Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Year's Economics Lesson

Some of this is pulled from and inspired by an oooooooold blog post of mine (not here) when I was just a bloggy baby. I was hunting for the Sarah Dessen quote you'll see in here and reread my post. I decided to bring some of the text over, deleting out the personal stuff from almost 10 years ago and adding a tiny bit, because it really is a nice message to remember for 2013. (Note: the post was aimed at a friend of mine going through a tough time back then!)

We are all priceless.

One-of-a-kind masterpieces-- there's no one like you in the world, and never will be. Remember that. Because, being priceless, you deserve the very best.

"The truth was I knew, after all those flat January days, that I deserved better. I deserved I love yous and kiwi fruits and flowers and warriors coming to my door, besotted with love. I deserved pictures of my face in a million expressions... I deserved to grow and to change, to become all the girls I could ever be over the course of my life, each one better than the last." --Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You

We're not perfect. I know I'm definitely not perfect. I may not be model-beautiful. Hell, I might not be beautiful at all (I've had those "Is it the way I look?" moments... I've had good and bad days). I have a personality that probably grates-- I babble and bounce perkily and talk too much about myself. I can be timid and shy and afraid, I'm proud and stubborn and sometimes dumber that I really sound. I cry at toilet paper commercials when I'm in a mood, throw pointe shoes, and have something of an ego. I wax poetic. I'm overly apologetic. I can be obsessive about my weight. I care too much. I dress weird and talk weird. But, I still know I deserve the best for me. I deserve someone who... well, fits what Sarah Dessen wrote. I have incredible worth.

So do you. Don't sell yourself short.

That's my economic lesson for the day:

You = priceless (or at least incredibly expensive)

And 2013 is going to be amazing.

Anyone want to put in their 2 cents?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 No Kiss Blogfest!!

It's here! It's here!!!

The Annual No Kiss Blogfest, hosted by Frankie Diane Mallis!!

For my entry this year, I decided to play with characters connected to my latest project, You and I. You and I is filled with little excerpts from the "books" my book-geek MC reads, including a "book series" about a girl in love with a ghost trapped in a mirror world. This No Kiss is a little blurb with the characters in that "series."

To make my life harder and to give myself practice in working with tenses (one of the things I needed to strengthen), all of the "excerpts" from this "book series" are written in first person present tense. Please forgive any awkwardness in tense here!

I present to you Marissa and Cyril, from the Hidden House "series" in all their no-kiss glory:

            I throw my hands up in frustration and pace away from the mirror. “Don’t you get it, you idiot? I’m not in love with him.”

            “If you do not have feelings for him, why did you let him into your room? And why did you act like he was the most interesting person on the continent?” Cyril adds something else under his breath and I can’t hear it.

I blink at him, feeling my lips turn down into a frown. I want to reach through the mirror and shake his jealous Victorian ass. “I’m only flirting with Dan to get his attention off of you. Remember, I don’t do love triangles.”

“Love triangles?”

            The confusion on his face is so cute I can’t completely stay mad at him. Still, I take my time walking back to the mirror. I know the little skirts and makeup I’ve been wearing to school definitely upset his old-fashioned sensibilities, but he’s still a guy. Who is totally checking me out right now. “Translation: I only fall for one guy at a time.”

            “And Dan…?”

            “Is not that guy.” I lean closer, my nose only inches from the antique silvered glass separating us. To normal people, I must look like a freak, talking to my reflection. But they don’t see what I see, which right now is an adorably frustrated hottie. Cyril steps closer to his side of the glass and, if I imagine hard enough, I can feel his breath whisper across my cheek as he exhales. “You are,” I whisper.

            There are rules. A line we can’t cross. He and I both know it. But it doesn’t stop either of us from leaning closer, moths drawn to an incredibly dangerous flame. His eyes flicker to my lips and I feel a cold fire run across the surface of my skin, electrifying me.

            We don’t touch the mirror’s surface. Instead, our hands parallel each other’s path along the carved wooden frame. One of his hands comes up and his fingers seem to be tracing the line of my chin, up to my bottom lip… I shut my eyes and imagine him here, that one finger trailing a line of electricity along its path. My lip tingles with that phantom touch and I hold back a gasp. My hand grips the mirror’s frame, its carvings digging into my palm.

            On his side of the mirror, Cyril audibly takes in a breath and my eyes pop open. He’s just as affected as I am. Somewhere along the way, we had both tilted our heads so our lips are perfectly aligned. Our combined breaths leave a cloud of white on both sides of the mirror and I see the puffs of breath speed up to the same rhythm. We’re so close that if I just lean in a little bit further, maybe--

His fingers touch the mirror, oh so gently, in a motion that’s meant to stop me. His silver eyes lock with mine and his next words come out sounding almost pained. “If I touch you, you’ll be trapped here.”

“What if I say I don’t care anymore?” I ask, my voice a lot shakier than I’d like.

Cyril closes his eyes, takes a step back, and another until he’s a safe distance from the mirror. No amount of me touching it now would break the barrier. “I do.”

I slump to the floor, breathless, and drop my head into my hands. My body still feels the ghost of the might-have-been. “How are we going to make this work?”

“I don’t know.”

Want to read more no-kiss scenes? Head on over to Frankie's site!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 In Bookish Awesomeness (and Fangirlishness)

While 2012 was a huge emotional rollercoaster for me and my family personally (except for the baby nephew, I don't want this year to repeat EVER. OMG, awful,) writing and book-geek-wise, it was wonderful.

And I'm going to list it all here :) because that's apparently the bloggy thing to do at the end of the year:


The SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC.
  • Where I finally met my friend (and CP) D.B. Graves in person. And the two of us TOTALLY fangirled Cassandra Clare.
  • Where I met the amazing Kimberly Sabatini (who confessed to me later that she talked to me because of my shoes :-P) and whose book, Touching the Surface helped feed my fictional dead boy addiction when it came out in October.
  • Where I asked Alison Cherry to sign a printout of her fictional boys blogpost, because it is that awesome.
  •  Where I fangirled Tara Weikum from Harper Teen, who has edited some of my favorite books ever, including Die For Me.
  • Where Henry Winkler made an inspiring surprise appearance and Chris Crutcher drove us to tears.
Henry Winkler!!!!

Me taking a picture of Deena taking a picture of Cassie Clare


The SCBWI PA Conference in the Poconos (Thanks to Kim's pressuring gentle suggestions that I attend)

  • Where I cried all over the great Laurie Halse Anderson and learned that revision is AWESOME
  • Where I made so many new writerly friends *hugs all of the ladies from SCBWIPA*: Stephanie, Megan, Jodi, Taylor, Kit, Ann... and I know I'm going to forget someone, so kick me REALLY hard (it's almost 11 here.) I lost my grandmother that weekend and not only were you just plain fun to be around, you comforted me when I was far from home)
  • Uhm, early morning bagpipe tweets, anyone?
  • Where Stacy Cantor Abrams' (Entangled Publishing) talk on character jump-started Phoebe's voice in my WIP and Sara Sargent's (Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins) talk on tension helped me figure out the timing for that same story.
  • Where I won a copy of Pretty Amy to totally devour before it hit the bookshelves. And won my bid on an ARC of Touching The Surface. Yay, early copies!
Sadly, I had an SD card malfunction and lost most of my pictures from the Poconos! *sniffle* *cry*


Until I Die booksigning at Books of Wonder in NYC
  • Where I got to see the amazing queen of French fictional dead boys Amy Plum
  • Where I met Natalie Zaman, co-author of the Sirenz series, fellow knitter, and all around awesome person.
  • Where I met Kristi Cook (author of Haven) and Jocelyn Davies (author of A Beautiful Dark)
  • Where I learned that driving into NYC from my office isn't awful, but parking is (well... $$$$$!)
Amy Plum, Jocelyn Davies, and Kristi Cook


Dark Days Tour in Fairless Hills, PA

  • Where I got to meet Aprilynne Pike, author of the Wings series *fangirl squee* and the upcoming Life After Theft and Earthbound. And baker extraordinaire.
  • Where I met two AWESOME bloggers, Jena of Shortie Says and Jaime of The Perpetual Page Turner and The Broke and Bookish.
  • Where I also met Liz Norris, author of Unravelling and Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Red Death. These two ladies were also wonderfully fun.
  • Where I followed mapquest to come home and (I swear) it took me through the middle of nowhere New Jersey. I was convinced I was going to end up breaking down in the middle of a field and zombies were going to eat me.
Liz Norris, Aprilynne Pike, and Bethany Griffin (and me, of course)
Book Expo America Power Reader Day

  •  Where the publishing industry opened its conference doors on its last day to (some) of the public
  • Where I rushed straight to the RWA booth to see Jeri Smith-Ready, author of the Shade series
  • Where I saw Stacy Cantor Abrams and Jocelyn Davies again
  • Where I ran into My Mercurial Muse while waiting on line for Victoria Schwab, author of The Near Witch
  • Where I took a picture in a bubble
  • Where I picked up a LOT of books to read...
  • ... and then, while getting on the bus home afterwards, kind-of fell into my seat and blocked the bus aisle while the very cute guy behind me laughed at me the entire time. Because I am the most awkward person on the planet and am doomed to never date. Ever.
Jeri Smith-Ready!!!! OMG, I'm wearing flats next to her and am a GIANT.

The Shadowhunter Stairs at BEA

What I brought back from BEA. I'm STILL working on getting to Code Name Verity.

Yes, that's me in a bubble!!!


Bring YA to PA

  • Where I took a workshop with so many amazing author-mentors-speakers. If I try to list everyone here, I'll forget someone. The YAPA page has everyone listed.
  • Where I sat right next to Gwendolyn Heasley, author of Where I Belong and, when she introduced herself, I said: "You're in my Nook!!!!!" *facepalm*
  • Where I totally fangirled Jennifer Armentrout (Lux Series) and Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil)
  • Where I finally saw Frankie Diane Mallis in person (my schedule has stunk for going to the Philly Lit nights)
  • Where I had an awesome time chatting a while with so, so many people, including:
    Charlotte Bennardo, co author of the Sirenz series and a transplant to NJ :)
    Jackie Kessler, whose book Hunger kept me company on my flight to Portugal. I really need to blog about it on my book blog, because it's another incredibly powerful eating disorder book.
    Amalie Howard, author of Bloodspell, sweetest person ever, love her!
  • Where I won an ARC of Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt in the raffle (OMG, I loved this book)
  • Where I stood on line talking for ages with Stacy O'Neale and didn't even realize it! She's so much fun. If you don't follow her blog or twitter or youTube... WHY?
  • Where I saw Jeri, Jena, Kit, and Ann again!
(this was another victim of the dead SD card fiasco... the only ones saved were those I saved to my desktop for tweeting)

Jennifer Armentrout (after I ambushed her)

Wendy Higgins

Jena of Shortie Says
The signed poster of Onyx in my "book picture corner." I LOVE how
Emily looks totally disapproving of Katy and Daemon

In between all of these fun events, I've been writing and growing and changing. I've learned so much this year from contests and tweets and cheering on all of the wonderful people I've met on this journey

I wish you all a wonderful 2013. Writers that I follow, I can't wait to squee over your new releases, or over your steps further on the way to publication. Readers that I follow, I can't wait to hear about the next book boyfriend I'll be crushing on or author I'll be fangirling. Editors that I follow-- I can't wait to see what you acquire next.

This is going to be an awesome year. I just know it. (and, hopefully on the personal side, we're done with deaths in the family for a while, okay? Pretty please????)