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Monday, November 16, 2009

Colorado bookstore event pics

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Hey, everyone,

Hope you had a good weekend! Ours was snowy, with winter storm warnings in effect most of the weekend... and of course, this is the weekend I had three bookstore visits scheduled. ;) The audiences were small but enthusiastic and fun.

Here I am at the Tattered Cover in Denver with Lisa (picture above). (I'm holding a pretty silver TC bookmark that they gave me!) I'm bummed that I forgot to take more pics. Some of the readers/writers who came were Denise Vega-- the great YA author of Fact of Life #31 and her latest, Access Denied-- and some girls who were fans of Red Glass (especially of Angel!). It was fun to meet Irena in person-- we've corresponded a bit over email. And it was great to see Bessana again, whose mother--daughter book club I visited earlier this year.

Here (below) I am at Anthology Bookstore in Loveland with another Laura and Bridget. They had their monthly night on the town that night, and the town looked lovely with the holiday lights twinkling.

And here we are again with Greth on the right in a purple butterfly shirt. Notice how everyone but me is wearing some shade of indigo?

If you're wondering what weird contraption I'm wearing, it's a sweater-cape-- one piece-- I love it but it's not exactly practical since it becomes unwound easily and drags... nevertheless, it's cozy and good for wintry nights.

There's a new interview with me posted on the Ultimate YA group website. Also, remember that they're holding a contest to win a free, signed copy of The Indigo Notebook.

And remember, I'm holding a contest as well -- see the random- fun-and-travel section of my website for details. The deadlines for these contests are quickly approaching!

A little heads up-- I won't be online much for the next two weeks, since I'll be holing up and finishing The Ruby Notebook revision... so, my apologies in advance for any delays answering emails and lack of blog posts. Thanks! Wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BLT review and guest post

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Hey everyone!

Hope you're having a good day. My morning has been groggy-- Toddler woke up at 5:50. Ugh. I don't like waking up in pitch darkness.

Morgan of the blog BLT (Books and Literature for Teens-- a teen-run blog) featured a great review of The Indigo Notebook yesterday, and will be posting a guest blog post of mine today. It's sort of a mini travelogue (with pics!) of my Ecuador trips. Enjoy!

I had fun at a writing workshop for kids and teens last night at the Berthoud Library... always inspiring to be around creative spirits. There were more guys than girls in this group, and they made me wonder if I should include more explosions and swords in my books. ;)

Hmm. I realize I'm too groggy to write more... I haven't even had my tea yet this morning.

I'll do that now. Have a lovely day!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Real quick, before my TV interview...

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Hi everyone,

Okay, I have eight minutes before I have to get ready for a TV interview this afternoon. It's with our local TV station-- a show called Bookends that features interviews with local authors. I'll see if I can post it on Youtube, and if so, I'll give you a link (well, if I don't do anything super-embarrassing during the interview, that is...)

I finished the revision of The Ruby Notebook today, which felt good. I still have a LOT of polishing to do before it's in shape for my editor to see it.

Real quick, a few news items: Ultimate YA is doing a fun giveaway -- a signed, personalized copy of Indigo. All you have to do is comment about your dream destination and you'll be in the pool for the contest. Go here, then click on the giveaway link. Also, if you want to read some *fun facts* about me that Ultimate YA is featuring, go here.

Finally, mark your calendars for the evening of Nov 3o. There'll be a readergirlz homecoming-- you can chat with a bunch of authors (me included!) Here's the info the readergirlz divas sent me about it:

Participating authors: Coe Booth, Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, Cecil Castelucci, Justina Chen, Rachel Cohn, Holly Cupala, Liz Gallagher, Nikki Grimes, Lorie Ann Grover, Ellen Hopkins, Sarah Miller, Mary Pearson, Mitali Perkins, Dana Reinhardt, Laura Resau, Melissa Walker, Ellen Emerson White, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Sara Zarr. (Wow!)

The chat (6:00 Pacific Time/9:00 Eastern Time) will be held at the readergirlz blog . At the top of the hour a chat window will go live. All you have to do is start typing comments in the box. No codes, no passwords needed—it’s easy! The chat goes VERY VERY fast. Consider it one big party, an informal bash, with lots of people all talking at once.

And here's the fancy logo...

Hope you join us! (And wish me luck on this TV interview... I'm going to try not to let my hands fly around too much, or jiggle my foot too much, or let that pesky lock of hair fall over my eyes too much... AND try not to say anything stupid-- quite a task ahead.)


Friday, November 6, 2009

Johnny Cash and new reviews

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Hey everyone,

So, this week was a really good one for my Ruby Notebook revising. It's funny how sometimes listening to certain music over and over and over again as you write can put you in a creative groove. This week I have Johnny Cash to thank.

I listened to the album (I think it's a "Best of" album) all week long. At times I felt embarrassed (even though I had no witnesses) and I tried to switch to something more fitting... like French music, since the book is set in France... but my creative unconscious would have none of that. It wanted Johnny Cash, even though Johnny Cash tunes would be the absolute last thing you'd think of for a soundtrack to this book.

Hmmm... I did just make a connection as I wrote this... several of the main characters have the initials J.C.-- and those initials are actually a part of the plot. Verrrrry interesting...

Anyway, on to other things... some reviews that made me smile. Marjolein of Marjolein's YA Book Blog wrote a lovely review of Red Glass, which she calls "a book you want to read over again many times!" Thanks, Marjolein!

I also came across a Flamingnet review of The Indigo Notebook that I loved-- and best of all, it was written by a teen! Those reviews are especially meaningful to me. ( features teen reviews.) Here's an excerpt:

"Full of stunning details, whimsical characters, and tropical air, The Indigo Notebook was exciting to read and has become a favorite that I will enjoy reading again... Zeeta’s quest for Handsome Magazine Dad and Wendell’s shocking discovery about his parents is enough give you the night owl bug and keep you reading nonstop. I really enjoyed reading something that was set somewhere besides high school and be able to travel through a book.

The Indigo Notebook is a great book for teens not only because of its lovable characters or its excitingly exotic backdrop, but for the sense of life it gives to its message of being content and pursing your dreams. Overall, I loved the colorful and refreshing story of understanding your heart that The Indigo Notebook had to offer. I hope you get a chance to read it soon!"

Thank you, Flamingnet reviewer!

I'm in my favorite cafe now, and the sunset out the window is spectacular-- pink and orange clouds... and the traffic lights have that surreal glow that they get near dusk. Toddler enjoys discussing dusk. "Mommy! Mommy! Almost dusk! Pretty clouds! Pink! Look, Mommy! Moon!" He also enjoys observing dawn, which he calls "yawn." "Mommy! Mommy! Almost yawn!" (We are always up well before dawn, especially after the time change last week.)

Okay, thanks for reading!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Booklist Review of Indigo

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Hello everyone,

I'm at my favorite cafe eating Mexican chocolate cake-- it has a touch of cinnamon and cayenne in it-- very tasty. I worked hard at home all day long on my revisions for Ruby, then lay down for a catnap on the sofa, smack in the middle of the sunshine coming through the window. I felt like a cat-- or how I imagine cats must feel, just soaking up sunshine and not really thinking about anything, just enjoying the warmth and the way the sunlight looks reddish-orange behind my eyelids.

Another review of The Indigo Notebook came in-- another nice one, this time from ALA Booklist:

"After 15 countries in 15 years, roaming the world with her free-spirited mother, Zeeta regrets that it’s “too late now for a normal home, normal family, normal childhood.” At their new home in Ecuador , she agrees to help Wendell, an American boy who has come in search of his birth parents. Just when a near-death experience sends her mother reeling toward “normal,” Zeeta veers off in the opposite direction: she looks to her unconventional upbringing for wisdom and support as she and Wendell uncover old secrets and find themselves in mortal danger. Observant, aware, and occasionally wry, Zeeta’s first-person narration will attract readers and hold them. Not all will find the magical elements woven into the story satisfying, but some will find them enchanting. The romance starts almost imperceptibly and builds gradually, believably throughout the novel. Resau, the author of What the Moon Saw (2006) and Red Glass (2007), offers another absorbing novel with a Latin American setting." -- Carolyn Phelan

Hopefully you, dear reader, will be one of the people who finds the magic *enchanting.* In fact, I'll give you an imaginary piece of Mexican chocolate cake if you do. I've learned about the beauty of pretending through Toddler. Fairly often, like every ten minutes, he has wishes I can't grant. "Mommy! Mommy! I want look train!" "Mommy! Mommy! I want go airplane whoosh sky!" And my response is, "Let's close our eyes and PRETEND we see a train." "Let's close our eyes and PRETEND we're on an airplane." He squinches up his eyes and pretends, and this makes him happy. His "pretending" face cracks me up-- his face all wrinkled up in concentration.

Speaking of Toddler, time for me to pick him up from daycare!

A quick reminder-- there are all kinds of interesting things happening at Random Buzzers this week in celebration of The Indigo Notebook. (Just scroll down to get to the Indigo section.) You can design Ecuador postcards and other stuff, and get points for it, and then trade in your points... and they're often doing book giveaways there... seems like they do a new book every week or so.

And remember, if you're into contests and creative writing, you should enter my own contest-- see the fun and travel section of my website for details. The prize is a signed, personalized copy of Indigo, and the deadline is in December.

Monday, November 2, 2009

random buzzers feature this week!

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Hello again!

I forgot to let you know in my last post that I'll also be popping into Random Buzzers this week, talking about my book and answering questions in their forum. Come on by and say hello...

Must do some emailing now. You know, I've been having my husband disconnect our wireless Internet every morning so I have no distractions as I write Ruby. It works really, really well. I can focus so much better-- it's a huge relief!!! I've been swinging by my favorite coffee shop -- Cafe Ardour-- every afternoon for an hour to do my Internet time... that's where I am now, drinking rice green tea and eating a Clementine cookie (cinnamon and oatmeal and chocolate chip... mmm...)

Have a lovely evening,

Featured Author on Ultimate YA for November!

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Hey everyone!

Check out the Ultimate YA Facebook Group throughout November-- they're featuring The Indigo Notebook! They'll be posting interview questions, fun facts, and other stuff.

Revising The Ruby Notebook has been going swimmingly lately. I've had to write in my house instead of my trailer the past few days, though.

(And this pic was taken after a few days of thaw!)

Have a great day!