Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kidlit Critterpalooza!

 For over a year now, CRITTER, the creation of artist Ian Sands, has been travelling the world, meeting many talented writers and authors and exploring where they live. At each stop he learns more and more about KIDLIT and the importance of literacy and creativity. This journey was the brainchild of Christy Evers, who got her hands on Critter after an interactive art project of Ian’s, where 500 Critters were hidden all over her city for people to find.

Critter has visited PJ Hoover (and the Texas Sweethearts!) in Texas, Beth Revis in North Carolina, Christina Farley in Korea, New England with Nandini Bajpai, Illinois with Kelly Polark, MG Higgins in California, Rena Jones in Montana, Cynthia Leitich Smith in Texas, Bish Denham in the Virgin Islands, Jacqui Robbins in Michigan, Tina Ferraro in California, Cynthia Chapman Willis in New Jersey, Jill S. Alexander in Texas, Ellen Oh in Virginia and finally, Alberta Canada with Angela Ackerman.

Critter has been to college, rock concerts, national landmarks, a palace, attended his first SCBWI conference, walked among giant redwoods, and met the world famous artist, Robert Bateman. Now that his journey is coming to a close, it’s CRITTER’S hope that you will help him celebrate over at The Bookshelf Muse. His new hosts, together with old hosts, have teamed up to create the Kidlit-inspired event, Critterpalooza! and you’re invited!

There are many AMAZING prizes to be won, all in the spirit of helping Critter celebrate the wonderful creativity & support within out KIDLIT community, and to also raise awareness for his charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

If you would like to donate a few dollars to Critter’s charity, just click on the I Love St. Jude button. Children’s lives are saved every day thanks to the support of people like you!

Check out Critter's Adventures here:Ian:



Texas Sweethearts:







Cynthia LS:


Cythia CW:






The Bookshelf Muse:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Are You a Fan of Critter?

Yes!  You too can join the throngs of screaming, crazed, needing-autographs fans of Critter. Click here to be a Critter's Fan.

This cute fellow created by Ian Sands has been all over the world and will be auctioned off soon to help kids.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Adventure Continues...

Yesterday on Beth Revis’ Across the World Tour, my waterfall adventure was featured here. I’m so excited to have been a ‘stop’ on her blog’s two week tour. If you haven’t checked it out, you still have time to hunt for the clues and enter her amazing contest.

But like I said yesterday in my comment section, my adventure didn’t stop after escaping the guys from the waterfall. As you can imagine after hiking all day, we were exhausted on our trek back home.

My feet were blistered. I was desperate for a shower. And starved for food.
 When you’re in that kind of shape, you’ll do pretty much anything. Like jump in front of a moving jeep to hitch a ride down the mountain. The driver kindly drove us to the banana plantation where he was headed. It wasn’t the whole way, but close enough.

It was a bumpy trip and it got even bumpier when the earthquake hit.

No joke!

Okay, so it wasn’t a major earthquake, just enough to shake you around. When I got home, believe me, I was relieved! A couple of things had been knocked over and a wall had a large splintered crack down the middle, but overall, everything was safe.

The earthquake had broken some of the water pipes in Bukit Sentul so we had muddy water (yeah, didn’t get my nice hot shower) for the next day. And the electricity was out, too.

But you know, even though I didn’t get my hot shower and had to use bottled water to get cleaned up. And even though there was no electricity, it was okay.

We all were safe. And that whole experience made me even more grateful for clean water and lights.

That night we ended up heading to the outdoor cafĂ© for food. Man, I was so sore and that nasi goreng tasted so delicious! The sun was fading, but the restaurant, used to the loss of electricity, had plenty of candles. From our table, I watched the city of Jakarta light up in the valley below. The mountain we had hiked up to was behind me, silhouetted in the sun’s final rays.

And that’s when I realized how blessed I was to be safe, surrounded by my friends, and to have everything that I needed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Across the World Book Tour for Across the Universe

Across the Universe is a sci fi coming out from Penguin/Razorbill on January 11, 2011. Author Beth Revis describes it as "a murder mystery set in space," but it also has romance, adventure, and dystopian elements. In the book, a girl boards an interstellar spaceship in a journey across the universe to find a new planet.

To celebrate the book's upcoming release, Beth's gathered together writers and readers from across the blogosphere to share their stories of adventures they've had across the world. Check out her site the first two weeks of November to read about adventures from the Wild West to Indonesia (this is where my adventure takes place!), from Europe to Africa.

And as you're going across the world with all these adventures, be sure to pick up the clues. On Beth's webpage is a secret link--LOOK for it, and you'll SEE it. But it's password protected! To find the password, you'll need to go on the adventures with us, pick up the letters, and re-arrange them into the secret phrase.

What do you get for playing? On the password protected page there's tons of secret information about the book--hidden Easter Eggs, the surprising origins of one of the characters, and the unexpected inspiration behind the space ship. But, more than that--there's also a chance for prizes! Only accessible from the password protected page is a form to enter a drawing--the winner will get a signed and doodled ARC of Across the Universe, pin-buttons featuring the book, star-related swag--and a secret something else!

All you have to do is follow us across the blogosphere, pick up the letters, and unscramble the password! Your clue for today is...


Monday, November 1, 2010

You Must Check This Out!

Beth Revis' Across the Universe Book Tour starts today! Head over to her blog for this awesome adventure. The directions on how it works are here and this is where the adventure begins.

And So It Begins

November 1st is a big day for those who have signed up for NaNo Writers Month. What is NaNo? It’s where many writers sign up on the NaNo website committing to write at least 50,000 words of a book in a fast draft form. Impressive isn’t it?

For the last two years I’ve unofficially joined in and I’ve dished out a stack of words in doing so. Even with November being one of my busiest months, I’ve always been able to write more just feeding off of the excitement and motivation of other writers out there pounding away at their keyboards.

And I was planning on doing it all over again by starting my next book set in Indonesia.

But I’m not going to. Instead I’m tackling a major revision of my latest book set in Korea. I knew my book’s opening chapters could be stronger so I emailed my critique buddy the whole book and said, “HELP! What is wrong with this baby of mine?”

That’s the amazing thing about great critique partners. They see the problems you just can’t see when you’re too close to a project. And they tell you what’s wrong instead of sending you a happy gram back with smiles and “I love it!” (Well, they might say “I love it!” but with lots of other insights too!)

When I got her email with her comments, I got so excited. She was right! She had some great ideas on how to fix my problems, too. So I’ve been brainstorming, making lists on the problems and how I’m going to solve those. It’s a great feeling.

So this month, I’m hacking out a pretty intensive revision. It won’t be a major rewrite but many of the chapters will be getting whole new looks and the first few chapters will be seeing lots of cuts and rewrites. Exciting isn’t it?

My goal? Get this baby finished by December 1st!

Bring on the chocolate!