A 7th grade noir detective. A femme – er, fille - fatale. A PTA mafia. Not your average mystery.
Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye comes out in ebook on March 2nd, which is this Friday, and also my birthday! (The paperback version will be out later this month, for anyone who’d rather have a physical copy. Or, you know, both–I won’t stop you.) The ebook is $3.99 and will be available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Smashwords. I did not know you could buy books on Goodreads, but apparently you can!
To celebrate the release, I’m going to have a Twitter contest and am giving away 10 epub copies and 1 grand prize of an epub and a signed paperback, once it’s available. The contest will start on Friday and run through Sunday, and all you’ll have to do to enter is RT the contest tweet (which I will be posting here and tweeting on Friday). You can RT the contest tweet once per day to get extra entries (up to 3 total). Winners will be posted on the blog on Monday!
I announced some exclusive information about the Renegade X sequel over at Laura’s Review Bookshelf, mainly that there WILL be one. Head over and check out my post to find out what this means for readers and what the book’s about.
Also head over there to enter to win a special annotated copy of The Rise of Renegade X! I’ve gone through a copy of the book and scribbled behind the scenes notes and drawn pictures all over it. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for the Renegade X lover or aspiring writer in your life, if you, you know, aren’t selfish like me and wouldn’t want it for yourself. Three runners up will also win swag packs. The contest runs from now until December 11th, so go check it out!
Here are a few teaser pics of the annotated book:
I was using the Neti Pot just now and Teisel, the 20lb Bengal, decided the saline solution flowing out my nose was the best thing ever. :/ I was like, “GO AWAY!” and he was like, “OM NOM NOM” and wouldn’t go away. I tried letting the solution drip on him, but that didn’t faze him, he just flicked his ear a little. So he’s there, crowding the sink, while The Kitten is off in the corner, mewling and making noise, and I’m still like, “OMG, GO AWAY!” and nobody was going away. Teisel wasn’t going to leave his wonderful new fountain that was COMING OUT OF MY NOSE. :/ And then I was like snorting out the excess solution in between pourings, and Teisel was still cool with that (OM NOM NOM), and then Kitten came over to watch and was all fascinated, like me using Neti Pot was even more interesting than watching the toilet flush, and meanwhile Teisel’s still crowding the sink and refusing to be pushed away. At that point the Neti Pot was mostly empty anyway and I gave up. Once I turned the water on to rinse everything out, Teisel bolted, though Kitten stayed, so as not to miss out on any more fascinating water movements. These cats, I tell you!
P.S. Just so everybody knows, he didn’t really drink very much of the saline solution, and I totally rinsed out the sink afterwards so he can’t go back for more.
Since I started my yarn diet, I’ve been buying more books instead of yarn. I suspect at the end of the yarn diet I will need a book diet, but there are worse things to need a diet from. *glances accusingly at fridge* Anyway, here’s what I’ve got to read right now.
Bought from my trip to B&N last night:
Red Riding Hood – yeah, like the movie. It’s not exactly a tie-in, because while the director was working on the movie, she asked her friend to write a novel version, so they’re kind of simultaneous. Or something like that. Anyway, the writing is decent enough, though there’s some head hopping. I’m only a couple chapters in, so hopefully it will deliver on being dark and scary and maybe sexay.
Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out by Lee Goldberg – Number 10 in the Monk series (based on the TV show). This series is amazing. I was skeptical the first time I picked one up, but it’s just as funny and well done as the show.
Library (all ebooks):
Mr. Monk is in Trouble and Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop by Lee Goldberg – books 8 and 9 in the series, which I haven’t read yet but thought I would before reading 10. It turns out the library had them on ebook so I snatched them up.
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston – I don’t know much about this book, other than it’s about a teen werewolf trying to solve a mystery and prove his dad was framed for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood. (And now I have one of those moments where I go, “Huh… am I, like, into werewolf books?? Or just little red riding hood books?”) This book could be awesome or it could be awful, or it could be awful in an awesome way, which is sometimes my kind of awesome.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I’ve been hearing SO MANY good things about this book. I read a sample on my nook and loved it, so I don’t doubt that I’ll become a member of the Anna fan club. (Or is it a St. Clair fan club?)
Want want want:
Warped by Maurissa Guibord – I like to refer for Maurissa as “My Elevensie” because she was the Elevensie who interviewed me about Renegade X. And her book is about a UNICORN TAPESTRY and VERY OLD BOOKS and there might even be a HOT BOY. *ahem* Anyway, I read the ebook sample on my nook and I am in lurve. Will buy as soon as I get through some of the above books and don’t feel overwhelmed.
As for my yarn diet… I had 199 skeins, BUT that’s not including the skeins that are still supposedly on their way to me in the mail. (And there’s also the skein I need to finish up the commission I’m working on, but that doesn’t count.) Which will bring it up to 204. And then I finished the hat I was making, and since I didn’t count any skeins that were literally attached to working projects, but then had leftover yarn when I cut the strings… that adds another three to my list. So, my real total is 207. O__o (Remind me not to finish any more projects…) BUT I used up one giant skein of peach, so I’m at 206. I’m making a lace blanket that was in Vogue’s knit.1 last summer. It looks good in pastels and uses giant needles, so I used up my peach skein (which *might* smell kind of like bug spray from sitting at my parents’ house, soaking in cigarette smoke, for 30 years) and now am using two pink skeins at once. I haven’t done a lot of knitting with two strands at the same time, but I figured now was a good time to experiment, especially since my goal is to use up yarn, not save it for later. I kind of like it. Next I’m hoping to do something with crochet.
Yesterday I participated in a book discussion and signing with fellow Washington Tenners, Karen Kincy, Denise Jaden, Mindi Scott, and Kimberly Derting. We all had a great time, answered questions for over an hour, and signed some books.
Ignore how weird I look in this pic. I do not photograph well, nor can I smile on cue. And that’s Karen’s pooka sitting on my shoulder. (Though in the picture it’s kind of hard to see and could maybe be mistaken for a clawed hand or something. But I assure you, it’s a cute little pooka.)
I don’t know how well you can see the hat I’m wearing in the picture, so here’s a close-up. It was really easy to make and think it turned out pretty good:
I got lazy after I made the first leaf and looked up how to make vines, but I’m glad I did because vines are awesome and vines hanging off of hats are extra awesome.
Not just October, but almost the middle of October. Definitely past the 1/4 point at any rate.
You know what I didn’t realize until just the other day? That fall smell–the kind of weird sweetish smell that smells really good–is actually the leaves that have fallen to the ground. Who knew? Okay, everyone knew but me because I know I’ve read books where the characters will mention the smell of the leaves, and I was always like, “Wha? The leaves have a smell? Why have I never smelled this?” At the same time, I’ve been wondering for over a decade what kind of plant made that wonderful smell in the fall and why I could never actually *find* it. Well, now the mystery is solved.
Occasionally I dream that my pets that have died over the years are still alive and it turns out I’ve been not feeding them for years (since I haven’t been in real life, since they’re, you know, dead). Last night was a double whammy because I dreamed both the dog and all the fish were still alive and I was so horrified to find out I’d been neglecting all of them for so long.
Also I discovered that students can get a year’s subscription to Amazon Prime for FREE. Which is awesome because I happen to be a student right now and because students really need that free two day shipping. I don’t think I’ve ever had the money to buy books before financial aid or loans or whatever shows up, and that’s never until after school’s started (sometimes several days after). So yay for that!
I watched a trailer for Diablo III last night. There were copious amounts of drool. I’d pre-order it if it had an actual release date (maybe it does, but I didn’t see one on Amazon). What I am thinking about pre-ordering (and by “thinking about” I mean “totally going to”) is Epic Mickey. It looks so awesome and creepy.
Yep, it’s that time again! Back to school, and today was my first day at the University of Washington.
But, Chelsea, didn’t you claim you were NEVER GOING TO SCHOOL AGAIN?
Ha… ha… Did I say that? I might have maybe said something like that once or… lots of times. Ahem. But nevertheless I am back in school, taking more Latin classes to improve my language skills while I apply to grad school for next fall.
The UW campus, it turns out, is freaking gorgeous! It was so beautiful. All the buildings are very majestic and look like castles and cathedrals. It was a nice sunny day while also smelling crisp like fall, and there were orange and red autumn leaves drifting off the trees. It was amazing, and at first I was worried I wouldn’t have anything to do, since I got there an hour early, but I was more than happy to wander around campus, checking out the scenery and my new academic digs, so to speak.
Latin class was fun. Though I think I may have made the Roman Drama teacher think I’m an idiot, because after class I stopped to ask her if we really *needed* to buy the books or if we could just print off the texts from the internet (the beauty of reading thousands of year old texts–no copyrights), and she explained how useful the comments in the books were and how the editor put in all the meter marks in the text. I wanted to mention that I had a degree and had taken poetry composition classes and knew how to read meter, and had also read comedy before, and that I wasn’t trying to get out of learning, just save money, but I couldn’t think of a good way to say it, so I figured I’d better keep my mouth shut. But then I had to go and ask how the class works and if we read through the lines on our own and then come to class and read together, and at that point I think she thought I was a complete noob instead of someone trying to make sure they weren’t going to embarrass themselves by not knowing this particular school’s routine. Ah, well.
I’ve also been chipping away at my self-imposed Shades of Rome revisions. I put this book down a couple months ago because I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore and I was *sure* that all my revisions were stupid and just mucking everything up instead of helping. Well, okay, I wasn’t *sure*, but that was the problem, not being sure. Maybe they were awesome or maybe they sucked and I just couldn’t tell anymore. So I had to set it aside, and then it was like eating too much of something where later you can’t stand to even look at that food without wanting to barf. But, um, a few weeks ago I started reading it again and it turns out the revisions I made are leaning much more towards the “this is awesome!” side than the sucks side. I was actually really happy with them–I couldn’t put it down–so now I just need to finish putting an ending on it, since the old one had to go.
Oh, yeah, and since the last time I blogged (note to self: blog more, for reals this time) I took the GRE! I’d been studying for it for about six weeks, and after a while I realized I was treating it as if I was preparing for battle. Which I guess I was, but still. It was pretty grueling and took me three and a half hours. But I think I did a decent job on the essay section, and I got a 700 on the verbal and 610 on the math sections. Not bad, I say, and it put me a little over my goal. *phew* So now I just have to write a kick-ass personal statement, get recommendation letters, and, oh yeah, figure out which schools I want to apply to besides the University of Washington.
You may remember this post I made one year ago today about my fall visitor, Mr. Ugly P. Umpkin. Well, his visit turned into not just a fall visit but an extended stay. You might say Mr. Umpkin has lost his edge now that he’s left the p-patch, but you might also say that his still being here, alive and raising trouble a year later, just goes to show how bad-ass he is! After all, he is one tough pumpkin, and don’t you forget it. Nothing gets him down, not even time.
Here he is, a little older, a little wiser, and a little more yellowed:
|From Drop Box|
For some reason I always thought Labor Day was some kind of war holiday, like Memorial or Veterans Day. It’s only today that it occurred to me it might have something to do with, you know, labor and work and stuff. Anyway, complete coincidence but today I also focused on not slacking off and actually getting some work done. And I mean getting up and doing writing work and then taking a break and then doing more work. The hard part isn’t always the getting started, it’s starting back up after you’ve had a little time to congratulate yourself on the morning’s work, but then eventually you have to stop congratulating and face the fact that you really need to sit down and do SOME MORE of it before you’ve really earned your pat on the back for the day.
But anyway, today I didn’t slack off, so today I feel good. Also I found out that ALL of my shows are returning this fall. Finding out one of your shows isn’t coming back is like getting a lump of coal in your stocking.
For anyone who’s interested–cause I’m sure this is riveting stuff–these are my shows, in no particular order:
Life Unexpected (well, this is *probably* one of my shows, since I’m still only partway through season one)
I have a love/hate relationship with Parenthood, which I noticed is also still on. I really can’t stand that show. I hate everybody on it. I hate the lessons the show tries but fails to teach. It is BARF. But… also I love to hate it and for a while couldn’t stop watching it even though it pissed me off every time. Probably because besides being all those things I said, it’s also really JUICY. And juicy is addicting. It’s like one of those pop songs you hate but can’t stop humming to yourself. (And yeah, I thought I would love it because it has Lauren Graham and is made by Ron Howard, but sometimes these things just happen.)
Oh man, I am all about ebooks. For a while I was uncertain, and I was like, “AGH, but WHAT IF all the books become ebooks and what if it happens before my paper book is supposed to come out and I never get to, like, sign a real copy of my book?!?!?!” Which is total debut author freakout nonsense and A. not a real threat and B. not all that important in the grand scheme of things. I mean, I *don’t* want all books to become ebooks or only ebooks or whatever. But I’m over my authorly nervousness at never getting to hold/sign physical copies of something I wrote (you’ve signed one, you’ve signed them all, I always say), and having had my nook for about a month now, OMG I am so in love with ebooks.
First off, I really love the nook. I did tons of research on ereaders last winter and am still something of a walking ereader encyclopedia. (Note that last winter I was working like mad on a novel. This is what I do when I’m procrastinating–I obsessively research things I might want to buy.) Anyway, I decided the nook was for me, but I was still a little bit nervous about spending that much on something I wouldn’t *really* know whether I loved or not until I had it in my hot not-so-little hands. But I have to tell you that I absolutely love it. Here, allow me to count the ways.
1. I love that the words look like they’re on paper, *but they’re not.* This is way cool. Obviously. And it doesn’t hurt my eyes, at least no more than reading regular books would, and certainly hurts less than staring at a computer screen.
2. I love the way the buttons click when I turn the page. I mean it. LOVE. I like pushing buttons and I am especially pleased by buttons that click. Add to that the fact that I have to press said button fairly often–over a hundred times per book–and I am in some kind of button-pushing paradise.
3. I love that I don’t have to worry how big the text is printed or if the publisher tried to cram too many words on the pages of the paperback version or whatever. There have been books I’ve passed up in the past because the layout of the text was too hard to read or was just not aesthetically pleasing. But now I don’t have that problem. I haven’t had to yet, but I could change the font or the font size if I wanted to.
4. I love that I can get library books without having to leave my couch. (Assuming my laptop and my connector cord are in reach.) And, er, even if I do have to get up off the couch, I don’t have to leave the house. And I don’t have to leave the house to return the books either. The same goes for buying books. And with buying books, I find it amazingly freeing that the “store” is never going to be out of the book I want (like when the B&N website said that my local store had Pretty Little Liars book 5, but when I got there, they only had 1-4 and 7-8 and I was DISAPPOINTED), and the buying them online is instant because they don’t have to come in the mail.
Another thing I like about ebooks is that I can’t accidentally bend the pages all wonky, which I have a tendency to do. I can, however, in my constantly pressing too hard on things way, push a little too hard on the bottom edges of the nook and turn the little color screen on when I don’t mean to. I’m guessing this wouldn’t be a problem for most people, though.
The back of the nook is supposed to feel like a real book, to simulate holding one in your hand. This makes me think of those things you get to train your cats to use the toilet, the ones you put on the seat that are supposed to make the cats feel like they’re digging in litter even when they’re not. I don’t know if the back of the nook feels just like a book, but it feels okay. I have no qualms with it.
The nook also comes with chess and sudoku. I could care less about the chess, but I’ve become kind of addicted to sudoku, which eats up the battery because you have to use the touch screen so much. But, you know, I could also just not play. If I was some kind of superhuman person with the strength to say no.
I *do* worry that I’ll get all into ebooks and then there’ll be an apocalypse that kills all forms of electricity and then I won’t be able to charge it in order to read and THEN won’t I be sorry I ever read digital books instead of the kind I grew up with. But also I figure if there’s some kind of apocalypse that wipes out all our electrical outlets and such, then I’ll probably have bigger problems than how to charge my nook.