Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Writing: Picture Book Query from Denise MacLennan Bruce

Good morning, fellow writers, queriers, and bloggers amazing. Happy Wednesday! It's Query Critique time, so let's get to it.
This week's query comes from Denise MacLennan Bruce, who blogs at Denise of Ingleside. She's a very nice lady who is showing a lot of bravery to come forward with her query for public critique, so make sure you go and follow her, and make sure you're all as nice in the comments as you were last week.
Here's her query, with my redline to follow.
Dear Editor:
Rilla was so happy when her curly bangs were finally long, but when they start growing faster and faster, taking a life of their own, she finds a strength she never thought she had.
I am a member of SCBWI, and am in a number of critique groups including the SCBWI picture book and middle grade groups.  I am currently enrolled in The Institute of Children’s Literature.
Geared toward the 4-10 year old market, RILLA’S BANGS is a humorous 490 word children's picture book.
Please note this is a multiple submission. I will notify you immediately should this manuscript be accepted elsewhere.
I look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
Denise MacLennan Bruce

This is the perfect example of how long a picture book query should be, and it's a fairly strong query, with most of the elements already there. I also love the premise - a girl who is desperate for bangs, until they turn out to be more than she expected. As a Curly Girl who once had to contend with bangs, I can TOTALLY relate! (There is a reason I keep my hair long, guys. Those bangs were scary. *shudder*)

I do have a few thoughts, though:

Dear Editor: This is acceptable for an editor, but not for an agent, and if you can, try to get a specific editor's name. It goes a long way to show you've really done your research.
Rilla was so happy when her curly bangs were finally long, but when they start growing faster and faster, taking on a life of their own, she finds a strength she never thought she had. This whole opening is awesome, except for maybe the last section, which gets into vague territory. I'm not sure if her hair is strong, or if she grows emotionally to learn to cope with the hair, or if she becomes physically strong in order to be able to manipulate it, or what. This phrase also tends to get over-used, so I'd err on the side of a little more detail, without giving away too much of the ending. Having a bit more detail here will also help your book stand out among the many other "hair books" out there.
I am a member of SCBWI, and am in a number of critique groups including the SCBWI picture book and middle grade groups.  I am currently enrolled in The Institute of Children’s Literature. This is good, although it's debatable whether the stuff about the Institute of Children's Literature needs to be there. I would cut it myself, but it could be something you either cut or leave depending on the preferences of the person you're sending this to. Also, make sure to include which SCBWI chapter your groups are part of. There are many SCBWI chapters with online crit groups.
Geared toward the 4-10 year old market, RILLA’S BANGS is a humorous 490-word children's picture book. I think this would flow better if you put this paragraph after your opening paragraph describing your manuscript, before the paragraph about you. More importantly, here is where you have an opportunity to show that you know your market by including an additional sentence or two listing two to three titles that this publisher has handled - or even better, that this particular editor has worked on - that are comparable to your manuscript in tone or style or both. The research is challenging, but worth doing. Another way to approach it is by listing two comparable titles from other houses, and one from this house.
Please note this is a multiple submission. I will notify you immediately should this manuscript be accepted elsewhere. I don't think the second line is necessary here.
I look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
Denise MacLennan Bruce

And that's it! As I said, it's a strong query now, and after a bit of polishing and some market research, it's going to be nice and shiny. But let's get Denise some more opinions: do you agree with my feedback, or do you think that opening line is perfect? Do you have any other thoughts on how to make it better? Let it all hang out in the comments.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Musings: Post Oscars Edition

The Oscars! What a night. For those of you who missed Billy Crystal's return to evening television, you can catch a round-up of the winners HERE.

My personal favorite moments were Octavia Spencer's acceptance speech for her award in the Best Supporting Actress category, Christopher Plummer's very classy and also very funny acceptance speech for his award in the Best Supporting Actor category - and boy, was it a long time coming! - and seeing so very many nominated and winning films that had been adapted from books.

But this brings me to my least favorite part of the evening, which was seeing my fellow writers on Twitter complaining that no-one had thanked Brian Selznick for writing the glorious book that became the film Hugo.

Guys, you know I love books. And I loved THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET - it is such a unique and special book, and it is truly award worthy. And I don't want to get preachy on this blog, and maybe all the griping was borne out of a basic ignorance of the way movies get made, so I'm just aiming to inform here.

But GUYS. The people who won awards for their work on the film? They were the sound mixers, and the visual effects people, and the sound editors, and the set designers. They didn't have anything to do with the words part. Their job was to make sure that the train whistle didn't drown out the dialogue, or that the music was loud enough that you could hear it without being so loud that you couldn't hear the sound of Hugo's footsteps echoing down the corridors. The visual effects guy was worrying about making everything look smooth so it blended in with the live action. The set designers might have seen the illustrations in the book, or they might have met with Scorsese and had him tell them, "You know such-and-such place? Make it look like that." (Plus, the set designer was an Italian lady who seemed not to speak much English - maybe thanking the author and everyone else was a little beyond her at that point.)

It kind of sucks to say it, but these guys didn't necessarily need the book. To pick on them for not mentioning Selznick is kind of like picking on a Newberry Award winner for not thanking their parents for giving birth to them so they could live to write something so amazing.

The people who always thank the original writer of the book are the screenwriters who do the adaptation, which Hugo didn't win, and the director (another category that Hugo didn't win), and the actors (and Octavia DID thank the author of THE HELP). Because these are the people for whom the original words were really, really important.

So, I hope you know a little more about what sound mixers and all those other people do. And I hope the next time you sit down to watch the Oscars, you can enjoy it a little more, and maybe cut them a bit of slack. They work as hard as we do, and it's wonderful to see talent and hard work recognized, in any field, but especially in the arts.

What were your favorite Oscar moments?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Film Favorites: Hugo

I went to see Hugo (the not-3D version) at a wonderful little repertory theatre on Bloor Street in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, and WOW, guys!

I loved it. I simply LOVED it. I expected to like it, because a) it's directed by Martin Scorsese, so that's a no-brainer; b) it's nominated for 11 Academy Awards, which usually means it's good (but not always); and c) I had read in reviews that it was a tribute to the history of film. But it was so much better than I expected it to be.

The real delight for me was in the realisation that Hugo isn't just a tribute to old movies in the literal sense. Yes, the story does spend a considerable amount of time dwelling on the history of filmmaking, from the first film of a train rushing into a station up through the hundreds and hundreds of short films that followed. But there is much, much more to it than that. The real joy was in seeing that the way Hugo views the world, watching people from the safety of his various hiding places throughout the station, is akin to watching a string of short silent films. The beautiful simplicity of this story, of the circular nature of who Hugo is and what he accomplishes throughout the film, is marvellous. The camera work is perfect - this film was perfect.

A film that brings all of its elements together to make a seamless whole is so, so rare, but this film does exactly that. This is one worth owning and watching again and again.

And about those other reviews? A lot of them said that kids might be bored by the historical parts, but my 8-year-old son and step-brother loved them, so this movie works for cinephiles and newbies alike. Watch it.

What's at the top of your list of must-see movies?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picture Book Query Workshop: Catherine Johnson's Critique

Hi there! It's Week One of my new Picture Book Query Critique Series on the blog, and boy, am I excited. I haven't been this excited about blogging since...since... Well, ever, actually. So, Welcome!

First, a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. I am super excited to say that I have entered into a critiquing partnership with my friend, the super-blogger and critiquer of pure awesome, Matthew MacNish, who blogs over at the QQQE. What this means is that he will go on as he normally does, critiquing queries for novels over on his blog, but if he gets a picture book query, it will be featured here, with both of our feedback. Likewise, if I get a query for a novel, I'll send it on over to him and it will be featured over there, with both of our feedback. So make sure you're following him , and come one, come all! Send those queries in!

The inaugural query comes from the wonderful Catherine Johnson, a friend of mine in both the Interwebz and the Real World, who can always be counted on for encouragement and a cheerful smile. She's a regular blogger about kids, pets, books, and the writing life, and it was REALLY BRAVE of her to agree to be the first to face my RED PEN of DOOOOM put her query out there for public critique, so go follow her HERE.

Back? Good! Here's Catherine's query, with my redline to follow:

Dear (agent),

I would like to submit Big Al of the Everglades for your consideration. I have submitted to your agency before and I really like your write-up on Literary Rambles. You have an impressive client list full of my favorite authors such as XXXXXX.

A hungry alligator can catch nothing but a cold, scaring away his lunch with his sneezing. After many failed attempts to catch his lunch, he learns to use his sneezes to his advantage with the local fisherman and discovers something new for the lunchtime menu - fish!

I am a member of SCBWI, Canadian Chapter and I participate in an online critique group plus beta readers. My publishing credits include poems and flash fiction published by Pill Hill Press.

BIG AL OF THE EVERGLADES is a funny 134 word picture book for 3-8 year olds. This is a simultaneous submission and you can contact me at the email address below.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Name, contact details, etc.

I honestly think there's a lot of good stuff in here. There's definitely some tweaking and polishing that can be done, but the basic elements are all here, which is a great start.

Dear (agent),

I would like to submit Big Al of the Everglades Remember ALL CAPS for manuscript titles. You did it at the end, but you need to do it every time you mention the title of your MS. for your consideration. I have submitted to your agency before Unless you got personal feedback, I don't think you necessarily need to mention this. In my experience, agents rarely remember the form rejections, unless you've got a really unusual name or your query was one of those awful ones that was written in crayon and came in an envelope full of glitter. and I really like your write-up on Literary Rambles. I actually heard one agent at a conference say that he'd rather people read his interviews and agency website than his write-up on Literary Rambles, but I LOVE Literary Rambles. There are a number of good links in those write-ups - maybe reference something the agent said in one of those linked interviews instead? You have an impressive client list full of my favorite authors such as XXXXXX. I like the sentiment here, but maybe rephrase it to exclude "impressive" - "I was delighted to find that authors x, y, and z, whose books I love, are all represented by you," or something.

A hungry alligator can catch nothing but a cold, scaring away his lunch with his sneezing. I LOVE this premise, and I love the phrasing of "can catch nothing but a cold" - but maybe you can rephrase "A hungry alligator" to reflect the tone of your story a bit more? You could even pull a phrase directly from your manuscript here: "Al the alligator was simply starving," or whatever it is. Just spice it up a little. After many failed attempts to catch his lunch, he learns to use his sneezes to his advantage with the local fisherman and discovers something new for the lunchtime menu - fish!

This last part was great, except that I'm confused about why fish would be a new thing, and I fear that you might be giving your ending away. Maybe cut the part about the local fisherman and cut "fish" - just tell us that he discovers something new for the lunchtime menu. Then whoever reads the query will want to read the pages to find out how he uses sneezes to his advantage, and what the something new will be.

I am a member of SCBWI, Canadian Chapter and I participate in an online critique group plus beta readers. My publishing credits include poems and flash fiction published by Pill Hill Press.

Perfect. Succinct, professional, straightforward.

BIG AL OF THE EVERGLADES is a funny 134-word picture book for 3-8 year olds. This is a simultaneous submission and you can contact me at the email address below.

134 words - WOW! I am seriously impressed. That's way under the 600-800 word limit people are talking about nowadays.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.


Name, contact details, etc.

And that's the query! As I said, overall, I think Catherine has done a good job here. Just some tweaking, a bit of spicing up, and this query will have gone from good to GREAT.

But that's just my opinion, and I want to hear yours. After all, I'm only one person. Do you agree with my critique? Disagree? Have your own ideas about how Catherine can add some pizzazz to the meat of her query? Please feel free to share you thoughts in the comments. Just remember the rules: be honest, but be respectful.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Musings on Focus

So, I've had this weird feeling that the Universe has been trying to speak to me lately.

First, there was the weekend where even though I thought I was going to be talking about book projects, I ended up talking to people about their previous film projects.

Then there was the plane ride home where I happened to meet a talent agent - we had a great conversation, about books and movies and how much we hate reality TV (sorry, reality TV-lovers; it's not my bag) and pets, and that ended with him asking how we could keep in touch.

Then there's the fact that I have more ideas for books and scripts than I know what to do with, and I saw Hugo and it reminded me why I wanted to be an actor in the first place.

And basically, if I'm honest, the publishing industry is so wonky right now with e-this and print-that and Amazon becoming a publisher and Apple launching self-publishing apps (iAuthor? Really? REALLY? I want an annulment, Apple. You've been messing around behind my back, and I won't stand for it.) and all the people who work for publishing houses getting nervous that it makes the performing arts look like a stable career choice, and that's really saying something.

And then today, as I looked at my ever-growing To-Do list and wondered if it was too late to use stem cells to generate a few extra arms, I had a moment of clarity.

You can do everything - just not all at once. And it doesn't matter which one you choose to do first. You just have to choose something.

Choose something. One manuscript. One idea. And see it through to the end. Finish it. Stay focused, and don't get distracted. Keep your eye on the ball.

Then when that one thing is done, you can choose again.

My one thing is a chapter book that I've had on hold while I worked on and submitted picture books. What is your one thing for today?

And remember to come back on WEDNESDAY for a query critiquing extravaganza, and a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Favorites: Paper and Ink

Nathan Bransford posted this week wondering why it seems that literary writers are always decrying the electronic age, and as always, he asks some really good questions, and posts some really good links. You should go to his blog here right now and check it out if you haven't seen the post already.

And as always, since I'm a wordy and also a slightly arrogant person (you might not believe me, but just ask my mom), I came up with more than would fit in a comment on his post.

So here it is:

First: Can we all stop calling print-lovers old curmudgeons? I'm only 33, and I want to make it at least into my late forties before anyone starts calling me "OLD." The argument for old-fashioned networking can't be simplified into a simple age breakdown, anyway.

There's the time it takes to learn a new thing, and to learn how to use it effectively. That's time that could (should, even!) be spent writing.

There's the fact that we all (and by "we" I mean "in the writing and publishing business," not "we literary writer folks," because I don't think of myself as an exclusively literary writer) make this distinction between "literary" and "commercial," and while the latter is OBVIOUSLY helped by having a big e-presence, there is a perception (maybe incorrect! But still there) that it's not the same for the former. In fact, I believe that one of the distinctions people draw (even if they don't want to admit it) between "literary" and "commercial" fiction is that commercial stuff sells to the masses because it's hip and cool and relevant and has a fast plot, while literary stuff sells to a few brainy people because it's intellectual, which is kind of the antithesis of Twitter. I mean, look at what they called it: Twitter. It doesn't exactly conjure up images of intellectual greatness. More like the incessant, mindless babble of people with nothing better to do than stand around on a corner and swap gossip.

(And let's remember that most literary stuff DOES NOT SELL WELL. There might be something to the argument that the point of commercial fiction is making money, while the point of literary fiction is making people think, and that's for another blog post. And it should be said that even though I think one could argue that, I don't necessarily actually believe it to be completely true.)

There's the fact that, in my own personal experience which might not be applicable to anyone else at all so please don't be offended, it took WAAAAY longer to write my literary manuscript than it took to write my commercial ones. This does not mean literary writing takes more work or is harder or anything like that. But for me, it takes more mulling. More quiet time. More playing with phrases and punctuation and the look of the page. (See the first point I made about this e-presence stuff taking a serious chunk of time to figure out and do.)

There's the fact that the whole point of browsing is to take your time over it. That's what browsing is. Scrolling through an electronic list in an e-reader kind of takes away from the experience.

There's the fact that studies are coming out showing that the act of cursive writing, old-fashioned and outdated as it is, actually helps improve information retention and language fluency. (Here, here, and here. Just Google it if you want more.) I would venture to say that the same can be said for the act of turning an actual page. Body and mind are not as separate as we like to think.

But there's also this:

When I read blogs and tweets and Google+ posts, I'm not really getting to know you. I'm only getting to know an extremely tiny piece of you. Only the teensy, weensy parts of your life that you're choosing to share in the extremely public electronic forum. And when you read this blog and follow me on Twitter and Google+, that's all you get of me: a teensy, weensy part of me. You don't really know me. I don't really know you. If we met in person, we'd be more likely to shake hands than hug. If I met an author whose posts I follow in person and went in for a hug, I'd probably be removed from the building by security.

But when I meet my writer-friends in person, we hug. We swap stories about our families that we wouldn't share in the too-public forum of the Interwebz. We can see in each other's eyes the excitement of a WiP, or the pain of another rejection or - even worse - months of silence from an editor we've queried, even though our words tell the story of the cheerful writer pulling herself up by the bootstraps and keepin' on. Our conversations last hours, instead of milliseconds, and we jump freely from topic to topic. We see in an instant clothing choices, lifestyle choices, the condition of each other's idea notebooks. I see the whole person. And they see the whole me.

I love email: without it, I'd have lost touch with my closest friends in far-flung places long, long ago. I use Twitter, although I sure don't use it effectively. I blog, obviously. I use Goodreads. My husband has an e-reader, and I've held it and turned it on and poked around.

But I'd rather read a real book than an e-book. I'd rather be writing when I have solitary time, and connecting with people in person when I can. Because no matter how good Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and Goodreads get, they will never be as good as the real thing. No matter how good e-readers get at simulating e-ink, it will never be the same as appreciating the texture of the paper and the quality of the binding. It is the reduction of a book to its content only, which for me is not what a book is. It's like looking at a print of Starry Night, instead of seeing the real thing. It's like watching a 3D movie about climbing a mountain.

No matter how good it is, it will never match up to the real thing. Not ever. It will always be less. And less is for the birds.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Feel free to carry on the discussion in the comments.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writing on Wednesdays: Picture Book Query Template

I promised last week that I would launch my Wednesday Picture Book Query Critique series by posting a template for picture book queries, and here it is!

First, a quick word about query letters vs. cover letters and querying vs. submitting. We all know that technically, a query letter asks for permission to send your full manuscript, while a cover letter acts as a brief reminder of why they have requested your full manuscript in the first place. BUT, in the case of picture books, the vast vast majority of agents and editors will ask you to just send your full manuscript along with the query. There are a couple of exceptions to this - for example, Writers House agent Steven Malk's guidelines state that he wants a query letter only - but by and large, you'll be sending your full manuscript along with a letter, and this will be the first time you have contacted this professional about your manuscript.

THEREFORE, your query letter is really a hybrid letter: you still need to entice the agent or editor, but you're also introducing yourself and your work. So, I approach it the same way I approach the traditional query letter, without the part where you ask if you can send your manuscript.

Basically, your query needs to do three things: 1) introduce your book (name, premise, word count, audience); 2) introduce you (writing history, publication history, professional memberships or qualifications); and 3) make the person reading it want to read your manuscript. It should also be personalised, so the person you're submitting your work to knows why you are sending this particular manuscript to them (as opposed to the rest of the publishing world). SO, I break this down into three basic paragraphs.

My typical query looks like this:

Dear Agent or Editor Fabulous,

We met at such-and-such conference/award ceremony/event and talked about topic X. After our conversation, I think you'll be interested in my manuscript, TITLE IN ALL CAPS, a XXXX-word picture book for insert age group (usually 4-8 year-olds).

Blah blah blah blah catchy line that summarizes the CONFLICT - this is the hook, guys. Another line (not a rhetorical question!) that outlines the STAKES. Fans of this major series, this midlist book, and this other book you might not have heard of will enjoy my book/seeing how this plucky heroine saves the day/whatever the connection os between those books and your book.

I am a member of these professional organisations (please join an organisation: SCBWI is pretty much a must, and it's not expensive), and my work has been published in Such-and-Such magazine/I have THIS BOOK coming out in November of 2012 with X publisher/whatever you've got going for you. If you have a professional or quirky connection to this manuscript in particular, (for example, if you have big hair and you've written a manuscript about a kid with big hair, or if you work with autistic kids and you've written a manuscript about an autistic kid), you mention it here.

lease note that this is a simultaneous submission. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your signature
Your name

ET VOILA! This is really not that hard, guys. We all make it out to be more than it is.

OKAY! So, send me your queries, and we'll polish up those hook and stakes lines. In the meantime, got any questions? Comments?

Lay it on me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Time Management

You know how you thought you were busy when you were a teenager, and then you got an actual job, and you thought, "Man, I thought I was busy before - now I'm SWAMPED!" And then you got a boy/girlfriend or got engaged or bought a house and had STUFF to plan and A PERSON who wanted to spend time with you all the time, and you were like, "OH MANS, it can't possibly get any busier than THIS," but then you had a kid, and you realized you didn't even know the MEANING of busy before?

And then you had ANOTHER kid? And maybe also a pet?

And then you decided that on top of the housework and job and child-rearing and spouse-seeing and friendship-building and home-reno, you were going to write a BOOK?

YEAH. Totally nutso. Me, too.

So, my secret is not doing nothing. If I have five minutes, I run down to the wood windows we had installed and putty in a couple of holes, or I sand something, or I sort out a load of laundry. Or I might grab my notebook and jot down the outline of that scene I thought of in the shower. If I'm watching TV, I fold laundry at the same time. If I'm on public transit, I'm also reading, or making a To-Do List. (I live for To-Do Lists. They keep me sane.)

It sounds exhausting, but the thing is... It isn't. I actually have more energy now than I did before I cut out the "dead time." It's like exercise: if you do the right amount, you'll feel less tired than when you didn't do any.

It's not the only answer, but it is one answer.

How about you guys? Do you have any time management tips?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Favorites: Beauty and the Beast

I took my kids to see the 3-D version of Beauty and the Beast a couple of weeks ago, and they loved it. The highlight of the movie was the talking furniture - they giggled their way through all the scenes of Cogsworth and Lumiere bickering.

BUT, I don't know how much the "3-D" aspect added - and in fact, for my four-year-old, it detracted. The Beast was SCARY in 3-D! I think an old-fashioned plain re-release would have been a better choice for this movie, since the 3-D didn't really enhance the story. It's great on a big screen, and I'm glad my kids got the chance to experience it in a movie theater, but I think the 3-D was an unnecessary alteration.

How about you guys? Did you see it? Did you like it? Was the 3-D-ing of a Disney classic a plus, or a minus? What do you think?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Writing: Introducing the Weekly Query Workshop!

So, I've been thinking about the direction I want to go in with this blog, and I think I'd like to offer more than just my musings. I want to offer something that will actually help people.

So, I've decided that Wednesday is going to be a Query Critique day. But not just any queries: Picture Book queries!

Color me weird and call me crazy, but I kind of like queries. And I know a lot of people find them hard, but I don't find them difficult at all. It must be all that time I sent on book reports when I was little. Boiling a picture book down to one sentence is like stirring cream into my coffee: smooth, easy, quick, and with tasty results. And oddly enough, I enjoy that kind of thing. So I figure, why not put that to use for the greater good?

So here's the deal. You send me your picture book queries and cover letters via email (the address is up there under my photo), and every Wednesday, I'll critique one on the blog. Others are free to comment as well with their feedback, so you get a whole workshop. I'll let you know ahead of time what week your query will be up, so you can check in and see what everyone has to say.

If I have a week with no query, I'll post something sage and wise about writing in general. And to give us time for the news to spread and get some queries going, I'll post next Wednesday with some tips and a template that I like to use for my Picture Book queries and cover letters.

In the meantime, let's do a quick and informal poll: how many of you write Picture Books? How many of you think you might want to, but haven't tried?

Monday, February 6, 2012

SCBWI NYC 2012 Wrap-Up

Last weekend, I went to New York City to rub elbows with writers, editors, and agents from all over the kidlit world.

It was amazing. I got to hang out with my wonderful friends Helaine Becker, Mahtab Narsimhan, Maureen McGowan, Robin Walton, and Kari-Lynn Winters. I got to meet my amazing, gorgeous, ridiculously talented critique partner and friend, Antje. And I got to meet incredible people like Cassandra Clare, Sophie Blackall, and Dan Yaccarino.

I got to hear Chris Crutcher say that if you listen to enough stories, the truth starts to float, and it is that truth that you write. He was an amazing speaker, but when I ran into him at the gala on Saturday evening, I learned that he is also an amazing person.

I met and had a great chat with Lin Oliver, who is a really neat person, on top of being incredibly talented and funny and wonderful. And she read my joke out in front of EVERYBODY, which was totally awesome.

I came away inspired and bursting with ideas. I have so many great ideas, I'm having trouble deciding what to work on next. Thank goodness I'm in the middle of something - by the time I finish, something will have settled out of the mix and I'll know where to go next.

But most of all, I met this guy:

Henry Winkler ZOMG!

And he loved my hair. I have it in writing.

And that pretty much sums up my weekend.

What's going on with you guys?