Hi folks! I know this is incredibly late, and I apologize. But I did actually draw winners for signed SHIVERs, so here they are:
1 signed finished copy of SHIVER will go to Natalia.
1 signed finished copy of SHIVER will go to Alison.
And a signed audio book of SHIVER to Jo Castillo.
Yes, I know that's more than one, but I couldn't stop drawing names! :D Shoot me your addresses, guys.
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Hi folks! I know this is incredibly late, and I apologize. But I did actually draw winners for signed SHIVERs, so here they are:
I . . . um . . . it's hard to type. I wasn't going to post on this blog before I picked winners for the book. But I just got off the phone with my editor and it's really hard to type because my right hand won't stop shaking since I heard the news from my editor. But, um . . . SHIVER debuted at #9 at the NYT Bestseller List. Um.
I am having a very hard time thinking.
I took a picture of myself right after I hung up the phone with David at Scholastic (with my wonderful publicist friends at Scholastic screaming behind him). You can see just how coherent I look.
This is making my hand shake again.
My husband is taking me out for chimichangas. I think this will help.
Oh my gosh guys. Just thanks for putting me there. It'll be in the 16th's edition of the NYT. OH MAN.
Hi folks! I know it's been forever since I posted to this blog, but I figured that it was time to let you know what I've been doing. As you guys know, last year I sold my book, SHIVER (well, it was called STILL WOLF WATCHING back then) to Scholastic. I realized that I never came back and told you what happened.
Well, this week is the release week for SHIVER, so it seems like an appropriate time to tell you about my year. And this year . . . it's been insane.
This is what has happened.
I've been to New York City three times.
I've signed hundreds of advanced review copies of both SHIVER (August 1) and BALLAD (October 1).
I got a new sketchbook and have been filling it with sketches made in airports.
And in airplanes.
I've been to Chicago for the first time.
I've been interviewed for television, for podcasts, for blogs, for newspapers.
I've met hundreds of people who have already read my books.
I've signed hundreds of finished copies of SHIVER (and found out the interior ink is all in blue!)
My dogs and Moose have seen my author's copies arrive.
I have this week seen my book in stacks all over bookstores and folks have been sending me photographs of piles of SHIVERs in stores all over the country.
In my favorite indie, Fountain Bookstore:
In Barnes & Noble:
At Anderson's in Chicago:
And I've still been doing art, just in a slightly different way:
So that's me. I've been blown away by what's happened with this book -- a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, picked as Borders' August Original Voices pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and an inbox full of fanmail already.
I have been incredibly lucky to have some of you readers follow me over to my writing blog on Livejournal, but I should mention it is now also mirrored on Blogger.
And I'd like to give away a signed copy of SHIVER to one of my old Greywaren art readers, if you guys are still around -- so let me know in the comments if you want to be eligible for the giveaway!
I hope everyone's doing well and still creating art and still pushing towards their goals!
I'm sure regular readers (or, lately, non-readers) of this blog will not be surprised when I say that I've decided that 2009 is the year that I'm saying farewell to Greywaren Art. I've not been good at updating, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that 98% of my time is dedicated to writing right now. I don't think it'll be that way in the future, but right now, that's where we're at.
So thank you all for being a wonderful, supportive bunch of readers and artists, and remember that I am still regularly blogging over at http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com.
Happy New Year!
(and one last butt-kicking: if you haven't made your 2009 goals yet, get out that Sharpie and make the list! NOW!)
Christmas, you're kind of breathing down my neck.
Seriously, did anyone else notice the overwhelming Santaness descending upon us? I blinked and suddenly it's 10 days away. All this hohohoness and 60 degree weather is making me itchy. Despite my not feeling very Christmasy, I seem to have gone all domestic and I've been making Christmas paraphernalia out of clay. I don't know why. My sister started me on it, and now I'm sort of stuck in a strange Maggie-world that is populated by clay, red paint, and revisions.
Due to my guiltless indulgence of my eccentric desire to buy books for everyone for Christmas (well, everyone I know, not everyone in the world. Let's not get carried away here), I'm practically done with my Christmas shopping. If YOU guys aren't, and want to pick up books, especially books by me, I'll be round:
Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA, Dec. 17th (this Wednesday), from 12:30-2:30. I love this bookstore. It looks just like a perfect little hole in the wall indie, cobblestone streets and everything. Those of you who have read LAMENT, this is the street where Dee's first kiss supposedly takes place.
College of William & Mary Bookstore, Williamsburg, VA, Dec 20th (this Saturday), from 10:00-1:00. Yes, again. They like me. And I like them. Because while there I get to play cool tunes with the organizer (also a Celtic music junkie) and they are two seconds away from the candy store from SHIVER, that has amazing candy apples.
I'm noticing, now, that my Santas that I made all look a little mournful. Like they're thinking: "Yes, I'm bringing gifts to children all over the world, brightening their day, and possibly their month or year, by so doing, but at the same time, I'm missing CSI to do it."
And my angel . . . well, she has no eyes yet, so I'll forgive her for a certain amount of disinterest in her expression.
But see, I am doing vaguely artistic things these days, still.
The more observant of my readers on my Livejournal blog have noticed that the main character from SHIVER has changed names. This is sort of eerie, since I hadn't realized I'd babbled about them enough to realize the names weren't the same, but the fact is, it's true. Sam Roth (which is, for the record, the best name ever) the character from SHIVER who becomes a wolf for the winter, is now Lee Spence.
That sentence, my friends, is the result of 16 hours of baby name book searching, thousands of calories of cookie dough consumption, silent raging, not silent raging, denial, googling, and finally, acceptance.
Because this agony is something that other authors will probably have to go through and because it gives me an excuse to look at a photo of Lee Pace, I'm going to tell my sordid little naming story here.
So. This all started way back when my werewolf story was only a twinkle in my eye. I'd had the dream that sort of laid down the premise, but only two of the characters (neither of them main characters) came with names in the dream. (And one of the two names in the dream was "Robert de Niro" so I had to change it anyway). I can't start writing a novel until I have the Perfect Names for my main characters, so I was in the brainstorming phase. I wanted something sort of timeless, soft-sounding, and inherently sad and emotastic. Which brought me to Sam, partially because of the way that Meg Ryan said, "Oh, Sam," in Addicted to Love, after she's torn his heart into little tiny pieces and feels bad about it, but is stuck in the floor, so she can't do anything but watch from afar and say:
I just thought . . . whooo, shivers. I imagined the scene where Grace, the other main character, first sees him as a person after years of obsessing over him as a wolf. And when she asks his name, he says, "Sam." And I knew that was it.
Except it wasn't. Because there is this author y'all may have heard of, Stephenie Meyer, who apparently has also written about werewolves. Who knew?
Anyway. So apparently, she also had a wolf character named Sam. Who knew?
That's not sarcasm.
I'd read TWILIGHT, but it's been a few years, so I'd completely forgotten that there was a werewolf named Sam in it. And my editors had too. And my crit partners. And basically all of the folks that had worked on the novel since last fall when I first began writing it. But not someone at the Scholastic sales meeting. And not, my editors reasoned (once they had this brought to their attention), the hoards of passionate TWILIGHT fans who had the demographics of every TWILIGHT character stenciled onto their arms with glittery pink ink. Sorry, sparkly. Sparkly pink ink. So at the very end of the editing process, after I'd lived with my characters as Sam and Grace my editors said that "Sam" had to go.
I sputtered and begged and pleaded and finally googled "sam werewolf," where I was greeted by one gagillion hits to Team Jacob and Sam Uley, The First Werewolf Named Sam. And I hung my sad head in defeat, because my editors were right, as they often are.
Which meant that my favorite bit of dialog in the entire novel had to completely change:
"Grace,” I said, very softly. “Say something.”
“Sam,” she said, and I crushed her to me.
This was when the silent raging began. Because I knew I had to do something, but I didn't want to. I still had a sequel to write, after all, and I was going to have to live with a not-Sam for another 95,000 words. It wasn't just SHIVER that was riding on this name change, it was the fate of the sequel, LINGER (probably LINGER), as well, and probably my entire sanity as well. My critique partner, Tessa Gratton, spent about 8 hours IMing me back and forth, sifting through hundreds of names, looking for the perfect replacement that would ellicit the same emotional response in me as "Sam."
The catalog copy deadline was, I should add, bearing down on us at this moment, giving us about two days to come up with a replacement. At that point, I think my mood was best classified as "angry/ morose drunk."
Examples of angry/morose drunk exchanges? This is sort of a montage of conversations that occured on Day Two of the Great Name Debacle.
DAVID (editor) to me and ABBY (other editor): How about Daniel? I've always been partial to Daniel.
ABBY to me and DAVID: Daniel is nice.
ME to TESSA: Daniel! Daniel!? Why do they keep saying Daniel to me in my hour of need? Have they not heard Elton John?
TESSA: There, there. How about Jonah? It sounds emotastic.
ME to my DAD: I need something other than Sam, even though Sam is the most perfect name invented.
DAD: Why, again? Because there's this other sampire in TWILIGHT?
DAD: But 'sampire' is funnier. How about Jack?
ME: Why was I ever born?
Eventually, I really buckled down, hit the stacks, and finally came back to the first name that had occured to me at the beginning of the Great Name Debacle: Lee. It was soft, reminded me of blue jeans, inherently emotastic, and moreover, was the name of the actor who I think of when I think of what Sam/ Lee looks like: Lee Pace. (cue audience reaction: awwww). So now I had Lee Roth. Like Kate Winslet's character at the end of Titanic, I was sad, but triumphant. I told my art critique partners about the name change.
One of them, my friend Nicole, said, "um, Maggie, have you, um, googled 'Lee Roth'?"
Those of you who were born slightly before me will probably already know what I found. Sigh. So, with a nod to irritating rockers who have ruined a generation of fictional "Roths", I changed his last name to Spence.
So there you have it. The story of how Sam Roth became Lee Spence and everyone lived happily ever after. And the other day, I actually said "Lee and Grace" all by myself, without accidentally saying "Sa-Lee" first. So maybe there is hope for me yet. Add a Comment
So. Guys, I have to admit -have I admitted this before?-- I'm so freakin' excited for SHIVER to come out next year. I mean, I was excited about LAMENT in a first book coming out this is all so brand new homicidal faeries wheee sort of way. But not the cold-shiver-down-my-spine I'm so excited for the world to read about my characters way I am with SHIVER. I mean, after six months of heavy line editing with my editors, I'm still in love with Lee (used to be Sam) and Grace's story. I'm starting the sequel (tentatively called LINGER) this week and I'm kinda psyched about that too.
I still remember the dream that sparked off the whole SHIVER affair. It was winter, and I still remember the girl's voice narrating: "I lay in the snow, a small spot of warm going cold, and there are wolves all around me. I don't know if they're licking or eating me."
And then, later, "I saw my wolf after that, always on the edge of the woods. It was like making eyes with him."
Do you guys remember? I'd never written a real love story before, I mean one where the love is the most important thing, and I posted a panicked post here: help -- I just started and my characters are already in love!
This is me, bouncing off the wall, by the way. Suddenly SHIVER seems awfully close to being real. Add a Comment
1. Hi to the Battlefield Middle School kids, if you're reading this. You all did a great job of looking like I was being interesting and laughing at the appropriate laughing parts. Also, to the kids who came up afterward to talk to me, thanks for being so awesome! Please be aware that I'm in love with your school library, however. It made me want to curl up in a fetal position and fondly remember my middle school days.
2. I found out this week that two thirds of the band Alkaline Trio are Satanists, which I found disturbing enough to look up what Satanism really entails. I discovered that it means you 1) party all the time, 2) don't count calories, and 3) go raaaaaaaah and smack people who get in your way. I'm paraphrasing, but those are the high points. I couldn't actually find out anything that had to do with Satan on the wikipedia page. In general, however, it's making me look at their song "Burn" in a whole new light.
3. I met my incredible agent, Laura Rennert, in person on Tuesday, and she was just like I'd imagined her. We talked for three hours over vaguely Italian food, and it went by in the blink of an eye. Of course, that might have been the 17 sugar packets I used in my tea talking. In general, though, I was left with that really satisfied feeling of having paired up with exactly the right agent. Plus, she gave me insanely good news which is, in the way of all my insanely good news, not allowed to be shared publicly yet. But let's just say it involved more staring at the wall and blinking rapidly in disbelief.
4. Today I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my extended family and I'm drooling over the idea of turkeys deep sea diving in gravy. Of course, I'd be a lot more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today if I hadn't been up until 2 reading one of my crit partner Tessa Gratton's WIP, which is amazing and fills me with vicarious glee.
5. It's Black Friday, so this is your one and only gentle reminder to buy fiction for your loved ones for Christmas and make the book biz happy in this Crappyconomy. You can buy LAMENT at Amazon or Indiebound or you can buy the Merry Sisters of Fate anthology in hardcover or softcover or you can buy someone else's stuff. Just buy a book. Save the world.
I'm back! I only got 500 e-mails while I was gone -- I'm working through 130 starred ones right now, so if you've e-mailed me and I haven't said anything yet, that's why.
Our cab driver has a very heavy accent and doesn't speak a ton of English, but he speaks enough to tell us "lots of pedestrians die here."
Welcome to New York City.
We get to our hotel without hitting any pedestrians, however, and once we get over the aforementioned shock of realizing that we were looking right down into the hole where the World Trade Center used to be, we hit the town. We have dinner with some friends who oh-thank-goodness not only know New York but want us to know New York and then catapult directly from the swank Soho House to Max Brenner's to meet editor Abby over chocolate.
Abby is cool, fun, and 8 feet taller than me. Actually, see that photo of me to the right, standing in front of Madame X? That's sort of the scale of me and Abby.
Then we hit the Strand Bookstore (18 miles of books!) and, coupled with the experience of meeting Abby and eating hot chocolate lava cakes just moments before, I feel rather faint and Victorian. Okay, not really. But I am compelled by some supernatural force to buy 10 YA and picture books. Abby wishes us good night and kindly does not mention that I smell like three hours of airport. We return to the hotel and I discover that LAMENT has just gotten a starred review in Booklist. Agent Laura also calls and delivers the final verdict on the auction for SHIVER's audio rights sales. And it pays for my Camaro.
There is, as Monty Python would say, much rejoicing.
Thursday. Having washed the airport off myself, we head out for pastry. Abby had mentioned Black Hound pastry shop to me, which was 100% natural and thus 100% guaranteed not to make me fall down and die due to preservatives, so we (meaning Lover and I) went in search of it. It was everything I'd imagined a pastry shop to be, and so I snorfled the entire counter. No, not really. We did buy four different things for breakfast though. I got a weird little strawberry thing which was somewhere between orgasmic and transcendent (you can see it in the bottom of the next photo of my Lover smiling a me over a giant cafe breakfast).
Having swallowed about 3,000 calories in two seconds, we decide to head to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art and avoid the rain. I've heard rumors that John Singer Sargent's Madame X is there and feel like the hour long cab drive through cab-infested waters is worth it. Now, I think I've mentioned before that if I wasn't married and John Singer Sargent wasn't dead, that we'd so be an item, such is my love for him. Well, not only do they have Madame X, they also have four or so other pieces and I am in heaven. See that dorky smile there? That is because I am in heaven, and in heaven, dorky smiles are okay.
So. Having conquered the Met Museum, we meet my friends for a comedy sketch-thingy they've gotten tickets for (Mike Birbiglia). It's in a small club and the people there all look very posh and New York and the guy is actually really funny. So it's all good (thanks, Donna & Mike!) Oh, and insert a lot of walking and shopping and general drinking of water and eating of croissants in there.
Which brings us to Friday. Friday is scary because I'm meeting editor Abby and editor David Levithan for lunch and then I am going back to Scholastic to meet lots of Scholastic-types. I'm not so afraid of Abby and David (though I am filled with fan-girl glee at getting to meet David in person), but I am afraid of vomiting pastries on other Scholastic folks who don't know me as well.*
*Please note I have never actually vomited on anyone or in fact ever vomited out of nervousness, but the possibility of it happening is terrifying enough to make it loom, a terrifying archetypal vomit predator, when these situations arise
Anyway, I have lunch with David and Abby (they've picked yet another restaurant without preservatives so once again I avoid falling down dead, which is another recurring fear) and we talk about Yugos and multiple points of view and advanced review copies and eat apple crostatas.*
*I do not entirely believe that's how you form the plural of "crostata."
Then we go back to Scholastic and I meet oodles of Scholastic types. I know they call a bunch of horses a herd and lots of crows a murder, but I'm not sure what they call a lot of Scholastic marketing/publicity/ foreign rights types all thrilled about my book except for surreal. They've all read SHIVER and they're all excited and that makes me excited and there's lots of jumping up and down and I may or may not have told the cover designer that I loved his cover so much that I was going to make out with him.
I think it went well.
We shop some more and eat more foods without preservatives and return back to the hotel room to discover that LAMENT has just gotten a starred review in KLIATT. At this point, I start blinking and smacking myself, trying to wake up. And apparently, I am awake, just living a very suddenly weird and amazing life involving stars and books and pastry.
This surreal life and the rain carries over into Saturday, which is all about spending way too much time in an airport and Sunday, which is all about driving the nine hours home from my mother-in-law's. And now I'm home and have about 65 starred e-mails to follow up on after a day's worth of chipping away at them.
I will leave you with a photograph of a sniffy commercial-filming girl whom I heckled and then photographed.
Okay. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because it's creepy, packed with supernatural goodness, and involves staying up late. In honor of Halloween, we're having a Halloween short fiction contest over at the Merry Sisters of Fate
The prompt is simply "Halloween" (be creative, dammit), and we'd prefer the word limit to between 600-2000, and the deadline is midnight on October 31st. Link back to the entry in Merry Sisters of Fate and we Sisters will commiserate over a pot of bubbling brains and other Halloween goodies to decide which one pleases us most. There is only one prize, but oh, what a prize, m'dears:
- a copy of the upcoming An Infinite Thread, the first Merry Sisters of Fate anthology, which features the best of the Sisters so far as well as three anthology-exclusive short stories, all packed with the supernatural, blood, and angst, as the Sisters' stories tend to be.
- a signed copy of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, and a CD with three of my songs that were inspired by Lament.
- a Merry Sisters of Fate t-shirt (or a homicidal faeries T, your pick).
Oh, I am dazzled by the beauty of our prize. You guys up for it? What's to lose?
That's the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, by the way. I'm revoltingly excited to be going to New York City for the first time next month. It's really real! I've booked the flight and the hotel so it must be actually happening. Barring natural disasters like the sort that happened in that really bad Dennis Quaid movie.
I'm really excited to see what NYC looks like in real life, instead of through the filter of movies and books. Does everyone really wear really expensive clothing? Are there really a million-jillion people on every sidewalk? Is the Cash Cab really driving around waiting to pick up clueless contestants? And does the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man lie in wait beneath the city?
I get to meet my editors from Scholastic, find the biggest pastry shop I can, and of course, visit the Met. Already I've been on the website and I'm fantasizing about seeing these three pieces in particular.
1. "The Horse Fair" by Rosa Bonheur. Okay, this is a no-brainer, right? Maggie = horse artist. The Horse Fair = one of the more famous horse paintings alive. Er, in existence. I want to see it in person
2. "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" by Vermeer. I have grown up seeing this image in all my art history books; the first time I saw it was a bad black and white image in an old art history book in grade school
3. "Breton Brother & Sister" by Bouguereau -- or anything by Bouguereau. I have a feeling that if I see this dude's stuff in person, I will fall passionately in love with him, as I am in love with John Singer Sargent already.
I also am looking forward to seeing the Early Gothic Hall, because I'm a sucker for medieval art and stained glass of all sorts. Okay, 'fess up -- what paintings are you guys dying to see in real life?
So, when I got my advance check for Lament, I bought a mattress, now known as the mattress paid for by faeries. When I got my advance check for Ballad, I paid the rent. It was hugely exciting. I made popcorn and we all watched as we signed the rent check.
Okay, not really.
Well, we did pay the rent. But not the popcorn bit. I'm not a big popcorn fan, actually.
So, here's how I'm rewarding myself now that I have my first check for Shiver. Art! As an artist, I've never been able to afford a big piece of art. I debated for a long time about whether to buy this gorgeous print of Oana Lauric's "Dal Duomo" or a blacked-out Stratocaster. I really wanted an electric guitar, but I also really wanted to buy a piece of art.
I'm not good with decisions, so I decided not to decide for a long time. Well, I mean, for a long time I didn't make a decision. Was that gramatically clear? Anyway, then the economy made up my mind for me. It's going to be a long, cold winter for small businesses, and when push comes to shove, the gallery I'm getting Oana's art from (Chasen Galleries) is going to appreciate my business more than Fender. So, sniff. My little black guitar will have to wait.
Now, admire. Isn't it pretty-pretty? Thanks to Oana for giving me permission to show it here. She does gorgeous work and it was hard to decide (again, not good with decision, much angst involved) which one to go with. Look at the website, you'll see what I mean.
Oh, and if any of y'all are wondering why Lament isn't in your local Border's or B/N, it's because they're both stocking it on the last Tuesday of the month because they both have it listed as a general October release. Thank you, box stores, for making my release parties horridly early! A pox on both of you. Oh wait, sales are already down. I take the pox back.
And those of you who have read Lament and want another faerie fix before Ballad, my short for Merry Sisters of Fate
So do you guys think I made the right decision? Not about taking the pox back. About the art vs. guitar.
So, first of all, my interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith
In other news, I'm getting acquainted with my new editor at Flux, Brian Farrey. Andrew Karre handed over the reins of the imprint to him on October 1st, and Brian has inherited all his crazy stable of authors, myself included.
I've not actually met Brian in real life, or seen a photo, or spoken with him on the phone, which possibly explains why now, every time I get an e-mail from him, I associate him strongly with Brian the dog from Family Guy. I just see "Brian Farrey" and automatically, I hear Brian the dog voice over for the contents of the e-mail. And they . . . kinda talk the same way. Sorry, editor Brian. If it makes you feel any better, Brian on Family Guy is the brains of the operation.
This is how I picture my budding relationship with editor Brian. I'm of course Stewie in the picture at right (how could it be anything but that way? Evil genius in need of medication? Hellooooo . . . )
In other news, I'm so behind on following up on comments on the blog. Thanks everyone for commenting and I'm going to try to attack that with my slow dial up later today.
Me, this morning (runs upstairs to jump on sleeping husband's chest): Wake up! I got a starred review in Publisher's Weekly!
Him (sleepily, with more enthusiasm than I would expect from someone who'd been sleeping two seconds before): That's great!
Me: (random squealing and racing around the bed)
Him: wait, what just happened again?
Starred review, baby! I love Mondays!
Okay, I don't really, but I love this Monday.
Blog: Greywaren Art (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: motivation, three tips, Add a tag
"The Letter H" - ink on paper
copyright 2008 Maggie Stiefvater
illustration for upcoming Merry Sisters of Fate anthology.
Today was scary for me. Every once and a while, I dye my hair a shade lighter. As I get older (approaching a crusty and crotchety 27), I have gone from summer-kissed light brunette to dark-haired, pale and undercooked.*
*I typed this "undercookied" at first, which is probably a Freudian slip as I just pulled some out of the oven but haven't eaten any yet
Anyway, today I dyed my hair. I got a new sort that said it only took ten minutes to work. So I put it down and came downstairs to catch up on some blog posts, and then realized that almost twenty minutes had gone by.
Cue Maggie galloping upstairs to hastily rinse it out. There was a patchy moment when my hair looked slightly skunklike, but I think it's become a nice light albeit-not-naturally-occuring-in-nature shade. Sort of blonde-brown-orange-red-green-something. Pleasant, though. Actually, now that I think about it, it's sort of cookie-dough colored.
So. Anyway. Three tips. I know I've done a ton of posts on time management, but most of them are extremely long and unwieldy. I got an email from Rose that made me think that maybe a three tips on snatching a few more minutes here and there might be useful. So here they are.
1. Like with like. Clump all your housekeeping chores with other housekeeping. Your town errands with other town errands. Your chihuahua wrangling with other chihuahua wrangling. It's easy to waste time doing errands and chores as you see them -- picking up one stray toy leads to folding laundry that's right next to the toy leads to loading the dishwasher leads to changing the sheets, etc.
Am I telling you to not do housework?
I'm telling you to think about making one or two days a week your housework days, and then just do mild tidying in between. If you've got to make a shopping trip, group it with other like chores. Cut out the back and forth as much as possible.
2. Make your to-do list shorter. Lots of people tell me they make to-do lists and then never get to the bottom of them. Well, #$%^, there's no satisfaction in that. Moreover, if you keep making a list that you'll never get to the end of, eventually the list will be meaningless. If it helps, make a list for the day, then another for the week, then the month, etc.. If you get done with your day's list, you can attack the week's list instead. But trust me, you'll be a lot more productive if you think you can actually cross everything off.
3. Turn off the internet. No, really, right now. I'm distracting you. Get to work.
So, as I mentioned earlier on my LJ, I was until last month a Buffy-virgin.
Buffy-virgin. noun. A person who has never seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, thus causing her to miss thousands of Buffy references throughout her entire life. The last straw will be when her editor who doesn't even own a TV makes a Buffy reference.
I broke down. I got the first season on Netflix and I have now lost my Buffy-cherry. And it's, um, sort of addictive. Like -- it's so campy, but I can't stop watching. Some of the episodes were so bad we were laughing for all the wrong reasons, but we just kept . . . watching.
I'm a little perturbed that the vampires have pretty faces and ugly faces (or in the case of Jessie, weird-ass faces and ugly faces). And the master sounds like he needs some Krispy Kremes. If I'd been several decades without Krispy Kreme donuts and sweet tea, I'd be calling for the blood of teenagers and clawing my way towards the surface as well.
So. Some thoughts from the resident virgin.
Willow: First of all, it's kind of creepy how, in real life, Alyson Hannigan never ages. She looks exactly the same now as when she was a newly minted Buffy-character, leading me to believe that she's undead and that her casting in a show called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is meant to be ironic. She is the supposed-to-be-unpopular-and-geeky-yet-much-cuter-than-99%-of-living-girls character on the show, which is okay, because, this one time, at band camp . . .
Xander: Somebody needs to shoot this boy in the butt with a clue gun. He follows Buffy around Season One like a lost, sick puppy, clearly not seeing that the main character never hooks up with the comic relief. And after that episode in the hyena exhibit, he's dead to me. Do you hear that, Xander? You're dead to me for your laughable music-filled *sexybeast* attempts. Leave the *smolder*ing to Angel.
Giles: Oh, Giles. Thank you for having a British accent. It makes you sound so clevah and makes your obsession with demon-filled books and not with underage teenagers all believable. Does Giles ever go home? I think he lives in the library.
Angel: Angel's chief purpose on the show at this point seems to be to show up in dimly lit places so that he can be half-lit, all the better for him to *smolder*. Buffy goes to the club. Angel shows up. *smolders*. Buffy goes to an alley. Angel shows up. *smolders*. Buffy goes to her bedroom. Angel shows up. *smolderswithtongue* And yet, I put up with all this *smolder*ing because Angel is an angstpuppy and I love to feed and pet and cuddle angstpuppies.
Yeah. I just got Season Two. Add a Comment
So my tips for this week revolve around thinking like an art buyer to better market your work. I used to try to get into this mindset all the time when I was first starting out, but now I can really get into the art buying mindset because I'm about to be an art buyer. Yep, I'm making my first major art purchase, and I think it's going to be Oana Lauric -- I would dearly love a print of her Dal Duomo.
Anyway, the lovely and wonderful owner of Chasen Galleries (who represents me), Andrew Chasen (who brought me flowers at my book launch!!) let me into the gallery to look around after Lament's book launch party. It was like seeing it with brand new Maggie-goggles, because this time, I was looking as a buyer. It was great! Anyway, it taught me a lot . . . and made me wish I'd done it earlier.
So, here are three tips on how to think like an art buyer.
1) Visit a gallery and look around as if you had $1K in your pocket. Then $2K. Then $3K. What is going through your head when you look at the pieces? If you're like me, this is what:
- That is friggin' gorgeous. Um, but can you imagine what my neighbors would say when they came over and saw it hanging over the couch?
- Holy smokes that piece is gigantic. I'd have to build another bedroom for it.
- Why am I paying $3K for something the size of my dog?
- That much red would keep me up at night.
- If I got that tall skinny one, I'd really need another tall skinny one to match.
- I could look at that one all day long and all night long and all day long and all night and . . . that's the one.
3) Surf your website like a buyer. Can you figure out where to get your art? How to pay? How much the pieces are? Or do you have to e-mail for every bit of information and arm-wrestle a confusing navigation menu to find out where you're from. Objectivity is a brilliant thing. Borrow or steal it when you can manage. Add a Comment
Soooo I'm about to get ready to head down to my launch party in Richmond, VA at Creatures N' Crooks bookstore and I've been getting e-mails all day from folks who are planning on being there. And it just occurred to me what this means:
I have to be entertaining.
Fairly ominous. My husband says "you just talked to 400 kids in one day on Monday. How is it this is bothering you?" But this is different. I had a white board when I was talking to the kids. The ability to use those dry erase markers just makes everything better.
Anyway, tomorrow I'll be posting about my Buffy-virgin experiences. And this afternoon, I'll just leave you with a linkie to my Friday fiction (which is oh so seasonal) over at
Here's to hoping I'm alive tomorrow.
I have a winner! I'm going to email them since their name isn't incredibly obvious from their subscription address -- and I don't want to put their email all over the internet.
But the first part of the email is sandimac
Edited to add: if this sucker isn't claimed by Monday morning, I do the drawing again! Please check your spam filters!
I know I swore I was going to be mirroring my writing blog over here from now on, but that didn't sit well with me -- because I want to talk about art and writing. So I figured out a compromise: during the week, I'll be mirroring my Livejournal blog's contents over here, but every Sunday, I'm going to do an installment in my new Three Tips series.
The Three Tips posts are going to be short (like me) but hopefully a little useful (like me). The sort of thing that can be read over a cup of yogurt or a bowl of dog food on Monday morning.
So this week is Three Tips on how Photoshop can help you as an artist. Now, the tips in this post can be used in other photo manipulation programs, as the functions I'm pointing out here are not advanced creatures.
Many of you probably already know these techniques, but they were invaluable for me as an artist starting out. We're going to use a photo of a pelican rummaging around in his feathers that I took at the zoo earlier this year.
1. Photoshop allows you to easy change your references into grayscale. For me, I simply go to Image>Mode>Grayscale at the top of the screen. Why do you want that puppy in grayscale? Because instantly you can see the true values of all the brilliant colors. As a newbie artist, I would've been tempted to make that brilliant blue background really light -- I would've mistaken intensity for value. But in actuality, that blue background is a very dark midtone. The grayscale makes that pop out at us.
2. Let's see your true colors, baby! Another problem I had as a novice artist was identifying the real colors of my reference. Color, like value, is relative -- our eyes can see the same color or value differently depending on what color or value it appears right next to. So while I could easily look at an isolated color and tell you exactly which colored pencil I need to pick it up, I have to train my eye to be able to see it when it's surrounded by other colors. Photoshop lets you isolate a color with the eyedropper tool. It's in the hovering toolbar (which I have cleverly and amazingly provided for you here at left). See the one I put in the red box? That's the eyedropper.
Selecting that option will transform your cursor into an amazing weapon of power that will tell you what the true color is of anything you click on. Ohhhh, the power!! So you can see how I took Mr. Pelican and clicked on the area that I've boxed in red, on the right. And you can see how it isolated that color for me there on the toolbar on the left. That's nice peach color. Mmm. I know exactly which pencil I would pick up for that. I've internalized the whole process now, but I taught myself with the eye dropper.
3. Our last tip is exaggeration. As an artist, one of the things we do is change the photo reference. We stylize it, make it more our own. Make it look better than real life. There are a lot of different tools in Photoshop that can help you mimic the effects you'd use, before you even try them on your finished piece. One of my favorites is adjusting the contrast. I do that with Image>Adjust>Brightness/Contrast. Another good one is Image>Adjust>Hue/Saturation. Play with the sliders to get different effects.
And that's our three tips on Photoshop. Over and out!
Blog: Greywaren Art (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: lament: the faerie queen's deception, teaser tuesday, Add a tag
A very hasty Tuesday Teaser today because I'm getting ready for my school talk at Robinson High School in northern VA tomorrow. If you're in the Fairfax area, there will be signed LAMENTs at Aladdin's Children Bookstore on N. Harrison Street.
Anyway, because there are um, only . . . two Tuesdays . . .wait . . . one Tuesday? until Lament comes out, this is the second to last teaser. As usual, the characters have been replaced with animals to keep them from being spoilery. See y'all on Friday when I get back!
1. First of all, since this is the last Friday before Lament's release date, my Friday fiction over at
2. I talked at Robinson High School in Fairfax on Wednesday and Thursday and yoiks that place was huge. 4200 students under one roof. Jenniferohcious from LiveJournal
3. Holy. Crap. People, this is my last weekend before Lament is out in bookstores. Did I say that already? Holy. Crap.
4. I converted
5. I watched Juno with
Blog: Greywaren Art (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: inspiration, three tips, Add a tag
Since I wrote about writer's block for one of my guest blog posts this week, I figured it would be appropriate to write about Artist's Block for my tips post. They're rather related -- sort of evil kissing cousins and it's easy to believe when you're in the grips of one or the other that you will never do anything creative ever again.
So what is artist's block? It's when you've got the time, the materials, and sometimes even the commissions lined up, but you just can't bring yourself to put pen to paper or brush to canvas or Sharpie to wall or glue to trash.
And here are three tips for shaking it.
1) Immerse yourself in someone else's art. There are some amazing websites out there for Safely Dead Artists. For instance, I was a huge Monet fangirl when I was a teenager. I had Monet posters all over my bedroom walls. Sadly, back then, they didn't have this amazing site. Definitely lots of fodder for thought there. If you can, get to a local museum. The idea is to remind yourself what you found exciting about art in the first place.
2) Give yourself permission to create something unuseful. I used to get artist's block a lot when I was creating art for a series or doing a lot of portrait commissions. Every piece of art I did had a distinct purpose and deadline, and I knew before I started that I not only couldn't mess it up, but also that I pretty much knew what it was going to turn into. Giving myself permission to do something entirely not useful in the general scheme of things (like "The Summer Girls" at right) always got my juices flowing again.
3. Switch media. When I get stumped with my colored pencils, I pull out my acrylics, and vice versa. They both offer such a different experience -- one offers total control and the other total freedom and messiness.
Joy in art, for me, is really connected to learning and changing as an artist. So when I'm stumped, it's almost always because I've let myself plateau and get stale.
And that's our three tips for this week! I've got to go Febreeze a dog. Anyone else have tips for shaking off Artist's Block?
Oh, and if you've ever wanted to see Maggie in living color, I've been captured in photograph and film at Poe Middle School, where I did book talks all day yesterday.Add a Comment
Blog: Greywaren Art (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: lament: the faerie queen's deception, teaser tuesday, lament, Add a tag
So . . . here it is, I guess. The LAMENT post to end all LAMENT posts. It is the day before LAMENT's official release day and also a Tuesday, so today we get the last ever twisted Tuesday teaser (with the characters from the LAMENT scene cunningly disguised as animals to keep from being spoilery) and then . . . then the book is out!
It feels so weird, guys, to be here right now after a year of waiting. And after starting these teasers a few months ago . . . now I'm at the last one. Just whoa. WHOA.
So here's the week's festivities, for those who are interested.
Virtual Launch! Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the virtual book launch over at Enchanting Reviews, 9 pm EST. If you e-mail me before the virtual chat launch and tell me what song is mentioned on page 27 of LAMENT and then make an appearance at the chat, you'll be entered into a drawing to win cool swag like signed copies, homicidal faerie T's, and more.
Over at Merry Sisters of Fate today is Lamentiganza (I hope I'm spelling that right) all day today with the other sisters from the Merry Sisters of Fate writing fun posts about the top ten reasons why you should read LAMENT and other things .
... Lament’s true strength lies in Stiefvater’s characterisations. Deirdre has a wonderfully authentic teen voice, Luke (the gallowglass) is tortured but not whiny, and James (the best friend would-be boyfriend) is wise-cracking and kind-hearted without being puppyish. Even Stiefvater’s supporting cast, a collection of fairies, family, and surprising new friends, are well-rounded. Moreover, she deftly side-steps the first-time author trap of painting the story black and white, with “villains” who are anything but flat, dry, and uninteresting.
And of course there's the physical book launch in Carytown, Richmond, VA on Friday. Woof. I think that's all. I'll be other places too, but I'll mention them as I remember them!
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