The Emperor of Mondays

I'm borrowing this title from my friend Laini's January 1st post:

I like to think of New Year's as the "Emperor of Mondays." Mondays, I know, are not everyone's favorite day of the week, but I love Mondays. For some reason, Mondays have always felt like clean slates to me, like . . . new notebooks. You know? Like a fresh etch-n-sketch screen. The feeling is: begin now.

I love (and completely understand) this notion. Unfortunately, I was mud-trudging through Lola and the Boy Next Door revisions last January, and a clean slate felt like an impossibility. But today.


Today is my Emperor of Mondays.

Last Friday, I turned in the first copyedited version of Lola. She is finally—!!!—ready to become a real-live book. It is . . . difficult to believe. It is also awesome.

Really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really awesome.

So today, on my Emperor of Mondays, I'm gazing upon that clean slate: an empty work calendar and a new book. *happy sigh* Picture me rolling around in this moment like a puppy in the grass on a sunny day.

The Author, as interpreted by Frodo, which is, by the way, an excellent name for a dog.

I have many hopes, wishes, and goals for the next few months:

• An okay completed first draft of Isla and the Happily Ever After.

It doesn't have to be great, not yet. Just complete. And I do currently have a full draft, but it was my zero draft, aka my NaNoWriMo draft. Which is helpful! But NOT a first draft. I'll be fortunate if I save even 5k of the current 50k.

The related hope is to keep the work not-overwhelming and not-terrifying. I don't want to live through another Lola debacle. My new strategy is consists of three simple, non-negotiable parts: (1) work steady hours, (2) take scheduled time off, (3) remember that I write for myself first. It's okay to feel selfish, it's okay to shut out the other voices for a while.

I'm the one who has to live with the darn thing.

• A solidly brainstormed Fourth Novel.

Fourth Novel isn't related to Anna/Lola/Isla, and every time I tell someone about Fourth Novel, the idea changes. So . . . I've stopped telling people. But I'm sitting on something veeeeery intriguing. Now I have to figure out how to make it work! And I have to figure it out soon, because, you know, I need a paycheck next year. Groceries are good.

• A return to blogging.

I'm thankful that I've never disappeared for too long, but I do wish that I could return to two weekly posts. I miss this place! And I have so much to tell you about the fabulous books I'm reading! And the conference that I went to two weekends ago! And the extras casting call for the Hunger Games movie that I went to last weekend! And The Killing on AMC, which has excellent, realistic teen dialogue!

Anyone else watching? I heart smart storytelling.

So . . . that's it for now. Hopefully, I'll see you again later this week. Are any of you at a crossroads right now, too?

Best of luck to anyone who is!


  1. Congrats on finishing the draft! *has a dance party with you*

    I have just this moment, right before reading your blog, finished the 2nd episode of The Killing. I am hooked. I saw the lead actress, Mireille Enos, in a play YEARS ago and was thrilled to see her in this. I still have to see eps 3 and 4 so can't participate in any sort of discussion yet but I'm really excited to watch!

  2. I'm with you on the Monday feeling. And I'll totally join the finished-draft-dance-party! *dances*

    Not a crossroads, no... but steadily plowing ahead with my current journey, and hopefully getting smarter/faster/stronger about it every minute. :)

    (Note: that is an APPROPRIATE smiley face, despite your current Twitter-vent of inappropriate ones.)

  3. I think the Emperor of Monday is brilliant (the idea, not him personally, though he might be...). The whole thing turns Monday into something desirable.

    Good luck with your new project!

  4. My second year of college is over as of next week, which is a sort of crossroads. I have almost four months of summer to figure out what I'm doing next year which is both exciting and daunting... So as of Wednesday next week, I will also be rolling around in the grass like Frodo! :)

    ALSO, I cannot WAIT for Lola! WAHHHHHH!!!! I can hardly contain myself. =D

  5. Yes please do talk about the conference you went to! It was great to meet you there! (I can email you a picture or two if you're in need ;) I walked away so inspired, that Monday I had a totally new story idea, so my other two are on back burners now. I'd say that was a pretty big clean slate type of Monday for me.

    Congrats on being another step closer to Lola being a real book! I put in a request for an ARC--fingers crossed!

  6. YAY!!!

    Also, I can't wait until this blog becomes Isla central! I'm sure you can guess why.

    And I really need a clean slate but I'm in an awful, horrible, terrifying place that starts with q. So my slate is very messy. And dirty. So much dirt.

    But: YAY!!!

  7. I'm so happy for all of your happy news. And I hope your blue hair makes it into District 12 (or the capitol) because that would be all kinds of awesome. :)

  8. Congrats! I am so, SO excited to read Lola. And for Isla. Because I want more Paris, too!

    What's this about the HG casting call?! I wish I could go!

    I'm watching the Killing. It's AWESOME, is it not? I am fascinated by the emphasis on character rather than procedural...I'm really loving Mireille Enos, too.

  9. The Emperor of Mondays says "Huzzah!"

    I do too :)

  10. What I should have said on Twitter today:

    I was at the Hunger Games casting call, too :(

  11. Congrats on Lola! I'm dieing to read it and September seems so far away.

    I went to the local Hunger Games extra casting at the Carolina mall which is only a few miles from work. Since I had to work that day I went on my lunch break, there were soooo many people in line! It was awesome to see so many people interested in it but it kinda sucked that there was no way I was getting through the line in an hour. :( I just hung out and people watched while I had lunch so it wasn't a complete loss. I'm a die hard people watcher. :D
    I haven't seen The killing yet but I'm going to remedy that right now! I did watch Game of Thrones last night, soooo good. I need to read the books.

  12. Yay for finishing Lola and yay for more blog posts here!

    I adore that way of looking at Mondays - how positive and lovely, I'm going to adopt that :)

  13. Well, I feel like Anna changes my life... so I can't wait for Lola. Welcome back!

  14. Yayy for Lola! :) Finishing your draft must feel SO good! And good luck with Fourth Novel, I'm sure you'll think of something as amazing as your other works.

    So glad to see you back on the blog, Stephanie!



  15. I honestly like you so much. Your blog makes me smile so big. WHY HAVEN'T I READ YOUR BOOKS YET? I will. I promise. Now.

  16. I always have trouble talking about new stuff I am thinking of working on...sometimes it sounds not as cool as I'd hoped it would!

    congratulations on the new idea and the completion of Lola!

    Miss you!


  17. Congrats on finishing up with Lola. I know that must be huge after all she's put you through, and I'm excited I'll be able to read her soon. I'd also love it if you had time to post more. I've missed you.

    I'm just about to finish a first draft, and then I'm picking up that first story, the one I've been through five drafts on, to figure out what it still needs before I query it. So, I'm not quite at a crossroads, but I will be by the end of the month.

  18. New to your blog, but not to your writing. I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss! And while I can't wait to read Lola and Isla (and everything else you write), I'm still in the throes of first love with Anna. So um...if you ever have time...and I know you really don't...I am so excited to see the playlist and stuff for Anna! I love those extras! Plus, I love Jonsi and the fact that you mentioned Animal Arithmetic for Lola makes me want some Anna extras even more!

  19. i think im going to have my own nanowrimo...kind of nervous excited and ahhhh i have to just let myself write some crap instead of stressing!

  20. Whee! Congrats on your copyedited version. That must feel like a real weight off your back! Cool.

    I've given you an award, because you inspire me so. Come over to www.katrinadelallo.blogspot.com to collect your award.

  21. Crossroads it is, but I'm going in three different directions: pitch to an agent, edit second manuscript, finish third. Hurry up!!!

  22. That means LOLA is one step closer to being in my hands! Hooray!

    Can't wait for ISLA, either. Or Fourth Novel, which, based on your tidbits, sounds good. (As anything you write is bound to be.)Like the blog! I recently read through all of your posts in chronological order, and I really enjoyed following your journey to publication. (Even if it actually happened years ago. :D)

    Hunger Games castings? *salivates* I want to be in it!

    No crossroads for me, at the moment. Unless you count exams.