Four Words


Y'all, I'm freaking out. Excuse my lack of wit/ability to blog semi-intelligently, BUT  I AM FUH-REAKING OUT.

There will be fun. There will be giveaways. There will be celebrations. But, for now, here's my announcement from Publishers Weekly:

I wish I had something cool or smart to say, but all I have to say is: THIS IS BANANA PANTS.

I am so excited to be working with everyone at Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. For the record, I fell out of my chair when I found out Alessandra was interested. It was really elegant.

And, of course, thank you, Molly. I need bigger words than "thank you," but, for today, that's all I've got.

Writing a book can be a lonely endeavor, and I haven't quite figured out how to process these moments just yet--when your writing becomes something bigger than a word doc on your desktop. But I know this: I am so ready for all that's ahead.
I'm going to go ugly cry now, but for the time being, enjoy one of my favorite "ugly cry" moments in the history of ever. Thank you, James Van Der Beek.

Also, feel free to leave any comments or questions in the box! I'll answer what I can! And thank you all so much. This is such an incredible community and I am so honored to be a part of it.


An Open Love Letter to My Querying Friends

Robert Indiana Love SculptureThe last couple of weeks have been so exciting for so many of my sweet friends. Lots of folks out there are getting agented, and to you I say HUZZAH! But this post is not for you, this post is written for my friends in the trenches. This isn't advice. This isn't the Top Ten Things You Must Do To Get The Agent Of Your Dreams. This is me telling you how much I love you.

Allow me to preface this with one more thing: I am the critique partner of your nightmares. I'm not cuddly and undeservingly gushy. I am a hardass. Seriously, ask my critique partners. I am a realist. So I write this letter because my heart is soft for those of you who have done the research, done the work, and put yourself out there and still hear the word no. This letter is not for the querying writer who addresses their letter with "Dear Agent" or calls themselves the next J.K. Rowling.

To My Querying Friends:

I fucking love you. I love you so hard. I love you so hard because you're still going. And going is not easy. Going is really freaking heartbreaking. Going is an emotional roller coaster. Going is even harder when things are happening for everyone around you. It's hard because you want so badly to be happy for all you're uber talented friends, but that little voice inside still asks, "When will it be my turn?" Every agent success story is a happy dance on the outside, but a little more salt on the open wound that lives on the inside.

I'm talking to those of you who live for the betterment of your story, ask all the right questions during #askagent, don't write for trends, workshop the shit out of your query before even letting it get within ten feet of an agents inbox, and all those other good things that will someday make you an exemplary client. Because you are doing this right. And because you are doing this right, IT (the big elusive IT) will happen for you. It may not be this book, and it may not be the next, but someday THE agent will find THE book and that book will be YOUR book.

I once wrote a blog about how rejection is personal, so I felt like "don't take it personal" was total bullshit.  And I still do. But when an agent tells you this is a subjective business and that their rejection may be another persons offer, they are telling you the truth. It really is all subjective, and you. my querying friends, may not be getting rejected for personal reasons, but you still take it personal. Because all of this IS personal. Your writing is personal. It's not a phase and it's not a fair weather days thing. It's personal. It's something that lives inside of you that you're brave enough to not only put on paper, but also show people who have the power to say no to you. You write because you have to. If this was just for fun, then you wouldn't be where you are right now. Because where you are right now, in the slushpile, isn't really all that fun. And because of all that you are my hero. If I could add up all your rejections and shower them across the writing world so that we all carried one another's rejections, I would. 

So that's my big cheesy love letter to you. That's my silly bit of sentiment that in no way changes anything, but I hope it makes you smile.



Camp NaNoWriMo, Laundry, Popsicles, & Gourmet Olives or A royal cat and his merry band of cherubs.

Does anyone else feel like there's a lot of pressure associated with blogging? Sometimes I'll really be in the mood to blog, but won't because I feel like I have nothing valuable to say. So today, I'm here to officially say, THAT IS SILLY. And also, this is going to be a really long blog. Well at least it is right now--in my head.

First order of business: Camp NaNoWriMo or WTF is wrong with me?
So I found out about Camp NaNoWriMo all of ten hours before it started. Now I don't go all out and prepare things before I sit down to write, but I do like to mull things over for a few weeks before I dedicate my time to something. Or at least I think I do, I dunno I'm rediscovering my "process" everyday, so nothing is set in stone over at Camp Murphy. Anyway, going into NaNo I had two solid premises that I had already been taking long walks on the beach with for a while. But, I decided, NAY I SHALL START FROM SCRATCH. Mainly because I didn't want to rush either concepts I had been working with.

So like twenty minutes before I'm about to leave for work the day before NaNo, I say, HUSBAND, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS IDEA.
Note: Husband is kind and encouraging and cuddly and fluffy, but husband is never too gaga over anything I write. It's just not his style. So this was encouraging, and I knew that at the very least I might not bore myself. (Plus this is the only thing I've ever written that husband has asked to read as I write. Happy-making indeed.)

Husband proceeds to text and email me about said premise all day. So with no plot, and only a premise in my backpocket, I decided to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Again. Which actually, isn't so bad, but currently I'm transitioning between jobs  and am working both jobs. So, timing = bad. Julie = bananas.


It takes me a good 30 pages to decide how I feel about a manuscript, anyone else with me? So thirty pages in and I'm all voice, and no plot. But then last week it (the plot) came, in the night of course. And I wrote 10k in like a 30 hour window of time. I'm not one for trying it out the latest writing techniques/trends and I don't favorite ALL the writing advice in the world on Twitter, but when I read this 10k in one day article that's been circulating the web, I had to give it a go. I didn't technically do 10k in one day, but I upped my productivity by a bunch. A good day for me is 4k. I doubled it on that first day easily. Not only did I up my word count, but it was also some of my most polished and well thought out first draft material in...well...ever. The author who sent the internet into a frenzy with her 10k writing days is Rachel Aaron and you can read all about it on her blog. It's simple in theory, but not anything I ever took the time to do on my own. Not until the internet told me so. So as of yesterday, day 9 of NaNo, I am at 30k. And I am mighty happy.

Second order of business: I never learned how to be an adult or FEED ME COTTON CANDY.

You will gain nothing as a human being from reading this half of my post.

I was doing laundry today. ::gasp:: And I started to think about how I have no idea how the hell to do laundry. I sort of just dump everything in one load except reds because I've seen like 90 rom coms where the girl turns the guys whites pink.

I'm sure there was a time when my mom said, JULIE LET ME TEACH YOU HOW TO DO LAUNDRY. But teenage chubby girl Julie was too busy obsessing over the latest auditions at her high school or community theatre and day dreaming about all the roles she wanted so desperately to play. Unfortunately though, my wide birthing hips always had me cast as THE MOTHER... or Mrs. Beaver in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It could also be said that my Ally Sheedy from the Breakfast Club wardrobe didn't help much. Anyway. So I never really paid attention to how to do laundry and I think everything I learned about doing laundry came from watching Tide commercials. Also, grocery shopping. I can go grocery shopping and spend $45 on popsicles and gourmet olives, and think, I'M SET FOR TWO WEEKS. So what about you guys? Do any of you have memories of learning how to do laundry... or learning to be an adult? Or am I just a giant six year old?

Also I never posted about TLA, but it was great and I picked up more books than I could carry. Really, I did. And I got to see the lovely Siobhan Vivian!

If you're still trying to figure out the purpose of that cat picture... me too.