Wednesday, April 16, 2008


It's been a cool day. The envelope from my agent contained a new book - MY book.
In German.

It's like publication day all over again! Seeing a book jacket is always a buzz. I'm thrilled my book got this foreign sale, and ever since knowing it was being translated - I've been wicked excited to find out how they were going to translate the title, POND SCUM?

You have to know one thing: I love my title. In fact, the title POND SCUM was the first thing I had before even knowing what my story was. The title dictated to me what kind of story I had to write. It was a gift from the sky (more to the point, a gift from my friend's pond where leeches started sucking on my legs and he said, "Watch out for the pond scum.")

Up until this morning I had no idea what the title would be. I didn't want to know. I love long as I can control them!

And you know what? I'm fine that the 2 word simplicity of "POND" and "SCUM" have now become the multi-syllabic "Oliver und die Verschworung im Schilf". A bit less easy on the tongue - but hey, so is wiener-schnitzel!

After much speculation by my family and I over what exactly the title meant, my trusty translator spelled it out for me (or so I think): "Oliver and the Conspiracy in the Weeds", which certainly gives a plot-descriptive heads up to the reader, without conveying the "Eoww, gross" I so love.

But I'm not complaining. I'm thrilled. So break out the black forest cake and raise a glass.

Oliver und die Verschworung im Schilf has Germany.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I realized a long time ago that aside from licking mailing labels and washing dishes at several of New England's finer eateries - my manual labor skill set could not compete with the sizzle of my brain, which was light years away from anything that involved soapy water and burned popover pans.

Being "creative" is a label we writers wear on our sleeves, or if it's summer, someplace that hopefully shows more skin. We creatives are branded and in today's marketplace we all know a brand is a good thing so perhaps we should work harder to exploit this Writer Brand and all get permanent WRITER TATTOOS to set us apart from the normal world. It would be like the scarlet "A", only it would be a "W" which would clearly mean to everyone we meet: "Watch out while I say something clever."

I have had many non-creative jobs and many more creative ones - and I guess the point is, I can't NOT be a writer because there really is nothing else my brain lets me be...except lazy, which I'm actually trying to perfect as my next "brand".

I write because I have to...Because I want to...Because I can't wash dishes very well or drive a school bus. Of course I can write about that school bus driver, who is also writer...who might just be a guy like me with a monster in his brain who devours any thoughts of mundane employment!

And on that note: Time to go write!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I've been sitting on this news for a month now - keeping my promise not to blab until it was time to tell... Well my friends - that time is NOW!

(FANFARE) Alan Silberberg (that would be me) has been selected as this year's James Thurber House Children's Author in Residence. YAY!!!!!

You can read about the residency program and see the nice things the Thurber House folks say about me on their site, which now means I'll be showering them all with chocolate-type gifts when I arrive in Columbus, Ohio this summer.

I look forward to sharing all of the great details with you - but for anyone who has ever planned a bar mitzvah (insert wedding, anniversary dinner, huge party) - I am swamped in my own lovely chaos of prepping for this wonderful event (Saturday -eek!).

So for now - to see how I really feel - just CLICK ON THE HOUSE that I get to call home for four weeks this summer!

And now that the you know the news stay tuned for lots more about what it means to receive this incredible honor...and live in a house with ghosts!!