Monday Memo – 5 things for the week

1.  Help me get to 100 Followers!!  Fabulous Giveaway Coming soon and you’ll all be entered!  I’m thinking that I will be giving away prizes to three winners.  Perhaps some girl scout cookies (Thin Mints or Samoas anyone?) and a copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis (debuted this week on the NY Times Bestseller list for those of you who might not have heard the rumble of YA Writer Blogs.) Trust me, THIS BOOK IS FREXING AWESOME, and some fabulous bookmarks.

2. This weekend I spent a few hours in the ER wondering if they were going to diagnose me with a terminal case of a disease-yet-to-be-named-after-me.  I had the most bizarre set of symptoms and omgodhavemercy the pain!  I sat there waiting for the doctor to come back and like in that episode of Friends where Monica’s brother has “A Ross”, tell me that they were very sorry, and would I mind if they called the student residents to come in and observe?  The good news is that there is a name for what I have. The other good news is that people usually survive.  The bad news is that as suspected last week in my Monday Memo:  I am old.  I have to get my gall bladder removed.  Yeah, yeah… laugh all you want.  Time is the fire in which we *all* burn.  ;)

3. I WON A CONTEST!!!  Abby Annis was giving away a copy of Homework Helpers: Essays & Term Papers by Michelle McLean during Michelle’s book release blog tour and I won!  Fabulous awesomeness.  Hooray! So fun!

4. In one of the oddest winters we here in CO have enjoyed in a while, it was in the 60’s this past week.  It is snowing now, and the predicted temps to come are: -3, 2, -12.  O_o  I am actually just happy it is snowing.  We’ve had a dry winter and can really use the moisture down here in the front range.  It’s been dumping in the mountains, which is always good.   ETA: School has been canceled tomorrow due to TEMP!?  W.T.F., she wrote. 

5.  I am halfway through ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis and I am sad.  I am sad because I can’t put it down; it will be finished in no time.  When a story is this much of an all-consuming can’t-put-down-awesome story, I want it to be the size of an unabridged dictionary.  The coolest thing is the bonus inside-the-jacket blueprint of the Godspeed ship.  *awesome*  I bought the book for my BFF for her birthday so she will join me when Beth comes to CO for a book signing at the Tattered Cover.  Feb 11 peeps.  Let me know if you want to come with.

Lamenting My Lack of Conference

Have you ever gone to a writer’s conference?  This was me after attending my first and second writer’s conferences this past fall.  I had the pleasure to attend the Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference in Denver in September and then a DC Libraries conference the following month in Castle Rock, CO.  I had no idea what to expect from either conference and came away from both of them with a binder full of awesome.  And a crit group. And a bunch of new writerly friends.

Another thing that I came away with both times, in equal measure, was joy.  Sheer energizing joy at being able to spend days and days with people who were a lot like me.  I wrote with an amazing level of dedication in the weeks that followed those conferences.  I had a completed manuscript when I attended, but I now have a much more polished one.  And a pair of new WIPs. 

I was over at my twitter watching the #ny11scbwi begin to scroll by and wishing I was there.  *sigh*  After a month of being sick myself or being nurse to my sick kids and then hubby, I could really use a shot of some fabulous writerly goodness.

Can’t wait to hear all about what’s going on in NYC.  Here is a little taste to get you in the mood.

Have you gone to conferences?  Which ones?  What was your favorite thing about them?

When a book just.

You ever watch a movie that is really interesting and original in the way it tells its story?  You ever find yourself so totally engrossed in the world of the movie and start to let the little things like continuity editing (yeah, his shirt was un-tucked a second ago, oh! now its not, and now it is again) and little plot holes (Well, why can’t they just get back in the time machine and go back to before this mistake…) slide away because you know we’re all human?

Picture the scene:  So there you are letting the movie take you along in spite of the flaws because you’re having fun, you like the characters, the problem is engaging.  Ooh!  Now things are coming together!  You get to the point where you feel like all the threads are going to overlap for the big reveal.  The journey will be worth while.  You’ll get some satisfaction and let all the little things slide.  And…

The screen doesn’t fade to black, it just shuts off all lights and BAM! it’s black and the credits start rolling.

WTF! You scream at the screen.  You feel cheated.  And rightfully so.  #plotfail

This is what happened to me last night as I turned the last page in the book I was reading.  When I got near the end I actually started thinking, hmmm there are not a lot of pages left and there are a lot of loose ends that need to be addressed – but not enough real estate to get it all done.

I was right.  Like my movie above, the book just ended.  Mid scene.  Mid problem.  Nothing was resolved. Not one thing.  At all. I turned the page and stared in disbelief at the two words standing alone on the page: The End.

This book came recommended to me and I bought it without hesitating because I trusted the recommendation from a publishing professional.  This book was published by a legit publishing house and by an agented author.  How is it possible that something so wrong could get though in its present state?

As a writer I spend countless hours – days – of my life reading blogs and books and attending workshops about how you need to make sure your work is the most polished it can possibly be in order to rise from the slush and be noticed.  To get published you must hone your craft.  You must work on your book until it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!  And yet, this book was none of those things.  It was full of typos and it literally ended in the middle.   I just don’t know what to think about this.

This book is part of a series, although it does not stand on its own.  I might pick up the next one just to see if maybe book two was actually the intended end of book one.  But at this point I am doing so out of morbid curiosity.  They’ve lost me as a reader.

*shakes head*

In other news… I just unwrapped my copy of Julia Karr’s SIXTEEN – so I imagine this will all be like a terrible dream soon.  Happy happy joy!

Blogfest and Giveaway – coming soon!

Everybody loves a Blogfest!

To celebrate her 500th visitor, Nicole Ducleroir is planning a shin dig and giveaway for Feb 16th.  It’s going to be a fun one.  I’m already working on my post.  Check it all out here, sign up for Nicole’s blogfest, and  let’s have some fun. 

PSSST!  Hey, I’m planning something fun for my 100th follower celebration, too.  So, spread the word, and follow my blog!