Monday, November 21, 2011

Grabbing the Hatchet

Shhhh....She Who Refuses To Sleep Like A Normal Human is actually sleeping like a normal human. Perhaps it's because I altered her DNA by pumping her full of cider mill donuts.  See?

Yep, all that stuff around her mouth is pure sugar.  I know, you're in awe of my parenting skills.  It's fine.  I'm used to it. 

So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you my current query stats so far:

Number of queries sent: 44
Number of rejections: 24
Number of full requests: 7
Number of R&Rs: 1
Pounds of chocolate consumed: never mind
Amount of profanity hissed when opening inbox to a new email and discovering that, instead of a response from an agent, some prince in Nigeria wants to give me a million dollars: HUGE

So, as you can see from the stats, particularly the R & R, I'm diving back into my ms to make a few tweaks (or hack the living crap out of it.  Ya know, which ever feels right). 

Friday, November 11, 2011

What dreams may come...

The other night, after a reckless Kit-Kat binge, I had a bizarre dream.  I was tending bar at a party in a hotel.  All the of the party goers were writers (except for one person - the lady who mans the self check-out station at my local grocery store was there standing off in the corner, giving me the evil eye as she always does.  Not sure if she's just a grumpy person or if I look like someone who might try and steal lettuce).  The party goers would order their drinks and then get very upset with me because all I had to mix drinks together was ice and maple syrup.  Trying to deflect their irritation with me, I handed them each a fake mustache from under the bar.  When they'd put them on, they'd each get a brilliant idea for a book.  They were so distracted by their new idea that they forgot all about the lack of alcohol. 

Then I looked down and I didn't have feet.  (This happens a lot in my dreams.  Not sure what it means.)

Of course, at one point in the dream, I tried putting a mustache on and...nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  Suddenly, stink-eye lady from the grocery store was bartending next to me, and she said, "It only works on them.  They're real writers." 

Wow...bite me, stink-eye lady.

I'm sure the dream would have gone on if She Who Refuses To Sleep Like A Normal Human hadn't jarred me awake with a swift whack in the face (yes, She Who Refuses To Sleep Like A Normal Human ends up in our bed almost every night in an effort to coax her into sleeping more.  It rarely works, btw.).  But, honestly, my subconscious wouldn't have needed to elaborate any further.  I know what it all means (except for the missing feet thing).  I've been querying my book and, of course, it's a trying experience.  Stacks of rejections, handfuls of requests, more rejections, more requests...  It's all good and I'm so very grateful for the whole experience, but, one minute you're feeling like it could actually happen, and the next you're feeling like you want to crawl into a corner with a gigantic box of Hostess products.  (Okay, I usually have the urge to break into Hostess products regardless of whether I'm up or down, but you get the idea.) 

Regardless, I may venture out to Target and hit the Halloween clearance bins for a fake mustache.  You know...just to see what happens...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some things I've learned in the last few months...

 - I can write/rewrite a book with a baby climbing all over me

 - I can write/rewrite a book with a baby climbing all over me while being a total sleep deprived zombie

 - Replacing every meal with a double tall iced latte is a great way to lose five pounds fast

 - The world didn't actually end the first day I had to drop my son off at kindergarten, even though I was absolutely positive it would.

 - Sometimes, someone you thought you could count on just doesn't come through.  And that's okay. (...sort of)

 - Sometimes, someone you thought you could count on does come through, and it is so very full of awesome.

 - I still can't read while I'm on the treadmill.  My brain is just not advanced enough.

 - I can eat cider mill donuts until I throw up

 - I cannot stop watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I can't.  I've tried.  It's just not happening.

 - Sometimes I feel proud that I've written three books and, though I have yet to be picked up by an agent, I have a handful who love my writing and are waiting for me to hit the right story.

 - Sometimes I feel utterly pathetic that I've written three books and have yet to land an agent and I get so frustrated and fed up that I want to throw my computer in the garbage, grow a beard and join some traveling freak show. 

 - When the aforementioned frustration sets in and I swear I will never, ever, ever, ever write anything ever again, I still wake up the next morning with the little bug in my brain spinning away at another idea for a book.  

 - My daughter - aka She Who Refuses to Sleep Like a Normal Human - will, in fact, eat the dirt out of my potted bay laurel tree when I'm not looking.

 - Having a dance-off with zombies to Bad Romance by Lady Gaga is a really good way to prepare for the zombie apocalypse

 - Charles Dickens is still my favorite writer.  

 - As much as I want to, I still can't watch Ghost Hunters without hiding in my husband's armpit.  

How about you?  Learned anything new in the last few months? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The end...sort of

Ladies and gentlemen, members of my fanbase (you there, Mom?), people who Google things like "dry heaving my way to the finish line" and end up on my blog...I would like to officially announce that the book is done.


I mean, done, and ready for beta read, which means it's still going to get final edits, but it's done enough for other people to look at it, which is a wonderfully warm and fuzzy feeling.*  I can honestly say that I am happy with the whole thing.  It's an unusual feeling.  My last two books, even when I began querying, there was something about each of them that I felt a little insecure about.  But I don't feel that with this book at all.  Maybe I've finally got a winner.

Or maybe it's the sleep deprivation. 

Speaking of which, I actually think my head might fall off from lack of sleep.  She Who Refuses to Sleep Like a Normal Human has been in rare form this last week.  And to make it worse, I'm so tired when I'm up in the middle of the night with her that, to stay awake, I subject myself to reality TV on Bravo.  I'm pretty sure Most Eligible Dallas is made completely of evil.  I don't think I've ever wanted to punch so many people at once (including myself).

But I'm hoping that the sleep deprivation has actually worked in my favor and helped me write a book that will make some agent's heart go pitter patter.  If it has, I might be in trouble.  What if I produce my best work when I'm part-zombie? 

That would kinda suck. 

*I'm still looking for another beta reader, so if anyone is interested, let me know!  The book is YA with a paranormal theme, a little on the off-beat, quirky side (think Heathers meets Dead Like Me) and it's coming in right around 55K words, so it should be a quick read. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

So Close I Can Smell It

...and it smells like rain, coffee, high school, burnt leaves, disembodied souls, Alfred Hitchcock movies, fresh baked croissants and and the engine of an old busted up Camero. 

That would be my book, you see.  As in, it's so close to being finished that I can smell all the little random details.  No, no...please don't run away.  I swear my book is not in any way, shape or form about Brad Pitt.  It will all make sense when you read it.  Which, if the fairies in charge of granting agents are listening, then maybe...just maybe...

Do not ask me how I've managed to write this book.  I really can't tell you.  I look back on my day and it's one big blur, yet, I'm staring at another chapter that I somehow managed to eek out.  I write mostly during nap time, if She Who Shall Never Sleep Like A Normal Human chooses to actually take one.  If she does, it's usually about thirty minutes.  Forty-five if I'm lucky.  Aside from that, I steel a few minutes here and there throughout the day.  Which leads me to my next point....

I wondering if, when I got back to do edits/revisions, it's going to read like it's been written by someone who freebases NoDoz.  I'm hoping not.  Of course, if I'm doing edits/revisions under the same circumstances I wrote the first drafts, then I might not be able to tell.  Which leads me to my next point....

I'll be looking for Beta readers soon.  I've got a couple already set up, but could use maybe one or two more.  If there's anyone up to reading and giving honest feedback/critiques (I'm looking for a little more than just "yeah, it was good" or "holy hell, it sucked rocks") in a somewhat timely manner (preferably not six month after I send it you) then let me know.  I'd certainly be happy to return the favor at some point!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's about time

I've been thinking a lot lately about time.  And about patience.  Mostly because I spend the majority of my days feeling like I don't have enough of either.  So, I've starting making a mental list of what I do and don't have time and patience for.  It reads as follows:

Things I don't have time and/or patience for:

- dishes that don't wash themselves
- self check out lanes at Meijer (aka the 7th level of hell)
- the local news (stop trying to make me afraid of EVERYTHING.  Please.) 
- reality tv (with the exception of Food Network Star, Project Runway and Top Chef)
- LEGO pieces that like to embed themselves in my feet
- neighbor dogs that bark incessantly the minute I put my toe outside (it's been FIVE years.  I'm not here to rob/maim your owner or pee on your favorite tree.  And, P.S., you look like a mop with teeth.)
- people who suck (this includes people that tailgate, text and drive and people who douse themselves in cologne/perfume and ride elevators with me.  Also includes crazy people who try and suck me into their craziness by handing me a bunch of BS to manipulate my feelings.  I'm immune to this.  Move on, please.  You're wasting your time.)
- Rachel Ray (still the anti-christ)
- jicama (what the effing eff IS that crap?)

Things I DO have time/patience for:

- my kids (always)
- my husband (always)
- my cat, even though she honks up hairballs, like, fifty times a day
- reruns of Frasier on the Hallmark Channel (Hey baby, I hear the blues are callin', tossed salads and scrambled eggs...)
- my friends (especially the ones who make me laugh and help me eat cookies)
- my writing (even though it often makes me want to jam pencils in my eyes)
- caramel sauce
- Ella Fitzgerald
- pants that don't give me muffin top

So, what does your mental time and patience list look like?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meeting My Imaginary Friends

Yesterday I got to do something so very cool.  Not ONLY did the hubs take the offspring to play with their cousins so I could get a break from having to tend to stink-o diapers and Richter scale baby meltdowns, but I also got to attend the Carrie Harris's book launch party for Bad Taste in Boys.  The day had many different levels of awesome.  

Awesome level one was that my good friend/fellow mom/writer/blogger Maria came with me.  She got to be part of a "Bickell Family Outing" which, of course, included running late, following the GPS to the wrong location and some creative colorful language.  Yay for her!  

Second level of awesome was visiting Nicola's Books for the first time and falling in love with every nook and cranny of this independently owned book store - a RARE find these days.  I kinda wanted to just move in and live there forever and ever.  Wonder if they'd mind.

Third level of awesome was, of course, meeting Carrie in person.  We've been blogging friends for a couple years now, and I found out a few months ago that we lived only 40 minutes from each other (shut the front door!).  So, I was so excited to be able to attend the book launch and meet her in person.  It's such an bizarre thing to meet someone you've only know online.  Even though they seem completely legit, there's always that small chance that they're just a figment of your imagination (or that they're really some hairy dude with a creepy doll collection).  I'm happy to report Carrie was neither imaginary or hairy!  She was awesome.  Warm, welcoming, composed, articulate and...well, friggen' hilarious (but that's no surprise).  She talked about the book, read an excerpt, answered questions, signed our books and fed us binge-worthy cookies (hello, muffin top!).  Most of all, I was really inspired by what she said - she talked a lot about her journey to publication and if I took one thing away, it was that it CAN happen.  You just have to do what you love, be true to yourself, and throw a little faith into the universe.  Also, it helps to have a dress with zombie unicorns on it.  Don't ask me why.  

Next level of awesome was meeting another one of my imaginary friend - fellow writer/blogger Ray Veen.  I've always had such admiration for Ray - for his talent, devotion to the craft, the fact that he's a super cool dad and that he loves a cold Guinness and isn't afraid to wear a puffy shirt and a kilt.  Meeting he and his lovely wife, Cindy, was as awesome as it gets*.  We had a chance to talk and catch each other up on the latest with our writing.  All I can say it that my admiration for Ray and his motivation and devotion to his writing multiplied by a bazzilion.  I fully believe that the stars have good things in store for him.  I know someday soon I'll be attending his book launch party.  I might even wear a kilt. 

All in all, it was a multi-level awesome day.  Ummm....aside from our adventure after the launch party when we tried to get coffee.  I won't go into it.  I'll just say that poor Maria had to bear witness to my total OCD coffee snobbery.  Sorry, Maria.  But on the upside, it wasn't so bad that I felt the need to pelt Sugar in the Raw packets at anyone.  (Oh, wait....that's because THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY!)

*ehem* are some pics of the awesomeness:
Carrie reading from her debut novel Bad Taste in Boys

Carrie and I (and the god awful flash on my phone.  We both were seeing bright spots for about 10 minutes after.)

*total side bar - but Ray and Cindy look WAY too young to have teenage children.  Srlsy.  Not fair.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bad Taste in Boys

No, this post isn't a rehashing of my cringeworthy love life in my 20's before I met and married super-hubby (that's for another post. Someday. If we have time. Maybe). No, this post is about Bad Taste in Boys. As in the book! I'm sure you all have heard me mention awesome-sauce writer Carrie Harris a time or two. I've been following her blog for a couple years now, and not only is she hilarious, talented and a little wrong in the head (a quality I look for in most people I associate with), but I recently discovered that we live near each other, which means there's a remote possibility that I might be able to meet her in person in the near future, which would allow me to prove to super-hubby once and for all that my blogging friend aren't really creepy, toothless dudes with a stash of human heads in their freezers*.

Carrie has been busting her writing hump for many years and now all her hard...ummm...hump busting has paid off and her debut novel, Bad Taste in Boys, is coming out on July 12th!! Here's the scoopage:






Someone’s been a very bad zombie.

Super-smartie Kate Grable gets to play doctor, helping out her high school football team. Not only will the experience look good on her college apps, she gets to be this close to her quarterback crush, Aaron. Then something disturbing happens. Kate finds out that the coach has given the team steroids. Except . . . the vials she finds don’t exactly contain steroids. Whatever’s in them is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating . . . zombies.
Unless she finds an antidote, no one is safe. Not Aaron, not Kate’s brother, not her best friend . . . not even Kate . . .
It’s scary. It’s twisted. It’s sick. It’s high school.

So Miss Carrie is having a contest/raffle/double dog dare on her blog to get the word out about Bad Taste in Boys.  The challenge was to get those super cool sugar lips from her book cover out for all to see. My initial idea was to paste a set of those sugary babes onto a pacifier and have baby girl hold it in her mouth while I snap a picture. But apparently, this was too much to ask. She wanted to grab, rip and throw said pacifier across the room. And when I tried to gently force the issue by putting a little applesauce on the sucky part, she thought I was trying to cram a rabid piranha into her mouth. So, that idea got shelved and I had to go to plan b - mess around with iMovie for an afternoon. This was intimidating because the hubs does this kind of thing for a living. But here it is. (Yes, my photoshop work is crude. I am aware.)

...and then, of course, girl child and I with sugar lips:

(It just dawned on me right now that this would have been a perfect excuse to eat massive amounts of sugar donuts.  Wow...what's wrong with me?)

Anyhoo, go buy the book (and some donuts), kay??

*I guess I can't say for sure that Ms. Harris doesn't have human heads in her freezer, but if she did, it would be for research purposes only. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reading, Writing and Kettle Corn

I believe the last time we spoke, I was whining like a brat about how I missed writing, how I never have time to write, how I never get a moment to myself. Bla, bla and bla. Well, somehow, somehow I am currently on chapter 8 of my WIP. For someone with "no time to write", I'm not doing too shabby. So, I'll shut up. (For now.)

I also asked for book recommendations, and got some gems. Thank you, Amy Ellis *. How much do I love Gods Behaving Badly? Seriously, it's like Good Omens meets Melrose Place. I'm supposed to be reading a far more respectable book for my book club this month, but not sure if it's going to happen. Especially since I ping-ponging between God's Behaving Badly and Prom Dates from Hell, the first Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil book by Rosemary Clement-Moore. If Maggie ever had her own show, Joss Whedon would direct it. Yes, that's how good it is.

And, lastly, I just realized that it's Tuesday, so here are my favorite things this week:

Angie's Kettle Corn. I found a parachute sized bag of this stuff at Costco. On Thursday. And now it's almost gone. I don't get it. It's just popcorn, salt and sugar, yet it tastes like it's made completely of joy. Kettle corn's not fattening, right? I mean, it's mostly air, really.

My son. He's pretty much my favorite thing every week, but this week especially, because whenever I'm in the middle of doing something and the girl child starts howling like a banshee, he immediately comes to my aide and makes weird noises that make her giggle.

The new white iPhone. I don't have one, but if someone were to buy me one, I would do a little dance. Like this....

*Also, Ms. Ellis, do you realize you haven't updated your blog in a YEAR!? You know when I take over the world, you will be my evil sidekick, right? You might want to start flexing your "addressing the minions" muscles. Just sayin'. By the way, all global disputes will be settled with dance-offs. Hope that's okay w/ you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

(non-evil) Editor

I really, really, really, really, really miss writing.

I also miss sleeping, showering whenever I want, shopping without a panicky feeling that, at any moment, one or both of my children are going to have a thermo-nuclear meltdown, eating without juggling a fussy baby and going to the bathroom by myself.

But mostly I miss writing.

Yes, I get a little in here and there, mostly in little five minutes spurts while baby girl is in her bouncer/swing/walker/jumpy thingy. But five minutes is usually the most I can get out of her. In fact, as I type this, she's starting to go DEFCON 5 on me from the swing in the living room. Hold on....

And now I am holding her and typing with one hand.

<insert long, heavy sigh here>

Cue my awesome husband, who heard shit fit and heavy sigh from upstairs and came down to take baby girl up with him while he brushes his teeth.

So, anyway, I miss writing. A lot. Especially since I had an awesome editing experience recently and it lit a little flame under my tuckus. Through the Write Hope auction, I won a 10 page edit from a freelance editor. I decided to submit the beginning of my new book. I was suuuuuuuper scared. I've never anything of mine edited by a professional before, and though I knew she would be constructive (read: I highly doubted she'd simply write "you suck rocks" all over my submission), it was still very intimidating. But, it turned out to be so freakin' cool. She pointed out things that I would have never seen. The biggest being that my entire 2nd chapter is one big flashback, and though it was all fine and dandy, she strongly urged me to GET ON WITH IT ALREADY! It was like a little "ping" going off in my head. DUH! She was totally right. It's like being served a meal that looks yummy, and having the chef go on and on and on and on and on and on about what it is, what went into making it, and the whole time you just want them to shut up so you can eat it.

So, now I am pining for time to write so I can change things around and get on with the story. But, I must just be patient. On the bright side, I got a Nook for my birthday so I could hold fussy baby girl and read. But I need book suggestions. Know any good quirky, funny, kinda dark and slightly twisted books? That's what I'm in the mood for. Either YA or adult.

And now awesome hubby has to go to work and I'm back to typing with one had...i mean hand. *shakes single fist*

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Favorite Things

First, let me tell you what is NOT my favorite thing this week: Spring. Because it's acting like Winter. Which I find really super lame and annoying. Also not at the top of my list: wind. And sinus infections. And I'm not exactly happy about the cat hacking up a hairball on my slippers. Which I wouldn't need to wear anymore if Spring would get a grip.

Now, for my favorite things.

The Woombie. Also known as the Baby Straight Jacket. Baby girl has crazy hands when she sleeps. If I put her down without being in the Woombie, she'll immediately wake up, punch herself in the face and pull her pacifier out. Then she gets mad at me.

Duran Duran. Note - they are certainly not a new favorite thing by any stretch. But I saw them on Ellen yesterday and immediately became a 10 year old again. Why do they look so good? Since I've been fangirling them since I was eight, shouldn't they look old and I look all young and dewy?

Friends*. Specifically ones who read my blog post from last week and dropped a care package on my doorstep, which included wine, chocolate and an almond torte that I had to stop myself from eating for every meal.

Zingerman's Chocolates. Thanks to aforementioned amazing friend's care package, I am now totally addicted to these things. I may have to change my muffin top to my Zingerman's chocolate top (thought, it doesn't quite have the same ring to it).

Feel free to share your favorite thing. Who knows, your favorite things might become my favorite things. And wouldn't that be something, eh?

*friends featured in this week's "favorite things" are not actually kittens. Cuz that would be really weird.

Friday, April 1, 2011


This was my day in a nutshell

(sorry, the drawings are crude and hard to read. I'd fix them if Illustrator and I could get along, but we just can't. He's rude, doesn't save things the way I want them to be saved and he smells like tangy socks):

Monday, March 28, 2011

C is for "I Need a Vacation"

A few weeks back, my son had his special helper day at preschool, which means he gets to bring in a "special guest". And this "special guest" gets to provide a snack and spend the morning trying to keep handfuls of five year-olds from sticking paintbrushes in their ears. I'll be honest, I'm not the best at being the "special guest". Mostly because I'm too busy mainlining Purell and dodging sneezes to notice anything else. But I decided to go a little out-of-the-box for snack time. Instead of the usual cheese sticks or Goldfish crackers, I wanted to make these:

That's right. It's Cookie Monster. Kickin' it old school with a cookie in his mouth. I was so excited about these. I saw the design on several different baking blogs and immediately had visions of being the coolest mommy ever, which would immediately trump my current status of being the weirdest mommy ever. But then something happened. I made them. Have you ever tried to make blue frosting? My only experience with blue frosting was at our wedding. We had a very whimsical wedding cake that had blue butter cream and white and yellow flowers. It turned everyones mouths blue, but luckily we had a margarita machine to take away any mouth-turned-blue trauma. Making blue frosting is a whole different beast. The blue food coloring was very ninja like. I thought I was being very clean and careful as I added it to the white frosting, but somehow it managed to breach my mixing bowl and end up FREAKIN' EVERYWHERE! It was on my hand, my clothes, the cabinet doors, my coffee maker, the floor...everywhere! There was even some of it smeared on my iPod which was upstairs on my dresser. Suddenly my visions of being coolest mommy ever turned to visions of being the most dreaded mommy ever. I imagined mobs of the other preschool parents dragging me out of my house and stringing me from a tree for turning their children a lovely shade of aqua. So, I had to ditch Cookie, in all his googly eyed glory. Much like getting on the treadmill or trying to wear skinny jeans, it was a good idea in theory, but a nightmare once executed.

In other news, despite my attempts at pulling one over on kid-germs and pumping my son full of vitamin C, echinacea and cod liver oil to try and get through the rest of the school year plague free, he came down with the mother of all colds, that quickly morphed into double ear infections and pink eye. The ear infections he can handle. A little "pink stuff" a couple times a problem. But, have you ever tried to treat pink eye in a five year-old? It should just be illegal for a child that young to get pink eye. When you're an adult and you get pink eye, you can be rational about it. Yes, it sucks and now I have to put these drops in my eyes, and, yes, they're cold and sting and feel a little weird, but that's what I have to do to get better. You wouldn't cry and throw a fit and scream the same way you would if you were being chopped to bits by a maniac intruder. You know you're in trouble when the actual pamphlet from the pharmacy advises you to SIT on your child and pin his arms down to administer the medication. I'm not really a "sitting on my child" kind of parent, so, of course, I tried bargaining. I promised waffles and LEGO sets if he'd just lay still and let mommy put the ookey stuff in. I quickly learned that a five year-old is a big fat liar and will renege on any waffle/LEGO agreements at the last minute. Then I tried to scare him. I got all "fire and brimstone" on him, telling him if he didn't get the medication his head would fall off and he'd end up in the hospital where they'd give him shots every five seconds. This didn't work either, as it only made him freak out more. I quickly realized that the pamphlet from the pharmacy was wise beyond its years. The only real option is brute force. Now, don't get all judgey on me. I don't really use brute force, but I do have to hold his arms down and pry his eyes open. Then I'm "mean mommy" for about an hour after. The best part? I get to do this every four hours for seven days.

Please leave all wine/chocolate/cake donations at my front door. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Favorite Things

It's Tuesday, and you know what means!

Actually, you don't. Since Thing 2 gives me barely any time to write, I haven't had a chance yet to introduce my newest segment, Favorite Things. Every week I'll tell you about my new favorite things. Because I know how I complete you.

So, my Favorite Things this week are:

Anne Burrell. Because she can cook her kooky little butt off. Plus, she salts the CRAP out of her food. Good on ya, Anne. Good on ya.

Kuerig Platinum Coffee Maker. I don't actually have one, but a friend of mine does, and although the coffee purist in me wants to turn my nose up at it, the geek in me is drawn to it.'s NEATO!! You just put the little pod in and hit go. And, yes, I'm going to say makes a damn fine cup of coffee. Plus you only need one hand free. And it gets me one step closer to feeling like I'm on the Enterprise.

My mom. Because she's visiting and takes Thing 2 off my hands so I can do the things that bring me warm fuzzies, like cooking and writing and taking showers. Plus, she leaves her Facebook account open so I can go in and leave funny status updates, and make her "like" thing she doesn't really "like", like Fabio and David Hasselhoff.

Write-Hope. A fabulous blog started by a handful of kidlit writers who want to help the children in Japan after the devastating tsunami. They auction off kidlit books, critiques, and other prizes for donation to Save the Children's emergency relief fund. I'm gunning for an early copy of Carrie Harris' debut novel Bad Taste in Boys, but feel free to try and outbid me!

What are your favorite things this week?