Thursday, August 23, 2012

Glorious Bookstores

While I was in Colorado I had the pleasure of visiting two of the three Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver. It's a locally owned business, but the store is even bigger than your average B&N or Borders (before they went out of business). Each location had mostly new books, but a small used book section as well. And awesome gifts and greeting cards (such as the 'Yay Unicorns!' magnet I got) (oh yes, I totally did). AND a yummy cafe with coffee and tea and scrumptious treats to eat.

But what was most fabulous was the books. Tens of thousands of books with gorgeous, touchable covers and pretty white paper and glorious black ink. Books in little nooks and crannies, on all different levels (at least two stories in each store), which were so much more creative and magically arranged than the chains I'd been to before. I thought, please let there not be a day when bookstores don't exist. I get the lure of e-readers. I wouldn't mind having one for traveling. But I will never lose my adoration for old-fashioned books I can touch and smell and worship in a way that electronics will never hold a candle to.

Here are a few pics of Tattered Cover, though they don't do it any justice at all:


Ahhh, I'm going to miss Tattered Cover. So, what are your favorite bookshops? Either in your town, or ones you've visited...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Back! Updates on Writing, Querying and Colorado

I'm back from my blog break! I missed you guys. I've been really curious to know what everyone's up to. At any rate, I accomplished what I set out to do on my break: I finished writing the first draft of my middle grade fantasy, and I sent out a final round of queries for my second urban fantasy. And, I had a lovely trip to visit my bestie in Colorado (pics below!).

My first draft wrapped up nicely, and then I immediately thought of a better opening scene, so I messed with that even though I usually let my manuscript sit for a bit before starting to edit. It's been a few weeks now though, so I'm going to do my first read through this week and get started on edits. My query news is that there is no news. No bites for my urban fantasy, which I strongly suspect is because my MC is part vampire, and everyone seems over vamps right now. So, that's pretty disappointing because I think it's an awesome book. Yes, that sounds narcissistic. I am a writer, after all :) I put my first urban fantasy on the back burner because I knew that it needed to be stronger. I really feel this one is ready though. Alas. That's why you just keep writing - my disappointment is lessened since I have my third book done and ready for edits. Of course, I still have a number of queries out there, so I could still hear something better than the dreaded form rejection.

A couple other notes before I share my Colorado pics: first, I've decided to take a break from my urban fantasy newsletter. I really, really love putting it together, but it takes me a lot of hours each month, and I think I'm getting stretched a bit too thin. I'd rather put my time into chatting with you guys here and on Twitter. Maybe I'll start up again in the future - we'll see. Also, I've heard lots of news lately of a blogger that was sued for using photos that weren't hers on her blog, even with proper citations and whatnot. So, I took down all the pics that I'd found on the net for various posts, and wanted to spread the word to everyone I know so you can look into this for yourself.

Anyways, on that note, here are pics I took myself of my awesome trip to Colorado:

Oh, wait, Christina took this. I think I'm safe, though :) Me on the Millennium Bridge in Denver.

Also on the M Bridge... I thought this was super cute.

Me and Christina on an overlook in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Me. Notice my hand touching the rail. I am deathly afraid of heights and couldn't stand there without touching something solid. Totally illogical, I know.

A gorgeous river we hiked along on the Fern Lake trail at RMNP.

After many, many attempts to get a pic of these bastard chipmunks, who would run around my feet taunting me, hold the perfect pose until right when I snapped the pic, and generally do everything to make fun of my attempts, I finally got a good pic.

This was in the Roxborough National Park. I thought my camera didn't get a good pic of the dew drops and everything, so I was stoked when I uploaded it and saw that it did.

This was a very placid deer that let us take lots of nice pics of her, unlike the demonic chipmunks.

So, what's up with you? Tell me if I missed any big news!