Miscellaneous news and thanks

I missed a few things yesterday.  Guess I needed a break after the Love Flower Poems Contest.  And — yay! — the kids finally went back to school today.

I want to say a special thanks to Elie at EllzReadz who interviewed me yesterday on her blog.  Elie was also my most enthusiastic participant in the contest, and I really hope to meet her at the Virginia Festival of the Book on March 20th.

And another huge thanks to fellow Tenner Jen Nadol, author of THE MARK, who featured me on her Book Briefs.  If you haven’t read THE MARK yet, please go get it now.  Very thought provoking, and you’ll love Cassie, aka Cassandra.  Love the reference to Greek mythology!

Poems from the contest will be posted later this week.

Love Flower Poems Contest – Winner!

Congrats to @bookbutterfly aka bookbutterflyangel for winning the contest!!  She will receive a signed hardback copy of FHN, swag, and flowers to her door.

Thanks so much and hugs to everyone who participated!!!  You worked hard.  I had a great time choosing the poems and found some new favorites.  I hope you enjoyed the variety of poems, too.  Everyone who entered had the correct titles and poets. Yay!

If you sent in a poem, the judges now have them.  I will post the top three or four poems on my website later this week.  I was very impressed by the beautiful images and moving words.  You rock!

Saturday’s Seven: An Interview with C.J. Omololu

I am thrilled to welcome the wonderful writer, C.J. Omololu.  Her YA Dirty Little Secrets is out this month to rave reviews.  I found it a riveting read, and a compelling look into the world of hoarding that I’ve always wondered about. My heart was with Lucy the whole time.

Full disclosure:  Cynthia is also my fabulous critique partner whom I met through the Tenners.  I’ve had the privilege to read her as-yet-unnamed work in progress, and it’s amazing. Paranormal and sooo cool.  So, please forgive me if I ask a few more than seven questions.

What’s your favorite flower and why?

Gerbera daisies. Hope that doesn’t mean something weird.

[FYI:  Daisies are for innocence and simplicity in the language of flowers.]

Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?

“Writing is like driving car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  – E.L. Doctorow.

I’d have it posted by my desk if I had a desk. Right now I just keep it in my head.

Which book do you wish you could live inside?

Ooh. Good question. I just read Ash by Malinda Lo and I love the world she created. A little dark and magical, a little old-fashioned but a place where everything is possible and where gender roles aren’t set in stone. I wouldn’t mind spending time there.

Who’s your favorite dead writer? (We don’t want to hurt the feelings of the living here!)

Muriel Spark. She’s most famous for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, but her other books are so great with such a distinctive feel. Veddy British. Her short story collection is one I’ve read over and over.

What’s the most impressive dish you can cook?

Lasagna. I’m more of a comfort-food cook than a chef. My friend is a chef with a wood-burning pizza oven and everything and I’m totally intimidated by having them over. My lasagna has big blobs of melted cheese that get all stringy when you cut it. Yum. I make a pretty kick-ass pea soup too. Sounds disgusting but it’s awesome.

What do you love best about living in Northern California?

I think the anything-goes attitude of most of the people here. It’s not anyone’s business how you run your life as long as it’s not hurting other people, and you can get away with a lot up here. I love that my kids are friends with all kinds of people in all kinds of family situations. Makes them a lot more rounded than where I grew up in Southern California.

I know you’ve been asked lots of questions about hoarding. What do you personally find most scary about this condition?

That there are very few happy endings. I TIvo every episode of Hoarders on A&E and while they show a lot of progress with some of the participants, from my experience there is no cure and it is really hard to control. Logic plays no part in the disorder.

You’ve also published a picture book. How is writing a picture book different from writing a YA?

I love it when little kids or their parents tell me that they love the picture book, but the YA audience is so enthusiastic. The online YA community really is a community, and YA writers really support each other and cheer each other on. It’s been a great experience, and I hope I get to continue to publish in this genre.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Cyn!  Now please go finish your WIP so I can read it!

You can find out more about Cyn on her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

And — BONUS — if you tweet or post a link on your blog to this interview, you get a chance to win Forget-Her-Nots in my Love Flower Poems contest!

Love Flower Poems Contest: Final Day!

Thanks so much to everyone who has read and looked up the lines of poetry for the contest.  I’ve had a great time!  A special thanks to everyone who is going to submit an original Love Flower Poem.  I’m really looking forward to these!  And for our last line of poetry, because you’ve probably heard this somewhere already …

“O MY Luve ‘s like a red, red rose

That ‘s newly sprung in June:

O my Luve ‘s like the melodie

That’s sweetly play’d in tune!”

Remember to please send everything in by midnight on 2/14.  I will do my best to make the announcement on 2/15.  And –BONUS — if you tweet or link to my interview with fellow Tenner C.J. Omololu (also posted today), you get another entry and chance to win FHN.

Here are the details again:

What goes together better than love, flowers, and poetry?

Not much I say, so to celebrate the <3 you holiday, I’m having a fun and literary contest.  The lucky winner will receive:

1)  a signed hardback copy of Forget-Her-Nots as soon as I get one (I’m hoping by the end of the contest!)

2)  FHN swag, including buttons, temporary tattoos, signed bookmarks, and cool postcards to send your friends.

3)  a bouquet of flowers delivered to your doorstep (kind of flowers TBD).  (Flower delivery to US only.  All else is international.)

So how do you enter?

Each day between now and 2/13, I will post lines of poetry that feature love and flowers.  All you have to do is look up the lines, read the poem, and write down the name of the poet and the name of the poem.  The former-English-teacher in me has picked a variety of poems, three of which are quoted in Forget-Her-Nots!

OR, for the creatively inclined, you can write an original love flower poem of at least ten lines.  The best three poems, as determined by me and several learned judges, including Kate at The Neverending Shelf, will be featured on my blog the week of 2/15.

So, to summarize, you get entries by doing each of the following:

1 – tweeting about the contest and leaving a comment on this blog;

1 – posting about the contest and leaving a comment on this blog;

12  – keeping track of the 12 poems and poets and emailing me the list at amywords@verizon.net by 2/14 at midnight.  (Yes, it will be prorated if you don’t get all 12 — one for each poem & poet.)

12 – writing your own love flower poem!  You go, girl.

Questions?  Excited?  Leave a comment.

The Fine Print:  Giveaway is open internationally to anyone age 13 or older.   (Excluding flower delivery internationally.  Will make up for it if winner is international.)  Prize winner will be announced on Twitter and here, so please provide info for me to contact you easily.   The contest is over on 2/14 at midnight.   Prize must be claimed by 2/20.

Thanks so much for entering!  Happy reading!

Love Flower Poems: Day 11

Here’s one by a famous haiku poet, although — correct me if I’m wrong — I think this one has too many syllables to be a true haiku.  Maybe it did before it was translated into English.  I also used this poem as an epigraph for a section of Forget-Her-Nots. As someone who sees the cherry trees bloom every year in Washington, D.C, I know exactly what the poet means. The presence of beauty can transform us.

[For this one, there is no title and this is the whole poem, so simply find the poet’s name.]

“In the cherry blossom’s shade              
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.”