Thursday, April 28, 2011

Interesting stuff ... well, at least I think it is...

So I've been out of commission due to a bad case of bronchitis which came about due to ongoing allergies that spiraled out of control. But now I'm finally breathing a bit better without coughing up a lung. Unfortunately, part of my recovery meant trying to stay indoors as much as possible, feeling completely exhausted and being unable to do more than wheeze pitifully. Even the internet was tiring to me, which was kind of unheard of and strange, even to me.

Now that I'm better, I can finally report on the fact that I met with my agent, Joe MOnti, and his lovely family on my birthday. We had an amazing dim sum lunch where his adorable 3 year old son proceeded to out eat my 12 year old and myself combined. I brought along Oldest who came for the sole intention of asking Joe about all the famous authors he's met over the years. And she was in complete awe at the fact that he not only met J.K. Rowling, but that he'd also worked with Stephanie Meyers on the Twilight movie tie-in book.

Meanwhile I was blown away by the absolutely amazing birthday present he and his wife brought me. Ta Da!

It's a ninja sword handled umbrella!! How cool is that? I've been gloating over this umbrella all week! I also had to beat the kids off of it as I refuse to share it. I love that my agent knew me well enough to recognize what present I would absolutely adore.

Next up, I get to meet with my fabulous HarperCollins editor, Phoebe Yeh, in the flesh! I get to meet her in her offices and I've already been promised a stack of new books. I am seriously having palipitations over this because there is a huge list of new HarperCollins books that I'm dying to get and this is almost as good as letting me loose in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Hopefully, I will remember to be professional and not scare my editor off by acting like a crazy person.

And then I will be attending Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo's Diversity in YA book tour in NYC on May 14th. If you are in the NY area, please come to the event.

Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m.
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

Not only will you be supporting a great cause, diversity in books! and the authors who write them - but apparently, Cindy and Malinda plan to release information about their supersecret epic Asian Vampire fantasy novel that they are co-authoring! So if you plan on attending, leave me a comment and I'll blog and tweet what I'm wearing the day of the event so that you can find me. I would love to meet my blog buddies in real time!

And that's all the news that's fit to print. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Random Funny Things My Mom says - Part 9

Conversation with my Mom

Mom - Happy Birthday! Ok, where's my Mother's Day present?

Me - Mother's day? That's not til next month, isn't it?

Mom - Waaa? How can you forget? Your birthday is also My Mother's Day! I carried you for 9 difficult months, went through 24 hours of the worst labor pains that I can still remember clearly 40 years later, all with no pain relief. This is more my day than yours!

Me - You're right. Happy Mother's Day.

Mom - Good, now give me my Mother's day present.

I give her a big hug and kiss.

Mom - Happy Birthday my biggest baby.

Me - Hey, that means I get to have Mother's Day an extra 3 times a year.

Mom - You had an epidural all 3 times. Not the same.

Me - Darn!

It's nice having my folks around on my birthday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Signing!

I got my contract and signed it! 4 copies! Woo Hooooooooooooo! I am now officially part of the HarperCollins family. And yes, I'm a bit verklempt. That's why you can't see my face.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't Give Up

I had a recent conversation with a fellow writer that bothered me enough to post about it. I was asking her how her writing was going and she said she hadn't been able to work on her project ever since receiving her last critique a few months ago. When I asked why she said, "What's the point?"

Me - What do you mean?

FW - What's the point of continuing to work on something that will never get published?

I admit that I got mad. She is a genuinely gifted writer who has a way with words that I truly envy. Her characters come alive on the printed page. But she was just going to give up? Not try? Because she got one negative critique?

Girl, please, get over yourself.

First of all, the opinion of a reviewer should not be treated like Moses bearing the Ten Commandments. It's one person's opinion and they could be right or they could be wrong, but they are not the gospel. A critique is only as good as what you take out of it. Filtering through it is the job of the writer. You take what sounds right to you and discard what sounds wrong. The writer is the final arbiter, not the reviewer. When you give too much credence to a negative critique, it can paralyze you.

Second of all, publishing as a goal for writing is a good thing. Publishing as the only goal of writing is not. You should be writing because you love it. You should be writing because you want to improve your skills. You should be writing because the voices in your head won't quiet down unless you put it on paper. Whatever the reason it is, you should be writing with passion. But if you are only writing because you want to get published, this is a mighty harsh industry that may ultimately end up breaking your heart.

I remember reading an article by a famous author who spoke about how she had graduated from her MFA program with several writers who were more talented than her and yet she was the only one published from her graduating class. She said that the only reason she achieved publication and they didn't was Perseverance. She never gave up writing. She never gave up trying.

Someone else once said publishing is as much about luck as it is about talent. That perfect storm of luck and timing - the right people in the right place at the right time picking the right story. Chance, luck, fortune - none of this is in our control. The ONLY thing in our control is the writing.

So I say to anyone else out there who might be feeling that sense of hopelessness.

Don't give up.

If you have a passion for something, be it writing, singing, acting, saving the world, investment banking, whatever it is.

Don't give up.

If you believe you have what it takes to make your dreams come true.

Don't give up. Because once you give up, the dream will die.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My little Artist

Pascal the Chameleon from Disney's Tangled by Youngest (7 yrs old).

One of the things that really impresses me about my children is how good they all are at art. The drawing talent skipped my generation. Both my parents are amazing artists. But I can barely stick figure. It's sad really. But my kids are happiest with pencil and paper. Youngest watched Tangled the night before. She woke up in the morning and announced that she was going to draw Pascal, the chameleon. And then she proceeded to draw it from memory.

I may be biased, but think it's pretty darn good.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Random Funny Things My Kids Say - Part 49

The other day the girls were fooling around when Angus, the 9 yr old did an elaborate (and clearly staged fall) and then began to whine about hurting her arm.

I asked her why she was whining and she began to sob that it hurt. I took a look at her arm and couldn't see any signs of swelling, bruising, or even a slight hint of red that might indicate where an injury might be. So I gave it a kiss and pronounced that she would be all right. Angus began to complain vehemently that it really, really hurt. Youngest sat by Angus's side and patted her hand, trying to console her but Oldest stood over her and rolled her eyes. Since I was in the middle of making dinner, I told Angus to calm down and get up off the floor and put an ice pack on it if it hurt so much, and left her with the other two.

Later that night, I went to bed and found the following drawing, rendered on a piece of tissue paper, lying on my pillow:

I guess I won't be winning any Mother of the Year awards, huh?

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