Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap

Are we absolutely sure that there were 365 days in 2013? Maybe we skipped a month? I demand a recount. I don't want this year to end.

It has been a CRAZY AMAZING year. I can't believe how much has changed since this time last year. I have new interests! I have new friends! I have a friggin' BOOK DEAL with my dream publisher!!! And so first off, I want to thank all of the people without whom my year would have been very, very different: my editor and the rest the team at Greenwillow, my AMAZING agent, my critique partners, friends, family. Thank you, THANK YOU for indulging all of my writing neuroses (and all other neuroses).

The highlight of my year was probably that "Call me, I have good news" text I got from my agent back in February, but some other ones include meeting my agent and editor without looking too idiotic, seeing my cover and bursting into tears in the middle of class (it is SO BEAUTIFUL. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to share it with you guys), deciding to go to BEA with one of my critique partners, joining the Class of 2K14 and getting to know so many wonderful ladies, and the crabcakes from G&M Restaurant and Lounge in Baltimore.

I think the best book I read this year has to be Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It's a fantastic example of so many things--characterization, POV, voice. It made me laugh and cry and stay up until 3:00 a.m, and I don't regret a minute of it. I also loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.

As for 2014...okay, I admit it--I'm terrified. Some of the most fundamental aspects of my life are going to change next year. Most likely, I'll move halfway across the country. I'll be on my own for the first time in my life. I'll have a book on shelves. But here's the thing--my life changes every year. It changes every day. And change is always terrifying, but I guess all you can do is roll out of bed and put on pants anyway, right? (Ew, pants.)

And lastly, some resolutions: I didn't complete any manuscripts this year, but I started a few and I'm almost done with one. For 2014, I hope to write and revise three novels: MEMENTO MORI, THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS, and THE STORYWEAVER. I hope to learn more about publicity and marketing. I hope to keep up this blog. I hope to not go completely insane.

Bring it on, 2014.

Monday, December 16, 2013

S/O to Robert Frost (and Zombies)

On my wall, there is a tree filled with quotes. Last lines. Final words. Famous phrases. Love letters that weren't meant to be pasted all over the Internet. At the tip of one of the branches, the letters are scattered and bent to shape the vein-branches, but if you were to pull them together, they would spell out this: In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

Robert Frost. Quoted too often, right? Cliche (side note: isn't that kind of sad? We erode words. We say them too often and they start to lose meaning: it goes on. It goes on. Itgoesonitgoesonitgoeson). But here's the thing: sometimes you don't want it to. You get another rejection letter. You get food poisoning from the peppermint frappuccino at your favorite coffee shop. Some dude predicts another apocalypse right after you finish disassembling your zombie shelter, and all you really want is for the world to stop spinning for a minute, two, so you can crumple in a dramatic heap and take a nap.

Disappointment--we try to ignore it. You know what? It's okay to cry over your zombie shelter. It's okay to sit among your missile-proof pieces and wallow and dread the idea of putting them back together again. Have some hot chocolate. Reread your comfort-food book (you know the one). Sit in that heap and take a nap. A long one.

Because here's the thing: disappointment is not a road block. It's not a dead end. It isn't even a speed bump, really. It happens and then it ends, and you hope for other things. You wake up from your nap and the world is still spinning.

It goes on.

(I mean, unless you're a zombie).