December 29, 2014

#vlogagram Suggested Topics for January!

Like I said in the original #vlogagram post- you're welcome to talk about anything you like in your vlogs. Personally, coming up with something to say every week is sometimes hard for me, so I thought it might be helpful to post a schedule of suggested topics in case you're looking for something to talk about!

I'll try to give a mix of suggestions for writers and non-writers alike--you don't have to be in the book world to take part!

Since January starts on a Thursday, we get an extra week this month! Here are five topics. If you use one, just add the suggested hashtag to your post (and don't forget to include #vlogagram)!

January

Week One: Introduce yourself #hello

Week Two: Goals for the year, whether you do resolutions or give yourself one word for the year. #resolutions

Week Three: Most anticipated January 2015 book releases #Jan2015books OR

Week Four: What are you writing (or reading) right now? #rightnow OR

Week Five: Invent a character off the top of your head #characters


If you have suggestions for topics for next month, leave them in the comments below!


December 27, 2014

Introducing #vlogagram!

Hey gang!

Vlogging is my favorite way to communicate with you guys. For a while, I kept up a weekly series on my YouTube channel, Scrambled Megs. (I haven't vlogged since July 29, 2014. Oops.) One of my goals for 2015 is to get back into vlogging again, but I needed to find a way to make it simpler and easier to fit into my life. The 4-5 minute vlogs I recorded for Scrambled Megs often took me 1-2 hours to create (sometimes more).

I'm super into Instagram. You can find me there under megan_whitmer, and I post lots and lots of pictures of various aspects of my life (and I have zero shame about selfies). Today, I had an idea: rather than record a 4-5 minute vlog for YouTube, I could do 15 second vlogs on Instagram. I posted this idea to my Instagram account and had a few people say they'd be interested in doing it, too. So I thought I'd post something here to help us get organized.


If you've ever been interested in vlogging but the YouTube thing seems to complicated/time-consuming, Instagram is a great way to try it out. For one, there's no fancy video editing. (If you're into fancy video editing, you can still use iMovie to record a 15 second video and upload that to Instagram--but I'll just be doing the standard IG video). Secondly, it's 15 seconds. That takes no time at all. The fun part will be thinking of ways to make a point in 15 seconds. That kind of thing is just challenging enough to be interesting without being overwhelming, right?

So, wanna join in? Here's how:

1. Pick a topic. I'll post a schedule here with suggested topics for the week. You're welcome to use those if you need an idea of something to say, but you're absolutely welcome to ignore the suggested topic and talk about whatever you want.

You can use this however you like. Bring attention to issues that are important to you. Direct viewers to your blog if you have something longer to say. Make announcements. Give updates. It can be serious. It can be silly. It can be both. It's 15 seconds. Be creative.

2. Record your 15 second video.

3. Post it with whatever caption you like- but you have to include the hashtag (#vlogagram) so other vlogagrammers can find you! (Sidenote: I am like, bizarrely excited that this hashtag isn't already in use. I am such a nerd.)

*Tip: You might want to create a hashtag just for your videos and use that in addition to the #vlogagram one. The #vlogagram hashtag will be an easy way to unify all of our posts and make it easy to find everyone, and adding a second unique hashtag of your own will be an easy way for people to find your specific vlogs without having to sift through the rest. 

*Another Tip: You could also add YA and book-related hashtags (some popular ones are #YA, #booknerds, #bookstagram, #instabooks, #yalit, etc.) But don't spam hashtag feeds! Only use hashtags that are relevant to you and your topic, you know? 

*LAST TIP BECAUSE I LIKE THINGS IN THREES: This is totally a personal preference- but I like to create a comment (aside from the caption of the video) with all the hashtags if there's going to be a long list of hashtags. Sometimes super long captions with two rows of hashtags at the end can be sort of a turn-off for me. But use your own judgement and I promise not to judge your life choices.

That's it! Don't feel like you have to post something every week if you're too busy or just don't feel like it. Jump in when you want, skip weeks when you want, whatever. Super easy. Low stress. Two of my most favorite characteristics.

We'll kick it off in January! Stay tuned for my next blog post to see the suggested topics for January.

(Feel free to spread the word by linking back to this post, or by re-posting the #vlogagram image I posted to my Instagram account and including a link to this post! If you decide to join in, leave a comment below with your instagram name so vlogagrammers can find each other. The more, the merrier!)




July 23, 2014

BETWEEN Blog Tour and TWO BIG PRIZE PACKS!

So, I promised you guys that while I would definitely have to do a lot of promotional tweeting/blogging/talking in the weeks leading up to release day, I would also make it more tolerable for everyone by giving you lots of free stuff.

In the last few weeks, I've given away nine books (not including the five I'm giving away this week!) and we're wrapping it all up with two huge prize packs that coincide with Between's blog tour! 

My friends and family who aren't in the book world just read that and thought, "What in the heck is a blog tour?" So just to quickly explain: a blog tour is when several blogs sign up to host you on their blog for several days in a row in order to promote you/your book and reach more readers by going beyond your own circle of followers on various social media sites. When I say "host," I mean that day's post on the participating blog will be mine. My blog tour is made up of a collection of interviews, book excerpts, guest posts, and reviews. 

Between's blog tour started Monday, July 21, and it runs through Friday, August 1. There'll be a new post on a different blog every single day telling you a little more about Between! Here's the schedule:


Monday, 7/21: Miss Riki's Musings
Tuesday, 7/22: Bran Writes 
Wednesday, 7/23: Adventures in Writerland 
Thursday, 7/24: Bumbles & Fairytales 
Friday, 7/25: Who R U 
Monday, 7/28: Left to Write 
Tuesday, 7/29: The Cover Contessa
Wednesday, 7/30: Because Reading
Thursday, 7/31: Lis Les Livres 
Friday, 8/1: A Leisure Moment 

And as I mentioned before- MORE GIVEAWAYS! I called on my author friends to see who would be able to donate things for a giveaway, and I got such an amazing response that we were able to split everything into two awesome prize packs! Here's what we're giving away:


BETWEEN Prize Pack #1
BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer ARC (signed)
SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron (signed) 
EVER by Jessa Russo (signed)
RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory (signed)
TRAGIC TALES OF STRANGE GIRLS ebook by Suzy G
THE ART OF FALLING ebook by Jenny Kaczorowski
postcard with download code for eARC of OF SCARS AND STARDUST by Andee Hannah

BETWEEN Prize Pack #2
BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer ARC (signed)
DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME by Erica Cameron (signed)
DIVIDE by Jessa Russo (signed)
RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory (signed)
Preorder of BLACKFIN SKY by Kat Ellis
ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE by Jamie Grey (signed)

BOTH prize packs will also include various swag from authors: Jessa Russo, Dahlia Adler, Tonya Kuper, Lynne Matson, and Kat Ellis

All the stops on the tour will include rafflecopters to enter this giveaway, and you can also enter it below! Good luck!

July 22, 2014

BETWEEN RELEASE MONTH PARTY! Week Four Giveaways: Books by Gwenda Bond, Victoria Schwab, Danielle Ellison, Dahlia Adler, and Kelsey Macke

(In case you're new around here and don't know why we're celebrating, my book, Between, comes out on July 29!  As release day approaches, I've been thinking about what I want people to know about my book. I decided to spend the month highlighting some of my favorite characteristics of Between, and giving away a different set of books each week that share those characteristics!)

ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT! This week I'm giving away FIVE books! The books are: 1 e-book of your choice by Gwenda Bond, 1 e-book of your choice by Victoria Schwab, 1 e-book of Salt or paperback of Follow Me Through Darkness by Danielle Ellison, 1 paperback of Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler, and 1 paperback of Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke. Five winners, one prize per winner. 

Check out the vlog to find out why I picked this week's books, and fill out the rafflecopter below to enter! (If the vlog doesn't load, go here: http://youtu.be/rsQ8SVEnJxw)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's that? You wanna know more about my book? HOW CONVENIENT THAT I HAVE THIS INFO RIGHT HERE. 


When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria--a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends--and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot; that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement. 

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren't what they seem. Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever. 

Charlie may be in over her head.


Order Between!

July 15, 2014

BETWEEN RELEASE MONTH PARTY! Week Three Giveaways: Isla and the Happily Ever After, Intangible, Chime, and Liv, Forever

(In case you're new around here and don't know why we're celebrating, my book, Between, comes out on July 29!  As release day approaches, I've been thinking about what I want people to know about my book. I decided to spend the month highlighting some of my favorite characteristics of Between, and giving away a different set of books each week that share those characteristics!)

This week I'm giving away e-books of ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, INTANGIBLE, CHIME, and LIV, FOREVER. This week, each of these books relates to a different aspect of Between, and since they're all so different, I'm going to let the four winners choose whichever book they want (which means all four winners may choose the same book).

Check out the vlog to find out why I picked this week's books, and fill out the rafflecopter below to enter! (If the vlog doesn't load, go here: http://youtu.be/FPsyugIvjuM)





What's that? You wanna know more about my book? HOW CONVENIENT THAT I HAVE THIS INFO RIGHT HERE. 


When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria--a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends--and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot; that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement. 

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren't what they seem. Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever. 

Charlie may be in over her head.


Order Between!

July 8, 2014

BETWEEN RELEASE MONTH PARTY! Week Two Giveaways: Far Far Away, Hook's Revenge, and Dorothy Must Die

(In case you're new around here and don't know why we're celebrating, my book, Between, comes out on July 29!  As release day approaches, I've been thinking about what I want people to know about my book. I decided to spend the month highlighting some of my favorite characteristics of Between, and giving away a different set of books each week that share those characteristics!)

This week I'm giving away e-books of Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal, Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz, and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (three winners, one book per winner).

NEWS! If you can't make it to my launch party and want to order an autographed copy of Between, you can do so by going here, and in the Order Comments just note that you want an autographed copy! I'll sign it at my launch party and The Morris Book Shop will ship it to you after August 2.


Check out the vlog to find out why I picked this week's books, and fill out the rafflecopter below to enter! (If the vlog doesn't load, go here: http://youtu.be/zgTtMzEeNMY) 




  a Rafflecopter giveaway


What's that? You wanna know more about my book? HOW CONVENIENT THAT I HAVE THIS INFO RIGHT HERE. (Click the cover to find it on Amazon!)


When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria--a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends--and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot; that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement. 

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren't what they seem. Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever. 

Charlie may be in over her head.

July 6, 2014

Want to Download Between by Megan Whitmer for FREE? (Epub, pdf, doc, txt)

Hi.

In March of 2011, I started writing a book. I worked on it in bits and pieces, stealing scraps of time when my one-year-old was napping and my four-year-old was in preschool. Mostly, I wrote it at night, between the hours of 10pm and 2am, when the rest of my house was asleep.

I finished that first draft in four months. I paid someone to read it, before I had any CPs. I rewrote it, changing my main character from 14 to 17, and the point of view from third to first.

I found CPs. I let them read it. They ripped it apart.

I rewrote it again. I changed the tense from past to present. I rewrote it. Again.

We went to the beach. I wrote. My kids had birthday parties and classroom parties and tea parties in their rooms. I wrote. My parents spent Saturdays here, helping out. I wrote. Laundry piled up. I wrote.

And then Spencer Hill Press offered to publish it. We decided to make that book into a trilogy. I went through five rounds of rewrites/edits, each one ending in a teary phone call to my super patient editor because I wasn't going to make the deadline (I have yet to actually make a deadline) and I absolutely HATE feeling like I'm letting people down (each time, she talked me off the ledge and helped me keep moving.)

I spent January 2013-November 2013 writing that book. I joke about how I don't remember anything that happened in 2013 that wasn't book-related. Except it's not a joke. I have very little memory of my daughter's swim team season last year, or of her last semester of kindergarten/first semester of 1st grade. I am the absolute worst at work-life balance.

My book advance was a quarter of what I used to make in a month working full-time. My royalties aren't going to be enough to live off of. If you break down what I will make off this book into an hourly wage based on the number of hours I worked on it from the day I wrote that first scene to the day my editor said, "It's finished" .....never mind, I can't even think about that. It's laughable.

This is not a cry for sympathy of any sort. I love this book. I'm thrilled that it's being published. I'm so excited for people to read it. Holding my book in my hands is worth everything I've put into it.

You can find it here:
Morris Book Shop
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Or go to your local library.

If you download my book for free, don't misunderstand--it's not just a free file you're downloading off the internet. That's my book you're stealing. Just because you pay money to belong to a site that allows you to download copyrighted material for free, don't assume that your money is being spent to pay for those books. The ads on those sites do not pay for those books. You are stealing. It's piracy. It's illegal. Don't do it.






July 1, 2014

BETWEEN RELEASE MONTH PARTY! Week One Giveaways: Hex Hall and Paranormalcy

JULY IS HERE! LET THE MONTH-LONG CELEBRATION BEGIN!

THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING TO MY PARTY! YOU LOOK TERRIFIC!

(In case you're new around here and don't know why we're celebrating, my book, Between, comes out on July 29! PARTAAAAAAAAY!)

As release day approaches, I've been thinking about what I want people to know about Between. I decided to spend the next three weeks highlighting some of my favorite characteristics of Between and giving away books that share those characteristics.

This week I'm giving away e-books of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (two winners, one book per winner, and if you've already read these, you're welcome to pick any other Rachel Hawkins or Kiersten White title).

Check out the vlog to find out why, and fill out the rafflecopter below to enter! (If the vlog doesn't load, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1gnnvnnIvc)




a Rafflecopter giveaway


What's that? You wanna know more about my book? HOW CONVENIENT THAT I HAVE THIS INFO RIGHT HERE. (Click the cover to find it on Amazon!)




When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria--a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends--and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot; that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement. 

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren't what they seem. Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever. 

Charlie may be in over her head.

June 30, 2014

JULY 2014 IS HERE! IT IS ACTUALLY HERE! WHAT IN THE WORLD. (Also, giveaways!)

When I announced my book deal with Spencer Hill Press back in January 2013, Between's release date of July 29, 2014 seemed like an eternity away.

AND NOW IT IS HERE.



I MEAN SORT OF.

THE RELEASE DATE IS NOT HERE BUT JULY 2014 IS HERE.



I MEAN SORT OF.

I KNOW IT'S TECHNICALLY JUNE 30 BUT JUST WORK WITH ME HERE.

So here's the thing, Between comes out 4 weeks from tomorrow. That means you are about to see a LOT of promotion from me--interviews, guest blog posts, tweets, facebook things, etc. And you all know that I hate it when someone is all PROMO PROMO PROMO so I promise to do my best not to drive any of you crazy.

I do have fun plans for you though. I'm going all Oprah and giving away books all month long! Every Tuesday, I'll announce two books that I'm giving away that weeksome new, some not so newbut all books that have influenced me and/or BETWEEN in some way. I'll announce the giveaways here and on my vlog, so please share this post and subscribe to both so you don't miss them!

OK COME BACK TOMORROW TO GET THE PARTY STARTED!

I AM SO EXCITED. LET'S ALL DANCE NOW.




(Oh and don't forget! If you preorder Between, you get free stuff! I'm all out of bracelets, but I'd love to send you a signed bookmark!)



April 22, 2014

Launch party info and BETWEEN preorder giveaway!

HI GUYS!

Between comes out in less than 100 days.

98 days to be exact BUT WHO'S COUNTING?!

First off, I wanted to invite everyone to Between's launch party. It will be Saturday, August 2, at 4:00pm EST, and my favorite local indie store, Morris Book Shop, is hosting it! If you live in the area or feel like taking a road trip, I'd love for you to attend! I'll be posting about it on my Facebook page, so if you haven't liked it already, now's a good time to do so.

Aaaaaaand I have these really beautiful bookmarks.....

So I've been thinking it would be fun to do pass out some bookmarks!!! Here's the deal: everyone who preorders a copy of Between will get a signed bookmark. All you have to do is send me proof of your preorder (you can screen cap it on Amazon or wherever you've preordered it) to meganwhitmerwrites (at) gmail.com. This is open to every single person who's preordered the book, even if you did it months ago. This giveaway will run right up until release day, July 29, 2014.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!

(I just really wanted to say that. If you were here with me right now you would've heard me do it in all my infomercial voice glory. But also if you were here with me right now it'd be a little weird because I'm in my pajamas and my hair is disgusting and I'm trying out this new face mask so let's just stop this awkward line of thinking.)

At the beginning of Between, Charlie's brother, Sam, gives her a red string bracelet with five beads on it.
This is my attempt at an artsy photo of these bracelets. Just go with it.

I've made fifty of these bracelets. The first fifty people to send me proof of their preorder will also get one "Charlie" bracelet in addition to the signed bookmark!

YAY FREE STUFF AND SWAG AND PREORDERS AND CAN WE ALL JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO BREATHE BECAUSE SERIOUSLY 98 DAYS.

I feel like for the next 98 days "all caps and exclamation points" is going to become my signature formula for blogging, tweeting, talking, you name it. Please forgive me.

To everyone who has preordered Between (or plans to), thank you so much. I love you and I cannot even begin to tell you how much it means to me that you took the time to check out my book. You're all the absolute BEST.

And just in case you need a little assistance to take care of that preordering business...

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository

(If you have other online bookstores you like, please let me know in the comments and I'll add links to this post!)

NOTE: If you are planning to attend the Between launch party and want to have your book signed, you'll need to purchase it at the launch party. Just letting you know!

ONE MORE NOTE: I've had lots of people ask if it makes any difference to me if my book is preordered or bought after release, or if it matters where the book is purchased--it doesn't. However, I'm always going to ask you to support your local indie bookstores. If you don't know yours, you can go to www.indiebound.org to find the nearest one. I WILL say, and I'll do a post on this later, that the first week after a book is published is a big week--everyone's paying attention to the numbers and the more sales you have, the better. Preorders count toward first week sales (and if you buy the book at the launch party, it's in that time frame as well). BUT- overall, I'm just insanely excited that anyone wants to read my book enough to buy it, and I don't care when or where you do so.

March 5, 2014

A Post about Feelings

Libba Bray and Myra McEntire, two authors I adore, have each written blog posts this week about their own personal experiences with depression. You can read Libba's here, and Myra's here. And you should.

We all know that being silly and giggly and happy and supportive is kind of my thing, right? I love making people laugh. I love being a big dork. I'm constantly on the hunt for new ways to reach higher and higher levels of ridiculousness. And I love love love meeting new people, making new friends, and talking. A lot.

I've mentioned before on the blog that sometimes, my whole Happy Megan persona is an act. I've always had an extremely hard time showing any kind of negative emotion. For a host of reasons, I feel this weird pressure to put on a happy face no matter what. So even if I'm not feeling like myself, I'll fake it until I do.

But sometimes, I can't even do that.

I'm already feeling anxious about this post. When I get upset, my tendency is to withdraw. I go silent- publicly and privately. This behavior has cost me several friends who don't understand why I shut down. They take it personally, and I can't blame them. I literally can't bring myself to speak up and tell them why I disappear. Luckily, I have a few friends who've learned to recognize when I go quiet, and they check in on me, and they wait for me to snap out of it.

I've never considered this to be depression. I just thought, this is me. I'm really good at being happy. I'm really bad at being sad. I criticize myself for being down. I often feel like I have no right to be sad, and then I start to feel guilty. "What do I have to be unhappy about? Look at what [literally, ANYONE else] is dealing with. What is WRONG with me?" (My guilt complex is AMAZING, y'all.)

After reading Libba's and Myra's posts, I reached two conclusions:

1. No one should feel bad for feeling bad. I say this all the time to other people. When my friends are upset with themselves for being sad or hurt or mad or whatever, "Don't feel bad for feeling bad" is one of my favorite pieces of advice. For whatever reason, I've never really turned that around on myself. I'm allowed to feel how I feel. I shouldn't beat myself up for having emotions. Feeling down is bad enough. Believing you're weak or damaged in some way just because you feel down--that's the worst.

2. There's not always going to be a reason for feeling down. I can't always point to something and say- "There. That's the thing that's upsetting me right now." The feeling doesn't necessarily come from anything. It just IS.

I've read well-written posts about depression many times over the last several years. This is the first time I've read them and seen any part of myself in their words. I don't know what that says about me, but I do know that I'm tired of feeling like being sad (or stressed or scared or anything but happy) is something to be ashamed of. I'm thankful that Libba and Myra were brave enough to write their posts. Their honesty helped me admit that I'm not always going to be on top of the world.

And that's okay.

February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Migraine Remedies!


Thankful Thursday is a weekly feature where I take some time to focus on what I'm grateful for this week. Anyone who wants is invited to join in by writing his/her own Thankful Thursday post and linking up here. Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar, if you like, and follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to add your link to the list!  

This week, I'm thankful for chocolate and caffeine and sleep and everything else that helps me get through the ridiculous migraines I've been having lately. :) There's nothing deep and meaningful about this post. Spending several hours writing at my computer in addition to getting a lot less sleep than I'm used to always results in migraines for me. I can't seem to figure out a way around this (and if anybody has some kind of miracle cure, I would LOVE to know. Even if it sounds like a crazy old wive's tale. I'm all ears. Rub mayonnaise on my knees to cure migraines? I WILL TRY IT.)

As always, I'm thankful for everyone who takes the time to read this blog, especially when I post things about rubbing mayonnaise on my knees.


So, what are you thankful for today? 

Even if you're not participating, be sure to come back and check out the list of blog posts below as people add more! 

Have a great week!



To participate in my blog party, just write your blog post and then follow the instructions below!

1. Link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page.
2. Include a link back to me in your post so your readers can learn more about Thankful Thursday and add their own posts if they like.
3. Check out the other posts in the list so we can all have an extra dose of gratitude and positivity!


February 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Words

Thankful Thursday is a weekly feature where I take some time to focus on what I'm grateful for this week. Anyone who wants is invited to join in by writing his/her own Thankful Thursday post and linking up here. Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar, if you like, and follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to add your link to the list!  

This week, I'm thankful for words. That probably sounds a little silly, since obviously I'm a writer and words are my livelihood, but it's more than that.

I am, of course, thankful for every single word I manage to write these days. Between the ridiculous amount of snow days we've had plus things going on in my every day life, the words are not flowing so easily. It's extremely frustrating because I know exactly what I want to write. I have my plan. I see it in my head. But whenever I FINALLY get the opportunity to write, the words are SUPER STUBBORN. I've been going to one of my favorite local coffee shops lately to try and get more work done, but that only happens when both kids are in school, and Mother Nature is killing me on that front.

Beyond that, I'm thankful for all kinds of conversations I've had in the last week. Big ones, small ones, happy ones, difficult ones--every single word. There've been things that have been really hard for me to say, but I'm relieved that I've said them. There've been lovely things said to me by other people (I mean, really, all the love I got when Between went up for preorder still makes my heart happy). Lauren is constantly saying things that blow my mind--both because she's so freaking smart and also because I can't believe what a big kid she's becoming--and until Ella's speech therapist robs her of all her cute little Ella-isms, every single word my four-year-old says is a delight.

Lastly, I find a weird sort of therapy in reading words that other people have said or written. You know all those random quotes you find on pinterest? You can literally find words about any topic or mood you want, and whenever I'm feeling lots of feels, I find myself browsing through the quotes, looking for words to fit what's happening in my head. It's nice to see that somebody had these feelings before I did and put them into words better than I could--it helps me realize that whatever I'm going through, somebody else has already been there and gotten through it. 

Nothing connects me to my feelings more than words. Even my love for music boils down to the lyrics more than the melodies. I'm so glad I've found a way to make a career out of something I love so much.


So, what are you thankful for today? 

Even if you're not participating, be sure to come back and check out the list of blog posts below as people add more! 

Have a great week!



To participate in my blog party, just write your blog post and then follow the instructions below!

1. Link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page.
2. Include a link back to me in your post so your readers can learn more about Thankful Thursday and add their own posts if they like.
3. Check out the other posts in the list so we can all have an extra dose of gratitude and positivity!

February 8, 2014

BETWEEN is now available for pre-order. Related: I am a lucky person.

Saturday mornings are pretty hectic around here. My oldest is trying out cheerleading for the first time and we have a game every Saturday at 10:00am.

Since I like to sleep until 9:00am, this is never NOT crazy.

And this morning, as I'm running out the door, I got this text from one of my closest friends in the world, the lovely Kelsey Macke.


I don't know if you guys know how preorders work. I didn't. But basically, once your publisher buys your ISBN number and everything, they enter all the book info into the sales system and then you wait. You don't know exactly when it will go live, you just know it'll be sometime soon.

My ISBN and info were submitted over two weeks ago. I've been working on book two all day every day (or at least it feels that way), so while I was SUPER EXCITED to know that the preorders for Between could open up at any minute, I generally forgot about it unless someone asked me. (My brain does not multi-task. I can literally focus on only one thing per day. And lately, that's ALL book two. Sorry, family. Sorry, personal hygiene. Sorry, LIFE.)

But this girl, my Kelsey, has been waking up every single morning and checking to see if Between was available yet. Every single day, you guys. And I had no idea until this morning when she sent that text.

I called, and the first thing she says is, "Well, I got up this morning, and like I do every day, went to this little web site called Amazon and typed in Between…" and I have no idea what she said after that because I squealed so loud I scared my children.

This blog post is a "Hey! My book is available for preorder now!" announcement, but it's also a little ode to Kelsey Macke, because she's slammed with book stuff and album stuff and teacher life and wife life and a million other little things, but if she hadn't taken a few seconds this morning to see if Between was on Amazon yet,  I wouldn't have noticed for several more days. I have the best friends in the whole world.

(And if you want to go check out Between in all its glory on Amazon, feel free!)

February 6, 2014

An Interview with Nick Flora, the Self-Appointed King of Sarcastic Charm

I'm over on The Write Notes today with an interview with singer/songwriter Nick Flora. Nick is an alterna-pop singer/songwriter out of Nashville who's been writing songs and touring full time for close to a decade. I've been telling Nick for months that I wanted to do an interview with him about songwriting, and I finally emailed him some questions last week. 

He responded within five minutes, and I was like, "Wow! Note to self: Nick can fill out an interview CRAZY FAST."


And then I read his answers.


Ladies and gentlemen, meet Nick.



Where do you get your ideas? Do you choose the topic or does it choose you? 

I just google Hall & Oates lyrics and rearrange them to make new songs. 

When you're writing a song, are you thinking about the listener or are you writing what you need to get out personally? Does knowing that other people are going to listen affect your process at all?

Personally I don't think that's anyone's business.  It's annoying that others are listening to what I write.

I know The Reintroduction had a theme--reintroducing people to your style as it's evolved since the last album. Do you generally have themes in mind when you're putting together an album? 

Usually the theme is how much money do I wanna make and how many drugs have I done the night before I record.

At what point do you know a song is "ready" and make yourself move on to the next song?

I set a timer for 3 min then start playing random chords and singing gibberish. When the timer goes off, that's when I know the song is done.

Pick one or two favorites of all the songs you've written, and tell me about them. Why are you so fond of them? 

No.

What/Who are some of your musical influences? 

I prefer to think of ME as the musical influence for others.

What's been the proudest moment of your career up to this point?

When this interview is over.

Do you have advice for someone who wants to become a songwriter?

Don't do it. More money for me.



To see the "real" answers Nick supplied a few days later, as well as links to his music, check out my interview with him on The Write Notes!

Thankful Thursday: Snow!

Thankful Thursday is a weekly feature where I take some time to focus on what I'm grateful for this week. Anyone who wants is invited to join in by writing his/her own Thankful Thursday post and linking up here. Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar, if you like, and follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to add your link to the list!  

I never thought I'd say this, at least not this year, but right now, I'm thankful for snow. It's been a ridiculous winter here in Kentucky. We don't generally get much snow, and if we do, it's usually no more than an inch or so and it's gone the next day. We had one or two snow days last school year.

This year? We've had at least 8. I've quit counting. There's been snow on the ground FOREVER. It is cold and gray and gross and I hate it. The worst part is that it's been too cold for the girls to even go outside and play in it.

But this week, we got right about four inches of snow and the temperature stayed in the 30s, so they were finally able to go sledding and build a snowman in the front yard!! 



As tired as I am of the snow, the fact that they finally got to enjoy it made things a little more tolerable. :)

So, what are you thankful for today? 

Even if you're not participating, be sure to come back and check out the list of blog posts below as people add more! 

Have a great week!

To participate in my blog party, just write your blog post and then follow the instructions below!

1. Link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page.
2. Include a link back to me in your post so your readers can learn more about Thankful Thursday and add their own posts if they like.

3. Check out the other posts in the list so we can all have an extra dose of gratitude and positivity!

January 16, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Music


Thankful Thursday is a weekly feature where I take some time to focus on what I'm grateful for this week. Anyone who wants is invited to join in by writing his/her own Thankful Thursday post and linking up here. Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar, if you like, and follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to add your link to the list!  

Hi guys!

Today, I'm super thankful for music. Which might sound a little cheesy. It's just such a big thing for me. It helps me feel things and work through emotions when I need to. And when I'm writing, it helps me get into the mindset for whatever scene I'm working on. I make playlists for all my book ideas, and right now as I work on book two of the Between trilogy, I've even made playlists for a few specific scenes. There's nothing better than listening to a song and hearing a line that so perfectly matches something that's going on in my life, or something that immediately makes me think of a specific scene or character.


So, what are you thankful for today? 

Even if you're not participating, be sure to come back and check out the list of blog posts below as people add more! 

Have a great week!

To participate in my blog party, just write your blog post and then follow the instructions below!

1. Link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page.
2. Include a link back to me in your post so your readers can learn more about Thankful Thursday and add their own posts if they like.
3. Check out the other posts in the list so we can all have an extra dose of gratitude and positivity!

January 9, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Staying Warm


Thankful Thursday is a weekly feature where I take some time to focus on what I'm grateful for this week. Anyone who wants is invited to join in by writing his/her own Thankful Thursday post and linking up here. Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar, if you like, and follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to add your link to the list!  

Warmth
This week, I'm grateful for warm sweaters, hats, house shoes, and everything else that's gotten me through the few days of POLAR VORTEX INSANITY. Lexington's temps dropped 54 degrees between Sunday and Monday. At one point the temperature said -1 which is just silly. The wind chills were -20 to -30. I'm totally over that nonsense, thankyouverymuch.

Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate
This goes along with the warmth, I guess, but I felt like it needed its own paragraph because it's my soulmate. If you haven't tried this, you should. It's actual chocolate shavings that you melt into warm milk and it's heaven in a cup. (It's also stupidly expensive so I only buy one canister a year but STILL. WORTH IT.) 


So, what are you thankful for today? 

Even if you're not participating, be sure to come back and check out the list of blog posts below as people add more! 

Have a great week!


To participate in my blog party, just write your blog post and then follow the instructions below!

1. Link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page.
2. Include a link back to me in your post so your readers can learn more about Thankful Thursday and add their own posts if they like.
3. Check out the other posts in the list so we can all have an extra dose of gratitude and positivity!

January 2, 2014

Thankful Thursday- Craft Time!


Hey guys!

It's Thankful Thursday time!! I was really happy to see that so many people were interesting in joining in with Thankful Thursday posts of their own. Feel free to grab a Thankful Thursday button from the sidebar, if you like, and add the link to your post in the Linky at the bottom of this post! (This is my first time using a Linky of my own. Let's all hope it goes well.)

If you watched my vlog this week, you know my focus for 2014 is finding more balance in my life between being a writer and being, well, everything else. So this week, I'm thankful for having some craft time with my daughters (even though the craft Lauren chose almost killed me).

Lauren watches this YouTube channel called MyFroggyStuff where they make furniture and other random accessories for Barbie (and Barbie-like) dolls. We decided to make a movie theatre for her dolls. (I use the term "we" very, VERY loosely.) See the how-to video here, if you're interested in seeing how much I didn't do.

Here's ours:
I mean, it's cute, and she LOVES it, but oh my gosh. No more movie theaters.

Ella chose something MUCH easier- these super cute paper flowers from the American Girl Paper Posies kit.

I could basically do nothing but make these things all day and be perfectly happy. She had a ball. It was the perfect craft for a just-turned-4-year-old.

So, what are you thankful for today? 

Even if you're not participating, be sure to come back and check out the list of blog posts below as people add more! (And if you do participate, don't feel like you need to do a long blog post like I did. I just wanted to show you pictures of our crafts, but I'm sure that some weeks I'll just have a quick list of what I'm thankful for. No pressure!)

Have a great week!

To participate in my blog party, just write your blog post and then follow the instructions below!

1. Link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page.
2. Include a link back to me in your post so your readers can learn more about Thankful Thursday and add their own posts if they like.
3. Check out the other posts in the list so we can all have an extra dose of gratitude and positivity!