Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Lost Books of Youth

The internet is an amazing place that yields up all kinds of information and allows you to track down things you weren't sure even existed.

But it can't bring back a book that's out of print. Well, not without some huge campaign where signatures are acquired or some such, anyway, and even then you can't figure a publisher would bring back a book first published in 1937.

That book is THE LOST QUEEN OF EGYPT by Lucile Morrison.

one of my favorite books when I was a kid. The book was old even then, and perhaps already out of print. But Cooke Library at Punahou School had a copy and I read it at least half a dozen times back then.

With the advent of places like Amazon, I was able to find most of the slightly more obscure books I loved as a kid like THE LITTLE BROOMSTICK by Mary Stewart, and MARA, DAUGHTER OF THE NILE by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I even found NO FLYING IN THE HOUSE, by Betty Brock, a book that had me trying to kiss my elbow for weeks because I wanted to be able to fly too. (Read the book if you have no idea what I'm talking about - it's for middle graders and possibly younger, but it's a blast.)

But even with places like Amazon and Abe Books, and Google and Ebay, the cheapest I could find for a copy of THE LOST QUEEN OF EGYPT was a used copy for $84.40.

No, I haven't bought it. I'm not overflowing with money for those sorts of purchases, but still! It haunts me. I vividly remember the charming drawings inside of the young Ankhsenpaaten and Tutankhaten, the joy of family life as depicted in ancient Amarna, and the sadness as the young Queen moves toward her inevitable fall when her husband, King Tut, dies. And of course, the delightful, melancholy ending, which adds a marvelous twist to what could be a tragic tale.

I guess what I'm saying is - if your library has this book, read it! And savor the books you love that you're reading now. Not everything is accessible all the time, even in this day and age. And you may end up with nothing more than a beautiful memory when it comes to your favorite books.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Rains of Nuuanu

I stopped by the house of one of my oldest friends last night to pick him up for dinner. (We've known each other since first grade.) His amazing 10 year old daughters saw it was raining as we left and loaned me this adorable umbrella.

Seriously smart, kind, delightful young women. I had such a fun with them.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The View from Vacation

Sitting in my father's office in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Looking out the window.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Author Fair - then Vacation!

I had a great time at the El Segundo Author Fair this Sunday. Here I am at my table right after setting up.

I sold and signed a few books, got to chat with kids and adults, gave away temporary tiger tattoos, and found time to get to know a few more fellow authors.

At the table in front of me was fellow YA author Sherri L. Smith, who was not only smart and super nice, but was featuring two of her five books - FLYGIRL and ORLEANS both of which looked MOST intriguing! FLYGIRL really tweaked my interest - it's about an African American girl with skin light enough to pass for white who joins the Women's Air Force Service Pilots during World War II because she loves to fly. (African American's were not allowed to serve with whites at the time - all the armed forces were segregated, sadly.) I've heard about these amazing women, who took over all the domestic flying for the Air Force while the men were off flying fighter planes. (Women weren't allowed to be fighter pilots back then.) I love a good story about women doing what others thing they can't do, about pushing the boundaries of people's expectations. So I'm going to have to pick up FLYGIRL for sure.

I also saw and chatted with my Apocalypsie buddies Jennifer Bosworth and Gretchen McNeil, who were on a panel with Sherri and the lovely Carrie Arcos and Jessica Brody, talking YA.

After seeing how the other authors had cool easel holders and placards about their books, I realize I need to step up my game and invest in some of that stuff.  But the librarians and council members of the El Segundo Library were unfailingly welcoming and helpful. If you're in the area, definitely check out the library there.

That was my last blast of author work before heading off to vacation. Well, I'll be writing the whole time, and THAT's author work, of course. Off to my homeland of Hawaii to see my dad and hang out with a bunch of my high school buddies, who will be in town. FUN! And yes, I'll bodysurf at Bellows because that's still my favorite thing to do in the whole wide worlds.

In fact, the cab is picking me up in about three hours and I'm still not completely packed! So I'm off to grab a snack and get ready. I probably won't be able to blog from there, but I'll be posting occasionally on my Facebook page and throwing out the occasional tweet.

Happy early June to one and all!