Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bad Boys

I am horribly attracted to bad boys... fictional bad boys that is.

I think it started with Tony Soprano. Despite the beer belly and his womanizing and murderous ways, I was inexplicably attracted to him.

Then there was Eric Bana's character in Munich. Did you see that movie? Yes, Eric is amazing to look at, but he plays an assassin who gets a little out of control. Hmmm...

My newest bad boy crush is none other than Don Draper from Mad Men.

Not only does he look like Jeff Probst (my Survivor good boy crush),

but he is a philanderer, a liar, and (on the positive side) something of a creative genius.

In real life, I am very much attracted to good guys. One good guy, to be precise.

(My husband Alan. Just as cute and sexy as my bad boy crushes, but a good man through and through!)

Truth is, bad boys are not very interested in me. I don't think they're looking for someone who loves to read and write children's literature, who has a healthy self image and an optimistic outlook on life. I am way too boring for them. And way too averse to real life drama.

But fiction is a safe place to explore all kinds of drama. Which brings me to my current work-in-progress. I've started something new, and although it's way too soon to talk about it, I will say that my main character is most definitely attracted to bad boys in her real life. There's a part of me that admires her courage to play with fire. I was never so daring. But a bigger part of me is sad for her. You have to be wounded to want to be treated that way. Those bad boys are wounded, too. Maybe that's part of the attraction.

Do you have a bad boy crush? Did you ever date a bad boy? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Registration is Now Open for Our Fall Workshop

Is it too early to think about fall? I know it's hard when it's so lovely outside, but here we are, opening up registration for our Fall Workshop. Once again, Jenny Meyerhoff and I will be facilitating a critique group in Highland Park on Tuesday nights. 

Here's all the info: 

Join Jenny Meyerhoff (author of THIRD GRADE BABY and QUEEN OF SECRETS) and me (author of JULIA'S KITCHEN and JEMMA HARTMAN, CAMPER EXTRAORDINAIRE) for another session of our facilitated critique group for children's book writers.

Where: North Shore Writers Studio in Highland Park, IL

When: Every other Tuesday evening from 6:30-9:30 pm;  September 21, October 5, 19, November 2, 16, 30

Who: a maximum of 6 children’s book writers (all levels from beginner to advanced, writing anything from picture books through young adult)

What: participants will submit five pages per week to all workshop members (including Jenny and me) for critique, participants will also receive pages from all other workshop members each week, and will be expected to comment on the work of their peers. All genres in children’s literature will be accepted.

Cost: $240

Register: send an email to by September 7. 
Registration is first come first served, and we have had a waitlist in the past. Your spot is not guaranteed until we receive your payment. 

Please note the following important information regarding cancellations and refunds:
If you cancel before August 21, you will receive a full refund.
If you cancel between August 21 and September 7, you will receive a 50% refund.
If you cancel after September 7, we will not be able to give you any refund at all. Sorry!

Did I mention that one of our first students got a 4-book deal with HarperCollins based on a manuscript he worked on in our class? It's true! (Congrats Allan!) Perhaps you could be our next success story. At the very least, you will improve your writing and meet other children's book authors who just might be kindred spirits. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Greece: What I Saw and What I Read

In honor of our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband and I took a second honeymoon in Greece. It was bliss!

First stop: Crete

First book I devoured: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Second stop: Santorini

Second book I loved: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Third stop: Mykonos

Third book that touched my heart and soul: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Fourth stop: Athens

Fourth book I couldn't put down: City of Thieves by David Benioff

I highly recommend all four of these books (as well as a vacation in Greece). If you want to see more of my vacation pix, friend me on Facebook and check out my photos.

Now I'm home, refreshed, and ready to dive into my next writing project. Life is good!