Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween! Pics in Regis & Kelly 3-D glasses

Happy Halloween!! This morning, I watched the Monster Mash on Today, Martha's Halloween with Rosie (did you see her Broadway kids perform? Fantastic!) and The View's Halloween party. So much fun! Here are two pictures. That's my brother Jason and we're dressed in our Regis and Kelly 3-D glasses. Yup, today's show was in 3-D and so great! One of my favorite costumes on the show--Regis and Kelly dressed as Harry and Hermione. Excellent!
So, Happy Halloween! :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

8 random things #2

The lovely Steph tagged me for 8 random facts for today. So, here they are:

1. I don't have cable. Nope, if I did, I'd watch waaaay too much TV. :)

2. So, based on #1, I've never seen an episode of The Hills or any of those crazy MTV reality shows.

3. Every December, I walk around my neighborhood almost every night just to look at the Christmas lights. I love how pretty, sparkly and warm the neighborhood feels.

4. I switched college minors three times and majors never. My minors went from film, to women's studies to humanities.

5. I can' t cook. Well...can't or won't? Difference? :)

6. I HATE scary movies. I can't handle anything even remotely scary or I won't sleep for days.

7. I despise the taste of milk--except for in cereal.

8. I own (and love) all of Britney's CDs. And, have you read this? Yes, Blackout is a hit with critics!

PS- I found this cool article! Check out the sidebar on the right...

Blogging at Teen Fiction Cafe

I blogged about my brush with a natural disaster at Teen Fiction Cafe today. Come on over and chat with us! :)

PS- On Wednesday, check for a super-spooky Halloween photo!

Friday, October 26, 2007

United States Pony Clubs--perfect for horsey promotion!

Today, I'm working on outlets for book promotion next year. In addition to conferences, I thought attending a few horse shows and Pony Club gatherings would put me in touch with my audience who will likely be horse loving tweens.

Did you know that there are over 600 United States Pony Clubs in the US? These clubs have over 12,000 riders up to the age of 21. I did a search and found a complete list of all of the Pony Clubs in the Deep South and will definitely start contacting them next year. I only thought about this when I read that Bonnie Bryant, the Saddle Club author, does signings at these events.

An interesting event to attend would be the USPC Championships on July 24-27 in Lexington, VA. I used to live in VA and it would be fun to go back. :)

Anyone ever been part of a Pony Club? I didn't when I rode horses, but I wish there had been one in my area. I rode at a nice-sized stable, Triple Springs, in Greenbrier, TN. Most of the riders there were adults and there was a great mix of riders. Some had wild Mustangs, some had Arabians for breeding and a few barrel raced Quarter Horses. I was the girl who rode bareback (not even a bridle) and made everyone nervous when I zoomed over creeks and fences. :)


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Star Jones Show Needs Your Participation for Gossip Segment

Today's post is of high importance. The Star Jones Show on Court TV is doing an upcoming segment on Envy. The show is looking for teens who would like to be on the show and speak about how gossip has affected their lives. This is NOT an exploitative type of segment. Instead, it's a new/entertainment/lifestyle piece and the focus is on how gossip destroys lives, ruins friendships and impacts girls into adulthood. The show is wondering why gossip is important to us as a culture.

If you would like to be a part of the show, please call Mia Davis at 212.973.7940 or e-mail her at If you're under 18, please get your parents' permission before you call or e-mail.

I'm going to be part of the show, so I hope you call or e-mail and weigh in on the topic of teen gossip! If you have questions, either e-mail Mia or post them here. We need responses ASAP. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Quill Awards--Saturday on NBC

This is a short post today, but I've got two bits of news. First, the Quill Awards air October 27 (Saturday) on NBC. I watched for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. :) There's more info here: Anyone going to watch?

Second, thank you to those at NaNoWriMo for adding my name to your published NaNo authors list! (Yes, they mixed up the pub date, but I'll contact them about that once I get my new book title.) That was so nice of them! Thanks, guys!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Conferences for 2008

Okay, I'm in need of advice from conference savvy blog readers. :) I'm looking into conferences for 2008 to promote myself and my book. I'm considering doing panels, booths, etc.

Now, here's an initial list of conferences I'm thinking about attending.

Miami International Book Fair
Sarasota Reading Fest
SCBWI FL Orlando
IRC Atlanta
IRC Nashville
Decatur (GA) Book Fest
Voices in Children's Lit

Has anyone been to any of these? Heard of them? Going to any in '08? I've got sooo many conferences to choose from and I'm trying to pick the "right" ones. They don't necessarily have to be in the South, but I'm trying to pick that location until I get a feel for how conferences are supposed to go. I'm a complete newbie, since I've never been to any. Yeah, very bad of me, I know. :)

If you've got suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Albus Dumbledore is gay says Rowling

Did you guys see this article? Wow, I never guessed! Apparently, there has been speculation for a long time, but I never read a word about it. How interesting!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Writing the sequel

In a few weeks, I'm going to start writing the second book in the HJ series. Now, when I wrote book one, I had no outline, no character sheets and no idea where the book was going. This time, I've got a detailed outline, character sheets, a semi-complete timeline and a definite decision as to how the book will end.

It's definitely a different feeling to write a sequel. There's no figuring out who my characters are or determining a location. Sure, I've got to find ways to put fresh spins on those things, but I also know my characters well and that will come in handy during the writing of this next book. It's an odd feeling for a first time sequel writer to start a book already knowing my cast. Know what I mean?

What method do you use when you write? The outline method or go without anything method? Anyone written a sequel before?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

OT-- Exercise stability balls report

This is very off topic, but I wanted to bring it up today. I watched a report on Inside Edition last night and it brought up the serious dangers of those exercise stability balls. You know, the big oversized rubber balls that you can do sit ups, push ups, ect on? Anyway, most balls are NOT puncture resistant and if they pop while you're sitting on it, they blow up like a balloon. A man was using his ball while lifting weights and it popped. He broke both arms and may never fully recover. So, if you have one that isn't puncture resistant and it's made of thin rubber you may want to toss it. Companies now are making puncture resistant balls and if you poke it with a pencil, say, it will slowly leak air and not explode.

I have a non-puncture resistant ball that I've had for 5 years and I use it all of the time. I deflated it last night and tossed it. I never thought about it popping-and I should have since I have titanium rods in my spine.

Anyone else heard about this?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Halloween cookies

On of my supporting characters in my MG book is a baker. She wants to be the next Rachael Ray or Martha Stewart. Now, I'm no domestic goddess but in the spirit of embracing my character, I decided to make Halloween cookies. Not many, but a few. What do you think? If you look closely, you'll see that the pumpkins' eyes are either baby chicks (Easter sprinkles) or tiny bats. The thing I do best? Make colored frosting. That I can do. :)

To the NaNo people, the forums are finally fixed! Yay!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fraidy cat

I was just visiting the NaNoWriMo forums and wow--they are so messed up! Posts are disappearing (well, you log in and you can't see your own posts), signatures are gone and bugs abound. I love the forums and I hope that's all fixed soon. It's such a bummer not to be able to start interacting with everyone with the forums being on the fritz. They work for some, but not for all apparently. :(

So, I went to the store with my mom this morning and I was in the Halloween aisle. One of those bowls for candy with the hand inside that screams and says something like "want some candy?" yelled at me when I walked by. I jumped a bit, but I was expecting it. If I'm caught off guard, I'll scream like a, well, girl. Yeah, I've got pretty bad nerves, I guess. I left the Halloween aisle and headed around a corner when a woman came around the same corner Not expecting to see anyone, I jerked back like I'd seen a ghost and went "ahh!" What was that?! Some kind of delayed reaction from the candy bowl? She looked at me like what a freak and walked away. I blushed and slunk off. Now, I'm laughing about it. :) And I'll be staying home for the rest of the day....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Movies for Writers

The November 2007 issue of The Writer has an article by Darren Miller titled "10 moives every writer must see."

What movies make the list? Adaptation, Capote and The Hours among several others. I loved this list because it's not completely a list of the most award winning films, but a list of films for and about writers. Stranger Than Fiction makes the list and while that's not an Oscar worthy movie, it was truly delightful! :)

What movies do you think are good for writers? I saw Miss Potter a few weeks ago and loved it. It's not on the list, but it might have made a good honorable mention, perhaps.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cool cover colors--The Poison Apples

Yesterday, I picked up this really cool-looking book, The Poison Apples. Why is it cool? Because the edges of the pages are red! I've never seen anything like that and the book looks so neat just based on that singular fact. Have you ever seen dyed pages?

What are some of your favorite book covers? What draws your eye to them? Does a good cover aid in choosing a book? I'd love your thoughts! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

USA Today: The Spiderwick Chronicles movie

Did anyone see yesterday's USA Today? It had a big spread in the entertainment section on Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's The Spiderwick Chronicles movie. It sounds so, so good!! :) Plus, it stars the adorabale Freddie Highmore.

I've only read the first Spiderwick book, but I want to read more. I can't wait for the movie in February.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Zombie craft

My mom got that "zombie" out of a Halloween craft book. She made it this weekend and it's super spooky! There are Christmas tree lights stuffed inside the head and when you plug it in at night, it look so cool!

I edited most of the weekend and am doing so now. Anyone do anything exciting this weekend? What are you currently working on?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Working Weekend

It's so dreary here today! It's 89 degrees (yuck!) and stormy. It should not be this hot in October.

However, I'm inside doing edits and watching American Idol: Rewind. Why? Because football is on every other channel. AI is much better than that.

I've been doing lots of creative work this weekend. Editing, working on outlines for the next HJ books (yay!) and working on 2k8 work. By the way, the class of 2k8's Website launches in mid-November. Plan to come check out the 28 freshest voices in children's lit for 2008. :)

November's going to be busy, that's for sure. Lots of stuff happening with 2k8, HJ and NaNoWriMo. Anyone participating? If so, share your buddy name. :)

How's everyone's weekend so far?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ALA's Banned Books Week

This week, from September 29-October 6 is Banned Books Week. Can anyone guess the most challenged books from 2006? Think hard. They're in white below so you can guess first. Just highlight the text to see.

And Tango Makes Three, Gossip Girls and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Seriously?! Check out the rest of the top ten here. This is such an important issue and we MUST, as readers, writers and lovers of books, stand up and say we're not going to support censorship. Readers lose. Authors lose. It's loss all around.

Just a few months ago, you probably remember that the lovely Maureen Johnson's The Bermudez Triangle went through a fight to stay in an OK library. Petitions were circulated and strong feelings were heard on each side. Anyone read the book? I did. And it's incredibly sad that such a beautiful, realistic book would face such opposition.

Another book on the ALA list of frequently challenged? Beloved. I've read it for two different classes at Florida State University. Was anyone in my classes offended? I think not.

Join the American Library Association's fight to keep censorship out of our libraries, schools and bookstores.

Who's with me? :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Halloween Decoration Pictures

As promised, here are some of our best Halloween decorations! We have pics of the front door, fireplace mantle and a close up of the wreath. Boy, I'm starting to get in the spooky mood! Each weekend, we'll watch a couple of different Halloween movies. The choices for this weekend? Ghostbusters and Dracula.

Cross your fingers that Dracula doesn't scare me too much....

Got any fav Halloween movies? My top favorite is... It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Love it. :)

Blogging for TFC

I blogged over at Teen Fiction Cafe today, so please come join us and add to the conversation! :)

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