Yesterday, I was brilliant.
Everyone and their brother has done this meme, except me. I don’t know if it’s more because I’ve been busy, or because I’ve been sick, or because I’m not sure if there are eight random interesting things about me. The best random things are truly random, not simply mundane. And that, my friends, is a fine line on which to tango. Because rather than coming off as wonderfully eccentric, I run the risk of seeming completely dull. But hey, what the heck. What’s dull to one is eccentric to another…
1. I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books. I’m not opposed to them. I have nothing against them. There’s just always been something else I’d rather read.
2. I have these weird OCD type tendencies that have nothing whatseover to do with cleanliness or order. In fact, I am one of the most disorganized people that I know. But if you erase something on your paper and happen not to wipe away every single last bit of eraser dust, I will have to walk over and do it for you. Even if I don’t know you. This was a particular problem in elementary school but has continued since that time. Also, when I remove a scrunchie from my hair, I can’t just throw it anywhere, still crumpled up and wound into a little ball. I have to smooth it out, make sure all the elastic is not twisted and leave it on my bedside table. There are others that I’m not compelled by every single time I do the activity (like arranging the dishes so that all the patterns are facing the same direction–in fact, I rarely feel like I have to do that anymore) but the scrunchie and the eraser dust are ALWAYS. My husband wonders why I can’t be a little more OCD about the dvd cases that stay disorganized or about my complete shambles of a desk. I tell him I don’t even make sense to myself.
3. I can’t stand the way holding a newspaper makes my fingers feel. When I was a child, I hated the yearly field trip to the Greenville News.
4. I can’t stand the sauna but I love getting into a really hot car in the middle of summer. But only for the first five minutes and then I have to turn on the air.
5. 2006 was the first year I had to file taxes as a freelance writer. 2007 will be the first year I actually have to deduct business expenses.
6. I live across the street from a vegetable market and next door to a bakery. My weight maintenance plan is that I try to frequent the vegetable market more often than the bakery.
7. I played the role of a male carpenter in the parent’s production last year at my son’s school. I was actually quite handsome. But I’m pretty sure my son was embarassed.
Okay, so if you’re hearing a high pitched ringing sound, and you’re feeling a slight vibration under your feet, it’s only the early excitement over Kathy Erskine’s QUAKING, which is just two days from release, if I’m not mistaken. And if you’d like to join in the excitement and have your very own copy of the book that’s rocking the Richter, then head over to annemariepace for the scoop on a contest that could have you holding your very own signed copy!
Many a moon ago, when her REACHING FOR SUN was just reaching the market, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer was set to stop by my blog for an interview to celebrate the book’s release. Poor thing, she’s been patiently waiting right here in my blog waiting room for AGES. She must have read a million fluffy mags, all while I’ve been in the back having a snack and slurping Diet Coke. But bless her heart, she hung around long enough for me to finally get to the interview, and just in time to celebrate something new:
REACHING FOR SUN, published this year by Bloomsbury, has been named to the 2007 Booksense Summer Picks List!
Here’s most of the interview…For the rest, including the super-secret revelation of Tracie’s favorites list, from authors to cartoon characters, check out www.kristydempsey.com in the Interviews section.
* Reaching for Sun is one of my favorite reads this year. I love that you’ve given us an honest portrayal of a girl with disabilities in a book that does NOT revolve around her disabilities. By the end, although Josie’s own voice and confidence is stronger, there is still heartache in her life. And yet, the book ends with great hope. Did you deliberately inject the story with this hope or is your process more organic?
I wanted it to be honest and all kids walk around with some kind of heartache, this I believe. Hope is necessary in children’s books. I don’t always find it in the first drafts though.
*Tell us about some of the response to Reaching for Sun. Which responses have been the most special?
The most amazing thing has been hearing from families of children with disabilities. It was something I took very seriously (and worried about immensely, holding Josie up as some kind of symbol) and I am so grateful that so many families have found Josie not just believable but worth knowing.
*Tell us about your next project.
I just finished my first prose novel titled THE RIVER PALACE (and I feel like I’m cheating on poetry, to tell you the truth). It is an historical fiction novel set in the summer of 1853. An adventure story told through the eyes of a BOY on a circus boat! Quite a departure for me. I have two other books coming out next year besides The River Palace- 42 MILES is a poetry/narrative collection about a girl learning to define herself and STEADY HANDS: POEMS ABOUT WORK are portraits of people doing their jobs. 2008 is going to be thrilling and busy!
*How do you approach each book? Does it start with an idea, a phrase, an image? Do ideas come easy or do you really have to search for them?
I have lots of ideas but most of them tank. I always have a notebook handy though in case I get a good one. An idea that keeps coming back (like all that laundry that never seems to disappear) is usually a good sign that it has staying power but I often don’t know until I’m drafting. If I lose faith or don’t want to work on it is a reason to let it go.