Monday, June 9, 2014


It’s cover reveal day for Vicki Leigh’s CATCH ME WHEN I FALL! Lots of awesome stuff going on, including a giveaway! But first, here's a special message from Vicki:




And here's what CATCH ME WHEN I FALL is all about:

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

CATCH ME WHEN I FALL will be available on October 23, 2014 in both paperback and e-book formats from Curiosity Quills Press. For more information, visit the book’s Goodreads page.

Now, there can’t be a cover reveal without a giveaway, right? Lots of authors stopped by and donated some fantastic books to help Vicki celebrate. You don’t want to miss out on these! Here’s what you can win:

  • An e-copy of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL by Vicki Leigh
  • A submission package critique (query+synopsis+first chap) from Vicki Leigh
  • An e-copy of HEIRS OF WAR by Mara Valderran
  • Two query+first chapter critiques from YA author Emily Stanford
  • A full manuscript critique from YA author Emily Stanford
  • An e-copy of WITHOUT BLOODSHED by Matthew Graybosch
  • A paperback of DESTRUCTION by Sharon Bayliss
  • An e-copy of KIYA: HOPE OF THE PHARAOH by Katie Teller
  • One query+first chapter critique from YA author Katie Teller
  • An e-copy of DARKNESS WATCHING by Emma Adams
  • A copy of DESCENDANT by Nichole Giles
  • An e-copy package of EVER and EVADE by Jessa Russo
  • A signed copy of DIVIDE by Jessa Russo
  • A copy of UNHINGED by A.G. Howard

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win! All prizes will be accompanied by a Dreamcatcher swag package from Vicki Leigh.

Thanks for stopping by!

About Vicki:

Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press, a co-founder of The Writer Diaries, and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

You can find Vicki at her website and blog and on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and Goodreads.


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Monday, May 5, 2014

So You Want to Write an Ensemble Cast

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Secret Lifers! (: In the spirit of parties and the number five, I've got five tips for writing a great ensemble cast for you.

I have this thing about ensemble casts. A lot of my projects feature teams, secret organizations, or groups of people working together for a common goal, and one of my biggest issues as a writer has been "how on earth do I get a number of people to work together without a) overwhelming the reader and b) actually helping people keep all these characters straight?"

Okay, let's do this.

1. Each character has a certain base set of skills.
If you, like me, enjoy RPGs and D&D, this will probably come naturally to you. Think of each of your characters as fitting into a certain class.

Using classes as an underlying way to sort characters is useful-- you can balance out skills more easily. There's the people who can take a lot of physical damage and then the more vulnerable, magical characters. The magician's spells hurt more than physical attacks (often) but magicians cannot take a lot of physical damage.  Perhaps it's most easy to see this working in a fantasy setting, but it can be applied to any group of characters.

As an example, there's this one military drama I love that takes place on a submarine. Maybe the people in the command room have some hand-to-hand combat training, but the sub's chief engineer is unlikely to be able to hold her own in a fight, even if she's the smartest person on the boat. Likewise, the ace mecha pilot might be able to accomplish his missions on the ground in record time, but he lacks the strategic foresight to always avoid falling into trouble.

One of the keys to getting the group to work logically together is having them cover each other's weak spots-- figure out ways for them to all balance each other out, with each person being useful. The flirty sniper isn't good at all with hand-to-hand combat, the brilliant strategist captain is actually terrible at fighting of any kind, and the mysterious lieutenant just lives through anything.

2. Ensemble casts are a system of interchangeable parts.
Sometimes it's not necessarily that someone has a certain skill-- a lot of people in the story could have that same skill-- it depends on how good the characters are. Lots of people can drive a car, but maybe there's only one person good enough in your heist story to be the getaway driver.

Likewise, in the submarine drama, it's not hard to find someone can set the submarine's course-- the lieutenant commander can do it, the XO can do it, the captain can do it. But, if the submarine has to evade missiles and be pushed to its operating capability, then the captain (who's designed the sub from scratch and knows it better than anyone) has to be one giving orders.

This also helps you avoid falling into the chosen one trope, if you're not going for that. If a lot of people can fight an enemy but your protag is just trained to be the best at it, or if there are a lot of tacticians but your main character is the most resourceful, then we're more inclined to cheer for them on their merits than on their mysterious powers.

3. Your main conflict is a ripple across character arcs.
Here is a kind of ugly picture that I derped up in mspaint to illustrate this point.
Okay, so the letters that are closest to the center of the ripple? Those people should be my main characters (this project had a lot of people running around it). I have my protag (D), the love interest/mentor (S), and the antagonist (J), right at the center. The conflict between them defines the book. The people at the center of the circle are the people whose lives change drastically based on this conflict (D becomes a coward, then re-learns how to be brave, always-honest S finds a reason to lie, D's best friend J finds a reason to hate him). Characters on the next ring out are ones that are more indirectly affected, and so on.

The closer you are to the center conflict, the more I need to see you change/evolve as a character across the story. The people on the outer ring may change a little, but for the most part, they're pretty constant-- they're the most minor of the characters. But on the four inner rings, each character changes in some way (the closer to the center, the larger the change) based on the main conflict.

4. Help your reader remember all these great people. 
One of my favorite tricks for helping keep characters straight is associating different letters with them. If all your characters start with the letter J, it will be much harder for a reader to keep them all straight, especially the minor ones.

Granted, if you have a truly huge cast of characters (think Game of Thrones size), then sure, you're going to run through the alphabet very fast. In cases like this, it's probably better to look at family or clan names, and trying to make those unique, then assigning unique letters within them. (Where I'd normally think, "oh that's that T-named character from before!" then I can think "oh that's T-whatever of House S--")

Unique names are cool, but keep in mind what will stand out and what will make your characters blend in. A lot of unusual names together makes more common names stick out (in a sea of Haven's, Pierce's, and Asa's, a Thomas stands out). Likewise, in an expensive preparatory school setting in the US, it's more likely that characters with names like Rohit and Yosuke will stand out and be more memorable than Ashley and Jax. However, if your story is set in Seoul, then a character named Rosalie sticks out more than In Hwa Lee.

5. Quirks win the day. 
What defines a character? Sometimes it's just as simple as being the guy who takes himself too seriously and acts snooty, or the specific way that a character opens a door and inexplicably stubs her ballet flat on things. If you can give us something specific, some human detail to associate with a character, something that they do different than anyone else, then we'll remember them more easily.

Good luck!


When Alex Yuschik isn't writing her next YA novel, she's working on someone else's as an intern at Entangled Publishing. She writes about lock picks, ghosts, the abandoned places in cities, and how not to strike bargains with stars. Between sneaking in time to game and rocking out to indie music, Alex spends the rest of her free time working towards her PhD in mathematics. You know, as one does.


You can find her on Twitter @: https://twitter.com/alexyuschik
Or drop her an email at: alex.yuschik@gmail.com
And also visit her website @: alexyuschik.wordpress.com 
Friday, May 2, 2014

That Time I Met a Fellow Secret Lifer and CP: Farrah Penn

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw the photos I shared from my trip to Los Angeles last weekend. This trip came about because of the awesome lineup the Pasadena Library put together for their first ever Teen Book Festival.

I knew I couldn't miss out on this wonderful opportunity, and immediately talked my critique partner Farrah Penn into attending the event with me. This was a big deal for us because we've been friends via Twitter as long as we've been critique partners. Of course, we text often and SnapChat almost as frequently, but we've never actually met in person.

So when April 26th finally came around, I packed up and hit the road around 2AM to make it in time for the event. I was super excited to meet Farrah IRL, and I couldn't wait to surprise her with an ARC of GATEWAY; a book she helped get published by reading it who-knows-how-many-times. Here we are shortly after I arrived in L.A.:


Yay!! How fun is that? I totally kept it a secret, which we all know is hard for me when I can't share things on Twitter. I got the ARCs that week and was dying to share them with the world. Keeping the secret was totally worth it, though. (Side note: If you don't already know, Farrah is also a fellow Secret Life of Writers blogger, as well as a fabulous writer of YA contemporary who's represented by the awesome Suzie Townsend from New Leaf Literary.)

Seriously. Farrah's support has been absolutely wonderful. I don't know what Gateway would be without her, and I don't even want to think about it. That's how much of an impact she's had on my writing, which I'm sure goes for all of us with critique partners. Not to mention that she's just an overall sweetheart. I greatly enjoyed our chats and wished I could have stayed a little longer.

In true critique partner fashion, Farrah couldn't let me leave without signing her copy, which I happily obliged:
P.S. Signing your own book for the first time is a pretty surreal experience. I sat there and thought about what to write for a good five minutes.

With all that being said, I keep hearing rumors that Farrah's gonna visit the weekend of my book launch. Let it be known, I'm holding her to it. haha Cheers!
Heather Marie is a YA writer who loves all things creepy. She enjoys writing horror/supernatural stories that make you question that feeling of someone watching over your shoulder. Heather spends most of her days reading and writing and plotting her next idea. When she's not in her writing cave, she enjoys watching creepy TV shows with her husband and picking apart plot holes in movies.

Her YA debut, THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME, releases August 25th, 2014 from Curiosity Quills.

You can find her on Twitter @: http://twitter.com/HeatherMarieYA
And visit her website @: http://HeatherMarieYA.com
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guest Post: ADVICE ON BLURBS: HOW NOT TO DO IT

Today, we have a special guest! Here's Nicole Wolverton with how NOT to request blurbs! Take it away, Nicole!

Can we get a round of applause for Nicole?!
So last weekend I was at the Rosemont College Book Festival to sign copies of my psychological thriller, THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS. Another writer approached me.

“How did you get Emily St. John Mandel to blurb your book?” he asked. “Do you know her?”

I shook my head. “I have no idea why she agreed.”

Probably not the answer he wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. And it’s true of all three wonderful writers who blurbed my novel. One of them had been a guest judge for Five Minute Fiction when I was organizing it, but none of them knew me or owed me a solid. So how did it happen? And what is the process for securing blurbs anyway?

In some cases, the marketing and promotions team at your publishing house may want to target certain writers, perhaps writers also published with your imprint or writers who are well-known in your genre. Often, though, you—the writer—will be responsible for soliciting your own blurbs, whether you’re being published with one of the big houses (HarperCollins, for instance) or your book is coming out with a small press (like Bitingduck Press, who published my novel). That’s clearly true if you’re opting to self-publish.

Yeah, think about that: you have to email writers you admire, most of whom you don’t know or have no connection to, in order ask them for a huge favor. That’s not mortifying or fraught with opportunities to embarrass yourself at all.

So, today, I give you the top four ways NOT to solicit blurbs:

1.      Be a jerk. Assertiveness is key when dealing with strangers from whom you want something, so definitely skip the polite request to consider your manuscript for a blurb. Simply assume each writer on your wish list has the time and inclination to read your novel, no matter how long or out of their genre it is—either attach it right to the email and give them a two-day deadline to have your blurb in hand.
2.      Be creepy. In your email, be a total fangirl. Not normal fangirl-y but the stalker type. Mention that you know where the writer lives and will be happy to stop by to read the entire manuscript aloud to them. Be sure to include a line about something you found in their garbage during your last pilgrimage to his or her house.
3.      Take it public. You should totally pressure each writer on your list to blurb your book by posting about it on your blog, on Facebook or Tumblr, or by tweeting incessantly at each person on your wish list. But the very best way to get your writers to say yes is to bug their friends and followers, asking them to convince the folks on your list to provide a blurb.
4.      Throw a hissy fit. Are the writers on your wish list playing coy? Don’t they know who you are? Bombard them with emails to let them know exactly how miserable and stingy they are. Take to your social media accounts to ream them out for not jumping at the chance to read your brilliant manuscript. Complain to anyone who will listen about how badly you’re being treated by the writing community.

Oh, and no matter what . . . never, ever say thank you. For any reason.

Now, go forth and request your blurbs!

_______________________________________________

Nicole Wolverton spends an inordinate amount of time figuring out what makes people creeped out and uncomfortable. And when she’s not scheming or writing, she can be found running (for fun, not from things), dragon boating, or cooking. Publisher’s Weekly calls Nicole’s psychological thriller, THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS, a “skillful […] examination of a psychotic woman’s final descent into insanity,” while The Millions describes it as “wholly original and fearlessly dark.” She is represented by Michelle Witte of Mansion Street Literary Management. Nicole writes young adult and adult horror and thrillers.

Hang out with her on Twitter: @nicolewolverton
or on Facebook

Visit her website: www.nicolewolverton.com
Monday, April 28, 2014

Love, Money, and Metaphors

So I don't know if you guys saw the results from the epic writing survey that were posted a few weeks ago, but if not, you should go here and check them out. Definitely interesting stuff. One of the questions that was particularly interesting to me was this one:

What's the best part about writing for everyone, we wondered?

You probably need to click it to make it bigger and see, but the main thing that caught my attention here was the last answer--"The Money." Zero people said this is why they wrote. This wasn't especially surprising to me, because it's probably the one constant piece of "advice" that I've gotten since embarking on this "make writing a career" journey however long ago it was now. That is, "Don't do it for the money." 

Because if that's what you're here for, then most likely, you're going to end up severely disappointed and frustrated.

Five years ago, when I was writing that first book, this was easy enough advice to get behind. I'd loved writing for as long as I could remember, and I loved the idea of simply writing a book-- of accomplishing that, and seeing it through to the end, regardless of what came next. It was nothing except the sheer joy of words and the amazing feeling that came when you managed to string them into a whole, coherent story. When you'd created a world and cast of characters entirely in your head, and then--with even just a little bit of success--managed to recreate those things on the page for other people to see and believe in. And that's what it's all about. It's cheesy, but even just typing those last few sentences made me feel all warm and fuzzy, because it woke up that part of me inside that said oh yeah. that is what this writing thing is supposed to be about.

But--and brace yourselves, because this is the part of the post where I'm going to level with you--I have to be honest, those warm and fuzzies have gotten harder to feel, the longer I've been at this. After that first book, I wrote three more before I was offered representation. And with each book, though I didn't really notice it at the time, I think it became less about the simple joy of writing, and more of a complex combination of yes-I-love-writing-but-what-I'd-really-love-is-a-book-deal-now-please-and-thanks. It became about not failing at something I'd already dedicated so much time to. About getting to the point where the accepts started outnumbering the rejections.

This is a hard post to write. I debated about posting it, even after drafting it and thinking about it forever, because I'm not sure how this reflects on my character; I've had enough private conversations with fellow writers to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way, but in public? In public it seems that often we're only allowed to talk about how much we love writing, and how we would do it forever and ever even if we never saw anything but rejection from it.To feel differently--even on only the occasional bad day--means that GASP! we must not be real writers! Real writers do it because they love writing. Period. 

But I don't know if it's that simple. Yes, real writers love writing. Obviously. Obviously, some part of me is madly in love with writing, too--because if it wasn't, I seriously doubt I would have spent four years writing four books only to have the publishing door slammed in my face over and over again. Yes, some part of it was sheer stubbornness; but stubbornness alone doesn't write a book. Not a publishable book, anyway. And I eventually wrote a publishable book. I hope to write many more publishable books. And yes, some part of me would always be a writer, even if I never managed to make anything resembling a career out of this.

But this is where it's gotten tricky for me, and why I think this topic has been on my heart lately: because once you're published (or soon-to-be-published), it becomes harder to think about that simple love that got you writing books in the first place. You suddenly have Expectations. You have people who have read your debut book and asked about sequels. You have an editor and possibly an agent who you have to keep on impressing. You have well-meaning friends and family who want to know when you'll be quitting your day job since you're obviously making a ton of money now (ha!). Or who want to know when you're going to stop spending so much time writing and get a real job (because they know how poor you actually still are). 

And when you don't know what to tell these people, it's hard. It's disheartening. You get tired of explaining to people that publishing is slow and there's nothing you can do about it, and that yes, it's a HUGE accomplishment to have gotten a book deal in the first place, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're "in" at that point, or that it's all going to be smooth sailing from then on, or that this is even an actual, viable career now. There are still a lot more hurdles to leap. A lot more books to write. And now you're writing with all these people staring at you, wondering what's going to come next in your fledgling career--and to top it all off, a lot of what happens in said career is out of your control. That is, basically, everything except the actual writing is out of your control. Wheee.

It's sort of how romantic relationships often go, isn't it? You start out all infatuated and loving everything about your partner, but then you start noticing how annoying their laugh is and then suddenly they're all "sorry but you're not quite right for my list right now" and you're like "well, damn". And then you have to decide if what you have goes deeper than infatuation, and if it's worth it to keep fighting until you get it right. Or something like that half-assed metaphor.

On to my point, though (yes, I did have a point all along, I promise): this post isn't meant to be a complaint, or a woe-is-me-publishing-is-so-hard-and-unfair sort of rant, just for the record. I am ETERNALLY grateful to know that I will have a book on the shelves in September, even if it's the only one that ever makes it to said shelves. But in the true spirit of this blog--revealing the  secret life after surviving the slushpile and such--I thought it was time for another painfully honest topic. So here you go. Bottom line? The warm-and-fuzzy feeling that writing gives you may not always be as warm and fuzzy as it was when you first started. Sometimes it will be downright cold and prickly and you'll probably wonder if it was ever there in the first place, or if you were just fooling yourself. I personally don't think that makes you less of a "real writer"; it just makes you human. To revisit my terrible metaphor, all good relationships--including the one I share with my writing--need work sometimes. And sometimes you want to just completely break-up and crank up some Taylor Swift and tell your polished turd of a manuscript that you are never ever ever getting back together, and that's totally okay and I'm totally not judging you for that. Also, I have no idea how Taylor Swift just became a part of this post.

Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Scott-- aka: my spirit animal.

Anyway, the trick, I guess, is to just do what you can to not lose that warm feeling completely. Maybe write some random bad poetry that you're never going to show anybody. Read a book for pure enjoyment and pay no attention to how it compares to yours, or how the writer crafted this or that. Remind yourself that writing is actually really, really hard, and then go eat a cupcake. Fall asleep dreaming of words and scenes you want to write, even on the bad days when you didn't actually write a single word. You're still a writer, even on those days. And it's that warm feeling that will remind you of that over and over. You just have to hang on to it, and let it convince you to write one. more. sentence. Even when you're pretty sure nobody else in the publishing world wants anything to do with those sentences. 


Stefanie Gaither writes YA novels about killer clones and spaceships, with the occasional romp with dragons and magic-users thrown in for good measure. Said writing is generally fueled by an obscene amount of coffee and chocolate, as well as the occasional tennis and/or soccer break. She's represented by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary, and her debut novel, FALLS THE SHADOW, is forthcoming from Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2014. You can add it on Goodreads here!


You can find her on Twitter @: https://twitter.com/stefaniegaither
Or drop her an email at: stefanie.gaither@gmail.com
And also visit her website @: www.stefaniegaither.com


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Book AFTER the Book That Snags Your Agent

Hey, lovelies!

Today I'm dishing out some behind-the-scenes info I wish I would have known before I signed with my agent. When I was in the query trenches, I didn't think that far ahead. I didn't even ponder the idea that after the contract signing and going on submission, I would eventually show my agent another book.

But eventually, there will be another book. The idea of that was…terrifying to me. Mostly because I did not enjoy the query trenches, like just about everyone, and I never ever ever ever ever want to go back there. Ever. Thoughts would flick around my mind like "What if she hates it and she drops me?", "What if she reads it and thinks I'm a hack and she made a mistake?", "What if I run out of wine while I'm waiting for her to finish reading it?" (Good news, that last problem was totally solvable.)

A year and a half later, after I clicked "send" on that email containing my wimpy excuse for a second book, I've learned a few things about this whole publishing thingy we're doing:

1) It won't be perfect. I can just about guarantee that no matter how many drafts you did before you sent your next manuscript to your agent, it will not be perfect. You will have to do at least another round of revisions with your agent, and they may even be major revisions. (In my case, seven. But who's counting?) And, from what I've heard, there's a high probability that you may even have to do more rounds this time than you did with the book you queried with. Why is this? *shrugs* I have no idea. My theory is that we spend so much time tweaking and prepping and polishing that first book, and less than we realize on the second because we don't have to query. It may be because we grow as writers, and we're trying out more complex story lines. Either way, you're going to have to revise. A lot. And that is A-OKAY. Your agent doesn't expect it to be perfect right away, either.

2) Dream bigger, darling. I wrote a little bit about this for Camp NaNoWriMo this month, but basically, make sure you're with someone you trust deeply. I hope when you queried, you looked for someone you would want to be with for the long haul. And what that means is not just someone who has the connections to sell your book, but someone you actually like. As a person. Bonus points if you have similar tastes. The reason for this is because you greatly heighten the chances that your agent is going to love your next book this way. If you know that you both love the same books, themes, music, whatever, then there's a huge chance you're going to produce something that she is excited about and wants to submit. Why does this matter, you ask? Because if your agent is excited about the story you're trying to tell, she will do everything in her power to help you tell it. For me, that meant endless brainstorming sessions, outlines, and her willingness to read this thing seven times.

2) It's okay to be assertive. This is your career. You have an agent now, and that's great! You're making a career out of this writing thing you love to do. (Note: This is not saying that if you self-pub or don't have an agent, you don't have a career. For the purposes of this post, I'm just talking the traditional publishing route.) So remember, this is your destiny, and you're co-creating it with your agent now. If she gives you revision suggestions, it is okay to question them, to disagree with her, and to come up with a new solution together. Honestly, I followed almost all of my agent's suggestions because I agreed with them. But the ones I didn't agree with, we talked about, and I explained why I didn't want to change them. Ultimately, we came up with an even better idea when I voiced my concerns over it. You never quite know what magic could happen when you're honest about your work.

That's all, folks! I wish I would have known all this when I first sent that manuscript. What are some things you've learned along the path to publication? 
Andrea Hannah writes about delusional girls, disappearances, and darkness with a touch of magic. When she's not writing, Andrea runs, teaches, consumes epic amounts of caffeine, and tries to figure out how to prevent her pug from opening the refrigerator (unsuccessful to date). She's represented by Victoria Marini of Gelfman-Schneider/ICM, and her debut novel, OF SCARS AND STARDUST, is coming from Flux in Fall 2014. You can add it on Goodreads here!

You can find her on Twitter @: http://twitter.com/andeehannah
Drop her an email @: andreahannahbooks@gmail.com
And visit her website @: http://www.andreahannah.com/


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

32 Things You Can Do While You’re Playing the Waiting Game

You know what waiting game I’m talking about. The one where you’ve submitted your query or submission and are waiting for days--nay! Weeks!--or (GASP) MONTHS. The waiting game where you find yourself constantly refreshing your email to the point where you eventually convince yourself you have actually and literally broken the internet.

Don’t worry, friends. I feel you. That’s why I’m sharing my super important list of things you can do while you’re waiting.

32) Play on PhotoBooth. Because you haven’t done that shizz in so long.
31) Learn all the dance moves to this sweet jam (the real moves begin at 2:48)



29) Read the entire Harry Potter series.
28) Go on a walk.
27) Watch baby panda videos on the YouTubez.
26) Become a Vine star.
25) Realize you’re not funny enough to become a Vine star and eat an entire pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
24) Learn how to juggle.
23) Go online shopping.
22) Repaint your living room.
21) Go to the dentist for your semi-annual teeth cleaning (you know you’ve been putting it off).
20) Go through your childhood Disney movies and watch all of them because you can’t decide on just one.
19) Have a nice Sunday brunch.
18) Do learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to:



17) Clean your entire house.
16) Remember how much you hate cleaning.
15) Drink a glass of wine and have a Johnny Depp movie marathon instead.
14) Tumblr for 5475849367857079734857438562457492 hours.
13) Find your 30 seconds of fame:



12) Prank call some people.
11) Create a super cool invention:


10) Play Cards Against Humanity with friends.
9) Read a bunch of food blogs.
8) Get inspired to cook a bomb meal.
7) Realize you don’t have half the ingredients and order a pizza instead.
6) Listen to music:



5) Marathon all 10 seasons of Friends
4) Try and paint your cat’s nails.
3) Realize that was a seriously bad idea.
2) Watch videos of celebrities falling on stage.
1) Watch every Jennifer Lawrence interview ever in existence.

Or I guess you can be a responsible writer and write another book, tackle your TBR, or critique other’s WIPs. But just in case you need other ideas . . . the list is here for you. ;)