YAB Bootcamp Update — Awesome Things Edition

I'm home in Brooklyn after my week with family, and it feels great to be back in my routine today. I slept in my own bed, sat at my own desk with coffee brewed in my own coffeepot and drunk out of my own mug, took a lunchtime dance class, and now am at my new favorite post-dance-class cafe. Life is good! And being back to my normal life isn't the only reason life is good. Things have been pretty awesome since I checked in last week.

Awesome thing #1:

I finished my first draft of EVERYTHING'S BEAUTIFUL! I think that means I officially WON Bootcamp. :D I wrote the last chapter on Wednesday morning, at which point I did a happy dance in my sister's apartment. (Her cat was not amused at my antics…) I haven't looked at the manuscript since, and that's on purpose. I'm taking a break from this book for a few weeks so that when I am ready to revise, I'll be approaching it with fresh eyes. But it's perfect timing for me to be on a writing break because of...

Awesome thing #2:


I received my galley pages for THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND! I can't express how amazing it is to see my book laid out like a *real book,* with a font and chapter headings and section divisions and, you know, all the things actual books have. It looks so different than the Times New Roman MS Word doc I've been staring at for so long! Anyway, I have the next week and a half to scan the pages for errors, and knowing me I'll need to do more than one thorough read to feel at ease about sending the book to the printer, so… as I said, good thing I finished the new book's first draft last week.

Awesome thing #3:

Clockwise from top left: Newborn, 16 months old, 7 years old, 4 years old.

Or, if I'm being honest, awesome things #3, 4, 5, and 6: my fabulous nephews. As happy as I am to be home now, it was wonderful spending the week with all of my boys. (Plus the rest of my family: my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my sister, my husband's parents, his sister and brother-in-law, and even brother-in-law's parents! Whew.) Here's just a little taste of what I was up to over the past week: snuggles, block towers, baby pools, baths, runny noses, dirty diapers, pajamas, picture books, storytime at the library, train sets, Legos, Spongebob Squarepants, Nintendo, laser tag, chicken fingers, sticky fruit bits (and sticky fingers!), cheese pizza, birthday cake, and the list goes on and on. I'll take my award for Super Aunt now, thanks. :)

So as Bootcamp winds down, I'm pretty much done with my writing goals. These three months have been a kick in the pants and a great morale booster. I've gotten so much done! Thanks to all of the YA Buccaneers—and everyone who participated in the Bootcamp—for giving me the encouragement I needed to push through. And here's one more shout-out to my splendiferous teammates: Winter Bayne, Riley Darkes, Emma L. Adams, Kate Scott, Angel Leigh, and Tonette de la Luna! I look forward to seeing what all of you accomplish in the future! Go Team Mazama!

team mazama final