Sunrise Giveaway!- In an early draft of LET’S GET LOST (so early that I never wrote it, the idea stayed off the page and in my head, where it belonged) I had Leila watching the sunrise with all the characters she meets on her journey. It was an impulse of loyalty, since I’ve loved sunsets and sunrises for a few years now (which I know is like saying I’m attracted to pretty people).

Leila seeks out the Northern Lights, but the sky does beautiful things on a daily basis, and I’ve always been shocked and a bit disappointed that we don’t take the time to notice more often. We should be getting up this early and catching up on sleep some other time. Fender benders should spike during twilight and dawn. We should know where the best place in town is to watch. We should pause, basking in these daily displays.

So this is me bribing you. Watch the sunrise, watch the sunset. Take a few pictures but mostly just watch. Tag me or #LetsGetLost in those pictures and you could win a signed ARC of my debut novel, which is releasing in August. Each picture is an entry, and I’ll enter all entries into a randomizer to pick the winner. No limit on entries per person, but let’s pinky swear to keep it to two pictures per sunset/sunrise. Deadline is sunset April 21, open to internationals.

Go, bask. Enjoy.

#bookgiveaway #sunset #sunrise

  08:50 am, by somewhereoverthesunnovel 6  |  Comments

Just sent out a few postcards, but have tons more. Who wants one? Just email me a mailing address at #postcards #authorgiveaway

  11:22 pm, by somewhereoverthesunnovel  Comments

If you’re at #txla14, come see me (not pictured) tomorrow from 10-11 a.m at the @harlequinteen booth, where I’ll be signing ARCs of #LetsGetLost.

  07:47 pm, by somewhereoverthesunnovel  Comments

Reposting so everyone’s aware of the giveaway! Want to win one of these two signed ARCS? It’s easy. Just post a picture from your favorite road trip and use #LetsGetLost to tag it. I’ll pick two winners by the end of the day Sunday, April 6. Alternately, you can share a picture of your favorite place to get lost, or simply repost this for your followers. Open to internationals. @harlequinteen #books #bookgiveaway #yalit

  09:19 am, by somewhereoverthesunnovel 4  |  Comments

Notes from a High School Class

Recently, I sat in on some classes at the high school where I coach basketball to draw some inspiration for future YA writing. Here are some notes, transcribed straight from my notebook.

  • 8:40 a.m. First head to hit the desk.
  • Prolonged yawns, snacks reached for stealthily or openly, patches of skin being inspected. Wordlessly crossing the room to reach for Kleenexes. Writing surfaces: legal pads, well-organized binders, a laptop, loose-leaf paper borrowed from a neighbor.
  • Lots of self-inspection going on. Cuticles, itchy spots, necklaces, split ends.
  • Focus on task at hand in intervals before distracting themselves. It’s whats expected of them, and what they’ve been doing their whole lives. Pre-class there’s sarcastic comments about SAT prep classes and the college fair, but also talk of upcoming parties, exchange of factoids, phones and iPads being plugged in. Stupid little jokes mumbled to each other, not always met by laughter. Staring off into the distance a lot. Teachers have to constantly struggle to maintain control, lest bouts of isolated whispering break out into full conversations.
  • That was cute. During group work, two kids stick their tongues out at each other, trying to match tricks- the taco, the clover, the fold- then they break out in smiles and return to work.
  • Music tastes: One Direction, The Beatles, Lana Del Ray, others. Cinephiles and John Green fans.
  • Inspirational quotations on the walls, most of ‘em regarding education or knowledge or learning, the teacher exposing his/her influences and philosophy. Meanwhile, the kids write band names on their skin (I remember doing that).
  • The thrill of being allowed to listen to music during class. I can remember how that felt.
  • 5+ on phones, 3-4 on their computers. Pride shows through on their faces when they’re encouraged honestly.
  • Sarcasm is unrefined. Some have the impulse to share almost everything, their knowledge, their tiniest experiences, just to connect. 
  • Mid-class selfies during activities. PA announcements usually ignored.
  • The awkwardness of French class presentations. Videos to avoid speaking live, giggling at themselves. Some kids have fun with it, increase production value, others get through with it as quickly and quietly as possible.
  • The looseness of a Friday, the generous lesson planning to allow for down time, for chatting, for making the day easier for all.
11:50 am, by somewhereoverthesunnovel 7  |  Comments

Instagram giveaway! Want to win one of these two signed ARCS? It’s easy. Just post a picture from your favorite road trip and use #LetsGetLost to tag it. I’ll pick two winners by the end of the day Sunday, April 6. Alternately, you can share a picture of your favorite place to get lost, or simply repost this for your followers. Open to internationals. @harlequinteen #books #bookgiveaway #yalit

  11:27 am, by somewhereoverthesunnovel 5  |  Comments

Few sights are more satisfying than a kitchen wrecked by the mess you made yourself.

  09:46 pm, by somewhereoverthesunnovel 1  |  Comments

Of Course

It’s 3:30 in the morning, so of course I’m hunting down a mosquito.

At first, sleep-fogged brain that I woke up with, I assumed the worst. I’m itchy because I’m insane. I went to the bathroom to check for bites, which were, no doubt bed bug bites, since I slept with my window closed and there’s no way an insect could get into my room otherwise. I turned on my bedside lamp and inspected the sheets and the pillows, the edge of the mattress.

Now I’m laying on my bed, trying not to fall asleep, waiting to catch the slightest movement out of the corner of my eye. Twice it zooms right past my face and I clap my hands together, about a millenia too late. It disappears into the white walls of my room.

I start thinking about what animals hunt down mosquitoes that I could domesticate and let roam my apartment at night. A frog? Would a frog work, or would it be asleep when the mosquitoes appear? Cats? Cats hunt, but do they bother with speck-sized mosquitoes (how does something that small give me bites so large, so maddening?)? I think back to sleepovers at my best friend’s house in elementary school. At night his cat would always come sleep on top of me. It was a beautiful, white cat, whit long, soft fur. During the day she was a jerk, but at night she lay perfectly still atop my chest, once even flat on my back, and I liked the weight and warmth of her so much that I didn’t dare flip over. During sleepovers when she wouldn’t come to me, I’d feel almost like a jilted lover.

There it is again. I see it so clearly. It’s near my bookcase, disappearing against the darker spines, reappearing again at the edge, where wood meets wall. I grab a Kleenex without turning my eyes away and stalk up slowly to the bookcase, ready for the kill. But, of course, the mosquito is gone.

I’m back in bed, eyes heavy, music playing, thinking thoughts like: Don’t underestimate your adversary. 

I think about the book I’m writing, how I unconsciously wrote in a quirk from a friend who I haven’t seen in a little too long. I close my eyes, not wanting to let the mosquito win, fearing that moment right before I fall asleep where it will undoubtedly zoom past my ear, the sound amplified just loud enough to send an unnamable fear coursing through my veins.

I turn off the light, envelop my self in a cocoon of bedsheets. The mosquito stays alive to haunt me another day.

10:35 am, by somewhereoverthesunnovel 6  |  Comments