Wednesday, May 26, 2010

As if one wasn't cool enough...

By now I think most anyone who reads this blog knows about YA Highway's amazing epic super awesome anniversary giveaway. If not: we have three days worth of giveaways this week. From ARCs to some of our favorite recent releases to agent and writer critiques to random other awesomeness. Visit, if you haven't. (Day two is open internationally, even!!)

And, like I said in the title, as if one wasn't cool enough, THREE of YA Highway's members are also doing giveaways on their own personal blogs. So go visit Michelle, Kristin, and Kirsten for even more chances to win prizes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two for Tuesday

So this two for Tuesday, a meme created by Kate Hart. I wasn't going to do it this week, but now I'm going to. It's: how my afternoon sucked, and then how it got better again.

1) how it sucked: I decided to go to the library, for the first time since I've moved here. There are lots of reasons I've procrastinated it, the main one being that I was turned off that it doesn't have an actual parking lot, just on-street, metered parking (25 cents for fifteen minutes!) But today I decided I really wanted to go. So I went. And their on-street parking? There's not much of it. And it was all filled. I won't rage on about the frightening journey I had to go on to get back home (because of course there was no easy place to turn around, either), but suffice it to say, it's 85+ degrees out today, and my car doesn't have AC. I brought water for Michael, but didn't think of it for myself. We also stopped at B&N on the way home, because I wanted to buy a book to make myself feel better, but their YA section is kind of lacking. Actually, there were TONS of good hardcovers, but I can't justify spending $17.99 on a hardcover just because I'm sad the library didn't work out today. So after taking Michael around the kids section for his own amusement, I poutily returned home.

2) how it got better: when I got home, there was a happy little package sticking out of my mailbox: Finnikin of the Rock, sent to me by Michelle (and she sent chocolate, too!) So now I'll have something to read, and I feel a little bit less pouty about the library. (Still mad, just the sting is out now).

...and on an unrelated note: drop by YA Highway this week, because we're having an anniversary celebration, and it, of course, includes kickass prizes. Prizes start tomorrow, the celebration starts today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

RTW: tattoos!

I'm going to be both serious and very not serious in this topic. You'll have to guess which is which. I hope it's obvious (it better be obvious). This week's topic is: What tattoo would you get to celebrate your book's success or to represent a favorite book?

This is, of course, assuming you would get a tattoo. But even if you wouldn't, pretend! I am a fan of tattoos. I only have one for now, but once you get that one, there's a constant undercurrent of wanting more. So I could easily see myself getting a book-related tattoo if I were to get to that exciting point where I had one actually getting published. And before I start, my deep philosophical thoughts on tattoos: you should, of course, give it a lot of thought before you etch something permanently on your body, but sometimes the meaning of a tattoo is simply that it has no meaning at all. Your body is your canvas, not anyone else's, so all that matters is that you love it (and won't be embarrassed by it when you're old.)

So here I go, with what I would get if one of my three most recent WIPs made it to debut status:

Unthawed. I would, of course, have to get a mammoth. But not just some pretty design I found on the internet. Only my own beauteous drawing skills will do. As pictured. (If you click on the image, I think you can view it in its full size where you can actually see it. I had to hand draw because on the computer was going badly, and it's in pencil so my camera struggled--hence also the strange coloring that makes it look like parchment or something.) Because mammoths, well, they're just cool. Even if they have very little to do with the story (okay, nothing to do with the story except a brief appearance at the beginning. They are still awesome.) And somewhere subtle, of course. Like...across my entire upper back.

So Dead. Since the book involves the Afterlife, what with my dead-returned-to-life MC and all, I would have to get some kind of badass Afterlife depiction tattoo for this one. Yes, I know the Afterlife as I describe it in the book looks nothing like that picture (which is related to, or directly from some version of Dante's Inferno). But it's so cool. (Or maybe I just really can't think of anything at all I could get that goes well with this book specifically.)

New WIP. I found this one easier than the other two. Because there actually are tattoos in it, so it makes it easy to figure out what I would get to represent it. One of the love interests (that's right, I'm love triangling it in this one) has tattoos written in a fictional language (fictional as in I made it up, not fictional within the book's world) up his spine. The way I picture the language looking is closest to Arabic of anything else that actually exists. So I could get phrases written in Arabic up my back. (I can hear my boyfriend's brain exploding from miles away at the idea of me getting a tattoo that big.)

In all actuality, despite how much I seriously do love the Arabic tattoo idea, I would most likely get a tattoo in celebration of, but not actually related to, my books. I think 'because I have a book coming out' is as good a reason as any to get a tattoo. The next one I want for real is something along the lines of this cross. (Without dragons, though. But I do like the way they're twisted around it, so I think I would add something else to replace them.) 

So that's it for me. What would you get? Visit YA Highway to see what others have said, and to add your own link!   

Monday, May 17, 2010

Awards x2 and blog contest

First: Kathy Bradey is having her first ever blog contest. Go on over there and enter it. Or, you know, don't, so I have more chance of winning her prize. (Just kidding. Go enter!)

And I got one more blog award, so here it is:

This award is from Medeia Sharif. Her blog is awesome, and you should visit, if you haven't.

I'm going to pass it to Kristin Otts, because a) I like her, and b) she wrote the most amazing post about body image and accepting yourself, and inspired others to do the same. That's worth a blog award, I'd say!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blog awards

I've gotten three blog awards this week, so I figured I'd better post them & pass them along before I forget about them!

This first one is the "Creative Writer" blog award. It comes to me from Michelle Schusterman, who, in case you didn't know it, is kick ass. I'm supposed to come up with six lies and one truth about myself without telling you which are which. This is actually harder than I thought. Sorry they're kind of lame.
1) I'm slightly allergic to pollen.
2) My favorite flavor of jelly/jam is grape.
3) I'm scared of house centipedes.
4) The first thing I ever decided I wanted to be when I grew up was a veterinarian.
5) I have owned three dogs.
6) My sister is two years younger than me.
7) I used to sleepwalk as a child.
And I'm passing this award on to Rebecca Rogers and Blue Lipstick Samurai (you get called by your blog name when you keep your real one anonymous! hehe), because I bet they can come up with some fun, creative lies.

The second one is the Happy 101 award, which I've received before, but I'm posting it anyway. Because it's pretty and has cupcakes on it. I'm not going to pass it on, though. (It's MY blog, I make the decisions!) This one comes from Kathy Bradey, who is awesome and somehow manages to keep up with how everyone's doing, despite being on the opposite side of the world from most of us!

And the third one is the A is for Awesome award, from Rebecca Rogers. She and her blog both rock, and if you haven't visited, you should!
This one, I'm passing along to Amanda Hannah and Kathy Bradey, because...well, the award is kind of self explanatory. They are awesome.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Friday Five of obnoxious childhood writing phases

So I know this is really not the point of the whole Friday Five thing but it makes it more fun (also my list could get really long if I don't give myself some sort of limitation).

I was writing away happily in my notebook the other night when I randomly started reminiscing about the strange writing phases I went through as a child, when I did things I thought made me Really Really Cool. So for your entertainment, here is a random sampling of the ones I remember best. And one note: none of my childhood writing was done on a computer, unless it was for school. I have piles and piles of notebooks to prove this. Yes, I still have (almost) all of them.

1) The doing strange things with letters phase. This is when I crossed my Zs in the middle. Wrote my As about six different ways. Decided it looked cool to write everything in capitals, or everything in lower case. Wrote in minuscule handwriting so I could fit as many words on a line as possible. Wrote in giant handwriting and made each letter take up two lines rather than one. Dotted my Is with hearts or circles. Used semi-colons wherever possible because I thought it made me look really grown up. Spelled my name 'K8lin' (seriously some of my longtime friends still write my name this way. I wrote it on EVERYTHING. Even homework, in 7th&8th grade. My teachers were very indulgent. Maybe because I was a good student.)

2) The end-of-line splitting phase. I hope to God at least some of you know what I mean by this. I mean when you're writing, and you have a multi-syllable word coming up toward the end of a line and the enormous thing is just not going to fit, so you can either move the whole word to the next line, or con-
serve space by splitting it with a dash. But I didn't follow the rules for this, oh no. I did it wherever possible. I mean seriously I would write words like t-
his. It confused even me, but I thought I was being the epitome of cool because I was fitti-
ng as many words as possible onto one line.

3) The rainbow phase. When I wrote in marker. And not only that, but I wrote using my entire package of markers. I'd do one color for a couple pages, then switch. Then switch again. You know what happens when you do this? You end up with a page that has dark blue on one side, and yellow on the other (I really did use yellow) and you can't read the yellow very easily because you can see the dark blue through the other side.

4) The elaborate cast of characters phase. So for this one, I went upstairs to get my notebook (labeled on the front "The Longest Story I've Ever Written!!!!!!!!" and all those exclamation marks have circles rather than dots at the bottom) which I knew had a character list in the front of it. There are about thirty character names listed, and then below that, it says "See green attitude ntebk for a complete character listing etc. (pg 41)", yes, I did write page numbers on all my notebooks, too. So I found the "green attitude" notebook. Two things about what I found there terrified me. a) my character list is two and a half pages long. b) my handwriting was as good then as it is now. At the end of the character list, there's a circled "68" so I'm going to trust twelve-year-old Kaitlin and assume there are sixty-eight characters. Oh dear God. Also, I'm feeling really brave, which is why you'll find a picture of the first page of the character list, even though I'm so embarrassed by it that I think I might actually be blushing. (Also featured: the rainbow phase, and crossed Zs). I am fully aware, by the way, that the ages of my cattle are very strange. What can I say? The genetically engineered kangaroos did it.

5) The let's describe gory things in way too much detail phase. I went through this phase several times. But when I was younger, I thought it made me pretty badass to have limbs being chopped off or people living in squalor (I liked to write really historically inaccurate historical fiction set in medieval times when I wasn't writing about cows) and describing it all for pages and pages so whoever read it would be truly, thoroughly disgusted. Even though I didn't like letting people read my not-for-school fiction. But I imagined it.

This was an embarrassingly fun way to finish off my week, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RTW: whose tweets would I follow?

So this week's topic is kind of cool (and random). Which literary characters I would follow on twitter. This is trickier than it sounds! I immediately wanted to just pick all my favorite love interests (hello, Gale, Balthazar, and Brigan!) but I don't actually think any of them would tweet entertainingly. So after some serious thought, here's who I would most likely follow on twitter:

*Regina, from SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers. Because she would be snarkily hilarious.
*Nick, from THE DEMON'S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan. Partly because at least one of my favorites from my hot guys list has to make it. But also because I'm sure if he were actually convinced to tweet, he would tweet sarcastic, inappropriate things.
*Fred and/or George, from HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling. Do I have to explain?
*Luna Lovegood, also from HARRY POTTER. Because she's so strange. I would love to hear her advice on how to protect myself from all the imaginary things she thinks are real. (What if some of those things ARE real??)
*Sophie, from HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins. I laughed out loud about a million times while reading the book, so I can only imagine.

Who would YOU follow on twitter? Hop on over to YA Highway, where you can share and see what others said!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quickly, because this is important

I wanted to link to the Do the Write Thing for Nashville blog. They're auctioning off some super awesome stuff. And it's for a great cause!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

RTW: Pictures

This week's topic is pretty fun. Photos that inspire your WIP. To be completely honest, I generally tend to find images after I write something, because I prefer to find an image that matches the vision in my head rather than the other way around, but I have my little collection saved on my computer from my BFF, google images.

To sum it up roughly: YA speculative fiction set in a future ice age. Maybe the best setting I will ever have in a WIP. We've got some ice formations, some mammoths (so, they were only featured in one brief scene. Whatever!) and an ice tunnel.

So Dead
Really hard (for me) to find pictures for. It's not setting heavy, and I don't like to try to find pictures of my characters. I did find one picture that satisfied me, though.

It has a title, but I'm only 95% set on it, so it's just WIP for now. Googling images actually helped me with this one because it has so many settings. Mainly forests and cliffs. I just picked a few faves, because I may or may not have about thirty related pictures on my computer...

Okay, so I would have to really stretch to relate that last one to my WIP (it's technically a treehouse!) but it's so amazing I am including it anyway. It looks better bigger, and you can see it here.

Visit YA Highway to see my co-bloggers' inspiring pictures, and to share your own!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beauty and the Truth

I was going to do Kate Hart's Two for Tuesday this week, but then this amazing post by Kristin Otts came up, so I changed my mind. She said at the end of her post:

So, lovely readers, I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to help me start a wave of positive body image - a celebration of pimples and glasses and freckles and curves.

Post a picture of yourself - sans makeup, fashionable clothing, or a fancy-schmancy hairstyle. A picture of yourself in your PJs, hugging your teddy bear, making a stupid face. A picture of YOU.

It won't be perfect, but that's the beautiful truth about people. None of us are.

And I am in love with this idea. I also am incapable of just posting pictures and shutting up, so here I go:

I'm a size three. I weigh less than 110 lbs. Sometimes I get the impression I'm supposed to be ashamed about this, but I'm not. This is the size I'm supposed to be, and even though I don't like every little piece, I've come to a place in my life where I like how I look.

People--women in particular, let's not lie to ourselves, girls--can be harsh. Can be judgmental. Can decide things about you from one little glance. A lot of it is insecurity, and it has to stop. We would all feel so much more beautiful if we stopped comparing and judging and tearing down those we are not like. A lot is said about the terrible things that are said/done to bigger girls, but words hurt people of all sizes and shapes and looks. People throw around phrases like "skinny bitches" to describe all thin people, as though your size automatically makes you a bad person. There's a facebook group called "curvy girls are better than skinny girls". I'm sure there are more like it, and probably some that go the reverse, too. Personally, I get a lot of questions about whether I eat, how much I eat, demands that I eat more. This rolls off me now, on a personal level, but it is something that digs at my soul. No one of any size should have to sit there at lunch in the cafeteria and wonder if they're eating too much/too little, or whether they can go to the bathroom alone, or if that will make their friends think they're puking out what they just ate.

Even the prettiest girls don't always feel pretty. No one should be made to feel too fat/too skinny/too perfect/too ugly. Everyone has the right to feel how they feel, and no one will be able to feel free of the weight of judgment until we all stop hating each other for stupid, stupid reasons.

There are men in the world who are so attracted to slender girls. There are also men who are so attracted to curvy girls. Whatever size your body is, whatever shaped nose you have, however weird you might think your toes are, own it.

It starts with one thing. Do you love your shoulders? Your nose? Your eyes? Focus on how great that one feature is, instead of focusing on what you hate about your other features. Eventually you'll start to love more and more things. Even if it's stupid things. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend has never given a second thought to what my elbows look like, but I like them, and that makes me feel good.

Everyone is unique. Own your uniqueness. Love it. Love yourself. That's where it all begins.

And here's me, in all my unmakeuped glory. I actually never wear makeup, so this is not unusual. But this was also pre-shower, so my hair is good and frightening. I took two, because I kind of look unhappy in the first one. (It's harder than I thought to take a picture of myself!)

Ooh! And look--two pictures of me=TWO FOR TUESDAY. In all seriousness, though, it is so important to a) respect yourself and b) respect others. Don't just assume your words won't hurt someone because according to your version of the universe, they have nothing to be hurt about. And don't let anyone tell you what you're supposed to look like. You need to make yourself happy. No one else.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New blog layout and an award

Yep I spent much of my weekend (and Friday) redesigning my blog. I did adore my old template--it was gorgeous!--but I wanted something plainer and cleaner so reading the blog will be easy on the eyes. Plus, I feel a little proud because I did it myself this time--that's my blood, sweat, and tears you see in there. don't see any of those things? Okay, so maybe there was no blood or tears, but it's pretty hot out so there is some sweat.

Anyhow, since I was posting, I decided it was high time I did an award post, since I got a blog award a couple weeks ago. The Superior Scribbler award, courtesy of the super awesome Jennifer.

Here are ~the rules~ that come with this award, and my random commentary, just because I feel like it:

*Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends. (I'm going to cheat, see below)

*Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. (Done, and can I just say again, Jenn rocks.)

*Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award. (Whatever I'm supposed to link to where it says 'this post' was lost well before this got to me, so you'll just have to live without.)

*Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog. (Yay this part was easy!)

Okay, and now for who I'm going to give it to. I'm going to cheat, like I said above. I'm only going to give it to one person, because ALL the blogs I follow are awesome and I struggle when I have to try to pick too many.

Soooo I'm passing this award to Michelle Schusterman, because she and her blog rock (by the way if you're reading this on Sunday, you might not be able to see her blog right now. But soon, soon.) She is remodeling her blog this weekend too, so, you know, we are one.