Dirty Laundry

New Year, New Book, New Tour Dates

2017 is turning into a busy one with lots of appearances (see tour dates) and a book deadline and a To Do List as long as my arm.

And do I ever need that To Do list. It’s funny but if I don’t write down the things I need to accomplish—from the big to the very small—they simply do not get done. It used to be I’d be able to carry all of the things I need to accomplish in my head but now I seem to need the satisfaction of crossing the thing off a list in order to get motivated to do it. And not a digital list either. It has to be a hardcopy and I have to be able to cross that thing off with a pen.

Which is why it’s taken me so long to get back to this blog. I simply hadn’t put it on my list. And so, getting the car serviced, and booking my plane tickets, and writing my new book, and changing the furnace filters, and a million other things got done but only because I wrote them down.

I’m sure there is some psychological reason for it—a feeling of accomplishment or something—but THE LIST is a magical thing. I even reverse-list things. Like, if I somehow accidentally do something that wasn’t on the list… I’ll write it on the list and then cross the sucker off.

The biggest thing on my list right now is completing the first draft of my new book. I’m so close I can taste it. Of course, I thought I was close last month. But then… you know… holidays and family and the flu. But now… now it’s really, really close. Which is another reason I don’t blog (and Twitter and Facebook etc. etc.) as I ought to. I am a single minded person. Not so great at the multitasking thing. I am easily distracted and so if I am doing other things I am not writing my book. Like at this very moment. I need to be writing my book.

And so, I am going to sign off now and get back to it. Because there is a very simple rule to finishing a novel. If you don’t sit down and do it—and you don’t put it at the very top of THE LIST—then it never gets done.

Dan Versus Nature

My new book, Dan Versus Nature, comes out in just a few weeks (April 12th) and I couldn’t be more excited. The book has received some amazing REVIEWS and gotten some really nice comments on GOODREADS

I am going to be traveling in the next few months to spread the word so if you can attend one of these events I’d love to see you there.

I will be at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Sunday April 10, 2016 at 3pm on the YA Stage.

I’ll be in Houston for the Texas Library Association conference where I will be doing a panel on Humor in YA Literature on April 21st from 2:00 - 3:50 and signing books on April 22nd from 9:30 to 10:30.

Heading to Book Expo America in Chicago in May but don’t have my schedule yet.

Finally, I’ve got a book trailer all set to upload on Monday. Was going to do it this week but things got a little hectic.

All in all, a very exciting time for me. Can’t wait for everyone to read the new novel.

If you haven’t seen the cover already, here’s a peak at it.

Happy 2016, Looking Back, Looking Forward

So, here we are again. It’s a new year, filled with clean slates and fresh beginnings. I’m not going to go into my resolutions for this year because I didn’t make any. I’m just going to wing it this time. I figure, why write down a list of things I know I’m going to fail at. Better just to have a vague idea of things I’d like to accomplish and if I get to them, great. If not, at least I don’t have a list of disappointments staring at me. I’ll lose weight and I’ll gain weight this year. I’ll eat healthy and I’ll eat like crap this year. I’ll exercise and I’ll be slothful this year. I will be generous and I will be selfish this year. And so it goes…

I’ve been going through my old notebooks the last few days. Trying to stir up a few ideas for a new book. I read a quote, can’t remember who it’s from, but the thought stuck with me. It was about how in writing we risk seeing that we are lesser beings that we had hoped. This is the exact opposite of how most of us live our lives, trying to present the best face we have, pretending things are great when they are not, pretending we are perfect when we are not. I think that is why I love reading and writing so much. It allows the muck of the world in. It allows us to see how things really are. And to be okay with it. Allows us to say, we are trying our best and sometimes that best isn’t so great.

This is not to say I am not happy. I am quite content at the moment. To be sitting here in my writing room. Playing around with ideas. The most fun part of the writing process. But there are also sorrows in my life. Disappointments. Grief. Struggle (haha, my autocorrect just changed “struggle” to “snuggle.” Maybe I need some autocorrect in my life…) Things I will use in my writing. Or not.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I planned to write about the holidays and how it was a busy time with friends and family. About how we moved last year, sold our house, moved our furniture across the country. How I finished my new novel, Dan Versus Nature and how I was looking forward to it being released in the spring. About Star Wars, and travel to England, and Sidney Crosby, and new iPads and the first snow of the winter…

But, like so many plans… like so many resolutions. Maybe next blog.

Happy New Year. I promise I’ll be more focused next time. Unless I’m not.