Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Award


Honey over at Stories to Share gave me the Kreative Blogger award.  Thanks Honey!  She’s a great blogger who got the inspiration for her novel from living in South America for a few years.  Go check her out!

What’s your favorite song?
It’s hard to pick a favorite.  I don’t listen to music near as much as I used to.  With two kids I much prefer silence if I ever get the opportunity, and if I listen to anything it’s an audiobook. 

What’s your favorite dessert?
Again it’s hard to choose.  I’m a mood eater so it depends, but this cake comes pretty darn close to being my favorite in any mood. 


What do you do when you’re upset? 
Well, if I’m seriously upset, I find somewhere I can be alone.  I rant and cry a little, then pray a lot. 

What’s your favorite pet?
I’m not much of a pet person.  We have a cat and fish.

Which do you prefer, black or white?
Gray.  Definitely gray. I once crocheted a gray baby blanket.  It was a beautiful color. A nice heather gray. Everyone thought it was really weird to have a gray baby blanket.  *shrug* I love it. 

What is your biggest fear?
Losing my family.    

What is your attitude mostly?
I worry and stress a lot. 



Ten random things about me:
I’m pretty scared of ticks and cockroaches.  Good thing I live in Georgia. 

I was born in Seattle so I’ve lived on both coasts of the US. (All right, I’m 3 hours away from the coast here but it’s still pretty close)

I used to work in a floral shop.  One of my favorite things about working there was getting to experiment with different color combinations. 

I love to quilt.  I do it by hand but I don’t use patterns. I like to make up my own pictures to put on the quilt.

There was someone with my same exact first and last name at college.  We even grew up in the same state.  OK, my name wasn’t that unique so it’s not shocking.  What is shocking is that I once went on a date with someone who thought he was going out with the other one of us. 

Our dishwasher broke and I have to wash all the dishes by hand until the new part comes in.  You know what?  I don’t mind.  I’ve always thought washing dishes was a very relaxing occupation.  Until the kids start arguing anyway.  In fact, I was washing dishes when I got the idea for my current WIP.

All right so that’s not really ten things but it’s all I’ve got at the moment and I need to get back to work.  Anybody who wants this award can take it, or just tell me something about yourself in the comments.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Remember

I couldn't have said it better than Mark Koopmans.  In addition to his post though, I'd like to take a moment to think of all the non-military friends and loved ones who have passed.  I no longer live near their graves, and am unable to visit them, but I can remember them.

Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blog it up, Baby

We've all heard people talking about the death of blogging, maybe we've even noticed fewer and fewer comments on our posts.  If we're only using blogging as a networking tool I could see how this would be troublesome and how someone might abandon blogging for other venues.

Michelle Davidson Argyle over at The Innocent Flower has a post on what blogging is to her.  She says that for her blogging is more like a logbook or diary.  Somewhere she can update on progress and talk things through, even if it's just with herself.  I can see her point.  Blogging isn't just about networking, it's about being able to think things through and detail things I've learned so I can always find them again.

But for me blogging is also about friendships.  And no I'm not talking about people I can use for guestposts and  count on to buy my book, I mean really finding people who are like me.  People who understand when I freak out about the plot, or description. Someone who understands the difficulties of writing, but also understands the joy, and the adrenaline of starting a new WIP. Finding out I'm not the only one is amazing. Coming out of the closet and knowing I don't have to hide anymore because there are others like me is one reason I love blogging.

Why do you blog?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Link Me

I've got some linkage for you today.

First over at Thinking Through Our Fingers they had an interesting post, with a checklist, about knowing when your story is done.

Next, Zan over at In the Shade of the Cherry Tree has a link to a fun article about words the English language should have. 

Adam's Daily Apple has ten reasons why writing rocks.

And Navigating the Slush Pile has a post on conference etiquette.  I'm not going to any conferences soon but I can dream.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Freedom

No, not the book by Franzen.

I made a decision last week that I think will really help me.  I stopped babysitting.  I have been babysitting anywhere from 1-4 kids regularly for the past five and a half years. Since January I've had a little girl just a few months younger than Truck Boy and an infant less than six months old.  That meant I had four kids under the age of three.  As you can imagine, some days all I did was feed them, change them, and sweep the floor upon occasion. 

I'm very excited to move forward.  Sure, my book budget may have dropped down to zero but spending time doing fun things with my kids and over all being a good person who isn't too stressed to think is well worth it. 

Mostly I'm hoping I can find a little more time to write.  Or just that I won't fall asleep every time I sit down at the computer.   I'm going to finish this book and send out my first query by the end of June.  I'm putting it out there so you can all hold me accountable. So, I'm off to work now.  Do you have a goal to share?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hey, That's My Idea

Adam over at Author's Echo has a post about stealing ideas.  He says you can't NOT steal ideas.  As far as it goes he's right.  Ever heard the story where a boy and a girl fall in love despite the fact that they come from different worlds and their parents are against it?  Yea, that's just about every book from Romeo and Juliet to Twilight.

We write about human emotions, ideals, dreams and anguish.  There's bound to be some overlapping.  Authors interpretations are what makes the ideas special.

Still, I know of writers who were in the middle of a story and came across an already published book (or movie) that was so similar to theirs they stopped writing it.  It happens.  I've read some books that were so similar I wondered if the authors were related or if one of them was "influenced" by the other.  Actually, there's a few of those I'll be wondering about into the next life.  And it does make me worry some as I write.  What if I'm not unique enough?  I'm not worried enough to stop writing.  I did however, do checks on amazon and the library to see if I could see anything like what I was writing.  Well, agents do say to know your field....

Has this ever happened to you?  Do you worry about it? 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Goodreads

I'm thinking of getting a goodreads account.  Does anyone use goodreads?  What can you tell me about it?  What do you like, not like?  As far as I understand you get lots of book recommendations, and have book discussions.  You can create list of books you want to read right?  And leave book reviews?    Is there a limit to your book list?  Could I use it to catalog all the books I own? Is it more for readers or does it help a professional writer with their social presence?

Thanks in advance for anything anyone can tell me about goodreads. I know I'm way behind the times (I got my first cell phone less than a year ago) but I hate jumping in to things and want to find out as much as I can before starting.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

To Mom

I'm not big on mother's day but I could hardly let this day pass without recognizing my mother. 

Mom, you amaze me.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without your influence and the stable foundation you gave me to build on.  Your support and enthusiasm for my writing, and my life in general, strengthen me.  You may not have been able to teach me singing or grammar (not for lack of your trying) but your influence is felt in all aspects of my life.  Thank you for being strong, thank you for being who you are, and thank you for putting up with me.  Happy Mother's Day. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chapter One. Maybe.

I need some help and I want everyone to weigh in.  What are your thoughts on chapter length?  Do you prefer long chapters, short chapters?  Does it bother you if the lengths are inconsistent and there are some of both? 

I know that the perfect chapter length is just how long it needs to be to end in a place that will keep people turning pages.  But my chapter lengths seem to be all over the place and while I've tried to end in places that feel natural it's just not working. 


How do you decide where to place chapters?

And while we're discussing it, do you prefer your chapters to be numbered or titled?  I've always liked titles but I'm not good at titles and trying to come up with that many of them is daunting.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Describe it for me

So I'm still working on reading Stephen King's ON WRITING in between other projects (We finally have a working toilet in our basement. Yay!) I've found some good advice about description.  Here are some of my favorites.

*I don't need to give you a pimple-by-pimple, skirt-by-skirt rundown.  We all remember one or more high school losers, after all; if I describe mine, it freezes out yours, and I lose a little bit of the bond of understanding I want to forge between us.  Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's.


*I think Locale and texture are much more important to the reader's sense of actually being in the story than any physical description of the players.


*It's as easy to overdescribe as to underdescribe.

*What I actually want to do is open all my senses.  (not just sight)


*It's also important to remember it's not about the setting, anyway--it's about the story, and it's always about the story.  It will not behoove me or you to wander off into thickets of description just because it would be easy to do.  


This last one is good. I've seen that a lot in beginning writers, where they put the story on hold to describe each and every detail of the girls outfit.  Sometimes clothing details are important, I'm not arguing that.  But they shouldn't just be listed while the reader wonders when the story will start again.  They need to be woven into the action and dialogue so that it's organic. 

Personally I tend to under-describe. That's why, well, one reason why, my drafts generally get longer as I go.  Early readers say they don't get an idea of place or time and I have to add in more details.  What about you?  How do you work description?  Do you tend to over or under-describe?



Friday, May 4, 2012

Books, Books, and more Books

I've been in a reading slump lately.  I bought some books for my kindle and none of them are doing it for me.  Which gives me buyers remorse because I COULD have bought some other books I've already read that are just sitting on my wish list. 

To get out of my funk I scoured my bookshelves for some of my old favorites I could sink into a beanbag with.  What's that you say?  I should have been writing?  Probably.  But it's been a very draining week and I needed some reading rejuvenation. 

I thought I'd share some of my favorites that I always go back to.

The Julia Grey Series by Deanna Raybourn.  The first book in the series, SILENT IN THE GRAVE has one of the best opening paragraphs ever written.  And Nicholas Brisbane is one of my favorite male characters.  He's swoon worthy.  And I don't swoon for much.

MRS. MIKE.  What could be better than reading about a 16 year old girl from Boston who marries a Canadian Mountie and goes to live in the frozen north. Plus it's based on a true story.  I just found out there were sequels to this and I'm anxiously awaiting them at the library. 

Anything by Thomas Costain.  Even his historicals are fascinating.


I have a great love of Russian literature so ANNA KARENINA, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, CHEKHOV, they're all good.

The Nell Sweeney Mysteries by P.B. Ryan.  The first one STILL LIFE WITH MURDER I bought on a whim.  It was .99 at Amazon on kindle.  I finished it in less than a day and quickly bought the rest.  I Loved the characters and stories.

The OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabaldon. These books aren't for the faint of heart. There's lots of swearing and violence and sex, but there are also some of the best characters, dialogue and story ever written.

There are others of course, but these came to mind. Do you have favorite books to get you out of a reading funk? 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Snips N Stuff

Does anyone else notice the growing trend of people who have stopped using capital letters?  Is it so very hard to capitalize words?  Or do people just not care about language anymore?  Maybe punctuation and grammar are becoming disposable like the rest of our society.

All right I'll end the rant now. 

You know how sometimes you have a day where you could get lots of writing done but you piddle around and don't do as much as you could. You work, but afterwards you look back and hate yourself a little for not working harder.  Anyone else do this?  Anyway, I'm trying to make up for such a day so I'll just leave you with a little snip I found. Does anyone else find things in their work that surprise them?  Things they don't remember writing, or that are surprisingly good, or surprisingly bad.




He could tell it was her by the shape of her body, the set of her head. He knew everything about how she looked, stood and moved. She was so beautiful, even now, a dark silhouette against the sky. His stomach fluttered and his knees felt slightly weak. It still surprised him, even after all these years, the effect she had on him. His arms ached to go around her, pressing her tight until she became a part of him. His lips tingled wanting to kiss her until she couldn’t breathe and thought of nothing but him. If only she would smile at him, truly smile, or even see him, instead of looking through or past him as she always did. If only she wanted him as he wanted her. 




Have a happy Wednesday!