Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday Thoughts: ?????


Who?

What?

When?

Where?

Why?


Have you answered all those questions in your story?

Oh, oh, and don't forget the HOW.

Just some more thoughts I wanted to share!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recent Reads: Angels, Demons and Clues ... on a Wednesday

Book: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Book Count: 32

Nora's new lab partner has the hots for her. Either that or he's a psycho who is stalking her and plotting her death. But Patch is way more than he seems and Nora quickly learns that he may be the only one she can trust. Even if he's fallen from grace.

The only thing I dislike about this? It's the first of a series. I was oh-so trying to not start any new series because I get all anxious about when the next one's coming out.



Book: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Book Count: 33

This is the story of Alice. Ray kidnapped Alice several years ago and is now holding her captive. At 15, Alice is swiftly growing up and out of the little girl shell Ray has tried to keep her in for all these years.

Be forewarned, this book covers a heavy topic and at times (most of the time) is pretty disturbing. But it is a beautifully told story from Alice's perspective. It is a story of survival and love and human nature, the good side and the bad.

If you didn't already know, I am a HUGE Elizabeth Scott fan. I've read almost every single one of her books and have loved all of them. This one included.



Book: Paper Towns by John Green
Book Count: 34

Margo is the girl Quentin's been in love with since they were little kids. As they grow up, they grow apart: he becomes a school band groupie (because his 2 best friends are in the band) and she becomes the girl he'll never get. When Margo suddenly disappears after having spent the night before with Q, exacting revenge, Q begins to question who Margo really was.

Seriously I was laughing out loud. And books like that are always fantastical. Just sayin.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday's Tiny Talkers

Okay, maybe that's a totally lame blog title, but I decided this is the week where the name of the day will be each blog post. Why, you ask?

I have no idea. Just because I decided.

So yesterday I mentioned I'm rewatching Gilmore Girls. The Complete Series. The husband gave the boxed set to me as a gift a couple Christmases ago. I watched the whole thing a couple times through after I received the gift, but a friend borrowed the set this past year and I just got it back. After about 11 months. So yeah, I missed my GGs.

Lorelei and Rory aside, there are some fantastic supporting characters on the show. The loud, sort of obnoxious, but endearingly caring Babette: the next door neighborly gossip. Taylor - the really obnoxious, condescending town magistrate/selectman/mayor guy who is always out for himself. Mrs. Kim, Rory's best friend's mother, owner of an antique shop and psychotically strict. These people do so much with such a tiny part, you know their personalities, how they will react, who they are.

I recently read a book that had the potential to give the supporting characters personality, but it didn't. And I was really disappointed because of it. Although the MCs were pretty well developed, the world didn't seem real to me when the supporting characters, who interact with the MC(s) constantly, are flat, generic and have no personality.

As hard as it is to make sure the characters in your work are real, have you spent the time needed to make sure the Tiny Talkers in the background, the quirky math teacher, the brainy student body president, the loud and nosy neighbor, are just as real?

Just something I've been thinking about. Have you considered it?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Last Monday

I have another week off before heading back to work. Taking advantage of the time off, I've done some reading and some critting and some revising and hoping I'm going to be able to squeeze in some writing this week. We shall see.
A couple things taking up my days off time:

*A really loud pair of small children who have realized that I am not going to work.

*Rewatching the Gilmore Girls complete series. Again. (Just so you can put in perspective how much I adore the Gilmore Girls--
Last night I said: "I really need a cup of coffee."
4-yo kidlet asked: "Why?"
I said: "Because I haven't had my cup of coffee today and I have a headache."
Kidlet: "You need coffee like Lorelei?"
I couldn't help giggling. Just a little. And, yeah, if you haven't seen GG, you really should.)

*Finishing up the first part of our 2nd bathroom renovation

*Critting

*Reading

*Revising

*Writing

As much as I've tried to take advantage of the time off from the day job to get really going on the writerly stuff, yeah. It hasn't worked out as well as I'd like. Mostly because there's these two adorable little chicklets that I can't say no to. I'm betting most of you know what that's like!

So what have you guys been up to this last couple weeks of the year?

Well, Happy last Monday of 2009!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post-Christmas

I recognize I skipped wishing everyone Merry Christmas, et al.

I figured, most were busy baking and hosting family and eating and last minute gifting that you probably didn't have a chance to read blogs yesterday or the day before.

I didn't.

So now that we're here after the stress of Christmas is over, hope everyone had a great holiday!

Now, it's back to work: crits, revisions, reading, writing.

Have a great day all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Calls, Cupcakes and Critterbug

No, not that kind of call. Yesterday I made the mistake of saying my vacation was officially beginning. Two hours later I got an urgent text from one of the guys I work with saying there was a problem. Yeah, so vacation on hold until I can get this issue taken care of. Suck for me.

But the kidlets are off to a Christmas party today with their Secret Santa gifts in tow and a whole box of treats:


Yep, we made those in lieu of the planned trip to the zoo, seeing as there was a freaking blizzard here!!

But hey, it's the winter. Snow is to be expected, even when it is inconvenient.

And now I've decided I am finishing up all my past due crits before I am allowed to start working on anything else. So I have been scouring the house for my critter hat and should be all caught up before Christmas. Hooray!

Then on to revisions and new words!

UPDATE: Still behind on Crits. Working on it! I swear!! The couple extra days I ended up working totally threw my schedule for a loop. had to rejig timeline. Done before 2010 arrives!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Vacation

I'm OFFICIALLY on vacation today. Actually, it was official as of end of business last Friday, but *sigh* I found myself (with 1 kidlet in tow) in the office yesterday still trying to closeout my year. But now, I'm done.

YAY!!

The last few weeks have been so busy at day job that I've pretty much come home barely able to function, let alone get any writing/revising/critting/reading done. So that is what I am doing during this vacation, starting TODAY!

To those of you who are waiting on something from me, I apologize profusely. And for everyone else, after much deliberation I've decided not to take a full hiatus from blogging, though with the holidays, it may be sporadic, but beginning in January, I'm totally going to be better about posting more consistently.

Let the creativity flow and the vacationing commence!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Connecting the Dots .. er, Blog Posts

Okay, I know I said I'd be better about posting, but I'm out of town with the day job (yes, again) and I just haven't had a chance to. I've tried the whole, blogging for the week over the weekend, but that doesn't work well for me because, there's usually a bunch of stuff that happens during the week that I end up wanting to talk about and then by the time the next week comes, it's old news or I've just forgotten.

Plus I've been feeling so disconnected from all of you!

Firstly, though, welcome to my new followers! Yay for new friends! Thanks to LT Elliot for the shout out and I'll be getting my thoughts posted on this soon.

And of course, thanks to all my existing followers for, you know, still following even though I've been so random and sporadic lately!

So speaking of disconnected.... I was thinking about how to stay connected to your network.

Holy, that sounds all IT-ish. It's not. I started thinking about this when over the course of the last couple months I've tweeted about specific books by a certain author whom I really like. Said author also tweets. And saw my mention and then replied to me and direct messaged me as well.

As a reader and a pretty big fan of this author, I loved that they took the time to reply to me directly. It just makes me respect this person more that they'd take time out of the day to go through and reply so specifically - it was a personal message that referenced some specific info in my tweet.

There's lots of posts out there on self-marketing and how important it is to sell yourself in trying to sell your book(s). Connecting those dots to the DM I received on Twitter, it made me feel really appreciated as a reader. I try really hard to reply to comments on my blog as I'm able. (Sometimes the darn dj makes things difficult ;D) I've been working really hard on reprioritizing so I can stay more connected - though I can be a bit sporadic. I'm trying!

So as a writer, how do you stay connected to your peeps?

P.S. In case you were wondering ... I was born the year of the monkey. =)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quantity vs Quality

So, yeah. What Mark Twain said.

The only problem with that is the quality vs quantity conversation. You write a book. Or two. Three. Twelve. However many you need to. Are every single one of those books going to be up to par?

Honestly, probably not. Personally, I know mine aren't. As I've been letting a couple of mss sit for some time before undergoing another round of revisions, I've gone back to read some of the older stuff I've written. Oh my holy ... it is almost unbelievable how much my writing sucked. Of course, I've also discounted these previous works to the realm of my quantity pile. My quality pile is far smaller and much better and was written more recently.

But as each new wip's writing is significantly improved and I fall in love with a whole new cast of characters, I wonder when you determine a project may be destined (at least for the moment) for the quantity pile and not the quality short list.

So as I seriously consider putting aside one of my wips, I wonder, what's caused you to shelve a project? Is it still sitting up there, or have you since dusted it off and started the rework?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Empty Shelves

Firstly - Happy Birthday Elana!! Yay for birthdays! And even more yay for cake!! Hope you have a day made of awesomeness. *Hugs*

Okay, so this has been a CRAZY week around here. DJ stuff has sort of taken over my life. There were some important peeps in town and now that they've returned to their homeland I can finally breathe again.

Except now I'm so freakin' tired I'm not sure my body can take the added pressure of maintaining lung function. Between that and the planning for my last work trip of the year next week, I'm pretty much zapped.

Drained.

Simply put: exhausted!

I'm taking this weekend to do some recoup. Focusing on some editing and aiming to get in some reading. But *sigh* I actually don't have anything new to read. My to-read shelf pretty much looks like this and the book you see on there, yeah, that's not even really a book, just one of the many currently blank notebooks I keep around the house.

I've been mostly re-reading the same books over and over again the last few weeks because there just hasn't been anything recently released I've been hanging on the edge of my seat for.

I did just finish Hush, Hush, keep an eye out for my Recent Reads post on it. But other than that...

My list of BooksIHaveToGoBuyRightThisSecond is looking a bit scant. So you guys have any recommends for me to use a recently acquired giftcard on? I'm pretty open for anything YA...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Thought: Names

Recently on Nathan Bransford's blog he addressed the subject of pen names. He gave a pretty good list of pros and cons around using pen names.

It reminded me of when I was younger and despised my name. I mean, Windy. Seriously? Bring on the weather/breezy/rainy/hurricane jokes. What were my parents thinking?

And forget discussing my maiden name. It's 12-letters long and pretty much a horrific tongue twister.

I always wanted to change my name. I hated it. All of it. Why couldn't I have a full name that was something common and that people could actually say?

Now that I'm no longer 10 years old trying to blend in with everyone else, I've realized how lucky I am. My names were/are different. Maybe not completely easy to say, but not that easily forgotten.


Sort of makes it helpful in the world of networking and moving toward publication. Besides, who doesn't want to be a pirate?

What do you think about the name you've got ready to go on the cover of your first NYT Best Seller?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Seasons Change

Well, it's Wednesday, in case anyone missed the memo.

And it is still frigidly cold outside, unseasonably, I'd say. It feels more like January than December. Yes, I know, yet another mention of the freezing cold. I can't help it. It seeps into your bones and you can totally feel it trying to eat you alive!

I'm so not regulated to this temperature, despite living here almost all my life.

But there's something to be said about the cold and the onset of winter: seasons are changing.

In those 3 little words there is so much to interpret in so many different aspects.

For me, I know I've changed as a writer over the years and even more so in the last few months. I approach the craft differently now, I've met amazing people who've made a huge impact on what I do and how I do it. I've gotten better.

How have you changed since you started as a writer? What lessons have you learned?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cold Places and Warm Spaces

I am currently stuck at a lodge in Park City (Utah) working on some meetings. I was supposed to head out today and right now the roads are a bit precarious, so I'm hanging out hoping things clear up a bit before I head back home.
In case you were wondering, it's cold (like, it's pretty and sunny outside now - a balmy 7 degrees). And snowy. But there are worse places to be stranded - just check out this view from my balcony:


It's definitely some inspiring surrounding and it actually got me thinking about my "writing space."

I don't have one. My writing space is basically wherever I happen to be sitting with my laptop, notebook and pen. And it has to be warm. Cold fingers don't type so well. I'm working on a warm writing space though. It has been added to our list of "Things To Do to Make Our House More Awesome." In the meantime, my writing space mobile.

Do you have a certain writing space that helps you keep on track, keeps you from quitting? Somewhere you go to hide? A room, a corner, a basement or maybe a cave? What do you keep around to make it "your" space and help you stay focused?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stuck.... Yes, Again

I've been in Revision Hell.

Am currently to the point where I've pretty much stopped revising and, as many of you probably noticed, have taken up farming. My 4-yo kidlet is highly supportive of this. She's the one who says (as soon as I walk into the house after work), "Mommy, we need to check our farm! I need to go collect strawberry milk from my pink cow!" And yes, she speaks in exclamations. Much like she only has 1 volume and it is not an inside voice.

Those have become my priorities of late.

And my brain must be fried. I don't even know what to blog about. Maybe I'll just go check on my crops.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Thoughts During New Moon


I saw New Moon *cue fantastical vampiric-werewolfian theme music* over the Thanksgiving weekend. I don't see many movies in the theaters. Why? I have a preschooler and a toddler. Enough said.

Now, I've tried to keep out of the ongoing Twilight war. Team Edward-Team Jacob.. eh... I'm one of those middle of the road fans. I enjoyed the books, not as anything deep-thinking and life-altering or anything, but .. yeah. So, I did not fight the crowds for a midnight or before-the-crack of dawn showing. After seeing previews with the cool CGI wolves and how much better the cinematography was (like I didn't think I was going to vomit from the shaky camera) I figured, eh, when I get around to it, I'll go watch it.

I figure this doesn't really warrant a *spoiler alert* as the I'm sure most of you (if not all) have already read the book.

So there I am. Chowing on extra-buttered popcorn mixed with Raisinets (don't knock it 'til you try it). Jacob Black appears on-screen, crossing the parking lot to Bella ... And the first thought to pop into my mind? (Which I promptly whispered to my sister who giggled and got us shhhh'd) .... "Oh my gosh! Shark Boy! You grew up!" .... yeah, that's right. Shark Boy and Lava Girl is one of my preschool kidlet's fave movies.

Promptly, that joke wears out and we continue on our merry way... la-da-da ... So here are a few of my non-Shark Boy random thoughts whilst watching New Moon:

~If I was Charlie and that was my daughter that shirtless dude was carrying out of the woods, I'd have some serious questions for shirtless dude.

~Wow, the normal non-vampire loving humans in this movie are hilarious!

~Jacob Black looks WAY better with the short hair ...

~Dude, the guys who play the werewolves are some new form of hotness ... WOW.


~Oh, jeez, will they stop doing this spinny circulating thing with the camera? I feel like I'm gonna throw up. Clearly, they wanted to remain consistent with the first movie.

~Victoria has really good hair.


~Where are the werewolves?


~Okay, a vampire (whole marble-esque body thing) having chest hair? Especially when werewolves don't? Isn't there something wrong with that?


~Where are the werewolves? - Oh, they're not in this part of the book.


~Aro sort of looks like the guy who played Lucian (the werewolf leader) on Underworld.


~Where are the werewolves?  .... Oh, yeah, they're not in this part of the book either....


~Oh! There's a werewolf! Oh, wait! Come back! ... Oh no!


The End.

I believe lots of you have seen the movie already also, but I haven't seen many thoughts on it. Would love to hear what you guys who have seen the movie have to say. And those who haven't are you just waiting... haven't gotten around to it... or are you one of those who just won't see it?