Buy A Shirt, Help Japan!

I posted a while back about Writer's For The Red Cross where you could donate $25 to the Red Cross and pick out a book, or bid on fabulous writing/book related prizes. Now I want to share these awesome t-shirts!

A high-school friend of mine (who is a nurse and a fabulous model and you should check her out) just showed me the t-shirts her fiance Raj Belani (photographer, graphic designer) designed. All donations go directly to The Red Cross.

About the design:

The red circle obviously represents Japan's flag.  The gridded nation is supposed to represent the "building block" of Japan.  The crack represents just that, a minor crack.  Regardless of the magnitude of the earthquake, it's just a minor crack, and Japan being one of the strongest nations, will overcome it.  The flourishing flowers represent regrowth...and the person donating to receive one of these items represents hope for someone who was affected by these events.

Awesome, yes? For more info, visit Raj's blog.

It's March 23rd And My Yard Is Covered In Snow

And I would be very sad right now, except that Simon Hay is hosting me at his blog today! I talk about writing, but also some personal stuff too. And there are pictures from my youth! Who doesn't love those?

Stop by and check it out! Simon is quite an interesting guy. He's a medium, a healer, and a writer! Definitely a one-of-a-kind guy, and one of the nicest people I've come across. Come check it out!

Teen Author Festival 2011

Another amazing Teen Author Festival came to a close today with a mega book signing at Books of Wonder in NYC. 45 authors showed up to sign their books and take pictures with fans. Among them were authors Lisa McMann, pictured below, Elizabeth Eulberg, Maggie Stiefvater, Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, and many more.

 This was the only event I was able to attend this year (the reading in my borough unfortunately had to be cancelled and I was unable to attend the other four) but it was a great one! TAF is organized by author/editor David Levithan and is hosted in NYC every March. If you're planning a trip to NYC, I suggest coming for TAF. You'll meet an amazing group of authors and other like-minded individuals. Definitely worth the trip.

Writers For The Red Cross

Before you go out and purchase a new book, check out Writers for the Red Cross. If you donate $25 to the Red Cross via WFTRC, you'll be sent a book of your choosing from what they have on their donated shelves. 

Debbie from inkyelbows, is also donating a hand-illustrated custom poem to the highest bidder. Her package will be up for auction until March 20th. Details on that here.

They have a lot of great books on hand, but only a limited supply available, so if you can, donate today, and please spread the word!


And in other news, my critique partner Valerie Kemp is featured at Dear Teen Me today with a letter to her 13 year-old self. You truly don't want to miss what she has to say. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Deadlines Don't Have to be Damning

Writing for Tangled Fiction has taught me a lot in terms of character and plot structure, but also self-discipline. The only time I'd ever written under a deadline was when I'd gotten my editor's notes for Parallel, my short story that was published in the Rebel Moon anthology, and that was a piece of cake compared to TF deadlines. 

Twenty-four to forty-eight hours is not a lot of time to come up with something out of the blue, especially when it has to match what's already written. And if you aren't in a writing mood, it's that much worse. I'm all for stepping away from the manuscript, distancing yourself until you're in a more relaxed state of mind and you can let the creativity flow, but sometimes that isn't an option. Sometimes you're faced with a deadline. And if you aren't burdened by deadlines now, someday you will be!

I've written things that have come off as harried, and I've written things I've been much more proud of. I wish that I had some magical piece of advice that would give you exactly what you need to prevail in the face of evil thought-crushing deadlines, but I don't. All I can say is that deadlines don't have to be damning. Do not fear the deadline! But I think it's a great idea to condition yourself now so that when that five or however-many-page editorial letter comes, you're ready for it. You can do this. You can write something great even when your brain says you can't. 

And if YOU have that magical piece of advice, I am so ready to hear it. 

Rivers and Railroads

As I mentioned before, this week is individual shorts week at Tangled Fiction . I posted my short UNTOUCHABLE this morning.

These are some pictures of the river and railroad near my home town, one of which was used as the visual for UNTOUCHABLE.






Thanks for looking!

The Fatty Ratties

Back in January I had a birthday, and my gift (that I practically begged for for four years) were two little boy rats. This is them then, at about 5 weeks old:

And this is now at about 9 weeks old:

Aren't they adorable?

This week is individual shorts week at Tangled Fiction. I'll be posting my short UNTOUCHABLE a little bit later today. I grew up near the Susquehanna River and spent a lot of time on the railroad tracks and swimming in the river. I was feeling quite nostalgic when I wrote this short. Hope you'll come by and give it a read.

Match Made in Zombieland.

I just got this text from Husband and it's too funny not to share with you.

"I was just in the bowels of a building in Manhattan. I had to climb two flights of stairs and then walk around with a flashlight. It was AWESOME. I kept thinking it would be a perfect place to hide from zombies."

This is the man that I love. <3

Also, this week is individual short week at Tangled Fiction. Natalie posted her short titled BUTTERFLY GIRL on Monday. Valerie will post hers on Wednesday, and I post mine on Friday. I suppose I need to go write it. >_<
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