Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Day in the Life: Lupe Fernandez

Our first guy's Day in the Life!  Despite this being the most other-worldly day yet, somehow it's the most relatable to my life...must be a Los Angeles thing.


Lupe Fernandez writes YA, Middle Grade, Picture books and contributes to the World Famous The Pen & Ink Blog, where he is currently the Mexican-In-Residence. Named after the most Holy Virgin of Mexico, Lupe admits the reputation is tough to maintain. He studied at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, including a Master Class in memoir. His interests include photography, Latin American history, the space program, Anasazi cliff dwellings and chocolate chip cookies. Lupe lives and writes in Los Angeles, and is a card carrying member of SCBWI.

A Day in a Life
By Lupe Fernandez

7:01 am: Eat breakfast of four eggs. Yeah, that’s right. I eat four eggs for breakfast and my cholesterol is fine.

7:50 am: Go to gym and swim for forty minutes. Prehistoric mollusk interrupts lap swim.

9:15 am: Shower and leave gym.

9:32 am: To get back into apartment, I must battle sword-wielding skeleton.

9:45 am: Listen to the rest of the Kevin & Bean Show on KROQ.

10:00 am: Work on current manuscript about teen defends a girl in a student mock court against charges of moral misconduct – appearing in a porn video.

11:34 am: Cyclops interrupts WIP and requires dispatching beast.

12:00 pm: Listen to Warren Olney moderate To The Point on KCRW.

12:31 pm: Time for lunch. Eat two no-salt turkey sandwiches in wheat bread.

1:02 pm: Watch TV first season of Bones on DVD.

2:03 pm: Shoo giant bee from window

3:11 pm: Go through book collection and chose which ones will go and which ones will be packed for move.

3:23 pm: Check The Pen & Ink Blogspot for comments and new posts by favor bloggers like Sophia The Writer.

4:01 pm: Read YA book Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne.

4:24 pm: Fall asleep in comfy chair.

4:57 pm: Woken by hissing seven-headed Hydra

5:01 pm: Too tired to fight the Hydra, I take a trip to the Moon

6:15 pm: Check TV Guide to see if anything good is on TV tonight.

6:23 pm: Hide from hungry Lunar Calf.

7:00 pm: Overdue for dinner. I fly Professor Cavour’s sphere back to Earth.

7:45 pm: Eat leftover Sloppy Joes, rice and Ready-Washed lettuce. Yum.

8:00 pm: Watch more of Bones, Season One.

8:24 pm: Pause DVD player as sword-wielding statue of Kali interrupts me.

9:01 pm: Talk to girlfriend while avoiding being sliced by Kali.

9:15 pm: Take refuge in the Fountain of Destiny, but Centaur and Griffin make too much noise.

10:02 pm: Finish phone call with girlfriend. Brush teeth and gargle. Go to bed and read another chapter of Harbinger.

11:04 pm: Turn off reading lamp and settle for sleep.

11:56 pm: Flying Saucer attacks, but I’m too sleepy to look. I’m sure LAPD helicopters will take care of the noisy aliens from a dying planet.

That’s my day as a writer. Not too exciting with caring for kids or walking the dog.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Sign Autographs Too and #TeamAmity

I've had a crush on Tahereh Mafi ever since I joined the Kate Spade club:

my shirt has horses on it
Two weeks ago Krispy, Alz and I went to the Spring Into Future Book Tour and, dream of dreams, my crush found out I was the first iPod silhouette and asked me to sign something for her:

L to R: Marie Lu, me, Tahereh with my autograph, Veronica Rossi
Krispy's got all the photos of how it went down HERE.


I've finally chosen a team in the major Divergent promo going on right now.  While Abnegation bribed me muchly with their ginormous giveaway, I stuck with the faction I was sorted into on facebook last year.  THE HIPPIES!

#teamAmity ftw
logo takes you to Team HQ

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Day in the Life: Kate Coursey

Kate Coursey is a 19-year-old YA writer from Salt Lake City, Utah represented by Edward Necarsulmer IV of McIntosh & Otis.

Her first novel is undergoing revisions at Scholastic Press and she runs a freelance editing service called Teen Eyes.

Kate shares a Thursday at college and reminds us that class doesn't mean the party has to end.  I miss college!


8:00 a.m. - My alarm goes off, as does my roommate’s. We both grunt, roll over, and press snooze.

8:15 a.m - Alarm goes off a second time. Expletives follow.

8:30 a.m. - Alarm finally wins out. I’m up. I mumble something semi-incoherent to Caitlin (apparently I do this every morning, and although I rarely remember what I say she takes great pleasure in parroting it back to me hours later). I stumble into the bathroom, wash face, brush teeth, etc.

8:45 - 8:47 a.m. - Makeup. Yeah, I’m kinda lazy when it comes to makeup.

8:47 - 9:00 a.m. - Get dressed. Here’s where my girly side kicks takes me forever to pick out the perfect outfit, from dress to tights to shoes to jewelry to hair. Afterwards I eat breakfast, at which point Caitlin and I make our perfectly-timed dash to catch the shuttle right as it leaves.

9:40 - 10:30 a.m. - GYMNASTICS!!!! My favorite class in the entire world!!!! I do handsprings and cartwheels on the beam and hang out with friends.

10:45 - 11:35 a.m. - Statistics. Borriinngggg. I doze off once or twice.

12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Gym time. I listen to bad hip hop, run on the elliptical, and do both flexibility and strength training. My arms are weak and spindly. Push-ups = fail.

1:00 p.m. - JAMBA JUICE TIME!!!

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - This is my writing period. I turn off my Internet, pull out the snacks, and hunker down to work. I try to get anywhere from 1,000-2,000 words done.

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - My mom picks me up for our bi-weekly chiropractor appointment, to help deal with some neurological issues in my spine.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - My little sister convinces me to let her marble my nails, which ends up being an hour-long project. They turn out looking like this:

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Homework. Hindi, Statistics, Psychology, and Anthropology. I eat lots of food and snap when I’m interrupted. This period is punctuated by frequent distractions, including emails from my critique partners and my puppy:

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Work time. Catch up on Teen Eyes manuscripts, blogging, etc.

9:00 - 11:00 p.m. - My mom and I finally give in, and end up watching several episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Hey, it’s our guilty pleasure. Don’t judge.

11:00 p.m. - Ridley calls. What’s that? A get-together? But...but it’s Thursday, and I have class the next morning. I can’t stay out late. Wait, there’s food? Wellllll.....okay. If you insist.

11:30 p.m. - I drive to my friend John’s house, where there are quite a lot of people I don’t know:

So I find my BFF Adrianna, and we sit on the beanbag eating girl scout cookies and drinking hot chocolate. For some reason we always make hot chocolate at John’s house. Even if it’s hot outside.

Oh look, video games! Halo, to be exact. Adrianna wants to play, so she drags me over to the couch and hands me one of the controllers. I suck at video games. We play for an hour and I only manage to kill one person. Sad face :(.

2:00 a.m. - No, really, I have to go home. I have class tomorrow.

3:00 a.m. - Seriously, guys. Seriously.

3:30 a.m. - They let me go. I fall into bed, exhausted, and set my alarm for 8:00 a.m. the next morning.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dirty Writers Club

My CP, Juliana Brandt, is guest posting today to invite you into the Dirty Writers Club with us.

I'm not sure I believe that being a writer has much to do with natural talent, but more to do with our ability to work our butts off, get our hands dirty, sit in front of a computer for hours-days-weeks-months at a time, and stick with it even when we're discouraged. We have to put in so much energy that when people look at our work, it appears effortless. No one finds success without first dedicating themselves to the work.

I officially christen us, Dirty Writers.

What's a Dirty Writer? A Dirty Writer isn't afraid of pulling on their rubber gloves and getting to work. They dig their hands into their WIPs and don't shy from deleting entire chunks of writing. They rewrite the same sentences so many times that their eyes go googly and they forget the difference between a comma and a period. Most of all, they stick around and support other writers when no one wants to do any of the above.

They put in 10,001 hours of work before claiming they know something about the writing process.

Are you a Dirty Writer? I hope so. Take the quiz below to find out.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

11 More Questions

I know, I'm sorry. But my tagger Coleen Patrick swore my readers wouldn't be bored with another of these, so if you are, blame Coleen. (by following her blog)

1. What 3 books would you take with you into your zombie apocalypse/alien invasion bunker (I’m assuming you all have one)?

Ha ha! I'm one step ahead of you. My zombipocalypse bunker IS my library. Take that, Panic Room.

But alas, it has only 3 books in it and they are:
2. What was your first job?

This is going to sound really bad, but I promise you it wasn't shady at all - I played a girl attacked by a sexual predator in a Chinese soap opera in Taiwan. I got to wear the kind of old school clothes you see in the dynastic era. Again, the guy who played the "rapist" was this big teddy bear, it was very professional and he barely touched me. (My other option was to play a concubine and my mom was like "NO." I was fifteen.)

3. What song is stuck in your head right now?

I'm playing Christina Perri's album on Spotify and even though "bang bang bang" is on, I've got "miles" stuck in my head because it's very meaningful to me right now.

4. What celebrity would play you in the movie about your life?

Me, duh.

5. What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

Oh gawd I wish I could forget! Din Tai Fun, the famous dumpling joint, was too crowded so we ended going to the boba shop next door and ordered two unexpectedly spicy dishes that didn't behave like polite guests in our empty tummies.

6. If you could go back in time for one day, what time would you revisit and why?

Gorging my face off at dinner on the set of First Daughter. There was sliced prime rib, a stir-fry station, an omelet station, dessert table of cookies and cakes, and some southern entrees.

Plus hot co-stars to eat with. photos of hot co-stars used to be here but after a fellow author was sued by a photographer, they are no longer here

7. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?

Let's check my handy-dandy list for the 50/50 Challenge: we're up to movie #17 Wrath of the Titans 3D. (loved it)

8. What’s your favorite movie snack?

clementine or apple slices

9. What TV show is most like your life?

Felicity starring a Gilmore Girl, set in Everybody Loves Raymond's world

10. If you could get on a plane right now, where would you go (all expenses paid)?

Bora Bora

11. If you could tweet to your 13 old self, what would you say?

@Sophat13 it's going to be ok. you'll be out soon. don't sweat it until then. you are good. One day you'll go higher than you ever dreamed. I love you

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Day in the Life: Christa Desir

How excited am I to have Christa Desir's awesome and insanely long Day in the Life? I'm pleased to present my fellow insomniac from outside Chicago!

Christa is represented by Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown LTD and her debut novel TRAINWRECK comes out with SimonPulse in the fall of 2013.

I should probably caveat this entire “Day In My Life” with the information that my day job is editing romance novels. I love my life and will hopefully show you here how I balance my different lives as writer and editor and mom. Also, don’t judge, my mom usually helps me but she’s on vacation.

3:14am: Wake up. I’m an insomniac, which actually works quite well since my work senior editor lives in New Zealand. The two of us exchange 14 emails regarding author issues.

5:45am: Wake up again in a puddle of my own drool, clutching my iPad. Make 8 cups of coffee. Spend 90 minutes revising a scene in my YA BLEED LIKE ME that takes place in a crack house. Send scene to my friend who has actually been in crack house (long story) to see if it’s authentic.

7:15am: Make lunches for kids. Make breakfast for kids. Have 4th cup of coffee. Get everyone dressed. Scream at all my children for reading too much during breakfast so we’re all running late.

8:30am: Drop children off at school. Return to 18 submissions waiting in my inbox. Cry just a little bit (it’s true, editors never catch up). Send cover artist email regarding the uni-boob that appears to exist on the rough draft of one of my authors’ covers.

8:45am: Uni-boob problem solved. Begin searching for appropriate excerpt for cowboy romance I’m editing. Find a really good one but it involves the p-word. Email boss to see if I can star out the p-word. Email new authors I will be working with to say hi and tell them the kind of books I’m interested in. (Umm…usually ones that involve the p-word). Read.

10:30am: Receive phone call from the Voices and Faces Project founder about upcoming testimonial writing workshop. Have discussion about horrible crap happening to women right now in the world.

11:15am: Go pick up small son at school. Yes, this was the car pool number given to me. Randomly.

12pm: Make small son awesome lunch of smoked gouda grilled cheese, tomatoes and banana. I eat an avocado. (Don’t judge). Putz around on Twitter (which usually means DMing my friend Lucy).

1:15pm: Take small son to music class. Go outside to work on formatting my next author’s manuscript in my car. Get as far as removing all the extra spaces before periods and removing fake em dashes.

2:30pm: Spend 30 minutes going through all the author submissions that I received this morning from slush box to make sure that none of them have already been published or are under contract with someone else. (This is damn annoying, but it sucks when you fall in love with a story only for the author to write you and say, “Oh, I forgot to tell you, this is under contract with a different publisher.”)

3pm: Go with small son to pick up medium son at school. Boys eat snacks and play downstairs while I finish formatting manuscript.

4:30pm: Pick daughter up from Brownies. Then start reading one of the manuscripts I got. Badger medium son into doing homework and practicing piano. Announce to Twitter that I love the word “lick” and hate the word “moist.”

5pm: Cocktail hour. Along with preparing awesome salad that I chopped up while reading manuscript. Not much of manuscript gets read bc author emails me with a small crisis.

6pm: Dinner chaos.

7:30pm: Get author approval on the excerpt for the cowboy book. Although, she also asked the p-word question.

7:40pm: Read books to children.

8:30pm: Teeth brushed. Kids in bed. Come up with idea for next WIP that I think might work. Jot down notes.

9:15pm: Find my husband watching SMASH (ahem) so decide to update my work spreadsheets. I might be having another cocktail by this point. Maybe.

10pm: Check in with my Tweeps. Collapse in heap on the floor. Cajole husband into back massage.

So yes, that’s 90 minutes of actual writing and a whole lot of other things in my day. Most days, I try to get 2-3 hours in. But as I mentioned, my mom is out of town so this week is tricky.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dress You Up Feature

Thanks for your spirit as I've been emo this week.  Sometimes you just have to cry for 3 days until it's all out, you know?  I appreciate this community for cheering me up.

One fun thing is that Grace from What if No One's Watching brought back her wardrobe makeover series after a yearlong hiatus - and featured me!  She put together some outfit suggestions that are eerily accurate to what I actually wear.

POP ON OVER to see her fashion tips for me and feel free to email her to get your own makeover!


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