Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Evidence

Woohoo! The evidence is finally here. The beginning of my legit publishing credit as a writer...That is all.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Push Me, Please

I came across a blog post on YARN that got me thinking...who are the Jillian Michaels equivalents in my writing world?

My writing buddies. As I've edited and revised my WIP based off their feedback, I'm noticing: I'm growing as a writer. They don't just let me get away with pretty words on a page. They make a comment bubble and say, "Show me this, don't tell me." Which is the writing equivalent of "Down and give me 20!"

I balk. I sigh. I sometimes even roll my eyes. Then I get to work and tweak it. Hm, what do you know? It sounds better... They're the people who see my strengths and even use ALL CAPS to celebrate a great brain brilliance. But then they're right up on me telling me I can do better when I slack.

So, many thanks to the girls who push me...including Traci, April, Angelina, Jenny, Amanda, Sara, Amelia, Emily, Morgen...and so many others. My writing would not be what it is (and what it's stretching to be) without YOU!

Who are YOUR writing buddies? How have they helped you stretch?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

#The Heat is On!

As I've contemplated what in the world to blog about this week, I've settled on a game I made up that's kind of like that "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game, but...not... :)

Instead, it's six degrees of...what I've been filling my time with lately, each having a different contextual theme of the blog post title. Confusing enough? (Maybe it's because this Vegas heat has already addled my brain...and it's not even the middle of May yet- YEESH!)



So...the heat is on...
1. I've been polishing my manuscript like crazy while also submitting to (and critiquing) at least eight other writers (two different writers' groups) to put it all through the refiner's fire, ready for some agents' eyes. Querying Goal: July 1.

2. I've got incredible YA books to read, all non-renewable from the library (because they're so in demand) and my butt is on fire to read them all before I get burned by the racked-up fines.

3. #Shadow and Bone by #Leigh Bardugo is one of those incredible books (which I've already finished, but Can't. Stop. Thinking. About.). It's about a sun-summoner whose powers are sought after by both dark and light to control The Fold--a dark, zombie-like wasteland that plagues an area of Ravka. Tsarpunk, I like to classify it.

4. Speaking of writing goal deadlines and library books due dates? That's not the ONLY time constraint I have...I only have SEVEN MORE DAYS until #Netflix removes #Avatar: The Last Airbender series! That leaves about 27 episodes to cheer Aang on so he can master all the elements in time to defeat the fire lord. My life is hard, but this is genuine family time happenin', so I can't skimp out. 

5. Speaking of Aang and learning water, earth and fire-bending, can I just say that Nickelodeon's Avatar is a show masterfully written? I yearn to create characters as complex, layered and perfectly flawed as those on that cartoon. I laugh out loud every episode and fall deeper in love with the show. My favorite character? #Zuko. (What can I say? I like the dark, broody...uh, lispy... types :).

6. The final step in my "#Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but not really" game is...#Jillian Michaels (huh?). Yeah. This woman has been kicking my trash. I've been doing her various cardio burn workouts on youtube 3-4 times a week for the past couple of months, and that woman is MERCILESS. It's a love-hate relationship, I tell ya. But my body is changing. So she knows what she's doing (thus, the love part of the relationship). Even though I kind of cuss a lot during the workouts (the hate part).

The End.

In case the title of this post didn't get the song in your head, here ya go. ;) Til next time!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1,286th time is the charm...

So, yesterday I remembered. Oh yeah...I have a blog. Perhaps I should make it a point to blog regularly so everyone else remembers that I have a blog, too. 

Then I forgot again. Now here I am.

I could end the post here and put you all out of your misery, BUT I'm not that merciful.

I want to share the exciting news! I think I've FINALLY figured out my first chapter. And it only took me 1, 286 times (give or take). Isn't that uber-jump-up-and-down-pee-your-pants fantastic?!

 Uncomfortable Young Woman Royalty Free Stock Photo

 Well, you may not think so yet, but I hope you will when you read it...someday...SOON. And I hope you look like the girl above until you get to read it because you're so pee-your-pants excited.

My thought for the week (or two, depending on when I remember to post again): There is the creative writer voice and the critical editor voice within all of us. Both roles have their place, but are counterproductive and work against each other when speaking at the same time. Only listen to the one who is quietly raising its hand.
Shrout Out. :)



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life After #LVWC13

This last weekend, I attended Las Vegas Writers' Conference put on by Henderson Writers' Group.

Here are the phenomenal things I took away from the weekend:

1. Meeting with agents face to face is an invaluable way to pitch a novel. I spoke with four who are interested in seeing samples of my manuscript.

2. Q&A with agents, authors and editors is AWESOME! I learned so much from the panels they had during meal time.

3. Attending writing conferences saves TIME! It takes months to query and hear back from agents, and hours to search out all the Q&A or workshop topics the conference focuses on.

4. Contacts, Contacts, Contacts! I met some incredible writers this weekend who have amazing stories. Developing those connections in this industry is priceless.

5. Renewed Determination to WRITE. If there's anything a writer needs sometimes, it's a swift kick in the butt to get (or stay) motivated. This conference definitely fueled my tank in that way.

Now what? How will my life be different now that I have four potential agents who want my work? I really get to sit down and revise, reVISE, REVISE! I've learned so much from the classes about more things to revise (in addition to the page long list of revisions I already have). I feel a simultaneous urgency to get this book out into world AND desire to take my time and really polish this thing. So...I'm finding a happy medium in some moments, and in others I'm straight-up wondering if I'm secretly going crazy and will ever be done. All in good time.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Giddy Juvenile Research

Here I am in Sedona, Arizona, the setting of my novel Blinded by Sight!



Since I'm in the midst of the revision process, I decided it was high time to kidnap my honey and go to Sedona to check out Sedona Red Rock High School...the real one that I've written about in my book. Thanks to the VP Jay Litwicki who gave us the thorough tour of the premises.

It was fun to be on a high school campus and get students' confused looks and comments: "Does your child go here?" and "Are you new?" Hahaha! They didn't know quite where to place us, parents or fellow students?

I really wish I had done this research trip sooner. I'm going to have to revamp all the school scenes in the book because I want them to be as accurate as possible with the real thing. It's such a different campus with many buildings and beautiful desert landscape sidewalks leading to each one. What a challenging campus for a blind person to walk through daily! Good thing Devi can handle it.

Here I am by the school marquee:


Next research stop, Red Rock Crossing. This is one of my favorite relaxing spots ever. There's a scene that takes place between Devi and Silas here, so I wanted to pinpoint the exact spot of the vortex since it plays such an important role in the scene. This is the spot where it happens (just imagine that my honey is 18, I'm 17 and that we've still got that teenage love spark...oh wait, that last part doesn't have to be imagined ;).


These were the main spots I needed to remember for my book. The rest of the time we just relaxed, hiked, climbed trees, explored our goofy, enjoyed the solitude.




By the end of the three day trip, we both had smiles on our faces...

and so did this guy ->

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Awe of Muse

Muse...one of my favorite bands, and I got to see them LIVE at Mandalay Bay. Two words to describe it: LOUD and GENIUS. Those guys know how to put on a show.

I'm constantly in awe of talented artists who write not only their own lyrics, but all the music that goes to it and then they play guitar/drums/piano/whatev and sing at the same time! Then they come up with music videos and/or graphics for concerts and entertainment. I'm sure they have help, but it boggles my mind how much creativity and work it all takes! I don't think I'll ever be that creative at multi-tasking. Writing and revising a novel is challenging enough.

Here's a shout-out to Muse for being brilliant musicians and putting on a show I'll never forget.