Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ordinary Superpowers

So I have this thing, a small power of sorts, that I call Line Luck. Yesterday, for example, I walked into the post office and found absolutely no one in line. But when I turned around to leave, there were ten people waiting all of a sudden. This happens to me a lot in grocery stores, movie theaters, Starbucks, etc. I wish I could fly, turn everything I touch into chocolate for 10 seconds a day... but at least I often avoid waiting in line.

What's your ordinary Superpower? What Superpower do you wish you possessed?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Work-In-Progress: 13,199 words

I found a nice chapter-every-two days rhythm this week & I reached that 10,000-word celebratory hot chocolate mark. (If you're seeing this on Facebook, go to to see the vlog.)

Now off to write chapter six so I can sneak off to a matinee movie with my husband...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In My Mailbox (11)

Yesterday I took my 8th grader to buy her Halloween costume. Her choices? Slutty vampire, slutty Little Red Riding Hood, slutty GI Jane, slutty Leprechaun (that one came with "kiss my pot of gold" panties), slutty--well, you get the idea.

I couldn't help but feel grateful for the one little gem that arrived in my mailbox this week:

Nothing Like You by Lauren Stasnick
A seventeen-year-old grieving the loss of her Mom lets a one night stand become an ongoing thing.

I loved this book. I'm grateful for this book. Lately, I've been disheartened to read some beautifully written YA novels that treat loss of virginity with the same emotional resonance as wart removal. Better just get rid of it!

I don't want those kinds of sexual relationships for my daughters. The stakes are simply too high--pregnancy, diseases (rates are skyrocketing according my pediatrician friends), and the emotional consequences (my mom's a psychologist with a client list full of teenage girls). I want my daughters to find old fashioned true love.

So I can talk--blah, blah, blah--forever about making good choices. But Lauren does it without preaching. Readers will love Holly and feel all that pain along with her. I can't wait to hand this one to my daughter--who would have looked way too good in that slutty Leprechaun costume, by the way (after much searching, she found something that will cover her upper thighs). My mom is already planning to lend copies to her teenage clients (many of whom have gotten themselves into Holly's situation).

Hope you check it out too!

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Skin Deep

I'm usually pretty good at avoiding kiosk pitches at the mall. But somehow last weekend, I found myself letting a guy slather cream on my forearm. He talked the whole time about how the cream would slough off all the unsightly dead skin cells on my face. The 24 karat gold in the mixture would penetrate seven layers deep. Blah, blah, blah.

When my arm turned bright red as it reacted to all that gold, apparently, he turned to my teenage daughter. This cream would clear her unsightly complexion!

After rubbing various creams into her arm, he showed her the dramatic smoothness compared to the untreated arm. I couldn't see it. But he'd promised to cure her acne!

For only $120 a jar. I shook my head, no way. But wait, there's more, he said, adding boxes to the pile. All this for only $10! I felt like I'd gotten trapped in a bad infomercial. So I got out of there pretty quick and finished up our errands.

The minute we got into the car, my daughter burst into tears. "The first thing anyone ever notices about me is my horrible skin!"

That's absolutely not true! I spent the whole ride home explaining that she's beautiful, but the guy had to say that to try to get her to buy his product. That's what advertising does: makes us feel unattractive, unless we use certain products. But I'm worried that all she heard was blah, blah, blah.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Work-In-Progress: 5,420 words

So I'm getting off to a slow start... Here's this week's vlog.

I rewarded myself with a mocha for hitting 5,000 words, but I hope to write much more this week. And then I can reward myself with some significant chocolate!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In My Mailbox (10)

I found myself in need of creative inspiration this week. Starting a new novel is so scary when you have books on the shelves getting public comments... And I've had trouble shutting out all that noise in my head.

So here's what arrived in the mail:

Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland
This book "explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way."

Why I'm excited:
A fellow 2k9 classmate recommended this one & it really helped remind me what's important: the writing.

Twyla Tharp: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
A book about developing creative habits by a renowned choreographer.

Why I'm excited:
I bought this one with the "buy them both" button on Amazon. Okay, so maybe my love for So You Think You Can Dance has interested me in a dancer's point of view. She's already convinced me to start getting up earlier to exercise first thing in the morning, so that's a good thing, right?

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Guest Nose Lauren Bjorkman

Today I'm excited to welcome Lauren Bjorkman, debut author of the serious hilarious YA novel, My Invented Life. Many, many laugh-out-loud moments!

Here's Lauren:

I never loved my nose. My bridge is too prominent, and I have freckles. But when a close friend of mine in high school seriously pondered a nose job (and she is gorgeous!), I hated that she obsessed about it! So when I have negative thoughts about my nose now, I banish them the best I can :D.

Roz in My Invented Life has issues with her height and weight. It doesn't help that her sister calls her Chub. But late in the story, she sees her reflection while getting costumed for the dress rehearsal, and has this revelation: Mirrors don't lie. The fitted bodice, puffed sleeves, and A-line skirt transform me from giantess to goddess. I could slay the heart of Zeus himself. And Juno's, too.

About My Invented Life

Roz and Eva are sisters, close friends, and fierce rivals. Roz fantasizes about snagging the lead in the school play and sexy skate god Bryan as her boyfriend. Sadly a few obstacles stand between her and her dreams. For one, Eva is the more talented actress. And Bryan happens to be Eva’s boyfriend. But is Eva having a secret love affair with a girl? Enquiring minds need to know.

Roz prides herself on random acts of insanity. In one such act, she invents a girlfriend of her own to encourage Eva to open up. The plan backfires, and Roz finds herself neck deep in her invented life. When Roz meets a mercurial boy with a big problem, she begins to understand the complex feelings beneath the labels. And she gets a second chance to earn Eva’s trust.

My Invented Life is set in a small California high school during rehearsals for a Shakespeare comedy. Buy your own copy on Amazon or Indiebound.

About Lauren Bjorkman

Lauren Bjorkman grew up on a sailboat, sharing the forecastle with her sister and the sail bags. Against all odds, they are still friends. She enjoys making things up, chocolate in large quantities, and anything that makes her laugh. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her husband, two sons, and a cat that plays fetch. Find out more about Lauren at

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chocolate Giveaway: Week #4

This week I'm giving away the chocolate that I use to lure people to my table at book signings: a variety of Dove chocolates! Plus, a signed copy of Jungle Crossing and a bobble-head turtle.

Chocolate Tidbit: Only four ancient Mayan books made of bark paper survive (the Spanish burned their libraries). But one of the most beautiful books known as The Dresden Codex shows pictures of gods seated next to bowls heaped with cocoa beans.

To enter this week's contest, leave a comment at about what would make you talk to one of those lonely book signing authors! Is chocolate enough?

The contest will end on Friday, October 23rd at midnight.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2009 Debutante Contest!

Click below to enter a chance to win a bag of all kinds of goodies. And don't worry, I'll be giving away some chocolate later this week too.

Find Out What's In The Bag And Win It Today

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Work-In-Progress: 0 words (eeek!)

I'm entering that thrilling, frightening writing zone: a new first draft. Here's my vlog:

Wish me luck! Can I say eeek again?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In My Mailbox (9)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

Reminder: You can still enter to win a signed copy of Jungle Crossing and Godiva chocolate if you make a comment here by midnight on October 12th.

The theme of the week: nothing pink!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Glades, mazes, mysteries, a boy and a girl...

Why I'm Excited:
I've heard so much great buzz about his one. And I love reading my fellow Utah authors' books!

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Cusp of WWI, giant airships, a girl disguised as a boy...

Why I'm Excited:
I hadn't even heard of the steam punk genre until a few months ago (I do gravitate toward those pink book covers). I loved the Uglies series so I'm excited to dive into this one. After my daughter steals it first.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Never Imagined This

So back when I was a freshman in college and got stuck in biology instead of the creative writing class for which I'd pre-registered, I never imagined this:

You see, there was this cute soccer player in my biology lab... And our love blossomed even with all the formaldehyde scenting the air. Our professor even came to our wedding. And last weekend he came to see us during our Whitman College reunion. He told the people on the biology department tour about our laboratory love story so everyone insisted that we take a family photo in "our" lab.

I never did take a creative writing class at Whitman (I minored in biology). But that worked out too. Sometimes you've got to embrace the twists and turns in life!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guest Nose Megan Crewe

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Megan Crewe, debut author of Giving Up The Ghost. If you're looking for a fun, not scary, Halloween ghost story, this one is a really great read! Megan shares one of her "hairy" stories:

When I was 15, and trying to reinvent myself, I decided to get a pixie cut--which basically meant saying goodbye to most of my hair, which had never been shorter than chin-length. The stylist I went to put a whole lot of gel in it, and when I tried to replicate that effect the first day I came to school with my new hair, it was so stiff a girl in one of my classes joked that she could bounce a quarter off it. I also got a lot of double-takes, and more than one person asked why I'd done it or when I was going to grow it back.

It was a little embarrassing, but after I figured out how to style it in a way that fit me more (i.e., much less gel), I found I liked the way I looked and how freeing it was not to have hair constantly blowing in my face or getting tangled. People still asked me when I was going to grow it out again, but I just shrugged it off and smiled.

About Give Up the Ghost

Cass McKenna much prefers the company of ghosts over "breathers." Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life, she's surprised to realize he's not so bad--and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it's time to give the living another chance... Buy your own copy on Amazon or Indiebound!

About Megan Crewe

Like many fiction authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two cats (and does on occasion say "eh"), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she has yet to make friends with a ghost, though she welcomes the opportunity. Learn more about Megan at:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chocolate Giveaway: Week #3

What better way to thank the Mayans for giving the world chocolate than a selection of Godiva? I will also be giving away a signed copy of Jungle Crossing and a bobble-head turtle!

Chocolate Tidbit: When Christopher Columbus's son Ferdinand came across a Mayan trading canoe on August 2, 1502, he couldn't understand why the natives scrambled after what looked like a bunch of spilled almonds. He didn't recognize cocoa beans--and he had no idea how valuable they were! Or how yummy they tasted.

To enter this week's contest, please leave a chocolate-related comment at: Good luck!

Contest Winner!


ikkinlala wins this week's prize! Two more weeks to go...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In My Mailbox (8)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

This week I traveled to Walla Walla, Washington to attend my college reunion. These are the books I purchased before politely asking the cute indie Book and Game store if they'd consider stocking my books (oh, how that makes me feel shy!).

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
A pastor's daughter starts to have doubts as her family shows its imperfections

Why I'm Excited:
I'm a big fan of Sara's writing. Plus, I missed her book signing in Salt Lake because I'm in Walla Walla, so I at least have the book now. And a long car ride ahead of me...

The Postcard by Tony Abbott
A boy discovers family secrets when his grandmother dies.

Why I'm Excited:
I will always be grateful for Tony Abbott's Droon series because they turned my daughter into a voracious reader. And I loved Fire Girl. This one looks like a lot of fun!

Oh, and it's not too late to enter my Jungle Crossing book and chocolate giveaway! Leave a comment here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guest Nose Pam Bachorz

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Pam Bachorz, debut author of Candor. I really enjoyed reading this one--and highly recommend it!

A quick reminder: You can still enter to win chocolate! Now here's Pam:

In CANDOR, everybody looks the same, adhering to a squeaky-clean ideal of beauty. So I'll tell you a story from my own life.

Two days before my college senior picture was going to be taken, I noticed I had very obvious roots showing from the blond highlights I'd gotten months before. Horrified, but broke, I picked up a five dollar highlights kit at CVS. Then I pressed my boyfriend into service: I put on the little plastic cap and he poked the long wire that comes w/ the kit into it, pulling out strands of hair, and then soaking them in color. The scalp-poking part hurt but I figured it was all in the name of beauty. Neither of us had ever colored hair before and we were feeling pretty clever. Well, neither of us read the instructions very well either. We should have done the roots separately from the already-dyed parts, but we didn't. When I went to wash the dye off, big hanks of my hair had turned WHITE. Other parts were merely a bright yellow. After tears and my boyfriend's mix of laughter and apologies, I plunked down $150 to have it fixed. You've heard of double and triple process dye jobs? Yeah, mine was SEVEN PROCESSES. I think the hairdresser normally charged a lot more for a job like that, but he felt really, really bad for me.

As for that boyfriend, I ended up marrying him, but I've never let him color my hair again!

About Candor

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he’s found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He’s got them all fooled: Oscar’s the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he’s made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar falls in love. He must choose whether to let Nia be lost to brainwashing—or to sacrifice himself. Buy the book on Amazon or Indiebound.

About Pam Bachorz

Pam Bachorz grew up in a small town in the Adirondack foothills, where she participated in every possible performance group and assiduously avoided any threat of athletic activity. Pam attended college in Boston and finally decided she was finished after earning four degrees. Her mother is not happy that Pam’s degrees are stored under her bed.

Pam lives just outside Washington, DC with her husband and their son. She likes to read books not aimed at her age group, go to museums and theater performances, and watch far too much television. She even goes jogging. Reluctantly. Read more about Pam here.