My friend and Agent-mate, Kay Cassidy, has launched a GREAT website with Becca Fitzpatrick, Alyson Noel, and Tera Lyn Childs called Living Your Five. You need to go over there and check it out, but basically, it's about picking five things that you are really passionate about, and then seeing how you can use that passion to create positive change. It's completely amazing!
So in honor of that, I've decided to blog about 5 Things I Am Totally In Love With Right Now. Now, none of these are causes exactly. Or, um, at all, but they are things that are bringing joy into my life! And Bringing Joy Into Rachel's Life is, like, my Number 1 cause. ;-)
1) Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA
First off, I had a BLAST at the Decatur Book Festival! If you love books, you need to hie thee hence to a book festival, because all it is is people who love, read, and/or write books, hanging out with like-minded people. Also, there is funnel cake. It is Book Lover Nirvana. I got to hang out with fabulous writers, meet awesome bloggers, and just managed not to fangirl all over Richelle Mead. If you've never seen her in person, she is tiny and beautiful and I kind of wanted to touch her hair. But I resisted. I also got to hang out with The Mama and some of her high school friends, one of whom was on the board of directors for the festival. (This lead to one of my favorite moments of the weekend. I left The Mama alone for a couple of hours, and when I found her again, she had a VIP pass thanks to her friend. This is how The Mama rolls. She just shows up at places, and people KNOW she's a VIP. Hilariously, she was then like, "Here, I scored one for you, too.")
Also, I got an ARC of Lindsey Leavitt's PRINCESS FOR HIRE, and it is RIDICULOUSLY DELIGHTFUL! I know and love Lindsey, so I of course REALLY wanted to love her book, and it does not disappoint! I'll do a more in depth post about it later once I've finished it (HEX HALL 2: A FUN AND HEXY TIME has meant that I haven't been able to read anything YA until it's finished. Sad day.)But what I love most about P4H right now is that it's fun, and quirky, and unique, in the absolute best possible way.
Anyway, THE highlight of the festival for me was getting to see the lovely Little Shop of Stories. It's a bookstore solely for childrens' books, and it is GORGEOUS. Very quaint and comfy, with nice wide aisles for strollers, and a cool upstairs area for book signings and such. But the best part? When we walked in, everywhere you looked, there were kids just sitting on the floor, reading books. Like they just couldn't WAIT to take the book home, they had to read RIGHT NOW. That filled my heart with more joy than I can say, and really brought home why I love writing for kids.
After I got back from a recent vacay, I decided it was time to explore the classes offered at my gym. I'd heard Zumba was fun, so I wanted to check it out.
Oh. My. God.
It is not just fun, it is INSANE. And energizing! And freeing! And sexy! And extremely sweaty!
I am addicted to Zumba, y'all. It's very dance based, but even a total klutz like me can do the moves. And because there's so much choreography involved, you're so busy concentrating on your steps that you don't realize you're dying. It's amazing. Burns like 1,000 calories and leaves you feeling like you might take over the world.
3) 10 Things I Hate About You
Not the movie, the show on ABC Family. They just wrapped up the first season, but you can find it on Hulu and all kinds of other places. I was really leery of this show at first, mostly because I love, love, love the movie, and I thought a show was kind of unnecessary. But then they started talking about it on Jezebel, and how Kat, the main character, was portrayed as a strong, realistic, teenage feminist, so I thought, "Eh. I'll check it out." I ended up watching the first 6 episodes one right after the other, that's how much I loved it. I think most YA authors have a natural affinity for teen movies/TV shows (seriously, get a bunch of us in a room and mention Buffy. Or Veronica Mars. Then watch us all hyperventilate as we try to express our love.), so I shouldn't have been surprised that I lurve 10 Things. Yeah, the acting can be a little uneven, and they've ditched some of the interesting plot elements from the movie, but it's still 22 minutes of sunshine and goodness. he actors who play Kat and Patrick have real chemistry, the kind that makes you feel REALLY INVESTED in seeing them make-out, and that's pretty rare. Plus the guy who plays Patrick looks like this:
He's also Gregory Peck's grandson in real life, and has a similar, "Everything I say sounds sexy and intense" voice. No, he's not Heath Ledger, but he is still very. very enjoyable. Also, he looks a lot like how I imagined Archer, the love interest in HEX HALL, so I may be a little biased.
Kat writes, "Why am I writing on your arm, and not MAKING OUT WITH YOU HARDCORE?"
4)Lev Grossman's THE MAGICIANS
The fabulous Chantel Acevedo turned me on to this book, and for that, I am eternally grateful. THE MAGICIANS is basically, "What if the Harry Potter kids started Hogwarts at 18 instead of 11? And what if they were all angsty and screwed-up, and liked sex and booze? And what if they THEN went to Narnia, and IT was all screwed-up, and dark, and insane, and Aslan was kind of a dick?"
So yeah, I LOVE THIS BOOK! LOOOOVE! I haven't even finished it yet because I'm savoring the experience. And I'm the kind of girl who inhales books, so you know it's good! More books like this should exist. You know, smart, literary, character driven, but also with all the fun of genre. Those things shouldn't be mutually exclusive.
5)MY COVER COMP!
No pic yet, and I can't even tell you what's on it, but I have seen the first "comp" for HEX HALL's cover! A comp is basically like a rough draft of a cover. It gives you the concept and all the elements, but most of the people/things are stock photos that will be replaced later. But still, you can get an idea of what the cover will look like, and I am TOTALLY IN LOVE with mine! It's spooky and pretty and whimsical, and it captures some major ideas in the book. I just got it today, and there are still photo shoots that need to happen, so it will be awhile before I can share it. But I can't WAIT to show it to all of you once it's ready! It's seriously amazing!
So there's my 5 Things I Am Totally In Love With Right Now. Y'all have any you want to share?