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Where have you been?

14. May 2009

I haven’t had the time or focus to blog lately. A lot of things have interfered with my life. Nothing major, but these things add up.

I’ve been Twittering much more (you can follow me at Something about those bite-sized snippets works better for me than a long blog post. I don’t need to be coherent for tweets…

There has been some blog action over at We Love YA though, so if you’re looking for something to read, why don’t you join us over there? This week’ we’re talking about high school reunions, and I’m sure you’ve got something to say about that, too.

Monday Meme: Writer’s Meme

11. May 2009

This one’s for all the writers out there in blogoland.

What’s the last thing you wrote? 

An extra scene in my current WIP, Odin’s Girl.

Was it any good? 

Bits of it were. we’ll see what I think of it when I get into editing mode though.

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? 

I’m not sure. I lost most of  my pre-Australia stuff when I moved here.

Write poetry? 

Not since I stopped wearing full Goth make-up.

Angsty poetry? 

Is there any other kind…

Favourite genre of writing?

Girl adventure romance

Most fun character you ever wrote? 

Tamlyn the cat girl, for a short story at uni

Most annoying character you ever wrote? 

Melissa, the heroine of my first ever novel.

Best plot you ever wrote? 

Odin’s Girl is my strongest plot so far, but I’ve got this idea for another book after this one…

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote? 

I lack horribly in the twist department.

How often do you get writer’s block?

Never. I get editing block all the time though.

How do you fix it?

Go for a walk.

Write fan fiction? 

No. I like the world building better than the playing in someone’s world.

Do you type or write by hand? 

Both, but I’m trying to teach myself to type more and hand-write less.

Do you save everything you write? 

Not at all. It’s easier to keep e-junk around though, so I have most of what I’ve typed floating around somewhere.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

Not if I’ve set it free. I have a lot of ideas I file away for later and I do occasionally come back to them. Unless other ideas take up all of my time. Ideas are easy.

What’s your favourite thing that you’ve written? 

Enter The Parrot.

What’s everyone else’s favourite thing that you’ve written?

I don’t know. Everyone else? Wanna chime in here?

Do you even show people your work? 

*waves at wonderful CPs* All the time. Kind of.

Who’s your favourite constructive critic? 

My wonderful CPs Anne and Diane. Couldn’t do it without these girls.

Did you ever write a novel? 

It’s what I do.

Have you ever written fantasy, sci-fi, or horror? 

My next project is sci-fi. The Big novel in my head is steampunk.  think if I wrote horror, I’d die of sleepless nights.

Ever written romance or teen angsty drama? 

Those are my genres, baby!

What’s your favourite setting for your characters? 

high school

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?

Horror. And Christian lit.

How many writing projects are you working on right now? 

Two-ish. Okay, maybe three. One book in deep editing. One in first draft being written. One in the outlining phase.

Do you want to write for a living? 

I want to rad for a living. But writing would do, too.

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? 

Yes, and yes.

Have you ever won an award for your writing? 

Nope. It’s not very high on my list of dreams either. It *is* on there though.

Ever written something in script or play format? 

Yes, for a performance class. i’ve always loved the idea of writing for the stage. I’m just not very good at it, unfortunately. I started writing a musical libretto. It was going to be a collaboration with my BFF, but like most things we started, it never went far.

What are your five favourite words? 

In English: Quixotic, because it uses a bunch of awesome letters; hoodlum, because it sounds so cute;  mnemonic, because it’s fun to say; shiny, because it’s cheery; and surprise, because hopefully, it means something good is about to happen.

My favourite words of all over are: buru-buru (Japanese), Leidenschaft(German), tsai leung (Cantonese), arriba (Spanish) and onomatopoea.

Do you ever write based on yourself? 

All the time. I’m highly schizophrenic on the inside. All these people are me, or mes I could have been, or mes I would have wanted to be.

What character that you’ve written most resembles yourself?

Brie, from Odin’s Girl is an exaggerated me in all aspects.

Where do you get ideas for your other characters? 

My friends and acquaintances. I know some awesomely strange people…

Do you ever write based on your dreams? 

No, but I sometiems come up with plots or characters while lying in bed not sleeping. The Boy thinks it’s hilarious that I can do work in bed.

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? 

Hate, hate, hate sad endings. I think all books with sad endings ought to have a warning sticker saying, “This book will leave you sad at the end!” I want happy endings. Not just satisfying. Happy. I’m okay with cliffhangers as book endings, but only if there are already more books in the series. I often forget about authors for a while, and if their book didn’t give me a happy feeling at the end, I might not know whether I wanted to read them again or not by the time their next book comes out.

But yaknow, you could have a happy ending with a cliffhanger…

Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen? 

Yes. School is fond of making people do that. I’ve always disliked thhe idea until I got started. I love the idea of short stories inspired by paintings.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yes. English isn’t my first language and I have a habit of being creative with my vocabulary. I try to have strong writing meta-skills, because grammatical errors and typos are my pet peeves.

Ever write something entirely in chatspeak? (How r u?) 

Not entirely, but I’ve wanted to. unfortunately, it’s been done already. I do have chats in my books though.

Entirely in L337? 

Now that would drive me crazy.

Was that question completely appalling and un-writer like? 

Not at all. It’s no different than asking if someone has written modern free verse poetry.

Does music help you write? 

No. I’m not much of a music person. In fact, I hardly ever listen to music, and when I do, it’s for the lyrics.

Are people surprised and confused when they find out you write well? 

Not at all. And I’m sure not everyone would think I writ “well”. A lot of people think it’s  interersting that I write for a living though.

Quote something you’ve written. The first thing to pop into your mind. 

I don’t have anything that would just “pop into” my head. I don’t live that close to my text. But I wrote on Odin’s Girl, my WIP, before doing this and something I wrote there:

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000168 EndHTML:0000001092 StartFragment:0000000602 EndFragment:0000001075When I get to the lab, Moonie and Hugh are already there, comparing something on a printout to two flickering screens showing two kinds of maps of raging Rock. On those maps, the town is not the snow-covered tundra it is outside, but green in varying hues to indicate elevation on one, red, blue and yellow on the other to show housing zones, industry and commercial. Most of our town is pale green on one side, and domestic green on the other.

Your turn! You know you’ve been looking for an excuse to procrastinate…

Monday Meme: One word

4. May 2009

I’m not feeling verbose this morning, so here’s a short one.

One word, and only one word per answer, so here goes!

Yourself: distracted
Your partner: overworked
Your hair: messy
Your Mother: sweet
Your Father: nerd
Your Favorite Item: book
Your dream last night: weird
Your Favorite Drink: chai
Your Dream Car: none
Your Dream Home: zen
The Room You Are In: foodcourt
Your Ex: far
Your fear: insignificance
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? adventure
Who you hung out with last night: cat
What You’re Not: organised
Muffins: home-baked!
One of Your Wish List Items: GPSr
Time: varies
The Last Thing You Did: drink
What You Are Wearing: gloves
Your favorite weather: windy
Your Favorite Book: happy-making (Note: It’s *so* a word. Read the book.)
Last thing you ate: carrot
Your Life: fun
Your mood: centred
Your Best Friends: fluctuate
What are you thinking about right now: muffins
Your car: feet
What are you doing at the moment: typing
Your summer: hoooooooooooot
Relationship status: content
What is on your tv: dust
What is the weather like: refreshing
When is the last time you laughed: yesterday


Now. You!

Wednesday Write-Up: YA Authors who twitter

29. April 2009

This long, extensive list came to me via the ReaderGirlz, who in turn got it from from the one by Mitali Perkins, and from Alessandra Lee.

This baby sure is getting around and expanding. Are you on the list?


YA Authors:

  1. Susan Adrian @susan_adrian 
  2. Katie Alender @katiealender
  3. Jill S. Alexander @jillsalexander
  4. Tara Altebrando @TaraAltebrando
  5. Olugbemisola Amusashonubi-Perkovich @olugbemisola
  6. Laurie Halse Anderson @halseanderson
  7. R. J. Anderson @rj_anderson
  8. Joelle Anthony @joellewrites
  9.  Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong
  10. Amanda Ashby @amandaashby
  11. Andrew Auseon @andrewauseon
  12. Kim Baccellia @ixtumea
  13. Cyn Balog @cynbalog
  14. Tracey Baptiste @traceybaptiste
  15. Jennifer Lynn Barnes @jenlynnbarnes
  16. Lauren Barnholdt @laurenbarnholdt
  17. Vanessa Barneveld @vanessab73
  18. Clare Bell @rathacat
  19. Robin Benway @robinbenway
  20. Jonathan Bernstein @jbpeevish
  21. Holly Black @hollyblack
  22. Coe Booth @coebooth
  23. Robin Brande @Robin_Brande
  24. Libba Bray @libbabray
  25. Leigh Brescia @leighbrescia
  26. Heather Brewer @heatherbrewer
  27. Jennifer Brown @jennifunny
  28. Susan Taylor Brown @susanwrites
  29. Meg Cabot @megcabot
  30. Rachel Caine @jennifunny
  31. Chelsea Campbell @kaerfel
  32. Janet Lee Carey @janetleecarey
  33. Ceil Castellucci @cecilseaskull
  34. Susane Colasanti @susanecolasanti
  35. Deborah Copeland @authorgrl
  36. Paula Chase Hyman @Paulachy
  37. Tera Lynn Childs @teralynnchilds
  38. Cassandra Clare @cassieclare
  39. Rosemary Clement-Moore @rclementmoore
  40. Eoin Colfer @eoincolfer
  41. Deborah Copeland @authorgrl
  42. Sarah Cross @thesarahcross
  43. Holly Cupala @hollycupala
  44. Diane Curran @chickollage
  45. Sarah Dessen @sarahdessen
  46. Cory Doctorow @doctorow
  47. Kathleen Duey @kathleenduey
  48. Anthony Eaton @anthonyeaton
  49. Daniel Ehrenhaft @danielehrenhaft
  50. Beth Fehlbaum @bethfehlbaum
  51. Neil Gaiman @neilhimself
  52. Liz Gallagher @lizgallagherliz
  53. Linda Gerber @gerbsan
  54. K.L. Going @klgoing
  55. Alison Goodman @alisongoodman
  56. Alan Gratz @Alan_Gratz
  57. Claudia Gray @claudiagray
  58. John Green @realjohngreen
  59. Lorie Ann Grover @lorieanngrover
  60. Megan Kelley Hall @megankelleyhall
  61. Brendan Halpin @bhalpin
  62. Jenny Han @jennyhan
  63. S.A. Harazin @saharazin
  64. Brent Hartinger @brenthartinger
  65. Natalie Hatch @nataliehatch
  66. Louise Hawes @louisehawes
  67. Justina Chen Headley @justinaheadley
  68. Simmone Howell @postteen
  69. Mandy Hubbard @mandyhubbard
  70. Denise Jaden @denisejaden
  71. Mark Jeffrey @markjeffrey
  72. Maureen Johnson @maureenjohnson
  73. Varian Johnson @varianjohnson
  74. Carrie Jones @carriejonesbook
  75. Heidi S. Kling @seaheidi
  76. A.S. King @as_king
  77. Jo Knowles @joknowles
  78. William Kostakis @williamkostakis
  79. Marie Lamba @marielamba
  80. Margo Lanagan @margolanagan
  81. Justine Larbalestier @JustineLavaworm
  82. Jessica Leader @JessicaLeader
  83. Mary Lindsey @marylindsey
  84. E. Lockhart @elockhart
  85. Cara Lockwood @CaraLockwood
  86. Greg Logsted @greglogsted
  87. Lauren Baratz Logsted @laurenbaratzl
  88. Kiki Lon @kikilon
  89. Rita Lorraine @ritalorraine
  90. Eric Luper @ericluper
  91. Lisa Madigan @lkmadigan
  92. Bennett Madison @bennettmadison
  93. Sandra Malench @SandraMalench
  94. Donna Maloy @donnamaloy
  95. Marianne Mancusi @mariannemancusi
  96. Lisa Mantchev @lisamantchev
  97. Christine Marciniak @ckmarciniak
  98. Melissa Marr @melissa_marr
  99. Georgia McBride-Wohl @Georgia_McBride
  100. Lisa McMann @lisa_mcmann
  101. Neesha Meminger @NeeshaMem
  102. Kate Messner @kmessner
  103. Richelle Mead @RichelleMead
  104. Dawn Metcalf @duskydawn
  105. Saundra Mitchell @saundramitchell
  106. Sarah Mlynowski @SarahMlynowski
  107. Tee Morris @TeeMonster
  108. Kirsty Murray @kirstymurray
  109. Alyson Noel @alysonnoel
  110. Sarah Ockler @sarahockler
  111. Micol Ostow @micolz
  112. Kelly Parra @kparra
  113. Mary Pearson @marypearson
  114. Marlene Perez @MarPerez
  115. Mitali Perkins @mitaliperkins
  116. Diana Peterfreund @dpeterfreund
  117. Aprilynne Pike @AprilynnePike
  118. Cheryl Rainfield @cherylrainfield
  119. Karen Rivers @karenrivers
  120. Dana Reinhardt @dsreinhardt
  121. Chris Resttstatt @Rettstatt
  122. Serena Robar @serenarobar
  123. Christine Rose @christinerose
  124. Penni Russon @eglantinescake
  125. Carrie Ryan @carrieryan
  126. Sara Ryan @ryansara
  127. Lisa Ann Sandell @lisaannsandell
  128. John Scalzi @scalzi
  129. Yasmin Shiraz @yasminshiraz
  130. Janni Lee Simner @innaj
  131. Linda Joy Singleton @LindaJoySinglet
  132. Jon Skovron @jonnyskov
  133. Rhonda Stapleton @rhondastapleton
  134. Courtney Summers @courtney_s
  135. Sarah Sumpolec @SarahSumpolec
  136. Nikki Tate @WriterGrrrl
  137. Brooke Taylor @brooketaylorboo
  138. Tiffany Trent @tiffanytrent
  139. Gaby Triana @gabytriana
  140. Anne Van @eastlake1889
  141. Melissa Walker @melissacwalker
  142. Diana Wallach @dianarwallach
  143. Gabrielle Wang @gabriellewang
  144. Robin Wasserman @robinwasserman
  145. Sara Bennett Wealer @sbennettwealer
  146. Deborah Wiles @deborahwiles
  147. Lili Wilkinson @twitofalili
  148. Sara Zarr @sarazarr
  149. Michelle Zink @michellezink

Character Twitters:

Paige Andrews (Micol Ostow’s Bradford series) @FrontPaige
Spencer Grace (Micol Ostow’s Bradford series) @goldengirl1
Regan Stanford (Micol Ostow’s Bradford series) @California_Chic
Madison Takahashi (Micol Ostow’s Bradford Series) @Madison_Ave
Chloe Watkins (Diane Curran’s Bilby Creek series) @chloewatkins
Kirsty McInnes (Diane Curran’s Bilby Creek series) @kirstymcinnes

YA Book Reviewers on Twitter:

Book Kung Fu @book_kungfu
Books in 140 @ booksin140
Compelled To Read @compelledtoread
Just One more Book @justonemorebook
Kiss My Book @kissmybook

Read This Book @readingthisbook
The Story Siren @thestorysiren
YA Good Bad and Ugly @ yagoodbadugly 

Tuesday Tip: Save money on food

28. April 2009

Whether you’re a student or one of the many people feeling the pinch in this economy, we could all do with saving money. One of the biggest costs for most households is the grocery bill. We all need to eat, and we all want to eat well, right?

People are often shocked to find out how little The Boy and I spend on food each week. In fact, our cat’s groceries cost almost as much as one human’s (she’s spoilt).

How do we do it?
We buy fresh, we buy local and we buy in season. That means instead of doing impulse shops at the supermarket three times a week, I try and plan out my meals for the week in advance.

Now,  plan my meals the old-fashioned way, using pen and paper, but there are great online resources out there. i hear a lot of good things about PlanCookEat, but just do a quick search for Menu Planning and see what  you like.

Planning  your meals means you know what you’ll need to buy ahead of time, and you’ll be less likely to go for those impulse buys at the supermarket because you’re hungry.

Never go shopping when you’re hungry. You’re going to buy more, and you’re going to buy crap. Impulse packaging is aimed specifically at hungry shoppers with no time. but convenient foods are expensive.

Learn to cook. yes, you can learn to cook. It’s not hard. you don’t have to be top of the class at your local cordon bleu, but you should be able to have at least a dozen recipes under your belt. Hey, once you master just reading recipes, you can make pretty much anything!
Get one good cookbook you enjoy and get cooking. The more you do it, the more fun you’ll have.

If you prefer company in the kitchen, get others to help you cook. You could have a weekly get-together with friends and have a cook-out! You’ll have a grand old time, and everyone gets leftovers for the upcoming week.

Animal products are expensive. Not just for your health and the planet’s resources, but from a cost vantage point, too. it costs a lot more money to produce meat and eggs and dairy calorie for calorie than it does to produce fresh fruit and vegetables. The more foods you buy in their natural, wholee state, the lower your grocery bill will be.

It’s not hard to make a few little changes to keep your food bill low.

What do you do to pinch a  penny while still eating healthy food?

Monday meme: I’ve never

27. April 2009

We talk a lot about the things we do, that we’ve done, that we want to do.

Today’s meme is all about ten of the things I’ve never done.

I’ve never…

  • owned a pair of stiletto heels, and probably never will
  • had blue hair, even though I’ve wanted to for years
  • been to South America
  • been parachuting
  • had a “comfortable, well-worn pair of jeans” that I really, really loved
  • enjoyed dancing, especially the improvised kind you do on a night out
  • understood the appeal of clubbing
  • been into watching sports
  • had a paying job for more than 12 consecutive months
  • had a deep-fried candy bar of any kind, and doubt I ever will

What about you?

Thursday Talk: Interview

23. April 2009

The amazingly motivated Steph Bowe interviewed me over at her blog, “Hey, Teenager of the Year.” Go check it out!
And while you’re there, nominate your favourite blog (We Love YA, perhaps?)  for the YA book blog awards.


What’s your favourite book blogger/book reviewer site? Where do you go to find new blogs?

Monday Meme: A Life in Books

20. April 2009

My life is very much defined by books, so this meme (thanks to my awesome blog-partner and crit-partner Diane) was perfect for today. I reordered some questions and added a few I thought were missing.


What author do you own the most books by?

Neil Gaiman.  In general, graphic novels and manga mean I own more individual books by authors of those than novels. Authors I own the most different storylines of: Neil Gaiman, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot. This sums up my general reading preference surprisingly well.
What book do you own the most copies of?
I’m not a collector of book editions. There are a few books I have in both German and English, or in print and audio. But I didn’t set out to get anotehr version or anything.

What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I went out to my bookshelf and had a look and came up blank. I’m not so great at crushes…

What book have you read more than any other?
The Neverending Story.
  Followed closely by the Sandman series.

What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
The Neverending Story and The Mists of Avalon

What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Breaking Dawn. ;_;

What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Ooh, that’s hard. Maybe Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld. If you don’t like this book, we have nothing in common fiction-wise.

What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
The first Harry Potter book in Japanese.

Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
As a literary category, neither that much. But if I had to pick one, I’d go French.

Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?
I adore Chaucer, but I’ve got to go with my man Shakespeare.

Austen or Eliot?
Neither. Okay, Austen. At least the movie versions are cute.

What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Noir/detective, horror, suspense. I just can’t get into them. Most embarrassing? Couldn’t say. Who’s judging? possibly poetry.

What is your favorite novel?
A toss-up between Uglies, Neverending Story and Sandman.

What is your favorite play?
Midsummer Night’s Dream

What is your favorite poem?
Symptom Recital, by Dorothy Parker, Alone, by Poe and Sachliche Romanze, by Erich Kaestner

What is your favorite essay?
Happy meal Toys versus Copyright, and pretty much everything else in (c)ontent, by Cory Doctorow

What is your favorite short story?
I have no brain for remembering short stories. It’d probably be something by Neil Gaiman or Dorothy Parker, though.

What is your favorite non-fiction?
My favourite non-fiction what? Book? Genre? Medium? I’m going to go with cookbook, because not enough people share their opinion on cookbooks. I absolutely adore the Veganomicon. it’s got everything. great title, fantastic recipes and enough heft to brain the mailman.

What is your favorite graphic novel?
The Sandman series.

What is your favorite science fiction?
Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series

Favorite Memoir?
Eat, Pray, Live, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite History/Historical Novel?
I don’t read history books or historicals, so I’m not sure.

Favorite mystery or noir?
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (I mainly say that because I don’t read much mystery, and pretty much no noir) 

Favourite romance?
While I love reading romances, few stay with me for more than a week after I read them, so none come to mind right now… 

Favourite teen book?
 So Yesterday, by Scott Westerfeld

Who is your favorite writer?
Neil Gaiman, followed closely by Scott Westerfeld, R.A. Salvatore and Meg Cabot.

Who is the most over rated writer alive today?
John Grisham. but that’s because his genre doesn’t appeal to me, so i would say that.

What are you reading right now?
Bollywood COnfidential, by Sonia Singh, and (as an audiobook) Triskellion, by Will Peterson

What book do you wish someone wrote so you could read it?
I would love more martial arts books with kick-ass teen heroines. in the style of Chinese kung fu romances or adventure manga, but in novel form.


Your turn!

Friday Fun: Strolling Pets

17. April 2009

If you’re a cat minion, have you ever felt jealous of those people who could just tag a leash onto their dogs and take them out and about?

Never fear, cat strollers are here.

You could go for a stylish pink SUV, or even a double-decker, if you want to take out more than one feline at a time.

Or get the classic model and hope your kittens get along.

This is just so bizarre. I mean, cats aren’t natually suitable for walks. they are not long-distance wanderers as a general rule, and they certainly don’t travel in packs.

I like the idea of being able to take my cat outside in relative safety and confinement (not having a car, I walk my cat to the vet and the cat hotel, and they’re not fun walks for sure), but I’m not sure I would add regular walkies to the week.

Look at the cats in the picture. Don’t they look absolutely terrified?

Forcing cats to be outdoors without a place to hide and take in the scene just seems so cruel and weird and unneccessary to me.

You tell me. Why would you want to take your dcat for a walk? She’s not getting exercise. She’s not outside in the way she wants.

Why would you get a cat stroller, and where would you take your cat?

Wednesday Write-up: The TBR Shelf e-edition

15. April 2009
tags: , ,

This week, i’m not going to talk about my physical TBR, but what’s on my e-reader.

I satill find that I read more physical books than e-books, despite having my awesome iLiad, but that’s mainly my sense of enatness coming through. read books can go on the proper shelf, or be given away through BookMooch, or even to charity. unread books take up valuable random space and sit there UNREAD.

It’s much easier to ignore e-boooks, since read or unread, they take up the same physical space.

So here’s some of what’s on my e-reader. Any recommendations as to what I should read next?

  • Fruits Basket – Natsuki Takaya
  • Bleach – Tite Kubo
  • Chobits – CLAMP
  • The Wiccan Kitten – Susanne Saville
  • Martial Hearts – Kelly McCrady
  • short story collection – Cory Doctorow
  • The Invisible Man – orson Wells
  • It’s All About Us – Shelley Adina
  • Pushing Pause – Celeste O. Norfleet
  • Wuthering High – Cara Lockwood

Have you read any of these?

What’s the last e-book you’ve read?