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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

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....


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back Home


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


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?