A 4-pack

I’ve got so many little nuggets of happiness to blog about!  Sometimes I hate the word nuggets, and other times I think it’s kind of funny, but I guess today is a funny nugget day.  Here they are.  And think morsels if that word makes you feel less icky.

Nugget #1:

VIRTUOSITY eGalley is up!

If you are a teacher, librarian, book blogger, reviewer/journalist, bookseller, or other industry type, you may download VIRTUOSITY.  For free!  Now! And then you can spend the next six months gloating about the fact that you’ve read a book that’s not even on the shelves yet.

Here’s how it works.  You click on this link to the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab site:


Once there, you have to apply to the site.  It’ll ask you about your affiliation, and then you are approved/denied by someone in marketing.  I’m not positive, but I think if you say you are a teacher and then claim to be affiliated with a traffic school, or a knitting store, you may get denied.  And I’m not bashing either of those things because I’ve been to traffic school (twice actually, and no I’m not including driver’s ed) AND I used to teach knitting classes.  I’m just saying I think it has to be somewhat related to the YA market.  More on the knitting later and maybe more on traffic school too.  If you’re lucky.

Anyway, the eGalley can be read on any ereader (except for the Kindle, because of copyright issues), on a computer screen, an iPad, a smartphone (including iPhone), etc.  The file can’t be printed or copied or forwarded, and it expires (becomes unopenable) on the day that the book comes out.

Cool, huh?  The idea is to get people buzzing about the book.  So, if you are one of those people, download immediately and let the gloating begin.  Be as obnoxious about it as you deem necessary.

Nugget #2:

Behold the Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Rights Guide.

This bad boy went to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair two weeks ago.   It’s used to help sell foreign rights, and includes all the children’s books (that’s middle grade and young adult too) published by Simon & Schuster.

Why does my hand have to be in there?  Because when I was eight, nine, ten, possibly all the way to fifteen, my two best friends and I would walk around the house touching objects like we were Barker’s Beauties.  You know what I’m talking about–caressing TVs, fondling couch cushions.  I guess we thought we were training to some day get our dream jobs of wearing mini skirts and halter tops on The Price Is Right?  That dream has not come true for any of us, but I continue to slip into Barker’s Beauty mode occasionally, and my two best friends got into the acknowledgments of VIRTUOSITY for turning me into such a weirdo.

Now behold page 52

Well, hello there, VIRTUOSITY.  How’s it going?

Now behold the back cover

KABLAM!  Best surprise ever, eh?  This makes me want to kiss the people who made this cover so stinking pretty, but I’m not in New York, so I’m just kissing random people here in Florida.  Watch out, random people.

The only thing that could make me happier was if this actual copy had been in Bologna.  Maybe I’ll take it to the Olive Garden or something and christen it with a little marinara sauce.


Nugget #3

I FINISHED BOOK 2!  Except not exactly.  I finished my rewrite and decided it was time to send it to my editor before I started revising again.  She said it’d be a couple of weeks till she is able to send me some notes on it, but I’ve been refreshing my email every four seconds since then.  You know, just in case.  I’m feeling very happy about it right now.  I’m kind of excited for the revisions to begin too, because I love the characters and miss them already.  It’s been about a week.  Is this a sign of mental imbalance—missing my own fictional characters?  Probably.  Whatever.

But taking a breather is nice too.  In theory.  (I started knitting a hot pink washcloth for my hot pink obsessed 3-year-old, but I’m having a hard time getting really excited about it.)

Actually, I’m not much for breaks.  Especially because I’ve had an amazing idea screaming at me for the last month, so loud that it was really what made me finish and send off book 2 so that I’d be allowed to work on it.  I say allowed because I have project control issues, as in multiple boxes of half-finished knitting projects, so I can’t let myself go there with my writing.  It’s a scary place full of guilt and regret and dropped stitches.

So now I’m working on an explosively cool new book idea and it’s making me feel like I just drank a bottle of Dr. Pepper.  Or maybe I did just drink a bottle of Dr. Pepper, and that’s why I feel this way?  I can’t really remember.


Nugget #4 (the final nugget):

My husband bought this for me at a yard sale for $15.  The man is a garbage picking genius.

I’ve sent him out every Saturday for the last month with instructions to buy me whatever stationary bike he finds, but not to pay more than $20, because that was the most I was willing to invest in this idea.  I can’t take full credit for the concept—fellow Elevensie Kiki Hamilton has one that she featured on her “Day in the Writing Life” post on the Elevensies page sometime last year.  I knew the minute I saw it that I had to make me a cycle-desk.  SCBWI also had an article several issues back about a treadmill desk.  I’m more of a runner than a biker, but running and typing doesn’t sound like a good idea to me (and the SCBWI issue talked about walking and typing, but why would I want to walk when I could run?)

So I figured I’d be building some sort of desk over this thing, but my laptop (and any book) fits PERFECTLY onto it.  The reason I wasn’t willing to spend much money on it was because I wasn’t so sure I would be able to concentrate enough to write well.  As it turns out THE CYCLING IS GOOD FOR THE WRITING!  Who knew?  It wakes up my brain and forces me not to get up and forage for food.  Win, win.

This is so much better than the last working-while-excercising idea that I had.  I was pregnant with my first, so I looked like a teletubby.  Here’s a visual in case you’re wondering:

I was working at a knitting store at the time.  My duties included teaching classes, sorting yarn, sassing customers who messed with me when I was hungry, and knitting samples.  For the samples, they were actually paying me by the hour at home, so I thought, hmmm, I wonder if I can knit AND do the elliptical trainer at the same time?  The answer was yes.  But the knitting looked like it’d been worked by a drunken chimp.  After about twenty minutes and some really poorly shaped cables, I got off the machine.  That was probably for the best–pointy sticks on an elliptical machine with an already off-kilter sense of balance?  That’s not good for business.

Alright folks, I’m out of nuggets.  Until next time, friends don’t let friends drink Dr. Pepper and knit and get on elliptical trainers while pregnant.  Peace out.

Bonus picture, aforementioned hot pink washcloth:

8 thoughts on “A 4-pack

  1. I am totally astounded at your writing pace! Way to go! And congrats on making the back cover. That is great! I am really looking forward to hearing more about book the third.

  2. Hey you, two posts in one week. I’m loving it. Sadly I associate the word Nuggets with that less than nutritional treat from McDonalds but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed all your nuggets. Even without sauce. I can’t wait to hear what your editor thinks of the book behind curtain number 2 (a little nod to your longing for Bob Barker). Keep writing.

  3. Wow! Im guessing they don’t count homeschoolers for the eGalley which is too bad for me. Very cool and I can’t wait to read it. Congrats on your successes!

  4. Erin, you may not get eGalleys, but you get my undying respect for the homeschooling. Seriously, you’re a better woman than I am.

    And Alexandra, I’m astounded by my writing pace too–but it’s because I feel like the slowest writer in the universe! Too much agonizing over words, not enough letting it flow. Sigh.

  5. Hi Jessica… just found your blog, linked over from Goodreads. I read ‘Virtuosity’ over the weekend, and I loved it!! I’m also psyched to find out you’re from Canada.

    What awesome books you’re sharing time with on those two pages. And the back cover? Wow, it looks so gorgeous!

    Love the cycle desk, I hadn’t seen one of those before! I’ve heard of the treadmill desks, but the bike idea is super cool.

    Anyway, just thought I would stop by and say hello. I’ve added your blog to my Google reader. =)

  6. Aaaaah! Thank you so much for Nugget #1! I just downloaded Virtuosity on GalleyGrab! I’m so excited to read it now!

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