Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
After I posted the Spirit and Dust cover, a bunch of you added it on Goodreads. Thanks so much! I'm excited about it, too. I'm thinking about a contest for an ARC or two when we get closer to the release.
(It seems like forever, but time flies. And Brimstone comes out between now and then, for those of you who haven't read the Maggie Quinn books. Or those of you who are completists and want every edition. I don't judge.)
As for Spirit and Dust, I'll have some more information about what it's all about later this week.
In the meantime, if you want to come see me on an awesome panel, I'll be at the Realm of the Unknown party at Irving Library on July 19th from 2-3pm
Other authors attending are:
Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe and A Million Suns
Jackson Pearce, author of As You Wish, Sisters Red, Sweetly, and Purity
Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade, Wolfsbane, Bloodrose, and The Invisibility Curse
Marie Lu, author of Legend and Prodigy
We'll be talking science fiction, fairytales, paranormal, and dystopians. It's open to teens in grades 6-12.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
When I start a project (a new book, or a big revision, whatever) I work steadily. More or less. Sometimes work looks like staring into space or going to the museum or surfing the Internet. But I'm planning it all out, imagining scenes, working on the high and low points of the plot.
I work steadily, but I also second guess myself, write chapters three (and four and five) different ways, spend a day on a page (but a really great page!) and generally over think everything.
Then, at some point, I hit my stride. Sometimes it's because I finally know the characters and plot or I get where I can see the end and how to get there... and sometimes it's because OMG the book has to be done.
So I do nothing but write. I sort of love this part, though my family and friends hate it. I eat, breathe and dream in book world. This is the time when you do NOT want to be on the road with me, because I'm basically thinking about my book all the time.
I'm also actually physically working on my book all the time. I also eat an awful lot of these:
So when I start out I look like this:
And my desk looks like this:
And my dog starts to look like this:
And I start to look like this:
But I'm better now. Expect announcements SOON about the new thing!
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
I’m really thrilled to get to present an award at the RWA’s Award Ceremony at the National Conference in July. It's kind of a big deal. Everyone wears fancy dress, there are multi-media presentations and jumbo screens and teleprompters. (Then there’s the RITA award itself, which is quite beautiful. Mine lives on my desk next to my action figures.)
|Me and RITA in 2009|
My intro doesn’t say that. It says some cool things about awards and how much librarians like me and stuff. But not that.
When I was filling out the form about it WOULD say, the last question is “Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that we might put in your introduction?”
Which is a conundrum.
What, exactly, would other people consider interesting? I can quote 90% of the libretto of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and sing at least five of them. Is this what they mean?
Pink, purple and green are my favorite colors. I love dogs and also otters and foxes. I’m sort of obsessed with Russell Crowe when he’s in fighting trim and kinda even when he isn’t. I won’t sit in a seat that’s warm from someone else’s body heat and I hate my food to touch.
Which doesn’t even factor in this: What is interesting about me... that I would want people to know.
So I asked my assistant what was interesting about me. There followed a text exchange of escalating ridiculousness.
Here’s what we came up with. Some of these may even be true.
Rosemary Clement-Moore is...
- An acclaimed beekeeper and, on a related note, bear wrestler.
- Guilty of stealing JK Rowling’s seat on an airplane.
- Living in a half completed Skull Mountain Fortress.
- Currently building a replica of Easter Island in her backyard.
- The bass guitarist in world renowned garage band Chain Mail Bikini, formerly known as Teenage Mutant Musketeer.
- Understudy to a Tina Fey impersonator.
- Perfecting her archer skills to prepare for the the Dystopian future.
Add your own ideas in the comments. Points for creativity and absurdity. If you make me snort coffee through my nose, you win a prize.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Recently, I have become responsible for mowing my own lawn.
This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to a lot of you. Or maybe it sounds lazy or sexist (after all, I can clean house like nobody’s business). But it is what it is... Or was. I have never had to mow the lawn before.*It didn’t start well. It didn’t start at all, because the first thing I discovered was that the lawnmower was kaput and would take an Actual Lawnmower Repairman to fix.
Since the Home Owners Association won’t let me get a herd of goats (even a small one), I had to get my hands on a functioning lawn mower. And since an Actual Lawnmower Repairman costs money, and I am going to be the New Mower of the Lawn, I decided to get a rechargeable electric mower because it’s:
• Better for the environment
• Not dependent on my filling it with gasoline, which is icky and smelly.**
But the situation is getting dire, because the grass is now two weeks long. And I have small dogs. I’m worried I’m going to lose one of them.
Worse, I’m worried what might be taking up residence in my lawn. My suburban back yard could turn into a scene from Death in the Long Grass.
Or there could be gnomes. Or velociraptors. This could happen:
So I look up what I want online and go to Home Depot. They have rows and rows of mowers: riding mowers with cup holders, push mowers with air conditioning... It’s a car lot of lawn mowers, but there is only ONE electric mower model in house. And it’s out of stock.
So the Home Depot Associate says: Well, I do have one in the back. It’s a return but it works perfectly well.
We get the thing in the Jeep and get it home and I call @peterthefencer to come over and help me get it back OUT of the Jeep, and then I charge it up and I read the instruction manual and I look up online How to Mow a Lawn.
Apparently there is a Great Debate over side to side mowing versus a spiral patterns. I mean a Great Debate. It’s like the Big-Endians and Little-Endians. I went with: However the heck I can manage to push it.
Because my bargain basement returned-but-working-perfectly electric rechargeable lawnmower is not self-propelled (none of them are). It’s RCM propelled.
And here’s what else I found out. My yard only LOOKS flat. That five degree slope is like freaking Everest when you’re trying to turn a lawnmower on it. Especially when one’s small stature puts one at a severe leverage disadvantage.****
The first time took me an hour and a half and a couple of breaks. There may have been pointing and laughing from the pothead teens across the street. There may have been some swearing. There may have been gnomes.
|Not My Lawn|
But at last it was done! It looked (mostly) great. I felt such a great sense of accomplishment! I was high-fiving the dogs and doing a victory lap around the yard (a slow, tired victory lap).
And then I realized I was going to have to do it again the next week.
And the week after.
And twice a week in full summer. You can’t give those gnomes an inch, or they’ll encroach right back in.
I think I hear them singing their Elton John war chant right now.
Maybe I’ll clone some velociraptors to keep them out. That would take care of my home security as well. Though I suspect if the HOA objects to goats, they won’t go for genetically engineered dinosaurs, either.
But if I had velociraptors, I wouldn’t have to worry about the HOA, either.
|Jurassic Security System|
*Ironically, I have mown a pasture before, but that was on a tractor. Not the same thing as wielding a Toro in the suburbs.
**Mostly this last one.
****This is why I’m in equal danger from gnomes as I am velociraptors. Also, gnomes are creepy.
Monday, May 21, 2012
There has been no new blog post for a week because...
1. I'm eyebrow deep in rewrites.
2. I taught/led/participated in six workshops/panels at DFW Writers Conference, which was awesome and cool and gave me the boost I need to dive back in to reason number one. (See P.S. below.)
Happy Reading / Writing / Final Exam Taking / Whatever is keeping YOU busy this May! TTYL!
PS Are you a writer? Want to experience the awesomeness of an RCM class from the comfort of your own couch? I'm teaching Loglines, Queries and Pitches through the Young Adult chapter of RWA ONLINE the last week of June. Here is a link to register. It's $20 for non YARWA members, but even if you're not ready to pitch your book, it's valuable information on things to make sure you put IN your book to make it irresistible when you do get ready to submit.
Friday, May 11, 2012
I've mentioned before that the first two books of the Girl vs. Evil series are being released in a new edition in September.
Without further ado, I present the cover of BRIMSTONE.
Slinking down the streets, hiding in the shadows, always lurking just out of sight, evil follows Maggie Quinn. It's no ordinary, everyday evil, either—it's Evil with a capital E, and whatever's behind it, it clearly wants Maggie.But Maggie isn't the type of girl to go down without a fight. She has a few powerful tricks up her sleeve, not to mention a best friend who's a witch, and she's declaring open season on demons.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Here's what is obvious about The Avengers: It is an awesome thrill ride, absolutely jam packed with action, badassery, wit, and heart. It's that truly rare thing: a movie that is both fun to watch and really, really well-crafted.
Here's what is less obvious: It's a story about superheroes that is really about humanity.
|So. Much. Awesome.|
Wait. Maybe that's obvious, too. Some part of superhero stories reflects our human condition. But a lot of times, the superhero is a larger than life Greek Tragedy figure who serves to Teach Us A Lesson. With great power comes great responsibility. The mutants in X-men represent the scary Other that must be controlled or killed. The X-men fight to save a society that hates them. Batman is… Well, Batman is just wackadoo.
(Which sort of brings me to the trend of "dark" in superheroes. There's a certain breed of "super" that is watchable/readable because it IS so removed from what we are. Deadpool, Spawn, anything by Frank Miller. I feel like Nolan's Batman, for all that I love the mind-twists that Nolan does with that, gets further away from his humanity, even as he makes sacrifices (or "sacrifices") for the good of Gotham or whatever. )
But okay, back to the Avengers. With the notable exception of Thor, everyone on the Avengers team started off as an actual human. They were transformed by science or technology. The team was assembled by a human. Contrast that with the X-men [geek warning], who exist in the same comic book universe. They are mutants, different at their genetic core. Magneto calls them homo-superior, the next wave in evolution. Whenever the Avengers and the X-men show up at the same comic book party, there's a distinct difference: The Avengers are Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The X-men are Earth's outcasts, who fight for a world that hates and fears them.
Both of those are cool stories worth exploring, but they're different. The X-men are mutants in search of humanity. The Avengers, in all of their origin movies and to some extent here, are humans who need to find their inner superhero.
And what's really cool about that is that the director (Joss Whedon, for those of you living under a rock) allows for moments when the most non-superpowered people in the film find their inner hero. Men and women on the street. People with no powers at all but the fact that they volunteered for a tough job. Dweebish SHIELD agents.
Those are just moments, light touches that flavor the movie but don't detract from the central story. This band of humans (or Asgardians) has to find their inner superhero, and then they have to find (stumble and fight, really) their way to being a super-team.
The thing that really blows my mind in this movie is how Whedon gives every single member of the team a character arc that seamlessly fits into the whole picture. Managing to give every character their moment without dragging down the story or the pace (except one or two scenes, maybe) is pretty amazing feat.
Equally amazing is that you don't notice the craftsmanship and the intricate framework of character story and overreaching theme while you're watching. You're just being blown away by the logarithmic awesome that's on the screen.
Here's something else I loved about it. Whedon holds nothing back for the sequel. He goes full out, how-could-you-ever-top-this spectacle. He shoots down EVERYTHING.
There were so many hero shots, so much something something ominous badass, so much heart-twisting sniffle, cheer out loud, laugh, snort, gasp and squee in this movie I cannot wait to go see it again for stuff I missed.
So… highly, highly recommend this movie, both for the craft, the intelligent script, and most of all for the not-holds-barred spectacle of awesome.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
If you did not get the handout in an email from DFWWW, you can view it online here or download it here (download starts automatically).
I will not have paper copies at the workshop, so print it out or bring it on your phone/tablet/parchment scroll, whatever.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
So, don't tell anyone, Internet, but on Sunday I played hooky from book revisions to go with my girlfriends to the nearby renaissance festival, Scarborough Faire. No, my friends are not named Parsley, Sage and Thyme. That would be weird (but awesome). Though possibly not as weird (but awesome) as some of the things we saw at the ren faire.
One of us had never been to such a thing before, and marveled at the amount of work people put into their costumes and crafts.Only one of us dressed in costume. (Though more of us could have, if we'd been so inclined. As someone once said, "Fandom means never having to ask yourself 'But where will I wear that?'")
Okay readers. Poll time! If you could time travel to any point in history (AND have running water and sanitary food preparation conditions) when would it be?
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Spring makes me crazy.
I want to do crazy things like buy a bicycle and bike to the grocery and the coffee shop like I lived in some quaint English village on BBC, ignoring the fact that in a few weeks it will be 90 degrees by 8:30 in the morning and the closest coffee shop is the Starbucks on the Interstate.
I would fill the basket (because of course the bicycle would have a basket on the handlebars) with delicious fresh produce that I will bring home and actually eat. And maybe a baguette. Spring makes me want to be the girl from the Anthropologie catalogue.
Hey, maybe I’ll go to the farmer’s market instead!
Or maybe I’ll plant a vegetable garden, in addition to the flower beds I want to put in and lovingly tend, even though the summer heat and drought watering restrictions will doom them to a short, but beautiful, existence.
|Not my house.|
I have coffee on the porch. I clean my office and find utility bills from 2008 behind my desk. I make huge stacks of books to give to the library. I actually dust my ceiling fan.
None of this will last, of course. By the end of May I’ll be hibernating during the daylight hours, away from the heat and car exhaust. I’ll contribute to it by driving to the grocery store for Tostitos and Reeses peanut butter cups.
But at least the weather will no longer be such a temptation pulling me away from work.
Do you get spring fever? What do you long to do when the weather gets nice, even if it’s totally impractical.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
- Go to page 77 of your current manuscript.
- Go to line 7.
- Copy the next 7 lines/sentences and post them as they're written. No cheating.
- Tag 7 other victims... er, authors.
Thanks to Candace Havens for giving me something to post about today.
So there's that. Now, I'm off to work on it so you can read it soon!
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I dreamed I was living in the apartment that I lived in while looking for this house. And it was full of trash and broken old stuff and simply useless things. (Anyone who's ever taught kids knows what I mean. I LOVED that little Suzy gave me a Hannah Montana Christmas ornament made out of macaroni, but I did not mourn its demise by squirrels in the attic. Hypothetically.)
So, anyway. It's not Hoarders: Buried Alive bad, but this apartment in my dream looks like my kitchen junk drawer, only all over. So dream me decides to start throwing out the actual trash. And then throwing out the broken stuff. And then throwing out the stuff that is meaningless bricabrac. Then all the clothes that are too big, too small, too gifted-by-my-great-aunt-Ida.
And in the process, I discovered an entire room in this apartment that I'd forgotten it had. A room with a closet big enough to be an extra room for either a study or a sewing room, with a closet of it's own. (I"m sort of obsessed with closets, which is kind of Freudian in itself.)
The psychology behind this is so clear, I'm not even going to point it out. Except I am. Once we get rid of the useless and broken things we're holding onto, we find time/space/energy/emotion for things that are important.
THEN--here's the kicker. When I finally did get my butt out of bed, I'm eating my cereal and Mom comes out of her "suite" and she's looking sort of shell-shocked, so I ask her what's up. She's doing this Lenten "cyber retreat" of reading and stuff, and today's reading was about how we should never be so attached to material things that we wouldn't be willing to give them up. So she said, clearly shaken, "What if I had to give up my sewing machine?"
Now, Mom owns the BMW of sewing machines. It's got all this embroidery stuff, and a computer, and it does everything but sliced your bread for you. And quilting/embroidering is her THING, if you know what I mean. She can't get around very easily, but she can make beautiful things with this machine. Unlike little Suzy's macaroni Montana, this gives her great joy.
So I told Mom, "You'd sew by hand." She thought about it a moment, then her shoulders relaxed, and she said, "Yes, I would. I could still make beautiful things."
Of course she could. My ninety year old grandmother is partially blind, but she still knits beautiful sweaters.
I once gave up the Internet for Lent. I allowed myself one e-mail check a day. That's it. No message boards, no IM chat, no surfing. Now, this was before I was writing for a living, but I would say about 80% of my social activity was online. (Okay, 90%, but I don't want y'all to think I was a freak.) My friends lived in other states, I was participating in a writing message board, and IM chat was a big part of my day. It was REALLY hard. And that was before Twitter and Facebook!
But I still wrote. I wrote a lot. (It was just a hobby then.) I wrote by hand, to stay away from the computer. And I found time for a lot of other things, too. Of course, they were all indoors, and I didn't do anything so radical as go make face to face friends. But giving up the computer did not make me any less of who I am.
So, I'm curious. What could you get rid of easily? And what could you give up that would be painful but possible? Would it change who you are, or would it give you more space in your life to BE that person?
p.s. Maybe the theme for today is Thinky Thursday?
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
And here's a teaser from a randomly picked page inside:
You wouldn't think that a day could go downhill after dreaming you were on the roll call for Hell. But it did.
"Have you voted for the class song yet?" A student council drone shoved a half-sheet of paper in my face. Astrobright Orange is painful at any time of day, but at seven-thirty a.m. it was vomit inducing. Also, the only thing perky I want in front of me at that hour is a coffeemaker. Since the drive-thru line at Take-Your-Bucks had streched to Canada, I was still severely caffeine deprived.
Monday, March 12, 2012
- Exciting stuff happens right away. Airship battle within the first minute. Awesome.
- The (important) characters are really likable. Some of the others aren’t really fleshed out, but who cares. (More on that in a minute.)
- The script was nicely written, turning a couple of expectations upside down now and then. For a story that basically set the formula for this sort of movie, that was nice.
- There are beautiful people in this movie. And they’re not wearing much clothes. And weirdly, that wasn’t cheesy or skeevy. It makes perfect sense.
- Beautiful includes the Tharks, the nine-foot tall, green, six-limbed race of desert dwellers. They were so expressive, they could have flown them here from Mars and I wouldn’t have been surprised.
- Dejah Thores. She's the precursor of Princess Leia in the books. In the movie she's just the coolest heroine ever.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Which is my way of saying I can't remember who or what linked to National Geographic photographer Joel Satore's project to record studio photographs of all the endangered species in captivity.
|One of my favorite animals. (From www.joelsatore.com)|
I had no idea about that last bit, that zoos have to make difficult decisions based on limitations of breeding numbers and plain old finances. Sometimes a species just can't be saved, and sometimes they have to just let it go in order to put resources into saving species that have a better chance.
|Otters Are Awesome! (See more @ photographer's website.)|
Anyway, the pictures are stunning, and you can see them and read about the behind the scenes action on the National Geographic Field Test Blog. There is also a gallery on Satore's website, where you can purchase signed prints, which support his project.
(Photos are @ Joel Satore and you should go to his website to see them in their full glory.)
Here is my attempt to photograph the only endangered species at my house. (Endangered in that if she eats another one of my shoes, I may kill her. Not really.)
|Penny (aka Princess Fang) snoozes in MY studio.|