Monday, April 30, 2012

Random Monday: Libraries, Otters, Agents & GIVEAWAY

 Random Mondays
Libraries, otters, agents, I give you books.

Copyright Simon Brown


I always fall in love with photos of libraries and piles of books. I've posted my own little reading nook before, but what I really would love to have is a room full of books--my own library complete with a hidden door. Preferably leading to another room with more books.

I find a lot of my favorite images on tumblr, but I recently happened upon a pintrest board that had a lot.

Enjoy the library porn, folks:

See handholding in action


My friend, Toby, loves otters, and recently I've been
happening upon the cutest images and videos of them.
I kind of want some tiny ones. <3


Yesterday, I posted a blog to giveaway a copy of Across the Universe and A Million Suns by Beth Revis! Go there! Leave a comment! Go FORTH AND WIN!

Monday informative link:

Happy Monday everyone! <3 Have a great week!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Across the Universe Book Giveaway!

Across the Universe Book Giveaway!

Friends! It is that time again! That time when I give away delightful books that I've read and loved this year.  Earlier, I gave away copies of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone to two lucky, lovely people. What's up for grabs now?


Why are there two book covers if I'm giving away a single book?


Across the Universe by Beth Revis


A Million Suns by Beth Revis

 These are the first two books in the trilogy, and I'm offering the hardcover for both! 

Admittedly, I'm super lucky I held off on reading the first one, because the second one came out nearly right after I finished reading (it was a good thing because I was hooked.)

I'm absolutely dying for the last (Shades of Earth) which isn't released until January 2013. Woe.

Enter to win by leaving a comment! You can tell me how much you'd love to have these books! You can tell me what you had for dinner! You can leave me a recipe for for favorite cookie.

Just leave a comment.

Giveaway closes on May 25th @ 11:59pm Eastern Time!

EDIT: MAY 26th @ 9:00pm EST! (I've been sick guys D: Have more time!) 

... and GO!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Table flipping (and thank you)

Happy Friday, everyone!

I had originally planned a post on LeakyCon, but instead, I'm going to say "Happy Friday" to you all.

Have you ever had one of those weeks, you know, the ones where you're running a marathon to finish everything? And you're doing well! I mean, you're tired... but you're making it? And then you get to the last leg (which happens to be downhill), and you trip and just roll down to the finish line?

No? Well. Ffff.

 That was this week! Amazingly productive, amazingly tiring, and then rolling down the hill through prickly weeds at the end.

That's where the table flip comes in. What is a table flip, you ask. It's exactly what it sounds like.


Thank you, Alan Rickman, for this glorious table flip.

I'll let the next series of images speak for themselves.

And so. Friday. Yes. Wonderful, glorious Friday. It's been a great day, despite all the table flipping moments, and I just wanted to let you all know how grateful I am that you read this, and I hope you all have an amazing weekend! This blog goes back to its regular programming on Monday with the 'Random Monday' blog. <3

Also, if you want to help me flip tables, I created an Amazon wishlist with commentary on each table. People who have seen the Hunger Games movies will be amused ;)

Please excuse me while I put the table back.

┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Random Mondays: Eggs & Bacon, Squid & Critiques

Random Mondays <3

1st edition: Eggs & Bacon, Squid & Critiques.

Happy Monday, friends! 

I hope you have an amazing Monday and a wonderful week! This is the first of many Random Monday posts where I collect some things I've liked to share with you all! It could be anything--a touch of silly, a touch of fun, delicious food, or writing advice.

 Bacon & Eggs

My hands are always cold. I have numerous pairs of gloves, but it's hard to type unless they are fingerless gloves or just generic handwarmers. I have a few sets, but this is my newest! Bacon & Eggs! You can grab your own here: 

The Dainty Squid

A friend of mine was looking at hair color and happened upon this amazing blogger, Kaylah, of The Dainty Squid. 

She's all about really neat, eclectic fashion, fun things like nail art and always has some sort of beautiful hair color. If you want a pop of something happy in your day, take a peek at her blog--you're sure to find something interesting. 
Visit the Dainty Squid:

Crits for Water

There's a lot going on at Crits for Water in an effort to raise money for charity: water. It's been amazing to watch the outpouring of support from the donators but also the agents, editors, and authors who are donating their time to make auctions worthwhile for writers (aside from the knowledge that they are contributing towards something huge).

A FULL manuscript critique AND a 30 minute follow-up phone call! Crazy! If you have the money to donate to this charity, jump on in to help out and maybe have the opportunity to hand your manuscript over and get great feedback!

That's it for Random Mondays! Have a good one <3 :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Blogging Adventure Ahead.

I've spent a long time staring at my blog. A very long time. Months. Trying to find my place in the whole community of writing blogs--or blogs by writers.

At one point, I told another blogger, E.J. Wesley, that I just felt I didn't have anything to offer. It feels like everything has been said, it feels like everything has been done, and I don't feel qualified to give advice on anything.

What good does that make my slice of space on the internet?

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been searching for an identity, searching for a way to make this place more exciting for everyone who visits but also for me. Half of the challenge of blogging is just not being compelled or thrilled to post anything.

So here I am. I'm not sure if you've noticed the changes, but I'm getting more involved and blogging about things I love. And giving away things. I love giving away books. And things.

I've updated the look of my blog, and I've been blogging almost regularly (depending on what regularly means, I'm pretending it means more than once a month).

What else can you expect?

- More book giveaways
- More thing giveaways
- Posts on writing
- Posts about how I should be writing
- Posts about how I can't write anymore because my fingers hurt and my eyes are bleeding.
- Posts about all of the things that distract me from writing: Cats. Kittens. Reading. Buying books. Art. Things I collect. Food. I love food. Donuts. Cupcakes. Delicious steaks. (Okay this list could be endless.)

I have a few things planned, so... just you hang in there. I'll make this a place you won't want to leave.

Yeah. I just challenged myself.

Oh wait... wait a second. Guys. What is this? Oh.

Click here for source and recipe: Here. Click me

BAM. That was the sound of you suddenly deciding that it's okay if you want to hang out on my blog. Because, well. Brownies.

(sometimes I cheat.)


Sunday, April 15, 2012


The two winners of Laini Taylor's




Congratulations! <3

Send me a note on dA or e-mail aunjuli at gmail dot com
with your address!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and if you didn't win, have no fear--
a new book giveaway will be announced soon!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

On dyeing your hair pink. (A weekly recap)

I wanted to do a fun weekly recap every Friday, but I was exhausted yesterday.  Eventually, I'd like to include great posts I've read, videos I've seen, things I've heard... I just need to start keeping a log. Unfortunately, this post will be a little me-centric.

Without further delay, here are some fun things from last week:

I pinked my hair! Last year, I made the move from brown hair to black and red hair, and I finally got tired of it and went for pink.

I painted a picture of my friend's cat, Scamp! It's watercolor and acrylic on illustration board.

I launched my new FLIGHT collection at The Fancy Narwhal!  This is one of the sticker sheets :D

The company that makes beanie babies, Ty, came out with these new toys called Monstaz. My George bought me the pink one (it matches my hair now!) and my co-worker bought the purple one for herself (she has purple hair too ;) ) and then my other co-worker got the mini-green one. They all make annoyingly cute noises that, when played in unison, destroys the productivity of the office. ;)

Still taking entries for this contest until I pull the winners tomorrow morning! Enter to win a copy of this awesome book!

That's pretty much it! Well. Except this:

Lannister is on the right, Sherlock is on the left.

I'll end this post with kitties ;) Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Friends and writing.

I have two of the best friends and the best readers ever.

[4/12/12 2:10:59 AM] Joanna: Okay.
[4/12/12 2:11:03 AM] Joanna: You're not here right now.
[4/12/12 2:11:04 AM] Joanna: But.
[4/12/12 2:11:07 AM] Joanna: FWIW
[4/12/12 2:11:22 AM] Joanna: I think you've finally reached the challenge Juli.
[4/12/12 2:11:27 AM] Joanna: I think THIS RIGHT HERE is the hard part.
[4/12/12 2:11:39 AM] Joanna: You're past the first flush of OMG I have a story to tell
[4/12/12 2:12:09 AM] Joanna: and when you finish, then you'll have to do query letters and stuff and I know if it were me, some small part of me would be scared of rejection at that stage
[4/12/12 2:12:33 AM] Joanna: So I think that it's THIS part that is the hard part. Pushing through the edits until you have something on the other side.
[4/12/12 2:12:54 AM] Joanna: And I know I prefer to sleep a lot! And play games and not do flute practice and just spend time spending time
[4/12/12 2:13:07 AM] Joanna: but this is the bit that sets you apart
[4/12/12 2:14:08 AM] Joanna: I think this is the second hurdle that people fall at.
[4/12/12 2:14:16 AM] Joanna: The first is actually finishing something in the first place.
[4/12/12 2:14:25 AM] Joanna: You've passed that with flying colours
[4/12/12 2:14:49 AM] Joanna: So if you want, I can be the bully and make you feel like crap until you get this done XD
[4/12/12 2:15:11 AM] Joanna: Then Kelly will take you out for tea in Chicago :)
[4/12/12 10:11:55 AM] Kelly: Joanna, how do you life. You always say the perfect thing.

I love them. So much.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You. Yes. You. Who are you?

I just want to take a moment to recognize two things:

1. Even though I don't blog often, I want to.

2. I hardly know you at all.

If you have a moment, just a single moment, please tell me something about yourself.  Anything. Favorite book. Nicknames. Favorite moment in your life. Your greatest fear. You can also ask me a question, and I'll answer it.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Moments of Utter Joy

I'm knee-deep in my current novel. It feels like the edits are endless, and sometimes I revise myself into pretty interesting situations. It's my first go at editing a novel, and I'm racking up experience points and brain bruises pretty quickly.

Sometimes, when it's disheartening, I take a step away.

And another step.

And then I slam my head on the wall.

And then I run to my readers and complain. And weep.

They comfort me.

And then I turn around and face everything I've ever known and ever loved--the books I cling to when I need a story. When I need a new world. When I need hope. Those same books which pushed me towards writing to begin with. And I sit there with them. With the characters.

I fall into the story and experience all of the love and sadness and pain right along with them.

While I was working one day, I thought to myself, "Why am I so drawn to this story? Why is my heart so attached? Why do I cry during this part... and why do I want to BE there for that part?"

And then I scribbled on a post-it note. It's those moments. Each of them separately and each of them paired together.

Moments of utter joy.
Moments of triumph.
Moments of despair.

Not glimpses of happiness or an underlying feeling of goodness throughout. The sharp points a reader doesn't expect but so desperately wants.

The spectrum is huge. I only wrote three, but there are so many more. But what I'm drawn to--what I cling to--are these three things. In any order. And repeated.

I went back to my own novel and realized it was pretty... muted. Like the flat horizon line on the ocean. The feelings were happy, cheerful, sad, distraught... everything we feel but everything that isn't particularly memorable. My story didn't have that punch. My character didn't have her moment of utter joy. And this character? She needs it. She needs it like I need it.

 I'm still working on editing this book. In fact, it's what I should be doing right now...

It'll get there. I'll add that punch.