Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Wednesday Resolution

I have come to terms with the fact that my characters are not interested in my self-imposed deadline. I don't think they want me to be finished with them just yet. I guess that's okay, it just irritates the crap out of me, but what do you do?
I'm guessing this has a great deal to do with this project being a summer book. It takes place from June to August. And it's not August yet, so I guess they don't want their summer to be over yet.

I respect that.

So I'm giving myself until the end of the summer. Just like the book's timeline.

I know I was just angsting about this yesterday, thank you so so much for all the support. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who goes through this. I just have to keep reminding myself that in the last 4 months, I've been through a lot and yet I was still able to get 50K words down for this book. That's major wordage considering...

I've decided my minor breakdown is because I'm a YA writer and mentally living as an angsty teenager. But we're good now.

I'm totally Zen.
Yeah, right.

So that's my resolution. What about you? Do you have any resolutions you want to cop to?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spilling the Beans

I've been working pretty diligently on my current work in progress, a story that I actually timelined, outlined and semi-storyboarded out.

Bag with coffee beansMy goal is to finish this wip by the end of the month so that I can go on to work on another book for a couple months while this one stews and gets ripped to shreds by my crit group. I'm down to the wire now, there's only five nights left (because I write at night and the day isn't over until I've gone to sleep), and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need to crank out about 5K a night to get this all wrapped up. That's 25K words in less than a week all while keeping up with my normal life. (See here if you have questions on what that looks like.)

And the words don't want to come. I know what I want to write. I know what happens. But it is like fighting tooth and nail to get them into this wip. It's like the characters don't want to know what happen to them, so they're keeping me from spilling the beans!

Ever been in this sitch? Any advice? I need all I can get under this (self-imposed) deadline!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quote of the Week

‎"One of the hardest things about life 

is having words in your heart 

that you just can't seem to mutter."

-James Earl Jones

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Taking Time

I know other writers have done this before, but I don't think I have, so since this week's quote was all about time, I thought I'd give a breakdown of what a typical weekday for me looks like in hours.

24: We all start with this, right? Let's hope so, otherwise, the time-space continuum is totally screwing me.

1.5: Hours getting self/kidlets ready for day. (22.5 hours remaining)
9: Hours at the day job (includes lunch break) being all corporate analysty and stuff. (13.5 hours remaining)
1.5: Hours commuting to/from day job.  (12 hours remaining)
4: Hours making dinner, prepping Husband's lunch for work, sending Husband off to work, puppy stuff, playing with kids and then getting them ready for bed. (8 hours remaining)
1: Hour cleaning up from all the previously stated activities. (7 hours remaining)
1: Hour catching up on social networking, emails, etc that I may have missed throughout the day - not usually as I'm tethered to the BlackBerry, but it's happened. (6 hours remaining)
1-3: Hours writing

So if you do the math ... this leaves me about 3-5 hours for sleep.And I'm making do for now. I'd rather use the earlier in the day hours to play with the kidlets and hang out with Husband. I'll take time from my sleep to use for writing instead of taking the time away from the family. It's my sacrifice, but man, it's no wonder I'm so freaking tired all the time. This explains so much!

Okay, I need a nap.

So out of curiosity - what does YOUR 24-hour weekday look like? What do you sacrifice to get it all done?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Motivates

There are a lot of things that motivate me to achieve my goals. But we're not talking about the number of times I need to listen to Christina Aguilera's Fighter (yes, I admit I listen to the old bubblegum pop. What's not to love?) just so I can make it to the end of my running time on the treadmill.

I'm talking about what it will take me to finish my current wip by the end of the month.

I've had a few not so great days writing where I just could not get to it and that's put me in a position to have to write about 2,500 wpd. And then ... the lovely T Anne Adams dropped a tweetshell on me ... #1k1hr*.

WOW! I used to think 1k a day was a lofty goal. But the #1k1hr on Twitter basically confirmed what I already knew: I have ADD and to give me an entire day to write 1k just left me with 23 hours of excuses. So, uh yeah.

I've been intro'd to a load of new tweeps to write with and the best thing about it? It's so totally spur-of-the-moment you don't have to plan around it!

So if you're interested and want a writing buddy, I'm usually #1k1hr'ng it up later at night. Come hang out and let's see how much you can really get done in an hour!

*#1k1h is a hashtag** often used in association with #amwriting
**hashtag is the identifying subject that allows people to follow a conversation or chat even if they are not following all the people in said conversation or chat.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quote of the Week

"A man who dares to waste an hour of time 
has not discovered the value of life." 

Charles Darwin

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 
What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 
'tis dearness only that gives everything its value."

Thomas Paine

Friday, July 9, 2010

Recent Read: Sisters Red by @JacksonPearce

Book: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Book Count: 31

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. 
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Sort of like Little Red Riding Hood, if she was a pissed off kick-ass wolf-slayer as opposed to the little girl with cakes and cookies in her basket for Grandma. The story is wonderfully real with that edge of a fairytale that makes one wonder if some fairytales maybe really are real. Told in alternating POV, Scarlett’s anger as she grips to past events and Rosie’s guilt over considering a future different from her sister’s create amazing tension and emotion. I read this one in a day. Well, a night really, seeing as I started it just after the kidlets went to sleep and I couldn’t put it down. Totally worth the night of lost sleep!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recent Read: White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) by @hollyblack

Book: White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) by Holly Black
Book Count: 30

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

I couldn’t put this book down. Holly Black sucks you in from the first page and just keeps you going through the end of the story. Between the amazing world-building that at one point made me stop and wonder if this stuff maybe is really going on in the shady parts of Jersey, and the raw emotion Cassel feels about his family, questioning his trust in them and where his loyalties should lie. Fantastical stuff here, kids!

Can’t wait for Red Glove (Curse Workers, Book 2)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Recent Read: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Book: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Book Count: 29

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies suddenly, Lennie is on center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. 

Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in 
town, a transplant from Paris (France) whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding. 

Wow. This book = amazing. Lennie is going through a really difficult time, it’s only been a month since her sister passed, and everything around her is changing so quickly, she can barely keep up. While she tries to maintain some semblance of her former life, she can’t help being caught up in her emotions and it was amazing to be there and feel those emotions with her. Throw in some teenage hormones and there was just the right balance of humor and grief and accepting the turbulent road it is when you’re just trying to figure out who you are.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recent Read: After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

Book: After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy
Book Count: 28

Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. He's a brainy jock with a poet's heart—in other words, perfect for her. Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss. Too bad that new boy is Becca's boyfriend, Alec.

Camille and Becca have never met, but their lives will unravel and intertwine in surprising ways as they deal with what happens after the kiss.

Told in alternating points of view, it took me a while to get into this book. Once I got past some of the formatting issues*, I found a story of learning and growth. As for Alec, well he’s not in the story much as a primary character, more as simply the catalyst that changes everyone’s lives with his one unthinking and disrespectful action. Through it, though, Camille and Becca get the opportunity to discover more about themselves and overall, it was a good story.

*Camille’s story is formatted in an almost text-messagey sort of way. Little white space separating big chunks of all lowercase text. No paragraph breaks or anything. It was just hard to read. I found myself having to read and re-read her pages if I looked away. Was a little irking at times. Have learned, I’m a fan of the white space on a page.

Swimming in Books

I've been terribly remiss. (Wow, I sound so adult-ish and proper there!)

During the last few weeks I've read. A lot. Anywhere. Everywhere, I've always got a book on me. And while I've done some minor starring on my GoodReads page, but otherwise, I haven't posted a Recent Reads for quite some time. So . . . you'll be getting some catch up posts over the next few days.

There are some new and amazing books out there and I didn't want to miss the chance to share them with you! Oh, and thanks to all this fantastic reading I've been able to get through, I'm well toward my reading goal for the year!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Never Know Unless You Try

And Try.

And Try.

And Try.

We're going to Idaho today. We just decided. I'm frantically trying to make lists of a few things in my head and have to remember to text my sister to swing by and check on the dog if she's not busy and bring extra clothes for the kids. It may be a sort of "trip on a whim" but that doesn't mean I can do it without planning. Especially when we have a 2yo and 5yo to entertain. Plus, I need to make sure and take the camera so I can scout some locations /settings that could be really good for the current wip.

As I tweeted late last night - #mystressisselfinflicted!!

What's in Idaho, you ask? Amongst all the wonderful qualities I'm sure it has, not least of which is a dear friend who lives in the grand potato state, is the Powerball Lottery. I am determined to beat the "no one west of the Rockies ever wins" odds. And guess what? You can't win if you don't play.

And you really can't win if you only play one ticket, lose, let the negativity and odds against you lead you to giving up.

Oh, hey, doesn't that sound like, hmm, I don't know, maybe the querying process? Just saying.

We've got an uber-busy weekend between Idaho and lottery tickets, carnivals (for fun & wip research), fireworks, family bbq, more fireworks, and who knows what else will arise! What have you got planned for the weekend?

Hope everyone (in the US at least) has a safe and fantastic holiday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It Didn't Burn and Thank You Thursday

If you've been following me on Twitter, especially this week, you'll know I've been pretty paranoid about cooking lately.

When Husband started working nights, dinner (and his lunch for work) fell to me. Now, I'm not necessarily a horrible cook, I'm just not that great. And over the last few weeks when I've been sick, he's picked up a lot of the slack and cooked. I'm cooking again now and I've been very nervous to try again.

You see, the reason he picked up the slack was because I started over- or under-cooking EVERYTHING.  It was abysmal. Looking back I realize why that was: I was physically not well, which made me feel mentally and emotionally spent--I just wasn't into it enough to put the energy forth.

The same reason I didn't do much writing while I was going through everything--I just didn't have the energy for it.

The thing with writing is that there's not always someone there to pick up your slack, literally. No one can write your book for you. But for me, there are people who've been around to help me start putting my head back together, who have been there through all of this to help me piece my thoughts into some semblance of order so I can keep at this whole writing thing.

So today is a Thank You Thursday.

For all those peeps, writerly and not, who've helped me remember why I have to keep trying. I can't thank you guys enough! Have you said thank you to the peeps who help you keep going just by being around?

P.S. *knocks on wood* we're at 3 nights in a row of pretty good dinners that I've cooked. Hopefully the streak holds on!