eat one one article online....make one quick phone call. But as we who brave such demons also know, it's a road filled with bursts of exhiliration and joy - the thrill of that sentence that just sings...the moment your character whispers something new to you that suddenly opens so many new doors!

Today's thrill comes in a different form (as my pesky characters seem to have gone to the beach without a word of new wisdom whispered!) I just got to see the COVER ART for the paperback of POND SCUM! As you can see it's wonderful (I think so anyway!). It has a real-kid feel and the kind of detail I think really jumps at you. Don't get me wrong - I loooove the hardcover. The talented-beyond-words Dave Roberts illustration captures the whimsy and wonder of my book. But this new art takes that and twists a bit into an older feel, which feels right to me.

But of course the thrills of the road are simple ones - to be in the club, or circling near it is its own reward and I can't get through a single day without pinching myself that this is the journey I am on.


Sunday, July 23, 2006


Yes, I know it's self-promotion. But apart from discovering what someone had for dinner or what they thought of last night's SCRUBS - isn't that the mesmerizing, self-important joy of BLOGGING?

So in that spirit....LOOK! LOOK! POND SCUM has been highlighted in the latest issue of MADKIDS magazine. I can officially get on with the rest of my life now that I've been connected to the magazine that first introduced the concepts of satire, parody and "fold-in" into my early life. Thanks HYPERION and thanks MADKIDS.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

POND SCUM Book Trailer

Help spread the word.

Monday, July 17, 2006


It is always a great endorsement to be included on lists of "Boys' Books" and I am thrilled to discover POND SCUM on a new list published by the Grace A. Dow Library in Midland, Michigan. It's a large list of books with lots of the usual names included; REDWALL; HOLES; TIMEWARP TRIO. Finding POND SCUM listed in the "humor" category does my heart good - it is a very funny book and to see it listed with the likes of Daniel Pinkwater's HOBOKEN CHICKEN EMERGENCY and Dave Pilkey's CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS makes me feel like the luckiest new kid on the block!

Colleen Mondor of ECLECTICA MAGAZINE has a wonderful review of POND SCUM that also endorses it as a boy-read and believe me, I appreciate the positive view of the book.

POND SCUM is a great BOY BOOK. It has gooey stuff and gross stuff and an 11 year old boy at the center of the story. BUT - it is also a wonderful GIRL BOOK - I know this from the hundreds of responses I get from girl readers who love the book and have no problem getting into the typical "boy" story. I know the research shows that it's boys who need the help finding books to hook them and that girls are much more open to reading books of all kinds. I am glad for the endorsements (keep 'em coming) - but I think sometimes it can be a diservice to label a book "BOY or "GIRL", the danger being creating even more of a segregation within the schools and that is always something I think we all have to be wary of.

POND SCUM for Boys - YES!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


With GOOGLE at my fingertips I am able to scan the virtual world for word of POND SCUM's popularity. Sure I get some great surprises (that's how I first learned the Washington Post named Pond Scum the "book of the week"). And of course I always hope to find a new review picked up by a magazine or newspaper or blogger - but what a HUGE SURPRISE to find Pond Scum inside the inflight magazine of OMAN AIR - yes, I have a fan somewhere in the mid-east and whoever you are, a big thanks to you. I hope you get frequent flyer miles for that review!