Sunday, January 12, 2014

in which we discuss facebook, story-seasons, and a tree stump.

So I'm beginning to realize that, until sometime in March, I'll probably be sharing story-related posts. The last thing I want is to turn this blog into a perpetual neon arrow pointing to myself like, Look, ye! This girl is the best thing since Starburst invented Yon Bags of Reds!

But I don't want you to miss some of the things that are happening. And I like it when authors talk about the behind-the-scenes moments of their book, so I thought you might, too. And if updates and behind-the-scenes stuff happens to be your bag, I now have an author Facebook page to absorb some of this information (and share pictures of my sweet dog). You are most welcome to kick off your shoes and come visit!

Here's the link:

This blog has really only ever been a place to ponder the whimsy in my world. It has never been organized enough to have a theme. Or any kind of tagline. I'm not a "blogger." I prefer to focus on what I love on here, and write about whatever makes my heart spin. I think the format of blogging can be fun, and I've tried to make this a mix of writing-related endeavors and more candid thoughts. For this particular story-season, those two spheres are about to eclipse.

The other day I was chatting about Book Stuff with one of my closest friends, aka the amazingly talented author Jenny B. Jones. (Who still won't write a sequel to Save the Date no matter how hard I beg.) (But I beg weekly, because persistence is one of my strengths.) And she said, "You are an idiot if you don't document all this somehow."

Now, I realize she did not mean that everything happening needs to be documented on a blog.

But, truth: this will never happen again.

And I don't mean it like: I will never write another book again. I'm presently working on my second novel for Scholastic, and I am over the moon about working with them again. That's such a gift, and I'm not taking it lightly.

I just mean that no day happens twice. I don't remember who said, "Everything is a once in a lifetime experience." But it's a quote I've been thinking through lately.

Just working with Scholastic was a dream come true. I never thought people would connect with this story so soon. I didn't think I'd get to talk stories with so many fellow, wonderful, kindred-spirit booknerds. It's been a dream. I'm so grateful that even Felicity Pickle couldn't find the right word to express it. Not everything in the past year has been a dream, of course. There have been some really dark days to push through, too. That's always how it is, isn't it? Some days, you're in the Shire. Some days, you're in the bowels of Mordor.

But the story part of this season has been one of the sweetest experiences I'll ever have.

And still, I'm always so conscious of the balance between sharing good news, and encouraging you as you write ... vs. writing what becomes the virtual equivalent of standing on a tree stump and blowing my own horn.

... I don't know why I imagined a tree stump in that scenario. Is it because I'm short? Ha!

So for a while, blog posts will be short, and lots of them will be updates. But please don't read between the lines that I think I'm awesome. I'm not. Proof: I just asked ModCloth to email me when they re-stock My Little Pony coffee mugs.

(Nothing brings all the boys to the yard like Lord of the Rings and My Little Pony references, just fyi. Form an orderly line, gents!)

I'm trying to find a way to document all of this somehow. And I want to share it with you however I can. I hope you'll be patient with me while I figure out the right balance.

If you read anything between the lines of these updates it's this:

You're not out of time.
You haven't missed your chance.

I don't know the shine of your particular dreams, but I know they're worth dreaming. Don't just stare at them until you see spots. Run at them with your whole heart. I don't believe the old adage that hard work gets you exactly where you want; it does not. I've known too many kind, intelligent, talented men and women who seem to get nothing but unlucky breaks .... for no other reason than the crappy fact that life is really, really hard and dark days are a plenty. But good days are coming, too. And sometimes all the work you've done, and that tricky, tricky thing called timing, align in a magical way.

So here's to stars in your eyes and stardust on your eyelashes and the brave, brave heart you wear on your sleeve.

Steady on, sweet dreamer. It's a story-season, after all.


  1. Your words hit me right in the chest.
    Because for so long, I've thought I've ran out of time AND missed my chance, because I didn't get published as a teenager. I thought I'd missed my chance to be "admirable", I suppose, in the eyes of man. I mean, how spot on were your words?
    Thank you so much. You give me hope.
    Because I'm young, but I feel old, ya know? Sometimes. I mean, I'm only twenty, but I feel like I've missed my chance. I have a story, but what if my life choices have messed it up beyond repair?
    Thank you, for telling me through your words, that it will be alright. I haven't ran out of time. I'll be ok.
    Also, on a lighter note, I am so happy for you about your book! There is just something awesome about this. I really want to buy it when it comes out.

    1. Sarah, I'm so glad you left a comment on here. I would tell you that, at 20, you have the whole world ahead of you. But I know people tell you that all the time already. So let me say this: when I was 22, and graduated from college, I felt like the world's biggest loser. Like I hadn't accomplished enough. Like, my gosh, I've been here four years and nobody knows my name. And on and on. I think we have so much pressure, so often, to accomplish HUGE things when we are very, very young. And, inevitably, when you've dreamed of something happening your whole life (like publishing), you come across so many stories of people who sold a book at, say, 15. Also, I think every person I know with an artsy-heart (me, for sure) has wrestled through believing: when "this" happens, I'll finally matter. I have so been there. Heck, I am STILL there if I don't keep a check on my heart. But hear me out: you have NOT missed your chance. You are going to have thousands of shimmer-shining chances. As long as you're living, you aren't going to run out of them. One of the most awesome part of meandering through your 20's is that you're going to get more and more confident in all sorts of areas. Your best years are ahead of you. You'll be better than alright, trust me. :)

    2. Thank you so, so much. :)

  2. This post was brilliant and inspiring and I really needed the phrase ,"Some days, you're in the Shire. Some days, you're in the bowels of Mordor."
    I'm going through a lot right now and it is hard and challenging but I'm also okay with it because the idea of wanting to be a writer, and trying to be a writer and support myself in the near future is terrifying. But I will get through all of this and then too, because you're right it is a story-season. :)

  3. GAH I love your blog :) Your voice is so unique; it's always encouraging, and funny! I always love coming here to read about the life of a novelist, and your daily adventures. Thanks for the push to pursue my dreams. You are hilarious, and kind.