Friday, October 29, 2010

Missing Out

This year has been the year that I didn't go. To Left Coast Crime in L.A., Bouchercon in San Francisco (that one hurt), and KidLitCon, to name but a few. I've been Dutifully Working.

And all work and no play for a cranky YA Sleuth, people! Especially when everyone's asking me if I'm coming ("No, I'm focusing on work this year...") and Tweeting about the great time they're having. Or when I read reports like this one in SLJ about KidLitCon. Even the litter of kittens that's turning my house into a mad one aren't making me feel better.

So I'm vowing to Go Somewhere Writerly In 2011. Because I know that even though the writing has to be number one, it's very energizing to hang around fellow writers and friends.

How about you? Any conference plans for 2011?

Oh, and if you didn't go either, here's a picture of a kitten with momma cat to make you feel better. Worth a shot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Monday

There's a car chase, a cop with donuts, and Bruce Willis. Oh, and guns, too. Does it get any cooler than this? I think not.

Friday, October 22, 2010

DISCOUNT NOIR...

...is now available! I would tell you to buy it because my story is in it, but that would be tacky. So I'll tell you who else has stories in this short story collection:

Patricia Abbott, Sophie Littlefield, Kieran Shea, Chad Eagleton, Ed Gorman, Cormac Brown, Alan Griffiths, Laura Benedict, Garnett Elliot, Eric Beetner, Jack Bates, Bill Crider, Loren Eaton, John DuMond, John McFetridge, Toni McGee Causey, Jeff Vande Zande, James Reasoner, Kyle Minor, Randy Rohn, Todd Mason, Byron Quertermous, Sandra Scoppettone, Stephen D. Rogers, Steve Weddle, Evan Lewis, Daniel B. O'Shea, Sandra Seamans, Albert Tucher, Donna Moore, John Weagly, Keith Rawson, Gerald So, Dave Zeltserman, Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen, Jay Stringer, Anne Frasier, Kathleen A. Ryan, Eric Peterson, Chris Grabenstein and J.T. Ellison.

And they're killer stories. Impressive, right? Click on the nifty banner below to get your noir fix...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Adventure!


As a reader, I like to be moved, entertained, puzzled--but there's nothing like a good adventure. I just snagged David Lubar's True Talents off my daughter's shelf (having a middle-grader in the house is fun, because we can share books), and it promises to be fun.

And it's an adventure! I'm not so adventurous by nature, but I sure love reading and watching someone else have one. Katniss in The Hunger Games, Salander in The Girl Who Played With Fire, and my own character, who I just sent up a mountain (literally). All from the safety of my desk, cat on the lap, cuppa tea at the ready. Adventure for chickens. Really, I would love to be a Kim Possible (for those of you who remember this great cartoon that's no longer on TV), but aside from the cargo pants, it just not going to happen. So I escape to fiction for my adventure fix.

How about you? What's your favorite adventure, book, movie or TV?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Teen Read Week!


It's Teen Read Week! Check out the YALSA website for more info, and for the teen-chosen top ten, which will be announced today sometime.

And I'm in the middle of reading a supermarket-bought Stieg Larsson--shame on me. Will pick up a YA novel pronto...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All About The MG


I've been neglecting the YA side a bit lately--sorry to my YA fans. My current WIP is a middle-grade, so that's what I'm reading, and busy with. I'm all about the MG these days.

And I thought I had it all worked out: YA is for high school kids, MG for the middle-schoolers. Simple, yes?

Well, no. As it turns out, many of my high school students are raving fans of MG series (which of course I'm not about to point out to them). In turn, some YA books turn out to be great for the middle-grade crowd. It's confusing me. I learned something new, now that I've crossed the line to MG: there is no clear line. There are aspects that make a book clearly MG or YA (usually sexual content), but otherwise...

Dunno. I would like to blame booksellers or publishers, but in this case, it's clearly the reader that makes up whether a book is MG or YA. There are no clear rules, it seems. Great for the reader in me, confusing for the writer.

On the upside: I'll keep reading until it all makes more sense.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Faux Pas Favorites

Confession time: I turn up the volume when I hear this song. It's really faux pas, but there you have it. I do the funky chicken when Justin Bieber sings Baby--could be I like it because I have a tween daughter who belts out the lyrics right along with me, but still. It's that song I'm not supposed to like, but do. Even Ludacris rapping in it does not make it cool enough.

How about you? Any secret favorites?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Funny


Life is busy for me right now, which is when I look for all things funny. We're watching Chuck on TV, and I'm reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And I'm laughing out loud, even though this book was written for a nine or ten year-old, which I'm decidedly not. I highly recommend this one, no matter your age.

How about you? What's the funniest book you've ever read?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spooky MG


It's October, which means it's time (over here in Colorado) to get ready for the snow. So I've been doing outside chores, dreaming of a beach cottage and a maid. Hence to blog silence.

But October is also for spookiness! So I was happy to find these middle-grade spooky short story collections at School Library Journal, to get you in the mood for Halloween.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Feet

If there's one musical genre that gets abused the most, it's motown. Commercials, Disney bubblegum-singer remakes--they've ruined some perfectly good songs.

But I've always liked Happy Feet. The movie folk seemed to get what the music is all about. Here's a little clip to cheer up your Friday. I dare you not to be charmed...