Friday, December 21, 2012

Joyeux Noel!

So, I mentioned last week that I have a lot to be happy about and grateful for lately, and the list has only grown since then.  I'm not sure how much blogging I'll get to between now and 2013, but I want to make sure to share some of the things making me smile:

New Books!

I mean, always.  But a few have come in the mail recently--I bid on some signed copies in a Hurricane Sandy fundraiser auction, and they came this week: Dancergirl and Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman, and Gentlemen by Michael Northrop.  It was a great chance to add to my signed book collection, check out some new books, and support the efforts to rebuild and recover after Sandy.

Then, TODAY, Christmas decided to come early for me!  I won two different giveaways--one from the ladies who ran the 2012 YA Superlative Blogfest, and one from Rebecca Behrens, celebrating Festivus!  So I can look forward to getting This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers and Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.  Thanks, ladies!

Cinder Paperback Blogger Shout-Outs!

You may have noticed the badge in my sidebar, proudly proclaiming, "My blog is in the Cinder paperback!"  Apparently, in the midst of my brain melting down this summer when we were moving, I sent in a link to my review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  So last week, I got an email informing me that my blog would be included on a page in the paperback dedicated to the book bloggers who've supported Cinder.  I mean, there's about a bazillion other blogs listed, blah blah blah...but you know what?  Yes, I am enough of a nerd (and loved Cinder enough) to be really excited about this.  So if you pick up a paperback (out Jan. 8th, with a bonus story and a sneak peek of Scarlet!), look out for my name.  Hint: I'm on the ankle ;) 

Christmas Preparations!

I've been baking and shopping (and this weekend I will be wrapping) galore!  We have a kitchen large enough that I don't feel claustrophobic when I'm in there, so I did my first real Christmas bake, with a few kinds of cookies my mom makes every year.  Plus, I went over to my in-laws' one day and baked with my mother-in-law--we did one kind of traditional Italian cookie that she knew and one kind from my mother's collection (which my sister copied over for me on recipe cards one of the first Christmases I was living away from home.  Best gift ever!)   I've mentioned before that I am WAY into Christmas, so my excitement is building.  We're going to get to see a LOT of family and friends in the next week or so, as long as the weather holds enough for some driving (ok, a lot of driving: Mr. S is a real trooper!  But hey, my in-laws are getting me driving lessons for Christmas, so by next Christmas I should be able to do some of the driving, at least!) and I'm really looking forward to all of it.

SCBWI (or: Why it Pays to Show Up!)

Last year, as my colleagues found out I was moving away, any time I came in sniffling or headachy I inevitable heard variations on, "Why did you even come in?  You won't need all your sick days."  They said it, I'm sure, because they could all sympathize with how crummy it is to teach when you're sick.  But the answer was always, "I needed to be here today."  Rehearsal, complicated class projects, and in one memorable case, I had promised to stay after with a senior who, in JUNE, needed to complete several hours worth of extra credit in order to pass her P.E. class and graduate.  And last week, I was rewarded for those crummy days with a remarkably well-timed check paying me for unused sick days.  It was enough for a splurge at the fancy supermarket (Vosges chocolate-covered blood orange and Campari caramels, you guys--they maybe deserve their own section of this blog post!) AND registration for the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York!  I had been wanting to go, but I wasn't sure if the finances would work out...and then, voila!  I'm super-excited to go and learn and hear from some awesome presenters and of course, meet some blog friends IRL!  If you're going, or if you're in New York, I'd love to meet you, so drop me a line!


  1. That's so great that you're able to go to the conference! Have fun!!!

  2. This is such a great post. So much happy! :D Of course, my favourite part is the SCBWI part, but then I have a vested interest in that. I was very excited for you when I found out you'd won both of those contests. Very cool. :)

    1. Thanks! I'm excited too :) I had such a cruddy morning (one of those days where six things go wrong the first half-hour you're awake, you know?) and then signed on to see I'd won TWO contests--totally turned the whole day around!

  3. Yay for all this good news! I was super excited when you saw that you'd won the YA Superlatives Blogfest book because I had so much fun reading your posts. Hope you have a lovely Christmas, Jess!

  4. Congrats on winning two contests! That's awesome.

    I'm sadly not attending SCBWI New York this year (saving my $$ for the LA one) but have an awesome time! I'm in the area though so if you wanted to meet up between/after sessions (if at all possible), let me know! :)

    1. Thanks! I'm still working out my travel/lodging arrangements so I'll let you know if I figure out a time that I'll have free!


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