Page One…Again!

Ok. This isn’t easy to admit. I may—just may—be having a hard time writing my next book. But who could blame me? It’s called The Candymaker’s Son, and my sweet tooth is making it hard to concentrate on writing. The only problem is that my deadline is rapidly approaching. I can clearly picture my editor checking her watch as she waits for the pages. That said, here’s a peek into my day today. You can decide for yourself how well I did.
1. Drive to library. Pick up book on candy making. Pay huge library fine. Drive to another library. Pick up book on history of candy and jobs in the candy industry. Pay even huger library fine. Joke about sending the librarian’s kid to college with my fines. While driving to third library, keep mini tape recorder by my side to record any sudden bursts of inspiration. Fill it up with reminder to buy flip-flops for the gym shower, eggs because you’re supposed to be able to stand them upright on the first day of Spring, and to revise the opening scene of Chapter Three. Hey, at least the book got in there somewhere.
2. Eat PB&J sandwich, drink V-8 in parking lot of third library while listening to audiobook of New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. Wonder if Bella is ever going to be turned into a vampire. Bemoan the fact that it’s noon already and I haven’t started working yet.
3. Enter third library. Hand in the winning poems for the 8th grade county-wide poetry contest I judge each year. Chat with children’s librarian who has become a friend. This is new for me since growing up I got shushed a lot in libraries. Pay fine.
4. Set up laptop in my usual spot by the library fireplace. Fix window shade so sun isn’t on screen. Cover air vents on floor blowing cold air. Switch chairs due to original one having a spider on it.
5. Type notes about history of candy into file marked RESEARCH FOR THE CANDYMAKER’S SON. Answer three emails. Read AOL article on foods for a flat belly. Watch preview for new Indiana Jones movie. Return to note-taking and promise myself not to look up for an hour.
6. Ten minutes later, search frantically through my bag for something sweet. Find a packet of Rolo’s with one Rolo left. Grin. Unwrap. Eat. Go back to work with new, sugar-charged vigor. Learn that chocolate grows on trees and that corn syrup is really just the pulp of corn, and how bad could that really be for you? Learn that candy has been around for 4,000 years, and our abiding love for it has to do with the fond memories of our favorite childhood candies.
7. Daydream about favorite childhood candies–Fun Dip, Volcano Rocks (discontinued), Good ’n Fruity (discontinued), Circus Peanuts, Pine Bros Cherry Cough Drops (not officially candy but should have been. Also discontinued.) Shake myself out of daydream. Return to candy books. Learn that 16 BILLION jelly beans are eaten at Easter time, along with 90 million chocolate bunnies. Wish I had a chocolate bunny right now. Or jelly beans.
8. Revise opening of Chapter Three. Begin Chapter Four, a scene that takes place inside the cotton candy room of my main character’s candy factory. Yes, they have a whole room just for cotton candy. Mind wanders back to childhood favorites. Curiosity gets the best of me. Embark on an internet search for Good ’n Fruity, the candy whose disappearance has been the hardest for me to deal with. Find a petition with over two thousand names calling on Hershey to bring them back. Eagerly sign petition. Then discover that unbelievably, GOOD ’N FRUITY ARE RETURNING TO THE MARKETPLACE! Now! This Very Month! Heart leaps. Mind races. Will they be as good as I remember? The slightly crunchy outside, the chewy fruity inside? Would the box have the black background of my earliest years, the pink one of my adolescence, or the purple one which graced the final box before it was yanked with no warning?
9. With much effort, force myself to go back to work. Keep researching stuff for the book. More I learn about candy, its ingredients, the history of the candymakers who brought it lovingly to this country, the more I can’t stop thinking about that darn Good ’n Fruity.
10. Can’t take it anymore. Pack up my stuff and tell myself that somehow my quest to rediscover this candy of my childhood will put me in a clearer state of mind to write this book.
11. Search the candy shelves of 7-11, CVS, and Shop Rite. Do not find Good ’n Fruity there, but do pick up eggs, flip flops, and a lottery ticket.
12. Pass Best Buy on the way home. Do a u-turn as recall they have candy there by the check-out aisle. No Good ’n Fruity, but I do find a new candy that is pretty much blue goo inside a red tube. The red tube is licorice, and the blue goo has Nerds mixed into it. Cannot pass this up. Wait until I’m in the car to sample it. Nice consistency and sweetness, slightly soapy aftertaste though. Doubt I’ll purchase it again, as it’s really not a candy a grown-up can eat without pretending it’s their kid’s, but it does take the edge off the disappointment of my failed mission.
13. In the interest of my impending deadline and the high price of gas, turn to the Internet after dinner. Track down the illusive Good ’n Fruity at To my surprise, the new incarnation is now called: Good & Fruity. No more “’n” in the middle. I do not think this bodes well. Still, I have to try, and candywarehouse promises to have a box at my doorstep in 5-8 business days. More precisely, they promise to have TWELVE boxes at my doorstep, since I had to buy them in bulk.
14. Quest now behind me, I can return to writing my book. In an office across the Hudson River, my worried editor breathes a sigh of relief.


  1. Anonymous on March 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    sounds like you had a busy day, I had a not good one (im training my self to say not good insted of bad cuz bad is negitive) because my teacher decided to quiz us on the stuff we learned but how she expects us to remember stuff from before last test is beyond me! needless to say i got a low mark. oh well better luck next time!! it good to know that A) im not the only candyoholic and B) im not the only one with fines in 50 billion diffrent librarrys! good luck on your work tommorow!! (wish me luck to cuz ive got a feeling im going to be asked to recap are last unit and im going to neeed it!!)
    thankx and just for the record- im on my 5th time reading jermy fink since i got it last thurday!!!

  2. Always Home and Uncool on March 25, 2008 at 9:03 am

    You may be the only person I know who admits to liking Circus Peanuts. K.

  3. thuy on March 27, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Wendy!! I absolutely love the Twilight series and candy.
    I can’t wait to get your new book.
    Have a nice day!

  4. Regina on April 6, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Your blogs are so funny sometimes lol. XD Your day seems really interesting! I think I’m going to the library to get a copy of Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall. From the synopsis, it looks like a good book. I’ve never read your books before so it’ll be my first. =]

  5. Desdemona on April 8, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Hi! I was at my town’s library today and picked up A Mango Shaped Space. I read it in about 2 hours. It was great. I had read Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life a few months ago and loved that too. I can’t wait to read your new book (and your others I haven’t read yet). I just had to stop by and say how amazing your books were.
    Your new fan,

  6. Haley Passmore on April 25, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Wendy, Your an inspiration! I’m 12 and trying to write a book. Just got finished reading Jeremy Fink and the meaning of life. Great book, its the only book I’ve read by you but it was goooood!I love to read like you, and cant imagine life with out books. I am a deep reader. I feel like I’m in a story and know the characters if its a good book and I definitely was there in your book. Any way your a really good author, thank you for the great book. I plan on commenting again. By! H.

  7. Haley Passmore on April 26, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Hay Wendy, looking forward to reading your book. (mango) I will coment on it but it might be a while because I have a long list of books I’m working on reading. If you want to read some good books read these. The Wedding Planner’s Daughter Series ( I’ve only read 1 and 2 but they are really good.) If your into some fantasy then read the Edge Cronicles Series. This goes to all you other comenters too! Good luck on your new books! By! H.

  8. Megan on May 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    hey wendy! i absolutely love a mango shaped space! i wish i had synesthesia, it would be so cool. anyways, i really like candy 2. i also want 2 be an author when i grow up, but i can never finish a book-sized story 🙁 i live to read tho, so that’s a start! good luck on your new book,

  9. Megan on May 17, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Hey wendy! this is a question about a mango-shaped space…did you base Dr. Jerry Weiss off of Dr. Peter H. Weiss?

  10. emma. on August 2, 2008 at 9:21 am

    hey, just to say. i’ve only read one of your books. mango shaped space. it was amazing! i got it when i was on holiday in hawaii. i am from great britain and i was wondering if your books are sold here? as authors books which are sold in the uk aren’t all the same. good luck on the rest of your writing career,

  11. Amanda on May 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Wendy! I recently finished A Mango Shaped Space and went ecstatic. I thought everyone saw sounds, like Mia. I even wrote a poem about it. It’s called ‘Colors of the Wind’, but for this comment it is in the format of a paragraph. Here it goes:
    I know how to see the colors of the wind. Winding around me, the sounds look like colored yarn tangled in my hands. I weave, I sew, and I make music. The cotton candy texture holds the key to more colors and sounds imaginable. I put some orange in my pocket, because you never know when you’ll need that sound for a poem.

  12. Jacklyn on January 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I am so inspiered by Finally and 11 Birthdays I feel like I’m related to you in some way. You inspiered me to write a novel of my own. Oh, yea I’m 11 and still inspiered.

  13. Jocelyn on January 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I just finished reading 11 birthdays I LOVE IT!

Leave a Comment