Monthly Archives: January 2010

Today’s post brought to you by the letter Squeee!

Okay, so squee isn’t a letter. It should be. Yesterday, our editor informed us that The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading is going into a second printing.

Am I excited? Is Darcy? Maybe a little. (Okay, maybe a lot.) But more than that, we’re grateful. Because, clearly, if people weren’t reading Geek Girl, there wouldn’t be a need for a second printing.

So, thanks to everyone who has read and support Geek Girl. We wouldn’t be here without you.


Filed under Books, Promo, Reading & Writing, Writing, YA

Hello, Singapore!

One of my fondest memories growing up is visiting the library. We went every other week and left with gi-normous stacks of books, fingertips to chin stacks of books. This leads me to one of the guilty pleasures I have as an author: Visiting world’s largest library catalogue.

And yes, predictably, I search on Geek Girl. Sure, it’s fun to see how many library systems Geek Girl is in, but what’s even more fun is seeing where she ends up.

So the other day I discovered that the National Library Board in Singapore has twenty four copies of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading. Twenty four! In Singapore! Geek Girl is in New Zealand, too. (Hi, New Zealand!)

Geek Girl has also found her way into the Army Europe libraries. Once upon a time, I was stationed in Europe (more accurately, Germany) and I’m just tickled that Geek Girl now resides in a post library.

So, hello, Singapore, New Zealand, and the US Army Europe. And Geek Girl? Meet world.

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Filed under Geek Girl's Guide, Misc, Reading & Writing, YA

Storytime, Liebchen

I was going to write something profound and deeply moving today. Okay, I really wasn’t. Nevertheless, I was going to write something (such as word count on revision up 7,000 words this week).

Instead I think we could all use a break. The video below is quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen all week:

As the creator notes, it isn’t really Werner Herzog reading/interpreting Curious George, but that hardly matters. There are so many good lines, but I think my favorite are: 

In short order, a monkey has bested seven adult men. This should give you a dim view of human potential.

Enjoy and happy Sunday!

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Filed under Books, Misc, Video

Huge prize pack for a very good cause

The 2009 Debs have banded together with The Leaky Cauldron Fansite to Help Haiti Heal. This weekend, donations will be taken for the cause, with prizes given away to random, lucky donors.

More information at the Leaky Cauldron’s announcement page.

And the Helping Haiti Heal Website here.

If you’re on Twitter, please mention the event and url:

Help Haiti Heal – win fantastic prizes! Sat. from 2pm to 6pm EST! #hhh

Without further ado, here’s the Contents of the Debs Massive Prize Package:

R.J. Anderson — FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER (signed hardcover)

Pam Bachorz — CANDOR (signed hardcover)

Lauren Bjorkman — MY INVENTED LIFE (signed hardcover)

Leigh Brescia — ONE WISH (signed hardcover)

Jennifer Brown — HATE LIST (signed hardcover)

Megan Crewe — GIVE UP THE GHOST (signed hardcover)

Kirstin Cronn-Mills — THE SKY ALWAYS HEARS ME AND THE HILLS DON’T MIND (signed paperback)


Deva Fagan — FORTUNE’S FOLLY (signed hardcover)

Megan Frazer — SECRETS OF TRUTH & BEAUTY (signed hardcover)

Cheryl Renee Herbsman — BREATHING (signed hardcover)

Jennifer R. Hubbard — THE SECRET YEAR (signed hardcover)

Jennifer Jabaley — LIPSTICK APOLOGY (signed paperback)

Danielle Joseph — SHRINKING VIOLET (signed paperback)

Malinda Lo — ASH (signed hardcover)

Sarah Maclean — THE SEASON (signed hardcover)

L.K. Madigan — FLASH BURNOUT (2010 Morris Award winner) (signed hardcover)

Lisa Mantchev — EYES LIKE STARS (signed hardcover) and PERCHANCE TO DREAM (advance review copy)

Neesha Meminger — SHINE, COCONUT MOON (hardcover)

Kate Messner — THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z (signed hardcover)

Saundra Mitchell — SHADOWED SUMMER (2010 Edgar®-Nominated) (signed hardcover)

Jenny Moss — WINNIE’S WAR (signed hardcover)

Sarah Ockler — TWENTY BOY SUMMER (signed hardcover)

Jackson Pearce — AS YOU WISH (signed hardcover)


Aprilynne Pike — WINGS (signed hardcover)

Cindy Pon — SILVER PHOENIX (signed hardcover)

Carrie Ryan –THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH (signed hardcover)

Sydney Salter — MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS (signed paperback) and JUNGLE CROSSING (signed hardcover) and SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK (advance review copy)

Kristina Springer — THE ESPRESSOLOGIST (signed hardcover)

Rhonda Stapleton — STUPID CUPID (signed paperback)

Charity Tahmaseb/Darcy Vance — THE GEEK GIRL’S GUIDE TO CHEERLEADING (signed paperback)

Lara Zielin — DONUT DAYS (signed hardcover)

Michelle Zink — PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS (signed hardcover)

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Filed under 2009 Debs, Books

Where all my words are going

Where are they going? Clearly, not in this blog. But! I’m up 5,800 words this past week and 4,300 the week before that (these would be revised, new, and “blended” words).

And even though I know this won’t be my only trip through the manuscript (Oh, revision, you have just begun), I’m pleased with my progress and process of finding time to work every single day.

Of course, yesterday I thought to log on to RWA National to see if I had any Rita books coming my way for judging. It turns out that somewhere out there, a box with seven books has my name on it. Seven books I must read/judge by February 28. And I don’t have them yet.


But thanks to the magic of Kindle, I’ve started reading. (And yeah, I’m thinking these seven anonymous authors all have a Kindle sale in their future. It’s worth paying for the convenience.)  

Last, but not least, the 2010 American Library Association award winners are in!

Huge congrats and serious squees to 2009 Deb L.K. Madigan for winning the Morris Award for her debut novel Flash Burnout.

I also want to congratulate my friend Nora Raleigh Baskin for winning the Schneider Family Book Award for her middle grade novel Anything But Typical (which I just finished and knew it was going to win).

I also want to mention the Michael L. Printz Award, which goes to Libba Bray this year for Going Bovine—which was one of my favorite books last year.

What do you think of the finalists/winners this year?

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Filed under 2009 Debs, Reading & Writing, Writing, YA

This is my brain … on revision

I’ve been writing. I’ve been writing/revising/brainstorming nearly every day (if not every day) of 2010. Okay, so we’re only on day 13. Still. I also started back in December on this revision, so I’ve been at it for a while.

I’m working to integrate a new subplot, remove a few other plot threads, and I’ve combined a few characters, which means the relationship vibe between many of the characters has change.

It’s like The Novel 2.0 or writing the alternate universe version of the original manuscript.

It’s also a lot of fun.

But here’s the thing: the spine remains essentially the same, but what the characters do and how they react to each other has changed. So, same problem = different solution.

This is also fun. But here’s where it gets weird. The other day, while I was walking to the car after work, I was pondering one of those plot problems and thought:

“Wow, MacKenna had a really good solution for that.”

Yes, that’s right. My character, a fictional creation, is thinking up answers to the story’s plot problems. Or at least, that’s how I apparently view it in my mind.


This is why I haven’t been blogging much either. At some point, MacKenna might just take that over too.


Filed under Writing

In which Van Halen (almost) makes me drive into the garbage can

First, let me tell you about the best thirteen dollars I’ve ever spent.

For Christmas, I bought Andrew a stand for his electric guitar. I don’t know what it is about having it out and perched on its stand, but he plays it all the time now. Maybe pulling the guitar from its case is simply too arduous, or it’s merely a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Guitar stand = best impulse gift idea ever.

Plus, guitar on stand looks really cool in our living room (yes, the living room; we’re informal, at best). I keep expecting Mick Jagger, Ric Ocasek, or Billie Joe Armstrong (pick your era—or in my case, it’s all three) to stroll in at any moment because the guitar looks so awesomely cool just sitting there.

I can hardly stand it.

Anyway, Andrew is a real classic rock kind of kid. He knows the opening to Smoke on the Water, and Sunshine of Your Love. Naturally, once he learns Stairway to Heaven, the trifecta will be complete.

So given this, it wasn’t all that strange when, on the way back from guitar lessons, the conversation turned to Van Halen.

Andrew: Mom, do you know this Van Halen song? It goes Na na na na Na Na.
Me: Is it Jump? Na, Na na na na na Na Na na na na.
Andrew: No, that isn’t it.
Me: Panama? Na na na Na na na na na na
Andrew (sighing): It doesn’t sound like that at all. It’s Na na na na Na Na.

I ran through my (admittedly) limited repertoire of Van Halen songs (and is it really a Van Halen song when they were fronted by Sammy Hagar? Or was David Lee Roth the worst thing to happen to Van Halen. Discuss on your own.).

Me (trying again): Well, can you remember any words?
Andrew: Actually, I’ve never heard a Van Halen song.
Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were in the driveway at this point, and OMG, y’all, I nearly drove into the garbage can.

Me (after a deep breath): Why are we having this conversation?
Andrew (after a giggle): Long, convoluted explanation involving a rerun episode of My Name is Earl.
Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Andrew: And Mom, you really don’t know how to Na na na a song.
Me: I’m revoking your TV privileges.

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Filed under Kids, Misc, music

The snug life

Lara Zielin (2009 Deb) is the official winner of the Internet for today:

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Filed under 2009 Debs, Clothes, Video

Carry on

Yes, it’s true. Now you can have Geek Girl and carry things in it too: 


It's a book, a purse, a book, a purse!

That's the first page you see.

Actually, you can have just about any book and carry it too, thanks to Karla at Bagitude. Or playbill, or album, or game. 

This was one of my gifts from Bob this year. Except. I discovered Bagitude to begin with, and had a Geek Girl one made for Darcy. So … surprise? Not so much. Still, awesomeness factor = high. Bob suggested I keep my bookmarks and pens in there for book signings, which is exactly what I’m going to do. 

On a completely different note. It’s minus seventeen degrees here this morning. Minus. Seven. Teen. Dude. It’s so cold, the ice on the back deck is making that bone-jarring cracking noise. So every once in a while, it sounds like someone is firing a shotgun right outside the window. 

Because dangerously cold isn’t enough. It isn’t winter unless it’s scaring the crap out of you at random intervals.


Filed under Books, Promo