keep holding on giveaway

TGIM! Or not. The good thing about falling back yesterday was getting that one extra hour. But the bad thing? Was going from sunset at 5:49 to 4:48 in one day. Ew. I do not enjoy sunset being at four-something. As much as I hate to admit it, the three darkest months of the year are officially upon us. Which means we need to find light in other ways. Like by doing more things that make us happy.

Something that makes me happy is giving away books. And guess what I have?

ARCs of Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

That’s right! ARCs of Keep Holding On are out! To celebrate, I’m giving one away on Twitter.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Tweet this:

Win an ARC of KEEP HOLDING ON! Follow @susanecolasanti and RT to enter. Giveaway info here: http://tinyurl.com/khoarc

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be completed by Friday, November 11 at 11:11 pm. My contests always end at 11:11, but this one will end at 11:11 on 11.11.11. Epic!

2. Only one RT per entrant will be counted.

3. I will announce the winner on Twitter on Monday, November 14.

4. The winner will have two days to email me (susanecolasanti[at]gmail[dot]com) their full name and mailing address. If a response is not received in time, an alternate winner will be selected.

5. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

Good luck!

cute

You know how people come up with genius ideas like Post-its or magnetic poetry or Facebook and you’re like, “Dang, I wish I’d thought of that!” Well, here’s another one: Child’s Own Studio. They take children’s drawings and turn them into stuffed animals. How cute is that?

And how cute are these penguins?

Penguin sweater cuteness

These buddies were affected by the recent New Zealand oil spill. Their tiny sweaters were actually protecting them from the oil. Crude oil from a spill breaks down penguins’ natural oils that protect them from the cold and provide waterproofing. Wearing a sweater keeps a penguin warm and reduces the amount of crude oil he swallows while preening. The response to the New Zealand oil spill from knitters around the world was so overwhelming that Skeinz, the yarn store that has been collecting penguin sweaters, says they’re currently no longer in need. But if you’re a knitter and would like to contribute to future endeavors, here are the official penguin sweater instructions.

Speaking of cute, I’ve discovered a super cute book blog. Willa’s Ramblings interviewed me about the Knowing, the importance of never giving up, and why I write for teens. Thanks for the fun interview, Willa!

Something that wasn’t cute? Was when this first draft I’m working on whipped out its Freddy claws. So not cool, first draft. Little did it know I had a powerful card in my back pocket. I totally whipped out NaNoWriMo. Booyah! In your FACE first draft! I’m feeling way better about this struggle knowing that a bunch of you are struggling right along with me, all of us working toward the same goal. And hey, even if we can’t print out a complete manuscript and smack it down on the table with a resounding thud (always my favorite part) on November 30, we will have more than we have now. And that is a very good thing.

May your weekend be productive – and brimming with cute!

11.1.11

Greeting on this auspicious day of a shiny new month! 11.1.11 has magical powers. I’ll be making wishes at 11:11 am and 11:11 pm. And don’t even get me started on 11.11.11. Most epic wish ever!

This is also the first day of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it’s known in the writing community. Are you working on a novel? Then please join me! I’m working on a first draft that’s currently kicking my butt. There comes a point in every first draft when I hit a wall. That’s where I am right now. Splattered flat up against a concrete wall. But! Knowing some of you are also working on a first draft helps. We can do this, you guys. First drafts always get in my face like this. And they always get written. So if the idea of writing an entire first draft in one month scares you, know that I’m scared right along with you. Let’s just take it one day at a time.

Maybe it’s the desperate sensation that comes with being splattered flat up against a concrete wall, but I was thinking of taking an Internet break last weekend. I usually don’t go online at all when I’m away on vacay. But it’s been a while since I’ve gone away. I felt in need of a refresher. Guess what? The Universe totally read my mind! That freak snowstorm we had caused an outage. Which meant I was offline for 48 hours. A two-day break from the online Noise Bubble was just what I needed. A ton of stuff got done around here. When I was a teacher, I used to tell my kids that less TV = more time to do what they wished they had time to do. Same goes for the Internet. It’s good to take a break now and then, IMHO.

What else has been going on? I finally saw Bridesmaids. People kept telling me how good it was. People were right. So. Freaking. GOOD. I was not at all surprised to discover that Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig directed it.

Nick Andopolis Lady L single

Yet another example of the unparalleled brilliance of Paul Feig. That part where Kristen Wiig is watching Cast Away and crying when Wilson is lost at sea? Is the same part I always cry over. Which is why it was so emotional when I got to meet the real Wilson in LA!

Okay, time to peel myself off the wall, brush myself off, and finish this first draft with all of you NaNoWriMo enthusiasts. One thing I find helpful to keep the inspiration alive is surrounding myself with music and artifacts that I’m including in the book I’m writing. This new book has some heavy 80s influences. So I’ve been playing lots of classic 80s music. And I’m kicking it old-school by reconnecting with my 14-year-old self’s musical obsession, New Kids on the Block. Back when Joey Joe and me were sitting in a tree. Joey McIntyre’s voice change was a BFD in my world. I love how it produced three different versions of my all-time fave New Kids song, “Please Don’t Go Girl.” There’s the original version (recorded in 1987):

Then there’s the Voice Change version with everyone singing in a lower register. This clip is from 1988 or 89. Note the clueless audience (who apparently existed before things like waving your hands in the air or clapping were invented) and Joey and Jordan cracking up at the absence of clue around 3:20. Finally, we have the Grown and Sexy version from when NKOTB reunited. As much as I loved Joey’s high-pitched adorableness, his grown man voice is mad impressive. Bonus clip: New Kids on GMA in 1989. Did we really dress like that with the slouchy white socks and loafers and oversized Cosby sweaters? Unfortunately. But hey, it’s fun to look back on that fashionably heinous time and just laugh.

Here we go. Brush self off. Finish first draft. Who’s with me?