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Friday, April 9, 2010


My wonderful editor, Liz Szabla, sent me the best thing I've received all year: a hot-off-the-presses first copy of

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

It looks fantastic, even better than I'd hoped. I keep picking it up, looking through it at Matt Cordell's adorable drawings, reading bits... I am so excited to get more copies and start sharing them with people. Maybe I should have a contest to give some away -- what do you think? What should the contest be?

Oh, and Liz also emailed another lovely review, this one from The Horn Book, which says that Justin is drop-dead funny !!!

The mail has been so fun this week -- I also received a certificate and a lapel pin from the Junior Library Guild, because JUSTIN was chosen as a Premier Selection! I think I might have to buy a cute jacket, or something with a lapel, to put my pin on! For now I stuck it through the zipper pull-thing on my favorite fleece. But is that really dignified enough for a lapel pin? Actually I think it looks kind of awesome, personally.

Anyway, in celebration of all this news, here is a picture from page 21, when Justin is trying to cope with the power struggle among the stuffties on his bed, and the text of today as seen by Justin on page 174 of the book:

April 9, Friday

I got to stay home again, even though I felt fine. The rule is if you have a fever one day you get to stay home the next, even if you feel great.

Mom and I watched a movie in the morning and then we had chicken noodle soup for lunch.

Then I got to play video games for a full hour plus.

All together it added up to more screen time than I usually get in a week.

Sometimes a person needs a day off, Mom said.

She might be the smartest woman in the world.

Have you have a real day off lately? What did you do with it? What would you do if you could do anything you wanted all day?

I am kind of having a day off today, myself, because I am up at the lake, with no responsibility for or company of anybody but myself (and my characters.) What I am doing with my day: Writing. Went for a run. 99 sit-ups, 99 push-ups. Writing again. Later maybe I will sing a little, eat some chocolate, and then write some more.

I want to finish the draft of the current book before Justin comes out on April 27, which is not three months away (how relaxing that would be) but 18 days! Okay, back to work.

Rachel Vail

1 comment:

  1. If I had a day off, I'd write sitting in a beautiful park, I'd eat some lunch at a cute café and I'd just walk around thinking and enjoying life. Just some time for myself! I actually had some days off college (Easter vacation) but I basically had to write a few papers and study and meet with friends, so, yeah, it was technically a time off (I even wrote a little!) but not a responsibility-less time. I'll have to wait till the summer, I guess!

    I love, love, love the Justin illustrations and excerpts! He's definitely the smartest kid!



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