Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lovin' the em dash--I just can't stop using it

My name is Kristi and I have an addiction. Technically, I have several if you count chocolate and coffee, but in terms of writer-ly things, I have a small problem with em dashes. One of my critique partners called me out on the em dash addiction, and I went through my manuscript and removed a TON of those puppies. The problem is--they're so much fun. All you have to do is type two hyphens into Microsoft Word and the em dash appears--it's like magic. (Unlike Blogger, which is apparently not magic and won't let me transfer the formatted em dashes into this text)

Here's when it IS acceptable to use the em dash:

1) To indicate an abrupt change in thought. This can also include a parenthetical statement that needs to be set apart. The em dash is used here when you need more 'oomph' than a regular ole comma.
(e.g. One of the best ways to determine which em dashes to remove is--did somebody say chocolate?)
2) To indicate that a sentence is unfinished because the speaker has been interrupted.
(e.g. "If you think I'm just going to stand here, while you point that Taser at me--")

That's pretty much it. Me? My motto has been "Why use a comma when you can have the excitement of an em dash instead?" I haven't deleted all of them, but there was a serious em dash massacre in my house last week.

What about you? Anyone else have em dash love? Any other writing-related addictions you'd care to admit?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Contest Monday

Some contests that are made of awesome:

Win a 20-page partial critique from uber-agent Suzie Townsend (among other cool prizes) over at Emilia Plater's blog. Find the deets there and contest ends Sept. 9th.

ARC giveaway over at Ellz Readz. Win Firelight, Torment, and/or Sleepless. Contest ends Sept. 5th.

Don't forget to enter your Halloween-inspired short story in Matt Cunningham's contest over at Literary Asylum.This one ends Oct. 15th.

Got a half-finished ms that you need to finish? Love the idea of NaNoWriMo but 50,000 is too many words or November is a bad month for you? Want to win TONS of awesome prizes? Then check out the Complete Your Draft 2010 contest! Write 25,000 words on your ms in the month of September and win prizes! Check out the link for all the info! Ends September 30th but sign up before September starts!

Also, in non-creepy contest news, Nicole Zoltack is celebrating reaching 100 Followers with a contest. The winner gets a 3-chapter critique! Enter by Sept. 15th.

Carolina Valdez Miller is having a huge ARC giveaway at her blog Carol's Prints. Win ARCs of Paranormalcy, Beautiful Darkness, Jane and more! Ends Sept. 6th.

Enter to win lots of great ARCs in Sara McClung's Saradise ARC Extravaganza! Nightshade, Beautiful Darkness are just some of the ARCs up for grabs! Ends Sept. 8th.

Feel free to add other contests in the comments and Happy Monday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Book Recommendation! And Stuff.


I won't be blogging much, or probably at all, until after Labor Day, so along with the Friday book recommendation, I wanted to give you all a head's up and let you know that on Tuesday August 31st at 6:30pm EST, I will be chatting with Barry Eva on his Blog Talk Radio show, A Book and Chat (Or Across the Pond).

I'll be speaking with Barry via telephone, but there is also a live chat program where you can chat among other listeners, or ask a question. I won't be on my computer, unfortunately, (I might die from this) but I'm sure Barry will relay any questions to me. If you don't have access to the internet for whatever reason, but you still want to listen, just call (347) 237-5398 at 6:30pm EST. There is an option to speak, or just to sit and listen where nobody will hear you.

I should warn you, I do not have a voice that was made for radio and I am super nervous. I don't even like speaking on the phone. Sad to say, the internet has become my major social outlet. *sigh* But Barry is British, so he's fun to listen to and a great host! :-)

Assuming someone actually listens and I'm not talking to the e-crickets. Which might not be a bad thing.

Happy Weekend!

This week I am recommending (drum roll) MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins!

If you haven't yet read THE HUNGER GAMES, you really should.
I don't review books, I just recommend the ones I enjoyed. So I promise you I am spoiler free over here.

Katniss has survived the Games designed by the Capitol to keep the citizens of Panem under their control, twice. In MOCKINGJAY it's a whole new game, and even President Snow is a player.

From Amazon:

Product Description

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439023513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439023511

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mockingjay Midnight Madness!

**I'm going to post my short recap of the MOCKINGJAY release party from Monday Aug 23rd in NYC, as my post today**

As most of you know, MOCKINGJAY, the third and final installment of the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins released at midnight [Monday] night!!!! Books of Wonder, an independent bookstore in NYC that you absolutely have to stop at if you've ever out this way, hosted the official release party with Suzanne Collins!

Books of Wonder has been taking preorders for MOCKINGJAY for weeks. The bookstore closed its doors at 7pm, like always, and reopened at 8pm for the party. The line formed out on the street starting at 3 o'clock in the afternoon!!! Suzie Townsend, of Fine Print Literary, and company were at the start of the line.

Those girls are carrying bow and arrows!
Sorry some of these are dark. That's the line all the way down the street.

The bookstore workers were very organized. They had us form two lines--preorders and those who needed to purchase books. I was cursing myself for having not preordered, until I got inside and saw the preorder line wrapping around the building. I stepped up to the counter in the empty buy-your-book-now line, and got ticket #103, meaning I would be person #103 (and I got there about 45 minutes before they reopened!) to get my book stamped by Ms Collins.

Books of Wonder hosted quite a few mega signings, they can handle this sort of event.

It was crowded, extremely, but it was amazing. They had a magician, jugglers, face painting, trivia games, raffles, and with the purchase of MOCKINGJAY plus one other book at a set price or more, they gave you this awesome mug!

And the cupcake cafe had Mockingjay cupcakes!

On to more pictures!

David Levithan was there to announce Suzanne and just be his awesome self.

This is Mitali (http://www.thealleyofbooks.com/), myself looking freakishly tall next to them, and author of KNIGHTLY ACADEMY, Robin Schneider, AKA Violet Haberdasher. (I rode the Harley out there in the rain so ignore my helmet head, please)

Beautiful girl in Katniss's wedding dress!

Elizabeth Eulberg (THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB) was there. Elizabeth, how did we not take a picture! And Elizabeth Law, publisher at Egmont USA was also in attendance. Unfortunately, she was on her way out, as I was on my way in and I didn't get the chance to speak with her again.

Suzanne Collins and Beautiful Dress Girl

Suzanne stamping my book!


It was a GREAT night! HUGE thanks to Books of Wonder, Suzanne, Scholastic, and all the entertainment! I've been to quite a lot of book signings and events and this was one of the very best, and not just because it was MOCKINGJAY! These folks worked hard to make it a successful night.

Did you attend a launch party last night? Don't forget to check Suzanne's tour dates!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Hate Spoilers

Before I forget, I'm having a ONE DAY CONTEST on my blog! Donate $5 or more to C.J. Redwine for her Skip A Starbucks and Help Bring A Child Home cause. C.J.'s family is raising funds to bring home the little girl they adopted from China.

And now on to today's post. I got nothin'. I'm patiently waiting for the UPS man to bring my copy of MOCKINGJAY from Amazon. And trying to avoid all the MOCKINGJAY reviews on the internet. Seriously people, can't you at least wait until after the weekend? I HATE spoilers!

Hmm... maybe that's what I can post about. Spoilers!

I always hate it when the blurb on the back of a book, or the cover image gives away the BIG SECRET in a book. Like for example, HUSH, HUSH:

The plot is based around the slow reveal that there's something strange about Patch. What could it be? Why is he always there to save Nora, even when it's impossible? What's up with those weird scars on his back?

I can't remember the exact page number, but it's probably at least halfway through the book before the truth comes out, and yet, thanks to the cover, I'm screaming at Nora from practically page one HE'S A FALLEN ANGEL!!! WATCH YOUR BACK!!! (Um, yeah, sorry if I spoiled that for you.) And I couldn't help but feel a little bad for Becca Fitzpatrick because all the masterful plotting and suspense she created lost some of it's edge because the biggest secret was right there on the cover. There was still plenty of tension, and lots to keep you hooked though. HUSH, HUSH is a great book that I highly recommend if you haven't read it yet.

This also happens with blurbs, like with TWILIGHT, whose blurb starts out with this quote from the book:

About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Now I don't know if the original blurb from when the book was first released in 2006 is the same, but again, it gives away a huge chunk of the mystery. TWILIGHT is over 500 pages long, and much of the opening is devoted to Why is Edward and his family so strange? It's over 100 pages before it's revealed that Edward is a vampire. 100 pages that I wanted to flip through just to get to the part where he admitted it because I already knew it was coming. Again I thought it was a shame because the buildup to that moment is done really well. I imagine that if I hadn't known, I would've found those opening pages, page-turners.

It's a trade-off I suppose. HUSH, HUSH could've gone with a more ambiguous cover. Maybe something with a mysterious cute guy with a hat pulled down low over his eyes and a sexy grin, but it wouldn't have been as eye-catching. And even though we don't learn what Patch is right off, the cover does highlight the overall subject of the story. It doesn't bother me as much as say, if the entire book had been about finding out what Patch was, and it ended with the reveal that he was an angel.

With TWILIGHT, between the totally vague and unrelated cover image and the long buildup of an even longer book, I can see why it would be important to state the hook up front, otherwise, people might not keep reading.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about covers and blurbs that give too much away? Does it ruin the story for you if you've figured out the mystery the main character is still trying to put together?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When revising crosses the line

Blogger hates me and my original post has apparently imploded. Most of you are probably reading Mockingjay today anyway (please don't tell me what happens as I won't have time to read it until next week), so I'll keep this brief. (I'm Team Gale for the record)

I decided to spend the past few weeks revising my YA ms after some awesome feedback from my crit partners, and those revisions turned into something else--a major rewrite--as in the entire last half of the book. I said I'd have it done by this Wed. and I've never missed a deadline in my life. If I'd known several weeks ago just how much sleep I'd lose and all the scenes that I'd delete and redo, I would've cried. Luckily, I didn't realize it until I was in too deep, and then I was on a mission to finish. And now--I'm done. Woo hoo! I'm doing one more final read through because I'm compulsive like that.

Have you ever started minor revisions and realized in the midst of them that you crossed the line into extensive rewrites? How did you cope? I've used a heck of a lot of chocolate ice cream and coffee this week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Contest Monday with Halloween and zombies

My favorite season is coming up along with my fave holiday (Halloween). Several contests this week involve creepy things, so feel free to add yours in the comments if we missed one.

Got a half-finished ms that you need to finish? Love the idea of NaNoWriMo but 50,000 is too many words or November is a bad month for you? Want to win TONS of awesome prizes? Then check out the Complete Your Draft 2010 contest! Write 25,000 words on your ms in the month of September and win prizes! Check out the link for all the info! Ends September 30th but sign up before September starts!

If you enjoy writing short stories (I don't, but I love reading them), then check out the short story contest by Matt Cunningham over at Literary Asylum. Deadline is Oct. 15th.

Know any good zombie jokes? Janice Hardy is giving away a copy of  her newest book, Blue Fire, from The Healing Wars trilogy to the commenter with the best zombie joke. "Two zombies walk into a bar..." Yeah, that's all I've got so far. Enter by Aug. 30th.

Also, in non-creepy contest news, Nicole Zoltack is celebrating reaching 100 Followers with a contest. The winner gets a 3-chapter critique! Enter by Sept. 15th.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday Book Recommendation!


    Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.

    She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.

    Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...

    He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. His cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She's unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie's neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.

    Janie is dying.
    She has no fight left in her.
    It's over.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416979182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416979180

I loved this series. I admit I liked WAKE and GONE a bit more than FADE, but it's definately a series I recommend reading. Each book is told in third person present tense, which is something I haven't seen in too many books and it can be a little weird at first. Lisa's writing and Janie's voice are so seamless and strong that once you get into the book, you don't even notice the tense. These books are a little bit dark, so if you're looking for gentle reading, this probably isn't the series for you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Farms, No Food

Today's post is going to be completely unrelated to writing, just so you know. Randomness will ensue.

I was watching this thing on Planet Green last night, and they were saying that in 2050 the world's population will hit 9 billion people, and there is growing concern over food shortage.

Food shortage!

I grew up around farms. Farmland as far as the eye could see. But now I'm thinking about growing populations, and the human race striving for better technology and higher wages, and blah blah blah ( I'm not the type of person who usually sits around and thinks about this) and it's no wonder food shortage is a possibility! Who wants to be a farmer anymore? Farms are usually family owned, handed down from generation to generation but with the way things are, can a farmer afford to live a comfortable life?

When I was a kid, my family bought milk in glass jugs right from the neighboring dairy farm. Now the FDA is trying to say we can't drink unpasteurized milk (even though more health risks are related to pasteurized than not).

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout-out to farmers everywhere and say thank you. Without farms, we don't have food. Farmers work from sun-up till sun down, some of them seven days a week. I raise my Elvis coffee mug to you, Mr. Farmer.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cover Love!

I'm a very visual person (hello, filmmaker!) so I find I'm really drawn to books by their covers. There are books I've bought (or in some cases pre-ordered), just because I loved the cover so much that I HAD to have it. Like these:

And books that I thought sounded pretty good, but whose cover made them seem awesome. Like these:

Upcoming Covers I'm drooling over:

I've tried to figure out just what it is that draws me to these covers but they're all pretty diverse. I'm definitely drawn to images that are outside, and not so much to faces. I also tend to like photographs more than drawings. I like images convey a mood - preferably a darker one. And images that are striking but I'm not that good at pointing out just what it is that makes them striking!

What about you? What are you drawn to in a cover? What are some of your favorites?

Be sure to check out Lacey's guest post at Adventures In Children's Publishing today!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vampires Suck

I actually love me some vampires--and one of my blog Sisters who shall remain nameless (Lacey) really, really loves them. My favorite vampire book of all time is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which is a beautifully written yet creepy tale of the original Vlad the Impaler. She also has a very cool website with uber-spooky music. Along with the rest of the nation, I also read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer and have seen the first three movies. NOTE: Is there anyone who doesn't agree that Eclipse was the best of them so far? Anyone? Anyone else who was TEAM EDWARD while reading the books, but totally converted to TEAM JACOB after seeing the movies? I swear it wasn't just because of his abs.

Then I saw the trailer for Vampires Suck and laughed my ass off. Say what you will about the Twilight series which I actually found immensely entertaining (the books, not the movies, which are entertaining for entirely different reasons), but you know you have it made when someone spends a truckload of money to produce a film that pokes fun of your original movie.

This trailer for Vampires Suck involves Lady Gaga and Jacob's abs, and is less than 2 minutes long. Really, what more could you ask for? Enjoy:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Contest Monday

Good morning sunshine--grab some coffee and check out the cool contests I found for the week.

This book is already out and on my TBR list, but Annie McElfresh is giving away the ARC of We Hear the Dead by Dianne Salerni and Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown. KRISTI'S NOTE: Any book with the word DEAD in the title scores automatic cool points, so enter this one. Contest closes: 9/9/10.

Want feedback on your first 3 chapters from a submissions editor? If you enter the contest run by Karen G. over at Coming Down the Mountain, you get that automatically! Yeah, pretty cool. If you're one of the top 3 finalists, you get the opportunity to submit your full manuscript. There's more info on her blog, so definitely check this one out. Contest closes: Sat. 8/21/10.

Other contests? Let me know in the comments and I'll add them. Happy Monday--you're one step closer to Friday!! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting Ahead (of yourself).

As aspiring writers, a lot of us tend to make mistakes when it comes to submissions. We don't follow guidelines, we make spelling errors in our queries, or we submit before we're really ready. I'm not saying all of us do these things, you may never make one mistake. But a lot of new writers jump the gun be it with agents, editors, or even contest entries.

You're eager. You know you need to revise more. But it's written all the way to the end. Your BFF says it's perfect. Your mom says you're the next J.K Rowling. Your palms sweat. You're finger is on the button ready to click "send".

Don't do it!

Because chances are, it's not ready. You're not ready. And you don't want to make an a$$ out of yourself by submitting something that isn't ready. If you win the contest, or if the agent requests pages, then what? You send something half-assed and then ask to revise and resubmit. You've wasted said agent/editor's time and you are EXTREMELY lucky if she/he doesn't tell you to go to someplace not nice.

Trust me. Don't do it.

Breathe. Revise. Rewrite. Repeat.

You'll know when it's ready.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Books (and other things) That Push Me To Write Better

I liked the topic of Kristi's post so much yesterday that I thought I would do my own post on the things that push me to be a better writer.

The most recent experience I've had with this feeling isn't from a book at all. It's from THE BEST MOVIE EVA!!! a movie.

I saw Inception last week, and I left the theater with one thought in my head:
I can do better.

The level of ingenuity and depth of emotion in the storytelling of the film blew my mind. It really just sort of stopped me in my tracks and I thought about the plot issues I was having with my current (and what feels like, the millionth) revision and it all seemed so small and silly. I realized not just that I needed to up my game, but HOW MUCH I needed to up it. Somehow I'd slipped into playing it safe, and safe = boring and seen it before. So I took a step back and started really ripping my tiny little impersonation of a book apart and all of a sudden I was excited about revising it again!

There are other books I keep in mind when writing as touchstones. Books that when I'm in a good mood, inspire me to attempt to reach some of their greatness and on a bad day thrust me into the pit of despair as I think I will NEVER write anything that good!

Some of those books are:

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - because Jo Rowling's world-building and heart blow my mind every time I read one of the books.

The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - again, the world-building! The action! The emotion! Even now I get teary-eyed when I think about Rue!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - I love how poetic the writing is, the emotion, the sense of place, and the way she made two narrators such complete unique characters that you always know who's talking.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher - This story is so emotionally complex and moving, it still haunts me. And the detail to setting is so good that every time I think about it, I feel like I'm in the desert of the Austrailian Outback. I can completely see a place I've never been or even seen photos of.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - I love the way she makes the ordinary beautiful in this book. The actual prose is beautiful and very poetic but it's also the way Sam observes things. I also love that she made very real, three-dimensional characters who could be unlikeable at times and made me care about them.

All of these books (and SO MANY more) do things that I hope to do in my own stories and they remind me that it IS possible to do if I just keep my focus on the goal. Also, I've just realized that all of these books have made me cry! I guess that's what sticks with me. And that's what I want to do, tell stories that stick with you.

What are some books that inspire you?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Books that push me to be a better writer

I admit that if a book or movie is over-hyped, I tend to be disappointed by it. My expectations are set sky high and then the experience doesn't quite live up to it. I'm reading an ARC right now that has had so much buzz, it made me a little hesitant to pick it up. I'm halfway through it and all I can say is: holy flippin' cow. I haven't liked a book this much since The Hunger Games/Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. This book has met and exceeded all my expectations. In fact, I don't even want to write this blog post because I want to go find out what happens next (sshhh...don't tell me if you've already read this ARC). The book is Matched by Ally Condie.  The awesome cover looks like this:

From the back of the book:
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

If you read or write dystopian fiction, you'll LOVE this book! Since I write YA, books as amazing as this one push me even harder to be a better writer--once I get past the initial "I suck compared to this" phase. This is one reason why I think reading is so vital to being a good writer. When you read a great book, it serves as an inspiration--you see how something works when it's done well.

What about you? What book have you read that inspired you to be a better writer?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Contest Monday!

This contest is hosted by our very own uber-fabulous Sister, Lacey, over at her blog. She's giving away a signed ARC of RETURN TO PARADISE by Simone Elkeles. Hop on over there before Sept. 4th for your chance to win!

In Which a Girl Reads is hosting a huge blogoversary contest that ends Sept. 14th. Up for grabs are books such as Clockwork Angel, The DUFF, and Mockingjay (to name a few out of the 25 amazing titles)!

BONUS: Both these contests are international!!

Any contests we missed? Post them in the comments and we'll add it ASAP! Thanks and Happy Monday! :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August- adjective, Inspiring reverence or admiration.

I just now realized that today is Thursday! August is a crazy month for me! I'd tell you about all my fantastical happenings, but you would be bored. BUT I will tell you I am taking my kids camping along the Susquehanna river tomorrow for the first time ever in their lives!!! Pray that we do not get devoured by mosquitoes and/or leeches while we're there. Please.

And because August is so incredibly busy, I haven't had much time to read! Would you believe I am still reading BEFORE I FALL from like, a month ago? And it's pretty awesome, I just don't have down time.

What is everyone else reading right now? What are some awesome new releases that you are dying to get your paws on? I think I'll be reading Holly Black's WHITE CAT, or perhaps Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM next. So what's on the top of your TBR?

Also, contest on my blog to win an autographed ARC w/bookmark of RETURN TO PARADISE by Simone Elkeles, who is super nice and made of awesome.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Inspiration and Preparation

My Note From The Universe this morning:

"If someone wants A to happen, yet they prepare for B, they will always get B."

What are you preparing for? The joy of success? Or the pain of rejection?

This reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

"Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity."

Noticing a trend? PREPARE yourself to be the the writer you want to be. Whatever that means for you.

- Take a class (Write On Con is free and just a week away!).
- Read a book on writing.
- Get your work critiqued by people you trust and then listen to what they have to say.
- Visualize your name on the NYT bestseller list.

Whatever you do, don't spend hours (weeks, months!) writing your book while at the same time mentally preparing yourself for all the rejections you're going to get.

Take a moment today and ask yourself what you've been preparing for. You might be surprised. The good thing is there's still time to fix it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's Your Writing Schedule?

I'll admit that my writing schedule has been a bit on the variable side this summer, but usually, I write for an hour or two each night after the kiddos go to bed (and before I'm comatose). This post was prompted by my youngest peanut:

She's three and will officially start preschool this Fall when my oldest goes into 1st grade. She'll go two mornings per week which means I will have a grand total of 4 extra hours of writing time each week (yes, I will use it for writing and resist the urge to do laundry). 4 hours!!! This may not seem like a lot, but I cannot describe how excited I am. Don't get me wrong. I love my kiddos more than anything and will be a complete mess the first day my son is away for an entire school day, but still. I'll have writing time during daylight hours, when I'm not fighting against my need for sleep.     

What's your writing schedule? Is it variable or consistent? Are you a nocturnal writer or do you prefer sunshine on your keyboard? Have you experienced the joy of unexpected writing time?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Contest Monday

Agent Elana Roth and author Laura Toffler-Corrie are having a Fortune Cookie contest to celebrate the release of her MG novel THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ! Write a fortune that a writer would want to get and win cool prizes like a 10 page critique from Laura's editor Nancy Mercado! Get the details here. Ends August 6th.

Carolina Valdez Miller is having a contest with some awesome ARCs, including Matched, Firelight, and Torment among others--they all look fabulous! Get the deets here -- contest ends Aug. 8th.

21 Pages is having a major giveaway where you can win an ARC of books such as Clockwork Angel, Delirium, and Linger among others, so enter now! Deadline is Aug. 20th.

Sara McClung is giving away seven awesome ARCs (Firelight, Paranormalcy, The Replacement to name a few) in her Summer Saradise 7 contest! Contest ends August 5th.

Having a contest? Let us know and we'll add it!
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