Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Hobbit

I just can't handle how excited I am about this:

And yes, when hubby and I went to New Zealand we totally backroaded it to try to find the Lord of the Rings movie set. Of course, we nearly ruined the rental, but it was worth the attempt.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

First of all, I'd like to announce the winner for THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT CHARLIE. The autographed book and swag goes to....

Andrea Mack!!!!!

Today is Memorial Day here in the States. I am so thankful to all those who sacrificed to allow my family and I to live in safety and peace.

To celebrate, we went to the beach in spite of the tropical storm north of us. It was so cloudy and stormy looking that I hardly recognized the beach.

The beach we went to is one of our favorites, Sand Island. It's located on the gulf side of Florida and it's small and quaint. 

There aren't many waves, but it's a great place to catch crabs and Willy's has some yummy crab cakes.

Caleb even built a storm shelter so we felt completely safe from any encroaching danger.

We only stayed a few hours before we got rained out, but even still we had lots of fun.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Downside of Being Charlie Book Launch

Last Thursday I went to the book launch of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE by Jenny Torres Sanchez. It was held at Barnes and Noble over by University of Central Florida and the place was packed.

Here's the blurb from Amazon:

Charlie is handed a crappy senior year. Despite losing thirty pounds over the summer, he still gets called “Chunks” Grisner. What’s worse, he has to share a locker with the biggest Lord of the Rings freak his school has ever seen. He also can’t figure out whether Charlotte VanderKleaton, the beautiful strawberry lip-glossed new girl, likes him the way he likes her. Oh, and then there’s his mom. She’s disappeared—again—and his dad won’t talk about it.

Somewhere between the madness, Charlie can at least find comfort in his one and only talent that just might get him out of this life-sucking place. But will he be able to hold his head above water in the meantime?

When I arrived, my writing buddies, Jess and Larissa, also drove up and the three of us joined the long line to get our autograph copy of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE.

Unfortantly we arrived five minutes late so we missed Jenny's little speech on what inspired her to write the book. But we did get our autographed copies (they were going fast!) and we snuck in a picture with her.

We hung out at the store for a while and got to chat with some other writers from the area and talked about... writing. Of course.

I'm so excited about this book that I'm giving away an autographed copy, a bookmark, and pin. Just fill out this rafflecopter form before May 27th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Link Love!

Congratulations to the Bookshelf Muse on their release of the Emotion Thesaurus. They are doing a fun launch celebration by allowing others to show Random Act Of Kindness. I love how creative and inspirational they are.

(And a side note, thank you Larissa for those kind words! Right back at you!)

Are you stuck in the endless waiting cycle? Check out my post on Hurry Up and Wait over at the MiGs.

All last week Beth Revis interviewed some talented authors over on her blog. Check it out!

Check out Jennifer Laughran from the Andrea Brown Agency's post on Everything About Author Events. She has a wealth of knowledge you don't want to miss out on.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi has made a blog that will share the process involved in creating her two picture books for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Here's the blurb she wrote about it:

One is from an illustrator's perspective:
The I'M BORED Scrapbook documents the creation of I'M BORED, a new picture book by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by yours truly, coming out from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in Sept/2012. This blog includes photos, sketches, process notes, comics as well as quotes from the author, editor (Justin Chanda) and art director (Laurent Linn).

The other is from a writer/illustrator's perspective:
I'll also be posting in Inkygirl about the very first picture book that I'll be writing AND illustrating (just recently got the contract from Simon & Schuster, yay!). I'll be posting about the process, what I'm learning, what happens at various steps and what they mean, the people I interact with at S&S and what they do. I'll be sharing some of the templates I create for myself to help with workflow, plus give you a peek of what goes on inside Simon & Schuster BFYR later on in the process, after I've handed in my finals.

And do you have the widget for Jessica Souders RENEGADE? If not, Safari Poet created an awesome one that you can get here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer Fun

I have 18 more school days left. 18!!!! And I can't deny that I'm just a teeny, tiny bit excited. Because I can't wait for summer to begin.

I'm kicking off my summer by attending the Florida SCBWI Orlando Conference on June 16th at Disney.

Here's the line up: 

Holiday House Associate Editor Sylvie Frank, Scholastics Trade Vice President and Executive Editor Andrea Davis Pinkney, Tracey and Josh Adams of the Adams Literary Agency, Henry Holt Editor Noa Wheeler, Simon and Schuster Art Director Laurent Linn, Artist Agent Christina Tugeau, Tammi Sauer (Chicken Dance, Bawk and Roll), Florida SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator Linda Shute, Donna Gephart (How To Survive Middle School), Nancy Werlin (Impossible), Tracy Barrett (Dark of the Moon), Nancy Rosenthal Stewart (One Pelican at a Time), Deb Noyes Wayshak, editor-at-large at Candlewick Press, and Gaby Triana (Backstage Pass, Cubanita).

So you see, it's going to be awesome.

Then I'm jumping in a plane with my boys and spending a week in Germany and then another week in Austria. The main request from my boys is to see lots and lots of castles. It's going to be such an inspirational trip and I hope full of adventures.

Then come July, I'll be attending the Quill Track at Ascendio 2012 at Universal Studios. And guess who's going to be there? Beth Revis! I can't wait!

Here's the line up for the Quill Track:

  • Lev Grossman (author)
  • Beth Revis (author)
  • Veronica Roth (author)
  • Aimee Carter (author)
  • Michelle Hodkin (author)
  • Molly O’Neill (editor)
  • Ben Schrank (publisher)
  • Joanna Volpe (agent)
  • Lindsay Ribar (agent & author)
  • Carlie Webber (agent)
  • Mark Oshiro (MarkReads, author)
  • Cecilia Tan (publisher & author)

  • Don't worry. I promise to take heaps of pictures and do some awesome worthy post conference contests with signed books.

    Oh and in the middle of all that, I plan on writing another book. Should be fun.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Asian Literature- The Royal Bee

    Today's highlighted book on Asian literature is THE ROYAL BEE by Frances Park and Ginger Park. This is an elegant picture book about a boy named Song-ho from Korea who desperately wanted to go to school. But he wasn't from the wealthy families, the yangban, but instead a poor sangmin boy. So he wasn't allowed to attend.

    Yet this didn't stop him. He sat outside of the school in the freezing cold, his ear pressed against the rice paper door just to listen to the master. This determination changed his life forever.

    The illustrations by Christopher Zhong-Yuan Zhang cast a portrait of a beautiful age in Korea. It's an excellent way to see the dress, culture and landscape of Korea.

    What I love about this book: How this story showed the courage of Song-ho to stand up for who he was as well as his determination to never give up despite the obstacles faced before him.

    What makes this book unique: I especially love how this is written by two sisters and it's based on their own grandfather's experience. How inspiring!

    Why should you read it? It's a story set in Korea. (Okay so I'm a little bias there). The values and morals makes this not only an excellent read aloud but inspirational as well.

    Favorite lines: "shadow of the master", "The Sodang School, surrounded by golden rain trees", "when the moon shines into the Great Hall"