Hey all! My favorite season (and month, except for that cold spell last week--ick to the thousandth degree) has been chugging along, and I've been finding myself horrendously behind on reading blog posts and reading review books. The following is a "Friday Fabulous"-like (but also sort of unlike) post in which I endeavour to explor what I've been up to and to justify my reason for not being able to be around on the blogosphere so much.
1. First things first: SCHOOL WORK. There's...so much of it! I'm trying to read four different novels for three classes right now, along with the usual number of shorter articles and small weekly assignments. I mean, it's all well and good that I'm actually enjoying the books I'm reading for my classes right now (thank God the Dickens phase was over), but it means very little time for non-school reading, and I know I am behind on review books. And then there is that tiny little devil inside of me that keeps on seeing interesting new books and going, "Ooh! *buys*" Very bad for my TBR mountain range.
stephxsu: click on it to go to my page and make me a buddy! (I have yet to find a way to better identify my NaNo profile's URL other than with the number they assigned me; if anyone else can find a helpful search feature on the website, let me know!). I have my novel idea decently fleshed out in my head right now, and hope to get it down into a decently detailed plot summary or outline by the end of this weekend. Actually, it has to be done by next Wednesday, because my Nano project is doubling as my final project in my Children's Lit class. (Yes! I get to write a children's book for my final project!!) Of course, what that ends up meaning is that I will have even LESS time to read non-school books and hang out in the blogosphere. *sigh* Multitasking is not my strong point.
Here's a sentence to describe my Nano project: middle-grade contemporary fiction on racial prejudice... with a paranormal twist. Intrigued? Excited? Absolutely friggin' horrified? Stay tuned for possibly more info as the days go along. It might be fun for me to write a post about what encouraged me to write this story.
3. On a far happier note, last Thursday, during my school's October break, I got the wonderful opportunity to attend a B&N Post-Apocalyptic Teen Fiction Panel in NYC that featured the spectacular Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan), James Dashner (The Maze Runner - AWESOME AWESOME AWESOMENESS. You haven't read it yet? WHY haven't you read it yet?), Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), and Michael Grant (Gone, Book 2: Hunger). It was definitely the best author event that I've been to in months, and I was really happy that one of my brothers got to go with me, even though it was a school night. (The other brother was at college and was really bummed that he couldn't go see Scott with us - we're a trio of Scott fans.)
After Scott's awesome slideshow, a nice Q&A session with lots of intriguing--and occasionally slightly disturbing--questions, and presentations of two incredible took trailers, it was time for the signing. I was really happy to have the chance to talk with James Dashner, as we had exchanged emails a few times in August/September and I wanted to tell him how amazing I thought The Maze Runner was. So I was completely flabbergasted when I told him who I was, and he knew me!! We chatted about my blog and his book (which has a 100,000-copy initial print run and is now moving into Walmarts, Targets, and Costcos everywhere--that's powerful stuff!). James told me a little more news about the Taiwanese translation of The Maze Runner, which I'm looking forward to seeing since that's my "mother country," if you so please, and we made plans for an interview on my blog in the near future. It was absolutely incredible to meet a brilliant author destined for bestseller-dom and find that he is completely down-to-earth. Definitely one of the highlights of the evening for me.
That is a picture of James talking about his book, with Scott and Carrie looking on. Immediately after this my camera died, so that was the only picture I got. Sigh.
Then, my brother and I got to speak to Scott Westerfeld, who, when I introduced myself, said something along the lines of, "Oh yes! I know you from Twitter." Talk about my jaw wanting to hit the floor. (In case any of the aforementioned authors are reading this--dear God this is one of those moments when I'm not sure if I want them to read this or not--I... well, I'm not sure. You tell me. Moving on.) Scott is one of those authors whose books basically marked important passages in my high school years, and I get extremely shy and tongue-tied around people I respect, admire, and want to get to know, so you can imagine what I--and my brother, who was standing mutely next to me--was like. But he was a great guy, and signed all of our books happily. (When I told my away-at-college brother that I had gotten his first Midnighters book signed and personalized to him by Scott, he freaked out. In a happy way. It was cute. But pretend you didn't read that so he won't come down to PA and try to kill me.)
Uglies now looks like. Cool-ified, isn't it?
It was an unforgettable night overall, and I was definitely on a cloud for, like, a day and a half afterwards. I look forward to hopefully having more positive experiences at author signings in the future!
Okay, that was, uh, all I wanted to say for now, I think. I should probably go back to doing some more work before I potentially go out tonight, even though it's pouring and I'd just rather stay home and do some more happy work. So if by any freaky chance of nature you were wondering what I've been up to, now you now. I'm excited for NaNo!