I just finished reading “Enchanted,” by Alethea Kontiss. I received a free, signed copy from “Princess” Alethea herself at BEA, Book Expo in NYC back in May. I knew I’d love it as soon as I saw her sitting there at the “Enchanted” Booth with her tiara, glitter, and face paint (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, check out her site).
Sunday Woodcutter meets a friendly frog, and soon, she's in love. But, of course, in fairy tales, teen-aged girls and frogs are never what they seem - especially in a world where the ordinary is kissed by magic and secrets abound. When Sunday's sister, Wednesday, is wrapped up in an evil plot, Sunday, and the rest of her family, must embrace their true selves - magic and all - if they're going to save her. And maybe Sunday will find -no, strike that - maybe she will save her prince along the way.
Two sequels are in the works for the series: “Hero” and “Dearest,” both with dreamy covers. “Hero,” picks up a year after the events of "Enchanted" and features Saturday Woodcutter, the most "ordinary" of the Woodcutter sisters. I've got my copy on pre-order with Amazon. I can’t wait until next week when it’s released. If it comes out on January 6th, I wonder when it will arrive … As of right now, Amazon won’t commit to a date.
Two beautiful , but very different, covers have been released for “Hero,” both shown here. I can’t decide which I like better: the soldier or the princess …
I wonder which I’ll get, but not knowing is part of the fun!
What I want Wednesday
Back to Reality
The holidays aren't even officially over yet, and I'm already basking in the soul-eating, nauseous, pants-are-too-tight dance of post-indulgence regret. What do I have to show for all the celebrating? A slew of new, unhealthy habits I now get to break and clothing that no longer quite fits my body.
Writers have a challenging job of staying healthy. Think of it: the stereotype of the industrious author, hanging out - all day long - at the local coffee house, steaming cup of the house blend at their elbow ... and maybe one of those huge-as-my-face cookies to go along with it. Not to mention, this whole writing business involves a massive amount of sitting (hence, my pleasure at my new standing desk - woo hoo!).
As I prepare, like so many folks out there, for my post-holiday, personal bitch-slap, I'm re-establishing my usual, business-as-usual routines, habits, and activities: regular physical activity, calorie-counting, and (mostly) healthy eating. Thank goodness there are so many great tools out there - tools that can serve the writer and non-writer alike. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Regardless of the specific flavor of your post-holiday health regrets (and if you don't have any, well, God bless you, may the Force Be With You, & I need to learn your secrets), good luck with your own personal, post-holiday hell - uh, I mean, damage control.
Look what Santa brought me ...
I'm super excited. Look what Santa brought me ... a standing desk! I got to try out a friend's portable one recently at a writing retreat. It was great. I spent a couple hours drafting my most recent novel while gazing out the window at a fall lake vista. Heaven! After that, I was hooked.
This one isn't portable, like my friend's, but it's a great model for home use with plenty of room for my coffee cup (because I know what's most important). The main reason I wanted one: health benefits. Or, I should say, to avoid the negative health impact of spending prolonged amounts of time sitting, which is something I do all too often.
Many people are exploring alternatives to traditional work stations, both for home and in-office use. But the issue isn't a clear cut deal. It's important to know how to safely use a standing desk.
What do we know about the health impact of standing vs. sitting? The most important take-away: balance. Although sitting for too long can cause health issues, so can standing for too long. If you do choose to try it out, be sure to check out these tips on how to incorporate standing in a safe, comfortable way, including: work-station height; proper body alignment; and standing surfaces.
As for me, I'm already totally enjoying my new work option. I've been getting some Christmas Day editing in (with 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" in the background mingling beautifully with the hum of my husband's new label maker ... hey, he asked for it).
I hope everyone got what was on their wish lists too! Merry Christmas!
I can't believe how quickly this year has passed. I guess everyone feels the same, huh? As we get older, it seems like we focus so much on the future: the task we need to finish after dinner; next week's work schedule; that dinner party in February ...
Do you remember what it was like when we were kids, though? A time when our schedule was dictated by the ringing school bell and the street lights outside. Math class was interminable! It seemed like recess would never come. How Saturday afternoons and summer days seemed to linger on and on ... The sun swept so much slower across the sky when we weren't worrying about hitting the store later on to pick up that thing we need. We were in the moment, mindful of only the "now" and our pleasure (or misery in the case of math class) in whatever that "now" consisted of.
So that's my holiday wish. May we all get lost in the magic of the moment, our own "now," relishing the joys of family, great food, maybe a few gifts, or whatever our holiday brings. And may it linger on and on and on ...
Photo by S. Chuka (with a little editing by J. Bayliss). Thanks, Sue! ;)
"Beware the Little White Rabbit"
Merry early Christmas! I just found out that my short story, "Alice in Wilderland," has been accepted as part of Leap Book's upcoming "Alice in Wonderland" inspired anthology of young adult stories. I'm still reeling with excitement!
"Beware the Little White Rabbit" is being published to honor the 150th anniversary of the classic, one I've LOVED since I was a kid. I must have read and watched it (every version ever filmed) a hundred times. So, being included in this anthology is especially exciting for me.
The book will come out in April of 2015 and will include stories across genres. My story, "Alice in Wilderland," is a contemporary romance about seventeen-year old Alice out on a hike with her summer ecological science group. When nature gets in the way, Alice gets lost. With the hottest guy in school.
Check back soon for more details on the other stories to be included in this anthology and you can "follow us down the rabbit hole!"
I'm a major re-re-re-reader. I have some old favorites I've read dozens of times. "The Changeover" by Margaret Mahy is one of these. I still remember picking it out at the library near where I grew up. There have been many covers over the years since this was first published, but this was the cover from the edition I first read and, years later, bought to read over and over again. My copy looks no where near this clean and fresh though.
There's a story there ...
Inspiration comes from so many places. There's a park near my home that I love. It's full of concrete waterways with an eerie, otherworldly feel. It's easy to imagine I've been transported to a fairy tale land. I'm obsessed with this little stone house. My practical brain knows its purpose is to keep a drainage pipe from getting clogged. But every time I'm at the park, I can't help but stop and stare at it. I don't know why, but it's gotten into my brain. It needs to be in a book, but what kind? A fantasy? A romance? Something dark and twisted? I haven't decided yet, but there's definitely a story there.
Jessica Bayliss Blogs about reading, writing, & other fun stuff