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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in kmarcus' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, April 14th, 2011
9:06 am

My first picture book, SCRITCH-SCRATCH A PERFECT MATCH, hits the shelves TODAY! Kirkus calls it, "Clever fun and lots of giggles," and The New York Times has nice things to say, too! tinyurl.com/6amckln
Sunday, March 6th, 2011
9:33 am
Book Launch
At 2pm today, I'll be at Baker Books in Dartmouth, MA, reading, signing books, and eating cake. :)
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
11:39 am
EXPOSED hits the shelves TODAY!!! Here, have some cake!
I'm also appearing today on two terrific blogs:
Random Acts of Reading and Teenreads!
Want more cake? Here you go!

Current Mood: excited
Monday, February 21st, 2011
10:33 am
An Exciting Week!
It's an exciting week for me. Exposed comes out tomorrow!
You can follow me on my blog tour throughout the week at these great sites:

2/21 Adventures in Children’s Publishing and Confessions of a Bookaholic

2/22 Random Acts of Reading and Teen Reads

2/23 Write for a Reader and Bethany Hegedus Blog

2/24 Examiner.com

2/25 Poetry for Children

Also, I'm answering questions all this week over on RandomBuzzers
If anyone sees Exposed anywhere on the bookstore shelves, and wants to post a picture with the book, I'd love to see it!
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
9:29 am
Love for Lisa
I don't know Lisa well, but I love her books and hold her, and in family, in my heart during this difficult time. I was first drawn to her novel, Flash Burnout, because it has a photography theme as does my novel Exposed. But it's so much more than a book about a photo. If you haven't read it, you should. Friends, online and otherwise, are gathering around to support Lisa. Here's a small way you can help.
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
1:00 pm
Huge congrats to kathyerskine whose fabulous novel Mockingbird has been nominated for The National Book Award! YAHOO!
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
9:18 pm
A giant congratulatory shout-out to my friend, Kate Messner, for winning the EB White Readaloud Award!!! So proud of you!
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
1:07 pm
It's Time
It's time I started posting again, so here goes! With a new profile pic :)!
Thursday, March 4th, 2010
11:14 pm
Hi There!
Testing, testing...
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
6:01 pm
I've missed LJ! I like facebook, but it's not quite the same. I'm popping back in here now because this round of revisions is finally done... yay! I think there will still be at least one more round to go but I'm happy to be finished with this one :).
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
2:53 pm
I could totally use an August/September writing retreat. Just sayin' :)!
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
6:02 pm
Forgive the cross-posting but I'm having trouble containing myself :). I am soaring high above the clouds right now, completely over the moon, and I wanted to share my news with all of you. Last night, after a back-and-forth between three fabulous houses and with the guidance of my fabulous agent, I sold my first freeverse YA novel to Random House in a pre-empt. Adding to my joy, they also bought a second YA in prose (of which, EEK, I only have 10 pages written!). Novel #1 will come out in Spring 2011, with my second novel following in Spring 2012 (my pb with Putnam comes out Summer 2010). They've already sent me a marketing plan, including such things as lead title and a multi-city pre-publicity tour. CRAZY, I tell you! JUST CRAZY! Thanks for letting me gloat a bit... drinks are on me!

Current Mood: ecstatic
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
6:57 pm
Popping in to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to one of my favorite writer-friends, Alma Fullerton! Alma was just selected as the recipient of Canada's Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award in the middle grade/young adult category, chosen by students, for her fabulous book, Libertad. Obviously, these kids know a fantastic read when they read one. Congrats Alma, I'm so proud of you!!!
Friday, May 8th, 2009
8:08 am
Math Question
Hi All,
I'm revising a story for my editor and changing my mc from a 4th grader to a 2nd grader. Can anyone tell me if beginning division skills are ever taught in 2nd grade? My youngest is in 5th grade and I have minimal memory skills! Any help appreciated!
Friday, January 16th, 2009
9:42 am
My picture book, about how a pesky flea brings a lonely dog and a lonely man together (due out from Putnam in Summer 2010), finally has a finalized title... A FLEA-FOR-ALL :)!

Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
10:19 am
Finishing Things
Yesterday was a day of finishing things. Not my holiday shopping (which I have yet to start), or my grocery shopping and laundry (which I hope to finish by afternoon). But I finished teaching my first-ever course in writing books for children and I loved it. I will miss the folks who came to hear me babble, hopefully they got something out of it (they did write very nice course evaluations). I would love to teach another adult ed class, but not an hour and a half away :). The other big thing I finished yesterday was writing my first-ever chapter book. I had so much fun writing this one!!! I don't think I've ever had as much fun writing a book!! It's only a first draft and, when I get it back from a few trusted readers, I'm sure there will be tweaking to do but, after the sting if a recent rejection, this was just the fun I needed!
Here's wishing fun for everyone! Laugh, play, love!!!
Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
12:21 pm
Jumping Up and Down!
I am SO EXCITED!! My very good friend almafullerton was just nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature, the highest honor given to a children's writer from Canada, for her amazing novel, Libertad. I have read this novel and can say (even though I may be biased :)) that this story tugs at your heart. It's stunning, really. And this nomination is so well deserved.
YAY ALMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Current Mood: giddy
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
12:16 pm
Congratulations Laurie!!!!
Big congrats to Laurie Halse Anderson, National Book Award Nominee for CHAINS. You go girl!!!

Current Mood: bouncy
Saturday, September 27th, 2008
1:47 pm
A Topsy Turvy Day
Yesterday was a strange day.

The morning started with me getting up the nerve to quit my job. It's a good job, part time, good hours, good pay. The kids I meet as a school social worker inspire me. I wasn't even sure there was going to be a position for me this fall, as the funding was running low. But they called at the beginning of the week and asked me to start in two weeks. I've been on medical leave since June, but I told them I'd let them know by Friday. I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and was cleared to return to work. But I woke up in the middle of the night Thursday thinking, "I don't want to do this." I've talked before about finding ways to decrease the stress in my life. This work, at least to me, is not so stressful. But, I think it's just the idea of it being one more thing on my plate, if that makes sense. Things will be a bit tighter financially, but this job mainly helped defray the costs of the extras. I think we'll get by. And, if not, I feel confident that I can get another similar job in the future. I'm going to miss the kids, though.

In the afternoon, I was telling a friend that I left my job and was hoping to focus more on my writing. I was writing before I got this job a few years back, but I think I will write with more purpose now because I know what a luxury it is for me to be able to stay home from work at this time. At least I hope so. My friend said, "Maybe you could look into some freelance jobs or writing for the educational market." As soon as I got off the phone with her I checked my email, and a friend of mine had posted on the NESCBWI list that a teacher was needed for an adult ed class in writing for children. It meets for two hours on Monday nights for 8 weeks. It's an hour away from my house, and I'll probably spend more money on gas than I'll make in pay, and I've never taught a writing class (I've done teacher workshops and trainings related to my therapy job, but nothing like this). But, this morning, I took the job. EEK! Wish me luck!!!
Saturday, September 6th, 2008
9:56 pm
Finding Balance
I've cleaned out three rooms in the past four days, my kitchen, my dining room and my family room. Rooms that were not full of dirt but full of clutter. I've rid my dining room table of school books and binders, and folders left over from June. I've cleaned the "junk drawers" in my kitchen and truly recognized where that term came from. I can actually find the book I'm searching for in the family room bookcase. And I'm learning, with each item I toss or keep, what's important to me (and why), and what things can be let go.

What a strange year it has been, so far. I know there are people there who are dealing with far more tragedy than moi, but this has been a year of adjustment for me. About six months ago, I was diagnosed with Lupus. I was quite ill for a while, but bounced back in time to hear that I also have a blood disorder which makes me much more susceptible to blood clots and strokes and heart problems. I could dwell on that here, but this is not meant to be a "woe is me" post. This is meant to be a post about taking what you've got and dealing.

How can I move on from here?

I can panic, worry about when my last day might be, worry that I haven't taught my children enough about what it means to be whole and happy and compassionate and true, worry that my husband doesn't know that *I* know how lucky I am to be blessed with him as my partner, worry that I've left so much undone.

But something changed inside me recently. I learned, and I can't explain how because I'm truly unsure, but somehow in all this fear, I learned that I have choices. There are things I can control and things I can't. I can't change the fact that I have chronic illness. I CAN change how I deal with it. And I've decided that, for now, the best I can do is find ways to make myself as happy and healthy and AT PEACE as possible given what's been given to me.

I choose to not beat myself up if I don't write every single day. At heart, I am a writer. Always have been, always will be. I'm hoping to reach that place where I don't bash myself for what I could have accomplished, but pat myself on the back for what comes forth.

I choose to only surround myself with people and things that make me feel good. This is not meant to imply that I think one should expect happiness all the time (I have no rose-colored glasses on), but I've spent too many years trying to fit into a mold of what I thought I should be so that others would accept me. That mold was confining and limiting and stressful (and stress is the worst thing for Lupus). I choose to get rid of things that increase stress and embrace things that don't. I know life can't always be a bed of roses, but that doesn't mean I have to always reach for the thorns.

I want to be around people who challenge me to think, and love me no matter where my thoughts fall... folks who are willing to accept my multitude of human imperfections :). I'm excited about this new place I've found within myself because even though my immune system may be at war - my mind is reaching for, and coming to find, peace.

That peace is what I wish for all of you as well.

Current Mood: grateful
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