Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: Book Cake/Cake Book

Yes, that's an actual, edible cake. A sweet surprise from my friends on Thanksgiving. Hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving, too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tree Shadow

When I looked out my office window today, I noticed the lacy tree shadow against the fence. There's just something about it that I like. Nature does a lovely job creating images with just light and shadow, don't you think?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Reads

It must be a higher form of insanity to keep ordering books when you have a huge to-be-read stack on your nightstand. But they are my one true addiction. What can I say.

Just last night, the wonderful, Amazon box-bearing delivery man brought me:

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cover Reveal Day!

I'm so excited to officially reveal the cover of my next novel, SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY. One of my favorite bloggers, Bermuda Onion, is sharing the cover on her blog here.

Please check it out and tell me what you think.

Also, I now have an official author page on Facebook. Stop by and connect with me there if you wish.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Cinderella Pumpkin

"Oh, that clock! Old killjoy. I hear you. Come on, get up, you say, Time to start another day. Even he orders me around. Well, there's one thing. They can't order me to stop dreaming." - Cinderella

Cinderella pumpkin from Farmers' Market

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sneak Peak

Earlier this week, my publisher held a 2013 book preview where select librarians and guests could learn about upcoming titles. Guess whose book is on this table of advance reader copies? Hmmm. Note the green-blue stack of books on the far right. That is my book baby, SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY, and she is due in a mere nine months. As you might expect, I will be consuming copious amounts of chocolate and ice cream as any expectant mother does.

This event marked the first time these copies are making it out into the world, which is very exciting for me to think about. More details and full cover reveal soon.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Red Door

I was cleaning out an old folder on my desk and this photo fell out. It's the front door of the house I grew up in. Seeing it sent a rush of old memories across my mind. We were always able to tell people, Oh, our house is the only one on the block with a red door. I remember really liking that distinction as a kid. I still do.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Writer's Life

Half dead or half alive?
I'm sitting outside in the cool morning. Well, it's almost cold for this Texas girl. It was 107 degrees two weeks ago and a thirty degree switch is almost alarming. All I know is that it's the kind of weather that begs you to sit outside and enjoy it.

As I was enjoying the great outdoors, I noticed my poor neglected plants. I don't know about you, but when I'm deeply engrossed in a project,  one hundred to-do's fall away and are forgotten. Like watering plants. Like getting a haircut. Like visiting my little blog.

Well, my excuse is that I've been making steady progress on the next book. I've been trying to get that necessary very bad first draft down on paper so that I can finally discern what this story is about. There's no escaping this part of the journey. Each time YOU pick up a book there are thousands of deleted pages and dead plants behind it. It's true! That beautiful story you hold was once a rebellious smash-up.

I just finished my very bad first draft (aka - rebellious smash-up) and I realized that it resembles my neglected backyard plant. You see, despite a serious lack of attention, this once lovely summer gardenia is still half-alive. It has green sprouts and dead brown twigs. That is how I feel about my first draft. Some things should be fertilized and coaxed into new growth. Something things should just be snapped off and thrown into the compost.

So that's what's been happening in this writer's life. I'm going to try not to commit too much more herbicide.

Hope your day is terrific and includes a great book. Here are a few great books I've recently read:




Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: Cover Clues?

I'm good at keeping a secret. However, when you get to see your own book cover...and can't share it with the world for a while, well, it's downright hard. So this picture offers a small, small clue. More to be revealed soon!

In the meantime, these pencils are pretty fun to use.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Finds: What Happened to My Sister

I've been waiting for this novel for YEARS. After I read ME AND EMMA, also written by Elizabeth Flock, I wrote to her expressing my love of her writing and the character, Carrie Parker. Ms. Flock wrote back and said she was working on a follow-up to ME AND EMMA. Today, it arrived at my doorstep and I couldn't be happier.

From Amazon:

Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name.

When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warmhearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families’ secrets—and uncovering the truth will transform the Chaplins and the Parkers forever.

Read an excerpt at Elizabeth Flock's website.


FRIDAY FINDS is hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stephen King Interview on Late Night TV!

Did you see Stephen King on the Craig Ferguson show last night? In case you missed it..

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: For your amusement...park

More fun photos from our trip to Galveston's new Pleasure Pier amusement park. View more of them here and here.

Nighttime view from the pier.
Wordless Wednesday is a weekly photo meme. View more pics or contribute your own here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wordless Tuesday: Ferris Wheel

The brand new Ferris Wheel positioned on Galveston Texas's new Pleasure Pier.

View from the Ferris Wheel

Another view from the Ferris Wheel

Monday, July 30, 2012

You might be a lazy blogger if

1/ you post photos each day of the week.
2/ you just got back from vacation and your laundry basket is eye-balling you.
3/ you can't tear yourself away from the Olympics.
4/ for each day you don't blog, you delve deeper into your work-in-progress.

Color me all of the above!

I'm posting vacation photos all week.

Stewart Beach in Galveston

Pleasure Pier 

My kids are on this ride. Honest.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: Sky Drama

Tuesday night sunset over Galveston, Texas.
There is much to admire about the Lone Star state. Dramatic skies are high on my list of features to love.

Snapshot Saturday is sponsored by Alyce of At Home With Books.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Double Rainbow

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. - Lord Byron

Visit Wordless Wednesday for more fun pics.

Also, check out my Editing Fail pic here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Cake Decorating

When you are nine and can't find a cake decoration that suits your tastes, you ask your mom to get a simple cake and use your own characters to design it.

No word yet on why Minnie is turned around, but my money is on keeping watch over Mittens the cat. Also, Goofy looks suspicious.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration: Inner Thoughts

Can you relate to this sentiment? I can. I think this speaks one thousand truths, and not just for writers. 

Hope you have a wonderful and INSPIRING Monday. It's raining here and I'm collecting the remnants of my daughter's dragon and Disney-themed birthday party that are still strewn around the house. A candy wrapper here. A piece of streamer there. I almost want to leave the decorations up a little longer and let her new nine-ness sink in. I feel like I just brought her home in a Snoopy blanket, blinked and POOF she's nine and a boy classmate has given her a necklace with her name on it that she's refused to take off. 

Me: You still have your necklace on. Don't you think you should take it off now that it's bedtime?
Her: I'm going to keep it on in case I get amnesia. Then I'll know my name. 
Life inside her head must be VERY interesting.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Patriot

My father and grandfather in the 1950s
Thanks to all the veterans and service men and women who support our nation!
Hope you have a great time celebrating the 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Finds: Girlchild

Happy Friday! What are you reading today? Hope you have a nice cool spot to read a good book and a fun beverage to go with it like this 4th of July treat I saw on the TODAY SHOW this morning. It is cranberry juice, topped with Gatorade and then Sprite. The exact recipe can be found here.

As for me, when I'm not reading this, I'm loving GIRLCHILD by Tupelo Hassman.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Beginnings of a book

It's starting to look like a REAL book! I'm proofing the manuscript this week.

This is one of my FAVORITE parts!

(Not so wordless information: SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY is a coming-of-age story in which a precocious 12-year-old writes letters to Atticus Finch for help understanding her mentally ill mother, her first real crush, and life in her small Texas town, all in the course of one momentous summer. The book is scheduled for release in July 2013)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Summer Reading

I could have named her Summer Reading.

She was born in July and has had a book in her hands ever since. I passed by my window the other morning and captured this photo. I took it through the window screen because I didn't want to disturb her. She might have flown away like a startled bird (or said, "Mooommmm, what are you doing?" in a voice that communicates You are so weird, mom.)

We are having a great time reading together. She's a few weeks shy of 9 now, so many of the books I love to read are just perfect for her, too. We read Louis Sachar's HOLES together recently. This is the first book we've really been able to dig in and discuss together. Ah, bliss! Then we watched the movie together. Now, she and her little sister are acting out scenes from the story. I remember that my sister and I did that once, too, only we re-enacted LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. Do you remember doing that when you were younger?

For many reasons, I'm looking forward to this summer. But one of them is a summer reading list I hope she and I complete together. Here's a list of my favorites on our summer reading list.

HOLES by Louis Sachar
WONDER by R. J. Palacio
WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech
THREE TIMES LUCKY by Shelia Turnage

What's on your summer reading list?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain."

- Dolly Parton

And I would add that rain isn't always such a bad thing. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Finds: Heading Out To Wonderful

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).
So, come on — share your FRIDAY FINDS!

I just got Robert Goolrick's (A Reliable Wife) new book in the mail.

Book Description: Told through the eyes of Sam, now an old man looking back on the events that changed his world forever, Heading Out to Wonderful is a suspenseful masterpiece, a haunting, heart-stopping novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.


What new books are YOU reading?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: If you could write a book...

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This week's Booking Through Thursday question is:

If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)


I almost abstained from this week's question because I have, indeed, written a book or two in my lifetime. (And I'm having a Hatfields & McCoys hangover, too. I became addicted to that mini-series this week to a point of distraction and now I want to get the soundtrack. Who knew Kevin Costner could sing?)

My answer to this question, however, is from one of my favorite quotes.

Toni Morrison“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
Toni Morrison

Morrison's precept perfectly expresses how I feel about the variety of subjects and characters I find myself writing about.  I choose subjects I want to better understand. This is why my topics are all over the place. Nature vs. Nurture. Religious cults. Viet Nam. Alcoholism. And my latest work-in-progress involves agoraphobia.

What about you? If you could write a book, what do you think you'd like to write about? And if you really want this to be the year you make the attempt to write the great American novel, why not start with National Novel Writing Month?

Here's a funny inspiring video, How To Write The Great American Novel, to get you going!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: A Writer's Companion

This week's Book Through Thursday questions involve pets. Ah, one of my favorite subjects.

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Booking Through Thursday asks: Do you have any pet that has a name inspired by your readings?
No, I can't say it so.

If not, what would you pick if you DID?
I think Atticus would be great name for a loyal and true dog. And, a cat named Cosette (Les Miserable) would be cute.

Do any of your friends have book-based names for their pets? (Or their children?)
Yes! I have a friend whose son is named Atticus and a niece named Harper. My youngest daughter's middle name is Katherine, not because of a pet, but because so many of my favorite literary heroines are named Katherine.

Speaking of pets, every writer should have a good and faithful friend by her side. Here's my longtime writing companion, Abby. Not a literary inspired name, but a gentle moniker for a gentle pet. She's always close by, almost always under the writing desk.

 Maybe it's because early in her life, I wrote about her, hmm?