I fly, Antsy floats

I’m sitting here, in the exit row of an American Airlines jet, on my way to South Carolina, for school visits.  Great time to  blog!  For me writing a blog has always been like keeping a personal journal.  I start it, keep it up for a couple of weeks, but then life becomes too busy, and I slack off.  Too many deadlines, too many personal obligations.   I often wonder how people have time to blog on a daily basis. (I often wonder how people have time to golf, or to watch prime-time TV every day.)  I often find myself envious of “free time,” which I don’t seem to have much of.  Of course I have no one to blame but myself for that!  I’m the one who takes on so many projects, and responsibilities, my days are so full.   I suppose I just don’t like having an idle mind, or idle hands.  A desire to constantly be up to something is both a blessing and a curse.  In this blog — which I’m going to TRY to be very consistent with — I’m going to be talking about lots of things.  My writing, my thoughts on various subjects, random observations, and personal stuff as well.   Hopefully you’ll get some insight into the life of a writer, or at least this writer.

So what’s new?  I just recently a contract with Penguin for two books.  The second one is untitled.  I have no idea what it’s going to be about.  The first is another ANTSY book.   Antsy will be going on a cruise.  It will be called ANTSY FLOATS.   That’s all I know about it.  Well, I do also know that there will probably be a character named Tilde.  Tilde, for those of you who don’t know, is a phonetic symbol, Like the “schwa” and the “umlaut” both of which were featured in the first two Antsy books.  Following in that dubious tradition, I’m having a character named Tilde in the third, and will be putting a Tilde over the “N” in either Neal, or Shusterman  (It’s the squiggly line that you see in Spanish).  Beyond that, I have no clue what the story will be about.  Of course I do have some ideas.  I’ve been on a lot of cruises — as writing retreats, and for vacation — and I can include a lot of things that have happened on those cruises.  Still, I don’t have the over-arcing theme yet.  The more I ponder the concept, though, the more it will start to take shape.  I’m thinking I might want to deal with illegal immigration.  I might want Antsy to face the concept of true poverty — because when you travel to many third-world nations, you see a kind of abject poverty that we, in the United States are mostly shielded from.  We know it exists, but it’s easy for us not to look at it, because it’s not “in our faces.”    As with all my books, it’s this kind of noodling of an idea that gets it to take shape.  No doubt as I spend more time thinking about it, I’ll come up with other things that Antsy will have to come to terms with.   Maybe his own home is in foreclosure, but seeing true poverty helps put things into perspective.  Maybe he’ll learn to appreciate simple pleasures more.  So many things to think about!  I love the idea that a story begins as a blank canvas, and you can paint anything you want!


8 Responses to “I fly, Antsy floats”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Antsy Floats is going to be AMAZING! I can already tell. I’ve read the first 2 in the series and I LOVE them! What about these ideas I generated from reading your books and this blog…

    – Vladimir, Julius, or Parker would be good boy Tilde first name.
    – Veronica, Jasmine, or Tiara would be a good girl Tilde first name.
    – They go on a cruise around the Mediterranean.
    – They could stop at a couple major destinations (ie Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and Switzerland where they encountered many weird things specific to the culture of that area).
    – On the cruise, there could be some sort of convention on board (ie an old women knitting group, a group of foreign models, or some hilarious group of people that are on board for some sort of convention).
    – Antsy and his friends could miss the bus leaving the port from Italy (or someplace else) and have to wait for it. Meanwhile, we discover the story of how Antsy’s mom tries to turn the boat around and go back).

    These are just some ideas I thought I’d throw out there!

    Your Fan,

  2. Kevin Says:

    That would be so interesting if Howie thought they were going to Switzerland! How awkward would it be if one of Antsy’s teachers was on the same cruise? And one night at dinner he is awkwardly close to her table and she is on her honeymoon and talking about lovey-dovey things and it really makes Antsy uncomfortable! That would be funny!

    And maybe you could consider my name for a character! It would be SUCH an honor! Kevin. Kevin Tilde perhaps? I think it has a ring to it!

  3. That Little Notebook Says:

    I love your writing because you manage to mix humor with significant and sometimes daunting, yet still meaningful, subjects. Your books are thought provoking, and I would love it if you included something about illegal immigration. (Or human trafficking at some point, in some book. *hint hint*)

    I’m always telling people to read The Schwa Was Here, by the way. ;]

  4. Courtney Says:

    I love your books i think that Antsy Floats would be a great book to read. I told alot of my friends to read Antsy Does Time. I have not read the Schwa was here, but i want to. Your books are very very catchy. I LOVE your writing, it is the bomb.

    Love your fan,

  5. emily Says:

    That all sounds so amazing my friend interduced me to the world of unwind and it was in the local liberary so now i have two book marks in two diffent spots because my friend and i are reading it at the same time it is an amazing book i love it! And can not what for unholy to come out!

  6. Megan Says:

    I love you and Unwind! It is and always will be my favorite book!!

  7. Gilberto Hammitt Says:

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The whole glance of your web site is magnificent, well the content!

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