News & Notes from Jan. 21-25

– As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, J.J. Abrams will be the director of the next Star Wars movie.


Seriously, Abrams did a great job with Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness looks amazing. I can’t wait to see what he does with Star Wars.

– More characters have been added to X-Men: Days of Future Past, specifically Rogue, Kitty Pryde, and Iceman. Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, and Shawn Ashmore are all coming back to reprise their roles.

Back in the ’90s, Marvel took a bunch of X-Men comic arcs and turned them into chapter books, and my brother and I ate them up like they were candy. Days of Future Past was one of the books we had, so a combination of nostalgia and my inner Marvel fangirl is making me go “squee!” every time I read another update about this movie.

– I spent most of Friday–well, I spent it working, but on breaks, I was hanging out on Twitter doing #PitMad, basically a 12-hour-long pitch party where agents hang out on the hashtag and writers condense their sprawling works into 133 characters (because you have to save room for the hashtag!). First time in my life I’ve ever tried to condense a story into a Tweet, and it is quite possibly harder than writing an actual query letter.

I didn’t get any bites (not surprising), but it was a fun experiment and I’d like to try it again…perhaps with a little more prep time. A big thanks to Brenda Drake for putting it on and Becca Weston for offering a place for us to practice our pitches!

– My friend and co-ML Rebekah is in the final round of the Curiosity Quills NaNo Virtuosos contest! This is the final round, and the winner gets a publishing contract.

You can read the pitch and first 30 pages of her novel, Catalyst, at the website and then click here to vote. Voting closes February 8.

A Contest, a Niece, and a Giant Mech

Why yes, I’ve seen The Hobbit. Why yes, you’re going to get a review. Why yes, it will be as soon as work stops looking like this.

But until then, some other news, shall we?

My friend and NaNo ML partner-in-crime, Rebekah, has entered the NaNo Virtuosos contest put on by Curiosity Quills with the novel she wrote for NaNo this year, Catalyst. (I begged her to use that title. I’m not ashamed to admit it.)

So go to the site, read her first three pages (featuring a character for whom “creepy” is too mild an adjective), and then vote!

Also, in honor of her 300th blog post, Rebekah is giving away some pretty cool prizes. Drop by her blog to enter for a chance to win some pretty delicious homemade goods or a feature on her blog!

You may remember helping me pick out books to give to my niece. Well, on December 10 at precisely 3 p.m., said niece decided to grace us with her presence.

Everybody, meet Lillian.

I might possibly have been singing Oogie Boogie's Song to her. Just maybe.

I might possibly have been singing Oogie Boogie’s Song to her. Just maybe.

She is about 20 different kinds of adorable. Also, I am going to spoil the everloving hell out of her.

And finally, we got a chance to see the trailer for Pacific Rim in front of The Hobbit. To say it looked “good” is an understatement. I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing how Guillermo del Toro handles a movie that is basically giant robots vs. giant monsters.

Again. Giant robots. Giant monsters. Fantastic.