Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to our final Liar Society baby...

It all began with a phone call. A really long phone call. Lisa and I wanted to do something cool. And it couldn't cost any money. And it had to be fun. I'm not sure who came up with it first but "write a book" was thrown around and then "write a YA book" and then in unison, "YES." And so we did. And it was YA. And it was bad. But it was FUN. More fun than we'd ever had before and completely addicting and completely ours.


And it didn't work so we tried again. And that's where Kate Lowry comes in. She's everything we always wished we could have been and all of the sudden we had the chance to re-write history. With a few emails from a dead best friend thrown in for good measure. Fast forward to pink hair, lots of tears, celebrations, Twizzlers, writing workshops, READERS, blue hair, a book tour, fans, no fans and finally red hair and *spoiler alert*, brown hair. Kate, we hope we've made you proud. We sure had lots of fun.

So, Happy Birthday to our newest baby: THE THIRD LIE'S THE CHARM. She's all snuggly and new and fresh smelling and we hope you like her as much as we do!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

It's been a long, long time since I've posted a book review. And it's not like I haven't read outstanding books in the past year. I have. Oh, I have. But, if there's one book, just one book, you decide to pick up (especially as a read aloud with young people), please let it be WONDER. I'm about a year late (as usual), but here it goes anyway...




I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

I began this book by reading an online excerpt and crying. Yep. Just from the excerpt. It broke my heart. It broke my heart because I remember middle school very vividly and I remember what it feels like to imagine that everyone is looking at you and making fun of you and judging you. I now understand that everyone felt that way and for the most part everyone was just looking at themselves and feeling insecure, but this book broke my heart because all of the sudden everyone was looking at Auggie. It made me wish I could have a do-over and go back to middle school and find the person who most needed a friend and be a friend. Back then, I wasn't quite strong enough to be a Summer (read the book and you'll meet Summer and you'll wish you could have a do-over too). But I'm really, really hoping I can pass along some courage to my own children.

Despite the fact that I can't go back, I can talk about this book and buy it as a present and share it with my kids. It can help start a conversation about kindness and opening up your heart and being a friend. It can help you feel and understand what it might be like in another person's shoes. And it will most definitely make you cry. Heartbreaking tears that hurt your throat, but also happy tears as you watch Auggie grow and change and live.

I loved this one. My daughter is not quite old enough to understand everything I'd like her to understand, so I'll count down the days. Or maybe start reading aloud to a random ten-year-old on the street.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

They say it's your birthday!

Dear Lisa,
Happy Birthday, sister. I thought it was only appropriate on this very special day in October to dig through my Student Portfolio and personal writings and find a poem I'm not sure I ever shared with you back in '94. This was written shortly after my own birthday when I asked to borrow a certain pair of stinky clogs.

They looked a little like this:


Remember?

We looked like this:

You said no. I wrote this:

Look in my eyes, see who I am.
I am not you, I am me.
See in my heart, all there is to see.
Try to see the good, it is truly there.
Be who I am, just try to think,
what it would be like to be me.
I think different, I am not you.
You always yell, you always scream,
just try to think how I feel.
Your screams put a bruise on my heart.
You may not know, but they do.
I try to ask, but listen you won't.
My words seem to vanish, as if never heard.
Stop for a moment, listen to me.
It is as if some hate beneath you,
is given to me.
What is it?
What is so wrong with me?
The words that mean so much were never said.
I try to understand.
My heart just waited.
No more will I wait.

BAM. I really wanted those clogs. BUT...you made up for all of it by telling me you got me a special present. A Debbie Gibson HAT. I had visions of grandeur. Visions of this: 

It looked like this:
I still love you, anyway. Happy Birthday to my sister! If you want to borrow anything of mine today, it's YOURS. Kids? What? You want to celebrate with my kids? That can be arranged. I love you!

Love,
Laura

Monday, September 9, 2013

HUGE congratulations are in order...

PrintThe Reading Room has officially announced the winners of the 2013 Reading Room/WriteOnCon Aspiring Authors' Competition! Thank you to everyone who entered and voted--the talent this year was astounding.

The honor of Third Place and a cash prize of $250 goes to Amy Trueblood and her piece Fighting Chance.

The honor of Second Place and a cash prize of $500 goes to Ashley Laster and her piece Shades and Shadows.

And the honor of First Place and a cash prize of $1000 goes to Michelle Weidenbenner and her piece Love is Just a Word.  

Submissions for the Aspiring Authors competition were judged by a panel of three literary agents. Catherine Drayton of Inkwell Management, Charlie Olsen, of Inkwell Management and Jennifer Rofe, of Andrea Brown Literary.

All of the winning entries will appear in a special e-book, which will be available for download soon! Michelle will also have the opportunity to discuss her manuscript with literary agent Catherine Drayton!

In addition, EVERY voter will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate, just for voting. So, technically, we're all winners!   Congratulations again, winners. You did it! Until next year...

Friday, September 6, 2013

How Candy Crush Saved My Life...

Just kidding. Candy Crush is destroying my life one dotted bon-bon (You know the ones. You see them and your heart starts racing and you do everything in your power to get a striped ball of joy next to them so your screen explodes with striped balls of joy working their stripey magic) at a time.

Candy Crush has made me a better mom.



This is happening.

"Busy," "High Energy," "Active," "Curious." These are all words that describe my 19-month-old son James. "Time-consuming," "Addictive," "Crack-laced," "Wasteful." These are words that describe Candy Crush. James + Candy Crush = Emergency.

Candy Crush has made my marriage stronger.


I give up.
Sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to fall back asleep. A few games of Candy Crush never hurt anyone. Until the glow from your phone wakes your husband up out of a deep slumber and he catches you in the act. Candy Crush: 1. Marriage: 0.



Candy Crush has made me a better person.


This is called devotion.
To make up for my shortcomings since being introduced to this devil game, I baked a special cake for our family to enjoy.

Okay.

I'm lying. I didn't bake a cake and I have no intention of baking a Candy Crush cake or any cake for that matter. I did buy some chocolate chip cookie dough batter from Target yesterday, so that's something. Baby steps.


Candy Crush has made me a better writer.

Damn you flashing cursor. Damn you to Candy Crush hell.

If only I could multi-task while writing. If that were the case, I'd have Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis streaming in the background, my phone in one hand Candy Crushing away and the other hand typing the book of our lives. Perhaps then I could truly say that Candy Crush saved my life. I wonder if those words have ever been uttered. The creator. Only out of the creator who is laughing his way to the bank every time someone agrees to pay 99 cents to continue playing his crack-laced app.


But hey, at least I'm not desperate enough to spend any money on Candy Crush or change the time on my phone to get more lives.

Okay.

I'm lying again. I might have invested a little over $10.00 so far to unlock additional levels. But it's only so I don't have to wait three days or bother Facebook friends. Is that so bad? Is it? IS IT?

And no, I haven't changed the time on my phone.

Yet.

Monday, September 2, 2013

New beginnings...

We've sent a proposal for three new books to our agent. And we're excited. Like, really, really excited. Needless to say, we've been refreshing ever since. And we're afraid she's going to hate them. We're afraid of rejection, we're afraid of failing, we're afraid of change, but we can't help but be excited. Because at the end of the day, that's what this business is all about. Possibility. And hope. And change.

We're bound and determined to re-capture the magic we felt when we first started writing together. And we're hoping these three books will do just that.

Here's to hoping (and refreshing).

Friday, August 23, 2013

I'll tell you one thing that will never get old...

Fans.

If you haven't noticed, Lisa and I have been stuck in some sort of rut as of late. We've let the blog slip, let our writing slip, let our connection to publishing slip. We've put our hands up, taken a giant step back and have shut down just a teensy bit. Okay, a bigger than teensy bit. But all of this is okay. It was summer. Life was crazy. We needed a break.

But there have been signs. They've been sneaking into our lives, tapping us on the shoulders and gently nudging us back to writing. An idea for a blog post. A writing conference that inspires. A writing workshop with young, aspiring writers. And FANS.

We taught a summer writing workshop for The Learned Owl (the best neighborhood bookshop ever) called Embracing Your Inner Teenager: Writing for YA. It was awesome. There were retired women beginning a new chapter of their lives, ACTUAL young adults who loved to write and a few who came just because they were intrigued. At the end of the session, one of the young girls pointed to a copy of THE LIAR SOCIETY and said, "Wait a second. Did you write that book?" Why yes. Yes we did. She smiled widely and took out her phone. "My friend Kaylee is going to DIE. She loves that book. It, like, changed her life. Seriously! It's worn and marked up and has all sorts of creases on the spine because she's read it so many times. She's going to be so jealous that I got to meet you!" This adorable young girl went on to buy a signed copy of the book for her friend and it about made our night.

We felt pretty spiffy. Not only did we have an actual fan, but we'd had the chance to leave a special message in the book, including our email address, to said fan who we hoped we'd hear from soon. Because fans are amazing. But EMAILS from fans?! No words. But then I began to kick myself for not passing along an ARC of THE THIRD LIE'S THE CHARM to our new favorite fan. How easy would it have been to hand over the copy I had at the workshop?! She could have had an early read of the final installment. Boo.

But then the stars aligned as they sometimes do. My new favorite babysitter came over to watch my crazy 19-month-old son so we could head out to kindergarten open house and actually be able to breathe, focus and talk like normal people. Favorite babysitter said, "Lydia mentioned you were a writer and when she showed me your books, I recognized them. They're my sister Joanna's favorite!" Now it was my turn to smile widely. Another fan?! So exciting for us. And Ding Ding Ding, a chance to pass along that ARC. I rushed off to get one and handed it over to the best babysitter ever. But this time, I left some more specific instructions in the book.

"Joanna, so glad you like the books! Read (early!) and enjoy, but try your hardest to find Kaylee Arnold* when you're done and pass it along to her."

Mission accomplished. And now I can sleep at night.




*Don't worry Kaylee. I changed your name.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hello, my name is Lisa and I suck...

Well, hello blogosphere! You’re still around? It’s kind of been a while.
So, yeah, I’ve been busy and distracted and kind of a mess. But a mess in a good way. We sold our house. We moved in with my parents. We moved into a new house. We got a dog. I’ve accepted a promotion at work. My kids are growing. They say funny things every day. They give me sticky hugs and kisses. They’re meeting new friends, getting ready for a new school. I’ve seen lots of great movies. I’ve read a few amazing books. I’ve watched way too much shitty television.
And in between all of it, THIS IS W.A.R. made its way onto shelves. We got ARCs of the final book in The Liar Society series. We’ve had a million conversations about what we should write next, when we should start it, how we’re going to find the time.
But writing has taken a back seat to life over the past several months. And I’m ok with that. It wasn’t necessarily on purpose. It just kind of happened. I think we needed a break. Time to shift gears and reevaluate who we are as writers and people and moms and friends and sisters and wives.
But now we’re back.
Or we’re trying to be back. I’m trying to be back. We have a new project that we’re working on. I want it to work so badly. I want to recapture the magic that we found writing all of our other books. And I’m so excited to dive back in. But I’m scared too. Because what if this is it? What if we can’t get back to that place where we’re up all night writing chapters. Laughing out loud over stupid jokes we lace between sentences and paragraphs. What if we’re done?
The truth is: I’m scared. I know too much now. I can’t ever be that stupid newbie writer who thought we could crank out a book in a month that would turn into an international bestseller.
But maybe that’s ok. Maybe being scared is good. Hell, maybe being scared will make us better.
Either way, being scared is so much better than giving up.

PS: Today is the LAST day to enter the WriteOnCon/Reading Room Aspiring Authors Contest. What are you waiting for?!

Monday, August 5, 2013

WriteOnCon 2013

If you haven't already heard, WriteOnCon 2013 is COMING. Next Week. August 13th and 14th to be exact. If you haven't joined us before, this is YOUR year.

Our faculty is incredible and the wealth of information blows are collective minds. You will learn, you will connect, you will LOVE.

Click here to read a little about how WriteOnCon came to be and check out our lovely sponsors of the Aspiring Writer's Competition, The Reading Room. The contest is better than ever this year with the chance to win one of 3 monetary prizes. If you have a finished MG, YA or NA manuscript, you have no excuse! ENTER!
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Earn a key, join the W.A.R.


By preordering a copy of THIS IS W.A.R., not only will you get a beautiful key necklace, but you'll officially be a member of the W.A.R.! So, what are you waiting for?!

ONE WEEK TO GO. AHHHH!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'll Be Seeing You

It all begins with a letter.


"I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren't we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation…"

It's January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor's wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.

Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other's unwavering support.

A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I'll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength
and solidarity of women.

If you haven't already done so, go ahead and place an order, head to the store, BUY THIS BOOK. It is a stunning collection of letters between two women and will leave you with something so valuable and often rare these days. Hope.

Congratulations to Loretta and Suzy. We are so incredibly proud of all you have accomplished and can't wait to see what happens next!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day


From time to time I’ll be struck by a moment. It’s usually something completely ordinary—tickling my daughter to get a belly laugh, the “hi” we get from James every morning when we open his door, my husband reading books before bedtime. I memorize the way her eyes crinkle, his tiny fingers gripping the chewed up crib rail, the two pairs of feet side by side in Lydia’s twin bed. And I’m positive I’ll remember, force myself to etch it and save it and treasure it and pull all of those ordinary moments back up when my kids are too big to be held and too busy to play and too cool for their old mom.
 
I have a bunch of them saved up, in between all the other not-so-fond memories I’ve pushed to the bottom—the morning stress sessions and fights to get out the door on time, the if-you-don’t-get-your-hands-off-your-brother-I’ll-I’ll-I’ll…, the time outs and tears and failures. But luckily the good prevails and the kids sleep. I peek in every night and gaze longingly at their innocent little sleeping faces to erase all of the challenges of the day and no matter what morning brings (James digging through cupboards, Lydia’s aggressive passionate love, disconnections, misunderstandings, exhaustion), they are peaceful and sweet and perfect.
 
Being a mom is not an easy job. I never knew guilt until I became a mom. I never truly appreciated my mom and how hard she worked, how much she loved us, how much she taught me until I became a mom. I never knew pressure until I became a mom. But I would have it no other way. Happy Mother’s Day. Here's to all of those perfectly, ordinary moments ahead.
 
 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Being Humble is for Suckers (and a giveaway)

Here's how 99% of conversations go when someone finds out I'm a writer:

Random person: So, what do you do?

Me: Oh, um, well, I'm a writer. I mean, kind of. Not really. It's not a big deal though.

Random person: What do you write?

Me: Oh, well, books. I mean, books for teenage girls. Not like, award winning books. Just books.

Random person: Are you self-published?

Me: No, we, uh, have people who publish our books.

Random person: So I can buy your book online?

Me: You could if you wanted to, but you're really not the target market, I mean it's probably not something you'd like or whatever.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Those Roeckers. They're so confident. So cool. So calm. So collected.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I completely unable to have a conversation where I'm proud of myself for achieving something incredible, something many people say they want to do some day but never quite get there? Why am I selling myself short?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably read about Sheryl Sandberg's fascinating book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. I've read most of her press and finally started reading the book and it's absolutely fascinating. I'm so guilty of all the things she talks about that are holding women back. I am extremely uncomfortable taking credit for my accomplishments and I desperately want everyone to like me.

But that stops now. Or at least I'm going to try to force myself to stop. (Ok fine, I still really want you guys to like me. You like me, right? I'm likable? If there's something I'm doing that makes you hate me, just tell me, I'll totally stop. Oh my God, I am Sheryl Sandberg's worst nightmare.)

You see, we've written a young adult mystery called This Is W.A.R. And we love it because it's our own tiny little [Editorial note from Laura: You're kidding with this, right?] [Editorial note from Lisa: Nope, totally not kidding. Sheryl is probably openly weeping by now.] manifesto about a group of girls who rally against the patriarchy at their country club. There are threads of feminism and female empowerment woven through, threads we hope young readers will pick up and follow, threads we hope will trigger thought and debate.

Can we all take a moment to admire the cover please? Because it really is gorgeous, right? And wait until you read the book. It's beyond perfect. Big, huge, mega thanks to Soho Teen for taking so much time to get it exactly right. Does the cover make you like me more or less? What? Not relevant? Crap.
And yet, I can't even admit to strangers that I'm proud of our books.

I'm done being humble. I love our books. I'm PROUD of all of our accomplishments as writers. Writing is hard, getting published is even harder. The truth is we are insanely, stupidly, intensely proud of THIS IS W.A.R. We poured over every word with our amazing editor, Dan Ehrenhaft. We've exchanged an absurd amount of emails with our amazing publicist, Meredith Barnes, about the cover, the marketing, the PR. We have written a book that we'd love to read.

Humor is a huge coping mechanism for us. We spend a LOT of time laughing about our D-List status in the publishing world and truthfully, it really is kind of funny. We have always taken pride in not taking ourselves too seriously, but the reality is, no one is going to take our books seriously unless we start taking ourselves seriously.

*cue ominous music*

So this is it. This is us taking ourselves seriously. This Is W.A.R. will be available July 2nd, but you can sign up to host a spot on the blog tour today. We hope you'll read it. We hope you'll love it. We hope you'll want to talk about it. But more than anything, we hope you'll learn from our mistakes. Whether you're published or agented or a complete newbie, own your status as a writer (or a reader, or a mom, or a CFO, or whatever). Take pride in what you do. You owe it to women, you owe it to your fellow writers, you owe it to yourself.

P.S.
Want to win an ARC of This Is W.A.R.? This is probably the only one we'll be giving away on the blog, so add the book to your Goodreads list or post an update on social media about the book and leave a comment here to enter. We can't wait to share this book with you guys. WE ARE PROUD, dammit.

P.P.S.
If you want to leave a comment on my likability factor, I'm totally cool with that too. [Editorial Note from Laura: Nice try Lisa, Good thing I read this one last time before posting. Sorry, Sheryl. We're working on it. Pinky promise.]

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Laura!

32 years of marathon phone conversations, promises, catty comments, secrets, fights, crazy ideas, terrible outfits, questionable decisions, adverbs, books, wine, marathon phone conversations, tears happy and sad, laughter, fun, lies, disappointment, excitement, chaos, debriefs, bad movies, terrible television, dreams, hopes, kids, near misses, perfect catches, alibis, boyfriends, husbands, dads, moms, in-laws, emails, texts, beer pong, vacations, failed tennis matches, peed pants, pouting, terrible driving, bad casual French, stinky clogs, staring contests, paging Dr. Nino, Make-Me-Laugh, Singers Anonymous, terrible jobs, crap cars, rejection, best friends and...SISTERS.

I have no idea what I'd do without you and Stacey.

This is the only picture ever taken where I'm cuter than you.

Happy Birthday.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Darling Daughter - A Brief Study in Lydia

My daughter is a character. She eats only when she wants to eat--every other day on average. She greets Lisa's sarcasm with elegant disdain. She's crazy smart. She's an amazing friend.

Lydia has a good heart, but her own agenda. If she is interested in you, she can't shut up. When she and her cousins get together, there is a constant stream of chatter and giggles. They have a ball together. But she does not appreciate conversation with strangers which makes public outings...interesting.

I took Lydia out the day after Christmas for some deal hunting. Truthfully, I'm not a huge fan of strangers stopping us and asking questions or commenting either.

It's very rarely, "Oh my, what delightfully well behaved children!"

Oh no, it's usually something like "Wow, someone looks tired!"

Or the ever popular, "Are they ok?"

I'm always so tempted to respond to that one with something along the lines of, "Well, we're not really sure since they haven't developed pysychological testing for sociopaths under 5 just yet."

I love my kids, but the grim reality is that you never know what you're going to get with a one-year-old and a four-year-old when you go to Target. Honestly, I just wish people would avoid eye contact as they would with a pack of wild animals and keep on moving. I'm usually too busy  whisper-yelling or desperately opening whatever snack items we're supposed to be buying to make small talk about my children's perceived behavioral issues. Especially the day after Christmas. But that didn't stop a kind, old lady from stopping us at the grocery store. I'm sure she meant well.

Geriatric Woman: "Hello, young lady."

Lydia: *blank stare*

Me: *sweating* "Lydia, what do we say when someone says hello?"

Lydia: (sounding like she'd rather have someone pull her fingernails out individually than acknowledge the kind geriatric. "Hello."

Geriatric Woman: "What did Santa bring for you?"

Lydia: *blank stare* *slow blinks*

Me: *sweating more* "Lydia, what do we do when someone asks you a question?"

Editorial note: There were a few more seconds of silence here and in retrospect if I'd been paying close attention, I'm sure I would have been able to see my life flash before my eyes.

Lydia: "A knife." *creepy child-head-cock last seen in Maculay Culkin's award winning performance in The Good Son*



Editorial note: A KNIFE. I swear Lydia barely knows what a knife is and certainly doesn't know that a knife is used for anything other than cutting food. A FREAKING KNIFE.

Me: "Lydia! WHAT DID SANTA BRING YOU?"

Editorial note: Mentally, I had already packed up all the nice presents we gathered for our daughter and donated them to a child who doesn't lie about receiving a KNIFE for Christmas.

Lydia: "Toys." [Translation: Eff you, creepy oldie.]


I did my best to keep a straight face while filling my husband in when we got home. He had to look away before addressing Lydia who was served with a very extensive time out and a long question/answer session in which she informed us that she heard about a knife from school.

But I still have nightmares about that creepy-child-head-cock.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Booklist on The Lies That Bind

My mom was very unhappy that I didn't post anything about our Booklist review, so here it goes:

 “This imaginative mystery, complete with secret passageways and passwords, will leave readers eager for the next installment.”

Yay! We're so happy readers are enjoying Kate's second adventure. We have some exciting news coming about book #3 next week, including a cover reveal!!! So. Pumped.

And in the meantime both eBooks are on sale for $1.99! Personally I think $1.99 is the perfect price for an eBook, so now is a great time to buy them!

(Are you happy now, Mom?)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Worst Day of My Writing Life

Hello, worst day of my writing life. You are characterized by instant upper-lip sweating, full-body shakes, and many, many tears. You began at approximately 1:07 AM, Saturday, December 29th and didn't end until after 7 PM the following day. I hate you, by the way.

Let's back up. 1:03 AM was a very, very good moment. Lisa and I had just spent the past 4 DAYS, 4 HOURS per night, READING ALOUD our current edit for THIS IS W.A.R. My voice was hoarse for 4 days because we labored over every word, discussed changes at length and went off on many, many tangents. Lisa had track changes on her computer and I had a brand, spanking new document I was building as we went. AKA the final version. I saved obssessively--an every-five-minutes-kind-of-save, a type-a-word-hit-save kind of save, a if-I-hit-save-one-more-time-I-will-be-considered-a-save-junky kind of save. You get the idea. 1:00 struck and we FINISHED. We spent approximately 1 hour on the last paragraph of the book, literally tearing apart every word to make sure we got it right. And then BAM. It was right and it was finished and it was good.

Lisa: Send me the document and we'll send to Dan. Yay!!!
Laura: Wait...I thought you were doing the edits.
Lisa: Very funny.
Laura: Ha ha ha. He. he. he.

We hung up the phone and I saved one last time before exiting the beautifully complete document to attach to an email. And then my world as I knew it was swallowed up. All of the dates on the This Is War FINAL document showed the wrong date. Christmas day to be exact. The day we began editing. This is not right. This is not right. Don't panic. This is not right. I opened Word to check my most recent documents. Not listed.

Cue terrified shakes. And heavy breathing. And tears. Lots and lots of instant tears.

I knew deep down that it had to be somewhere. I had saved the document religiously. It was on my computer. Word hadn't given me any Are you sure you want to exit without saving? messages and I HAD saved. I conducted a series of searches. My husband came downstairs at 2:30 afraid that I wasn't in bed. I cried. He searched my computer. Nothing. I continued searching until 3:30 in the morning and then finally cried myself to sleep hoping when I awoke, the entire experience would turn out to be a bad dream, the finished document waiting in our inbox where it belonged.

But who am I kidding? This is the worst day of my writing life. I woke up and the document showed Christmas day, reflecting not one of the changes Lisa and I had discussed. I had a few options.

1. Continue wasting valuable time searching.
2. Take my computer to a computer genius and beg.
3. Tell Lisa. Cry. Ask for forgiveness.
4. Start over.

So...I took a shower and cried. Ditched my kids with my husband and hightailed it to the nearest computer genius store and cried. No dice. If the document wasn't found during a search of all files as well as hidden files, it was gone. If it had been deleted, genius would have been able to help. Not saved properly? Nope. But I did save properly, I Saved As, I hit the save button continuously, I DID SAVE PROPERLY, but it was neither here nor there. Didn't matter. A waste. Gone.

So I parked my very sad-looking self into a seat at the library. And I started over. I knew I couldn't tell Lisa about my mistake until I had finished, until I knew that I could finish and make everything right again. My husband stayed with the kids and I worked the entire day/night recreating the hours of work we had lost. Luckily, I have a good memory and I had been the one adding the changes in the first place. The entire process was the definition of deja vu--reading aloud the original must have helped because I'm pretty confident I caught everything and maybe even a few misses. And every hour? I emailed an attachment and copied and pasted the document into an email to myself. If I was an obssesive saver before, I've developed into a complete head case.

I did eventually tell Lisa. But not until the document was safely nestled into our inbox where it should have been all along.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Meet Lucy.

We're proud aunties again. Lucille "Lucy" Hope has arrived (fashionably late, of course) and we've fallen in love all over again. 2013 is a good year. Happy birthday, baby Lucy.




PS: You have the best name ever and we're totally stealing it for our WIP.