Monday, September 26, 2005

Record heat

Well,the hurricane missed us, but we got record heat (107 at Mabry and 108 at Bergstrom). The folks from Houston are heading back home, and Austin City Limits crowd is recovering from dehydration and loud music :-).

Taking stock with the past couple days, I think an argument could be made that Austin overreacted somewhat, but that's only because nothing actually happened. If the storm had taken the track they were predicting as late as Thursday morning, it would've hit the coast as a Cat 5 and come inland, even as far as Austin, with tropical storm force winds, and possibly, low Cat 1 force winds, accompanied by drenching rains (10+) inches. Believe me, Austin floods in the best of times. We would've definitely lost power all over the place, probably would have lost water, and many of the main roads would be less than picturesque rivers. I think, as a city, we were probably more prepared than we ever have been. I just hope we're equally (or better) prepared when the hurricane actually does get here.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Golden Spur Award nominees list.

The TSRA has updated its web site with the full list of nominees (and voting forms) for the Golden Spur Award.

Children's Literature: Ima and the Great Ostrich Race by Margaret McManis of Angleton (Eakin Press, 2002); Bats Around the Clock by Kathi Appelt of College Station (HarperCollins, 2000); The Cotton Candy Catastrophe at the Texas State Fair by Dotti Enderle of Houston (Pelican, 2005), Finding Daddy – A Story of the Great Depression by Jo & Josephine Harper of Houston (Turtle Books, 2005); Isabel and the Hungry Coyote by Keith Polette of El Paso (Raven Tree Press, 2004); Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck of Fort Worth (Simon & Schuster, 2005); Phoebe Clappsaddle and the Tumbleweed Gang by Melanie Chrismer of Houston (Pelican, 2004).

Intermediate Nominees: Angel of the Alamo – A True Story of Texas by Lisa Waller Rogers of Austin (Eakin Press, 2000); Lorenzo’s Secret Mission by Lila and Rick Guzman of Round Rock (Arte Publico Press, 2001); Katherine Stinson – The Flying Schoolgirl by Debra Winegarten of Houston (Eakin Press, 2000); Tofu and T. Rex by Greg Leitich Smith of Austin (Little Brown, 2005), Crown Me! by Kathryn Lay of Arlington (Holiday House, 2004).

No rain in Austin...

It looks like the shift in Rita's track just north of Galveston means there's a chance we won't see any rain this weekend. And winds? It might get a little "breezy." Good news for us and the folks at the Austin City Limits Music Festival (I wasn't all that anxious to see if the old pecan tree out front could hold up to 75 mph winds).

Unfortunately, it also looks as if Rita is going to stall out right after landfall is northwest Texas, and then drift southwest a bit. Which means torrential rains.

Looks like tons of people are taking the evacuate orders seriously. Everyone in Texas east of I-35 is learning the meaning of the term "traffic jam." Supposedly, it's taking on the order of 10-12 hours to get from Houston to here (normally a 3-4 hour drive). Roads here in Austin are packed with evacuees; reports are that 71 and 290 west from Houston are still jammed.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Thanks to those who have written and asked about our status re. Hurricane Rita. As of this morning, although we're still in the danger cone, per the National Hurricane Center, it looks like it's moving east. Which means the center of the cone of probability is Galveston, not the Matagorda area, and we should only get trpical storm force winds and severe thunderstorms. Still, we may get nailed yet -- they're predicting up to hurricane force winds fairly deeply (on the order of a couple hundred miles) inland. We're in a wait-and-see mode, backing up computers, and praying that everyone who needs to has evacuated.

Update: Here in Austin, they're predicting sustained winds of 20-40 mph, with gusts up to 50. Probably no tornadoes, since we're ont he west side of the storm.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wizards at War

WIZARDS AT WAR, by Diane Duane (Harcourt 2005), is the latest (eight) novel in her Young Wizards series, which started some twenty years ago with SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD. Like the others in this series, WaW features Kit and Nita, thirteen-year-old wizards who must deal with the mundane of family and school while trying to save the universe from Evil.

Duane is among the most effective I have read at combining fantasy and science elements in a coherent, logical fashion that does not completely violate the Laws of Thermodynamics. The novels are funny, fast-paced, suspenseful, and above all, smart.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

TOFU news!

I'm pleased to report that TOFU and T.REX has been nominated for the 2005-2006 Golden Spur Award for Texas Authors - Intermediate Children's Literature division.

Per Tara Forrest, Golden Spur Award chair, "[t]he Golden Spur Award for Texas Authors was created in 2004 by Texas State Reading Association to honor and recognize our state's talented writers -- and to encourage our 'older young readers' to READ! Winners will be announced at the State Conference on Literacy in Houston this November."

Further details and a list of all the nominees will be posted forthwith on the TSRA website.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


This summer, in between travel and writing and law, I managed to work in a few interviews (many thanks to all those who took the time to put together the questions and bandwidth):

Downhome Books has an updated interview, this time focusing on TOFU AND T.REX.

I was also interviewed by author Ellen Jackson for her Secrets of Success column.

YA Books Central has a brief interview accompanying their review of NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...