For one, there is a winner to announce. The recipient of WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE by Caridad Ferrer is Harmony!
Also you might have heard me talking about this on twitter last week, but a teacher designed a website that uper cool interactive teaching resource website for BALLADS OF SUBURBIA: http://balladsofsuburbia.weebly.com/ It's got activities to do with the book, resources on the themes in the book, music, and an exclusive interview with me. It will make BALLADS easy to use in the classroom for projects or extra credit. I was really honored that she chose my book to work with and it would mean a lot to me if this leads to more teens getting their hands on BALLADS since I know it was the kind of book I desperately needed in high school (and that's why I wrote it.) So if you can help me spread the word to high school teachers and librarians about this website, I would really appreciate it!
Best of all, I'm thrilled to share that I am a part of this:
A lot of big name authors whom I really admire like Ellen Hopkins and Alyson Noel have contributed essays and I'm seriously stoked that my essay about how I used music to find strength when I was being bullied and teased is going to be included. Here are the full details on the project from Publishers Weekly.
Last but certainly not least, I'm happy to report that rewriting has been making me happy this week. It's been going very slow. I've only finished one chapter and sometimes I feel like I'm jamming puzzle pieces that don't really fit together, but it does feel good when I find a way to make it work. I also am killing some darlings and probably will have to kill a bunch more, but this week I feel like the book is salvageable. (Unlike last week when I was pretty much ready to give up on it again.)
This morning I realized that I also went through several weeks of writer's block before finishing the first draft of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE. Now that first draft was a hell of a lot more complete when it was done (an actual first draft, not a rough draft), but after I got over that writer's block hurdle, I was able to go through several rounds of revision without a major meltdown. BALLADS OF SUBURBIA on the other hand had an easy first draft, but each time I tried to revise it, I felt like it was missing something major and that led to at least two major meltdowns, one of which occurred two days before I was supposed to turn in the final revision to my editor and resulted in the return of my ulcer. So I guess I'm saying that I'm hoping this book is going to be more like IWBYJR and it's going to be smoother sailing from here on out. Of course there are no guarantees, but right now I'm actually excited about writing for the first time in months. In fact, usually I reserve Fridays for errands and catching up on email, but I think I'm gonna sign off now and poke around with the story a bit.
Good weekend to all!