Saturday, October 31, 2009

Absent, But In a Good Way

Yes, I have been horribly remiss in updating my fledging blog. I know that I need to post regularly if I'm going to get more followers, build my writing platform, etc. But, you see, there's this book I'm writing...

The book has been taking up my time lately... okay, life stuff has too, especially as the Fibro/CFS has been acting up, but I digress. I've been going through final revisions and edits before sending off the finished product to my critique peeps. Once that's done (first half minimum out tomorrow, rest to follow 2-3 days later), I will be revising my query letter and will send agent queries out mid-November. I'm also getting ready to start National Novel Writing Month ( again to work on Book 2 of my series.

Because of all this going on, I took a self-imposed exile from Facebook for several days. I stayed on Twitter because I have support from other writers, especially through #amwriting, #wordathon, and other hashtags. Being off of Facebook for a few days freed up some time to write (no more Bejeweled! no more watching funny You Tube vids posted by my friends!). One thing I've learned from dealing with Fibro/CFS is that I have to pace myself and manage my time well, and I hadn't been doing so hot with that the last few months.

In the spirit of putting my biggest priorities first, I have decided to join my Twitter buddy Nova Ren and many others in a Twitter and Facebook break from November 1 through November 7. A lot of the time when I'm not working goes to resting and doing things I need to do to manage my health, and that amount of time has increased over the last few months since I've had a lot of flare-ups. So, with the free time I have left, I have to put my writing first. NaNoWriMo is great for doing that, but I also can't afford to get behind on it. Twitter and Facebook are huge time sucks for me, so I'm admitting my addiction and facing the problem head on. :-)

If you want to read more about the break, I've posted the link to Nova's blog here: If you want to check out my NaNoWriMo page, I've posted that link here: I'll be checking email (jesscapelle at aol dot com) and NaNo mail during the week, as well as direct messages that come through to my email from the two social networking sites that shall not be named!

I'll also be blogging here during November about NaNo if you want to check in from time to time. Would love to have you stop by! :-)


Monday, October 12, 2009

My Little Banned Books Protest

I know we already had Banned Books Week, but I'm a little behind the eight ball since I've been busy and not feeling great. A couple days ago, I saw a post about the American Library Association's list of the most banned books from 1990-2000. The list is here:

I was quite surprised by some of the books on the list, like Where's Waldo?, To Kill a Mockingbird, and How to Eat Fried Worms. Others, I was not so shocked to see because of their subject matter, like Madonna's Sex, Curses Hexes and Spells, and The Anarchist's Cookbook. I have read quite a number of these books but was surprised by how many I had not. So, I decided to read them... all of them... as my personal protest to people trying to tell us what we cannot read. No, I don't think kids should have access to be able to read some of the adult books on the list, but I don't think books should be banned from libraries because someone deems them controversional or against their own morals and beliefs.

So, over the next year, I am going to read these books under the following guidelines:
1) If a series is mentioned, I will read at least one of the books.
2) I will re-read books that I have already read.
3) I will not read the following books, only because they don't apply to me now or never did: The New Joy of Gay Sex, What's Happening to My Body: Book for Girls, Asking About Sex and Growing Up, Boys and Sex, What's Happening to My Body: Book for Boys, Girls and Sex.
4) I will keep a list of the books on this blog and will update it as I cross them off. I will report on these books and their appropriateness from time to time.

Anyone who cares to join me in reading the books on this list is welcome to. Now I just have to pick which one to start with! :-)

P.S. Why are the books "What's Happening to My Body" banned so frequently?! Maybe if kids had more information on what was going on with their bodies they wouldn't "experiment" on each other at the age of 10!

Update- have decided to start with A Wrinkle in Time. Have no idea what happened to my original copy but saw it at Half Price Books a few weeks ago and picked it up. I figure it's a good start!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What are YOU reading?

What is "What are YOU reading?" all about? When people find out that I’ve written a book, one of the first questions I get is about what I’m reading. So, from time to time I’ll post a list of what I’m reading and what I’ve got in the pile that’s lined up next. Some are new, some old. A lot are YA or MG books. I read what I like, and my tastes vary wildly. I also read multiple books at the same time. :-) People are always lending or giving me books, I pick a lot up in the bargain bins at various bookstores, I buy some that I know I’ll want to keep at full price, and I get the rest from the library. I’ve even got readers on my iPhone and audiobooks, but nothing beats flipping the pages…

Here’s what I’m currently reading:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: He's one of my fave authors, so of course I'm reading this, just can't believe it took me so long to get to it! :-) It's beautifully written (duh!) and I love the mood the illustrations make.

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis: Won a signed copy on the Bees' Blog and just started it. Why was I so excited to read? 1) Debut book and 2) werewolves. Cool.

Story by Robert McKee: The guru of screenwriting has a lot to say about how to write, and I've been told by everyone who's anyone to read it. It's helping me tremendously so far.

Planet India by Mira Kamdar: (carried over from last month)

The Host by Stephenie Meyer: (carried over from last month and will probably carry over into next year)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: (carried over from last month)

Just Finished:

Gone by Michael Grant: I am obsessed with this book. It's like Lord of the Flies meets X-Men as everyone 15 and over disappears and Perdido Beach is cut off from the rest of the world. And then kids start developing powers. It's awesome. Go buy it now. As soon as I can allow myself to buy another book (I'm on a book buying freeze for a bit till the pile gets lower) I'm getting the next in the series, Hunger, and will probably finish it in one sitting. SO GOOD! Are you at the bookstore buying it yet?!

Some of the books coming up next:

My Life in France by Julia Child: Gift from a friend since I'm a definite Francophile and love to cook.

Geektastic- Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci: anthology of short stories about geekiness by a great group of YA authors.

The Shack by William P. Young: It's been in the pile for quite some time because I've been told I will bawl like a baby.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe: She had me at Salem Witch Trials.


Not sure how much actual reading I'll get done this month. I'm prepping the WIP so I can send queries to agents later this month, and then it's time to prep for NaNoWriMo. Here's my NaNo page if you're doing it this year- I need some buddies!!

And now, off to write...