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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Five on a Friday

I hope everyone had a super lucky, inspiring week!

1) Without further ado, the winner of the lucky horseshoe (via random number generation) is...

Shelley! (storyqueen)

Congrats, Shelley! Contact me and send me your snail mail address, and I'll get your horseshoe in the mail for you!

2) I ran out of oatmeal this week. My brilliant conclusions on this are

Grits are not oatmeal.
Instant oatmeal is not oatmeal.

I must get to the grocery ASAP. Any oatmeal eaters out there? Grits eaters? Hmmm...

3) Tonight we're off to a high school football game. I'm thinking this is a brilliant opportunity to research those tricky high school kids.

4) Sunday we have Austin Energy coming to our house for a Cub Scout meeting. They are going to create lightning for the kids and everything. Once again, book research.

* Who recognizes that book research is everywhere in everything we do?

5) Finally, I am revising and LOVING it! I took about a month off from this WIP which was so well spent. The structure of the story and character development that needs to take place is so much more clear. I've said this a million times before, but I'll say it again:

There is nothing like time between revisions. Take as much time as you possibly can stand.

Okay, good luck to all you NaNo participants out there! I'll be rooting you on while I revise!

Happy week, set your clocks back, and eat lots of (chocolate) candy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are you feeling lucky?

In my belief, we make our own luck. If I want to have a lucky week, I need to believe it's a lucky week. I need to believe good things will happen to me.

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often."
-- Brian Tracy, Author

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States of America

"Luck is a state of mind ."
--Chris Lianos

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."
-- Brian Tracy, Author

"If you dont have any luck, you need to make your own."
--Mick Juby

In the vein of thinking lucky, I take every opportunity I get to wish on a star, to throw a penny in a fountain, to write a note on the wish tree in the Hirshorn Scuplture Garden in DC. (btw, if you get to DC, I highly recommend this. I love the Hirshorn Sculplture Garden.)

Do you see my wish?

I also give you my favorite place to throw pennies in when I'm in DC.

Take the time to dip your feet, also.

Okay, in my effort to spread my lucky thoughts for the week, I'm giving away a horseshoe. And all you need to do for your chance to win this awesome, rusty, full-of-luck horseshoe, is leave me a comment before Friday.

This horseshoe could be yours!

So who's in? I challenge you to think lucky for the week. Believe you are lucky and then believe it some more. And have a great week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Five on a Friday

Happy Weekend! I love Fall. I love the weekends! We've got a packed day tomorrow complete with flag football, Kung Fu, and a party. Sunday Lego League. But busy is good, right?

I hope writing is going great for everyone! And for all those getting ready to do NaNo...whoo hoo! I'm not partaking this year. Too many revisions. But revisions are good. I aim to get through my WIP a few times by the end of November.

*I want to note that my son finished THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD last night and loved it! And not just because the book is dedicated to him. This makes me happy :)

Okay, my five for the week:

1) Check out some more awesome pics from my release party over on Cynsations. If you look closely, you can see the back of my daughter's shiny blond head complete with pony tails.

2) Beth Revis let her readers interview me. Check out the answers today over on Writing it Out!

3) And speaking of Beth Revis, thank you for the awesome review for THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD! My favorite line from the review:
"This one is better than the first. If you liked THE EMERALD TABLET, you'll love THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD."

4) The BookPeople blog, BookKids, has an interview up with Jessica Lee Anderson and me. Check it out here.

5) TOTALLY RANDOM AND OFF TOPIC OF WRITING: Why does it crack me up that in my daughter's religious ed class, they picked saints to celebrate for All Saints Day, and she picked St. Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of TELEVISION?
(I think Scooby Doo is responsible.)

Okay, off to have lunch with my son and then revise. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And here it is Wednesday!

Another great week is going by. I'm getting a ton done. It's funny how once the release party was over, I could actually focus on things besides, well, the release party. Now it's back to writing as usual.

Some noteworthy things:

Check out my interview over on Tabitha Olson's blog, Writer Musings. And wait, she's giving away a copy of THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD. So for your chance to enter, head here and comment.

And it even gets better because Beth Revis at Writing it Out is featuring me this week. Post an interview question for me here, and enter here for a chance to win either THE EMERALD TABLET or THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD!

Also up, I'm hugely excited that both THE EMERALD TABLET and THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD are nominees for the Cybils Middle Grade Fantasy category! Yay! And thank you!

Did you miss my Blog Talk Radio interview? Wait! It's not too late to listen. Here, you can just click on this nifty little widget and listen to what I have to say about THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD.

And I just want to point out Book Bites for Kids is made possible by the National Writing for Children Center. They are a fantastic group, and you can read more about them here.

Thank you to debut author Donna St. Cyr, author of THE SECRETS OF THE CHEESE SYNDICATE, for mentioning THE EMERALD TABLET in her AuthorsNow Spotlight. And I notice she's giving away two copies of her fabulous book, so head over and check it out!

One more picture from the release party! Check out that massive amount of candy. The kids loved it.

Me and Jessica Lee Anderson!

Okay, that's it for me on a Wednesday! Have a great week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Book Release Party and Other Random Bits

There's nothing that quite makes an author feel like a superstar as having her name on the marquee. Check this one out, no less right there with Kate DiCamillo.

Me with Jessica Lee Anderson

BookPeople were fabulous hosts for the joint book release party with Jessica Lee Anderson. We had a fabulous time! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see us! A book party is a really special day, and I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful people I consider friends to celebrate with.
Like, look - Jody Feldman, author of THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES, came all the way from Missouri for the party. (okay, so she was in San Antonio for school visits - it was still a drive.)

Me with Jody Feldman

I've posted more pics over on the Forgotten Worlds Facebook Fan Page in case you want to buzz over and check them out!

But one last pic. Check out the copies of my book!

*Note - If you want a signed copy and didn't make the party, BookPeople has them in stock.


In other news, I'm quoted in our Austin Newspaper, the Austin American Statesmen, on my thoughts on WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Here's the link. I say:

"WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was the book I always wanted to own. Teachers and librarians read it to me in the class and the library, but for some reason beyond me, it never made its way to my home. It was like an adventure book I always wanted to be a part of. So guess what? As soon as I had kids, I ran to the bookstore and bought it. And read it. And loved it. But I always thought it was longer."


Monday I am going to be interviewed on Book Bites for Kids. Here's the link. It's at 2:00 Central Time on Monday, October 19, 2009. Listen in!


Check out Beth Revis's blog this week! She's giving away a copy of THE EMERALD TABLET and THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD. In addition, she'll be gathering interview questions from blog readers to ask me. So pop over and put forth a question!


And here's one final picture of Team "Nogicals Rule". Wonder what a Nogical is? Read THE EMERALD TABLET to find out!


Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cynsations et al

I hope everyone is having a great week! In addition to getting ready for the awesome book release party (which I'm really excited about; can you tell?), I'm putting together a speech for Friday for a school talk I'm giving. This one is more on the craft of writing as opposed to some other topics I've given in the past (like mythology, The Hero's Journey, character development, and telekinesis vs. telepathy).

Here's a couple fun links for the middle of the week.

I'm featured on Cynsations today with fellow book-release-party author Jessica Lee Anderson. We're talking a little about our writing path, what we find rewarding, how we're marketing, and also what sophomore novel we're most looking forward to. Are you curious about mine? Click over to find out!

Want to talk about CATHCING FIRE by Suzanne Collins? Over at The Spectacle, we have a discussion going on completely full of spoilers.
Consider yourself warned. If you have not read CATHCING FIRE and you plan to, do not visit. If you have read it, then head over and weigh in!

Also up today, I posted an interview with the amazing R. L. LaFevers over on The Enchanted Inkpot. Are you curious what Robin's favorite natural wonder is? Go see! It's a great one, and one we should all enjoy. And for your enjoyment, here's a picture of me and Robin when she came to Austin!

Have a great week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, NAVEL!

Happy Monday! And Happy Release Day to THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD!

Huge thanks to Shrinking Violets for featuring me today. Mary Hershey and Robin LaFevers rock!

Also huge thanks for all the Twitter Book Birthday love! Did I mention I love Twitter more and more each day?

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Roundup in the Middle of the Week

I'm busy talking up my book release party this week, visiting elementary school kids, sending emails. I have to admit, it's such an exciting time. And as a reminder, for anyone living in or around Austin, I'll be having a joint book release party with Jessica Lee Anderson, author of the upcoming BORDER CROSSING.

Sunday, October 18th, 2009


Please come! Please bring your friends. And family. And your friend's families. And their friends. Anyway, you get the idea. We want you there!


I need to mention a few awesome reviews for THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD. Why? Because I'm the author, that's why. Here they are with my favorite quotes from them:

"The Navel of the World is excellent middle school grade fiction...I highly recommend the Forgotten Worlds trilogy for later elementary and middle school readers." -- Jen Robinson's Book Page

"Fast paced action keeps the reader turning the pages...Fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series will enjoy this fantasy as will Garth Nix fans too! My only question is how long do we have to wait for book three?" -- YA Books Central

"If you love books like the Percy Jackson series or just enjoy a good time-travel adventure then I heartily recommend this book!" -- Library Ninja

All I can say is THANK YOU!!!!!


And speaking of being the author, I'm so looking forward to speaking to my son's class tomorrow for career day. I get to talk about all the fun (and even some of the not-so-fun) things I get to do as an author.
Actually, everything is fun!


Book giveaway:
If you want to get a copy of THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD free no less, head over the Tabitha's blog and comment here. The winners will be announced on Halloween, which, as my kids keep telling me, is just around the corner.


Are you interested in winning $20 online giftcard for Powell’s bookstore and a copy of Dead Girl in Love by Linda Joy Singleton. Yes? Then head over to The Spectacle and enter to win. I want to win, but I'm afraid I don't qualify :)


And finally I give you some pics from the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing Workshop in the Lone Star State awesome workshop this past weekend.

Authors Erin Edwards, Jo Whittemore, and me

Author Greg Leitich Smith and me

I'm inspired from the workshop, learned a ton, and am ready to revise. And then revise some more.

Have a great rest of the week!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Five on a Friday

Happy Friday! Here's my five for the week.

1) Super thank you to all those who chimed in on the son/parent book club. It seems some exist, but nowhere near the number as daughters. Thank you to those who vow to start them! And thank you to those who mentioned the blog post.
Let's get this thing viral!

2) I love this picture of my critique partner's son reading an ARC of THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD.

3) Read recently:

INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher - This was an ARC my editor lent me. The more I think about it, the more I like it. It almost reminded me of an adult fantasy (as far as the feel of it goes). I'm already looking forward to the sequel, and the best part is that since it's a book that was published in the UK, the sequel is something I can get my hands on :)

A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT by Linda Urban - A cute, fun, realistic comedy for later elementary and middle school kids.

THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD by J. K. Rowling - Die-hard Harry Potter fans will enjoy this.
*Note that the best thing about this title is my son checked it out from the library for me.

4) Sneak peak of t-shirt design for THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD.

5) I'm looking forward to a writing weekend! Tomorrow is the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing Workshop in the Lone Star State! I plan to come out of it totally awed and inspired after learning from Kathi Appelt and Sharon Darrow all day!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!