Revisions, revisions, revisions . . . oh, and a trip to the beach.

Nope, I haven't started writing Hallmark greeting cards. I just arrived home from a week at the beach. Woo hoo! It IS lovely, isn't it? My family has vacationed along the North Carolina coast since I was a wee little froggie in my mother's stomach.

Normally, I'm not a fan of large bodies of water due to my obsessive fear of:

(A) Sharks
(B) Tsunamis
(C) Sharks -- They have a LOT of teeth, you know. And they EAT PEOPLE.

But these beaches feel comfortable to me. Natural. And since I no longer live in the desert, I don't often see sunsets like this anymore:

Sigh. I LOVE sunsets. But who doesn't? It's like saying, "I love bubble baths and fuzzy animals and chocolate truffles and Mike Nesmith." (Wait. Not everyone loves Mike Nesmith? You're kidding me.)

As wonderful as Emerald Isle was, I spent most of my days inside, at my makeshift writing desk. Jarrod and I built it from part of a crib and chairs stolen from the ping pong room:


It was nice to have an opportunity to write during THE DAY for once (instead of 9 pm - 2 am, my regular hours), but also unbelievabl
y frustrating. I thought my revisions were under control and speeding along, but it turns out I have a lot more work than anticipated. Like, a LOT a lot. Which sort of breaks my heart.

I am so anxious to hand this novel over to my husband and my writer-friends for feedback (they've only seen bits of it), for it to not only be in MY head anymore, to share some of that agony . . . but it looks like I've still got another month or two.

I mean, if I had to show this draft to someone today, I would die of shame. I'd rather do a gymnastics routine in a string bikini in a room filled with eighth grade boys.


Oh well. At least I had an awesome view, right?

To help ease the building pressure/panic, Jarrod and I took many long evening walks, during which we discussed the different social implications between zombies, vampires, and werewolves (who doesn't?), and played with sand:

Awesome, right?

We are thinking about zombies.

And, of course, I sneaked in quite a bit of reading. Everything was good, but these were GREAT: Sara Zarr's Sweethearts and E. Lockh
art's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. So great, in fact, they left me feeling even more hopelessly inadequate as a writer. (Poor me, right? Ugh, sorry!)

Sweethearts is Zarr's second novel (her first, Story of a Girl, was one of my favorite books last year). Like Girl, I started this reeeally late at night thinking, "Oh, I'll just read a chapter or two before bed," and then COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN until it was over.

I'm still wrapping my head around how talented Zarr is. I mean, the book never gave me a second to pause -- no bathroom breaks, no snack breaks, and certainly no breaks for sleeping. I HAD to know what happened next. (What was the traumatic event when she was a child? Where did Cameron Quick go? Why is he back?)

Gah. Perfection. Can I cry now? I'm feeling so selfish and self-absorbed these days.

Frankie Landau-Banks has some serious summer buzz, and I was excited to read it. It's about a super-smart girl destined to "head the CIA, direct action movies, design rocket ships, or possibly (if she goes astray), preside over a unit of organized criminals." It's the very funny story -- with lots of clever word play -- about her sophomore year at a prestigious boarding school. I hope there's more coming with this fab female protagonist.

And . . . Breaking Dawn? Why, yes. I DID finish it.


Yes. It's good. It's really good.

No spoilers, but I'm happy with how things turned out. My quibbles are minor: the first two hundred pages were a wee painful (that same anguish Eclipse gave me), and the whole thing could have been edited down ('twas the Harry Potter syndrome where -- because everyone loves it so much -- the slower bits weren't cut).

BUT Edward is still yummy, and the ending made me swoon. What's not to love?

Sigh! Edward!

(Cough cough. I am so relieved, after stressing out for the last year about this.)

OOOOH! And speaking of fabulous books, I'm excited -- the trailer for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is out! HURRAH! It looks great. Check it out here.

Michael Cera + Yugo = Made of Awesome


  1. HEY! You never told me that Jarrod was a fucking Sand-God? Or God of Sand, or...(what is it they call them again? Hmm.) Anyhoo, those're some cool pix and I'm glad you shared. Looking forward to reading something by you someday (other than the e-mails & blog that is! :)

    Oh, and btw, if they were all real, I'm sure you'd agree that you'd rather live in a world where:
    (1) Werewolves, (2) vampires, and (3) zombies (in that order) were real. I DO NOT want to have to go avoiding zombies 24/7 thank you very much! I'll take the ol' "3-days-a-month" or "only at night" guys & gals WAY before I wanna deal with those brain-eating mofos. I'm sure you agree (right? RIGHT?!).


  2. Hmm. You make an excellent point, my friend. BUT I think I'd switch zombies and vampires on your list. Zombies may be 24/7, but you can kill them easily with shovels.

    Vampires? Not so much.

    Unless there are only, like, five vampires in the world. Then my chances are CLEARLY better with your list.

    (I suppose it all depends on the number of cities overrun with zombies and/or the number of vampires in the world. So many variables! Ha!)

  3. Jamey Strunk5:22 PM GMT-5

    Hee hee hee. I got super bored at work and somehow stumbled across your blog. The great thing is that I can hear your voice (in my mind)reading it out. :o) Yay for a little bit of Stephanie in the middle of a mundane day.

  4. Give me werewolves and vampires any day over zombies! Those guys give me the heebie-jeebies. They're after your brains ALL THE TIME. They don't take naps during the day or morph back into human form after the moon wanes. They just eat. Kind of like sharks. . . ohmygod, are sharks the zombies of the sea?!

    In other news, I'm totally jealous. Emerald Isle! That place is soooooo pretty and relaxing. That picture of Jarrod with the sand does look cool. When did he develop the ability to stop time?

  5. I love the writing desk - you embrace the true spirit of the desperate writer!

    I saw Rachel Cohn speak at SCBWI and she played the movie trailed for Nick and Norah. I am squealy with anticipation. Adore that book.

  6. JAMEY (!!!) -- Eek! So cool to see your name here!!

    Alexa -- Zombies of the sea?? Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack???

    Elise -- Um, can I just say I'm DYING of jealousy? You saw RACHEL FREAKING COHN?! I loooove her. Sigh. I wish I could have been there, but I'm so happy for you that YOU went!

  7. I take it you don't want to hear about the moray eel and it's crazy secondary set of alien teeth, then?;)

    Did I tell you that I put myself on the waiting list for TWILIGHT at the library the other day, and I was 26th in line? 26th! And that's the first book, not the new one.

    Stephanie Meyer is raking in some serious cash. I think we should team up and write a book about teenage orphan vampire musicians who solve mysteries, and hit all the hot YA genres at once. We'd be set for life!

  8. As long as they're SEXY teenage orphan vampire musicians who solve mysteries. Then I'm totally in.

  9. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of Rachel Cohn's books, but at the conference I bought that one and can't wait to read it. (Even though it's a gift for my sister--anyone else do that? Read a book before you give it away?) The movie looks ADORABLE.

    And those sand pictures... WOW.