In which we return to random Fridays.
1. The children's and YA literature community lost one of its brightest lights this week, in L.K. Madigan (aka Lisa Wolfson). I never met Lisa in person, but we exchanged a few emails (always memorable, always funny), chatted on twitter and shared an agent. (In fact, I believe the weekend I signed with Jenn, Lisa was at a retreat with Laini Taylor; Laini wrote with congratulations and mentioned that at the retreat her friend had said her agent just signed someone new, and that the writer's name must be a pseudonym–to which Laini laughingly told her she didn't think so. I was thus thoroughly charmed by Lisa before we ever interacted.) She was someone I very much wanted and expected to meet someday. I was a huge fan of her work, and have the greatest of sympathies for those who knew her well. The outpouring of memories in the past couple of days is quite astounding. We should all be so lucky as to touch so many lives. A trust fund has been set up to help fund her son's college education; I can't think of a better way to remember her. Donate if you can.
2. I don't know where to go from there, but it didn't seem like something I could save for the end of this post.
3. I've been horribly behind and playing catch up this week. Also, trying to remind myself how many things I've gotten done in February, despite lots and lots of whirlwind, and thus not stress about the fact that I'm only resurfacing now. I've been in such a weird space of such busyness that I haven't even been watching The Vampire Diaries as it airs. I know! Worrisome. I start it, then decide to save it for later. (I have, however, been watching Fringe when it airs. Oh, show, you have me biting my nails. I will never have sympathy for Fauxlivia!) Please do not cancel this one, network. I want at least one more season.
4. I've been thinking a lot about all the advice that goes around for people at the beginning of their careers (a lot of it for before those careers really start). And the thing I keep coming back to is: It's different for everyone. Everyone's path is different. So don't worry too much about prescriptions (or proscriptions) that say you can do this, but not that; that if you do X, then you'll never do Y. Take the opportunities that come to you if they are ones you want to, and don't worry too much about the ones you don't take or that aren't right or that never come your way. Keep working. Behave with integrity. Be a professional, which means taking your work and your actions seriously. (Even before others do.) Something you do or say at some point will prickle someone's skin the wrong way, but if you're being thoughtful, professional, and acting with integrity, that's all you can do. Help other people when you can. Do what feels right and meaningful. Keep learning. The rest will sort itself out. I promise.
5. In very exciting news, my sweetie Christopher Rowe's first novel* Sandstorm is due out March 1. Which is next week. Eek! Yay! It's the fulfillment of a since-teenagedom dream he's had to write a novel set in the Forgotten Realms, novels that were very, very influential for him as he was growing up. And I couldn't be prouder or happier. I've been reading one of the author copies that showed up this week (you might find it in a few stores already, actually), and it's just as good as I remembered–full of exciting intrigue, and some of my favorite characters ever. As he described it in a recent interview: "Sandstorm is a fantasy novel that features action, adventure, gladiators, monsters, love, loss, revenge, some more monsters, genies, an assassin with the head of a crow, an ancient book of stories, twins, minotaurs, evil priests, epic battles, floating palaces, secret societies, and the finest circus in all the Forgotten Realms." If you like high fantasy (or have ever played D&D), give it a try. To celebrate the release, I'll be hosting a Dungeons & Dragons Salon with the thoughts of some other very smart, excellent writers for whom gaming and/or the related fantasy novels were also influential. So make sure you drop by on Tuesday.
*He's hard at work on the second one now, Sarah Across America, and it is DIVINE. Although the fact he writes on the typewriter and doesn't like leaving a sheet in it overnight means that he frequently ends the day in mid-sentence, on the biggest cliffhangers ever. My nerves! I can't take it.