Wednesday, January 30, 2013

For a while now, I've thought that the greatest secondary benefit of being a writer was fulfilling my fan-girl fantasies of meeting the authors of books that I love. At my first writing conference, I had lunch with Charlaine Harris. (Well, we sat at the same table, and I was so tongue-tied that I barely said two words to her, but it still counts, right?) At  my second conference, I had an intensive workshop with the lovely Kristin Harmel. (Her amazing new book The Sweetness of Forgetting is an international best seller.) And don't get me started on SCBWI. Jay Asher. Ruta Sepetys. Sara Shepard. Patricia MacLachlan. Tony DiTerlizzi. I could fill up a whole post with all that awesome.

But, you know what? I've decided there's an even better writerly by-product.

I knew I'd struck gold with my critique partner Kip Taylor. I was so happy when my her first book was finally released, and you can read my review here But I had no idea then that I would keep hitting the writer-friend jackpot.

You guys, I am reading some amazing books. Books that I can't wait to review and share with you, so that you can see how awesome they are. But I can't do it yet, because they haven't been delivered into the world yet. These manuscripts belong to my beta/critique partners.

And just like I felt when I first read Kip's book Finn Flanagan, I cannot believe how lucky I am to get to read these novels before the rest of the world. But that's all I can say for now.

How about you? I'd love to see some CP love shared in the comments below!

Music for today: Chained by the XX. (I get to see them in 4 days!)

Monday, January 21, 2013


Welcome, 2013! Sorry I'm a little late to the party, as usual.

The blog was a bit quiet this holiday season, but I'm hoping to be back in action starting next month. I wanted to get at least one post in for January. I'm not doing resolutions this year, but I do have a few exciting things in the works.

1. I was so, so lucky to be chosen to participate in Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars. Brenda is constantly working to help other writers on their journeys to publication, and Pitch Wars is the most special contest she's held to date. Over thirty agented or published authors and literary interns agreed to each mentor one writer seeking representation and publication, culminating in a Pitch War on January 23-24, vying for the attention of sixteen agents. When I saw Deana Barnhart was one of the mentors, I knew I had to enter. Deana gives so much time and effort to this community, too. And, you guys, she chose ME. She has been so patient and amazing this past month, and I am so grateful for this whole experience. Please stop by and check out Deana's blog.

2. I finished the first draft of WIP! This is a project that had been bumping around in my head for months, and I finally started it during November for NaNoWriMo. I did manage to write 50,000 words in November, but I didn't finish the full manuscript until early this month, ringing in closer to 80,000. I'm nervous to read those early, rambling chapters, but I am very excited to dive back in and get to work on this story.

3. In the next month, I'm going to see two sure-to-be-amazing alt-rock concerts: The XX and Muse. Music inspires me and keeps me moving, through life and writing, and looking forward to seeing great live bands just keeps everything on the up-and-up.

I hope 2013 is off to a great start for all of you, too! Until next time...