Monthly Roundup: May

Hiii! Look! Two months in a row with a roundup thing.

What I’ve been working on: OQ2! A couple of weeks ago I finished the first draft of OQ2, and while there’s still a lot of work to do on it, it’s so nice to have that first draft completed.

This one was a huge challenge for me — for a lot of reasons, but in part because I’ve been working on it so darn long. I can usually knock out a first draft in a couple of months, but this one took me from August 2013 to May 2014 and included a rewrite of the first 40,000 words. (I wasn’t working on it 100% of that time; I still had lots of other things to do, like editing and copyediting OQ, not to mention travel.)

So having that draft out of the way is a big relief because it means the story, for the most part, is there. And while there’s a long way to go before it’s ready for anyone else to look at, it’s getting closer.

I’ve also been playing with a secret project off and on, and in mid-May I went to Salt Lake City with Brodi Ashton and Cynthia Hand to work on it a little more. Lots of progress was made! And that’s all I can tell you about that.

What I’ve been reading:

  • THE OTHER WAY AROUND by Sashi Kaufman — a YA contemporary about a boy who runs away to join a band of traveling performers. Dumpster diving, squatting, and living out of the back of a van: this book definitely doesn’t romanticize the whole “running away” thing.
  • GAME by Barry Lyga — the sequel to I HUNT KILLERS. I read this one on the plane to Salt Lake City. This book might be the reason why my row-mates were uncomfortable. And why I got stopped for the pat-down in security.
  • REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins — Think Legally Blonde meets Buffy. If you’re a fan of Rachel’s HEX HALL series, then you must read this one as well.

What I’ve been yarning: Not a lot, to be honest. I’m still working on the same socks I’ve been working on. I’ve spun some stuff, though. The rest of “Bliss” (a suri alpaca, silk, and cashmere blend, mmm) is spun up and plied, ready to be washed.

I also started working on “Ocean Storm.”

What the ferrets have been up to: There is some bad news. The day I left Salt Lake City for home, my husband called to tell me Hiro wasn’t doing well. He hadn’t been sick before, so we were both surprised . . . And yet not surprised. I’ve lost a few ferrets before to this sort of cancer that’s devastatingly fast. It takes them within days.

I didn’t get home until 1am after a day full of airport delays, shuttle rides, and a two-hour drive from DC, but though I wasn’t sure what was wrong with Hiro (I hadn’t seen him yet, just heard descriptions of what was going on), I knew if I didn’t visit the ferret room before bed I would regret it. On the phone earlier, I’d asked my husband to put together one of the small cages for Hiro so he could have a safe, quiet place, and when I looked in, Hiro was lying in the same position my husband had left him. I took him out and held him for a long time, and though he was breathing, he didn’t really move. He felt thin and weak.

After a good, long snuggle, I made him comfortable in a t-shirt nest, kissed his head, and told him I love him. In the morning, he was gone.

I very nearly wasn’t home for it. I’d looked into making a detour into Texas for one night, but it wasn’t going to work out. And as sad as I am to have missed the time with my family, I’m glad I came home instead. It wasn’t very long after I tucked him in that Hiro died, so I can only imagine he was waiting for me.

Goodbye, Hiro. Like all ferrets, gone too soon.

Other stuff you might be interested in:

The Salt Lake City Library is amaaaazing.

And at no point did I ever get over the enormity of the Rocky Mountains.

  • Someone had a question about something sad that happened at the end of ASUNDER. I answered it here
  • Kat Zhang drew Ana from INCARANTE.
  • Reading Rainbow is coming back! (Who else grew up with this show? MEEEE.)
  • The cover for THE ORPHAN QUEEN will be releasing very soon! Like, within the next couple of weeks, I think. I hope you’re prepared for the pretty. In the meantime, I’ve been taking pictures on my morning walks every time I see something a little bit Orphan Queen-ish. When you read the book, you will know why I found this sight particularly terrifying. (Although beautiful.)


Monthly Roundup: May — 4 Comments

  1. I am so sorry about Hiro passing. It is always heartbreaking when a fuzzy family member is gone :'( On a brighter note, I am stoked about the cover for OQ coming soon! The covers for the Newsoul books are among by absolute favorite, so I am really looking forward to the reveal. That is really awesome that Reading Rainbow is coming back and definitely something I will have to have my kids watch. And the library in Salt Lake City is GORGEOUS!! Game is a book I want to read soon, especially since I read I Hunt Killers and loved it so much more than I ever expected to.

    Vyki @ On The Shelf

  2. I’m so so sorry about Hiro <3

    Excited to see the OQ cover, impressed you're already done with the first draft of OQ2! So exciting, more Jodi books!

    SLC library, whoa. Yes please. I love Reading Rainbow.


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