My parents went out of town, and that left my daughter guardian-less for a week, which means I had an excuse to put everything else aside and spend several days with the little girl I hardly ever see anymore. For those who don’t know, my daughter chose to go to a performing arts high school so she could get the training she wanted for acting. Letting her go was the hardest thing I ever did, but watching her grow and BECOME, I cannot regret the decision. She’s the sophomore class president, she’s kicking butt in grades, and developing her talents where she is. If I’d made her stay home, she would never have been able to realize her potential.
Sometimes the best growth comes from breaking away from the things that make us most comfortable.
We went to the store yesterday after school and got matching jammie bottoms. And when we both put them on last night, I couldn’t help but feel grateful. She *wanted* to get matching Jammies. I know, it’s lame that such a small thing gets me teary, but it does.
And getting away meant I had a little time to read. I’ll be posting more reviews over the next few weeks. There are some darn good books out there. Today is just a good day and though I miss the rest of my family (Mr. Wright in particular) I am seriously so grateful for today. Thursday I am presenting at UVU’s Book Academy, and I hope that if any of you are going to be there that you’ll come by and say hi. Friday, Kevin Wasden and I are meeting our editor, Kirk Shaw, to go over the design details and illustrations for The Hazzardous Universe which is coming out in February. Since Cross my Heart releases on October first, I’m sorta kinda hoping they’ll have copies of my book at the publishers and I can peek at them when I meet Kirk. Maybe I can even take one home. Oh please . . . oh please . . .
Today is just great so I decided to do a top ten list of things that make me happy TODAY
- matching Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms
- finished manuscripts
- broccoli and cheese soup for lunch
- Jane Austen
- J. Scott Savage
- Talking with Mr Wright on the phone
- Orance cream popsicles
- Janette Rallison
- Cream cheese chicken rolls
- other people’s fun blogs
As I look over the list, I realized it’s all about family, food, and reading/writing. That pretty much sums me up. Have a great day everyone!
So I went to League of Utah Writers this last weekend as part of the Precision Editing Group Posse. We taught the self editing workshops on Friday. Sometimes I am just in awe of the aligning planets that allowed me to be part of this group of women who are all so smart and amazing.
Made some new friends, got to know more about old friends, and had a great time in general hanging out with writer people. I taught the class on emotions and dialogue–my two best subjects as far as writing goes and wish I could have shown the montage from the Disney show “Up.” There is very little I could teach on emotion that could not be gleaned in that four minutes. It ran the full spectrum of joy, wonder, excitement, anticipation, loss, regret, pain, determination, fear, and acceptance. It was truly one of the most enlightening four minutes I have spent with cinema in a long time.
I met the new up and coming author Tyler Whitesides. He’s got an adventure series for middle grade coming out with Shadow Mountain in June called the Janitors. Sounds hilarious. And also I was able to get to know Elana Johnson better. Her debut book, Possession, will be out soon and we should all be eagerly awaiting that release. James Dashner-the-dashing is launching the release of The Scorch Trials at the King’s English on October 12th. You definitely don’t want to miss that.
At the conference, I met John Gilstrap, who is genuinely funny. He shared his worst review with Heather Moore and me and I am still laughing over it. It was something to the effect of: “The glue boogers in the binding were more captivating than Gilstrap’s torpid prose.” You can read what he has to say about thick skin and the business of writing here.
Writing isn’t always twenty shades of awesome. Sometimes it’s tough–the point is to make sure your hide is equal to the task. A thin-skinned author won’t last long.
Because it’s pie and it’s a book, and Josi Kilpack is awesome.
Now that I’m done writing a book (and putting off editing that book) I am in read-and-review other books mode. It won’t be long before I have to get back to the grind, so go ahead and be shocked that I’m posting more than once a month and know that the once a month schedule could pop up again at any moment.
The only thing more awesome than me loving a book, is one of my kids loving a book. I’ve read Key Lime Pie twice now (once before and once after publication) My daughter decided she liked mystery books about a year and a half ago. She finished Key Lime Pie about a week ago. Now I want it stated for the record that it totally ticks me off that my daughter reads and loves the books my friends write, but would rather drink anti-freeze than read one of my books. Kids . . . pssshhhh!
Because my daughter is going to school in a different city, we spend a LOT of time on the phone (because even if she won’t read my books, she still likes to chat with me on the phone). Some of our conversations went like this:
Rae: I am so dang mad at Josi. She’s making everything go wrong in this book! Why didn’t you stop her before it got published?
Me: Just keep reading, honey. You’ll like the ending.
Rae: No, I won’t! Everyone I like is either a bad guy or written off at this point.
Me (smiling): I promise. Just keep reading.
Rae: Well of course I’m going to keep reading. I have to know what happens.
The conversation after she finished the book went like this:
Rae: Well I’m done! (you can hear in her voice, she is grinning)
Rae: It was awesome! Tell Josi I forgive her for driving me crazy. It ended exactly like it should have.
And so it did. Josi has done it once again, and it makes me happy to see my daughter get so emotionally invested in the story. Sadie Hoffmiller and her insatiable curiosity lands her in the middle of another mystery, one that means life or death, and hunger or starvation. Sadie finds herself in Florida–trying to help a friend, but also trying to discover what really happened to his daughter. What she finds is a web of lies, cover-ups, and of course–food.
The plot is great, the setting delicious, and the characters are as fun as ever as Josi ramps up the series with a romantic twist I never saw coming.
I loved it!
Real or not real? This book was awesome.
I finally had the chance to read this. It was my reward for finishing my latest work in progress, and was a well chosen reward. Finished this at 3:30 am. It was a satisfying read all the way around. The conclusion worked for me and no everything wasn’t perfect, but it was *right*
My quibbles were with the whole capital infiltration. It was all for naught because Katniss arrived at the same time as the rebels. She could’ve just gone with them and saved that loss of life. If the failure had been for some greater learning or revelation, it wouldn’t have bothered me, but it seemed to be just a waste of time for everyone.
I’ll be honest; when Katniss voted to do another round of hunger games for the capital’s children, I hated her. I hated her with every ounce of my being. You have to forgive me for not seeing through the subterfuge. It was 3 in the morning and I was tired! When the arrow knocked a new hole in Coin, I figured it out and got over it. When Coin said she’d flip Katniss for the chance to kill Snow, it very much felt like the hunger games vote was the coin toss. If Katniss hadn’t sided with Coin (no pun intended) on that one, she might not have been given the chance to be aiming arrows and keeping the entire mess from hitting repeat.
I loved the ending. The ultimate ending. It had to be Peeta. Always. Gale was the hot headed guy who wanted revolution and war. Katniss just wanted to live her life with the people she loved.
When I heard there was a team Gale, I laughed. Seriously people? Team Gale? Peeta is the boy with bread. He is the life she wants. Enough said. I loved that Peeta had a reawakening on his feelings for Katniss. He finally saw Katniss for who she was and then wanted her still in the end. Once she’d been kicked off the pedestal–he was around to pick her back up, brush her off, and say, “I still choose you, even though you suck, and make me furious, and are sometimes incredibly selfish. I still want you, because of the million things you do that don’t suck, that aren’t selfish, that don’t make me furious.”
That’s true love, baby–realizing its imperfections and wanting it anyway.
So for me the book was great. It was good to climb into bed at that hour and put my cold toes on my husband’s warm feet and be grateful for the things in my life–to be grateful for my own version of Peeta lying next to me–the man who knows all my demons, and sees all the flaws, yet says, “I still choose you.”
All in all I was/am satisfied with the book. Though I know it is wrong to covet the talents of other authors. I am insane with jealousy over the beautiful prose of this book. Maybe when I’m all grown up, I too can write like THAT.
Five stars. Thank you Suzanne Collins.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been a flake.
Lee Modesitt commented to me that I was one of the least consistent bloggers on the planet. And he’s likely accurate on that assessment. But my excuses are good. I could be either writing on my blog, or writing on my new book.
I chose the book.
See? It is a good excuse. And I just finished it! The book I’d meant to make 60,000 words finally came to its conclusion at 96,000 words. I really need to work on my brevity. I’ll let it sit for a week or so while I reward myself and read all the books I’ve been missing in the last four months. Then I’ll go into revision mode and see what I can pare down to get it to a more manageable word count.
The book is currently called Lucidity. It was once called Dream Writers, and will likely be called something else by the time it sees publication. It’s a YA paranormal horror. I know . . . I know . . . I’ve already said I don’t write scary stories. I didn’t actually realize that this was a scary story until one night when Mr. Wright left town. I went to bed but couldn’t get to sleep because I was terrified by the things I’d written during the day and worried they might revisit me in my dreams. It was at that moment of going to sleep with the lights on that I realized what I’d done. I’d written a scary story. If the book were to be made into a movie, it would be shelved with the horror films. The book is twenty shades of awesome.
I was reading in Scientific American last night and found an article that just might revolutionize the writing industry. Apparently, an inch behind your forehead lies the place in your brain that deals with physical pain.
And apparently, lumped into that same space is where we deal with mental or emotional pain as well. You hit your thumb with a hammer or get rejected by your one true love, the hurt registers to your brain in the same place and in the same manner. So they did a test study where half the participants were given placebos, and the others were given two Tylenol. Then they put them in situations where they could measure the stress and strain of rejection and failure.
Overwhelmingly, the people with the Tylenol felt better than the people with the placebo.
How does this revolutionize the writing industry? Maybe those rejection letters won’t hurt as much if we take a couple of Tylenol and wait a half hour before we open them? If it doesn’t hurt as much, maybe we’ll submit more. If we submit more, we’ll get more feedback, become better writers, and ultimately sell books.
Right now my agent sent my manuscript, Death Thieves, to the publisher of my dreams. It’s with a few other publishing houses as well, and all of them are reputable, but one of them is the one I’ve wanted from the inception of writing for the national market. You can bet I’ll be taking a couple of Tylenol before opening any emails from my agent.
Just in case.