The New Year’s Resolution Post

It’s New Year’s Eve, everybody! I’ve got my fancy pants outfit and plans all ready to go (already a huge improvement over most NYEs) and it’s time to reflect on the year that’s passed and the year to come. In short, 2012 has been made of awesome so, yanno, 2013 has a whole freaking lot to live up to. But if there’s something I love, it’s a good underdog, so here’s hoping that ’13 is all that and more! Have a happy and safe New Year’s, y’all!

Favorite Moments of 2012:

-Getting engaged
-Getting married
-Honeymoon to South Africa
-Going to Paris
-Driving Big Sur in California
-Engagement Party in my hometown of Sarasota, FL
-Seeing three books that I wrote come out and then looking through the cute GIFs created by little girls that are fans
-Meeting new editors and writing for new book packagers
-Taking Mediabistro class with editor Brendan Deenen
-Going to Tour de Nerdfighting to see John and Hank Green for the first time

We're a Mr. and Mrs.!

We’re a Mr. and Mrs.!

For anyone that knows me, this was clearly the worst part of the night--I hate cake!

For anyone that knows me, this was clearly the worst part of the night–I hate cake!

Love

Love

First book out

First book out

We ate, we celebrated and we were married!

Writing Goals:

Things I Can Control:

1. Write regularly, even when not on deadline. This one is probably the most important since it will encourage me not only to practice, practice, practice, but also to dedicate time to my own, original work, rather than just projects I’m being paid for.

2. Make new writing friends. There was a time when I was really involved in the writing community through message boards, twitter, blogosphere, etc. Through that time, I made very close writing friends who have shared this journey with me and for whom I am very grateful. But the publishing business is crazy and many have started to move on from writing for one reason or another. Writing friends have always been a huge source of inspiration, support  and sanity and I’m looking forward to making new friends to learn from, angst with, and share ups and downs.

3. Craft. One thing that I’m really proud of this year is that I slowed down and worked on craft. So, I’d like to take that even further and this year I have three broad craft-related goals that I’d like to keep at the forefront: (a) write more interesting characters–characters with lots of depth and competing motivations  who readers are excited to see come on the page (this goes for both main and supporting cast), (b) focus on foreward momentum for the reader, creating a page-turner (lately, I’ve been studying quiet first chapters and books that still manage to make the reader have to know what happened; it’s fascinating), and (c) write interesting and suprising prose.

[For the record, this year I worked on slowing down during scenes to flesh them out, not using snark as a crutch to create voice, and developing a book more fully through inner monologue and description.]

4. Finish a complete, revised draft of a novel that is not commissioned by anyone but yours truly.

5. Write what I love and what excites me.

Things I Can’t Control:

1.  Sell a book in my own name (which will *hopefully* be this book that is about to go on submission!)

2. Secure at least one new work for hire gig that is bigger and better and challenges me more than what I have done so far

3. Nail down and sign the contract for the project I can’t yet talk about, but which is ah-mazing

Reading ADD

I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I’ve had some serious reading ADD as of late. With books I like, too. I’m in the middle of 4 books and I just started another one tonight. Oh well, I’ll finish them and I’m just kind of reading whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment. Last time I checked that wasn’t a crime, but still sort of weird since I’m usually a read in one sitting kind of girl.

I figure this might be a good thing, though, since I am in the middle of writing and usually I typically don’t read a lot while writing. I’m truly enjoying both right now, though, so maybe reading a bunch of books at once will keep me from soaking up someone else’s voice and squelching it out all over my own manuscript.

Here’s my abbreviated TBR list.

I’ve got Vampire Academy in there, Dead-Tossed Waves, Heist Society, Living Dead Girl and Wondrous Strange. My Soul to Take and Shiver are currently residing in my car. Nice variety, at least.

Oh yeah, and I tweeted this the other day, but it’s kind of funny. Here is me reading The Dead-Tossed Waves before going out on Saturday night for my friend, Emily’s, b-day. I’ve got my boot, my cute shoe, and my book. That about sums me up, I’d say.

Any bets on which book I’ll finish first?

I started Shiver in January.

I started My Soul to Take in the fall.

The Dead-Tossed Waves this past weekend

Heist Society a couple weeks ago

Living Dead Girl tonight

My money is on either Living Dead Girl or Dead-Tossed Waves

An Open Letter To the Significant Others of Writers On Sub

April 8, 2009

Dear Significant Others of Writers on Submission,

We know you are always trying to say the right thing, to be supportive, and to deal with our writerly nuttiness. Thank you. We appreciate your awesomeness. We really do. But sometimes we can’t help but think you need a little help in the what-not-to-say department. So since writers on sub can be a bit, well, testy–hey, you try checking your email 3,542 x per day–I’d love to help you not get your eyes clawed out or, at the very least, avoid sticking your foot in your mouth. S0und good? Great. 

First rule is that we need to be able to talk about the publishing world almost 24/7. Most girls follow celebrities on Twitter. We follow editors. And we scrutinize the publishing rumor mill more than Perez Hilton does the dysfunctional relationship that is Speidi. We know you want to change the subject because, despite what our internet communities tell us, we guess that the whole world is not fascinated by how books are made. We know this. But we can’t stop our mouths from talking about it. So, please, just let us run ourselves out of new information. Pretty please?

Second, there is this thing called Publishers Marketplace. And on it, we see all the new deals that are made each day. If you’re a Significant Other, I guess you already know this. But anyway, there is probably going to be a day when we see a new deal posted whose premise sounds suspiciously close to ours. This revelation will be followed closely by a meltdown. So, when we come to you and tell you that all is lost because so-and-so book just sold and it sounds exactly like ours don’t–I repeat–Do. Not. Say, “That does sound a lot like yours!” Or any variation thereof. Books aren’t patents, ok? Remind us that there is Twilight and Vampire Academy and House of Night and all of them, at the exact same time, do just fine. Repeat after me: “It’s all in the execution.” 

As a short interlude, I’d like to arm you with a few key phrases that will serve you well throughout this difficult time: “Your agent loved it, someone else will, too;” “It only takes one;” “I’ve read it and it’s fabulous;” “Even Harry Potter was rejected a couple times!”  Pair those with, “Here, honey, have a glass of wine” or the almost equally powerful, “Here, honey, have some chocolate” and you will be well prepared.

Now, that we have created an essential toolbox of sorts, let’s move onto something you absolutely must not say. Please do not “helpfully” remind us that it takes some authors years and years to get published. In our little heads, though we won’t say it aloud, we secretly hope that our book will sell overnight. We certainly are not thinking that after coming this far it will take years. We categorize that as a “cross that bridge when we come to it” type conversation. ‘Nuff said.

Writers are trained to ask “what if…” by trade. What if this happened to this character? What if that happened next? So, yeah, there is a fair bit of, What if I ended up at this publishing house? What if The Call comes today? Don’t remind us that we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let us plan how we will celebrate and look at where our book would fit on the shelf. That’s what has kept us writing up to this point!

Finally, please, oh, please do not make us part with our cellphones! We’re going to sit with it out everywhere we go and turning it to silent and keeping it under the table on dates is really, really hard, so try to appreciate that. You ask what would happen if we didn’t find out the good–or bad–news at the exact moment it was available–Ok, you have a point there. I’m not sure what exactly would happen. But it would be bad, we just know it. So, while we have not exactly thought out what would happen if our agent or editor called while we were on the potty, we’d figure it out. Trust us. 

Thank you for listening, friends, and may your writer have a quick sale! 

Yours Truly, 

Us