1. NATIONAL DRAFT FINISHING MONTH: A few days ago, Sara Zarr tweeted that she was declaring it National Draft Finishing Day. Oh, how I wished I could declare the same thing, but I am not quite there yet. It feels like I've been working on this draft of mine FOR.EV.ER. And I need a good kick in the pants to make it through the last stretch of writing it. So on Feb 1, I took a cue from Sara Zarr and declared it National Draft Finishing Month. And lo and behold, there are lots of people out there on Twitter who have the same goal! We all decided to use the hashtag #DFM to check in, cheer each other on, and get our drafts done by Feb 28th. It'll take discipline, hard work, and LOTS of caffeine and chocolate, but I'm confident we can do it!
2. SUMMER LOVIN' TOUR WITH JENNY HAN AND MORGAN MATSON!!!
Last week I got the okay to officially announce that I'll be hitting the road with these two awesome authors in May. Not all the details are worked out yet, but this will be a California tour during the week of May 7th-May 12th, and we will have multiple events in the LA and San Francisco areas. I will have more specifics soon, but I am giddy excited over this! Hope to see you there!
3. PASSION AND PROSE CONFERENCE FEB 25th in Long Beach, CA
I've been invited to participate in this unique and fun conference that brings together fans and authors of Romance and YA books for a day of interactive activities, guest speakers, and much,much more.
Presented by Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, together with Adventures by the Book, the conference takes place Saturday, February 25, 2012, from 9:00am to 3:30pm at the Westin Long Beach, 333 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802. Attendance is limited to the first 450 readers who register.
Passion & Prose is a ticketed event ($125) that includes a breakfast buffet meet and greet with the authors, speed dating (an interactive author activity), and lunch with one author at each table. The day also features a Young Adult author panel, three keynote speakers, multiple book buying and signing opportunities, free goodie bags to all participants, and an opportunity drawing to benefit WriteGirl, a non-profit organization that promotes creativity and self-expression through writing to empower girls.
AND...the girls over at Authors are Rockstars are giving away one free pass to the event. Click here to enter!
4. GROWN UP BOOKS
A few weeks back, when I was stuck in the sticky middle of my draft and feeling totally lost in it, someone sent me a link to a blog post that totally turned everything around for me. It's called ON BEGINNING AGAIN, and was written by Dani Shapiro. You can read it here. I loved it so much, first I cried, then I printed it out and hung it up in my office, and then I Googled her name every which way to find out everything I could about this person who gave me such perspective.
And here is what I found: Among a lot of other things, Dani Shapiro is the author of several adult books most recently her memoir, DEVOTION. I went to the book store that day and picked up a copy because after reading ALL of her blog entries, I wanted more of her writing.
DEVOTION is the first "grown up book" I've read in quite a while, and I absolutely loved it. Shapiro offers thoughtful insight in gorgeous, fluid, graceful writing, I am now a forever fan. Her next book will be one on writing (she is also a teacher), and I will be the first one in line for it.
Speaking of ON WRITING, that book by Stephen King has been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years now, and yesterday I picked it up and didn't put it down until I'd read 100 pages. I am digging the grown up books lately, for sure.
5. P90X AND MAKEOVERS:
A few things have happened in the months I've been writing this third book: I've eaten A LOT of Cadbury Christmas balls, sat in my office chair waaay more than I ever have before, which resulted in my butt getting substantially bigger, and I've let things like haircuts and eyebrow waxes fall by the wayside, which has left me feeling (and looking) like a writer who's been living in a drafting cave for far too long.
So, in true New Years' tradition, I decided to make some changes. I didn't make any resolutions, per se, but just decided to start doing things differently. Five weeks ago now I borrowed the P90X program from a friend and have been faithfully doing those blasted videos every morning instead of running, and it's actally making a difference. I started eating much healthier, which is made easier by the fact that there are no Cadbury chocolates out this time of year, and that's made a difference too. And I gave up wine. For a week, anyway. I'm pretty sure that made a difference too.
And next week? That's the big makeover week. Things I have scheduled (in addition to writing like crazy so as to finish my draft this month): haircut, eyebrow wax, pedicure, and a box of the 7 Day Crest Whitestrips. It's no extreme makeover, but it's enough to put a little strut in the step, and that's exactly what I'm hoping for.
So that's it. I think I like this Friday Five thing. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, whatever you're planning on doing.