First-ever Friday Five

Friday, March 26, 2010

1. I knew we'd get one more cold snap, but I think it's over now. No, I know it's over now. We're in the 50s again out here, and we'll hit 70 next week* -- they tell us -- which means I can now call winter as over, unequivocally. In fact, I'll put my parka in the attic this weekend. How's that?!

2. Soon, it will be April. On the first, besides all the fooling that will go on, Beth's mother-in-law will be coming for a visit. We're all very excited, but none of us as excited as my mom herself. That's because she hasn't seen her grandson since Thanksgiving or so, I think. So you can imagine.

3. Also in early April, I'll be premiering the trailer I made for The Absolute Value of -1. That entry here at the Exile will also be the last chance to enter the big ARC giveaway contest. Yes, it has been going on for almost six months. The time does fly, doesn't it? You will recall that included in the prize package is an ARC of |-1| signed by several Tenners and a hardcover, final signed copy of Dia Reeves's crazy excellent debut Bleeding Violet. I'll also throw in a signed poster, 'cause why the heck not, and I'll also choose a couple of runners-up to also receive signed posters, also 'cause why the heck not!

4. Count the "also's"! There are several.

5. I have never done a Friday five, but if you count this paragraph I just started, this is totally five paragraphs, so I'm going to go back up and number these things and call it my first-ever Friday Five! Hot dog!

*That weird picture is the cover of the Flaming Lips album Oh My Gawd!!, and if you click it you can hear their song "Can't Stop the Spring," which was on in my car that time I hit a dog, a year ago next Thursday the first.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some big announcements today--relative to recent announcements, anyway. But first, to sum up:

On Saturday, the honorable Kurtis Scaletta alerted me to the fact that local YA author Swati Avasthi was reading at the Loft from her just-released debut SPLIT. I went to the reading. It was fantastic. I'm not far into the book yet, but so far it's superbly and vividly written. Great voice, serious subject matter handled well. I recommend it! Of course, I got my new copy signed by the author while I was there and we chatted a bit. It's nice to live in a town (err, twin town) with such a strong community of writers for young people. In fact, I'm at the Loft right now. My class begins in 90 minutes or so.

What have I been doing down here all afternoon? Well, I've finished my first read-through of YA MS the Second, and it . . . wants for much, let's say. I like it, mind you. I really do. It's even okay in some places where I thought it was utter garbage. But there's this one interesting character in particular who literally vanishes after page like 15, never to return. I ask you: wtf.

Okay, so, on to fun announcements. I'm nearly ready to end the signed ARC contest, but I'm going to give one more chance to enter, and this one will be the biggy--LOTS of chances for entries, such that previous entries will seem like chicken feed, kind of like that bonus round on the Family Feud. Watch for details on that in the next few days.

And finally, BEA! I'll be there, signing on Wednesday late afternoon. But even more exciting is the Carolrhoda LAB big event on Monday night. It's a swanky, invite-only affair, and I'll be (gulp) at the front of the room waxing intellectually with the AE. What, me worry?

Poster winner!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The winner of the autographed THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 poster is . . .

Cari, I'll be emailing you soon to get an address to send this to.

Thanks to everyone for entering, and I'll without a doubt be giving away a LOT more posters in the near future. So check back!

Pizza, last chance for the poster

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm reading YA MS the Second right now. The first half? Totally stellar. I love it! The second half? A mess: a thin, watery mess.

Here's an update about pizza.

I had lunch at Hiawatha Pizza today for the first time in ages. It's as good as it was, all that, but there were bad signs. One: the slices are now one-sixth of a pie, rather than the previous and traditional one-eighth. This concerns me because the price is the same, and I wonder if the owner feels like he needs to up the value to improve sales. Two: he didn't, at around noon, have change for a twenty. If during a weekday lunch rush, a pizza shop doesn't have enough small bills to break a twenty, it means there is no lunch rush.

In other news, you may have seen me tweet that I finished the trailer for |-1|. I love it. The AE and his team love it. But I can't show it to you yet. I'm dying to show it to you. I can't.

Give me three weeks. Maybe less.

Oh, and I'll announce the winner of the autographed poster really soon. Like, tomorrow, probably. Last chance to pop over there (to the previous entry) and enter.

ARCs and giveaways!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday morning! Sam and I are awake and just sort of hanging around. Beth went back to bed for a couple of hours. We all need to catch up on sleep, and sometimes we have to do it in shifts.

Later on today, I'll finally get back to work on the trailer for |-1|. I don't know if I'll have the time to get it done. In fact, it's been so long since I touched it, I'll probably spend most of the time just sort of reacquainting myself with the project.

In other |-1| news, I have ARCs! I only got a small handful personally, and the rest are jetting off to review types the country over. So that's exciting and frightening. But the point is, as far as what's relevant here, is that one copy of my ARC is now flying off to Heidi R. Kling, author of the gorgeous SEA, and thence to Dia Reeves, and Kristin Walker, and Jennifer Hubbard . . . for their autographs! And that means that finally -- FINALLY -- the big ARC giveaway can be decided!

I'll post one more opportunity to enter in the near future, but for now I want to give away something. So how about a couple of autographed posters?! They're not very big, but hey, they're free and cool as heck, right?

So, I'll pick a random commenter on this entry, with an extra entry if you Tweet the contest. Here's what they look like!

Anyone in the US or Canada can enter! Do it today!

Carolrhoda Lab, and my cover!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just a quick note here to announce the launch of Carolrhoda Lab, a new imprint within Carolrhoda. This fall, it will debut with four new YA titles, including THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1.

I'm also taking this opportunity to reveal the cover, final only for what feels like hours. To see all of it, click on through to Carolrhoda Lab's new site. Tell 'em Steve-O sent ya.

The song has changed

Monday, March 1, 2010

Every so often, I get completely obsessed with a song*. I'm talking repeat-track setting on iTunes for hours at a time. HOURS, literally. That isn't hyperbole. Of course, before iTunes, there was the single-repeat setting on my CD player.

When I say "every so often," I mean it might be once or twice a year, or it might be every several years. For example, the last time this happened (until today) was with the New Pornographers' "The Laws Have Changed," from Electric Version. I still love it, but I doubt I could sit through more than, say, three playings. Anyway, that was 2003 or 2004, so six or seven years ago.

Today I am obsessed again, this time with "Dreams," by the Twilight Hours, whose name I loathe, by the way. Anyway, the band has a free download of the lo-fi version of their album at the website, so I downloaded that track and have listened to it no fewer than a fifty times today. It's playing right now.

*The song is almost never by the band with which I am concurrently obsessed. You will recall no doubt that the obsession band was recently the Ting Tings. They remain so.