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9 posts from February 2010

Did You Write the Other One?February 27, 2010

I'm handing out excerpts of my book at Stitches this weekend as fast as my little hands can pass them out, and before I fall asleep face down in my soup, here are a couple of my favorite reactions so far:

Me, handing Knitter flier: "Hi! Take a sneak peek at my novel, which comes out on Tuesday!"

Knitter: "Did you write this?"

Me: "Yes."

Knitter: "Did you write the other one?"

Me: "..."

Or this:

Knitter, looking at the back of the excerpt, where my picture is: "Oh, I know her. She's from LA."

Me: "I'm from Oakland."

Knitter (suspiciously): "Hmm." 

Or this:

Knitter, looking at the cover: "Oh, I heard about this on NPR!"

Me, thinking: I wish. Saying: "Mmmm." 

Or my favorite:

Knitter, picking up the excerpt and flipping it over: "What channel will this be on?"

I had no answer for that one at all other than (what I thought was) the obvious. "It's a book."

A disappointed "Oh" was all I got. 

But it is SO MUCH FUN. Knitters are my people. Knitters FOR THE WIN. While these reactions are funny, most of the reactions I got were overwhelmingly positive, to the point where sometimes I just wanted to cry with joy from it all. The smiles, the encouragement, the excitement on their faces when they learned it was my first novel -- I could have hugged everyone. Maybe I did.

I can't wait to go back tomorrow.

EventfulFebruary 25, 2010

It's just been one of those really eventful days. One of those days that sneaks up on you, and acts all quiet, and moves like a normal day but isn't -- you know the kind. I went to work and answered 911 and looked at email and talked to coworkers and it SHOULD have been a normal day, but it wasn't. It was special.

Good things are happening in book world. Nothing completely momentous (I would tell you), and nothing that I can really blog about, but good things.

But I'm a BLURB. A real blurb. I got this book in the mail today, and when I turned it over, I'M ON THE BACK COVER AS A BLURB. I've never been quoted before. Are they sure they got the right gal? I'm right there with superstars Annie Modesitt and Clara Parkes. Come on, really, I know from knitting, but only from a trotting horse. I think I forgot to tell Adrienne that. I'll be reviewing her book later next month, but if you want to take a sneak peek, hie yourself over to Amazon now, because I loved this book.

I worked a really short shift today, only eight hours, and then went to the doctor for a routine visit, and then got to go into San Francisco, where we attended a schmancy art opening (they let us in! We saw people we knew and didn't know they would be there!) and got to see Lala's old roommate, Rachel Maddow.


(Lala was wearing the glasses first. But Rachel M was perhaps Lala's first (of MANY) Rach(a)els, near and far. There was some talk of how I was the Saudi Arabia of Rachels, and she was the Afghanistan, but I kind of stopped following that line of reasoning when my ass hit her HER GIRLFRIEND'S ARTWORK on the wall (Susan Mikula -- it was her opening). I was taking that photo and tried to act as if I hadn't almost taken out some of the Important Art.)

This lovely reunion was followed by Laphroig at the Westin, and a discussion about a great interview Lala had today (please think good thoughts!). I do love a hotel bar. I swear I saw an earnest looking young guy in a suit get out a dog collar and place it carefully next to the bar lamp, so I was watching to see who met up with him but we left before his date arrived, damn it.

Then home for TJ's pizza, and now I'm off to bed, exhausted and happy. Tomorrow is Stitches West, and I'll be there all weekend. Catch me if you can! xoxo

It's HERE! February 22, 2010

My book is here. T minus eight days to on-sale date. (Also, I dork out. I ALWAYS DORK OUT.)

Home is Where the Heart IsFebruary 19, 2010

The beginning of the week was outstanding. Disneyland was amazing -- the perfect place to go and BE. You just have to live in the moment at Disneyland, and we did. We had the best time. Rode all the rides. Ate all the food. Laughed and screamed and did everything right. I talked Lala into riding the Tower of Terror, and I think it was the most fun ride I've ever been on. (It's an elevator ride that keeps dropping, over and over. She hated it, though, and gets points for going on it at all, and I'll never make her do it again.)

She hadn't been in thirty-four years. She was in the first group of people to ride Space Mountain. It was high-time she went again. And it was flipping awesome.


But so far today I've been laid up by either a migraine or some sickness some kid gave me in Disneyland (cute little things, but little germ factories, all gathered together in one place like that), Miss Idaho's butt has exploded (anal-gland problem -- she's at the vet now), the cops have been at the door asking about the fight on the street they were two hours too late to break up, Clementine has pooped in the dining room, and I've received bad news on the phone that I don't really want to talk about (nothing big, just disappointing -- I'll get over it). 

But I'm glad to be home.

Now, here's something nice someone I like is doing for others. The very talented Rosemary is selling her gorgeous Brandywine pattern for a great cause. She wants to sell 10,000 patterns to raise $50,000 to help Haiti (that's a LOT OF PATTERNS). She's already donated more than $2000 $3,500!! so she's on her way. Click HERE to help!

Bwinebig1 Bwinebig2

Winner! February 14, 2010

As drawn randomly by Random.org, the winner is Mosprott! I'll email you privately....  Congrats! I hope you enjoy!

And now (in the morning), we're off to Disneyland. I CAN'T WAIT. I haven't been in so many years (maybe eight or so) and Lala hasn't been since she was EIGHT. It's going to be rad.

Also, I got Lush for Valentine's Day. Yum. Happy.

Celebration GiveawayFebruary 12, 2010

To honor the fact that How to Knit a Love Song will be in TARGET (*happy dance* happy dance*) I'm going to give away a copy of the Random House Australia version of the book, Eliza's Gift.

BECAUSE I GOT A STACK OF 'EM, PEOPLE! This has been a damn fine week.


All you have to do to be entered is make sure you're on my mailing list (don't worry, I haven't even sent out one announcement yet -- you haven't missed anything) -- sign up is to the right up there, or you can click here.

(There are only a few differences between the two books -- like spellings of words, for example. Color/colour, fiber/fibre. It might be best if a Candian wins, since they speak the language. Heh.*)

I'll draw a random winner on Sunday! Good luck!   

* Edited to add: HA! Pam TOTALLY gets points for this comnment:
Being Canadian I would endeavour to think that my humble behaviour might bring favour from my southern neighbour! It would be an honour if an author of your calibre, candour and demeanour would consider honouring me with a flavourful book full of fibre, fun and humour. Don’t let my ramblings colour your opinion...but somewhere deep inside you know that at least one copy needs to go to someone who’ll savour the flavours of your literary style! :) Pam

BIG NEWSFebruary 11, 2010

Such news I have for you. Where do I start? Oh, all right, I'll just dive right in.

Big Thing #1: Guess who chose How to Knit a Love Song as a Breakout book for April?

Wait for it....


I'm gonna be in Target! That's right! Boutique Tarjay! DUDE! That's HYOOGE!

I remember, when I first got the book deal, I was wandering the aisles of Target with Lala and I picked up a book and said longingly, "I wonder if I'll ever be here...." I thought maybe, if I ever sold enough books, if I ever did well enough, someday I might break into the sacred aisles located between electronics and toys. But instead, they picked me out of the blue. Why? I have no idea. (It might have everything to do with the fact that it's a GREAT COVER. I love my cover. Thanks, marketing and art department!) But oh, my god! Target! I'm walking on air.


Big Thing #2: (of interest to SoCal residents)

I'm going to be reading with Crazy Aunt Purl! March 21st, 2pm, at the Knitter's Studio. Won't that be a hoot? Seriously. I think we'll have a blast, and if you're anywhere in the vicinity, you should come, because we'll tear it up. Either that or we'll both get stage fright and take off and go suitcase shopping together. But I think we'll give a good show.

What, you can't make it to LA? There are other things scheduled!

First,, no matter where you live, I'll be on the radio (listen live via the magic of the internets!) on Book Club Girl on March 17th, 7pm EST.

And then, LOOK AT ALL THIS! (I can hardly believe it myself. This is crazy weird, people. It's not me. I'm going to blush so hard it hurts. I'm blushing looking at it.)

Saturday March 6th - 3:30pm
Caps Restaurant, 144 Oak St, Brentwood, CA   
No reading, just a signing with other fabulous authors.

Tuesday March 16th   7pm
***  LAUNCH PARTY! ***
Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., San Francisco, CA

Sunday March 21nd   2pm
Knitter's Studio, 8118 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA
Special appearance with CRAZY AUNT PURL!

Saturday May 1st  11-2
Romantic Times Giant Book Fair ($5 cover)
Hyatt Regency, Columbus OH
SO MANY AUTHORS at this signing! OMG. You will be amazed.

Wednesday July 28th   5:30-7:30
RWA National Literary Signing
Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN
Also, SO MANY AUTHORS. I will be a tiny little fish in a big pond. Come by.

Why I Love My Kindle February 7, 2010

Or why, really, I love any e-book reader. This post isn't about why you should or shouldn't buy one reader over another. There are a million posts touting the various pros and cons of various readers over others. (I love the ease of the wireless of my Kindle, the e-ink, and the fact that I can download the book I want to read, from bed, after reading a free sample chapter.)

But what I didn't realize was how amazing it was going to be for the reading of manuscripts.

First: my own. I recently finished editor's revisions on Book Two. Instead of printing out 400 pages, I curled up in bed with my Kindle and read my book in the format I'm used to reading. Every time I found something that needed addressing, I either made myself a note on the Kindle using its little keyboard, or I reached over and pulled my laptop over (if I was feeling energetic) and made the change. This doesn't work, of course, for the editing of a first draft, when you need to mark up every single line, every word. But for this kind of work, it's perfect.

Second: others' manuscripts. I just finished reading a draft of my friend Cari's book. Okay. I've known her for probably seven or eight years, before she got her MFA, before she was a mother, before she moved from Brooklyn across country to the west coast. I knew she was a great writer -- I'd seen some of her short work, and I'd read excerpts. I thought I knew her voice.

But people. I knew nothing.

The book hasn't sold quite yet, but it will. And you'll read it someday, and I will jump around and tell everyone, I told you so. Now, I write commercial fiction, but I know from great lit'ture. This will win the big awards. I've never read a book like this before in my life, and while I was huddled over my Kindle, heaving with sobs (and I don't do that while reading -- I'm usually a pretty tough cookie, believe it or not), making the occasional note to pass on to her, I thought, "ISN'T THIS AMAZING? Technology has allowed me to receive this manuscript over email and convert it into a readable paperless form." And all this change has happened in the years since I've known Cari.

(Know what else? Cari can write circles around those high-falutin' literary folk who write Literary Stuff that left me cold after I got my MFA, and you know why? She has, along with the literary gorgeous prose, a plot that will blow your socks off. Stuff happens, and I swear I could hear foundations rocking under me as I clicked my little page-turner.)

I know it's awful. I know it's just a tease that you can't read it yet. But I love all this. It's like a miracle. A gol-danged bloody e-miracle. I'm blessed and lucky and if you're a writer, you should get an e-reader.

I want an iPad, too, someday. Ahem.

* Joy reminds me that you can download a PDF or .doc of a knitting pattern to the Kindle (or other devices) and have it right there. Nice.

** and yes, How to Knit a Love Song will be out on Kindle the day it releases, March 3rd. WOOT!

*** because I'm a dork, I'll totally buy it for my own Kindle. Heh.

Be NiceFebruary 2, 2010

When in doubt, be nice.

Isn't that all it comes down to? In just about everything? Just be nice. If someone asks you for help, and you can give it, give it. If you can't, you can't. But if you can, do. And ask for help yourself, when you need it (preferably before you really, really need it -- I always forget that part and end up asking a little too late. Hysteria never helps).

A reader just asked if I had an extra ball of yarn from an old project and then was surprised when I said yes and that I would mail it off to her (that is, if it IS the right ball of yarn -- the ball band is lost forever. Here's hoping). But why not? She can't possibly know the times that Ye Olde Blogge has come through for me and mine, in so many ways, in so many shapes, in so many forms. Just from people Being Nice.

Isn't it lovely?

Speaking of help received from people, the cat is still not trapped in Becca's trap, by the way. I think old damaged Julius Of The Block must have gone on to his next life. Wah. I hope it was quick. I pour some coffee out for the homey and give Willie a kiss. Digit sends a growl.

Today, I'm hoping it stays clear because I have a yen to get down the coast for some beach walking and some clam chowder. Yesterday, I had one of those fine, fine days where everything just worked. I got my taxes done (hooray! refund coming!), and then a surprise coffee with Pen Martha who gave me a writing idea like none before, then a working "nap" during which I figured out a trouble spot in Book Three (I don't like to take breaks between books -- I get bored). Then we went to the City and Lala's band (For Fear the Hearts of Men are Failing) played on Pirate Cat Radio, which was great fun (they're playing at the Plough and Stars on Saturday night! You should go even though I won't be there!), and then we got burritos and went home and watched You've Got Mail, which Lala had never seen. 

Just a great, nice day. From start to finish, tip to tail.  

Yay. I plan on having another one of those today. Yep. You have one too, okay?