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Friday, November 26, 2010

Books I Loved in 2010



I thought I'd take some posts to talk about some books I really loved this past year. Some books have been around for a while, some are new this year, and some are so new they come out next week. Like this one:

I was lucky enough to get to read Stephanie's book this past summer. And I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. No really, I just can't tell you. There aren't words fun enough to describe the awesome-swoonworthiness of this book. Anna's adventure in Paris is just the kind of adventure I imagined for myself about a jillion times over as a teen-ager.

I really just loved it.

This book touched my heart and reminded me a bit about the hopes and dreams of my teenage self. It is not just the way she describes things (like Paris) that made me fall in love, but it is the voice of Anna herself. (And this book will make you hungry, too. Seriously.) I know Steph is busy at work editing her next book, and she just sold her third one, so I get to look forward to more Steph-stuff in the future. Yay!!!

And Stephanie Perkins is a lucky duck. Finally, her baby releases to the world on December 2. That's less than a week away. Which makes you a lucky duck, too, because you can buy it as a Christmas present for that special teenage girl you know.

Go ahead. Be the person who is cool enough to give a book as a gift.

Speaking of buying books, if you are in the SoCal neighborhood, (as in Oceanside) on November 30th, I'll be doing a signing from 4-9 at Barnes and Noble. I'll have special guests with me, of course. There will be children's kazoo performances, and a hula-a-long (to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) and I'll be doing a couple of readings, at 5:30 and 7:30. Seriously, it will be more fun Christmas shopping than should be legal. AND 20% of all purchases will benefit Jefferson Elementary School.

hrh

Monday, November 22, 2010

Overheard in the Revision Room

Deep in a Kasbah in Marrakesh (or somewhere equally exotic...)
Indy is bent over a beautiful woven rug. He is grimacing.

This is not good.

Harrison Ford: Okay, I've been looking at your rug* and you see where you used pink? Well, the pink looks a little, uh, I dunno, lame. I think you should change that thread to green.

Me: Through the whole rug*?

Harrison: That's what I said.

Me: The whole rug.*

Harrison: Is there an echo in here?

Me: But then I'll have to unweave the rug*, find green thread (I don't even know if there is any around here) and re-weave the rug*.

Harrision: I never said it was gonna be easy. But if you want your rug* to look good, then you're going to have to make some changes.

Me: But if I change the pink to green, then it's going to look stupid next to the orange. You realize I'm going to have to change that too, right?

Harrison: Well, since you're unweaving it anyway, kid, it should't matter.

Me: *blushes*

Harrison: What? WHAT?

Me: You called me "kid" instead of "ma'am." *blushes more*

Harrison: Are you gonna get started, or are you just going to sit around here looking goofy at me?

Me: Do I get a choice? I mean, because I'd probably rather sit around looking goofy at you than unweave and reweave this entire rug*.

Harrison: *shakes head in disgust* Listen, you need to get busy. As in now.

Me: Fine.

Searches for plants to crush and make green dye for thread.........


*rug=manuscript....as if I needed to tell you. And that's what it's like right now. Unweaving, reweaving, tightening, loosening, raising fist to the sky, shaking head in despair.....ah, revision.

hrh
Harrison: Now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Seriously....how could I NOT know about this?


Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, there really is a World Quidditch Cup and it just happened!!! Last weekend!!

How could I not know about this?

I mean, I once refereed a Quidditch game. We bought the brooms at the dollar store, used a big ball for the quaffle and flat-ish balls for the bludgers. And for the Golden Snitch, we had a yellow balloon that we released when one of our prefects yelled, "GOLDEN SNITCH!" and ran through the field.

Okay, so it was at Cali's eight birthday...and it was nowhere near as rough as some of the video footage I've seen. But the truth is that even though these college boys didn't inform me of their Quidditch Cup, I am still totally jazzed.

I mean, I live in a world where people play Quidditch.

Earth just became a tad cooler.

hrh

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cover Love!!!!


Okay, first things first.

I am blogging at Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo today so go and check it out if you want to. I go over the one and only rule for writing a picture book. But you won't find it here........you have to go there!

Secondly, I got to see the cover for my new book which releases on June 9, 2011. Since Amazon already put it up, I suppose it's okay for me to do the same. So....here it is....

Ta-da!




Didn't Jennifer Plecas do an amazing job! I am so pleased. I adore the little water wings on the third little dragon.

Jennifer, you rock!

June seems so far away.....sigh.

hrh

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confessions: The Star Wars Edition


1. Yesterday I wore a sweater that looked like I ripped it off from Obi-Wan Kenobi's closet...and I didn't notice it until the END of the Day! (If I had, I might have worn a lightsaber.)

And we're not talking Alec Guiness Obi-Wan

We're talking Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan:
Not that it would have mattered.

Still oh-so-dorky.

2. My husband recently bought me a coat which we have named the Chewbacca.

As in, "Hey, did you see where I put the Chewbacca? I need to wear it. It's cold."

Seriously

3. And I wanted to buy one of these:

the Chewbacca button, to be exact. So I could keep it in the pocket of the Chewbacca coat and make the special Chewbacca noise at will. (Although the C-3PO button which wails, "We're doomed, DOOMED!" is strangely compelling.)

4. I secretly want to put my family's faces on this:

to make our Christmas card this year.

Yeah. I know.


5. I've got to get off the Star Wars Kick!! It's almost time for Harry Potter!!!

Less than 2 weeks!!!


I'm all a-quiver.

hrh

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Goals

I don't even know what happened to October...but November is here and it is will be in double digits before I know it.

And, so far, the month has been.....well......to hectic for words...and not in the good-I-have-a-new-book-deal-agent-whatever kind of way, more like the bad my-water-heater-just-broke-on-Halloween-and-at-work-there-was-dog-in-my-office-on-Monday kind of way.

Don't even ask.

Anyway, before the month slips away, I thought I'd better grab on to it and make some goals. No matter how crazy the writing gets, it always makes me more sane just to have it around, you know?

So, the goals are sparse (for me anyway) but they exist.

1. PiBoIDMo- That's right, I am not NaNoing this year...but I am trying to write a picture book idea down every day. So far, I am 4 for 4...and I REALLY like all of them! This is just the kind of thing I need right now. No commitment to any particular idea....just a bit of a flirt session with the muse. If you want to join up, check out Tara Lazar's blog.

2. First Revision of Keelie of the Lake. The first revision consists of hammering out the structure of the book. When I write a novel, I don't write in chapters. I write in "parts", like maybe 4 parts, or 5. Then, when the first draft is done, I go back through and decide where the chapters should break...and what the actual structure of the book might look like. It's also the time where I revisit the manifesto (kind of like the bible of the book) and see if I am staying true to the plot...the characters....the theme....or anything else that applies. Once the first revision is done, it starts to feel more like a viable manuscript. (I imagine that I am Dr. Frankenstein and I have all the parts sewn together, but now I need throw the switch, attract some lightening and yell, "It's Alive!!!")


And that's kind of it.

and the reality is I probably won't even get it done......sigh.

But every step along the path gets me closer....

hrh