Monday, November 22, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new."

~Samuel Johnson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum."

~Graycie Harmon

The One Month Novel

I'm not sure how these things work, or why, but it seems like this rushed NaNoWriMo pace is churning out the best pages I've ever written in my life. I'm writing a lot in a short period of time and I'm almost constantly writing, so plot twists I've forgotten about in other books don't get forgotten here. The characters are so fresh in my head all day that I don't forget what they look like, even the less important ones. When I stop halfway through a scene I don't forget what I was trying to accomplish there because I'm back working on it in an hour rather than a few days later.

Don't get me wrong, even now I can see things I'll be changing or moving when I edit it, but so far the basic structure of the story is so solid its amazing. The action scenes are clear, the emotions are strong, and that's something I have yet to accomplish before NaNo.

So a big thank you to The Office of Letters and Light.

I think I've found my niche. Write as much as I can as fast as I can... and maybe sleep somewhere in there too. Nah, sleep is for December, ;-)

Toodles

(56,000 words, 15 days.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quote of the Day!

“Don't get it right, just get it written”

-James Thurber

Annnnd...... Done

Well it's finished, I completed NaNoWriMo in 12 days.

The whole thing seemed very anticlimactic in that I had my book so planned the 30 day limit seemed like nothing, but its the end of my story that things get complicated.

So... I have upped my own personal NaNoWriMo to 100,000 words, or the end of the novel, whichever comes first.

So 50,015 words on the 12th, and another 18 days to go.

Wish me luck.

Toodles.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10,000 words intro NANOWRIMO!

I've written two chapters in three days, around 35 pages and last time I checked I was up to 10,540 words.

Yay me!

Back to the grind.

Toodles.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kitten Riding Turtle




HA!!!

AAAAHHH

I can't even remember the last time I posted a blog entry. Nobody reads this blog anyway so I'm sure nobody noticed I was gone, however I was across the country for two weeks, and when I got home my computer got a virus and I lost my entire NaNoWriMo outline!

AAAAHHH

The wonderful folks down at Geek Squad were able to copy everything else onto a new computer thankfully but the outline was lost.

But I rebounded and have written almost 5,000 words towards my Nano goal of 50,000 in just a day with 29 left to go. So I made lemonade with those terrible, virus-y lemons. Yes I just made up a word.


NaNoWriMo!!!!

Oh and I bought a Nano tote bag from the website, as well as one of their brown travel mugs, that are apparently going to be unavailable soon. So Yay me.

Be back soon. I have to keep writing.... Go vampires!

Toodles.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Shattered" Elizabeth and Darcy




Ah Darcy... How I love you.

Setting Boundaries

I'm blogging about this because its directly relevant to my current project. I was procrastinating on my NaNoWriMo outline because... well I love to procrastinate! And I ended up brainstorming ideas for my epic fantasy, anything from how many moons to have, to the full extent of the magic in my world.

It's always important to set boundaries, no matter what kind of fiction you're writing, but especially when the supernatural is involved. There's nothing worse than a character only able to do one or two things, and then at the end they miraculously solve the big problem with a burst of magic you never knew they even had, especially if it would have helped earlier as well. It seems fake, well, because it is fake. Most of the time that happens when someone needs a resolution and can't dig themselves out of the hole they created. Believe me, I've done it, and its bad. Resist. Resist I say!

To avoid it, I'm starting at the very beginning, thinking of all I need to accomplish in the story and setting the parameters of what's possible and impossible in that world.

For example: My elves

Do:

Some use magic to manipulate the elements, but in a very small way. Ex/ They can't start things on fire, but they can create a bigger fire from a spark, small flame, etc.
Have startling grace
Create light orbs with their palms (theses are light elves after all)
Have pointed ears and small frames, though most are rather tall
Possess more strength than you would think
Have really bright eyes
Have a way with animals
Heal with touch
Live quite a bit longer than humans (due to the fact that they can just get another elf to heal them if they get old and ill.) Their only natural cause of death is old age.

Do Not

Fly
Swim
Contain unlimited magic
Read minds
Float
Walk on water
Run any faster than the average person
Create storms
Become invisible
Worship dark magic (that's for the dark elves)
Heal without consequence
Stand up against man made weapons and live to tell the tale (they're not invincible)
Jump tall buildings with a single bound
Don red and white outfits and make toys
Live in trees and cause woodland mischief, or anything else equally ridiculous.



In summary, they're just taller, prettier, more graceful people with the ability to push the wind in a different direction for a minute, or make a light orb with their hands to defend themselves.


What boundaries have you set for your characters? For your world?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My average day as an upublished Author/Stay at home mom...


1. Wake up, after not nearly enough sleep.
2. Chase a 2 yr old around the house to get him to eat something.
3. Facebook, blogspot, and email while Logan watches Cars for the bazillionth time.
4. Stare at my outline like I expect it to talk to me and tell me what's missing.
5. Put Logan down for a nap.
6. Elliptical and loud music for a half hour, then a shower.
7. More staring at my outline, missing actual writing.
8. Write a blog about how much I hate outlines, or possibly just the Quote of the Day!
9. Redo my playlist on iTunes, the ones from yesterday are already old.
10. Close my eyes and think what the songs remind me of, maybe those things will give me an idea.
11. Logan wakes up, more chasing, and more Cars.
12. Realize there's no way my ending can be my ending. It doesn't make any sense.
13. Pound my head into the keyboard.
14. Look up pictures of wolves for inspiration, then realize I just wasted an hour. I already know what wolves look like.
15. Make Logan watch something else, Cars is bugging me.
16. Calm him down when the dryer buzzer goes off and scares the crap out of him.
17. Chase him around for dinner.
18. Facebook and email again.
19. Bath time for Logan. He splashes while I sulk, thinking why I'm even bothering to write at all.
20. Logan's in bed, loud music and elliptical for another half hour.
21. Sit and sweat over the keyboard while I type, and erase everything I think of. Nothing is good enough.
22. Stop sweating, still erasing.
23. Scour the house and pick up all Logan's toys off the floor.
24. Stare off into space imaging my story like a movie, wondering still, what's missing?
25. Pull my hair out.
26. Light bulb. I get one good idea and scribble it several places- whiteboard, post-it, notebook- so I don't forget.
27. Go to bed too late, in preparation of getting up too early again.
28. Wake up a few minutes after I fall asleep, and think of something genius, scribble it down on the notebook by the bed.
29. Fall asleep, and plan to stay asleep this time.
30. I hear Logan crying through the monitor...

Vampire Diaries "Obsession" by Sky Ferreira




This is my all time favorite show, add that to a great song and what do you get? My favorite music video of the week, that's what!

Toodles.

Quote of the Day!

"Every bestselling author starts out with the same 2 things; an idea, and a blank document. If you have those, you have all you need to let it out and see what happens."

~Unknown

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quote of the... early morning!

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

~Winston Churchill

It's one am... ONE A.M.

Insomnia, why do you plague me? I feel like those poor little cartoon characters with the solitary cloud over their heads, constantly raining. Only the rain isn't a metaphor for me being sad, its literal. As in the rain is hitting me in the face and I can't sleep!

In other news I found out that a half hour on an elliptical burns around 500 calories, yay me. And I named my novel- well potential novel- and finished the major points in my outline. It'll take me a week or so to fill in the boring stuff in between the major plot twists and then I'm done and ready for NaNoWriMo.

I'm also starting my outline for my big epic elf novel. That's right I said elves. I miss writing though. I've been plugging away on outlines but the writing is stuck. I guess that means I have writers block, and outline prosperity. Oh well, works for me.


Have I mentioned how much I hate outlines?


Toodles.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ugh... outlines....

It is, I've decided, entirely impossible for me to complete a novel without an outline first. Which is unfortunate, considering how much I LOATHE WRITING OUTLINES.

However, I hate not finishing my stories even more. So I suck it up, and outline. Currently I'm about 5/8 of the way through with my current one, and though I hated every second of it, I do have to admit that the story is about a million times stronger than if I'd just started writing it from the beginning.

Some things I sorted out?

A better ending, without getting to the end and realizing the beginning needed to be completely rewritten to get there.

A more plausible way to get to that ending, rather than "And then this happened. Why? Because I said so."

Change in bad guys to open the possibility of a sequel to the novel. (Which would have required almost a complete rewrite otherwise.)

A change from 1st person perspective to third.

And finally, a more effective way of introducing the fantasy elements of the story without dumping all the information on in a couple paragraphs at a seemingly random time.

So, all in all, the outline is the best way for me, personally, so I have to suck it up and just do it, because in the end I have a stronger story and a better sense of how I want to tell it.

Luckily Storybook makes it feel like less of a chore. There's just something about an outline computer program that makes it feel a little less like homework. Either way, I'm really excited about this one, even though I'm waiting until November to write it. GO NANOWRIMO!

Toodles.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Best Joke Ever!

Ok, I just heard this one and it has replaced my previous all time favorite joke for the time being.

Why does a chicken coop have 2 doors?


Because if it had four, it would be a chicken sedan!

I know, I'm still laughing....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."

~C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

Save The Words!

Thanks to the wonderful new Office of Letters and Light blog I've come across this wonderful site by the Oxford Dictionary!

Save the Words tries to bring the "endangered words" of the English language back into style! You can browse the words, click and see their meaning, even adopt a word and pledge to do your part in bringing it back by using it as much as possible!

My word? Succisive. Its an adjective meaning, of spare or extra time. And man do I wish my life were more succisive! I wouldn't be writing this blog and thinking about the fact that I'm supposed to be working out, showering, and making chicken salad at the same time right now.

Toodles!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jessie's Girl (Glee Cast Version)

Quote of the Day!

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”

I dont know who said that. ;-)

Newest Form of Procrastination

Two words. Two lovely addicting words.

Veronica Mars.

I know. Its come and gone right? Well that's the only way I do things. For some reason I'll hear about a book, series, movie and it wont sound interesting at all. Give it a year or two, everyone's forgotten about it, and I discover it like Columbus discovering America "for the first time." (That was a little slap to Mr. Columbus in case you didn't catch it. The vikings? Hello?)

Back on track. The evidence? I started watching One Tree Hill in its 6th season. Bones in its 5th. I read Twilight a full 3 years after it was published, and now Veronica Mars.

What can I say, I'm always late to the party.

Seriously though, somebody should have alerted me to what I was missing! All the wit? All the shenanigans? Shame on you!

I suppose all this I hear about the Hunger Games series will follow suit. It just doesn't seem interesting, but give it a few years, I'll be blogging about how awesome it is and you'll be shaking your heads. Come on we'll shake together...


Toodles.

Friday, August 27, 2010

NA....NO....WRI....MO!

Is that the thrill of anticipation I smell? I think it is!

Apparently I've been under a rock this last month or so, because NaNoWriMo has snuck right up on me!

It's a little like when your realize summer vacation is over, and you have to go back to school in a week? Only school, is a free for all shopping trip on the only cruise mall in the world!

IN CASE YOU CAN'T SEE... I'm super excited!

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about... I'll tell you! NaNoWriMo= National Novel Writing Month! Its a month long contest that opens every November first. The challenge? Write a full novel between November 1st and November 30th.

Rules? It must be 50,000 words or more. You have to type more than one word 50,000 times. It hast to be a novel (if you consider it a novel, so do they!) Don't edit! Editing's for December.

And at the end of this marathon of prose, you submit your work for validation of word count. If you've written a full novel by the end of the month, you win! You get a certificate and everything!

I'M SO EXCITED!


See for yourself!

Toodles!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe"

If the wind will not serve,
take to the oars.

Latin Proverb

Awww Crap

I just realized something. I've almost completed 3 books, keyword almost. I came very close and I still might finish at least a couple of them, but as of now, I sound like a poser.

I say I'm a writer, but my current project only has a half finished outline while I work out the bugs. On the upside, as soon as I'm finished with the outline I'll be able to do some major work on the story, and it will be more organized than before.

But think about it. If someone asks me, "Oh you're a writer? How much of your book do you have?" I'll respond with, "Well... I haven't actually started it yet."

Some days, you just feel like a loser.

Working to turn my frown upside-down.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Keep in mind that the person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read."


Susan Isaacs

Monday, August 23, 2010

Quote of the Day!

Sorry I've been slacking! (Gasp)

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."

~Isaac Asimov

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Port Clyde



Downtown Port Clyde from the pier.



The beach at sunset.



Marshall Point Lighthouse.

Settings


Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas. Over 100,000 acres of land and in my novel, home to one of the deadliest "wolf" packs in the south. Aptly named the Big Thicket Pack, their leader Reed and his equally psychotic son Teak, take what they want when they want it, including life, land, and freedom.

Titles

I am so completely stuck!

Titling a novel is insanely difficult! I know in general, there's a good chance a publishing house or your agent will suggest changing the title for publication, and that can be for any number of reasons. I also know that if that happens to me, all this thinking and thesaurus searching is for nothing, but I'm still trying to find THAT title.

I want a title that gives the same feeling I get when I think of the story. That feeling you get when you read a novel that makes you keep reading. It has to match that and so far I've thought of a lot of good titles, but nothing that has that perfect fit feeling.

I researched articles on titling your story, and know that slapping the first thing you think of on your title page is ridiculous. I heeded their advice. I sat down with my white board and started writing out words that describe my novel, and short phrases. I took those words and looked them up in the thesaurus, I searched Amazon to see what other titles in my genre are named, for inspiration, and still haven't found THAT title. The perfect one.

So what do you think? Its a werewolf based story, and involves a rogue wolf hiding from his pack...

So far I have:

"Borrowed Time"
"Bite of Promise"
"Nowhere to Hide"
and
"Out of Reach"

They're sort of bland... but like I said before, I'm stuck!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hate is a Strong Word....

Everywhere I go, in every agent blog I read, in every comment I peruse I see people curling their noses at the thought of writing queries. Agents explain that they know how terrible it is to write them, they offer advice to get through the terrible ordeal.... and I don't understand it!

I have yet to complete an entire novel but that doesn't mean I haven't taken a stab at the query process. I've completed four that match stories that have never seen the light of day. How, you might ask, do I write a query when the story isn't finished?

Its simple. When I get a story idea I think of the story as a whole. Characters, events and all in a very general sense. I know I want girl and boy to fall in love, but I also know I want villain to make their love dangerous, or storm to kill boy at the end. I have a very general idea of what I want to happen, and I write my query from that point.

Anyway, I dont mind writing queries. Sure its hard work summarizing all 70,000 words into a two paragraph blurb meant to catch the agent's attention. Sure its nerve wracking knowing that the query is the only thing you'll ever write that's guaranteed to be read. But why does that make it a bad thing?

In my experience, if you have fun writing the story, then why wouldn't you enjoy the challenge of the rest of the process? Editing is tedious, but it makes your story better. Querying is just as tedious but equally exciting. (For me anyway.) And I have yet to experience the rest of publishing but I will, and when that happens I'm sure the challenge will be just as enjoyable as the rest.

I think people forget that if your novel never see's the light of day you've still accomplished something that not many people can do. It takes guts to spill your heart on a page (or keyboard) and complete a full story from beginning to end. It may not feel like it, but you've accomplished something, even as the rejections pour in.

Its important to be more than proud of yourself, no matter what the outcome, and if you have that attitude there's no reason not to enjoy every part of the process in your attempt to see your book on shelves, including querying.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quote of the Day!

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quote of the Day!

In the theme of my current writing, the quote of the day was chosen accordingly:

"All of us are God's creatures... just some are more creature than others."

~Anonymous

Werewolves are Fun!

Took a typing test online just a few minutes ago. Apparently I can type up to 53 words a minute, and that's with random words that made absolutely no sense when strung together. I'm pretty happy with that number. I remember in high school I took a computer class and you had to type 20 words per minute to pass. I couldn't do it without looking at the keyboard, so I sort of cheated.

Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

So 53 is a definite step up. I still cheat sometimes and look at the keys as I'm typing. Old habits die hard, what can I say.

On the writing front, it is so refreshing to work on one type of story for months and suddenly skip to something else, even for a little while. Like a cool bucket of water splashed on the face. (I'm talking about my temporary switch from vampires to werewolves.)

No more fangs for me, at least not for a week or two. It didn't feel fun anymore, and the only reason I write anything at all is because it is so much fun to do! So when it feels like work, I find something else to write about and let me tell you... werewolves are fun!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing."
~Melinda Haynes

Taking 5

I took a break from vampires today. It was beginning to feel like a chore every time I sat down to write so it was time to try something else for a while.

I ended up starting an outline for a werewolf story. Not the half man half beast werewolves but the ones that turn into actual wolves, maybe a little bigger than the average wolf. My wolves also retain their natural eye color, which makes them easier to discern from the real, pure blood wolves.

The problem is, my outlines could practically be read like a novel. They're crazy detailed and take a very long time to complete. So it'll keep me busy for a while. When I say detailed I mean detailed too, down to where people are sitting in a room or the color car that passes them on the highway.

I've tried to do it differently but gave up. Sometimes you just have a way of doing things and trying to change that is like trying to change a piece of yourself. Never a good idea.


In other news my cousin wants to start writing! It always excites me to be able to talk writing stuff with someone who actually cares, so there's something to look forward to.

Well that's it for tonight. Toodles.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SafetySuit - Stay

Recommendation!

Writing Magic by the author of Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine) is a must read! Its so cute and helpful.

Some books are full of words like protagonist and prose and a million other words that maybe the average person turned wannabe writer wouldn't know. The people writing the books probably assume that anyone who wants to write knows these words, and lets face it, almost every house has a dictionary, but its nice to see a book that approaches writing in its simplest form.

There are these nifty little writing exercises at the end of each chapter that definitely get you in the right frame of mind, and the book is short enough for even the busiest wannabe writer.

What's my favorite part? I thought you'd never ask! She devotes an entire chapter on never ever deleting anything you write until at least 15 years have passed. I think that's important because even if you give up on a novel, it doesn't mean you'll never return to it, even if it takes 10 years. ;-)

I should probably say so far. That's my favorite part SO FAR. I'm only on the 6th chapter, but I'll bet my nonexistent life insurance policy that it only gets better from here!

Check it out from your local library and see what I mean!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Trailers

So... this may seem like a strange question, but who makes book trailers?

I know there are fans that make their own home made versions and post them on youtube, but who makes the ones they advertise on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com? Is it someone who actually works with the author? Is it someone the publishing company hires? Do they just pick the coolest one from youtube and plaster it up there for free advertising?

I ask because I just watched one for a YA Fantasy novel that I have here on my shelf and the trailer was completely misleading. It made the book seem interesting, when in my opinion it was long and dull.

Its like the age old question of "Where did all my socks end up?"

Quote of the Day!

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

~John Jakes

"I'd Come for You" Booth and Brennan Video

Ugh....

I got pages from a friend of mine the other day. She wants to enter her story in a writing contest or something, I'm not sure. The thing is, she sent me pages before, and after I read them I told her the same thing I'm going to tell her this time around.

SHOW DON'T TELL.

Its one of the most basic rules of writing. Long lengthy paragraphs about the scenery, every member of the protagonist's family, the exact material of clothing every single person (important to the story or not) is wearing, comma after comma separating descriptions of mythological creatures, and exactly who the bad guy is and what he wants? All in the first page?!?!?!? That's going to make any self respecting reader put down the book and grab something else.

Why? Because its boring! That's why!

Its not hard. Space out the information, dont just dump it on the first few pages like gravy on a Thanksgiving plate. Spread it out, thin the explanation to as few words as possible and explain it in dialogue! Have it happening there in the story, dont just explain what happened like an afterthought.

Your readers will continue to read as long as the story flows. If they have to pause, say "Huh?" and go back to reread the last paragraph (or in this case, the last ten pages), you're giving too much information!

SHOW! Don't Tell. Repeat it, remember it, and USE IT!

;-)

Quote of the Day!

I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.
~Jack Smith

Friday, August 6, 2010

Depeche Mode - A Pain That I'm Used To

Combination: Quote of the day and... other stuff

"The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea."
Thomas Mann

The last post is a song from an action sequence in the first season of Bones. I heard it and immediately thought of a million ways it will inspire me. It makes me think of chase scenes, or needing to get somewhere and not having enough time- life life or death.

In other random daily news, the procrastination that's kept me from writing anything that doesn't succumb to the delete button these past few days has been lifted! I needed to write a good scene between scenes. That is, I needed something to separate "action scene #1" from "action scene # 2" but I hated everything I came up with. It all sounded fake or not in line with where the story was going.

Not anymore. I changed a character, took one out of the equation and now I can bowl onto that next action scene (an attempted murder! How exciting?) and hopefully the rest of the book as well!

I see it as getting lost on your road trip. If you look at the map long enough (or find the charger for your GPS) you'll eventually get where you're going.

Patience is a virtue right? Well, I have loads of it.

Orson Scott Card is schooling me on the ways of science fiction and fantasy. I rented his book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy from the library today, so that's my newest assignment. Oh, besides my real assignment for The Institute of Children's Literature. I got my last assignment back the day before yesterday so onto the next one. I should be done before the end of the year if I get to it.

That's all for tonight. Toodles.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

YAY GAY MARRIAGE!

I may not be everyone's friend for posting something like this on the internet, but I dont really care.

In case you've had your head in the dirt ostrich style for the last few days I'm talking about the reversal of California's gay marriage ban!

Its important for me to say that though I believe a higher power exists, I do not for one minute believe he would have created this planet just for us to discriminate- yet again- the people who live on it.

It doesn't affect me if two lesbians get married, and who am I to tell them they cant? Its their right to have every ceremony available to straight people, but its America's way to single out a group of people and make them feel like crap for years. (See the civil rights movement, the treatment of Asians during WWII, any Arab in the US right this very second.)

Anyway, I'm thrilled and happy for everyone this affects in California, and hope it spreads to the rest of the country!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

~Gene Fowler

SafetySuit - Someone Like You

Random Writing Stuff

I think I need to gain the ability to sit down and write out an outline. It sort of feels like doing homework, you know? The writing is like recess and the research and plot outlining is like math class.

But you cant graduate without knowing your math, just like I cant seem to keep my story straight with all my thoughts and scenes shoved into my brain. So that's my next task. I'll write out brief points that I want to cover in conversations, put them in order and fill it in with the scene it happens in.

It might work, and my hand might fall off if I go into too much detail, but I WILL finish this story. Three months I've put into this and I'm not about to let it fall apart now.

I'm probably too stubborn for my own good, but in this situation I wont see that as a fault. I'll keep writing until its finished, and I wont stop editing and revising until I'm proud of it.

;-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears."
Les Brown.

Oh Sleep, How You Evade Me

Yet again, no matter how much my eyes sting, or my pillow calls to me, I can't sleep. My mind races, I think of scenes, and dialogue and hate- even for a brief moment- that I ever decided to be a writer.

That passes real soon. Like wishing your little sister didn't have a mouth so she would just shut up for five minutes. If her mouth really did fall right off her face, you'd be wracked with guilt.

I bought a pretty notebook today. It has a rather inspiring quote on the cover which goes nicely with its purpose.

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."

I bought it as a sort of archive for all my story ideas. I think its one of the reasons I'm having trouble sleeping. I have several novel ideas just swimming around in there waiting to be written. Vampires, werewolves, past lives, stalkers, elves, heartbreak, terror and its all occupying the same little chunk of space.

I'm surprised it doesn't give me a headache.

So to ease my mind a little, I bought the notebook and tonight began devoting page after page to story ideas as painfully detailed as I can manage in a 5x7 notebook without using up too many trees.

Off to check the blogs of my favorite literary agents and see what they had to say since I last checked them.

Its a good thing I write my best stuff when I'm tired, because it seems to be a constant state.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Random Writing Stuff

Ok, so I have no idea if this is normal, but I find that I have absolutely no interest in writing anything that could ever really happen.

I want to write books about elves in sparkling oceans, or vampires battling it out in a war zone. The everyday workings bore me, and humans (in my opinion) are only half of the equation.

I'm a fantasy writer. I might delve into science fiction one day, who knows. As long as its fantastic, or futuristic, I'm interested.

If this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, blame it on my intense lack of sleep. Four hours last night, almost a record.

Closing in on three hundred pages now. Doing better than I ever have, and pretty proud of myself. Now I have to begin thinking of the perfect name. Black Blood stood out when I was brainstorming, and though it fits in with the themes of the novel perfectly, it might be compared to the "Blue Bloods" series in title.

I'll think of something.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No way!

Apparently I've been thinking the best of people lately, which in come cases isn't the right thing to do at all.

Did you know that there are actually people out there who will commit a crime, and then proceed to recount that crime in vivid literary detail for the sake of publication? Now I'm not sure if the crime itself is an act of passion or inspiration, but these idiots actually query their stories to literary agents hoping to get published!

Dear Moron,

Your detailed confession is a waste of time. Why dont you send a copy to your local police department, they'll come for you anyway when someone actually reads what you wrote! You have an imagination for a reason, no need to kill your wife's lover for vivid detail!

Apparently this really happened somewhere in Poland.

Thumbs down.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Random Writing Stuff

Spent a few hours pouring though posts on Query Shark. 160 something posts isn't something you get through in a few hours, let me tell you.

My brain is swimming with do's and dont's and I dont even have my finished manuscript yet! Oh well. Better to be over prepared than under prepared right? I'd rather eat a tough steak than one that moo's at me over my fork.

Food for thought, no pun intended.

Two hundred and sixty pages into my manuscript. I've written a lot of crap over the last year and a half, and this past four months has been the only time I've felt truly proud of what appeared out from under my fingertips.

Wish me luck.

Ninja Baby

Go Vampires!

I refuse to believe that people are sick of vampire stories.

That may have something to do with the fact that my novel is all about the fang, but I refuse to admit that as well. ;-)

So, as I said, I refuse to believe it. People will never be tired of vampires. Everyone is probably way done with the "vampire meets girl in high school gym, tries to stay away but cant" kind of "epic" romances. I think they're sick of the goody goody undead who dress fashionably, pretend they haven't been alive for 200 years, and fall in love with some whiny little human.

I know I am...

That's why my story takes place in a time where the better part of North America has been ripped to shreds by them. The love story is more of a love-hate story, and it doesn't develop into something until the very end. And best of all, no whiny little girl. My protagonist will kick the crap out of you if you mess with her, and she'll do it without breaking a sweat.

So there you have it.

I think as long as you take an old story, and add an ass kicking main character, anything is fresh.

In other news I did some more research on literary agents, and am happy to say I have a favorite. I wont say who it is (so you wont steal her!) ;-) but I will say that there will be substantial tears involved if she turns me away.

I'm 2/3 of the way done with my book, and set a goal for myself. I'll submit it to agents by the end of the year at the very latest. September is my birthday, my ultimate goal is to send out my 1st query on my birthday. Call it hoping for some birthday luck.

Can you guess what I'll wish for when I blow out my candles? I bet you can.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Being Lazy...

Ok, so... I haven't written anything in a few days. Posts, novel, Facebook updates, nothing!

All I can say is I've been lazy. Some days's I'm super motivated, and others... not so much.

One day I'll read a million pages of information about query letters and formatting and I'll get stoked. There's nothing that will keep me from writing and revising my story until its absolutely what someone is looking for. The next I'll barely pry myself off the couch to shower because I cant imagine being any more comfortable than I am right then. ;-)

Now, even I understand its a little premature to be researching literary agents and information on being published when I only have about 190 out of a prospected 400 pages of my novel finished, but I cant help it.

It's not all for nothing though. I read something today about cliches that threw me for a loop. It went on to give quite a few examples that I never would have considered as cliche's like "so quiet you could hear a pin drop." Not that that one is underused, but still.

So I see it as research and who knows, reading about some of this stuff might relieve me of some work later when I'm revising?

Other than that, like I said, everything has been at a standstill. Real life is getting in the way of the one that exists only underneath my fingertips, but that's to be expected. I've set a goal for myself though. 220 words by Wednesday. We'll see, usually that would be a piece of cake but taking into consideration my accomplishment over the last few days....

Toodles.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back Home

Hello,

Spent last night three hours south in Sutherlin Oregon. Graffiti weekend is all old cars, family and hundred degree weather, but we went with the cousins so it was a little more entertaining than usual. We went swimming in the pool until they shut the lights off on us and then walked to the 24 hour diner across the street and pigged out on greasy foods and desert.

Besides that everything is still boring. I've discovered that my enthusiasm for writing and the excitement I feel for my stories isn't matched by a single person I know.

That sort of sucks. I feel completely alone in all of this, but if I'm really serious with myself, I guess things could be worse. I'll just keep it entirely to myself from now on (at least as much as I can without it bursting out of my ears) and give everyone a break.

Is being an author as rewarding if nobody supports you? Is it the same experience if you have no one to share it with? Or more accurately, if no one can muster enough enthusiasm to put up with your constant yabbering?

I'd do it for them in a second, no arguments, no complaining, because I'd know how important it is to them.

So that's all. Home from the car show, had a little fun, and I'm all alone in my dreams. Two parts alright, and one part suck.

Not too bad odds...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Random Writing Stuff

So I was thinking...

My husband always makes a comment about smoke coming out of my ears whenever I say that, but I assure you, I'm alright. ;-)

Anyway, I was thinking about the millions of way you can describe someone. There's endless possibilities; angular nose, full lips, wide forehead, wrinkles: acne, freckles; curly, straight, or tangled hair; tan, pale, everything in between. The list us absolutely limitless, but does it really matter?

In love, everyone always insists that looks dont matter, and for some that is completely true. Can the same thing be said for writing? You could spend hours describing your protagonist in aching detail. The reader would have an absolutely perfect picture of who you're describing, but that's not what they want is it?

No! They want to use their imagination! If you say something like "he's the most gorgeous man I've ever laid eyes on" and then proceed to describe someone who is attractive to you, you're relying on the hope that anyone who reads your story has the same taste as you do.

And my ultimate point hasn't even been made yet! After you describe your character in the right way, you always go on to show more about them in their actions. At least for me, I can think of a character a totally different way (physically) once I'm finished with the story. Sure their basic features stay the same, hair length, hair color, eye color, that sort of thing, but their personality always gives me a better idea of their appearance than anything else.

So again, I ask. Is the physical description of a character important? I'm gonna say no. So, I'm trying it out in my novel (that I'm 159 pages into, yay me!) I'm going to just barely describe people, just enough to get a good idea, and let personality and imagination take over.

Besides, whats a book without a little imagination right? Paper and ink, that's what!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One More Thing...

I forgot to post this in the bottom of my last post.

I'm becoming increasingly fond of four bands in particular for my writing. My husband would call it "my kind of music" because we have decidedly different tastes, but that's alright. ;-)

Jose Gonzalez, La Rocca, Young Love, and Cary Brothers offer some awesome inspiration.

More specifically:

"Waiting For Your Letter" Cary Brothers
"Loneliest Girl in the World" Cary Brothers

"Find a New Way" Young Love

"Paris" La Rocca

"Broken Arrows" Jose Gonzalez

I'm also a sucker for the Across the Universe Soundtrack. I love Jim Sturgess.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heat Wave

Holy Moses,

I know I've been craving real summer weather to hit us, but apparently, I didn't know what I was asking for. One day it was a somewhat chilly sixty degrees, and then next day it's bordering on a hundred! Unfortunately, tomorrow is going to be even hotter, and two standing fans, a table fan and all kinds of closed up curtains aren't enough to keep the heat at bay.

My computer even seems to be affected, which is the strongest of my annoyances. I'll be putting dishes away, mulling over the scene I'm going to write next and how I'm going to write it, when I'm struck with an idea! And, not any idea but a burst of inspiration that just begs to be written. So of course, as soon as I turn on the computer (a laptop that's on its last leg) it wheezes to life, overheats within ten minutes and shuts down mid sentence.

Of course by the time I'm done griping about the point of having a computer if you cant use it, I forget most of my wonderful, flawless scene I envisioned. Even when I dig around for paper and try to scribble down the scraps of my idea, the magic is lost.

Observation of the day: Heat, inspiration, and bad luck is the worst combination.

Tomorrow I'm heading straight for the notebook and purple pen. Just goes to show you that technology isn't always your best friend... or acquaintance... or even friendly stranger.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Books to Movies?

Hey there,


Went to see The Twilight Saga: Eclipse tonight with the cousins. Maybe its me (though I doubt it) but why does it seem like anytime a book is made into a movie its left lacking? Now, I'm not saying that a movie is ever better than the book version, because that's just impossible. Movies are limited by budgets, time and reality. In a book, you can write as many scenes as you want, you can get attached to them all and not worry about anything but finishing the story.

That being said, how is it possible to take a book with all the dialogue and description of scenes and people, and ignore it all? All you have to do is take things from the book! I blame it on two words. "Based on." You put those two words in front of the title of the book and you can get away with anything (including engagement rings that are supposed to be from the early 1900's looking like a cocktail ring from an 80's nightclub.)

So that's my rant for the day. Show me one movie, that's based off a book, with actors that fit the descriptions (that can actually ACT), scenes that go in order, and dialogue that comes from the actual book itself, and I'll do back flips in a chicken costume.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Interesting Reads

Hello!

Just finished the monstrous book that is Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and I have to say, I loved that book. Its a little more shall we say... daring than Jane Austen's original work but most definitely not in a bad way.

Also on my recently read list, The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard, The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, and My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares all of which were really good.

My Name is Memory was actually really interesting. Its a love story that encompasses several lifetimes through the memories of Daniel, a very old soul who has the unfortunate ability to remember all of his past lives and the girl who is always just out of reach- whether that means being married to his terrible brother, or several years older and nobility while he's a poor child. The story flips between Daniels current perspective, tales of his past lives, and the perspective of his true love, Lucy.

The ending was a little bit vague, which makes me wonder if there's a sequel in the works, but other than that little flaw, the book was the kind that keeps you up until the wee hours of the morning telling yourself you're only going to read to the next chapter and you end up finishing the book.

Time for another trip to the library. Happy reading.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This Weeks Music

Music is like a life force when I write. Different songs make me feel like writing different scenes and the songs go in cycles until I get tired of them. So, this weeks songs are as follows:

Sad scene songs:
"Hide and Seek" Imogen Heap
"Please Don't Go" Barcelona
"I Don't Feel it Anymore" William Fitzsimmons

Fight scene songs:
"Hell Yeah" Rev Theory
"I Don't Wanna Stop" Ozzy Osbourne
"Burn It To The Ground" Nickelback

Lovely songs:
"I'd Come For You" Nickelback
"Anywhere But Here" Safetysuit
"Wherever You Will Go" The Calling

All around good ones:
"Letting Go" Retrograde
"Help, I'm Alive" Metric
"The Sharpest Lives" My Chemical Romance"
"Someone Like You" Safetysuit
"Apology" Safetysuit
"I Don't Love You" My Chemical Romance
"Fences" Paramore
"(Say) All I Need" OneRepublic
"Down" Jason Walker
"Electric Twist" A Fine Frenzy


As you can see, Safetysuit is a common name in my lists. I think its important for every writer to find what inspires them most, and then why. It a lot when you get struck with writers block or laziness and you know what will get you back to that keyboard. Music does it for me and Safetysuit can cure even my most stubborn case of writers block.

Another trick I use is to set my iTunes to random and open a new document. With every new song that comes, I write a different scene. Whatever comes to mind when I hear the first part of the song, that's what I write about. It helps hone my skills by way of describing hundreds of things in dozens of scenes as well as gets me in the right frame of mind to dive into the real stuff.

I'm not saying it works for anyone, but any music lover/writer should at least give it a try. What's the worst that could happen? Even if your not a writer, its a good way to wind down your mind when you cant sleep, cure a half hour of boredom, or keep yourself from snacking. ;-)

I shared my songs, what are yours?

Friday, July 2, 2010

First and Foremost

Hello all.

As a new person to the world of blogging I would first like to say "hi" and dive right in. I'm Megan, stay at home mom by day, hard working writer by night. Most nights I get sucked in and end up writing until three am, which is unfortunate for the amount of sleep I get, but most of the time its productive.

I'm addicted to the written word. My favorite place in town has to be the library and I'm surprised that most of the ladies who work there dont find themselves on a first name basis with me. I go in to return an armful of books, only to retrieve another armful from the hold section.

It only makes sense that I would eventually wonder what kind of story I would write myself- if I had the ambition to do so- and consequently stumbled upon an ad in a magazine for the Institute of Children's Literature and enrolled soon after. Its a course that's accomplished through a series of mail in assignments over the time period of a year or so, geared to polish your writing skills, teach you the ins and outs of query letters, and anything else they possibly can by way of support and information.
Currently I'm halfway done with the course, focusing on young adult readers for the moment.

The Institute is great, they have all sorts of resources for you not only during the duration of the course but also after graduation as well. They're all about support and the instructors are helpful and do everything they can to make sure you end up with the knowledge you want and need before the course is done. The mail in assignments are convenient and challenging, and they also allow me to continue to give all my attention to my son, who will be two in October, and requires quite a bit of it.

I recommend the Institute of Children's Literature for anyone who is in a similar position as me in that you have a child to care for or want a more relaxed way to learn what you need to in order to get published. I bet you wont be sorry you did.

Besides writing and the constant thought of someday being published, I spend the duration of my time that is not occupied by mothering either reading, writing, cleaning or wasting my life away on Facebook games. If anyone needs a neighbor on Farmville, let me know. ;-)

Don't let it be said that I live an exciting life. I can only hope that the future lends more by way of fun and less of dull, everyday things. One can only hope.

So there you go. My first post. How did I do?