Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blog chain: How much prewriting do you do?

*Be sure to stop by and check out a post from my sister who is guest blogging while I'm away this weekend. I have no clue what she's going to say but I trust her and know she'll do an amazing job. Hmm, I just hope she doesn't share any embarassing details from my past!

I'm wrapping things up with this week's blog chain started by Lin at flames and shadows where she asks how much prewriting we do before we actually start writing.

Considering I've only completed one novel I don't have much experience to go on but from that time along with the handful of other stories I've started since that fateful day almost a year ago, I have to be honest and say that I do very little if any preplanning. I just start writing. Of course I have some sort of idea in mind before I put my fingers to the keyboard. But they're pretty rough and abstract to begin with and take shape as I go. As I go I do make notes when ideas come to me and with my follow up to SAGE I created an mini synopsis first but of course that changed a few times and I've only written a few chapters so you can see how that's working.

The nice thing is that since thinking about Lin's great question I've started to think about prewriting a little more with my current WIP. I figure the worst that can happen is that I find it doesn't work for me so I can just stop and go back to my crazy unplanned random writing that's been working pretty darn well. Still there's something appealing about being more organized and prepared this time around but we'll just have to wait and see which side wins out.

Swing by and see what the other blog chainers had to say this week.
Monday: Flames and Shadows
Tuesday: Girl With a Notebook
Wednesday: From Elysium
Thursday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom
Friday: here

And for next weeks schedule - here you are ladies.
Monday: From Elysium
Tuesday: Flames and Shadows
Wednesday: Sometimes Nonsense (me!)
Thursday: Girl With a Notebook
Friday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Heading to NYC this weekend

No, I'm not going to NYC to meet an agent or editor. *sigh* I wish! But what I AM going for is pretty darn great anyway.

This weekend is a big one. For starters one of my best friends is getting married in Brooklyn, which means I'm making the short two and half hour trek to the city. Ahh, but here are a few stellar side bonuses to this journey.

1. My first overnight stay away from my son since he was born. Two years ago. Meaning I can get ripped at the wedding and not have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night for anyone or getting up early. I. Get. To. Sleep. In. Woohoo!

2. I get to spend two days my oldest friend catching up, venturing around the city, jumping on the hotel beds and getting all dolled up for our friends super special night. Love road trips with good friends.

3. I'm going to The Strand. If you're like me and have never heard of this place let me tell you it's a giant bookstore in NYC. I'm oh so excited about this because I hear you can get ARCs there. *gasp* I even heard you can buy them for $1.99. I might die if this is indeed true. I'm so psyched to see this place and praying I get books - lots of books!

I'm pretty upset about my camera being broken but I'm determined to have some way to take pics this weekend which I will of course share. A book store that boasts 18 miles of books. Yeah, I think I need some pics of me there for sure. Not to mention the fact that one of my BFFs is getting hitched!

* Please oh please share with me if you've been to The Strand!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recommendations on YA Fantasy

I've been fortunate to have read some killer YA Fantasy and fiction in general but I'd love to know what you guys suggest. It can be old or new, just make sure it's for teens and ideally fantasy. I have a list of books ready to read but I'm trying to put together a list of books I want to read in the future.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Maximum Ride series - read it!

I didn't read nearly as much as I would have liked to on my trip last week but I did at least finish Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson, the first book in the series. Loved it. My sister just gave me the second book to read and based off my opinion of the first book and her running out to buy the rest of the series, I know I'll be a big fan of the rest. I totally trust my sisters opinion on good YA books now. Go Jenn!

Here's the description from on the book:
James Patterson's explosive debut in the young adult market is guaranteed to create legions of new fans for this beloved, multimillion-selling author.

Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways -- except that they're 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. Riding the wind, their wings are an amazing gift . . . and yet, their world can morph into a nightmare in a single instant. For when the bloodthirsty Erasers -- half men,
half-wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists -- kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission that will change them forever.

From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, 14-year-old Max leads her five feisty "family" members on a journey full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking -- not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side!

I was really shocked to see the editorial reviews on the amazon page were sort of negative. I didn't agree with most of what they said was lacking in the story and find it sad that people would read that and skip such a fantastic book. I'd heard of this series but was a little put of by the premise and age of the characters and the cover art. Which by the way seems to have about four different covers. Crazy. Not sure which one I like best but I tend to like the ones where it doesn't show a clear image of the character so you can better create your own image as you read.
I strongly recommend this book. It got me really inspired to write my WIP about a 14 yr old, a younger age than I'd been comfortable writing about before, but after reading about Max and the gang, or flock I should say, ranging in age from 6 to 14 I felt ready to take it on. I even had some ideas on including some younger characters. A story like this proves (much like Harry Potter) that you can create a really exciting story that will appeal to a huge age group without having sexual situations or overly descriptive violence. Love that too. My sister said she will let her 9 yr old daughter read this too, which in my eyes is a big thing considering there are few books, let alone series parents and kids can both fully enjoy.
Another huge asset is that these books cost $7.99 and that's not a sale price. Have I said I love it too much in this post? Oh well. Love the price too. Go get it! I can't wait to read the rest.
*I apologize for the giant paragraph here at the end but blogger refuses to let me add spacing for some reason! Also sorry to the blog chain for missing my turn last week. I got so messed up with not having internet on vacation that I forgot all about doing it when I got home. Woops!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everyone should have sisters

I mentioned briefly in my last post before vacation that my sister Jenn did something super special for me. That's in addition to babysitting my son anytime I need her to, staying up all sorts of late to help me edit or working on my site (which will be done soon, we swear), reading SAGE over and over and over again (since she's not a writer you know how crazy this one is), listening to me blab about agents and writing stuff and being my biggest fan and supporter. Plus she's just an amazing, super caring, fun person all around. So adding to all that she did something SUPER awesome.

She bought me a silver sage leaf charm. This is beyond special because...

1. Abbey Willard, the main character in my book SAGE wears a silver sage leaf charm.

2. She bought it for me because she remembered me saying that I intended to buy it for myself when I got my first full request. Jenn totally beat me to it.

3. She gave it to me with my grandfather's dog tag and chain. He passed away over 12 years ago and since his first name is Willard you can see that's how I came up with Abbey's last name. Abbey also happens to wear her sage leaf on a chain just like it. Could it be more perfect and sentimental?

Squeeeeee, I love it! See what I mean? Jenn is an incredible sister. I planned on posting a pic but my camera is acting up and my phone won't do it justice, but let's just say it's beautiful and probably the most touching gift I've ever received. It speaks volumes for the belief she has in me and my writing. This is why I say everyone should have a sister! Even better is the fact that she isn't afraid to tell me the truth and has become a YA junkie too, so she actually does know what she's talking about. Isn't nice to know that when someone says they really like something they
mean it?

I have to include the fact that I have two amazing sisters, I just call out Jenn this time because of how writing relating this all is. I managed to drag out these two pics to show off my lovely sisters. How sad is it I couldn't find one of us together that was at all current? Better get on that this weekend. The first one is Jenn and I when she brought over a little bottle of champagne to celebrate the night I sent out my first full submission. (Again, she is ever so fabulous) The other picture is my sister Nikki and I before Parade Day here locally where everyone goes to a big ol parade and drinks like crazy in honor of St Patrick's Day. But I guess the green ensembles and shamrocks stuck to our cheeks may have given that away.

Jenn and I (left photo) Nikki and I (right photo) Yes, Jenn and I are not purposely wearing the same green t-shirt and NO I don't wear green everyday.

So thank you Jenn, who also happens to subscribe to my blog and who always reads and comments on almost every post. You rock and without your support and enthusiasm I'd never have made it this far! And the journey has only just begun. You are SO coming with me on those book tours and I swear I'll get you on the set when they make the movie of my book and of course you can come to the premiere.

You can go ahead and laugh at that last part there since it's a huge stretch. With all seriousness my sister really thinks I can get there someday. Yep, we're pretty big dreamers around here. Love it.

Even if you don't have a superstar sister to cheer you along, I hope you all have someone out there to push you forward on the bad days and share your joy on the good ones.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gone to the beach

We're packing up this morning and heading to the beach for a few days. Exciting as it is, I'm a little nervous about the fact that this is the first time my son will be sleeping away from home. Will he sleep? Will I sleep if he doesn't sleep? Considering we're going to be in the same hotel room - doubt it. Hmmm, this makes for a very interesting week doesn't it? Then again he might do the exact opposite of what I'm anticipating because as anyone that has kids knows they tend to do just that. This is one time I'd be thrilled to have him shock me. Oh please let the kid sleep well so we can actually have a cranky free fun filled vacation for his first time at the beach!

Moving along.

I'm taking along Maximum Ride The Angel Experiment by James Patterson, which I'm really into already and The Book Thief just in case I get more time to read than I even hoped for. That's a pretty far fetched idea since I'll be chasing a toddler on the beach, the boardwalk, the zoo, the mall, and everywhere else we go. But it will be a blast to see him have so much fun. He loves seeing new stuff. And I love seeing him love it. Back to the books - I'm really really diggin the Maximum Ride story and can't wait to read the rest of them since strangely enough I bought the first one and gave it to my sister to read, who then bought the whole series. Sweet, means I don't have to buy them.

Curious, anyone else read these books or have advice on sharing a hotel room with a almost two-year-old? (That has to be the most random mix of topics ever.)

I'm taking a blogging break until Friday (unless I really do have a lot of spare time and wi fi) but can't wait to post later on my new WIP and how fabulous my sister is for many reasons, the most recent being an incredible gift straight out of my book! Literally.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let's be friends

I just gave in and joined Twitter a couple of weeks ago and have been on Facebook for many months. BUT I didn't do much with them in the way of networking as a writer so I decided (since my sister is getting close to finishing my web site) to finally create separate accounts on both sites focusing purely on me as a writer (to avoid sharing useless info like how I switched diaper brands or pics of my mom's birthday).

So please click on my fancy new widget and badge on the right sidebar so I can follow you too. I promise not to be boring or repetitive!

You can also post your Twitter, Facebook or blog info in the comments section so I can find you as well as the other readers. Ah, networking in one easy sweep. Tuesday sweetness.

Stay tuned for my post tomorrow on what my week holds. Let's just say I'm taking my 21 month old to sleep in a hotel for the first time in his life. Better yet, this is his first time sleeping anywhere outside of our house. Scary. Of course the trusty green laptop will be coming along too since you never know when I'll hear back on those submissions.

Monday, July 20, 2009

On the verge of death? Think again.

One of those crazy thought provoking moments happened to me this afternoon as I was cleaning up from from playing outside with my son.

Warning: this is a long post and pretty corny near the end.

I'll start by sharing the fact that I am one of those people that always feels slightly guilty for killing bugs even when they are nasty spiders hanging above my bed or a fly that insists on dive bombing my meal. But when it comes to anything that's the least bit threatening to my child it better watch out. As in I'll kill it or die trying. I don't care if it's a bee or a bear. I'm taking it on if it might hurt him! So anyway, a big ol' bee was dying twitching in the driveway in a space where Nate walks so I used a bucket and pushed it aside so he wouldn't end up getting stung if he stepped on it. Didn't give it another thought.

Fast forward an hour later when I'm cleaning up and go to move the bucket. There's the bee alive laying on its back on the verge of death. First off I'm surprised it's still alive then I think, oh crap I have to kill this thing. I can't let it lay there suffering like that. Yeah, so I search around for something that will surely crush enough to put it out of its misery. Which takes me forever, a strange fact considering I'm looking around in a garage packed full of everything from tools to my 92 yr old grandmother's furniture (she moved into an assisted living facility - long story!). I'm totally stressing about what will work cuz this is a big bee and I can't stand to hear the crunch! Finally I spy a sneaker. Pick it up. Walk over to the bee. Before I can even raise my arm it starts flipping out. Mind you it didn't move a bit when I was near it before or even when I shoved it with a bucket.

All of a sudden it flips over and just gets up and flies away. All I could do was stand there with my mouth hanging open. Not only for the fact that this thing on the verge of death shot up into the sky as if nothing had happened, but for the way it happened at the exact moment I was ready to clobber it to death. And to think I was prepared to help it die for its own good when it really was okay. More than okay it was full of life and zooming through the sky after sitting in a pine needle infested crack in the sidewalk covered with a bucket for over an hour!

Now for the way my crazy little mind operates.

After I recovered from the shock that my good deed would have been quite the opposite had I actually succeeded in killing the thing, I thought about writing. Lately I've seen quite a few (as well as my own twisted thoughts) on retiring a project. Writers saying the are shelving a story that agents didn't seem to connect with or sequels people are afraid to write in case the first story never gets picked up (gee would that be me?), that sort of thing.

What if those stories are like my bee? What if they just need that exact moment to get up and fly? Maybe that bee would never have gotten up the strength to fly away if I hadn't shoved it around with a bucket and threatened it with a sneaker.

There are "little" miracles happening all around us every day, I just happen to have been lucky enough to witness one today. As trivial as they seem they cause a shift within you. Anything can fly with enough power behind it. A marriage on the verge of divorce can be made fulfilling and warm again, a kid about to fail his senior year can turn things around and pass at the last second to graduate, and yes, a story that seems doomed to sit in the dark collecting dust can find indeed become a published success. If that bee can do it, so can you. We all can if we want it with every thing we've got. Not always of course, some bees are meant to die, some marriages should end, some kids deserve to fail and some stories should remain pushed aside.

But there are a hell of a lot of them out there that deserve a second shot. So before you give up and walk away from something give it a second chance. Send out one last round of queries or do a tenth round of revisions because it really does depend on how bad you want it and how hard you're willing to work. The journey towards publication really does begin with one person. Not an agent or a publisher. You. Me? I decided the second that bee flew away to keep kicking and screaming until my story flies. I haven't said too much about it but I've been struggling off and on with where to go next as far as continuing to work on my sequel or getting more involved in my new project. I'm still waiting to hear back on the fulls I have out but just in case that doesn't pan out I've decided to ride this wave out. To begin with, I've hardly touched the mountain of available agents. I can revise my query, and if those fulls turn into rejections I can revise the story.

Moral of the story. It's gonna take a whole lot more than someone shoving my aside to stop me from trying even I end up falling down and feel like giving up at some point. Of course if someone tries to smash me with a tennis shoe I might reconsider.

*If you know about bees and there so happens to be some sort of thing that they do where they look almost dead but aren't - don't tell me about it. Let me enjoy my little miracle!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

No room to complain but I will anyway

I work very few hours, some weeks it's only one evening of a three and half hour shift while other times it totals fifteen when I change out the display windows. Anyone that works full time or even actual part time would probably throw something at me for complaining about such an easy schedule. Of course up until two years ago I did work full time, sometimes more than that depending on the time of year or if we had a big event going on. Anyway, I have to confess to finding a weekend like this where I am working a five hour shift today and a six hour shift tomorrow rather annoying. I love the people and the job is mostly enjoyable and easy but it's the whole not being used to it part that gets me.

Today is a beautiful sunny day and instead of doing what I usually do - hanging out with my son, maybe swimming, playing outside, being with my family, maybe going shopping - I'll be inside all day. In a way it's harder when you have to do something you aren't in a routine with. If you work full time its like the Monday you have to go back to work after a vacation. Yuck, so hard and painful to do. It was for me anyway. Even when I love my job I still wish I wasn't forced to go when and for how long someone else decided. I like freedom, can you blame me? Ahhh, just another motivator to make it big as a writer.

So instead of continuing to complain I'll remind myself of why working all weekend (yes I know they are little shifts!) is a good thing:

1. Extra money
2. Adult conversation
3. Distraction from thinking about my submissions
4. My son gets to spend more mommy free time (he starting that clingy phase lately)
5. I shower and dress early in the day (as opposed to sitting in my pj's staring at my laptop)
6. Meeting new people
7. Quiet times to think of new story ideas

Every time I start to feel sorry for myself for working I'll mentally bitch slap myself and think of all the reasons it's good to be there. After all isn't that what life is about...finding a way to enjoy things even if they aren't exactly on the top of our lists? I feel much better getting that little rant out of the way. Now, if you'll excuse me I have finish getting ready for my day of positive distractions and human interactions (feels better not to actually say work!).

Enjoy your Saturday too! Even if you are swimming, laying in the sun, reading, having a picnic...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

J.K. Rowling - even more of an inspiration to me now

I laughed, I cried, I shook my head in awe tonight as I watched the abc special about J.K. Rowling. I found it to be incredible more as an aspiring writer than a Harry Pottter fan because it was pretty much all about her life as opposed the books themselves. But oh did I love it!

I seriously hope that all of you writers out there that didn't get to see it, find a way to watch it. Click here for a link to a youtube video of the beginning of the show. I'm pretty sure once you see this you'll go find the rest. You can also go to to watch it free.

Personally I found her story struck a cord with me for a lot of reasons but one major one is the whole single mom wanting to write a book thing. I never suffered from depression or had such a rough time getting by, but I certainly know what it's like to be at a crossroads in your life and especially the need to write! Ohh I have so much happening in my head that I think I need to keep this post short while I go digest it all.

They showed a clip of the night the last HP book came out, with the that big event they had at a museum where 1700 fans were invited from a drawing of 90,000 and got to have J.K. read the beginning of the book at the stroke of midnight. There were kids and adults of all ages sitting in the audience, each and every one of their faces whether they were decked out in Harry Potter gear or not, glowed with anticipation and joy. They flashed from that to clips of major cities all over the globe as they gave out the first copies of the book. Then Finally showed J.K. sitting a table where she signed all 1700 copies of the books to the lucky fans at the event from 1am to 7am. Wow, talk about dedication. (on both sides!)

Sitting there watching that really did bring tears to my eyes. The power of her story is beyond words. I didn't sit there thinking oh I hope I get that famous so I can have billions of dollars and paparazzi chasing me. No! I want to create something that makes people jump up and down in excitement just to hold the book in their hands. Like I've said before, writing a book like that is a gift to the world. Some of my best memories involve reading books so that is a major part of my motivation to write. I doubt I'll ever hold a room breathless as they hang on my every word waiting to hear what happens in a story I've written. But that's okay because as long as I get to keep reading books like that and at least see my books in publication I'll be happy.

I have a whole new appreciation for J.K. Rowling both as an author and a human being. Hmm, maybe I need to trade in my t-shirt that says HP for one that says JK. It's about time we show some author love too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Half Blood Prince did not disappoint

Sorry this photo is blurry but my camera broke right when we had a stranger taking our pic so we had to use my friend's phone and the dude taking it didn't do so hot. But how cute are we in our tee shirts? Thanks to my awesome sister Jenn (who happens to also beta read and assist me in editing) who made us our shirts on short notice. It's a beautiful thing when you have a group of family and friends that range from ages nine to fifty nine all spending the day together to see a movie we each love equally. That's very rare in this day and age!

I'm proud to say we saw the first showing at 10:40 am today of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Amazing! We would have gone to the midnight showing like all the other hardcore fans but this was my nieces first time seeing one of the movies in the theatre and she's nine. (not loving the idea of a kid that young seeing a movie that's almost two and half hours long in the middle of the night)

Loved, loved, loved the movie. Of course I noticed the parts that were changed from the book but I still give it a ten! I cried, laughed and jumped at a few parts. My only disappointment was that all the die hard fans seem to have went to the midnight showings because our audience, though sold out, was pretty tame. No clapping when Harry Potter appeared on the screen or when the movie ended. Huh? My poor niece was totally looking forward to that part. *sigh* At least she'll be ready for a midnight show by the last movie.

Aside from loving the movie as a movie I was blown away by J.K. Rowlings brilliance as a writer. This was the first movie on the HP series that I'd seen for the first time since I started writing myself and it left me wanting to rush home and get writing. I'm in awe of her ability to make us care deeply about the characters, relate to the characters. How seamlessly she ties in details through out the series and manages to keep nearly every chapter packed with entertaining action and suspense. It's amazing when you step back and think about how many characters there are and how individual they feel and how much I care for each and every one of them. Even the ones I hate I respect thanks the way she written them.

While there are a lot of things I don't wish to duplicate in her writing (the extremely long runons or words so big even I don't understand some of them), I strive to write in such a spellbinding manner. I loved every book, every movie and I'm super excited to see the special on tomorrow night. Ah, good time for a little reminder - be sure to watch ABC at 8pm to see the cameras following J.K. in the year leading up to the final book in the HP series. I have to work (nice how I work like one day a week and it happens to be this day) and won't be home till it's wrapping up so of course I have it set to record. No doubt I'll have a post on that too.

Life really is beautiful...had a babysitter for the day, watched one of the best Harry Potter films yet, went out to lunch, stopped by Barnes and Noble, drank a glass of superb red wine while watching the sunset and pondering the brilliance of J.K. Rowling and brainstorming my next story, then finally stopped to enjoy the bliss of waiting on the two full manuscripts floating out there in agent land. Still no word but still no rejections either. Sweetness.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Voices in my head

I've surprised myself with my patience and optimism during this last bout of waiting to hear back on the fulls I have out. I'm typically a very positive person when it comes to believing things will work out as they are meant to - this is no exception. I know whatever happens will be the right thing. Still I have that whole angel on one shoulder, devil on the other thing going on once in awhile. I despise that negative little voice that tells me to stay grounded and to be practical, that there's no way things will happen for me this fast.

These moments of weakness always occur when I read or hear something about how a fabulous highly successful author had several years of close calls with agents before getting an actual offer, or trying to comprehend an article about some really technical aspect of grammar that I feel completely lost reading. Those are the times I hear the voice in my head telling me I have sooo much more to learn, that I have to pay my dues, that my writing isn't good enough. Yet.

Blah! What complete and utter nonsense that is!

See what I mean? Good voice vs. bad voice yet again. It's a mental battle that could easily suck me in and take me down, but I refuse to let it. It's like anything in life - you just have to believe. When we let our doubts and fears grow in strength we end up defeating ourselves before we even have the chance to win. So I refuse to allow that to happen. When those nasty thoughts creep in I give them a fair shot then send them on their way because I truly believe in myself and my dreams. Thankfully they don't strike too often!

It's a tough pill to swallow but if one of these opportunities don't work out, there will be others. I know that if I keep writing, learning and pursuing it I'll eventually get an agent. Someday that is, but only if I maintain this level of dedication. Oh but that's a whole new conversation when it comes to my personal demons on being forced back into a 9-5 job...

How do you fend off the ugly nasty thoughts that make you doubt yourself or your goals?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog Chain: Editing your own work

My turn to kick things off with the blog chain this week!

How do you edit your own work?

I'm asking this question because I struggle with editing my own work most of the time. I fly through friends stuff and have no problem doing my own when there's pressure (like a request from an agent!) but on a regular day it just hurts. I know a few techniques people use, some I've even tried, like using the find feature on word to weed out crutch words like was, said, etc.

What works best for me is a straight forward read through. I sit down with my laptop and start reading to myself, which takes a long time but is SO worth it. I catch something new every time. A scary fact when you realize it's about the fifth time you've been over the same chapter. I find it difficult to separate myself from my work enough to catch everything in one sweep (or two, or three...).

Reading aloud to yourself, having someone read it for you, using a text to speech program - all these methods are really helpful for catching run ons and choppy dialogue. Regardless of how many times I review it or what method I use I find there are things I miss so I rely on critique partners and my lovely sister to catch the things I seem to be blind to. To sum it up, when it comes to editing my own work I do a read through, then have one or two others do the same, I make the edits needed then do it all over again. Even then I tend to find a tiny mistake here and there. *sigh*

I've also noticed that some of what I've read is indeed true when it comes to practice and helping others. The more I edit my writing groups work the easier its become for me to edit my own writing. My first drafts now are like fifth drafts before. A beautiful thing indeed since the goal is to self edit as much as you can. I get excited to write new work now because the quality is so much better to start so there's less mistakes to find later, and that is a big relief for me since I don't exactly enjoy the editing as much the third and fourth time around! In fact I only know one person who really likes the editing process. Lucky for me she's one of my critique partners. do you go about editing your work?

*If you don't follow The Blood-Red Pencil blog, you must. Check out one of their recent posts on self editing here. Good stuff!

Stop in and see what the other bloggers in the chain have to say this week.
Monday - here
Tuesday - Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom
Wednesday - Girl With a Notebook
Thursday - Flames and Shadows
Friday - From Elysium

Friday, July 10, 2009

A good laugh to start your weekend

Question: How do you know when you've influenced your children with your own interests a little too much?

Answer: When you're 20-month-old sees a man in a restaurant with bushy white hair and a long beard, and instead of saying "Hi Santa!" says "Hi Dumbledore!"

And here we thought it was so cute that we could show him pics from Harry Potter and have him identify the me hearing that tiny little voice say a word as long as Dumbledore is incredibly cute even if it ends with a totally embarrassing result.

Enjoy your weekend. ; )

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blog Chain: Point of View

Lin at Flames and Shadows asked this question for the blog chain this week...

When picking points of view for your fiction, what do you consider?

This will be a fairly short response for me since I'm a new writer and have only finished one novel. Easy answer - first person. I could go on all day about the reasons why I think I wrote it this way but ultimately it's what the story asked for. I started writing and that's how it came out. But since this is a pretty boring answer I'll go into it a little more.

I love reading first person, some of my favorite books are written this way. I like feeling as if I AM the narrator and I really don't mind the limited scope first person offers since I discover things as the MC does. I like the whole element of surprise involved in that both as a reader and writer. I did struggle a little with that very reason in the beginning with making sure I didn't say things Abbey wouldn't know, but it forced me to really dig into the action and dialogue to inform the reader of what they needed to know.

With that being said, I don't have much ground to stand on since I have only written in first person, including the WIPs I have started. Strange huh? I do plan on branching out of that comfort zone and trying it other ways but if I feel the story needs to be told in first person then I'll go back to that. If you don't write from your heart using your instincts whether it be using past or present tense or third or first person POV, I don't think the story will come across as authentic as it could.

Monday: Flames and Shadows
Tuesday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom
Wednesday: From Elysium
Thursday: here
Friday: Girl With a Notebook

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ignorance really can be bliss

I don't know many writers (or anyone really) that say they like waiting. Whether it's waiting to finish a story, waiting to hear back on queries, waiting to hear back on submissions - the list goes on and on and on and on when it comes to what we wait for. BUT. Waiting can be good. Ok, I know, I know this sounds a little crazy. Hear me out.

Tonight when I was outside enjoying the incredible full moon I got to thinking about things. Of course since I'm currently waiting on something major my mind went there. Instead of telling myself to quit dwelling on it or to think of safer things that didn't involve doubting my writing and other destructive pointless thoughts, I went with it.

And it stopped. Instead I started to realize that this in between phase, a place where I can enjoy the fact that I've come far enough to warrant agents attention but without suffering the heartache of rejection. See? Not so bad! It's actually a pretty sweet place to be. The problem is we usually don't realize the bliss of such places and phases until we pass through them. Like being a teenager or waiting for a big promotion. The wait for what's to come can be absolutely consuming. And the closer you get the more intense the waiting becomes.

So here's my little piece of advice next time you get totally absorbed in waiting. Stop and take a deep breathe and remind yourself to enjoy what's happening right now. Bask in the glory of what you have accomplished, whether it be finishing a chapter or accepting an offer from an agent, enjoy it for what it is at that moment. It doesn't always make the whole unknown part any easier but it sure makes you grateful for the fact that you're in a place you weren't yesterday and may not be tomorrow.

Me, I'm honestly loving the thought that today, right this second, I'm a girl with two agents reading my full and that's two more than I had a week ago. Tomorrow I could be a girl with no agents reading my fulls. Hmm, see what I mean? Today is looking pretty damn good!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Clear your schedule for July 16th

Could two days get any better? The 15th is the movie and the 16th is an entire show about the brilliant woman who brought it to life. Sweet. Publishing porn at it's finest.


J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life Must TV Special
On July 16, hardcore Harry Potter fans will get a peek inside the one and only J.K. Rowling's head with ABC's all-access documentary chronicling her life. Cameras follow the author during the year leading up to the publication of the seventh and final tome Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I'll totally be reminding you of this again. ; )

Looking for teen readers for a friends book

My fabulous friend wrote a YA superhero novel and needs some teen beta readers. The story is about a 16-year-old girl who struggles to balance high school, dating and being ordinary in a family of extraordinary supervillians. Of course seeing the future isn't exactly ordinary.

Any of you teenagers out there interested? Leave a comment and I'll connect you. Trust me this is an awesome story!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why I'm qualified to write for teens

1. My favorite TV is The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Yeah, I know it's got some pretty bad acting at times but I am obsessed with it.

2. My favorite TV show off all time is My So-Called Life. (Degrassi ranks up there too)
Ohh I loved Claire Danes when she was Angela Chase, before she became a big star and don't get me started on Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano (sp?)!

3. My niece and nephew tell me I'm not like other grown ups, they say I'm more like a kid.
Hmm, is it bad to be so childlike at 30? I think not!

4. I've still got my little tubs of makeup glitter that I used to wear to the club.
I secretly wish I could still wear it sometimes. Shhhh.

5. When I go to the bookstore the ONLY section I visit is the Young Adult or "Teen" area.
Sometimes I do visit the children's section since my son is obsessed with the Thomas trains at Barnes and Noble. Ah, but note that is still the kids section.

6. Some of the songs on my iPod are from artists like The Black Eyed Peas, Paramore and Akon.
And those are just the ones I'm fessing up to.

7. Many of my all time favorite reads are for teens or kids and are series.
Harry Potter, Twilight, Uglies, Eragon, The Hunger Games, The Chronicles of Narnia...

8. I'm not afraid to still wear things like my Twilight tee from Hot Topic (yes I really own one) or
my bracelet sized hoop earrings.

9. If it were up to me I'd stay up half the night (wait, I already do!), sleep in late (I have a toddler so clearly this NEVER happens) and skip showering to sleep in even later. Not that all teens do this but I sure as hell would have back then.

10. I text ALL the time.
I even try to text my mom, which clearly never gets a response since she can hardly figure out how to read it.

11. I was a teenager at one time.
This is pretty much standard for writing about teenagers but I was a really teenage teenager.
I've always been an artist so I was very "angsty" from the start and got into my fair share of trouble. Put it this way, I was allowed to go on my first date at the age of 15 (with a senior! what were my parents thinking anyway?) and I came home almost 2 hours late. Before you get any ideas, we only had one small kiss. But still, what was wrong with me??? Of course I was grounded the second I walked in the door.

12. I have a huge amount of respect for teens.
I can vividly recall what a challenging and exciting time of life it is. I look back and wish some of the books that are out on the market now were then. It's awesome to see that authors today get that teens are way smarter then most of the world gives them credit for.

So there you have it - why I think I can write for teens, not that any of it adds up, but it's sure fun to talk about!

Now, what about you? I know there are a lot of fellow YA writers out there dying to share.