Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vlog #1: The 3-Minute Confessional

The Challenge: The 3-Minute Confessional
The Rules: You have 180 seconds to share some quality TMI.

I've discovered the joys of vlogging. This...can't turn out well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

1 Time Capsule. 1 Author. 10 Items. Go.

The Game: The Knight Time Capsule challenge
The Rules: Pick ten items that best sum up your life to go in a time capsule, so that the people of the future (I’m picturing the cast of Futurama right now) could get to know you.

1. Rubik’s Cube
At one point in my life, I decided it was essential to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube in two minutes or less. This is probably my second-most useless life skill, but it’s always a hit at parties. (And in case you’re wondering what my #1 most useless life skill is, it’s my encyclopedic knowledge of 90s pop music lyrics.)

2. Hammock
I needed one item to emblemize my lazy side, and while my moccasins and bathrobe all seemed like good choices, only my hammock allows me to bask in Boston’s warm weather. All three months of it.

3. Swiss Ball
I needed a counterpoint for my laziness item, so I chose the Swiss ball to represent my active, athletic side. I was going to go with the chin-up bar in my doorframe, but I figured if they don’t have chin-up bars in the future, they might think that it’s some sort of club and that I was a violent person.

4. Soda Can
I don’t have a lot of vices. But since I don’t drink coffee, I turn to other sources for my 9am dose of caffeine. Also, I get cranky if I go too long without carbonation. I can’t explain it. Kind of like Scooby Doo and his Scooby snacks.

5. Guitar
I like music. I play the guitar. I’m not very good at it. This is as well as I can write this section. This lovely candid was taken by my cousin while I was playing “Country Roads” at our 250-year old family farm in Maine.
6. Super Nintendo
Remember when video games just moved from left to right? While some people get nostalgic for Woodstock of ’69, I get nostalgic for Donkey Kong Country of ’94. All I have to say to you new kids and your new-fangled video games: if I don’t have to blow on the cartridge every 5 minutes to make it work, I don’t want to play it.
7. Mask Boss
When you don’t have a boss to oversee your work and make sure you stick to the deadline you set for yourself, you need a fierce inanimate object with giraffes on it to stare at you all day long. Rest assured, when you take a 45 minute Donkey Kong break (see #6), the mask is judging.
8. Christmas Lights
I think the tradition started at some point in college—I decided that something was missing from my dorm room, and that “something” was 7 strands of Christmas lights from the dollar store (how can you say no to 100 lights for 1 dollar?) At age 25, I continue to string them up around my room for ambience. Current color? Blue. It’s like writing in an aquarium.
9. Family photo
Self-explanatory, sentimental choice. This is my favorite family photo because everyone in this portrait looks good except for me. I look like an enormous bear in an argyle sweater.

10. Pumpkin Seeds
When I graduated from high school, my commencement speech was basically your typical “pursue your dreams” monologue… typical until I said that I one day wanted to be a pumpkin farmer. However, when the local newspaper quoted me, they wrote that I “joked” about wanting to pursue a career in pumpkin farming. Let me set the record straight, once and for all, for Maynard High School, Class of 2007, and people of the future who open this time capsule.

I. Was. Not. Joking.

Unfortunately, every pumpkin patch I ever attempted to grow never yielded any pumpkins, so I decided to be a writer instead. Also, this is a picture of brown rice, because I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds on hand.

Now I challenge you to pick your 10 items. Ready...Set...Psyche!
Okay, Go.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Big Changes in my Life in 5 Easy Updates

Wow. It's been the craziest and best week of my life, so I thought it best to break my life as it stands right now down into a few concise and occasionally illustrated updates.

Update #1: I woke up Monday morning at 9am. I showered at 9:15am. And at 9:30am I was on the phone with my wonderful soon-to-be-editor Courtney, discussing how Simon & Schuster would make a great home for WILDEFIRE. And if you haven't already noticed from the self-indulgent banner I made for the top of this page, we agreed that it was.
I'm not an actor, so I'm having trouble recreating my surprised face. Therefore, I will use the mask that hangs on my wall, which always look surprised, as a stand-in. Also, it has giraffes on its forehead and I do not. Mask: 2, Karsten: 0

Update #2: What could make May even better? Finding an agent who's enthusiastic about my writing, too! I've been fortunate enough to sign on with the lovely Mary Kole from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and she's been nothing short of delightful and informative so far. Huzzah!

Update #3: My computer screen is cluttered with open word documents and Excel spreadsheets. What does this mean? I'm writing again, of course--and on the sequel to WILDEFIRE no less. Which leads us to...

Update #4: You know you've chosen the right career when part of work involves spending an entire afternoon with your nose lodged inside a tropical travel guide. No, I can't tell you where (yet) but let's just say I've picked a location for the second book that is near and dear to my heart, and there are going to be some AWESOME and diverse locales to be found in Book 2.

Update #5: Reading. I just finished two wonderful books that I wish I'd completed in time to include in my books that make me want to be a better writer blog.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Up next on my reading list: WHITE CAT by Holly Black and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.

Back to the travel books and excel spreadsheets for me. Say goodbye, giraffe mask.

"Shut up and start writing Karsten." ~Mask