I've entered plenty of contests, but I never win anything.

Oh, yeah, except a hand-beaded necklace at the opening of the Suquamish Tribe's Bingo Palace.

Today I entered a first 500-words contest at KidLit, sponsored by Mary Kole, literary agent. She very cleverly required entrants to post links, thus this blog posting. It's such a good idea, I shall have to find a way to steal it.


My Fabulous Friends

Last night was a delicious evening, celebrating my friends' creative successes:

1. Artist Bridget Young (whom I first met as a teaching colleague in the 90's) has reshaped herself as a comic with a hugely loveable persona: The Realtor Lady. Last night at Bainbridge Performing Arts, Bridget was not only hilarious, she made it look so easy, to get up in front of a sold-out audience of 250+ and be Herself.

Many sides of herself, actually, including trailer trash, drunken east coast uppity bitch, scary creepy potential serial murderer. All with such wit and heart you fell in love with all of them.

Bravo, Bridget! You deserved that standing-O! You inspire us to make what we can, be who we are, and revel in it.

2. Paundy opened in a tight set of Paundiliciousness. This Kitsap band is magical, delightful, weird, unique, splendid, and just plain fun.
There's a reason they call it "playing" music, and Paul Burback, Andy Miller, Tony Dattilo, Chad Channing, Drew McCabe, and Justine Jeanotte totally get that.

These wizards cook up a musical feast, bending genres and trading instruments, toys and hats. Paundy mixes and matches rhythms and grooves like a plaid-and-paisley outfit from ValueVillage (which sometimes makes it a tiny bit hard to dance to). I am blessed to know them, and even get to sing and play along as Special Guest on occasion.

Check out their sounds on myspace.  Next stop, European Tour! You will rock them. And they will not be the same.

Thanks to Bridget and Paundy for their generosity: the fundraiser made over 2k for Habitat for Humanity.

 3. To top off the night, a bunch of us headed to IslandVibes at Pegasus, a tiny bar/dancefloor on Bainbridge Island. Friends Heather Wolf-Smeeth, Sean and Caitlin Matteson created this weekly event that looks like a scene, tastes like a scene, drinks artisan brews like a scene, and dances like a scene. DJ SeanchaĆ­ gave us massive world music love to shake our bones upon. Heather and Caitlin did not STOP once, not that I could see. Thanks for creating this space and opportunity for all us rural homies to get our groove on.

check out the IslandVibes facebook.

Wow, and this is only January. Looking forward to more joy with friends this year!


YA Winter Wish List

Ok, so I've been lazy. Not really. Been polishing my soul, singing a lot, editing the preview of my WIP (work in Progress) for my Twins of Tessar fans (thanks!!!)

It is not lazy to laze this time of year. It's WINTER. Time to lie around under a cozy blanket (NOT a snuggie!) dream big dreams, read Twilight (yes, for the Very First Time), watch quality movies, and think warm thoughts.

Due to an insanely busy couple of years, I am behind in the fiction world. Winter feels like a great time to catch up. I'm collecting favorite YA novels, especially those that have "breakout" appeal to adults (as sometimes I behave like one of those).

Here's a few that others have recommended:
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
John Green’s PAPER TOWNS
The Mortal Instruments (4 novels) Cassandra Clare
Story Time by Edward Bloor
Soulless by Christopher Golden
Noughts & Crosses series by Malorie Blackman
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Faerie Series by Holly Black
The Compound by  S.A. Bodeen
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Leave a comment and let me know your favorite breakout YA novel...