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1. revolution, everywhere

One week in the life, and what a week. Monday I started out for North Carolina, with REVOLUTION, and Sunday night, last night, I sat in the tutti-fruitti chair at home in Atlanta, with Masterpiece Theater and my phone, watching and texting along with my Mississippi cousin, Carol, a long-standing tradition. Some of the life between those two moments is captured below in phone photos -- I miss my camera! But I did not miss my friends. They were right there, all along, right beside me, as you will see, accompanying me and championing me and coaxing me forward, in person and online, and certainly in my heart. I kept up my travel-marathon training on the road (for a trip I'm taking in Feb/March, which we'll get to). More to say on the other end of this string of photos, including a little about next week in NYC. Thanks for coming along with me!

































































WHEW. It fills my heart right up. Thanks so much to the fine folks at the Carolina Friends School, Cary Academy, A.B. Combs Elementary School, Quail Ridge Books and Music, McIntyre's Fine Books, the Fearrington House Inn, Scuppernong Books, and the Chatham County Community Library. Y'all were so gracious and generous. Thanks to Charlie Young for accompanying me for a good leg of the tour -- you are the best.

Jandy Nelson: THREE booksellers hand-sold me your book on this tour. I got two photographs. Booksellers loved I'll Give You the Sun. I love you! And your wonderful new book. Busting my buttons over my former student's success!

That's Jennifer E. Smith, David Levithan, and Stephanie Perkins, reading from their new books and signing at my local indie, Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA, yesterday. I came home to walk a 5K as part of my travel-marathon training, and to see my editor, David, do his thang at Little Shop. Then Jim and I walked the old Decatur Cemetery, a soothing end to a busy week, and had a little supper at EATS, one of our favorite Atlanta eateries.

This will be a quiet (hahahaha) week of getting ready for the National Book Award events in New York City next week. We leave in six days. I have a fabulous black dress. I bought some bling for my dress. I am returning it. I called the shop and said, "I forgot! I'm going to be wearing a medal!" Because I am. REVOLUTION is a National Book Award Finalist. I am so proud of my book. I love my book. I love my publisher, Scholastic, for publishing the book I wanted to write. I love the NBA judges for recognizing my book. I love the process. I love the books REVOLUTION is keeping company with this season. I love the lofty ideal of writing from the heart the story that is asking to be written. I love having the opportunity to share that story with as wide an audience as possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you... that's what I want to say, over and over again. It has been such a rush, such a trip, such an excitement, such a delight, such a surprise, and such an honor. I am forever grateful. See you all in New York next week.

Love, Debbie

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2. picture stories

              An afternoon drive out of Atlanta, a patriotic rest stop, a Confederate flag flying over the Columbia, South Carolina Statehouse, an arrival at Mama's house on John's Island. O Charleston, O Youth, O History of Long Ago. The marsh, the swamp, the salt, the

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3. birthing a revolution

Friends, I am Mississippi as I write this. I have an essay at the Nerdy Book Club blog today, about birthing Revolution in Mississippi. I wrote it on the eve of my trip. I am still in Mississippi, with family, until tomorrow, when I come home and write about my adventures in schools, in bookstores, and in my own heart.  In the meantime, you can read the Nerdy post and then catch up visually with

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4. debbie's big adventure (the snowy days)

I flew into JFK in February knowing it was cold. I took public transportation from the airport to Great Neck, which took three train changes and about three hours. I saw Brenda Bowen on the train platform in Jamaica and we were both so frozen it took minutes (and boarding the next train) before it registered that that was really her. We wrote to each other later, "I thought I recognized that

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5. it was a long winter

It wasn't the amount of snow. It was the cold. It was how long it was cold, in Hotlanta. It was so cold this past winter. I just wanted to make soup and popcorn and burrow under old quilts and watch old movies; and look out the kitchen window to see the winter birds forage on all the old seed pods in the garden; take selfies of ourselves now, and compare them to old pictures of us on my dresser

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6. my scholastic family, ala midwinter, revolution

And so it begins again, a new book to shepherd into the world. Here are some catch-up shots from ALA Midwinter in January, in Philadelphia, PA. Here are some of the inside pages of REVOLUTION that my editor David L. and I were working with up to the last second, trying to get just-right, sitting at rehearsal the morning of the Scholastic brunch. We'd done this at NCTE, too, the previous November,

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7. this and that to begin a new year: experimenting

I'm sifting through an experiment. I got my first smart-phone in late November, and I put down my Nikon D-40 for four months. I've just learned (maybe this is a new blogger thing) that I can work on my laptop and access my phone photos here... very good! Google has done some silly stuff with animated gifs and an end-of-year doo-dad that's sweet, silly, and confusing, as I don't know a couple of

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8. to be of use

I've been sailing toward the end of the year, riding on the page proofs of the good ship Revolution. We went to Charleston the day after Christmas, as usual. I put most photos of the holidays and the trip to Charleston on Instagram, as I'm experimenting with that platform, so I'll direct you there for photos today. I want to leave you with a poem by Marge Piercy called "To be of use" -- To be

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9. what makes writing good

I've got a Pinterest board called "Good Writing and Storytelling."   My description: "There's great storytelling and/or writing on this board, and there's some that borders on dreadful, but there's a reason to examine each of these. I found them interesting in the way they fulfilled their purpose... or didn't." Here's my latest pin on that board: "'Atlanta's Turner Field is dying --

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10. ncte, stories, and song

I posted this note to my facebook author page -- I just discovered I had a "write a note" function -- who knew? -- so I practiced. I want to put it here on the blog as well. I'm not sure how I will end up using the fb author page along with the blog... I'm experimenting. This is my last week home before the last of the year's travel. 2013 is coming to an end. I'll be in the D.C. area for a

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11. my wacky, beloved SIBA is at it again

Wanda Jewell, Nicky Leone, and the good folks at SIBA -- the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance -- are at it again. Here is "What's a book? Why a book? Three dozen authors read from Lane Smith's popular story 'It's a Book!' (Macmillan Publishers) about the advantages of (print) books. Recorded at the 2013 SIBA Trade Show in New Orleans." Love.

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12. snapshot

I am here. 

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13. the way it was

After two back-to-back weekends of travel for work, it took four days last week for my mind to come back online enough to tackle the copy-edited manuscript, and it was due on Friday last week. I asked for the weekend and promised it first thing Monday morning. I had felt so smug, the week between the travels. I had addressed all of the copy editor's queries and had begun the read-through.

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14. and now, november

Whew. And now, November. Halloween has long been my favorite holiday, way back before it became commercialized, in the days when Franny in Countdown worried over her costume, and that costume was thrown together -- like everyone else's was -- from scavenged bits and pieces and a lot of ingenuity. When I was a kid, a neighbor lady sat outside at a card table, at

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15. going and coming: keene

The first fire of the season, and the copy edited manuscript for Revolution, book two of the '60s trilogy After a trip to the north Georgia mountains to bring back apples and the last of the year's tomatoes preparing for the trip a stop along the way David White, the founder and organizer of the Keene State Children's Literature Festival, with writer and artist Eric Velasquez

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16. curating a life

Add caption Add caption Add caption Add caption I wrote a tome about why I (once again) deactivated my facebook and twitter accounts, but it doesn't feel important, compared to the life happening all around me. October was full of cookie baking, 5K walking, visiting grandgirls and celebrating birthdays, journeying to

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17. countdown and revolution (and playlists and computers and phones)

I haven't shown you the paperback cover of COUNTDOWN that made its appearance in April! Ta-da! I've heard from some that it's an acquired taste, but I loved it immediately. It tells a story. It asks questions. It's got a lot of orange in it. ahem. There's Franny and Chris Cavas, and that checkerboard floor, that chalkboard title. I've loved signing these paperback copies... and soon there

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18. open letter

An Open Letter to the 574 people I quietly "unfriended" on Facebook: I apologize for not telling you about my fan page first. I felt terrible when I realized I mixed up my order of operations, the way I mixed them up in math class as a kid. Anyway, I just want you to know it wasn't personal. Except that it IS personal, I guess. I thought I might keep my personal page... personal. I'm an

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19. duet

3 Comments on duet, last added: 11/30/2012
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20. nesting, finishing

Just like the nesting that comes before birthing a baby, I hunkered in this past fall and into winter, and got ready for the big push. I worked steadily on book two of the sixties trilogy until I flew off to Singapore, mid-January, to work with 7th-graders and their teachers at Singapore American School, and to speak at a children's lit conference there. The novel flew with me. I did a final

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21. politician of the century: LBJ

<!--[if !mso]> v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]--> photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson when he was about six years old seated on a porch in or

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22. going and coming, never astray

Editorial notes on the draft of book two of the '60s trilogy arrived two days before my spring travels. I went anyway. D.C. in mid-April, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Denver in May, and several local schools in June, capped by a trip to Pine Manor College in Boston on June 30, which brings us up to date. Sort of.  I didn't take my camera for work, but I sure did take it on the road to

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23. politician of the century: LBJ

<!--[if !mso]> v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]--> photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson when he was about six years old seated on a porch in or

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24. going and coming, never astray

Editorial notes on the draft of book two of the '60s trilogy arrived two days before my spring travels. I went anyway. D.C. in mid-April, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Denver in May, and several local schools in June, capped by a trip to Pine Manor College in Boston on June 30, which brings us up to date. Sort of.  I didn't take my camera for work, but I sure did take it on the road to

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25. nesting, finishing

Just like the nesting that comes before birthing a baby, I hunkered in this past fall and into winter, and got ready for the big push. I worked steadily on book two of the sixties trilogy until I flew off to Singapore, mid-January, to work with 7th-graders and their teachers at Singapore American School, and to speak at a children's lit conference there. The novel flew with me. I did a final

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