Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To My Agent On Her Birthday

Once upon a mid-day dreary, While I drafted, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious never-printed tome
While I despaired, sorrow bringing, suddenly there came a ringing
Of some joker now a-calling, calling by my chamber phone.
“Tis telemarketers,” I muttered, “being obnoxious at my phone.
Never leaving me alone.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak November,
And each separate query dying wrought its pain a little more.
Eagerly I wished for glory, though the stats were getting gory,
no one wanted my poor stories, stories that I longed to tell.
Stories I would never tell, unpublished for evermore.

Deep into that abyss peering, moving on my soul was fearing,
Doubting, hating that my dreams were simply dreams and nothing more.
But through the silence still that ringing, telephone its siren singing,
No more hope the sound was bringing, just a survey that would bore.
Telemarketers and nothing more.

So I answered, nothing hoping, with failure I now was coping,
“Stranger!” thought I, “Do your worst! I’ve no money, I’m accursed.
You can ask and ask and ask; I’ve no money, I will burst.”
But ‘though madness I was living, a good impression I’d be giving,
So I answered, answered in my nicest voice, “Hello?”

Quoth my agent, “Hey Kiersten, it’s Michelle Wolfson.”
“Angel!” said I, “Miracle! Angel from the heav’ns above,
Well, New York, but angel still! My heart will burst with joy and love!
Tell this soul with grief so weighted, tell me now will I be sated?
Will my dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, turn now into something more?”
Quoth my agent, “Do you always answer the phone this way?”

“Silence!” said I, heartbeat racing, “Is this the end that I am facing?
Am I to work with you forever, work with you forevermore?
On this journey, long begun, that until now was no fun,
Will I have a genius partner, will you be my own, my one?”
Quoth my agent, “I’ll send you a copy of the contract.”

And my agent, never failing, still is working, still is selling
Selling selling selling all my pretty words around.
I can write now, never fearing, encouragement forever hearing,
Knowing she’s my agent still, and despair I never will.
Back to my work I am turning, all my soul within me burning,
Burning with the love I have for Agent Michelle like before.
The best agent, forevermore.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Here's a funny thing. People often ask me how I can manage to blog almost every day while I am drafting. But blogging while I'm spending crazy amounts of time writing is actually easier for me. My little brain is whirring and clicking away and it's not hard to harness a bit of that momentum to spare a few minutes for blog thoughts.


When I am not writing anything, when you think it'd be easier to throw together something clever or fun or thoughtful for the blog because my brain isn't doing anything else, here is what happens:

Yup. Nothing is what happens. These down times are good because it means I can finally catch up on taxes and emails and real life stuff, but my brain doesn't take kindly to breaks. The longer I go, the more it shuts down and wants to do nothing but nap, nap, nap.

Mmmmm, naps.

Yeah, I can feel my brain atrophying even as I type this. For me, writing has moved beyond entertainment and beyond a job--it's become a necessity. I'd make some analogy about exercising, how it's hard and miserable when you're doing it but your body feels so much better that you can't give it up, but let's face it: I know nothing about exercising.

I do know about writing, though. And I'd better get back to it soon. After this next nap...

(For the record, that is not me in the music video. I have way less facial hair, and my eyebrows are always finely shaped. But the expression + the lyrics are pretty applicable.)

(Maybe I should grow a beard. Not like I'm doing anything else right now...)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Adventures of High School Kiersten

First, a bit of background demographic information so you can put my high school experience into perspective.  While I went to a public school, it was rather homogenous.  96% of the students belonged to a specific Christian religion (and, given that I went to high school in Utah County, Utah, you can probably guess which religion that was).  We had released time during school to walk just off of school property and attend seminary (essentially a bible study class), and the state had worked it out so that you could have one free period per semester and still graduate.  (Which meant that those students who didn't take seminary would hit their senior year and essentially be able to take every-other-day off if they wanted to and still graduate.)  (This is a lot of parentheticals, even for me.)

So, it was a fairly conservative and religious group of kids.  And, like any group, there was a wide range of practice regarding those religious principles, but it wasn't too unusual in my school for a student to be sixteen or seventeen and have never kissed anyone or had a serious relationship.  (Which certainly isn't to say there weren't kids who had serious boyfriends or girlfriends, just that not dating much wouldn't single you out as weird.)

Man, when is this story going to start??


So, seventeen-year-old Kiersten (who had, in fact, kissed someone by this time) had AP Psychology.  It was a great class, one of her favorites, with a dynamic and interesting teacher.  Plus she always looked forward to it because there was a Very Cute Boy, one that regularly flirted with her but that, like all other Very Cute Boys, never actually asked her out in spite of her well-honed flirting skills.

(Alas, Kiersten-that-was.  You were too scary, no matter how adept your flirting.  Don't worry though, it all works out in the end and you get the best boy of all who is never scared of you except when you hide in the dark nooks of your house and jump out screaming at him when he gets home from work.  By the way, that isn't very nice of you, even if it is really funny.)

One day in AP Psychology the teacher was talking about sensory perception or some other such thing that Kiersten memorized and aced on the test because she had so much time to study because no one ever asked her out.

"The lips and the tongue have more nerve endings than almost anywhere else on your body," the teacher said, "making them especially sensitive to touch."

"Oh, that's why!" Kiersten said, not realizing until far too late that she had a) said it out loud and b) said it loudly out loud.  Everyone in the entire class turned toward her, and her face burned bright red over her pale Utahan skin as she slouched down into her desk and tried to disappear.  "Umm, you know, I just always wondered...about...why kissing feels as good as it does."

And still the Very Cute Boy never asked her out.

I can assure you that when the sexual response cycle was discussed, Kiersten was as silent as the grave.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



(Well, actually no. Over half are already claimed. But that leaves several for contests...)

 Oh, hey, box of delicious prettiness. You are all rich and red and have my name all over you. Literally.

But I'm panicking because I HAVE NO MARKERS THAT WILL LOOK GOOD TO SIGN THIS BOOK WITH. That will be remedied immediately. Evie would never forgive me if I signed in a clashing color.

If I showed you the back you could see which four cities I'll be touring in this fall...and with which four super cool authors. But never let it be said that I am not a cruel, cruel tease! Of course I'm not showing you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a stack of books to coo at and to plan ridiculous photo essays with.

(Note: These are advance copies for reviewers and promotion. The copies that will be for sale in August are hardcover, of course, and will look a bit different as far as the type on the cover. Also, I totally found a deep red marker AND a gold marker. Score.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The YA Cure for Reluctant Readers Giveaway

Seeing that title, you're probably thinking that this is going to be a story about some fourteen-year-old who never liked to read until she got my book.


This is a story about a fifty-something-year-old man who never liked to read until I got him started on YA.

We always joked that my dad's programming manuals were really interesting reads. "Look!" he'd say, "It's Revenge of C++!" But aside from a novel here and there over the years, he genuinely didn't enjoy reading and would never choose to read over some other method of entertainment. (Although he was infinitely supportive of his kids' love of reading, practically bankrupting himself to fund our voracious habits.) Fact of the matter was, reading just wasn't fun to him.

Until we got him started on YA. I think it was Hunger Games that really sucked him in, but since then he's devoured all sorts of authors, everything from YA fantasy to contemporary romantic comedies. (He recently read Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and I think he might want to see that as a movie more than he wants to see Paranormalcy.) I can't tell you how much fun it is to be able to sit and talk books with my dad.

But the coolest story of all, I think, was when he read IF I STAY because of my recommendation. He loved it (of course) and so I tweeted the author, Gayle Forman, about how my dad loved her book so much he tried to get me to sneak him an ARC of the sequel, WHERE SHE WENT, before I had to return it to a friend. Gayle (being incredibly awesome) was so delighted by another author's dad loving her stuff that she had Penguin send him an ARC of his very own.

How. Cool. Is. That.

I love that story because it's awesome on so many levels. Seeing my non-reader dad so excited to read a book by an author I'd introduced him to. Seeing that author excited about my dad's excitement and going out of her way to get him a copy. Having that copy now to give to you.

Wait, what's that?

OH YES. In honor of YA being the cure for reluctant readers of any and all ages, I'm giving away an ARC of WHERE SHE WENT!

A little background: This is a sequel to IF I STAY, which, if you haven't read it, ohmygoshwhynotdoitrightnow. IF I STAY is one of my go-to recommendations. Many books I will or won't recommend depending on who I am talking to, but I always, always recommend IF I STAY (as long as I'm not talking to, you know, a twelve-year-old, as this is older YA). I think it's one of the most perfectly crafted and stirringly told books I've ever read. I love it.

I love it.

Oh, wait, again? I love it.

So when I heard there was going to be a sequel told from Adam's point of view, I was, quite frankly, terrified. I didn't want IF I STAY to be changed for me. It was such a perfect book that the idea of knowing what happened next--aside from what happened in my head where I had already decided what happened--made me nervous. I didn't know how Gayle could possibly follow it up.

Oh, she so did. I think what I admire most about her writing is that she tells hard stories. She doesn't shy away from difficult, heart-wrenching subjects. She doesn't stay with safe stories. Hers are complex and complicated and utterly full of life. The emotional journey isn't easy, but it's always redemptive and leaves me feeling fuller than I was before. I love her writing. It's kind of ridiculous how much I love her writing.

Needless to say, WHERE SHE WENT did not disappoint in the least. I won't share any more of my thoughts on it so as to avoid spoilers, but trust me when I say: you want this book.

Ahem. Which is where we get to the whole winning it part! To win, simply leave me a comment telling me an author who writes hard stories and does so with honesty and grace. My entry, obviously, is Gayle Forman.

You have until Thursday. Open to US residents only (sorry, too many packages to mail lately!), please feel free to post and tweet about the contest, and good luck!

UPDATE: The winner has been announced!  Congratulations, Katy Upperman, and thanks to everyone who entered.  Good news is, you can all buy it this April!

Friday, March 11, 2011

In Which I Send You Elsewhere

First and foremost, no doubt you have already heard about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.  Maureen Johnson, a YA author, is doing a donation drive for Shelterbox, a first-response type group that goes into disaster zones with boxes full of the basics a small group of people would need to a) survive and b) get started on recovery.  Many authors have donated signed books as incentive to donate.  If you follow the instructions on Maureen's blog (which also has more info about Shelterbox), you will be entered to randomly win. (UPDATE: Maureen's blog has been exploded by extra traffic, info is reposted HERE, too.)  I donated a signed ARC of Supernaturally (which no I don't have yet but should next month I think) + a signed hardcover of Paranormalcy.  You don't have to donate much--each box is remarkably low-cost and high impact.

Thank you.

In far happier news, Stephanie Perkins has just released the cover + a teaser description of her next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door.  Not only do I love Steph and this book, I also have a strange connection to the cover.  When Steph sent it to me, I opened it, only to do a double take.

I know precisely one male model in the whole world.  (I know!  I can't believe I only know one, either.  You would think that surely the life of an author is FILLED with male models, but alas, this is not the case.  Good thing I have Hot Stuff to fill my beautiful-man-viewing needs.)  Not only had I seen this model as the entire wall of Abercrombie and Fitch stores across the country a few years ago, but I'd seen him on a regular basis during the years he was dating my sister-in-law.  Imagine my surprise when my sister-in-law's old boyfriend showed up on my best friend's new book cover.

Yup.  I know that guy.

(And girls, in case you were wondering, yes, as my mother-in-law puts it "He's so beautiful!" and bonus, he's actually a super nice guy, too.  Go figure!)  (Yes, I have his email address and we've talked about what a small world it is.)  (No, you can't have his email address.  Sorry.)  (Okay, fine, it's

Anyhow.  This got way off track.  Go ogle Steph's new cover!  Go pre-order her book!  Go wish you had a purple wig that adorable!  Go read the synopsis and writhe in bitter jealousy that I have already read this book but you can't until September!  (See?  Who needs male models--my job's perks ROCK.)

So: Thank you for considering donating to a very good cause.  Thank you thank you if you already have.  And yay for happy, awesome covers to add a little bit of cheer into a sad, scary day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why Hot Stuff Rocks #918236

Remember my Supernaturally Blurbed contest?  How the prizes were a signed UK edition of Paranormalcy and a sketch from Hot Stuff?  Prepare to be EVEN MORE DEVASTATED that you didn't win:

"Do you have any idea how hard it is to find matching footwear when the entire civilization has crumbled?  Bleep, of course you don't.  Bring it, hag!"  --Dystopian Evie: Sure, she's tough, but she still has pink underskirts.  No paranormal weirdo is going to prey on her last-stronghold-of-humanity!

"Dear Sir, not only is your vampiric visage unsettling my humors, but if you persist in your laughable attempts to seduce me, I will be forced to use my Tesla-ray on you."  Steampunk Evie: Corsets and electric shocks were made for each other!

I love my husband.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Which I Am Brutally Honest

Yesterday an anonymous commenter (hey there, Anon! Stop being passive aggressive! We're open to dialogue here, I promise) called my post on how trying to get published is like waiting in line at Disneyland "condescending."

First, I'm physically incapable of being condescending as I literally look up to pretty much anyone over the age of twelve.  (Speaking of short jokes, yesterday my daughter said, "Tomorrow's short day at school!"  My husband raised his eyebrows at me and said, "Are you the guest of honor?")

Second, I'm guessing what happened was this.  Dear Anon, never having read my blog before, popped over following a link.  Anon saw the following: Young idiot debut novelist who is a NYT bestseller telling other writers to quit asking to cut in line because she'd already put in her time and now it was their turn.  Dear Anon, who is probably writing and querying and dealing with those frustrations (which are infinite), most likely thought, "What do you know about the line?"

Friend, I know plenty.  I didn't just fall into getting published.  It wasn't all some big, happy accident story that makes aspiring authors want to rip out their hair.  I got a degree in English with an emphasis in editing.  I wrote a book.  I queried that book for a year.  I read hundreds of other books.  I wrote another book.  I queried fifty agents.  I got one.  That book went on sub and nobody wanted it.  In the meantime I had written two other books.  I picked one of those, I edited it, it went on sub, and everybody wanted it.

It was an incredibly happy ending years, and years, and years in the making.

So yes, I know something about lines.  Please don't think "This is all easy for HER to talk about from where she is now."  I have been where you are.  I was there for a long time.  I have not forgotten.

Of course it was never my intention to imply that aspiring writers need to quit whining and just wait.  I was actually trying to point out why sometimes it takes a long time and sometimes it doesn't and that it never makes any sense.  It was meant to be encouraging.  Another commenter even pointed out that it was overly optimistic to say if you wait in the line you will get on the ride.

Brutal truth time?  Yup.  It was overly optimistic.  The vast majority of people writing who hope to get published will never get there.

Too much honesty for a Wednesday?  I think so.  But there it is.  Publishing is an industry.  It responds to a fickle, ever-changing market.  It's an industry that is currently in flux, with many publishers bleeding money because of outdated sales systems.  It's an industry that is shifting and adapting daily to the changing business landscape.  Books. Are. Products.

And not every product can or will find a place in the market.

You are not the gatekeeper.  Nothing beyond your own writing is up to you.  The industry does not care how many years you have spent dreaming of being an author.  It does not care how many manuscripts you have worked on to get where you are today.  It does not care how much time and energy and desperation you have logged pursuing that dream of seeing your words in print in a bookstore.

You can write your entire life and never get published.


You can write your entire life and never get published.

The odds are against you.  It's sad and infuriating, but it's true.  So here is my question: Are you writing to get published, or are you trying to get published because you love writing?

If you said yes to the first part, you are in for a world of pain and frustration.  You've set your sights on something you literally cannot make happen on your own*.  I'm not saying it'll never happen.  If the entire point of your writing is to get published, you may very well succeed.  But I'd imagine there is very little joy in that, because once you're published, what's left?  Deciding you must be a bestseller?  Deciding you must get a film deal?  Where is the contentment?  Where is the fulfillment in what you do?

However.  If you are trying to get published because you love writing, never lose sight of the why.  Don't get so focused on having a book that you lose the reasons you write those manuscripts in the first place.  Writing is amazing.  The best writers I know write because without writing they would be lost.  They write because of the sheer giddy joy of creation.  They write because they genuinely, unabashedly love telling stories.  They stick it out through the frustrations of drafting and the agonies of edits because they are deeply committed to what they are doing.  They move forward from rejection and failure because to quit writing is unfathomable, even if some days it feels like they would be far saner if they just gave up.  They perfect their craft because it's important to them that what they are writing and expressing is written and expressed in the best possible way.

Yes, you should understand the industry.  Yes, you should be smart about the elusive and mythical "market" to help your manuscripts and books have a shot at getting published.  Yes, you should know how to get published and do your best to get there.  Yes, it is okay to want to get published with a desperate, aching need that other people will probably never understand.

Just please, don't let the pursuit of publication (at any stage) kill your love of writing.  Publication isn't up to you, but a love of writing you can keep and nurture and be nurtured by for your entire life, regardless of whatever else happens.

In the end, with a book deal, without a book deal, it's still just you and the words on the page.  Do you see them as a means to an end, or an end in and of themselves?

*Excepting self-publishing. Please just assume all of my talk of "publishing" refers to traditional publishing, not because I have anything against self-publishing, merely because I know nothing about it.

And, yeah, way too much heavy for a Wednesday, what with all of the other things going on in the world that we can and should be feeling bad about:

Monday, March 7, 2011

You Can't Cut in Line

Or, There Are No Shortcuts

Let me tell you a story.  You've probably all experienced something similar.  Say you and your best friend are at Disneyland, both waiting in a monstrous, impossibly long line to get on Indiana Jones.  You've both done the exact same things to get there--saved your money, endured the hassle and stress of air travel, balked at the cost of entrance, not to mention the world's most expensive popcorn (are the kernels made of pure gold? THEY JUST MIGHT BE).  You've dodged through the crowds, you've done the research on which rides you most want to get on, and you're there.

In line.

You know that eventually you'll both get on the ride.  As far away as it seems, it's going to happen.  But at one point in the line it branches off--two sides of the same stairway.  What's the difference?  You can't see any.  So your friend gets on one side of the branch, and you get on the other, high-fiving and laughing and looking forward to reaching your destination at exactly the same time.


For reasons completely unfathomable and (thanks to the twists and turns and hallways of the line) totally invisible to you, your line zips along at practically a jog, while your friend's line has patterned itself on the daytime activities of the three-toed sloth.  Your friend?  Is. Not. Moving.

You wave frantically, trying to get her to jump the line over to you, but the thing is once you're in your line, there's no jumping.  It doesn't matter that your friend knows you, that you've been through all of this together, that you think your friend is the single coolest person on earth.  Fact of the matter is, your line is moving, your friend's line isn't, and there's nothing either of you can do about it.

You get to the ride first.  You ride the ride.  Heck, maybe you even run back around and get back in line and somehow still manage to go on another time before your friend gets to the front.

It makes no sense.  It's not any fun, especially for your friend.  It just plain sucks.  But such is the nature and mystery of lines.

I see a lot of people trying to figure out how to cut in line in the publishing industry.  A lot of them seem to think if they can just make a connection with a published author somehow they'll be able to skip all of the steps, effectively cutting in line, and magically arrive at the front without ever having to wait in line, or even enter the theme park in the first place.  They think there's some big trick to it all, some magic, secret underground tunnel that will deliver them at the very front of the line if they can just get someone to tell them where it is or walk them through it.

There are no cuts in these lines, friends.  There are no secret tunnels.  It doesn't matter who you know.  Sometimes it doesn't even matter how good you are.  So much of publishing is writing the right thing at the right time and getting it in the hands of the right people.  You can't control that.  What you do are the same things everyone else does: You write the best freaking book you possibly can, and then you query, and then you get an agent, and then you go on submission, and then you sell a book.  Sometimes it happens in that order.  Sometimes you have to jump back to a previous part of the line--say, writing a different book and querying again, or writing a new book but keeping your agent, or keeping your book but finding a new agent, so on and so forth.  But the line is the line is the line, and unless you are Nicholas Cage at Disneyland* (which, hey Nick!  Thanks for reading my blog.  You're kind of weird, but that's okay), you wait in the line.

Your line might move fast.

It might move slow.

Regardless, the line is how you get to the ride.  Holding hands with someone who's already waited in the line isn't going to let you bypass it.  Trying to find a tunnel--or even dig one yourself--isn't going to let you bypass it.  So quit looking for a way to cut and instead find a way to entertain yourself while you're waiting.  I recommend writing another book, because these lines?  They're fickle, unpredictable things.  The ride at the end, though, is always worth it.

*True story: My sister-in-law almost knocked Nick down coming off of Indiana Jones.  His bodyguard was not thrilled.**

**Nick has nothing to do with publishing.  He just really likes Indiana Jones.  And nearly getting knocked over by petite blondes.  Like I said, weird guy.

Also I feel it's my duty to warn you that, while waiting in the publishing line, there are no humorous/threatening filmstrips narrated by Gimli from The Lord of the Rings.  But you don't have to stand behind that strange woman with the invisible dog and the overwhelming perfume.  So that's a bonus.  Also you can avoid that person in those creepy toe-sock-running-shoes-things that make you shudder.  And you can at least sit in a comfortable chair, too.  And make your own popcorn from kernels that are merely made of silver and thus far more cost-effective.  So many perks!  Best line ever!

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Book Brought to You By

Every book feels impossible.  Every single time, when I start a book and have that huge weight and balance of words pending, I think, how the CRAP do I do this?  And every single time, when I am in the middle, I think, I am never going to finish.  This will be the story I can't do.  I'm done.  How on earth did I ever manage to finish those other books?  I literally can't remember.  Maybe I didn't.  Because I'm sure as heck not going to be able to finish this one.

And then, somehow, word by word, impossibly, the book gets written.

Every ending I hit (and this is my seventh) feels like something of a miracle.

But I don't do it alone.  I owe overcoming that middle-of-the-book malaise to Florence + The Machine and her wonderful, otherworldly, fantastical songs.  I owe the motivation to put in chapter after chapter on nights when I was too tired to do it on my own to Shannon Messenger and Scott Tracey for always being up to word war with me and force me to focus everything I could into thirty minutes.  I owe the motivation from non-stop encouragement and cheerleadering and occasional berating without which I could not first-draft to Natalie Whipple.  I owe the comfort of infinite QMG WHY ARE OUR JOBS SO HARD AND WHY DO I SUCK AT LIFE SO MUCH commiserating emails that made everything either funnier or less painful to Stephanie Perkins.  I owe the serious picking-up-of-slack to my wonderful and infinitely patient husband.  And I owe my kids several dozen bedtime stories to make up for all the nights I told them I was going to the library but instead snuck back into my office and wrote at home.  Hopefully this book can finance their future therapy sessions when they discover how much I lied to them.

Ahem.  I've never written the final book in a series before.  It is infuriating and devastating and liberating and a lot of other -ings all at the same time.  As much as I was desperate to just FINISH THE DANG BOOK, I cried when I wrote the last sentence.  I love this book.  I love this series.  I love Evie and her pink Taser and her way of barreling through life trying to figure out just what on earth she's supposed to do with all of the madness around her.

But I digress.  I'm not going to talk about the book since it'll be eighteen months before you can even read this one.  Suffice it to say, I'm more than a little relieved that I have a few edits ahead of me and can draw out my time with Evie even longer.  I like her.  A lot.

And now, to sum up:

Pages: 309
Words: 78877
Chapters: I stopped counting
Appearances of the word "bleep": 51
Number of Yetis, Unicorns, Selkies, and Dragons: 12ish.
Number of tasings: 2
Amount of trouble Evie finds herself in: Infinite
Number of times it felt impossible to write this book: I stopped counting
Number of times I get to write THE END at the end of my first trilogy: 1

This book brought to you by Florence + The Machine, Paramore, and Dr Pepper, none of whom are sponsoring me, but all of whom are welcome to.

And now you are probably wondering, just what does someone do to celebrate completing her very first trilogy?

I've got big plans.

Today, when my daughter is in school and my son is at preschool?

I am going to nap.

And it is going to be epic.

After that, the weekend off, and then diving into as many edits as I can cram in before I turn my baby in to Editor Erica on April 1st.  And then?  I start playing with a new friend named Isadora and pretending like maybe this time it won't feel impossible.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


You know that series I've been writing, guys?  The one I started two years ago on a whim to entertain myself while another book sold did not sell?  The one that made all of my publishing dreams come true in an even better way than my very practical, informed self dreamed of?  The one that has kept me company and been a very needed and wonderful distraction amid a personally disappointing/devastating/draining two-and-a-half years?

Yeah.  That one.

I think I'll finish the last book today.

On the one hand, the idea of never having to figure out a new way to describe a faerie door forming on the wall, or to describe just who is holding whose hand and what their other hands are doing while walking the Faerie Paths, or to describe Lend in a way that makes it obvious that yes, water IS VERY HOT thankyouverymuch, or decide whether that was one bleep too many for the chapter?

It's kind of a relief.

On the other hand, the idea of only getting to live in Evie's head for a few rounds of edits and then bidding her farewell forever?

Oh, look at the time.  Sorry, gotta go make my kid's lunch and get her off to school.  I'm not leaving so I don't cry.  Absolutely not.