2008 Wrap Up

I was checkin’ out Shelli’s blog the other day and really liked her review of her life in 2008. Since so much has happened in my writing (and personal) life this year, I thought it’d be nice to look back.

So here we go…

-Graduated a semester early to focus on writing

-Researched industry, tried to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do

-Found Absolute Write Water Cooler

-Finished book #1, a YA mystery titled WEIRD TATTOOS AND LOW IQS

-Queried WEIRD TATTOOS, racked up rejections

-Wrote the proposal for SCOUT, a YA graphic novel

-Started Fumbling with Fiction!

-Began receiving review copies of fabulous books like The Gargoyle, The Map Thief, Land of Invisible Women and many more–an unexpected perk

-Joined the Verla Kay Blueboards

-Discovered some of my all-time favorite YA books: The Boyfriend List, Wicked Lovely, Twilight, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You, Thirteen Reasons Why…

-Found artists for SCOUT

-Queried SCOUT

-Moved from Philadelphia, PA to Austin, TX to start law school at the University of Texas

-Found Purgatory and the fabulous Purgatorians

-3 offers of representation for SCOUT, plus 1 offer of represenation for WEIRD TATTOOS

-Signed with Super Agent Dan Lazar of Writers House!

-Nate (boyfriend) moved from Washington, D.C. to Austin

-Finished SCOUT script, lengthened synopsis, completed proposal, signed contracts with artists

-Wrote an article for SCBWI’s January issue of Sprouts

-Agent began subbing SCOUT

-Went in a hole to study so that I would not fail out of my first semester of law school

-Met some great writing friends through Purgatory whom I am so thankful for because I know that I would not know half of what I know now without them

-Began work on next 2 proposals/projects

…And here we are. That’s a pretty successful year if I do say so myself. It will be interesting this time next year to check back and see how much has changed and how much as stayed the same. I certainly hope to have taken the next (or next several) step(s) in my writing career. And you can bet that I’ll be spending another year working my tail end off to make sure that happens.

Topical Tuesday: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda–The book I Wish I Wrote

As readers of this blog know, at the end of every interview I ask: “If you could have written one book that has already been published by someone else which book would it be?”

So for this week’s Topical Tuesday, Jay suggested we ask this of ourselves.

Immediately, I found myself pleading for what every interviewee asks, “Can I pick two? Please?”

But, I’m putting my foot down. I will not pick two. Here are the additional stipulations so that you can play along:

1. The choice may not be influenced by how much money you would have made had you written that book.

2. The choice can be a book within a series, but cannot be the entire series lumped into one.

At first I thought Harry Potter. And not because of the money, but because of the fun those books brought to people’s lives and the joy kids as well as adults found in reading them. Also, I really loved the world-building.

Then, I thought The Hobbit, because, well, it’s my favorite book. But…no dice.

If I could have written any book, I would choose…(drum roll, please)…

 

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron

 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably like, “Say what? You write YA, your first thought was that you wanted to write Harry Potter and then maybe The Hobbit, and then you go and choose Styron!”

It’s ok. You can be disappointed in me because I went all pompous-Pulitzer-Prize-winning-literary on you…And that is sooooo not me. But wait! I have reasons why. I swear! I’m not just a snob!

Here’s why I wish I wrote Confessions of Nat Turner:

1. I’m super patriotic and this book is profoundly American. It covers a pivotal part of our history as a country even if it is the equivalent of casting a spotlight on our dirty drawers.

2. The writing took my breath away. Yes, I’m using a cliche, but I’m not using hyperbole.

3. Gray characters. Styron took a lot of flack for portraying many of the slaves in the story as not good people and many of the slave owners as halfway heroes. However, there were also slaves who were good people and slave owners who weren’t. That’s life. And much of his point is that the institution of slavery brought out the best in no one.

4. The entire book, I was upset by how Styron portrayed God. Big, fearsome and out for revenge. Then, FINALLY, on the very, very last page, the reader got to see something different. And Styron, through Nat, revealed a different angle. It was refreshing and, what is more interesting–this view was personified throughout the story by a white girl.  

5. Nat is a compelling narrator, though not always a sympathetic one.

 

I could go on, but really, you should just read it. I can only hope that one day Mr. Styron’s ghost will sprinkle some of his magic, writing fairy dust and then I can create a story equally beautiful.

 

Now, for the fun part! Which book would you have written? Reminder: Every comment you make will enter you in the drawing to win one of three hardback copies of Heather Terrell’s The Map Thief!

Can’t get enough Topical Tuesday? Check out Ideas and Execution in Book Packaging and Brand Yourself.

 

Status: Last night, I read half of The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart. I’m loving it so far. It’s really cute and, for a first person narrative, is framed wonderfully. I talked a lot last night with SCOUT’s artist and I love the vision he has for Scout. She is modeled after an actress who I wouldn’t call A-list but who is perfect for the part. And I wouldn’t have thought of her in a million years!

The artist has been out-of-town but soon he will be sending me some more of his work. I’ve already seen sneak peeks! So, as you might guess…I’m writing SCOUT today! And the audition for the video game company.

Thursday Pics: Countdown to Austin

I can’t believe I’m moving to Texas SO SOON! I’ve boxed up most of my belongings. I’ve thrown away a couple dressers. I’m selling things on craigslist. I’m almost good to go. My official move-in date at my new apartment is August 11th, but I’ll be heading down to Texas a little earlier than that. But I’m moving out of my Philadelphia apartment next weekend, so that I can come to DC to spend some time with Nate.

Nate and I won’t see each other for a month and a half! That’s by far the most time we’ve had apart in three years and I am not happy about it. Nate will be moving down September 15.

The closer the move gets, the happier I am with my decision to attend law school at the University of Texas. I was deciding between UT, Cornell, and Vanderbilt. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been all that happy at Cornell. Vandy would have been fun, but I’m really excited about living in Austin and getting the big football school experience, since I went to Penn for undergrad. I can’t believe I’m going to be a lawyer. Weird.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Austin and UT and Nate and I not looking as excited to be Longhorns as we are on the inside.

 

     

 

 

 

Status: Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Cincinnati with Nate and his family for their family reunion. So last night I went to the Bethesda library to stock up on books for the trip. I got The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty, and Betrayed by P.C. and Kristin Cast. (Yes, more YA. I write YA, I read YA–I can’t help loving it, so no apologies here.) Then, Nate took me to the bookstore and, though we were just going to look, he surprised me by buying Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. Now, there is only one copy of Eclipse between the two of us, so watch out!

Today, I’ve got to buckle down on SCOUT, so I can sent it out sometime next week or the following Monday by snail mail. Also, I’m feeling like I have ants in my pants. I started thinking about a submission I have out to an independent press that I love, love, love and I was just thinking how much I wanted an acceptance. Plus, I’m still waiting to hear from agents. How much can a girl take?