TWISTED playlist – vote early, vote often!

I did it! (I think.)

Thanks to all of your great suggestions yesterday, and a very, very late last night with Stef and Amy and my husband, I have put together the first crack at the TWISTED playlist and I posted it on iTunes.

If you go to iTunes>Music>iMix, type in halse in the Search box for iMix Name. That should take you to it. (Does anyone know of a faster way to do this?) iTunes wouldn’t take the whole thing, so I mentioned the other songs in the Description. Vote for my mix! (You vote by rating it on iTunes.) Make me smile! Throw me a bone while I sit, chained to my desk, the fires of the deadline crackling at my feet, smoke curling upwards!

I am asking to create a new page for my website that will features playlists for all of my books. Here is what I have for TWISTED, so far. And yes, the order of the songs is important:

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” The Pogues

“Brick in the Wall” Pink Floyd

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana

“Yoda” Weird Al Yankovic

“Trogdor” Strong Bad (

“I Want You To Hurt Like I Do” Randy Newman/ Land of Dreams

“Come As You Are” Nirvana

“Needle in the Hay” Elliott Smith

“Munich” The Editors

“Hurt” Johnny Cash

“She Hates Me” Puddle of Mudd

“How to Disappear Completely” Radiohead

“Everybody Hurts” R.E.M.

“Hallelujah” Jeff Buckley

“Real Men” Tori Amos

“Float On” Modest Mouse

What do you think?

P.S. One last thing: the Syracuse Post Standard ran my essay on how salt potatoes are so, so, Syracuse.

Trying to be organized

I had a couple of trusted friends as well as my editor read the draft of my WIP and the comments are finally in. They pretty much verified what I knew: two of the minor characters act inconsistently at the end of the story and it is getting in the way of the arc of the main character. That was the bad news. The good news was that they were more enthusiastic than I thought they’d be about the rest of the book.

I have to leave for a conference a week from Thursday. Between now and then I have some family responsibilities and a few work things, but my Big Goal is to finish this revision and mail it off. I think I’ll still be posting here, but I probably won’t be responding to comments as much as I usually do.

I thought all weekend about the whole idea of a forum where you guys could talk about my books. It seems that the only way to do it is with a moderator, and I cannot afford to hire someone to do that now. Sigh. So we’ll put that in the good idea file and pull it out from time to time to see if we can deal with it yet.

Because of the workload here, I am behind on my plans to unveil the contest I promised. I hope you can forgive me on that one, too.

Are any of you interested in wallpapers or buddy icons? Theo designed a beautiful SPEAK movie wallpaper (scroll down). If you want, I’ll ask him to design more based on my book covers.

Last but not least, check out the a gamer comic by Jared, who – along with being a good comic artist – is smart enough to be dating my daughter, Stephanie.

Email beast tamed and shhhh! a secret

It took half the night, but I finally sent the email beast cowering into submission. Ha! Take that!

Web God Theo Black has updated my website to reflect the change in seasons again. As he emailed me about it, snow was falling outside my window, diamond dust snow that looked alive. It was very cool, serendipitous. We added a new page with just contact information. Let me know what you think about it.

I am very proud to announce that PROM has been named an Amazon Top Ten Best Book of 2005 for Teens. Check out the whole list if you are looking for something good to read.

I am also proud to announce that I have joined AS IF!, Authors Support Intellectual Freedom, a group for YA authors who are taking a stand against the censorship of YA novels. It was organized by author Jordan Sonnenblick. The group’s blog has an LJ syndication feed, asifnews.

Are you looking for a great curriculum guide for SPEAK? Look at what Dawn Hogue put together. If you are an English teacher, you will also want to look at their CyberEnglish page and be sure to read through her blog.

And a hint of a forthcoming announcement (consider this your reward for reading to the end of today’s post). We are going to have a contest at the end of the month. Shhhhhhhhhh! Yes, there will be prizes. Stay tuned.