Rock the Drop

Teen Literature Day: Rock The Drop!

Today, Thursday, April 18th, 2013 is Teen Literature Day and what better way to celebrate then by participating in Readergirlz #RockTheDrop!

I had the great pleasure of doing this last year - and I have to say, it's one of my favorite days of the year!!!

The idea? Anyone who wants to support Teen Literature Day - be them a YA writer, author, or someone who just loves YA - picks out a Young Adult book or two of their choice, and drops them off someplace a teen (or someone that might know one) will find it. And voila! That's Rock The Drop!

It's hosted by the amazing girls over at Readergirlz and Figment - and in my opinion, is a great cause to support!

My two RockTheDrop selections this year: Sarah Dessen's THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and JUST LISTENThis year, I selected two Sarah Dessen books - THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and JUST LISTEN. 

I had originally planned on dropping each book off in a different location, but well, I live in Seattle, and it's about to pour down rain - so finding two ideal covered spaces is really hard to come by.

So I ended up keeping the two of them together and found a great spot - a covered park bench that faces the parking lot - right outside my local Starbucks where most of the teens stop by after school. 


I went in to Starbucks and grabbed my grande vanilla rooibos tea (man, do I miss coffee - it's been over ONE YEAR - can you believe it?) and by the time I came out, two woman were looking at the books and reading the letter I'd left inside. 

I RockedTheDrop outside my local Starbuck's in Maple Valley!I hope they find their way to a good home, encourage a teen to read a great book, and perhaps - who knows? - maybe pique their interest in writing someday. 

I love participating in this event - and look forward to doing it again next year! Don't forget to check out Readergirlz Facebook page to see all the awesomeness that's happening around the country - and find out how others RockedTheDrop today!

Did any of you participate in #RockTheDrop today? I'd love to hear about it!

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Day 12 - Letter L

Today's hot topic starts with the letter L on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge - and my topic:


I happen to have two absolutely a-mazing libraries within a 5 square-mile radius from my home, in Maple Valley, Washington - and in the past nine years we've lived here (I can't believe I'm even going to admit this), I've never been into either of them, once.

I've been to other libraries, several times over the past few years...just neither in my own neighborhood - and I have no idea why.

That's down right embarrassing to say out loud - I mean, after all, I'm a writer! How could I not have been to visit either library - ev-ver

They're both beautiful - the architecture alone, is pretty spectacular:

Maple Valley Library

Covington Library

But then there are all the wonders both of them contain - all of those books, shelved perfectly, according to Mr. Melvil Dewey (organizational genius extraordinaire)...books just waiting to be plucked off the shelf and read. 

And if all of that wasn't enough - then there's the peace and quiet. Beautiful silence. The quiet hush. The sound of...nothing. What better place to take my laptop, grab a seat, and dive into those massive rewrites I've got ahead of me?

Which settles it.

I'm going to my library THIS WEEKEND. I'm packing up my laptop and I'm going. And in fact, maybe I'll go to the Maple Valley library on Saturday, then the Covington location on Sunday. Done and done. 

So how about you?

Libraries - have you been to your's lately? If so, what do you use the space for - writing? Reading? Relaxing? 

The polls are still open to vote for your favorite book blog via Goodreads! If you'd like to support my blog and all the book reviews I post (and thank you very much!), please click on the voting button over there to your left (just above my Twitter and Linky sections). Thanks again!!

And I successfully participated in yesterday's #RocktheDrop - hosted by the amazing peeps over at Readergirlz and Figment, to support Teen Lit Day. What a super fun activity - and one I'll definitely participate in again next year! A big thanks to Jessica Love for recommending it!

Here are pics of the books I dropped:


Outside the Issaquah, WA. Public Library


Bench in front of Great Harvest Breads, Factoria, WA.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Day 11 - Letter K

Not a whole lot of writerly words beginning with the letter K, so this post might be a tad bit of a stretch - but that's the beauty of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! So to embrace the letter K and the fact that I write fiction, my topic today is:

Keyser Söze: One of the greatest multi-dimensional ficticious characters, of all time.

Writing is tough enough. But writing characters that have dimension? Yeah, that's an even harder task. It's so easy to think that the characters you've had in your head for so long, easily translate to your readers as just the best characters ever. But do they really? Which brings us to today's topic: Keyser Söze.

And who is he you may ask? Well, only one of the most brilliantly devised fictious criminal characters, from one of my all time favorite movies: The Usual Suspects, circa 1995. 

If you haven't seen The Usual Suspects, the premise of the film follows the interrogation of Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a small-time con man who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. The entire movie follows Kint's narration during his interrogation, as he fabricates a convoluted story about events that led him and four other criminals to the boat - and of a mysterious mob boss known as Keyser Söze, who commissioned their work. Using flashbacks and narration, Kint's story becomes increasingly complex, leading his interrogators to believe Keyser Söze is the mastermind behind everything. 

But it's all just a masterfully crafted plan by Kint's character, as he pieces together lie after wonderful lie - many of which are concocted simply by what Kint sees in front of him on the cork board in his interrogation room - creating one of the most brilliant fictious villians...hiding the real man behind the crime: himself. In the end, as he limps out of the pricinct - free on bail - and drives away, the police realize all-too late, that they've been had.

A brillant movie with so many twists and turns - all of it coming together in the last five minutes of the film, leaving you scratching your head and asking: did that really just happen? Friggin' fan-diddly-tastic!!!

And all of the above circles us back around to: writing characters that are multi-dimensional. This may be one of the hardest aspects of writing, whether you realize it or not - but to make a story grand, your characters must have more than two-dimensions. They need to be a story all in themselves, just like Keyser Söze. 

So this leaves me to ask:

Are your characters Keyser Söze worthy?


And just a reminder - the polls are open to vote for your favorite book blog via Goodreads! If you'd like to support my blog and all the book reviews I post (and thank you very much!), please click on the voting button over there to your left (just above my Twitter and Linky sections). Thanks again!!

Also, today is operation Rock the Drop! hosted by the amazing peeps over at Readergirlz and Figment, to support Teen Lit Day.

I purchased three of my favorite books: THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES (sequel to THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH), also by Carrie Ryan, and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher. Now I just need to figure out where I'm going to drop them!

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Day 4 - Letter D

Day #4 and the letter D, on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. And my topic?

Deadlines and DONATE!!!

Holy bajolly, Batman! I originally wrote this post to discuss deadlines, so we'll of course start with that first. But keep reading below, as I've just come across something pretty darn cool, and it's all about donating books to teens - so it fits perfectly with today's letter!

Eh-em. Now on to our originally scheduled post: Deadlines.

Every writer knows, there comes a point when you need to stop kanoodling that manuscript. It's time to reign it all in. The moment has come when you need to focus on the next steps. But let's back up a moment.

While we all know we can re-write our stories and second guess the paths our characters take, a million times - why not help yourself in the long run, by setting deadlines up front?

Before you sit down to write that next chapter - have you thought about your long term goals on where you even want to take this story? Do you have any idea what you'll do, once you've written that last line?

Setting yourself up for success in the beginning, not only makes the journey getting there all the better - but it also gives you something to look forward to. But start out small. Make tiny goals for yourself and set realistic deadlines. Then tie rewards to each one. For instance: Tell yourself you're going to take one week to finish that initial draft of your outline - then on the 7th day, you're going to the book store to buy a new book. Or a new Moleskin journal. Or, ohhh, a fancy new pen. 

But it all starts with setting deadlines for yourself. Because if you're anything like me, you can talk yourself into or out of, anything. And if I don't have a deadline to compete against, then unfortunately, anything bright and shiny that floats by, will have my attention (just call me Dora, from Finding Nemo).

I'm a pretty competitive person by nature - so I've found that setting deadlines and striving to achieve them, really speaks to my alter-Dora ego. And well, a writer can never have too many Moleskin journals, right?

Deadlines - do you set them for yourself? What do you use for rewards?

Now on to the something cool part! I was just over at Jessica Love's website - a wonderful writerly friend of mine - and saw that she's participating in something called Rock the Drop...and what exactly is that you might ask? (Don't be ashamed, I had to ask, too!).

Well, the amazing peeps over at Readergirlz and Figment are hosting the Rock the Drop book event, to support Teen Lit Day on 4/12/12.

All you need to do, is print a copy of the bookplate over there to the right and insert it into a new or gently used book (or 10!).

On April 12th, drop the book(s) (with the bookplate inside) in a public spot - park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter - you get the idea! Snap a picture of your dropped book to share on the Readergirlz facebook page - then tweet the drop at #rockthedrop with all the other lovers of YA books. 

And voila! Lucky finders will see that the new book they've found, is part of ROCK THE DROP!

What a great way to share a YA book with others and help support Teen Lit Day!

A big thanks to Jessica for sharing this wonderful cause - I'll definitely be supporting it, won't you join me?