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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Today over on THE ENCHANTED INKPOT, I'm featuring fellow Austinite Kat Catmull and her brand new book!

SUMMER AND BIRD by Kat Catmull (Dutton, October 2, 2012)

Please head over and see how awesome she and her book really are! And Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Pledge for Writers

From my daughter...

I pledge allegiance to write all day,
to never give up,
from night to day.

(Honor bow)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What I'm Reading: SCARLET by Marissa Meyer

How I love finding a series I truly love! I've been dying to read this book since finishing CINDER!

SCARLET (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends, February 5, 2013)

Here are Five Things I have to say about SCARLET:

1) It's so great to just be able to settle into a book and enjoy it, especially when it's a sequel. I have this very bizarre feeling while reading these books that I know I can just trust the author to write me an enjoyable story, and Marissa Meyer does not disappoint.

2) Marissa does a fantastic job sealing a wonderful story inside a single book while still keeping the overall series story arc going. I am going to read book three as soon as I possible can, and I know I won't be disappointed. Bring it on!

3) I just have to say again what a fun twist it is on these fairy tales to see them brought to the sci-fi setting. It's great to see what connections I can make from the original stories to the recreation. Brilliant!

4) How I love the settings of these stories. We are on Earth, but it's Earth in the way future. Another brilliant stroke because it helps the reader connect with the story on one more level.

5) Sure, there is romance. But it is not all about the romance at all. And yet, what romance there is works so well. It's the perfect touch of romance mixed in with a kick-butt plot and characters to die for!

In short, totally, highly recommended, boys and girls, 6th grade and up! Start with CINDER and move on from there.


Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Source of book: From publisher by request

Monday, December 10, 2012

What is your Ithaca?

I was introduced to the poem Ithaca at the Red Dirt Book Festival in Oklahoma a few years ago. I was sitting at a signing table, and the man next to me (a fellow author) struck up conversation. When I mentioned I wrote books with mythology in them, he told me about a poem. I didn't think much about it at the time. In fact, I wasn't really sure what he was talking about.

A poem about Ithaca? Just another story of Odysseus?

I wasn't really sure what was to be gained. But when I got back home, I received a nice email along with a link to said poem. And I've loved the poem so much that I now have it printed and hanging above my desk in my office.

It's by poet Constantine P. Cavafy, and seeing as how he is long since dead, I am safe in placing it below.

When you set sail for Ithaca,
wish for the road to be long,
full of adventures, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
an angry Poseidon — do not fear.
You will never find such on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, and your spirit
and body are touched by a fine emotion.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
a savage Poseidon you will not encounter,
if you do not carry them within your spirit,
if your spirit does not place them before you.
Wish for the road to be long.
Many the summer mornings to be when
with what pleasure, what joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time.
Stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase the fine goods,
nacre and coral, amber and ebony,
and exquisite perfumes of all sorts,
the most delicate fragrances you can find.
To many Egyptian cities you must go,
to learn and learn from the cultivated.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your final destination.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better for it to last many years,
and when old to rest in the island,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to offer you wealth.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful journey.
Without her you would not have set out on the road.
Nothing more does she have to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithaca means.

There are tons of translations of this poem (seeing as how it was originally written in Greek). Translations aside, here is what the poem means to me. Here's what I need to remind myself of constantly.

Goals are great and all, but it's not about the destination. It's all about the journey.

Things like getting a book published take a long time. The journey to get a book published can take forever. It's filled with things like first drafts, revisions, edit letters, and queries. There are submissions and marketing plans and interview and copyedits. There are agents and editors and librarians and booksellers. And finally, just maybe if you've worked and worked and worked, the publication goal that you've been seeking for so long will finally come to pass. Your destination will be reached. But with all the time it took to get there, it's important above all else to enjoy the journey.

Buddha* says it well. "It is better to travel well than to arrive."

How is your journey to Ithaca going?

*Or maybe this is a fake Buddha quote. One cannot be sure.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels Holiday Party

If you're in town this weekend, please come by The Book Spot for our annual Texas Sweethearts holiday party!

Annual Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels Holiday Party

Saturday, December 8, 2013, 12:00-2:00 pm

The Book Spot, Round Rock, TX (across from Round Rock High School)

Books, food, activities, and friendship

See you then!

I Can't Get That Song Out of My Head

Remember when we were kids and we played those songs we loved over and over and over again, and it drove our parents nuts? (my song was The Copacabana by Barry Manilow. Love that song even now).

Anyway, I have kids now, and it is apparently payback time. That said, now there is YouTube and videos to go along with the songs that actually crack me up.

So, as I continue on with revisions, here are two of my favorite YouTube songs the kids have introduced me to :)

(p.s. Toby Turner is a genius)

(the refrigerated pie line is my favorite line)


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Quick Roundup During Revisions

So I've been kind of busy with revisions the last couple weeks which is why I haven't posted as often here.

(repeat after me: REVISIONS ARE GOOD!)

Anyway, in the meantime, here are a few quick links to share!


Today on THE ENCHANTED INKPOT, I've interviewed J. A. Souders about her brand new book!

RENEGADE by J. A. Souders (Tor Teen, November 13, 2012)


Over on THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS, our Featured Sweetheart is LUCY KUBO!


And finally, SOLSTICE is featured today for DYSTOPIAN DECEMBER over on CLAIRE READS!

SOLSTICE by P. J. Hoover (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013)


Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 03, 2012


You guys are all awesome! That's all there is to it! Thank you so much to everyone who entered to win an ARC of

SOLSTICE by P. J. Hoover (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013)

And with no more waiting, the winner is...

Amber Johnston Mitchell!

Please stop by again after the new year! Look for more giveaway and all sorts of awesome buildup toward the release!