Monday, February 29, 2016

In Which I Make 2016 Goals

Before we get into this post, how exciting is it that it's Leap Year today?

I didn't know that women are supposed to trap men in marriage on Leap Year. I should best get going

I think this is my first Leap Year post, even though my blog is over 6 years old. Anyway, it's not actually a big deal, just kind of a little bonus.

Also, it means, that it's still February so I'm not making my goal for the year ridiculously late. Like in March or something.
No. It's February. It's fine.

So, last week I talked about my 2015 goals and how I did, so now it's time to lay out some 2016 goals. Let's get to it.

In no particular order:

1. Read 100 books. I didn't make this goal last year, but I'm going to try it again this year. We'll see how it goes.

2. Finish my MG fantasy. This means both finish the draft and fully revise it.

3. Revise my YA fantasy. Draft is done, but it needs some work, which I'm excited to get to.

4. Teach a class. It can be anywhere on anything.

5. Teach a query writing workshop. This was a goal last year, too, but things just kept coming up. So we'll see how it goes this year.

6. Put the house up for sale. We'd really like to move this year. We'll see how it goes.

And that's pretty much it!

How about you? What are some of your goals for the year?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Fun

Here we are, ape-friends. Another Friday, which means another weekend!

One day, the sun will return

And which also means, another day of laughs!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In Which I Look Over Last Year's Goals

So, like I do every year, I make goals and then when a new year comes around, I look back and see how well I did.

There's no weight or anything behind them. I'm not sad if I didn't meet a few goals, and I'm not, like, ridiculously happy if I do meet them. I just like keeping track of things. It's fun.

So here are my 2015 goals and the results:

1. Write not one, but TWO novels! *GASP*. Yes, this is a pretty big goal to reach for. BUT, I think it's doable. One, because I have to write book 2 for HarperTeen in the next few months here. And 2, because I'm going to be working on a MG fantasy for school. The kicker is whether I'll be able to actually write all of that MG fantasy, but I guess that's what we'll find out.

Failed. I mean, don't get me wrong. It was close. I wrote all of book 2 and I wrote half of the MG fantasy. But then things got in the way. Mostly the ASSASSIN'S HEART launch and all that jazz. But, I will be working on the MG fantasy now, and hope to have it done by the end of spring.

2. Read 100 books. Yes I read 140 books last year, but I also had my MFA reading list I was completing and a lot of those books were picture books and graphic novels or shorter kidlit. Now that I'm done with the reading list, will I be able to still hit 100? (I can tell you that the year has started out slowly, anyway)

Failed. I gave it a good shot, but, like with the novels above, things got in the way. I did read a fair few books, though. 71 to be specific. And that's not too shabby.

3. Buy a standing desk. You know, the kind that you can transform into standing or sitting. I've been thinking about one for awhile, and then a few months ago I was like "what am I waiting for?" I sit too much during the day, so hopefully this will help. Also I can take my current desk, which is very nice and sturdy, and give it to twin so we can throw out her computer desk (which is the old rickety desk that also used to be mine) But the standing desks are not cheap. And it's not easy to switch out furniture in our office

Met! Of course, it's not like it's really hard to, you know, buy something. But there you go. I bought it. I put it together. Moved some things around and I love it. I stand at least 2 hours a day.

4. At least partially re-do the upstairs bathroom. Our medicine cabinet has the lights for the bathroom and room for four bulbs. But it's old, and every time a bulb burns out, we're either unable to get the bulb out, get a new bulb in, or if we do, it no longer works. Of the 4 original lights that work, we are done to one. As soon as that bulb burns out, well, it's time to get a new medicine cabinet and light fixture. And if we're going to do that we might as well get a new vanity to match, etc. We should also reeeeeally do a new, updated floor, but that's a bigger commitment that involves tile and I dunno if it's something we really want to commit to at this point.

Met! This one was a huge met, too. Because we didn't just partially re-do it. We redid the whole thing. The only part that is still the same is the shower/bathtub. Everything else is new. And we tiled for the first time.

5. Try really hard to teach a query writing workshop for my MFA. This is a bit of a cheap goal because it's kind of out of my hands since I'm not in charge of scheduling. All I can do is keep expressing my interest to the powers that be and hope they put me on. (On the plus side, it seems likely it'll happen at some point, but we'll see. You never know how scheduling can go)

Failed. This really was out of my hands. I put in a request for two residencies to teach a workshop but it didn't happen. And I put in a pitch to do a workshop at a small local conference and that didn't happen either. *sad trombone* But I am going to put in another request to teach it at Alumni Weekend this summer, so we'll see how that goes.

So there you go! How was your year?

Monday, February 22, 2016

In Which I Had An ASSASSIN'S HEART Launch Party!

So a few weekends ago I had my very first launch party and it was AWESOME!

So many people came. Over 100. It was standing room only, which is a lot, but luckily enough the launch party was held at a ballroom at school, and it had the space.

Addendum Books hosted the party and sold books and they did awesome!

*photo by addendum

*photo by addendum

My mom brought a cake (which was Delicious (I actually didn't eat any at the party, but did get to eat a lot of leftover cake the next week)

*photo by addendum

We also had a mask decorating station, which went over really well.

*photo by addendum

*photo by addendum

I did a short reading, then a Q&A (and no one asked any weird questions!) and then signed books.

*photo by addendum

Line for book signing!

The whole evening is actually a bit of a blur, but it was great and I was so happy to see so many friends and family there.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Fun

It's Friday, ape-friends. And unfortunately it's still winter.

*dog sigh*

But at least we can try and warm our hearts with some funny.

Let's go!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Weird: Tsunami Ghost Passengers

It's been 5 years since the earthquake and subsequent devastating tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. Which is really shocking to think it's been that long.

And today's Wednesday Weird (brought to me by my good pal Josh) directly relates to that disaster.

Today, we're talking about taxi ghost passengers.

Ghosts passengers have long been a well-known phenomenon (not well-known in "proven" just well-known in that there are plenty of tales and first person stories of people picking up hitch-hikers, etc, who then turn out to be ghosts)

In the coastal communities of Tohoku, Japan, there have been a spat of taxi drivers reporting ghost passengers.

More than 100 drivers were interviewed by Yuka Kudo for her sociology thesis (which, holy crap, that's got to be THE COOLEST THESIS ever. And, I mean, my own thesis was on monsters, so...)

Seven of the drivers were from the city of Ishinomaki, where close to 6,000 people died as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami.

Usually I just like to summarize, but I'm going to pull some direct quotes from this article just because they're so creepy and cool.

"One of the men told Ms Kudo that a woman climbed into his taxi near Ishinomaki Station just a few months after the disaster. She asked him to go to the Minamihama district, to which the driver said there was nothing left standing there.

The driver recounted that the woman asked, "Have I died?" and, when he turned to look, his taxi was empty."

Which, I mean, holy cow what an awesome story. Other drivers reported picking up passengers, many of them young people, and driving them to their requested destinations only to find their cars were empty. The drivers seemed to truly believe that they had picked up genuine fares because they had started their meters.
Some of the drivers logged their passengers in their reports and others didn't.
And, on top of the ghost taxi passengers, there have been other claims of ghost sightings in Tohoku, including "spectral figures" lining up outside of shops that no longer exist.
None of the taxi drivers said they felt any fear, but instead took their passenger visits as a sort of gift. Which, man, I don't know if I'd be able to do that.

So there you go!
Thoughts? Theories?

Monday, February 15, 2016

In Which There Is So Much #LoveInBooks

Hello, you awesome readers, you!

My Valentine special #LoveInBooks, featuring six other YA authors, has ended and a winner has been drawn for the giveaway. Thanks all who entered! I hope you enjoyed the series.

In case you missed them, here are the photos for ASSASSIN'S HEART:

And here are the favorites from participating authors (alphabetically, by book). [AUTHORS: REMOVE YOUR TITLE] Enjoy!

ARROWS by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Follow Melissa on Twitter


Follow Isabel on Twitter

CURIO by Evangeline Denmark

Follow Evangeline on Twitter


Follow Rebecca on Twitter

SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan

Follow Kathy on Twitter

THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp

Follow Marieke on Twitter

So there you go!

What about you? Do you like your books with some romance?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Fun


Here we are, the first Friday of February! Yay alliteration!

only a few more months of winter

Before we get into the fun, though, my hooman mom wants me to say that today is the last stop on her blog tour for ASSASSIN'S HEART and there's a review up at Fiction Fare.

Onto the fun!

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