Feeling Apocalyptic

I was lucky enough to spend the moment 2011 gave way to 2012 at a wedding surrounded by friends and in formal wear. I’d almost, almost made it to 12 o’clock in my heels.

But when the countdown hit one and people cheered and toasted and kissed, the moment felt extra, extra exciting. And not just because of St.Matt’s midnight kiss.

It’s 2012.

Twenty-twelve!*

SEND ME A SIGN comes out in October 2012. So, this means it’s FINALLY my publication year.  How could that not add an extra sizzle to the ball-drop countdown?

Yesterday, when The Schmidtlets woke us up after not nearly enough sleep—5 a.m., really? Couldn’t they tell we only got to bed at 2?—I had another  moment of IT’S MY YEAR.

In which The Wild Imp says: Who needs sleep? And check out my cute Apocalypsie shirt? Auntie Em gave it to me.

I know that realistically, 1/1/2012 is only ONE day nearer to October than 12/31/2011, but it feels so much closer. And I’ve always valued feelings more than facts.**

So, Happy Twenty-Twelve!

And while you’re waiting for October, do what I plan to do — keep yourself distracted by reading fabulous books by all the other Apocalypsies.

In which The Pip Squeak says: Go read Apocalypsie books RIGHT NOW!

What a fabulous year it’s going to be!

In which The Schmidtlets demonstrate how 2012 has shoved 2011 out of the way and The Wild Imp goes splat.

*This is what we’ve agreed to call it, right? Not Two Thousand and Twelve?
**Much to the dismay of my sainted engineer.

Musically Minded

For someone who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid, and can’t clap to a beat for more than two consecutive claps, I’ve spent a lot of my life focusing on music lately.
First, the Schmidtlets and I joined a baby music class. They love it. The Wild Imp crawls all over the place, singing each new song with a  new mom. (Thank you, other moms, for allowing him in your laps and hearts).  The Pip Squeak, on the other hand, starts every class by clutching my shirt in both his chubby little fits.  A few songs in, he’ll pat my arm or leg along with the beat. A few more songs and he’s clapping.  By the end of last class he even crawled half the distance between me and our lovely teacher… but then he looked over his shoulder, panicked, and scrambled back into my lap.
Second, my lyric permissions for SEND ME A SIGN seem to be (finally) falling into place. I sent my signed contract for one song back this morning and am just waiting on the final copyright wording for the other. What songs are they? I’m not telling yet. Maybe soon, but not yet – I don’t want to jinx anything!
Third, SEND ME A SIGN copyedits are coming any day now. And I know of no better way to get back into Mia’s head than to listen to the SEND ME A SIGN playlists.
Here’s a playlist peek for YOU:
 
— it’s from wayyy back in my college years, anyone recognize it? I love the lyrics. Be VERY glad you’re not here with me right now, because then you’d have to hear me sing along. (Sorry, Schmidtlets!)
Here, you can be anything. And I think that scares you…

SLOWED to a crawl? How inaccurate.

I’m trying to decide if I should dust the cobwebs off my blog or allow them to stay as festive Halloween decorations.
Probably dust them… I don’t do scary.
Last time I wrote that the twins were starting to crawl. At that point it was *wobble, wobble, move a few inches, beam at me.*
Now it’s ZOOOOOM, CLIMB, STAND, FALL, WAIL – in the same amount of time.
Plus, The Wild Imp is stubbornly convinced that he can stand unassisted.  He SO can’t. He also believes it’s a brilliant idea to hang from the top of the babygate and then fling himself backward.
I spend much of my day diving across the room trying to prevent traumatic head injuries. As a result I wear the bruises instead of him. Many, many bruises.
But, there’s bedtime and naptime and my writing stays alive in these snatches of time. SEND ME A SIGN’s revisions were approved and it’s been moved on to copyedits (HOORAY!) and I just finished revisions on my second book as well. (Lots of Revision Skittles were consumed in the past two months. LOTS).
And my work in progress is a thing of love. I adore it. Everything about it. Even its writing playlist, which I have to stop myself from listening to when I’m not working on it.
The song I play most often is this one:

And while I won’t tell you what it’s about just yet, a HUGE hint is that this band’s name would be a fabulous title for the book.

Let’s Make A Deal

Bargaining with babies is hard. I thought the Schmidtlets and I had a deal: no learning to crawl until after I turned in my revision.
The Wild Imp had other ideas. And he is fast.
Baby A isn’t yet crawling, but he’s still mobile: rolling around like a top, scooting backward across the room, and calling: “Mama. MAMA. MAAAAAAMMAAAAA,” if I dare to leave his sight. Better yet, the little wombat would like me to constantly be within reach of his chubby little paws.
Chasing and clutching aren’t the best revision-companions. But that’s what PEI was for. That’s what the hours between bedtime and sunrise are for.
And I finished last Thursday.
Pressed *Send* on the e-mail to my editor – and then, before I could even gulp a panicked breath or sigh in relief:
THUNDER.
POWER LOSS
THE WAILS OF TWO WOKEN NAPPERS
Have I mentioned that one of the major threads in my book is superstition?
My first thought was one very like my main character, Mia, would have had: That was a very bad sign.
Later, after the twins had been soothed, the power restored, and my confidence petted by some Twitter support, I revised my thinking: That was a very good sign – if the power had gone out even a minute sooner, I would’ve been prevented from sending.
And we all know how little I like to wait.
Apparently the Schmidtlets have inherited that trait from me: The Imp is extremely IMPatient, and Baby A is currently calling my name.  
Maybe we’ll strike a new bargain: Ten more minutes of naptime in exchange for peaches at every meal.
*goes to buy peaches in bulk*

A SWEET Giveaway

There are a few awesome things on my desk right now.
1)   My Edit Letter! I think this makes it official. Well, MORE official. It also makes my head spin in the very best of ways.
2)   A bag of Revision Skittles  – No, I’m not sharing. I NEED these.
3)   This fabulous Revision Skittle boombox
 
      And this could be yours. Well, not this one, it’s mine.  But there’s another one downstairs still in its box that could have your name on it.
Music plays a large part in Send Me A Sign, and Revision Skittles played a large part in my writing of it – it seems only fitting that I should pair the two and give one of these away.
The boombox is made by Terracycle  – and this is their description:
“Groove greener with this portable boombox made with up to 80% recycled materials. With its 3.5mm universal plug for you can play music from your iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, laptop, or computer. Batteries not required.”
To enter – leave a comment below where you list YOUR favorite candy.
I leave tomorrow at early o’clock for the Goldblatt Agency retreat – aka Camp Barry – and let’s just say that I’m having some major separation-from-Schmidtlet anxiety. Cheer me up by entering.
I’ll leave the contest open until I get back and will draw a winner on Monday.
Good luck and stay sweet!

It’s a WONDERFUL Thing

When I was a wee imp my father used to tuck in bed at night and sing me to sleep with:
“The wonderful thing about tiggers is tiggers are wonderful things! Their tops are made out of rubber. Their bottoms are made out of springs! They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is I’m the only one”
This bedtime routine often ended with us getting scolded – his choice of lullaby more likely to result in me jumping on the covers than dozing beneath them.
Lately this song has been looping through my head. I swirl and twirl and bounce the Schmidtlets around the house and improvise my own lyrics:
The wonderful thing about book deals, is book deals are wonderful things…”
We bounce and trounce and flounce and giggle, this modified song amping up to its conclusion:
“And the most wonderful thing about book deals is your momma just got one.”
I’m thrilled to announce that Agent Awesome, Joe Monti, has sold my debut novel, a contemporary YA to Emily Easton at Walker Children’s for publication in Fall 2012.
When everything’s going your way, you have everything to lose.  Or do you?  SEND ME A SIGN is a tragicomedy about Mia Moore, a superstitious 17 year old, who had crafted the perfect senior year – only to watch it collapse around her. This debut will take you on a Magic Eight Ball journey where the outlook appears to be not so good. Does it have a Happily Ever After? I better not tell you now
I’m so excited to begin working with Emily and to share my book with YOU!
Have I mentioned we’re bouncey, bouncey, bouncing?