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Monday, June 18, 2012

Help with the writing process

Today I went to #Teach21c and spoke with a room full of teachers about writing, rewriting, technology, kids, reading, and listening. It was lots of fun.

What I didn't mention is who REALLY writes my books.

I'm coming clean; here's how it really happens:

Thursday, June 7, 2012


My big guy is at the prom.

I'm gonna leave the piles of laundry and editing and dishes where they are and take the little one out for an ice cream, quick while I can.

Tempus so fugits.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

4 PM

Sometimes the day just gets away from me.

I think I've got it well in my grasp and then, wham. How the heck is it 4PM already? And June? And my kids are all big and stuff?

I was just sitting there making stuff up for a bit, and when I got up to refill my tea cup, I realized the world had gotten way spinnier.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Trying that whole giveaway thing again...

So here's what happened:

The day JUSTIN CASE: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom came out, my sweet husband brought home roses and cava, to celebrate. My older son had his laptop on the counter, and was choosing good music to play. A fantastic celebration was starting, just the four of us, laughing, dancing around the apartment, catching our breath in the midst of the busiest year of our lives to CELEBRATE -- and that's when we knocked over a glass of cava right onto my son's keyboard.

The thing clicked off instantly. BAD SIGN.

I will not bore you or torture myself with the details of what happened after that, for the next 3 weeks of phone calls and trips around Manhattan and stress. Suffice it to say that my son, who handled the situation with so much more grace than I would have mustered had the situation been reversed, is in 11th grade. May of 11th grade. He had papers he'd written on that computer -- and half-written. Applications that were due for stuff at school next year. Plays he'd written and was revising. Hundreds of songs. Thousands of photos. Some backed up; most not.

Plus -- no computer on which to communicate with all his friends and co-workers on multiple projects; no way to write all his papers and other stuff except to borrow mine -- less than ideal.

It was, as a cousin of mine says, Not Good.

So I suspended the book give-away contest that was supposed to happen mid-celebration, since the celebration was abruptly halted. 

Until today. Because:

The good news: everything from my son's cava-soaked hard drive has been rescued!
The bad news: the computer itself is in the trash. 
The necessity: New computer has been purchased.
The upshot: a sad goodbye to so many dollars.
The celebration: the book giveaway is back on track! 

So here it is!

The JUSTIN CASE contest:

Win a free copy of JUSTIN CASE: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom!
All you have to do is type JUSTIN CASE in the comments below. Share this link to be entered 5 times -- and have a donation made in your honor to First Book!
Winners chosen at random Sunday night sometime... so enter asap.

You can go here to get more info on the book, and buy it from Amazon here or Bank Street Bookstore here.

But whatever else you do today, take these two pieces of advice:
1. back up your stuff.
2. keep your cava away from your (and your kids') computer

okay, and,

3. enter to win a free book!

Rachel Vail