Monday, October 08, 2007

Extreme Errand Running-To Be Seen In Beijing 2008

I just had to write about this when Mom told me this story. It's hilarious! When someone says,"I think I tore a muscle running errands" you just have to investigate.

Mom says she was lifting up a really heavy box of wine and just happened to pull a muscle in her leg.

How is that possible???

So of course we had to make up a new sport for the Olympics. It's called Extreme Errand Running. Only the best parents can compete as it is very dangerous. I love picturing moms running up and down aisles at the grocery store sweating their butts off or dads unloading the car as fast as possible.

If you could make up a race in Extreme Errand Running, what would it be? Don't forget to cheer on America as they fight for a gold in this intense activity! Haha.

By the way, a gold medal is given to Aunt Micky for the most blog comments! :) Yay! Hurrah! This has been Faith Ferber, Blogging For Mom News, Deerfield, Illinois.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mom Takes Dictation

I have a confession to make... I'm not actually writing this blog entry. My mom is. I'm dictating to her while I polish silverware. "Why am I polishing silver?" you ask. Because we are having Rosh Hashana dinner on Wednesday. (That's the Jewish New Year)
My mom can be really really annoying sometimes. As I am polishing this silver I am thinking what can I be doing that's better right now? The answer: everything. Mom's answer: nothing.
Rosh Hashana is great because you get to eat really really good food, have fun with your family, eat really really good food, skip school, and eat really really good food.

Please don't hate me for being a lazy blogger. I am slow and I always procrastinate. I am also just plain lazy. Here are the ways I've procrastinated blogging lately:

1. There's nothing good to write about.

2. I say, "I'm busy."

3. I say, "Later."

4. I say, "It's Sammy's turn."

Mom says I don't have to blog anymore if I don't want to. But I want to keep blogging because I think it's really cool when people that I don't even know give me positive comments about my writing. Also, my teacher, Mr. S., is looking at this blog, and I want to impress him. Hi Mr. S!

Just an update... I am now polishing a spoon.

The other day, Mom made challah. Yay! She doesn't make challah that often. The best part of her making challah is that she makes three loaves each time: one poppyseed (yuck! They get stuck in your teeth and then you look ugly), one plain (yum!), and one monkeybread. "What is monkeybread?" you ask. It's the most amazing bread in the world made with challah dough, tons of margarine, and Pinch of Herbs seasoning. But here's the bad news... they don't make Pinch of Herbs seasoning anymore, and Mom just used the last bit of it on this loaf of monkeybread. (Wah!) That's supposed to be a crying sound but Mom isn't very good at typing out sounds.

Empty container of Pinch of Herbs. :-(

Now it's Faith. Mom's on the phone with my great grandma. I gave up on polishing silverware. My fingers are prunes! To go off topic, online bullying is not cool! :) Well, yeah I think this pretty much sums it up. Happy New Year!

Sammy - next blog entry: Tell me what your Jewish New Year's Resolutions are.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm back!

Sorry about the long absence. There's good news on the horizon! But Mom won't let me tell you what it is until the deal is done. Also, she just finished another draft of Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinare. I read it, and I must say that it is absolutely amazing! For anyone who goes to camp, you know what I mean when I say that she really captures the true feeling and love of camp. Speaking about camp, when I was there, my friend was reading Julia's Kitchen to my other friend. I started cracking up when I walked into the cabin and saw them BAWLING while reading it. It wasn't just a lump in the throat or a tear rolling down the cheek. It was full out sobbing and moaning. When I told my mom, she was so happy that people could be touched by the book as much as my friends were. Good job to Mom!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Beautiful Flower, Beautiful Song

Having a mom who is also an author means she is always giving me great books to read. Usually, though, when it comes to music, Mom is way uncool. But last week, Mom found an amazing song for me. It is called Beautiful Flower by India.Arie. She wrote it for the girls at Oprah's school in Africa. The song is inspirtational and beautiful. Here are the lyrics:

This is a song for
Every girl who's
Ever been through something
She thought she couldn't make it through
I sing these words because
I was that girl too
Wanting something better than this
But who do I turn to?
Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives
Cuz you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind and
There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful, yeah you
Who are brilliant, yeah you
Who are powerful, yeah you
Who are resilient
This is a song for
Every girl who
Feels that she is not special
Cuz she don't look like a supermodel coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you
To shake your money maker
Shake your head and tell them
Tell them you're a leader
Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives
Cuz you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind and
There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful, yeah you
Who are brilliant, yeah you
Who are powerful, yeah you
Who are resilient, yeah you
Who are beautiful, yeah you
Who are brilliant, yeah you
Who are powerful, yeah you
Who are resilient, yeah you
This song is for you, yeah you
This song is for you, yeah you
This song is for you, yeah you
Yeah you
You are brilliant

Amazing, right? The song is my theme song and is great for every girl. You can buy the song on iTunes. All profits from the song go towards the school. So go and buy it!!!!

This is my last entry before camp. But Sammy will post from the Sydney Taylor Awards Banquet in Scottsdale. Yay Mom!

See you August 9th!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Printer's Row Book Fair

So yesterday, my family went to Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago. Mom was speaking there. (She's on the left in the picture above.) She was on a panel with three other authors. I thought that I would be really bored sitting through all of the talking. I was surprised to find myself actually liking it. Lorijo Metz was hilarious. I loved listening to her speak. Did you know she wrote an e-mail to herself pretending to be a publisher accepting her picture book? Then she even replied to herself, too! Mom always gave really good and in depth answers to all of the questions. Gail Piernas-Davenport was a mix of Mom and Lorijo. Giving humorous but detailed answers. Deborah Ruddell was different than everyone else because her book was a collection of poems. She seemed really peaceful and down to earth.

One thing that amazed me about every single panelist and also Esther Hershenhorn, the moderator of the panel, was that they all seemed very happy and optimistic. Not one of them was negative about having to wait forever to have their book come out. They laughed about it and focused on the positive aspects instead. I thought the experience of listening to these first time authors was amazing because it really taught me to maximize the good in my life and minimize the bad. Great job to everyone!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Even Award-Winning Authors Miss Their Deadlines Sometimes!

Like mother, like daughter, they say. Well, Mom and I are different in lots of ways, but we both recently had to deal with deadline issues.

In school, our 4th quarter project for Language Arts was one of the best assignments I could ever imagine. We were to write a children's book about and for an important younger kid in our lives. I wrote mine for my cousin, Adam, the smartest and funniest five-year-old I've ever known. When we first found out about this project, everybody was really excited. About 3 or 4 weeks before the end of school though, we had still not gotten any information about the book. Mrs S., my teacher, assured me that the whole project would be done in school and we would have plenty of time.

Well, here we were in the last week of school when all heck broke loose. Everyone in my class freaked out because a) we had to finish up our project and didn't have nearly enough time and b) people were confused about the deadline. Our class voted to not watch The Outsiders movie Monday and Tuesday to work on our books. Then, Mrs. S. told us the book was due Monday. How could we have the book be due Monday but be working on it Monday and Tuesday? Confusing??? I think so!

Well I asked around, and people said they were just going to finish anyways for Monday, just in case. I didn't panic about finishing the book for Monday because I figured everyone else would have nothing to do in school and I would. I talked to my friend about this and she agreed. So, we both didn't finish our books for Monday. (Yes, I can hear you now, Mrs. S. "Look at the Homework Hotline if you're confused about deadlines." But I haven't looked at the Homework Hotline all year!)

Turns out, EVERYBODY but my friend and me finished their books. They were all laughing at us and telling us how much trouble we were going to be in. My friend decided we should just talk to Mrs. S. to let her know so we wouldn't get in trouble in front of the whole class later that morning. I was too scared, and I totally chickened out. So my friend went in to talk to her without me. She came in late to homeroom and mouthed to me, "We're screwed."

As we walked to her classroom, Mrs. S. came outside with a clipboard and didn't let us into the classroom until we told her whether or not we had our book. When my friend and I told her we didn't have our book, she told us to get our materials and wait outside. Then she sent us to the Principal's office!

I got really scared when we headed for the Principal's office because I thought we were going to get in a lot of trouble. It actually wasn't bad at all. We just went into a room and worked on our books. Even though my friend and I both finished our books by the next day, Mrs. S. graded us based on what we had completed on Monday. So guess what? I ended up getting a D+ on the book. She wouldn't even look at my rough draft.

My mom says that if she were the teacher she would have graded my rough draft and then marked me down a letter grade for turning the finished book in late. (Too bad Mom doesn't get to make those decisions.) It's not like I turned it in a week late. I turned it in the next morning! In another way, I'm okay with the D+ because as long as Adam likes it, I'm happy. But note to self for seventh grade... Be absolutely certain about due dates!

My mom is also having deadline problems. She was supposed to be done revising Jemma Hartman this week. She realized there was going to be no way she would finish on time. She e-mailed her editor and asked for an extension on her deadline. Her editor was NICE and gave her until the end of the summer. Now my mom thinks she will definitely finish on time.

When I told my mom about what happened with my book she said I could have told my teacher, "Even award-winning authors miss their deadlines sometimes!"

Important announcement: Sammy and I are going to camp for the summer. If anyone would like to guest-blog for our mom while we're gone, leave us a comment. Come on family and friends... you all have unique perspectives of Mom that you can share. Blogging is fun.

And one more announcement: Coming soon: Sammy is going with Mom to Arizona when she receives the Sydney Taylor Book Award, so he'll post all about it here!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Handy Dandy Post-it

Well, Mom has begun a new job. She is now a walking, talking, Post-It advertisement. That's because she has Post-It notes all over our office door. As some of you may already know, with Julia's Kitchen, my mom used Post-Its to help her revise. She is now using the same process for Jemma Hartman. She uses one Post-It per scene. Then smaller colored Post-Its are added in that represent changes, deletions, notes, and anything else my mom wants to remember to edit.
I love how my friends can walk into the house, take one look at the office door, and say, "Oh, your mom is working on a new book." My friends think it's completely normal, but I think it's crazy. I mean, ya it's a good method of revising, but it looks hilarious.

In the actual printed out pages of Jemma my mom is color coded once again. She bought these cool highlighters I wouldn't mind having myself. Instead of a cap, they click open and shut like a pen. She has different colors representing where certain characters or situations are mentioned. Now her whole book looks like one big rainbow.
On another organizational note (no pun intended), Mom is getting organized everywhere in the house! Since dinner is always so hectic, Mom came up with the "What's For Dinner?" board. We each get a day of the week to decide what we want for dinner, and Mom makes it. Props to Mom for getting organized and being all around awesome!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mom's Glass is Always Half Full!

So my mom just got Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire back from her editor. The comments were NOT pretty. Phrases like Yuck yuck yuck! Oh dear! Too much! (You get the idea.)
If I got those kind of comments I would feel so hopeless. Here's my mom, looking at this manuscript, realizing how much more work she has to do. If I were her, I would feel panicked. But not Brenda Ferber, Optimist Extraordinaire.
This morning she told me, "I would much rather hear this from an editor than from a reviewer." Of course she was a tad bit upset, but she was so optimistic about it all. It was weird! She said, "Here's my chance to make the novel better." And she pointed out the nice comments. Like Good! Great! Good exchange! The story has come so far!
Sometimes her optimism can be annoying but other times it can be inspiring. There are times when I want to scream,"Can't you just be pessimistic for once?!" Other times I think, "Wow. I want to be like that. It's so cool that she can be so positive in this situation."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fan Mail

Fan mail. Who sends it anymore? Well my mom gets fan mail every once in a while. A few days ago she got fan mail that wasn't even for a class assignment. The girl just sent it because she liked Julia's Kitchen that much. I read a ton of books that make me say "Ohmigod! That book was amazing!" But I never get around to actually telling the author how much I liked it. Even if I did get around to letting the author know my feelings, I would do it by e-mail. It always makes my mom really happy to get such nice letters from fans but it wasn't until a few days ago that she turned to me and said, "Who even sends fan mail? It never even crossed my mind when I was a kid to write the author." She even called my aunt to ask her what she thought. She never thought about writing the author either. What do you think about fan mail? Have you ever written fan mail to an author? Have you ever received fan mail? When you were a kid, did you think about sending fan mail? More later!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ned the Tooth Fairy

Well today I lost a tooth. I know -- I'm 12 and I still have more teeth to lose. My teeth are soooooo weird. They take forever to fall out and even longer to grow back in. But today I have a story to tell. It's about a tooth fairy named Ned. Not just any tooth fairy. My tooth fairy.

Shortly after moving to Deerfield in 2001, Jacob lost a tooth. Of course Jacob, Sammy and I were worried that the tooth fairy would not know where to find us. Mom said that a new tooth fairy would take care of us since we lived in a new town. Being curious, as most kids are, we decided we had to find out EVERYTHING we could about the tooth fairy. Sammy and I wrote about a one page note each. Jacob (who HATES to write) wrote FOUR pages of questions! I didn't even know there were that many questions you could ask a tooth fairy. I thought for sure Jacob's questions wouldn't be answered, but sure enough, the next morning there was a note typed back from the tooth fairy and a buck for Jacob. We were soo excited!

The letter answered so much. I don't remember exactly what it said but I do remember some parts. It said: Dear Jacob, My name is Ned and I am a tooth fairy. I am 88 years old. I am a grandpa tooth fairy. I live in a castle made out of teeth. I brush three times a day. As a tooth fairy, there are different levels that you can be on, and I am on the 2nd highest...

Jacob, Sammy, and I were absolutely stunned by this letter. Through losing teeth, we came to love Ned and learn everything we could about him. I was obsessed. I begged Ned to take me to Fairy World with him. I wanted to go so bad. I promised him I wouldn't tell anyone about it, but he always said he couldn't take me. Hmm... I wonder why?

Every time we lost a tooth, we would leave notes under our pillows with the tooth and a plate of carrots and dip on the side. Ned was our Santa Claus. We completely believed everything. We believed up until 5th grade.

Then the unimaginable happened.

Jacob become suspicious about this "Ned" so he came up with a plan. He lost a tooth and decided not to tell Mom or Dad. The next morning at breakfast, Jacob slid his tooth across the kitchen table and said, "Mom, you're the tooth fairy!" When Jacob revealed his devilish plan, Mom finally confessed. Jacob and Sammy were laughing saying, "Haha! We figured it out."

Why was I not laughing at this? Because I was crying. I was full out bawling. I believed in Ned so much. I loved Ned so much. And then I find out it was my mom the whole time? I had never been so upset. And it's not like I'm really gullible. I don't believe in Santa Clause or anything like that. I don't know why I believed in the tooth fairy. I just did. I was so sad and mad at my mom. I said, "How could you do this to me!? You said you would never lie to me, and you have been lying this whole time about Ned!"

Eventually I got over it. I suppose having a mom who is an author should have clued me in to the fact that this might all be made up, but I never suspected a thing. I am still sad that Ned or any other tooth fairy isn't real. Now I think that my mom should write a story about Ned the Tooth Fairy, because I think younger kids would really like it.

By the way, my mom told me she freaked out a little when we believed for sooooo long that Ned was real because she started forgetting what she had made up. We would ask Ned certain questions, and Mom would have to remember what she wrote before so she wouldn't get found out.

Well I just thought I would share that little story with you all today. That's a wrap!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Who's embarrassed now?

A lot of people have been asking, "Does your mom ever mention things in her books that embarrass you?" Well usually she doesn't, but sometimes when I read her drafts I'll say, "Ya nice try Mom. There's no way you're putting that in your book!"

If only she put some of HER embarrassing characteristics in her stories. I mean, if she ever wrote about a mom who does really weird dances randomly throughout the story, tries to use "hip" language, and tries to be "in" with the new styles, that would be a good story. Hmm... maybe I will have to write that. But I love my mom's weirdness. Sometimes it's like, "Seriously Mom. It's gotta go." But sometimes I just laugh and copy her. Some of the time she doesn't even notice when she does her odd little dances or sings painfully out of tune. She just does it.

Another weird fact about my mom is that she sings random phrases. If this were a screenplay, our mornings would go like this:
Faith: Hey Mom, can I have some Fruit Loops and apple juice to drink?

Yes, strange, but annoying, no. You gotta love it! So maybe one day she will write a book with a quirky mom, but for now you get to hear it from me.

Before I forget, some other people have been asking if Sammy or I want to be authors ourselves someday. I do enjoy writing but don't do it often because I can never think of good story ideas. Although, last year, I entered the Young Authors competition through my school and won. Sammy tries writing stories for Young Authors but he either A) Starts like 4000 different beginnings of stories and never finishes them or B) Doesn't finish a story because it's 15 pages long and it's supposed to be 5. But I have to give him props considering he writes amazingly in school and some of the best poems I have ever read. YAY SAMMY! I LOVE YOU!

Ok, that ends on a positive note. Thanks everyone for leaving such nice emails and comments!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Secret Details Revealed!

So Granny left a comment asking us some questions. I'll answer them and see if there is anything else to talk about. By the way, thanks for all of the comments and emails!!! Oo I feel like a movie star! Ahh!! Ok so anyways... in Julia's Kitchen, there are a lot of little details in the story that I know where they came from but other people don't. Granny wanted to know what some of those things were. Well Chief Peterson came from local Firefighter Keith Patterson. He comes to the schools sometimes and teaches all that fire safety stuff. It's the same stuff you learn EVERY year but Firefighter Keith makes it really fun. Also, he helped my mom out a lot with the book. Firefighter Keith told her that fires could start from toaster ovens and that they should be unplugged. Did you get that? THEY NEED TO BE UNPLUGGED! Firefighter Keith also helped my mom out with any other questions along those lines. Thanks Firefighter Keith!

In Julia's Kitchen, Cara's dad works for ADF Advertising. ADF are my dad's initials. Go Daddy! It's your birthday! We're gonna party like it's your birthday!

When Cara delivers the cookies for Julia's Kitchen, she brings them to 1414 Baer Avenue. Baer is my mom's sister's last name. They are reallllllllly close. Closer than like... anything I can think of. But you get the point. Anyways, they live at 1414 because 14 is my aunt's favorite number.

In the story, Minnie Rosen also comes from my aunt. Her first name is Micky so it's like Micky, Minnie, woo Disney. So that's where Minnie came from. Also, my aunt used to be dating this guy named Don (short for Donald). So my mom thought it would be funny if Micky and Donald married because they both have Disney names. My mom said she pictured their house being completely decked out in Disney. So that's where the Rosen's house theme comes from.

Also in soon to be published Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinare, there is a lot of stuff that I can relate to because the book is pretty much based on mine and my mom's camp experiences at Camp Birch Knoll. But I will talk about that later on when the book actually comes out. Ok that's all for now!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The First Entry

So this is the very first entry. TA DA! For those of you who don't already know, my mom is Brenda A. Ferber. She's the author of Julia's Kitchen (published in 2006) and Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinare (going to be published in March 2009.) I'm sooooooo insanely proud of her. I think it's so cool that I can say my mom is an award winning author. I brag to all of my friends about it. Most of my friends thnk it's really cool, but sometimes my friends say, "Ya Faith. You tell us about your mom and her books every single day. Shut up already!" Ah the love. My friend Z is one of my mom's biggest fans. She did like 3 projects on Julia's Kitchen and is obsessed with my mom. Sometimes I think my mom can be really weird about the characters in her book. I'm sorry. Did I say really weird? I meant reallllllllly weird. Like "come home to your mom crying on the couch because two of the characters in her story got into a fight" weird. Ya no joke. But you gotta love her! So I think that's about enough to start out with. Keep checking back for more posts!