Monday, January 4, 2016

My blog is moving!

For the past few months, the amazing Tessa Elwood (author and graphic designer extraordinaire) has been working on my website, and while much of it is still a work in progress, my blog is officially moving over as of today. Hurray!

I hope you'll come visit me there! My blog is HERE. And my website is HERE.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Top Five: Reasons for Lists

I love lists.

The older I've gotten the more I've come to rely on them. Just sitting at my desk and glancing at the plethora of sticky notes that surround me, I can find 8 lists. And those are just the ones that aren't buried under other lists.

To do lists, grocery lists, lists of people to send things to, lists of keyboard shortcuts (the ones I use just seldom enough that I forget between uses), lists of authors, lists of swag to make . . . SO MANY LISTS!

So today, I am making my TOP FIVE reasons for lists. (Yes, a list about lists! I love it!)

  1. They make me feel accomplished. Sometimes, I put things like "shower" or "eat breakfast" on my To Do list just so I can feel more accomplished by crossing it off. Seriously, you should try it because crossing things off feels AWESOME!
  2. They take away my stress. For me, lists are better than a back massage. I get immediate results without actually doing anything! Plus, lists cost pennies (a bit of ink and a piece of paper) unlike back massages. And there goes some more stress as I think of all the $$$ I just saved!
  3. I forget less. Before I had kids, I rarely made lists or wrote things down. I could just remember. Not so anymore. And this is stressful (see #2)! I hate forgetting things. Feel HORRIBLE when I forget things. But with lists, the paper does all the remembering for me! Perfect.
  4. They are visual evidence to OTHERS of what I've accomplished. So my husband is really good about not asking "WHAT did you DO all day?" when he gets home and sees the mess that is our house (except right now. It's clean. Really. Well not my office, but the rest. For sure.). But if he did, I could just pull out my list and boom! Evidence. I did work. See how long that list is? . . . Hey! Honey! Yo. You don't need to read what's on the list.
  5. Legit procrastination tool. Sometimes I just don't want to do something. I don't! But I might feel guilty just doing nothing. So I make a list instead. It's brilliant! Not only am I doing something productive, but I'm finding reasons to put off that one thing that I really don't want to do. Clean the bathrooms, you say? Oh dear. My list tells me I need to read this book first. Sorry. It's on the list! 
So there you have it. My top five. Now, why do you love lists?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Books! Glorious Books! (Kiribati Library Project Update)

Books! Glorious books! (And yes, I'm totally singing that in my head).

Over the last couple of weeks, packages of books have been trickling in for our Kiribati Library Project. Boxes crammed full of books. Books signed to the students in Kiribati by authors. Recent releases. Old classics. It has been beautiful to see!


And it's not done yet. Capstone (my publisher) contacted me, and they're sending a box, too! I am so thrilled, I just can't even express it.

Last Tuesday, an unexpected delivery from Amazon arrived on our doorstep. Someone who had already sent us a big box of books had the entire Harry Potter series sent.

Guys, I was crying! When I wrote to thank her, this is what she said:
"The idea that we can introduce kids to these character and the worlds created on the page is pretty much my happy place."
And I think she pretty much captured why I'm doing this. What an amazing thought! The Harry Potter series has given me countless hours of joy. And she will be giving that to these kids.

This will be my last call for donations (so back to regular programing starting next week). For those interested, you can either donate money at our GoFundMe account, or you can donate books. Just use the Contact Me tab for information on where to send them.

Since that first post, I have received a wish list of books from the library. We have received a few on the list, but I wanted to post it in case it inspires anyone out there to join in our cause.

That said, if you have books to donate that are not on this list, that is great, too! But this gives a good picture of the types of things they are looking for.

Thank you again for reading this post and for all the sharing and donations and well-wishes we've received on this project. Imagining these books in the hands of these students makes me so happy. Thank you!

Kiribati Library Project Wishlist

Middle Reading:    

Goosebumps Books All Series                                              R. L. Stine
Hardy Boys Series                                                                   Franklin W. Dixon
Nancy Drew Series                                                                  Carolyn Keene
The Littles Series                                                                     John Peterson
Ramona Series                                                                         Beverly Cleary
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles                                        Patricia C. Wrede
Betsy-Tacy Books                                                                    Maud Hart Lovelace
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party       Shannon Hale
Matilda                                                                                     Roald Dahl
Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret                                Judy Blume
Harriet the Spy                                                                        Louise Fitshugh
The Chocolate War                                                                 Robert Cormier

Young Adult Series:

Harry Potter Series                                                                  J. K. Rowling
The Hunger Game Series                                                       Suzanne Collins
    (Need Hunger Games and Mockingjay)
The Lord of the Rings                                                             J.R.R. Tolkien
The Giver Series                                                                      Lois Lowry
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy                                 Douglas Adam
Anne of Green Gable Series                                                 L.M. Montgomery
Graceling Series                                                                      Christine Cashore
The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants Series                           Ann Brashares
Uglies Series                                                                            Scott Westerfeld
Twilight Series                                                                         Stephenie Meyer
Earthsea Series                                                                        Ursula K. Le Guin
The Princess Diary Series                                                       Meg Cabot
Song of the Lioness series                                                     Tamora Pierce
Vampire Academy                                                                  Richelle Mead
Fable Haven                                                                             Brandon Mull
The Goose Girl series                                                             Shannon Hale
The Princess Academy series                                                Shannon Hale
     (Need book 2 and 3)
Ever After High                                                                        Shannon Hale
Daughter of the Lioness / Tricksters series                        Tamora Pierce
Percy Jackson series                                                               Rick Riordan
The Red Pyramid Series                                                         Rick Riordan
The Chronicles of Narnia                                                       C.S. Lewis
Leviathan series                                                                      Scott Westerfeld
His Dark Material Series                                                        Philip Pullman
The Mortal Instruments series                                            Cassandra Clare
Fallen series                                                                            Lauren Kate
Septimus Heap Series                                                            Angie Sage
The Maze Runner series                                                        James Dashner
Crank series                                                                             Ellen Hopkins
Matched series                                                                        Ally Condie
Discworld / Tiffany Aching series                                        Terry Pratchett
Chaos Walking series                                                             Patrick Ness
Circle of Magic series                                                             Tamora Pierce
Wrinkle in Time Series                                                           Madeleine L’Engle
Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry Series                                     Mildred Taylor
     (Need Let the Circle Be unbroken, and The Road to Memphis)
Chronicles of Prydain                                                              Lloyd Alexander

Young Adult Books:

The Fault in our Stars                                                              John Green
Looking for Alaska                                                                   John Green
The Hobbit                                                                                J.R.R. Tolkien
The Catcher in the Rye                                                           J.D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird                                                              Harper Lee
The Book Thief                                                                         Markus Zusak
The Outsiders                                                                           S.E. Hinton
The Princess Bride                                                                   William Goldman
Thirteen Reasons Why                                                            Jay Asher
The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime                 Mark Haddon
Stargirl                                                                                        Jerry Spinelli
The House on Mango Street                                                   Sandra Cisneros
The Truth About Forever                                                         Sarah Dessen
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane                          Kate DiCamillo
Tuck Everlasting                                                                        Natalie Babbitt
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian                 Sherman Alexie
13 Little Blue Envelopes                                                           Maureen Johnson
It's Kind of a Funny Story                                                         Ned Vizzini
Just Listen                                                                                   Sarah Dessen
A Ring of Endless Light                                                             Madeleine L'Engle
Before I Fall                                                                                Lauren Oliver
Unwind                                                                                        Neal Shusterman
The Last Unicorn                                                                        Peter S. Beagle
If I Stay                                                                                         Gayle Forman
The Blue Sword                                                                          Robin McKinley
The Hero and the Crown                                                          Robin McKinley
Beauty                                                                                         Robin McKinley
I Am the Messenger                                                                  Markus Zusak
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous                                                    Beatrice Sparks
Daughter of Smoke & Bone                                                     Laini Taylor
The House of the Scorpion                                                      Nancy Farmer
Wintergirls                                                                                  Laurie Halse Anderson
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States                            Sarah Vowell
Holes                                                                                           Louis Sachar
The Phantom Tollbooth                                                           Norton Juster
The Diary of Anne Frank                                                          Otto Frank
Wonder                                                                                       R. J. Palacio
Out of My Mind                                                                         Sharon M. Draper
Bridge to Terabithia                                                                  Katherine Patterson
Jacob Have I loved                                                                     Katherine Patterson
A Separate Peace                                                                       John Knowles
Hatchet                                                                                        Gary Paulsen
Princess Bride                                                                             William Goldman
The Westing Game                                                                    Ellen Raskin
Number the Stars                                                                       Lois Lowery
Boxers and Saints                                                                       Gene Luen Yag
The Lost Conspiracy                                                                   Francise Hardinge
Esperanza Rising                                                                         Pam Munoz Ryan
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh                                            Robert C. Obrian
The invention of Hugo Cabret                                                  Brian Selznick