A Message from Chancho

Greetings, long-lost friends!

Chancho, my three-legged lucky writing pig, wants to apologize on my behalf for the prolonged and unplanned blog truancy and assure you that hey, I’m workin’ over here! My summer wasn’t just a breezy collection of lackadaisical days on the beach1!

I’ve been writing / revising / reading / reviewing / book-planning my ass off for three months (neither the blog nor the ass reflects this, but Chancho will vouch for me!). But rest assured, long-time fans and loyal stalkers, I’m back… with a tan2, a lucky pig, and whole bunch of writing updates for those of you that still care (or at least pretend to).


Last month, I reviewed and marked up and sent off3 the first pass pages (FPPs) for 20 BOY SUMMER, meaning… last chance to make any changes. And first chance to see the typeset pages with…

(I know we’re all supposed to be serious professional writers, but allow me this momentary break from my otherwise seriously serious professionalness…)

…my name on them and little seashells in the corners and my copyright and chapter headings and fonts and everything!

*ahem* As I was saying….

20 Boy Summer, First Pass Pages

Because of the timing of the FPPs and some other deadlines, I did a little work on my Martha’s Vineyard vacation (see above), which I’d planned to do anyway but in the moment felt a little “Sarah can’t come out and play until she finishes her homework!” because beyond the big sliding doors was the deck and then a pond and then… the ocean. Which I couldn’t visit until the 3rd day but it was totally worth the wait.

By now I’ve read 20 BOY SUMMER so many times that I can recite it backwards in my sleep, but I finally had to stop tweaking it and send it off into the world (the secret publishing world… it’s still not ready for the big scary real world), much like a mother watching her Kindergartner board the bus for the first time…


In other news, Little, Brown sold Dutch and German rights for the book. I had to resist editing the text to include what would be translated into “Das ist verboten!” which is my favorite German phrase but alas wouldn’t really work unless I added a new scene where Frankie was like, “Anna, let’s go stomp on those cute little sand castles and make the kids cry,” and Anna was all, “No way, Frank. That’s, like, totally forbidden.” That, and I don’t know the German phrase for like, totally.


Almost finished, but I can’t4 share anything about it yet. Just that it’s not a sequel, it takes place in Vermont in the summer, and there’s a girl named Delilah. To say anything more is like, totally verboten! But Chancho is with me for the home stretch and he truly is a good luck writing pig. And he’s so adorable that every time I feel overwhelmed with writing or just generally whatevs about life I can look at him and everything is magically okay again.

Chancho makes me happy!

See what I mean? Don’t you feel better now?


No way, man. This one is top top top secret with a capital TOP. Just know that I’m working on it and will move fully ahead as soon as Delilah is done, with Chancho by my side. Before long you’ll be reading blogs full of rants and questions and disconnected ramblings about all new characters in all new places with all new issues and conundrums and none of the characters will say like, totally.

On a final note…

A Lighthouse Writers Workshop WOW!

Many of you know that I owe much of my writing success to the dear friends and faculty I met through Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop. So it is with great joy and OMFG over-the-moon-ness that I congratulate fellow Lighthouse member David Wroblewski. His debut novel, THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, was just selected as Oprah’s latest book club pick. People have been raving about this book all around me since its debut this summer, and all this time, I had no idea that David was a member of my fave writing group. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet him before I left Denver, but I couldn’t be happier or more proud of Colorado’s literary community! Congrats, David!

I think that’s enough for one update, right? Stay tuned later this week for…

  • Moving News! Where do we go from here? Hint… it’s not New York City, and it’s happening in 9 days!
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation (after I finished my homework)! What have I been doing with my free time for three months since I clearly wasn’t working on my blog? Where did Chancho come from? And where has all the sea glass gone? All this and more…

Thanks for sticking with me, loyal readers. See you soon.

1. Okay, there were some lackadaisical days on the beach, but I wouldn’t call it a collection or anything.
2. Beige is a tan, right?
3. Sent off, as in, paid extra to have it FedExed priority overnight from MA to NYC so it would get there first thing in the morning. Only it didn’t, because the plane was somehow grounded in Memphis due to “issues with the plane,” which later became, according to the FedEx representative I called, “you know, hurricane
Ike?” Yeah, she said it just like that, like I’m some horribly insensitive person for questioning a service failure in the middle of a natural disaster, even though on the day I shipped the package, Ike didn’t even have a name yet because it was just a baby storm in the Atlantic Ocean far far away, which is probably why the first woman told me the plane had issues, not the weather. And also, I didn’t know that Memphis was en route from MA to NY but then again, I’m a writer, not a cartographer or a meteorologist, which is why I ultimately allowed them to refund half of my money instead the full amount.
4. By “can’t” I mean “won’t,” because it won’t come out until 2010 and, assuming the world is still spinning in two years, I don’t want to use up all of my reader excitement just yet.