Monday, May 31, 2010

Catching My Breath During A Long Weekend

I am so sorry for my blogging absence. I know you all came back repeatedly to my blog looking for my insightful writing musings (ha!), so I'm sorry to have gone away. Okay, maybe you didn't, but I still feel bad about not keeping up.

The end of the year is always an awesome time (summer is so close), but also the busiest of times. I had to finish putting together the school literary magazine (which I'll post about this week), grade mountains of papers (now they are hills) and help catch students up who were freaking out about their grades. The end isn't here yet, but it's much much closer (five and a half days...I can do this!).

Memorial Day weekend was a much needed break. I got to relax and collect myself, so I could make it through the last week and a half.

Most of you know that when I'm not writing I have a dorky habit of knitting (and am obsessed with making scarves). Well, my mom and I went on a road trip to a fiber show Saturday to get some good yarn. Yes, fiber as in yarn, although a lot of people seemed to think we were heading somewhere to become "regular!"

We saw alpacas (how can you not love these animals! They are so cute and funny looking!)...

And I bought the world's biggest knitting needles. Okay, I'm a dork! I admit it...but these things are awesome! I've been wanting them for years, and I finally splurged. I started knitting with them when I got home (my main squeeze things my knitting habit is the funniest thing in the world)....


And finished a scarf the next day! Woo-hoo! How is that for instant gratification?! And it's a great way to numb your mind from crazy work weeks...

I still need to put fringe on the ends, and I can't wear it until the winter, but still...


Saturday night my main squeeze and I went to see The Swell Season. Do you know them? Do you love them?

They pretty much helped me write my whole book. I alternated between listening to them and The National as I wrote. The show was amazing and so were our seats (second row! It says obstructed view, but we don't know why HOB does that, these are some of the best seats in the house and they're usually available because no one wants the obstructed view. Shhhh....don't tell our secret!). There are few shows where I'm entranced by the music the entire show, but this was one of them. I'm already making plans to see them in July when they're in Buffalo.


Sunday I planted some tomatoes, peppers and herbs for our deck. We've been house hunting for about six months now (blah!), so everything I planted was transferable in case we move. It makes the deck feel like a little garden.


We ended the weekend by having our families over for a cookout. Here's my main squeeze (left) and his brother, setting sail on the high seas!

Oh, and in between all these things, I got a bunch of writing done. Yay for long weekends where you can relax and write!

I have lots of posts and writerly things to talk about, so I promise to try to slow down life and be around blogging this week.

What about you? How did you spend your long weekend?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lame X2

Remember when I blogged every day????

And then...I didn't blog yesterday.

Guess what????

I'm so overwhelmed right now that I need another day off! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

I have six days left of school and my high school's literary magazine to finish editing and publish (not to mention all the essays to grade). I know everyone has busy lives, so please forgive me for another day.

If it's any consolation, I'll be on summer break soon and have more time to focus on blogging!

In the meantime, check out this AWESOME post about Kody Keplinger. She's my students' (and mine!) FAVORITE author to be publish...we can't wait to read her book!

Also...check out the AMAZING contests that YA Highway is hosting...three days of glorious prizes! Make sure you check back each day for a chance to win more, more, more! Good luck!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Lame Lame Blog Post

You know when your day gets so busy that you don't have time to write? Those days when you really mean to sit down and make some progress on your WIP (work in progress), but you can't even find a minute to even a paragraph written?

Today is one of those days.

I really want to blog, but I was out of work yesterday, it's the end of the school year (eight and a half days...woo-hoo!) and I have a stack of grading that must get done.

So please forgive me for this lame blog post, I promise to be back with something good tomorrow.

What about you? What has distracted you from writing in the past few days?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Looking Professional Is Harder Than You Think

Yesterday I ran into an old coworker. I hadn't seen this person in at least five years. We got to talking about what is going on in our lives, and I mentioned my book (and the waiting and waiting and waiting).

Old Coworker asked the standard question I get from pretty much everyone, "What's your book about?"

I tried to give my lame elevator pitch (seriously, I need to work on this more!), but then I thought of my blog and told Old Coworker to check it out.

Old Coworker asked for the web address and I remembered my business cards.

I dug in my purse and found one business card. Only one. The only I had been saving and carrying around more like a lucky charm than something I would have to give away.

But I pulled it out.

So instead of looking all cool and slick for having cards for my blog...I handed over this card...

Nothing says professional like the puking unicorn!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Same Old Story, Or Something New

I wrote a scene yesterday from the book I'm working on (one of the two, I still haven't decided which to focus on, they're both fighting for writing time in my head). I knew what I wanted to accomplish with the scene, and I was happy with it until this morning when I revisited it.

After typing it up, I feel like it's a bit of a cliche. Do you ever do that? Do you have times were you write a scene that you think is original, but afterwards, you realize it's the same old story that you've seen on TV shows, movies or read in books.

For me, this scene was the girl who keeps her boyfriend away from her sister/or more often her family (who is different). But when he shows up, her worries are for nothing, and the sister/family connects with him.

I don't know, maybe you won't think it's cliched, but I kind of feel like I do. I try to write stories from different perspectives, add something new to them, but with this piece, I feel like I fell flat.

I'll share my rough copy with you. I'm not looking for comments on the piece, but I wonder more if you've ever been in this situation. Have you ever written anything that seems new at the time, but then you realize it might be the same old story. If you have, what was the premise? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I spent weeks making trying to think of ways to keep Seth from coming over to my house.

I made up stories about new paint and having to baby sit my sister and her friends.

The problem was that our house hadn’t been painted in years and the dingy walls surrounded my sister who had never had a friend over in her life.

I tried hard to keep Seth away from my house without him asking questions. I don’t think he ever suspected a thing, until all my hard work was ruined with one ring of the doorbell.

I was in the kitchen with Lauren, drawing pictures in the border of her coloring book.

She covered her hands when the bell rang. “Buzz, buzz,” She shouted and rocked back and forth. I wrapped her in my arms and waited for her to calm down before I went to see who it was.

Once she was focused on her coloring again, I rushed down the hallway, praying that whoever it was wouldn’t grow impatient and set Lauren off again.

Seth was standing there at the door, his hands pulling on his curls in a way that I loved.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, stepping outside and closing the door behind me.

“Well, hello to you too,” he said and reached out towards the doorway. I stepped in front, blocking him. He touched my arm instead, but then let it drop.

“What are you acting so weird? Are you hiding someone inside?”


“What? No,” I said wondering how things had turned so quickly. “I’m inside with my sister. We’re coloring. It’s just the two of us.”

“Good,” Seth said reaching out again, but this time pushing me aside to open the door. “Then you won’t mind if we go inside. I just want to hang out with you, and I couldn’t wait until school tomorrow.” He pushed the door open and flew inside, as if looking for something or someone. He didn’t trust me.

“Wait, Seth, no, my sister Lauren, she isn’t good with-“

Seth didn’t listen. He wouldn’t listen and moved down the hallways into the kitchen where Lauren sat pounding the paper with the edge of your crayon.

“This is your sister?” Seth asked, and I froze, waiting for her to yell and scream, to throw something like she usually did when a stranger invaded her space. I waited for her to start scream, but she didn’t.

Instead, she handed her crayon to Seth and with a simple directive, she let us know that she accepted him. “Color,” she said.

And Seth did.

Friday, May 21, 2010

When In Doubt, Scribble It Out!

I've found proof from my young eight-year-old self that ever one is unsatisfied with their writing once in awhile.

Below is evidence. It's a diary entry I wrote that apparently wasn't up to standards. A diary entry about Coming to America...perhaps I'm dating myself with a movie from the eighties!

So what do you do when you don't like something?

Scribble it out!

Good to see that even as an eight year old I was editing and revising my work!

It's more painful to cut stuff out of my writing now that I'm older, but I'm wondering if a purple pen might make it easier!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Not To Do

Eileen Wiedbrauk posted a great e-mail exchange from a potential (uhm, well, not really) intern that she read on The Gawker.

Go read it right now....

Are you reading it?

Okay, how hard are you laughing?

This e-mail exchange is classic. I mean, seriously? That's what you write when you're trying to find an internship? Something tells me this person is still looking!

The letter got me thinking and inspired me to write a query letter in a similar fashion. What do you think? Will this query letter land me an agent!?

Dear Agent,

I’m just following up on the query and sample pages I sent u yesterday for my book called VAMPIRE TO HUMAN. Remember? I know you can’t forget it, cuz it was THE BEST IDEA EVER!!!! It was the one about two vampires who fall in love, but then one becomes a human. I know, right! Pretty cool, huh? I think it would be neat if vampires become human cuz I don’t want to copy “Twilight,” and who has ever written about a vampire BECOMING HUMAN AGAIN!?! OMG…I was so excited when I thought of that idea!!!!! It’s going to be huge!

Anyways, I haven’t heard from you yet. I know you’re probably busy, so I understand that maybe you couldn’t get back to me last night (which is fine, cuz I was watching “One Tree Hill,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Hills” and “The City” so I didn’t check my e-mail before I went to bed), but it’s now been almost twenty-four hours and still no response. Twenty-four freaking hours!
Maybe you’re taking so much time to get back to me cuz you’re showing my book to the rest of the agents at your agency. But you don’t need to worry about that, cuz I queried all the other agents at your agency too.

I also attached the entire book to the e-mail yesterday, but you don’t need to thank me for doing that. I know u only asked for ten sample pages, but now you won’t have to wait to read the rest of it. The thing is, I know you’ll really like it cuz my mom and dad said that my book was great. I even had my sister read it, and she said she’d totally buy it at the book store. That’s huge, cuz usually my sister just spends her money on nail polish and bubble gum.

So do you think you can reply to my query?

Oh, wait, wait, wait! I only live about an hour away. I bet I can talk my friend into riding into the city with me! Will you be around at five today? I get out of school at three, so I can’t meet you before that. Okay, I’ll see you then!

Thanx,
Rachele Alpine
(but I want my pen name to be Gatsby Caulfield…it sounds really literary, right!?)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Character Called ------

I've talked a few times about the next book I'm working on (and the other book that keeps trying to push out of my head and take up my time). I'm about eighty pages into the book (hand written, of course, I'll use the summer to start typing it up). I have it plotted out and know where I'm going with my characters, but there's a major problem that I'm having with it.

My main character doesn't have a name.

Crazy, right?

Her sister, Amelia, is another major character in the book, and she's been named since the day I started writing the story.

But for some reason, I can't find the right now for my character.

I'm a bit baffled by this. I can hear her voice, I can picture her and I know her wants and motivations. I just don't know what she's called.

I've tried going through baby name websites, but nothing is working.

I'm sure it'll come to me, but I'm getting sick of writing my book by using a dashes to replace my main character's name. In fact, It's driving me nuts!

How do you come up with your characters' names?

What are your characters' names?

What names of characters do you particularly like in books? For me, it's Jay Gatsby...I love that name!

Characters names are important; I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cracking Open The Fortune Cookie

I don't usually believe in fortunes or hold on to them (especially since a few weeks ago I got a cookie without a fortune...What the heck!? Scary!).

However, I think this recent fortune might be worth holding on to...


How can you pass up a fortune like this? I think this is telling me something about my book submissions...right?!

What about you? What would your fortune for today say?

What Is Your Right Way To Write?

The Page-a-Day Challenge is off to a great start. I hand wrote fourteen pages this weekend. Woo-hoo! Then again, it was the weekend and I had a lot more time to work on my writing than during the work week. We'll see where this week leads!

A few of you commented on my writing technique, which I hadn't given much though to. But perhaps it is unusual that I hand write everything first. I can't sit down and type.

First, I'm too distracted by the Internet. If I tried to come up with new writing and had the Internet in the background, I'd be on everything but Word. E-mail, Facebook, Bananarepublic.com and Publishers Marketplace are way too tempting for me. I need to have my writing done before I sit down.

Second, I write scene by scene and I like to have my ideas "cook" for awhile. I never know when my ideas are going to be done "cooking." I've been known to type in a parking lot, right after I get out of the shower (for some reason I get my best ideas there!), in bed with a flashlight in the middle of the night and a lot of other random places. I carry my journal around everywhere (I purposely got a purse big enough to fit my journal in at all time). I never know when a scene starts begging to be written.

I also write in a very disjointed way. My chapters often start in pieces and then I like to spread the papers around and see how it all fits. If I handwrite something, I'm able to do that before I type it up in the order I want. Very random, I know, but it works for me.

I've never given much thought to handwriting my work, but I can see how it may be unique to some. I look at it as a sort of first draft, and then when I type things up and revise my words, I'm creating a second draft.

What about you? How do you write? What works best for you?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Page A Day Challenge

We interrupt this weekend with a blog post!

What?

Gasp!

I never blog on the weekend!

But this one is important, folks...

Today is the start of Weronika's Page-A-Day-Challenge. The challenge is simple (well, it should be simple; I just need to make the time!). You write a page of your novel a day. We're just doing it for a month, but her reasoning is that if you do this for a whole year, you may just have a completed novel on your hands.

I thought it would be a great way to lead me into my summer writing. I've decided to hand write my pages and will type it all up once the summer starts. I've been doing this for about two months, but I think the push of this challenge will make me write even more. I'm hoping for a pretty good chunk of my novel to be done so I can get deep into it this summer.

I'll be giving updates along the way. I'm hoping I'll be able to write a page a day (and then some!). Wish me luck!

Now go outside and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celebrating My Freckles

I've been meaning to do a post on Kristin Ott's post for over a week. Things just kept coming up (cough, cough...a day with Jay Asher!), and I never found time to write it.

If you haven't checked out Kristin's post, please do so. She was inspired by a post by Steph Bower and spoke out (loudly and perfectly) about body image and how it affects teen girls. Seriously, it was amazing and so true. It didn't just resonate with her, but many other YA writers started to get on bored. You can start reading their views here and here and here. Check their comments. They will lead you on a crumb trail towards more and more authors who decided to also speak out about body image.

Body image was always (always!) an issue to me growing up, and I wish it hadn't been. It's sad that there are so many factors around kids that send them messages that they aren't pretty enough, thin enough, good enough...just not enough. I looked back at an old diary and found that even my writing when I was young (like 10 years old) reflected body image and being pretty:


"One day there was a girl. Everyone thought she was ugly. So she got her hair cut. The first day of school she wore lipstick and bracelets and earrings. No one knew who she was so she told them. They all wanted to be here friend, but she said, "No, you made fun of me." But this one girl asked if she would be her friend. "Yes, because you didn't make fun of me." They became best friends! The end."

Luckily, these days I know that life isn't about wearing lipsticks, bracelets and earrings. Life is about being happy with who you are, and you know something, I think I'm pretty incredible (freckles and all!). So...in following with Kristin's lead....here I am...make-up free/flat iron free and without hair products... a true freckle head!


Let's celebrate ourselves. What is it about your features that you love? Share with me in my comments!

Words That Move You

I had the honor of hearing Jhumpa Lahiri speak Tuesday night. She is one of my favorite authors; I love both her short story collections and her novel The Namesake. She spoke through the Cuyahoga County Library Writer’s series, so the majority of her conversation was about writing. The number one piece of advice that she gave to writers was to be a reader. She stressed how important it was to read and read with a never-ending appetite. I’ve been a huge reader my entire life, so I can’t argue with Jhumpa. However, lately my book diet hasn’t been entirely agreeing with me.

I get very emotionally attached to the books the I read. It gets so bad sometimes that I feel like I take on my character’s moods. If a book is funny and upbeat, my mood can reflect that. If a book is serious and thought provoking, I become very pensive. However, if I book is depressing, it can often bring me down. I don’t find this a fault in my reading or way to approaching a novel, in fact, I look at it as an element of good writing. If an author can get me to connect so much to my characters that I feel their emotions, I think that they’re pretty amazing.

The problem is that during the last few weeks I’ve had to stop reading two books that were affecting me too much. I’m not abandoning these books, but I had to step away from them for awhile and put a little distance between the words and the way I was connecting to them. Has that ever happened to you?

The two books were Jenny Downhan’s Before I Die and Dave Cullen’s Columbine. Don’t get me wrong, both books are amazing. They’re well written and moving, and I’ve read at least a hundred pages in each. However, perhaps they are too moving. The subject matter of each is dark and I had a hard time coming back to the words without letting them affect me. I have no doubt that I will complete both of these books, but not right now. I need to put a little distance between the subject matter and my emotions before I can come back to them.

Writing is a lot like this also. There were scenes I wrote in Canary that physical drained me. Scenes that broke my heart and made me cry while I was writing them. I made choices for my characters that I didn’t want to, but the story was leading me to. I carried these choices around with me for days, feeling awful about what I had to put my characters through. There were even times when I had to close the computer for a time before I could come back to it.

Reading and writing isn’t always easy or happy. Characters die. Characters hurt. Characters experience life in ways that we never hope to do. However, there is always the chance for redemption and salvation. Characters, like human, move on from their experiences and grow stronger. I believe readers and writers are the same. The written world takes us on a journey and while the journey may not always be pleasant, I hope to walk away from a book or my computer changed in a way.

Words are meant to move us and make us think, and I strive every day to be able to do that for my reader.

What books have you read that move you?

What books have you read that were hard to experience?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dear Universe

Dear Universe,

I've got a promise for you.

Are you listening?

Okay!

If I get a book deal I promise to show up at The Today Show holding a glittery sign stating "I got a book deal!"

In fact, Universe, not only will I hold the sign, but I will make sure I'm holding the sign wearing lots and lots CANARY yellow (which, by the way, I don't even look good in. Yellow is totally not my color. But does that matter? No way!).

You know this promise is a big deal for me because I'm not a morning person. In fact, when I don't have to work, my mornings usually starts around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. People know not to mess with my sleep in the morning, because I'm a very evil person when woken up early. But Universe, I'm all about getting up at the crack of dawn to make sure I'm right behind that rope holding my sign and I'll be happy and smiling even if the sun isn't up yet.

Watch for me, universe, because you'll be seeing me on TV in the future. I promise!

Love,

Rachele Alpine

Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone and for voting. I loved getting your ideas and a couple of them gave me a good laugh. The Today Show idea won by a landslide.

Speaking of winning...

The winner of an autographed copy of 13 Reasons Why is BROOKE!

Congrats, Brooke! Please e-mail me (rachelealpine@gmail.com) with your address.

Readers, if you haven't checked out her blog, please do so. She's doing some pretty cool stuff on it with pictures.

Okay, here we go. My promise is out and I'm asking all of you to send some positive thoughts my way about this next round of submissions. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bronte Sisters Take Over The World

Have you seen this?

I couldn't stop laughing the whole time I was watching it and I had to share it with my students.

Why can't all toys and commercials be like this?

Who wouldn't want an action doll like this!?




Also, don't forget to vote for a chance to win an autographed copy of 13 Reasons Why. You have until midnight tonight!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Promises, Promises

Here it is...the choices for my promise to the universe!

Whatever promise wins, if I get a book deal, it will be filmed and uploaded to my blog. Don't worry, you'll get to see it in action!

You have until Wednesday night at midnight to vote. There are some good ones, and I'm excited to see what my promise is going be.

I thought that I would create a more fair way to raffle off the autorgraphed copy of Thirteen Reasons Why:

  • First, make sure you're a follower
  • If you contributed an idea(s) for my poll, you'll get a point for each idea
  • If you vote on the poll, you'll get another point

  • If you blog, tweet or Facebook about the contest, you'll get another point for each time you spread the word (please let me know in the comment box)

I figure this will allow you to vote for the idea you truly like and not your own just so you can get points to win.

So...what are you waiting for?

Don't you want to win that book and help put out some positive vibes to the universe?

Vote!

**I couldn't fit this whole one: Put on a life size canary outfit and wear it to the opening, flying around, tweeting and letting all those twi-hard fans know that "Canary" is going to rock! This will be recorded in all it's yellow feathered glory!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Thursday Was The Bomb Diggity

Remember the scream hear round the world when I found out that I was going to get to hang out with Jay Asher?

Well, I'm back and the day was awesome!

He was speaking at a school in Canton that has over 1,400 students. That's a lot of students compared to my little school (which has about 600). The amazing thing is that the school picked 13 Reasons Why to be an all school read and EVERYONE had a copy of the book. How cool is that? The kids all read the book before he spoke to them, and you could tell how excited they were to have him speaking at the school.

He gave a longer version of the talk I heard months before at Joseph Beth Book Sellers. He talked about trying to get published and the rejection letters he received (what, what? Jay Asher was rejected! Crazy! ). It's good to know that even amazing writers don't always have the easiest route to getting published. It gives me hope and keeps me optimistic (which is always important when you're trying to work on your second book and need motivation. It's so hard to write sometimes when I get a rejection).

I waited while he signed hundreds of books. Hundreds! Every student was allowed to bring their book and get it signed. He said he signed even more books that morning.



After he finished signing all the books we found a place in Canton to get something to eat. It was an old fashion soda shop complete with three pages of ice-cream dishes and homemade candies. Jay was nice enough to answer a million questions. I found out some cool stuff about his writing, books and all that good stuff:

  • He's working on his new book (yay!), but that was all he would say (boo!)
  • The version of 13 Reasons Why that he subbed and signed with Razorbill with had a different ending. A totally different ending...Hannah lives. Crazy, right? It would have been a totally different read.
  • He's not entirely opposed to writing a sequel to Thirteen Reasons Why, but he felt like the book was over when he finished it.
  • There's a character in 13 Reasons Why that he may bring back in another story. She's in the scene at the coffee shop.

After eating, he signed a bunch of books for me in the parking lot. People probably thought we were nuts, doing some back parking lot dealing with books... gasp!

We then did a photo shoot...

And had some ice-cream...

Jay's a great guy and I'm thankful for the experience. Seriously, how cool was my day!?!

So now I have a stack of books signed by him. Remember how I said I have great prize for the winning idea for my promise to the universe?

I'll send you an autographed copy of Thirteen Reasons Why!

You have until Sunday night to come up with an idea. If you haven't posted yet (or have another idea)...leave a comment!

I'm Screaming Like A Girl At A Jonas Brother Concert

Does anyone remember when I was all lame and shy girl and went to hear Jay Asher talk but didn't say anything to him after?

Well...I sent him an e-mail and told him how lame and shy girl I was and how I enjoyed his talk/book. He laughed at me lame and shy girl ways, and since then we've e-mailed back and forth a few times about writing, publishing and all that good stuff.

So the story gets even better.

I get an e-mail from him a few days ago reminding me of how lame and shy girl I was the first time he was in Cleveland and he told me he was going to be back in the area today. Then...he asked if I would want to hear him talk and get something to eat after.

WOULD I???

Heck yeah!

So I'm about to head out to be Jay Asher's guest at his presentation and then hang out with him.

Seriously?

Seriously!

Can you hear my fan girl scream from here????

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do You Visit Publisher's Marketplace?

My main squeeze hates going to movies because I always make him show up super early. I have this fear that there will be no seats left and we'll miss the previews. This fear is ridiculous because usually when we arrive, we're the first ones there! But who wants to miss the previews? That's one of my favorite parts of going to the movies. I love to see what's coming up in the future.

Well...my newest addiction is Publisher's Marketplace. It's like the previews, but for books!

I signed up for it when my book went out on submission. You do have to pay for it (twenty dollars a month), but it's well worth it. It's a data base full of all the most important sales information in publishing.

Why it's so awesome?
  • Each day you can sign on and see what new deals are made. It gives you a brief synopsis of the book (usually very brief), who wrote it, who sold it, who bought it and often how much it was bought for.
  • You can track the top agents, editors and publishing houses in specific genres. On any given day you can look to see who is selling the most and who is buying the most.
  • You can stalk editors. It goes back years and you can see everything they have ever bought.
  • You can look for jobs. I'm not looking, but it's cool to see all the publishing type jobs that are out there (things like editors, assistants, book scouts, publicists).
  • Important news about the industry is published each day and you can have it e-mailed to you. The information is delivered by e-mail right before lunch (they call it Publisher's Lunch), so you can read it while you eat!
  • It links you to articles about publishing and books.

I highly recommend checking out this site even if it's just for one month. You pay by the month, so you could always cancel.

If my book gets sold, I'll be listed under deals, so hopefully one day I can share that announcement with you!

Also...don't forget to submit a promise to the universe idea for me. I love the ideas you've already given! You have until Sunday to enter an idea and win a super cool top secret prize (and maybe...hopefully...an acknowledgement when the universe decides to take me up on my promise and my book is bought!). CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making A Deal With The Universe Contest

My book has been submitted to another round of editors. While I was bummed about the two close but not quite rejections from last week, I'm pretty excited about the possibility of one of these editors (or the ones from the first round who still have my manuscript) picking up my book. The giddy feeling is starting all over again, and I hope we find someone perfect for my book very soon.

YA author Veronica Roth told her blog audience that if her book DIVERGENT found an editor, she would swim in a bathtub full of marshmallows. Well, guess whose book just got picked up in an awesome deal? Yep! You can check out her "swim" on her blog. It's pretty hilarious.

Her promise got me thinking. What would I do if my book got picked up? What crazy promise can I make with the universe?

Here are my ideas so far...
  • Put my old show choir dress on and perform "Turn the Beat Around" (yes, I was like the kids on Glee and was in a show choir!)...this one is wrong, so so wrong, but I'd be willing to do it for a book deal!
  • Eat the atomic wings at Quaker Steak and Lube
  • Hire an ice-cream truck to come to a party for all my friends in celebration

And my cousin's idea:

Promise to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of something:

  • At the front gates right before cedar point opens
  • At the beginning of the wedding dress sale at Filenes
  • At the local opening of Eclipse, dressed as a vampire
  • First game of little league
  • Morning opening of downtown crossing t-station in Boston (* Which is doable, because I will be in Boston at the end of June)

This is where I need you to come in and help me. Come up with some more promises for me to make. What would you like to see me do if my book gets sold?

Post your ideas under the comment section until Sunday night at midnight. The winner will get a prize sent to them (it's good, but I can't tell you what it is yet! I'll reveal it Friday morning.).

If I make your promise and my book gets sold, I'll also mention you in my acknowledgement. How cool is that!?!

I'll list all of the ideas Monday and we'll vote on the promise I will make. Then, if my book gets sold, I'll record myself doing it so you can all see my deal with the universe!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Summer...You're Getting Closer

Fellow YA writer Kristin Otts wrote an amazing Facebook status message this weekend... "SUMMER read write run hike sleep grow SUMMER relax dance sunbathe party barbecue swim SUMMER giggle share whisper shout smile freak out SUMMER!!!"

Uhm...yeah! Yay to summer!

I still have twenty-five more school days until summer break starts (not that I'm counting), but the weather this weekend got me in the mood for the months ahead.

It was warm enough outside that I decided it was time to set up my outside "office."

This is where I'll spend most evenings this summer writing. Pretty glorious, right?

It was a little windy on Friday...

But I was able to get a bit of writing done...

And day dream about day when the sky is blue and the air is warm...
Summer can't come soon enough! I love my teaching job, but I can't wait for a few months of uninterrupted writing.

What about you? What does summer mean to you?