I wasn’t feeling very inspired by this week’s topic of “favorite quotes,” so I took off my pants.
What? That’s not what you do for inspiration?
I got some new jeans, and quite by accident, discovered something printed on the waistband:
As a romance author, I feel obligated to point out that in order to see this meaningful message about following your heart, you have to remove your clothing.
I’ll go ahead and leave you with that deep thought for now. Have a wonderful New Year and a great weekend!
And don’t forget to take off your pants and follow your heart whenever the opportunity arises.
I’ll admit, I’m a pretty wound-up person. Keeping stress at bay can be tough sometimes, so I try to remember these words when I’m juggling a million things. They help me remember to breathe and to keep plugging away. (You can find the above print, and a zillion other cute and motivating sayings for your office or home here.)
Also, at some point in high school, I came across a quote from Goethe that stuck with me, and still rings in my ears: “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” These words have been the spark for many of my big dreams—writing a novel included.
What sayings or quotes move and motivate you? P.S. Happy New Year!
I have many quotes I adore. Some poignant, others not so – like Lewis Carroll’s gibberish poem Jabberwocky – “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe..” But one stanza of a certain poem sticks with me. My Dad is 88 years old. He was born in “nineteen hundred and twenty two,” as he says, in his Boston accent. His memory is still keen. And although day to day he might forget something (don’t we all) he recalls dozens of poems learned as a boy in school. Longfellow’s “The Day is Done” is one of his favorites. And I know that one day in the future (distant or near) my sister or brother or I will recite it at his funeral. That will be a sad but fine tribute to a good father.
As a mother who struggles with the reality of having children with autism, whom one day I will have to leave behind in a world that may or may not care for them properly, this stanza has a sharper meaning. In fact, for me, it’s really a prayer. Sure, I’m a Catholic and I have all the “proper” prayers at my disposal. But this stanza speaks to the yearning ache and daily hope for treatment, recovery, cure I feel every day when I look at my girls, and wonder how, how on earth (or in heaven), can I ever leave them? It speaks to a time of hope when I will not have to worry, and I love that.
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
What impossible thing are you doing to celebrate the New Year?
Happy Holidays from Disneyland!
Yep, I’m here, in the middle of a mini-vacation with my husband and daughter. We live only about forty minutes away (without traffic), and we’re Annual Passholders, so we come ALL the time — to the point of glorious ridiculousness.
Can’t help it — I’ve been a Disney geek forever. Long before I had a kid, long before I was married, I still had an Annual Pass. My then-writing-partner and I would come down to Disneyland with our notebooks, soak in the atmosphere, and work. Sometimes we’d take in some rides, but that was secondary to just being here.
Happily, I married a Disney geek too, and our daughter has been equally obsessed since birth.
So we’re here, taking in the Happiest Place on Earth all decorated for the holidays, and as always when we come here, it’s a little slice of bliss.
It’s also the home of my all-time favorite quote.
Okay, not really, because the quote comes from The Muppet Movie, and I actually have Jim Henson to thank for it (which I do, pretty much daily). But since Disney now owns the Muppets (and the Muppet movies, I believe), I can make that connection…that, um, rainbow connection. The quote comes not from that song, but from the last song in the movie, called The Magic Store.
In my opinion, this song is the ultimate inspiration for anyone who yearns to follow their dreams and build a life in a creative industry. In it, Kermit and his friends, who have come together from all corners of the United States, faced all kinds of adversity, and finally inked their “Standard Rich and Famous Contract” sing about how it happened. And at the very end, just before the Swedish Chef calls out, “The flim is okey-dokey!”, Kermit sings:
Life’s like a movie
Write your own ending
Keep believing, keep pretending…
YES!!!! That’s it! We all have the power to make our dreams come true! And with all due respect to the amazing Walt Disney, it’s not just about making a wish upon a star. It takes more than that. It takes effort. It takes the strength to keep believing and keep pretending, even when the journey gets hard. And if you can do that, if you have the fortitude to stick with it… you get to write your own ending to the movie of your life.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
Contest Winner! Congrats To Leslie Nagel who won Laurie Halse Anderson’s FORGE.
From the 2011 Debs…
Deb Sarah is excited to share that the editor in chief of Penguin/Plume had this to say about Sarah’s debut novel, The Violets of March, in the cover letter that accompanied the Summer catalog: “[THE VIOLETS OF MARCH is] … the original novel we think has the strongest commercial potential.” Sarah needed to be resuscitated after she read this sentence.
Deb Tawna was delighted that her editor, the legendary Deb Werksman, wrote an incredible blog post publicly praising every single romance author under the Sourcebooks Casablanca label (no small task!) Of Tawna, she wrote, “aside from the fact that your book made me laugh so hard my iced tea came out my nose, I am forever impressed by your tenaciousness.”
Deb Kim A holiday party elf overheard that I’m the best selling debut author that Skyhorse Publishing has published to date. That made me smile! I continue to receive the most gratifying emails from readers, “OMG, I live your life and thank you for telling it like it is!.” and “I laughed so hard, Kim, thank you.” One email will stick with me forever, a young Mom whose son was diagnosed with autism just this past Fall read my book and said, “I have so much more hope now, Kim.” Ain’t nothing better than that!
Past Deb News…
Sarah Pekkanen is thrilled to announce Italian rights to Skipping a Beat have been sold to Piemme, which also published The Opposite of Me in Italy (and it hit the bestseller list!) Skipping a Beat has been called “Original, soulful, and engaging,” by NYT bestseller Emily Giffin and it will hit bookstores on Feb. 22, 2011 And please check out Sarah’s new original short story, ALL IS BRIGHT, now on sale for e-readers through Amazon and Nook!
Deb Dish — Songs That Will Make Us Think of 2010
This is a tough one for me, because I rarely listen to new music. Still, I’d say all the Glee albums will remind me of this year, since my daughter and I have listened to them and sing along to them NON-STOP!
My year was divided into three parts – the end of my time in Florida, the summer spent largely in D.C. working at my new job, and then, finally, Colorado. Oddly, the song that unites them all is “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha. I refuse to be ashamed by this, but I do wonder what memories it will conjure up when I hear it in the future.
The theme song to Sesame Street…. 41 years and counting. My girls love Sesame Street. Could be worse, it could be Barney!
For me, it will be “The Waters of March,” sung by the late Susannah McCorkle. The song inspired the story behind The Violets of March–and it even was the original title for the book! If you’ve never heard this song, you must download it on iTunes! It is the most beautiful, thoughtful song—one of my enduring favorites!
I always write to music, and each book ends up with a soundtrack of sorts. Because I have a three-book deal, I’ve spent the last year bouncing back and forth between all three stories – doing edits on one, writing new scenes on the other, then hopping back into a different one when my editor requests revisions. Music is a great tool to help me switch back into the mindset of each book. Joseph Arthur’s “Tattoo,” always sets the right tone for my debut, MAKING WAVES, while The Push Stars’ song “Claire” is the unofficial theme for the second book, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. The third book, LET IT BREATHE, is still a work in progress, but I played Patty Griffin’s “Change” over and over again as I wrote the final love scene.
Deb Books Released in 2010:
||Deb Founder (and Deb who stayed at the party for two full years) Eileen Cook was pleased to have Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood come out in January 2010. The paperback version came out this fall and has already gone back for a second printing.
||Deb Emily Winslow‘s delicious The Whole World was released in May!
||We celebrated the release of Deb Kim‘s All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa in November!
|2011 Deb Elise thoroughly enjoyed the October release of Elixir, the novel she co-wrote with Hilary Duff. We’re already working on book two, and having a blast.
||Deb Sarah Pekkanen‘s debut, The Opposite of Me, hit shelves in March and her short story, “All is Bright“, is available for e-readers right now!
||Deb Joelle Anthony’s debut, Restoring Harmony, came out in May.
||Deb Alicia Bessette’s Simply from Scratch was released in August.
||Deb Jenny Gardiner gave us a trifecta – Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who’s Determined to Kill Me was released in March by Simon & Schuster. Slim to None was released by Diversion Books in e-reader and print on demand formats, and then Over the Falls arrived in e-reader format and will soon be available for print on demand!
||Deb Kristina Riggle – The Life You’ve Imagined came out August 17, 2010, and I was so honored it was chosen as an IndieNext Notable pick for September, which means that independent booksellers — who have been so very good to me — marked it out for special attention. Here are a couple of my favorite reviews, as well:From The Grand Rapids Press: “An entertaining, challenging story with the power to change us if we let it.”
From Friend of the Debs, Devourer of Books: “Rich, messy and real…Kristina Riggle is going to be my official go-to for novels about the complications of everyday life.”
And from Booklist: “Her strong and complicated female characters are interesting and likable, and she ably weaves together multiple story lines.
||Deb Tiffany Baker‘s The Little Giant of Aberdeen County came out in paperback and hit the NYT bestseller list in February. Paperback sales are still going strong.
||Deb Anna David edited a collection of essays – Reality Matters: 19 Writers Come Clean About the Shows We Can’t Stop Watching that arrived in April.
||The paperback version of Deb Eve Brown-Waite’s First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria came our way in April!
||Another paperback arrival was Deb Jennifer McMahon’s Dismantled, in May.
||Deb Kristy Kiernan’s Between Friends was released in April.
||We started off 2010 with Deb Maria Garcia-Kalb’s 101 Ways to Torture Your Husband!
||Deb Meredith Cole gave us Dead in the Water in May.
Other 2010 Favorites!
Class of 2008:
Deb Eileen Cook loved so many books this year, but Sweetness At The Bottom of The Pie was a favorite.
Class of 2009:
Deb Kristina Riggle adored THE DIVORCE PARTY by Laura Dave, PLEASE EXCUSE MY DAUGHTER by Julie Klam, TIME OF MY LIFE by Allison Winn Scotch, BLESSINGS OF THE ANIMALS by Katrina Kittle, and I’m pretty sure this is a 2009 book but bear with me, HOW I BECAME A FAMOUS NOVELIST by Steve Hely is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time and all authors and bookish types should read it and laugh-cry over the dead-on satire. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Lady Emily historical mysteries by Tasha Alexander.
Class of 2010:
Deb Sarah Pekkanen recommends a book by my high-school classmate Laura Hillenbrand – Unbroken. It’s spectacular! Other great 2010 reads were Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner and Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin.
Deb Emily Winslow recommends The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant. It’s a terrific read, and also has a personal meaning for me: It was the first book I was ever asked to blurb! This is what I wrote:
“I rubbed my hands together in anticipation when gossipy old Frau Kessel revealed that Katharina Linden hadn’t been the first to disappear. ‘No,’ she said. ‘I mean the *other* ones.’ That’s where the engaging voice of The Vanishing of Katharina Linden fuses with thrilling plot. It’s a smart, subtle crime novel, narrated by a young girl living in a town where young girls disappear.”
Class of 2011:
Deb Tawna‘s brain is pickled by eggnog, so she can’t actually recall many of the books she read in 2010. Off the top of her head, she knows she adored the new release Maybe This Time by her idol, Jennifer Crusie (who guest blogged with us here at the ball). She also loved All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins (a brilliant romantic comedy author who’ll be guest blogging with us in March). Outside the rom-com genre, Deb Tawna thought Sean Ferrell’s debut novel Numb was fabulous, and loved all of Bill Cameron’s Portland, Oregon-based mystery novels. Oh, and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy was incredible.
Deb Elise swears she’s not just toeing the company line. She had a Deb-book-palooza in 2010, reading a slew of great books by past and present Debs. There was not a disappointing one in the bunch. Eileen Cook’s Unpredictable was incredibly fun. Emily Winslow’s The Whole World was remarkably well-crafted, and the shifting POV made the mystery delicious to unravel. Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony stands out as wholly unique among the sea of dystopian novels, and it made me desperately wish I knew how to farm and play the fiddle. Alicia Bessette‘s Simply From Scratch absolutely enchanted me — Zell and Ingrid are so well-crafted that they live on in my imagination. Similarly, the characters in Sarah Pekkanen‘s The Opposite of Me really resonated with me, and there’s one particular scene that’s so alive, relevant, and vital to me (can’t reveal it b/c in entails a major plot twist), I think about it every time I struggle with my own mishegoss.
As for my 2011 Deb sistahs, I’ll stay mum on the 2011 releases, but Deb Kim‘s All I Can Handle was a revelation in so many ways. I loved every minute of her story, laughed out loud along the way, and find myself bringing it up in conversation nearly every day.
I’ve also read some non-Deb-written books I adored this year, including Emma Donoghue‘s Room, Laurie Halse Anderson‘s Forge, Suzanne Collins‘ Mockingjay, and Sarah Dessen‘s Just Listen. I highly recommend all of them.
Deb Eleanor has to echo Deb Elise on Emma Donoghue’s Room – it absolutely shook me up in a way a book hasn’t done in a long time!
Deb Kim thanked the gods for Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, Chris Grabenstein’s Jersey Shore Ceepak Mysteries and his wonderful middle grade ghost stories, her colleagues Mark Blaxill and Dan Olsted’s book The Age of Autism Mercury Medicine and a Manmade Epidemic (HERE).