Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Ramblings...

Once I get my lazy bum motivated, I am headed to the courthouse. I got a ticket last week for going too fast. *sad aggravated-at-myself face* I was headed to work, and the kicker? I wasn't even running late! I just like going fast... *makes reformed fast driver face* This is my first ticket in thirty years. Not too bad, I guess. 

I just finished re-reading The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage. Seriously, guys, if you are fans of middle grade, READ THESE BOOKS!! The first in the series is Three Times Lucky. They feature adorable characters and are set in the South, one of my favorite settings. They are totally fabulous. them.

{This one comes out in October-- can't wait!}

There are so many gorgeous trees blooming in our area right now. I have decided that one day when I get my dream house (you know, the one you dream about after fantasizing about landing a six-figure mega-deal...), that I will only plant trees that bloom in the spring. We currently have maples, which I despise. De-spize. Those stupid whirly heli-copter gigs go everywhere. They clog up our gutters and sprout wherever they can get their devious sprouty roots to sink in.   

I just ran across this video by Jennifer Ellision. Short, sweet, and fun! Jennifer is the author of the YA fantasy, Threats of Sky and Sea. Also, keep watching past when her website shows up at the end of the video... =)  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Come Visit Me Over Yonder?

I did a post today on Across the Board (the group blog I belong to) that is my favorite kind of blog post. I got to be creative and then take pics of it. Short and sweet, it features book covers and clothes, and can be found here. Happy Monday all!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Five

I have not done one of these in awhile, so here we go!

1. I have resolved to start walking 2-3 times a week. I need to get active someway, and walking seems like a great way to start. Plus, I can take the kidlet along, so there you go. 

(This is the library. I personally really dislike that sculpture...)

2. I got a library card! Yes, I do have a library card to my hometown library, but this library card is for the neighboring library one town over. Which has a conference room that I'd like to reserve for a SCBWI critique group meeting that I'm tentatively planning on trying to host. #wishmeluck #i'venevertriedtodosomethinglikethisbefore (umm...are hashtags that long even allowed IRL?)

3. I hate endings. I'm rewriting the ending to my YA dystopian, and it is kicking my butt. I think I finally figured out the twist needed to get myself going on it, once and for all. But I've been avoiding and wrestling it so long, that I've gotten in the habit of avoiding and wrestling it. Does that even make sense?

4. I got a rejection on a short story that's been a bit of a bummer. It's one of those where you really felt like it would've been a great fit. Plus, I really liked this short story-- there were several references to Benjamin Franklin, and I am a fan of that man. But I enjoyed writing it and it came pretty easily to me, so that's a win right there. #lookonthebrightside

5. And lastly, I'm almost done  reading FIREFIGHT by Brandon Sanderson. It's the second book in his The Reckoners series (the first being STEELHEART) and WHOA! Are these books good!! They feature superheroes called Epics, except they're not good superheroes. Receiving powers has made bad. Like kill you without a morsel of regret bad. Read them, you won't be disappointed. 

So that's it for me! What have you all got going on this Friday? 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blogging Struggles

I have blogged for almost two years. And I'm going through a bit of a slump. Content-wise, or the urge to post, I'm doing okay with. I still post at least once a week and I still enjoy putting posts together. It's the following that I've been struggling with. 

Can I confess something to you all?

I've been avoiding my Blogger feed. It gives me anxiety. I start to scroll through it and see all the posts I should be commenting on, and my mind starts thinking on how long that's gonna take, and I hit the exit button and run the other way. I feel terrible! 

Blogging and blog following is about building relationships with people. And I feel horrible when I know I'm missing posts from ppl that I've followed regularly for awhile. I could be missing important stuff and that's not cool.  It's also not cool to expect people to come visit me when I'm slowly growing more sporadic at visiting back. (geez, I feel like a shmuck even admitting that) 

I could list all the excuses: Time, gone, poof, evaporated like cotton candy in a warm mouth. Full-time job. One kidlet. A house that does not clean itself. Limited time in which to write at night.

Except many of you all have that too, and more, and yet here you are, still faithfully interacting online. All I can say is I'm sorry. I'm going to try and get better! I've thought about taking a break, but I don't feel like I'm quite there yet, so I'm gonna struggle on. If you're one of those who haven't seen me hanging out at your place quite as often as usual, my sincere apologies. 

Though I will say if your blog has a follow by email feature, plz let me know in the comments! I find it much easier (and less anxiety inducing) to click on a link in an email to read a post. And seeing it in my inbox reminds me that I need to go visit. You will totally be doing me a favor by letting me know. 

Okay, so here's to everyone having a fantastic Friday tomorrow, and then an even more fantastic weekend!    

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Author Stop: Vijaya Bodach

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I'm super happy to welcome the super sweet Vijaya Bodach to the blog today! Doesn't this cover just make you smile?

1. You write children's non-fiction, picture books, and fiction for young adults(and perhaps mg as well?). Do you identify more with one than the other, or do you consider yourself a jack of all trades?

I wish I were a jack. That’s the ultimate goal, to be good enough to tackle anything I set my heart to, and in a way, each project teaches me something about writing. But I am most comfortable with nonfiction – it comes easily to me. The story is already there; it seems just a matter of deciding what to shine the light on, what to focus on, what elements to bring together. Fiction is a whole new can of worms, but it’s where I am trying to chew on a problem and trying to make sense of something, usually something about human nature. But what an incredible journey it is – because it is about self-discovery as well.

2. While writing Ten Easter Eggs, did you observe bunnies for research (or eggs...?)?

Not bunnies. But I have observed many fertilized eggs hatch and I used to have a pet chicken, so I drew upon my memories and of course, books and the Internet.

3. What is a fav Easter treat you like to find in your basket?

Books and chocolate – preferably Belgian. Living in Belgium spoiled me forever.

4. Do you have any advice for aspiring picture book writers?

Of course! Read lots of them to children. Only the best. Then, type up in manuscript format to see what they look like, how they flow. You’ll be quite surprised what’s actually in the text, how spare and poetic they can be.

5. What is a fav line(s) from Ten Easter Eggs?

Two chicks open downy wings.
It brings back such sweet memories of holding my chick. I was its mother.

Thanks for having me Leandra! Wishing you and all your readers a very happy Easter!!!

* * * 

Great advice, Vijaya! And I like your Easter basket pics. Speaking of treats, everyone who comments will be entered into the giveaway for a $5 Amazon gift card. Please just remember to follow Vijaya at one or more of her social media sites.{Winner will be announced via comments on 4/8} 

Vijaya Bodach is the author of many books for both children and adults. She lives in South Carolina with her family.

Amazon | B&N

Watch each Easter egg hatch as you count down from 10!

Ten eggs.
All is quiet. Not a peep.

Nine eggs.
One chick hatches. "Cheep, cheep, cheep."

In this sweet story, clever die-cuts, touchable plastic pieces, and fuzzy flocking all come together in a rhyming adventure all about Easter traditions. Follow and count along as ten quiet Easter eggs become ten colorful chicks ready to celebrate the holiday! A fun, engaging novelty story just right for the littlest of readers.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Goin' Huntin'...(aka 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt)

Some of you might be like me when it comes to YASH-- you've heard a lot about it, but really have no clue what it was. I visited the official site last night and read over how it works. And now I understand! There are teams made up of authors. You read their blog posts, find the numbers in them, add them up, and submit the grand sum to a Rafflecopter for the chance to win oodles of books! That's the short version-- for the longer (and more comprehensible) version, visit this How to Hunt post on the YA Scavenger Hunt website. 

Because my buddy and CP, Kimberly G. Giarratano, is participating this year, I am unabashedly Team Purple! (though I see lots of great books on other teams by ppl I know-- so go Team Everyone!) To view her YASH post, go here. And is anyone else thinking YASH is fun to say...? (But I freely admit to being a dork, so maybe it's just me.) 

For those of you who will be on the hunt this year, good luck! May you win oodles of books!