Friday, May 30, 2008
2. I'm getting very frustrated about still not getting paid for a school gig in April and trying to run down the right people for my check!
3. The Sounds of Summer - birds singing outside my window. Along with other unknown chirping insects and the chugging sprinklers.
4. I can't wait for BEA to get done this weekend since I'm supposed to be hearing some *news* next week.
5. My stack of books got even higher. How did that happen? Oh yeah, I ordered these last week and also went to the library. Can I just read for the rest of my life?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Such cute gals! We had some fun getting-to-know-you talk as well as writing talk and stimulating conversation about being a book publisher. Karlene actually had her own publishing company for several years! I was impressed.
From left to right: Candace Salima. She's even more gorgeous in person than her official blog photograph.
sarah_create who flew in from Iceland for graduation stuff and family stuff and some writing events, too. She is now seriously jet-lagged.
And Karlene Browning, creator of many blogs and businesses, just take a peek at her profile!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Dream a little dream with me . . .: Thoughts on Being an American
(Tomorrow I'll post a pic of Candace and me and a couple of other writers when we met each other for the first time.)
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Near the bottom is an example of the fabulous French pastries we ate every day.
The awesome thing was, we walked so much for those two weeks I didn't gain a single pound even though I ate these every day.
Au revoir and have a great weekend!
Friday, May 16, 2008
My favorite event at Handsprings is the Friday evening EDITOR PANEL (this year with editor Alisha Niehaus at Dutton and Rebecca Sherman, agent from Writers House, and Tim Gillner, Art Director from Highlights/Boyds Mills Press.)
Attendees get to send in a first page from their YA novel, MG novel, or picture book and have it read anonymously for the panel to make comments on. The visiting agents/editors give tips, pointers and helpful information about what makes a good first page. What happens when and editor or agent reads that first page? What are they thinking, feeling – and will they want to turn the page?
I sent in the First Page of my WIP, IN A PARIS MINUTE, which I am completely revamping at the moment; a total restructure of the time line and events.
I was biting my nails wondering if the panel was going to tell me to go get a new day job. I envisioned comments like, “This writers thinks she can write YA chick lit from a teenage girl’s POV? Ha, ha, ha! It’s obvious she hasn’t seen her teen years in about 3 decades.”
I was worried I’d be laughed out of the room.
But the room laughed at my story, my writing instead - at least 3 times - during just one page! They laughed at parts I didn’t realize were even funny. I was dumbfounded and thrilled. Perhaps it was the deadpan voice of the SCBWI woman who was reading, I dunno, but I’ll take it anyway.
Then Agent Rebecca Sherman said, “This first page does all the things right we’ve been talking about. Establishes, setting, character, voice, situation. It’s a GOOD first page. No, it’s a GREAT first page. I’d want to keep reading.”
Alisha Niehaus heartily concurred - and said she loves anything to do with Paris. Score a big one for me. My first page got the best comments of the whole evening. I'm so psyched to finish this book now!
Here it is, dear blog readers:
They’re my new favorite food.
My new favorite souvenir.
My new favorite sin.
The Eiffel tower, the Louvre—all of them must-sees like the tour books claim—if you don’t mind heights that make you dizzy and enough paintings to saturate your brain for the rest of your life—but once I discovered La Patisserie the rest of Paris became mere backdrop for my indulgence.
Drizzled chocolate, sugar-dusted raspberries, flaky crusts with perfect crimped edges. I’ll have to run the
Kara and I even ate warm, oozing chocolate crepes for dinner one night while we analyzed French boys on top of the Arc d’Triomphe. If you’ve heard the expression, they’re to die for, well, I’m here to tell you, it’s true. Trust me. The crepes, I mean. Not necessarily French boys.
I've restrained myself from checking out Parisian males because I'm already taken--by Mathew Perotti, the hottest guy at Eleanor Roosevelt High via Lubbock, Texas.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I haven't been tagged but saw this on my friend Barbara O' Connor's terrific blog and it looked like fun so I'm doin' it. ;-)
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
What were you doing ten years ago?
Homeschooling three rambunctious boys who liked to read, think up Imagination games (and tell me to be quiet so I didn't interrupt their daydreams) and play Hide n'Seek with their friends through the house. Wasn't I a nice Mom?
My first book, BREAKAWAY, was just coming out and I was nervously biting my fingernails.
Doing revisions on ENCHANTED RUNNER for my editor.
What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
1. Go to Los Lunas Middle School to talk to the kids in the Book Club about the process of book publishing.
2. Grocery shopping (found some great sales at Albertsons).
3. Talk my son through a school final crisis. Not on the "to do" list but it happened.
4. Make spaghetti for dinner.
5. Wash my hair. Seriously.
What are some snacks you enjoy?
Chocolate chip cookie dough.
Donuts, especially chocolate frosted ones with sprinkles
What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Hire a maid
Travel to Egypt. Hit every European country.
Lounge on the beach for a couple of weeks
Buy any book I want
I'd definitely donate to several charities as well as medical research for cancer. That stuff scares me.
Give my mom (who only has a small social security check every month) enough money so she'll quit worrying
Take my whole family (my brothers and sisters, and their kids, too) on a big, splurgy vacation
What are three of your bad habits?
Eating too many sweets
Not having enough confidence in myself
What are five places where you have lived?
San Francisco, California
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Albuquerque, New Mexico
What are five jobs you have had?
Saleswoman at a clock store (grandfather clocks and imported clocks from Europe)
Office clerk for a CPA
What six people do you want to tag?
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I posted my blog this morning and then this afternoon Laurie herself emails to tell me she's seen my blog - my blog, no less! - and thanks me for mentioning her book. I was very glad to do it because I really ADORED this novel. No, it's not YA like I write, but it's juicy, suspenseful, un-put-downable with twists and turns and a surprising conclusion. It's sort of like time travel and historical wrapped inside as well which I love (and which my last book from Knopf is all about, The Last Snake Runner.)
A young woman (Courtney) wakes up one morning in Regency England remembering her life back int he 21st century and wondering how she got there. THEN she starts realizing that she has memories of the woman (Jane) whose body she is inhabiting. But what happened to Jane - the woman Courtney took over? Is she in her old body two hundred years into the future. And will they switch back - or not?
A terrific novel with first rate writing and yes, tons of fun, as well as romance and handsome men.
I hear a sequel is in the works . . . yay!
Go grab CONFESSIONS from your nearest bookstore and have a great read!
For now, here is a list of books I’ve read in the past couple of months.
I can’t keep track of dates anymore – are you kidding?
THE TALENTED CLEMENTINE by Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Marla Frazee
RED MOON AT
Great American historical fictionSENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen
A classic – what else can I say?
THE WELL OF ASCENSION by Brandon Sanderson
Intriguing new Adult fantasy with a brilliant world, yet the main character is only 18 years old so it reads like sophisticated YA.
RED GLASS by Laura Resau
The imagery and writing is wonderful in a whole new setting in Mexico
THE WHITE DARKNESS by Geraldine McCaughrean
I never knew you could describe the snow and white colors of the Antarctic in so many ways.CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT by Laurie Viera Rigler.
Very fun read if you love Jane!THE MYSTERIOUS EDGE OF THE HEROIC WORLD by E. L. Konigsburg
Elaine Konigsburg will go down in history as one of the best writers of the last generation
REPOSSESED by A. M. Jenkins
Wicked and delightful! Love her work.OPHELIA: A NOVEL by Lisa M. Klein
Fantastic retelling of Hamlet by Ophelia herself. Love this kind of historical fiction, rich and wonderful.
THE LUXE by Anna Godberson
A fun gossipy read, but doesn’t live up to all the hype. Don’t buy it. Use your library, that’s what I do.
REACHING FOR SUN by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
A wonderful new poetic writer!
ONE WHOLE AND PERFECT DAY by Judith Clarke
An Australian author who tells a story using about 10 different points of view brilliantly. The first 50 pages is sort of slow, but it doesn’t disappoint as it begins to get more complex and all the pieces fit together at the end.
CATASTROPHE Great Engineering Failure – and Success by Fred Bortz
More great non-fiction with fabulous photosTHE SECRET by Rhonda Byrne
Intriguing way to look at success and happiness and your personal dreams and goals.
Read this for my book club – it’s been decades since I’ve read it, but it’s still timeless and healing.
Really different kind of format with little known medieval facts and information.
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