Wednesday, December 31, 2008

this made my day

I got a good review for Life on the Move from Fallen Angel Reviews!

Perfect timing to cap off 2008.

Happy new year, everyone!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I joined Goodreads ages ago and then just gradually drifted away from using the site. Yesterday, somehow, I came across a group on there called "What's the Name of that Book???"

I have a not-so-secret love for forgotten book finder threads and boards. I love the odd, half-remembered descriptions. And I love solving other peoples' mysteries! There were two on Goodreads that I was sure of and able to answer.

Anyway. I'm going to go acquaint myself with all the new goodies the site has to offer. Here's my profile, and I applied to their authors' program (whee!) so I should be able to add an excerpt soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I contributed to this month's Samhellion, the Samhain newsletter. You can read my piece on the topic of "what I did over the summer" here:

It's about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which I've made an annual summer tradition.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

for the love of lists

I am a list maker.

I can't help it. It's just who I am. To-do lists, lists of books I've read and movies I've seen, lists of places I want to go... When I decorated my house, I painted a wall in my writing area with chalkboard paint. What do you think I write there? Lists.

So I like to play around on 43 Things and the List of Bests.

I have two big life goals that are centered around lists. One is to see all of Shakespeare's plays performed onstage. I'm about one-third done with that. The other is to visit all 50 states. I've been closing in on that one for years. Only 10 left!

And then there's movies. I love the classics and I'm addicted to Netflix. My first movie goal was one I set for myself when I was about 8 years old -- to see every movie ever referenced by TV private eye Remington Steele. I made a list when the show came out on DVD of the movies I hadn't seen yet and watched the ones that were available on DVD. It's really fun accomplishing childhood goals, however silly they might be. After that I watched all the Academy Award Best Pictures, and then the AFI 100 Movies. Now when I don't know what to watch I work on the other AFI lists and the Time magazine list. Which Netflix helpfully has on an "award winners" page.

I don't know what it is about lists. Maybe I like things organized, or maybe I feel better if I know what to do next or have a goal I'm working toward.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

this is pretty awesome

It's a "Wordle" (visual representation of text) of my novel!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Excel nerd

Because I am a freak, I can tell you that I'm averaging a speed of 38 words per minute on my new WIP.

I am not a friend of numbers, but for some reason I love keeping track of things in Excel spreadsheets. I got into the habit during NaNoWriMo, because writing 50,000 words in 30 days is all about numbers -- the minimum amount to write each day, and for me, how much to catch up/get ahead, because I've never been the type to write every single day. (Though I really should!)

My spreadsheet tracks time in minutes, total words, words in that particular writing session, the date, and how many words I've done on that day if I've written in more than one block of time. New for this WIP I've added a column for percent done, since it's not NaNo and I don't have a handy progress bar to keep track. And I added the WPM column just for fun.

The last thing I worked on, I kept up the same format when I was editing the first draft to the second. In that case, the word count got smaller as I trimmed the fat.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I got a review! A really good review! From Good Bad and Unread!

I went from feeling completely down to having my day absolutely made within the span of about an hour. Whee!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

on writing avoidance

The hardest part of writing for me is getting started.

Not just at the beginning of the project, but every single day. It feels so great when I finally sit down and do it, get involved in the work and let my imagination go. But that near-euphoria never seems to factor in to how incredibly hard it is to drag myself back to it.

I don't know why that is.

I realized today that I'm the same way with vegetables, though. I love vegetables. They're so delicious and I feel so much better when I'm eating right. But if there's any other choice to be had, I will have it instead.

At least I know the writing thing is common. There's the cliche of the writer who says their house had never been so clean until they started trying to write (and thereby trying to avoid it). There's a quote that goes, "I don't like to write. I like to have written." I thought it was Dorothy Parker, but it turns out it's not. It's no less sharp or wise.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

sooooo nervous!

I’m so nervous! My first novel, Life on the Move, is out today.

This is a story that’s dear to my heart, for a lot of reasons. For me, a move across country when I was in high school changed my entire life. For Casey, in Life on the Move, it’s the prospect of staying in one place that sets her on a new journey, one that leads her to discover who she really is.

Here’s a tiny excerpt:

When I came home from school and saw the boxes, I knew. We were moving again. My dad stood there, looking for some reaction from me, waiting for me to say something, but I put my head down and stared at my sneakers. A hole was wearing through the toe. I couldn’t face him.

In my room, I slung my book bag onto my bed. The books in it made the secondhand mattress sag a little. The books were new, for me. I thought I’d try it. Something different this time. I’d be a nerd, a grind. Study, do homework. It was working. School was easy if you gave it any effort, even if you’d jumped around as much as I had. There was nothing else to set me apart—brown hair, brown eyes, average build. I could blend in anywhere, and I liked it. It made things easier if no one noticed me.

Two brown cardboard boxes rested against the closet door. How thoughtful of my dad to put them in here for me. I stared at them through narrowed eyes. They mocked me in my father’s voice. “Better get started,” they said. “It won’t be long now.”

Life on the Move

Monday, April 14, 2008


I'm a little bit obsessed with rereading Noel Streatfeild's books right now.

I had all the Shoes books when I was young, but along the way I thought I was "too old" and let them go. (Although I have an email out to my mom to see if by some strange twist of fate she still has them, but it's doubtful.)

I picked up Ballet Shoes and Dancing Shoes at a library sale, and the pile got down to Ballet Shoes, and reading it again was wonderful! It's the story of three orphan sisters who live in London and train to work on the stage. One is an actress, one is a dancer, and one is more interested in airplanes, but participates in the classes as well. The descriptions of theater life in England are fascinating, like having to wait until you can get a stage license at age 12. Maybe I'm in love with the world of it more than anything -- books that transport me to an unfamiliar world tend to be the ones I love the best.

My cat also picked up a new nickname from the book -- "Posy Pretty Toes." The two older sisters mock the younger when she's showing off her ballet-perfect feet. And my cat has little white toes -- not socks, not mittens, just the toes. It's adorable when she bats at things.

Dancing Shoes was written about twenty years after Ballet Shoes, but much of the world is the same, as it follows two sisters who enter the world of dance. I thought it had characterization of the girls that was a lot less simplistic than Ballet Shoes. Also, where Ballet Shoes is more a collection of episodes, Dancing Shoes has more of a throughline to the plot, involving the girls' competition with their spoiled cousin. This sort of storyline was one that played out over and over again in my made-up stories of childhood: there was always a girl (or sisters) unfairly tormented by another girl who was spoiled and bratty. I think the simplicity of it made it an easy one to recreate in different settings.

This weekend I went on a local quest to see if I could find any other Streatfeild books, which are largely out of print. I found two at the library, and Theater Shoes (along with Ballet Shoes and Dancing Shoes) is in print. Most of the good used bookstores were closed because I was shopping on Sunday, and while I found treasures like All of a Kind Family and From the Mixed Up Files... at the thrift stores, there was no Streatfeild to be had.

I think next weekend I might expand my radius and scout some new bookstores. :)

Friday, April 4, 2008

addicted to books

Like a lot of people, I've come to adore trade paperbacks. They're the perfect size, easy to read, lighter than hardcovers.

The other day I picked up a mass market paperback and it felt so odd and yet so familiar at the same time. It made me smile because the first word that came to mind when I opened it was "grown-up."

When I was young, kids' books were oversized, about the size of a trade paperback, actually. Moving on to mass market sized paperbacks was an exciting sign of growing up. Being more sophisticated. One I'd forgotten all about.

It's part of the physical pleasure of reading. It goes along with the way books smell and how that's different whether they're new or old or from the library. There's the way the type from a new book sometimes rubs off on your thumb as you turn the pages, leaving a dark smudge on your thumb. The way a book grows heavy and threatens to land on your nose as your eyes begin to close, telling you it's bedtime.

I recently moved into a larger living space, and one of the things I'm most excited about is finally having the space for my books to live. In anticipation of getting new bookshelves, enough to hold my collection, I've sorted through my boxes of books, arranging them by size, by genre, alphabetically by author. There's something soothing about that, too, categorizing and rearranging.

Books make me happy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I just got the author's copies of my book that's coming out on April 29 as an ebook from Samhain, and now I'm doing the internet equivalent of twirling around in circles. I'm emailing my family and my close writing support friends to tell them.

Meanwhile, I've dithered around on what to write next for so long that if I'd just picked one idea and gone with it, I'd be done by now!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've been waiting my whole life for this

I have an author page and a coming soon.

I have a real website.

I have a bio.

I have a cover.

The edits are done.

The book will be out as an e-book probably at the end of April. It will probably be published as a print book around the end of the year.