Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sometimes I am really stubborn.

I kept reading about how awesome Divergent by Veronika Roth was, but I just couldn't see it from the synopsis.

But, I should know better than to judge a book by it's cover when the blogosphere keeps cheering, because characters that ignite on the page and just plain stellar writing is what it's all about and no synopsis can explain that magic. So, just in case I am not the last person on that planet to read Divergent--Take my advice and go grab a copy...this one definitely helped me recover from withdrawal after rereading the Hunger Games series last week.

What I loved: Tris is small, but strong in will and determination. She is vulnerable even when she commits violent acts out of necessity. The horror of what is required does not escape her.

She falls for Tobias without spending every waking moment focused on him rather than the enormity of the other obstacles she faces. Tobias doesn't fawn all over her or repeatedly declare undying love. He lays his cards out before her with deliberate patience and economy which makes each moment and gesture count all the more.

Favorite quote: Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn into liquid. Or burst into flames.

Oh and I have been gone forever because my job got unpleasant, so I went and found a new one and then had to get myself established there. I'm glad to be back throwing my thoughts out to the wind.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Who should I be when I grow up?

A week or so ago, I met Meg Cabot!!!

I am so glad I drug myself down to the Barnes and Noble to listen to her speak in person.  Somehow, being close enough to reach out and touch someone while they are speaking (not that I did that or anything, geez) makes the whole experience much more powerful and real.
She was very funny, of course, but also deadly serious about how hard it is to be a writer whether working on your first book or your 25th.  When asked which book of her own was her favorite, she paused and then replied that it has to be the one she is working on at the moment.  In order to complete the arduous process of getting to The End, she said she must immerse herself in that story alone and make it the sole focus of her energies and that doesn’t leave much room for thinking back on her past creations. 
Just love her and her inscription in my book was Believe!, because I may have mentioned my desire to be just like her when I grow up—and no, it SO doesn’t matter that I’m older…sigh.
Here is a great interview with her by some other fans at the same signing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Had the best morning writing in Starbucks...

First of all, let me say just how much I love Starbucks.... 

From the smell of rich coffee, to the hub-ub of people chatting, to the cushy chairs and cute little tables--I love every bit of it.  And, I just realized today, that Starbucks is my muse.  I can write at home, but the laundry keeps calling and if I get up to make myself coffee, the dishes practically SCREAM to be washed.  I can't think about hot boys or space aliens or all the fictional possibilities half so well as I can in that cushy Starbucks chair.  I need an assigned seat at Starbucks every day of the week for a few months so that I can finish this first novel.

Unfortunately, my employer would probably not allow me to take 40 personal days....sigh....

I may have to try this out in the evenings sometimes.  Maybe instead of heading to the writers group, I will head to my writers spot and just finish that first draft instead. 

How do you make this gig work? Please let me in on your secrets!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

I LOVED this book!  I stayed up very late to finish reading it.
At first, I thought my failure to develop an immediate emotional connection with the MC  Rose was a flaw in the book.  But, in reality, I was feeling like Rose--disconnected from all real emotion.  This is her journey and the major story arc that I didn’t catch until half way through.  She denies she has feelings or opinions or a personality even, because she is damaged and the consequences of expressing herself have been so dire in the past.
Late in the story, her emotional vault pops open and she begins to evolve into a character we want to love.  Also, there are plenty romantic elements and I can’t wait to know more about Otto, but, in the end, Rose saves herself.  I like that.
This book has a SCIFI flavor, but it’s not heavy on the science.  That’s OK with me.  I really don’t need a lot of details about how statis tubes really work—just enough to understand the premise of the fictional world build around it.
I finished this book a week ago and I’m still thinking about it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ever deleted a bunch of work...argh..gah...speechless

I needed to scan a file off my printer, so I used the memory stick with my edits from last week on it.  VERY BAD IDEA.  Apparently, very-crappy-printer likes to reformat memory sticks and create a new folder all it's own.  GAH!

Ok now, it's not like I deleted my whole WIP.  I had just reworked the first two pages of chapter one to really pop.  And I liked it--a lot.  

Deep breaths...

So, I found the most recent copy on my laptop and got to work with all the lines I could remember while they were still fresh-ish.

I do the memory stick thing so that I can work during lunch at my job and then take it home and keep going after the kids are in bed.  What do you guys do?
I'm seriously considering paper, but the versioning will be hell!!~

Monday, March 7, 2011

More DFW Con Gems

Jamie Harrington Totally the Bomb says Pay it Forward.

Make friends with other aspiring writers at the same place in the process that you are and then help them whenever you can.  You will develop amazing friendships and a support system that is essential to your well being as a writer.
Set up a google alert that will tell you whenever someone mentions your name online.  This allows you to respond quickly to thank them for the nod and also allows you to reciprocate.
Keep blog posts under 500 words plus a cool picture.  Some of the blog readers only display 500 words, so most followers won’t click through after the 500.
Lock down your personal Facebook account and create a fan page for yourself (even though this makes you feel like a tool since you don’t really have fans yetJ).  No need to permanently scar the psyche of your unsuspecting young readers with the edgy, inappropriate humor of your adult friends.  This has to be done BEFORE people you don’t know start trying to friend you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Agent Jessica Sinsheimer's Advice on Query Letters from DFW Con

Jessica Sinsheimer

Her advice -- the short version.
Send queries Tuesday thru Thursday during regular business hours.  They get way too much sent over the weekends and your work could get lost in the shuffle.
Don’t bother sending queries in August or December.  They are too busy to deal with them.
Tailor your query to show that you did some research about what the agent likes to represent.
Some reasons she says no to queries:

Bad writing in the query letter (Hey, if you can’t write a query what are the odds on your book?)
Sounds like a public service announcement
Inappropriate to YA
Some reasons she said yes:
Writing style in the query

Do not start with a What if question in your query.  Without exception all agents at the conference say they hate this technique.

What new query advice do you have?