Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Printzesses (or Which Book Will Be Crowned?)

Tip of the Day: Check out Lisa Schroeder's blog post on how Goodreads ads worked for her!

I love meeting with the Mock Printz Club girls to discuss books (it's open to guys, but none have joined us), and always learn so much from them, too! Right now the frontrunners fr our Mock Printz award seem to be:

Some other tidbits I've garnered from our Printz meetings:

--They love J. K. Rowling. She essentially can do no wrong. And they don't mind what I called the "info dump chapters" in book #7 because they'd rather have that than stringing the reader along with tiny clues until the "big reveal." :)

--They don't like how in practically every current YA book they read with a girl MC, the girl *always* either a) ends up crushing on/hooking up with the first boy she meets in the book, or b) ends up crushing on/hooking up with her guy friend. They say it is so unrealistic and completely unnecessary.

--They don't like MCs who are seemingly invincible. While most like THE HUNGER GAMES, many don't like how Katniss, for example, is a little too unstoppable.

--They are getting tired of "the same" dystopian stories being told over and over, and find a lot of them similar to THE GIVER.

Our last Printz meeting was supposed to last 45-60 mins, and some of the girls hung around talking to the HS Librarian and I in the HS library for 90 minutes chatting about books! I love it!

What are your Printz picks so far?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Monday, November 28, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Tip of the Day: Keep yourself from letting holiday stress invade your body. Stock up on yogurt and cranberry juice. Enjoy the last great apples of the season.

So in my past novels, for various reasons, there has been a focus on the main character's relationship with his or her father. Years ago, I heard Laurie Halse Anderson speak about writing as a male character, and she recommended exploring his relationship with his father. This really strengthened my first novel. The next time I wrote from a male point of view, I also focused on Dad.

But somehow it's never gone the other way. My female main characters have had more memorable relationships with their fathers than their mothers. But that's going to change soon. For my next novel, Mom is going to be a very important player. Unfortunately, she's also going to suck.

I feel bad about that. I'd like to model a healthy mother/daughter relationship, but I think if you have a wonderful mother behind you all the way ... well, you're less likely to be in the dire straights that a novel demands.

Some authors who have done mother/daughter relationships very well in novels I have loved are Deb Caletti, E.M. Crane, Elizabeth Scott, and of course Sarah Dessen. So I have some great examples to help me.

But in the end, I think this mother is going to be a bad person. Hopefully, she'll be fun to write, in any case. What about you? When you're writing about a female main character, how much thought do you put into the mother/daughter relationship?

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fun Friday: Black Friday

Tip of the Day: This is our 1000th post!! Wow! I feel like we should give away a car or something. But that's not happening. :-)

HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY! Are you full of turkey and dressing? Are you sitting outside of Best Buy at 3am? Tell the truth-- to Black Friday or not to Black Friday? Me? I'm a not. I don't like fighting. If you went out, what hot deal did you get?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Deadline!

First, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your family and friends! I'm excited to spend the day with my family and I'm also excited that I met my Thanksgiving deadline! Whoo hoo! I've been revising The Paparazzi Project (I posted a teaser of it last week) and my deadline to get it back to my agent was Thanksgiving.

I've been working on it every free minute I've had, which usually is whenever my littlest is in preschool, and evenings. And last night I was determined to not miss my deadline and get it done. The only problem? All four kids are sick (UGH! This is so not fun!) and now I'm sick too (sore throat and fever- boo). But still, I really wanted to get it done so that I'd have the holiday free and I was SO close so I worked through it anyway and e-mailed it to the agent at midnight. Yay!

So yeah, I'm thankful to be done (well, at least until I get notes back from my agent) and excited for a little break before I dive back into my middle grade project.

What about you guys? Did you meet your November deadlines?

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trekkin' Along on Track (or Oh God I Have to Rewrite 10 Chapters in 10 Days)

Tip of the Day: I tweet about bookish and library things at @bmlkidsteens if you want to follow me!

I'm here, checking in on my November goal!

Goal recap: To revise my YA WIP and have it ready to sub by Dec. 1.

And as of today, I'm on page 165/206 and feeling totally on track!

It hasn't all been easy. During my lunch breaks at work I tried really hard to get in a solid 45 minutes of revision, but sitting at my desk in a cubicle -- even with my headphones on and personal laptop powered up -- doesn't always keep the coworkers away. I love them and all, but but but...NaNoREMo people! :)

I also got feedback from my wonderful Helper Monkeys critique group...and I learned that, uh, there were some "issues" with the chapters leading up the climax. And the climax itself. And oh yeah, the resolution chaps need some clarity. Oh boy. BUT! I was so inspired by them as well -- they helped me brainstorm "fixes" and I could feel what a better book these changes would make -- so when I sat down to write, the words came easily.

This book is different from anything else I've ever written: It has two 1st-person povs, a speculative story with a thriller feel, and a faster pace with bigger stakes. I'm really excited about this novel and hope my revisions are making it into the story I imagine.

How is everyone doing with their NaNo projects?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's good to have goals

Tip of the Day: hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving! Try not to eat too much pumpkin pie (oh wait...never all the pie you want, you totally deserve it after working so hard this year!)

My November Goal: complete edits on the current book I'm working on.

The Progress: not so great

After completely switching what the book I'm currently working on for the month, I had a bit of a slow start. The switch turned out to be wise, though, and edits with this book are going much better. I've gotten quite a bit done, though there are several chapters I need to update and about two chapters to add.

Since I haven't worked on this book in about three years, there's been much time spent getting into the heads of the characters again. But it's been fun, challenging, and progressing forward has been rewarding.

To celebrate, I'm definitely eating some pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving!

And's right back to work. I still have eight days left in November to complete my goal!

Well at least right after I wipe my tears for the hundredth time today after watching X-factor tonight. Was I the only one that cried at like every story. I told my husband, I'd hate to be the singer without an inspirational story.


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Goal Oriented Girl

Tip of the Day: Looking for a good YA read? TANGLED TIDES by Karen Amanda Hooper releases this week and is available in preorder now.

At the beginning of November, my Rochester face-to-face critique group and I set goals for the month. It's an annual tradition. My goal was to finish writing the ending of my YA novel work in progress. Those last few chapters are hanging over my head like a dead weight. So how did I do?

Terrible! I don't think I've written a word!

It's not true that I haven't written a word of anything, of course. But these past few weeks have been life changing for me. I lost my office job in June and my other, more long-term goal for the year has been to work as a freelance writer and editor. This has taken off tremendously all of a sudden. Every project I work on is a learning experience, and every client brings me a new set of skills. I can't wait to tell you all about it as I move forward. For now, though, my routine of looking for work most of the day and then doing some of my own writing is completely broken.

I did manage to rewrite my first scene after attending the Highlights Mastering Setting conference with Kim Griswell and K.L. Going. That was a hard-working conference, by the way. I like my new beginning a lot better. Naturally, now that I know what my ending is going to be, I have more of that tone infused into the beginning.

So I'm definitely making progress over here, but I am disappointed that I haven't been able to type THE END. In fact, not working on my fiction is making me very snippy. For Thanksgiving, I hope I have the chance to curl up with the next chapter. Too bad the school system lets the kids take off time for the holiday! (Just kidding. Sort of.)

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun Friday: Winner of THE FIRST TIME Giveaway

And the winner is.....................


Congrats! I just
ordered your book
and you should
have an e-mail
with information

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Teasing

Tip of the Day: Remember, you have until midnight tonight to enter the giveaway for The First Time Anthology. Comment HERE. Winner announced tomorrow.

Right now I'm in the middle of revisions on my latest book, THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT. The teaser I'm including is from Chapter 2 when the main character, Livvie, is reading tabloids for an assignment in her Interpersonal Communication Class and notices the cute guy next to her.

I find the page and oh man, it’s true! It’s totally Shaz A.M.! Nasty, nasty, nasty! Man, she had to be scraping his denture cream off the back of her tonsils after this make out session. I flip the page for more pics. “Ok, seriously,” I say to the cute guy in the desk next to me in class, “you’ve gotta see this.” I hold up the magazine for him to see. “She’s going to make ol’ dude break a hip in that position, right?”

The cute guy laughs and his hair shakes out of his eyes. “That’s just wrong.”

I take a longer look at him. Wow. Why haven’t I noticed him before? Serious hotness. He’s got these crazy dark eyes and even darker hair. If he wasn’t dressed so preppy he’d almost look kind of goth. Not that I’m into goth. I myself don’t have any super interesting style. I’m your average whatever looks cute yet is still comfy kind of girl. Hence the worn-out jeans, tee, and converse I’m sporting today. I really want to talk to this big cup of cuteness some more though. “What are you reading?” I ask.

He holds up a National Enquirer. “Botched plastic surgery,” he says. “See, this one’s bottom lip looks like it ate her top lip.” He points to a picture of a woman who looks more feline than female.

I lean over for a closer look. “Whoa! You’re right!” I say. “I bet she wishes she could hit undo on that.”

He smiles. “My name’s Chas Montgomery.”

“Cool name, Chas,” I say, sitting back in my seat. I bet on the weekends he likes to kick back with a nice cigar after a rousing polo match with his buddies, Thurston and Chadwick.

“And you are?” he asks, holding a hand out like he just pointed to a letter on Wheel of Fortune.

“Livvie Peterson,” I reply. “Livvie’s short for Olivia. But I’m sure you already guessed that. Not much else it could be short for, right? Maybe Olive. But who would name their kid Olive? Outside of Popeye’s girlfriend’s mom. About a million and a half years ago. ‘I yam what I yam’, right? But, I babble. Yeah, anyway, it’s Livvie.” Wow. I am all kinds of smoothness here. I don’t know how he’s keeping his hands off me right now.

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNoREMo Teaser (or Public Viewing, Take One!)

Tip of the Day: There is still time to bid on some great kidlit writer items in Jean Reidy's Light up the Library Auction!

I am still plugging away at my revision to meet my goal this month. As I read through earlier chapters that have been in existence the longest, I find myself tweaking just words, so I know it is close! In the later chapters, I need to make some detail changes to the "science" part of the book, but I see how it is going to all come together.

My teaser is from the very beginning of the novel, BLACKOUT. The book is told in alternating povs, Leo and his younger sister Jenny. Chapter One starts with Leo's pov:

Dad and Jenny hugged goodbye. It was like they thought they’d never see each other again or something. I watched their silhouettes from the living room window. Like an outsider.

I never got that close to them. And they never got that close to me.

I shoved my duffle bag and portable amp into the back seat of the SUV, unzipped my guitar case, and strapped the Strat over my shoulder. I could compose an alt-rock hook in the time it’d take for my sister and Dad to say adios. The two of them could go on about solar cells or neutrons or whatever for days. They had gone on about it for days.

Leaning against the car’s door, I played around with a heavier riff. Dad had no neighbors to complain about the noise. Not for miles. For five days I’d been stuck with two people who didn’t know a bass guitar from a violin and didn’t care if they ever learned.

Mom’s side of the family had music going for it, but it also had an aunt who went nuts when she was 17. Like me. The age, not the crazy part. Not yet.

I didn’t fit in with Dad’s side of the family, and wasn’t sure I wanted to fit in with Mom’s.

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Tip of the Day: my friend and critique partner Shana Norris just released another eBook this week called Surfacing. Check out the info about it here.

After spending time working on a variety of books, this is the current one I've been editing lately. Not only is it getting polished...again, it's also getting a new title. But it was formerly named Con Girl. I'm sure you can imaging why :) The new title is a secret (mainly because it keeps changing :) ) Hope you enjoy!

“Whit,” he said, catching me off-guard before I could initiate the plan. “I think we should talk about this. I never meant to hurt you or lie to you.”

He released his arms from me, but the feeling of his touch remained as my skin tingled. I backed up closer to the tree, trying to shoo the feeling away. Knowing he still powered over my thoughts made it harder to curl my arms up and touch the edge of his jacket, but shear will-power forced me to continue on with my plan.

I couldn’t move the light, down-filled coat much, but I did enough that I could feel something heavier in his right pocket like I had suspected.

“It’s water under the bridge,” I answered, turning on the charm and smile. I even made my hair flip out and fall, so it could seductively brush up against his hands. “I was actually coming to apologize to you. I felt bad about the way I treated you at the airport. I realize now you were just doing the job your dad and my parents wanted.”

He touched my hand as I was going lower on the zippered edge of the jacket. “Nice try, Whitney, but you do realize I know who you are, don’t you?” He pulled a set of keys out of his right pocket, pinning me against the tree again with his left hand, and dangled the keys out of my reach. “Fishing for these?”

At the sound of his voice, I got mad for a variety of reasons. First, I couldn’t believe I almost stole something. Even if it was just keys. I had never stolen anything in my life. Sure I’d been given many things under false pretences, but never took something. Even if I was going to give it back. Second, I couldn’t believe I had gotten caught. Preston always fell for the feminine charm. That’s how Tasha and I got him to stock most of the displays for us.

“Actually, you knew Whitney Campbell. Whitney Brown is much more forgiving.” The tree bark felt like nails clawing into my skin as I pushed further into it, but I didn’t care. “Like I said, I just came to apologize to you. Besides, I think it’s best for both of us if we just forget we ever knew each other prior to Copper Town.”

“You want me to forget everything that’s happened in the past two months? Our entire friendship?”


Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome to Teaser Week!

Tip of the Day: Thinking of publishing with a small press? There's never been a better time. Writer Beware has updated information posted about small presses and what you should consider.

This week we'll be posting snippets from our works in progress. This is from smack in the middle of my WIP about a teenage girl on the Moon searching for both her missing boyfriend and her kidnapped brother. She finds shelter in a lunar residence--a mansion owned by a very rich family. She's never been around rich people, she's not sure if she's breaking any laws, and there's a war going on besides, a war in which she has no idea what side her hosts take. The reason I picked this passage was because it proves to me that that book is written on revision. The first draft had her thinking about her confusion. "I might as well have been lost in the desert of Texizona." On revision, I replaced this with action.

... But she has me spooked. Unless we sneak out now without food or directions, we are completely in the power of these strangers. If Corinth connects us to the factory, he might decide we belong there, and I have no idea what the rules are out here.

The glider still must have me motion sick because the floor below us seems adrift. A gilt-edged mirror hangs on the wall across from the bed’s real wood headboard. I unpin my hair, sprinkle it with water, and comb it with my fingers. Carefully, I pull my hair back, pinning up the loose strands over my ears.

I like the idea of my main character fixing her hair to get herself under control rather than fretting in internal dialog. It's a small triumph, but those small triumphs are what makes this crazy writing thing worthwhile.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fun Friday: Give Away! THE FIRST TIME

We're doing a giveaway this Fun Friday for the new YA e-anthology, THE FIRST TIME. Details about the book below. Giveaway info here:

All you have to do is comment on this post and we'll randomly pick a winner next Friday! Leave your e-mail address for faster delivery of the book or if you don't want to leave your e-mail, check back next week to see if you're the winner and then contact me: Kristina (at) KristinaSpringer (dot) com.

This books is in e-book format only and I'm sending it to you from Amazon so you need a Kindle (or download the Kindle app for free onto your iPhone or iPad) to read.

Now about the book:

You never forget your first...

In THE FIRST TIME, 25 young adult authors contribute 25 stories all about firsts: first loves, first kisses, first zombie slayings, and more. Featuring New York Times bestselling authors Carrie Ryan and Jessica Verday, plus a host of others. From humor to horror, and everything in between, these stories will make you laugh, cry, cheer, (and maybe even scream) as you experience something brand new from the authors that you love.

Contributing authors include: Cyn Balog, Lauren Bjorkman, Leigh Brescia, Jennifer Brown, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Janet Gurtler, Teri Hall, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Stacey Jay, Heidi R. Kling, C. Lee McKenzie, Saundra Mitchell, Jenny Moss, Jackson Pearce, Shani Petroff, Carrie Ryan, Sydney Salter, Kurtis Scaletta, Jon Skovron, Kristina Springer, Rhonda Stapleton, Charity Tahmaseb, Jessica Verday, J. A. Yang, and Lara Zielin

Get it from Amazon

Get it from Barnes & Noble

If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read this eBook on your phone, computer, iPad, e-reader, etc. Just grab the Amazon Kindle app here.

If you prefer the Barnes & Noble Nook app, get it here.

My story is called CART PRINCESS. Let me know what you think of it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writer Party!!

Tip of the Day: Anyone going to YALLFest this weekend? They're going to have 26 authors on stage at once competing in storytelling games. Sounds fun!

You guys know I have four kids but you might not know that I'm a crazy overboard themed birthday party planning type of parent. I've thrown all kinds of parties for my kids in the last nine years from a Dora party where I hand-sewed purple backpacks and filled them with the items they'd need to go on an adventure (complete with The Map) through the backyard to a Strawberry Shortcake festival with carnival food, a huge tent, and all the carnival games and prizes you'd ever need to a Scooby Doo party with a mystery to solve ending with a zombie yelling that he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids. Last month I did a super girly tea party for my 7 yr old with an awesome cake. Ok, cake picture has to be added.

And this weekend is the 9 yr olds lego extravaganza party with, of course, lego building, lego board games, lego wii, lego movies, and lego goody bags.

All this party got me thinking, why doesn't anyone throw me a party? Like a WRITER PARTY?

Wouldn't that be fun?! Ok, so for my Writer Party (if you're planning on throwing me one), you have to invite only other writers and promise me that they'll moan and groan with me about all of their writerly problems. And look really sympathetic and nod a lot when I tell them mine. They'll bring me gifts like new USBs, notebooks, books I have to read, and contracts for film deals based on my novels. Oh, and did I mention that everyone HAS to come in their pajamas? Well, they do. And please none of you show offs with your matchy new looking stuff. Sloppy pony tails and no makeup and/or crusty leftover eye makeup from day before is also a must. Decorations will be blown up covers of my favorite books hung all over the walls. Food will consist of chocolate in every form known to mankind, booze, and a fountain of coffee. And for games we can hang up any old bad reviews (ahem, Kirkus) and throw darts at them or play What's the Next Trend? and develop characters like shapeshifting winged turtles with magic shells that can forsee the future. And goody bags. There HAS to be goody bags filled with more chocolate, post-it notes, colored pencils for revisions, and Starbucks gift cards.

Did I miss anything? If not, get to work and I promise to look surprised!

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where Are Her Parents? (or Make Her Behave Creatively)

Tip of the Day: Check out kidlit author Kate Messner's blog for a photo recap of the amazing Children's Book Festival held this past Saturday in Rochester, NY!

I've been reading a lot of middle-grade novels lately, and something I've noticed that I've loved in them -- especially compared to recent YA novels -- is the Parent Involvement with the main characters.

For example, in THE AVIARY, even though Clara's father is missing, her mother notices when Clara sneaks around and she calls her out on it. The author could have easily let Clara get away with her secret curtain signal to her new friend, for example, and made Clara's mother be completely oblivious. But in reality most good parents, like Clara's mother, are *not* oblivious and I appreciate the way this was portrayed. It also ups the creativity that Clara -- and the author -- need to have in order for Clara to get what she wants.

In the middle-grade novel SPRINKLES AND SECRETS, Sophie lies to her best friend at one point, but her mom quickly finds out about the lie and confronts Sophie, telling her that she needs to correct her behavior. Again, life would've been a lot easier for Sophie if she was able to keep her secrets and lies to herself, but because her mom is an attentive parent, she corrects Sophie's behavior. Sophie is forced to deal with the truth and reality because it's the right thing to do, which adds more tension and conflict in the book.

Meanwhile, I'm 1/3 of the way through a YA novel that takes place in a boarding school. The MC's parents live a few hours away and when a serial killer leaves his victims in the vacinity of the boarding school, the MC's parents are casually mentioned as asking her to temporarily move back with them. The MC refuses and her parents apparently drop it, though they are said to call her frequently.

Now don't get me wrong; I am really enjoying this book. But it seems that the potential conflict that caring parents can add to a plot is abandoned. Overall I have seen this omitted more easily in YA novels; the parents just need to be removed from the MC's life/physical location so "things can happen." When the parents are cast as good parents, though, it is less believable and it lets the MC -- and author -- more easily find "solutions" to her problems that won't be checked by an adult. I find that this "absent parents" tactic only truly works in instances where the parents haven't been made out to be "good" parents to begin with.

I love how in MG novels, attentive parents can be good for the main characters' morals and family life, but bad for their ability to sneak around and behave "badly" or in a way that a good parent would not approve of. I love that parents are obstacles for kids in MG novels that they need to work on the up-and-up to get what they want.

What are your takes on parental involvement in YA and MG fiction?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's not all sunshine and roses

Tip of the Day: can't believe it's November. Enjoy the nice weather while you can!

My trouble for the month is staying focused. I've always had a wandering mind, so it's no surprise that one of my hardest tasks as a writer is concentrating on what I'm supposed to be working on.

So far this month, I've been editing not one, but three different books. It seems like every time I get something completed, I'm called to a different book and lose focus on the task at hand.

I know it's the evil writing fairies trying to prevent me from finishing.

But they are so convincing with their promise of sunshine and roses on the other side of the fence (or I guess, book in this case).

I'm not so sure it's a bad thing, because I am making progress. Even if it is on three separate books. And progress is progress. So I'll take it.

But man, I think it's going to get to the point soon, where I'm going to have to tone out the evil fairies and plow through the bad stuff on the one book I'm supposed to be working on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Betrayal, the Perfect Plot Twist!

Tip of the Day: GalleyCat is doing their own NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day, and today they tell you how to download 6 free writing ebooks from Writer's Digest.

Let me start this post by explaining that I'm happily married. I don't have any axe to grind against love in general. I just love to punish my main characters, and when it comes to teenagers, who could deliver the deepest betrayal better than the love interest?

As I think about plotting out another book, I realize that betrayal may be my favorite plot twist. Just think of all the great betrayals in books and movies that keep us hooked. Like remember in Aliens when Sigourney Weaver realized that her employers actually expected her to bring an alien back to Earth? Oooh! Or in the Shining, when Danny's father goes psycho on him, turning from protector to killer? Ah, the betrayal of the mentor figure, whether employer or parent. That's a good plot twist.

But somehow my mind always leaps first to having the main character's boyfriend sell her out. Which kind of prevents the happy ending. Unless I've cleverly set up a love triangle, which I have to admit, I never have. Hmmm.

I've also done betrayal by the best friend, which can totally shatter a teenager's world. It's done a lot, but it's also something we can all relate to. When you're a teenager, somebody is going to betray you at some point. That first time will hurt the most.

Actually, my biggest problem is resisting the impulse to have everyone betray my main character. Like J.K. Rowling wanting to kill off Ron Weasley, I also have to resist making things so miserable that my main character can't get out of the hole she's in. And I have to admit, I don't like books where the only "bad guys" are love crazy, jealous females willing to stab each other in the back. Jealousy is one reason for betrayal, but there are so many other reasons: money, greed, revenge, love, selfishness, desperation, anger.

All I know is that around two thirds of the way through my novel, someone is going to betray my main character. The mother? The crush? The best friend? The neighbor? The kindly mentor? Colonel Mustard in the library with the lead pipe? Right now, I suspect them all.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crazy Writers

Tip of the Day: Deena mentioned yesterday that the anthology I'm a part of with 25 other wonderful Young Adult authors released this week. But did you know that you don't need a Kindle to download the book? If you have an iPad or iPhone you can download the Kindle app for free from the app store and read it on your device.

What is it about November that makes us all want to work so hard on our writing? Tons of writers I know are trying to get an entire novel written this month as Em mentioned earlier in the week. I write very fast but I've still never given this challenge a try. Instead, this month I'm revising a book and I've given myself until the end of the month to have it complete. Normally revising is my least favorite part of the process. First drafts are my fave. But this time I'm really getting into it. I find that I'm talking to myself (out loud sometimes. You can imagine the looks.) in the voice of my main character and then I race around trying to find something to write on before I forget. Or I pull over the grocery cart at the store and e-mail myself from my iPhone. The worst is when it happens when I'm driving. Then I record myself talking on my iPhone. My kids think I'm nuts half the time. I imagine they'd probably think that anyway so I really can't blame that on the revising.

Are you crazed when you're revising?

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Job is Awarding II (or Why Can't I Ever Spell Newbery Right the First Time?)

Tip of the Day: Tina has a HILARIOUS short story on a teen's first job in a grocery store in this new YA short story anthology of firsts! I bought it -- I mean, it's only $2.99. You can't lose!

In addition to the Mock Printz Club at my local high school, I am also attending the meetings for the Mock Newbery Club at the junior high. I've only read three of these so far, but have two others on hand that I can't wait to read. And the books selected by the committee of librarians and English teachers are:

(Yes, Gary Schmidt's book is on the Mock Printz AND Mock Newbery lists. It really straddles readerships, though I think it will resonate more with older teens.)

(The poems in this book are amazing! Multiply layered and brilliant.)

These two are "extras" since some of the selection committee thought MISS PEREGRINE could be too creepy for their 6th graders, and some thought EMERALD ATLAS was too commercial/not "literary" enough. But let me tell you, I can't wait to read MP!

What are your picks for the Newbery this January?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year!

Tip of the Day: when people warn you, you will get 400 trick-or-treaters. Plan for 500. That way you don't have to tell poor innocent children you've ran out of candy and pop.'s that time of year when all the crazy people gather in one location and commiserate with one another, while sipping on strong coffees and downing chocolate candies by the handful.


Black Friday?

Nope. It's NaNoWriMo Time!

I've participated in the past, but I'm not officially joining the ranks of crazy this year. But I am participating in a mini NaNoWriMo-like challenge (just like Deena!) where I'm trying to get a final revision on one of my books done.

And just like I've started every NaNoWriMo challenge in the past: after one day, I've got completely nothing done! Yay for consistency.

But my goals have been set and since goals are to me like candy was to the trick-or-treaters at my house last night, I'm confident work will progress soon. Because there's nothing getting in between me and my candy!

--Emily, Miss Semi-Crazy NaNoWriMo Girl