Wednesday, December 29, 2010


As 2010 draws to a close, I find myself thinking toward the year ahead. Last year I decided that, in lieu of making resolutions, I was going to make goals for myself instead. I'm a goal person, I like goals. And goals sound like something you have time to work toward, instead of something you need to change right away. I need some time for some of these things.

For 2011, I have three goals for my writing life.

1. Query my current WIP 

I honestly don't know if my current WIP is good enough to get me an agent, but I need to finish it to the best of my ability and give it a try. I need to go through the whole revision process, I need to perfect my query, I need to put together a list of agents, and I need to query widely. I may get rejected widely, or something good may come of it. Who knows. I just need to do it, no matter what.

And I've been working on this darn thing so long (and so slowly), that this all needs to happen sooner rather than later. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to send it out before it's ready. But I need to stop stalling and make some actual progress.

2. Apply to MFA program

I decided to bite the bullet and apply to an MFA program. I have one that I am super interested in, so I'll apply to that one first. If I don't get in to that program, then I'll look into others.

This is going to happen pretty soon...I have my application 3/4 complete. I just have one piece to finish, and then off it goes. Wish me luck. My undergrad grades are abysmal, but I'm hoping my killer writing samples / personal statement / letters of rec will negate all that. I'd appreciate any good vibes / ju-ju that you have.

3. Start new project

As soon as my current WIP is done, I need to start something new. Luckily I have a SNI floating around in my brain. It has a main plot, it has two main characters, and it's been churning around in my head for awhile now. I need to figure out more of it, but I'm glad I have something to start working on as soon as I'm done with my current thing.

So, those are my goals for the coming year. Totally do-able, right? Do you have any big goals for 2011?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Anna Is Back Home

I checked my mailbox today and it was overflowing with books! I honestly don't know how my mail carrier was able to squeeze them all in there. 

Three of them were books I ordered for my classroom library (a Demonata book. a Gregor book, and a Vlad Tod book), but one of them was mine all was my ARC of Anna and the French Kiss!

There it is with my favorite treat...a Pumpkin Spice Latte from 7-11. Don't get me started, I'll rave about them all day.

I won the ARC from Stephanie Perkins's blog back in September, and she signed it for me. I read it in less than a day, and, while I wanted to hang on to it and cuddle with it and take it everywhere with me, I decided to do the generous thing and send it on a little tour of my writing group. 

It usually would kill me to send off a personalized book like this out into the world, but that's how much I wanted to share it with my friends. 

Every now and then one of us gets a really cool ARC and we do this. We send out an e-mail to see who's interested, and then we send it along from person to person. This copy of Anna was a special one, though. Not only did all of the awesome ladies in my writing group read it, they also each wrote a little message in the book about their thoughts after reading it. 

It's a good thing they all loved it as much as I did. I'd really hate to have a book filled with notes from my friends that said something like, "This book sucks, Jess. Thanks for nothing." Nope, nothing but love for Anna!

So now I have this awesome ARC that is not only signed by the author, it's signed by a bunch of my good friends as well. How cool is that?! It will look so neat on my self right next to it's hardback older sister. Honestly, though, this is the one I will probably re-read, not the hardcover. I like the idea of reading such a well loved copy. It has good ju-ju. 

I love having special books like this in my collection. Do you have any special books in your library? 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My New Writing Partner!

Hey, everyone! I got a dog!

Check out Gunner, he's going to be my new writing partner. 

Isn't he adorable? He's super sweet, too. <3

Here's what he's doing right this very minute...helping me blog!

I've wanted a dog for a long, long time now. I'm so excited to finally have a sweet little friend in the house. Gunner has only been here since Sunday, and he's already made this such a happy place. He's a little confused / anxious / depressed about being in a new home, but he's slowly getting used to it. He has been a little bit of a distraction, since all I want to do is sit around and stare at his sweet face. But it's okay...I don't mind one bit. 

Do you have any pets? Do you want some? 

Monday, December 13, 2010

NaBloPoMo Thank You Giveaway Winner

I got a Horrible Mystery Illness last week that left me pretty useless*, so I'm way far behind on announcing the winner of my latest signed book giveaway. So sorry for the delay!

As a thank you for putting up with my ramblings during NaBloPoMo, I offered a reach into the Sekrit Bag O' Signed Books to one lucky follower. According to, that lucky follower is...

Yay Liz! Thanks for being an awesome blog follower. You rock.

Liz reached into the Sekrit Bag O' Signed Books and pulled out...

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard! (Signed, of course)

Liz, your book will be on its way to you shortly. And thanks everyone for entering! Hopefully I'll have another fun giveaway soon.

*I'm finally feeling like a human again, thank goodness. I promise I'll be back with some real posts soon now that I can think/breathe again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Calendar Hates Me

Ok, I'm back from Big Sur! I had a fantastic time, and I can't wait to give all of you a recap.
The question I got asked the most from other writers this weekend once I told them that I have two jobs, two blogs, blah blah was, "How on earth do you have time to write?" My answer was, and still is, "I have no idea."
Because I came home from the weekend bursting with new ideas and ways to improve my WIP. Then I looked at the calendar and found this:
Monday: Writing chat/writing group
Tuesday: Sorority alum holiday party (I helped plan this)
Wednesday: Work PT job
Thursday: Husband's work holiday party
Friday: My work holiday party (I also helped plan this one)
Saturday: Work PT job
In addition to finding time to work on my writing, I also need to find time to:
~Choose a photo for our Christmas cards, edit the photo, choose a design, and place an order for our Christmas cards
~Update the address list for our Christmas cards
~Update the website for my sorority alum group
~Answer all the e-mails I couldn't answer while I was cut off from the world in the wilderness of Big Sur
~Write at least two book reviews for the other blog
~Type up my long Big Sur update for this blog
~Unpack from Big Sur
~Put up the Christmas decorations in my house
~Get my hair done (my roots are embarassing)
~Read a book quickly for an ARC tour
~Plan out my students' winter break writing assignment
Friends, I am feeling very defeated by the calendar right now. I have so much I want to do and so much I need to do and so many obligations and I just want to sit in the corner and cry.