Friday, August 19, 2011

Untidy thoughts from a filthy mind

Because I blog every Friday at The Debutante Ball, it's the one day a week I cut myself some slack here on this blog and write my post in the morning instead of the night before.

I went to bed last night thinking I'd get up this morning and organize all my thoughts into a nice, tidy, Friday morning blog post.

But the tidiness isn't really happening in my brain right now, which I'm sure you can either attribute to a filthy mind or the fact that my brain actually exploded sometime back at the beginning of August and I've been operating these last few weeks with something resembling butterscotch pudding between my ears.

So today, you get a scattered blog post.

Since I mentioned The Debutante Ball, I should point out that this week's post on the topic of characters marks my second-to-last appearance at this amazing group blog that chronicles the debut year of five authors from different genres. I feel a funny sense of nostalgia and relief – it's been a crazy one-year ride. One thing that makes me very, very happy is that my beloved agency sistah, Linda Grimes, snagged one of the coveted slots for next year's Debutante Ball class. You guys, she's fabulously funny, and you're going to love both her Debutante Ball posts and her hysterical debut novel, In a Fix, which comes out July 2012.


Speaking of posting in other places, my Virtual Blog Tour continues to surge along. Check the column over there to the right to see where I've been and what I've been blogging about in random, wild places. Most of them involve giveaways, so go win some free books!


This was a funny week of "yes, this is real" validations. First off was a conference call chat Monday evening with the amazing women of the Bookhungry Book Club. I had a great time answering questions and blathering nonsensically, though I suspected at several points they wanted to demand I shut up and put the real author on the phone – preferably someone much cooler and funnier.

Anyway, several of those ladies also reviewed the book on their blogs (which is part of the fun of being a member of a virtual book club). You can check those out those posts at the links here:

Patty Blount
Kelly Breakey
Abby Mumford
Karla Nellenbach
Cynthia Reese


Another "yep, it's real" moment came yesterday afternoon when the Sourcebooks Publicity Goddess called to tell me Library Journal gave a starred review to Making Waves and noted, "Great fun from an inventive new writer; highly recommended for all libraries." You can read the whole review here. While I've adored every single review I've gotten, there's something particularly validating about the ones like Library Journal or Booklist (the latter is the one that said, “Fenske’s off-the-wall plotting is reminiscent of a tame Carl Hiaasen on Cupid juice.”) Part of me has this expectation that librarians are only interested in real books, and then I have to hit myself with a ruler because DUH, I've written a real book. When is that going to sink in?


Yet another surreal author moment came yesterday afternoon when I was typing away in my office for the day job and the front desk guy came back and knocked on my door. "There's someone here to see you," he told me. "He says he was your teacher a long time ago."

And lo and behold, there was my fifth grade teacher – a guy I haven't seen for at least twenty years, and who lives in a town 2.5 hours away, which is why it was especially odd to see him standing there in my office acting positively giddy that one of his former students has published a book.

I should note that of all the teachers I've had through grade school, middle school, high school and college, this guy was hands-down my favorite, most memorable, most influential instructor. Part of me couldn't believe he'd bothered to track me down to congratulate me about the book, and part of me wanted to reassure him that someone else wrote all the naughty parts.

Anyway, here's a pic of Mr. Baker and me with his two copies of Making Waves:

And last but not least, just a reminder to all my friends near Portland, Oregon that I'll be signing books and trying not to make an ass of myself at the Beaverton Powell's Books this evening at 7 p.m. I'd love to see you there! Details can be found here.

So what are you doing this weekend? Who was your favorite teacher? Is there one in particular you'd love to have read your book someday (or on the flip side, that you quiver in fear will read your book someday?) Please share!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Laina said...

I think my fourth and fifth grade teachers were my favourites. Fourth grade because he gave our entire class personally chosen brand new books for Christmas. (My friend got a horse book, I got A Little Princess. I still have it.)

My fifth grade teacher was retiring after us. So we'd randomly get candy from him during class and he gave away a bunch of his posters and things. Plus I just really liked him.

I actually still see my 7th grade homeroom/English teacher because she has preschoolers that she brings to the Storytime I run at the library. I get to call her by her first name now and it's a trip XD

Linda G. said...

Aww, thanks. I'm more than a little terrified about living up to the Friday slot at the Debutante Ball. You're a tough act to follow! :)

That is so cool about your fifth grade teacher showing up!

My favorite was my senior English teacher, Mrs. Olsen. She was a total witch, meaner than the proverbial junkyard dog, but, by golly, when she was done with us we could write! Tested out of several semesters of college English because of her.

Unknown said...

That is very cool that your teacher tracked you down. And I can completely relate to the "Oh I didn't write those parts" moment. lol

One of my favorite teachers was my dingy french teacher because we could convince her that weren't supposed to be taking that test until two days later and the VCR was haunted and we really hadn't watched that part of the movie on Friday so we need to rewind because we haven't seen this part yet (for like a week).

Also, my English teacher was a drunk who kept alcohol in her desk, so we messed with her head a lot, like re-arranging the classroom when she stepped out for five minutes.

Probably my favorite teacher would be my math teacher but he is now friends with my step-monster and probably hates me. So yeah, there is that. lol

Michelle Wolfson said...

Are those post-it notes marking his favorite spots?? I love him!!

Also, oh untidy-minded one, today's day/date is wrong. I think. Unless that's part of the untidy-ness.

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

My favorite teacher was my polysci teacher as a high school senior. She gave me sound advice that I regret not taking.
Your teacher looks so sweet in his pride of you!
Of course, he should be proud of you. I don't know how you write this blog everyday.
And I love it, especially when it's filthy, oops, untidy.

jill said...

Out of my many favorite teachers, my 5th grade teacher is the one who most inpired me to write.

She later became principal of my middle school and personally called me in to work for a day when I was a subtitute science teacher.

Your teacher looks very proud of you and your books! It's awesome that he took the time to look you up.

Christina Auret said...

The fact that he would drive 2.5 hours to congratulate one of his former students when they did something amazing probably goes a long way to explaining why he was your favorite teacher. For some teaching and encouraging others really is a calling.

trump said...

Id like to invite you folks to come to Amish Stories for a recipe for "Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns" along with a book signing schedule for Amish fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter for Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as a contest to meet her. I hope everyone so far is having a great weekend. Thanks everyone. Richard from Amish Stories.