Thursday, January 31, 2013

Socially networking

I'm on Facebook, who are you?
Are you on Facebook too?
Then there's a pair of us
Go share--with everyone you know!

How vexing to be on Tumblr!
How befuddling--like a maze--
I search for friends but hit dead ends,
and tear my hair out in a craze!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I want to take a second here to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, emailed, DM'ed, liked, followed, and was just generally awesomely nice to me in response to my book deal news. Every year at the SCBWI Summer Conference, Lin Oliver calls kidlit people "the tribe," and to me that's the perfect expression for all of the wonderful and supportive people I've met in the book world. This also marked the first time I shared my writerly side with a lot of other people (Hello, old friends clicking over from Facebook!), which took some guts and about half a day of dithering. Since I took up creative writing again a few years ago, I've felt more like "me" than I've felt in a long time, and I'm really looking forward to the coming year, even the hairy scary parts. I've worked so hard on this and I'm so excited to share Chase and THE LOST PLANET with everyone.

Anyway, enough with the emoting. In other news, I got my bionic vision installed yesterday and everything went great. Although I'm pretty sure lying tightly swaddled on a table with your head taped down and your eyelids taped open has got to be someone else's nightmare, at least it went quickly. I'm pretty sure I'll still be reaching for the saline solution every night for a while still, but I'm not complaining!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


If you happen to subscribe to the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf newsletter, you might have seen this little tidbit earlier today:

AHHHHHHHHHH I AM SO EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THIS!!!!! My book is going to be published by Macmillan!!!!!

We got our first offer about two weeks after we went on sub, so I've been sitting on this news for a few months. Remember my post about flying to Turkey for a family emergency? Yeah, that's when the auction was going down, a testament to Why You Want To Have An Agent, because while I was a jetlagged, dazed, rambling mess, my fabulous agent was handling everything like the amazing pro she is. I am SO grateful to her and the awesome New Leaf team for giving me great support and advice on a really big decision. Since then everything has been going really fast--like, greased lightning fast--and I've been having a great ride with the excellent people at Feiwel & Friends. I'm SO happy to be there!

My friend Jack is going to help me sum up my feelings on everything:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Good morning, my coffee-bearing friend!
I know I did this meme a few months ago, but I just saw that the delightful Katy Upperman recycled it, and so I'm blatantly copying her (thanks for the idea, Katy!):

It's film awards season, which I know is not everyone's cup of tea, but I love both the glamour of the shows and the awkwardness of actors trying to act funny in front of a room of their peers. Jodie Foster's Cecil B DeMille speech, anyone? I'm sure she knew what she was trying to say--too bad the rest of us didn't. Still, the babbling seemed very heartfelt. This year my husband and I have been trying to see more of the nominated movies, and last Sunday we fit in a Silver Linings Playbook matinee and an Argo late showing. Both were excellent.

I'm multi-booking it right now. Just about finished with Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi--I wasn't pulled in immediately, but once things got going (about the time Roar hit the scene, I'd say) I really got into this one. Rossi's got talent fo sho. Also reading Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, a very fun middle grade read that I want to share with my nephew. He mailed me his copy of Wonder on loan a few weeks ago, and I want to pay back the favor with a book of my own. And finally, I'm also reading The Barbarous Years, an excellent history of the brutal settling of North American by the Europeans. That one's more for research purposes, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

My husband and I have been sick the past couple of weekends, and we used that time to tear through every episode of The Walking Dead. It. Is. Awesome.

Thinking about:
My WIP, every day, always. I've started writing it, and I'm hoping for a quiet, solitary MLK day next week to make some serious butt-kicking progress. Which would be so much fun. I know you know what I mean.

Flying out to NYC in about two weeks for the SCBWI Winter conference! Who's with me?

Listening to:
I've been putting together a "getting me in the right place" playlist for my new WIP, which so far consists of mostly Skrillex (don't ask why, it just works for this one...). Also enjoying this catchy song (profanity warning for the young or delicate):

For more time, as usual. Who isn't? Or maybe I just need better time-management skills. Anybody have any tips?

Making Me Happy:
So after 28 years of being a spectacle-wearer (well, 23 years of being a contact lens-wearer, but yes I was one of those little kids in thick glasses), I've finally decided to pull the trigger on getting corrective vision surgery. This was something I promised myself a few years back if I ever hit a personal milestone, which I did, huzzah. I can't get Lasik though, because once your eyes hit -9.0 or thereabouts, your cornea is stretched too thin to start scraping it away. So instead I'm getting ICL, implantable contact lenses that will be permanently inserted in my eye. I've had to wear my glasses for the last week or so to prepare--you may have seen me griping about this on Twitter, but when your vision is that borked, going from full-time contact wear to full-time glasses is a rough adjustment. The surgery is in two weeks, and people, I am SO HAPPY to think of a life without corrective lenses. YAY SCIENCE!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Puerta del Sol, panorama-style
I'm a few days late with this post, but I just got back from holiday travels and my brain is finally catching up to the local hour. The trip was great--first we spent a few days in NYC being shown the sights by some friends who used to live there, eating great food (the pastrami, omg) and walking until my legs declared mutiny. I even got the chance to swing by the New Leaf office to meet Joanna, who was delightful and enthusiastic and made me all the more excited about working together. After New York we flew to Paris for Christmas, and I am now making a concerted effort to convince my husband that that city should be our next home. Love. I could totally see myself strolling in the Tuileries and eating lemon macarons every day, because that's what everyone there does, right? We finished up our trip by flying to Madrid for New Year's, which we celebrated in the freezing rain in Puerta del Sol, jamming a dozen grapes into our mouths at midnight per tradition (only they had all these tiny seeds and there was no time to spit them out, so I don't think I actually choked down my grapes until about 12:03).

Overall it was a fun vacation, but you may have noticed that all the cities I mentioned are in the colder climates, and since we are soft little Anglenos, of course we got sick--my husband considerably moreso than I. So it's with several levels of gratitude that we returned home to rest up and snuggle with our warm furry cats. And now it's 2013, hooray! I've been reading everyone's New Year posts and getting inspired by all your resolutions and words of the year. I've got my own resolutions lined up too--some boring and ordinary, others scary and for my eyes only. I'm writing a new book, and that's going to be the focus of early 2013 for me. Looking forward to a quiet January full of hard work, and the reward at the end will be that I'm flying out to NYC with my critique partner Liz for the SCBWI Winter conference! Will I see you there? Let me know!