Monday, January 31, 2011

100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader!

What an honor... Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) is #40 on Bitch Magazine's 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader list alongside Judy Blume (Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret), Julia Alvarez (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), Sarah Dessen (Dreamland), and Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak). I am truly honored.

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend
Girls Weekend by Justina Chen featuring beaded jewelry

Snowmobiling. Giddiness. Serial killers. An inspirational weekend with my girls that grounded my soul even as I came away with twenty-one new ideas for my next novel. And that is how my creative process works!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Napa Writing Retreat

In a mad dash to finish RETURN TO ME, I took myself, my mom and my manuscript off to Napa Valley. So while I had a writer's retreat, my mom had an artist's retreat where we fueled each other in one big 72-hour spurt of creativity. Novel's done! And my mom has a new subject to paint.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brainstorming at Barrio

My New Year's resolution is to P-L-A-Y more.  So what better way to start 2011 with a brainstorm play session at Barrio?  While my writing buddy, Janet Lee Carey, talked about her work-in-progress, DRAGONSWOOD, I bemoaned my own, RETURN TO ME.  We solved at least 3 plot problems this night.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dancing Queens

You wonder why I love writing for teens?  It's pure joy. I mean, come on! Would an adult reader dance with me?

Napa Writing Retreat

Tolkien may have had it right when he said, "Not all who wander are lost." To finish my work-in-progress novel, I took a desperate wander down to Napa so that I could focus on the book, not on my laundry and bills.  On a brief break from my rewrite, I took a slight WRONG TURN, but discovered this view. Gorgeous, yes? Proof that wandering is a very good thing for the creative process... I completed RETURN TO ME!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Montgomery County Teen Book Fest

What a weekend of books and stories and laughter and dancing! Flew to Houston to attend the 7th annual Montgomery County Teen Book Fest along with fellow authors Lois Lowry (!!), Jeff Stone, Anna Godberson, and Tom Sniegowski.

Books, yes. Posters, yes. Bookmarks, yes.  But I'd never signed a Kindle or a Converse until this Book Fest... Love these teens!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Composing a Novel

Composing a Novel
Composing a Novel by Justina Chen on

An abundance of thoughts and thanks to my two friends and heroes, Robbie and Pete, who are helping me unlock a character in my work-in-progress novel. Motivation and male psyche insights... Such great men, these two.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Write This Way

Write This Way
Write This Way by Justina Chen featuring sweatshirts hoodies

Welcome, 2011! Go on. Explore. Sure, you can step carefully, deliberately, but you know the way.