Reason number 7 to write: meet cool people

Okay, it’s probably optimistic on my part to even post a blog when I know the whole world is busy reading the next installment of Harry Potter. (What? You’ve already finished? You overachiever. I haven’t even started the book yet. I’m not going to let myself read about Harry until I’ve finished writing a short story which is due August 6th and which, coincidentally, I also haven’t started.)

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Anyway, I thought I’d tell you about one of the perks of being a writer. Specifically that you get to meet all sorts of neat book people. Seriously, writers, librarians, and teachers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever come across.

I just spoke to Jim Blasingame’s YA novel class at ASU and it was lot of fun. I have said on occasion (generally cynical occasions) that sometimes I feel like I’m working very hard to become good at something that no one cares about anymore. So it’s nice to talk to people who are excited about books. Plus Jim said I looked young enough to be my daughter’s sister, which incidentally is why one day he’ll show up in one of my book dedications. You just don’t forget men who say those kinds of things.

Side note: Jim has the coolest office because it is filled with books. My office is also filled with books so I felt we were kindred spirits until someone pointed out that all of his books were alphabetized. My books—well, not so much.

We then went out to lunch with Don and Alleen Nilson, delightful people, who both teach at ASU and have been involved in the book world for some time. In fact Alleen founded ALAN. How cool is that? I would love to someday be able to say I helped found an organization so I have been thinking about appropriate ones . . . Hmmm. Maybe CCLA: Crazy Cat Lady Anonymous: a group for all of those people out there like me who’ve been accused of hoarding cats. Or maybe something along the lines of LA: Late Again: a group for people who have no concept of time and thus are habitually five minutes late for everything. Or I bet I could start a group for technology challenged people called INRMFTCJDLM: It’s Not Really My Fault—The Computer Just Doesn’t Like Me.

I also got to meet Laura Walsh who was involved in the Mesa Writing Project, which was a class about teaching teachers how to teach writing skills. A very necessary skill for kids to have. You can read more about that at:

Anyway, I consider myself lucky to be able to rub shoulders with so many cool people—people who still care very much about reading and books.


  1. Tristi Pinkston
    July 22, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I’m reading your blog and not reading Harry, Janette! I know where my loyalties lie!

  2. Candace Salima . . . the LDS Nora Roberts
    July 22, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Ha, Janette. I read Harry Potter (turned the last page at 3:46 this morning) and also read your blog. See — okay, maybe I’m an overachiever, but I don’t think so. I just couldn’t wait to see what happened to Harry!

    Book people are the greatest, aren’t they? I almost cry when I across someone who loves books as much as I do. I almost want to start an organization: Book Lovers Unite! Huh, what do you think?

  3. Stephanie
    July 22, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    I’m not reading Harry either. I have to drive to the city to get a copy and we don’t get in very often. I’m sure I will run across a spoiler before I get a hold of a copy. So I’m going to continue to email, read and write blogs, only I’m going to do it with my eyes closed. 🙂

  4. Julie Wright
    July 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I read Harry and your blog and I am definitely not an overachiever. That’s the group I’m founding: the NAOA group (Not An Over Achiever). I agree about the cool people thing. People who love books like I love books are the coolest people in the world.

  5. Janette Rallison
    July 22, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    I think I could be president of your NAOA group–but I suppose we’d need an overachiever to actually get the group off the ground . . .

  6. Kari Diane Pike
    July 22, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Janette, consider me the first to join your INRMFTCJDLM group!!!

    I’ve not yet started reading the latest Harry Potter…although there are 3 copies in my house in order to prevent mayhem and bloodshed. To be honest, I haven’t even started book 2! I also read just the first book in “The Work and the Glory” …sigh…

  7. Marsha Ward
    July 22, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    It’s funny you should say that, Kari. I’m hoping no one will make fun of me that I haven’t started either series yet. [shrugging] Who knows if I will? Certainly not until I finish this novel!

  8. Kari Diane Pike
    July 23, 2007 at 9:19 am

    lol, Marsha…I feel much better knowing I am not the only one! We could start another group! We could call it the IRTRASUIFMN…I Refuse To Read A Series Until I Finish My Novel group.

  9. Janette Rallison
    July 23, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Hmmm. I’m not sure I could join that group–although I bet my editor would like it if I did.

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