Friday, February 26, 2010

Fabulous Friday Posts

To continue the tradition (okay, so I just started this last week, but still), I give you this week's Fabulous Friday posts! In my opinion, these are the creme de la crema of this week's blogosphere.

As always, let me know if I missed anything super awesome and I'll happily direct my readers' attention to it.

The first one was written by Kate Douglas over at BookEnds, LLC. Kate's first mass market paranormal romance, DemonFire, hit shelves on Tuesday and she was kind enough to share her wild ride with Jessica Faust's readers. She also talked about the ins and outs of growing her career with Jessica, and it was all very informative. Thanks Kate for the post!

The next is Mathew Delman's post from Monday titled "Ignoring Style Guides" Why? Because I agree with Matt that we should all "write in a way that's pleasing to the ear." Oh, and also because as someone who also has a degree in technical communication, I can relate to the pain that memorizing style guides can inflict. What about you?

Which brings me to Diana Paz's blog post about story ideas (okay, not the best transition, but hey, give me a break, it's Friday). Man do I have a LOT of story ideas. Sometimes (like now), it's hard for me to focus on only one. I agree completely with Diana not all stories have "what it takes' to go the distance." (That's a quote within a quote, BTW. Not plural possessive takes :) Anywhoooo... It takes a little bit of time (okay a lot of time), but I can usually tell after attempting the first outline if this story, or better yet, if I have what it takes to make the story bloom into a beautiful novel.

And lastly, congratulations to Void for getting married last week--Hurray and congrats! Pop by his blog and fill him in on all your awesomeness from this past week.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back to Basics

The last few hours have brought a refreshing sense of self and accomplishment for me. Sometimes I think too much, as the previous post and past two weeks have proven. Right now I'm taking my writing back to the basics and remembering what I love about it. We all have things we love about writing and being a writer. Of course there are times when the prospects of being published become killjoys, but the good times outweigh the bad any day. I'd rather be a writer than anything else. Period.

So now it's time to write. I've added some more characterization to Keira today and this afternoon I'm back to developing my new WIP, which, dare I say it, borders on literary fiction. Actually, there's no border about it. It is literary fiction. Eeep! I said it!!! Gasp.

Okay, back to work.

Generation Y? I Don't Think So. (And Other Randomness)

I think I was born in the wrong generation. While I love the internet and technology, I really could do without it all. Crazy I know. For a girl who studies the effects of technology on identity and development, you'd think I would freak without the technology component, but no, not really.

This is something I've been thinking about lately. Really getting back to the basics of what I love about life. I love family. To paraphrase Charlotte Lucas (Pride & Prejudice) "It's such a pleasure in keeping my own home." And while working also gives me pleasure, it's not on the same level.

I may only be 27, but I've already worked in industry for 8 years. I bought my first home at 19, I obtained a BA and an MA by 26, I wrote two novels in the last 18 months, and truthfully, I'm currently bored with it all.

This is the part where I wish life was simpler. Not that it was ever easy, but if this were 1848 I'd be considered quiet accomplished! Okay, maybe I need to quit reading so much Jane Austen, but right now I'm in a bit of a funk, waiting to hear back on a few submissions, trying to find a new job and house in Pittsburgh, and really trying to make smart decisions.

I've also lately felt that writing hasn't been fun. When you make it a business and surround your whole day with writing and trying to get published, it can be extremely exhausting. For a solid year now, and I'm talking each and every day, I've been trying to get published and I've devoted a good chunk of time each day to pursuing this endeavor. It was inevitable that I would become burnt out, and that's what I am right now, burnt out. I want to get back to having fun with writing and not be so obsessed with the whole publishing part, but I'm not sure how to do that. I'd like to think it's a switch I can flick off, but I don't think it's that easy. Hmmm....

So that friends, is currently what's on my mind. Instead of continuing this whiny post, I'm gonna get out my notebook and jot down a couple of ideas, maybe even a short story, and hope that the passion I have for the pen will soon return. As for the rest of life? Well, that can just wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And Now, Please Direct Your Attention To:

Okay, so I'm a little frazzled with trying to write and teach today. With that being said, I'd like to take the time to direct your attention to a couple of blog posts that I've loved this week.

First up is Rachelle Gardner's post "Where the Rubber Meets the road." Talk about a pep talk. I'm crediting this post with getting me out of my writing funk and starting a new novel. My favorite part is where she wrote :

"Those hard moments, the ones when you wonder why you're doing it, the moments when you think you want to give up... those are where the rubber meets the road. Those moments are when you prove to yourself who you are and what you're made of."

All very good, inspiring stuff!

The next is from Frankie Writes, a hilarious and oh so true post that the lovely Melanie directed me to yesterday titled "SNIS: Sexy New Idea Syndrome." Frankie writes:

"The next thing you know, you're thinking about the SNI, you're planning sub plots, naming your future characters together, shopping for titles and before you know've completely forgotten about your original WIP! It's just lying there, helpless in a word document, crying and wondering why you didn't open it up that night to edit."

This post had me cracking up the entire time. Thanks again Melanie for sharing. I swear, I won't leave my new WIP for a SNI. I know we've only just begun, but I'm all about commitment (two completed novels in 18 months attest to that).

And the last post I'd like to direct your attention to isn't really only a post, but a new blog titled "Holly and Molly's Writing Blog." Holly's been a follower of mine pretty much since the beginning, and I can't wait to read more on her new blog. Awesome job ladies!

Okay, now I must go back to teaching. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend (I can say that, my weekend officially begins in 8 hours!!!!!).

Oh, I'd also like to add, if you've loved someone else's blog post this past week, I'd love to hear about it. Direct me to it in the comment section. Maybe we could start an award--the best blog post of the week. Whatcha think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Not You, It's Me.


No, I'm not talking about The Bachelor, but rather my current WIP, Infinity = Me. I still love the title, but I'm not feeling the story. I haven't touched it in weeks! Sad, I know. Honestly, I haven't even re-read what I wrote a couple months ago. Hmmm...what does that mean? What would you do?

Here's what I'm doing: I'm abandoning it for now to start on a new novel, one that my Muse seems to like. I'm not going to fight with her anymore. If she wants a new novel then a new novel she'll get (gosh she's bossy!).

I'm sure I'll go back to Infinity = Me someday (it's a story that I do want to tell), but right now I have another story brewing and I want to get started on it. It's sad breaking up with a story, but it's something I feel I must do. I'm so mean. Two days after Valentine's Day and all. Talk about being harsh.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Characterization is what gives our stories life. It turns make belief into reality, or a sense of it anyway. It's what makes our characters human, relatable.

Sometimes characterization comes to us naturally. Mrs. Johnnie and Philip, characters in BEAUTY SECRETS, were super easy to write. As soon as I created them, they started talking. Unfortunately, Keira, my protagonist, hasn't come to my so easily. And it's crazy really. After writing 400 pages from her perspective, I still don't feel like I know her completely. Isn't that weird?

What's your take on characterization? Does it come to you naturally? Or have you ever had a character that takes a little while (in my case 1 1/2 books) before you start to really know them?

BEAUTY SECRETS is doing well in terms of agent requests (yes, that's plural and I'm stoked), but that's not stopping me from re-evaluating my characterization. If anything, I'm only making the story better, right? And we should never be afraid to do that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Humor

My Dad forwarded these rhymes to me and I thought you would all get a kick out of them.

1. My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
marrying you has screwed up my life.

2. I see your face when I am dreaming,
that's why I always wake up screaming.

3. Kind, intelligent, loving and hot:
this describes everything you are not.

4. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty, and so is your head.

5. I want to feel your sweet embrace,
But don't take that paper bag off of your face.

6. My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way.

And my favorite:

7. What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Riddle Time!

Seeing you all loved the last riddle, here's another one for you to ponder:

What English word retains the same pronunciation, even after you take away four of its five letters?

Post your guesses in the comments below. I'll try and come up with a fabulous prize for the winner.

Good luck!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting to Know You: "Genre/WIP Check"

Back in the good old days when AOL chat rooms were all the rage (and thus where I spent my free time after school) you used to see the phrase "age/sex check" pop up every ten seconds. Of course I'd gladly type "13/f" into the box and hit enter, quickly scanning the other entries in the process--you know, maybe there was a 15/m in the room :)

Okay, okay, so the guy was probably really 40, but that's not the point of this post. The point is that I've gathered a few more followers lately, just like new friends joining a chat room, and I'd love to know what you're all working on, or if you're not a writer, what genre you love to read (well heck, even if you are a writer, I'd still love to know your favorite genre to read).

I'll go first.

Favorite genre to write: Mystery, preferably cozies (nothing too scary)

Current WIP: Infinity = Me (YA), although lately it's lost that loving feeling and I'm itching to get back to writing a cozy.

Favorite genre to read: Cozies of course, but second place is a tie amongst YA, paranormal mysteries and literary fiction.

Okay, that's me. Now what about you?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Are You Great At?

I'm good at lots of things--writing, crocheting, quilting, cooking, painting (rooms that is)--but there's only one thing I can think of that I'm great at, and that's being loyal.

According to the zodiac, I'm a Taurus which means I'm strong-willed (read: stubborn), hardworking and loyal. Couple this with my Chinese zodiac, the dog, and well, you've got a friend for life.

I pride myself in being loyal to my family and friends. If I say I'm going to do something, then by darn it, I'm doing it--no matter what! (That's the stubborn part.) Of course this means that I have little respect for those who say one thing an do another. And if you're a backstabber, well then that's a whole other case you don't even wanna know about :)

So that's me my friend, loyal for life. What about you? What are you GREAT at?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Riddle Me This

How about a riddle to start of the week? Put your thinking caps on and riddle me this:

I am the beginning of sorrow, and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me, yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk, yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness.

What am I?

Go ahead, post your answers in the comment section. Good Luck!

Oh, did I mention a $15 B&N gift card is up for grabs to the first person who answers the riddle correctly? Well, it is!