Clearly, my caffeine levels are all wrong. I just spent several minutes trying to figure out why my kid was listed for “U.S. math” & “US science.” Wondering if the school admin lost their collective mind. Why would there be a nation specific math or science?? US English?? Is this like “British English” vs “American English”? Do they learn chips vs fries? Or are they learning regional dialects? Will he now remember that “cut off the lights” and “turn off the lights” mean the same thing?
I could get US English and US History, but … wait, he’s been studying ancient world, which is NOT US history.
Upon mentioning my confusion about how wrong his exam schedule was to the teenager… he shook his head at me.
Apparently, US doesn’t mean United States on this schedule, but UPPER School.
*hangs head in embarrassment* & *turns on the tea kettle*
Calvin’s snowmen are breathtaking achievements and I will accept no disputes
I freaking love Calvin’s snowmen
They forgot the best one though!
We never got enough snow to do this after we moved into town. It made me sad.
Oh God, I love these things. Can’t believe I forgot about Calvin’s snowmen.
The ice cream one was always my favorites.
As a kid, I never understood how Calvin’s parents were bursting w pride at his creativity & originality, … & as a mom I feel the same way. Snow sharks? Snow prophets of doom? THIS is clearly an awesome kid.
I usually do a giveaway once a year, and I know I already did one in the summer but … I was organizing the stock room, and the result is that I have 150 more books & shirts (so far) to give away to U.S. libraries & U.S. reviewers.
NOTE: I pay the shipping (which is why it’s US only).
You must be in one of two groups. USUALLY, I only give to libraries, but since I did that already once this year, I am including a second group for the first time.
GROUP 1: You are a librarian who is requesting one (or more) of the books below for the public library or school where you work. Shipping is ONLY to library addresses, & books are for the collection. If you want more than one book, tell me. I want to ship ALL of these (& admitted, I’m hoping to add more once I finish the box shifting in the room).
GROUP 2: You are a reviewer with at least 636* followers who will post a review of the book you request.
Why 636 followers? Because as I’ve said in dozens of interviews 6 is my lucky number. 36 is 6x6, so 636 is my preferred number… why yes, I am superstitious on even my best day ;)
If you are a member in one of those two groups & have a unique reason to request one of the 11 tee-shirts (custom designed by the tattoo artist who designed the tattoo for Leslie, seen in the inside of INK EXCHANGE), I would like to send these to good homes too.
What is a unique reason? I don’t know. Those shirts will be totally subjectively decided.
ITEMS ON OFFER:
(I’ll add more to the end of this list when I find more books squirreled away in boxes.)
Darkest Mercy Paperback US (20 copies)
Darkest Mercy Paperback UK (1)
Darkest Mercy Hardcover German (2)
Desert Tales Paperback English (19)
Enthralled Paperback English (2)
Faery Tales & Nightmares ARC English (1)
Faery Tales & Nightmares Paperback English (4)
Fragile Eternity Paperback Brazil (1)
Fragile Eternity Paperback German (4)
Fragile Eternity Paperback Polish (5)
Fragile Eternity ARC US (9)
Graveminder Paperback German (2)
Graveminder Paperback UK (7)
Graveminder Hardcover US (3)
Graveminder Largeprint UK (2)
Ink Exchange Paperback Brazil (1)
Ink Exchange Hardcover UK (8) **ORIGINAL UK cover
Ink Exchange Paperback UK (2) **ORIGINAL UK cover
Ink Exchange Hardcover US (9)
Loki’s Wolves Hardcover US (1)
Radiant Shadows Paperback Brazil (1)
Radiant Shadows ARC English (2)
Radiant Shadows Paperback US (10)
Radiant Shadows Paperback International Edition (2)
Radiant Shadows Paperback German (2)
Radiant Shadows Hardcover Russian (1)
Rags & Bones ARC US (2)
Shards & Ashes ARC English (1)
Shards & Ashes Hardcover English (2)
Shards & Ashes Paperback English (2)
The Arrivals Hardcover US (9)
Wicked Lovely Paperback Hebrew (2)
Shirts (11) **See below
2 large wicked lovely camis
2 large Rath & Ruin
2 X-large Rath & Ruin Women’s
2 X-large Ink Exchange Women’s
2 unisex Wicked Lovely
1 med, 1 X-large 1 large unisex German T
How do you send a request?
Email my assistant: laura AT melissa-marr DOT com
Librarians: Tell her your top 3 picks, your library’s address, & if you want it signed.
Reviewers: Tell her your top 3 book picks, your review location, your address, & if you want it signed.
PLEASE don’t email more than once. She always gets far far too many emails to reply instantly.
Please do feel free to repost or link this wherever librarians are :)
Happy Solstice (or whichever winter holiday you celebrate).
Was it difficult for you to get into writing your first draft? What are some challenges you usually face when pounding out a first draft? Cheers
My very very first draft of a novel is still unfinished. So are the three after it. :)
Then I figured out what I needed to do in order to get myself to the “finishes book” stage. I think every writer has to figure out the combination of carrot & stick that encourages completion of a project.
My top three writing tricks for completing a draft:
No outlines. Seriously, this was the first big revelation for me. What I want is the excitement of figuring it out as I go. This means I’ve deleted as much as 20,000 words from a book. I’ve written several endings to another one. It also means I am excited by writing, so I finish the books I start now.
Multiple characters telling the tale. If I only spend time with one character, I get bored-bored-bored. It’s like dating or friends. Sure there is one I spend MORE time with, but I like to have options. When I write, I flit between characters (each gets his or her own chapter). This encourages me to keep writing. If I’m bored with Keenan, I can write Donia.
Schedules of DOOM. These are my own “charts of goal count.” I don’t work well according to other people’s schedules. (Yes, “has trouble with authority” was a regular phrase on my report cards back in school.) I like to set my own rules. That means I set myself due dates.
Thursday: If you reach 9k today, you can take tomorrow off.
Friday: Catch up or day off.
I think the key is knowing yourself. Are you a procrastinator? Maybe set yourself deadlines. Are you easily distracted by new projects? Perhaps consider more than one character for point of view. Are you fond of knowing the path or winging it? That answer determines a possible answer on outline/not outline. Some of these are answers you learn while in high school or college. Apply what works for you in re: completing assignments to writing.
… and if those don’t work, revise your answers & try again :) This is not an exact science.
Do you have any suggestions for magazines that accept teen work?(And as a side note, I LOVE all of your work! I was able to meet you at a signing in middle school and it was probably the best moment of my life; I love how real and down-to-earth you are, and you're just a really cool person regardless.)
Back when I started thinking about publication, I used a site that listed markets: http://ralan.com/a.marketnote.htm It looks like it’s still an active site.
My absolute favourite place for writers online is http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php. It was called “The Blue Board” or “Verla Kay’s Blueboard” (VK is the owner/creator of the board.) Now, it’s just been combined with the Society for Children’s Bookwriters & illustrators. You don’t have to pay to join. I still go on that board almost very day. Every question about writing for kids or teens is answered on there. There are innumerable sweet & helpful people there… and some of them probably have better leads on magazine writing than I do.
I’ve only sold a handful of short stories to magazines, so I’m not as sure of the markets as some people on there are.
Good luck with your writing & thank you VERY much for the kind words. It means a lot to hear from readers & writers who are as passionate as you sound. :)
One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.
Marshall Vandruff, one of the best teachers I have ever had, on artist’s block. Said during a webinar done on Visualarium to advertise his upcoming online course on animal anatomy (source links to webinar) (via pale-afternoon)
Yes! Writing requires time what I think of as “time when the stew is simmering” and you are off doing things … For me, this is when I throw myself into a blur of exercise, organize closets, weave, weed garden, paint the bathroom.
While I’m off enjoy physical tasks and Establishing Order, the book is bubbling/the flavours in the stew are mixing and mingling, and when I return to it, it’s ready. If I try to force it, it is quite like eating stew that isn’t ready. It makes me feel sick & miserable. Don’t do that :)
I'm just looking for some inspiration for when I write, so I was wondering what kind of music you listen to when you write?
It totally depends on the book. I have a playlist for each book… except the middle-grade Blackwell Pages series.
When I revise or do copyedits or before I have a playlist, my go-to music is the Elegy CD by cellist Adam Hurst. I have 2 others of his, & when I go to my cabin, all three are in the CD player (yeah, it’s old), and I keep them on repeat all day.
It’s all about what sparks the mood I want for words whenI do a playlist, and when I just need to find my writer space, it’s the sounds that help me get there. Right now, that’s Adam’s music :)
According to Norse mythology, on this day, the god Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir and the other ‘creator’ gods paving the way for a new world.
Oh dear, it appears that Kelley & I are writing prophetic fiction in our Blackwell Pages series. The world IS ending in Ragnarok.
“Norse mythology experts have calculated that Vikings believed this will take place on February 22, 2014.” (from linked article)
Clearly, Kelley & I need to do better with our scheduling bc the world is apparently ending in February, & our 2nd book isn’t due out until May.
(Kelley, I thought YOU were in charge of coordinating release dates around the wolves eating the sun and moon and the earth sinking into the seas? Or were you doing the website … & I was on scheduling? oops.)
I'm rereading your WL books! How did you come up with Huntsdale?
Huntsdale is loosely based on a town near where I grew up. I think a lot of people in their teens and twenties have that “must get out of this town” feeling. I did. My friends did. So I thought about the kind of place that would have that broken down feeling, where unemployment is high & families are struggling.
Once I added in those two details, the town started to resemble the area where I grew up. I moved buildings, parks, river, train yard, school, library where I needed them for the plot, so the feeling is the place I partied & looked for trouble in my teen years, but the layout is entirely different.
… except maybe the train yard. That looks a lot like the one I knew. I even went back a few times & took pictures of it, of the random trains in various other spots, and a house that had a train built into it.
Then I noticed that they aren’t as rare as I felt like they were growing up. There is an abandoned train car in a field in rural Virginia that I saw while driving to the mountains. There is a restaurant in Eugene, OR (I think that’s the right now) that has a train car built into it. There is one in Houston, TX that is affixed to a law officer. Trains repurposed can be found here & there. Sadly, I don’t have one of my own, but it’s still in my fantasy list for “places I’d like to turn into a writing office.”
When will be released in the other country (like Italy) the new book Desert tales?
My publisher in the US (HarperCollins) tells me that DESERT TALES is available in ebook & paperback via export “worldwide.” It hasn’t been sold for translation anywhere, but you should be able to get it in English through your bookstore (ask them at the counter), places like Book Depository (which ships worldwide for free, I think), and on your ereaders too.
I’m sorry it’s not available in translation, but that’s out of my control. In Italy, Fazi Editore published the five Wicked Lovely books and (today) Graveminder. They haven’t bought the translation rights to this though. If a lot of readers want it translated, they should let Fazi know that.