Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NCTE, Magic & Many Mickey Mouses

Today I'm shoveling snow, but last weekend I played in the sunshine with many of my favorite author friends in Orlando, Florida at NCTE. My roomie, Lauren Bjorkman, and I also snuck away from conference duties for a little Magic Kingdom fun. Mickey Mouse, here we come!

I started spotting Mickey Mouse everywhere--starting with my breakfast waffle! 

I decided to find other unusual Mickey Mouse products. Hungry?

Enjoy some Mickey Mouse butter on your Mickey Mouse waffle.

I found Mickey Mouse lollipops, chocolates, and pasta. Oh, and lots of kitchen items. 

Pizza cutters, spoons, measuring cups, pot holders... Done eating? Time to play!

Toss your Mickey Mouse baseball around. Or scratch your back. I seriously started thinking that I could replace every item in my house with something Mickey. 

We had a great day--we even rode Space Mountain twice. Zoom!!! Before heading back to the hotel, we treated ourselves to some ice cream--shaped like Mickey Mouse, of course! 

I loved chatting with so many wonderful, innovative teachers during our roundtable discussion. Much thanks to my co-presenters Lauren Bjorkman (My Invented Life), Jen Dutton (Stranded), Janet Fox (Faithful), Cheryl Herbsman (Breathing), Edie Hemingway (Road To Tater Hill), Danielle Joseph (Indigo Blues), Rosanne Parry (Heart Of A Shepherd), and Joy Preble (Dreaming Anastasia). We discussed all aspects of girl characters' fictional journeys & ways to help readers connect with literature. 

I did come home with a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt... And lots of Advance Reader Copies of books I can't wait to read.

On my last day, I spotted soap bubble Mickey on the hotel towel carts...

I kind of miss the guy! 

Leave a comment to win one my favorite girl characters with you--Roz from My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman. 
Entries accepted until midnight, December 1, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Off To Disney World (and NCTE)

I did add words to my WIP, but I'm going to include them in next week's vlog update. Today I wrote most of chapter eleven while flying to Orlando, Florida to attend NCTE (a big teacher conference). When my seat mate asked about my story, I realized that I've got to work on that snappy hook thing. But at least she went back to sleep and I wrote a few more pages!

Anyway, while I'm talking about THE OTHER HAPPILY EVER AFTER: TRANSFORMING AND EMPOWERING READERS THROUGH A RE-TOOLING OF THE FEMALE HERO JOURNEY (sounds fancy, huh?) at NCTE, please stop by and read the interview I did on Debbie's Cranberry Fries Blog

Here's the view from my room at The Coronado:

I'll post some fun Disney details next week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Contest Winners!


(I'm announcing two winners today--that SCBWI conference stuff kind of got in the way last week.)

Bee wins Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Kelley wins Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Writing More Emails Than Fiction

In addition to writing, I'm also a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). I hold monthly meetings & organize conferences in Utah and Idaho (with the help of my assistant Neysa Jensen in Boise). I love helping aspiring writers & illustrators improve their craft & make those helpful connections. Just like Carol Lynch Williams & Rick Walton did for me when I was just starting out. 

Children's writers are friendly like that! 

Volunteering as a Regional Advisor has also helped me learn skills I've needed as an author. I'm no longer a shy speaker & by promoting others I've gotten better at promoting myself.

Today I ended up on NPR--part conference promotion & part celebrating our supportive Utah writing community. Take a listen!

So this week I'm spending more time phoning caterers, taking last minute conference registrations, and answering emails instead of adding to my WIP word-count. But maybe I'll have some small part in helping someone else's publishing dream come true.

And that's totally worth it!  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Impromptu Kitten Acquisition!

We went to the pet store for reptile reasons, but stopped to visit the cats waiting for adoption. One spunky kitten bounced around a cage of older cats, catching tails, and leaping in the air.

We hadn't planned on adding a kitten to our busy household quite yet--but this one had the kind of personality that meshed with our other pets. And our old cat needed a bit of relief from our young cat's playfulness. So we brought her home.

Everyone loves her. Especially Otis. And, even though she's tiny she's got our big dogs under her spell too!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Work-In-Progress: 25,189 words

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I got back to work on the story I put on hold last summer to work on another novel. Taking what I learned during that revision process, I'm making a few changes as I get to know my plot and characters again. I hope to really add to my word count next week! Here's my vlog post:*

*Co-starring Ken & my dog Jack.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Relationship Advice from Daisy Whitney

Today I'm happy to welcome Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds. Leave a comment and win your own copy! Now, here's Daisy's relationship advice:

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

Dumbest thing. Oh dear. I supposed that would be going to his gig in the West Village and staring at his beautiful new girlfriend the whole time he played guitar and sang to her.

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

Trust your gut. If he’s too good to be true he probably is.

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

Etienne St. Clair from Steph Perkins’ ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. Sigh. I love him.

More About Mockingbirds:

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it. Buy the

To find out more about Daisy Whitney check out her website.

To win a copy of The Mockingbirds, please leave a comment by midnight, Tuesday, November 9, 2010.