Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Publication News: Pocket Forest!

Guys, I have a job. I've been scuttling through security doors, arranging and rearranging the pens on my desk, and becoming engrossed in projects. There's even a break area with a hot water machine! Be still my tea-loving heart.

I'm still adjusting to having a full schedule and making the most of my time once I'm home. And despite all this excitement, there's something even more wonderful I'm about to share.

Come September, my chapbook, Pocket Forest, is going to be published.

The publisher is Deathless Press, focused on spreading the fairy tale love with handmade chapbooks. You may remember that I wrote a review about the first three books back in May; check it out to get a feel for the kinds of chapbooks Deathless Press publishes.

Pocket Forest will be sold through Etsy with a limited number of copies for the first print run. Get 'em while they're hot!

So what is Pocket Forest about, anyway?


There's a terrible boarding school, ghostly hunting dogs, trains, themed cafes, photographs, mori girl fashion, city life, death, rubies, stealing, a porcelain deer, and a girl who dreams of exploring the forest while a boy tries desperately to escape it.

In anticipation of Pocket Forest's upcoming release, I'll be working on posting some fun stuff, including a Pinterest board, playlist, and site.

I can't wait for you guys to read this chapbook!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reading Machine

Ever had that moment when you come home with  new book swaddled inside a plastic bag, begging for a prime spot on your bookshelf... and then you stare in horror as the packed shelves, some even piled up with books squished between each other? Yep, that's me.

I know I've mentioned my lack of shelf space before, but summer's a great time to make a dent in your reading list - and donate whatever books don't meet your fancy.

If anyone's keeping tabs on my Goodreads account, you'll see that I've been serious about reading and clearing space on my bookshelves. I feel like I'm holding a new book every day, sniffing the pages and admiring the fonts. After writing for so hard and long in grad school, it's been a wonderful experience to put reading first for a while, allowing myself to explore other enchanting and dangerous worlds, fall in love with dashing boys, and cheer on smart, brave heroines.

But with a lot of reading comes the (often hilarious) hazards. Especially when you're adopting new books while clearing out the old ones.

I tweeted about this a few days ago, but I had a funny experience at a local store that sells used books. After scanning their dusty shelves, I found five books that I'd either been meaning to take out of the library (for years... yeah, I'm lazy) or that I've pined for my own copy of.

So I gathered these books up, stood in line, and met a big non-reader manning the cash register.

I put my books down and fished through my wallet for some dollars. And the lady working the register looked at my books with a mixture on confusion and disgust.

Cashier: "What are you gonna do with these?"
Me: ... read them.

What. For a second there, my brain stalled and wondered what exactly you could use a book for besides reading. I've heard of people (surely mustache-twirling villains) who tear up books for craft projects. If you're buying books to give to other people for gifts, that's surely good, though the books will eventually be read - if not by you, then by someone else.

My stunned response must have sparked something in her. The cashier started studying my books, examining each cover. Among the other books, I had found a baby names book. I already have one, and in a pinch, am guilty of using online databases when I'm not near my bookshelf. However, it's been years since I got a new baby names book, so I chose this one (get ready for future awesomely-named characters, guys). She picked up the baby names book, looked pointedly at my stomach, and asked me why I was buying it.

Did that just happen? My stomach is as flat as a board (Thank you, Wii Fit Plus), so her confusion only mounted.

Me: I'm a writer. I need this book to find names for my characters.
Cashier: ... *raises eyebrow*
Me: ...
Me: ...
Cashier... that'll be $8.03

I left the store feeling a little shaken, a laugh bubbling up in my throat. As much as people talk about the loss of readers these days, I've never really believed it. Everyone reads something - even if it's just Sports Illustrated or the back of a cereal box - and every once in a while a book will come along that they'll want to bring home. It happens. My aunt reads only best sellers. My dad browses business books an biographies. But I haven't met a real non-reader in a long time. It's like meeting an alien from another planet.

So here I am, trying to read a book a day, and squeezing in writing time when I can. I've been utterly delighted by some of these books, while others had won my heart until they gutted it on the very last page (the WORST!). With each page I read, I feel more refreshed, and the blank document that blinks its ugly one-eyed cursor at me becomes friendly and a little playful.

I may not have traveled to England this summer, but I've been a great many magical places via my bursting bookcase.