Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Death of J.D. Salinger

I was in fifth grade when I first met J.D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye was on the summer reading list for the high school in my city and copies of his book sat out in the teen section. I remember hearing the title before and anything in the teen area was a book I wanted to conquer. I checked it out, probably tucking it into a plastic grocery bag and riding my bike home to read it. I’m sure a lot of it didn’t make sense, and I’m not really sure if I even got through the entire book. But we had met, if only for a brief moment.

Salinger and I then led separate lives until my senior year in high school. It was one of the books I read instead of reading the assigned books I was supposed to be reading for my English class (confesses the high school English teacher!). I remember the way Holden’s voice spoke to me, his cynicism and open defiance towards society around him resonated to me. I felt like Holden knew what I was thinking, like when Salinger had wrote the book he had looked into my head and took my thoughts and feelings out for everyone to see. The angst filled, confused, teenage version of myself fell in love with the lost and lonely Holden and Salinger’s words.

I’ve revisted Catcher in the Rye throughout the years (in addition to some of Salinger’s other pieces of writing) and have always found something new in the book. I talked my main squeeze into reading it a few months ago and he couldn’t put it down. He would read lines and even paragraphs out of the book to me. My main squeeze agreed that Salinger knew exactly what it felt like to be a teenager. He spoke to that generation, he spoke to our generation and now he’s speaking to my students. His writing has a universality that everyone can relate to, and it always makes me happy when one of my students reads it and comes back to talk to me about how much they loved the book (because they usually do).

I know his death may get people excited about the possibility of more writing by him (he wrote for in his house for decades, never sharing this writing) and while it’s exciting to think that we may someday be able to read fresh new words, it’s more important to first remember that we just lost of one of our generation’s greatest writer’s (even if Salinger wouldn’t want the attention given to himself). As a young adult writer, I couldn’t imagine writing in any other type of voice and there is no doubt that J.D. Salinger helped to inspire my choice to write YA literature.




"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."
~J.D. Salinger

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have You Created a Wordle of Your Writing?

There is a great website where you can make visual word art from you writing (www.wordle.net). All you have to do is enter your writing (and you can enter your enter book, which I did, all 343 pages of it!) and hit submit. It comes up with word art that you can play around with by changing the color, size, font, direction of the words and shape of the words. It's pretty cool.

Here's my word art for the entire book (click on the image to view it larger)...


And here is the one I created only out of Kate's (my main character) blog entry...


It's pretty cool to see that some of the most important, ideas and themes in my book come up as major words.

Wordle your work and see what you can come up with!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How Do You Hook Them In?

One of the strangest things about having an agent is that I’m never going to have to write a query letter again or go to agentquery.com in search of someone who might be perfect to represent my book. I won’t have to pour over the acknowledgements at the back of books I love so I can send a query letter to the agent who represents that author. I won’t open my e-mail with my heart racing hoping that I have mail from an agent who is requesting a full or loves my partial. I don’t have to do any of this any more, because I have an agent. It’s a great feeling, but it was a process that took a few months.

Writing my book was the easy part, finding the right agent for me was harder. Agents get hundreds of submissions a week and most agents don’t look at your writing first. Instead, what gets you past the “magic gates” is often a four paragraph e-mail called your query letter. It’s hard to stand out with only four paragraphs, so you better make sure your query letter is good.

Nathan Bransford blogged a few weeks ago about how he got over a hundred queries in one weekend and Kate Schafer Testerman stated that she had received over 3500 query letters last year and only requested 82 partials.

Getting your partial/full into the hands of an agent is hard work. You need to catch their eyes. You need to include something in your letter that makes them want to read more. This is where the hook comes in. It should be great. It should be amazing. It should make the agent request to want to read more and more and more!

I think of a hook as a one or two sentence summary that you include in your first paragraph, because the truth is, sometimes an agent won’t read past that first paragraph. A good place to look at examples of these are in publisher’s marketplace when deals are posted (although you have to pay for this site). It’s your chance to sell your book, so it better be good.

I slaved over my hook. I wrote, rewrote and wrote my hook again. I showed it to people, got opinions and finally came up with a sentence that I felt would grab someone’s attention and get an agent to want to read more.

Your hook should be the essence of your story, the focus of what you’re trying to accomplish with your words. For me, it was about the corrupt privilege some schools give to athletes and what happens when someone questions it.

My hook was:
Kate is propelled into the world of privilege when her dad becomes coach of one of the state’s top high school basketball teams, but when a player violates her trust, she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

What about you? What’s your hook? How can you summarize your book in a sentence or two?

Share your hook, and maybe some of us will be excited to read more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm All Professional Now!

When I met fellow MFA student and blogger Eileen this summer at The Kenyon Review Writing Workshop, she gave me one of her business cards. I loved it! It was a slick and little, about half the size of a regular business card. I had to get myself some writer cards of my own. They arrived yesterday, what do you think?

These are my more "professional" ones. I saw professional lightly, because they are still a little wild.
And these are my fun ones...

More fun cards...
And who wouldn't want a business card with a unicorn throwing up a rainbow!? Something tells me this one will be passed out to people I know. I can't see myself handing this to a stranger as a way to represent myself!

The cards have the designs on one side and then my information on the other. My information is the same, but I ordered 100 cards with about 20 different designs. I love being a writer and being able to buy fun business cards like these. My business cards for teaching are a lot more professional (no unicorns there!).


Also....I finished two more books and they were both amazing!

Book Number Three:

The Secret Year (Jennifer Hubbard) 192 pages

Book Number Four:

Some Girls Are (Courtney Summers) 256 pages

I have to admit that I'm addicted to Courtney Summers. I've never read books as fast as I read hers. I feel like I'm stepping onto a roller coaster when I start the book, and I can't put them down. She pulls me along for a wild ride. She's only written two books, but she just signed a two book deal. Yay!

Welcome, Please Step Into My Novel

I have two more scenes that my agent wants me to write. Two more scenes doesn’t seem like a lot, right? My book is over three hundred pages, so I should be able to write six to eight more pages, but I’ve had major writer’s block this week. It may have to do with the fact that I’ve been grading finals each night until I can’t keep my eyes open. I think I have too many thoughts swimming around in my head.

I was talking to a coworker today about my writer’s block, and mentioned the topics of the scenes my agent wanted me to add. She asked, “What if you bring an outsider into the scene?”

An outside into the scene? Hmmm….I started to think about the idea throughout the day and she was right. Adding a new person to my book would allow someone to look at the situation through new eyes. Suddenly, my writer’s block was gone! I added a scene with my main character’s Uncle. He was technically a main character, he’s mentioned a few times in the book, but this is the first time my reader meets him. This was the perfect scene, because the Uncle commented on stuff that was going on that a reader may not have caught on to.

I’m not advocating adding a bunch of new characters to your book; I know how confusing it can get to add names and then never bring them back. However, I think sometimes a new person (even if they are a stranger) can show your reader how to view your book in a different way. They can pose a question that your main character might have to answer and not want to. They may bring to light an issue that your main character might have been hiding. They can point out flaws, comment on the world around your character or help the reader understand different perspectives.

I tried to come up with “outsiders” that may help drive your story:

*Another student at the school

*Removed family member (grandparent, cousin, aunt or uncle)

*Little kid

*Stranger on a bus

*Teacher

*Priest

*Doctor

*Sibling of friend

*Salesperson

*Waiter/Waitress

*Boss

*Coworker

So welcome those party crashers, ease droppers and nosey neighbors into your story…you never know what they might say to shift your reader’s thinking!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Six Word Memoirs

Today was the first day of classes. It’s a whole new start of a school year (another August, but without the sun). I’ve been teaching for seven years now (14 first days), and the first day still makes me nervous. I have a hard time sleeping the night before and feel like I’m the new kid in school when I stand up in front of my new students.

I start off the class by telling my students that they’re going to write poems. Most of them freak out a bit because they didn’t expect to write poetry on the first day. However, I assure them that it will be fun. I have them write Six Word Memoirs, which are six word sentences that “tell your life story.” I have my students create a poem by going through different stages of their lives (birth, toddler years, elementary years, junior high, highs school and then the sum total of their lives so far) using only six words. We have a lot of fun with these and they come up with some pretty cool stuff.

I show examples from old students and we come up with some Six Word Memories of my own.

These are the ones I came up with today. I wrote about the past year and my book. Here are a few that I came up with:

Write, revise, write again, keep revising.

Rejection, rejection, rejection, can I call?

Rachele meet agent, dream moves closer.

Words swim in front of eyes.

Light from laptop is my sun.

Sugar, Tea, Coffee, keep on writing.

When I first started writing Canary I wrote a bunch of Six Word Memoirs for my main character Kate. I liked trying to condense her life, her story, into just six words

Year of firsts, no mother’s advice.

Dad, Brett, Me, continued fake family.

We had empty conversations at home.

I embraced Beacon, Brett damned Beacon.

Jack made varsity, I made popularity.

Everyone and no ones knew me.

I shine, Brett faded in the dark.

Brett curls in, recluse at school.

Pulling Jack close, pushing Brett away.

My dad’s away, I will play.

Need to stop, want to race.

Father doesn’t notice, I am different.

Pretend to be older, ignore expectations.

Privilege grants a life of entitlement.

My world again revolves around basketball.

What about you? Can you sum up your character’s life in six words? What about your book? What about your own life? Share your Six Word Memoirs with me!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The News, The News!

I hinted at a secret yesterday.

It’s a good one...I talked to my agent yesterday and she loves my revisions. Woo-hoo!

She has a few minor changes/additions that she wants me to make this weekend, and she plans to start subbing the book in two weeks. Crazy! Awesome! Amazing!

That’s my news…what about you? Do you have anything fun to share?

Okay, this is a short post, because I need to get back to grading my students' finals.

If you're looking for something to pass the time until I post again (especially since I gave you such a short post today), you can look at this picture of Heidi Montag. It’s a bit memorizing and a bit concerning. It doesn’t even look like her. It's kind of like the picture of Kate Gosselin from last week.

What's up with these realty stars changing their entire look? Don't they know that the photogs need to be able to recognize them doing things like grocery shopping and balancing two cups of Starbucks so we can understand that they "are just like us?"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Last week I posted a poem that I had written in eighth grade (I know you all remember the majesty of this poem). The poem got me thinking about my writing from when I was young. I have journal after journal full of my teen-age angst, and I thought it might be fun to revisit it. I hunted around some old boxes and started to unearth some very amusing writing.

Exhibit A:


This is my high school senior year Creative Writing journal. My teacher had told us that if we didn’t want her to read any of our entries, all we had to do was turn down the page. I would say about half of my pages were turned down…yikes!

There are a ton of entries that would make you laugh for hours, but the one I’m going to share today is about a “crisis” in my life.



It states, “My crisis might finally be over. On Friday I went to Old Navy and got a pair of jeans. They actually fit me okay. Most people don’t understand what a trauma searching for jeans is. It takes me forever to find jeans that fit. It’s a fight. It has gotten so bad that my mom refuses to go out with me when I go looking for jeans.” Wow…what rough times I had in high school! Actually, jeans shopping is still a crisis for me. I’m short and every pair I ever try on is about seven inches too long (even the petite pairs!).

I remember hearing in high school that sleeping in the fetal position is a self-defense mechanism. I thought this would make a great line in a story, so I wrote it nice and big in bubble letters. I think I wrote a lot of stuff during high school in bubble letters!


The picture below is me brainstorming titles for a story I wrote. The titles are lame. I'm glad I was able to identify it. I think the story had to do with a girl getting ready for prom. I went through all her actions and how special it all was, but in the end you find out she has to go with her brother because she doesn't have a date. That's a story I might have to dig up for a laugh!



I went to a private Catholic school (all girls!), so my journal has a lot of prayers. Something tells me that we won’t be reciting this prayer during mass!


Okay, I know you'll get a good laugh at this last picture, but look at the beauty of it. I found it wedged between two pages of the journal. It’s me and my friend “hanging out” with the boys from Dawson’s Creek. Man, I was obsessed with that show! Okay, I admit it, I still love me an episode of DC from time to time (along with Varsity Blues)!


What about you? Did you keep journals when you were young? Do you ever go back and look through them?

I think that if you're lucky, I'll start posting tidbits from my journals. It's really compelling reading!

Oh....and I have a secret! A big secret! But I can't tell it yet...maybe tomorrow....

Book Number 3

This will be short and sweet. I finished my third book, Marcelo in the Real World (Francisco Stork, 320 pages). I loved this book! It was one of those books where I carried it around in my purse, slipped it into my bookbag and tried to read it whenever I got the chance. It's a beautiful story, and like I said before, I love the cover of the book.

Now, I'm on to a book I have been saving for awhile. I'm working my way through River of Heaven by Lee Martin. I worked with Lee this past summer at The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and have nothing but great things to say about his advice for my writing and his own writing. His Pulitzer Prize nominated book The Bright Forever in on my list of top ten favorite books. I've been saving this book simply because I didn't want to finish his novels. Is that weird? Do you ever save books? I know I've talked about slowing down at the endings of books, but now you know that I also save books. Hmmm...I have strange reading habits!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Little Help From My Friends....

This week is the end of the semester at my school. A whole new group of students start next week (we’re on a block schedule), so that means a lot of paper grading with finals. Phew! The end is in sight, though, and I’ll get there, although I’ll be sad to see my students leave.

One of the assignments I’ve been working on is for my Creative Writing class. My students write final extended stories (eight pages or more), and we’re working on peer feedback. I have a whole format that I use for feedback. My students are great at providing feedback, and they love to read each other’s stories.

When I first introduced peer feedback, I told my students a whole bunch of cheesy stuff like how, “no good piece of writing has even been created by writing a first draft. One must write, rewrite and rewrite some more. The process of writing can often be long and sometimes tedious.” Seriously, that’s what the paper I gave them said.

I then proceeded to pull out The Beatles for their inspirational words and told them that in writing, “you get by with a little help from your friends.” I talked about how important it is to read a piece of writing critically, because you want your classmates to do the same for you.

I’ve brought up my own writing a few times in class. Whether I’m discussing the pieces I write for the MFA program or my book, I let them know that writing is hard work. I always mention how I’ve probably gone through fifteen or more drafts for my book (so far!), and they think I’m crazy. But it’s so true, writing takes time, and it takes revisions and it takes friends.

I’m lucky enough to have some great readers. The girls on Absolute Write have helped back my novel what it is today, my agent reads it with a critical eye and my school librarian extradonaire lets me know exactly what teenagers want. It’s so important to have a strong support system around you who can be open and honest about your writing.

What about you? Do you like feedback on your writing? Who helps you with your writing? What kind of feedback do you look for?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Shutter Saturday

I don't know if I've talked about it yet, but I'm obsessed with sushi. I celebrate any big moment with a night out for sushi. You know, events like finishing my book, signing an agent, finishing a round of revisions, finishing a page, finishing a sentence...any excuse for sushi.

I thought I'd share two pictures from my trip to Japan for this Shu
tter Saturday. Tuna with avocado is one of my favorite sushi rolls, and wouldn't you know it, but I'm standing in front of fresh caught tuna. Seriously, tuna is really that big.


If you get bored waiting to read my next post of Monday, you can always go to my old blog from when I went to Japan. The trip was over three years ago, so the blog hasn't been updated in awhile, but I go back to it from time to time to remember my trip.

I hope you're staying warm....we've still got a lot of snow here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

YA Relationships Never Last More Than One Year

Last night the lake effect fairy came and gave me another snow day. Can you believe it?! I’ve been using the morning to catch up on a lot of things. Really important things like painting my toe nails with sparkly red and silver nail polishing and watching last night’s episodes of Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of the OC. Very, very important stuff. I feel like I’ve been spoiled with Christmas break and then two snow days.

This past week I have been thinking about time, specially in young adult literature. The draft of my book that I submitted to my agent spanned a year and a half. My main character starts the book when she’s a sophomore and the book ends when she’s halfway through her junior year. I did this because there were events that needed to happen within that time span, but I still wasn’t entirely sold on the book taking place over almost two years. I felt like I rushed through things in order to move the story along (like summer vacation). However, if I would have slowed down to write about everything, then the book would be double the length.

I wasn’t a hundred percent in love with my novel covering almost two years, so I started to look into the time span of other YA novels. Guess what? There wasn’t any!

I looked through my bookshelf, went through Good Reads and talked to my school’s librarian who is the master of YA literature. Besides, Prep (which isn’t classified as YA), I couldn’t come up with any books.

Now I can’t stop thinking about it. Why do you think that YA literature doesn’t span a lot of time? Do you think it’s possible to have a novel that spans more than a year? Can you think of any novels that do?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blast from the Past!

One of my favorite blogs to read is YA Highway. I know a few of the girls who write for the blog, and they all have awesome books coming out or will someday come out (they’re manuscripts are just that good!).

The blog takes a road trip on Wednesdays. A topic is posted and they ask their readers to post about this topic on their own blogs. You’re supposed to link your blog entry in their comments, and then the other readers “road trip” to the blogs.

This week’s road trip was a visit down memory lane. YA Highway asked their readers to share some actual young adult writing (writing we did when we were in our teens). I thought this would be a great idea, because I could finally get my masterpiece out to the world.

I thought the poem I’m going to share with you was the bomb diggity when I was in 8th grade. I’m a bit weary about sharing it, because I don’t want to become too famous too fast with this great work of writing. I’m sure that I’ll have publishing companies beating down my door after reading this gem! Ba ha ha ha!

The origin of this poem came from Teen Magazine (I’m not even sure if they still publish that magazine). I loved the magazine when I was young, and they always included two pages of readers’ poems in it. If your poem got published, you would get a free subscription to the magazine. The problem was, I already had a subscription. My mom got it for me when I turned thirteen! I seriously held onto my poem, because I wanted to wait until I needed to renew. I thought it was that good, and I didn’t want to waste the free subscription. I am such a dork.

Okay, prepare yourself for the best poem you’ll ever read….

What Might Have, Could Have Been

As I walk along the sandy shore,
I think of what might have been.

Of summer days and summer nights,
with someone to hold me tight.

When I get to the spot where we first met
that bright and starry night,
a single tear falls in the sand
as I think of what might have,
could have
been.

What? What is that I hear? Laughing?

That’s okay, I’m laughing along with you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Books of 2010!

First, thanks for all your votes about the Nathan Bransford contest. I picked the second entry, so keep your fingers crossed!

One of my resolutions was to keep track of the books that I read in 2010. I’m already falling behind of that because I’ve already finished two!

Book One:
Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You (Peter Cameron) 240 Pages
I admit that this book was a bit of a cheat, because I was halfway done with it when 2010 started. But I think I can still count it, because it was the first book I finished this year. It was recommended to me by a friend, and I kept trying to get around to it and never had time (perhaps because one of my MFA classes required me to read a 200+ page novel a week…ugh!). I finally picked it up and loved the book. The main character’s voice is sarcastic, yet pained. He reminded me of Chuck Bass (my love!) from Gossip Girl. Overall, it was a great read!

Book Two:
Cracked Up to Be (Courtney Summers) 224 Pages
One of my students recommended this book to me about a month ago. She loved it, so I gave it a shot and could not get into the narrator’s voice. But…I picked it up again during break and couldn’t put it down. I stayed up one night reading until almost three in the morning just to see what happened. I flew through it in two days, and I loved it. Courtney’s next book was just released yesterday, and I'm waiting for Amazon.com to ship the preordered copy I got. Ugh, they are so slow when you do the free shipping!!

Right now I’m on about page 50 of Marcello in the Real World. I can’t stop gushing about how much I love the cover of this book. Seriously, I think it’s one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen.
It reminds me a lot of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime, but I feel like Marcello is more sensitive and vulnerable than the narrator in TCIOFTAN.

What about you? What are you reading right now?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nathan Bransford's Teen Diary Contest

Okay...first the breaking news....
We had a snow day yesteday!

Yeah, big deal, right? My Christmas break was extended one more day. It is a big deal because I was able to finish my manuscript edits!!! I wrote like a mad woman and sent the book off around 9:30 last night. Here's to hoping Lina likes the changes and we can start subbing soon!

In other news...

Nathan Bransford is having a Teen Diary Contest to celebrate the future release of his client’s book The Secret Year. The rules are simple…you may enter one 500 word or less diary post by a teenager. My main character, Kate, keeps a blog diary, so I thought I’d take one of the deleted scenes from my book and give it some new life by entering it into Nathan’s contest.

I’m posting two of Kate’s entries, although I’m only allowed to enter one. This is where you come in. What entry should I go with? Which do you like best? Please share your view in my comments. I only have until tomorrow to enter!

Entry One:

Jack Blane.

I rolled his name around on my tongue like a candy.
Sticking it in the corner of my mouth to preserve its sweet stickiness.

His name left a taste in my mouth, a whisper on my lips, a thin thread floating around my head and evaporating
into the air.

It was unnerving what the mere thought of this name could do.

The name of a boy I had hardly really talked to until last night.
The name of a boy who other girls laid claim to, his name existing on their shiny strawberry glossed lips as they laughed along with him.
The name of a boy who might not ever know anything besides just my name.
Who might never know who I am besides my name.

But maybe I could change that.
I could find a way to make sure Jack Blane remembered my name as long as I knew his.


Entry Two:


People came and went to the door of our house every day and I had never paid any attention.

The paper boy missed the door each morning, usually leaving the rolled up paper in our bushes somewhere, a treasure hunt each morning for my dad in his ratty bathrobe and bare feet.

The mailman slid letters through our mail slot, leaving envelopes, bills and glossy pamphlets scattered all over the cool tiles of our house.

The meter reader knocked once a month, asking to be let into the garage so he could read the amount of energy we had consumed.

Packages were delivered, flyers for lawn care services were stuck in our door handles and cookies were sold by green suited Girl Scouts.

People coming to the door were normal to us, an interruption usually forgotten a few minutes later.

At least, it was normal until Brett left for Iraq.

Then, suddenly the door that had once seemed so mundane and normal now seemed to hold a sense of dread. Every knock, every footstep coming up our walk or shadow behind the curtain became a question of uncertainty, a messenger of fear.

Every stranger elicited an unspoken question in our mind, a pause in our day, our breaths, and our hearts…putting everything on hold until we opened the door and expelled our breath in a long slow sigh of relief.

Until the one day when our breaths didn’t come back, the day when the shadow warped behind the glass of our front door caused me to fall to my knees, gasping for a breath I could not catch.*

*This is a deleted scene. I promise it does not ruin my book at all. The plot is different now, so don’t go thinking you know what is going to happen!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Generic Post Where I List My New Year Resolutions....

The new year is off to a great start…I was supposed to go back to work today, but we got a snow day! My students don’t come back until tomorrow, but we had a staff day today. It’s kind of cool to think that there was just a snow day for the teachers!

I’ve taken advantage of the extra day off by getting up early (okay, 8:30, but that’s early for me) and working on a final read through of my novel. I think it’s ready to send back to my agent! I’m really excited about what 2010 may bring for my book and career as a writer!

I’m not one to make a lot of New Year resolutions, because I’m not good at keeping them. However, I think it’s important to set goals, so without further ado, here are my resolutions for 2010:

Write every day.

Now, writing doesn’t have to be just book writing. Writing can be blogging (yay to more blog entries!), journaling with my students or writing down ideas. I have a habit of placing characters in situations I encounter and hear about, and try to see how they get out of them. These might not even be characters from my book, but I like to play around with writing scenes that I may use one day.

Drink more tea, less pop.

I’m addicted to Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Root Beer. In a typical day, I can easily drink four cans of pop. That’s not good, people! I’ve decided to start with baby steps. I’ll still allow myself a morning DMD and an afternoon, DRB, but that’s it. I’m trying to get myself to drink more and more tea, and I’m really starting to like it (maybe it’s just because of the mustache mug!).

Keep track of what I read.

I did this three years ago. I kept a blog where I listed every book I read and my opinions about it. I figure this blog is as good a place to start doing that. I read a lot, and I’d like a record of what exactly I read in one year.

So there we go, my goals for 2010. Pretty manageable, right? I hope so! What about you? What are the goals and resolutions that you have developed for the new year?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winners!!!!

Wow! It looks like I took an unscheduled blog vacation these last few days! Sorry to leave you all hanging, especially those of you waiting to see who won the writer's gloves.

I figure that since I took so long to announce the winner, it's only fair that I give away two pairs (even if I didn't make it to 50 followers).

I put all the names in a bowl (some people had up to 8 entries...thanks for spreading the word!) and had my main squeeze reach on in.

The first winner is...

Kaitlin Ward!
And the second winner is....

Aching Hope!!!!
Kaitlin and Aching Hope, please e-mail me (rachelealpine@gmail.com) with your addresses. I have a pair of pink gloves and a pair of gray gloves. Please include with your color choice and the first one who responds will get their pick.

Thanks for entering! I promise to be back and blogging on a regular schedule tomorrow!