Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

A brief hello from the land of revisions, board books, and packing tape

August 12, 2015    Tags: , ,   

Holy cats, it’s been a while.

I just managed to weather final revisions on the YA novel, Ryan’s scary bout with Lyme disease, buying a new house and packing up an old one, and a few more months of babyhood, and suddenly it’s mid-August. Everything’s on the upswing now — YA novel in copyedits, husband recovered, move rapidly approaching, baby getting bigger and more fun with every hour that passes — but this summer has felt like one long log-rolling competition. I’m starting to look forward to fall, when I can lounge in front of the fireplace (!!) in our new library (!!!) with a baby in my lap, and maybe everything will slow down for a few minutes. Or maybe not.

Proof of Beren’s increasing fun-ness: He’s starting to love books (– and not just sucking on their corners, although he loves that too). As you can see from this photo, he’s a quite a discerning reader already.
Beren reading skeptical
…I’m just not buying the characterization here.

Because god knows he’s reading more books than I am these days, I present the first edition of BEREN’S BABY-SIZED BOARD BOOK REVIEWS.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK: Full of great messages about kindness, interdependence, and the importance of toads. Plus, it forces your parents to make a wide variety of animal and vehicle noises! You’ll want to hear it again (and again and again and againandagainandagain).

WHERE’S SPOT?: I don’t want to be hyperbolic here, but this may be the single greatest mystery since The Hound of the Baskervilles. Is Spot under the stairs? In the closet? Under the rug? You’ll be on the edge of your seat/mother’s lap until the stunning conclusion!

ORANGE PEAR APPLE BEAR: A compelling story told in only five words. If Hemingway had written a children’s book, this would be it.

PAT THE BUNNY: A true classic. A feast for the senses. The standard by which all others can be judged. At that climactic scene where Judy touches Daddy’s scratchy face? Gets me every time.

Beren reading ABCD


More news on the YA front to come. For now, it’s back to packing…


15 Comments (Leave a comment)

  1. Aww, such a handsome baby! Love the expression on his face. I so miss the board book stage, but yeah for sharing a love of reading. Hope Ryan is feeling 100% better and congratulations on your move. Fall weather would be a welcome relief here too. How’s Brom bones doing? Can’t wait to hear more about the YA project and all my best to you and your family.

    Comment by Brenda on August 12, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

  2. I legit just honked. I was trying to hold in laughing/fangirling/completely-freaking-out and I failed. Bigtime. And I’m in bed, supposed to be sleeping… oh well. BUT OMG BEREN. CAN WE TAKE A MINUTE TO BASK IN HIS COMPLETE ADORABLENESS. I can see him becoming a reader/writer like his amazing mommy… AND I SHALL BE SENDING MY BOOKS SOON. I DONT KNOW HOW MANY FREAKING TIMES I HAVE SAID THAT BUT I THINK IT IS TRUE NOW. And Jack was laughing up a storm today. So I kinda hid under the tray on his high chair and “ate” his feet, then popped up and said “BOO!” in this creepy voice. The first time I did it he was kinda like O.o but he laughed anyway. And he was so cute! And I hope Ryan is okay… say hi to everyone for me! I suppose I should go to sleep now… Meh. Maybe later. Until next time, peace out!!!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😛 😀 ∞

    Comment by Nicole on August 13, 2015 @ 10:57 pm

  3. I read upswing as upwising. Idk why. And a fireplace… library… is the house a giant stone house filled with vintage furniture? And 3 magic talking cats?! OMG TELL ME ITS AT LEAST A GIANT STONE HOUSE FILLED WITH VINTAGE FURNITURE AND SUCH. It doesn’t have to have the talking cats, but that would be cool… does it have paintings that are stuck to the walls?

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😛 😀 ∞

    Comment by Nicole on August 13, 2015 @ 11:02 pm

  4. I just saw Beren in the sink taking a bath on your instagram page. SO ADORABLE!!!!!!!!

    I really should get to bed… I’m hyper on those mini sausages covered in this delicious sauce… I forget what they’re called. I had about 10 of them earlier tonight… THEY ARE SO GOOD…

    Okay. Goodnight!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😛 😀 ∞

    Comment by Nicole on August 13, 2015 @ 11:09 pm

  5. I had a really weird dream last night… It was where I was at this summer camp thing and I was the only girl there and there were only two boys and a camp counselor person. I had brought a lot of stuff for some odd reason, and in my dream, there were these weird monster things (I can’t really remember what they looked like) or vampires/werewolves/zombies. I am really not sure. But then we had to leave because the monsters (or whatever they were) were attacking the camp. We could only take a backpack full of stuff. In the dream, there was another Books of Elsewhere book, but it was where Olive was 16 or 17 and it was more for teenagers and not really for kids. I dunno why? But anyway, I had that book, my Books of Elsewhere, a sleeping bag, some space blankets, trail mix and granola bars and stuff like that, and a bunch of poison-tipped knives and machetes. They were a kind of poison that would not kill humans, but anything else… oh, and I had a magic bow and arrow. My quiver never ran out of arrows, and as I was releasing an arrow, I could say (or whisper or shout) “Explosive”, “Poisonous”, “Barbed tip”, and really anything else and the arrow would become that. For example, if I shouted “Explosive” then the arrow would explode on impact with the target. For “Poisonous” the entire shaft of the arrow would be covered in a deadly poison. For “Barbed tip”, the tip of the arrow would basically have the barbed hooks on it, much like a broadhead (which is an arrow tip that is typically used for hunting). So then we escaped in the dream, and as we were running off on the road, my dream slipped into another dream… but that’s a story for another day.

    So I think my dream was a pretty weird dream. What do you think?

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😛 😀

    Comment by Nicole on August 18, 2015 @ 10:30 am

  6. I think your dream sounds AWESOME. I’m flattered that an imaginary Book of Elsewhere was in it. And I think you need to write story featuring those amazing magical arrows…

    Comment by Jacqueline on August 18, 2015 @ 5:02 pm

  7. Yeah, the dream WAS pretty awesome. And creepy. And I think that the imaginary Book of Elsewhere was in my dream because I want the series to be continued… And I’m pretty sure I’m going to write a book with those magic arrows… haha. And I dunno why but I just started laughing uncontrollably when I read your comment.

    And Steven Universe is amazing. You should watch it. I guess that’s it, so peace out!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😛 😀

    Comment by Nicole on August 19, 2015 @ 12:50 pm

  8. Hello again Jacqueline!!! I AM SO BOREDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. Anyhoo, I went school shopping with my mom last night. I got a bunch of cool stuff. I missed school and my friends. And yes, I consider you a friend. 🙂 😀 Anyway, Jack says hi! Say hi to everybody for me! And I think I will be sending my books soon. I got them taken away for a while though. :'( I think that’s it, so peace out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😀 😛

    Comment by Nicole on August 26, 2015 @ 10:44 am

  9. Hello again Jacqueline! I got home late last night from a trip to Minnesota. W

    Comment by Nicole on August 31, 2015 @ 8:15 am

  10. Hello again Jacqueline! I got home late last night from a trip to Minnesota. We went to the Mall of America (Which was AWESOME), Ikea, and a big outlet mall. It was so much fun! Peace out!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😀 😛

    Comment by Nicole on August 31, 2015 @ 8:17 am

  11. Ooh, I know that Ikea (and the MOA, of course!). Glad you had fun. 🙂

    Comment by Jacqueline on September 1, 2015 @ 10:21 am

  12. Whoops, I didn’t realize I had already posted half of my comment. Weird. Meh. STUPID COMPUTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😀 😛

    Comment by Nicole on August 31, 2015 @ 8:18 am

  13. Hallo again Jacqueline! I just got home from the first day of school. It was kinda boring… Meh. Oh, and I passed my crush in the hallway and he smiled at me. 😀 And in Spanish, I chose my Spanish name to be Elisa because my middle name is Elizabeth and Elisa sounds kind of like Elizabeth. And when I asked my Spanish teacher, she said that Elisa translates to Elizabeth. So yeah! Now I have to go empty the dishwasher… Darn. I think that’s it, so peace out!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😀 😛

    Comment by Nicole on September 1, 2015 @ 4:33 pm

  14. Hallo again Jacqueline! And yes, I know it’s barely past 6 A.M. Anyway, Mother Nature gave me a little… present last night. I felt a bit of cramping and stuff late last night, but that was nothing compared to what it is today. I feel like I could eat everything in sight, but at the same time, I could spend an hour at the toilet, puking. And no, this is not my first period. I HATE IT THO. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IT HURTS SO BAD AND IT SMELLS LIKE SOMEONE DIED AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyhoo, peace out!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😀 😛

    (And I feel kinda awkward talking about periods… Oh well.)

    Comment by Nicole on September 3, 2015 @ 6:23 am

  15. I just read the excerpt from your YA novel and I LOVE IT. I have a couple questions:
    1.) What age(s) would you consider a young adult? 14-18? 15-21? I dunno!
    2.) Who/what were you inspired by to create your main character(s)?

    Anyhoo, I am going to buy the book ASAP. Probably on the day it comes out. I know the book is considered young adult, but I’ve always had a very high Lexile score and a more mature and advanced mind than most people in my grade. For example, I checked out Twilight on the first day of sixth grade, before first hour even started. I finished the first book in 2 days. I finished the series in about a week or week and 1/2. So… yeah. And I’ve read and reread the series multiple times. And that’s just one example.

    I’m looking forward to getting the book! And getting it signed!

    XOXO, Nicole 🙂 😉 😀 😛

    Comment by Nicole on September 3, 2015 @ 8:40 pm

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