Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't Clean Your Room...

Messiness aids creativity! Instinctively, I've always known this. Just ask my mother. But I was thrilled to read in the December issue of U.S News & World Report ( "Unleash Your Creative Genius" ) that "A spotless playroom stifles creativity, because kids may not feel they can engage in messy experiments or art."

I feel the same way about my desk.

When I hit a tricky spot while writing, it helps to play with the toys on my desk, pet whomever is sitting on my desk, or read the little inspirational notes scattered around. Fussing with my clutter helps me think.

Now I do sometimes wish my house weren't so messy. I was fascinated by the Zero Waste Home featured in the January issue of Sunset Magazine. Everything looked so orderly, albeit a bit white. But I have to admit that I was slightly horrified by the photo of the boys playing with one measly box of legos. That's it? Our playroom looks like more like this (on a good day):

But with the toy and dress-up clothes mishmash my daughter comes up with creations like this:

So while my grandmother would be horrified to see her shoe used as spacecraft, I say viva the clutter! A little messiness makes for a lot of creativity!

You have my permission not to clean your room.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Work-In-Progress: 59,595 words

As I recorded my word count today, I realized I probably should've written five more words to reach an even number. But aside from the fact that my 15 year old is most eager for driving lessons, I'm trying not to rush the end of this story (I sometimes do that). I'm taking it slow, but I am almost finished...

To see the vlog:

Today I ordered a small box of Martines Chocolates for when I type the words "The End" sometime next week...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Giveaway Notice! Win Great Books!

Hey, just wanted to invite you all to enter the 2009 Debutantes' LK Madigan's Feast of Awesomeness Giveaway to win her wonderful novels, Flash Burnout, as well as her new release The Mermaid's Mirror. Go to:

Please help us spread the word about these truly great books & help cheer up one of my favorite authors during a really difficult time. Again to read the whole story & enter, please go to:

Contests ends on Monday, January 31, 2011

Contest Winner!


Lost In Believing won a copy of Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Stolaz!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Work-In-Progress: 53,446 words

I've decided that it's okay to leave my character bleeding in the street... in order to catch a matinee movie with my family. I'm doing better at finding a good life/work balance, and the novel is still getting written. Here's this week's vlog (at for those of you viewing this elsewhere):

I can't wait to finish writing my scene tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Relationship Advice from Laurie Stolarz & Giveaway

Please welcome Laurie Stolarz, author of the TOUCH series. Leave a comment to win the new book in the series! Here's Laurie's advice:

What is the dumbest or smartest thing you've done after a breakup?

Nothing too exciting in my own break-up experience, but as for the dumbest thing...when a friend of mine found out that her BF was cheating on her, I’m ashamed now to admit that I helped her write up a bogus – and quite embarrassing for him – engagement announcement and had it published in the local papers. We made up details about him, i.e. that he worked as a part-time male escort, and that he only had a 5th grade education. We said he was engaged to a taxidermist who worked as a part-time stripper at a local club. We made sure to put in just enough legit info about him so that people would know it was the right guy. It was all very petty, childish, and awful and I’d never go back and do anything like that again.

It's your turn to play Miss Swoon--give us your best relationship advice.

Find someone you can trust, who will be your best friend, who will wholly respect you, and will treat you like gold.

If you could go on a date with any fictional character, who would it be?

Do movies count? My teen self would love to go out with Lloyd Dobbler from Say Anything.

About The Book:

High schooljuniors Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: they both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to see the future through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control. Camelia’s gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn’t yet comprehend. Before either one has a chance to fully grasp their abilities, a new danger surfaces, but this time, Camelia is not the target. Adam, a familiar face from Ben’s past, is drawn into a puzzle he can’t solve. . . and his life is on the line. As the clues pile up, Camelia must decide whether to help him and risk losing Ben or do nothing and suffer the consequences. But in these games,who can be trusted?

With only a few minutes of class remaining, I close my eyes again, still picturing Adam’s mouth. I try to imagine what he would say if he knew what I was doing. Would he suspect that I was interested in him? Would he think it was weird that I remember so much detail about the moment that night inside his car? Would he tell Ben what I was up to? I take a deep breath and try my best to focus on the answers. But the only words that flash across my mind, the ones I can’t seem to shake, don’t even address the questions at all. “You deserve to die,” I whisper, suddenly realizing that I’ve said the words aloud.

About The Author:

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series, which has sold nearly 750,000 copies worldwide. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at

Want to win a copy of the book? Please leave a comment! 
Contest ends Tuesday, January 18, 2011. 

Contest Winner!


The Itzel Library won a copy of The Education of Hailey Kendricks by Eileen Cook.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Work-In-Progress: 48,090 words

My plans to sneak away and write over the holidays didn't materialize, but I'm back at my desk every morning now. I've made it through the middle & I'm ready to write to the finish! Too see the vlog:

I'm already thinking of a 50,000 word reward involving some form of chocolate!

(That's Minnie, the klutziest kitten in the world, trying to jump down from my desk.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Relationship Advice from Eileen Cook & Giveaway

Today I'm excited to welcome Eileen Cook. To win a copy of her new book, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, please leave a comment.

What is the dumbest or smartest thing you've done after a breakup?

Hands down the calling (usually late at night, possibly slightly intoxicated, almost certainly crying) to ask what happened? Whhhhhhhhy? (be sure to draw this out as long as possible. Whining that "we should give it one more chance,"  is an optional stupid activity to add on top of already calling and asking why.

It's your turn to play Miss Swoon--give us your best relationship advice.

The best relationships are when the other person makes you want to be a better person. If the relationship is them trying to make you over into someone else (better or not) then it’s not the right fit.

If you could go on a date with any fictional character, who would it be?

I would not say no to going out on a date with Nathan Fillion who plays Castle on TV, but I don’t think that’s what you had in mind. Mr. Darcy is a tried and true favorite.

About the Book

Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.

Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.

They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?

"Hailey may be an A student headed to the Ivy League, but when it comes to taking a chance on life, she’s clueless. She’s also enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read. Yes, it’s chick lit, but of the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat.” --Kirkus starred review

"Cook effectively builds both Hailey's (justified) feelings of rebellion and the social dynamics of her ostracism, especially in her growing friendship with a challenging townie, Drew, who supervises her punishment working with the janitorial staff....Cook coaxes considerable empathy for the otherwise privileged Hailey as she abandons the achievement treadmill to explore her independence." --Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anyone else.

To win your own copy of The Education of Hailey Kendrick, please leave a comment. 
Contest ends at midnight, Tuesday, January 11, 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Back To Work

Today is the day I give up my life of leisurely pancake breakfasts, endless board games, and movie matinees. I will no longer consider chocolate fudge a legitimate snack food...

And I'm finally going to finish writing the scene in which my main character breaks up with her boyfriend (it's going to break his heart!).

But first I'm eating that last piece of fudge. (Don't tell my daughters!)

Happy New Year, Everyone!!!!