Various & Sundry

I’m feeling scattered — first day of school tomorrow! — and can’t quite get focused for much blogging. I’m also trying to help organize Fall Ball for Little Leaguers, where I’ll be coaching two teams, so I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

* Today I found a nice little review from Tina Zubak who mentions BOTH my recent hardcovers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her lead: Boys do read. She concludes on Along Came Spider.

Spider and Trey’s relationship heals in a way that leaves them stronger. “Along Came Spider” is remarkable for its accurate and sympathetic portrayal of Asperger Syndrome, a real-life condition that’s being diagnosed more and more among boys lately.

* Last week I handed in my revision for Bystander, a novel set in a Middle School that revolves around bullying. The research on this was exciting, illuminating, frightening. Very excited about this book (best ever). I wanted it to be a little creepy and hopefully I succeeded. The day after I hand something in, there’s always a part of me that wants to grab it back. For example, I KNOW that I overwrote one chapter in particular; it haunts me; I need to cut out the fat and pare it down to the bone, but for now . . . it’s off my desk.

* I’m at a funny stage where I’m actually starting two new books. So it’s all about free-thinking and random ideas and trying to figure out plot strands, characters, etc. That is, I’m committed to writing two books but I’m not sure what they are about! Yipes.

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