Just trust me on this. And if you can’t trust me, trust someone else.
Not only are they good for you, they’re awesome. I love gaming. I’ve been gaming since Pong and adore many gaming platforms. But the XBox 360 and I…we share something special, Minions. The graphics. *wistful sigh* It’s a fangtastic console.
So to celebrate the impending release of SECOND CHANCE (October 16th – don’t forget!)…I’m giving one away. Details HERE.
I wear a lot of bracelets, Minions. Like, tons. On any given day, I have at least thirteen on my right wrist–some days I wear over thirty. It depends on my mood. I like the way they feel on my wrist(s). I like the sound they make when they move. I don’t really feel like myself entirely when I’m not wearing them. And while I could totally go without wearing them (I mean, they’re just bracelets, after all), I prefer to. I just dig them, y’know?
Most of my bracelets are just funky looking. I really dig little rubber ones, or leather ones with spikes or pyramid studs. But some of them have my fave bands on them and several have fun sayings on them that spoke to me (anything from “Zombies want me for my BRAINS!” to “Mean people suck!” – both of which are totally true, by the way). But there’s one bracelet in particular that I bought several years ago, and used to wear a lot, until a point came where I didn’t, and lately, I’ve been wearing it again, for a good reason. The bracelet reads simply “Who do you think you are?”
I started wearing it as a reminder that that’s the one thing I really needed to figure out. See, I certainly didn’t know who I thought I was when I was a child. And I certainly didn’t know who I thought I was when I was a teenager. And my 20s? Forget about it! I had no idea who I thought I was…mostly because I was too focused on who everyone else thought I was.
“Who do you think you are?” It’s a question I’ve been pondering for some time now. When I stopped wearing the bracelet several years ago, I thought (quite positively, actually), that I had my answer. I knew who I was as a person, as an author, as a spouse, as a mother…as the supreme ruler of the Minion Horde, even. I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted out of life. I knew what was up, what was down, and I was eyeing my mirror image with a good measure of self-confidence.
But about a year ago (longer than that, if I’m being totally honest with myself…and with you), I started wearing that bracelet again. Why? Because I started to see myself through the eyes of others…and not all of them thought that I was awesome. I let other people’s opinions speak to my mirror image. I let their words come out of my mouth, and what’s really messed up is that I was starting to believe that maybe I wasn’t awesome just the way I am. Self-esteem is an incredibly fragile thing. Especially to someone that didn’t grow up having very high self-esteem in the first place. So it’s important to guard your self-esteem, to preserve it once you’ve built it up, and to not let anyone tell you how to feel about yourself.
But first you have to figure out who you think you are.
I’ll never be Mother Theresa. I’ll never be Stephen King. I’ll never be Ghandi or Billie Joe Armstrong or anybody like that. Because I can’t. I’m not them. I’m me. Heather Brewer (“Auntie Heather” to my Minions). And I can only be me. I can’t be anyone else. I am who I am. I am how I am. I write how I write. I enjoy really stupid/awesome activities with my family. I sing badly in the shower. I obsess over my kittehs. I constantly fat-finger “the” to look like “teh”. I have to remind myself that the way to spell “tomorrow” is to spell it “Tom. Or. Row.” EVERY SINGLE TIME I write it. I hate cooking. I love moonlight. I always want a cookie. I’m a total worry-wart. I speak my mind. I love laughing. I hate waiting. And I don’t think that any of that will ever change.
But my approval of myself did for a little while. Because self-esteem is a very fragile thing. A very brave, very awesome Minion named Jordan reminded me of that recently, when she blogged about her self-esteem journey. What Jordan doesn’t know is how much her blog post helped me. She helped me see that there is always a light at the end of that tunnel of self-doubt (and no, it’s never a train coming). Jordan showed me that I am just as awesome as I thought, and so is she, and together, we can hold our heads high and jump in the puddles after a nice summer rain with absolute pride in the fact that we’re doing so. Without even realizing it, she reminded me that I’m not in this alone, Minions, and neither are you. I’m amazing. You’re amazing. Jordan is amazing. The Minion Horde is full of quirky misfits who don’t quite fit in anywhere. But you fit in here. With me. With us. And we are so unbelievably cool, no matter what anyone might say or think or feel about us.
“Who do you think you are?” As I sit here writing this, that’s easy for me to answer – and I’m so grateful that I can put that bracelet away again. I realize that I’m part of something special, part of a group that totally gets me. I’m weird. I like strange things. I’m not “normal”. Maybe some people can’t stand that. Maybe it makes their tummies feel uneasy to think that flawed, creepy weirdos like me are wandering the streets. And that’s okay. They have their ‘normal’. They have their ‘good enough’. They have their measure of what works and what doesn’t.
And I have mine.
And you have yours.
So, Minions…who do you think you are?
1. Even though I am totally a night person, I find that my best writing gets done in the morning, right after I have eaten breakfast and am freshly showered.
2. I don’t have nearly the time that I used to for reading, but I continue to buy books–both to support my fellow authors, and in the vain hope that I will one day actually get a chance to read them.
3. I’ve been dyeing my hair unusual colors since I was twelve. I used Kool-Aid packets for the longest time. It is currently black and purple and has been for almost a year. This is the longest I’ve stuck with any of my dye jobs. And no, I no longer use Kool-Aid to dye my hair. I did use Special Effects, but now I have a pro do it just to save me time and aggravation.
4. My natural hair color is strawberry blonde.
5. My eyes change colors, often with my moods. Sometimes with the weather. Some people call that “hazel”. I hate the word “hazel”, but like my eyes.
6. I cannot swim and nearly drowned three times as a child.
7. My favorite food on the planet is fresh fruit. Chocolate is nice, but give me a big ol’ peach that drips juice down my chin any day.
8. When I was twelve (it was apparently a big year for me – hair dyeing and then this), I read CARRIE by Stephen King. Upon closing its cover, I said for the first time, “That’s what I want to be. I want to be an author.”
9. I am (ironically, considering how much I adore horror and all things spooky) afraid of the dark. No. That’s not true. I am afraid of what is IN the dark, and also what lurks in the closet and under my bed.
10. I am absolutely obsessed with all things Disney-related. If I could live in the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, I totally would.
11. I believe that there are no “bad” words. There are only more and less appropriate times to use certain words.
12. My birth date is September 21, 1973. Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947.
13. I own a couch made from an actual coffin (if you’re interested in buying one, check out www.coffincouches.com).
14. I collect unusual things, such as antique medical devices, antique doll’s eyes, a human skull, weird toys, and anything that you’d rather not see lurking in your doorway after watching a scary movie. I find them fascinating. And beautiful.
15. I have a little voice inside my head that tells me all sorts of awful, untrue things about myself. I’ve learned, for the most part, to ignore it. I’ve also made it my mission in life to help my Minions learn how to ignore their little head voices too. After all, we’re in this together.
16. I am terrified of clowns. But I love all things circus-related. Except for clowns, that is.
17. I don’t care what people think of me, which really comes in handy when I purposely do silly things in public.
18. My family and I adore puddle-jumping after a nice rain fall.
19. I don’t watch much television, but when I do, it’s cartoons (like SpongeBob, Last Airbender, Legend of Korra, Family Guy, American Dad, etc.), trashy reality shows that I’m almost embarrassed to admit to (Real Housewives, Toddlers & Tiaras, Dance Moms, judge shows, etc.) or a small variety of miscellaneous shows (True Blood, American Pickers, Ghost Adventures, Dead Files, etc.). I don’t tend to watch any show that requires much of a commitment (except Korra and True Blood) or thought, unless it’s a documentary. I adore the Travel Channel and History.
20. I can’t stand when people tell me to watch a show. It just makes me not want to watch it. Plus, I have so little free time, I can’t afford to get wrapped up in anything else.
21. When I’m really stressed out, I have horrifically violent nightmares. I also take out my stress on the Sims. (Don’t ask.)
22. I adore bird watching.
23. I was morbidly obese for fifteen years. I lost 136 pounds with the assistance of my doctor and nutritionist–going from a size 24 to a size 3–and now, through healthy eating and exercise, I’m maintaining that loss.
24. I generally tend to avoid subjects like religion, politics, and sports.
25. I don’t like, play, or watch sports.
26. The worst thing that someone can do to me is lie to me, or hurt my family in some way. I don’t believe in holding grudges, but I do believe in removing negativity from my life. Sometimes that negativity is a person.
27. I love gardening.
28. Every time I hear a little girl squeal, “Mommy! Her hair is purple!”, I smile, because that little girl totally gets how cool having purple hair is.
29. The most recent book I’ve purchased is ZOMBIES HATE STUFF by Greg Stones.
30. I grew up in Michigan, but have lived all over the country and currently reside in Saint Louis, Missouri.
31. The winner of my latest mini-contest is Nichole.
32. I should really be writing right now.
Check it out, Minions! There’s now a bind-up of EIGHTH GRADE BITES and FIRST KILL, the two first books of two of my series!
So. Who wants it? I’m going to autograph one for one lucky Minion. Comment to enter! (But only one entry per Minion, k?) I’ll pick a winner when I decide it’s time to blog again.
San Diego Comic Con. It’s where geeks reign supreme. Geeks like my son, Jacob, and I.
Thanks to my amazing publisher (or The Penguins, as I’m so fond of calling them), Jacob and I snagged badges to SDCC this year, and we set off on an adventure unlike any other (well, except for it was kinda like last time we went together two years ago – only this was the first year I DIDN’T run into Gerard Way: see previous years HERE and HERE). It began like any amazingly cool trip to Comic Con…with a private car to the airport!
It continued…with one of us getting an upgrade to First Class…
…and one of us NOT getting an upgrade to First Class.
But once we reached San Diego, all was well. We began by almost running over Sean Austin at the airport (“Nooo, driver! Don’t kill Sam Wise!!”), and continued by devising a plan to pretend that we were Famous People That Everyone Should Know. We did so by hiding our faces with our hands and hurrying everywhere. Cool thing is…it worked…which shows you just how gullible people are.
We saw lots of famous people. Most of whom, we had NO IDEA WHO THEY WERE. But we totally photo bombed Rob Cordry. So that’s our new claim to fame.
I had a great signing at the Penguin booth right away, in which we gave away free advanced copies of SECOND CHANCE. I also had a big epic fantasy panel (after which, I was a mere two steps from Elijah Wood), followed by a signing, and another Penguin booth signing, in which we gave away hardcopies of SOULBOUND.
I HAVE NO PHOTOS OF THESE EVENTS.
Mostly because I am way distracted by All The Shiny Things. However. I do have this:
In case you don’t know, The Enigma is amazing. And cool. And funny. And I have a wee bit of a crush on him. PLUS, Jacob and I discovered that Gargy (my constant gargoyle companion) is really the fifth Beatle…
…Jacob is totally a terrorist…
…and an artist at the con had drawn me BEFORE HE’D EVER EVEN SEEN ME.
Freaky, right?? In less freaky news, and in true Minion fashion, a Minion sent me a pressie – TOYS! Which, of course, I adore.
In the end, Jacob and I had a blast, and were totally exhausted by the amazingness of it all.
As for Jacob’s take on things…here’s what he had to say about it:
SDCC was totally amazing! We met A lot of cool people, and had an over all great time. And, although I didn’t get to meet my favorite comic book artist (Jhonen Vasquez)for the second time, I was able to get an amazing Utilikilt (as seen in that last pic). This trip was loads of fun and, as with all things involving my mom (the FABULOUS Auntie Heather), it was full of awesome.
I’ve been asked this question from the moment that SOULBOUND was released into the world, Minions…and the answer is simple. The second book in The Legacy of Tril series is called SOULBROKEN. And here’s its kick-butt cover.
Seriously, how bad-ass does Kaya look?? I just love it and hope you do too! More details about the book will follow later on (mostly because I’m still writing it), but until then, spread the word about this awesome cover, Minions!
I’m feeling the love, Minions! In a big way. And the love wave (seriously, did I just say that?) is coming straight from Figment. They have some enormously cool, SOULBOUND-y things going on right now.
First, their incredible writing contest. Better hurry on this one! It only runs til July 10th, so GO GO GO!
Second, they created this amazing quiz! Find out if you’re a rebel! (I am apparently a rule bender – I was hoping for fire bender…but that may be another quiz I’m thinking of)
Odds are, you’ve already missed their ultra cool, ultra easy to enter Twitter contest (I retweeted their tweets about this, and hopefully at least some of you caught it) – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow them and tell them to hold another one!
Ahh, Figment…feel the love. (and enter the contest…and follow them on Twitter…and take the quiz…just don’t hope for fire bender)
Minions, if you haven’t been to Figment and checked it out yet, you totally should. It’s a great site, and very much Auntie Heather approved (ooooh, I need a stamp for that). And right now, Figment and I are teaming up to host an amazing contest, just for you! Here are the details (copied and pasted from Figment’s site – you have to go there to enter):
At Figment, we adore a story with a good love triangle. Are you Team Jacob or Team Edward? Team Peeta or Team Gale? In Heather Brewer’s new novel, Soulbound, Kaya is caught up in her own love triangle. Should she choose good guy Trayton or bad boy Darius? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just choosing the right date to the prom.
In the world of Tril, there are Barrons (warriors) and Healers (bound to Barrons and able to cure their wounds). Kaya is a Healer, but she longs to be able to fight and defend herself from danger on the battlefield. This makes her a bit of a rebel at Shadow Academy, the boarding school where she is sent to learn how to be a Healer and be bound to a Barron. It’s against school rules for Healers to learn to fight—but Kaya is determined. She asks both Darius and Trayton to train her in secret. Only one is willing to break the rules—and the consequences will change the lives of everyone involved.
Your writing challenge: In 1,200 words or less, write a story about a love triangle from the perspective of one the following:
1. Told from the perspective of one of the triangle members
2. Told from an outsider’s perspective
3. A three-part story told from each character’s perspective
How to Enter:
1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing of 1,200 words or fewer.
4. Tag your writing with SoulboundContest on the Details tab.
5. Press “Publish Now.”
6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.
You have until Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 11:59p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Monday, July 16, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Heather Brewer, the author of Soulbound, will decide the winner.
First prize winner will receive a copy of Soulbound, First Kill, and an Advanced Reader Copy of Second Chance (which isn’t in stores until October!) all by Heather Brewer.
Second prize winner will receive a copy of Soulbound and Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer.
Third prize winner will receive a copy of Soulbound.
How cool is that? So get writing, get registered, and get entered. Because I can’t wait to see what you come up with!