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

Monday, May 31, 2010

BEA Roundup

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I did some relaxing after the big trip to NYC for BEA, but I also managed to get in some revising, some kid time, and some doing-stuff-around-the-house things.

Note: Please come back tomorrow as I'll be giving away some OSUM ARCs!

Okay, how was BEA? It was a blast! The flights were on time, traveling with Jessica Lee Anderson was perfect. We stayed in Manhattan with my cousin, had delicious burgers and pizza, talked, walked, went on the roof of my cousin's building where the view is to-die-for. I talked with my agent, Laura Rennert, ran into famous authors and editors, and even enjoyed Kidlit Drink Night.
Yes, I know that's a lot. Yes, it was a whirlwind trip. So I'll try to summarize it with pictures.

Jessica Lee Anderson and Me at the airport

Me and Editor Madeline Smoot

Jessica Lee Anderson at the Milkweed Editions booth with her book

Authors Kekla Magoon and Jessica Lee Anderson

From my signing (I had a line!!!!! And people waiting for me!)

More from my signing, with Rebecca Leach (Scholastic) and Editor Madeline Smoot

My crowd (which was so nice!)

Authors Denise Jaden, Shana Silver, and Jessica Lee Anderson

Authors Irene Latham, Laura Bowers, Me, and Kekla Magoon

Jessica Lee Anderson, Vordak (Egmont Booth), and Me

Me and author Donna St. Cyr

Jessica Lee Anderson at her signing

Authors Donna St. Cyr and Jessica Lee Anderson

And we also managed to capture some video footage including not just us, but some of the cool people we saw.

So the verdict?
Go to BEA if you get a chance! It was fun and productive and NYC and totally cool all at the same time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Off to BEA

I'll take tons of pictures and video. And maybe see a superhero or two.
Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Five on a Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope you're all looking forward to a great weekend. Mine includes a sparring tournament (for the kids, not me), a crawfish boil (yummy), and some great revising, critiquing, and reading.

And before I forget, if you ever wonder why I love dystopic stories, you can head over to The Spectacle to find out (hint: think way back to the 70s). We've been posting all week on the topic.

Also this week on The Texas Sweethearts blog we featured awesome librarian Christina Hicks! She'd love for you to stop by and show her some love!

Here are my five for the week:

1) So I know. I promised not to overdo the kids' artwork. But when my daughter crafted this in the morning, I grabbed it and scanned it in immediately. I especially like her phonetic spelling of "awesome" (which, of course, it totally is).

2) Did I mention I'm heading to BEA next week? So I'm over the moon excited about this! I'm heading up there with fellow Texas Sweetheart Jessica Lee Anderson (we're even sitting across from each other on the plane). I've got my schedule partially mapped out, and can't wait. And I'm lucky enough to have a cousin who lives in Manhattan and is letting me stay with her!

3) Thank you to reader Theron for sending me this way cool picture of a Nogical he created. I was lucky enough to speak to Theron's class a few weeks ago and loved all the great questions and love of reading they had.

4) And speaking of Jessica Lee Anderson, I was able to go listen to her give the keynote speech at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) annual luncheon today. The event was first class, the food was delicious, and Jessica was spot-on perfect. We met Cynthia Leitich Smith briefly afterward for a quick chat which is always a treat.

5) Okay, finally, here's a photo of what we were greeted with at our front door the other day. So sweet!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can't Get Enough Dystopic?

Hey fellow lovers of all things dystopic!

In case you want more to read, there's a brand new blog on the block featuring debut YA dystopic authors! It's run by future superstars:and it's called THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY WRITERS, and you can check it out here!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Million Bits of Fun

So it seems like a ton has been going on the last week, and the weeks ahead are filled, too. There's just something about this time of year that fills the calendar. But busy is good. Actually great! I'd much rather be busy than idling away my minutes.

Oh, here's a good quote I found:

"What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour?"
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

So yeah, get out there and do something!


A couple fun things I wanted to share:
First off, THE EMERALD TABLET made the bestseller list! Sure, it's the Austin Arboretum Barnes & Noble bestseller list, but it was printed up in the Austin paper and everything!
Here's the link! And do you see I am ahead of Rick Riordan?
I'm thinking Austin B&N today. NY Times tomorrow!

Second, I loved this picture I took at our local indie BookPeople this past weekend. It's a staff selection for THE EMERALD TABLET. Thank you, BookPeople!

And look at the good company I'm in with MIKE STELLAR NERVES OF STEEL by K. A. Holt on the shelf also!

On a third note, guess who came to visit for good? Anyone remember Critter, that cute little blue cow creature from Ian Sands? Well Critter's brother Critter is now a permanent resident in our home. A huge thank you to Christy Evers for snagging and mailing Critter to us! We are overjoyed here at the Hoover household. And look, Critter has already gotten into the Nancy Drews.
Critter plans to get together with his other brother Critter who is now in the care of Austin author Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Oh, yeah, and finally, here's a fun video I put together for THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS blog this week!

Hope you all have a GREAT week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do you take pride in what you've done?

You know a couple weeks ago when I turned...when I had my birthday, I put together a list of things that make me happy. Some of these are people. Some are material items. Some are more abstract. And some are accomplishments I'm proud of.

They say pride is one of the seven deadly sins, so is it okay to take pride in your accomplishments? Or should we live a life of humility and never tout ourselves or anything we've done? Or is it only a matter of taking pride a bit too far.

Take Odysseus for example. When he defeated the Cyclops and managed to sail himself and his men away from the island, he couldn't resist the opportunity to be proud of himself and proclaim his victory to the world (including the Cyclops who then called upon his dad for revenge). This didn't work out so great for Odysseus, and as part of his journey, he had to learn to curb his pride. So at what point did he cross the line? Was it when his pride overcame his sensibility? Did he just not know when to keep quiet?

As for what I'm proud of, well there's my family, my engineering career, my writing career, all the handy things I do around the house... Really, the list could go on. And on. And even on. (Watch the video again if you don't believe me.)

So what are your thoughts on pride, and what are you proud of? Because in my opinion, you should be proud of yourself and what you accomplish.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spreading the Awesome: PERFECT CHEMISTRY Winner!

Happy Monday! And a huge thank you to everyone who entered the contest for PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles. It's great to make so many new blog friends!

Okay, so using my random number generator, I'm thrilled to announce the winner is...

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess  

Yay, Courtney! Contact me and send me your mailing address!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

One Step Past Overwhelmed

So I think we've all been there. We come home and there are fifty million things that need to be done RIGHT NOW. The more places we look, the more things are waiting. Our books aren't written. Our emails aren't answered. And there is dust an inch thick on our bedroom dresser. And let's not even get started on the closets. Clothes fall out all over the place, and the bookshelf is a shambles.
We hear scratching and the dog wants to go out. And to top things off, the tortoises are pacing back and forth in their habitat demanding lettuce. (yes, they really do this).

The horrible feeling of being overwhelmed hits and it seems like everything is pressing down on us.

So what's the solution?

Okay, I know you guys have heard this a million times before, but it's time to make a list. And then, once you have your list, take the tasks one at a time in the order of highest priority (or sometimes quickest satisfaction). What needs to be done the most? And what will make you feel the best for getting it done? It's not like my daughter's closet is going to collapse if I don't organize it. But once I do, a huge sense of accomplishment comes over me. And letting the dog out will reduce the stress her scratching creates.

The best part: once I start on my list, I am no longer overwhelmed.

My brother-in-law has a quote that's good to remember in overwhelming times:

Whenever you're in a hurry, slow down.

So anyway, this weekend I dusted and cleaned and organized my daughter's entire room. I leave you with this picture of her bookshelves...

...and a close-up of some of my favorite childhood books. She was beyond excited to get them on her bookshelf!

Hope the week is going great for you all!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spreading the Awesome

Happy Monday!

So Elana Johnson had this fabulous idea to hug a bunch of authors and books today. It's a day to celebrate books that we've read and loved and want to recommend to the world! It's a day to check out every book and author on the master list and find some new reading material you think will interest you.

A huge thank you to Elana for organizing such an awesome event!

For the master list, check out this link!

NOTE: Read to the bottom for your chance to win this book!

The book I picked is PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles. This is a book that blew away all measures of success. It's got an awesome book trailer that makes the book like it might be a bit of fluff, but seriously, PERFECT CHEMISTRY is not even close to fluff.

It's the story of a boy and a girl who have absolutely nothing in common. And when the year starts off, they are forced to be chemistry partners. Sure they fall in love. Sure there's some awesome romance. But what I loved the most about this book is it felt so real. Not once was the author kind to the characters. Brittany and Alex had every single thing going against them. And I couldn't stop turning the pages.

PERFECT CHEMISTRY met and exceeded every expectation I had for it, and even if you think YA romance is not your thing, pick up this book and give it a chance. And while you're at it, pick up an extra copy for that special teen you know. You won't be sorry!


Okay, book giveaway time...

For your chance to win a copy of PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles, just

1) follow my blog and
2) comment on this blog post by the end of the day Sunday, May 9, 2010!

So simple. So easy. Just do it!


We're linking all our blog posts together, so thank you to Jon Arntson for linking to me, and for the next great book in the list, check out Katie Anderson at Plot This who is talking up LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor (which I'll also vouch and say is a fabulous book)!

Thank you a million for reading! And have a great week!