So, yeah, it's that crazy season, and well, I've been M.I.A. due to being super busy with lots of stuff. I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays!!! I'm taking a bloggy break till Jan. 2. I will be back for Frankie's No Kiss Blogfest. Go sign up if you haven't already. Also, Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Go check out the participants and join in. It will be a double post day for me. I'm jumpin' into the new year busy. The way I like it. :)
Well, it's the height of the season. Let's face it, you are busy beyond what you would normally be so I will make this short and to the point.
1. I say this every year, I love the holidays, but I don't like my schedule going askew (same goes for summer vacation). I'm trying to learn to enjoy this even though I get grumpy because I haven't written on a daily basis.
2. I tell myself thinking and working out details of a manuscript need to satisfy my creative needs.
Yep, I saw it. I'm behind the times, okay. I have to admit, I was waiting for this one--a little excited even, due to the major battle scene teaser in the trailer. Let's face it, if you are a fan you knew this scene was coming. In a way, I wish this was all one movie. Breaking Dawn part one was not my favorite. I found it too drawn out, making it super obvious that they were doing this to ride out the Twilight name/fame a little longer.
I like the series. There I said it. I'm not saying it's the best written book series out there, but the idea of this is quite fascinating and the movies, whether you liked them or not, brought those characters to life along with this whole phenomenon. I could go into my whole thing with vampires and as much as I love them, I can't write anything about them due to this, but enough on my opinion and issues, let's get to my thoughts about this movie.
First, there will be spoilers in this post. That's right, I said spoilers. If you haven't heard the news, this movie has a twist ending that isn't in the book. Surprise. If you don't want to know, go see the movie and come back.
I will scroll down a little so you don't see it.
Keep going if you want to see.
Now, here's my thing. If you saw the movie, let's talk about the battle. Yes, the scene I was waiting for except it's different and when I say different, it's killing off important characters different. I was shocked for a moment, then excited. Of course, I didn't want to see these particular characters die, but oh my, did I love it. All I kept thinking was--this should've have been in the book. There, I said it. As writers we are taught to take chances and the battle took them and it was exciting, sad, let's just say, emotions ran high. But when it all ended, and I mean, all ended, you know where no battle even took place and everything was happy and rosy. Well, a little disappointment came into my heart. Yes, it needs to stay true to the book, I'll give you that. And with all the fans and money, it would've ticked off a bunch of people if the battle really took place. But, wow, it would've left people shocked.
It amazes me how different this book could've been if this scene really did happen. As a writer, it reminds to take chances sometimes. Not everything is fluffy and happy and not everyone will love it, but you never know who will. I wonder if this is what the screenwriters where trying to see. Obviously, they needed a shock factor to get people talking--the buzz, but they kept the die hard fans happy with the nice ending and staying true to the book. Bravo. It makes me want to look at my manuscripts a little differently. I like the unexpected and maybe I should take more chances. Kill off those you would never expect, but end it there and see what happens.
So, I've got lots of questions today:
If you saw the movie, thoughts?
Thoughts on the end?
Do you take chances in your writing?
My daughter's teacher has had her do an exercise in class where she reads a book and must re-write the ending. Maybe I should try that too. It could be interesting.
First, thanks to the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this group every month. Writers are insecure and we need all the support we can get. Thanks Alex!
Last night, I went to my yoga class. It's taken me a year, but I finally decided to start going again. When life takes over, I tend to forget to take care of me. As I went through the motions that the instructor so calmly spoke, I started to think. My mind is never blank, it's always in motion. I tried to organize my thoughts, trying to hold on to one. I finally slowed it down, let the stress release, and let my head somewhat clear.
New ideas came through and ideas on how to change or revise other manuscripts made themselves known. I know I wrote a post similar to this last year, when I started yoga. This is a reminder that you have to take care of you. You have to take a moment and soak in the suns rays and breathe. Besides all the hustle and bustle of real life, writing life can be just as nuts.
I'm always trying to keep my writing up. If I don't accomplish a certain word count or a certain amount of pages revised, I feel like I've let myself down, I'm falling behind or missing opportunity. But it shouldn't be that way. Writing is a part of me, yes. I feel empty without it and I try to learn and practice everyday, because I want to grow and write stories that I love with the hope to share them with the world. But I also have to keep in mind that taking care of me is important too. It soothes the soul and energizes the mind. Taking care of yourself can boost creativity and energy.
So with the whole hub bub of the holiday season, take a moment to regroup and take some time for you-- to just breathe and think. You will be happy that you did.
The holidays are upon us, well, they have been upon us since September, but now it's crunch time. Here are some things that I have spotted for someone you may know, ya know, someone who is in the writing world. Let's face it, we are a different breed of human.
So, need a gift idea for a writer. Here are some ideas and things that I've seen that might suit your needs.
Tonight at 7 p.m. EST. K.M. Walton will be presenting a teleconference --"WRITING YA: HOW TO LET THE CHARACTERS' VOICES TAKE OVER AND KEEP YOU SILENT" To learn more about it out go here. You don't have to be present to take part. It's free, and once you sign up you can access the presentation for 24 hours after it airs. Isn't she sweet?
You wrote a first draft. Yeah. Go you. So now what? The thing is there are many methods to what to do next, you have to find what works for you. I'm pretty much a panster. I do write the main story line on note cards to see where I want it to go, but otherwise, I write what the characters tell me. So, first drafts are torture for me. It's like an emotional roller coaster. I like all the new characters, but I don't like the jumbled mess it turns out to be.
I've discovered that once I finish that first draft, I need to let it sit. No matter how much my brain claws the back of my eyeballs to open it again, I try to wait a week at minimum. This time, I'm going to try and wait longer. Yes, it's killing me. The reason is to let those excited brain cells take a break from it. You see, the brain is still on it's perky wave that makes you think it's the best novel out there. Trust me, mine is not. I've checked, and my first draft needs loads of work, but that's okay. The skeleton is there.
So after you wait what do you start with? There are some methods out there that state to go through it with one thing in mind. In other words, each time you go through focus on one thing--character, plot, details, etc.
I plan to do this.
-First, I print it out and look at all the notes I made in the margins of what needs attention. I make notes in the margins at certain points while writing the first draft of where I want to check something or I know something needs more detail or research.
-Second, the plot. I'm going to go through and take a look at the plot line. Does it make sense? Does it flow?
-Third, character. This is a whole range. Are the characters consistent? Does my main character have an arc?
-Fourth, voice. Is the voice consistent? Does it match the character(s)?
-Fifth, line edits. Complete yuck, but yes, you must comb through and make sure that grammar is tip top.
Sometimes one of the steps is repeated and I may have forgotten one or two that may creep up when I go through it or after betas have read it. Another thing to think about while you're waiting for your first draft to stew is to write the query or a synopsis. It does help when you go through it. For me, it keeps me focused on the big picture.
What tips do you have when you approach revisions?
Over the weekend, I attended a workshop taught by the lovely Frankie Diane Mallis. It was very informative. If you happen to be in the Philly area, keep tabs on Musehouse Literary Center. They have some great workshops and maybe Frankie will be teaching another one in the future.
I've been thinking on how to spice the blog up. Really, I talk a lot, but it's about feelings and such, and that will not change, but I want to start posting about the craft and what I learn. I know I've done this before, but I feel like I should do this more. So, you will be seeing some more posts on strengthening the craft. Why? Well, because, I'm always learning and it doesn't hurt to share what we learn.
You see, I'm not technical. Yep, you heard me. I'm not the most technical. I write more on instinct than anything else so I need to keep strengthening my technical muscles. It will require me to dive back into my library of craft books, and as you know, that's a hard thing for me to do. I'm a visual learner and unless the book is written well, in other words not like a textbook, then I should be okay.
I'm also about to jump back on the revision train. My first draft is almost finished and I have a MS that has been patiently waiting for my attention. That means I will be switching gears after turkey day and jumping into revisions. So, I will be reviewing my notes and trying to make that baby shine.
I figured along the way as I review, I will post my findings. I'm sure I've written posts on many of these topics, but hey, I might write them better this time around.
Have you learned something new lately?
I will also be adding some tabs at the top on helpful links and such so stay tuned.
Have a great day!!
Another week has come to a close. Here are some fun facts.
1. I found it kinda funny when I saw a commercial for a treadmill/stepper thing. It had folks who claimed they lost lots of weight by using this machine (I'm tempted to buy one, it's convincing and I'm not mocking it, I really might want one). The very next commercial was for weight gainer. No lie.
3. I'm trying to set up a critique group. If you write YA and are interested, please email me: email@example.com
4. I'm reading this:
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
and it's quite interesting.
5. Next week, I will finish my first draft of my third novel. I know, you're tired of hearing me talk about it, but I'm excited. Oh and I will be listening to this. Love this song!!
6. On your journey there may be times when you feel let down or alone, don't let this stand in the way of what you want. There will be many obstacles, and locked doors--keep moving forward. Don't take things personally and ignore those who shut you out. Be persistent, determined, focused, and learn all you can. You will go far.
Yes, it's that time again. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing this wonderful event every month. Every writer needs support and this monthly gathering is wonderful.
So this month, I'm finishing a first draft. As you know, first drafts aren't my favorite. I do get a little rush of how fast it goes, but then a little bit of oh-my-god-this-is-going-to-stink sets in. The beautiful thing about this is that you have revisions. It is overwhelming. I will admit to eating some, okay, lots of chocolate over the thought of how much work needs to be done, but the thing I must remember is that I can go back and change things. Right now, this little nugget is just getting started. It needs to grow and learn. It needs to be molded into something wonderful. And that, my friends, can take time.
There will be times of argh and ahhh, and there will be times of awesomeness and big smiles. It takes time. It takes hard work, patience, determination, and focus. Once you can mush this things together, you can take on the big bad of revisions. Hey, you never know until you try.
Do you have a card? I'm talking a business card. I have one for my day job, but I don't have one for writing. Should I? When do you do this? Some people say, yes. I should have one for when I go to networking events. The thing is--I'm not published or even have an agent so why should I have one or even think about having one. What would it say? Writer? I don't know so I'm turning the topic to you guys.
What are your thoughts? Should an unagented, unpublished writer have a business card? If so, what should it say?
3. I'm starting to get the first draft freak out. This is where you realized how crappy a first draft is and how much you have to do to get it right. This does pass and usually (after many revisions) a pretty novel is born.
4. Grimm is simply awesome. I can't wait till the next episode.
5. To those of you doing NaNo--good luck!!
6. What is your favorite book on plotting?
7. How long do you wait between drafts (not beer, people, book drafts)?
Disclaimer: I'm not saying that my life is crazier than anyone elses. I'm sharing my experiences on being a stay-at-home mom and being a writer.
With that all out in the open. I'm a mom. That's my main job. I take care of my kids and the household. Yes, I work as an interior designer too, but that's part time. I'm also a writer. In fact, writing is all I want to do. It's a passion I can't live without. There are days I can't breathe because I didn't write. It makes me grumpy and just unhappy when I can't. So how do I deal?
It took me a while to figure out and I'm still learning. You can never stop learning, right? All I know is if you are flexible and understand things take time then the enjoyment will slip in.
I wrote a long time ago for fun. I never wanted to share what I wrote, it was just for me. After I had my first child, I put it away. After having my second child, I missed it. There was a part of me not there, a void in my life, and I needed something for me. I started writing again, but this time, someone suggested I do something with it. There starts my journey on taking my writing life seriously.
At the time, I had no idea what I was doing. My kids were 1 and 3. When I started blogging, I saw other moms were doing it too so I tried to keep up and push myself even further. Yep, the whole why can't I do it, they are. It took me a couple of years to really understand that I had to deal with things my way.
Every person's situation is different--Some kids demand more, sometimes we don't have the support of loved ones like others do, health issues, our focus, etc. Every one's life is different so the path is not the same no matter how many success stories you read.
My kids never slept and my husband traveled, so for me, writing was difficult, but I pushed myself and other things suffered. I finally realized I needed to do things differently and that keeping up with the masses was not going to happen.
So here are some tips that may help:
-- Nap time: If you're lucky and your kid sleeps, try and write during this time. Even if it's one line. That's right, I said one line or one word. Do it. Who cares that your word count is one. It's one more word. Yes, this is the time for you to sleep too, and if you have to, do it.
--Making dinner: Put on a movie or show and while dinner is simmering--type. I pulled my laptop into the kitchen and typed while stirring.
--Bedtime: This one is hard cause let's face it, you want to zone out to mindless TV or just sleep. If you have to, do it, if you think you have some juice left, write.
--School: Kids eventually go to school and I'm lucky mine are at the age. I have a couple of hours of no kids a few days a week, and guess what I do, write.
--Sitter: If you are lucky to have a family member take the kids for a while, do so. I would leave the house and go to the library or local bookstore and write.
Now, not everyone can do this and yes, other things suffer (cleaning and laundry). You have to figure out what is right for you and be flexible with your schedule. If the laundry is higher than Mt. Everest then you might want to take the time and do it. Like I said, one word. Plus, thinking about what you want to write is contributing to the writing. Figure out a plot hole while making lunch. Yes, my brain is on constantly. There is no formula or magic potion (I wish). And if you can't write, you can't write. You have to deal with it. No matter how grumpy you are realize that your kids are small once and if it passes you by, you missed it.
Well, the hurricane is on it's way and I've prepared as much as I could. I was going to write about being a mom and writing, but I will save it for another day. So with that, I leave you with a link to a post I thought was excellent.
I love Halloween. I always have. I love the spooky stories, the colors, and okay, the candy is probably my prime motivation. The one thing that I really love about it is that you can be something other than yourself. You can be that super hero you look up to or the monster that invades your nightmares. Halloween can be full of mystery. The shadows from the house lights can take on a whole new life while you're walking down the street to get your treasure. Halloween can also be cute and sweet.
On a normal day, we writers come up with a ton of ideas on everyday things, but Halloween provides us with even more. Yes, more, especially if you're a paranormal/scifi freak like me. It makes me want to write a chilling ghost story or create some sort of monster that eats moldy pumpkins. In a way, it's distracting me from my new story with ideas that want to be written, which isn't a bad thing if you know how to handle them.
Do you like Halloween?
If you do, what's your favorite part?
A short post today. I've got an ear infection that won't quit so I need to get some meds.
When I write a first draft, I cringe. I like that it's all new and stuff, but I don't like the craziness of it. I want things to be right and good, but with a first draft they're not. I'm getting better with writing first drafts. I still don't like them, but there's no story without them. I used to have anxiety attacks on how horrible they were, but no one has to see it. It's for you, for your story. It's a start.
When you write a first draft, you have to keep in mind that it is a first draft. Go crazy. Mess up. It's okay. Revisions are when you really know the characters and the story. First drafts are like first dates. Ya know that weird, excited, awkward stage where the other person is telling you things and holding back, then telling you things. Yeah. Now, my methods of just writing may not be what you do. I'm more of a panster and I let the characters guide me, but even if you outline, your first draft doesn't have to be perfect.
So don't be scared of that first draft--just write it. It doesn't matter if it's not perfect just let the story flow.
Ideas. They are funny things. Some strike us like lightning and some hide from us and only give us hints of what they are when they feel like it. Lots of ideas have been done and some are just a twist of an existing idea. Here's what I mean.
Everyone, for the most part, knows what Twilight is about--vampires and werewolves. So what made it different besides super hype? The author twisted it. Who would of thought of vampires walking around in the daytime. I'm mean, really, it's not the first thing you think of when think vampires. I'm a vampire fan at heart, thanks to Bram Stoker, so yes, I'm old school. I love Lestat (Ann Rice books), Buffy and Angel, but I never thought about sending a vampire into daylight, and if they did hit the sunshine, I thought inferno, not sparkly. So whether you like it or not, Stephanie Meyer took an idea and twisted it and it worked (of course, there are some other factors, but that's for another day).
Taking an idea and twisting it can work, but sometimes it's hard to break the mold. When we like something it's sometimes hard to change our perception of it. It's like we are breaking the rules, and as we all know, rules can be broken.
So, how can we twist something? First off, do it as an exercise. Take an idea or story that you like. Start asking yourself--what if? Yes, it works. What if this took place on another planet? What if the main character could fly? What if this took place years ago? See what I mean. The idea you started with may only be a faint paint stroke in your full masterpiece, but you started it there.
Another exercise I used to do is write characters into TV shows and movies. What if Obi-Wan had a secret lover? See, ideas start to flow.
For me, I use this as an exercise to strengthen my writing. My head is full of ideas that come from all sorts of influences so my stories are a mash of many different things. Yes, my brain is on full throttle most of the time. The thing I see is many stories that are re-tellings or "based on" type of thing so I thought I would share my thoughts. Let's face it, we are all influenced by something.
Lately I've wondered why my one novel (the query one) really didn't get any interest. It hurts . . . a lot. I mean, really, a partial would've made my day with a form rejection, but, hey, I'm getting over it and moving on. The thing I wonder is did I classify it right.
My writing tends to harbor many genres or sub-categories, whatever you want to call them. My science fictions are not your typical scifis and sometimes they are mingling with other genres like paranormal. Is this bad? Is mixing genres a taboo? To me, I'm not sure. It's not like I set out trying to do this. It just happens.
After my first attempt at querying, parts of me are thinking yes.I classified my novel as a scifi, which, technically, it is. Mostly. There are paranormal elements in it, but I was afraid to include that in the description with the fear that I would get a rejection. Obviously, it didn't matter. But is that the reason? Did the agents get confused? I did have one rejection simply say, "It's not the trend."
So, my decision on this was to put it away. The problem I fear is that I will do this again. Other genres will seep into my writing and then I have something that is mixed.
People who are not naturally creative don't understand those that are. What do I mean? We who are in the creative fields need to be . . . creative. If we're not, it's like we're dying. Okay, that's extreme, but it's like we are walking around looking for something to fill this piece of us.
Creativity is a part of you that can never leave like breathing. It's funny cause some people don't get how we have to do something creative to function even if we doodle a funny little guy in the corner of our journal. Creativity is embedded deep in our being and if we don't fulfill it, we can feel sad, or just empty.
Getting someone to understand this is not easy, and yes, they may think that you're crazy, but turn to those who understand and they will encourage and support you to no end.
I've been thinking about this whole creative business a lot lately. From people in my own family to friends and then to those who don't get it. I'm lucky to be surrounded by so many creative people who do understand. It keeps my juices flowing and helps me understand that it's not just something I can turn off, it's something I need to use.
BTW--This is what I'm listening to while writing today. Awesome!!
Silversun Pickups--Skin Graph
Have a great day!
When I decided to pursue the avenue of getting my work published, I didn't know what I was getting into. Yes, I knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize how much I would learn about myself. I've learned a lot over the years and I thought I would share what to expect if you are just starting out.
1. Patience--I really don't have much of this so it took me a long time to get some. I don't know if I'm fully there, but I'm much better than I was two years ago. You need lots of it, cause folks, the writing/publishing world runs slower than snail on a Sunday stroll.
2. It's not a race--sort of relates to the patience thing. There are other people out there who are writers and want the same thing you do--a book that's published. The thing is everybody is going at their own pace and every one's situation is different so don't let all the whoopla distract you. Work at your own pace and don't dwell on other's progress it only holds you back.
3. Be happy for others, cheer them on and one day they will do the same for you. Being negative, gets no one, no where. I've seen too many friendships die out of jealousy and for no good reason. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
4. Learn and ignore the red. Getting critiqued is super nerve wracking especially when all you see is red. The more you do it, the easier it gets. You must learn from it, not get down about it. Learning what may help your MS is what others want from you. If their feedback is only negative, move on and try someone else. Ask lots of questions and join groups that support writers, you never know who you will meet.
5. Blog- I know some writers frown upon this, but for me, I learned a ton about writing and met people I never would've met before. To me blogging is a writing exercise and a way to network. Now don't let blogging get you distracted, but do some now and again especially when you're starting out.
6. This goes along with the learning. Attend workshops and join groups. I can't stress this enough. I get bullheaded sometimes and think, I know enough. I don't. I don't think you ever know everything, you can always learn. I also think attending these things is not just for learning, but networking. You never know who you're going to meet.
7. Read, read, read. Read the books in your genre. Know what is out there and learn from those who are published.
8. Also, read some books about the craft. They are always handy to have around in case of emergencies. I'm not the best with these, but I do have some that hold my attention and they're great to have on hand.
9. Get out of the house. Take breaks now and again and write about something else. This helps the brain open up.
10. Have fun.
There you have it. Any thoughts? Anything to add?Any questions?
It's fall and I love it. I don't love the damp rain we are having right now, but I might over look that. It's a great time to get your brain working too. What do I mean? Look outside. Have the colors changed? (This doesn't apply to all locations, but you can do the same thing.) So, this is my writing exercise. As you know, I love trying to come up with ways to describe things. Look outside again. Describe what you see. It could look like this. . .
Come up with as many words as you can to describe it.
Here's another one. . .
Is your brain starting to get warm?
Now, once you have a bunch of words, take it a step further. What do I mean? Let your mind go and starting asking 'what if' questions to develop a short story about each. You'd be surprised how far this could go. It's a great way to get your brain moving and thinking a different way. It's also a great way to get out of a rut.
So, I've been tagged in another meme called the Next Big Thing. Crystal Collier, cheese connoisseur and a talented, fabulous writer, tagged me. Thanks Crystal. Go check out her blog if you haven't already. Since I talked about the manuscript I was querying last time, this time I'm going to talk about the manuscript I plan to query next.
1. What is the working title of your book?
2. Where did the idea come from for your book?
Music--where else. I was listening to Bloc Party and Foo Fighters, and . . . BAM, characters showed themselves.
3.What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult paranormal
4.Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is a tough one. I really don't know. Sadie the main MC is super snarky with long dark hair. So, I only have an image of her in my head. I know my one MC, Graham, would be a mixture of Blink-182's Tom Delonge and Tom Sturridge
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Junior year sucks for Sadie Perkins, she
creates a dream world (hot guy included) to escape her far-from-perfect life,
but when black hairy monsters try to enslave her, she must fight to leave her growing
Okay, it needs work but I got it down to one sentence.
6.Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Agency. *fingers crossed*
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 6 months
8.What other books would you compare to within your genre? Hmmm. Good question. I'm not sure. I need to think about that really hard and this morning my brain isn't there yet.
9.Who or what inspired you to write this book? Besides music? The thought of what would happen if you fell into your own dream world. A place where you'd love to be only to find out that not everything is as perfect as you would've hoped. 10. What else about your book might pique the readers interest? There are dream worlds, a hot guy, and an ex-boyfriend who is a punk rock skater. Add in the main MC, Sadie, who is just trying to show the world, not to mention her parents, who she really is. Sooo, I'm supposed to pass this on to some peeps, and I'm going to be a party pooper and let any of you try this fun exercise. It's something fun to try, so do it folks, and let me know. Have a great weekend!!
I can't believe I missed this last month. Shame on me. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing this. Writers need all the support they can get.
So today, I want to talk about shelving. Yep, how to deal and what feelings you feel when you put that baby on a dusty shelf.
Recently, I made the decision to tuck a manuscript away. Ya know, give it time and hopefully write my new one and make it shine.
How do I feel? Hurt, embarrassed . . . just plain out sad. This MS is close to me and I think that's part of the problem. It's hard to close the door to it, even if it's temporary. In a way, I feel defeated because I'm a fighter and it's hard for me to give up on something.
How to deal. I've gone through this period of mourning like I've lost a pet. I know, bad metaphor. All I can do is think about it and why it didn't succeed. Those feelings have to be pushed aside. Because I have too many stories to tell and the only way to learn and to grow is to move on. So far, I've listened to some great music, which has given life to my new MS.
Here are some other things to do:
-Confide in a friend especially a writer friend. Let's face it they understand the most.
-Eat some chocolate. Always helps. Chocolate is such a good friend.
-Go out. Get away from the screen that burns your eyes. Whether it's for a walk or a drive, get out. Just don't forget your journal. Trust me, ideas will spring up.
Basically, whatever you do to get ideas and take a break, do it now. You see, shelving is not the end, it's only the beginning. It a second chance. It's giving your MS time to marinate and grow. When you look at it again, you will see it through new eyes and it will live again.
Yep, Fun Facts is back and I think I'm finally getting underway with things. September has been beyond unsettled so I'm looking ahead and moving forward. On with the facts.
1. I'm finished this, and oh my god, love, love, love. Can't say enough of how awesome it is. Yes, I'm bowing down to David Levithan.
Go to Amazon.com to look inside.
2. I'm thinking of rewriting, well, redoing the book I'm querying. It's been a hard lesson of it's-not-ready-yet and thanks to an amazing crit partner who has shown me what I didn't see and what needs to be done. I've been toying with just putting it away, and probably will, but I now know what needs to be done to make it better. So that means, I have to move on, and boy, this one hurts and is one of those moments of embarrassment.
3. Best advice I got this week: Don't let the goal overshadow where you are. Thanks K.M. Walton.
4. Fall shows are back: Ghost Hunters, Bones, GRIMM!! I saw some new episodes of Grimm, and yeah, that's a show I can't miss.
5. I love Fall. The colors, the weather, cool hats (I like hats and I wear them this time of year), apple cider . . . yeah.
6. My new manuscript is going and I'm loving it. I just have to get a big chunk of time to crank it out.
7. My new favorite song: Mean Spirits by Silversun Pickups. I'm writing a scene to it. Hopefully, I can finish it today. Like I said earlier in the week, this album is going to be the soundtrack to my new MS.
When I started to put my work out, ya know, take my writing seriously, I thought I knew what was coming. In a sense I did. I was scared out of my mind and it super hurt when I would get feedback. Even though I knew not everyone would like it, secretly deep down, I thought maybe they would. I mean, it's my baby, everyone loves babies. After a while and through many tears, I woke up.
Writing is hard. We all know this. It requires dedication and the want to continue to learn and grow. We love to develop characters and stories we love. We continue to put our work out there to achieve this. Once we think we have it, most of the time we don't. A polished manuscript takes time and eyes that help us see what could make it stronger. Trust me, I get blinded by my love so it takes others to point out what may be the problem. The thing is you must learn to take criticism. Some of us already wear a tough skin, but with some of us it, takes time and many years of protective sunscreen to do it.
Our first critiques may have burned us to the core--to the point of tears. After you go through it many, many, many (I could add more 'manys' but you get the picture) times, you begin to see what is helpful and what is not. What is simply opinion and what is going to make your manuscript shine. You have to go through layers of building up this skin that will resist the painful stings of feedback. Don't get me wrong, some feedback is good, super healthy in fact, but the ones that may leave a burn take time to learn how to deal with.
So as you go on your journey keep in mind it takes time. Take in the feedback and rejection and use it as layers to protect you, and learn from it, don't get burned from it. Allow yourself to grow and understand what is best for you.
Thank goodness Silversun Pickups came out with a new album. Well, I have to say, I was scared because you know when bands put out a kick butt album that knocks your socks off and basically sets off scene after scene of a story, playing out in your head that you have to write-it-now and wear out the CD. *takes in a breath* That's what Silversun Pickups last album did to me. I do like their earlier stuff, but their last album set off a chain reaction that led to a whole manuscript. So now, they've released a new album, and at first I was hesistant. What if I don't like it? Ya know how an album can become a security blanket and something new never compares.
Neck of the Woods
So, I got it, and I LOVE it. There's something about this band that sets off fireworks in my brain, allowing me to see scenes of my story that I need to see. It's weird. My current MS is a challenge. I love it when I read it, but parts have me stumped. In my crazy ways, I skip around and write scenes that are clear. Not efficient, I know, but it's how I work. I've listened to this CD a dozen times, if not more (keep in mind I have two small kids so I only get to really listen to it in the car, while my kids fight in the backseat), and it jumped started lots. It's amazing what can set off your brain.
Short and sweet today. I have to finish writing notes to an MS critique for a crit partner and I must start writing these scenes before this CD melts in the player.
How was your weekend?
What sets off your brain to a full electrical storm?
I know, two posts in one day, crazy. I had to share my friend, Kate (K.M.) Walton's cover reveal. She had a cover, but they changed it, and this one is even more awesome. Plus, Kate is having an awesome giveaway. So, here's what you must do--go to her blog because you must see the cover there. That's right, I'm making you work today, people. Get over there and drool like I did, and to top it all off, she has a blurb from Andrew Smith, yeah, you heard me, the Andrew Smith. So go now and see the beautiful cover and all the goodies you could win.
The one thing that drives me bonkers is when someone refers to my writing as a hobby. Not that hobbies are bad, it's just that's not what it is to me. It's more than that. Yes, a passion. Something that I want to do all the time. Something that makes me feel good. Something that comes from deep within. But it's also something I want to do as a career or at least try my darnest to get it to that point.
Some people call my other job my career, which yes, it is, but is it because it produces a paycheck? Or is it something that is more, let's say, reliable or predicable or something that seems like a professional job (I'm talking like a 9-5 office type thing although my hours in this profession are not that way). I know anything in the arts is unpredictable. You never know. Plus, it seems (at least to those close to me) it's not a career until that person is successful at it.
If someone is passionate about something they could still be working on a career in it, right? That it still can be a career and even though you don't produce a paycheck or are not, in their eyes, "sucessful" now, everything you do to move towards a possible career in it is basically making it become a career. Make sense?
See this is what I deal with sometimes with ones who are close to me. They support me in everything I do, but always indicate that my writing thing is just a passion or a hobby. It makes me feel like no matter how hard I try they will never see it the way I do unless it produces the green stuff.
It does make it difficult because I want them to understand the feeling that I feel and I always hope that they would see what I want to do and stick by me. See that I'm taking this seriously. It will take years and lots of rejection, but it only makes me want to work harder. Maybe that's why some refer to my writing this way--to make me work harder. But the main reason I want to work harder is because I love it.
How about you? Have you encountered the ones you love may support you, but not whole heartily? What is your writing to you?
Have a great weekend!! BTW-I'm not liking the new blogger format. It's so frustrating.
I've been tagged. I'm so flattered. Thanks to Tamara. Please go and check out her super cool blog-- One Magic Bean Buyer. I wish I would've remembered the Gearing Up to Get an Agent activites. They seem to be quite the awesome. Maybe next year. Anywho, I decided to talk about my book that I'm currently querying. Thanks again Tamara.
What is the working title of your book? Lingering Souls
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The amazing band Silversun Pickups put out an awesome song called "Panic Switch" that set off a full-fledge movie in my brain. Scenes kept appearing and I had to write them to get them out. Seriously, that's how it happened.
What genre does your book fall under? Young adult science fiction. There are some paranormal elements, but it's mostly scifi.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie rendition? Oh I love this question. MC Anna would be played by Ginnifer Goodwin or someone with a similar look. Short bob cut in a deep auburn color.
MC Ian would be played by an actor who had the look of Jackson Rathbone with a bigger build.
Not that I've thought about it too much.
What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
When eighteen-year-old Anna Page watched her father die, all she wanted was to join him. Instead she gets a failed suicide attempt and the attention of alien refugees who want her to fight their war. I cheated that was two. :)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent? Agent. I know there are other options but I would prefer an agent.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Well, that an interesting question to answer. About a year for the current draft. I've rewritten this many times and learned many things on this novel. I started the very first draft 4 years ago. I've written another novel in the meantime and that one took 6 months. and I'm currently working on a new one. Plus, I have way to many ideas that I've started a couple of others. So it goes to show the more you write the more you learn.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? This book is written from two POVs. Anna and Ian's so I had to fluctuate between two different voices and I think it gives you an interesting insight on what each character is going through.
I can’t stop saying, “I love you.” I want her to know it. It kills me to have to bring her back to her to the surface and not be by her side, protecting her. It also kills me to think that she might forget. Finally, I found the person who fills me up, and I have to let her go. I hate the Elders for that.
It was tough to pick an excerpt. Yikes. Anyway, I must tag someone. So, I tag:
There are two books coming out that I can't wait to read!! Yes, I'm really excited. They are to be released September 18th. Happy book birthdays!!
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Wren can do things that other people can only dream of. Make it snow on a clear, crisp day. Fly through an abandoned tunnel. Bring a paper bird to life.
Wren knows her abilities are tinged with danger—knows how easy it is to lose control—but she can't resist the intoxicating rush. And now that she has Gabriel by her side, someone who knows what she can do—what she has done—she finally feels free to be herself.
But as Wren explores the possibilities of her simmering powers, Gabriel starts pushing her away. Telling her to be careful. Telling her to stop. The more he cautions her, the more determined Wren becomes to prove that she can handle things on her own. And by the time she realizes that Gabriel may be right, it could be too late to bring him back to her side.
Tha Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
Blurb (from Goodreads):
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Oh you know you want them. Also, today is my birthday. So, I'm having a little fun. And, no, I'm not telling you my age. I've also been tagged by the lovely Tamara. That post will be up soon.
I have to say there are times when I feel this way. Invisible. I'm sure I don't help myself in this department. I'm relatively a quiet person when I'm in a crowd and I don't have a unique look or really brighten up a room when I enter. There are times I wonder what I could to differently to shine a little more. To be remembered more often.
As a kid, I was the same way. Very shy and very quiet. In high school, I had my friends and did well, but I was no homecoming queen. I joined the drama club thinking that maybe I could shine on stage and be a little more noticed. I wound up better at backstage activities--sets and scripts. After high school, I saw some fellow students that never uttered a glance at me in school, they said,"I wish we would've hung out because you're really nice." So why didn't they? Am I that threatening? But let's face it, it's high school and we know that deal. We write YA.
When I got into the work force, I just did what I was told and never did anything spectacular (I'm a pleaser by nature). Over the years, I've gained more confidence, and yeah, I'm social, but I still seem to project some weird awkward vibe that seems to make me blend. I'm sure it's not intentional, but I feel forgotten sometimes. Now, I'm not saying I don't forget folks, trust me I have a I-know-faces-not-names memory, and yes, I forget now and again. I'm talking in general, more like I'm just familiar to most and that's it. Maybe that's part of my many insecurities. People are busy and so am I, but I wonder if I'm just one of those who is just there. Ya know one of those people who are there all the time but you only see them when you need them. Maybe I'm too private. I don't express myself enough--put my life out there for the world to see so they can relate. I know it's something I should ignore, and to be honest, I've gotten better at doing things for me and not worrying about what others think. But sometimes this insecurity creeps in maybe to remind me of something or to just throw me off. Now that I'm older, I still wonder if I'm still invisible. What makes me shine? Do people even remember me?
So with that out of my head, I'm off to worry about my characters and figure out what do next in my story. I also have to research some more agents and send more queries. :)
Do you write (maybe in a journal) to get your feelings out?
So, I'm rusty. Yeah. It's been a while and even though I can't wait to get back on track (let's face it, I missed my schedule), my brain needs about a quart of oil to get going again. It's like riding a bike (I know, super cliche). Once I get going, I'm golden.
What have I been doing? Lots of stuff with my kids. Who knew they needed entertainment every second of the day. I really thought as they got older, they didn't need as much of it. Basically, I planned things for them every week and it was fun, but exhausting.
One of the most awesome cities ever.
I did travel, which was fun as well. The beach and Florida. My last trip was to one of my favorite cities, and one that inspires a lot of my writing. Munich. Love, love, love it, and there are some new ideas popping up in my brain. That big beast in my head is not only going to explode with the words I haven't written, but now is forming new ideas--with more words.
My writer brain is about to spill over with words. If you see that some one's brain exploded and words fell out, yeah, that would be me. I get anxious when I don't write. It makes me cranky and has me pacing. I miss it. I wrote a little over the summer and thought a lot about my characters, but not enough to satisfy the creative portion of my soul.
So, yes, I'm ready for a routine and I can't wait to write.
How about you?Does it feel like your head is about to pop if you haven't written in a while?
Yep, I'm back. What a summer! Really, it just was really busy. I'll talk more about that in another post. Today, I have someone special. Can you guess who it is?
The lovely and talented Sheri Larsen is on my blog today. She has some wonderful news and a special giveaway to announce. Take it away Sheri!! Congrats again!!!
Today, I invite you to celebrate with me!! I've signed with Literary Agent Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary! And because our literary community is so freaking fabulous and generous, I'm having a Bigger-Than-A-Shopping-Mall GIVEAWAY!!
The giveaway consists of:
two separate Rafflecopters with multiple giveaways and one grand prize Rafflecopter giveaway - to enter for the grand prize, you must enter either giveaway #1, #2, or both.
There's only one mandatory entry. Everything else is up to you!! I know Rafflecopters can be a pain, but it was the only way to organize such a huge giveaway. The giveaway is open until September 27th. WINNERS will be announced on September 28th. (Entrants may win more than one prize!)
Thank you so much for entering, spreading the word, and celebrating with me!!
List of Rocking Participants: Lenny Lee, Colene Murphy, LM Preston, Darby Karchut, Joanne Brothwell, Patti Larsen, Christine Fonseca, Catherine Stine, Jessica Bell, Kelly Hashway, Leigh Moore, Christine Danek, Alex Cavanaugh, Katie Mills, Matthew MacNish, Beverly McClure, Marcy Hatch, Jennifer Million, Nicole Zoltack, Christina Lee, Kris Yankee, JL Spelbring, Sharon Mayhew, Candice Granger, Dianne Salerni, Lisa & Laura Roecker, Elana Johnson, Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, Susan Kaye Quinn, Lydia Kang, Julie Musil, Natalie Agurrie, Talli Roland, Medeia Sharif, Kelly Polark, Angela Brown, Sarah Fine, Stina Lindenblatt, Lynda Young, Susan Fields, PK Hrezo, Shannon O'Donnell, Shelli Johannes-Wells, Theresa Brown Milstein.