Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homework

Are there any words on this list you don't know? If so, then you have homework. All of these words rock and even the simple ones are worth looking up in a dictionary to reacquaint yourself with their meanings. (I'm serious. It was fun looking up free in the dictionary because the definition is beautiful. Spot the hipster.)
lackadaisical
inconceivable
frisson
zeitgeist
ominous
conflagration
hyperbole
defenestration
free
garrulous
incandesce
wackadoodle
assuage
adamant
quiet
solipsist
ultimatum
illustrious
flibbertigibbet
I love all of these words and I loved all of your entries, so thank you very much for every word and sentence. I enjoyed this contest so much, I may make it a regular fixture. But there was a clear winner in this batch and the panel of judges agreed.

Christina, your entry cracked us up.
Hyperbole makes my sentences approximately 3 million times more interesting, though I hardly need it, considering that I'm the most gorgeous and intelligent person on this planet, and probably any other planet.
I've emailed you for your info and congratulations.

Thanks again for all the great entries. Ultimatum & adamant, you were the runners-up...hope that isn't a downer.

My personal homework: make my office beautiful tonight and then sit down and read the ed letter for REALITY BOY which came to me on Monday but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. (A, if you are reading this, forgive me.) Next week: revision madness until it's done so I can get back to the new book.
Goals, posse. I got em.
And today I got two more ideas.
All I need now are typing monkeys.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Free stuff is boss

There are a few ways you could have arrived at this blog post.

1. You clicked on the link to enter the Secret Hideout contest to win a signed copy of the PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ paperback. If so, go ahead and leave me a comment. 

2. You are a regular visitor to the blog and if so, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that, man. If you want to win a signed copy of the PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ paperback, then you should go to the Secret Facebook Hideout to get instructions on how to enter to win one.

3. You stumbled here by complete accident. If so, see #2. Why not win something? Free stuff is boss.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yes, you're at the right blog.

We're just changing things up again for the 2012 book.
It's like spring cleaning. Except I do it. Unlike Spring cleaning.

Friday, March 23, 2012

So, About That Paperback...

It's cover insanity week here. So now I'll share that EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS paperback cover with you. I have to tell you: I love this cover so much. There are a bunch of reasons, but the big one is that I can't tell if this picture is of Lucky in the 21st century or Harry in the 1970s before he was drafted. I like to think it could be both and either. And that's the point.

But anyway.**


A random cool thing:
Check out this awesome Lego-inspired trailer for The Dust of 100 Dogs made by Justin Unrau.



Update on the secret book:
I'll hit 25k before the end of the weekend. Trying to get it to 30k before the ed letter comes for REALITY BOY.

And speaking of the weekend:
I come out of official hibernation this weekend. Should you be anywhere near Philadelphia, come out and see me, Beth Kephart, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, April Lindner, and Elizabeth Mosier at Pretzel Park in Manayunk for Young Writers Take the Park. Read more about it here on Beth's blog.


Chance of implosion any time soon: 
Nil.

Chance that anyone predicting my implosion has already imploded:
>75%

Chance that Andrew Smith will be the only person who gets this part of my post:
100%

**You know, you could have seen this cover yesterday if you were a member of A.S. King's Secret Hideout on Facebook. If you're on Facebook and you want access to cover reveals, news and exclusive content, you should join the crew at the Secret Hideout. Later this week expect a startling interview of someone by someone.

These things happen.
Carry on.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

ASK THE PASSENGERS Cover!

Posse!
It will be a week of cover sharing here on the blog because I will soon share the EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS paperback cover as well as the cool Turkish VERA DIETZ cover.

But first...the ASK THE PASSENGERS cover and book description for you.


ASK THE PASSENGERS
Oct 23, 2012


Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it.


Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better.


In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.


You know, you could have seen this cover yesterday if you were a member of A.S. King's Secret Hideout on Facebook.  If you're on Facebook and you want access to cover reveals, news and exclusive content, you should join the crew at the Secret Hideout. Today's Hideout booty is: The EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS paperback cover, which is a doozy. (Or, you could always wait a day or two and see it here. No pressure.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dreaming. Not just for nighttime anymore.

I have all sorts of dreams. I have a neverending list of things I dream of achieving.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have achieved anything had I not thought to dream it first.

Which brings me to the question I got from a letter writer this weekend.
My boyfriend thinks my writing dream is stupid and he makes fun of me for it. What do I do?

First answer:
Kill him?
Eat him?

No no. My first answer is: you are not alone. You would be surprised at how many people exist to shit on other people's dreams. My God, they are everywhere. Like stink bugs in a Pennsylvania spring, I'm telling you. The world is infested with dream killers.

So you happen to be dating one of them.
I know writers who are married to them.
I've always felt really sad for these people, and yet, they have something I don't have. They have the strength to write every day without the support of the person who's supposed to love them most in the world.
Wow, right?
I have no idea how they do that.

But maybe I do. A little.
I've always had a supportive spouse, though sometimes he had to learn how to be a supportive spouse. My being a writer wasn't part of our vows. He had to learn the skill of leave-her-the-hell-alone-if-you-hear-typing. He had to watch The Shining a few million times to really appreciate just how crazy his wife had become.

Warning to those skittish of curse words: There is cursing in the following clip. (Because it's The Shining dude. I wouldn't recommend it for any skittish people.)




But I've had experiences.
For 15 unpublished years I wrote novels while being mocked by people around me. I was clueless, too, which didn't help. I don't know any writers who were not clueless at one point or another. (If they say they weren't ever clueless, they're lying.)

I've had so-called friends tell me that I was wasting my time and gossip about how I was a loser for deciding to write instead of going to their parties. I've had people condescendingly pat me on the head like I was some child who still believed in Santa Claus. Because to the unpublished writer, I guess seeing your book on the shelf is a little like seeing Santa Claus.

But here's the sad part. It never ends. Since I've become published, I've discovered that writers say and do dream-killing shit too. Apparently, since I've already seen Santa Claus, I'm not supposed to hope I see him again. I'm not supposed to write him a list for next year. Hell, I'm not even supposed to be good all year in hopes that he'll notice. No. I should leave Santa the hell alone and leave the bigger presents to other writers because I got mine already.
Right?
Isn't that what we all dream of when we dream of becoming successful writers? A few books, and then out?
One award and then no more for me?

Yeah. These dream-killers. They are motivated. They want us to stop being awesome.
Our job is to show them just how big our awesome can get.

Letter-writer, stay strong. Keep writing. As a woman who's been married 20 years this week and who is entirely badass about people being nice (defined: you have to teach people how to treat you, or else you'll be a doormat) I'm not sure I'm the one to give advice about this.
Or maybe I am.
If you have a dream and anyone who loves you tries to squish it, they are not really being a friend. Parents are kinda allowed, because they are always looking out for our best interests and becoming a writer is a risky job choice. But spouses of writers? Yeah. They need to be supportive.
Friends of writers need to be supportive. Every step of the way, too, and not just until they reach the point of jealousy and then decide to cut you down every time they feel like it. (Chances are, if you see enough of Santa Claus, those same people will be asking for favors out of the other side of their mouth moments later.)

This shit is for real. If you want it, you have to believe like the way my 4-year-old believes in Santa Claus. Except in this case, you have to believe in yourself. You can't fake it. You can't be too cool for it. And anyone who steps in your path and tries to make you feel small for it will become increasingly annoying and obvious.

If this is someone you love, like your boyfriend (or girlfriend), I say sit down and tell him/her these things. Show him/her this blog. Then yell at him/her for being so utterly douchey. If he/she dosen't get it, then think of this scenario: If you do make it to see Santa Claus, and Santa gives you a movie deal, do you really want the douche who didn't support you walking down the red carpet alongside you acting like he helped you along the way?

"Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams."
--Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, March 4, 2012

BOY 21 Giveaway!

I'm giving away a signed copy of Matthew Quick's BOY 21. 
I dug this book so much I wrote a blurb for it. 


“In BOY21, Matthew Quick has written a completely satisfying and engaging tale about loss, love, family and friendship that I absolutely adored. Smart, fast-paced, heartfelt and, at times, heartbreaking, this book is phenomenal!” 


All you have to do to enter is leave a clever comment on this post. (And those 20 entries from Facebook where this contest started, don't worry. I got you logged!)


Contest ends Monday March 5th at midnight EST. Winner randomly picked by my seven pet fish, if they can please stop mouth fighting for a minute and pay attention.


Go!