Friday, February 27, 2015


Hello again! I have returned, with many fun things to report.

Next week I'll be beginning donor introductions. It's going to be exciting - there are so many amazing (and generous) folks! A bunch of our beloved donors from last year's auction, as well as many new faces. It's been absolutely amazing receiving emails from people saying that they heard about the auction from someone else and would love to donate something. My inbox right now is a constant stream of proof that book people are phenomenal people.

If you're looking for updates on Twitter over the next month, check out #WritersForHope. And if you're interested in talking about the auction, please use that hashtag as well! The more people participating in the auction on April 1st, the more sexual assault survivors we can support.

April 1st is going to be here in no time, I'm sure. But there's no reason for us not to have some pre-auction fun. To that end, I've added a new component to this year's event - t-shirts!

I don't know about you, but pair either one of these with some cozy sweats and you've pretty much got my writing uniform. With options for both writers and book lovers, they'll be on sale through Tfund for the next month - which means you'll be able to buy yours up until the Sunday before the auction. Proceeds from these t-shirts will also be going to RAINN.

And again, for any super-cool people who want to donate to RAINN, but not participate in the auction, you can do so at any time through my RAINNmaker page.

All right, now be gone with you! Go have a wonderful weekend.

And then check back in for the start of DONORMANIA next Wednesday!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Exciting News!

Happy Friday, all!

I'm in a turning-cartwheels-even-though-I-don't-know-how-to-turn-a-cartwheel type of mood this morning. Not even the fact that the snow drifts now officially have more height than I and flakes are once again falling can make me feel angsty. Nope. I may not be able to see it, but the sun is shining all over the place.

You know how I know this? The 2nd Annual Writers for Hope Online Auction is officially off the ground!

As you may remember, last April I had the first Writers for Hope Auction here on the blog in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Editors, agents and agented & published authors donated work critiques (ranging from queries to FULL manuscripts!), consultation calls, and signed books. All the proceeds went straight to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network to support survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

And we're doing it all again this year!

I figured we should start off Sexual Assault Awareness Month strong - so the auction will be held here on the blog on Wednesday, April 1st. Like last year, it will be a one day auction, running from 12:00am to 11:59pm.

You want to know what's an amazing feeling? Nervously sending out requests to all the donors who participated last year and asking them if they're up for another round and almost immediately having my inbox fill with positive responses. In case you missed my Tweet the other day, I'll repeat - people who love books are the best people.

We're currently at 21 (and counting) donors for this year's auction - including some of the extremely generous folks of last year, as well as new faces!

In addition to work critiques and consultation calls, it looks like we're going to have more signed books this year - which is great news! So, if you're reading this, but are not a writer who's ready to have your work critiqued or are not a writer at all - there will still be items for you to bid on. Definitely stop by on April 1st!

Auction items will not be open for bids until midnight on April 1st, but if you're a person who doesn't plan on participating in the auction, but would still like to donate to RAINN - first of all, THANK YOU - you can do so on my RAINNmakers page at any time.

Over the next month there will be many updates, including donor introductions and auction item reveals - so be sure to check in! And spread the word! Last year, we raised just over $2000, ensuring that over 200 survivors of sexual assault had access to the help they need. It was absolutely amazing, but I think this year, together, we could blow that number out of the water.

Guys, I'm really excited about this. Like I could throw up - but in a great way.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I'll be talking to you again soon!

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Which I Get to Happily Annoy My Heroine

Sometimes one needs a break from endless unpacking. Or, at the very least, sometimes someone named Kelly needs a break from endless unpacking.

Which makes it quite fortuitous that I'm at my absolutely favorite stage of writing a book. Revising. Sweet baby monkeys, I do love revising.

None of that dull panic that goes hand in hand with a blank page. Instead what lays before me are pages full of words that I can make better. It's like I'm a superhero, flying through the world of my creation zapping out villains like the overuse of the word "just." Filling up plot holes before the characters can trip into them. Providing stirring, inspirational speeches to my heroine when instead of taking action, I find her sitting on the couch, watching TV.

That last one was one of my more recent catches. I'm reading through - red pen at the ready - and find a scene as the climax of the story approaches, where my heroine is vegging out. I can no longer speak to the mindset of past Kelly that thought this was the point in the story that everyone should put their feet up and wait for the plot to unfold around them, but I can only assume that past Kelly really wanted to take a nacho break - or maybe to stop for pizza - regardless, I'm sure that some sort of carb covered in some sort of cheese was the real culprit here.

Thankfully, present Kelly's stomach was full during these revisions, and therefore saw that this was an insane story choice. Now, maybe my heroine really did need a break. First off, too bad. She can't have one, not until the end of the story and maybe not even then. Secondly, even if she did manage to sneak a quick rest past me, who wants to read about that? Not me. I'd much rather see her actually go out and get answers, rather than waiting for them to show up magically in her lap.

Ah, the beauty of revisions. Offering me the opportunity to be a greater pain in the ass to my characters. It's a wonderful thing.

And when that inevitable time rolls around where I need a break from both unpacking and revisions. Well, that's why the dance break was invented.

Now, break out your dancing shoes....and, all together now!

You're welcome.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Working Titles

I knew when I opened up the the moving truck and saw the solid wall of things inside - this was going to be a marathon, not a sprint. And so the unpacking continues!

My new place is definitely starting to look like a home instead of the box fort of a deranged lunatic, but I've some distance to go before every evening isn't spent building my severely lacking upper body strength lugging boxes from one room to another.

One thing I can say for myself, I'm a very specific label-er. When I start clawing past the packing tape, I know exactly what I will find there.

The labels can not, however, tell me why I packed my 
Polaroid camera in a different box from the film. 
But, hey, at least I know where my '80s jacket is. 

Looking at all the labels, I started wondering what my possessions say about me, which lead to other existential quandaries revolving around the art of unpacking. My thoughts all solidified in book titles (naturally) and now, at the very least, I have the title of my future memoir.

  • "Pillows & Books:" The Rests and Ruminations of Kelly Johnson 

Too many boxes were labelled this way for me not to take the hint. And then, of course, there was the expression I kept seeing on the faces of all the lovely friends and family hauling my things out of the moving truck.

  • Fill the Box Entirely With Books; and Other Ways to Get Rid of Those Well-Meaning Loved Ones

Why, Past Kelly, why?

I've taken to just issuing blanket apologies before anyone starts to move anything, despite the wary looks that puts in everyone's eyes.

Once, I started actually getting things out of their cardboard prisons, things really got fun. Going through all the things I've stored for the last two years is like a mix of Christmas and some weird kid's time capsule. Some things I'm so excited to find again, others I'm truly puzzled as to why I ever thought they were worth saving. I'm looking at you 95% empty jar of lotion.

  • Home Stylings for the Nerd Chic

That tome will definitely include the best placement for one's Death Star cookie jar and how to incorporate one's troll dolls in with one's living room decor to form a cohesive decorative theme. Or something along those lines. Furniture construction has also been a fertile ground for future book ideas.

  • They Found Me Crushed: Improperly Fastened Book Shelves and Other Real Physical Threats to Your Average Avid Book Collector

I'm not saying that I've ever been the victim of shelving upheaval. I'm also not not saying it. Make of that what you will.

And finally, there is the piece that I must get back to working on right this second:

  • Never Ending: One Woman's Story of Unpacking

I already know how that one turns out. Spoiler alert: She never finishes unpacking, just gets sucked into a labyrinth of boxes.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it looks like there might be a Minotaur coming around that corner.

Where the hell did I pack that sword?