Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update

 Status: FAIL.

 My family has been in town the last few days so my word count has dropped off into the crapper. BUT I was able to get some great feedback from my brother whose going to be a film director that's really going to help tighten and strengthen my story.

In other, more exciting news for you,Beth Revis is hosting this mega huge book giveaway:

Add caption
 Check it. SIGNED YA books. I love! If you happen to like ANY of these books (this would seriously double my YA library) run over to her blog. There's like a ton of ways to enter her giveaway. If entries reach 10,000 she'll throw in a bonus item.

 I adore YA literature and young adults themselves because that time of life is so transitional, anything could happen. There is so much passion when you're that young and your emotions and hormones are high and your trying to figure yourself out and there is so much hurt and triumph and sorrow and heartaches and joy. Being young is full of so much possibility. You can stretch, set your heights too far up, reach for the stars, fail, succeed beyond your wildest dreams, fall in love, make dumb mistakes, crawl, sweat and fight for your personal independence..and as a reader I can remember what feeling all of that was like (for better or worse) through those books.

Today's goal is to write 2,000 towards NaNoWriMo. I've also been reading Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. They are soo good! Why haven't I read them before? If I was younger, they'd be one of my fav series.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo Start!

 Official NNWM crest from their website.

     Yeeehhhaaaaw. NaNoWriMo has officially started and I'm pumped about it. I know that, technically, working on a project that I've already started might not fully qualify me as a "real" NaNoWriMo-er but I have to see this book through before I begin another. And I'm hoping the push to get 40,000 -50,000 words done this month will be the push I need to cross the finish line and finally be able to type "The End". Ahhh what a glorious moment that will be.

 I'd like to post a few scenes here on this blog from my book so you can see what I'm working on. I'm a bit cautious about this because as it stands there are things that can and will change before the final draft is complete. And I tend to write some in my notebook, the other bits I type up and right now I have a sold beginning, a hesitant ending and a random sprinkling of scenes in between trying to really carve out a solid story. I will take a moment to boast a bit that I do know my writing is quite good. The storytelling however... well, maybe you can be the judge of that. (My husband and sisters think it's good! Does that count?! hehe).

 Anyway, I'm super stoked about this month. Are you taking on the Nano-challenge? Nathan Bransford posted a bunch of awesome links for all your NNWM needs HERE Hmmm NNWM..someone needs to make a bracelet or tee-shirt with that on it. Then start a tumblr or flickr pool where everyone can post pictures of themselves wearing said accessories in various states of writing-induced mania or deprivation. By the end, those pictures would start to look a little hairy. Maybe I will take pictures of myself along the way. I just have to dig out my photo converter to do so. Will  start tomorrow.

Alright..if you're joining up for NNWM sign up HERE and keep me updated! What are you working on? How are you feeling about it?

NaNoWriMo: Day 1: 2,000 words. COMPLETE!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sweet Book Child of Mine


 Hello, new world. Pic from Wikicommons.

                A quick post tonight..it's been so busy here with Halloween, a friend's baby shower and still trying to settle into our new house. Yet so much of the time my brain is in another world trying to figure out what happens to my characters next. I'm in the dense, unknown part of my story where the conflict needs to take a leading role and all the stakes need to be raised. It's taking a lot of brain power. I'm not a great storyteller but I'm a good writer so I'm hoping I can camouflage my weakness with great writing and an interesting premise with likable characters. After all, isn't fiction about twisting the truth!?

            You know that part where you're the new person so everyone comes and introduces themselves to you, invites you over for lunches etc and you pretty much get to sit back and just try to remember everyone's names? Well, I feel like that phase is waning and I need to get on the bandwagon and become more social. But my big problem is that with such little free-time the more I spend away from my notebook/computer the longer it will take to get published. Is that a selfish thought? Is that all work and no play? Or is that what it takes to get the job done? I was at a friend's house and realized that if I want to have friends here, if I want to be included in things and be a member of society, I might need to shortchange this dream I've been working so hard to achieve. And yet, if I do, it feels like someone's asking me to spend less time with my child. These past few years my work has become like one of my children..it takes up so much of my time, it really doesn't give a lot back, as soon as I fix certain issues, new problems arise...and yet I'm devoted to it, love it and can see the potential simmering just under the surface; of what it can become with some tlc. (Or rather, grinding my nose to powder with all the nose to the grindstone that really goes into writing a book).

         I guess tonight I feel a little overwhelmed with life and with trying to become a best-selling author. And with the news that Penguin and Random house merged, it reminds me that the publishing business is an industry I'm trying to hold onto with my fingertips because it's barreling through change faster than I think any of us can keep up with.

  I hope I'm not complaining because no one likes to read about that. I guess my question is...how do you balance the home/work life? Esp as a writer when you constantly feel that pull towards that made-up world where you  live half the time anyway. Or when your characters rove around your brain demanding to be heard but you don't have the time to write down everything they say?

         I don't want to be anti-social or give up on making new friends. But the fact is, this book-child of mine won't let me be until its story has been told. And we've got a ways to go yet. ::shivers with excitement::

Friday, October 26, 2012

What's New in Books Week: Oct 26th

Flying out the door, quick list:

 Author Kiersten White reveals the Secret to Getting Published!

Watch Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket and others read chapters of Coraline.

Nathan Bransford asks, Can good writing really be taught?

Two of the biggest publishing houses to merge? What does it mean for publishing HERE

The 13 Worst Classic Book Reviews HERE

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #2

 Another week, another wishlist. What I wish for this Wednesday:

1. Tom Hardy would know of my existence.

2. That I could go back and erase that time in 8th grade when our class read the Diary of Anne Frank from our textbooks and I thought it would be cool to use different voices and inflection when I read aloud. This will not get you friends.

3. That next time that I buy a box of hair dye I don't decide to just "wing it".

But onto what you're really here to read about.. BOOKS!

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we  post about a book that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our bookshelves. Virtual or otherwise. It's hosted by the fabulous PentoPaperblog HERE

My book for the week?  Ta daaaaaa!

 It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

First in a four book YA series set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate but in the same universe. Out Feb 2013.

I really liked the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series (confession, I need to read the rest so pretend I have all those books listed here as well). Alexia was such a funny and likeable character for me that I'm hoping Gail does it again and Sophronia -(sweet name, right)-is equally as appealing. Plus, call me a sucker for a school that teaches you cool things..I know it's been done a lot since we all graduated Hogwarts but I think I'll always give a book with that premise a go. 

What are your thoughts about the book? Anyone read it yet?

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Be Creative

       I can't believe it but I'm officially on Twitter. Me, the girl who hates tv and facebook (did that confession just lose me all my readers?)  I'd LOVE to meet some more twitter friends so if you're on Twitter, find me so I can follow you! Plus I'd love for someone to explain to me how it all works..wait, let me try. #howtheheckdoItweetlikejustinbieber. Hmm maybe I'm learning already.

     Long story short, Tweet me and I will follow you. If you want to follow Foolscap Fool, you can also follow me on Twitter where I will update posts, retweet pub news and try to find funny things to keep you entertained. Or at least RT other people's funnies. I think I'm going to be a great re-tweeter.

    That said, today's post is a MUST WATCH for anyone trying to be creative. If you listen to This American Life you'll love it. I do love me some Ira Glass. He says he wishes someone would have told him this in the beginning. I was lucky enough to find it in time so I'd like to share it here with you:

What do you think? Do you agree with what he says? Do you have an experience about what he's talking about?

Friday, October 19, 2012

What's Happening in Books: Week Oct 19th!


Listening to: Dog Days are Over Florence + the Machines

Happy Friday Hallelujah it's the end of the week! And we finally ordered a couch and bought a kitchen table so we're not living off the floor! Yay! Because I love link roundups, here are a few articles I've noticed myself around the websphere lately..

YALSA Teens Top Ten Winners have been announced! I'm sure you can guess half of the list but if you're looking for a new read, try a Top Ten!

Author Natalie Whipple talks about other people having your story ideas (that idea terrifies me!) Read HERE.

 Nathan Bransford follows up with his post "Ideas Aren't Sacred" (but it sure feels like it when you're drafting, doesn't it!?) Read HERE

Should teen novels have ratings? Imho we should rate author photos bc this one seems a bit come hither-like..The Telegraph HERE

NYTimes interview with the author everyone's been crapping on lately, J.K Rowling on favorite books and authors(my thoughts on that next week..) HERE

Bookshelves Anonymous Talks about the best places to visit in books HERE.  Oh that they were real places....

The Most Dysfunctional Families in Literature but Publishers Weekly. The Godfather..got it.. Pand P, the Bennets?

Q and A with Lemony Snicket (best name EVER.) HERE

Johnny Depp's production company Infinitum Nihil, starting Publishing Imprint. (Johnny + books= major swoon-age!)

This poster to carry you into the weekend:

 Or creep you out forever if you saw the last movie..Gaah!
(Thanks Wandering Librarians for movie poster! HERE)

  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday

Welcome to my first Wishilist Wednesday, a meme by Pen to Paper! It's a blog hop where we all post about a book in our TBR pile or that we're dying to get onto our bookshelves. Here is one I've been wanting to read for a long time:

 Book Description: 

   Richelle Mead, Lisa McMann, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, and nine more of the hottest YA authors to hit the shelves explore the concepts of prophecy and prediction in this story collection edited by NYT bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It's human nature to wonder about life's twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life's unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction's brightest stars.

This collection includes works from:
Malinda Lo (Ash)
Lisa McMann (Wake)
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures)
Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures)
Laini Taylor (The Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Michael Grant (Gone)
Saundra Mitchell (The Vespertine)
Richelle Mead (the Vampire Academy)
Matt de la Pena (I Will Save You)
Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)
Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)
Diana Peterfreund (Rampant)
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry)
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) 


K, first off, this cover looks sweet. It has the perfect spooky, haunted feel to it which matches the title perfectly.  Also, a big reason for my initial interest in the book is the fact that one of my fav authors Laini Taylor contributed to it. Here is the opening line from her contribution "Gentlemen Send Phantoms" (which you can read on Amazon preview. Do NOT read if you are in the drafting process or you will be cast into the pit of despair unable to lift head or limb.  You'll also have visions where being a garbage worker or an accountant in April might be better suited to your skills because obviously you'll never be able to write anything comparable to Laini. Not that I've ever felt this way. Ahem.)

 "Once, when the moon was younger than tonight and not as plump, three girls gathered by the hearth to bake a dreamcake"

 Ahh. That is great writing in the way only Laini Taylor knows how to do. And how awesome is that title? And the boy is totally swoon worthy.. which, they always are. (DofSandB?!) There are so many other stellar authors contributing to this book it's a must-have for my bookshelf.

What books are on your wishlist?

Your own bookshelf looking a little thin? Find more wish-list books at our host blog Pen to Paper!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Library Fail

    Today I loaded up my two-year old and 2-month old and we drove 20 mins to the nearest library. It was also pouring rain which I was all about because coming from the desert, there is nothing more exciting than a booming downpour to shake up the weather.
  So we're soaking wet by the time I get them loaded into the car and then out of the car and into the library. But it's worth it because there's a little cafe off the front foyer that I'm dying to go back to and write in, and a flat screen tv behind the information desk with advertisements for tots' reading time, adult book club in the fireplace room etc. I'm standing there with a big grin on my face because I love libraries and this one is sweet.

   Then I get up to the counter dripping water everywhere and present my change of address form to get a card. I totally get REJECTED. Because it didn't have my first name, only my last on the page. I tried to tell the kindly lady that my license has my former address printed on it which is also printed on the change of address form but it was a no-go. I seriously got all teary and it was embarrassing and I hope the lady didn't notice and I wheeled us back out to the rain.

 Maybe it's hormones. Maybe it's my still-newborn-stage-lack-of-sleep. Or maybe it was the feeling that heaven's doors were closed before me after I had tried to live a worthy life. Anyway, it was horrible. The library is in my top three favorite places to be in the entire world and all of that goodness was closed to me and my little'ins. So, back out into the pouring rain which had somehow (or maybe it was just me) seemed to be pouring even harder and colder. Suck.

 So now we're home eating lunch. In my new "I love to clean. I'm all about cleaning" mantra I'm trying hard to embrace, I have of course thrown out every envelope that might possibly, probably had my name on it. Then I found a receipt from when I signed up for electricity. Does that count? Has my full name on it..it's a receipt for payment for turning on electricity and my address right there under my name. I am going to call and see. I'm determined to get in there. They can't shut me out! haha.

 That said, I'm slightly lagging behind on my ms. I've gotten it into my head to build most of the furniture we are needing. Such as bookshelves, a tv console, a dresser etc.. I just can't find what I like on the market and am unwilling to pay $400 for a cheap dresser glued together and glazed. So I'm really psyched about it but there goes most of my free time when I was already trying to claw out as much time for writing. I've decided to set some concrete goals:

   End of Nov (and Nanowrimo) MS complete
   End of Dec: Round 1 Crit partners finished
   Jan: Proffessionl edit and personal edits from Crit partners, cover design an formatting, scrounging up advertising/marketing.
   Feb: Marketing, ARCs, release info, reviewers selected.
   Mar: Book release, home-town book release party.

 I hope that's plausible. I've been working and re-working this story for over a year now. I've found that I need a few days of just planning the next set of scenes without any writing. Then, I take a week of great writing until I get to the end of my planning. Then it's back to the drawing board. It makes for slow work but I believe that's the best way I work. At least for this story.

  I do feel a little anxious trying to get all of this done. I mean, we don't have ANY furniture in our house. (Well, the girls have their cribs and I have our old queen size bed and we have a tiny kitchen set that's falling apart. But we need a king size bed and a new kitchen set so not sure I count it!) And when I was talking about how to prioritize everything meaning, "do I put my book on the back burner until we're more settled in?" Or, "do I put building furniture on the back burner until my book is done?" To me, they are both needs. I go crazy if I don't write. And, frankly, I'm a little nervous that the elements that make up my book will go out of style and a new wave will come in and all this work will be passe. Dystopian. Paranormal. Magic. Those have been around for a bit and sniffing the wind, I wonder if they are starting to fade? Agents are looking for epic fantasies and sci-fi these days. So maybe I'm still good.

Well, better go. More later!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Writing Wednesday and I Totally Suck

      We've been 8 days without any furniture or any belongs besides what we fit into our luggage, a few camp chairs and a blow up mattress. It really makes me wonder why we have so much STUFF when really, you can get by with so little. Finally, today the movers came with our belongings.Two nice gentlemen probably in their late 40's. They made good conversation with me, assembled everything they could and wouldn't let met help etc.. Capital fellows.

       6 hours, two broken bookshelves and a broken desk later the movers finally left. I was a little bugged about the broken furniture, about the fact that while the door was open a million flies swarmed in. But mostly I was bugged about myself.  That I didn't mark the rooms to make it easier on the movers like I'd thought too last night but was too lazy to do. That I didn't have any energy drinks on hand, nor anything but peanut butter sandwhiches to offer them for lunch. I'm new in town and our 2nd car, my car is still somewhere between  here and Las Vegas so I couldn't even go pick them up something.

    BUT all of that is so small compared to the big kicker...I had NO cash on me for a tip. 6 HOURS of work. I know they get paid but it really bugged me that they worked so hard and were so nice to me and I had nothing but change in my purse. I feel like such a schmuck. The embarassing part is that I hid out in the bedroom peering out the window to make sure they drove away and weren't coming back to bang on my door and demand their rightful thanks. This was so that I could finally take a breath. See how pathetic I am?!

  ::sighs:: THEN it was school bus hour so every time a big vehicle would pass the house I'd hold my breath feeling like they really were coming back with missing paperwork or something else in the truck so I'd have to face them again. A guilty conscience I tell you....

 So that's my confession and I'm probably over-reacting but they worked hard and hard work deserves something extra. Is it too much to stop by the home moving office to drop off a few $20s? Too weird?

  This whole move I've tried so hard to see it as an adventure. It's been huge and patience-testing with a 2-yr old and 2 month old baby on my hip. Only now as I sit here in my new living room surrounded by boxes, broken furniture and a million flies do I feel a bit overwhelmed. I'm not an interior decorator by any means. We've got so many things we have to buy...a couch, new bedroom set, drawers for the girls, kitchen towels etc..I'm not a spender. (Which is why we need to buy new things..the old ones are just plain too old now). And I really want to have a sophisticated grown up pad. This is our first kind of official place we're going to spend some time at and we're already making friends so I really want to have a place that reflects where we are in life. I think I'm still so geeky and weird and socially awkward. I don't mind sleeping on a blow up mattress. But girls my age should have a proper bed with proper matching bedding and a real sidetable instead of some  that maybe I don't want people to see that so much as the other side -the confident-in-my-skin person I'm trying hard to be or maybe are becoming more. The art lover, the collector, the cleaner. Actually I never see the cleaner in me so that personality just might not exist. So these next few weeks are going to be challenging to say the least.

   Now, moving past me and my whiny meanderings...Beth Revis has a blog series "Writing Wednesdays" that totally rocks.

   Oh Beth Revis why are you so cool? You probably never leave your movers hanging out to dry.If Beth Revis offered online writing classes I would so sign up. She spins each "lesson" in her own way that makes each topic refreshingly new and actually applicable. Case in point? The last few paragraphs of today's lesson totally blew me away:

  This is what separates the very best of the best YA. Good YA has the character realize everyone wears a mask. Great YA has the character realize he wears a mask, too.

The best YA lifts the mask off the reader.

There is no greater accomplishment than a book that can make the reader realize who he is behind his mask.

I'm telling you, sooooooo goood! So check out her blog post today HERE. Your writing will be better for it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The "Exploratory" Draft

  I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I love the idea of it. I love reading words written or "having written" as you've probably heard before. I love going down to the art store and buying a sketchbook full of empty blank pages of beautiful paper and filling it with little scene ideas, dialogue snippets, character profiles and histories etc and sometimes I get carried away in that stage until one day it hits me. 

    I cannot sell this book. This is not, in fact, a novel. You're not actually writing.


    Which means Drafting must begin. Which means gallons of ice cream will be consumed. There will be much throwing of oneself onto the bed wailing that "it's just not mean to be!" followed by well-intentioned consuling from one's husband.After a half dozen times he turns on the tough love and you schlep yourself back together to begin again. And again. And again.

 At least that's how it is for me. You're probably an ubber-galactic steller writer who churns out books in mere days. You suck.

Drafting is by far the HARDEST part for me.

The part where I feel most hopeless of ever becoming a writer. The task of taking all of these random bits and turning them into a full-fledged novel is daunting to say the least. What's the method? How does one bridge the gap between pure imagining and the finished work with all the elements? This is where the published writers out work the dreamers. Key word: WORK.

Laini Taylor (author of the Dreamdark series and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, LOVELOVELOVELOVE) describes the first draft as an exploratory one: (I hope it's okay Laini to post your words here instead of mine because they're so much better!):

                Imagine you’re standing at the edge of a jungle in, let’s say, Borneo (because I have a fascination with Borneo). You have a rough idea of how big this jungle is -- you’ve flown over it in a helicopter and seen dense green treecover, and you know what’s on the other side. You know where you want to get to, and you have a very vague idea of what’s IN the jungle, but you have no map, and as of yet there is no trail. What you do have is a machete, a blank roll of paper, and a grease pencil.

                There’s only one way to get to the other side of the jungle: take out your machete and start whacking. Carve your way forward and forward, sometimes sideways and sometimes back, until you get to the other side. That first time through, you’re going to come across ravines, swamps, viper nests, rivers, all sorts of things you didn’t expect and you’ll deal with them and get around them, over them, through them, in all manner of resourceful ways. And when you step out of the jungle on the far side, what you’ll have in your hand is a sprawling, wrinkled, sweat-stained mess of a map of the territory you’ve just discovered. It might not look very pretty, but it is a glorious thing, a document of discovery. You clutch it to you, and after you’ve rested and healed for a while, you go back to the far side of the jungle and. . . you start again. (Source here)

Isn't that awesome? I love all the bush wacking involved and really, isn't that how it feels a lot of the time? You day dream and mentally interact with your characters, you see things in real life that spawn a mini scene in your brain that makes your hands itch to write down.You have all this beauty and intrigue and pure potential rolling around in your brain so hard it makes you want to explode and then comes the painstaking process of adequately transcribing those feelings and mental images into WORDS. It's like trying to strain pudding.
  But Laini's words bring a measure of comfort.These first few drafts are exploratory, getting to know the lay of the story land. Go easy on yourself. Give yourself permission to write horribly. Set an impossibly high word count as your goal and set a timer and write and write and write. It will come together. Slowly but surely.

You'll probably write a lot of what won't make it into the finished novel. But this helps two ways:

1. You have tons of great back story that helps you write a more dimensional, believable character
2. You're getting so much practice writing that subsequent drafts will be THAT. MUCH. BETTER.

And in the end, those who write, publish. It can be as simple as that. Keep writing my friends!

Bookstores only for Elite?

                                                           Wikicommons photo: by Phillip Capper here

    Read THIS article. It's about Marc Jacobs opening new bookstores in Europe. On the heels of bookstores closing all around us, I can't help but wonder if the future of bookstores lies in the pocketbooks of the ubber wealthy. The rest of us will be downloading our books for 99 cents-$3.99 per copy.

 Your thoughts? Please comment below! More on this later, the afternoon sunshine is calling my name!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back in the Saddle

     Ah it's good to be back. ::Leans back in buttery leather chair, sips tea and commences to write:: Having a baby and a cross country move have really shook life upside-down but it's all been good things. I'm loving the midwest atmosphere..it's chilly, the moon lights up everything in an eery blue-ish light and there is the scent of fall slowing creeping in. A perfect atmosphere for writing.

   Work on my story is going really well. A lot of the times when I'm up pacing the floor with the babus, I get time to plot. The hard part is, that the writing itself suffers for lack of time. But, just last night I conversed with the Husband and we have come up with a tentative schedule to allow me more time to write.

   I was looking up PW articles online yesterday (why is an annual subscription $240!? Why!?) and my heart burned with excitement. I love the publishing industry. I love the writing world. I belong in it. There is a high I get whenever I read interesting articles about anything on these topics. In fact, yesterday also bore great news that had me passed out on the bed with excitement. My good friend Veronica had an agent request a full of her latest manuscript. And she's had her ms out there for only a few days! It's going to get picked up. I've read it and it's fantastic. Really well done. So of course I practically pass out from excitement.

         For some history, Veronica and I used to work at a hospital together and every Friday we'd meet up for lunch and discuss our WIPs and our dreams of publishing. That was just over three years ago. Now, it looks like she'll be published. I feel like it is my own manuscript that has been requested. We're part of a super-secret club of closeted novelists and she's the first to "go beyond". I really thought I was sick..my stomach as all excited and I was jittery ha! Imagine what will happen when I publish! haha I don't know if I'll be able to handle it!

   Anyway, there's the good news and it feels so good to be writing and blogging again. More to come!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy, Happy Friday


 Former Metropolitan Opera House, 1937

      I love Fridays. Just the name..Fridays sounds like freedom and excitement from the drudge of the work week. Or maybe I'm just giddy because a new story is percolating in my mind. It's shiny and pretty and hilarious and ripe with potential and it's been keeping me company while I run errands today and wait for the weekend to officially begin. Hello, shiny story idea. You make everything more exciting in a relatively simple life.

   I've been reading some interesting articles lately and here's a small link roundup!

Advice to Young Writers. I've read this before but it's circulating again. Not sure what I think about them all, it's daunting. Your thoughts?

The best-selling books of 2012 so far... Doesn't take a genius to guess what they are but it makes me want to take a pencil and gouge out Fifty-Shades..

Letters from Famous Authors to their young fans. My favorite is one from Ronald Dahl to a 7-year old girl who sen him one of her dreams (oil, giltter and colored water) in a bottle.

 FastPencil announces a merchandising partnership, a solution for successful self-published authors to potentially see their books in B&N. Sa-weet.

 Amanda  Hocking's Under the Seapalooza There are tons of interviews, reviews and giveaways on various YA blogs in anticipation of her first (new) published book out in Aug.

 Happy Friday!

Love, me and Shiny New Book Idea

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Guilty Confession-Crackers and Frosting

Picture and "recipe"from MADE

   Yes, this is one of my favorite snack foods. Salty and sooo sweet. This is my guilty confession and no, I do not feel bad about it! I won't feel bad about iiiittttt! ::dives back into crackers and frosting::

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Violence in YA..Too Much?

 Author: TexasRose via Wikimedia Commons

      I haven't been posting as often because of vacations and with the clock ticking away at this impending labor and delivery. Any day now! And I'm so ready to go. I really hope I can continue to blog a few times a week or so. We'll see.

   Today Nathan Bransford posted about violence in the American culture, especially it's growing prevalence in YA literature. It's a great read and he brings up a lot of great points and questions HERE. Here was my comment:

   I, too, have been thinking about this lately. When The Hunger Games really caught the hype wave I was so disappointed because of what aftermath was surely to follow: a flood of books depicting children/teens fighting or competing to the death. Suzanne Collins wanted her books to be talked about, to raise awareness of the effects of war but I highly doubt authors publishing such similar books hoping to ride the success wave have that same motive in mind. And regardless of the motive, what a topic to flood our youth's shelves!

  (*Actually I've already read a review about a book that just came out with this very same idea. I confess, I ranted to my husband about it. I mean, you take all that time to write a book and you're stealing someone else's story bones to tell it!?!? And then you're proud of it!?!? Come on. Everyone knows you're just trying to ride the success wave of another author's hard work and creativity. If you want to talk about censorship, these are the books we really should ban! :) Back to my comment..

I'm against censorship but I don't agree with the idea of exposing our children to all of these things, through any type of media, just to "prepare them for the real world". Yes, let's not ignore it or pretend that bad things don't happen but you don't have to watch or commit cyber murder to understand that it happens. Or better yet, why don't we try to better our world so it's not supposedly best represented by violent video games and R-rated movies and books. Before anyone says anything, I DO believe that this particular topic is up to every individual parent and their own judgement for their own child. I just don't think it's a valid point for why violent literature/media is alright or why it's not potentially doing more harm than good.

I don't think you can argue whether or not such media creates murderers and bad people, but listen to the ways children talk and watch how they treat each other and adults..it's usually pretty clear what kind of entertainment is prevalent in their homes. There's no doubt these things influence, it's more a question of how much and how harmful an influence?

(end comment)

    Simply stated, I just don't think that in order to teach my child about fear (of which there is a LOT of in this world) I need to scare him. Or, that by scaring him he is any better prepared to handle real fear when it inevitably shows up in his life. You can tell which way I'm swaying in the Violence in YA media debate.

   I think too many people are debating the wrong issue...we butt heads to debate whether or not to allow such media to exist and whether or not that's ethical. But I think the real issue here is that it's going to exist no matter how many mothers get up in arms over the release of another Modern Warfare type game and how we are going to deal with it in terms of our children's exposure to it. Also, how available or prevalent we're going to make such media be to our youth. As shown below..

    A while back there was a question brought up on Agent Janet Reid's blog where she showed a picture of an erotica cardboard advertisement set up towards the front of the store and displaying a few of erotic books underneath it. It was easily seen by children coming into the store. A mother had spoken up about it to the management asking them to please move it to a different, further section where children would not be subjected to it. I was so surprised how may commented that they were not in support of this mother's actions because they believed it was ok for their children to see those things. I think, again, the debate is not whether or not your child is influenced by it (they are, it's really more about how much and how harmfully) but what you do when it comes up in their faces. Censorship is not asking them to move the stand to another area, rather, it's allowing both sides to get what they want...it's not in the faces of children whose parents believe it's too mature for them, and those who think it's fine aren't hurt by their children missing out. And if they want them to see it they know which section it's in.

   It's like the great debate on gay rights and bullying in school..I think we miss the mark. So many parents tell their kids "It's right, don't stop at anything to defend it" or "It's wrong, don't stop at anything to put it down". And these kinds of talks are getting students beaten up and killed. Really, we should be teaching our kids what our own family's belief is and further more, that other people won't believe the same things we do but that we need to treat them equally and with respect. In this school situation, where gay youth are getting beat up and even killed, who cares if this child is homosexual or not when the greater issue is HIS/HER LIFE and safety. And we need to be teaching our children how to respect that life regardless of if they live it the same way we do or differently. Too many people are getting caught up in "right verse wrong" and not realizing the effects of their anger and intolerance on their children.

 End of rant. This is probably as political/ morally opinionated as I will ever get on this blog. Both politics and morals bug people so I don't want a lot of it here. I guess Nathan just opened the flood gates today and I had more to say about it then I thought. Again, these are my own personal thoughts and I tend to think differently then a lot of people.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sometimes I feel like a fool

Song I'm listening to right now: Set Fire to the Rain by Adele

        Sometimes I want to be an accomplished writer so badly I can feel the strain in my veins. Everyday, there is nothing like the high I get off reading an incredible article or blog post that excites me about some aspect of writing or publishing. I've become such a book blog junkie because of it. Ask me the states about book sales last March compared to last year at that time, I know it. Where to find book recommendations for gifts? I know. What did Kurt Vonnegut say about writing? I'll show you.

   I say all this not to brag because, frankly, it's common knowledge and there are millions of people more knowledgeable than I on anything I may think I know, but to wonder aloud if knowing all of these things actually helps or hinders when comes to the actual writing.

 Sometimes I sit down to write and feel like such a fool. As though this vast knowledge is sitting on my shoulder and suddenly Stephen King's voice rings out: "description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's!" Bah, I cross out the few lines that are too telling. I scratch around a bit more then a list unrolls of the Top Twenty Beginnings Every Agents Hates and there is mine, number eight. Cross out. And on and on. Sometimes I wonder if knowing too much kills imagination. Actually, I think it does.

     But there is the other side of it. Looking back on my old MSs and old drafts I am so glad there was reasoning that stopped me from continuing on in a vein that so did not work for that story. (Or, did I kill it before I had time to figure out what would have worked instead?)

      Sometimes I want to be an accomplished writer so badly it makes my head hurt. Sometimes I have to dig deep in order to keep persevering. Sometimes I need someone to remind me that I CAN write decently. Sometimes I wish there was something else out there-easier-that happened to be my life's passion, something other than writing. Sometimes I wish all these nap times I give up, the staying up late while everyone else is in bed, the weekends spent in the library writing instead of playing would automatically translate to luck that slips under my door and breathes life into my pages guaranteeing the success of my hard-won novel.

   But when it comes down to it, what matters most is the hard work I put into my novel. Then everything else will come into play. Maybe when I want it to, maybe later. Perhaps I've hindered myself by researching too much about the craft and maybe I've stuffed my brain with facts no one but a handful of others would be interested in knowing rather than absorbing the life experiences around me that would make my characters and situations better. But in the end I've got to believe that it will help me. That all these wrong turns where logic has dictated a better story has been for my betterment. That all these voices shouting out to me has helped and not hindered.  I guess it's what I will keep telling myself until I publish or take my stories to the grave. Hopefully the first, and maybe then YOU can tell me if I am found wanting despite what I think I know.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Love Lists

Song I'm listening to right now: Dream by Priscilla Ahn

Love List: Birthdays. Check.

     If I may be so bold, Stephanie Perkins is a rock star writer. Her debut novel Anna and the French Kiss is one of the best YA ones out there IMHO. It's made up of all the best parts, you know, the parts you always skip to in a story. AND the book is all about falling in love in Paris with a British guy ::swoon:: But I digress..

    Stephanie Perkins is a rock star writer. So when I read a post about "Love Lists" I was intrigued. Basically, every time you're starting a new project you list all the things you love about this new story. It helps you 1) stay excited during the heck, physical and emotional torture, living nightmare drafting process. And 2) it provides a loose guide of what ideas you should be building up as you writer (genius, people). At the end of her post she says:

  "If you keep a list of ideas in your novel that make you proud, you will CREATE a novel that makes you proud."

   How wise is that? As I've been drafting this story of mine I keep searching for the "be all, end all, golden goose" of a storyline. I had myself convinced for so long that everything had to click right into place or the entire thing had  to be re-written. What I've been looking for so long is a formula. Instead of whipping everything together from scratch and CREATING a beautiful novel, I was searching for something to make it "perfect". This week I've realized that that "perfect" formula isn't out there; that no matter how many new beginnings I write, it's the characters that drive the story, the suspense that makes the reader turn pages, a strong back boned plot, and a fresh voice that makes a story "perfect".

   So I'm trying my hand at a love list. I've never made a love-list about a book before. I have made these kinds of love lists:

   My Celebrity Crushes:
   Brad Pitt
   George Clooney  (I'm afraid you'll never find them on my list. Good looking yes, but not my type.)
   Johnny Depp
   Tom Hardy
   David Bowie in The Labyrinth tights and all.

   Things I Love: 
    ice cream
    summer nights
    live concerts
    driving with the windows down
    snuggling in a down comforter

 My Book Love List:

 death personified
 magical abilities with your hands
 a wonderland forest
 creatures that live in flowers
 a ghost district
 a shape shifter posed as a neighbor lady
 creatures from dreams running loose
 beautiful chiffon dresses
 a secret room
 a transporting cloak

It doesn't help me a dang way of how to now construct such a fabulous sounding story but I think the two reasons Stephanie listed are valuable in creating a story you have enthusiasm for. Which is what (us) readers are really looking for....something that wraps itself around our brains like hazy cashmere transporting us to another world while a little hand breaks through to our hearts and makes us feel.

For the whole post read HERE. It's on Natalie Whipple's blog..a writer whose debut novel I am SO eager to read next year. So also speaks straight to struggling writers so check out her blog for shizzle.



Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Can't Just "Kill Your Darlings"

All I have to say about the second article in my post yesterday is that it is one of the most influential articles on my writing thus far. Which surprises me because I've read the usual standbys-On Writing by Stephen King, The Elements of Style, the Paris Review interviews, NYTimes articles, Huffington Post articles on advice from writers etc-. And maybe it's because this article wasn't so much on how to craft your book but literally how to write productively. The number one rule for how to be a writer is WRITE. So, logically I guess I see why this article was so profound to me.

   I guess I should confess, too, that one of my hardest battles in writing is maintaining direction. I have so many "drafts" clouding up my hard drive and sitting in piles under my desk, in my room, in the corner, etc.. It's so frustrating to have a few hours a day (usually at great sacrifice of sleep esp for a pregnant gal) and to write a sizable amount of text only to realize at the end of the day that my character wouldn't react that way or that I've spent too much time on world building and no action. I know any writing done is helpful but I can't help but feel that at that point, looking back, the day and sacrifice made to write was a waste. Because at the end of the week when I've gotten 10,000 or however many words and lack of planning or direction cuts them all, it's like running a treadmill but never loosing a pound.

  So what I've taken from the article is that I need to be more methodical. Not to squelsh the ole inspiration and creativity but that if I want to write "for real" (and that is the goal here) that maybe too much creedence is given to "inspirational flow" and " writing from the well" and more emphasis needs to be placed on structure and intelligent examination of a WIP. And that when that happens, the rest will follow and be allowed to thrive.

 To tell a story well, the popular phrase is you have to "kill your darlings". But more than that, you've really got to look at how you're going to do it, why you are and what is the best build-up to get there so that your reader is absolutely hooked when you do it.

 In closing, here is one of my new favorite songs/writing inspirations that I've listened to a gazillion times this week:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2 Writing Articles to Note

I read two articles this week that I think every aspiring advanced writer should take a look at.The first one is from the NYTimes about how one book a year (which so many notable authors have publicly commented on as being very difficult to do. Unless you're James Patterson who had part in releasing 13 novels last year.) just doesn't cut it anymore and that you should be producing at least two/year and or supplementing your work. Read the article Here

   I do agree that getting your books out in front of people more often will increase your sales. That's why James Patterson does what he does. Every time you walk into a bookstore I guarantee you see one of his books in the front of the store because of how many new releases he sells per year. That's on purpose, people.

    The article also references how other authors are supplementing their major works with small stories or snippets in the off-publishing time. The reason for this, according to the article, is because in the e-book age readers are hungering for and expect more from their favorite authors than the traditional one book a year. I'm not sure I agree with that exactly.

      I do lust for the sequel of a favorite book and to read more from favorite authors so I get that part of it. But I don't know if this idea of having to publish more to be successful is reader driven. I think current media has allowed more direct contact between authors and readers allowing un-traditional publishing protocol to exist. Like publishing shorts in between your novels or chapters of unfinished works on blogs etc. The traditional publishing mode is generally seeing your work 1-2 years after a publisher has accepted it and before this modern media rush they were largely in charge of all promotional marketing. Now, authors have really had to take the reins on Twitter, blogs, facebook etc to get themselves out there which is where they idea of More! More! comes from I think.

  There are so many books coming out all the time, no reader could ever read them all. I've never had a problem supplementing my reading with a lot of these other books I'm excited about while waiting for the next book of my favorite author. I haven't heard a lot of grumbling from readers seriously complaining of the wait either.

 Although I will say, I believe self-publishing is different. The more book you can get out there the more money you should make (if you're good and are lucky) and the more changes of readers finding you in the swamp of self-published works. Amanda Hocking had 8 books out one year which launched her to success. Joe Konrath has many, many more than that out now. That's why they make so much at it. I do not think they could at one book per year.

   What are your thoughts? Am I behind the times? Should I be demanding more of my authors? Or this, with self-publishing and how you can literally write a novel one week and publish it the next, are people not caring about content as much as getting the next fix from their author? Even if it means sacrificing quality?

 Which brings me to the next post that has thoroughly enlightened me. I think this one is for more advanced writers, those who have been around the block a time or two and looking to take their writing to a new level.

Original post by Rachel Aaron here

It's gotten a lot of talk from authors such a Holly Black who had an excellent post on the topic you can find on her blog. As this post is already lengthy enough, I'll be back tomorrow with my take on it and eager to hear yours! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

You Can't Force Your Luck

I'm writing a novel. It's a fantastic novel that dips it's toes into magic and wades into fantasy. In my mind, it is great but when it comes out on paper it's something else. Maybe it's like when someone gives birth; for 9 months you imagine this child and what they could be like or what they could possibly look like. And then you see him/her in front of you and you realize that they have their own personality independent of you. That they have semblances of you in their physicality but they look entirely like their own self with a face never seen before. That no matter how long you wished or dreampt or thought of this creation, in the end you really have such little real influence over the creation process itself that it's better to realize this before you even  have the child. Else you'll hold on too tight, create unrealistic expectations, head down a bitter road of unrequited wants and never be fully satisfied.
    I believe if you create the time every day inspiration will know where to knock. The key is to let in that inspiration and allow the story to be its own person instead of suffocating it and twisting it and altering it to fit into your pre-concieved "outline".  This is not to say, let the story run amuk because back to our metaphor?..simile?..every baby needs constant nourishing and direction to grow properly so we should never confuse whose really in the driver's seat. But to allow ourselves to let the story come, to practice like the dickens to be able to transfer these lovely, intangible visions into words on paper, and hone the raw talent that bubbles up from within our creative psyche to become a world that others can see and feel and hear.

   This morning I woke up two hours too early and tried to think up a better beginning of my story. My brain got twisted up like my sheets that no matter how many ways I bundled them, scrunched them, flattened them etc I could not get comfortable. This is a post to remind myself that the things we want most usually come after diligent hard work and persistence but also a bit of relinquishing the reins to allow Karma, intuition, luck and everything else good to come our way.

Why We Should Write

(from Murderati.com by Toni McGee Causey)
    Somewhere, there is a woman, sitting in a room, three days past a rape. Her bruises are turning purple and in a few more days, they're going to be that greenish hue of ghouls. She hasn't looked in a mirror, yet, but the swelling is starting to abate, and she can open her jaw without the execrable pain. The screaming is almost entirely in her head, now. The stitches hurting her remind her she's alive and she's not really sure why people keep telling her that, as if that's a good thing. She's not sure she wants to be. There's been just enough time to get past the initial shock, the stunned chaotic business of having lost any sense of strength in the face of the world. She has had just enough time to be processed, and there should be a stamp for her forehead: file # 56449A221. 

Oh, people have been caring. They have been very professionally caring. All of the people, scads of them. They have been very careful not to touch her or move too fast. Everyone is diligent about addressing her respectfully, using her name, always making sure she feels like an individual. She can see it, see in their eyes how she is now different. The opposite of the person on the other side of the desk, where there are things like strength and weapons and confidence. 

And right now, she is finally alone, though the moat around her has turned into an ocean, and the screaming, it just keeps on coming. For a few minutes, not having to deal with anyone else is good. A relief. But then there is the silence, and in the silence, it all happens again. She cannot close her eyes, because it's all happening. Again. She cannot talk to someone, because the screaming will break free. Or the tears. Either may kill her. 

She needs. Needs. To be somewhere else, other than here. Other than this thing she's become. Needs to be able to step outside of her skin for a little while. Maybe a long long time. 

She's going to go to her bookcase and pick up something. Maybe it's something where the woman kicks someone's ass. Maybe it's one where the good guy wins. Or the DA is brilliant. Or the girl comes of age and has confidence. Whatever it is, she gets to step outside of the bruises and the cuts and the broken bones for a little while. She gets to live a different ending. A different beginning. Have a safe place to be. And somehow, maybe, have a little hope that this thing, too, will pass. 
Write a story for her.


Somewhere, there is a man, sitting in a hospital room. His wife has cancer, and he's been there, every day, before and after work. Except now, he can be there full-time, since he's lost his job. He's spent days seeking help, trying to find a way to keep her there, to make sure she has the care she needs, when all of his benefits are gone. He's filled out more paperwork in this one week than he's done in a lifetime, and only barely understands half of what they've told him, if that. 

He'll try to get a second mortgage for the house. Sell off the second car, trade his in for something cheaper. The savings--such as it is, there's not much with two kids--is gone. The retirement will go next, and that might last a month, at this rate. They don't qualify yet for any sort of Medicare or help. His sister is at his house, boxing up stuff to sell. Doing it while the kids are at school, so they don't see.

The screaming is almost entirely in his head, now. The anger, the rage, the helplessness. His wife's asleep, and sleep is so rare with the pain she's in, he can't risk turning on the TV. She's been in too much pain for him to leave the room, though.

He's lost. He sees it in the eyes of the nurses, sees it in the eyes of the administrator. The woman running the accounts payable office.  He's become this other thing, this person he doesn't know, and right now, for a little while, he needs. Needs. To be somewhere else but here. Someone else but him.

He'll slump down in the God-awful chair they have in the room, punching a pillow that one of the orderlies found for him, and he'll crack open that favorite paperback he grabbed on his way out the house this morning. For a little while, he gets to be a hero. He gets to fight crime or solve problems, save the world or save the girl. For a little while, he gets to have hope.

Write a story for him.

A lot of people in the industry are scared right now--things look bleak. If you're pushing through NaNoWriMo or that draft on deadline or beginning a new project, you may be at that part of the process where you're feeling exhausted--or scared to begin. Writer fatigue and fear are hard to combat in the face of a lot of bad news, and especially hard to slug it out when it looks like the possibility of selling is dwindling to nothing.

And this, ironically, is when we need story the most.

Story-telling has been around for millennia for a reason--we need to connect. We need to both transport somewhere other than our own daily circumstances and to connect to others, to know that someone out there understands us. Understands our fears, our desires. We need to escape, without physically abandoning our family and friends. Stories do that. We need the hope, the connection, the dream. 

Write a story for us.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I hate Apartments

Tell me one good thing about them. Having a pool/workout community doesn't count because technically that has nothing to do with the living that goes on within in an apartment. (This is the biggest and perhaps only pro I can think of). And you might be thinking "I can call up maintenance anytime to fix something" to which I say, "define 'fix;".

    Normally I'm not a complaining bugger but today our water was shut off with no forewarn. All day. You never realize how much you need and use water on a consistent basis until you go to flush the loo and nothing happens. Or you go to wash your hands and nothing comes out. Or rinse a spoon. Or add water to your dinner recipe. Or come in from a hot morning at the pool ready for a cold drink of water and its been turned off and your 2-year old daughter guzzles down your last water bottle and you feel bad about wanting to yank it out of her small, innocent hands before she's done but your mouth shrivels as you watch the last drop disappear.* In our community email, it says it was an emergency water valve issue. But as I mentioned, I was at the pool this morning and overheard two maintenance workers talking about shutting off the water and it didn't sound like an emergency to me.

     Let me preference this rant by the fact that we have the weirdest neighbors that have only fueled my perseverance towards publishing and getting us out of here. Like the one across from us who will stomp out onto her porch and rant to the world about all her problems. Then she repeats the process about ten times slamming the door every time she goes back in. Oh, and she also likes to spray shaving cream at an imaginary Obama and any office manager that comes to tell her to stop.
   Needless to say, I'm pretty ready to move. Preferably to a house with 3+ acres. Because nothing ever goes wrong with your water or appliances in a house (hehe).

   The good thing out of living in an apartment in the middle of the desert with wacky neighbors and no water is that as mentioned it really has spurred me on to write more/better/faster/consistently. Whenever these things happen I always think "As soon as I publish I won't have to deal with this." As soon as I publish maybe we can move away from here...buy a house...I can finally decorate because we'll stay in one place...I can stock my pantry with tons of food so that I don't run out of powdered sugar and forget about it until I'm ready to frost my feel-better-about-no-water-situation chocolate cake and can find a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar (which any baker knows if about one individual serving of frosting. And even less if you were counting on drowning yourself in chocolate soothing). I can make more friends. I can have an awesome community of readers and book affecionados and we can chat about books 24/7. I can finally have something of success under my belt. I can finally look good with blonde highlights. I can shop at JCrew and their clothes will magically look great on one whose chest isn't as flat as a board and who has hips.

 Publishing will probably end world hunger.

Bring it on published novel. I'm ready for you.

*And you're 7 1/2 months pregnant which means you sustain yourself on water. Esp through a Nevada summer.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Importance of Book Clubs *Updated

    Tonight I went to my first book club meeting. Needless to say, it totally rocked. Now that I'm home basking in the glow of a well spent evening I'm wondering why I haven't joined or started a book club earlier? The only down side is that until tonight I considered myself a well-read person..boy was I far off! I've gotten into this niche of reading YA novels because my WIP is YA and I had few adult books come to mind when we went around with suggestions. (I was pleased when someone said "The Book Thief because seriously, that book transcends categorization. READ IT.).
   Anyway, my point of this post is that it was such a well spent night discussing literature, hearing others' insights of how the book applied to their lives and feeling like I was actually gaining something from the conversation that I had to come home and write about it and urge you to get involved. If you like books AT ALL.
    The highlight was good conversation. It is something that has become so rare in my life. There are few girlfriends I can talk to where the conversation doesn't revolve around shopping, something on Pinterest, yet another _______ (insert with: personal work-out schedule, cleaning schedule, kids' schedule etc). It's fine to talk about those things but lately I've been craving the kinds of conversation where I leave with more than I came with. It also helped that most of the other attendees were older than me, I love any situation where I can gather up bits of wisdom since they are so much wiser than I.

 So..if you're lonely or feeling like all anyone cares about is Jersey Shore and the latest hyped whatever this might be the outlet you need..

**Update: Today I saw on Fantasy-Faction a NEW Sci-Fi book club! Right on the heels of my post last night...I'll admit, I love a wide spectrum of genres but I've never really gotten into Sci-fi. But this book was chosen by readers who know their Sci-Fi so I feel confident it's got to be pretty good. Fantasy-Faction also has a fantasy book club @ 1 book per month. I discovered their site not too long ago and have really enjoyed their articles and author interviews. They have an anthology coming out and there is a contest for your work to be included. So if you're looking for a way to get your footprint out there in the writing world... check it out here!**

Monday, June 18, 2012

First Post

The first post on a new blog ought to reflect the purpose of said blog. The problem is, I don't really know what its purpose is. I suppose it's a place to house all my ramblings. Maybe I should have called it Jenna's Ramblings. Hmm. Anyway what you can expect (if you so choose to read) is a lot of posts on writing, wanting to publish, tips and tricks of the trade, entertainment reviews and a whole lot of rambling about topics I would love to hear others' feedback about.

   I'm a writer. I'm writing a book. You'll probably hear a lot of the ups and downs that go along with that and I hope that if you're in the same boat I am that you'll chime in with your words of wisdom, experience and opinions. Maybe this place can be one where you can ramble too.

   The title I Live Beyond is taken from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn one of my all-time favorite books. Here's the full quote:

 “Because," explained Mary Rommely simply, "the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for.” 

 To me this summarizes my purpose for writing and for reading. So often when life begins to buck, there, in the back of my mind, lies an entire world that is so real because I need it to be. And sometimes it's only because that imaginative world exists to give me a short respite that I can must up the strength to get through another difficult circumstance, day, whatever it is. 

(Also, I may be a writer but I've never been good at grammar so please excuse!)

Is that enough rambling for one post? Okay :)