Friday, December 27, 2013

I've said it before. I'm terrible at this.

Yeah, so it's been almost a year since I posted. Not sure why I'm terrible at consistent blogging. Ten years ago I would've been posting daily. Of course, I was just outgrowing my angsty poetry phase around that time, so most of those posts would've been horribly embarrassing. Be thankful I'm a bad blogger.

I don't have any concrete book news just yet, but I'm hoping that changes soon. My fingers are crossed. Agent Awesome (AKA Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow) has UNDERBED out to a number of editors, and I'm working on a new project, MAMMOTH. MAMMOTH is contemporary YA about a sixteen-year-old plus-size paleo-geek who scores a prestigious internship at an Ice Age dig site. It's a mashup of paleontology, popularity, and pin-up style.

Earlier this month I had the incredible opportunity to fly out to Texas and visit the Waco Mammoth Site, the paleo lab at UT, and several other locations to research MAMMOTH (and generally geek out over dig sites and fossils, OMG). I'll be sharing more of my photos here soon. It was an amazing experience!

That's all I've got for now. Hope y'all have been having a great holiday season, and here's to a totally mammoth 2014!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

For Cabal

Once upon a time, on a rainy road on a rainy day, an author spotted a dog. The dog was big and white and all alone, and because the author was very kind, he stopped to help. He placed the very large dog in his very small car, and off they went together.

In the end, the dog and the author adopted each other, and the author named the dog "Cabal."

Not that he'll see this, but my sincerest condolences -- and my heart -- go out to Neil Gaiman following the loss of Cabal.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Bonus: A Visit with Henry

 I originally wrote this to amuse myself (and Rhonda Jones, Henry's biggest fan), but I can't resist sharing it here as well, as a little stocking stuffer for anyone who's read and enjoyed Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator. Enjoy this little holiday visit with the ghostly custodian Violet originally encountered in Spookygirl's first chapter.




A Visit with Henry ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)


'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the school
Not a spirit was stirring, no ghost and no ghoul.
I walked past the mural displayed in the hall –
A misshapen Trojan assured to appall.

The tiles underfoot were in need of a clean,
A layer of grime over yellow and green.
The trophy case covered in handprints unclear,
Obscuring its contents (so lame yet so dear).

My Gothlings stayed close, all poised for a spectre,
With cameras, recorders, an EMF detector.
The numbers went crazy, gone right off the scale!
And the air here grew colder with each sharp inhale.

When down near the gym there arose such a fuss –
A grumpy old voice, a gripe and a cuss –
I shouldered my bag – a comforting weight –
And headed on down to investigate.

As I approached, I soon caught the sight
Of a grouchy old phantom who worked through the night
Just cleaning and mopping and scrubbing the place
With lead in his step and a scowl on his face. 

"Missy!" he said when he saw me so near. 
"Look at these smudges of dirt – right down here." 
He pointed and snarled at a place on the floor. 
"Did you track that in when you walked through the door?" 

Before I could answer, he tossed me a frown
And went back to mopping the hall, up and down.
'Twas the very same job he’d done all his life
(And he still did it now to avoid his dead wife).

Oh, how he worked! And oh, how he tried!
It was never an issue before he had died –
But now that had changed. Though he put in the time,
A ghost can’t do much against flesh-and-blood grime. 

"Henry," I said, "I've brought you some aid.
I'm here to be Palmetto High's merry maid.
It's the night before Christmas, you silly old dude,
So quit your complaining. No need to be rude." 

With that we brought forth the supplies we'd amassed –
My friends and I cleaned, and we did it all fast.
We polished the trophy case, swept up the floor,
And sent all the dirt right back out the front door.

The hallway, it sparkled, so overly clean,
Even ol' Henry couldn’t bear to be mean.
He surveyed the place, and he let out a sigh,
And hurriedly blinked a stray tear from his eye.

"Missy," he said, "this I wasn't expecting.
I thought you were just here for spirit detecting.
Can't clean like I used to, which makes me quite blue.
It pains me to say it, but . . . Thanks. All of you."

"No problem," I said, suppressing a scoff. 
 "Just have a good evening. Enjoy your night off." 
And I heard Henry say as he faded from sight, 
"Spooky Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

------

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone! And of course, it wouldn't be a properly spooky Christmas without some creepy decorations, so here are a few of my favorites:




 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween: I Win

My friend Dava sent me what just might be the coolest Halloween decoration ever:


ZOMBIE LAWN FLAMINGO.
(Totally worthy of capslock.)

He might just have to be a part of the year-round decor. I'll get him a scarf and a teeny Santa hat for Christmas. Because, you know... It's not a proper Christmas without at least one zombie, right?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Busy Days are Here

Can't believe Halloween's already less than a week away! I'd originally planned to be Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games, but then I got lazy and ended up as a witch instead. Here I am on my way to my friends' Halloween party last weekend.

Early this month I finished a pretty major revision of my current work-in-progress, Underbed. It's now back with my agent. We decided to make it a middle grade project rather than YA, and I think the change suits it well.

And of course, NaNoWriMo is only a few more days away! I'm all set to start working on a somewhat gritty YA fantasy project called Moth & Moon. Can't wait to spend my afternoons curled up in coffee shops with a mug and my laptop! I'm Fire and Air over on the NaNo site.

Recently I've been interviewed by two blogs, The Book Cellar and YA Librarian Tales, about Spookygirl. Spookygirl is also getting more and more reviews online, including this lovely one by indie author Amy Martin, who was guest-reviewing on YA Reads. Thanks, everyone!

Also, Young Adult Books Central is giving away five copies of Spookygirl! You can enter until Halloween, so stop by and take a chance. That link also includes my guest post about the most haunted house I've ever encountered.

And finally, I just noticed that Spookygirl's Publishers Weekly review has been posted! PW mentions Spookygirl's "straight-talking, level-headed protagonist and smooth storytelling" -- not bad, not bad!