Bookmark Bonanza

January 27, 2016

Oh new website. You are so shiny (and a cleaner, more user-friendly platform that appeals to a universal, diverse readership. But mostly, you know, shiny). Thanks to Jenny at Websy daisy for you remarkable skill and patience as we worked to build a new site. I may start sleeping in a business suit, that’s how professional I feel now. We’ve integrated my two other blogs into this site, so there are archived posts documenting my publishing journey for the past 11 years. Yes, fair readers, I realize many of you ARE 11.

So! THE PAGES BETWEEN US releases in 2 weeks and you know what that means. Yep! It’s Bookmark Bonanza!!!!!!! (Oh, you thought it meant you need to preorder my book? Yes, that too. Right this way).

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Bookmark Bonanza is something I’ve done since I released my first book 6 years ago. It’s origins come from

  1. I went to Bonanza High School. Okay, no correlation, but goooooo Bengals.
  2. I give away bookmarks. I guess I could have just called it Bookmark! Bookmark!, but… hindsight.

The rules are simple. Send your address to contact@lindseyleavitt.com and I, in turn, will send you signed bookmarks. USA Only. Keep a couple and share the rest with your friends. Braid them a BFF bracelet while you’re at it. Make note if you’re a teacher/librarian and I’ll send you even more signed bookmarks. Tweet/facebook/instagram/tumblr/pinterest/blog/skywrite using #bookmarkbonanza so your network can also have thick, luxurious card-stock shipped to their home. The world will be a better place with more people marking their place AND you’ll be entered in a giveaway to win…

A FREE, SIGNED COPY OF THE PAGES BETWEEN US! (complete with more bookmarks! Can you tell I ordered a lot of these puppies?*)

*puppies not included.

More giveaways and goodness coming in the following weeks, so make sure to click on those cute social media buttons on top right corner. Follow those for more information. Also–check out this website. Doesn’t it make you want to wear a tasteful, yet fashionable business suit as well? No? Yeah, you’re right. Let’s stick with the yoga pants.

NCTE

November 19, 2015

TEACHERS / LIBRARIANS / AUTHORS / COUNTRYMEN
Hope to see you at NCTE this year!
Signing: Sunday, Nov 22 at 11:00 @ HarperCollins booth.

Water for Life

October 19, 2015

Last year, I joined Water for Life as Director of Awesome (I have another title. But I can’t remember it and titles are never my personal strength). The non-profit is 100% volunteer based, and giving to this organization has been an essential step in Feeling Like a Contributing Human.

We’ve been working on this Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for over a year now–researching and conferencing and planning and revising. Seriously, you say the word Indiegogo over and over again, and it hurts your tongue after awhile.

We’re trying to raise at least 25k so we can distribute 500 filters to Cambodia. Each filter provides clean drinking water for at least 10 people for up to 10 years, so that’s 5000 lives we are hoping to save. Our stretch goal is to raise 25k more and provide filters in Africa. 25k more? India.

Here’s our general schtick:

We supply high-tech, low-cost water filters to developing countries with contaminated water supplies. Basically, we found a filter that takes all the crap out of water (literal crap, as well as debris, bacteria, disease) and makes that water safe to drink.
People need clean water. We get them clean water. It’s a huge problem that actually has a simple solution. And since 1.8 million children die every year from waterborne disease, we’re passionate about getting these filters out there. We make these distributions by partnering with other charitable organizations, as well as planning humanitarian service trips of our own.

Here’s more about the Sawyer water filtration system we use:

MINI filter: These pocket-size personal filters are great for camping. For exotic honeymoons. For international missionaries. For YOU.
Family filter: This larger filter uses two buckets and is gravity fed. It can filter 150 gallons of water a day for over ten years. It’s also a great addition for your food storage/disaster relief kit.
Our featured perk is our 2-for-1. For $100, you get a mini-filter AND a family filter sent right to your home. We also will send a filter to a family in need.
Win-win-win

Wow, Lindsey. I had no idea this technology existed! I am excited/overwhelmed/generous/joyous/touched/eager. So how can I help?
Funny you should ask…

FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP

1. Contribute: Our Indiegogo campaign runs for the next month. We have “perks” available beginning at $10, but any amount you can donate is fabulous.
Donate and/or purchase filters here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/water-for-life-sustainable-water-filters-for-good/x/12492158#/

2. Share: Money, obviously, is great. But spreading the word helps too. Go to the campaign site and link on back, just like I did below. Or write your own Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/Tumblr/email/blog post about Water for Life. Tell your friends at work or carpool about this. Buy a billboard. Go tell it on the mountain. Hashtag it up ‪#‎bewaterforlife‬

3. Create: Here’s an (unedited, amateur) video I made with two of my daughters. They had a lot of fun (and have made two more I still need to edit and post) Our “dirty bucket challenge” involves YOU trying out the filter yourself and is also a great learning activity for your kids…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNQVjvpgn6c

4. Follow: Here we are. Go here! Like us!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeWaterForLife
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeWaterForLife?fref=ts
Instagram: http://websta.me/n/bewaterforlife

5. Volunteer: We are always looking for ways to grow the charity. If you have ideas or time, you can go here or email james@bewaterforlife

To those of you who have asked when to help, now would be a great time. Right… now. We’ve had a GREAT start and we want to keep this momentum going.
Your contribution is a drop in the bucket, but drops make ripples.
And with enough help, we can make waves.

COVER ME

September 15, 2015

So on the internet, and on the bookshelf, 2015 has been a quiet year.
But in Word Document Land (and Google Doc land), I’ve been a busy beaver. Bee. Person.
I have 4 books releasing in 2016! (And at least 2 more in 2017. More on that soon!)
Here are the covers for two of those books.

THE PAGES BETWEEN US, co-written with Robin Mellom, releases February 9, 2016. Behold!

And the first book in the Commander in Cheese series, THE BIG MOVE releases in Summer 2016! (The second book, OVAL OFFICE ESCAPE, releases the same day. One day! Two books! Lots of cheese!

Sometime soonish I’ll update blog/site with more info on these super fun books. But for now, I need to finish the third commander in cheese book, out in… Fall 2016? I think?
#publishingseasonsareconfusing

A letter to The Utah

September 8, 2015

Dear Utah,

Remember me? I lived in you a lifetime ago. I went college at BYU and taught elementary school in Jordan School District. The school was so amazing that, when I left, I felt like nothing in my career would ever match that experience. And in my teaching life, nothing did.

I moved to the east coast, then the south, then back to Vegas. I still visited you during that time. I can’t say I always appreciated you, and naturally I had my reasons. But a few years ago, I did a writing retreat in one of your little mountain communities. My friend, Rachel Hawkins, dubbed your land “The Utah”, We spoke about what life would be like if we lived within you. The fantasies involved chunky sweaters, raspberry shakes, and words that just flowed from our fingertips. I didn’t think I could ever move to The Utah, because my former husband’s job was in The Vegas, and I figured my life would always be built atop the dirt and sagebrush.

Then, my life got flipped upside down, so upside down that it turned right side up. I wasn’t stuck in Vegas because I was no longer stuck to that husband or his affinity for Vegas partying/womanizing. For the first time in my adult life, I was free to make choices for myself and my three daughters. After breathing in that freedom for a few months, it became very, very clear to me that we needed to transition from a southwestern suburb to a quaint, country neighborhood with a stream running right outside. Which is what brought me back to you.

I have a lot of allergies here because things seem to, you know, GROW. A deer I’ve named Anferney eats the flowers I didn’t plant. My town has a main street, and my girls and I swim in assorted bodies of water and eat s’mores. The elementary school has a stuffed, two-headed calf. I have a well-lit office to catch up on some festering deadlines, and friends to visit as soon as said deadlines stop festering (Festering. Gah, that’s an awful word. Sorry). I keep saying it feels like an episode of Gilmore Girls, minus that weird season when Lorelei and Rory didn’t talk.

Utah, I’m a writer now. And just like when I taught school here, I once again feel like I’m with my tribe. Last weekend, I was able to meet with dozens of Utah writers, many of whom I’ve been friends with since I first started writing. Throw a rock in Utah, and you’ll hit an author (especially if you are aiming for one). I love being one of the many. I love your local bookstore, The King’s English. There’s a robust community here, one that motivates me to get my butt in the chair. The fact that the nearest Target is 30 minutes away probably helps when it comes to distractions.

(BTW, Utah, if you felt inclined to add a Target in Park City, I promise I will discipline myself. Please?)

My wonderful, supportive, and loyal Vegas friends check in periodically, asking if change is hard. And I keep having to tell them that although there are things about Vegas I miss, I’m just no longer a Vegas girl. I don’t know if I ever really was. I’ve moved 9 times in the last 15 years. NINE TIMES (Ferris Bueller peeps, you get that?) I’m up for the adventure, for rebuilding and recasting. Maybe at some point I’ll stop taking detours to show my kids the glories of your nature, but I hope not.

For now, you’ve opened your green arms to us, shown us a simpler and fulfilling life. I hope you’ll stay kind this winter, when that snow thing happens. Maybe… make it not happen? Like, ever? Is that possible?

Either way, I still heart you. Thank you for the community and calm. I’l make sure to recycle and not litter. Also, I buy local. You probably care about that.

Your newest resident author,
Lindsey