Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Magic "Send" Button=Free Book for You

I did it.

Finally pushed the magic "send" button on my computer. Yes, only three weeks later than I'd wanted. My verse novel is out of my hands and into my agent's and I'm going to have a life again.

I'm going plant my garden.

Going to exercise.Writing is so dang sedentary. Gained 10 freaking pounds writing this novel.

Buy food (we're tired of nothing but cereal).

Read Brideshead Revisited before next week's book group.

Take care of the huge tax error the IRS thinks we made but didn't. 

Attend my kids' dance showcase, State track meet, and sixth-grade graduation.

Hang out with the fam.

And of course, give away a free book. To you. To celebrated finishing my novel. All you have to do is enter my drawing.

It's a great book: Okay for Now, by Newbery author Gary Schmidt.

Wow. Such a great book. Perfect, actually. I have faith in literature again. Schmidt's two Newbery's were good. This one's better.

I love the way he organizes the story of tough-kid Doug Swieteck around the pictures in John James Audubon's Birds of America,  as Doug discovers new friends in a small town where he didn't want to move; new talents; new ways of living and dealing with old problems--such as an abusive father, a delinquent brother, and another brother crippled from his time in Vietnam. Schmidt's gift is powerful understatement that takes the top of your head off, Emily Dickenson style. His language is beautiful and simple and poetic, the story simple and wonderfully rich. One of those books you finish and think, yes, that was a perfect book.
 Really. And you will cry.

I had to give this one away. Meant to do that in April, but I was trying to finish a book, ok?

Rules as usual:

1) Follow my blog. You can do that by clicking on the "Followers" link to the right. If you already follow, good enough.

2) Leave a comment here to let me know you follow and want to be entered.

3) Deadline Saturday, May 21, Midnight.

Sorry, except for Fiji and Brazil, U.S. addresses only.


  1. Great job finishing your book! I'm glad I got to read an early draft of it, and I can't even imagin how good it is now. I REALLY admire your work ethic. You're amazing!

    Oh, and I would love to win this book!

  2. Count me in! AND (most of all!) Congratulations on pushing SEND!! Being FINISHED is such an awesome feeling .... until you find out you're not finished, lol.

    And I'm gonna Tweet and FB too!

    Congrats again Elena!

  3. yay! congrats! what an accomplishment! but i could tell you that in person since we are only a few miles away. glad you have time for lots of other things now. you forgot "play with my nephews" on there. haha. just kidding. when is the state meet? we wanna come. i will call you!

  4. Yay, congrats on finishing that story! Can't wait to read it :) I've been meaning to read Schmidt's last two books, so sure, enter me in your contest...(or I could just go to the library and check it out.)

  5. CONGRATULATIONS! That is a HUGE accomplishment! Count me in for the free book! I like all of your other goals too. They sound like fun!

  6. following! julie sent me to you. I love her so I figure i'll love you too. and I'm always looking for the next great read, so a free book should be headed my way!

  7. Congrats on having a life again! I'm new to following your blog...found you via Julie...and I would love to win a new book!

  8. Congratulations, Elena! I'm so proud and happy for you!!!

  9. Count me in. I'm following.
    Congratulations on finishing your novel. I hope you're left with an immense feeling of accomplishment.

  10. Looks like a fun read... and I always enjoye a fun read. Yay on sending the manuscript off.

  11. Congrats! And I am a faithful follower, thanks to Julie. :)

  12. Thanks for your kind words, everyone, and thank you Julie and Ali for publicizing my book give-away. You guys are awesome.

    Sarah, hang out with nephews was next on my list. I'll see you tomorrow at State meet?

    Amberly, LC, and Katie and Amanda, welcome to the blog! I love new followers and love my old ones, too. Thanks for coming back, guys. :)

    I will enter you all in the drawing. Yay, free books!


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