Animal nutrition: a welcome guide Sunday, May 20 2007 

It’s written primarily for a professional audience, but a layperson can definitely learn a lot (I did) from Ann Wortinger’s new book, Nutrition for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses.  If you want to learn more about what your animal needs to thrive, especially if that animal is ill or convalescing, this book will help you.  And it’s especially topical now,  with the pet food recall still expanding, and pet parents worrying over what exactly constitutes proper nutrition for their animal companions.

I’ve known Ann for years, first in her role as a veterinary technician, and have seen my own cats benefit greatly from her diagnostic skills and compassionate care. Now she’s teaching at Wayne State University in Detroit, continuing to serve animals by training those who will treat them.  Brava, Ann.

Thinking out loud = reading in public? Tuesday, May 15 2007 

I’m set to do a couple of readings this weekend, one at the Ann Arbor Book Festival (4 PM Saturday, in the Modern Language Building), the other as part of Berkley’s Read in the Park.  Sometimes I find when I’m reading aloud in public, I get so caught up in the material that it really is like thinking aloud, the words spooling out in a rhythm of their own.  When it’s going well,  it’s a lot of fun.

Although you’ve got to be careful.  Much of what I write makes visual sense on the page — a character’s thoughts delineated from her spoken words by italics, say — but its meaning may be changed or unclear if read aloud verbatim.  So I have to make sure the same sense is conveyed to the listener as it would be to the silent reader. …Ah, all the punctuation and typographic weapons in the print arsenal.  Bang on, semi-colon – I love you!

Speaking of amazing covers… Friday, May 11 2007 

Here’s Rick Lieder‘s cover for my newest novel, Kissing the Bee, out from FSG this fall.

Kissing The Bee

Read in the Park Thursday, May 10 2007 

The first annual “Read in the Park” is coming up on May 20th, from 1-3 PM, here in Berkley, Mich. , sponsored by the Berkley Education Foundation.  I’ll be there, talking about reading, writing, books … you know.  (And yes, it’s “Berkley” with two E’s.  It’s Berkley East.)

straydog in Korea Friday, May 4 2007 

Very pleased to learn that straydog will soon be published in South Korea!  I can’t wait to see the cover.  One of the things students always like to see — teachers, too — well, everybody — is the display I have of straydog covers from overseas: it’s quite amazing, they look as if they’re all from different books entirely, from the sentimental (Chien errant) to the savage (Divoky Pes).  Then we talk about judging books by their covers – it’s almost impossible not to, unless you know the writer’s work already.  Another reason for me to be grateful that all my hardcover covers are produced by the amazing eye and subtle taste of Rick Lieder.

My op-ed in the Times Tuesday, May 1 2007 

Last Sunday, I had an op-ed piece in the New York Times, “All The School’s a Stage,” taking a (necessarily brief) look at issues of theatrical censorship in schools, a situation I wrote about in my YA novel Talk. Sadly, there are always more than enough examples to examine – this op-ed focused on recent incidents in Wilton, CT and Cross River, NY.

You can read it here.