Mark a course for 2015. Engage.

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So…here we are.


Every year I choose a word that sums up my intention for the year. Last year, with my first book being published, I chose the word “launch”.

This year, with one book out in the world and another on the way*, my word is…


en·gage (verb) \in-‘gaj, en-\

: to get and keep (someone’s attention, interest, etc.)

: to bring together and interlock <the gears engaged>

JLPOf course ‘engage’ makes me think of Jean-Luc Picard. Which makes me want to drink tea, Earl Grey, hot. And shave my head. No, wait. Not shave my head. But tea, yes. Always tea.

Anyway, my goal this year is to engage readers, both online and in person. Now That You’re Here has received really great reviews, and I’ve been getting emails from readers who have enjoyed it (which, seriously, is an author’s dream come true). Now it’s a matter of spreading the word that there’s a fun new science-y book out there that tweens and teens will enjoy. To do this, I need to engage with my audience. I began by redesigning my website, making it more me, and I’ve been setting up events where I can chat with readers.

First up is YAllapalooza at Changing Hands Tempe on January 24 at 4pm. It’s going to be so much fun! Hope to see you there.

In March, I’ll be down in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books, doing panels, signing and workshops. More on that soon.

Online, I’ll be blogging here (duh), as well as at the Parking Lot Confessional and YA Outside the Lines. The PLC is also continuing our geeky writing podcast, Curb Chat, which is so much fun, I can’t even tell you. Definitely check it out.

My other goal this year (and always) is to engage my creativity. My brain is brimming with ideas and my heart is full of hope of seeing more stories published. It’s time to put the pedal to the metal and get the gears turning. Or rather, the fingers typing.

So, without further ado, here’s to a great 2015!


Make it so.

*While You Were Gone, the second book in the Duplexity series, will be published by Knopf on August 4! More news to come!


Ready. . . Set. . . LAUNCH!

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Happy New Year!

How’s 2014 treating you so far? Around here, it’s been swell. I spent the first day of the new year reading, doing some web design work for the Class of 2k14 and counting down the minutes to the new season of Sherlock.

(Did you see it? At first I was like *gasp* and then I was like, AHHH! and then I was like, Whoa. I’ll tell you one thing: between The Day of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor and The Empty Hearse, I’m emotionally spent.)

Anyway, back on topic. 2014.

A few years ago (thanks to S. C. Green, I think) I started choosing a theme word for the year. Last year my word was “spirit“. And if 2013 was anything, it was spirited!

With my first book coming out this year and a slew of other writing projects in the works, the word I’ve chosen for 2014 is…



Let’s do this.

Here’s to a spirited 2013

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Happy New Year!

I spent the first day of 2013 looking at sights like this:

Far over the misty mountains cold...
Far over the misty mountains cold…

And this…

Middle Earth? No, Colorado.
Middle Earth? No, Colorado.

Now I’m back in my own shire and my own Hobbit hole, and that means comfort. The sun is shining, hubby has his feet up on the coffee table, the kids are playing with their Hobbit Lego sets and I’m drinking papaya juice.

Not a bad start to the year, really.

A couple of years ago I gave up setting resolutions for choosing a word to guide my year instead. In 2011, my word was “complete”. Last year my word was “becoming“. During our trip, I did a lot of thinking while staring at those snowing mountains. What word would fit where I am now, and help steer me to where I want to be?

I decided on “spirit“.


Main Entry: spirit [spir-it] (noun)
Definition: soul, attitude
Synonyms: air, animation, ardor, backbone, boldness, breath, character, complexion, courage, dauntlessness, disposition, earnestness, energy, enterprise, enthusiasm, essence, fire, force, frame of mind, gameness, grit, guts, heart, humor, jazz, life, life force, liveliness, mettle, mood, morale, motivation, nerve, oomph, outlook, psyche, quality, resolution, resolve, sparkle, spunk, stoutheartedness, substance, temper, temperament, tenor, vigor, vital spark, vitality, warmth, will, willpower, zest

During our jaunt through the misty mountains, I read a book that broke personality types into four categories, and gave lengthy descriptions for each. Of the four, it was blatantly clear I’m a Type 1, which means I like things light and fun. I giggle a lot. I try to offer others hope. My life is often unstructured and my schedule spontaneous.2012 was an exciting year, especially in terms of my writing career. I signed with an agent and landed a two-book deal with Knopf BFYR. My hope this year is to fill out the new shape my life has taken, as well as expand my creativity into new areas. It’s going to take a lot of boldness, courage and willpower (i.e., spirit) to make all my plans happen. I’m going to throw myself into my creative work with zest and spunk and energy (aka, spirit). And I’d like to do it all while keeping perspective on who I am, (i.e., my spirit).

I did a little searching on the word “spirit” and came across this quote from Leonardo de Vinci:

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.”

God made me this way for a reason, and my goal is to honor that in the work I do and the way I live this year.

So, here’s to a spirited 2013. *cheers*

A Wish for 2011

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So here we are. 2010 on its way out. 2011 on its way in.

Like any year, 2010 had its ups and downs.

In 2010, there were some really good times, and there were times that made me want to crawl into the corner and die.

In 2010, I made some new friends who totally rock, and I had to say goodbye to some friends.

I’m praying for better and best in 2011.

In 2011, I’d like a lot of really good times and a serious lack of times that make me want to crawl into the corner and die.

In 2011, I’d like to make a lot of new friends who totally rock, and not lose any of them.

In 2011, I’m going to finish the things I start.

In 2011, I’m going to do what I can to make this kooky world a better place.

In 2011, I’m going to laugh more. Smile more. Play with my kids more. Take my dog for more walks.

In 2011, I’m going to live more. Create more. Fear less. Take risks.

In 2011, I’d like there to be more double dream hands. Because what’s not to love about double dream hands?

So, here we are. A toast to 2010 and a wish for 2011.


Happy New Year!