Here in Austin though, we have been praying for rain. Some may come this weekend. What was a 60% odd is now a 20% odd but I don't believe in odds. I believe in hope, and prayer, and believing things into being. So I am going to believe it will rain, even if it is only a steady stream of my sweat dripping off my nose.
The Writing Barn is pretty much done and I have began hosting mini-celebrations for those hard working writers who have recently landed an agent or their first book deal. (Or in Nikki Loftin's case, her first two book deal!). It's been a pleasure to celebrate the dedication, talent, and triumphs of Shelli Cornelison and Donna Bowman Bratton both who signed with Red Fox Literary and Nikki Loftin, whose first novel The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is due out in the fall of 2012.
I will be hosting another day/evening at the barn for E. Kristen Anderson, one of the brains behind Dear Teen Me, which will be a BOOK and a blog! From the Publishers Marketplace announcement:
Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristen Andersons's DEAR TEEN ME, based on the website of the same name, a compilation from adult writers to their teen selves, to Hallie Warshaw of Zest Books, in a pre-empt for publication in 2012 by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency.
I am super excited by this news! E. Kristen (known to me as Emily, the Hate Mongering Tart and beloved Associate Editor at Hunger Mountain) is an amazing writer and a force to be reckoned with. She is smart, savvy, hilarious and has such energy. The Dear Teen Me idea struck Emily and she had the courage and persistence to pursue it as a blog--to invite well-known and up and coming authors to participate. She found a partner in crime in Miranda and they have gone on to great things. I wish nothing but success to the project and to the readers of DEAR TEEN ME--the soon-to-be-book and the blog. Betty, my day-dreaming pig is beside herself with glee!
More at the Barn--I hope to get a website together in the coming weeks for The Writing Barn. I will be teaching there, working with my private students, and opening the space for community events and classes. Look for Lisa Yee to make a pit-stop while she is in Austin at the Austin SCBWI conference in Feb to teach a Master Class at The Barn. She and Peep will be leading a one day intensive on Creating Compelling Bad Guys and Bullies. Registration for the conference and for the one day event is filling up quickly so REGISTER NOW.
As I work on my new WIP, I am amazed at the serendipity coming my way. Today, thanks to the lovely Suvi, this am I toured the inside of Casa Neverlandia and met owners and artists James Edward Talbot and Kay Pils. Talbot and Kay are in two words awe-inspiring. I loved meeting them and stepping into their colorful world. All in Austin should turn out to celebrate Talbot's "Essential Magnificence" official unveiling on Sept. 10th at 9:00am. See here for details. I will be there coffee in hand.
Grandfather Gandhi, (forthcoming Antheneum S&S) has a an illustrator and not just any illustrator the amazing Evan Turk. Evan is new to the publishing industry but based on the samples I've seen of the work he did to land the Gandhi book--he won't be new for long. His work is filled with energy, a zest for life, and he is well-traveled and respectful of all cultures. I am honored to have his name on the cover alongside Arun Gandhi and myself! More updates on the book coming soon!