Thursday, July 29, 2010

RWA Conference

Half the Fictionistas are in Orlando this week, having a wonderful time at the Romance Writers of America conference. The other half of us are stuck at home.

Can you guess who is where? OK, I'll help you out...I'm not in Orlando. :(

But Mel, Kristen, and Gwen are! Mel signed LOVE SUCKS last night at the Literacy Booksigning. My copy arrived in the mail from Amazon yesterday and I'm SOOOO excited to read it! BITE ME was really good, so I know this one will totally rock!

Are you at RWA? Having fun? Attending any good workshops?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sharing Your Light

Today I am writing from the lobby of a hospital. My cousin is having radiation today, and she has been going five days a week for a bit now. Her family and other loved ones have taken turns going with her. You might think this sounds like a chore, but it's actually a delight.

I never realised, for instance, how lovely the Adams Shore in Quincy is. And since we ride on a special shuttle bus, I got to look at the wonderful old brownstones and craftsman houses as we rumbled through Jamaica Plain. Usually I have to pay attention and dodge traffic.

And Anna is a delight. She's funny, and has an amazing attitude, and she's full of great stories about my mom when she was young, and my other cousins, and my grandparents. I love listening to family stories. It's how my grandparents remain alive to me. It's how I relate to my mom as the young woman she was-- not terribly unlike me, as it turns out.

The funny thing about cancer is it can, honestly, be a gift. It can reconnect us to people we love and don't always remember to call. It can remind us what is precious. It can uncover a memory left tucked away someplace-- forgotten gems in the back corners of our life's closet.

So on this hot, but dry and breezy Monday I am blessed with the gift of a free ride up town with a really nice shuttle driver, and my wonderful cousin Anna. Life is good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dude, it's Friday

Fridays are the best, aren't they? You've got the promise of a whole weekend in front of you, the chance to have fun, relax, get something accomplished or do nothing at all. You might be staying home, you might be traveling, you might be entertaining friends or enjoying some solitude. The possibilities are endless and whatever you make of them.

Fridays can be Good Fridays, Black Fridays or Casual Fridays. (And occasionally Freaky Friday.) We Thank God It's Friday but hope it's not Friday the 13th. Friday was named in honor of the Norse goddess Frigg, but to the Romans the day was sacred to the goddess Venus, and was known as dies veneris.

In French, Friday is vendredi. In Italian: venerdi; Spanish: viernes; German: Freitag ; Dutch: vrijdag. How ever you say it, it still means most of us don't have to work tomorrow. How are you spending your Friday and what are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guten Tag!

So, I'm tickled pink--I found out yesterday that my trilogy (Stupid Cupid, Flirting With Disaster, and Pucker Up) are all going to be published in Germany. We sold the rights to a German publisher! This is going to be MEGA-cool, because I totally think it's the perfect excuse to go to Germany once they're out. LOL

Everyone, get your booty pants on and shake it with me--you won't break it!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Could somebody please explain how today I woke up to discover my firstborn is a FREAKING JUNIOR?

My little treefrog. My 5 lb 6 oz baby who's little bottom fit into my a FREAKING JUNIOR. IN. HIGH. SCHOOL.

Now I know this should be about him and his awesomeness, but really, I'm gonn a make it about me. Because let's face it, I'm way too cute and way too young to be the mother of a 16 year old HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR.

He started a new school today. They aren't quite year 'round, but close. It's a Math and Science charter school (sadly 2 of his weakest subjects) but it's very student focused, with very small classes and an extended school day for students who need the extra attention. He's pretty excited about the school even though he's not too happy about his summer ending a month early.

My son is a JUNIOR.

I may need a day or two to process this. Wake me up before he graduates, mmmkay?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Don't You Forget About John Hughes

I watched an interesting documentary the other day about a group of filmmakers making a film about John Hughes' filmmaking. It was called, Don't You Forget About Me 

As a writer for teens and a lover of John Hughes, I took away some insight from the interviews they did with people in the industry and especially from the teenagers. I didn't much care for their "journey" to get an interview with Mr. Hughes--it didn't really mesh with me and I think it was because I never invested in their group. The scenes with the filmmakers themselves seemed petty and disorganized. If they were going to feature themselves, I think the audience should have gotten to know them better instead of scenes of arguments about how to do things they should have likely already have planned before they got that far. I just wasn't invested in their personal journey.

However, the interviews were great. I really liked the normal, everyday, very smart kids they talked to who complained that they relate to practically nothing about Hollywood teen movies anymore. Movie teens are nothing like real teenagers.

I also loved learning that John Hughes basically sequestered the actors of Breakfast Club in a cheesy hotel in Chicago  during the filming. Not only did he understand the toxicity of Hollywood's influence on his movie set--but I think he cared about his actors. You don't see that anymore. There are some talented beautiful kids going into Los Angeles--but as soon as it can, it seems like the Hollywood Machine scrubs them clean of whatever made them interesting and turns them into Actorbots.

I am, of course, a huge fan of John Hughes and his writing. The poignancy of this movie being filmed before he died does not escape you--especially near the end. I think the point of it all was that when he stopped making films, he left this huge gaping maw that nobody can fill. But more than that, I think nobody is even TRYING to fill. It's sad, really. Teens are some of the smartest people out there. It would be nice to honor that once in awhile.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changes Are A-Comin'

As you probably know from Kristen's post the other day, the Fictionistas blog no longer focuses solely on YA books. Of course, it probably never did even when we said it did. We've always talked about a wide range of topics, but we did try to always bring it all back to YA when we could.

Anyway, most of us 'Nistas write more than just YA, so we decided to make this a more diverse blog open to all topics and books. Now rather than a group of YA writers focused on promoting and talking about YA books, we're a bunch of writers gather to chat about books and life.

So as a reader of this blog, what topics would you like for us to discuss? While we're changing things up, now is the time to give us ideas!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Despicable Me

Let us take time away from the grind of writing, deadlines, vampires, angst, romance, and anything else one can think of. Let us escape. Let us embrace the wonder that is DESPICABLE ME.

Not me... Despicable Me. I went to see this with Ahmed this weekend as a complete indulgent escape, and have not been as charmed and swept-away since Aladdin blew me off my theater seat. Steve Carell is that good as Gru.

Despicable Me is old-school animated fun, relying not on 3-D nonsense and trickery, but on great voice work and incredibly good writing. It's gothic, riddled with homage moments (Gru seems to be a combination of Peter Sellers and Boris Karloff with a dash of Boris Bedanof from Rocky and Bullwinkle). It's got a dash of Lemony Snicket without the severity, a bit of Willy Wonka without the absurdity, and touch of Beetlejuice without the esoterica. Roll it all together with Carell's absolutely perfect timing and we're off to the races.

Gru is, of course, the man who aspires to be the greatest villain of all time. He just keeps losing out to another super-nerd villain. In his quest to steal the moon (no kidding), Gru comes up with a diabolical plan to manipulate three little orphans. Intending to use them in his evil plot, he isn't expecting them to sneak up on his heart when he's busy planning dark deeds.

I just LOVED this movie. It was about family, and the true nature of fatherhood, and the power of the human heart. That it's set against a backdrop of not-so-evil super-villainy is brilliant. The Minions-- an army of weenie one and two-eyed critters with an infectiously elusive language of their own-- provide some of the most giggly comic relief ever. They will be the new Gremlins come Christmas-time.

Go see it. Now. Or I shall banish you to the box of shame!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Changing things up

You may have noticed that the blog has recently gotten a mini-facelift with a new background. The lockers are gone, replaced by a mosaic of all the Fictionistas bookcovers. And no, they're not all YA books.

See, we had a little 'nista heart to heart and we realized that we're more than just young adult writers and that the YA focus of the blog wasn't fully serving our purpose as cross-genre writers. To be honest, getting a YA book published has moved to the back burner for me at the moment. Not because I don't want to write YA, I do, it's just that my schedule is pretty full with other writing projects.

In case you don't know, next fall (2011) the first three books in my gothic urban fantasy series, Blood Rights, will be coming out from Orbit. I think it's safe to say that's my main focus at the moment as I'm currently writing book 3.

Then there's my steampunk romnace novella coming out from Samhain this October. The other two books I have out right now are All Fired Up (paranormal romance) and Heart Of Fire (fantasy romance). Not young adult by genre definition, but in my eyes, perfectly acceptable books for a younger person to read.

Let's face it, what person under the age of 21 sticks solely to YA books? Did you as a young reader? I know I didn't. I read everything I could get my hands on, regardless of genre or target market.

And so Fictionistas, in respect of that truth, has decided to become a more fully rounded blog. From now on, you'll be hearing about all aspects of the Fictionistas' writing life and our books. Should make for a more lively place to hang out.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

I just got back yesterday from our family vacation in Orlando. It was a blast--we went to Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, and even a luau. The weather actually wasn't that horrible--it was rainy, but it kept it cool. And I got to see the Harry Potter section in Universal (which was INCREDIBLE!).

What about you--taken any fun vacays this summer or have any planned?

Friday, July 02, 2010

Fortunate Cookies Contest

How would you like to win a $10 Amazon gift card just for being especially witty?

I'm looking for ten unique/hilarious fortunes to put in my promo fortune cookies. I will pick my ten favorite from all the entries and from those ten, one name will be drawn for a gift card.

Enter in the comments, as many fortunes as you like. Messages must be 70 characters or less (including spaces). Deadline July 5, 2010 Noon Pacific Time. I will combine the entries here and from my blog to choose winner.

May the fortune be with you....

(this has been cross posted from my personal blog)