Monday, February 27, 2012


I've been sort of MIA since Valentine's Day. Sorry about that, my friendlies. For those of you who hadn't heard, I had major surgery two days after and have been recuperating ever since. Everything is fine, and the surgery went very well, but it's been a harder recovery than I was expecting.

I'm making a lot of sacrifices for this. I've had to watch a lot of Downton Abbey, for example. I've also had to completely give up cooking meals and vacuuming. Cleaning of any kind is more than somewhat frowned upon. It's been extremely rough. *sigh*

Woe is me, indeed.

Anyway, my apologies for my absence. I'm happy to be back! I'll be posting again on Thursday and should be back to a regular schedule after that.

Yay for healing!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day & All That Gooey Stuff

Here is my deep, dark secret...are you ready?

I hate writing kissing scenes.

*Cue shocked gasp from YA Audience/Writers/World as a whole*

It's true. I try to avoid them at all costs, but somehow they always sneak into my books. I'm pretty sure it's because my brain knows they need to be there and it constructs a build-up to it while I'm not looking. Then I get to the scene and say, "Aww, man...they have to kiss here, don't they?"

In YA circles, this makes me the equivalent of that weird cousin nobody talks about. ;-)

I wondered for awhile what was wrong with me. Why did I dread writing the love scenes and got all excited to write the scary torture scenes? Did I need therapy? Probably. Did this make me a bad writer? No, no it does not. It makes me a thriller writer.

If I refused to put them in when the story clearly called for them, that would make me a bad writer. So, I suffer through the kissing scenes. Sometimes I even like them afterward.

And then I get to go back to making people afraid of what's in their closets...

Happy Valentine's Day! Yay! Love and all that!

P.S. Only a thriller/horror writer could make a Valentine's Day Post the creepiest one ever.

Monday, February 13, 2012

CHRONICLE - Movie Review

I saw CHRONICLE this weekend.

It blew me away.

For reals.

There were so many things that I loved about this movie. The characters were all deliciously flawed and fantastic, the evolution of the story was seamless, the filming was almost a character in and of itself. It starred three newer actors that were so good. I love that they didn't take a cheap cop-out on the ending. I love that there were sacrifices and costs. I love that each of the characters were changed by their situations in different ways.

And, my favorite part, they built one of the most sympathetic villains I've ever seen.

It was incredible. Every YA writer, and/or human, should see this movie.

Have you seen it? What did you think? If not, do you plan to see it? Can I come with you?...Because it's been a few hours now, and I kind of want to see it again.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Life, the Universe & Everything

I'm participating as a panelist in a writing conference this week at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. It's called Life, the Universe & Everything, or LTUE, if you're around, you should stop in and check it out. Not only is it one of my favorite conferences, you can't beat the price.

I'm on one panel each day (Feb 9-11). The first day I'll be doing a marketing panel, the second day a horror panel and the third day a panel on breaking into the market.

If you get a chance, come say hi. Heckling is welcome and somewhat expected...but please, don't throw rotten fruit. The smell is surprisingly hard to get out. ;-)

Have you ever been to a conference? What are your favorite conferences? What is your dream conference that you'd love to attend?

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Promises to Keep

Today, I feel strong. I feel like I can handle this industry, this profession, and everything that comes with it. I know there are many bumps, and bruises that come with the skills I am building, but they'll be worth it.

Today, I believe that.

Other days, I feel like giving up. I feel like no matter what I create, it will never be good enough. That no matter how far I go, I will always have a mile left to reach the next goal.

The only thing that makes me feel better when I'm having an "Other" day, is knowing that I'm not alone. That all of us feel this way sometimes. Feelings of inadequacy are a plague that attack everyone, everywhere, not just me. As a writer, as a mother, as a friend, we're all certain we are not good enough from time to time.

But remember, we are not alone.

There is always someone else who felt the same, or worse...and kept going. Your pain is not unique to you. There is always someone who had it worse and didn't give up. Persistence is one of the greatest traits of humanity. Do not let go of that. It is in us all to keep trying no matter what.

One of the things that keeps me going is a poem by my favorite poet, Robert Frost. It's called: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

The best part is the last stanza:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

We all have promises to keep. To our characters, our loved ones, our anyone who believes in us.  I believe in us today. Do you?