This is just a quick post to say oh my god the book is out.

I realize that I said that when Beware the Hawk was released on Jan. 17 as an e-book. But I’m saying it again, because it’s out as a physical book right now. I just checked both Vagabondage Press’s site and Amazon and it’s listed as a paperback. So I guess that makes me a paperback writer.

More posts later.

Scavenger Hunt, Day Six: The haiku challenge.

Before I share today’s challenge, a bit of news: I heard from my editor yesterday afternoon, and she tells me that I’ll be getting the proof for the physical copy of Beware the Hawk very soon!

I’m curious to see what that will look like, since Beware the Hawk is less than 50 pages long. I’ve been reading several of literature’s greatest short books lately (The House on Mango Street, The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Turn of the Screw) and all of them are pretty slim volumes, but Beware the Hawk is shorter than all of them. That’s going to be one narrow book spine.

Because of all that shortness, today’s challenge will celebrate brevity with the shortest form of all: the haiku.

Write me a haiku about a bird of prey.

You know what a haiku is, right? Of course you do. Three lines of poetry. Line one has five syllables, line two has seven syllables and line three has five syllables. I realize this isn’t really a hunt. In fact I was planning to have you search for a haiku about a bird of prey, but writing haiku is more fun. (Although if you’d rather search for one, be my guest, just credit the poet when you submit.)

Tweet the poem to me (@ann_oconnell) with the hashtag #bewarethehawk. Or post it to my author page on Facebook.

Speaking of which, I have some neat iPhone apps to share from yesterday’s challenge.

UPDATE: Erin Skelly Cameron submitted Instagram, which is a personal favorite of mine. It’s like Twitter, but with photos. Unfortunately, it’s only available for iPhone users now, and Erin owns a Droid.

Alena Dillon of The Time is Write submitted this neat app, Star Walk. It’s a sort of augmented stargazing app. You point your phone the sky and the constellations appear. You point it at an unidentified object and it tells you what you’re looking at. That’s right – UFOs are a thing of the past. Your iPhone will ID every object in the sky. I think I might want it.

Ally Arendt of WordVagabond submitted a link to an app for writers, FIG. FIG stands for Fiction Idea Generator, and it’s a plot generator that lives in your phone. It suggests plots, genre, period, narrative voice and appears to have several other generators included including an emotion generator. That’s pretty neat, too.

Normally I just sponge off the free iPhone apps and tolerate all the advertising that comes with them, but maybe I should shell out the five bucks for these two apps. Any other suggestions, folks?

Fabulous book news!

Last week I spoke to my editor at Vagabondage Press and she delivered some fabulous news: Beware the Hawk is coming to print on March 20!

This won’t come as a surprise to the people who follow my Facebook author page; they hear just about all my news just about as soon as it happens, thanks to my raging social media addiction and my possession of a smartphone. (Just another reason to “like” my author page, or stay the hell away from it.)

Beware The Hawk novellaI’m pretty excited. Beware the Hawk was planned as an e-book and an e-book only, so it’s exciting that a print edition is being released. Since it’s a novelette, it will be a pretty slim volume, but it will be fabulous to have it, to be able to do real book signings as well as virtual signings, to carry a bunch of books around in the trunk of my car so that I can peddle them.

Even better, it will be nice to have a copy of my book accessible to the folks who can’t read it on an e-reader, or who prefer not to. There are, actually, quite a few people who have approached me and said some variation of “I’d like to buy your book, but I don’t have an e-reader.” Well folks, save the date. On March 20, physical copies of Beware the Hawk will become available.

Another announcement: I will be doing my first actual event in my hometown, Watertown, Connecticut, at the Watertown Library. The date has changed from my original announcement. I will provide more information soon.

Published, or Can I get a “yay”?

So recently, this blog’s been a big ol’ mess of me complaining about things. Waah, Irene. Waaah, FEMA. Waaaah, writer’s block. Waaaaaaah, grocery shopping.

No more! I’ve stowed my box of Kleenex and called off the waahmbulance, because I’ve got some fabulous news. On Sunday, I received an email from Vagabondage Press, a small, independent publishing house. They will be publishing my novella “Beware the Hawk” (I think, technically, it’s a novelette) as part of their 2012 catalog!

What kind of book is it? Well, for my literary/MFA friends – it’s genre. It’s a spy thriller told in the first person by a strong female voice, and smartphones play a big role in the story. It’s set in Boston. For my family, I’m sorry – my protagonist drops a lot of F-bombs.

This is a piece I wrote years ago, when I was in my first writing group. One of the women in that writing group is a co-founder at Vagabondage. She asked to see the piece this summer.

I don’t have all the details yet, but I do believe “Beware” will be an e-book release. I’ll write more about that when I have more information.

Good lord. I’ve published short stories and poetry and countless news pieces, but this will make me the author of a book. This has been my goal since I discovered books as a child. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write and publish a long piece of fiction.

Now it’s about to happen, and I have this weirdly muted excitement going on. I continue to stress about other projects, and every once in a while, I have this burst of hysteria when I remember that I’m going to have a book published. Now it’s not my end-game. Now it’s something that’s going to happen next year.

But what’s weird is that I somehow never looked beyond that final goal of writing a book. As a kid, I never had any plans beyond that. I was going to write a book and then… what? Be rich and famous, I guess. (Ha!) But now, I find myself thinking, wow, I’m going to be published, and still going on with the process of querying, writing, readying my long manuscript for the eyes of an agent and researching. It feels like I’ve pushed beyond the boundaries of my childhood ambition. It’s no longer “I want to write a book when I grow up,” now it’s “I want to write for the rest of my life.” And it feels like I can do that. I’ve spent the last several years writing, and the last two writing very seriously, but being an author feels like an actual career option now.

This is actually the third – and most exciting – piece of good news I have to share. The first piece of good news is that Vagabondage is publishing one of my short stories in their final issue of their lit mag, The Battered Suitcase, which will be available Oct. 1, and also, that another short story, “Final Statements,” will be published by Independent Ink Magazine sometime soon. I don’t have a date for the Independent Ink release yet, but when I do, I will tell you all.

I’m off to go yell “Wooo!” in the middle of my street.