Anna Shinoda

Archive for the category “Journal”

Contract Signed!

I’ve had a very busy year! One of the most exciting parts was signing my contract with Atheneum to publish my first young adult novel.

This is me in my office in May signing my contract:








And here I am again – this time in a hotel room in Paris- in August, signing the contract for a second time after the first contract got lost in the mail:

I just received the countersigned contract from Atheneum. Now all is in order for me to finally start my edits!

I accepted an offer from Atheneum – what does that mean?

For the past year my fantastic agent, Jennie Dunham has been shopping my young novel, currently titled CROSS BONES, to different editors. When the right offer to publish the novel was presented by Athenuem, I enthusiastically accepted! The next step will come sometime this month when we make the offer completely official by signing a contract. Then, my editor will send me a letter with suggested revisions and I will revise and revise and revise and revise until we are both happy with the final draft. Next comes the months of waiting while the publishing process of taking my manuscript and making into an actual book, available to purchase in stores, possibly in Spring 2011.

I am ecstatic about the idea of seeing one of my books in print! This is my first publishing contract and will be my first book available for purchase!

There will be a lot of hard work for me in the coming year, but I am really excited to revise this novel again and have the guidance of an editor that can help me make it the best I can produce.

A note about the title CROSS BONES: this novel has nothing to do with pirates. Think more along the line of secrets referred to as skeletons in the closet as well as a skull and crossbones being a symbol of poison and how that can be a metaphor for an environment. It is a working title that I hope will end up being the final one, although we will see what happens as the writing process continues.

Items May Shift in Overhead Compartments


Sorry for the long pause between my last post and now. On a flight recently, I went to get something out of my bag and my laptop literally flew out of the overhead compartment. The case it was in was no match for the not-so-soft-airplane floor and the six foot drop. My computer is still in the shop, but I have transferred all my hard drive info onto a temporary computer for the moment. I’m back to writing on a computer, instead of in my notebook, which was slightly romantic and fun for a minute until I realized how inconvenient it is to re-type everything I’ve written.

By the way, this is not my first Apple item to be destroyed in an airplane. Last year, I was in my chair with the seat reclined listening to my IPod, when I decided to get up to go to the restroom. I put the seat back into its normal position. Going to put my music on pause, I followed my headphone cord. As I realized the cord went deep into the seat, I turned to my friend and said, “there is a good possibility that I just ruined my IPod. I’m going to take a few moments to let myself accept that it may be completely crunched before trying to fish it out of the chair.” Sure enough, it was smashed -especially the screen. Amazingly, it was still playing music.

More exciting is my blog on Mike’s art opening last night at the JANM. I hope to have that up in the next couple of days, so please check back soon.

Music For Relief Builds Homes with Habitat for Humanity

This past Wednesday I had the honor of helping build a home for a family that was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The house we worked on was one of two that Music For Relief has funded to be built in the Gulf Coast.

Foundations in this area of New Orleans are required by law to be almost six feet off of the ground to protect the homes from possible future floods. We started the workday by laying the sub-floor of the house.

Around noon, the first wall frame went up. During a short lunch break we heard one woman’s story of her loss during Hurricane Katrina who will be moving into her Habitat house in the next few months. She has already put in the required number of hours building to qualify for her home and is so inspired by Habitat that she continues to volunteer on other Habitat builds.

The home will look similar to these houses in Musicians’ Village when it is finished. Located in the Upper Ninth Ward, Musicians’ Village covers 8.1 acres with a total of 75 houses!
Aside from Musicians’ Village, many homes built by Habitat in New Orleans are the first in those neighborhoods to be rebuilt. The families that move into those homes are incredibly courageous. Imagine living in a neighborhood where the houses around yours have been demolished or are severely damaged by the storm that displaced you! And now for the best part…as rebuilding begins in a neighborhood, it usually sparks a hopeful reaction. More people see the courage of these leading families, and follow by returning and rebuilding their homes.
Go here for more information on Habitat’s efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast:

My experience volunteering with Habitat was amazing. So many people have volunteered with Habitat to help rebuild in the Gulf Coast, that they now have a waiting list! So if you want to volunteer there, sign up now. They also have plenty of opportunities to volunteer elsewhere. Check out for more info!

Also, Music For Relief is still raising money to rebuild more homes in the Gulf Coast. To find out more about that effort visit

About Horseback Riding

This photo was taken in the early summer of 2003. When the woman who owned the stables asked me if I had ridden a horse before, I told her that I had, but it was a long time ago when I was in middle school.  I think she only heard the first part of the sentence.

The horse that I was given to ride stopped every couple of minutes to munch on the flora and fauna along the way, allowing the group to get farther and farther from me.  Nothing I could do would convince her to keep walking.  When we got to the beach, she decided it was time to join the group.  By galloping.

I stayed in the saddle.  Miraculously.  Soon after, she stopped to pose perfectly for this photo.  Doesn’t my look of confidence and control fool you?

Aid for Victims of CA Wildfires

Other than writing, much of my time is dedicated to Music For Relief, a non profit organization that my husband and his bandmates established in 2005. We have been very busy the past few days researching how we can help with aiding the victims of the wildfires in Southern California that began Sunday evening and are still burning. At this time, sixteen wildfires have consumed over 420,000 acres from Santa Barbara to San Diego initiating the largest evacuation in the state’s history with over 500,000 people evacuated, and 2,000 homes destroyed or damaged.
Funds raised by Music for Relief will go to Direct Relief International during the immediate crisis followed by an ongoing effort to rebuild and reforest affected areas. Direct Relief International: a non profit organization helping Southern California neighborhood clinics, hospitals, and first responders meet the short-term medical material needs of vulnerable, affected residents recovering from the fires burning throughout the state. Direct Relief International is evaluating the long-term recovery needs of the affected communities and providing specifically requested supplies such as medicine, wheelchairs, eye wash, inhalers, and personal care and hygiene items to clinics caring for evacuees and other residents near the fires as well as supply particle masks and other tools to firefighters.We are currently looking into how we can help long term with rebuilding and replanting the areas burned. Please visit to make a donation and get further information about our efforts to aid the victims of the fire, as well as how you can help.

Post Navigation