Monday, January 28, 2013

Music Monday

Today I'm talking tunes. And if you haven't heard . . .

All The Write Notes is live! *cheers*

ATWN is a  blog for people who love tunes. Started by writers who love and live music, it's going to be heaps of fun. And I'm honored to be a part of it! Today is the first post. The cool Jay C. Spencer is talking about the band The Rural Alberta Advantage, a band that inspired his current WIP, and there's a giveaway!

So go check it out! You might win--or just find some cool tunes.:)

Since ATWN today is talking about bands that have influenced us--and our writing--I'll share some of my faves. It's really hard to pick just one, but Snow Patrol tops my list. The lyrics, the melodies--I love it all. And having seen them in concert (twice), they're even more amazing live.

Other huge artists for me? It tends to change, but rounding out my top 5 of bands/artists I never tire of are: Jack Johnson, Silversun Pick-ups, 30 Seconds to Mars, and The XX.

The next timeless five? David Gray, Jack's Mannequin, The Smiths, and Depeche Mode. (I know, Depeche Mode screams ancient, but I still love them. Good times.:D)

Other artists I'm loving right now? Kasabian, Natalie Walker, Sia, Lana Del Ray, The Joy Formidable, and My Chemical Romance.

And the track playing on my iPod right now: Mirrorball by Elbow. Another great tune.

What have you been listening to lately?

And curious . . . *cue informal blog poll*  . . . I can't write without music. Seriously. It's like all that silence weirds me out and stops my mind from going to that creative place. What about you? If you're a writer, do you like music, or do you need silence?

**Okay, since posting, I realized my "next top five of timeless songs" only contained four...*doh* Nice. Math was never my strong point...LOL.:) So here's a 5th: Florence +The Machine. Happy Monday & thanks for stopping by!:)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Five



Here's my week wrap-up...a fast and furious Friday Five. The top five things on my radar this week:

5. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's my all-time favorite MLK, Jr. quote:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."


4. Beta-reading for Lindsay Currie and Jay C. Spencer. Totally different manuscripts, each individually wonderful. And I can't wait to read Tonya Kuper's revisions on HAUTE MESS, which is a hilarious rom-com close to my heart.

3 & 2. Blogs!

Check out One Four Kid Lit, full of 2013 MG and YA debuts, and get to meet MG and YA authors debuting in 2014. So many great books ahead!

Coming next Monday...All The Write Notes, a blog for writers who love, and live, music. The first post is about The Rural Alberta Advantage, and Jay C. Spencer is giving away cool stuff. (I'd tell you but I'm sworn to secrecy. Well, not really, but it's SO COOL. You want it, trust me.)

I'm so stoked to be part of both of these blogs I can barely stand it.

1. NIL edits.

BOOM. Done. And it feels so good. I turned them in, on time, and I feel really, really good about them. I can't wait to see my cover...and to hold an ARC...and for 2014!

Soon I'll post a NIL playlist, but in the meantime, I leave you with this: Willie Moon's Yeah Yeah. I cranked this song when I finished, feeling it for me and for my manuscript. And if you haven't seen this video, then you're in for a treat. It rocks.


Monday, January 7, 2013

The One Four Kid Lit Blog is LIVE!

Yay! The One Four Kid Lit blog is up and running, and it's packed with MG and YA authors debuting in 2014. I'm so honored to be a part of this talented group that I find myself smiling every single time I see the blog header.

Why? Because it's packed with AWESOME.

Like the GETTIN' LUCKY series, where One Fours interview MG & YA authors launching books in 2013, the Lucky '13's. First up? The talented Ellen Oh, author of PROPHECY, which debuted on January 2nd. Ellen's interview (way to go Natalie!) was fun and informative and made me want to read Ellen's novel RIGHT THIS MINUTE. :) (And when I finish my NIL edits, I will reward myself with a 2013 debut read-a-thon, beginning with PROPHECY. :D)

And there's more awesomeness to come!

More interviews, more book birthday celebrations . . . an entire year of book goodness as we gear up to 2014. Over the next few months, you'll find all the OneFours introducing themselves and their upcoming debuts.

Like . . . if you pop over right now, you can meet the amazing Corinne Duyvis, author of next year's OTHERBOUND. I love reading about how books are born, and OTHERBOUND is no exception. Go peek; I'll wait. :)

Hey, while you were there, did you meet Natalie C. Parker, author of the upcoming BEWARE THE WILD? Like Corinne's, Natalie's book belongs on everyone's TBR pile for sure. If you didn't meet Natalie, go back! You'll love her. And if you missed it, the One Fours kicked off the year with an introduction of the talented Annie Cardi, author of QUEEN OF THE AIR, another must-read. If you missed meeting Annie, no worries. Click here and say hello. She's another amazing, sweet author who has been really good to me when I joined the One Fours.

So go check out the One Fours, say hello, and join us in cheering on the Lucky 13's! Aren't new books the best? :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello 2013!

To kick off the year, I joined a cool group of YA & MG authors debuting in 2014, One Four Kidlit. Yay! Feels like the perfect way to start today. Want to check out the blog-in-progress? Go here. :) There are so many awesome books coming out in 2014 from new authors, and I'm honored to be part of this group!

Ok, now for the promised 2012 wrap-up.

These kinds of summaries are hard for me; it's why I don't have a "family letter" inside our Christmas card (not that I sent cards this year...ran out of time LOL). But 2012 was amazing. Full of quiet moments and many highlights, writing-wise. Here's a few:

I found my agent, Jennifer Unter, who is made of awesome. Truly. I couldn't ask for a more perfect champion for NIL, for me, or for my writing. Thanks Jennifer, for EVERYTHING.

Jennifer sold my book, NIL, to Macmillan/Henry Holt, for publication Winter 2014. Just--WOW. Talk about a culmination of years of work . . . of a dream come true. Again, thank you Jennifer. :) And thank you Kate, for falling in love with NIL too. :)

I met my awesome crit partner from Omaha, Tonya Kuper, in person--not once, but twice. (Which also meant I got to see Snow Patrol live twice as well--both times with Tonya. Woot!) I'm so grateful to my friend and CP, Laura Stanford, for introducing us through Backspace (a killer conference if you ever have the chance to go). Hugs, Laura! Tonya landed an agent in 2012 too and that made me HAPPY. Like over-the-moon happy. To watch a friend succeed when you have been there for the ride is pure sweetness and a highlight all its own. :)

I made more writing friends on-line than I ever dreamed possible. Like the amazing Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver (through Tonya!), who gave me the opportunity to read one of their blow-your-mind awesome manuscripts and who are as nice as they are talented . . . like Jay Spencer, a talented artist-writer-music fan (alert: Jay writes kick-butt MG) who kick-started a music blog for writers and gave me the chance to be a part of it . . . like Eliza Tilton and Laura Stanford, both writers from Backspace, who each celebrated personal/career successes this year (publication! dream job!) which make me happy too . . . like Jessie Harrell, who is an amazing writer and CP (ok, Jessie is local and I love her and I can lunch with her when the stars align and neither of our kids are sick, but this wrap-up cannot NOT include Jessie, who has been with me every step of my writing journey.:D) . . . like Natalie Whipple, whose blog I stumbled across when I first began pursuing publication and who I'm honored to count as a friend (Natalie is honest and smart and Talented and kind and I want to read EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER BOOKS -- and possibly her grocery list, because her writing is just that awesome)  . . . and like dozens of other writers who make me smile when I read their Tweets. The writing community is tight on Twitter, but not in an exclusive way, and I feel blessed to be a part of it.

I learned--again--that publication really is about patience, and perseverance. Patience while you wait to hear from your agent while on submission, patience while you wait on your book contract, patience while you wait to receive your edits . . . (see a trend here? The waiting in publishing never ends. I'd heard that before and it's so true!) But while you wait, you must still write. You still have to sit and push through the block when the words won't come, or the muse doesn't show, and you can't let the waiting kill your writing. It's hard, at least it was for me at times, because the emotional roller coaster of the WAITS (the flats in between the highs and the lows) are like mental quicksand. At times it's hard to keep going, but you can't stop, at least not for long, because you'll get stuck.

There were personal highlights too . . . I celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary, watched many gorgeous sunsets and sunrises over the ocean (sometimes on a paddle board), fell back in love with painting (oil, preferably, but acrylics are fun too), figured out I suck at yoga but like it anyway, watched all 4 of my boys do amazing things in sports and school, and read over 150 books. Lots of good books out there to be read, which makes me stoked for 2013. :)

So Happy New Year! Here's to a fresh start, a new year, many months of GREAT books and good times. :) *clinks glass*

Oh, one more thing: my resolution. Balance. I'm REALLY going to work hard on juggling the family/life/health/writing balance. It's hard for me, because when I'm into something, I do it 100%. But sometimes as much as I want to write for 14 hours straight, I can't--or shouldn't. So I'm working on balance, with a time management component.

What's your resolution for 2013?

To you! Cheers!