2011: The Year of Twitter.


(click for your end-of-year-adorableness)


2011 was a pretty awesome year for me, but the best part of it was the writing community.

(Including, and especially you, my dear readers. You are the best.)

A quick recap:

An Agent!
Waiting! Rewriting!
A Book Deal!
More Waiting!
Moving!
Editing!
Giveaways!
More Editing!
ALL THE EDITING!


I've decided to try and define my years. Looking back, 2010 was the Year of Blogging. I grew braver with my posts, tried new things and started wrote many of the series posts I count among my favorite parts of the blog.

Oddly enough, outside of this blog, most of my best moments in 2011 were somehow connected to Twitter. 

Twitter was where I first met my agent. It was where I announced my book deal. It was where I got to know most of the people I have giggled with and commiserated with and downright wailed to over the last six to eight months.  (Edits! Insecurity gremlins! Waiting! Aaaahh!)

In short, it's been you guys, my writing community and the people I've met online that were the best parts about this year. Thank you. Thank you for that.

Here's to a great 2012!

I'm still alive!

Just buried in edits and work. I promise, I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy yet another cute video. Slow motion labrador puppies!

*squee*

Those ear flops are redonkulous.

An interview and a hedgehog.

The lovely Mindy McGinnis is interviewing me on her blog today! Go see what kind of planner I am and the best writing advice I ever got.

Interview here.

Also if the holidays are getting you down, I highly recommend adding hedgehogs.

Amazing things I found this week.

This is incredible. Holy crap.



Found at Running after My Hat.


My sister sent me this link to "Most Interesting Libraries of the World."  This one was my favorite.




This song comes up on my Pandora "Writing" station a lot. Whenever it does, I stop and take a deep breath. It's a sad song, but kind of cathartic. Especially when you're editing. *grin*



How about you? Have you found any amazing things lately?

Winner of AMPLIFIED!

Thanks for all your contest support and patience while I edit, folks! You are awesome.

Have a penguin.



And the winner of Amplified by Tara Kelly is....





Sara!


Congratulations Sara! If you email me your address, I'll ship the book to you.

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Late night thoughts on edits. (And eagles.)

So after a brief and panic-inducing stop in Kentucky, my line edits finally made it yesterday.

I have mixed feelings about this.

Once again I hold a surprisingly heavy manuscript in my hands, covered with strange symbols, encouraging notes and lots of questions and refinements. My book is growing up, becoming its own story, as far from the first draft as a baby bird is from a grown eagle.

found at zooborns.com

I'm proud of it, and a little nervous. I imagine it's akin to what a parents might feel, knowing they only have a little while until their kids move beyond their influence and becomes whatever it is that they are going to become. For me that window is shrinking rapidly. I only have until the end of the month to make this book the best it can possibly be. After that, it will go into copyedits and the time for big changes will be over.

I would be lying if I said this doesn't scare me. What if I don't fix everything just right? Or what if I fix it too much? The possibilities for messing up seem endless.

And then I read it again. And despite everything, all the changes and reworking and reimagining, I still see the story I sat down to write four years ago. A story about love and expectations and forgiveness and freedom and how human beings snarl them all together like a tangled kite string. A story about what happens when there are no good choices, when you pick the best path you can see and it still turns out to be wrong. The heart of the story is still there, still beating.

And it still needs me, at least for a little while longer.

So tomorrow I'll roll up my sleeves and get back to work. Because no matter what, the story remains, struggling and growing and becoming a book that will someday go out into the world and fly on its own.

It's my task and my privilege to help it soar.

found at wikipedia.com

Win a copy of BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY by Jaclyn Dolamore!

I'd enter to win this one just for the cover.


But the cover's not all that's awesome about this book. Here's the Goodreads blurb:

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alander band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

Mermaids! Winged People! True Love! Why would you not enter?

And it's easy to do. Just follow my blog and leave a comment. You can get an extra entries by tweeting, facebooking, blogging, etc. Just leave a link in the comment section! International entries are welcome. The contest ends midnight, Monday the 19th.

So which would you choose? To swim or to fly? Would you be a mermaid or a winged human?

Also, there's still time to win the awesomesauce that is AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly. Go forth and enter!

Do you know how publishing works? Do you want to?

Then this is the website for you:

The Life Cycle of a Book.

This awesome page contains eleven videos, explaining the different stages of publishing.

Writer
Agent
Editorial
Production
Design
Marketing
Publicity
Sales
Book Buyer
Distribution
Author Publicity

If you've ever wondered just how books are written, made or promoted, check this out.

The Book Buyer video is my favorite one, because I love my independent bookstore friends. And because it has all kinds of pretty bookshelves. *grin*



Isn't that great?

Also, there's still time to win AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly. Go forth and enter!

Holy crap it's Wednesday...

And I kind of forgot it was Wednesday, and then I had edits and bookgroup, and Husband and I were trying to put a cat tree together for Kona because apparently he thinks walls are for CLIMBING, and then we were so busy fighting with the cat tree and arguing over how to set it up (because married people must fight when they assemble furniture, it's in the marriage vows) that we didn't realize the sink was running and backing up, and then it overflowed all over the floor and dripped down into our neighbor's water-heater closet and so we had to use every towel we own to mop up the mess and we just finished cleaning it up.


So you don't get a blog post today. Instead you get a puppy, which I shamelessly stole from Victoria Schwab's blog.





How was YOUR Wednesday?

Win a copy of AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly!

Do you like music? Do you like books? Do you like contemporary YA with fabulous voice and a sassy heroine who just wants to rock?

Then you will love this book.



Description from Goodreads:

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . 
In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets amplified.

This is a great smile-inducing read, and today I am giving away a copy! As always, entering is simple.

1. Follow my blog

and...

2. Leave a comment

You also get an extra entry every time you tweet, facebook, blog or wave a sign about the contest. Just leave a link in the comment section! International entries are welcome.

Contest ends midnight, Monday the 12th.

Winners, winners everywhere! (and more edits)

So I got my second round edits this week! It's a little intimidating because these are on a shorter deadline than the first batch, but it's also mostly line edits, so I won't have to tear the book apart this time.

Hopefully. *crosses fingers*

Anyway, being on deadline for the next month means I'll be scarce around the interwebs. You all are just too distracting and awesome. *grin*

Blog-wise, I'll mostly be running contests until January. I picked up a bunch of books by my agent-mates last time I was in Boise, so I have some really great ones to give away. I also might be putting up more cute animal pictures than usual.


Speaking of contests, it's time to announce the winners of the National Book Award Contest!

The grand prize winner, who gets all six National Book Award nominees is...

*drumroll*


jmartinlibrary!




First runner up, and winner of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie  (he picked it out yesterday) is.....

Nic 

And the second runner up, who wins What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell is....



But wait, we're not done! I also drew the winner of the Steampunk and Airships Contest. And the winner of the Airborn books is...




Congratulations winners! If you will all email me your addresses, I'll mail you your prizes. And thanks for playing everyone!

See you Monday!
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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.