Don't worry! Canterwood Crest is FAR from over!
E-novellas to come with stories from Sasha & LT!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Author Visit: P.J. Hoover!


Please welcome author of THE EMERALD TABLET, P.J. Hoover!


THE EMERALD TABLET's ARC cover. Both great and so different!



About the book:



Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each other’s minds and use their telekinesis to play tricks. In fact, they are getting set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he's looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace which can only be reached by a teleporter hidden in his hallway. And the summer only gets stranger.

At school, Benjamin discovers he isn't really human but something called a telegen. It turns out the powers he always thought made him special only make him normal. But then the mysterious Emerald Tablet chooses him as its champion, and all chances of an uneventful summer (well, as uneventful as summer school on a hidden, submerged continent can be) disappear.



Where did you get the idea for The Emerald Tablet?


Bad 80s TV! Seriously :)


The idea of kids having extra sensory powers came from a show I used to watch in the early 80s called The Power of Matthew Star (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Powers_of_Matthew_Star). Matthew Star was uber-good looking, from another planet, and had awesome powers. Something about this show stuck with me—how he was a kid who acted like a normal teenager but had these extra abilities he had to hide from the general population. I wanted to have powers like that, and I think kids these days do, also.


What was your writing process for this novel?


In writing, I get out a first draft normally as fast as I can. In the case of The Emerald Tablet, the first draft took about 3 months but was followed with a couple years of revisions (interspersed with writing the next two books in the trilogy).


I relish revisions. Love them. Especially when I get awesome feedback like I received from my editor. When I get feedback about adding scenes, moving things around, and cutting, I get excited, view it as a challenge, and dig in!


What’s the best thing about being a debut author?


All my friends are so excited for me. I think there’s probably nothing like a first book. With authors who’ve written 20 books, I can’t imagine people sending them emails, telling them how excited they are. But with a first book, everyone is excited! I’m guessing more on the 20th book it’s like:

Author: “I have a book coming out next month.”

Friend: “Another one?”

Author: “Yep.”

Friend: “Did you see the manicure I got yesterday?”

Author: Sigh.


Your bio says you’ve read Gone with the Wind seven times. What do you like so much about the book?


The clothes! I wanted to wear the big hoop skirts and talk like Scarlett O’Hara. And also, with Gone With the Wind, there was the movie. I loved seeing how things were left out of the movie that seemed important in the book. Scarlett had two other children in the book for Pete’s sake. I was astounded and fascinated to see no mention of them in the movie. I couldn’t believe they were allowed to do that!


Are you at all like your characters? If so, how?


Of course, I think there’s a part of me (or who I want to be) in all my characters. But of the five kids in The

Emerald Tablet I’m the most like Heidi Dylan. She’s this spunky girl who says what’s on her mind. She’s not the prettiest girl in the world. She’s not the best at everything. Heck, she can hardly lift a brick with telekinesis. But she can read minds like no one’s business. And in Book 3…well, you’ll just have to wait to find out :)


The cover for The Emerald Tablet is gorgeous! What was your reaction when you first saw it?


Thanks! It was like falling in love all over again. I got my cover at the beginning of the year, but it was a totally different cover. The ARC cover was gold with the earth in the middle and characters from the Lemurian alphabet around the sides. About in May my publisher told me there was going to be a different cover. I looked around on a stock photo site and saw the picture of Bangkok at night. I sent the link to the publisher, and I guess they liked it because it’s the one used on the cover of The Emerald Tablet.


Each time I see it, I love it even more! The colors are just so outstanding.


What book are you reading now?


Two currently:

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (JB Note: I still need to read this!)

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (JB Note: I heart this series!)


What’s next for you? Spill!


The second book in The Forgotten Worlds series, The Navel of the World, is scheduled for publication in Fall 2009, and the third, The Necropolis, is scheduled for publication in Fall 2010.


I’m working on a MG urban fantasy series with an Egyptian theme and also on a YA urban fantasy more based in mythology.



About the author:

P. J. Hoover grew up in Virginia visiting museums and dreaming of finding Atlantis. Prior to writing full time, PJ worked as an electrical engineer in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband, two children, Yorkshire terrier, and two tortoises—King Tort and Nefertorti.


More information about PJ Hoover and her books can be found at www.pjhoover.com.


Find P.J.'s blog at http://pjhoover.blogspot.com and purchase THE EMERALD TABLET here!



P.S. P.J.'s also a member of The Class of 2k8. Check them out, too!

All right! Want to win an ARC of P.J.'s book? She's giving away TWO ARCS! To enter, leave a comment here, on LiveJournal or both places! I'll draw a winner on Monday and if you're the lucky one, you MUST email me by that Wednesday with your address. Otherwise, I'll draw a new name. Good luck! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tomorrow is Halloween!


glitter-graphics.com

Tomorrow is my fav day--Halloween! I'm blogging about it today because I've got PJ Hoover posting on the actual day of Guilt Free Candy Consumption.

Tomorrow, I'll be passing out candy, walking around the neighborhood and um, eating lots of candy, too.

Since I'm a total wimp, this movie--
glitter-graphics.com--is as scary as I get on Halloween.

I can hear you laughing!

glitter-graphics.com

Enjoy and fill yourself with enough of a sugary buzz that you're ready for NaNoWriMo tomorrow! See you bright and early! :)

Remember, check out my giveaway and interview with PJ TOMORROW!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No NaNoWriMo for me

So, with the big change in my schedule, November will NOT (sniff) be NaNoWriMo for me. Instead, it'll be NaNoEdMo.

Since I finished the first draft of BTB already, I won't be writing all through November as I'd planned. Instead, I get to cheer on my WriMoing friends and still hang out on the forums. :)

It's crazy mode around my house with pre-PR prep, editing, consuming coffee at a scary rate and brainstorming for Canterwood Crest #4. I adore the title, TRIPLE FAULT, and can't wait to get started on it!

PS--I still haven't gotten around to finishing the blog roll. I didn't delete everyone--promise! I'll get that up this weekend.

PPS--In case I don't blog tomorrow, definitely check back on Friday for an interview and giveaway with author PJ Hoover!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Take the Reins--3 months away! Whoa!

Umm...so. Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest #1) comes out in 3 months. OMG. OMG. (Repeat that a zillion times.)

I.

Am.

Scared.

And.

Thrilled.

And a dozen other emotions. I feel like !!!!!!!. It's REALLY happening. In 12 weeks, actual people who are not my editor and agent will read my book. Yikes. This debut author thing is a crazy roller coaster! :) Right now, I'm in the "OMG, what if no one reads my book and/or they hate it" stage. Last week, it was "Heh, I have plenty of time till it comes out." Next week? Who knows!

Off to breathe...and write...

If you're a debut author with a book coming out soon, how do you deal? Share!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BTB draft #1 complete!


glitter-graphics.com

MY FIRST DRAFT OF BEHIND THE BIT IS FINISHED!! YAHOOO!

It's coming out of the printer and I'm doing a nerd dance. Yay! :) :)

I am SO done on my computer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Canterwood Crest quiz

Which Canterwood Crest girl are you?
Click here to find out!

The quiz is now up on the Canterwood Crest Website! I think it's fun and cute. :)

Totally random, but I'm getting SUPER excited about the Twilight movie. Crazy excited. Like maybe I should read Twilight for the third time excited. I can't wait.

This weekend, I'm going to be a hermit and stay in. I'll be writing non-stop and getting that word count meter bar moving.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Author Visit: Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Please welcome author Kristin O'Donnell Tubb!

About the book:


Autumn Winifred Oliver has charmed a hive of bees, wrangled a flock of geese, and filched a stick of dynamite from the U.S. Government. But it’ll take a whole new kind of gumption to save her Cades Cove home.

Loggers, farmers, volunteers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – everyone wants Cades Cove. But the Cove is unique – encased in a ring of mountains, the Cove’s culture has evolved unlike any other. It keeps the new out and the old in, according to Autumn. But all that is about to change, unless Autumn and her family figure out something different, and fast.

Set in 1934 East Tennessee, the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park drives Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different.


Here we go!


First, thank you inviting me to your blog, Jessica! I’m looking forward to your new series. I live in horse country, and Take the Reins sounds right up my alley!


Tell us about your novel writing process.


My process has changed as my young children (ages 4 and 19 months) are growing, but here’s my most recent schedule:

Step One: Coffee. Lots of it.

Step Two: Take the kids to school, go directly to library.

Step Three: Write in library until my fingers grow numb from the air conditioning, usually about two hours.

Step Four: Move to a place with food and free WiFi. Write for another hour or so.

Repeat every Monday and Wednesday. :)

As for actual writing techniques, I don’t have a magic formula that works for me every time (but oh, if I did!). With Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different, I had a modest outline, but Autumn rarely stuck to my plans – she just had so darn much to say! But with my work-in-progress, Selling Hope (Or, Gaining Glorious Asylum from Mr. Halley’s Fiery Beast), I’ve had to construct an elaborate, 20-page outline, because Hope, the protagonist, is sly and couldn’t be trusted otherwise. :)


What’s your favorite book about writing?


On Writing by Stephen King. I was once reading this book on a beach in Destin, FL, and laughed so hard that the clasp on my bikini broke, and my top went flying off – boing! Mortifying. But wouldn’t you just love for that to happen to one of your readers?! I’ve not read anything else of his, though – not a fan of horror.


As a first time author, how did you teach yourself about book marketing?


As a first time author, my learning curve about book marketing is steep indeed! And I’m still climbing. But I was lucky enough to attend a seminar a few years ago conducted by Alan Gratz (Samurai Shortstop, Something Wicked) called, appropriately enough, “Children’s Book Publicity Workshop.” Alan passed out a booklet that I refer to often, including a timeline of items that should be done at nine months out, six months out, six weeks out, etc. It’s a wonderful workshop; go if you get the chance! I’ve also been fortunate to be a part of the Class of 2k8, which is a gang of 27 debut middle grade and YA authors who banded together for the purposes of book promotion. If two minds are better than one, 27 are exponentially outstanding! Pooling resources with this crew has made me a far smarter promoter.


What’s the worst writing or publishing advice you’ve ever received?


OOO – great question. I think it would have to be, “write every day.” Not everyone can write every day, especially those of us who have young children. If you are truly passionate about writing, you’ll do it every chance you get – but that’s likely not every day. And just because you don’t write every day doesn’t mean you are less of a writer. I think whoever came up with that mantra should’ve phrased it: “write when you can, even when you don’t feel like it.” Because like my yoga teacher says, when you don’t want to do it is probably when you need to do it the most. And, as much as I love to write, some days I’ve really had to force myself to pound out the words. But those days are often filled with pleasant surprises; your protagonist does something particularly charming, or a new character pops on to the screen. And that wouldn’t have happened, had you succumbed to the mound of laundry instead!


You’re a member of the Midsouth SCBWI. What do you like about being part of your region’s SCBWI?


Oh, the people! Let me give a big ole shout out to my peeps in the Midsouth – whoop! whoop! :) Seriously, the people I’ve met through SCBWI are some of the most generous and forthcoming people I’ve ever met. I have yet to ask a question that hasn’t been answered, yet to send out a plea for help that hasn’t resulted in multiple people lending a hand, yet to attend a conference that wasn’t enlightening and informative. Whenever the cocktail-party talk steers toward “oh, I’ve always wanted to write a picture book!” I recommend SCBWI, first and foremost. I can’t imagine writing for children and “not* being a member.


You also participate in the Class of 2k8. What’s new with the Class?


The Class still has new books hitting the shelves every month, so there are launches going on through the end of the year. We’ve celebrated and shared good reviews, second printings, and touching fan mail. Many of the class members’ books are part of a series, so those will follow in the next year or so. And many others are working on books to be released in 09 and beyond. It’s exciting to be a part of the beginning of 27 careers!


What’s next for you?


I have two works-in-progress at the moment. The first is Selling Hope (Or, Gaining Glorious Asylum from Mr. Halley’s Fiery Beast). In May 1910, Halley’s Comet passed by Earth; it passed so close, in fact, that Earth actually passed through the tail of the comet. Mass hysteria ensued, much like the panic of Y2K. It was considered the first case of global paranoia, because it was the first time that the media (i.e., newspapers) reached enough people to feed the fear. Hope, an entrepreneurial vaudevillian, sees an opportunity to cash in on this fear by selling anti-comet pills. (And yes, that really happened!)

The other story I’m working on will, I hope, evolve into a series. Haunted Melody: A Stop the Presses! Mystery stars Eleanor Roosevelt Pitt, a socially awkward but loveable girl who is obsessed with investigate reporters. She’s so entranced, in fact, that she starts a school newspaper, and manages not only to solve the mystery of the ghost in the music room, but get her fellow students enamored with journalistic truth as well.


Okay, now the lightning round. Use as few words as possible, please!



Book that made you cry:


Jimmy’s Stars, Mary Ann Rodman



Movie that made you laugh:


“They still make movies?” she says, changing a diaper.


Last book you read:


Devil’s Breath, David Gilman


One word to describe your book:


Funnitorical (that’s funny and historical combined :))

Whew! :)


Thanks for stopping by, Kristin!


Thanks for having me, Jessica!


Kristin O'Donnell Tubb never met a writing genre she didn't like. Her writing gigs have included licensed character books (Scooby-Doo, Strawberry Shortcake, Bugs Bunny, and Holly Hobbie), magazine articles in Highlights for Children and Spider, and even a nonfiction book on the Eighth Amendment that features an electric chair on the cover (really!). Her debut middle grade novel, Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different, is available at this very moment! Visit her at www.kristintubb.com or www.kristintubb.blogspot.com.


Find her book here!






Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quick announcement

Just a note that I've got Class of 2k8 author Kristin Tubb on my blog tomorrow. She's super-funny and I had a great time interviewing her. :)

BEHIND THE BIT status update:

Word count: 28,456

Date started: 10/10

Number of times I used "grinned:"11

Number of times I used "smiled:" 34. Uh oh...must fix.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Writing a series

As of today, I'm just over half-way through the first draft of BEHIND THE BIT, book 3 in the Canterwood Crest series. Half-way. Mmmm. Two magical words for writers! Now, I didn't say the draft was pretty, or anything, but it's down. Ahh.

So, I've been thinking a lot about how different writing a series is compared to a standalone book. I wonder how different the draft to publication process would have been for my first book if it had been on its own. Maybe not at all. I'm not sure.

I do know I've learned a lot about series writing. Let's see...


What I've learned:

* Keep a spreadsheet of vital information like character eye color, hair color, names of siblings, etc. You swear you'll remember everyone's shoe size, but as more characters come into play the easier it becomes to confuse them. Actually, I should do this with standalones, too....

* Remember that you're writing a series! I want people to read TAKE THE REINS and say, "OMG! I have to read CHASING BLUE to find out what happens!" Don't tie up everything in one book.

* Cliffhangers are your friends. (Thanks, K!) My cliffhangers have escalated with each book.

* Torture your characters. (K, that's from you again, lol) Well, not really. But I've recently began to embrace the "a book that's happy on every page is boring" manta. I've been putting Sasha, my MC, through some tough situations that heighten with each book.

* Love your series! Obviously. If you're going for a series instead of a standalone, you MUST love your plot and characters for a while. Otherwise, it shows.

* New characters are good. Sure, you've got your main characters, but adding new people here and there keeps things fresh.

Okay, anyone else have something to add?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great Halloween Reads

I wanted to do a quick Halloween book round up! These are some of my favorite Halloween books that I've either read this year or in years past. They're spooky, scary and perfect reads for this season! :)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Classic, right? The good old Headless Horseman tale is frightening and it'll keep you up all night! I love it.

Tantalize grabbed me when I saw the cover. (I know, bad me for picking a book that way...) The plot blew me away and I fully plan on reading it for a second time this weekend. It's one of those books you can't forget.

Ah, Bliss! Lauren knows I almost didn't even open it because I was too scared. I'm sooo glad that I did! It's creepy, oh yes, but the pacing is INSANE. (Seriously, L. Kudos!) My favorite parts are the journal entries and the d'oh! moment when I figured out who was writing them.
Finally, though a fantastic read for any season, the Twilight series certainly is fun for Halloween. Y'all know the story, so I don't have to gush.

What are some of your fav Halloween reads?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

YA for Obama vlog



YA for Obama
!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween cookies and ghost pretzels!




Sooo...that's how today's baking turned out! White chocolate coated pretzels and cookies! Woo hoo! :)

Anyone else making Halloween treats soon?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Moving into the adult magazine market

While I've been drafting BEHIND THE BIT, I've been thinking about my freelancing and I'm feeling the seven year itch. ;)

Since I was fourteen, I've been writing for teen magazines. That's fantastic and I absolutely love it, but I think I'm going through a new phase. I've been reading lots of GLAMOUR, REDBOOK, ALLURE and FAMILY CIRCLE. These were magazines that I used to look at and say, "Can't write for them yet. I just don't have the clips and I'm not in their target age range yet. (I think Redbook is for the 25+ age group, but I might be wrong. Pretty sure, though.)

But the more I read of adult mags, the more I realize they're JUST like SEVENTEEN, TEEN VOGUE and COSMOGIRL (RIP, CG!! Thanks to Melissa Walker for bringing that to my attention. Melissa knows EVERYTHING about the mag biz!)

No, the magazines obviously don't publish articles in the same tone, but the subjects and topics are often the same--men or boys, beauty, health, lifestyle, etc. Just with more of an adult tone.

I almost feel as if I'm starting over in the magazine field. Maybe I am! Teen magazine clips might mean NOTHING to adult mag editors, but I'm going to try.

Now, I've got to:

* read a zillion back issues
* figure out the mastheads
* find a topic
* write a query
* rewrite the query
* obsess over the query
* repeat!

I'm still going to keep freelancing for teen mags, but it feels like the right time to give adult mags a try.

Fingers crossed. :)

Anyone else go through something similar when shifting from the teen market to the adult publications?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween socks and randomness


My awesome Halloween socks! (There, you needed a visual EK!) So far, I've watched MONSTER HOUSE (adorable) and PRACTICAL MAGIC (Nicole and Sandra--a perfect onscreen pair!). I've got THE WITCHES and something else (I forget!) to watch next. I've also been considering the Johnny Depp version of SLEEPY HOLLOW...but I'm too scared. LOL I love me some JD, but don't know if I can make it through the movie. People who have watched it, where does it rate on the scary factor?

This weekend, I might try a new recipe--white chocolate covered pretzel rods with little faces that make them ghosts. They sound cute and I think I'll need a few hours off from drafting.

I'll share pics of my weekend Halloween baking on Monday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fast drafting Behind the Bit

I'm in crazy-drafting stage right now! I started writing the third Canterwood Crest book, BEHIND THE BIT, and it's such a fun book to write! Horses! Boy drama! Friendship issues! I love this stage. I get into fast-drafting and try to get everything down and revise later.

I'm about 32 pages in and am going strong. Last week, though, my carpal tunnel came back with a vengeance. It made me contemplate removing my arm. Veeerrry intense pain in my elbow and wrist. Of course, it HAD to be in my right hand. Nothing worked. Not my brace, hot/cold wrap, massive doses of Aleve or an arm rest.

Ugh.

I typed with my left hand for a couple of days before deciding that was a total waste. I went to my local Office Max and picked up Dragon Naturally Speaking. Yeah, I was quite skeptical that it wouldn't work. Well...guess what? It's AWESOME. It took half an hour to set up and do voice training, but now I'm using it almost more than I type. It ROCKS. Now, I can talk if I can't type. Super sweet.

So, what's everyone working on?

PS- Congrats to Kelly Parra on her INVISIBLE TOUCH release day!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Behind the Bit (Canterwood Crest #3) cover reveal!

That just popped up on S&S's Website and it's the cover for BEHIND THE BIT (Canterwood Crest #3)! On the cover is Callie Harper, my main character's BFF. Callie is looking at her horse because....well, that's a plot secret for now. :)

BEHIND THE BIT hits stores on June 23, 2009. Woo hoo!

TGIF and happy weekend! I'm off to watch a movie...not sure which one. Something funny.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ocala's Horse Fever and lots of pics!

My favorite!!


Isn't that butterfly amazing?!

The Starbucks where I met the writer...


Marion County's INSANELY awesome library!!





Yesterday, I went to Ocala to be interviewed by an awesome magazine for a future issue. I completely lucked out because there were horses in the downtown square!! Marion Cultural Alliance produced this display, "Horse Fever," and it was sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association. These are fiberglass life size horses with acrylic paint. Just amazing! I almost DIED when I saw them in the square.

I also drove by the Marion County Public Library and WOW. The library's outside is covered in mosaics and one is "Misty's Twilight." How cool! I think I have a pic of it...I'll look for the next post.

Ocala was great and it was nice to go on a relatively short road trip. It was only a 3 hour drive to get there--so much shorter than the drive to St. Louis.

Hope you guys like the pics! :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Halloween pics part 2 and presidential chocolates!

The outside of the house

The back door


The famous Zombie from 2007 (recreated for '08!)

Yep, more pics! Note how in the first pic, the sky is insanely blue. It was 85 degrees and I was muttering about how it MUST be colder for actual Halloween feelings to begin. :) The decoration war has started in my neighborhood. Everyone's trying to outdo each other with bigger, scarier and more elaborate decorations. Mine are simple, but I love them. The Decoration War of 2008 kind of reminds me of Matthew Broderick's Christmas flop (I still love you, Mr. SJP!)-- Deck the Halls. Except, obviously, people here are trying to best their neighbor's pumpkins and candy offerings.

What if I gave out something like this to trick or treaters?

It's presidential chocolate! I saw that on the news a few days ago and thought it was cool. So many jokes to make about that... ;)

Tomorrow, I'm being interviewed by another Florida magazine. I'm driving south to Ocala (Horse Capital of the World!) to meet the writer and have pictures taken. I'll be taking my camera and hope I get a few good pics of the trip.





Sunday, October 5, 2008

Halloween decorations! Pics galore!


Desktop display

In the kitchen

Mantle

Close up of mantle

Close up of mantle 2

Sooo, it's time for Halloween decoration pictures! If you remember from last year's assault of Halloween posts, it's probably my favorite holiday. I absolutely adore Halloween and even though I'm too much of a wimp to watch scary movies (I hear chuckling, friends!) I love, love it.

Last year, I posted these on October 1. And pictures of Martha Stewart's Zombie Craft here. Then, you've got your Halloween cookies. Finally, pics of me in my Regis and Kelly 3-D glasses. ;)

That was 2007. I'm kicking off Halloween 2008 with the above pics to start! There will be many more Halloween pics to come over the month. :)

Yesterday, I went to a Halloween outlet to look for a certain someone's Halloween mask (they were OUT, boo!) and the displays were freaking scary! Fake blood...I, um, can't handle it. Maggie
says I'm very Victorian with my fainting tendencies and I guess I can't disagree. No, I didn't faint from fake blood and super-creepy Halloween displays, but I could have. I think. Eek. And I wasn't jumpy the rest of the day. No way. ;)

If you've got Halloween decorations or will be putting them up soon, I'm tagging YOU to post pics!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The World's Best Paid Authors--according to Forbes

On Wednesday, Forbes published a list of the "World's Best Paid Authors." Interesting!

Was there ever a question about who is number one? Of course not! JK Rowling tops the list and is joined by James Patterson, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich and Nicholas Sparks. I'm guessing that Stephenie Meyer will hit the list one day. The Twilight movie could certainly boost her stock even more. :)

Read the full article here!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scoliosis: an explanation with my actual x-rays

After posting about the video shoot at Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, I got a couple of emails with questions about scoliosis. So, let me give you a quick explanation. It's best told with pictures.


This was my spine (I was around thirteen and a half) BEFORE spinal surgery. See the "S" shape? That's an S-curve from scoliosis. Doctors aren't sure what causes most cases of scoliosis. Maybe, with more research, they'll soon have answers to that question.

So, it's pretty obvious that my spine was waaaaay out of shape. Even after years of wearing various back braces and doing different exercises--it looked like that. My spine was so twisted that it was pressing on my heart and lungs. Not good, you know?

That scary x-ray led my doctor at Shriners to do this...



Yep, two titanium rods and a handful of screws. Can't feel a thing and I don't know that any of that "hardware" is there. Before surgery, I was in constant pain, had shortness of breath and wasn't living a full life. Isn't the difference in spinal curvature AMAZING?!

After surgery, the pain disappeared and I can do almost anything. (Except for skydiving, football, etc. Things with jarring impact on the spine.)

I had that spinal fusion in November 2000. Now, I counsel Shriners patients who are going through similar surgeries and are nervous. For more info about Str8 Spines for Shriners, just check out my Website.

Hopefully, that brief explanation answers the questions I've received about scoliosis. So many kids I talk to are embarrassed and teased about their condition. DON'T BE EMBARRASSED, GUYS! C'mon, now. You didn't cause it and did nothing wrong. Scoliosis isn't something to be ashamed of. Explain it to your friends and they'll understand. If not, maybe they're not the friends you thought they were.

If you have more questions (those who emailed me), feel free to email again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interview and NaNoWriMo 2008!


Today, I'm being interviewed by a writer for a local magazine. The magazine is interested in featuring me in a future issue and I'm meeting the writer this afternoon. I'm excited and it should be fun. :)

Also...it's exactly one month until my favorite writing event--National Novel Writing Month--begins!! Yay!! I heart NaNo and it's soooo much fun. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is the craziest and hardest writing challenge I've ever done, but I keep doing it each year. :) I'm not sure where I'll be in my draft on November 1, but I'm trying to schedule things so I can start something new for November. We'll see how that goes.

So, if you haven't friended me on NaNo, please do! I'm "jessicab_87" and I'd love to add you to my friend list. The forums are already busy with activity and I'll be popping in and out on those over the next couple of months. Love it.

Who's with me for NaNo '08?

 
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