Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five by Five

I just finished my fifth novel and sent it off to my editor and agent. It's always a strange, freeing moment. Not that it's done. The way I work (I'm guessing it's not the same for all authors) is this: I write a book, with a pen (or two or three. They always run out), into lots of notebooks. I generally write the first chunk of chapters and let it simmer a bit. Then I read those chapters and continue writing until I finish the book. I type up what I have written, making small changes along the way. When that's finished, I print it up and reread it with a pretty-colored pen (I like pink because it shows up well against the black ink). I make changes to words and typos, and add or change things as necessary. Then I type in those changes, and that's when I send it away. So after today, whenever my editor or agent read the book, it will be the first time someone else's eyes see it.

That's the scary part.

How much will they want me to change? What will they like? Will they think it's funny? IS it funny? This last book was sort of a doozy of un-funniness for me. So will fans of my previous books like it? Do I have fans, or just random people who read my books? Being an author is so weird. The only time it really makes sense is when I'm visiting a school or at a conference and there are actual teenagers for me to talk to. I wish that was a more frequent occurrence. I find it harder to get into local high schools, since most don't seem to have author visits. Middle schools are great for author visits, but my books have too many swears. And this new one has sex. I can't help it. It's what comes out when I write. So the big question is: now that this book is finished, or almost finished, what comes next??? Besides, you know, watching Magic Mike and eating felafel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I think the name of this post was supposed to sound like "Xanadu," although I don't know why. Admittedly, I was never into that movie even though I was raised to be. Not that my parents were forcing me to watch it, but I was a kid during that time when the first Grease was HUGE (like, in first grade, my friends and I lipsynched to Grease songs in front of our class. We had the coolest teacher EVER. She also had a table with records that we could listen to if we finished our work early. My two favorites? "Call Me" by Blondie and this song about Triceratops). To tell you the truth, I don't think I've ever actually seen the entirety of Xanadu. Don't hate me. I know some people are super territorial about that movie.

Anywho, I'll try to blog a little more now that I am ALMOST DONE WITH MY NEW BOOK. Today, I think I'm going to finish reading it over for my final revision before I type in the changes and send it off to my editor. I will make certain I finish. But what next? My first advneture will be opening my Honda Civic's trunk and taking inventory of all of the presents we bought for Romy over the last few months. Which will be for Hanukkah? Which night? Which for Chirstmas? Which will go under the tree or in the stocking? And how much more can I buy! I did go out on Black Friday, but it was after everyone in the house was up. I only went to two stores and bought five things. Only one of the things was something I hadn't thought of buying, but it was awesome. I can't say what it is, just in case Romy has learned how to read and follows my blog. I can't wait to wrap everything. I love wrapping paper. But that's all I use. No bows. My cat would eat them.

Speaking of blogs, my glorious husband, author/illustrator/dead-mouse-disposer, Matthew Cordell, is offering up something amazing at his blog if you buy copies of his new book, hello! hello! We're talking original art and stuff, but only until Saturday. Make sure you head over there and check out his hottt dealzzz. I would also like to offer a hottt dealz, but I don't draw purty pictures. However, I am thinking of offering a signed book plate deal if you send me a copy of a Have a Nice Day receipt. Would anyone be interested? Even if I haven't seen all of Xanadu?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No Time

The title of this post is a little nod to The Monkees, who I'll be seeing this Friday night for the first time with Mike Nesmith. Tears will be shed, for sure. Tonight I'm going to see Damien Echols speak, also certain to be a profound experience. And the rest of my time? I'm busting my butt trying to finish a novel by a deadline. I have never actually worked with a deadline like this. In the past, I tended to write with my own schedule and always make it in plenty of time. This book has had a lot of setbacks. Not writing setbacks, but life setbacks that have majorly gotten in the way of writing. Because of that, I am rushing to type up my handwritten pages, then print and revise those pages before December 1. And then somehow do my big editorial revision in the month of December. All of this would be no sweat [I have never used that phrase but feel the need to bring it back], but I have a KID. And that is my REAL JOB. This kid, who just turned four, does not like to play by herself. She needs food and toys and rides and someone to wake up with her and put her to bed and read to her. She is wonderful, but she and Author Mom have a very hard time coexisting. I get a maximum of two hours a day to work on my books. Most days less. This is not enough time with a deadline, but that's what I've got. I'm not bitching, just sort of tellin' how it is. Why I haven't blogged much. Why I get to watch an hour of TV a day that isn't Curious George. Why I'm just a little grumpier than usual (some who know me might change a little to A LOT). I hope it's worth it. I hope it's a good book.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Time for a winner!

I'm so happy to have more entries into my Have a Nice Day Contest. Nothing lamer than a contest no one enters (and if you'd still like to take a picture of HAND in the wild and send it to me, I would totally dig that!). The winner is... Mindi! I'll send you an email to get your address. And for all of you who didn't win? Some hideous Sunday clothing ads as a consolation prize:

Would you look at the size of the crotch on these things? Why stop at five pockets? There's room for at least fifteen. Thank goodness the waist is 360 degrees stretchy.

Lush, plush AND velvety soft? Sign me up for some SLACKS.
I have no idea why this ad was funny. Maybe I cut it out because I secretly wanted to buy the coat. It is a Wonder Coat, after all.

This woman's nails combined with that glove = terrifying.

First off: is the brand called Weatherman, or are these "weatherman-style shirts?" Of course, I would prefer the latter. My favorite points: "Soft and fleecy inside" and "chest pocket with eyeglasses loop."   

I had this very funny duo of ads, where the first ad was a woman in an outfit and the second ad was the same woman in just a bra. I don't know where those pictures went. Maybe the cat took them.