Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Creature Stirs and Blinks Its Bleary Eyes

Yes, well. See. I've been sick. And in Chicago. And revising.

The dreaded Brooklin Cold turned out to be a real horror. Two weeks in, I had stopped sneezing and snorting but had a totally blocked ear and felt like hell. A month in, I'm finally feeling like myself, have almost stopped coughing and my blocked ear is crackling, which seems like a good sign.

I mean, Futureland or what?

A plane flight probably wasn't what the doctor ordered for the ol' ear drum, but other than that I had a great time at the Printers Row Lit Fest. Penguin's travel arrangements were perfection, the hotel was great, and Chicago, in case you've never been there, is GORGEOUS. Also very, very hot, but right now--sitting in Brooklin, Maine, in four layers plus a fleece vest--hot seems like a good thing.

In addition to skylines and the comparatively cool lakefront and Millennium Park, there were human beings. First, my fellow panelists Ilene Cooper, Brenda Ferber, Kristina Springer, and C. Alexander London, and our fearless moderator, Amy Alessio. And our audience, who stayed with us even though it was a million degrees in our tent and the fan was directed only at the panel. I love meeting fellow kidlit writers--makes me proud to be one. They are funny, sharp, heartfelt, and great at words, and their ethics are in the right place. Did I say funny? (I'm talking about you, C. Alexander London.)

After the panel, I got to hang out with some of the Marauders, , my online friends who are funny, sharp, heartfelt, and great at words. They're quite ethical, too. Meg, Sandi, and Sue came to the panel discussion with a couple of friends and Sandi's daughter, Kathryn. Sandy and Kathryn had flown in from Nashville to spend the weekend with Meg, who lives in Wisconsin, and Sue took the train from Detroit. After the panel we wandered down to the waterfront then over to Millennium Park, ducking into the art museum and a coffee shop when the clouds opened. I'd only met Meg online, and as usual it seemed as if we'd known each other for years. Which we have. It's just that we'd never met in person.

Here we are cooling off in genteel fashion at Crown Fountain (from left, Sandi, Meg, me, Sue).

Here's the correct behavior at Crown Fountain:

Since I got home I've been revising, revising, and revising. Also, Brooklin Youth Corps starts Monday and the garden needed attention. Also, I've been revising. Two days ago I plugged a massive plot hole, and was feeling very cocky about it until yesterday morning, when I discovered that filling the plot hole had created a plot chasm. Today I wiped out three days of theorizing and started over. I think I've got it this time. Or, anyway, I think that until tomorrow morning.

I told my editor I'd have this to her "the end of June." What month is this again?


Ruth said...

Did you specify which year?

Ellen Booraem said...

Ooooo...good point.

Anonymous said...



P.S., my word verification thingie is tadist, kinda like elitest? Or maybe taoist? Hmmmm, we worship Tad?