Prepare Yourself – #CyborgMonday is Coming!

Posted on: 26th Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Cress

To many, the Monday following Thanksgiving (aka Cyber Monday) is a day for splurging on ModCloth and ThinkGeek merchandise.

 

For, you know… gifts. For other people. Generous folk that we are.

 

Ahem.

 

This year we invite you to join in not Cyber Monday….  but Cyborg Monday!

 

On December 2, we will be overloading the interwebs with all sorts of exclusive Cress goodies and Lunar Chronicles content! What kind of goodies and content, you ask?

 

Well, let’s see. There will be:

 

- The reveal of the CRESS book trailer!

- The first five chapters of CRESS available for download– absolutely free!

- An exclusive sneak peak at an upcoming Lunar Chronicles short story!

- A new CRESS teaser!

- The schedule for the CRESS book tour next February!

- The start of a community read-a-long for CINDER (join in with #ReadCinder)!

- Giveaways!

- A Twitter chat with yours truly (follow #CyborgMonday)!

- And more!

 

Just typing that out made me a little dizzy…

 

To be a part of the fun, follow @marissa_meyer and @FierceReads on Twitter, and become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/lunarchronicles.

 

I’ll also post a follow-up on this blog on Tuesday with links to all the great new content for you to enjoy.

 

And don’t forget to join in the Twitter chat and ask me all your questions! Monday, December 2, at 9pm EST / 6pm PST. Follow hashtag #CyborgMonday. I’ll see you then!

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Auction – Thank You!

Posted on: 22nd Nov 2013  /   Categorized:

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated, commented, bid, retweeted, and helped to spread the word on my charity auctions from earlier this week. I am floored by all of your generosity!

Because there was some confusion with the auction ending time, I talked to my publisher, and they very graciously agreed to send me an extra ARC of Cress, so that both of the high bidders in Auction #1 were able to win! (Thanks, Macmillan!)

With the donations from the three winners plus the matched amount, this auction raised a GRAND TOTAL of $3,240.00 for Global Giving’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund!

That is MIND-BLOWING.

And don’t forget, you can contribute to Global Giving efforts by placing your own donation here:

http://www.globalgiving.org

Thanks again, and I hope the winners – Alice, Cynthia, and Raine – will enjoy their prize packs!

A Day in the Life: Tuesday, November 19

Posted on: 21st Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Day in the Life

These “A Day in the Life” posts are my attempt to answer the frequently asked question: “What does a typical writing day look like?” Because the answer is that there is no typical writing day.

 

In October I talked about a very busy day in which I didn’t actually get any writing done. This day, during National Novel Writing Month, was the polar opposite!

 

 

7:00: YAAAAAWWNN…. and coffee.

 

7:30: I answer emails, check Twitter, and pause to watch the newest Emma Approved episode. Mr. Knightley is always a good way to start the day.

 

 

8:30: Phone call with my agent. We chat about my progress with WINTER, thoughts on what we might do with the Levana novella I’m working on, and all the great promotion ideas that Macmillan is coming up with for the big CRESS release. I also inform her that Scarlet has made it to the Final Round of the GoodReads Choice Awards – super exciting stuff.

 

You can cast your vote for that here, by the way, if you haven’t already. *nudge nudge*

 

9:00: Skype interview with a college freshman who’s writing a paper for her communications class. Lovely girl!

 

9:30: I’m hosting a writing date with Lish McBride (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer) at my place today, so I spend some time cleaning up the dining room so we actually have a place to work.

 

10:00: Writing, writing, writing…

 

11:00: Lish arrives! Cats wonder who this stranger is and run for cover under the bed. We drink more coffee.

 

11:14: Writing, writing, writing…

 

12:57: Order pizza!

 

1:04: Writing, writing, writing…

 

1:33: Eat pizza and commiserate over how much it sucks when you write yourself into a corner. We both stare sadly at our laptops for a while.

 

2:24: Writing, writing, writing…

 

2:47: Break open the wine!

 

2:50: Writing, writing, writing…

 

4:13: Cannot figure out how to get out of this chapter. Beat head against table.

 

4:16: Writing, writing, writing…

 

5:20: Finally, a breakthrough! Chapter wraps up pretty quickly after that.

 

5:41: Lish leaves. (Bye, Lish!) I eat more pizza and decide to keep writing until either my husband gets home or Agents of SHIELD comes on, whichever happens first.

 

7:16: Husband gets home, but I’m in the middle of an exciting chapter, so I keep writing anyway.

 

8:00-10:00: That’s enough writing for today. I move into the living room and watch Agents of SHIELD and Supernatural, while answering fan questions on a GoodReads forum where I’m the week’s guest author.

 

 

Total word count: I’m not telling! But it is my second-best writing day so far this month.

Bid for CRESS and Support Typhoon Haiyan Relief (Auction #1)

Posted on: 15th Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Cress

THIS AUCTION HAS ENDED.

Thank you to everyone who bid, and congrats to Alice who won with a jaw-dropping $555! THANK YOU!

 

 

You are looking at the blog post for Auction #1. View Auction #2 here.

 

Unless you’ve been busy exploring the outer rims of the galaxy lately, you have no doubt heard of Super Typhoon Haiyan and the horrendous havoc it has caused in the Philippines. The death toll has reached over 10,000 and … it’s just really, really bad. My heart goes out to everyone in the Philippines and everyone who has friends and family who have been impacted by this storm, and of course to all the Lunar Chronicles fans and readers who are experiencing such a terrible, life-altering disaster.

 

It’s easy to think that there isn’t much you can do to help people when you live on the other side of the world from them, but we know that isn’t true. Our monetary donations to organizations like Global Giving or NAFCON can help bring much-needed food and supplies to the people who have lost everything.

 

With that in mind, I’m hosting two auctions – each with the same prize lot – and all proceeds will be given to Global Giving’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

 

 

The Auction

Phillipines auction

You are bidding on a single prize pack that includes the following items:

 

- 1 signed ARC of CRESS: Book Three of the Lunar Chronicles

- 1 limited-edition Lunar Chronicles messenger bag

- 1 Scarlet watermelon-flavored lipgloss

- 3 signed Marissa Meyer book plates

- 4 temporary tattoos

- 2 Scarlet stickers

- 2 bookmarks

 

Note: This is IT guys. With the exception of the ARC reserved for the Write Like Crazy challenge winner, these are my last ARCs of Cress.

 

 

How to Bid

Comment to this blog post with your bid amount. This auction is open internationally, but all bids must be in US dollars.

 

(IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this from a GoodReads or Amazon feed, please click-through and bid on my actual blog at www.marissameyer.com/blog, otherwise your bids will be ignored.)

 

Auction #1 will end on Tuesday, November 19, at 6:00 p.m. PST.

 

Auction #2 will end on Tuesday, November 19, at 7:00 p.m. PST.

 

 

Claiming Your Prize

 

I will contact the winning bidders within 24 hours of the auction ending. The highest bidders in each auction will have three days to donate the bid amount directly to the Global Giving Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund and send me the confirmation of their donation, along with their mailing address.

I will then match the final amounts of both auctions with my own donation to the relief fund, and send out your prize.

 

 

Donating and Other Auctions

If you would like to donate to the relief fund separate from these auctions, you can do so here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/super-typhoon-haiyan-relief-fund/

 

If you would like to bid on more awesome YA goodies to help the people impacted by Typhoon Haiyan, check out these auctions:

YALLFEST for the Philippines: YALLfest is auctioning off prizes from this year’s festival authors (including a signed set of Legend, Prodigy, and Champion by Marie Lu!). 100% of proceeds go to NAFCON.

Authors for Philippines: This site is being run out of the UK and you’ll have to use a currency calculator to place your bids, but there are a TON of amazing prizes – from signed books to manuscript critiques, so check it out. 100% of proceeds go to the Red Cross.

Bid for CRESS and Support Typhoon Haiyan Relief (Auction #2)

Posted on: 15th Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Cress

THIS AUCTION HAS ENDED.

Thanks to everyone who bid, and congrats to Cynthia K. who won with a jaw-dropping $510! THANK YOU!

 

 

You are looking at the blog post for Auction #2. View Auction #1 here.

 

Unless you’ve been busy exploring the outer rims of the galaxy lately, you have no doubt heard of Super Typhoon Haiyan and the horrendous havoc it has caused in the Philippines. The death toll has reached over 10,000 and … it’s just really, really bad. My heart goes out to everyone in the Philippines and everyone who has friends and family who have been impacted by this storm, and of course to all the Lunar Chronicles fans and readers who are experiencing such a terrible, life-altering disaster.

 

It’s easy to think that there isn’t much you can do to help people when you live on the other side of the world from them, but we know that isn’t true. Our monetary donations to organizations like Global Giving or NAFCON can help bring much-needed food and supplies to the people who have lost everything.

 

With that in mind, I’m hosting two auctions – each with the same prize lot – and all proceeds will be given to Global Giving’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

 

 

The Auction

Phillipines auction

You are bidding on a single prize pack that includes the following items:

 

- 1 signed ARC of CRESS: Book Three of the Lunar Chronicles

- 1 limited-edition Lunar Chronicles messenger bag

- 1 Scarlet watermelon-flavored lipgloss

- 3 signed Marissa Meyer book plates

- 4 temporary tattoos

- 2 Scarlet stickers

- 2 bookmarks

 

Note: This is IT guys. With the exception of the ARC reserved for the Write Like Crazy challenge winner, these are my last ARCs of Cress.

 

 

How to Bid

Comment to this blog post with your bid amount. This auction is open internationally, but all bids must be in US dollars.

 

(IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this from a GoodReads or Amazon feed, please click-through and bid on my actual blog at www.marissameyer.com/blog, otherwise your bids will be ignored.)

 

Auction #1 will end on Tuesday, November 19, at 6:00 p.m. PST.

 

Auction #2 will end on Tuesday, November 19, at 7:00 p.m. PST.

 

 

Claiming Your Prize

 

I will contact the winning bidders within 24 hours of the auction ending. The highest bidders in each auction will have three days to donate the bid amount directly to the Global Giving Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund and send me the confirmation of their donation, along with their mailing address.

I will then match the final amounts of both auctions with my own donation to the relief fund, and send out your prize.

 

 

Donating and Other Auctions

If you would like to donate to the relief fund separate from these auctions, you can do so here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/super-typhoon-haiyan-relief-fund/

 

If you would like to bid on more awesome YA goodies to help the people impacted by Typhoon Haiyan, check out these auctions:

YALLFEST for the Philippines: YALLfest is auctioning off prizes from this year’s festival authors (including a signed set of Legend, Prodigy, and Champion by Marie Lu!). 100% of proceeds go to NAFCON.

Authors for Philippines: This site is being run out of the UK and you’ll have to use a currency calculator to place your bids, but there are a TON of amazing prizes – from signed books to manuscript critiques, so check it out. 100% of proceeds go to the Red Cross.

A Pep Talk of Peppiness (and some friendly advice)

Posted on: 14th Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Nanowrimo

We’re half-way through NaNoWriMo, and for many writers, inspiration is lagging, adrenaline has dipped, and you’re beginning to wonder what on Earth you were thinking to attempt this crazy novel-writing thing in the first place. So I thought some of you might be needing a little bit of pep and sidelines cheering, especially those of you participating in the Write Like Crazy NaNoWriMo Challenge!

This is the pep talk I wrote for last year’s NaNoWriMo. It was sent out during Week Four, but I think a lot of the advice applies to any point of this crazy journey.

Enjoy!

 

. . . . .

 

Ahoy there, Fellow Novelists,

 

I hope this pep talk finds you happy, healthy, and in the full swings of writing euphoria.

 

I suspect that by now many of you have stumbled into pockets of magic during this month-long writing fling. Your characters have said ridiculously unexpected things, your settings have blossomed into life on the page, and you’ve had plot twists come screaming out of the ozone and smack you concussion-style on the forehead. These things tend to happen when you’re putting as much work into a novel as you are. After all, even if you’re not hitting your 1,667 words per day, I’m sure you’re at least thinking a great deal about hitting them, and it’s only fair that the muse rewards that.

 

But let’s be pessimistic for a moment and consider that maybe you haven’t had a magic-moment for, oh, a few hours, or a few days, or—heaven forbid!—this whole blasted month.

 

Never fear. Anyone who has ever written “The End” on a manuscript knows that, sometimes, inspiration eludes us. No one looks forward to those lulls in the writing process, but they are natural, and they can be overcome. These are the times when we must proceed on willpower and caffeine and the unflappable confidence that each word we write is one word closer to a finished novel. I can promise that, tough as those times may be, they often lead to some of our most proud and beautiful writing moments.

 

And lucky for us, there are non-magical tricks to get us past the slumps and back to that happy writing place. Before you, I lay out three common noveling dilemmas and some tips for conquering such foes.

 

Dilemma #1: If you find yourself realizing that, 35,000 words in, you’ve just about hit the end of this story and are convinced you’ll never make it to 50K…

 

It sounds like your book needs a hearty injection of The Unexpected. So unexpected that not even you could have seen it coming. The trick to landing an excellently unexpected insertion is to not go with the first idea that pops into your head—too often, that is the domain of clichés and the all-too-expected. Rather, try making a list of at least twenty things you would enjoy writing about right now. It doesn’t matter if it has anything to do with what you’ve written so far (you can always drop in some nice foreshadowing during revisions), and the whole point is that you’re about to insert something fun, unique, and exciting into this draft.

 

Maybe you’re being called toward eye patch-sporting pirates and buried treasure. Maybe you’re dying to write about a hitchhiker with aspirations of being the world’s greatest baseball player. Maybe your dystopic, plague-ridden society is bringing you down and you’d love to send your characters on a romp through a whimsical wonderland.

 

Make your list, choose what’s calling to you most, and drop it into the next chapter just as if you’d been planning it all along. Watch as your plot and characters scramble to make it work, and the words once more begin to pile up. Dilemma #2: If you’re coming in on that beaming 50,000-word mark and you haven’t even introduced all the main characters yet… Congratulations, it sounds like you might have a series in the works, or at least one crazy-epic novel. I can guarantee, however, that no matter the scope of your book, you will be more motivated to finish, revise, and edit after this month-long writing extravaganza if you’ve reached some kind of closure by midnight on November 30.

 

There is no rule against skipping some scenes and launching your way right into that massive good-against-evil climax you’ve been anticipating. Secure a few romantic confessions and a happily ever after and you’ve just wrapped up one monster of a storyline.

 

Then you can breathe deeply and look forward to filling in those plot holes come December.

 

Dilemma #3: If you’ve been a noveling mad-machine for days on end and are now struggling to keep your eyes open long enough to write “Once upon a time”…

 

Seriously? Go to bed. Even the most dedicated of us need a power nap now and then.

 

Awake refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready to show that novel who’s boss.

 

For all other dilemmas, I advise you to keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard, and to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. But if NaNoWriMo had been around back then, it very well might have been built in thirty.

 

Best of luck to you all, and I’ll see you at 50K.

 

Yours,

Marissa Meyer

 

 

“Pep Talk from Marissa Meyer” originally appeared on National Novel Writing Month’s website, nanowrimo.org.

Lunar Insignia Grand Prize Winners and Honorable Mentions

Posted on: 11th Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Cinder

Confession: I HATE choosing contest winners. There are always SO MANY that I love, and I want to reward everyone for their effort and creativity, and I want to hug all of you for participating.

But! Winners must be chosen nonetheless!

First up . . .

 

THE HONORABLE MENTIONS

I am a sucker for sleek, modern, simple designs, and for that, I was absolutely smitten with these three entries from Jen, Ashlyn, and Bianca. If I had any interest in getting another tattoo, I would probably choose one of these designs.

I am equally a sucker for artists who choose to work in 3-D mediums, and I loved the effort put into Regina’s acrylic insignia and this piece sculpted from clay by Portia. Having worked with clay before, I know that it’s no easy task.

And lastly, I loved the entries from FeltsofFancy and adzscited, because they are GORGEOUS and also incredibly unique. I found myself staring at each of these for a long time.

Each honorable mention will receive a Lunar Chronicles swag pack.

 

THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER

Thanks to everyone who voted! The votes have been tallied, and the People’s Choice Winner is . . . .

BlindThistle

BlindThistle!

For this stunning design, BlindThistle has won a signed ARC of CRESS, a signed UK edition of SCARLET, and a Lunar Chronicles swag pack.

Congrats to our other finalists: Caitlin, Celine23Spiral-n-Escape, Wilmelyn, and Xenatine. This was probably the closest voting bracket I’ve ever seen in one of these contests. All six finalists received tons of fan love!

Each finalist has won a signed UK edition of SCARLET and a Lunar Chronicles swag pack, including a limited-edition Lunar Chronicles messenger bag!

 

THE MARISSA’S CHOICE AWARD

And last but never least, the Marissa’s Choice Award is my chance to reward an entry for effort, creativity, and their use of the books as inspiration.

And the award goes to . . .

 

annie

Annie V.! 

The more I look at this design, the more I see. From the crescent moons forming a Sauron-like eye, to the bits of foil in the border that look like little pieces of the moon’s surface, to the contrast between the bright palace above and the dark, dingy city below (VERY Lunar-accurate). You can read Annie’s full explanation of the design here.

Well done, Annie!

For her design, Annie has won a signed ARC of CRESS, a signed UK edition of SCARLET, and a Lunar Chronicles swag pack.

Congrats to all the winners! You’ll receive an email within 24 hours to claim your prize.

Thank you again to everyone who entered – if you haven’t gone through the board yet, it’s worth looking at. There are many more breathtaking designs!

My Tips for Writing a Lot of Words

Posted on: 7th Nov 2013  /   Categorized: Nanowrimo

News: SCARLET is a nominee in the GoodReads People’s Choice Awards, Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi Category! Cast your votes here: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2013

 

 

Many of you are taking part in my Write Like Crazy NaNoWriMo Challenge, and I am so heartened to see all the growing word counts on my Buddy List! Heartened and, honestly, a little intimidated. I won’t tell you how much I’ve written so far, but I will say that many of you are currently ahead of me. (I guess I’d better get my act in gear - bwa ha ha!)

 

So keep it up, novelists!

 

 

In order to help you rack up as many words as possible this month, I thought I’d share some of my favorite NaNoWriMo success tips. Though I don’t use all of these techniques all of the time, I have found them to be highly useful when I do use them.

 

 

1. My tactic for turning off the inner editor.

The inner editor—or that voice that urges you to rewrite every paragraph until it is perfect—is your worst enemy when you’re trying to write many words very quickly. Nanowrimo is not about perfection. It’s about getting your initial ideas down on paper so that you have something to revise and edit later. So how do you keep yourself from nitpicking every little thing?

 

I like to leave bolded notes for myself throughout the first draft whenever I hear the inner editor piping in.

 

Example: Add setting details here.

Or: Change this cliché to something not-cliché.

Or: Make this not suck. 

 

That way I can keep moving forward with the story without having to lose momentum in getting that section just right. Plus I’ll easily be able to find the spots that need fleshing out later.

 

2. Make like William Wallace: Freedom!

For those of you who just can’t stay off of Twitter for more than twenty minutes, Freedom is a software program that will disable the internet on your computer for a set amount of time. You choose how long you want to work, start Freedom, and go! (Tip: You may also want to leave your cell phone in another room.)

 

Download the software at MacFreedom.com. Note: there is a PC version available.

 

3. Participate in word sprints.

This time of year, there’s almost always someone word sprinting on Twitter. Track them down, or start your own, and go! Word sprints typically run for 20 or 30 minutes, and you’d be amazed at how many words you can write in that short amount of time when you feel the adrenaline rush of competition.

 

You can also take part in your local Nanowrimo write-ins (check the Nano forums for your local coordinators) or set up a writing date with some friends and challenge each other to see who can write the most words in a short amount of time.

 

Can’t find anyone to sprint with? A lot of writers swear by Write or Die, which is a web site that essentially lets you word sprint against yourself—with horrible consequences if you fall behind. Give it a shot at WriteorDie.com.

 

4. Never stop at the end of a chapter.

I’ll admit that I don’t use this tactic all that often, but when I do, I always think, This is brilliant! Why do I not do this all the time? For many writers, the most difficult part of any writing period is simply getting started. Avoid blank-page syndrome by ending each writing session with at least one sentence into the next scene or chapter. It will be easy to write while you’re still high off the momentum from today’s pages, and when you sit down tomorrow you’ll be able to launch write in without trying to figure out how to start.

 

5. Sit down to write 50 words, not 50,000.

The idea of writing 50,000 words can be incredibly intimidating. To accomplish it in a month works out to 1,667 words a day, which also sounds incredibly intimidating. That is a lot of words, and a lot of people give up quickly because they can’t fathom writing that many words in a single day.

 

But what if you sat down to write just 50 words? Well, you can probably accomplish that without hardly a thought. In fact, you can write 50 words while you’re pumping gas. Or waiting for bread to toast. Or during a commercial break.

 

And that’s the trick—easily one of my favorites for when I’m lagging on my word goals. I know that I am always capable of writing 50 words, so I start there. And inevitably, that turns into 200 words, then 500, and before I know it, my day’s word count is done.

 

6. Write the scenes that excite you.

We all have different writing processes, and I think it’s important to find what works for you. For the longest time, I considered myself a purely chronological writer. I started with Chapter One and kept right on writing until I reached The End. I was uncomfortable jumping around in a story, because I was worried that things might change, which would lead to more work in revisions later.

 

Well, the thing with Nano, is that I know there’s going to be a lot of work in revisions, so it gives me permission to write my scenes out of order without worrying how much work I may be adding for myself. If I’m feeling stuck on one part of the story, I’ll jump ahead to some scene that’s been plaguing me, or something that I’m super excited to write. It keeps me from staring at the screen thinking, But I don’t feel like writing an action scene today… when do we get to the kissing part?

 

Remember: progress is progress!

 

So there are some of my favorite techniques for getting down the words. If you have a favorite tactic of your own, please share it in the comments! 

 

Happy writing, everyone!

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