Jun 30, 2011

Katy Perry in concert!

I was trying to think of a way to make Katy's performance from Tuesday night into a writing analogy, but whatever. 

The show was so good and Katy is a blast. I think this is the best concert I have been to! My friend Britt brought me and we drove 3+ hours from West Michigan to The Palace of Auburn Hills (where the Pistons play). 

Britt - me

"Teenage Dream"


That guy's head was always in my way.


"Not Like the Movies"

"California Gurls"

(after photo below)

candy and heart shaped confetti!


Katy threw chocolate coins from the stage
It was so much fun! I can't wait for Katy's next tour.

Jun 27, 2011

Token Post

Well, I have a lot to say, but so little time.

I am writing a research paper on locavorism. Here's my thesis, "With a determined mind and an adventurous spirit, West Michiganders can easily make the transition toward a rewarding and healthy lifestyle as a locavore." I am beginning to feel very passionate about my topic and I am excited to become an advocate for a win-win lifestyle. As you can tell from past posts, I have quite a bit of fervor for my town.

Work has been mind-bending. I pretty much work 2:30 or 4:30 to midnightish. My town is a tourist town and from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year we are inundated with folks from Chicago and Detroit by freeway and Wisconsin by ferry - there are a few thousand vacation homes here. The Fourth of July will probably be the craziest day of my life and I am terrified, BUT I will survive and probably walk away with enough money to make the scars worth it.

I am going to see Katy Perry in concert tomorrow! In general, I am not a fan of pop music, but Katy is so fun and cute. Almost every song she comes out with makes my life happier. I am going with one of my best friends and we are bound to have a great time!

What else? I'm so out of it.

How are you?

Jun 21, 2011

Another Virus Update

I have received a few emails from you asking how I banished the virus. All I did was run Norton and it said it found 1 issue and repaired it. That was all. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that the Norton I have is the most recent or what. Good luck! And please spread the word.

Here's my writing desk:

And here's my screen:
 look at how long it's been since I opened WESTON's Word Doc. I've been using Google Docs for the new draft and haven't been referring to the old draft as an experiment.

Jun 18, 2011

UPDATES Virus Gone and 1,000 New Words

Judging by the graph of pageviews, I think it's safe to say the virus is gone. My anti-virus software said it was a tracking something or other. I hope you have de-virused as well!
150 page views in one day = not normal. 20 in one day = normal.
Also, because of my "unpluggage", I have added 1,000 new words to various works. It doesn't seem like much when it's spread among four projects, but adding it up makes me feel pretty good about myself.

When I am not writing and researching, I am diligently working and reading more of the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Nightshade City, by Hilary Wagner (<---she makes an awesome facebook friend)

Jun 15, 2011


Hey guys, I have been getting massive page views by the hour that are linked to some of my followers' posts. I read at another writer's blog that she has a virus that is causing this. I am not sure how any of this is working, but I am running anti-virus software as I type this. Also, I am going to take a week off or so. 

I've actually been planning this unplug. I am happy to report that this unplug is not the result of being overwhelmed. It is more a proactive step, since I have some major assignments coming up and lots and lots of research to do. And everyone should take time away from technology every once in a while.

Another reason for the unplug is because I'd like to spend more time on my two MG projects: SASQUATCH ELEANOR and WESTON GETS HIS WISE. I have been smacked in the head by several breakthroughs, but am I struggling to make them happen in text. We'll see what this week does for me.

Also, I am reading Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner. It is exquisitely written and the characters are described in rich, purposeful detail. I even like the bad guy. I'd ask what book you're enjoying...but I won't be here for a week to see your answers.

Jun 13, 2011


It's been quite a while since I have worshiped a book. Part of that is because I am a writer and have forced the fanboy in me to take a backseat. I have never met A.S. King and I didn't even know PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ existed until I saw a tweet about it and I picked it up from the library.

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is an original story that follows Vera Dietz through her senior year in high school with many flashbacks and cameos from those around her (including her dead best friend). Never have I read a character's voice that was so honest, vulnerable, and upfront. We know every detail of how Vera is feeling, but not in an emotional annoying girly way. Vera does not want to face the music and King doesn't make her until near the end. But while Vera spends time trying to overcome the obvious obstacle in the book, she ends up growing in several other aspects of her life. Likewise, Charlie, the second main character, who may be dead but is mentioned on nearly every page in the book, has an extremely strong and fascinating voice.

With a short cast list where each character has his own (somewhat) strange agenda, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ has made it's way near the top of my favorites list. And the cover is one of the most compelling out there. Oh, and it's a Printz Honor...haha...my copy doesn't say that, now I know.
Photo from as-king.com
What book took you by surprise recently?

Jun 8, 2011

Down the Drain: Where My Ideas Go

I'm smart and prolific (so you've all told me). But, what if you found out that most of my genius and brilliance goes to waste? It literally goes right down the drain. And that I have been okay with that.

You see, I do my best thinking in the shower. That shouldn't surprise anyone. The weird part is that I do not write down any of the ideas I contrive. I have been content with letting them circle and drop. I figured if they were that great, they'll come back like the spiders you wash down the drain that always return. Most time I regret this. Like the time I thought of the perfect title to my project titled The Second Person Experiment. 

The title I came up with exemplified the attitude of the main character and inspired me to think of an ending. Somewhere between washing my face and scrubbing the bottom of my feet I loofah'd away the perfect title and subsequent plot point. Habitually, I have washed starting with my hair and ending with my feet for as long as I can remember. It struck me just last week that if I had implemented into my cleansing ritual a time to reflect upon my brilliant ideas that many of them would still be with me. And thus began the new ritual.

In the last week, I have had many breakthrough ideas. The odd thing is I remember them! I even thought about a story that has not seen the light of day in over a year. The story of an owl who doesn't fit into the mold of restrained and studious aristocracy that his family expects of him. It takes a war and becoming a hero, but in the end...

Just a teaser cover

Jun 6, 2011


Kris Asselin (yes, one of the winners of the question contest!) was selected at random to win a signed copy of Possession, by Elana Johnson. The book is officially released tomorrow, but has already been spotting in bookstores across the US!

Congrats Kris and happy book birthday tomorrow Elana!!!

Jun 3, 2011

Bad Timing

I tend to think of my best posts on a Friday afternoon. I write them, feel super good, and then post. But no one reads blogs from 1:00pm Friday to 6:00am Monday. So, my brilliance goes unread.

Posts on deck are Down the Drain: Where My Ideas Go and This Staircase Reminds Me of the 30,000 Words I Need to Write by the End of June.

The staircase:

Which view do you prefer? From the bottom of the staircase or looking down from the top?

The photos are from the state park down the road.

Jun 1, 2011

Elana Johnson answers our questions about Possession and more

Elana is my hero, and we are Elana's hero
I've watched Elana's career as a writer for a year and a half now. It's been inspiring, educational, and encouraging. It is obvious that blogging writers owe a lot to Elana. She has been transparent and tactful in a field that can be very emotional. Her advice posts cover everything from how to become a successful blogger to how to get a hold of oneself the day of a major conference or presentation. She may be all writer, but she is first and foremost all good.

Indeed, anyone reading this blog is indebted to Elana. She has helped me through some of my unique issues and this blog thrives in part from her belief in me as a writer and a friend.

In March, Theresa Milstein and I partnered in the Three Questions. Two Blogs. One Elana Contest. We had lots of fun, no doubt. Theresa and I both received amazing questions and I gave away my ARC (which was really really really hard to do, but I HAD to share Possession).

And share I did - I sent my ARC over Lake Michigan to my neighbors, Christy and Erica. I am not done sharing. One commenter from this post will be picked to win a signed copy of Possession! Contest details below.

She's a maniac, maniac!

In the month of May, Elana stopped by nine blogs! (See the complete list on my sidebar or at Elana's blog). That is some crazy blog touring! Good work, Elana!

And now, I am reconciling the other half of the March contest - three questions answered by Elana in a vlog! The first question was submitted by Kelly Polark and was too cute to ignore. The second question comes from Kristine Asselin and pertains marketing. The last question is a cheap one, from myself, but I know a lot of you are wondering. Especially those who have read the last page of Possession. (And trust me, I am not the only one chanting, "sequel! sequel! sequel!")

Elana answers our questions!

Thanks to Elana for including me in her Possession debut tour! It has been such a pleasure to be on the ride.

One signed hard cover copy of Possession giveaway details:
Leave a comment before the clock ticks midnight on Saturday, June 4
One entry per blogger and you must be a follower of my blog AND Elana's blog

Lastly, Elana will stop by to answer brief questions in the comments. I am following the twitter revolution and capping the questions at 140 characters. Use your best judgement. And yeah, I'll be tweeting your questions!