Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s appropriately fall-y here in New England, and all I want to do is wear hoodies, see all the turning leaves, drink tea, curl up with a few good books, and bake all the baked goods. Hopefully I’ll get a least a couple of those in over the weekend. Let’s kick things off with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing.

ReadingLife Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People by Camille DeAngelis
If you liked Big Magic, get Life Without Envy immediately. Must-read for writers.

Writing: …I thought, maybe it’s true—maybe this will be an adventure.
New projects are always an adventure.


Quote of the Day


Currently reading (and loving) Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People
by Camille DeAngelis. Camille included this Rilke quote, and of course I had to Photoshop it into the image above.

Stand strong, trees.

(Original image: Green tree by Stanley Zimny)

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! This weekend I’m doing a writing retreat with my crit group, so I’m psyched for a weekend of fun and productivity (and not only wearing sweatshirts and yoga pants). Let’s get things started with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.

ReadingWonder by R.J. Palacio
I’m like the last person to read this, but so sensitive and touching.

Writing: I’m running faster than I have in months and I could run forever.
Protagonist in the new draft is on the upswing.


Where Are Your Mirrors? Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 Infographic

It’s one thing to read stats, and it’s another thing to see them. Based on information compiled by the the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), David Huyck created the infographic below:


image by David Huyck

How sad is it to see actual kids with less representation than animals and inanimate objects? Publishing as a whole needs to provide diverse young readers with way more mirrors.

The good news is that David has made his infographic available for general use, so you can share this around your own blog/social media networks. Because the more we see and talk about problems like this, the harder it is to ignore.

Happy Book Birthday to The Light Fantastic!

Fellow Candlewick author Sarah Combs is one of my favorite writers and people in the world. Her debut, Breakfast Served Anytime, got me teary because it was so beautifully written and so full of love and hope and feels. So obviously I’ve been way excited for her next book, and I am thrilled to say that The Light Fantastic is out today! A little about the book:

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about? Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier. Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins machinations? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.

I’m so excited to see how Sarah brings together these viewpoints to craft a sensitive and thoughtful story of grief and anger and pain and hope.

In case that all sounds awesome to you, too, friend and fantastic book blogger Ginger is celebrating The Light Fantastic‘s release with a giveaway! Inspired by one of the book’s associated discussion questions, Sarah and Ginger are sharing their lists of five good things/things that matter. Check out their lists and sign up to win a copy of the book!

Even though I’ve already ordered my copy, I want to share my list of five good, real things. In no particular order:

  • The smell of bread baking, the magic of seeing how such simple ingredients can become something so delicious.
  • When a song comes on the radio and you have to turn it up and sing along and make ridiculous emotive hand gestures.
  • The first sip of coffee.
  • Jokes you have with loved ones that go so far back, you don’t even remember exactly when or how they started.
  • When you’re watching a movie, sneaking a glance at the rest of the audience and seeing them engrossed in the story.

Head over to Ginger’s to share your five, enter her giveaway, and most importantly, get yourself a copy of The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! It may be September, but it still feels like summer in the Boston area, and I’m using that as an excuse to write outside and have as much ice cream as possible. Here’s a look at what I’ve been writing and reading, in fifteen words or fewer.

Reading: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Marchetta is a master at balancing comedy, drama, and extended family stories. So my jam.

Writing: “I doubt they’d let you handle a deadly weapon like a lacrosse stick.”
My main character’s got a history of sports-related violence.