Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday is for Secrets

Enough said.
Quote of the Day:
Trade your secrets and become who you are.
Frank Warren

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Although It May Seem Unlikely, I'm Still Alive (Somewhere)

Hey guys. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. You're actually getting a real live post from me... well, as real live as blogger gets. lol

I feel terrible. No author segments and no reviews lately.

So much has been going on over the last month that it's been hard to handle everything that I am juggling, not including the blog.

I've been really sick... really bad off for a while. I've been running tests and junk but as of now we still don't know :/. Tons of drama with the real life. Senior year's killing me.

But on the bright side, I got my acceptance letter I've been waiting for a few days ago.

I do promise, dearies -- I will try to get some posts out to you guys soon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Authors in the Corner: Blogging with Beth Kephart

Blogging with us today is Beth Kephart.

Beth Kephart spends the daylight hours as the strategic planning and writing partner of a boutique communications firm. In the early mornings, she writes. She was named a National Book Award finalist, an NEA grant winner, a Pew Fellowships in the Arts recipient, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts winner, a Leeway Foundation award winner, and a Speakeasy Poetry Prize winner. GHOSTS IN THE GARDEN was a Book Sense pick. UNDERCOVER and HOUSE OF DANCE were both recently nominated for the ALA Best Books for Young Readers List. Visit her at her blog,


Long before blogging became a vehicle for souls such as me, I searched for ways to combine actual color and image with words. I’d buy those blank books and watercolor page after page, blotting the tints until they dried, until I could write my poems above them. I had a colored-pencil stage. I had a scatter-the-words-across-the-page-in-varying-font-styles episode.

Then blogging entered my life (I was a little late to start, but I started nonetheless), and it was as if I’d found the key to heaven. All those photos I’d been taking had a sudden, potential purpose—a virtual home. All those stories I wanted to tell, those moods I wanted to evoke, those hanging possibilities could now be succored by a picture.

Blogging for me is about completing a puzzle—about finding synchronicities between images and ideas. Sometimes I’ll go out with my camera hunting for a specific image that might support a blog story. Sometimes I study my existing photographs until they suggest an angle, an idea. The effect, in the end, is reverberatory. Blogging enables me to live inside an echo chamber.

Thanks so much, Beth!

Quote of the Day:

Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Monday, October 6, 2008

Authors in the Corner: Mini-View With Beth Kephart

Let's extend a warm welcome to author Beth Kephart!

How did you decide to become an author?

I don’t know that I decided to become an author; I think I simply could not help myself. I’ve loved the sound of words from a very young age—the swoosh and swirl of consonants and vowels. As I grew older I discovered that writing calms me. It forces me to think more deeply. It forces me to try to understand.

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?

From the age of nine on, I wanted to be a writer. Only. Today I am an author, but I also run a business with my husband that does consume some 70 hours a week, on average.

Who or what’s your greatest influence?

My son. He is wise beyond measure, generous, interested in the world and in the ways that people get along, or don’t. Often I read him passages I’m working on. Usually he can hear what is wrong. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do now that he’s in college. He’s been my inspiration for such a long time.

Are you working on something right now?

I have a book coming out next June called Nothing but Ghosts, which is a bit of a mystery and a romance and also an exploration of how a teen named Katie deals with the sudden death of her mother. I have a story about a teen suicide due out in a HarperTeen anthology next year. In February 2010 I have a book due out called The Heart is Not a Size, which takes a group of privileged teens to a squatter’s village in Juarez, Mexico, where they all come to terms with different parts of themselves. I’ve also just finished an historical novel that takes place on a single day in 1876.

So at this very, very moment I’m recovering. I’m doing work for my business (which involves a lot of writing, but of another kind) and reading books that I haven’t been able to read for a long time (I’ve got to get caught up with GoodReads!). I’m also blogging most every day, which I approach in journaling fashion. I take a lot of time with each entry.

Have you ever refrained from writing about a certain topic for fear of how others would react to it?

All the time. My first five books were memoirs, and every inch of every page was guided by the question, Could this line or reference at any future time hurt any one that I love? Will I wish I hadn’t published this two years or ten years from now? People, real people, have got to come first. I wrote thematic memoirs, therefore, in which I was using my own life to reflect on large, universal issues, such as, What is Friendship? Or, Do we ever real know the ones we love?

In my fiction I’m careful about other things. I don’t want to write a book that would inadvertently embarrass a reader. That means that I don’t write the sort of books that will ever gain true mass appeal—that I don’t have long passages dedicated to sex or drug use or the like. I’m interested in how characters deal with other issues—with loneliness, with family ruptures, with poor self-image, with loss. I’m interested in writing books that feel timeless, somehow, not immediately marked by cultural trends or brands.

What’s your favorite author? Your favorite book?

Michael Ondaatje, who wrote The English Patient, Coming through Slaughter, Running in the Family, Anil’s Ghost, and other books, is, I think, an utterly seductive writer. He makes me believe in the power of language.

Is there something that I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

Excellent questions. I feel no need to say one word more. :)

Quote of the Day:

There's no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
And no song that I could sing but I can try for your heart.
-- Jack Johnson "Better Together"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Authors in the Corner: Mini-View With Daria Snadowsky

Today, we have with us Daria Snadowsky.

Daria Snadowsky grew up in New York City and Las Vegas. She holds a joint B.A./M.A. in film studies from Emory University in Atlanta, where she graduated in '01 with highest honors and on full merit scholarship. As a student she wrote for Creative Loafing and Las Vegas Weekly magazines. In addition she holds a J.D. from UNLV's William S. Boyd School of Law, which she attended also on full merit scholarship. There she served as notes editor of Nevada Law Journal and received the school's Carl W. Tobias Excellence in Writing Award for best student note, which was published in volume 6. She's licensed to practice law in Nevada, her present domicile. Anatomy of a Boyfriend is her first novel. Visit her website at


How did you decide to become an author?

I was going through a long period of unemployment, and one day I just started writing. After a few weeks and a hundred pages, I thought it might have the makings of a book. When I finished it over a year later, that's when I started looking for agents and dreamed of having it published.

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?

I thought of being a journalist, because I enjoyed writing, or a professor, because I loved university-life. Honestly, I still dream about being a journalist or a professor!

Who or what's your greatest influence?

Judy Blume's Forever (1975) is the central inspiration behind Anatomy of a Boyfriend. When writing Anatomy, I tried to be as honest and informative as Forever is with regard to the issues of love and sex.

Are you working on something right now?

I have ideas, but at the moment I'm concentrating on law (my other career).

Have you ever refrained from writing about a certain topic for fear of how others would react to it?

So far, no. Certainly, I knew the sex scenes in Anatomy of a Boyfriend might raise some eyebrows, but that's not a bad thing. Whenever you write about touchy subjects, it's always going to inspire a range of reactions.

What's your favorite author? Your favorite book?

That's easy! Judy Blume is my favorite author and Forever is one of my favorite books. Speaking of Judy Blume, I actually mailed Judy Blume a mostly-edited version of Anatomy of a Boyfriend a few months before it came out. I wasn't expecting her to read it since she's so busy, but she did! She emailed me that she enjoyed it so much she had trouble putting it down!

Thanks so much, Daria!

Quote of the Day:

Everybody likes to go their own way -- to choose their own time and manner of devotion.
-- Jane Austen, Mansfield Park