Friday, November 21, 2014

Cover addiction


I have to say, I'm addicted to beautiful covers. I know, it sounds shallow, but I have to admit it. I'm drawn to them. It's like my chocolate problem. It doesn't mean I don't read books that don't have a sweeping jacket. It's just an interesting cover catches my attention. Of course, the premise of the story has to fit my liking too. I don't buy them to sit on the shelf and look pretty, they must do their job and live up to what their shell is exposing.

I just finished RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo (yep, I'm a big fan). The writing is gorgeous as well as the story is interesting. It takes a lot for me to stay with a series. The cover is pretty, but it's not what drew me to the book first. Between reviews and word of mouth that's it's super awesome, I had to dive into the world of the Fold and the Darkling.

I just picked up SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch. The cover is what drew me to the book first. Then after I read the premise, the purchase was made. A first person, present tense fantasy--sold.

Snow Like Ashes

(Very pretty.)

Maybe it's the design gene in me to be visual first, but covers are important after the story of course. 
Then again, this whole business is subjective so this is my opinion and I hope I'm not coming off as stuffy. It's just an addiction of mine.

As you can see, I'm reading fantasies. It's not only for pleasure, but research. The book I'm writing now is, well, a fantasy. If you are writing or about to take that first step, don't forget to read, read, read. Know what's out there in the genre you want to be in and how others do it. They are an incredible teaching tool.

What is your favorite cover?

Am I the only one with this problem?

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pump it up

Well, I'm holding to my promise. I'm slowly getting back into this one day a week. I'm not guaranteeing me commenting  a whole lot yet, but I'll get there.

Last weekend, I went to the SCBWI of Eastern PA Fall Philly. I was only able to make it to one day of the two day event and had a critique with an agent, which was helpful. The one thing that this conference did was get me pumped. I've been up and down with my writing (sometimes to very extreme levels) and this gathering of writers put it all in perspective. I also went to the conference with a more seasoned mind. I'm not new to this so those dream expectations were held at bay. I went to learn, not to be discovered. That sort of mentality can overshadow what the purpose of going is. Not to mention a total downer because I'm not that lucky. Let's just say, I was being realistic.

I enjoyed myself and took in what the speakers had to say. Even though the agent I was paired with didn't represent scifi, she had some great points on why I wasn't getting great responses from agents. In the end, it was a help.

It's always great to hear inspiring stories. Kit Grindstaff won the Crystal Kite Award for her book--THE FLAME IN THE MIST. Kit is a wonderful lady. I was lucky to have the chance to speak with her.
The Flame in the Mist
The other thing I really enjoyed was the Keynote speaker, Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency. She was a wonderful speaker and her speech included lots of encouragement and inspiration.

My point is this. We writers need to venture out into the world of other writers that we don't know. It's not easy. I get caught up into life, wishes, hopes, dreams, expectations, and stories. But sometimes, especially when we are stuck or down, we need to get out and share. You might find out there are others just like you.

Have you been to any writer events lately?

What inspires you?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dipping my toe in the water.

So I'm trying to get back on a blogging schedule. I might go for once a week. Friday perhaps. I don't know, we'll see. I think I needed a break to find out how to balance things. I'm getting there. I don't thing you fully balance anything. It's a cycle of what you can deal with and how you can change.

As you can see, I'm sprucing up the old blog. This process will be slow, but I'm cleaning it up and getting it back in order. I think holding myself to a post once a week will get some of my practice back in. I feel a little rusty but that's okay. Some say blogging is dead, but I found the motion of blogging something little like a journal entry can't hurt the old writing wheels.

I also slowed down so I could read more. I'm a slow reader just like I'm a slow writer, but I'm beginning to fit it in here and there so I'm confident I'm going to make it work.

Right now, I'm reading RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo. I like it. This is the last book in Grisha Trilogy. I'm anxious to see how it all ends.

It's a part of a writer's life to read. To me the books are a teacher. I'm always trying to see how the author accomplished what they set out to do and if it worked.

I'll also post about different blogs or sites you can go to that will strengthen your writing. Currently, I have a piece up for critique at Dianne Salerni's and Marcy Hatch's Mainewords blog. It's called First Impressions. Every month they critique the first page of a writer's work. It's extremely helpful. Check it out if you haven't done so already. I think this is the third time I'm participating.

That's it for today.

What are you reading?

What are your favorite ways to strengthen your craft?

Have a great day!