The Book Lady, aka Caryn Caldwell, is one of the best reasons I know to live in modern times. She’s one of the friends I’ve met here in the blogosphere. Yes, we now hang out.

I have no idea what she looks like, but I know her humor, her sensitivity, and the fact that she has the funniest cats in the world. Also I know that she’s working on a Young Adult paranormal novel, and also that she’s hilarious and brilliant. I’ve been meaning for some time to link to this fabulous post she wrote about what to do when you have writer’s block. She actually came up with 41 things that can help you get beyond the panic, and find your way back to your book. So many of them are delicious and wise, and if you are writing something (or worse yet, NOT writing something) you should go immediately to her post and read them all…but here are two of them that I thought were particularly wonderful:

  • Skip ahead to what you do know and write that. Sometimes you’ll find that the scene you agonized over really doesn’t need to be there, or in the meantime you – or your subconscious – could think of a good way to fix it.


  • Think of ways to make your characters’ lives worse, then implement them. It’s hard to have a book if you don’t have conflict.


And so, the other day she asked me if I would like to do a guest post on her blog–her newly renovated, fresh, clean blog–and I said yes, and to make a long story short, I got to hang out over at her place and talk about my characters, Jamie and Nate, in a post called, “Where Do These People Come From?”  So if you’re ambling around on the Internets, stop on by. I’m vowing to answer all comments!  

I was on the train to New York the other day, to go visit Stephanie and see how she’s settling in to her sophomore year of school–and when I handed my ticket to the conductor, it turned out that I was in the presence of none other than the Conductor to the Stars!

This is a guy my husband wrote a feature story about, because he recognizes EVERYBODY who rides the train! He’s amazing that way. (Full disclosure here: I never recognize anyone. After the Thanksgiving Day Parade one year in New York, our family was walking behind a guy with a funny hair situation going on, and my husband kept poking me and nodding toward the man, trying to get me to realize that we were within 23 inches of The Donald Himself. Ivana and Tiffany were right there with him. Did I know who this was? Any of them? Not a chance.)

Anyway, because my picture used to run in the newspaper every week back when I wrote a weekly column, this conductor (his name is Bobby) recognized me, and for a while, we had fun talking about writing and conducting trains and authors we love, and then it turned out WE BOTH HAVE BLOGS.  

Well, I couldn’t wait to go read his blog. And it has been such a pleasure, going back through his archives and reading old posts, because he’s very funny and warm and has such a good sense of humor.

Here’s the link to his blog. It’s called Bobby Derailed, and you’ll enjoy it as much as I have, I’m sure.

Best of all, though, please scroll down and read what he wrote on the anniversary of September 11, and then go and read his entry from last year, which you can find here:

It’s one of the most moving pieces I’ve read about September 11th from someone who was right there witnessing the scene so soon after it happened.