Monday, February 25, 2013

I Really Should Start Paying More Attention ...

1. I had a busy week last week, mostly because I was trying to fit seven days worth of stuff into five days because I attended a writing retreat over the weekend.

2. We all know I can't leave my house without doing something absent-minded or ridiculous.

3. Usually because I'm almost always somewhere else inside my head while I try to live real life, and that often blows up in my face.

4. My week was fine until I left the house to drive to the retreat. I had to stop by Target for my contribution to the weekend's menu and then by Dress Barn to find a pair of non-denim, non-yoga pants to wear at my daughter's dedication on Sunday and to an upcoming reception for the Nashville literary community. (Although, let's be honest ... any reception for a literary community will probably include at least ONE pair of yoga pants in attendance ...)

5. I think my mistake was in stopping at Target first. Why?

6. Because the automatic doors ruined me for all other doors.

7. Ruined me.

8. Need proof?

9. I walked into Dress Barn, grabbed the first pair of nice black pants I saw, purchased them, and then headed for the door. I had a two hour drive ahead of me, and I was already running a little behind. I had no time to waste with browsing or dressing rooms.

10. I was focused on leaving.

11. Sadly, I should've been focused on HOW to leave.

12. I walked toward the front doors like a Boss. I had it timed just right. Slow enough to give the sensor for the automatic door time to realize I was coming, but fast enough to hit the doorway right after the glass obligingly got out of my way.

13. The problem?

14. Dress Barn doesn't have automatic doors.

15. You'd think since I had to manually open the door to enter the store that I would've realized this, but alas. My mind had left Dress Barn the second I'd finished purchasing the pants. My body was simply trying to catch up.

16. I closed in on the door, and some small presence still lingering in my head (instead of thinking through my route and running over the workshops I was scheduled to present) said quietly, "The door isn't opening."

17. I didn't slow down.

18. The voice spoke louder. "The door isn't opening. It ISN'T opening."

19. The rest of my brain, yanked rudely from its contemplations, said "Huh?"

20. At this point, I was maybe twelve inches from the door.

21. My brain blinked, looked around, realized the danger, and screamed, "ABORT! ABORT!"

22. But as is usually the case with me, physics, my old scientific nemesis, got the best of me.

23. I was already in motion, and the only thing that could stop me was an immovable object.

24. The door decided to volunteer for that task.

25. I slammed into the glass door like I'd robbed a bank and was trying to make a getaway. Like I meant business.

26. Like a BOSS.

27. Because when I do something? I never do it halfway.

28. It looked a lot like this:

Followed by this:

29. The poor saleslady next to the door made a dreadful snort-cackle sound before she swallowed her laughter and asked if I was ok.

30. I told her to just go ahead and laugh. I know if I saw me? I'd be laughing for the next hour.

31. I gathered the shreds of my dignity around me and left the building like THIS:

32. And then I got into the car and called Myra McEntire, MG Buehrlen, and Jodi Meadows to tell them what I'd done. They weren't surprised in the least. I think the only thing that would surprise them at this point is if I leave the house and DON'T do something stupid.

33. Aaaaaand, speaking of doing something stupid ...

34. I wear contacts, which means that when I travel, I need travel-size contact solution. Thanks to my eye doctor (whose somewhat combative relationship with me is documented here), I have TWO travel sized bottles. He gave me samples the last time I was in. One is a regular saline solution. One is a hydrogen peroxide solution that must be neutralized by putting my contacts in a special container that has a metal disk and then leaving them there for a full six hours.

35. Guess where my brain was while I was packing?

36. Not in my bathroom reading the labels on my contact solution bottles, I can tell you that much.

37. Know when I figured out I'd taken the hydrogen peroxide mixture by mistake?


39. My eye was red for an hour afterward. It. Was. Awesome.

40. And guess what? I'm traveling again this weekend!

41. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Ending Begins

I'm sitting down to write the final book in the Defiance trilogy now, and I have mixed emotions. Part of me is eager to finish this journey with my characters. To see scenes I've had in my head for the past two years finally come to life on the page. To do my best to give Rachel and Logan a happily ever after. But part of me feels like hanging on to them, to their story, a little bit longer. It seems like just yesterday that I sat down and let the image of a fortress, the idea of an underground dragon, and a mouthy redhead take over my brain. I'm also wondering why in the world I left myself such a tangle of plot lines and nearly impossible things to accomplish in this book. I look at the end of DECEPTION, which seemed like such a good idea at the time (and really was the only logical course of action) and kind of wish I'd just burned everything down again. Because the beginning of Book 3? Is a tricksy, tricksy hobbitses. Logan has to accomplish three mostly impossible things in the first few scenes. Rachel ... I can't even say a word about that without giving away the end of Deception. And do I have a plan? Oh yes, I have a plan. It looks a lot like this:

Brain Food:

Back-up plans if my current villains refuse to cooperate:

Ready response to those foolish enough to interrupt my office hours:

How others will know I'm working:

How I'll look when I leave my office but the plot won't leave my head:

What I feel when I read the end of DECEPTION & realize I have to FIX THAT:

What happens when I can't fix it on the first twelve tries:

What happens when I finally DO fix it:

And once I hit my stride, it pretty much looks like this:

So, there you have it. Book 3, with all its complicated plot twists that must be untangled and then resolved, is a blank page open on my computer. The playlist is open. The "Things That Must Be Figured Out Within Five Scenes" are listed on a notepad to my left. My peach tea is to my right.

Time to begin the end.

I leave you with the first song on Book 3's playlist:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Deception Cover Reveal!!

Want to see the gorgeous cover for DECEPTION?? It just went live for an exclusive cover reveal on yabookscentral. Take a look at the cover and then enter to win a signed ARC! The giveaway is international!

**Edited to add:

DECEPTION will be released 8/27/13

DEFIANCE paperback will be released 8/27/13

YA Scavenger Hunt - Red Team

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author  Colleen Houck  as a way to give readers a c...