I started the summer off with a trip to Toronto to meet Joe Morse, the fantastic illustrator of HOOP GENIUS: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball. The two of us hit it off immediately and I loved seeing Joe's art and having dinner with him and Lorraine. We had a fun presentation together at the Central Toronto YMCA. It was interesting for me to hear the process Joe went through to create such excellent images.
The next weekend I attended ALA in Chicago and getting to meet Christy was a huge highlight. I'd been connected to her for years since she was the art director for STRONG TO THE HOOP fourteen years ago. I love the illustrations by Leslie Jean-Bart and have been eager to meet Christy since we started the Spuds. We finally got our chance over spectacular desserts at the Macmillan reception. It was a great initial conversation and a taste of what's to come. The next day Stephanie arrived and it was wonderful to be a trio for a brief time.
The rest of my summer was very good time at my desk working on 25,000 words of FOR EXTREME SPORTS-CRAZY BOYS ONLY. It was fascinating research and I feel like I learned a ton. I enjoyed meeting a bunch of new people who are passionate about what they do and an inspiration to all kinds of people. I sent that to my editor on August 30.
September 1, I received the fun news that HOOP GENIUS has been chosen as one of the Top Ten Sports Books of 2013 by Booklist. Some terrific titles are on the list and I'm honored to be among them.
At the beginning of September, I arrived at Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota, which is one of my favorite places in the world. We have an interesting group of five residents, including a photographer from China who speaks no English, but cooks magnificently. I am working on a new picture book and revisions to a YA novel. Here's a picture of my writing studio. From the room in the top, I can see miles down the Mississippi River Valley, which is helping with ideas.
I am so excited about the prospect of sharing this remarkable place with Spuds in the spring.