Did you know next week is Valentine's Day? Already?!
And with that out of the way, the Friday five:
1. Huge congrats and awesome sparkly things to my friend and amazing author Crystal Allen, who was chosen as the Thurber House Writer in Residence for this coming summer! This is a huge honor and Crystal is wonderful writing coach and teacher, as well as the author of lovely MG/tween-ish titles HOW LAMAR's BAD PRANK WON HIM A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY and THE LAURA LINE, both from our mutual publisher, Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins. Read more about it HERE
2. Author lunches. With cake. And industry talk. Went to one yesterday and I'm feeling recharged and focused. And not just because of the cake. Writing is such a solitary activity. It's easy to be neurotic some days. Most days. Well, maybe that's just me, but I don't think so. Anyway, it's always a true gift to hang out with other people who are battling the same battles.
3. Okay, so maybe possibly Scandal has jumped the shark for me with this new #saveOlivia plot. Because seriously? The most powerful man in the world is afraid of the VP and all his crazy machinations? Not working for me. Not even as over the top satire, which I don't think Shonda Rimes means it to be. If you do, Shonda, then, okay. Cool. Your dialogue is still stunning. But the plot is the kind of thing that I fear my editors would toss back at me and say, really? I was, however, relieved that Olivia was able to get a clean outfit and have her hair blown out. Although honestly, I like Olivia's hair when it's gone rogue. Just clean it up and it's just fine. But I know that's not Olivia. Which is a whole interesting discussion of its own, perhaps for another day.
4. So excited for two other author friends! The very kind and very talented Michael Northrop has a new series out, TOMB QUEST, from Scholastic. And book one, Book of Dead, just debuted on the NYTimes Bestseller's List! Hooray!!! You can grab a copy at your favorite bookstore. Or one of my favorites, Blue Willow: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/node/76350
And the delightful Cory Oakes from Austin has a new middle grade out from Sourcebooks, DINOSAUR BOY! http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/node/77457
5. Getting excited for two upcoming book festivals: Montgomery County Book Festival, north of Houston in The Woodlands will be 2/21. I get to hang out with a bunch of my favorite authors and bloggers and readers and librarians. And the two keynotes are both authors I admire so greatly: Ellen Hopkins and Andrew Smith. So hooray for that! Then on 2/28, it's off to Corpus Christi for the first ever Teen Book Fest by the Bay!
And now that I just spilled my coffee, I'd say it's time to go.