One week left to bid in DCI’s Online Auction!

Bid on these terrific items by March 31!

To support its 2017 Scholarship Fund, Deaf Camps, Inc. is holding its first-ever Online Auction from March 1 to March 31.  Check out the many handmade items, travel packages, gift certificates, and event tickets – but especially these items of interest to the bookish:

picture4A Middle Grade or Young Adult Manuscript Critique (up to 400 pages) from my AMAZING agent, Steven Malk of Writers House

The value of this item is listed as $8000, but honestly, it’s priceless. Not only does he represent both the 2016 and 2017 Newbery Medal winners, but there is simply no one like Steve for unlocking the potential of a manuscript and giving you the feedback you need to get it to the next level – and the knowledge of the market to know where to pitch it. JUMP ON this opportunity, MG and YA authors!

picture3

A Picture Book Manuscript Critique, again from the AMAZING Steven Malk of Writers House

See above.  Did I mention how amazing he is?  Shall I also mention that he represents picture book luminaries like Bob Shea, Matt de la Pena, Jon Klassen, and Mac Barnett? You WANT this, picture book authors.

picture1

A One-of-a-Kind Copy of SWORD AND VERSE, signed and annotated by little ol’ me

Get your own super-special copy of my debut fantasy novel, SWORD AND VERSE, autographed and supplemented with maps, story secrets, and all the symbols of the language of the gods your little heart could desire!

picture2

$100 toward any Stories By Hand program

My Stories By Hand programs bring basic American Sign Language to libraries, schools, camps, childcare centers, and homeschool groups through stories, songs, and fun activities.  Find out more about the range of programs available at www.storiesbyhand.com.

 

More about Deaf Camps, Inc.:

deaf camps inc logoDeaf Camps, Inc. is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

 

Check out all the items for bid  here and make your bids, knowing that every dollar raised goes straight to Deaf Camps, Inc.’s 2017 Scholarship Fund. Thank you for helping us get needy kids to camp!

The DCI Online Auction is run through CharityAuctionsToday.com. A credit card is required to register and bid.

Posted in American Sign Language, On Writing, Upcoming events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Read This!: SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake

Suffer LoveSuffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

Summary: “Just let it go.” That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone. Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

When I first started reading this book, I didn’t think I would like the two main characters very much. But less than twenty pages in, as I got to know them better, I started to fall in love with both of them. (And don’t even get me started on Sam’s friend Ajay. I burn, I pine, I perish for an Ajay-centric novel.) That experience is the whole point of this sensitive, deeply involving story: it’s easy to judge the choices other people make, but there’s always more behind them. Sam and Hadley’s relationship, by any sane standard, should be impossible. But it’s real and lovely and deliciously steamy. Ashley Herring Blake writes some of the best makeout scenes I have ever read. Filled with characters who are both deeply flawed and deeply likable, this is a book that will suck you in.

SUFFER LOVE is out now.

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Welcome to the world, FEUER UND FEDER!

The German translation of Sword and Verse, titled Feuer und Feder, is out today from Beltz!  The German title translates to “fire and feather” or “fire and quill”.

sav-german-cover

 

German translator: Julian Haefs

Cover designer: Carolin Liepins

Order it now from Beltz or Amazon.de!

Posted in Sword and Verse, Young Adult Fantasy | Leave a comment

10 Things You Can Do to Put Off Writing/Editing and Still Feel Like You’re Working

…brought to you by the terrifying plot point I am supposed to be fixing right now.

1. Sharpen pencils. Writers need pencils, right? Really, you are just making life easier for Future You. It’s preparation.pencils

2. index-cardsDecide you need index cards to attack the particular plot problem you are working on. No, those index cards in the drawer won’t do. Go to the office supply store and spend an hour picking out just the right size, color, and style. Maybe you need sticky notes too! That could even be a separate trip!

3. Light a candle to call the Muse. Spend fifteen minutes sorting through your candle selection to find the perfect scent to match the mood of the scene you are supposed to be working on.

The answer is always Oxford Library, but that doesn't mean I can't spend time asking the question.

The answer is always Oxford Library, but that doesn’t mean I can’t spend time asking the question.

4. Make a cup of tea. Not only does this put off the inevitable moment when you have to sit down and work, it guarantees a break in an hour when you will have to go to the bathroom.

mug

5. When you get up to go to the bathroom, make more tea. See? It’s an endless cycle.

Please note that my house does NOT look like this.

Please not that my house does NOT look like this.

6. Search for images for your screensaver or Pinterest board to get you into the mood for the scene. Spend fifteen minutes artfully arranging them and/or writing cagey comments about what they represent.

garden

7. Make a playlist of music to inspire your writing. This yields lots of fodder for procrastination: you can spend time making the list, tweeting and blogging about it, and then spend lots of time before you write deciding which songs to listen to.

cat-with-headphones-728x4098. Post a pithy observation about writing on Twitter with the #amwriting hashtag. Then look through the other entries under that hashtag, because it’s all about being a part of the community.

9. Read one sentence of your scene and then decide you need to do more research on an obscure plot point. So it will be more real to you, of course

notes

10. Write a blog post about how to procrastinate. It definitely counts toward your platform as a writer.

so-blogging

Oh, look at that!  My tea is cold.  Time to go make another cup…

Posted in On Writing, Silly Stuff | 1 Comment

Cool Stuff in DCI’s Online Auction!

I’m thrilled to be supporting the latest fundraising effort for Deaf Camps, Inc., a nonprofit I have volunteered with for the last 15 years.

To support its 2017 Scholarship Fund, Deaf Camps, Inc. is holding its first-ever Online Auction from March 1 to March 31.  Check out the many handmade items, travel packages, gift certificates, and event tickets – but especially these items of interest to the bookish:

picture4A Middle Grade or Young Adult Manuscript Critique (up to 400 pages) from my AMAZING agent, Steven Malk of Writers House

The value of this item is listed as $8000, but honestly, it’s priceless.  There is simply no one like Steve for unlocking the potential of a manuscript and giving you the feedback you need to get it to the next level – and the knowledge of the market to know where to pitch it. JUMP ON this opportunity, MG and YA authors!

picture3

A Picture Book Manuscript Critique, again from the AMAZING Steven Malk of Writers House

See above.  Did I mention how amazing he is?  Shall I also mention that he represents picture book luminaries like Bob Shea, Matt de la Pena, Jon Klassen, and Mac Barnett? You WANT this, picture book authors.

picture1

A One-of-a-Kind Copy of SWORD AND VERSE, signed and annotated by little ol’ me

Get your own super-special copy of my debut fantasy novel, SWORD AND VERSE, autographed and supplemented with maps, story secrets, and all the symbols of the language of the gods your little heart could desire!

picture2

$100 toward any Stories By Hand program

My Stories By Hand programs bring basic American Sign Language to libraries, schools, camps, childcare centers, and homeschool groups through stories, songs, and fun activities.  Find out more about the range of programs available at www.storiesbyhand.com.

 

More about Deaf Camps, Inc.:

deaf camps inc logoDeaf Camps, Inc. is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

 

Check out all the items for bid  here and make your bids, knowing that every dollar raised goes straight to Deaf Camps, Inc.’s 2017 Scholarship Fund. Thank you for helping us get needy kids to camp!

The DCI Online Auction is run through CharityAuctionsToday.com. A credit card is required to register and bid.

Posted in American Sign Language, On Writing, Upcoming events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Read This!: RESURRECTING SUNSHINE by Lisa A. Koosis

Resurrecting SunshineResurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis

Summary: At seventeen, Adam Rhodes is famous, living on his own, and in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved. Marybeth – stage name Sunshine – was his best friend from the days they were foster kids; then she was his girlfriend and his band mate. But since her accidental death, he’s been drinking to deal with the memories. Until one day, an unexpected visitor, Dr. Elloran, presents Adam with a proposition that just might save him from himself. Using breakthrough cloning and memory-implantation techniques, Dr. Elloran and the scientists at Project Orpheus want to resurrect Marybeth, and they need Adam to “donate” intimate memories of his life with her. The memory retrieval process forces Adam to relive his life with Marybeth and the devastating path that brought them both to fame. Along the way, he must confront not only the circumstances of her death but also his growing relationship with the mysterious Genevieve, daughter of Project Orpheus’s founder. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he’ll go to save her.

This stunner of a story has largely flown under the radar, which is inconceivable to me. With its ethics-stretching premise and compelling plot, this book is ideal for bookclubs and classroom discussions: it’s a page-turner that keeps you engaged from the start, it’s got an ending that readers are sure to have strong opinions about, and it’s even in paperback, making multiple copies affordable. Get on this, teachers and librarians! Adam is a flawed, emotional mess, his voice keeping the science stuff firmly grounded in the effect it has on real people’s lives, and he is at once admirable and pitiable in his quest to do right by those he loves. This book kept me up late several nights in a row because I *had* to find out what happened next. With its big questions about who deserves a second chance, who actually gets one, and what do with the chances we’re given, RESURRECTING SUNSHINE will engage your mind and heart in equal measure.

RESURRECTING SUNSHINE is out now.

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Read This!: THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw

The Last Cherry BlossomThe Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw

Summary: Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden fom its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.  This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s firsthand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.

Yes, this is a story about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and that makes it a much-needed entry into children’s literature. But Burkinshaw does something much more than just give readers a child’s-eye view of a horrific event: in this sensitive novel, inspired by events in her own mother’s life, she plops readers right in the middle of the joys and sorrows, the friendships and messy realities and sometimes petty rivalries of Yuriko’s childhood. The foreboding losses of war (and the government propaganda that insists Japan is winning, always winning – chilling to read in our current politic landscape) are threaded throughout the narrative, but when the pika don (literally “flash boom”) comes, it is a shock to the reader as much as it is to Yuriko. Because really, who could ever anticipate such horror? The aftermath of the atomic bomb is handled in a straightforward but not overly graphic manner, and the focus is always kept on Yuriko’s story, as it should be. In this slim volume, Burkinshaw takes an historical event that is too large for most of us to wrap our minds around and brings it to the scale we can all understand: the effect on the life of a character we have come to care about. Like the cherry blossoms that bloomed in the year after the bombing, defying all the odds, Yuriko learns how to find hope and courage in the ashes.

THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM is out now.

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Posted in Read This, Reviews | Tagged , | 1 Comment