The Baby Meets Another Erin Hunter (and Learns the Sign for Fish) (Not at the Same Time) (Those Two Are Unrelated) (Just to be Clear)

Hi everyone!

Behold!  Two Erin Hunters in the same place at the same time!

Yes, it’s true.  There are truly multiple Erin Hunters (four, to be exact), not one person pretending to be four for nefarious reasons.  I give you photographic evidence!  Voila!  🙂

That’s me and Jonah with the one and only Vicky Holmes, who is the heart and soul of Erin Hunter, not to mention a spectacular, lovely person.  Her author tour a couple of weeks ago came swinging past Boston, and I told Jonah we absolutely had to go see her, and he said that would be delightful.  (All right, his exact words might have been “TRUCK!  SHOES!  CHEEEEEEEEEESE!”, but his underlying message was clear.)

It was so so so exciting to see Vicky – as most Warriors fans know, the other Erin Hunters all live in England and I’ve never even met Kate or Cherith.  The last time I saw Vicky was at my wedding in 2007, and so it was very thrilling to introduce her to Jonah.  And to see her in action doing an Erin Hunter talk – she was HILARIOUS!  I know Warriors fans don’t need extra incentive to go see her when she’s near you, but seriously, don’t miss it the next time she’s on tour…even I learned stuff I didn’t know about Warriors.  :-) 

And then Jonah and I got to have dinner with her, because we are the luckiest, woo hoo!  Thank you for hanging out with us, Vicky!  And also for the adorable hippo she got for Jonah—I’ll post a photo of him with it sometime; he loves it SO MUCH.  (It’s a Sandra Boynton hippo!  Hippo hippo hooray!)

All right, how about a round of updates on the three major things in my life:

I’ve turned in the first book of my new big dragon series, which is being published by Scholastic next summer (2012).  I can’t wait to start giving you details and hints and images and contests and giveaways—I know next summer seems far away right now, but I have a feeling it’s going to sneak up on me!  I have to revamp the website!  Set marketing goals!  Plan thrilling events and contests!  Maybe even
join Twitter ack shoot me now.

Plus also write the other four books in the series.  And the other book project which I will tell you about once the first manuscript for that is actually finished, la la la.  And I’m going to a real actual publishing conference in a couple of weeks, for the first time in ages—the NESCBWI 2011 conference, where I will have to dress like a grown-up, but in exchange I will get to talk to people about books for two days.  🙂

It’s nice to be productive again, unlike, say, most of last year.  Well, OK, I was productive in the BABY sense, meaning, I PRODUCED A BABY, so I’m sure I’ll be getting a medal for that.  ;-)  But it turns out that was only step one in a much larger PRODUCE A HUMAN project, still under construction, which brings me to…

whom I should probably start calling The Toddler, now that he has achieved full velocity and destructo powers.

I’m the fastest toddler in the world!

Clearly the best way to learn to read is to pull every single book off the shelf and then sit on them.

What’s fascinating to me is seeing which words he’s learned as signs (I know, we’re THOSE parents) and which ones he’s learned to say instead.  He LOOOOOVES the word “truck”, and all the related words, like “tractor” “cracker” and “quack” (you may not have known they were related, but after hearing them all a hundred times a day, I can assure you they are).  He’s newly in love with “shoes” and “apple”, he’s sort of saying “ball”, and he’s got a cute approximation of “thank you” (“AN-koo”), which he usually produces when he’s handing me something, such as the piece of potato he’s carefully pre-tasted for me and decided he’d like me to eat instead.

But he uses the signs for “more” and “help” and “train” and, most hilariously, “fish”.  We’re doing an ocean-themed month in our baby book club in preparation for an aquarium field trip, so we’re quite fish-happy over here right now.

Not pictured: Hooray for Fish!, which is also fabulous.  It WOULD be in the photo, but somebody was READING it and didn’t want to relinquish it, AN-koo very much.

Jonah’s favorites of these are I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, by Kevin Sherry, and the nonfiction photographic fish books.  My favorite is Your Personal Penguin, by Sandra Boynton…too funny!  So hopefully there will be aquarium pictures eventually, and hopefully Jonah will be even more excited about the actual fish and penguins.  🙂

And what else do I do with my life?  Oh, yes…

(3) TV!
I am perfectly content with this Amazing Race season.  I’m sure by the 18th season I should be complaining about it, and I wasn’t madly in love with all the “all-stars” they brought back, but all my least favorites are gone in time for the two-hour finale next week, and it’s been funny and tense with lots of cool places (even prettier in HD!), and I don’t mind at all who wins at this point.  Yay favorite show!

Along with my other favorite shows, that is, like Nikita and The Vampire Diaries, which are excellent storytelling lessons because very dramatic stuff actually happens, and they’re not just dragging scenes out with pointless arguments to keep from revealing any secrets or to keep the main couples apart (ahem, nothing specific, just sayin’).  And Friday Night Lights is back for the last season!  Although I haven’t started watching the new episodes yet because part of me wants to save them, but don’t worry, that won’t last long.

And did you all see the new Upstairs Downstairs on Masterpiece Classic?  I love that both this show and Downton Abbey have hot political chauffeurs, although I rather prefer the less fascist one.  More Downton Abbey!  Now now now!

But you know what IS coming back soon?  SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!!  Huzzah!  May 26!  That’s only three weeks away!  Joy!

I can sense my dad shaking his head at me on the other side of this computer screen.  Well, at least I put TV third on the list, right?  ;-)  And sometimes I do other things, like read The Count of Monte Cristo, where it appears Dumas knew the first rule of thrillers: short chapters!  So he’s gets some brownie points right off the bat, although I’m not sure short chapters entirely makes up for the whole book being 1,077 pages, sir.

In conclusion, I give you this video of, like, the angriest reader ever, but it’s a pretty hilarious and catchy song:

Ha!  I think this young man needs, like, a bookmark and maybe a nap, but I certainly appreciate the sentiment.  Also, I like that two of the books he’s reading are Peter Pan and Marley and Me – edgy stuff, there.  ;-)  Thanks to Kiersten White for posting it! 

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful week!  More soon…

Quote of the Day:  “All we knew was the president was going to tell us something about national security.  It’s like when your mom leaves you that super-early morning voicemail consisting of: "It’s your mother. Call me."  And that’s it!  And you don’t know — is it malignant, or did the neighbor’s kid get into Brown?” – Jon Stewart, The Daily Show