owls and oracles

A screech owl has moved into the tree next door. He (or she?) perches in a heart-shaped nook, looking down through heavy-lidded eyes. Every so often, the drowsy bird blinks at me, almost smiling like the Tootsie Pop-crunching fiend in the TV ad.

Owls symbolize the souls of the dead, along with a lot of mystical stuff. They can peer into the future...which is just what I'm doing...getting ready for my book's due date.

Today I met with Emily, the events guru at Books&Books. She's got the coolest last name (like the French word for love) and a slew of ideas. Luckily, I have a few of my own. So we sat in the cafe and swapped notes. She talked about Laurie Halse Anderson's rock and roll blowout this spring...and I agreed that music/multimedia are a must for a non-boring book launch. As soon as we lock down the details, I'll let you know! We're thinking early November...on a Saturday night..

Meanwhile I've finished my daily jaunts to the post office. (HarperCollins had given me a list of YA-related book blogs. I've mailed almost every ARC in the box). I'm chatting with a freelance publicity team (thanks to Siobhan for pointing me in their direction! They rock!) and trying to figure out...what else can I do? It's all about balancing my efforts with the publisher. And because I'm a dork, I love all this behind-the-scenes footage.

After my meeting at the bookstore, I swung by a Euro-deli in the Grove. I sat by the window, checking out bags of "half salt" popcorn (whatever that means), Tweeds flax seed chips, and "gassosa" in green bottles. The guy behind me was rambling about Justin Timberlake:

"I remember when he was, like, doing his human beatbox," the man said (picture a paunchy, middle-aged dude, a suit without a suit). "He has that yellow hair...that fake Napoleon Dynamite 'do."

I whipped out my Moleskine and jotted down bits of dialogue. When my boyfriend showed up for lunch, he laughed at me.

"Eavesdropping again?" he asked, pulling up a chair.

Maybe that's what the owl is doing next door. After all, their bowl-shaped ears can hear ten times better than humans. Wouldn't that come in handy? Not to mention, the power to see into the future.