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Thursday, February 16, 2012

just saw this

A book to be hoppy aboutThis little piggy...wants to be a bunny! And why shouldn't he? Even if no one believes he can, Liam is determined to make his dreams come true.

Watch the trailer!

"This will be an enjoyably loopy and stealthily reassurring read-aloud any time of the year."
BCCB, Starred Review

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Happy Valentine's Day!

Is it a happy day or a stressful one for you?

I am going to spend most of today in my apartment, revising my current book. My tortoise seems unfazed by having only me, and dandelion greens, as his valentine treats. I made a special breakfast for my boys -- eggs cooked inside the heart-shaped cookie mold, then placed on buttered toast -- so they could go to school feeling like they had already gotten valentined. They, however, seemed similarly unfazed by the day and it's possible pitfalls. That makes me feel very lucky, as a mom. Because I remember some rough ones, and have listened to enough stories to feel the tension that forced merriment, assumed romance, pressures of flirtation and coupling can add to a person's day.

(Apparently, not a tortoise's, however.)

Anyway, a request and then two promises:

The request is that you maybe look around for somebody who is a bit awkward, and reach out to him or her. I love some people who have never had an easy time making a friend or even having a casual conversation, and honestly, it is not easy to be with them sometimes. Their company can sometimes feel like quicksand, and it's just easier sometimes to avoid getting sucked in. But I am going to request, of you and of myself, that we find somebody who might not be so smooth to hang with, and wish them a happy day, ask how they're doing, give them a few minutes and a smile, some company. Even an email. I know it's now a common trope to mock the requirement to make a damned valentine for each of the 22 or 28 or 31 kids in the elementary school class -- what a pain, and how meaningless! -- but think for a moment about being that kid who gets one crumpled card while the others get dozens, or to be the one who gets none.

Robert Rummel-Hudson writes beautifully and with searing honesty about the topic here.

I am going to email somebody I love right now. Hold on. I'll be right back.

Okay, I'm back.

Now for the promises:

One is that since today is not just Valentine's Day but also the publication day for PIGGY BUNNY, I am going to give away a signed copy. I'll chose a winner (actually 1 winner for every 25 signer uppers, so your odds stay good) at random at lunch today. All you have to do, to enter, is type PIGGY BUNNY in the comments below.

And of course if you choose to buy one at your local bookstore, or order a copy online, from Amazon or Bank Street Bookstore -- that would be great, too! Because in celebration of pub day, I will donate  to First Book in the honor of each person who buys a copy of one of my books today -- and also anyone who shares a copy of the  PIGGY BUNNY trailer on a facebook page or website or blog. So please let me know if you do!

The other promise: when I go out today, I will have candies in my pockets, to share. Hope I'll see you around...

The book I am revising is a sequel to my book IF WE KISS, after all. This seems, to me, on theme.

Though I believe chocolate needs no justification, really.

Finally, don't overthink: XKCD Valentine Dilemma

Much love, today and always,
Rachel Vail

Monday, February 13, 2012

The box o' books!

It came!

Is that YOUR copy???

Sign up for a chance at it... (see below)

Rachel Vail


Tomorrow is Pub Day for PIGGY BUNNY! 

I don't have any copies yet. 

But to celebrate -- I will send the first copy I get to someone chosen at random. 

Sign up to be entered just by typing PIGGY BUNNY here in comments! 

Winner will be announced tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Piggy Bunny Activity Guide

Hey, parents and teachers:

Here is an activity guide, made by the good people at MacKids, to use with PIGGY BUNNY!

Activity Guide

The book comes out on Valentine's Day... do you have a sweet kid who'll need a gift full of love?

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Here is the official PIGGY BUNNY trailer!

Please feel free to share it far and wide, if you like.
Let's make this little piggy go big.

Rachel Vail

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My favorite part of writing

Writing often feels like a slog. Uphill and pointless. 

My niece Trina once asked us, after a family hike, "Am I alone in feeling that was a TOTAL waste of time? We trudged around in the dirt for two hours and ended up back exactly where we started. We could have watched so much Buffy instead of -- what was that?!"

Some writing  days, like today for me, I feel just that way. The minutes tick by and there I am, still on page 6 of my revision, fussing with sentences, wondering if I really should just chuck it and go outside -- because for goodness sake it is February and 60 degrees and sunny out in NYC. How often does that happen?

But today I sat, and fussed and edited and trudged around in the wordy dirt and changed and deleted and wrote and deleted, lather rinse repeat -- and just now it happened. My favorite part of writing:

A moment came into focus that had been kind of vague and blurry before. A saggy sentence, in its fifteenth or maybe fiftieth iteration, worked.

A good sentence, true and real.

It sounds like crazy compensation for missing sunshine on a gorgeous day. But when it works, there's nothing quite as glorious as a sentence.

And the sun is still shining. Might go out and grab a bit of that now.

What makes you feel that way? Which trudging is worth it to you?

Rachel Vail