"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Five on a Friday

It's been a great week. With the awesome party behind me (kind of sad that it's over), I've been catching up and actually getting through my to-do list.

Here's my five for the week.

1) I'm so not about the toys at the school book fair. I'd go so far as to say it annoys me to no end when my son comes home with his wish list and it has at least 2 "toy" type items listed on it. That said, even I can succumb. So I volunteered at the book fair today and could not resist these tasty items.

Love those Smurfs. Always have. Always will.

(Yes, my volunteering job today cost me $46. I came home with The 39 Clues by Rick Riordan and Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. And yes, the book fair was so uncrowded during the middle of the day, I'm halfway through The 39 Clues. Not to mentioned I finished Diary of a Fly about 5 times :) )

2) Is it totally shameless that every kid who comes to my house for Trick or Treat will receive their very own laminated bookmark of The Emerald Tablet?
See the way I figure, if I just handed out paper bookmarks, they'd get trashed in all the candy. But laminated? No way. Plus I plan to pitch the book to every kid before they get candy, also.

3) Why is this weekend so mellow and next weekend packed with like 20 different things?
And no, I'm not complaining about either. It's just an observation.

4) A funny response from fellow VA Tech nerd regarding my earlier post on whether being a cool nerd is possible:
"Once a nerd, always a nerd. People have a knack for picking nerds out of a crowd, much as one notices a hair in one’s tea. While some nerds may attempt camouflage in the form of clothing, makeup and hair, as soon as the nerd speaks, they are done. Words of more than two syllables, often of a technical nature, flow from their mouths in an un-naturally fluent way alerting the spidey senses of those around them that something is amiss. This leads to a shunning that can never be fully reconciled and is best relieved by the company of other nerds. In the more common case, words are not necessary since the healthy aura of BO around the nerd is enough to instill this reaction."

5) I love that both my daughter and son are thrilled to wear their "Mummy's Boy" t-shirts tomorrow.

Happy Halloween! May everyone get a laminated bookmark (or at least the first 75)!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cathing up

With the super-awesome and fun release party behind me, I've been able to focus on other things besides my PowerPoint presentation and laminating backpack tags for gift pumpkins.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MENTIONED THE RELEASE OF THE EMERALD TABLET ON THEIR BLOGS!

With all the excitement of the past, I neglected to mention I tested for my 2nd Brown belt in Kung Fu.
The bad news...I totally spaced in the middle of Broadsword. Yes, I think this was a result of having so much book stuff on my mind.
The good news...I'm way less nervous doing stuff like this.
Forcing yourself to get up in front of a crowd is one of the best things you (or I as the case might be) can do. I remember how nervous I was for my very first Kung Fu test. Now, I only shake a little bit. True, I test in front of people I see every MWF at 7:30 in the morning. We're a small but consistent crowd. And highly supportive. Plus they've all promised to buy my book. If no one shows up for a few weeks straight I'll know they're avoiding me and my high pressure sales tactics.
Ever think about joining Kung Fu? I can't recommend it enough.

Sidenote: Remember The Matrix when Keanu Reeves wakes up and says, "I know Kung Fu"? Yeah? Well it's not quite that easy, but does make you feel that cool.

My new saying in life is "turn lemons into lemonade". Yes, I know this is old and cliche, but it's just perfect. When something which appears to not be the greatest thing in the world happens, stop moping and seriously ask yourself how you can make the absolute best of the situation. What is the best thing you can do to turn the negative situation around?

Also, what am I working on?
Revisions. Lots of them.
For four different books.
Ok, only one book at a time.

I'm working on my latest WIP which (wait for it) now has an awesome working title thanks to my critique group. Good Intentions. What do you think? Would you buy it based on title alone? It's upper YA so very different from The Emerald Tablet.

My biggest question is what I should revise next. I'm thinking I may do another pass on The Navel of the World (the second Emerald Tablet book) before sending it to my editor again.
Oh - one cool note about The Navel of the World - it has a working cover. I'm pretty psyched about the preliminary cover, and no, I can't share it yet. But these kids get to go so many cool places, the choices are wide open.

Final note on what I'm reading. I'm almost done with Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey (on audio) and have just started The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (on paper).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Details from the Big Day

You'd have thought it was a wedding. Everyone was staring at me.

So many people came out to support me. And I had awesome little pumpkins with candy corn and laminated backpack tags as party favors. See the way I'm thinking, it's much harder to throw away something laminated, especially when it already has a clip on it ready to hang on a backpack zipper.
Oops, just realized I forgot to put these on my kids' backpacks these mornings.


First and most important, Team Emerald Tablet. My son was thrilled to help set up, his specialty being stacking the water bottles.

So what to do at a release party?
First, have lots of candy for the kids. The punch was also a hit.

My awesome editor, Madeline Smoot, introduced me to the over 150 people who showed up (!).

I showed my book trailer (note - I need LOUDER speakers).
And then I gave a presentation featuring tons on pictures, PowerPoint animation (a new skill for me), a reading of the first few pages of The Emerald Tablet, and a quiz with giveaways.

Featured in the prize pumpkins were
We sold out of books and took orders for tons more!

Before the party, my books were actually on the shelf (yes, right up there with The Hunger Games and Libba Bray)!

Honestly, thank you so much, everyone, for all the support with this release! I had such a great time and appreciated everything more than you can believe!

AND THANK YOU SO MUCH, GOTTAWRITE GIRL, FOR THE AWESOME VIRTUAL RELEASE PARTY!
Head over there to check out even more pictures today!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blog Release Party c/o Gottawrite Girl!

Hey!

If you can't make it there in person today at BookPeople, please head over to
Gottawrite Girl's blog. She's holding a virtual celebration in honor of my book release party!

*** Edited - I neglected to mention there's an autographed copy of The Emerald Tablet being raffled off over on Gottawrite Girl. Head over for your chance to win!

See you there!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Five on a Friday

What a whirlwind of a week. Phew! Here's my five for the week!

1) Last night I had the super pleasure of meeting author Jessica Lee Anderson, author of Trudy. She was at the Taylor Library Gala I attended last night, and when I saw her cover, I knew I'd seen it before, but in a more global sense than just in Austin.
Verla Kay!
Jessica with her awesome books!

How cool to meet someone you've heard about online. And Jessica was about the most super nice person in the world. And nicely enough, I bought her book and she bought mine :)
You can read about the event at the Taylor Daily Press.

Me and editor Madeline Smoot.

2) Thank you so much to all the awesome people who've mentioned the release of The Emerald Tablet on their blogs:
Prince Balthazar (is this the coolest blog name or what?)
Chris at The Simple and the Ordinary (extraordinary critique partner)
Christy at Christy's Creative Space (I tried to comment here, but what's up with Blogger and commenting recently anyway???)
Literary Escapism for mentioning my interview over at Cynsations

3) Book Chic gave me the most awesome review! There's a short QnA also, so buzz over and check out this really cool blogger!
My favorite line from the review:
"This is a wonderful beginning to a fantasy middle-grade trilogy. Hoover's writing is extremely compelling and makes the book hard to put down."

I have one review on Amazon for The Emerald Tablet, also!

4) We've hit cool weather here in Austin, TX. I put the heat on in the car and even clicked it on last night at home. Cool means this morning was in the 40s. And my son doesn't have any pants that fit him! Time to go shopping.

5) There's a random story idea bouncing around in my head. I'm waiting for ideas to come together in some kind of fashion, but it's actually really cool just being able to think about it while driving around town and stuff. It's the total pre-pre-planning stage.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll post pictures of the release party on Monday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blast from the Past

Yes, I admit it. I sent a mass email yesterday letting everyone know my book had been released. Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses! And if you didn't get it, email me and I'll be thrilled to send it on to you.

But the best part about it were the little nuggets of gold I received in return. I need to make note of some because they warmed my heart:
  • One friend I grew up with FOREVER reminded me of our days singing Chicago's Hard to Say I'm Sorry. I'd totally eliminated this song from my memory banks and I used to love it. We'd turn on the vinyl, close our eyes and sing with all our heart. I ran to iTunes and purchased it immediately. So Kelly, I'm officially adding Hard to Say I'm Sorry to the list.
  • One friend let me know she and her husband were both running a marathon this Sunday! And I thought publishing a book was hard :)
  • One friend from college challenged my interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith. It's of note, so I'm going to quote:
    • From the interview: "Basically, I grew up a cool nerd. I loved math, computers, and 'Star Trek' but also happened to be captain of the cheerleading squad." (The large letters and colors are his doing).
    • His challenge: "Hmmm. Cool nerd? I was attending high school at exactly same time, and I can state unequivocally that nerds were not cool. No sugar coating of "captain of the cheerleading squad" can reverse the underlying nerd stain. About the best you can hope for is to be termed a "cool" nerd by a group of fellow peer nerds. Coolness is only bestowed in this manner."
    • So what think you on the cool nerd comment? I'd love to know so I can relay the comments back to him. Please keep in mind we attended high school in the 80s.
If you've ever wondered what the nook looks like I write in, pop over to Darcy Pattison's blog and check out my writing space guest blog. And yes, I do keep my desk that neat all the time.

Thanks to Devon Ellington for the shout out on her blog! Man, Devon is one on-the-ball gal!

Thanks to Literary Escapism for mentioning my interview with Tabitha!

And thanks to Brianna for not only posting but expanding on my list of ways to help an author launching a book. I'll repost my list (from the email) here:

- Buy THE EMERALD TABLET!
- Tell everyone you meet to buy THE EMERALD TABLET.
- Review THE EMERALD TABLET and post the review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Good reviews are even better.
- Suggest THE EMERALD TABLET as the kid's book pick for Al Roker on The Today Show or for Oprah Winfrey's kid's book list.
- Give THE EMERALD TABLET as a gift to every kid you know. Make it your standard holiday gift this season. Remember it come birthday party time, also!
- If you order it at the bookstore, suggest they order a few more copies to keep in stock!
- Recommend THE EMERALD TABLET to your school or public library and ask that they order it for their shelves.
- Blog about THE EMERALD TABLET or me or both.
- Suggest me to your school librarian for an author visit.
- Have your kid recommend THE EMERALD TABLET as a read-aloud book in their classroom.
- Interview me, write an article on me, or even just mention me in passing to an old acquaintance.
- Use THE EMERALD TABLET in your book club. Form a book club for your kids if needed just for this purpose.
- Buy THE EMERALD TABLET!

Hope you are having a great week! Beth K., I called Amazon to check on where House of Dance is. They say it's been delivered so the post office is currently doing an investigation. Is that cool that your book is under investigation?

Hope everyone is having a great week! Please weigh in on the cool nerd question so I can report back!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Release Day (books coming soon)!

Hey! Just a quick roundup in celebration of the release of The Emerald Tablet!

Today marks the official release of the first of the Forgotten Worlds Trilogy, The Emerald Tablet! From what I'm told, it's on it's way to the warehouse as we speak. From there it's on to Amazon and the distributors. So be patient if you've ordered and haven't gotten it yet.

So the good news is books are almost here! The other good news is the internet community is such a great place! I'll post more later, but if you get a few minutes and want to read more about me (one of my favorite topics), you can check out:

My interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith over on Cynsations
My interview with Beth Revis on Writing it Out
My interview with Laura Bowers on Shop Talk (yes, on this one you can not only see my dreaded fourth-grade hair cut but also a prom picture straight from the 80s)

And super thank you to Jen Robinson for the great review of The Emerald Tablet and for reminding everyone it releases today.

I leave you again with the book trailer because...well...I love it :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alterations, Links, and Books

This Thursday there's a library event I'm going to. A fancy, dress-up library event. So I'm digging through the closet hoping I have something to wear, and then I see it. This gorgeous dress I bought eight years ago which (I know, hard to believe) will still be beautiful and perfect. I mean, I think it will, at least.

The good news: The dress totally still fits. Not only does it still fit, it's even loose and needs to be taken in.

The bad news: It needs to be taken in in the chest area. Yes, having two kids can do that to you.

Saturday, Debbie Gonzales gave the most fantastic speech at our Austin SCBWI meeting on voice in the sports novel. Who knew there were three kinds of voice in a sports novel? Not me. My husband kept wishing he had gone. He'd have loved the sports references and lingo. Me, I loved hearing Debbie speak and realizing there is a total nearly untapped world out there in sports novels.
Sidenote: Keri Mikulski - you would have loved it.

So this is it. My big release week. Even if books won't be in stores quite yet and won't ship from Amazon until later in the month. It's all this shipping to the warehouse and then shipping to Amazon/distributors stuff I'm told.

Couple awesome links:

Tabitha over at Writer Musings interviewed me! Thanks so much, Tabitha! You can read the whole interview here!
Thanks, Tabitha!

Tasha at And Another Book Read gave The Emerald Tablet a fantastic review! She's the reviewer at Teens Read Too, but her review is so fantastic, I feel compelled to re-quote my favorite parts:
"I loved every minute that I was reading it, and I feel like I want to reread the book over and over again. ... While reading the book I kept thinking that in a way it was almost like a myth that was being told and how cool it would be if it was actually true... Fans of Rick Riordan’s PERCY JACKSON series will particularly enjoy this book."
Thanks, Tasha!

Some books I picked up recently:

I'd be amiss to not mention the release of Dragon Wishes by Stacy Nyikos. My editor had an extra copy of Dragon Wishes, hot off the press, for me, and be honest. It looks just delicious, doesn't it? Not to mention the inspiration for it was the near fatal sledding accident of Stacy's two daughter. How can you not read it with a recommendation like that?

At BookPeople on Friday I picked up Valiant and Ironside by Holly Black. Haven't read either yet. Actually, this past week I haven't read much of anything. I'm about 50 pages into The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, and I did start Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey (which is fabulous, BTW). I'm thinking I'll put down The Goose Girl for the time being so I can stick with the Holly Black thing. I'm pretty sure that's why I've made little progress on it. When I start an author, I love to read as much as has been written.
Also picked up Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus. I've heard good things about this one and so will elevate it on the (ever growing) list.

Also, BTW, have you heard of paraquels? They are apparently books set in the same universe which happen at the same time as other books. Or are these companion books. Or do companion books happen afterward but not the same characters?
Anyone know for sure?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Pre-empt of Five on a Friday

Because I got books! OK, only five of them. Drop shipped to my publisher. Not yet in stores. Supposed to ship from Amazon end of the month (so I'm told).

But I got books!

My son smiled when I handed him the very first copy. And then of course my daughter wanted one, too. Yes, two down. Three to go though they are already accounted for.


Sidenote - If I create one more piece of swag, my eyes may fall out. Here's what I've created in the last number of months:
  • Posters
  • Bookmarks
  • Small postcards
  • Big postcards
  • Flyers
  • Business cards
  • School visits brochures
  • Activity sheets
  • Discussion Guides
  • T-shirts
Ack! I'm totally all swagged out. After getting my newly designed large postcards printed, I'm taking a break on the swag thing. But the postcards look nice, don't they.
Still—no more swag.

Today happened to be one of the social writing days. I had the pleasure of picking up Class of 2k8 president Jody Feldman from the airport today! She's in town for the UT/Missouri football game and, as coincidences may be, Cynthia and Greg Leithich Smith held a happy hour tonight at their fantastic downtown Austin home.
So Jody and I headed over there, had a late lunch at Whole Foods, picked out wine for the event, then headed to BookPeople where my editor happened to be with five copies of the really awesome, hot new release The Emerald Tablet.
Have you heard of it? No? Maybe I need more swag :)

Here's Jody at a really cool window display near BookPeople. I realize she has her eyes closed, but the display is way too cool to not post the picture!


Jody Feldman, author of The Gollywhopper Games, and Jo Whittemore, author of The Silverskin trilogy.
Erin Edwards and Anne Bustard, with Debbie Gonzales in the background. Debbie is talking at this Saturday's SCBWI meeting on voice. If you live in Austin, don't miss it! 11:00. Westlake B&N.
The pizza guy and Greg Leitich Smith dressed as Superman—kind of. Greg was kind enough to explain what the "waste" button did on the bathroom sink.
Me and Madeline Smoot, aka The Buried Editor, holding the hottest new release of the month.
OK, while at BookPeople, I bought a bunch of new books, but I don't have it in me to talk about them right now!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One of these days I will talk about writing

OK, why not today for just a bit?

Yesterday I received a great critique on the first 30 pages of my WIP. There was a chapter ending on page 29, and I included the first page of the next chapter as the 30th page. Along with tons of great feedback, the best compliment I got was that the critiquer was mad when it ended right there because they wanted to read on. This is a good thing.

My WIP is first person present tense...except for the first sentence which is first person past tense. Yes, I know—this doesn't work. (I can hear my critique group snickering even as we speak).
I know this doesn't work. My critique group knows it. My critiquer knows it. But everyone agrees the first line shouldn't just be cut. It's just too awesome and really does compel the reader to want to turn the page.
So instead, my current plan is this. Divide the manuscript into sections (not sure how many yet—I'll have to analyze it), and at the beginning of each section have one of these "past tense" lines to thus make it seemed like a planned thing.

Laughing as during my critique, both I and the critiquer said "kill your darlings" at the same time. But right now it's not going to happen. I don't feel like it's the right choice.

Alternatively, I could always rewrite the entire MS in first person past tense to match the first line.
Um, OK, that's not going to happen. I started writing the MS in first person past but kept slipping into present. And to me present totally feels right.

In other brief news for the day:

*** CONGRATULATIONS to critique partner Chris M. for an offer for her fantastic manuscript! This was the first thing she ran through the critique group when we first formed, and I love it! The characters feel so real, and I can't wait to purchase this wonderful book! Yay, Chris! If you get a chance, pop over and offer her a congratulations! This is a huge deal!

*** I finished The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. Really, I think it's the perfect ending to the trilogy. I have to admit, I was entirely curious to see how she'd wrap everything up. I still haven't made it to the bookstore to buy Valiant by Holly Black, so I'm sticking with The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale for now.

*** The Emerald Tablet has a wonderful review up over at Balanced Steps. Thanks, Brianna, for the great review! And Brianna is happy to receive review copies of books, so if you're an author and interested, drop her a line!
It's a fun activity to pick the best lines from reviews. Here's mine for this one:
"Anyone who enjoyed discovering the world of magic with Harry Potter will enjoy diving into a different magical world with Benjamin Holt and his friends...for you Potter fans, the experience is TOTALLY different from Harry's".

*** Flyers have been mailed for the release party. Everyone is invited, so if you don't get one, consider this your official invitation!
October 26th
Sunday, 4:00pm
BookPeople

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hill Country Book Fest & I almost have a book!

Yes, I am starting to get excited! The Emerald Tablet should be out REALLY soon! And being invited to do things like The Hill Country Book Festival make it seem so much more real!


I had a blast! I presented after The Biscuit Brothers, so I had a pretty nice turnout (maybe 50 people counting the babies in the back). I made a point of thanking everyone for suffering through The Biscuit Brothers to see me.


Lots of questions. A really interactive and smart crowd. My PowerPoint turned out to work well for the setup and the crowd, and my biggest note on PowerPoint - the more pictures, the better. I have quite a few but could certainly add more.
My husband and kids showed up just before The Biscuit Brothers, so they were there for my presentation. I told my son to prepare a question, so he asked, "What's it like to be a famous author?" I told him I'd let him know once I was one. :)
Afterward, everyone got free ARCs of The Emerald Tablet which I signed. See the nice line giving away free books will draw! My son sat with me the whole time, getting books out for me to sign and making sure everyone got a handout with the fun activities.


Thank you so much to the Georgetown Public Library for having me! Please invite me back in the future :)

I managed to get there right at the start of the day where I also saw presentations by:

Liz Garton Scanlon (biggest lesson learned here - interaction is key with kids). Liz does the best presentation complete with singing and unloading her pockets in celebration of A Sock is a Pocket for your Toes.


Cynthia Leitich Smith & Greg Leitich Smith (who are always fabulous). Cynthia read Jingle Dancer, and Greg gave us a humorous presentation on the evolution of the cover for his novel Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo.


Next up was Don Tate who does the most amazing thing of calling a couple kids up out of the audience and drawing them! How awesome is that! If only I could draw :)


Now all focus turns toward getting read for my book release party! Did I mention it :)
Sunday, October 26th, 2008
4:00 pm
BookPeople
Books, Fun, Games, Prizes

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Five on a Friday

Happy Friday (or Thursday night as I'm way on the ball this evening!) Hope it's been a great week all around!

Here are my five for the week. Take a couple minutes and post yours, also!

1) Someday when I'm rich and famous and have a bigger house, I want a carousel horse collection. I'm not sure I'd actually want a Merry-go-round in the back yard, but I'd love having a different style animal in each room of the house. It's nice to know, thought, that for just under a million dollars I could have a giant carousel with 90 figures and 2 chariots, if I wanted.
This site has a tone of great ones. There's the Tortoise and the Sea Dragon. The Hippocampus and the Rhino. And I have to say - I'm pretty partial to the ladybug.
Which would you pick?


2) I'm feeling a bit international! Thanks to Maureen in New Zealand for posting the book trailer for The Emerald Tablet on her blog! Head over and check it out. And say 'Hi' halfway around the world!

3) I finished Tithe by Holly Black and was about to start The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale but decided I'd really like to read Valiant by Holly Black next. So tomorrow it's off to the bookstore for a bit of shopping.

4) It's a four day weekend for me and the kids. Teacher work days, I think, along with Columbus Day. And speaking of the weekend, if you live in Austin, please come by and see me on Saturday at the Hill Country Book Festival at the Georgetown Library. I present right after The Biscuit Brothers (whom kids love). So bring the kids on out, listen to some music, and then hang around to listen to me talk about how great science fiction really is!

5) When life seems overwhelming, make a list!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Surprises in Reading and Movies and More

Octavian Nothing - Not at all what I expected. Seriously. There's something wonderful in reading a book you know nothing about, especially when it's so different than you would think.
Same goes for a movie. Remember The Crying Game? I had no idea she was really a he, until...well, until they started panning the camera downward. OMG! But if I'd gone into the movie knowing, it would have been a totally different experience.
Ditto on The Sixth Sense.
What movie/book do you remember being totally surprised on?

Did I love Octavian Nothing? It was good. Really well written. But I'm not rushing to get the next book. It can keep its place lower on the list. So I've moved on to Tithe by Holly Black. And yes, Tabitha, even 100 pages in I totally get what you said about it being kind of ruined because you'd read Wicked Lovely first. Still, it's great writing, love the cover and the story so far, and I want to know what happens.

Couple things of note here:

1) Thank you, Lenore, for the great review of The Emerald Tablet! Lenore's (some kind of relation), Eleanor, also reviewed The Emerald Tablet on the same blog a few months ago!

2) Devon Ellington has set up an incredible blog dealing with goals, dreams, resolutions, and all those other great things we need to do to survive! I highly encourage everyone to head over and check it out, copy the list, fill in the answers, and report back to Devon. I'm going to do it!

3) While in Oklahoma for Encyclomedia, I passed an ARC of The Emerald Tablet on to fellow Class of 2k8 member Stacy Nyikos's daughter. I'm thrilled to report it's been chosen as the read-aloud book for their classroom this month! It beat out Bridge to Terabithia, Ida B., Johnny Tremain, and one other one. Thanks, Stacy's daughter's class!

4) I've uploaded some classroom stuff for The Emerald Tablet to my website. There's a quiz, discussion guide, teaching guide, word search, coloring page, and a Lemurian Alphabet code breaking exercise. If you check it out and see a major typo, please let me know!

5) I've set my son up on GoodReads. Now he can track the books he's read and is totally psyched about it!

Hope the week is GREAT for everyone! Do something fun today!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Is life really like a roller coaster?

I've heard a gazillion times how the writing life (and, OK, life probably in general) is like a roller coaster. Some days are great. A good critique and the world is a happy place. Other days not so good. Maybe a rejection or bad critique and things look a bit gloomier.
My thoughts are we all go through this. But, also, today the analogy got me thinking. When I'm on a roller coaster and heading up the hill, I'm ready to pee my pants. And when I'm at the top, I have no control over my life. It's halfway down that first hill that the fun kicks in for me.
My conclusion?
The writing life is like how a roller coaster looks. Not how a roller coaster feels.

Anyway, some things which made me happy.

1) First off, The Emerald Tablet now has a book trailer! Click on the image below to check it out! And if you find you can't help yourself, please feel free to repost anywhere!



2) Second (yes, I know I'm using numbers and saying second which is redundant, but whatever), there's nothing like reading a review from someone you think REALLY enjoyed your book. I'm thrilled people are reading it at all, but when I get a review like Mrs. V gave me, it makes me extra special happy. My favorite line from the review:
"The book had a perfect ending that made me wish the next installment was already available."
Thanks, Mrs. V!

3) Third, I got an email the other day (in an authorly manner) that brought actual tears to my eyes! Really, this is a feeling which is beyond words.

4) Fourth, my awesome critique partner, Chris, posted this picture on her blog. It's from her daughter's dollhouse, showing what the doll would prefer to be doing besides homework! That doll has some serious good taste when it comes to reading!


5) Fifth, The Emerald Tablet has been nominated for The Cybils in the science fiction and fantasy category! Thanks!

Reading update, not because I think you guys are dying to know but because it helps me keep track!
I finished An Abundance of Katherines by John Green this weekend and started The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party by M. T. Anderson. So far it's got me hooked! I've also gotten much better about updating my books on Goodreads, so if you're a member, please friend me!

Also, at the bookstore today I bought:
Tithe by Holly Black
Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
along with the next three Droon books (6,7,8), two Scooby Doo books, and a Kung Fu Panda book (and also the gift card for a birthday party which was the main reason for our trip).

Hope everyone has a fun and productive week! Mine will be largely filled with preparing for The Hill Country Book Festival. I've decided to go with the PowerPoint presentation, so that's top priority for the week. And if you happen to be in the area, please come see me!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Five on a Friday

Hope everyone had a great week! And yay for the weekend ahead!

Tomorrow marks 11 years of marriage for me and the husband. Hard to believe the time has passed so quickly! I'm ready to head back to Bora Bora (the place of our honeymoon). Yes, things are very different there. We biked around the island, which was a total of 20 miles, and ate the best poi on Earth.



Here are my five for the week:

1) Can you say week off revisions? I've been hooked on reading. I finished Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. I think had I known more about what the book was about I may have enjoyed it more. The book is not so much a faerie book as a book dealing with a girl recovering from being raped and having no control over her life. It was so very little like Wicked Lovely, and I was not expecting that at all.

2) After coffee at BookPeople with Jenny Ziegler and Carla Birnberg (Mizfit), I headed up to the children's department and bought:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party by M. T. Anderson
Undercover by Beth Kephart
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Great Ice Battle (Secrets of Droon, 5) by Tony Abbott

I'm reading An Abundance of Katherines currently and love it so far. There have been a couple parts I laughed at so hard I thought I might cry.

3) It was time for another Amazon order, so I ordered:
Screwball by Keri Mikulski
House of Dance by Beth Kephart
The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem (fellow Class of 2k8 member)

4) Thanks to Dominique at The Book Vault for the review of The Emerald Tablet!

5) Yesterday within one hour:
  • a roadrunner ran across the street in front of me
  • a snake sat on our front porch soaking up the sun
  • a deer stood on the sidewalk five feet from the car

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Books, Books, and Questions

So has anyone read The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party by M. T. Anderson? I'm thinking of picking this up today at BookPeople along with a few new Droon books for my son. He got through the first four in like a day, and seeing as how he didn't have the fifth (and reading in order is a great thing), he's now reading Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. He likes that Alvin Ho is in the 2nd grade and so is he.

Yesterday I finished Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. If you haven't read it, it's a compelling book I didn't want to put down. Now I'm on to Ink Exchange (don't like the cover nearly as much on this one - I loved the Wicked Lovely cover), and so far, I'm nearly as hooked.

I'm mid-revisions here. Just finished up one pass through and letting it stew for a bit before looking again. Not like 6 months. More like a week. In the meantime, I'm reading, marketing, and whatever else I can think of.

This morning is off to coffee with Jenny Ziegler and Carla Birnberg (also known as Mizfit). If you're looking for a great fitness/health blog, you need to check Mizfit out...because fitness isn't about fitting in. If you're looking for a great YA book, read How Not to Be Popular by Jenny Z.

Fun things coming up here:
The Hill Country Book Fest on October 11th. I'll be up at 2:00, reading from The Emerald Tablet. My books won't quite be there to sell (they're supposed to ship from the printer October 10th), so on a positive note, I'll be handing out a limited number of ARCs. Please come by and see me if you're in the area. You might get a free book!

The age for The Emerald Tablet has finally been changed! So in case for some reason you thought it was for Ages 4-8 because that's what Amazon said for so long, fear not. It's now been updated for Ages 9-12 (though I'm thinking more 8-14).

Book Release Party - Sunday, October 26th, BookPeople, 4pm. Please come!

Hope everyone is having a great week!