Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm Baaaaaaaaack! And let me tell you about a Great Writer's Conference!

(Imagine the title of this blog said in a creepy "Jack Nicholson" All-Work-And-No-Play kind of voice.)

(Oh wait... He never says "I'm baaaaaaack", right? He says "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny".)

(So which movie has the guy saying, "I'm baaaaaaaaack?")

(Should a blog post start out with this many parentheses?)


Hey y'all! I'm back from my summer blogging break. You didn't know I was taking a summer blogging break, did you? Well, neither did I. But the suits who run this blog (they don't exist) insisted I take a break (because I'm totally lazy). 

(By the way, we have officially reached the world record for "Most Parentheses in a Single Blog Post.")

(They will be awarding me the Parenthetical Crown tonight in a special ceremony). 

(Do periods go outside the parentheses? Or inside?.).

Anyway, the reason I'm here is to tell you about an awesome writing conference! For writers! It's this thing:

(contrary to what is being advertised, no writers will be put under literal construction)
I will be delivering the keynote address. Which means I will be using my entire repertoire of cuss words (because I swear like a sailor when I'm nervous). 

Here's what the organizers have to say: “The $49 includes a catered lunch and the day offers networking opportunities and book signings with our authors. Whether writing fiction, non-fiction, or for adults, young adults, or children, there’ll be something for everyone.”

Are you a writer who would like to connect with other writers, be inspired, or learn some crafty stuff? Then this is the place for you! You can register here.

Also, for those of you who will be at Salt Lake Comic Con, I'll be speaking on a panel Saturday at noon. And if that isn't enough to entice you to go, I will be wearing an elf costume. 

Hope to see you at either of these thingees! 

Now... how was your summer?

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Adventure at the RT Convention... and Other Stuff. With Pictures!

So I've been hesitant to blog lately. The reasons for this are twofold: (Seriously, I look for any excuse to say the word "twofold" or "threefold" or "thricefold". I don't know why)

1. Because it's been a few weeks, and I would have a lot to catch y'all up on...

2. There is no two. (Remember the extremes I go to just to use the word "twofold"?)

But now I just have to bite the bullet. And it tastes metally. 

Here's what I've been doing the last few weeks (and the accompanying pictures): 

Sold books at the EDGEFEST concert in Dallas Texas...
(Answering the age old question: Can authors jump simultaneously?? Um... almost, but no.)

Then I went to the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City. I knew I was in the right place, because here is the room key...
I further knew because he was waiting for me in my room. Kidding. 

I also knew I was in the right place because there was a giant poster for Sharon Page...
Oh, and for me too! 
 One of the best parts of the convention is getting together with author friends, old and new!
A table full of YA Authors, including: Suzanne Lazear, Josephine Angelini, Victoria Scott, Kiera Cass, Amy Plum... and more)
On a whim, as I was passing a haircuttery in a mall, I bounced in and chopped my locks! And then the hair dresser was like, "Stop chopping your own locks! I'll cut it! I'll CUT IT!"
Do not adjust your screen. That's not a boy you see there, that's me!  

I met the guy (Brady!) who filmed both of my awesome book trailers...
Brady, sizing me up and making the correct decision NOT to put me in the EVERTRUE trailer...)
And just because it was a random weekend, have you ever wondered what an elevator full of YA authors looks like?  
We made many great memories in that elevator... And by memories, I mean we rode it up, and then down as needed. 
  I signed books in between Jennifer Armentrout and Leigh Bardugo...
Leigh said she was pulling a "Ned Stark". And if you get that, then I love you. 
 Did I mention hanging out with a billion YA Authors? 
Okay, not quite a billion. Just under. 
 And when the food didn't come soon enough...

I tried out the panorama button on my iPhone...

Male model sandwich!

Seriously, friends for life...
(CJ Omololu, Zoraida Cordova, Victoria Scott, Corinne Jackson, Tamera Ireland Stone)
 I signed a buttload of books (remember, the "buttload" is an actual unit of measurement: A butt is defined to be 2 hogsheads, which in the US is 63 gallons)...
Many thanks to HarperCollins for sponsoring so many events, and for providing 63 gallons of books! 

I also attended the Whitney Awards Gala with a table full of my favorite people...
(including my agent Michael Bourret, My mom, Jeff Savage and his wife, James Dashner and his wife...)
 Oh yeah. I won a Whitney Award too...
Took me a while to figure out I could actually open the trophy, like a book. Okay, my agent had to point it out to me. He's so good at his job.

Phew. That was a lot. Now I feel like I can blog more regular-like, without my head exploding. (because there are currently brain bits splattered across my screen). 

So... what have y'all been up to??????????????????? Ew. A brain bit just made the question key stick...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How I look to my Kid on this Mother's Day...

My Mother's Day Portrait, by Kid C. 

Before you judge, just know that I've always needed bigger arms to counteract my abnormally tiny legs...

Other than that, it's spot on. Long hair, constant smile, and no nose. That happens to be the look I strive for when I'm getting ready in the morning. 

Kid B made me a potted planter, full of pipe cleaners in the shape of flowers. 

When I picked the pot up, he changed his mind and decided it was for him. After accusing me of stealing it, he grabbed it out of my hands, emptied it of pipe cleaners and straightened each one of them out. Once there was no trace of the flower shapes, he took the fake grass and sprinkled it on the living room floor. 

Seeing my forlorn expression, he handed me a wadded up candy wrapper and said, "Happy Mother's Day." 

me (looking at the decimated carnage that was once a mother's day pot, and then at the garbage in my hand): "Um... thank you?"

him (beaming): "You're welcome!"

Happy Mother's Day to all of you women out there, kids or no kids, flowers or just pipe cleaners. And to those fathers pulling double duty. What did all y'all do today?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How When it Comes to Love, My Mom Duped me. And then I Duped Kid C

My mama always told me to keep the guys guessing, and never let 'em see you swoon. So the other day, Kid C was talking to me about a few girls that he likes. I tried to dispense a little bit of similar motherly advice. 

me: "So, you know, if you like a girl, you might want to play it cool-"

Kid C holds his hand up, as if to say I got this. 

Kid C: "I know, mom. I know. It's called 'playing hard to get'."

I guess I've been talking to him about it more than I thought.

me: "So what do you think that means?"

Kid C: "It means I avoid her. And I tell her that I like other girls. I don't go as far as to tell her I hate her, or trip her or anything, but I make sure she knows I don't like her much, and I'd rather be near someone else."

me (with a sigh, thinking I may have overshot the whole "playing hard to get" lesson for years...): "Okay, let's start over. Let's practice starting a conversation with her."


me: "You know, like 'Hey! How are you?'"


And I realize it's too late. I've already indoctrinated him with the hard to get mentality. Suddenly, my high school social life (or lack thereof) flashes before my eyes. 

I remember my agent, after reading my book, said to me, "It seems like the main character doesn't like the main love interest very much."

I was stunned. I was all, "She LOVES him! How did you not get that?"

He's all, "Well how does she show it?"

Me: "Didn't you see her run out of the room every time he walked in? And then that one scene where she yells at him? and tells him she hates him?? If that's not love..." My voice faded off. 

Him: "Um... Yeah..."

Me (lightning strikes): "Ahhhhh. That's not love." And  then, shaking my fist in the air: "CURSES MOM!! I was DUPED!"

I'm so sorry, Kid C. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What I've Been Doing... NOT Licking Thor, that's for sure.

Okay, so I've had a few not-so-subtle nudges from blog readers, friends and family members (I'm totally looking at you, Jacksons) about putting up a new blog post. 

Here's what happened: I turned in the last round of edits on EVERTRUE (I still call it Everneath 3: It's Everneathiest) and then did you know there's an off switch in your brain? A literal off switch? That's the only explanation for what I've been doing during the last couple of weeks. Somebody flipped the off switch. 

I mean, I've done some of the usual stuff... 

Like now you see it...
because what's a barber shop without a pool table and a lei?

Now you don't.
... that's a handsom face in the mirror... wait, is that moi?

Now you see it...
Isn't she cute?

Now you don't. 
It's a boy! 

I kicked some balls...
...and pulled a hamstring. (This was also the "before the concussion" pic)
I consulted with my godfather...
... he told me to go to the mattresses. So I went to just the one mattress. And fell asleep.

I danced with Fred Astaire. But I have to admit, I felt like a third wheel...
... Um, Fred? Fred? I'm over here, Fred.
Okay, Fred, this is getting ridiculous. It's like you don't think we're dancing together. 

I used my feminine wiles... all two of them...
... That's right, Ben. I totally pulled my hammy right here...
And you see this leg? I've got another one just like it. And it goes all the way up... to my hip.

And finally, I let Thor know that I really lick him.. I mean like him...

Because if you were this close to Thor, you'd lick him too. Admit it. 

So yeah, I've been totally busy. 

What have all y'all been up to? 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Because EVERNEATH 3: It's EVERNEATH-iest is a tad cumbersome... Here's the Real Title

So, after what feels like months being underwater with revisions... (wait a second... it WAS months) EVERNEATH 3: It's EVERNEATH-iest is now officially in copyedits!

Which means it's basically done!

(I say basically, because copyedits still have to be done, but it's like mostly done. Like, medium well.)

So now, without further ado... (adieu? adoo?) I'd like to introduce y'all to the real title of EVERNEATH 3: It's EVERNEATH-iest. Because EVERNEATH 3: It's EVERNEATH-iest is not the real title, although I have greatly enjoyed typing EVERNEATH 3: It's EVERNEATH-iest over and over and over.

The title is...


I really like this title. I hope you do too. 

And now... to collapse. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Week in Pictures... L.A. Version

I'm in Los Angeles for work this week. Here's what my week in pictures looks like:

You can't go to L.A. without seeing Universal Studios, right? I think you get fined if you try...
Cynthia Hand (author of the Unearthly Series), me, Jodi Meadows (author of the Incarnate Series).
We wore our hair in pigtails so we could find each other easily.
 We met lots of crazy characters...

like Shrek and Fiona...
Why is Fiona so mad? 
 And the Scooby Gang...
Did you notice that Daphne tried to put her hair in pigtails too?
And Curious George...
Curious George was a little too curious about my pigtails. He kept pulling on one of them, and then he'd shrug innocently as if to say, "Hey! I'm a monkey!" Like that excuses it...
 And a random set of Asian brothers... 
Spotted them sitting in the middle of the cafeteria, blending in with everyone...
 To cap off the day, I ate my weight in cotton candy. And that, let me tell you, is a lot of cotton candy. 
Objects in picture are much larger than they appear... Except my cheeks. Those are about spot on.
 The next day, we spoke to a novel-writing class at Pepperdine University, whose campus is so beautiful it should be illegal. I'm not jealous. 
The three of us with with the ugly coastline and mediocre deep blue sea in the background. Gross. 
Then we had lunch at a place in Malibu by the ocean...
How come everything in California is by the ocean? Don't they care that they're making the rest of us insanely jealous? I hate every person in this picture.

By which point, hubs accused me of playing and not working. So, just to appease him, I got to work. 
I always carry my purse while jackhammering...

That pothole on Generic Street in Manhattan is now fixed. 

You're welcome, New York. 

By the way, I'll be appearing at the Barnes and Noble in Westlake tomorrow night at 7pm with Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows.

And then on Saturday, we will be at Books Inc. in Mountain View California at 5:00 pm. 

Anyone in the L.A. or San Fran areas? Come out and say hi. 

So... what are y'all up to? Anyone jackhammer a pothole lately? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In Which the Consequences for Losing my Pillbox are Disastrous

I have a husband who fills my pillbox for me weekly. The reason for this is two-fold: 1. I'm too lazy to fill my own pillbox. I really can't be bothered to flip lids and divvy out pills. 2. I'm forgetful. I really can't be bothered to remember.

I know, you'd want to be married to that too, right? 

Well, about a week before my deadline, I misplaced my pill box. But because I was staying up late most nights to write, I never got a chance to tell hubs. So every night, at like 1 am, I would go to the medicine cabinet and just grab my pills individually. 

Fast forward a few days. Let me paint you a picture. 

I woke up in the morning and felt the need for an omelet with a side of a brick of chocolate. So I ate an omelet and a brick of chocolate. Then I went to the grocery store and bought a giant bag of corn chips and a big jar of that nacho cheese, and came home and melted the cheese and ate the entire thing. Then, for the leftover chips, I grated a bunch of cheese and melted it directly on top. 

Then I went to the gas station to buy five packages of grape Hi-Chews. And the gas station attendant was all, "Hey! I haven't seen you since last night. You already need five more packages of candy?" 

And I was all *flips him off*

Then I went to a birthday lunch for my sis-in-law, and I ordered one meal to eat at the restaurant and one to take home.

And then when I got home - and feeling the need for vegetables - I made myself some creamy cilantro dressing and steamed an entire bag of broccoli and dipped the broccoli in the dressing, but the dressing wasn't enough so I got another jar of nacho sauce so I could dip the broccoli in the cheese first and then the dressing. 

And with a full mouth, I called into the other room, "Sam! Can you make a run to Wendy's for me?"

And he's all, "I can't understand you, due to the fact that your mouth is filled with broccoli/nacho stuffs."


And he's all, "Talking louder will not make you easier to understand. You have to empty your mouth first."

And I'm all, "Empty my mouth? So there's no food in it? Death first!"

And he's all, "Seriously, swallow!"

So, with a dramatic eye roll, I swallowed and didn't put anything new in my mouth so I could ask him, "Can you make a run to Wendy's for me?"

He gave me a surprised look, partly because I'd never in the history of our marriage asked him to make a run to Wendy's for me, and partly because I had just eaten ALL THE FOOD. 

He's all, "Um... okay. What do you want?"

me: "Two baked potatoes, with everything, and a large chili. Extra cheese. Hold the chives. Because chives are gross. And a frosty."

Him: "..."

me (putting another nacho-broccoli in my mouth because I've waited long enough): "What?"

him: "You want TWO baked potatoes? AND the large chili?"


Later that night, I went to the medicine cabinet to get my pills, and I saw an extra prescription bottle in the top right corner. I looked at the label. It was for my pills. 

Then I looked at the prescription bottle I'd just taken a pill from. It was prednisone. A steroid for people who can't breathe. It was also a dosage for a large man. 

One of the side effects of the pill is INCREASED HUNGER. 

I'd been taking prednisone for AN ENTIRE WEEK. While I was on DEADLINE. (I think another side effect is putting every fifth word in ALL CAPS). 

You can probably guess what happened next.

Yep. I got so mad at Sam for not noticing I was taking the wrong pill all week, and for the freshman fifteen I'd put on. 

He's so sorry.

By the way, I'll be at the Provo Library tonight at 7pm with the Dark Days tour. That is, if I can fit in my car.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Guess what I can do with a Parrot on my Shoulder?

Hey y'all!  How's it going? I feel like I haven't seen you (yes, you!) forever. I've been flailing under a deadline for Book 3 in the Everneath series, tentatively titled "EVERNEATH 3: It's Everneath-iest".

Here are a couple of things I've been doing:

1. I've made my acting debut!

Yep, that's me in the book trailer for Lindsey Leavitt's darling new book GOING VINTAGE. Give it a looksy...


A few things I noticed while watching this video. 

a. I blink a lot.
b. There's a chance that if flattened out, my cheeks would reach from here to Milwaukee. 

What do all y'all think of the trailer? 

2. I will be appearing with the Dark Days tour on Wednesday night, March 6th, at 7 pm at the Provo Library. 

Did you catch a glimpse of the other fabulous authors who will be there? Kiersten White? Dan Wells? Lauren Oliver? Debra Driza?

It is going to be quite the event, full of shenanigans and I'm sure several instances where I insert my foot in my mouth. (Did I tell you about my first stop on the Dark Days tour in L.A.? Where an audience member asked, "How do you like doing so much research for your books?" and I answered, "Yuck. I don't do any research. I HATE READING."

Yep. "I hate reading," she said to a room full of readers at a book event. It's a good thing no one in the audience had a phone or an internet connection. Oh, wait...

3. Tonight, at some point, the behind-the-scenes video of the Dark Days tour will be up. I don't want to give anything away, but if you watch it, you'll discover why Cynthia Hand and I shared a bag of underwear. 

Follow @harperteen to find the link. It will be up tonight. At some given hour. Have I ever told y'all that I'm not good with details? Like times and stuff? 

4. Since it's a day full of videos of myself, here's me playing the piano with Pidge on my shoulder. My hairless dog is filming. Because I live in a zoo. 

5. And here is a video of me in my first ballet recital when I was eight. 

Kidding. I won't show you that. :)

So, how was all y'all's week? Anyone adopt any hairless animals? Anyone want me to star in their book trailer? Anyone think they can draw a map of the United States on my cheeks?

Friday, February 22, 2013

How I Look to a Seven-Year Old...

Hey y'all!  

So, Kid B came home the other day, proudly displaying this family portrait he'd drawn. 

"Me, Carter, Dad, Mom"

Let's skip asking why Kid B has given himself two faces (is this some deep psychological self-awareness? Is it his inner muse? Or is the second face a pig face from Angry Birds? My money's on the Angry Birds theory) and take a closer look at me. 

I agree he got the arms (flippers?) dead right. And my legs really are flatter on the inside. My bigger questions are... why am I number 4? Why is my torso divided in half? Okay, maybe that second question makes sense. Where did my fingers go? Did I lose them in a freak lawn mower accident?

My favorite part -- besides the accurate portrayal of the fact that my hair is falling out due to faulty flat irons -- is the lip-to-face ratio. 

Apparently, I arrive at all destinations lips first.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Have you ever had one of those days where...

Hey y'all...

Sorry for the blog silence! I have been madly revising EVERNEATH 3: It's Everneath-iest, and touring with EVERBOUND. 

I'll blog about the tour later, but for now, I was thinking of starting a new blog series called "Have you ever had one of those days where..." and then fill in the blank. 

Today, I have two entries. 

1. Have you ever had one of those days where... you adopt a hairless dog?

Let me preface this by saying, I have wanted a dog for my entire life. But someone else in my life has been having a crazy love affair with our lawn, and was hesitant to see any sort of yellow patches. 

But for some reason, this week provided an opening in his cold cold black heart. Especially when we discovered that this little guy needed a home. 

I know what you're thinking: Is that a rat? 

No. He is a dog. A hairless terrier. Isn't he sweet?

I know what else you're thinking: Is he dressed like a clown?

Yes. He gets cold. What with no hair and all. 

Might I interrupt this blog post to say that y'all ask excellent questions?

So yes, we are now the proud owners of CHEWBACCA. Yes, we named him. Yes, the name is ironic. But I think it gives him something to aspire to. Plus, when Kid B was clearly pulling ahead of Chewy in a raucous game of Space Chess, the wookie threatened to tear Kid B's arms off. 

never make a wookie angry
Seriously, do not mess with this guy:
Even in his sleep, he is diabolical. And he sleeps A LOT
Last night I gave Chewy a bath, and then lathered him up with baby lotion, dressed him in new clean pajamas and rocked him to sleep. 

Yes, I finally have a newborn. 

2. Have you ever had one of those days where... you discover that you've been wearing keyboard instructions on your belly all day?

The other day, I came home and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Check it out:

Notice anything unusual?

Yep. That is the instruction sheet for how to set up the keyboard to my IPad. 

Why couldn't it have been something cool like a map to atlantis?: 

Don't zoom in too close. Not because I'm uncomfortable with having an extreme close-up of mah belly, but because that is the actual map to Atlantis, and I don't want it to get out there. 

So... What's your day been like? Fill in the blank: Have you ever had one of those days where...

Or, you can just tell me if you think Chewy is the cutest rat you've ever seen...