Three things came together this past week.

We had a couple of late bloomers signing up for the first SCBWI conference in the Netherlands. Yay! D-Day is this coming Saturday and I am very, very excited about the illustrious illustrator and writer Doug Cushman who will open the conference.
The title of his keynote?

In the Beginning Was Space Cat.

Who doesn’t remember the cosmic adventures of the space hero who effortlessly rivals Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and many other great space age heroes? Space Cat was the onset of Doug’s stellar career, as it still is the onset of the reading careers of so many kids.

The other thing that came to me was the Literary Death Match. These killing matches, as co-creator Todd Zuniga says, marry the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol’s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare. LDM spreads like an inkblot: San Francisco, Paris, London, Toronto, Baltimore, Shanghai, Savannah, Oxford, Vilnius, Montréal and… of course, Amsterdam!
The second Amsterdam LDM will take place on Thursday December 1 of this year. I will be one of the contestants. I will read from The Weed Man, my new YA thriller, and I will keep the SCBWI colors flying high! And just so that you know: as a former hockey goalie, I have a strong tendency — some may even call it a character flaw — to win!
If you’re in Amsterdam on December 1, come and cheer me on!
Follow the LDM FB page for more info on the venue.

What else? Yes, of course, I finished the first draft of The Weed Man. Set in Amsterdam, this is the epic journey of 16-year-old Dorian Vayne wanting to be independent and, to gain that independence, venturing on the darker sides of this city of sin. Or, as he so aptly says himself: “I suck up the light of those around me, of my friends. Once, I had friends, but one died, one got beaten up, one left me, and one turned out to not be my friend at all. Now I’m stuck with nothing, but the black hole I am.”

Isn’t it true that all good things come in threes?