Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things That Are Awesome Dot Com

Don't forget, today's the last day to enter to win a copy of Sarah Dessen's 
What Happened to Goodbye! Just leave a comment here and you're entered

"30 Days of Creativity is a social initiative encouraging 
people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June." 
30 Days of Creativity

I stumbled across the site for 30 Days of Creativity just in the nick of time! I definitely think I'm going to use it to get some work done on my shiny new project. Create a scene a day? Heck yes, I can do that! Their site is really, really cool, so go check it out and join in on the fun. You can also catch them on twitter @createstuff and by tracking the #thirtydaysofcreativity tag. I love their inspiration calendar and am looking forward to incorporating that when I get stuck (because it will DEFINITELY happen). Basically, I'm using 30DoC as a mini-NaNoWriMo, just without a word count requirement. All I have to do is create one scene per day. I can definitely handle that. If you decide to participate in 30 Days of Creativity (or even just jump in randomly!) comment and let me know!

 Hand carved iPhone cover from SigniCASE

Speaking of creativity, how awesome is this carved wood iPhone case? It popped up on my Google reader, and you can buy it on Etsy here! There are a ton of really cool cases, but this one is by far my favorite. And for a handmade item, $37.99 really isn't bad. Hmmm.... maybe I've found what I'll spend my roulette winnings on!

My world of television has really slowed down. My favorite shows (Parks and Rec!) have all gone on summer hiatus, and other than working my way through Bones on Netflix, it's a dry season for me. Unless you count the debut of my all-time favorite reality show, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE! I've watched every season of this show and have just been in awe of the performances. There were a couple lagging seasons there for a while, but last season really brought it. I mean, last year brought us the best hip hop routine um EVER (boo to not being able to embed it, YouTube!). I already set my Tivo, and will probably be doing some nerdy reality TV blogging ...

Don't forget, today's the last day to enter to win a copy of Sarah Dessen's 
What Happened to Goodbye! Just leave a comment here and you're entered

Monday, May 30, 2011

May: What in the hell happened to me?

I feel like I've just been spit out of a tornado... I spent pretty much all of May on this never ending roller coaster of travel and commitments, and it's all done now! I survived! Here's what happened:

It all started with my first trip to Asbury Park, NJ, where the Boston B Party (my team) took on the Jersey Shore All Stars. We got our butts royally handed to us, but I still had an excellent time. 

Me (left, star-spangled booty shorts) and my teammate Kitty Twister 
blocking the Jersey Shore jammer
photo from Dezdemona Lott of Jersey Shore

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Done! Let's Celebrate With A CONTEST!

In case you didn't hear, I revised the entirety of Meant to Be in three weeks and just sent it off to Lauren Oliver at Paper Lantern Lit. Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched! This is my first completed (and revised) novel, thatI started writing a little over a year ago. I've decided to celebrate this auspicious occasion with a giveaway.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Manuscript? SENT!!!!!

Guys, it's done. Like, for realz DONE. And I didn't even have to stay up until midnight finishing my revisions. I just sent it to Lauren Oliver, who will be going over it with a fine tooth comb and hopefully not finding any more places where physicality is required (my writing downfall? I have a nasty habit of writing long strings of dialogue without making my characters, ya know, DO anything).

I'm going to write a post about how I revised a nearly 300 page novel in three weeks while traveling to Philadelphia, Tennessee, and Chicago, attending a wedding, a graduation, and playing roller derby ... but first I have to fall over and sleep for a billion hours.

In the meantime, enjoy this artsy hipster photograph of ALL. THE. PAGES.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Five More Days

Just peeking my head out of revisions madness (due on Monday! Eep!) to say hello and show you this picture of my big box 'o' drafts. Well, all the drafts I printed, anyway. The binder on the right side is actually the only printout of the ENTIRE NOVEL. Well, one round of revisions ago, anyway.

When this round is done, the book will head off to Random House and into the hands of Wendy Loggia, my fabulous amazing super awesome editor.

I'm almost done, but I need to power through these next few days. I can't believe it's almost done! I started writing this thing a little over a year ago!

Oh man, I need to get back to work before I start reminiscing... More posts soon!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On the road again...

Two trips down, three to go.

Me, chasing down the Jersey Shore Jammer ... don't I look scary?!
photo by Sergio Keith Abe

Both my bout weekends ended in losses (100 points to Jersey Shore, 90 points to Philly), but that's ok. Both weekends were epically awesome. Some of the Philly skaters took us to the dance club to end all hipster dance clubs, and we shook our booties until the wee hours of the morning. Oh, and then we stopped at a ritzy hot dog truck, where I got a dog with provolone, parmesan, and asparagus. Seriously, best hot dog I've ever eaten, and just what I needed after four hours of dancing!

Tomorrow I set off for four days in my hometown of Maryville, TN. As I mentioned before, my lil sister is graduating from high school, and I have to be there to see it.

Isn't my sister's prom ensemble TO DIE FOR?!
Love that headband, and she wore pretty gold flats!
I fly out tomorrow (connecting in DC), and my plan is to get through my entire manuscript on paper. All 278 pages (84k+ words). That will give me all of next week to put my edits into the actual Word doc (a task I plan to finish on my flight to Chicago). If Meant to Be isn't the most well-traveled novel in the history of YA novels ... well, I just don't know what to think. I guess it's appropriate, since MTB is all about travel and exploring London.  And Maryville, TN and London have quite a lot in common ... um, ok. That was a stretch...

My revisions are due just before my epic trip to Las Vegas, so maybe I'll have to work on my shiny new idea during that trip ... it's a roller derby YA, folks!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Things that happen when I have revisions due

  • Check Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr ... and then check them all again in case something new popped up while I was working my way through the lists
  • Clean my entire house, including scrubbing my bathtub
  • Do the dishes (I HATE DISHES)
  • Grocery shop
  • Bake
  • Write emails
  • Write letters
  • Stare at the Word doc containing my manuscript
  • Take a nap
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Give myself a manicure
  • Remove the nailpolish when I remember that I don't like manicures
  • Clean my roller skates
  • Vacuum up the tufts of dog hair that roll through like it's the Old West around here
  • Play with my dog
And after I've done ALL THAT, I (might) sit down and crunch through my revisions.

Oh, you want to see pictures of my dog? Lucy is my 55lb border collie/great pyrenese mix. Isn't she a cutie?!

Ok, I guess I'll go work on my revisions now... Due in two weeks!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can't Wait To Read: The Future is Us

I could not be more excited, because today on Twitter (and later on Jay Asher's blog), I got the news that Asher and Carolyn Mackler have joined forces to write a YA about a time-traveling AOL CD-Rom.


From the release: The Future is Us is set in 1996, when less than half of all American high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented for several more years. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD-ROM with 100 free hours. When she and her best friend Josh log on to AOL they discover themselves on Facebook … fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what life has in store for them. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

First of all, let me pause for any youngsters who might be reading and going, AOL? Wait, CD-what?!

Once upon a time, the Internet was doled out in units of time, often hours. AOL used to send CDs in the mail that let you get online FOR FREE, but only for a few hours. At first it was a small number, like 10 or 20 or 30. These cds were coveted, because it meant you could go into chat rooms and meet cool people (read: creepers) without your parents having to pay the astronomical fees to hop onto AOL.

But then the Internet arms race started and they had to pump up their guns. Soon you were getting THOUSANDS of free hours. No, really.

It didn't take long for the discs to become all but worthless. When I was in high school I worked at Target, and we had the CDs hanging out at the register to give away for free. Pretty soon people were using them as wall art.

So I'm pretty psyched for a YA novel to be set in, you know, my YA years! In 1996 I was in 8th grade at Maryville Middle School. I was a gawky, awkward mess, but I didn't totally know that at the time. In fact, I'm pretty sure I thought I was hot shit. I rocked my retro-cool jellies, my over-sized plastic candy-colored rings, and more chokers than you could shake a stick at. My parent's should have bought stock in Claire's. I thought baby tees looked HOT on my flat-as-a-board bony frame. I devoured RL Stine books and was obsessed with Carolyn B. Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton. I quoted Clueless incessantly and dreamed about the day I'd finally get my driver's license and my very own Jeep (spoiler alert: I drove my grandmother's old 1989 Honda Accord). My friends and I spent the week convincing our parents to drive us to the movies or West Town Mall in Knoxville on the weekends. When we couldn't get a ride somewhere cool, we'd go rollerblading (my future derby girl cringes...). I was dying to get to high school so I  could start working on the school newspaper, just like all my favorite YA heroines (Nancy Drew, Elizabeth Wakefield, etc).

I'm trying to imagine that girl discovering Facebook and all that comes with it.... and I really can't. My poor, 14-year-old brain would probably explode.

So yes, as soon as this book is available for pre-order, I'll be clicking the button with vigor.

Oh, and speaking of Facebook ... how 'bout you go "like" my author page? I'll be doing some giveaways there this summer!

Let's have a mid-90s party in the comments ... what were YOU up to in 1996? And guess what? If you comment here, you get a super secret bonus entry in the Future of Us ARC giveaway contest!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Revisions! Yippee!

Just going to dash off a very quick blog post to say:


It's funny, each time I send it off, I never know when it's going to pop back into my email box. It really can come back at any time, and as soon as it does, the clock starts ticking. I have three weeks for this last round (which is an easy peasy deadline considering I wrote the entire thing in 8 weeks...). It's good that I really love revising. I much prefer it to the first draft process, which involves a lot of me cleaning my house, eating junk food, and clicking around on the internet, all to save myself from staring at the DREADED BLINKING CURSOR OF DEATH in Microsoft Word. Seriously, my house has never been cleaner than when I'm facing a deadline...

So three weeks ... I definitely wasn't kidding when I said I'd be doing a lot of writing on airplanes. I hope there's outlets on my JetBlue flight to Vegas!

Also, I love love LOVE all the suggestions from ye olde editors! Can't wait to get this party started...