Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays - What are your Christmas Traditions?

If you are anything like me you are already burned out on the Holidays. One last night to go. I wonder what toys my wife bought that will require hours of assembly. But after some of my special eggnog, I won't mind. Let's just hope it's not a bike; or parts might start falling off tomorrow.

That's about what Christmas has become for me: working crazy hours, trying to fit in visits to Santa, trips to light displays. Not to mention figuring out what to buy for everyone in my extended family (there's more of us every year).

Still, I try to keep some Christmas traditions, not only for the kids, but also for myself. Tradition #1: Don't wake Dad up on the morning of Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning there's not much I can do to stop that. But today, I slept in until after 11a.m. Call it a little pre-Christmas gift to myself.

For the kids, they get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It keeps them busy while I work on the most important Christmas tradition: getting that special eggnog mixed just right.

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Especially, any that are just for you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

My ebook, Monster in the Mirror, Compared to Coraline!

This great new cover was done by my
friend and fellow author, Ronnell D Porter 
I always feel a little awkward promoting my writing, but if I plan on doing this full time, I better get used to it.

I was having a pretty depressing day, with a bunch of Rejection e-mails (yes, with a capital R) from agents rolling in. But that all changed when I saw this post by Lesley over at the YA books Reviewed blog:

Guys, this short story is small and sweet. It's creepy and has a feel of Neil Gaiman's Coraline to it. That eerie, childlike innocence mixed in with horror and suspense. It's a great read, and I really enjoyed it.
The ebook also has (for a limited time) two short stories along with it. They aren't all horror, but they are fun as well.

Final Call:
This ebook is a great read. It's fast, fun, and a little freaky. And guys, it's free! Yep, FREE. Click here to download your copy!

Wow, that made my day! A little later I found out it's also on the bestseller list in the Apple iBookstore. It's #19 under Mysteries and Thrillers.

So take that, agents with your form rejections! Seriously, I'm sure the right agent for Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb is out there. I just have to find her.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Secret Histories of Books & Finding Treasures

Whether you're a reader or writer, you know what a treasure reading can be. But what about finding actual treasures inside your books?

I was thrilled to find a mint, hardcover edition of The Graveyard
, complete with dusk jacket. Imagine my surprise when I
discovered a long personal message scribbled on the inside.
Now if I could just decode this cryptic handwriting, I might
enjoy learning about the kids who gave and received this book.
I buy lots of my books used from Amazon or my local thrift store. Just last night, while reading Lois Sacher's Wayside School Gets A Little Strange, I stumbled upon an older sticker backing (you know, the wax paper that holds the sticker before you stick it). On it was scribbled a smiley face (with some boogers hanging from his nose). It made me smile to wonder just who that kid was and how long ago he put it there, apparently to mark his page.

I've found bookmarks, business cards, dedications (usually on books given as gifts), even a few author signatures in used books (I love those). To me, it's like uncovering buried treasure.

What's the best thing I've found in a book? I once found a note, folded over four-times, like it'd been clandesidly passed in class, by a Melissa proclaiming her love for Omar and his gorgeous brown eyes. That one not only made my day, but momentarily transported me back to my middle grade homeroom--what a gift.

I'm still waiting to find some cash in an old book--maybe a winning lottery ticket? What's the best thing you've ever found in a book--besides a new world or adventure?

Update: New title, thanks to 'Old Kitty'