A Writer’s Thanksgiving

Since almost Thanksgiving, so it seems like a good time to reflect on what I’m thankful for in the writing/publishing/reading world. As difficult as writing can be, as frustrating and uncertain as the publishing path can be, there are a lot of things I’m so glad to have in my life as an author. And because it’s me, I need to include gifs to accurately illustrate my gratitude. So without further ado, here are some things I’ve grateful for this year:

Coffee: let’s be honest–nothing would happen without you.

My writing group: for giving me the feedback I need, for loving my WIPs, and for being the most supportive group ever.

Twitter: where I procrastinate and talk about feminism.

My fellow YA writers: because they write awesome stuff, and they’re my people.

Sweatpants: I am so glad the writing office dress code is casual.

My agent: for her enthusiasm about my projects and for always being in my corner.

Librarian friends: because I brag about you to my non-librarian friends.

Wine: for making retreats and conferences that much better, and for when it’s been a hard day.

My family: especially my parents, who show up to pretty much every reading/panel I do in the New England area, and my husband, with whom I’m so glad to share the writing life.

Corgis: you keep being you.

My readers and blog followers: without you guys, I’d be shouting into the void; thank you for your likes and comments, and for your general awesomeness.

What things are you thankful for in your writing life? Share your thoughts in the comments, and happy almost Thanksgiving!

Check It Out

Libraries are the best–free books, movies, games and music; cool events like readings and musical performances; helpful resources; free internet; meeting spaces; and more for patrons.

And of course, librarians are the coolest, like when they put together a fun Taylor Swift-inspired video all about how great libraries are. From the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library for National Library Week:

I already practically skip when I leave the library with an armful of books. Now I’m going to have to hold back from singing, “Check it out!”

YA Readers in Real Life

A little YA humor for your Thursday:


I have to admit, I do totally categorize people by House. (Hufflepuff pride!) I’ve also used the phrase “May the odds be ever in your favor,” in a non-YA-related professional setting.

Hamster Birthday Parties and Writers Being Silly

Today in funny things writers do, Tao Lin teaches us how to draw a hamster (which are basically just giant faces):

Tao Lin: How to Draw a Hamster from Graham Kolbeins on Vimeo.

Lin’s drawings inspired me to give my own hamsters a try. Here are my hamsters, celebrating a birthday:


And this is why I’ll never be a children’s book illustrator. Still, it was fun to see a writer like Tao Lin talk about a random, silly thing he likes to do, and it was also fun to give hamster-drawing a try. It’s a nice reminder that play isn’t just for kids–it’s great for creative people of all ages.

Bad Reviews as Read by Children’s Book Authors

Normally I don’t approve of authors responding to bad reviews, but this is too good to pass up:

To be fair, I’d be a little concerned about that lion in the rain, too.

It’s a good reminder that even well-respected and established authors, who get lots of positive reviews, also get some bad reviews. Just gotta shrug it off, smile, and keep going.

(via bookshelves of doom)

The Twelve Days of Writer’s Christmas

Things I love: gifs and song parodies. How could I resist putting together a writer-themed version of the classic Christmas carol, with corresponding gifs?

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my writing gave to me:

Twelve cups of coffee

Eleven ARCs from authors
Ten writing playlists
Nine cover reveals

Eight swoony kiss scenes
Seven funny retweets
Six pairs of sweatpants

Five critique partners

Four messy first drafts

Three plot hole fixes

Two days ’till deadline

And a retreat with awesome writer friends

Happy holidays, everyone!

Getting Psyched for the Fourteenery Retreat

This weekend marks the first-ever Fourteenery retreat, in which thirteen of our fourteen debut 2014 authors descend on Savannah, GA for a few days of writing, bonding, cooking, nail polish, wine, and lots of Southern gothic fun. Which of course means I need to share my feelings and expectations of the experience in gif form:

What I wish packing were like:

What packing is actually like:

Getting off the plane and meeting everyone for the shuttle to the retreat house:

When I see everyone for the first time:

When someone says something hilarious (aka every five seconds):

Sharing industry gossip:

Writing time:

Stressing over book stuff:

Any “bad decisions” made:

When I realize that we have to go home eventually:

When I remember that we get to plan more awesome stuff for 2014:

Make sure to follow along on Twitter (#svrt) and Tumblr for all the real-time retreat fun.