Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 YA Superlative Blogfest: Best in Show

I just have to join the fun on Day 4!

This year I focused on my Dusty Bookshelf challenge (books I already own) so I didn't get to many 2012 Debuts. But the following ones killed...

Favorite Cover:

This cover creeps me out, especially underneath:

But it's so iconic I can't get it out of my head, just like the book.

Cutest Couple:

CELAENA and DORIAN from Throne of Glass. Yup, I ship the player prince on this one. They just had way more chemistry. Call 2012 my Year of the Bad Boy.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime:

I Hunt Killers again. I stayed up til dawn finishing it.

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath:

Our favorite assassin and royalty combo again. I WAITED for that kiss. And every makeout session after.

Breakout Novel:

Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2012):

Not since Poison Study, my favorite book ever created, has a novel been so completely perfect as Icefall. My first tears came on page 50 and I spent the last five chapters blinking wetly. There's something about MG that heals the deep child heart.

Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more):

This was on my top 3 favorite books read in 2012. I even read it while I ate, which is not the easiest thing to do during some of the scenes.  My GOODREADS REVIEW HERE

Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2012 book):

Snatched the ARC at ALA as soon as I saw Katherine Chancellor's iconic face. My mom watched The Young and the Restless since I was 1 so I grew up in Genoa City. I'm a sucker for Hollywood memoirs and this funny broad surprised me with her progressive life.

and my pick your own category is...

Best Not for Kids Debut:

I don't get to talk about shmexy books nearly as much as I'd like because I'm a YA writer, but I have to give a shout out to my girl Roni Loren, one of the most helpful debut authors in the blogosphere - and a former YA writer :). Link to my GOODREADS REVIEW - discusses adult content.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NaNoRevMo Wrap Up

We survived!!!!!! This month I edited 70,000+ words and entirely rewrote 16,677 of those. (A very NaNoWriMo number for those of you die-hards...) Added: And I'm not done yet! I'll be RevMoing til we die.

To get me through, I had laptop parties with Krispy:

photo from Krispy's instagram

Heated fisticuffs Gentle discussions with Alz about plot, and of course boba:

This last week my butt didn't leave my chair as I got my students through their deadlines as well. I was either editing my own work or someone else's. There's a stack of microwave dinner boxes and a very patient roommate who hasn't complained about my increasing piles of crap in the living room.

I ended with a high-octane zumba class so I could work off the extra ass I grew in the last 30 days. (If an extra ass is what's needed to be published, I'll grow 8 of them.)

How did you all fare? More importantly - how are you celebrating??

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Day in the Life: Ghenet Myrthil

You know what I had to do to convince the astonishingly adorable Ghenet Myrthil to give me a Day in the Life? I went all the way to New York City this summer and forced her to eat lunch with me. Trufax.
I'm so excited to participate in Sophia's Day in the Life series! I work full-time in book publishing in New York City, and the rest of the time, I write young adult novels. It can sometimes be tough to balance everything, but I always find time throughout the day to squeeze in reading and writing. Here's what a day this past summer looked like:

6:30 am: My first alarm goes off. I turn it off and fall back asleep.

6:45 am: My second alarm goes off. I reluctantly open my eyes and grab my iPhone. Yes, I'm one of those people who checks her email first thing in the morning. And Instagram. And my RSS reader app. And Pinterest. Obsessed, much? I admit it!

7:00 am: I get out of bed, hop in the shower, and get dressed. CBS This Morning plays in the background. I also get my breakfast and lunch together to bring to work.

8:15 am: If I'm lucky, my husband can drive me to the train station. If not, I either take the shuttle bus or walk. Today, I'm lucky! I hop in the car with him and we drive for 5 minutes to the station.

8:25 am: I wait for my train and marvel at the pretty view of the Hudson River. While I wait, I listen to a This American Life podcast episode on my iPhone.

8:30 am: Train's here. Off to the city I go! I usually use this time to read. Today, it's an ARC of Skinny by Donna Cooner.

9:00 am: I arrive at Grand Central and walk a few blocks to work.

9:15 am: Before I go inside, I make a pit stop at Au Bon Pain, where I get my usual coffee - French vanilla, soy milk, two sugars.

9:20 am: I settle in at my desk, have my coffee and breakfast (fruit and a cereal bar), and answer emails. Working in book publishing is awesome, but my workday is pretty typical of any office job. Lots of emails with meetings sprinkled in between. The best part is being surrounded by so. many. books.

1:00 pm: I take my lunch break. Since it's nice out, I bring my lunch outside. I find a seat on a bench and balance my salad on my lap as I read more of Skinny. This time of day, midtown Manhattan is packed with people eating lunch outside. The pigeons join us.

2:00 pm: I'm back in my office for the next few hours, answering more emails, and taking a break or two to chat with my coworkers. At one point, I stare out my office window at the huge super-weed that's been growing like crazy on the roof outside. A little greenery in this concrete jungle!

5:30 pm: Work day's over! Now it's time for my favorite part of the week - Write Nite! Once a week, a few writer friends and I meet at a nearby Manhattan cafe to write. We don't critique each other's work. We just break out our laptops/notebooks and spend 2+ hours focusing on our WIPs. We are surprisingly productive when we're together. I walk the 10 blocks to the cafe to meet the girls, while listening to another podcast. (Another favorite is This Creative Life by Sara Zarr.) On the way, I pass through Rockefeller Center.

6:00 pm: I arrive at the cafe, grab a beverage and chat with the girls for a few minutes about how our writing is going. 6:10 pm: Enough chit chat. Time to get down to work. I work on revising my manuscript, based on feedback I received from beta readers and an SCBWI conference critique.

8:00 pm: Our writing session is over. While I was writing, my husband texted me to say he could swing by the cafe on his way home from work so I don't have to take the train. Score! On the ride home, I snap pics of the gorgeous NYC sunset. Moments like this make me love this city.

8:45 pm: My husband and I get home and eat dinner. On many nights, I work on my novel or write a blog post, but since I just came from Write Nite, I spend some quality time with my husband instead. We watch some TV (So You Think You Can Dance FTW!) and then around

11:00 pm, I go to bed. Gotta get my 7-8 hours of sleep! Thanks for having me, Sophia!  

Ghenet Myrthil is a young adult writer with an MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She’s currently seeking representation for her first novel. You can find her blogging at, tweeting @ghenet, and on Instagram.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunshine Blog Award - Duckfaces Welcome

Thank you Kristy from Two Nerds. One Dream. Zero Results. for giving me something to blog about this award!

There's something wrong with the questions, you say? Yes there is! I've swapped most of them out for a set I found on Tumblr, the hipster's Facebook.

1: Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? 

The doors are sliding mirrors and I keep the side facing the bed open because I 1) don't want to wake up and give myself a heart attack thinking there's some ghost girl rising from my bed 2) read something about feng shui somewhere once.

2: Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? 

No, I'm pretty particular about the type of shampoo and conditioner I use (must be wave-enhancing for the latter because I love curly hair).

3: Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? 

Who in the world sleeps with sheets tucked in?? Do you like your toes being in permanent Barbie position?

4: Have you ever stolen a street sign before? 

I wish! My friends once cut down my iPod ad plastered on some construction site. There were like months of other posters stuck behind it. Those things are also surprisingly large.

5. What is your Favorite Time of Year?

Summer, hands down. If it could be summer all year long I would make it so.

6. What is your Favorite Time of Day?

Late night when traffic dies down and the creepy crawlies come out to play.

7. Which are better legos or lincoln logs?

Lincoln logs. I spent all my Monopoly money on an incomplete set of them in 1st grade during a school auction. I didn't really know how to count money so I just held up everything I had. All in, baby.

8. Do you always smile for pictures? 

I try to MySpace duck face as much as possible. Like this:

(this shot is probably going to end up all over the internet and be my downfall - the lengths I go to to entertain my readers)

I tag the ladies of Tiger Tea Tent from Camp NaNoWriMo 2012:

Julie Dao
Wistfully Linda
Krispy and Alz
Emy Shin


Lydia Kang cuz she's an awesome Azn Lady too

Friday, November 9, 2012

Jon Klassen Signing and Halloween with Krispy and Alz

Hat-lovers gathered at an art gallery in L.A. last weekend for an exhibit and book signing with Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of This Is Not My Hat, which is currently up for the 2012 Goodreads Best Picture Book Nominations.

Guess who else likes hats: our favorite blogging duo Krispy & Alz! I have a rare photo of Alz's full form - recognize her from her signature single long braid.

Alz, Krispy and I meeting under a shady parking lot lamp
And in case you missed Krispy's Halloween post, Glinda the Good Witch and Taylor Swift had some "Boo"-ba last week:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoRevMo 2012

Thank you everyone who sent me emotional support and hugs after the rough weekend. I'm moving on and diving into writing - my anchor.

Like last year, I'm doing NaNoRevMo - a month of revision.

I'd still love for you to friend me on NaNoWriMo, though I may only log words for the chapters/scenes I rewrite entirely.

No more procrastinating now.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


My NaNoRevMo post was going to go up on Friday but something traumatic happened.

I woke up to police tape cordoning off the driveways and cars.  There was a bullet-riddled car outside and blood splattering the sidewalk.  A neighbor's friends were involved in a gang shooting and someone died out on the street that night before.

I've chosen not to post a photo of this, but I can't get the images out of my head.  I see the bloody sneakers and pile of clothes and I do not have a strong stomach.

I am not returning to that house where this took place and am safe where I am living right now; I'm just shaken.  I've tried to continue life as usual, working and talking to friends.  Revising my novel has been a big help.  I've been crying a bit and my jaw hurts when I wake in the morning, but I know that will pass.

I just needed to clear this; thanks for listening and thank you to my Facebook friends who've given their emotional support.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Purple Wedding Party

who knew the Burger King was a groomsman
flower girl and maid-of-honor have fallen in love

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sisters Bacheloretting

I'm off to Nashville to maid-of-honor for my "sister"'s wedding!  Any last minute toastmaster tips?

Bacheloretting her up earlier this year

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Day in the Life: Nutschell Anne Windsor

As I recover from food poisoning and a cold, busy Nutschell graces my blog with her packed Day in the Life (cat lovers will rejoice at her photos)!

A Day in the Life: Nutschell Anne Windsor

Nutschell (pronounced new-shell and not nut-shell) is a middle grade/ young adult fantasy writer who hails from the Philippines and now lives in sunny Los Angeles. She is an SCBWI-LA Board member, and the founder of CBW-LA (Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles). A Jane-of-all-Trades, Nutschell’s interests include photography and travel. She enjoys sketching, playing the guitar and drums, playing basketball, badminton, billiards, and singing in the shower. She also practices the Filipino martial art of Escrima, and bakes yummy desserts.

You can find Nutschell at the following sites:



6:50 AM

My alarm goes off and I automatically snooze. Muffin, alerted by the sound now knows I’m awake. She hops on my chest and headbutts me, demanding scratches. Still sticky with sleep, I oblige.
Muffin all stretched out
7:00 AM

My alarm goes off for the second time. I have no choice but to get up. Muffin refuses to leave her warm spot.

7:05 AM

I finally get Muffin of my chest. Millie sees me get up and starts demanding food. She knows I’m about to stagger downstairs and tries to hurry me onward.
Millie waiting for food
I switch on the TV and listen to the news while I wait for my brain to function.

The latest news feature gives me a story idea. I jot it down on a post-it I find nearby. Millie, hungry and annoyed, decides to chew on the paper.

7:05 – 7:30 AM

I finally head downstairs, much to Millie's delight. I cram a breakfast bar into my mouth and down it with warm water. I'm making a mental checklist of all the things I have to do for day.

While I try to prepare today’s lunch, Millie stalks me. After tripping over her for the tenth time, I give in and refill the cats’ bowls. I finish packing lunch and do some quick chores. I head outside to water the plants, or clean the litterbox, or put away dishes. Sometimes I do all three.

7:30– 7:40 AM

I shower, dress and iron my shirt for the day. I go downstairs, pick up my lunch bag, lock the house and get in the car.

As I’m driving out the garage, I begin to doubt whether I’ve unplugged the iron. I inch out the driveway, trying to convince myself that the iron is unplugged.

The overwhelming need to check if I’ve unplugged the iron builds to a crescendo when I'm halfway to the freeway entrance.

image from
I turn the car around and make a mad dash back to the house. I run upstairs and, for the 3rd time, check that the iron is standing and unplugged. I run back downstairs, lock all the doors and leave. For real.

7:45 AM – 8:45 AM

I commute to work on the 405. To keep from going insane, I listen to an audiobook.
Traffic on the 405, photo from townhall.mednet
8:45 AM – 9:05 AM

I wait outside the office for one of the managers to arrive and open the shop doors. While waiting, I read a book.
Reading while waiting
9:05 – 9:30 AM

The manager finally arrives ten minutes later. I rush upstairs to my work station and begin my morning ritual.
My work desk
I make myself some tea and munch on a 100 calorie snack bar.
Like any other modern day writer, I defer writing in favor of logging on to my various social networks.
image from
I check my email, spend a few minutes on facebook, check my blog for comments and surf the web for some interesting news to share on twitter.

Finding nothing of value, I finally get to work.

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

I write my blog posts for the next few days and schedule them, or I work on my assigned CBW-LA/ SCBWI tasks. If I’m lucky, I don’t have anything else to do but write.

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

I file, I calculate, I process, I calculate some more, I photocopy.

I check when the next holiday is.
My trusty calculator
12:30 PM

I eat my lunch while watching Futurama or some other 30 minute sitcom on my smartphone.
1PM – 5PM

I alternate between working and writing.

I usually finish my daily work assignments in two hours, but occasionally the bosses will dump more work on my desk. I set aside my writing of course, as work always comes first.


I relish the fact that it’s Tuesday and I get to go home an hour early. I hop in my car, plug in my phone, and continue listening to my audiobook on my way home.
Listening to Audible on my phone

I have only enough time to get the mail, grab a quick bite, change into my martial arts uniform, play with the cats and rest before I’m off again.

7:10 PM

I spend five minutes using the lint remover. Getting cat hair off black clothes is always a chore.

More audiobook listening as I drive to my martial arts class. The story is getting so good and giving me tons of ideas, I almost miss my stop.

7:30 – 9:00PM

I have fun training in the Filipino Martial Art of Escrima. While I train, I visualize how my character will use the various moves I'm learning.

8:30 PM

I accidentally whack myself with the stick and suffer a big bruise. I decide one of my characters will experience the same fate.

9:05 – 9:20 PM

I drive home, eager for a shower.


I delay my shower in favor of watching the latest show I’ve recorded on DVR.

My inner critic makes me guilty for watching TV instead of writing or reading. I ignore her and continue to watch anyway.

10:30 – 10:45 PM

I finally shower and get ready for bed.

11:00 PM

Muffin and Millie refuse to let me sleep. I pick up a book and try to chip away at my teetering to be read pile.

Soon I’m reading the same line ten times. It's a sign that my brain has overheated.

11:50 PM

It's quiet now. The cats have worn themselves out and now they're sleeping at the foot of the bed.

I switch off the lights, and turn on my side.

Just when I’m drifting off to lalaland, I hear a loud purring and feel cat feet walking all over me. Millie finds her favorite spot and drapes herself over my thigh.
Millie, the snuggle kitty
I smile, give her soft head a scratch, and finally fall asleep.


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