EEP. I have been a hideous blogger lately. Sorry, guys!
There’s actually been LOTS going on.
First off, if you’re in the DC area…I’m doing an event tomorrow night (Wed, Oct 23) at Hooray for Books in Alexandria, VA! I’ll be talking about Strange & Scary Schools with Nathan Kotecki (SUBURBAN STRANGE) and Clay McLeod Chapman (TRIBE). It starts at 6:30, so…come see us? I’m going to wear my new Ravenclaw Quidditch t-shirt! #dork
Second, I’ve been working on a proposal for a new YA book. It’s an idea that started as a writing exercise back in August, when I was teaching teen writing workshops through Writopia. It’s a sort of Southern Gothic ghost story and I’m really excited about it. Well, excited and a little terrified. It’s very different from the Cahill Witch Chronicles, but it still involves sisters and kissing. I hope I’ll have more to announce soon!
Third, while we wait for news about that, I’m debating trying my hand at a potential middle-grade book. I have an idea I really love. And I’m teaching a group of 9 year old girls this semester, and it would be really fun to write something they could read. The books I read at that age (from, say, 8-12) are the ones that shaped me into a reader and a writer and the ones I still cherish most. I’m going on a bit of a MG fantasy reading binge. The lovely Claire LeGrand (author of the fabulously creepy THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS) kindly provided me with a suggested reading list. So I’m reading lots, to try to get a proper MG voice in my head, and I’m contemplating a half NaNo goal for November. I say “half NaNo” because I am historically dreadful at NaNoWriMo. Every year, I want to participate. I sign up and join the forums and declare my intent. But…I just don’t write that fast. I edit lots as I go. And I’m pretty okay with that, on the whole. I think I could probably sanely manage 25k, though! And I love capitalizing on all the enthusiasm and camaraderie of all these writers. (Are you participating? And what are your favorite MG books, Dear Reader?)
Fourth, we’ve contacted the winners for the Manuscript Critique Service giveaways! So if you haven’t been notified, and you’re still interested in a 10-page critique or query critique or even something bigger, let us know! I think our rates are pretty reasonable, and we’ve gotten great feedback from our early clients. I promise we are all helpful and nice and not scary. I’m doing my first full line edit on a really fantastic manuscript this week and it’s so fun! You can read more about our services here.
Fifth, I did my first-ever conference lecture last weekend! I was invited to be the YA faculty at the Nimrod Journal’s annual conference at the University of Tulsa. I talked about YA romance – the shift from often-unequal paranormal romance bestsellers of a few years ago to current dystopian and fantasy bestsellers that feature much more equal, respectful relationships. I also talked about how to avoid the common critiques of instalove, lukewarm love triangles, romance that overwhelms all other relationships, and one-dimensional love interests. If this sounds interesting to you, stay tuned – I’m going to share my tips in a guest post for the Pub Crawl blog soon!
Sixth, I finally got an electric tea kettle for my office! I’ve been wanting one for YEARS. I actually got one last Christmas (maybe the Christmas before that?) but it was plastic and the water never stopped tasting like plastic no matter how often I ran it and cleaned it. Ugh. This one is metal and the reviews promised no plastic taste. This means I can make tea at midnight without having to go downstairs! I’m really excited, guys. Especially since…we sort of have a mouse problem. As we discovered last week when Monkey (my cat) came trotting out of the kitchen with a mousie friend in his mouth. He dropped it and it escaped, but since then we’ve seen TWO. So I am avoiding the kitchen even more than usual and making The Playwright cook.
What about you? How’s your October going?