I ♥ Monday

♥ Maggie Stiefvater. Her New Years’ Resolutions: The Butt-kicking Fear Edition really resonated with me. Especially this bit: Every time you make a decision or refuse to make a decision based on fear, that’s a possibility that is dead in the water. It’s a slightly shrunken world. It’s someone who you’ll never be. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, giving name to something that I’ve struggled with forever. I am intimately acquainted with fear. It would be easy, sometimes, to let it paralyze me and go all New Moon Bella Swan. It’s tempting, because frankly it takes a lot of effort otherwise. I suspect it’s temping for lots of writers, because what we do is scary and hard almost as often as it’s fun and rewarding. But whatever I have to do, whether it means meds or a therapist or a good butt-kicking or all three, I don’t want an itsy scared life full of excuses. I want a great big juicy life chasing after my dreams. So. Thanks, Maggie, for reminding me of that.

♥ Maggie, again. Because I’m lucky enough to be included in her upcoming epic retreat of awesome. In February, I’m going on a retreat with the following authors to a house on a lake with pink walls and moose heads! How cool is that?

1. Maggie Stiefvater
2. Tessa Gratton
3. Brenna Yovanoff
4. Carrie Ryan
5. Jackson Pearce
6. Jackie Dolamore (my awesome critique partner)
7. Dawn Metcalf
8. Kiersten White
9. Jenny Moss
10. Julie Kagawa
11. Frankie Mallis
12. Sonia Gensler
13. Victoria Schwab
14. Natalie Standiford
15. Saundra Mitchell
16. Myra McEntire
17. Jessica Spotswood (WTH OMG THAT’S ME!!!)
18. Carrie Jones
19. Jeri Smith-Ready
20. Julia Karr
21. Elizabeth Scott
22. Beth Revis
23. Sarah Darer Littman

And you can ask us questions, which we’ll answer via vlog! Check it out, along with pictures of the pink walls & moose heads, here.

♥ I’ve been approved to read some incredible e-galleys through Simon & Schuster’s GalleyGrab program and through NetGalley. I’m so excited to be able to recommend books I love here and on Twitter and Facebook. I love talking books with the YA community, but I also love recommending them to friends and relatives who wouldn’t necessarily pick them up otherwise. I was surprised to find out over Christmas that my step-aunt has been reading and LOVING some of the books I’ve recommended here. How awesome is that? And as always, I only talk online about books that I love. I’ve also amended my GoodReads account so that I’m only posting 5-star reads.

♥ I was mentioned over at Shrinking Violets today in a post about choosing a word for 2011! As SV is one of my favorite blogs—and amazingly helpful and soothing for an introvert like me—I am super-flattered.

♥ All the suggestions I got for character names in my new Dead City Theatre book! Twitter’s fantastic like that.  Kelly Fineman suggested Annabel, which I actually split into two characters, Anika and Belle. And Poseiwriting suggested Zoe, which I turned into Chloe. Then I came up with Brina, who is my little blue-haired kickass director. I’m getting increasingly excited about this story, and you all helped. If anyone has any suggestions for names for somewhat pretentious actors, feel free to throw them my way!

What are you loving today?

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