Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Coming Up For Air

I know it's been ages--like, a year since I checked in. I miss this community and actually think about my regular readers often. I hope you'll say hi in the comments and let me know what's gone on in your world. I would love to know. 

Events in my life and the end of the Sammy Keyes series left me in a pretty emotional state, but I've channeled that in a positive way through my writing. I have a new middle grade (best for kids in 4th-6th grades) coming out in October. It's called The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones and is about a boy who has to spend his after school hours at a dementia-care facility where his mother works as a caregiver. It's about a lot more than that, but that's a pretty good summary of the situation. They say humor is the best medicine, and  the writing of Lincoln Jones served as a much needed antidote to the emotional toll of seeing my feisty, intelligent, witty mother succumb to the devastating effects of dementia. The book is also my way of gently guiding kids to the realization that--as hard as might be to imagine--old people were once kids, just like them. 

Besides the writing, I've been working on a new website--one that I can update myself, easily and often. It's got a lot of great content--pictures, information, teacher support downloads, and behind-the-scenes Flipped movie stuff. There's also a readers gallery, so send in your pictures and artwork! Check it out here: www.wendelinvand.com

I do have other news, but won't go into it now. I'll be back! For now, I just wanted to say hello and let you know that you've been on my mind. See you in the comments!

12 comments:

:] Leah ]: said...

I'm so glad that you are back on here; its so much fun and more personal. I am very excited about the Secret Life, and can't wait for October to get here! To be truthful, I'm just glad that you didn't stop writing after Sammy Keyes--if you did, I don't know what I would with myself.
Can't wait to find out all the other news!!
-Leah :)
PS: I've been sick all week, so yesterday I re-read The Running Dream, and I swear, I cry more every time I read it. I think the older I get, the more nostalgic I get about running the 400, and the meaning just gets deeper each time I read it. Its such a beautifully written novel :)

Yusa said...

I hope when you say "4th-6th grade" you mean that I can safely read it as an incoming freshman in college. While nothing is decided yet, I will probably be going to UC Davis in the fall. Can't believe college is already here (although the next to months until graduation won't pass fast enough)!

Sometimes, out of habit, I open this blog in a tab, even though I know there is nothing new (although I do stumble on the occasional new comment that I read.)

Obviously I still want a Sammy Keyes TV show to happen. Or a small series. I just want to see it visually, well. If I could create the TV show myself I would, but sadly I lack the talent and resources. (Although I'm not saying I could not be of help if this ever comes back up.)

I can't wait to meet Lincoln Jones, I'm sure I will love him.

So what is this other news you speak of? I'd love to hear! It feels oddly nice to leave a comment after such a long time. So much has happened since sammy's last wave... I always felt weird outgrowing her -- first catching up to her in 7th grade, but then growing older. But now I just take her with me, so to me, Sammy is in college don't tell me otherwise.

As always,
Yusa

Kylie said...

Hey all old friends!
Kinglsy just pointed me to the new website last week so I had been checking that out and I love it! Especially the pictures!

The new series sounds great! Something new that I can read along with my nephew now that we finished Shredderman.

Life has been going great for me though! I am about to graduate from my community college and hopefully transfer to Chico State in the fall. I hope you all are doing great, it is so nice to be seeing familiar names and knowing you are doing good.

Kylie

Arianna Vander Weele said...

Good to hear the update! Herevs one of my own: I'm about to graduate college! BA in Psychology from SFSU - planning on going into human resources to create a stable living for myself so I'll finally have time for my creative hobbies (outlets) again! Currently doing some much needed spring cleaning...my house is getting crowded. My two shy foster cats are (after over a year in foster care) starting to snuggle! Looking forward to checking things off my bucket list and having a good year :)
-Ari

Arianna Vander Weele said...

Good to hear the update! Herevs one of my own: I'm about to graduate college! BA in Psychology from SFSU - planning on going into human resources to create a stable living for myself so I'll finally have time for my creative hobbies (outlets) again! Currently doing some much needed spring cleaning...my house is getting crowded. My two shy foster cats are (after over a year in foster care) starting to snuggle! Looking forward to checking things off my bucket list and having a good year :)
-Ari

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Leah: Thank you! I hope you're feeling better. I used to race the 400, too, only now it takes me twice as long. And that's when I'm really trying! But I can go a lot longer than I used to!

Yusa: Ha! Yes :-) It's funny--when we did our tour I noticed something about "fans" who showed up to the events: they are smart! Lots were in college, studying hard subjects. So read with pride :-) And congratulations on getting into UC Davis...I'm sure there are many colleges who are trying to snap you up!

Kylie: Great to see your comment here. And congrats on the 1/2 way mark. The next two will fly by, so enjoy them. BTW, we still have your music!

Arianna: Woot! Good for you! Fill that bucket to the brim--you are young with the world wide open to you. Congratulations on finishing college. I was SO happy to graduate and get on with life. No more TESTS!

All of you: So good to "hear your voices" -- gives me great joy.

Jessica said...

I'm in the process of moving (just across town), but somehow I got the urge to check this blog even though I don't have home internet set up yet (so please pardon any weird typos since I'm writing this on my phone). I look forward to reading Lincoln Jones, though I'm sure it will make me cry (most things do). Love the new website. Glad to hear everyone's doing well.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Jessica! Yay! So glad you checked in. Have missed your thoughtful comments and presence here. Hope the move has gone well. See you here again soon.

Gabrielle said...

I just checked this today and realized that you've put up three posts! I'm so happy that you have put up posts again, and have forgotten how much I missed them!




~Gabrielle

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Glad you checked, Gabrielle! I've missed you guys, too :-)

Optimistic4ever said...

So excited to see that you are back! And Yusa, congrats on Davis! I have a few friends going them, maybe you'll end up meeting them :D

Bethany Dodge said...

Love the premise of this book - I hadn't heard about it but definitely will get my hands on it asap