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What I Did This Summer, A Photo Essay

My dad and me at Cannon Beach

Labor Day has come and gone, so I guess we can (mostly) say goodbye to summer–it is still hot hot hot here, which is great. Winter will be long enough. But I thought I’d post a few pictures of what I did this summer as we gear up for the fall…and REACHED. As if I’m going back to school too…although I’m actually the only person in this house who is not attending or teaching school at all.

At the beginning of the summer I went on a two-person writing retreat to the Oregon Coast with my dad. He is the world’s best trip planner/itinerary organizer, and he did not fail to deliver. We were there just before the influx of summer visitors, which was perfect. We did lots of hiking, lots of beachcombing, and lots of writing. This will be one of those trips I cherish forever–it was just what I needed. Plus, my dad made sure we always had a fresh supply of Jujy Fruits, something that I did not know what essential to writing but which proved quite helpful.

Our work station. Somehow, there are no Jujy Fruits in this picture, which means it is not as accurate as it should be…

I also proofed and read and REREAD all of the books in the MATCHED series, taking notes to make sure things lined up and worked out the way I’d planned. Oh, you guys, I hope you love REACHED. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to know that there are people out there who care about this story.

That big stack of paper on the bottom is REACHED.

I also signed a BUNCH of tip-in sheets for REACHED. This stack represents about 1/14th of the pages I signed. My carpal tunnel was screaming by the finish but as a former teacher I always want to sign legibly. Plus, in a series where so much emphasis is placed on handwriting, I can’t scribble (can I?).


Every day, I lived in FEAR and TERROR that my kids would discover these sheets and use them for drawing paper.

I ran a half marathon (13.1) miles with my brother, my sister, my husband, and my sister’s cute roommate.

After we finished. I look exhausted. Also short.

I also got to go to NYC (I already posted at length about BEA, so I won’t bore you again!), Anaheim, CA (for ALA), and Vernal, UT (to speak as part of the opening of their new library). My husband got to go to London for a work trip and snuck in a little Olympics on the side…lucky duck. The kids did a lot of soccer and swimming.

I read some great books: FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, by Diana Peterfreund, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Adam Gidwitz’s IN A GLASS GRIMLY was gory and glorious fun for my son and me.

And what better way to celebrate the end of summer/beginning of fall…in ONLY SIX DAYS, the Smart Chicks Tour kicks off in Salt Lake City! Come see us in SLC on September 10th and on the other tour stops–I’ll also be at the Edmonton, Canada stop on September 13th! More details here.

I’ll post again soon–as we come closer and closer to the release of REACHED, there will be lots more blogging. I’m definitely back to the regular Tuesday posting schedule at the bare minimum, and there is ย plenty more to come–just over two months now before the release!

+ comments (12)
  • Audra
    September 4, 2012

    Sounds like a busy summer!

    I’ve got a question, hopefully it hasn’t been answered and it isn’t spoilery in some way!

    Can you say where the different provinces are named after? I’ve been curious as of late ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aliyah
    September 4, 2012

    I have a question! Where will we be able to find the signed copies of REACHED? Will they be at bookstores all over the country, from on-line orders…?

    PS Thanks for doing this Q&A!

  • Christina Storey
    September 4, 2012

    Hello Ally!
    I love all the Matched series. I was wondering what inspired you to be a writer and what is the first novel you wrote?
    Thank you! Christina

    • Ally
      September 4, 2012

      Christina, I loved reading and being read to from when I was tiny. I “wrote” my first book when I was four–I dictated it to my babysitter. It was about some kids who loved unicorns. The first “real” novel I wrote was my novel YEARBOOK, which came out in 2006.

  • ally
    September 4, 2012

    Audra, that is such a good question. I don’t like to pin it down too specifically, but yes, the provinces are inspired by actual locations. For example, there are a few places in Idaho/Washington associated with the name Camas, if you google Keya, you can guess where it might be, and, of course, the Outer Provinces are Utah, New Mexico, AZ, etc. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hey your books look like all my books lol I put so many sticky notes in them. I got excited to ask a question but I can’t think of one…How about you just tell Xander I love him and if Cassia doesn’t end up with him send him to my house ;-D

    • Ally
      September 4, 2012

      Jennifer, that’s so fun that you put notes in the books too. And I am dying of laughter…yes, I will definitely send Xander to your house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ally
    September 4, 2012

    Aliyah, I actually talked about preordering signed copies of REACHED in my last post (that’s the best way to get a signed/personalized copy of REACHED–ordering in advance through The King’s English Bookshop). I’m not sure what they’re doing with these others–I send them straight back to the publisher–but will keep you guys posted. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alisa Gilchrist
    September 4, 2012

    I love the pictures- Especially the one of you and your dad. Count me amongst those who care about this story and I’m really looking forward to Reached. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alice Beesley
    September 8, 2012

    What a great summer! We went to Cannon Beach last summer and loved it.

  • Lauren
    September 22, 2012

    Hi Ally, I’m a huge fan of yours and I’m in Year 6 in Australia. Matched and crossed I read in one day! It’s the best read I’ve had in years!!! My friends and I adore you!! We’re all so inspired by your writing and dream of meeting you someday!! It looks like you’ve had a great holiday!! I can’t wait for Reached!!!! (scream, gasp) I’ll be checking your blog as much as I can!! Can’t wait for your next post!!!

  • Shelby
    October 2, 2012

    Hey ally one of my BFF’s introduced me to your books and I fell in love and In my personal opinion I think your books are better then the hunger games! They totes need to make movies! Can’t wait for the 3rd book

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