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June 29, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: June's Best Book

Kate Hart
Image Source My pick is the book I gave to the husband for Father's Day: 

Treehouses: Living a Dream by Alejandro Bahamón

Why? Because that's the new ~*~plan~*~ I mentioned a few weeks ago. We're starting a business building treehouses and playsets from recycled and locally sourced materials.

I write YA and my husband builds treehouses. Apparently we have both failed to mature past a certain point. Maybe we can sell cootie shots as a side business or something.

What's the best book you read this month? Head to YA Highway and leave a link to your post in the comments!

June 24, 2011

Field Trip Friday: Yet Another Literal Version

Kate Hart
Image Source While the lovely Kody Keplinger fills in for me over at YA Highway, I am en route to New Orleans to party and dance do serious book-ish type stuff with awesome author friends. Have a great weekend and be sure to check back for ARC giveaways next week! And if you happen to be in New Orleans this weekend...


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June 22, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: En Fuego

Kate Hart
YA Highway says: "Your house is on fire and you can only grab five things. What are they?"

Obviously working from the assumption that family and pets are fine:
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Top left
My writing notebooks, conveniently packaged in one backpack so I can take them all.

Bottom left
A painting my mother-in-law did of the Ponte Vechio in Florence, where the husband and I bought our wedding rings.

Middle
The most complicated quilt I've ever made. (I'm assuming Bullseye, the little horse below it, went out with my youngest. Bullseye is also pretty essential.)

Top right
A drawing my oldest did of "Mommy and Daddy hugging each other." The husband framed it for me for Christmas.

Bottom right
I'd take my laptop, but it was easier to take a picture of my external hard drive.

Head over to YA Highway and play along!

June 13, 2011

Divergent Challenge: Dauntless

Kate Hart
DAUNTLESS: fearless, undaunted.
Undaunted: courageously resolute, especially in the face of danger or difficulty;not discouraged.

Listen, I love Vee Roth like Hagrid loves dragons, but I'm not jumping off any trains for her. The list of folks for whom I'd fling myself from moving objects is pretty short, to be honest. So when I took the faction quiz on Facebook, I was surprised to get Dauntless as my result.

But not shocked, I guess. My list of phobias is also pretty short: eels, fast-moving water, clowns. That pretty much covers it. I'm not a huge scaredy-cat. I just don't seek out risks just for the hell of it.* I back up my manuscripts three different places. I always wear my seat belt. I have health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, a retirement account, and if wrapping my entire family in plastic would keep them safe forever, you bet your ass I would.

But.

What if it's not just for the hell of it? What if it's to take advantage of a terrifying but incredible opportunity? Or to follow a dream of being, say, self-employed, or published, or to live life on your own terms?

Well. Apparently, in that scenario, I'm your girl. Because I quit my job a few weeks ago. And I don't have another one lined up, exactly. We have *~*~plans~*~* and they are exciting and terrifying and whatnot, but they are no guarantee of a steady income.

red stapler shirt
Shirt for sale at Zazzle
Or an income at all, for that matter.

I don't feel Dauntless. I feel daunted as hell. But I also feel like this narrow tunnel I was looking down has suddenly widened into all sorts of crazy offshoots, and none of them end in a cubicle. Debtor's prison, perhaps, but I won't end up wandering around demanding my red stapler and destroying copy machines with a baseball bat.

More Dauntless Challenges are here!

*Clowns are TOO a risk! Who knows what kind of weirdo is inside that hula hoop-waisted costume, weird red nose and creepy face paint? STRANGER DANGER, y'all, and it goes up exponentially with over-large shoes. Just saying.

**Yes, our *~*~plans~*~* will give me more time to write, but no, writing is not the plan itself, don't worry. 

Also, thanks to the Twitterverse for coming up with some great "I love ____"s, including @samanthamabry's "I love you like Smithers loves Mr. Burns," @flamingo1325's "dog and steak," @angelicarjaxon's "Maggots + Roadkill," @deb_bryan's "Like Chesapeake Bay Retrievers love water!", @shelleywatters's "a germaphobe loves hand sanatizer,"and @erinbowman's "Like a fish loves water. Or, Harry Potter edition."

June 10, 2011

Field Trip Friday: Special Twitter Edition

Kate Hart

A companion to today's WSJ and #YASaves round up at YA Highway

It only took twenty minutes for #YASaves to become a trending topic on Twitter, and several people have collected the stories and support shared there. These are the best of the rest.

June 8, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Go Naked

Kate Hart
This week, YA Highway wants to know:
Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Do you like to make a detailed plan before you start a project? Or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants and make it up as you go along?

It is ironic that the opposite of being a pantser would be going without, when I'm pretty sure that an outline of this breadth has me fully covered. Possibly to the point of suffocation.

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Also, it is fun to mix metaphors.

How about you? Head over to YA Highway and play along!

June 6, 2011

Divergent Challenge: Erudite

Kate Hart
It's time for another Divergent challenge, and this week's faction is...

ERUDITE: characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly

I am pretty sure, despite their eventual jackassery in the book, that these are my people. Not that I'm a super genius or anything, it's just that... y'all, I loved school. I loved it so much that I tried THREE TIMES to get a master's degree before realizing I was actually a writer.

Photobucket So it wasn't exactly a stretch last week for me to spend a ridiculous amount of time researching. Writing, however, about killed me. Yesterday was the worst-- I ended up almost in tears because I got trapped in the vicious "I don't know what to do with this / I'm a fraud / I'll never get this book done / I should be working on it / I don't know what to do with it" cycle. I finally closed my computer, took a hot bath, and looked around for something to read. And there, beside my bed, was the book my BFF gave me over a year ago. Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. The one the BFF called her personal horcrux. It was just waiting patiently for me to sit down and read it all the way through.

So I did. Guess what I learned.
"If you leave it to the more sensitive side of your nature to set the conditions of your work and living for you, you may find yourself at the end of your days with very little to show for the gift you were both with. A far better idea is to realize from the start that you are subject to certain caprices of action, and to study yourself objectively until you find which of your impulses are sound and which are likely to lead you into bogs of inertia and silence."
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shirt available at Red Bubble
Pretty sure Tumblr is my bog of inertia, if not silence.
"The tormenting doubts of one's own ability, the self-conscious muteness that drops like a pall over the best story ideas, come from consulting the judge in oneself at the moment when it is the storyteller's turn to be ascendent."
"You must be not only strict with ourself but fair. A blanket condemnation will get you no further than uncritical self-approval."

True story: One time, when my sister was like, "WTF, why is Kate always on my case?", my mom said, "If she's so hard on you, imagine how hard she is on herself." When Mom repeated that conversation to me, I cried. But I still manage to forget or ignore it when I sit down to write. And you know. Like 364 other days a year too.
"Forget or ignore for a while all the difficulties you have let yourself dwell upon too often; refuse to consider, in your period of training, the possibility of failure."
Easier said than done... but not done at all if I don't at least try.
"No human being is so poor as to have no trace of genius; none so great that he comes within infinity of using his own inheritance to the full."
Photobucket See? We can all be Erudite.

I guess these were all things I know, in principle. But sometimes you need to be in the right frame of mind to truly absorb something. The book also has a step by step plan for "hitching your unconscious mind to your writing arm," and when I've tried it, I'll report back.

(I don't have to destroy this horcrux, do I? I'm relatively sure the BFF did not kill anyone to obtain it.)

June 1, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Research!

Kate Hart
How perfectly timed is today's RTW prompt? Lee wants to know the weirdest thing you've ever researched for your writing. I didn't even arrange it this way-- she picked it by her very lonesome-- but it is a great chance for me to show you guys some of the weirdest stuff I saw on the research trip my husband and I took to the Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma last week.

(This is me! Doing research! Also! It is hard to write in a notebook in 50 mph gusts!)
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