TAG! You’re it :)

The SUPER awesome Kip Wilson Rechea (part of the #wipmadness crew on twitter, she also blogs as kiperoo) tagged me in a fun question-asking tag that’s weaving its way through the interwebz. Of course, I HAD to play along. Here are the questions she asked me, followed by MY questions for YOU.

1. Keeping with the foodie theme, what’s your signature dish? Something you make that blows people away and that you luuuuurve.

Oh my gosh, I don’t think I can pick just ONE signature dish, I’m a total foodie. But if I HAD to by knife point… I’d say… There’s this Greek calzone I like to make and it’s always a crowd pleaser. Followed closely by anything that has avocados or jalapenos in it – the hotter, the better!

2. If you could be any fictional character, whose story would you want to live?

Right now? I’d probably have to say Tris from DIVERGENT. Even though the world is going to hell and there’s death and fighting and SO MUCH HAPPENING. I’d love to be as kick-ass as she is, fiercely protecting the people she loves. Plus, being a member of Dauntless would be pretty cool – train jumping FTW!

3.  If you won a magical trip to any destination and had to use the setting in your next novel, where would you go?

Iceland!!!! The geothermal hot springs there would make a really interesting backdrop for a story. I mean, look at this place – it’s SUPER magical:

photo credit: pinterest.com/travel

4. Your favorite five authors. Go!

NO NO NO…this is like asking me which five fingers or toes you can chop off. NOT FAIR! I’ll do a little mix of contemporary and classic, but know that this list is always changing. 🙂

  1. Shakespeare – He’s got family drama, love, tragedy, and he wasn’t afraid of killing off his darlings. I never get tired of his work. I used to HATE high school, but once we started going over his plays in class my life changed.
  2. Jack Kerouac – I love his stream of conscious style. His prose is manic and beautiful and really amazing when you look at it closely. I have a book of his poems that I re-read occasionally just to get a beat or writing rhythm in my head.
  3. Suzanne Collins – I mean, I know The Hunger Games is still exploding all over the place, but Collins is a great writer. She has an ability to expose the harshest/darkest aspects of human nature and make you feel your way through them – rooting the characters on, hoping against all odds that they make it.
  4. Scott Westerfeld – The Uglies series was awesome. I gobbled the books up in a few days and loved the story arc. He’s got a smooth writing voice which makes for an infinitely easy read. Which as we all know is hard writing.
  5. Beth Revis – I love her debut trilogy thus far. Both Across the Universe and A Million Suns were fantastic reads, I loved the mixture of science fiction and mystery and she kept me guessing throughout. Excellent for people who want to dip their toes in the sci-fi pool.

5. What music are you listening to while working on your current WIP?

This is an easy one! I’ve got a nice little mixture of some local musicians from NYC that I adore, plus a few other bands.

Ryan Adams – Wonderwall (cover)

Nathan Angelo – Brighter Day

Lauren Pritchard – Stuck

Iron & Wine – Boy With A Coin

Feist – My Moon My Man

Ella Fitzgerald – It’s Only A Paper Moon

Chris Ayer – Relativity

Bright Eyes – Another Traveling Song

Christine Hoberg – Home

Mercy Bell – Icarus

Maryanna Sokol – Two

Okay so now you’ve read my answers, the rules state that I have to tag three more bloggers and come up with five questions of my own. BWAHAHAHA.

Here are the three lucky winners:

  1. Jennifer M Eaton – http://jennifermeaton.com/
  2. Aryn Youngless – http://www.weeklyadventuresordinarygirl.com/
  3. Dianne J Wilson  – http://diannejwilson.wordpress.com/

Here are 5 questions for YOU to answer:

  1. I’m also going to stick with the foodie theme – what’s your favorite dish you get out and what restaurant makes it?
  2. What are you reading RIGHT now?
  3. Do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hardbacks?
  4. What are your three favorite books of all time?
  5. What genre is your current project and is that your favorite to read?
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My Weekly Adventure: I’ve been interviewed!

Guys, I’ve been interviewed! The lovely Aryn of the SUPER awesome Weekly Adventure Blog asked me a bunch of questions about writing, querying, books, books, books, and TONS more fun stuff about the whole road-to-publishing journey.

If you’d like to check it out (please, please do! I will cuddle hug you forever:)) here is the link—> INTERVIEW

Here’s a little snippet from the Q&A:

WA: On your blog it reads, “Novelist by day… rogue foodie by night.” what is your very favorite style of food?

KM: Oh my gosh, how much time and space do we have? I love it all. I’m a huge fan of fusion food, so I’m always experimenting with bold flavors. I’m on a HUGE curry kick right now (I just made curry mashed potatoes), but I love Spanish, Dominican, Mexican, and Italian foods with unexpected flavor twists tossed in. (Like pairing Thai flavors with classic Italian.)

WA: Tell me about your current book project.

KM: The project that’s currently under consideration is a YA futuristic thriller. It’s set in NYC and is about a 16-year-old girl who’s unknowingly being turned into the ultimate biological weapon by a government obsessed with achieving genetic perfection. 

WA: What is your “dream” project?

KM: My dream project right now is some sort of YA light science fiction dealing with…. To read more check out the link! (EVIL, I KNOW. I HEART YOU.)

Hope you are having an amazing day! Can you believe it’s the second week of January already?! 

sit back and wave through the daylight

Well, I purchased “Scrivener” yesterday and HOLY MOTHER I have no idea how I’ve lived without it for so long. It’s amazing. Like I sort of want to marry it and grow old together with it AMAZING.

Just look at how pretty it is:

If you write you should definitely check it out, the “Character Sketches” and notes and EVERYTHINGEVERYTHINGEVERYTHING else about it makes life so much more organized. My new WIP is not going to know what hit it.

But enough about that tech-y stuff – I’ve got a special song for you today. Let’s interwebs dance together for the first time in 2012. Yes?

HAPPY DAY TO YOU XOXO 

5 1/2 Things I Am MOST Grateful for This Year.

Since 2011 is winding down and 2012 is almost upon us – I thought I’d share the five and a half things I am MOST grateful for this year. So here we go!

1.) I am grateful for the writing community. Writers are a special group of people; Maybe even the best. (I might be biased, though.:)) They pick you up when you feel buried in rejection. They force you to do ALL THE THINGS you think you can’t do. They endlessly cheer you on – it’s kind of like having that REALLY REALLY GOOD friend who holds/held your hair back while you are/were praising the porcelain bowl. I digress. Really, I don’t know how I’d manage the publishing journey without all of you, my wonderful writing friends. You are the sun that my world revolves around and I heart you so, so much.

2.) Manuscript Critters and beta readers. HOLY CHIPOTLE GUACAMOLE. You guys. NO SERIOUSLY YOU GUYSSS. You know who you are, and I’m so grateful to have had your magical/awesome/sparkly eyes on my work. My book would be NOWHERE near as awesome without you. AND SERIOUSLY I MAY NEVER EVER KNOW WHERE ALL THOSE PESKY COMMAS GO BECAUSE I HAVE A TENDENCY TO RAMBLE IN REAL LIFE, TOO. Thank you for making me be the best writer I can be. I’m totally giving you a semi-awkward squeezing-the-life-out-of-you GINORMOUS hug right now. No really, I am.

3.) My social networking crew. Including my blog friends, my tweet hearts, and everyone that reads my music column. I am so awed by how amazing you all are, thank you so much for sharing almost every single day with me on the interwebz. You bring laughter, warm sunshine and fluttery butterflies into my soul. I’M SO SERIOUS. I heart you all so much more than you will ever know. Thank you for all the silly banter, book recommendations, #WW’s, #FF’s, the INFAMOUS PANTY MEME, random musings on life and creativity, and of course the fabulous #GOATPOSSE. You enrich my world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

4.) My parents, my sister, and my friends. What can I say? You guys are the fairest of them all. You support me when I shut myself off from the rest of the world. You allow me to go MONTHS without coffee talk, or normal people stuff like doing laundry, getting dressed in real people clothes, and EVERYTHING ELSE I neglect while I’m balls deep in a project. You allow me to chase after my dreams, and are there for me no matter what. How blessed am I to be surrounded by such amazing people all the time? (Or, realistically, when I’m out of my reclusive hermit shell.) Thank you for giving me the freedom to spread my wings and fly. You never cage me, and one day I can only hope to repay all of you for your unwavering love. I love you all so very much.

5.) I am also grateful for: Dark chocolate covered marzipan squares. I know, I know..RANDOM. BUT BUT BUT this little lactard can’t indulge in milk chocolate treats, and I just found this place that delivers the best BEST BEST chocolate covered marzipan in ze whole entire UNIVERSE and therefore, it makes the list of things I’m super grateful for. Also, i’m grateful for run-on sentences apparently. BUT OMG THE CHOCOLATE IS SO GOOD I CAN’T HELP BUT SAY SO MANY THINGS WITHOUT PUNCTUATION BECAUSE CHOCOLATE AND WRITING GO SO HAPPY FACED TOGETHER, THEY REALLY REALLY DO. O.O

5 1/2.) To everyone who has asked where they can purchase or review my book this year, your faith in my ability to create a world you’d want to spend an entire day in is humbling. I can’t even express to you how incredible you make me feel. YOU KEEP ME GOING – I am so beyond grateful for you. Hopefully 2012 will bring some publishing news that I can share. Until then, I’m CRAZY lucky that you are here to fill my heart with so many amazinggggg feelings. I am giving you a bone crushing bear hug, which is more pleasant than it sounds. Pinky swear. 😉

Happy holidays to you and your family and everyone you love. I hope the coming year brings you everything your heart desires and more. <333333

(Yes, the comments on this post are closed. We can totally hug each other later in the week.)

5 things you can be proud of RIGHT NOW

As writers we spend a lot of time inside of our heads. A LOT. I’d say we also spend a GREAT deal of time focused on the future. OMGGG when will I sign with an agent? When if ever please please please will I find an editor who wants to buy my book? What if no one thinks my manuscript is pretty? What if I get a kajillionmillionbillion sad faced reviews on Amazon/Goodreads/Barnes and Noble/and GAHHHHHHHH.

BREATHE.

No really, take a nice deep breath. Don’t focus on that stuff, focus on the here and now. Need a little help? Okay, here are some things you can be proud of RIGHT NOW:

1.) I’ve said this before a KAJILLION times, but it’s SO worth repeating. YOU WROTE A BOOK. OMGGGG. Do you have any idea how many people say they’re going to write a book one day, and NEVER ever ever ever ever do? You came up with a plot, a story arc, YOU KNOW WHAT A MACGUFFIN IS, you have amazingggg characters, and HOLY FREAKING MOLE you rewrote until your eyes bled 26 letters all over the page thousands of times. Be proud. No matter where you are in the publishing process, don’t ever forget that you wrote a book. You sat down late at night when everyone else was asleep. Maybe you wrote at the crack of dawn, when even the birds were too tired to get up. You sacrifice any and EVERY extra second in your day for this one dream. You’re my hero, so BE PROUD of yourself.

2.) You got a form rejection. How is THAT something to be proud of?!! Simple. You didn’t just talk about making your dreams happen, you went out there and you DID something about it. YOU WERE SO BRAVE FACED I WANT TO INTERWEBS HUG YOU SO BAD. You learned how to write a query letter. You researched agents, you boiled your plot down into 250-350 words INCLUDING your bio – holy crap you are a rock star. A form rejection, while it isn’t pleasant, means YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING. HUZZAH!!! You are wearing something that walks, talks, and looks a WHOLE lot like perseverance right now. So be proud.

3.) You got a partial or a full request. First of all YAYAYAYAYAYAYYYY high five! That feels AWESOME, doesn’t it? I mean, a real live literary agent saw something in YOUR query letter and was all, “OMGGG SEND ME THIS RIGHT THIS SECOND AS AN ATTACHED WORD DOCUMENT PREFERABLY. I HOPE TO GET BACK TO YOU IN 60-90 DAYS THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF ME…” SQUEE! Now do me a favor. Remember this feeling. Take it and squeeze the juice out of it and put it in a bottle to savor when you’re feeling down. Stop focusing on what happens next. The best thing I can tell you is this; you now have a 50-50 shot. It’s either going to be yes, or no. So breathe. SO MANY THINGS go on behind the scenes for why an agent may or may not take your project on. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and don’t forget that squishy feeling in the pit of your stomach and the triple beat of your heart slapping against your ribcage when you open that email and see a request. Allow yourself to feel proud, you accomplished something. You are so awesome.

4.) You have read every last book in your genre, your mother’s genre, your mother’s mother’s great Aunt Sissy’s genre and — holy crap that’s A LOT of reading. Why is this on the list? Reading is essential for writing. YOU are doing research, whether you think you are or not. How else will you know where your book fits into the market? Eat books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sprinkle stories on your ice-cream at night. Read read read read read as MUCH AS YOU CAN. Then write. Reading work that has been published helps get your brain into butt-kicking sharpness. PLUS, isn’t part of the reason you’re in this whole publishing game BECAUSE you heart books so much? So be proud of how much you read, no matter where it sits in the bookstore. If you like YA…YAY!!! Mysteries, thrillers, science fiction WHATTTT. (Sorry, I loves me some science fiction.) Ahem. Be proud of yourself for taking the time to read. YOU are working on your craft and that is DEFINITELY something to be proud of.

5.) You never give up. A rejection dings its nasty little head in your inbox, but you don’t even bat an eye. You take out your handy-dandy list of well researched agents and you carefully send out a personalized query in the rejections place. You don’t view rejection as a toxic dart being shot into your heart. You view it as it was intended; It’s nothing personal – you just weren’t a good fit with that agent for whatever reason. You are a professional, you are always kind and courteous – you bravely soldier on. YOU ARE SO ADORABLE AND AWESOME AND OMG KEEP GOING GOING GOING GOING. Because you are SO CLOSE, I can feel it. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP. One day I’ll be reading your book, falling in love with your characters, and DYING for your next work to come out. Thank you in advance for all that you do. I am so very proud of you.

HAPPY MONDAY!!!

And the winner is….

First I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who entered! I had a lot of fun with this contest, and will definitely be holding another giveaway REALLY, REALLY soon. Okay, and now for the two BIG WINNERS!

The first name chosen via the random.org gods is: DRUM ROLLLLLLLL

zoe h (yayayayayyayay!) 

Congrats zoe you won Sparkly Prize Pack A: SHATTER ME and GLOW! An email has been sent to the address you provided when you followed the blog. (Thank you!)

And now for our next BIG WINNER! The second person chosen via random.org is: DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLL

Amanda G (Yayayayayayayayay!)

Congrats Amanda you won Sparkly Prize Pack B: CROSSED and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER! An email has been sent to the address you provided when you followed the blog. (Thank you!)

Happy Holidays!!!! <333333

Miike Snow — A Song For No One (Video)

Oh my this weekend has been a little hectic, but the good kind of crazy. I’m working on finishing up some super secret things and I thought I’d share what’s currently on my playlist. Let’s interwebs dance for a bit then get back to work. 

Artist: Miike Snow

Song: A Song For No One

Video credit:  youtube’s channel

Hope your weekend was amazing. <33333333333