Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year in Review

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and doing a year wrap up of my fave books, but I'm stealing the basic format from Bee cause I love her :]
This year has been, in a word, great. What a lame word. Okay, how about super fantastic? Thrilling? Exciting? Remarkable? Superlative? Alright, I'm putting down the thesaurus (which still sounds like a kick ass dinosaur no matter how old I get) and moving on.
My family has been fantastic, my best friend is incredible and we've only gotten closer, I'm nearly done with one of my majors, and I just hit the four year mark with the boyfriend and we haven't killed each other yet (it was touch and go for a while after a pretty violent argument over whether the bathroom will be swan's wing white or innocent white - I won with swan's wing when he finally admitted he doesn't know the difference and I conceded and let him choose the red for the kitchen.)
I finished my novel and have it out to a bunch of agents after I got a super kick ass beta who makes me smile every single day and has no problem with really brutal honesty. No really, she'll highlight and entire section and just say no. And it looks better without that section when I'm done and we clean up the ragged edges she's left behind after she tore it out. I'm kidding, she's brutal and I adore her for it, 365 wouldn't be what it is without her.
And lastly, but so, so far from least, you guys at AW and all your hysterical, supportive, lifesaving posts, comments and blogs. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. I love you all. I hope your 2009 was as good as mine and your 2010 is even better. I better see you all in print soon!!
Now onto what I stole from Bee:


1. Cracked Up To Be - The writing is dark, dangerous and reminds me all too much of the reality of high school.
    "Imagine four years. Four years, two suicides, one death, one rape, two pregnancies (one abortion), three overdoses, countless drunken antics, pantsings, spilled food, thefts, broken limbs, turf wars - everyday a turf war - six months until graduation and no one gets a medal when they get out. But everything you do here counts."

2. Hold Still - I don't have words for this. It still makes me cry and leaves me with a hazy sort of empty feeling days after I finish it.

3. If I Stay - Again, the perfect combination of thrilling and heartbreaking.

4. I'm cheating here, because I love to cheat (not like that, get your mind out of the gutter) - The novels I beta. If I don't see you all in print soon I'm coming to kick your butts.

See you all on the other side!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesdayyyyy!

I swear one of these days I'll post from my new WIP. Just not today :]
Here's an early tease from 365.

*snipped* thanks everyone!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday!

In the middle of the insanity that is my family gathering for the holidays, here's a short teaser from 365!
Angela has woken Lindsay up in the middle of the night while she and Riley are fighting.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

It's time to tease! And it's my birthday tomorrow, which I usually don't announce because the idea of a wait staff singing a rousing chorus of happy birthday while the whole restaurant stares terrifies me. But since you can't sing through the internet, I feel pretty safe.
Here's a piece of 365 Days Until I Disappear.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Dedications AKA People Who Mean The World To Me

Over at Hannah Moskowitz's blog Invincible Summer, she posted some acknowledgements and dedications, hoping other writers would do the same.
So, here I go.

My beta's -
I have one main beta that I wouldn't trade for the world. We email constantly about writing and everything else under the sun. She line edited 365 Days Until I Disappear twice then helped me rework the entire plot including one huge arc then edited it again. One of the MC's literally wouldn't be who he is without her. And I get daily chapter by chapter emails of her new incredible novel. Nothing feels better than being involved in a manuscript from the ground floor. I wouldn't be where I am without your constant cheerleading, hand holding and pictures of your adorable dogs. Who else would I whine to about the Christmas tree battle, final exams, and the all around suckiness of starting new novels? You make me smile everyday and I love you for your ridiculous dedication.
Also, Serena and Selena, who you all probably know as the lovely Mortem Twins. They're absolutely hysterical and line betaed the entire novel in different colors. I don't think you know how exciting rainbows can be until your entire manuscript is commented on in one. They make me laugh, smile and go "wtf was I thinking here?" (in a good way.) And, then I got to read their much anticipated novel in return and nearly squeed with the excitement. Girls, I love you and appreciate you.

My family -
I bitch and whine about them, mainly to my beta, but I love them to death. I'm insanely close to my mom and I'm convinced wouldn't be writing if my dad didn't insist on reading to me, and having me read to him, novels instead of picture books when I was a toddler. No matter how old we get, my big brother and I will still fight like we're children, but it's supposed to be that way. I wouldn't know what it's like to feel the thin line of love/hate, protected/sheltered, guided/bossed around, that I write about if my novel if it wasn't for him. Actually, I wouldn't have been able to write about my MC's family at all if it wasn't for the crazy love I get from mine.

The boyfriend -
Our four year anniversary is next Monday so I have to be nice. I can't remember feeling any better than I have the past 5 years (I don't count the first because it was more on/off than a lightswitch). I wouldn't be myself without you and I'd have no idea what true love is really like - this infuriating, frustrating, depressing, insanity inducing and absolutely amazing feeling I wouldn't trade for the world. You're beautiful and you're not perfect but neither am I, together we make one pretty good team though. I could sit for hours finding new ways to be awed each minute. 

My best friend -
What's a best friend but someone who shares your brain, penchant for bleach blonde hair, margaritas and her deepest secrets. We giggle like four year olds, discuss all the things we're not supposed to and trash talk in public because we always forget ourselves when we're together. Our relationship summed up ? - I haven't gone to the bathroom alone since we became best friends. And that says it all to me. I love you baby.

All of you at AW!! -
You keep me informed, involved and sane. You make writing seem like a fun journey instead of a painstaking hike and always provide ample amounts of distraction for me. You're incredible and you're all lovely. I love each and everyone one of you.

Who do you appreciate? I bet they'd love to know. Keep it going people, everyone loves to be acknowledged!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Literary Crushes!

I'm so late on this, but that's okay! Here's my top ten literary crushes:

1. Charlie from Perks:

     Maybe I overuse Perks, but it's kind of made me the person I am today. And Charlie, ugh, Charlie. I don't crush on him in a want-to-take-you-to-bed way or even a want-to-date-you way. I crush on him maternally (and I'm not a maternal person.) I just want to hold him and keep him safe from all the ridiculously terrible things that have happened to him. If you've read Perks, you just want to awww every time he talks about how isolated he is and how hard he's trying to be normal.

2. Draco Malfoy:

    Everyone thinks I'm a bad person for this but come on. Everyone loves a bad boy. And a blonde. The fact that I'm blonde has nothing to do with this :] Don't worry, I love Ron too, and the Weasley twins. Mischeif is sexy people! But Draco's just dangerous and sexy, and he changes sides in the end so you can't hate him too much.

3. Dexter from Darkly Dreaming Dexter:
    Not just because Michael Hall is gorgeous. I guess I love flawed but well meaning murderers who wear sexy henleys and leather gloves.

4. Nick from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist:
    What can I say? I like my boys awkward.

5. Eric:

    I'm blurring literary and television lines here but come on, who wouldn't? I like my vampires bad, dangerous and blood thirsty instead of sparkly.

6. Cliche alert! Emmett Cullen:

    I know I'm contradicting myself from above but still. Swoon. I can't even explain without fangirling. So I'll just leave you with this

   As for Emmett in the books, I love the big brother protectiveness, the wise cracks and his undying *no pun intended* devotion to Rosalie even though she'd give him up for mortality.


Onto my literary girl crushes. Admit it, everyone has them.

7. Rosalie Cullen:
    Yeah, she can be selfish and I hated her in Breaking Dawn, but she's a fierce, fabulous bitch who knows what she wants. Alice is adorable too though and if I had to pick one as my best friend, it would be her.

8. Hermione Granger:

    She's smart and determined and makes girls who stay home to study feel good about themselves. She's loyal and focused and one of the only good girl role models out there.

9. To 180 completely, Blair Waldorf:
   If you've only seen the show but haven't read the books, you're getting a skewed version of her. In the books she's crazy, insecure, loving and, yes, a bitch. But you feel for her and kind of love her anyway.

10. Sookie Stackhouse:

    She makes those who are pale and blonde feel like it's pretty. She's got a cute southern accent and a little gap between her teeth. She isn't perfect. She comes from a working class family in the south and there's nothing particularly special about her. She's just like you and me. 

And now I must cheat in a million different ways.
11. Sam and Dean Winchester:
     Here's where I cheat. First of all, they're from TV, technically, and secondly, I must have both of them. If you've seen Supernatural you know that they've been leaning so hard on the fourth wall it's about to break. Who am I kidding, they barreled right through the fourth wall.
   For the five seasons we've watched Sam and Dean kicking baddies butts, some guy Chuck has been having dreams about them and writing them down. Not the Stephanie Meyer kind of dreams. The kind of dreams in which the boys get kicked around, slaughter monsters with rocksalt and shotguns, get their girlfriends burned alive, go to hell, come back from hell, sell their souls for each other and all around have a shitty, shitty life hunting nightmare things but look damn good doing it.
   So this Chuck guy publishes his dreams and on the show we get Becky the Fangirl. Who is essentially me and you. She's read these books, obsessed over them, imagined them, blogged about them and all around made them real in her head. Then she finds out they really exist and swoons, faints and does everything we would do if we found out one of the above 10 were real.

  My point? Have hope people, maybe your authors have been secretly dreaming about real folks all along and you just don't know it :) And maybe they look like this.  


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Road Trip Wednesday

Good morning, Boston. Get me to California soon.

Over at! they posted these three questions. Here are my answers.

1) What are the three best books you've read this year?

Do the ones I beta count? No? Boo. Okay then, here we go.

  1. The Lovely Bones: I know, I know, I'm so unorginal. I actually read this about three years ago but with all the movie buzz I decided I must read it again, then pass it all around.

  2. World War Z: My boyfriend is a zombie freak and I always made fun of him. But to appease him (and get him to return the favor) I watched every zombie movie ever made (no I'm not exaggerating) then read this book. And it totally blew me away. Of course, the boyfriend can't know that because then he'll think he's always right. And we can't have that :)

  3. Perks Of Being A Wallflower: I've read this a million times. At least. Literally. The binding is shot to shit, broken and ripped. My boyfriend wrote a message to me on the inside cover (you're the only one to ever make me feel infinite too) People I've passed it too (at least ten) have left comments in the margins. This only makes it more important to me. It's the one book I will never ever lose. Because picking up a new copy wouldn't be the same. If you've read Perks, you'll understand. There's something about a bunch of personal messages scrawled in different handwritings and colors, that makes it better. Charlie would approve. This entire book is like sitting between your two best friends, going to your first party, and breaking out of the tunnel, into the city lights, feeling infinite.

2) If you could meet one author (living or dead), who would it be?

J.K Rowling. I know, still unoriginal. But come on, none of us would be here in the YA world if it wasn't for her. I grew up on Harry Potter. I am in the Harry Potter Generation. I turned 11 when the first book came out and trust me, I was enraged that I didn't receive my Hogwarts letter. I would like to take her up on that. But I might hyperventilate and pass out first.

3) What book are you most looking forward to in 2010?

Hmm. This is a toughie. I tend not to be expecting anything unless I'm waiting on a sequel. I'm an amazon 1-click shopper. I'm an impulse buyer. I see a cover and synopsis I like and have it sent to my house. It's an awful idea because sometimes I flip through the first chapter, hate it, and never read it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Teaser Tuesday!

It's early, as always, because my Tuesdays are crazy. But I promise to get to all yours!
I've managed to catch a cold, the one thing that makes me hate this time of year. Luckily, that means I have to stay in and write/edit/beta like crazy.
It's Teaser time! From 365 Days Until I Disappear.

I love you all!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Where I rant/monologue and get proven wrong

My betas know that I love to rant and monologue and blahblahblah forever. Their manuscripts are full of purple ink to prove this. I'm a supportive monologuer, I'll go on for paragraphs just trying to explain how much I love a scene, or even a sentence.
I do this in real life though, too. I recently ranted to my boyfriend about a magazine article talking about the dangers of texting and walking. I ranted about how there's no real danger in that, who can't multitask?
Then, last night, we were walking out of the Brand New concert and I flipped open my sidekick (which I despise) to check my texts while walking. I stepped off the curb and right in front of a car. Luckily I have a boyfriend that doesn't want a flattened girlfriend so he grabbed me by the arm and yanked me back to safety. Point being? None really, except that I can be proven wrong all the time.

And now I talk about writing.
I'm starting two new YA's and can't decide which to focus on because I can't get past chapter 4 on either. Does anyone else find the beginning the hardest or is the middle for you? What about the end? Once I get my story rolling I'm usually all set but sometimes the middle clogs up.
I have this awesome beta who preaches outlining though so I've written skeletons for both and it's really helping. Do you outline or are you a plunger?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Teaser Tuesday!

It's that time again. Or almost that time. Here's my tease!

      snip! thanks for the comments, you're all incredible!

New England, I love you, but you're bringing me down

Could it stop down pouring for five minutes? Also, if the sun could stay up past four p.m. I'd appreciate it.

So, Teaser Tuesday is tomorrow (yayyy!) but before I post, I have a question.
Does everyone pull down their teases? If so, when and why?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Teaser Tuesday!

So, this is from my YA novel 365 Days Until I Disappear. I have no idea how much I'm suppose to summarize here without ruining the fact that this is a teaser but some information seems necessary!
At seventeen, Lindsay Hawkes thought she was on the other side of the acute lymphoblastic leukemia she’d been fighting since she was twelve, but it woke again just before the start of her senior year. With no hope for recovery, she plans to experience life the best she can with the help of her wild, loving best friend Angela. What she doesn’t expect is Angela’s cousin, Riley, moving to Salvation, Georgia, after losing his parents to a house fire, and derailing her well laid plans. He burrows his way beneath scar tissue and cancerous cells and into Lindsay's heart, opening her up to the one thing she didn’t want in her last year of life, vulnerability and a love she would have to leave behind.
There's more to it, a fantasy twist, but I'll leave it at that for this teaser. This bit is from when Lindsay's best friend demands a girl's night.

snip! Thanks so much for your comments guys!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because I succumb easily to peer pressure

I must talk about the swine. If you go to college, it's everywhere; the actual sickness as well as the paranoia over it. I don't expect to get swine or to die from it and I'd love to walk across campus without hearing it mentioned or walk into a bathroom without signs decorating the walls advising you to stay home if you feel sick, as if college students can't figure that out.
On the upside, the absentee policy is no longer in use because they'd rather you miss class than come in and leave your snotty germs all over the desk.
On the downside, it's November in Boston which means the sun is down by 4:30 and it's 30 degrees out so there really is a lot of sickness going around and not a lot of politeness over the matter.
My advice, if you're sick don't come to class. If you can't miss class, cough into your hand, not the back of my neck. Thank you guy sitting behind me.

On a happier note, do you guys listen to music while you write? What about while you edit? I have to listen to music while I write but I need silence while I edit or I get too wrapped up in the emotions while I reread. How about you?

Teaser Tuesday

So, it's not Tuesday, obviously, so I won't be teasing though I've joined the Teaser Tuesday blogroll on absolutewrite.
Since I can't tease I'll be looking through everyone else's teases and getting newly excited about how great and caring this entire community is.
You guys are the most supportive crowd ever.
I'll be teasing next Tuesday!
Also, I got a great, sweet first reader. Thanks a million again!
Editing until then.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hi all/The Call

Hi all!
I always said I wouldn't do this, because really, what do I have to say that people want to read? But here I am.
After writing, editing, querying and nail biting, I received four full requests on my first twenty or so queries for my YA novel. Whoa.
I quickly sent them along without worrying too much about them, what ever happens, happens, right?
Checking my email via cell phone every fifteen minutes doesn't constitute as obsession, not at all.
Then I get an email from The Dream Agent, saying she went through two boxes of tissues reading my novel and asked to set up an appointment to call. My heart stops, my palms sweat and I nearly jump out of my skin. Since I'm at work I wait an excruciating two hours then send my reply, "of course, I'd love to speak with you!" while I secretly dance inside.
That's a Thursday so I wait until Monday (which feels like a year) then get the call that morning.
It doesn't quite go as planned.
She loves the novel, couldn't stop crying, loved all the family involvement, the love story and the way it was wrapped up, but. That's right, the epic BUT. But she wants some revisions, some structural edits, the intensity of the love story and the main character's situation seem to have made me lose track of the tension and flow. She suggests a first reader which I agree to even though I always skipped class on days we had to read our essays aloud.
I've asked around and am waiting to hear back so until then, I guess I'll be relieving my stress here while I deconstruct my novel piece by piece and shift chapters around until I no longer know which is up and which is down!