4 Things I Learned While Being Sick

January 29, 2015

The past few days I’ve had one of the worst colds/infections/plagues I’ve ever had in my life. I felt my life energy leaking out of every orifice of my body (mostly through snot) in a slow, agonizing death-melt. Detained to my room for the majority of those days, with only my laptop and a plethora of super-cheap books from bookoutlet, I’ve had time to think.

And by think, I mean ponder life’s incredibly terrible choices while inhaling snot like a hoover vacuum in hopes to not sneeze all over my keyboard. So, while drawing my sickness in a cocktail of Z-Packs, Mucinex, and Tylenol, I compiled a list of 4 things I’ve learned while staring at my popcorn ceiling, pondering the meaning of life.

1. When you’re sick, Netflix is that friend you’ve always had, but never knew how useful he was until all your other friends bailed on you in a vain attempt to stay healthy. Netflix, my love. I shall never forsake you again.

Things I watched:

  • Broadchurch – a Moody David Tennant meets a more compelling uncle of True Detective. I’ve been on a very obsessive ‘crime spree’ kick lately, so this was totally up my alley.
  • Gilmore Girls - the last two season made me feel sicker than I already was, so I stopped watching them.
  • The Road to El Dorado – I don’t care what anyone else says, Miguel is gay. Tulio, not so much because I feel that he genuinely loves Chel, but Miguel is definitely in love with his best friend, and I love the subtlety of it.
  • Anime on Netflix – Dear Anime on Netflix, this is not 2008 anymore. With the exception of Attack on Titan, Ouran, and (perhaps) Norigami, everything else is so extremely dated I fear for the future of Japanese cartoons on Netflix. Please for the love of all that is holy add Tokyo Ghoul and Kamisama Kiss. I’m really getting sick of all the stupid commercials on Hulu. Kthanx.

2. Reading was perhaps my only saving grace, aside from Netflix. I went through probably four books while detained to my bed, and one of those happened to be a re-read of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Seriously, I picked up on so many more things the second read-through, like how it isn’t only Beauty and the Beast, but the tale of Bluebeard and East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and something else that I’ve already forgotten. Anyway. Yeah, I like it. It’s good. The Beast Within by Serena Valentino, however, that accounts for the Beast’s life before the events of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, was a total letdown. Like, to the point where I’m just keeping it for the pretty cover. It isn’t even about the Beast. I’ve written better fanfiction, just sayin’.

3. Writing when you’re swimming in a cocktail of drugs is both the best and worst idea you can ever have. Like, seriously. I think I wrote 5,000 words of utter rubbish that somehow escalated very quickly from a calm girl in a library to  A SIEGE OF MAGIC AND MAYHEM AND SHADOWS and it’s cracktastic. Absolutely cracktastic. I wanna see what I can do with it once I, you know, dry out.

4. No matter what anyone says, the best remedy for the cold is a hot mug of tea and your favorite movie. You might feel like hell’s bells, but once you pop in Beauty and the Beast and start singing along to Gaston, you realize just how lucky are to have healthcare and parents who call and check on you and a roommate who’s glad you haven’t died in the night. Seriously, everything comes into perspective, especially when you realize how lucky you are to have the time, and the energy, and the opportunity to be able to quote your favorite movie all the way thorough. No matter how sick you are, nothing’ll take that away from you, I say in second person to myself.

 

So, I think for the rest of the day while I’m recuperating, and while my work is piling up (thankful that my clients care more about my own health than the status of the jobs I have to do for them) I’ll sit here and surf the internet a little bit and call my mom and complain to her how I’ve probably swallowed three gallons of snot today.

And it’ll be okay, because in the end, I’ll get better. And maybe I needed a few sick days to calm my tits. I’ve been going full-throttle for months now, so my own body had to catch up with me eventually. I’m just glad I don’t have the flu.

Bronchitis is bad enough.

And, hey, I have drugs for that.

Road to Publication: Shari Green

January 28, 2015

By now everyone who’s ready my blog knows my publishing story (without an agent, I signed with Bloomsbury Spark to publish my debut, THE SOUND OF US, blah blah blah). I love hearing other authors Road to Publication stories, because it goes to show that there is no “one way” to get your work out there. There are so many venues and options, everyone’s road to publication is vastly different. If you believe you can succeed, eventually you will.

Like my good friend Dr. Frankenfurter once said, “Don’t dream it, be it.”

So! I’d like to introduce a fellow author, Shari Green, and her road to publishing FOLLOWING CHELSEA, her debut.

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The Road to Publication: Shari Green and FOLLOWING CHELSEA

 More than a few years ago, I stumbled upon a news story of mistaken identity. That morphed into an idea for a YA novel about Anna, a 17-year-old girl who moves to a new town and discovers she bears a striking resemblance to much-loved but recently-deceased Chelsea.

Eventually, I knew FOLLOWING CHELSEA would be about a girl who stops trusting people (she has her reasons) and who isn’t particularly trustworthy herself. She’s messed up. She isn’t the only messed-up person in the story, either, because life is messy, you know? I wanted to give those people hope. I wanted them to find their way through the mess to some sort of potentially-less-messy place.

And so, I wrote, revised, revised again, shelved the whole thing and wrote a different novel, pulled it out again, revised, threw it under the proverbial bed, and wrote yet another novel. Then Evernight Teen put out a call for submissions, and FOLLOWING CHELSEA seemed like it might be a good fit. Turned out, it was! I’m thrilled it found a good home.

Here’s a bit more about the story:

FC COVER--smWalking in the footsteps of a dead girl isn’t easy.

After her social life flatlines, seventeen-year-old Anna Richards wants nothing more than to lie low at her new school. But it seems Anna looks an awful lot like Chelsea, the sweet and popular girl who recently died, and Anna finds herself stepping into the void created by Chelsea’s absence.

Anna is determined to make the awkward situation work in her favor, because Chelsea didn’t just leave a spot open with the in-crowd; she also left a gorgeous—and now available—boyfriend. But it turns out that following Chelsea might be a lot more complicated than Anna expected.

 Available now from most online retailers (see links on Shari’s site).

 

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Shari-Green--sm

 

Shari Green writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction and occasionally masquerades as a poet. When she’s not glued to her laptop, she can often be found wandering in a blissful daze on the beach near her home on Vancouver Island, BC.

Visit her online at www.sharigreen.com.

 

 

 

 

When You Don’t HATE a First Draft (and it’s, like, magical)

January 17, 2015

No, truly.

Most of us writer-likes will absolutely hate our first drafts. To us, they are steaming piles of horse feces having stood in the sun too long and caked over. Got a good image yet? Good. Because that is a first draft. We inhale the plot, compact it, grind it, put it through the wringer… and it comes out the other end like a piece of poo–completely different than how we originally expected it.

But this draft, my friends, this draft…

Oh, yes.

This draft came out rainbows and Killarney.

I wish I could say it was a standalone, and it could be, but it’s really part of the Radio Hearts universe without being tied directly to that universe. Do the main characters ever meet Roman? Or Junie? Or Jason? No, and this is also the first book with a dual POV, so it doesn’t follow the MO of both The Sound of Us and We Own the Night.

Without giving too much away, it’s a fantastic side-step from the RH series. And I love it. I love it so much I’m going to share a little bit with you. I haven’t even shown it to my editor yet. That’s how much I love you readers. THIS MUCH. <3 (Also, she’s super swamped and I don’t want to bother her because she is TOTALLY AWESOME IN EVERYTHING SHE DOES and up to her nillies in manuscripts).

So here is The Ballad of Lost and Found.

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TBOLAF“Whisky! Whisky!” I yell, stumbling out of the emergency exit after him. A stage hand tells us to come back, but neither of us listen. I wobble on my heels. “Whisky! Whisky wait—ow!” My ankle bends at an awkward angle, but my resolve keeps me upright, hobbling after him. “Wait!”

“What, you can’t keep up with a cripple?” He spits over his shoulder, the distance growing between us. He yanks open the door to his van. He’s going to leave—but we have the finals to perform! He can’t leave yet! Panic wells in my throat.

“Whisky, please!” I cry, catching up to him. My hair has fallen out of its hightop bun, and hangs in disastrous, defeated ringlets around my face. “Let me explain—”

“What’s there to explain?” He spins back around to me, eyes dark with anger. His fists are clenched. “You lied to us, Lonny. You made us look like complete fools. Do you get that? We looked like idiots!”

“I’m sorry,” I croak. I can’t meet his gaze. “I’m sorry I didn’t…I didn’t think who I was was important. I’m not her anymore. I’m not that girl.”

“Give me a break,” he scoffs. “You’re Zachary Glass’s little sister. And what are we? What am I? Your—your pet? The little crippled boy on your arm? Your martyr’s trophy?”

The poison in his voice steels my shoulders. He’s wrong. I raise my eyes to meet his. “I didn’t want trophies. I didn’t want a pet. I wanted friends who didn’t see me as Zachary Glass’s little sister. I wanted you to see… to see me as me.”

My words hang in the air like the frosted clouds coming from our lips. It’s cold, but I can barely feel it. It’s not why I’m shivering. My blood sings, terrified, in my ears, thrumming so loud it sounds like a funeral march. There are so many more words I want to say, but they’re stuck between my heart and my lips, and I’m too afraid to let them go.

The sound of the next band onstage murmurs through the thin winter air, the soundtrack of a pop-rock anthem.

It feels like we stand there forever, unmoving.

But then his fisted hands slowly unravel, and he shuts the van door, almost defeated. “Well, fat chance of that happening now.” His dark eyes flicker with something unsaid—I can’t imagine what it is. Nothing but bad things, I suppose. “After tonight, I’ll never play with you again. Do you understand? I’ll play one more time tonight if you stay the hell out of my life from now on.”

His words feel like a punch in my stomach, but I manage to nod.

“Good.” Then he brushes by me, back into the venue, leaving me alone in the dimly lit parking lot.