Tuesday, December 31, 2013

so... 100 things that kicked ass in 2013

1. I took my daughter with me to New York City for a week. It was the first time I ever brought a kid with me on book tour.
2. I had the best ever mini-tour in Chicago and Detroit, and made some true friends.
3. I bought my daughter the most amazing dog for her birthday.
4. Winger was published in May.
5. I held an actual ARC of Grasshopper Jungle.
6. I finished writing 100 Sideways Miles.
7. My son turned 19.
8. Winger was reviewed in the New York Times.
9. I sold an awful lot of foreign rights.
10. I ate kangaroo meat.
11. Went to dinner with Benjamin Alire Saenz.
12. Got lost in the rain.
13. Ran in a snowfall in Boston and California.
14. Had Syrian food with David Gale.
15. I attended a media luncheon for Grasshopper Jungle. MTV, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and USA Today were there. For me.
16. Best school visit ever: Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, New Jersey.
17. Got to do readings with Ellen Hopkins and John Corey Whaley.
18. Took my daughter shopping at Tiffany.
19. Hung out with Stephen Chbosky.
20. Played golf with A.S. King.
21. Heather Brewer's "Less Than Three" conference.
22. My anniversary weekend on the beach.
23. My house didn't burn down.
24. I ran every day.
25. Hung out with Anne in New York.
26. Had some bourbon with Dave Barrett.
27. Had some bourbon with Michael Bourret.
28. Had some bourbon with Lauren Abramo.
29. Got to hang out with Gayle Forman. No bourbon was involved.
30. Had some scotch with Michael Grant.
31. The cab ride from hell in Miami with Bennett Madison.
32. TLA in Fort Worth.
33. Got to hang out with Julie Strauss-Gabel in the Penguin offices.
34. Met some of the best fans ever, all over the country.
35. Got to hang out with Liz Szabla and Jean Feiwel in the Flatiron.
36. I ate actual grasshoppers.
37. I ate an actual bacon macaron.
38. Hung out with Carrie Ryan. She convinced me to try Scrivener, so I bought it. I haven't made it through the tutorial, unfortunately.
39. Partied at the Simon & Schuster offices.
40. Signed books at some great American indies: Books of Wonder in New York, and Anderson's in Chicago.
41. Had dinner with Justin Chanda.
42. Met Lucy Ruth Cummins, the artist responsible for the cover of Winger.
43. Penguin sent me a box of UNSTOPPABLE CORN T-shirts.
44. I ate rattlesnake meat.
45. NCTE/ALAN in Boston.
46. Miami Book Fair International.
47. Starred reviews for Winger in Booklist, Shelf Awareness, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.
48. Starred reviews for Grasshopper Jungle in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.
49. Interviewed by Kirkus.
50. Winger named a JLG selection, nominated for Quickpicks, Rainbow List, and BFYA, and so many "Best of 2013" lists.
51. Helped kick off the first Ontario Teen Book Festival.
52. I drank a jalapeno margarita in Texas.
53. I read some really great books.
54. Hung out with Brooks Sherman and Adam Silvera in New York.
55. Got to see the fantastic cover design for 100 Sideways Miles (also by Lucy Ruth Cummins).
56. I'm not going to lie--riding in limos is the shit.
57. The author party in South Beach.
58. Hanging out with Janet Tashjian.
59. Listening to audition tapes for the audio version of Grasshopper Jungle.
60. Working with Andrew Karre and A.S. King on the anthology Losing It, which came out in October.
61. Holding the British version of Grasshopper Jungle.
62. Making the cover of Bookseller magazine.
63. Being in the Los Angeles Times list of summer reads for 2013.
64. Writing the book I'm writing right now.
65. Meeting Holly Goldberg Sloan.
66. All the miles I ran in cities I had never been to before.
67. All the times I got TSA pre-checked.
68. Coming home after all those long trips.
69. The pre-party at TLA.
70. Hanging out with Bill Konigsberg in Los Angeles and Boston.
71. Oh yeah... the cover of Winger made a LOT of best book covers of 2013 lists, often as the only YA title on the list.
72. I took a lot of saunas this year. I have a sauna in my house. Saunas and distance running are probably the best things writers can do.
73. Oh yeah... so, not only did Winger come out in 2013, it also went into its second and third printings in 2013.
74. Got to participate in Revolution Day at Foothill Technology High School. They gave me the first Angel Potato Award.
75. My daughter turned 16.
76. The nicest hotels I stayed at were in Chicago, Boston, and New York City.
77. I got bumped off a flight coming home, but the airline gave me an extra free flight voucher. Score.
78. Visited two amazing high schools in Chicago.
79. Skyped with some terrific kids in Wisconsin.
80. Anderson's YA Summit.
81. I beat every deadline I had.
82. I edited with two methods--electronic and on paper. Still haven't decided which I prefer.
83. Saw two of my friends go from "aspiring" to getting their first publishing deals (Hooray for Helene and Adam).
84. Matthew and Amy drove up from Atlanta to hang out in St. Louis.
85. I went to the MOMA.
86. Stood right at the front of the pit for a Titus Andronicus gig. Patrick sweat on me and my daughter.
87. Did the Texas Tea at TLA. So fun.
88. I signed thousands of books for my readers.
89. I gave more than 100 books away to schools and libraries.
90. Most pleasant surprise location: New Jersey.
91. Hanging out with my S&S people--especially Venessa and David.
92. Getting a first edition of The Chocolate War as a gift from one of my publishers in England.
93. Hearing from booksellers overseas about their enthusiasm for my books.
94. All the love and support from librarians.
95. All the love and support from independent booksellers.
96. When Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster stopped fighting, and people could find my books there again.
97. All the people who sent photos of themselves with my books. My two favorites were the one in Australia with kangaroos in the background (thanks David) and the one from the Portland Airport Powell's Books.
98. Going to dinner tonight (New Year's Eve) with my wife and daughter.
99. Hearing such nice things about my work from agents and editors I don't even work with... really, publishing has some of the nicest people in the world.
100. Looking forward to all the great things that are going to happen in the year that will start tomorrow... and tomorrow I can say this: Grasshopper Jungle is coming out next