Monday, October 31, 2011

Hints

I'm going to give some hints.  The author is British.  He is knighted.  Though he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007 he is still writing and his 39th book is due out next year.  For Halloween we made our children practice saying "Crivens"  and "Wailey, wailey"  One of my favorite characters in the series is Horace the cheese and I was going to make my son carry around a block of cheese with a tartan on it but we recently had to take him off dairy and I knew he wouldn't be able to resist eating it. 

If no one guesses by tomorrow night I'll give the answer and choose a random winner from among those who guessed.  YOU MAY GUESS MORE THAN ONCE!  So take a look at the clues and keep guessing.  You can guess on this post or keep guessing on the post below that has the pictures. 

Happy Halloween

It's time for my first ever contest! 


We've always dressed our kids up as literary characters.  I  know this migh change next year when my son will be old enough to figure out what this holiday is about and make up his own mind but for now we're having fun. 

So the contest.  The first person to correctly guess what our kids are dressed up as wins.  The prize: $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble or Amazon.  Your choice.  We took our kids to a church halloween party on Saturday night and no one had a clue.  Don't people read anymore? 

Anyway, here are the pictures.



I did not paint their faces blue as at this age face paint is a Really Bad Idea. 

Some fun facts about my kids. (yes I'm a proud parent and honestly believe everyone wants to know about them.)

Son's current favorite food: Tortillas.  Followed closely by waffles. 

Daughter's favorite food:  Broccoli.  What kind of 18 month old loves broccoli?

Let the guessing begin.  Good luck.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cover Up

There is a very interesting article here about book covers.  The author, a bookseller, writes about how hard it is to sell a wonderful book if the cover is horrible.  Her solution?  To have publishers work with book sellers to create covers the buyers want to see.  She discusses the trend for covers to be populated by white girls wearing gowns, quite often walking in nature.  There have been a lot of covers like that lately, and honestly I’m a little over them.  I don’t hate them, but I’d love to see something different, something that stood out.  Of course I think most of these covers have been for the YA audience and that age group does tend to be a little trendy.  I guess if they keep selling the publishers will keep using it. 

Despite the fact that we have a time honored saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” we do.  For me the cover is not final reason I will or won’t buy a book, but covers are what catch our eye, or don’t, as we walk down the aisle in the book store.  It definitely plays a big part in marketing. 

Do you have a favorite or least favorite cover?  I tend to like covers with landscapes on them. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Books Bring Happiness

Really, they do.  There was one semester in college where I was pretty overwhelmed.  I had a heavy class load, lots of homework, some outside commitments and a little bit of Roommate Drama.  Nearing the end of the semester I had to face the fact that I had become bitter, angry and frustrated.  One weekend, sick of myself and not caring whether or not I failed, I pulled out a novel and began to read. 

Bliss. 
 
After a couple hours I felt pleasantly rejuvenated.  Even better, I felt almost happy again.  That was when I realized that overcome with everything going on I had stopped reading.  Seeing firsthand the difference it made in myself I vowed never to completely stop reading again.  There have been times when I only manage a sentence or two a day but I still do it.  It’s part of my well being, like eating healthy and exercising.  Well, I do exercise (cause I can listen to books on tape) and I mostly eat healthy…..

I know some writers who stop reading when they’re working on a novel.  I know some that won’t read in their genre/time period, and some that will only read in their genre/time period.  Everyone has a system that works for them, that helps them be their best.  Mine is to keep a book within arm reach so if everyone is fed and clean and occupied and no one needs me for five seconds that five seconds can be spent reading.  Trust me; we’re all happy I do. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Becoming

I've been wondering what makes a writer.  Obviously anybody who writes, but what makes YOU a writer?  When did you first feel that moment of I'm A Writer.  Was it the first time you won a contest?  Got a good crit from someone you admire?  Decide to go the distance, do the research and work and publish or else?  Was it when you finished your first book? First time you Beta read or received an ARC? Landed an agent or publisher?  First time you held that beautiful book with your name on it?  Or maybe the first Royalty check? 

Or is being a writer a process?  Each book is different and we have to find new ways to write, are we just always becoming writers?  A staircase, with each step leading us closer but where we never reach the top because perfection is unattainable?

What is it for you? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Than You Wanted To Know

So I had a few other posts planned but I found exact replicas of them on other blogs.  Stop reading my mind!  So instead you get Friday Filler. 

I have a ghost baby at my house.  I often hear a baby crying.  I’ve been hearing this since we first moved in (we’re the first owners) long before we ever had kids.  The only think I can think of is it’s a ghost baby in our attic. 

Ghost babies remind me of a picture book I loved as a child.  Gus and the Baby Ghost.  I was lucky enough to find this book at our library book sale last year for fifty cents.  SCORE!

I really like how this draft of my manuscript is turning out, but I feel as if I’m in the center of a spider web.  Move too much, and it will all stick together and get clumpy or disintegrate entirely. 

Halloween is almost here and I’ll be doing my first ever contest!  You don’t want to miss it. 

Deniz gave me the 7x7 link award. In which I’m supposed to link to my most beautiful, helpful, popular, controversial, successful, underrated and prideworthy posts.  Since I’ve only been doing this <counts on fingers> eight months (wow has it been that long?) I’m still figuring this blogging thing out.  Yea, I’m a slow learner.  So I don’t have a clue what I would put in any of those categories.  I’m then supposed to link to seven more blogs to pass it on.  If you want the award it’s yours and I hope you do.  I’d love to be able to link to everyone’s best posts. 

There’s the ghost baby again!  Oh, wait, that one’s mine.  Gotta go….

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Again

I know I linked somewhere last time but we're all sick.  Again.  And I thought this was a fun post listing the steps to write a novel.  So go have fun and I'll see you again on Friday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Insults

There’s a lot of discussion about how the internet is ruining our manners.  It’s so easy to get down on someone when they’re not standing in front of you.  Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new to the computer era.  Oh, I think in general we are more selfish and less polite as a society but an author saying mean things about other authors is not new.  Writerin the North has a fun post about literary insults.  It’s a fun read despite the fact that some of them were about Jane Austen. I guess it just goes to show authors never change.  Which one was your favorite? 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Red Pen

I used to be afraid of critiques.  No, not getting them. Giving them.  I in no way felt qualified to tell other people how to write.   I used to read work posted for critique, figure out what I would say, then read everyone else’s comments to see if I had got it “wrong”.

I think everyone will agree that critiques are essential to writing.  Obviously getting comments on your work makes you better, but criting other people’s work makes you look at your work differently. Like anything else we can improve our critiquing skills.  Studying other’s comments is one way I learn.  Also just jumping in and doing it. 

Critiques like any reading or writing experience is personal.  Something that may make touch one person may feel overdone to me, or vice versa, because I’m not reading it with the same background they are.    I recently had someone leave a nice comment about my critiques and I spent the next couple hours trying to figure out if she was serious or sarcastic.  In the end it didn’t matter.  I was commenting on the things I knew and understood and that’s all I can do. That’s all anyone can do.  So don’t be afraid. Pull out that red pen and get to it.