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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Release Party!

12 days. That's how long until my book, GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS' ROOM,
is released!

So to celebrate, I will have a Blog Book Release Party (with giveaways!) on January 11th.
I will still be doing my blog book tour, so if anyone would like to participate (if we haven't talked already) please let me know!!

Have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

REVIEWS: The Good AND The Bad

No matter how many times you tell yourself not everyone will like your book, it still doesn't prepare you for when you see it in print. GOSSIP was recently reviewed by both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. I'm very happy to say that the Kirkus review is awesome. I was thrilled when I read it! With Publishers Weekly, well, it was very much the opposite. But how fair would it be if I only posted the good review here? With the good, comes the bad. Unfortunately. And yes, I know, I need to get thicker skin. I'm sure there will be many bumpy roads ahead.

Kirkus Review
Aspiring blogger Sofia longs to make it big within her school’s blogosphere, thereby improving her “popularity meter” rating. The sixth-grade sleuth spends her time lurking in the farthest stalls of the girls’ room, eavesdropping in her quest for the latest scoop, and is not above an occasional snide online remark about her arch-nemesis, Mia St. Claire. Sofia’s “pre-blogging journal” covers one tumultuous month as she navigates the rough waters of social status, the monotony of Life Science class and the ultimate embarrassment of her mother’s new position as the substitute Spanish teacher at her school. When faced with the biggest news of her career, Sofia must decide how far she is willing to go in her pursuit of popularity. Cooper keenly captures Sofia’s quintessential preteen voice: spunky and full of a blustering bravado meant to mask her vulnerability. Sofia’s experiences, recorded in faux–hand printing on lined paper, and the many hilarious sketches scattered throughout the journal will garner groans and laughs from readers. (Fiction. 9-13)

Publishers Weekly
The first book in debut author Cooper's Blogtastic! series is structured as the "Pre-Blogging Notebook" of sixth-grader Sofia Becker, a gossip collector with a hyperactive imagination. Printed on faux lined paper and decorated with Sophia's stick-figure doodles, the story follows Sofia as she gathers fodder for her anonymous blog by hiding out and eavesdropping at school ("I have very genius-like planned my schedule around being super-discreet in the girls' room, the cafeteria, and other gossip-infested places, every chance I get"). The main drama involves Sofia's obsession with popularity, her suspicion that popular Mia St. Claire is stealing her crush, and her feeble attempts at matchmaking. Readers will quickly get that it's Sofia, not Mia, who is the raging egomaniac, and Sofia learns the expected lessons (mostly) that come with making assumptions and trashing one's peers. Both in format and in its morality-challenged protagonist, this book aims for a Wimpy Kid vibe, but Sofia's cartoons add little, her tone grates, and her personality is one-note--Cooper never really gets inside the heads of her characters, Sofia included. Ages 10–up. (Jan.)

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have just put up holiday cards in my Etsy Shop. There are four to choose from...each are prints from an original artwork pieces (one is a Blogtastic character!) and are $1.75 each, w/envelopes. I'll send out immediately upon ordering to ensure you get them in plenty of  time for the holidays.

Anyone who's in the Sacramento area, there will be craft fair tomorrow at Cowan Fundamental school. I will be there selling my art. 15% of all sales goes to the school. There will also be activities for the kids, live music, food, and a gift wrapping center. Come out and support the school if you're in the area. 10am-3pm.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Copy Edit Confusion

The first time I ever had to do copy edits on my manuscript (the next part after revisions), my reaction was something like this:

Just to clarify, this isn't actually me.

So after reading past the first page and seeing marks in different colors of pencil and symbols that looked totally foreign to me, my expression changed to this:

Still, not  me
Then i realized my editor sent me a key to decipher all the symbols, as well as instructions. Who knew it would be so confusing? Not me.

For any author who's published a book, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't reached that stretch of your journey yet, here's an example of what some of the symbols mean:

So, imagine seeing your manuscript marked up with (in my case) tons of these symbols, along with notes in the margins. Some telling me what to change, other marks telling me not to pay attention to the previous comments.

So this week i'm finishing up with round 1 of revisions for RUMORS and soon after I'll have copyedits to do. And you better believe i'll need a refresher on all of this since it's been a year already!

What stage of the writing process are you currently in and have you learned anything new?

PS- leave a comment on Sofia's blog to enter and win "Sofia & Sam Sam Holiday Cards." Today is the last day to enter!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dirty Umbrellas Manage Bakery

This weeks topic is Revisions. I think it's only appropriate since my deadline for revisions is a week from today. So, how about some fun? I need to think of an acronym for my characters project in this book. Sofia is 11yrs old and she's doing a pet exchange with other students. The theme for the book is a foreign exchange student, so that word can be used too. Originally, I called it The Foreign Pet Exchange Program. But TFPEP doesn't seem funny.  Here are some ideas that Amie and I brainstormed:

TAPE -Totally Awesome Pet Exchange (TAPE Program)

FACE - Foreign Animal Coolness exchange
FAT- Foreign Animal Trade
CAFE- Cool Animal Foreign Exchange
APE- Animal Pet Exchange (She could say "the Super Cool APE")
FARTY-Foreign Animal Regional Trade, Yeah!

What ideas do you have?

PS-in case you didn't notice, yes, my blog title is DUMB.

Friday, November 26, 2010

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Now's the time everything becomes Christmassy (is that a word?)

So, I've been working on revisions for RUMORS FROM THE BOYS' ROOM, A Blogtastic! Novel. And because my deadline is short, I'm having to put everything else on hold for a bit. Including blogging.

Since I'm closer to being finished now so I get a little bit of breathing room. Next weeks posting theme will be revisions. I'm always learning something new with this!  Until then, I leave you with this:

What is your favorite holiday movie quotes of all time? Here's mine:

"He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny."

"He does not!"

"He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!"

"Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey Smuggler

This week i'll be adding holiday note cards with matching evenvelopes to my Etsy Shop. Included will be a Zombie Christmas, a reindeer who gets laughed at (Rudolph? Is that you?), a christmas snail, and an uber happy elf.

10% of all purchases from my Etsy Shop will still be donated to Joy 2 The World until the end of this month!

I've added a poll (Yay! Polls are F-U-N!) at the top of my right side bar for input on what YOU (yes, I"m talking to you!) would like to see on holiday cards in my shop. Just because.
What? Who is this stranger? Definitely not a turkey! Turkeys don't wear
glasses or trench coats. And they clearly don't have big noses or facial hair.
Yes! This non-turkey stranger will indeed be featured on a holiday card too!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't answer me--I already know!

So last night I had this conversation (kind of) with my 12-year-old son:

(son at computer typing up homework assignment)

SON: Hey, how do you spell “Table of Contents?”

ME: T-A-B-L---

SON: MOM! I know!


SON: MOM! I was the spelling bee champ!

ME: ..E-N-T----

SON: Stop spelling! I was the spelling bee champ! I know how to spell!!

ME: *scratches head* But you ASKED me…

SON: *looks at me with confused face* What?

ME: Hey, what time is it?

SON: It's...7:54pm

Sigh. Kids. What would we do without them? You know, besides having normal conversations.

What kind of scratch-your-head moments have you had lately?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Mouth News

Harold was glad
As he sat on his pad
Wanting to help spread the word

That someone you know
Will host a radio show
Isn’t that just crazy absurd?

Okay, okay, you guessed it. I'm that "someone."  I'll be hosting an online radio show dedicated to art. It will air the 4th Monday of every month and I'll be interviewing all kinds of artists, illustrators, cartoonists, etc. I'm super excited! You'll even notice I added the radio show to the sidebar on my blog. So...if anyone is an artist and would love to be interviewed, contact me and we'll set something up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Empty Head Syndrome

Sometimes my brain feels like mush, overloaded with ideas and overwhelmed with everything else. But today, not so much. Today I suffer from empty headedness (I declare this an actual word!).  So instead of fighting against it, I'll go along with it.

Now, to take some of the useful knowledge i've learned lately and stuff back in...

Stuff such as:

1. When you contact bookstores to set up events or author signings, ALWAYS give them your ISBN first. Otherwise, they're likely not to read past the first few lines of your email, let alone respond to you.

2. While both are large chain bookstores, Borders works very differently than Barnes and Noble. For instance, B&N likes to set up author events with the author while Borders sets everything up through their corporate offices.

3. Excedrin should not be taken at night for headaches. Otherwise, you're likely to be kept up all night long for at least three days wondering why until you finally realize it's packed with caffeine.
4. Insecurities never diminish. Not even with a book contract.

5. Pumkin Muffins from Panera rock!

What info has been overloading your brain lately?

P.S.-Today's Writing Tip:  Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Longest Name in the World. Ever.

As writers, don't we hope to someday be recognized by our names? What if your name was so....unique, that  it was the very reason you stood out?

A long time ago, in a yearbook far far away … there was a little boy by the name of
 Knight whose parents must've been really big Star Wars fans.
 So big that they named their boy… Jed I. Knight

Beware Asian thieves and crooks: Batman, son of Superman, lives in Singapore and is
 ready to kick your butt anytime. Ok, being named after both superheroes could be a
 little too much, but hey, Asian streets are tougher.

Who would ever go to dentist called Just-in-Pain? Okay, I would. It would be so funny!

 New Zealand judge ordered a name change for this embarrassed nine-year-old girl
 called 'Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.' The girl was so mortified that she had
 not revealed the name given by her parents to friends, who simply knew her as K.

You could seriously say your cab driver was An Ass!

Jennifer 8. Lee, journalist, was not given a middle name at birth,
so she chose "8." as a teenager. For many Chinese, the number
eight symbolizes prosperity and good luck.  I think I might change
my name to Rose Number 1 Cooper!

The coolest and most modern name. Ever.
A teenager - formerly George Garratt - claimed to have the longest name
 in the world after changing his name to:
 Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined.

I always had a fear of marrying someone with the last name Bush. Or Garden. Or Bud.  So, what would you change your name to?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Remember when I posted this video? THIS is the number one searched thing that leads people to my site. Under my stats under search words, this is what's listed:

1. hide your women hide your children
2. hide your children video (maybe angry parents are googling this?)
3. hide your children hide your wife youtube
4. zombie bride (hey, look! My art doll was actually good enough to be included in this bunch!)
5. hide your wife hide your children costume (um, does this mean  you would go as a...garbage can or a kitchen sink? maybe a closet??)
6. funny hide the children vidio (um, really?)

So, I decided it's time for another video. If you haven't seen this before, you will die laughing. If you have seen before, you will still laugh. I've watched it like, what? Ten times already? Yeah. Make sure your volume is turned up!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stress is for the Wimpy Kid!

There's so much more to publishing a book than...well, publishing. And the best way to learn it is to experience it, or to live vicariously through someone else. I admit, I totally blog stalk other authors who have gone or are going through this now so I can see what's to come. But really, it's so different when it's actually your turn.

You're probably asking, like what?

1. A Blog Tour. I just realized how many authors do this. This is a great way to get your book out there and promote. I've been seeing writers do this anywhere from 1-2 months before their book release date. For anyone who's unsure of what this is, a blog tour is basically a virtual book tour, set up on several blogs. For example, see Tamara Heiner's Blog which outlines her blog tour. She's the author of a fabulous looking book called Perilous (you can read the first page on her blog!).

2. Set up book signings/author events. There's already one bookstore who's requested to add me to their calendar in Janaury for an author event and later today i'm meeting with the GM at Borders to try and set something up. Most places are booked through mid January already.

3. Book Release Party. Like a little girl imagining her wedding day, i've always imagined my book release day. But now i'm like, wait...it's nearly two months away and I haven't planned anything! Two months in book time is next to nothing. I need a venue and I need to do it on a budget. I'm going to invite everyone in the world. Well, almost.  BTW, you know you're super-famous when you have book release parties in every city and you don't even have to be there! (Yes, I'm talking about you, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and your 5 million first print run).

So six months ago I was worrying about doing things too early. Now i'm worrying about not doing things soon enough. But worrying and stressing are going to take the fun out of it and I can't let that happen. I won't!

So...how many of you have had/been to book release parties and/or book signings? Any good ideas or suggestions you can pass along?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Great News, Horrible Jokes

Fantastic, awesome, terrific news! Wanna guess? Okay, go ahead. Guess.

*arms crossed, tapping foot*

I'm waiting.

Okay, lemme just tell you. GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS' ROOM, A Blogtastic! Novel just got picked up by a fourth country! That's right! It's going to Portugal. And it will be published by the same Portuguese publisher as Suzanne Collins. How awesome is that?

The Repo Man thinks it's Awesomely Excellent!

If I hadn't been so sick lately (yes, that's why i've been M.I.A.) I would be doing my usual happy dance.

Last Saturday I did my art show in Pt. Richmond. It was a lot of fun until we stuck in a down pour and had to pack up early. Later that night is when I started feeling sick and I'm waiting to feel better still.  I did make several sales at the art event though, one of them included my art doll, Lilith. My first and favorite. It was so hard to part with her!

And now *drum roll* for the worst joke in the history of jokes. Ever.

This guy goes to a Halloween party with a girl on his back.
"What on earth are you?" asks the host.
"I'm a snail," says the guy.
"But... you have a girl on your back," replies the host.
"Yeah, he says, "that's Michelle!"

I bet you'll have to sit there and think about it for a minute before you even understand it. THAT'S how bad it is!

The zombies didn't get it either. Neither did I at first. This
is our "Huh, what?!" face.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget Part 2

If you missed last weeks, Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget Part 1, be sure to check that out for more ideas!
Or go as THE all American family.
1.) Get a bunch of Barbie dolls and a black sweat suit. Attach the dolls randomly all over the sweat suit. You're a babe magnet.

2.) Get a medium sized box. Cut a hole at the bottom for your head, and a large, square opening in the front. Put pipe cleaners as antennas and glue soda bottle caps on as knobs. Put it over your head and wear all black. You're a TV announcer.

3) Wear a black sweat suit and randomly attach single socks all over your clothes. You're the sock thief from the dryer.

Anyone got a large
pair of tweezers for this
4) Get some yellow yarn and brown pom-poms. Glue them all over an old sweat suit. Put an old colander over your head as a hat. Go as spaghetti and meat balls.

5) Wear a clown costume top and paint your face. Get a large box and paint it a bright color. Make a hole for your waist and put it on as if the bottom of a skirt. Go as a jack-in-the-box.

6) Glue a bunch of newspapers to old clothes. Go as paper mache in progress.

7) Get a bunch of small, single-serving sized cereal boxes. Glue them all over some old clothes and bring a big, rubber knife. Go as a cereal killer.

8) Paint your car or bicycle tires with black paint. Lay old clothes front-down on the street and drive over them. Let them dry, put them on and go as road kill.

iPods are pet portable now.
9) Tie a sneaker to the top of your head, wear all pink and paint your face pink. Go as a piece of gum.

10) Get two large pieces of foam and strap them to your shoulders so one hangs in front, the other in back. Stuff some lettuce leaves coming out of them (or green felt), and on the underside of one glue a big, round, red or brown piece of felt that sticks out of the sides. Go as a sandwich.

11) Get a round piece of cardboard and cut a hole in the center of it. Get a large foil tray and cut a hole in it, as well as a table cloth with a hole in it. Put the cardboard over your head, then the table cloth so it hangs over your body, then the tray. Place lettuce leaves coming out from around the neck hole. You're a head on a platter.

12) Wear a raggedy old pair of shorts and t-shirt, and go unshaven if your a man. Mess your hair up. Get a garden tiki torch from the party supply store. Go as a recent loser from Survivor. You've been voted off the island. Remember to extinguish your torch.

13) Dress as a dog and put a cardboard cone around your neck to keep you from scratching for fleas.

Yes! That's it! Totally ham it up!
14) Glue cotton all over a light blue outfit and carry a water gun to squirt people. You're a rain cloud.

15) Cut out a cardboard shape like a surf board and cover it with fake spider webs. You're a web surfer.

16) Dress in a business suit and carry around a big jar filled half way up with thumb tacks. Go as the "tacks collector."

17) Get a rubber pig's nose and wrap yourself in a blanket. Go as a pig in a blanket.

18) Get a bag of moss from the craft store's floral isle. Glue it all over some old clothes and hat and go as a chia pet. Cha Cha Cha Chia.

19) Dress like a cat; carry a black bag stuffed with fake jewels overflowing. You're a cat burglar.

Can you tell me how to get...ah, who am I
kidding? I don't want to get anywhere
near these guys!
20)Attach gum wrappers, small pieces of pink clay to represent gum, soda cups and popcorn bags and a few kernels of popcorn to a black sweat suit, and go as a theater floor.

'Fess up! Okay, one time for halloween I dressed up in all Christmas stuff-Christmas shirt, Christmas Jewelry, Christmas socks, Christmas headband, Christmas EVERYTHING! Can you guess what I was? I was a blonde! get it? I got the holidays mixed up? er, yeah. Okay.

Your turn! What was your best/worst Homemade Halloween costume?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mail Snatchers & Killer Dogs

I did these quick sketches a few weeks ago. Yeah, I still need to finish them (ink them, etc).

The Mail Snatcher. He takes your mail right after
it's delivered. He knows things about you. Yeah,
he's that person.

Killer. Not him, the dog. Don't let appearances
fool you. See the missing arm? Yep, all dog.

I'll put these in my Etsy Shop once i've finished them. 10% of each item sold will be donated to Joy 2 The World.  I'm still taking on one or two more commissioned pieces for the holidays if anyone else is interested.

For these pics I got my inspiration from the mailman (first pic) and from my friends dog (for the second). I like adding twists to them. Where do you usually find your inspiration? Does it just come to you or do you go looking for it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Contest-Check it out!

So....I got an exciting email from someone. It starts with a Pub and ends with an licist.

Yes-I have a publicist now! And Random House is so awesome, I can't even fully express. I'm super excited and have learned about the publicity campaign.

In other news...

My good friend Amie Borst is having a contest on her blog to win one of my art prints. So, go check her blog out right away!

Saturday i'll be in Pt. Richmond for an Art Fall Festival. I was there last year and it was so much fun! So if anyone is in the area, stop by and say hi!

Lastly, I got my new business cards in the mail, with the matching address labels and notepad. They are the cutest. Ever.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Buy Art, Support Women in Ghana

If you don't know already, Candace is holding a Part 2 donation drive and contest for the Joy 2 The World foundation. Please check out her post HERE. In support of this wonderful cause, I will donate 10% of every art sale from my Etsy Shop from now until Thanksgiving Eve. Candace is such an awesome, caring person. Her passion for helping is contagious. Please help her spread the word!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Creepy but Cute

Creepy but cute.
Luther. Yes, a puppeteer.

That's what I call my new Etsy shop. And Jen Daiker at Unedited, who so totally roocks, has written a post about it. You must read her blog! Well, after reading this post.

So I'm offering something fun. The holidays are right around the corner. I did this last year and received a great response. So, I've decided to do it again this year.

So what exactly is "it?"

Art work. Illustrations of YOU. Or your friend. Your kid  Maybe your pet. Whatever you love and represents you. To clear things up, I don't do caricatures. I have my own style of drawing and when I try to go outside of that, it turns into a mess. BUT, I can do drawings that represent or resemble you.

Examples: My friends' daughter LOVED books. and their big cat. She had loooong hair and big blue eyes. She sent me a few pictures and told me about her personality. I made an illustration, in my own style, of a girl with big blue eyes, sitting on a huge stack of books. The girls hair was long and I exaggerated this as it swirled around the piles of books and her fat cat made a comfortable a bed in it.

Her son loved panda bears and teddy bears and had a jungle theme in his room. So I made a character, a boy with the same color hair and eyes to represent him, and he was holding a stuffed panda in his arms. The background was a jungle with peeking pandas through the leaves.

I had so much fun making these. I sent these to her and she framed them, giving them to her kids as christmas gifts. She even emailed me pictures of her kdis unwrapping them. It was amazing.

I love the feeling of making things for people that they really love. I already have two orders that I'm working on now. One is a character from my friends book. She wants her character and a girl (her daughter) to be drawn together.  Another friend has asked me to draw one of her and her husband reading on the couch and their two cats. With a touch of Harry Potter magic, of course.

So, i'm offering this on my blog to you. I can't take on many orders since I still have book deadlines, but I can take on a few more. I charge a reasonble price, basically covering the time and supplies I put into it. So for one ready to be framed picture (8x11.5 size), I charge $40. Includes shipping. Each one will be signed, dated and placed in a protective plastic sleeve and shipped in a stiff mailer. I love adding little extra surprises to each order too.

So if you are interested, email me or leave a comment and I'll contact you.