National Book Award Finalist
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Something Rotten, Dresses, National Book Award, etc.

A couple things;

Alan Gratz, who wrote the awesomely action-packed Samurai Shortstop, writes these Shakesperean mysteries that are really fun and smart (I love me a mystery) -- and since the second one, SOMETHING WICKED, comes out this week, Dial books is letting you read the first one, SOMETHING ROTTEN, for free. You don't have to register, give your email addy, nothing --  just click here. 

Go check it out, babes.

Next thing:
People have been asking me about the "Call" I got about Disreputable History being a finalist for the National Book Award. I got an email from the dude at the National Book Foundation, and at first I didn't open it because I didn't know him and I was wading through a lot of backed up email. Then I did open it, and it just said to call him -- and then my PHONE WOULD NOT WORK.  And my cell needed charging. So I had to wait and call him like an hour later. And I didn't know if maybe he was calling about the finalists, or maybe like, he wanted a donation or something. 
And then he said, Congratulations, and I was happy only SWORN TO SECRECY for like 24 hours. So I didn't tell anyone, until the next morning when I told Sara Zarr, who had been nominated the year before for her awesome book STORY OF A GIRL. And she called me right away and talked to me in soothing tones. 

Last thing: Laurie Halse Anderson (also nominated for Chains -- along with Kathi Appelt for The Underneath, Judy Blundell for What I Saw and How I Lied, and Tim Tharp for The Spectacular Now) reminds me that I need a dress.  A really, really good dress. 
or possibly torture. 
Sometimes I take all my agita over something and project it into worrying about what to wear. 
It is highly possible I will do that, now. 
You can call me neurotic, but if it's good enough for Laurie, it's good enough for me.  :)