Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day. -Neil Gaiman
I will keep writing...and burning stuff.
Because it's pretty!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

WHY I'M INSPIRED BY… @judymblundell

I understood the word 'swoon'. It felt that way, like 'sweep' and 'moon' and 'woo', all those words smashed together in one word that stood for that feeling, right then.
I couldn’t make the pieces fit in my mind, about what I thought he was and what he did. But I knew I still loved him. I loved all the parts of him, even the ones I didn't understand.

I breathed in and out, perfume and smoke, perfume and smoke, and we lay like that for a long time, until I heard the seagulls crying, sadder than a funeral, and I knew it was almost morning.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

May your day be merry & bright!

Books are cool but behold
my four most miraculous productions!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

WHY I'M INSPIRED BY… @gayleforman

Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it's the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open.

Sometimes you can only feel something by its absence. By the empty spaces it leaves behind.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Blogger's Bully Pulpit

I try to keep my opinions to myself. My blog is supposed to be about the writing life NOT politics and religion. Sometimes I think it's silly to worry about this since I have only 468 followers. As is often noted in social media, I don't really have a platform--a bully pulpit (love that phrase--Wikipedia says it was coined by Teddy Roosevelt)--just the ILLUSION of one. Everyone with a Twitter or Facebook account enjoys this illusion at some level these days.

So, why do I maintain a standard for opinion-sharing online? I suppose I haven't wanted to offend even my marginal numbers of blog and Twitter followers, and FB author page "like-rs".

Well, it doesn't matter anymore because today something happened that taught me the limit of my self-imposed restriction. The vice principal at my son's school was told he had to resign (or he'd be fired) because he married a man. Seriously. In the 21st century. I found out because (I am proud to say) my son texted to tell me he was not in class but, instead, protesting the administration's action.

To quote Seuss (THE LORAX) "...I got mad. I got terribly mad." I hopped aboard Twitter and Facebook, worries about offending aside--wry realization that my pulpit is not "bully" but "baby-sized" ignored.

I spoke up. I'm not sorry. And, though your numbers weren't huge, to the people who have replied, retweeted, and joined me in speaking up: Thank you.

Maybe a bunch of "baby pulpits" joined together can make a bully difference!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: DEMON DERBY by Carrie Harris

Pop on over to BREAKING THE SPINE for more Waiting on Wednesday book coveting fun! But first, here's my WoW! In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that Carrie is a friend. HOWEVER, that's not why I'm WoW-ing this book. The WoW is because I cannot wait to adore another one of her rollicking, hilarious, intense tales that packs power into puns and heart into what at first seems just humorous. Also, she writes about zombies and demons and stuff. Which is totally cool. I full intend to beg her for an arc. I mean B.E.G. !!!!

From Amazon..."She survived cancer, but can she fight demon derby girls? Set in the world of roller derby, the new novel from Carrie Harris, author of Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day, is perfect for Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans.A knockout new read for anyone facing their own demons, inside or out."
by Carrie Harris

Monday, December 16, 2013

WHY I'M INSPIRED BY… @LaurenMyracle

You should be out stirring up trouble with your friends, not bothering with all them books you read. You know it's them books what make you talk funny.

I didn't like being alone. Being alone was slightly better than having to deal with people,  that's all. Or so I'd convinced myself.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

THE SOUND OF LETTING GO reviews are coming in... (Hint: There's a star!)

As if holiday shopping weren't stressful enough, having a book that pubs in February means December is also review time. Happily, I have a "star" to decorate my book. THANKS, PW!

Kirkus also had some sugar for TSoLG (though no tree-topper!), calling it "An intriguing medley of music, teen romance, high school life and serious family issues."

And, as I think I may have already tweeted, TSoLG is a Junior Library Guild selection.

So, yeah, I'm feeling quite cheery.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to SALLY SLICK & THE STEEL SYNDICATE by Carrie Harris

I had the fantastic luck to read an early version of this rip-roaring steampunk romp and I enjoyed every minute. Carrie has a one-of-a-kind imagination and when she unleashes it on the page, you are in for a treat.  Zombies or no zombies (that's a little inside joke for you Carrie fans out there!).

Go say "hi" to Carrie at her website or, better still, BUY HER NEW BOOK -- or all of her books! Click, click! AMAZON  INDIEBOUND

Monday, December 9, 2013



I'm in love.

And I like how that feels.

And I hate how that feels.

Because love is an invention

of fiction writers.”

 --Ellen Hopkins, Identical p. 258

Friday, December 6, 2013


My current w-I-p is the only the second time I've used a male protagonist. (The first time was a (rightfully) never-published fantasy featuring an anthropomorphic tweenage rat-like character so, yeah.) The voice came to me quite clearly. It is supported daily by living in a house with three teenage boys (and their friends). Still, it is scary crossing the gender line. I feel like I need to use extra caution. I am deleting and changing more lines because they don't feel "boy" than I tend to do when I write girls. I feel a strong sense of obligation to do this correctly so that the final product doesn't feel like an abstract, non-gendered narrator but truly like a guy. (I won't cite any specific works here but I have read several novels in which I get this sense of "stock" character and not rich, specific masculine individual.)

Sometimes, when I feel extra terrified by the task upon which I have embarked, it is helpful to see that it can and has been done before. This Publisher's Weekly article has a list of adult titles of this type. Looking over my own reading list for examples, I invite you to read Kendare Blake's fantastic ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, Megan Whalen Turner's THE THIEF, Melina Marichetta's THE PIPER'S SON, Philip Pullman's delightful Sally Lockhart mysteries and, of course, John Green's Hazel in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS for a start. This list of male protagonists from The Faculty Lounge includes a few other women who have risen to the gender challenge work (um, J K Rowling!). 

Have you tried writing across gender lines? Do you have another title to add to my reading list? Do you think this type of writing requires more care and, if so, what kind of care?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013



There comes a time in every life when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.