Answers! (Part Four: UM, STUFF)

Featuring non-related pictures from an old summer vacation. Because (A) It's summer, and (B) I like tacky things.

Some quickies, because it's a vurry bizzy week . . .

Jolie asked:

How is that second book deadline coming along? Are you breathing? Sweating? Dancing? Eating everything in sight? Perhaps rolling bare-bummed in finished ms pages?


Snort snort snort.

[Stephanie wipes tear from eye.]

Choke snort choke.

It's, er, coming. In the sense that the actual deadline is rapidly approaching. (Four days. Accccck!) As I've mentioned here before — far too often — Second Novel and I are not exactly besties. She's pretty much kicking the tar out of me.

And taking enormous pleasure in it.

But . . . the last few weeks have okay! Okay-ish. The deadline is self-imposed, because I work much better under pressure. Productivity, creativity, and — most thankfully — my ability to focus ratchet up considerably. Because, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I am a hardcore procrastinator. I will wait until the LAST SECOND every time.

And I'm kinda in LAST SECOND territory now.

So it's a good thing! Sort of!

Buuuuuut yes. My daily habits have gone askew. I'm not dancing (I wish) or eating everything in sight (yet), but I'm drinking lattes at odd hours, staying up until six am, having panic attacks, emailing letters of desperation, canceling plans with friends, scribbling notes on my body in unwashable markers, and begging my husband to brainstorm with me about the same (stupid) thing again and again. And again.

I've also reached that stage where I edit my manuscript line-by-line while I sleep. (Do you do that? Please tell me you do. And then you wake up even more tired than when you went to bed?)

Oh! And there's a lot of uncontrollable sobbing.

In other words, I am SUPER FUN to be around right now!!!

(Thank you for thinking of me, Jolie. I've enjoyed reading about your progress this summer, too. Woo hoo! You're rocking it!)

I bought four pairs of retro sunglasses under this roof.

Kiersten asked:

When are you coming back to San Diego? Because Dojo misses his Aunt Stephanie, and our band seriously needs to practice.

Dude. We DO need to practice.

And I'll come back to San Diego when it stops being so:

flower-filled and . . .


I'll come back when you can hook me up with something substantial.

Something like THIS:

Anonymous asked:

Do you type up your stories or hand write them? I prefer to hand write mine. It's almost like a good luck charm with me :)

Ooo, I wish I could write my first drafts by hand! Lucky you. I always thought it'd be cool to be one of those writers with a fountain pen and a pad of legal paper who just went for it. So romantic!

But, alas, I am . . . what's the word?

Oh, yeah. Anal. I'm totally anal.

Whenever I write by hand, inevitably I get stuck on the very first page, scribbling out large chunks and re-writing new — often worse — lines in illegible print above it and sideways in the margins. And then scratching out those lines, etcetera etcetera.

This is essentially the same thing I do on my computer, but at least when I work in Word (one of these days, I SO need to switch to Scrivener), you can't see how many tries it takes me to write one freaking sentence.

Which is a very. long. time.

(Which is why I should go now. Nasty deadline and all.)

More answers comin' up . . .


  1. First, those pictures make me really happy.

    Second, I work better under deadlines as well. Though I don't think I stress as much...but hey, I also don't think I write as well as you either.

  2. Thank God you posted something!! I was just about to have to get busy on my draft.....aaaaahhhh, the distraction of reading about someone else struggling with their draft!! Bingo!!

    Anyway, you already know this, and I don't know you, like, in person or anything, but if you would just, for 48 hours, be un-anal, you know, stop clenching, and let yourself just write Second Novel, with the caveat that you will still have 48 more hours to change stuff that you messed up on, It Would Get Finished!!!

    You Can Do It!! (Let the Zombies have at the internal editor for a bit.....)

    Good Luck!

    (Double Dog Dare you....)


  3. Natalie — OF COURSE you write better than me. (And we can say this about each other with complete and perfect honesty, having never read each other's work.)

    Shelley — You did NOT just Double Dog Dare me!! Aghhhh! Cannot . . . resist . . . the Double-Dog . . .

  4. If you don't get crackin', Sunshine, I'm gonna whip you with the Triple!!

    (Sorry, inspired by yon gunslinger on the disneyland rip-off sign).

    Good luck...and if I post in your comments again today, just block me because I seriously need to be working......I have two books to finish by August 31.....and, well, that was a stupid goal to set.


  5. Uh oh, Shelley might start calling you a chicken too. That's the worst.

    Wait, you aren't chicken, are you?

    And sorry, but you write way better than me. I know because Kiersten swoons all over your stuff.

  6. Those pictures make me giggle.

    And your deadline? Hold on a second, I'm getting out my internet pom-poms...

    You *pom-pom shake* can *pom-pom shake* do it!!!

  7. I'll be sending out good vibes as you finish your MS!

  8. I have ordered one of those grocery guys. He should be in here in three- to four-weeks.

    Buy your plane ticket.

  9. Rosa Taylor10:27 PM GMT-5

    Aw, that sucks. But at least you're not alone! Meg Cabot seems to be in the exact same place right now, especially with the uncontrollable crying (http://www.megcabot.com/diary/). I actually found your blog through hers and I'm really glad. I really like your posts and can't wait for the your first novel. I wish you luck and brownies :)

  10. Natalie & Shelley — To quote Marty McFly, "Nobody calls me chicken!" Wait. What? What am I talking about? This is what happens when I STOP SLEEPING in order to finish a ms.

    Sarah & Mariah — Thank you!! Much, much appreciated!

    Kiersten — I will buy the plane ticket when I see the picture of you standing next to grocery guy.

    Rosa — I saw that post too! (And it *did* make me feel a little better!) Thank you for finding me and leaving such a nice comment :)

    bumblebeesies — I cannot resist a tacky sign. I am drawn to them as if by magnetic force!

  11. The last sign reminds me of the Ramona books, when Ramona names her favorite doll Chevrolet.

    I think Chevrolet-the-doll ends up getting put in a cake, just like you will be IF YOU DON'T FINISH SECOND NOVEL!!!!!

    (you did say you work better under pressure)

  12. Impressive multi-tasking, girl! Line edits in your sleep...I am not that talented.

    But, I hear you and raise you on the procrastination thing! 4-reals...which is why the whole revision smackdown was crucial for me...public deadline. And believe me, I was working mighty hard at the end.

    Hope your rolling in it bare-bummed soon! ;)

  13. Lexi — I cannot be-lieeeve that you brought up Chevrolet. (Except I can, because you are awesome.) I ADORE Ramona!

    Jolie — Ahh, yes! Nothing like a public deadline to keep you on your toes :) Major huge congratulations again!!

  14. Right, first things first. Been out of town and the loop and all that, but came back to find you mentioning Scrivener! PLEASE TRY IT! I love it!!!!!!!!

    And it's a free bloomin' trial for like a month. And it's pretty affordable. I DARE you to try it. If you do, the tutorial is worth it's weight in gold. If it wasn't weightless being on the computer and... you know.

    Did I mention I love reading whatever you write? It's true. Keep it coming.

  15. Ben — You win! I downloaded it. I'm nervous/overwhelmed but excited. And thanks for another nice comment :)

  16. You did??? Awesome! Let me know what you think! The tutorial is very worth it, though long. I even think the guy is a Brit, though i forget if he has a strong enough accent for your tastes.

    Oh I hope you like it.

    And thanks for your guiding me to the enlightenment with your cereal bar. Wow. Just wow.