Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday word: FRABJOUS

I keep giving myself stuff to do, dammit. Like, "Gee, Kirstin, why not start a word feature on Wednesday, since you claim to be such a word nerd?" And my nerd self says, "Ok, yeah, good idea!" And then my rational self says, "But look at this heap of sh*t to do that doesn't relate to Being An Author?" And then some other self says, "Everybody just shut up!" And then another self says, "Can we go back to bed yet?"

And here we are.

SO . . . today's word is FRABJOUS. Where it came from, nobody's sure, but people think Lewis Carroll combined "fair," "fabulous," and "joyous" for something in Jabberwocky, and it stuck.

I like it. It's a bit of a kick-your-heels-up kind of word, fractured and happy and full of optimism. And it's just a little weird.

To see a proper use of it, check out Pimp My Novel. Also a good industry blog, if you're interested.

Have a frabjous day!

(And to keep myself sane, we will call this "an occasional feature of the blog," as the parlance goes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday title: Fortune-Writing Contest Winner #1!

Hey, good morning! Today's fortune-writing contest winner is Karen Kincy! Congratulations to her! And big thanks to all who participated.

Her winning fortune: "When threatened by zombies, fight with chainsaw, run without."

Because I could not choose (all were great), I let Husband choose. He was in a zombie mood, and it's good advice, actually, especially since I saw today (in the newspaper, a reputable source, right?) that, if the world becomes infested by zombies, we're all toast.

Stay tuned for the next contest . . .

In other news: not much. Had a fantastic two days with the Flux peeps--Brian, Steven, Courtney, Marissa, Tricia, Maggie, Margaret--and really enjoyed myself, because they're all so fab. Snatched a bunch of books: nerd Christmas for me!

I think, on Tuesdays, I'd also like to point out blogs I like, so one for today: The Swivet, by agent Colleen Lindsay. Wise words, interesting stuff.

Peace out, y'all. Gotta head to the day job.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday mischief: Banned Book Week 2009

Dudes, I'm at work, but I have to say this stuff: read a banned book this week. Read one EVERY week, but especially this week, because it's Banned Book Week. Support free speech, y'all. It's what makes America great. Even though it gives people the opportunity to say incredibly stupid stuff, we have the freedom to say it without getting thrown in the clink.

It's my humble ambition to write a challenged or banned book in my lifetime, and it's a bit of a steep order. Or is it? So many people are interested in restricting what others read/see/think about. Maybe I can find just the right one to get pissed about SKY (or BEAUTIFUL MUSIC, novel #2, which stands an even better chance of making people freaky). If I could get someone to challenge or ban my book, I'd know I succeeded in making people think. And woot for thinking!

AND: I have not forgotten the contest. : ) Winner announced tomorrow!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Freaky Friday: NEIL GAIMAN!!

Ok, blog friends, I'm at the Midwest Booksellers Conference in St. Paul, as a guest of Flux and Llewellyn, and I am having a blast. I got to pimp my book at lunch, I met a fellow NE author (for grown-ups), and I got to hang out with Steven and Courtney, fantastic fabulous Flux publicity people (how's that for alliteration?). And I get to hang out with them tomorrow, too. So fun, all of it.

But here's the coolest: I'm going to a mingle-chat-drink situation, and my goal is to stand next to NEIL GAIMAN! Holy crap! He's here to promote his kids' titles, but those aren't my favorites. Coraline creeped me out, and I was lukewarm about The Graveyard Book, so I don't think I'll tell him either thing (thought he might like my reaction to Coraline). I'd rather talk about American Gods or Sandman: Endless Nights (which I've taught, and which I adore). And I almost forgot about Good Omens, which is so damn funny. This man is a complete rockstar, in my world at least.

It is so dumb to be dumbstruck by an author. But seriously . . . I may have no words in my head if I actually get to meet him.

Be cool, Kirstin. Be cool.

(He is also cute as a bug, which doesn't help with the star-struck-ness. Be COOL, Kirstin! Try, at least.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday talk: the economy and book topics

Here to submit a fortune? Next post down!!

Back to Tuesday business: this post is a downer. You are warned.

Five hundred people in Morgan's hometown are losing their jobs by the end of next year. The biggest employer is calling it quits. Why? Because the auto industry has tanked, and the biggest manufacturer in Morgan's home town is a shock absorber factory. (As an aside, I think the sweet man who gave Morgan's boyfriend Derek his best characteristics currently works at this factory.)

Here's what the CEO said: “We sincerely regret the impact this action will have on our employees at Cozad,” said Gregg Sherrill, chairman and CEO, Tenneco. “However, we now feel that industry conditions have stabilized enough for us to move forward on our original plans to consolidate our ride control capacity in the United States, which we need to do in order to strengthen our long-term competitiveness in this critically important market.”

Granted, it's his job to worry about the bottom line of his company, but wow--that's bureaucratic coldness. He probably can't care about those 500 people, or their families. It's just reality, and something (someone) has to give.

But I care, as do other people from Morgan's home town. I care so much my gut hurts. Maybe I need to write about what it means when a parent loses a job. I bet there are way too many young adults out there who would be able to identify.

Friday, September 18, 2009

the first FORTUNE FRIDAY, with a kick-ass prize!

On Fridays, probably every other Friday, I plan to have a fortune-writing contest. We did one last night at my book signing, and it was great.

The winners, in order:

GRAND PRIZE--Chelsea Kocina--"Good friends share more than shoes."

2nd PRIZE--Jackie Bromeland--"You WILL obtain that helicopter's license."

3RD PRIZE--Kelly Berkey--"It's never too late to find your inner naughty."

The choices were made by the esteemed members of my writing group, and fine choices they were. Each winner receives a "cookie champion!" medal, and Chelsea receives a medal AND a box of fortune cookies. Lucky girls!

BUT . . . the prizes get better on the blog! If you win the fortune-writing contest here, you receive a signed copy of ASH, by Malinda Lo. It's the hottest YA to come out this fall! If you like new twists on old stories, if you like GLBT YA, if you like lyrical writing, you're in for a treat. Entries close next Friday, Sept 25, at midnight.

Post your fortunes in the comments--and have a lucky day! (You knew that was coming, didn't you?)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

let's get regular + my fast food book

OK, so . . . I need to be blogreliable. So, from here on out, look for posts on Tuesdays and Fridays. AND on Fridays . . . contests, as soon as I get some decent prizes. Well, decent prizes besides signed copies of my book, and the first person to comment that a signed book isn't a decent prize will be sent a surfing vampire who does NOT look like Brad Pitt, probably more like my grandmother's third husband, so think before you write.

Not that anybody's commenting. But hey. Someone might start. I'd really love that. : )

So . . . a Tuesday post. I got my book in a Mighty Kids Meal the other day at McDonald's. That was pretty cool.

What's that, you say? Mickey D's is now giving away YA novels?

No. I got an American Girl book. Do you know American Girls? They are all very sweet and historical, though a little saccharine and clone-y for me. One of them is named Kirsten. See above. And we have some similarities! We both live in Minnesota, and we both come from Scandinavian peeps. But our names are spelled differently, and she probably pronounces her name "KUR-sten," not "KEER-stin," like me. Plus, she's cute and wears dresses and has braided blonde hair. Me, not so much.

But it was still pretty cool to pull out a book with a character name that was close to my own. I took it as a Good Sign. Of what, I don't know. Something.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yes please: surfing vampires

Having just attempted to read New Moon (I read Twilight last year), and having just decided NEVER AGAIN would I touch the Twilight series, I'm thinking about vampires.

As creatures, I love them. I think they can be very edgy and cool, and very metaphorical (sex, love, death, life, all of the above). However, I don't love paranormal romance vampires with vapid girls in the lead role who CANNOT GET A #)$(*#)(*$ LIFE WITHOUT THEIR VAMPIRE. Holy crap, get outta my way.

In my own writing I could not do a vampire justice, but these people can. Read this blog, and not just for the wampyrs (and wampyr wuv).

(I cannot say I buy Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise as a wampyr, either, but i wuv them)

Monday, September 7, 2009

ding ding ding ding ding!!!

Here's a secret I bet none of you know: having a little exposure can lead to a lack of confidence.

"Excuse me?" I hear you saying it right now. "But you're having SUCCESS in your exposure. People like your book--or they seem to, anyway. It should give you MORE confidence."

Call me backward. For me, success/exposure is more than slightly scary, because of the follow-up: what if I can't follow up? What if I suck? What if the next book sucks? What if everyone's lying about liking my book? What if I'm ugly and fat? What if nobody comes to my book signing? What if . . . what if . . . what if . . . ?? You get the point (my husband, if he was reading this blog, would be ROLLING HIS EYES AND SIGHING LOUDLY).

Then, the inestimably smart, amazing, career-changing agent Janet Reid (can you tell I appreciate her?) posted a link to Toni McGee Causey's post about confidence on the Murderati blog. And the bell went off in my head--ding ding ding ding ding!!

See if that happens for you, too. What if I decided, every single day, to ignore those "what-ifs"?

So here's to making choices--and here's to the amazing, beautiful, funkadelic space that is the writing community on the WWW! Writers, editors, agents, publishers, marketers--we are lucky, lucky people to have such a crowd to talk with and learn from.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

book spies

Everybody needs a good book spy or two, and here are mine: Lillian looking happy on the left, and Anna, looking studious on the right.

They are my friends (they first were my students) and they were kind enough to go find out if SKY ALWAYS HEARS ME was available on the shelf at my local B&N. Lo and behold, it was, and lo and other behold, there was a huge sign about my reading on the 17th. Lillian is ALSO showing me that she actually paid for the book (check the receipt in her right hand), because she said she was so excited she almost shoplifted it.

Why did I need book spies? I would have felt just a little weird going myself. But guess what? After they sent these photos, I went anyway. : ) Did I want to hop up and down and screech in the store? Sure. Did I want to point out to the clerk that this was MY book, match the name on the credit card to the book, woman, check my sh*t out, look at me go? Of course.

Did I actually do it? No. But I wanted to!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

here we go!


In the making since 2002, today is LAUNCH DAY!

Though not really, since some people got their pre-ordered books last week, but today you can walk into a bookstore somewhere (hopefully) and buy yourself a brand-spanking new copy of THE SKY ALWAYS HEARS ME AND THE HILLS DON'T MIND.


Tomorrow: more work on Book 3, which has been approved by Amy the Amazing Agent. Onward and upward!

(Want to know why I chose the foam finger? Read the book!)