Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 70: Reading in Preparation...

As I finish this last part of my first draft, I've decided to do some reading in preparation for editing. I really think it is helping. I started reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Really good so far. She has an interesting voice and I'm loving her descriptions. It is helping me see what is lacking in my writing. I'm already planning on how to make my stuff better. I also plan on rereading some books that I've found especially good recently. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate, among others.

I'm promising myself that I will NOT look at these awesome books and say, "I should just throw in the towel. This is so much better than mine.", like I did at the beginning of this process. I've come to believe I have a great idea and I don't think anything could put me off of it now *knocks on wood*.

I also plan on ordering the biggest, bestest Thesaurus available!

In other news, I have to put out into the intraweb universe that I LOVE An Idiot Abroad!

Happy Oscar Day, ya'll!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 68: I'm So Freakin' Close!

I can't stand it, ya'll! Finishing is all I think about. To finally have the first draft done. To have some raw material with which to work. To set down with a bunch of post-its and a red pen. To fix all these things that have been needling my brain. *deep sigh* It will be a dream come true. I've been working on this since the end of December and it is about to happen. Hopefully, in another week, week and a half, I'll be able to attack it.

I've also decided not to enter any contests that involve winning a critique until I've edited and revised a good deal of my MS. I jumped the gun when I first started getting involved in this online writerly community. Now I see that what I have so far is so not worthy of submitting to anything.

In other news, I came across the most amazing website. If you're checking out my blog, you probably already know about it, but I must link to this awesomeness anyway. The Bookshelf Muse is ssssoooo helpful! I'm pretty sure I'll have it up and running any time I'm writing from now on.

Alright, that's all I have for today. I intend on whipping the WIP's  butt today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aw, Shucks... I Got An Award!

The awesome ladies, Alicia and Miranda, over at Slice of the Blog Pie were sweet enough to give me one of these lovelies. *blush*

The rules are:
1. Acknowledge and link back to who gave you the award.
2. List 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to 10 other bloggers.

7 Things About Me
1. I can knit and crochet.
2. I dream of one day owning my own cupcake/dessert/coffee shop.
3. I breastfed both of my sons for the first year of their lives. I don't care if that's too much information, folks. I'm super proud of that :)
4. I am a huge Boston Celtics fan! I bleed green, baby!
5. I'm a horrible waitress due to being clumsy and awkward around strangers which is why I don't do that anymore.
6. When children aren't present, I cuss like a sailor. Its like I have to meet my quota before the kids come home again.
7. The first movie I can remember seeing in a theater is Willow.

And since I'm new to the whole Blog-O-Sphere, I'm only going to give this out to 5 people.

Melissa Dezendorf
Teralyn Rose Pilgrim
Deborah Burns
Veronica Gutierrez
Uncorked and Unwined

Day 65: Tedious Questions...

So, the end is in sight, people! Pretty soon my first draft will be finished and then I'll be ready to edit and revise FOR REAL. I do have a couple questions that I'll need to look into, though:

1. What is the protocol when it comes to mentioning actual movies, TV shows, music, etc.. in my book?

2. What about famous quotes?

I'm sure there's more but those are the two that concern me the most. I'm sure I could just google this but if anyone that's dropping by here has the answers and is feeling generous, I'd super appreciate the input :)

Anyway, today I plan on going to the store and buying a good red pen with a fine tip ('cause that's how I roll, ya'll) and I will promise myself not to open it until the MS is finished and printed out. Heck, maybe I'll tape it to the wall above my computer as incentive to get this sucker finished! Using an opened piece of office supplies as incentive is weird, I know, but I luuuurrve spankin' new office supplies.

I also have another kind of general question to ask: If you know it will take more than one book to tell your story, how far ahead do you plot? Are all the plot points planned out before you even query you're first book? Or do you just kind of see what happens and hope you'll be able to figure it out if the time comes?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 64: Sundays Rock!

Sunday is quickly becoming my favorite day of the week, because of our literary club. It feels insanely good for Melissa to read my work and hear her giggle or make an "Uh-oh" sound. Makes me feel like I'm on the right track. Her WIP is also coming along nicely. I read a scene of her's yesterday that was definitely heart wrenching. We have a lot of fun discussing different aspects of writing. What we could do better? "Is this character too over the top?" Etc... We talked about everything from the pros and cons of e-publishing to why we love Twilight so much. It just warms my heart!

Amazingly, she asked me if I had any romance novels. Now, I'm a firm believer in a well written Romance. I love regency romance, paranormal, and a few contemporary ones (Cruisie's Bet Me being one of my favorites). I don't have many actual books anymore because I kinda made the switch to ebooks a few years ago and took like two or three big boxes full of paperbacks to the local used book store. I have so much credit there, I don't think I'll ever buy something from there at the full price.

So, I decided to give her my old Sony E-Reader. That thing was my best friend for like two years, but it felt good to pass it on to someone I knew will take care of it. I loaded it up with some stuff I think she'll like: a couple of series from Mary Balogh (my fav. regency writer), some of Charlaine Harris's series (Mel liked the Sookie books), the Aisling Grey series, the House of Night series, and The Hunger Games (soooo good!), among others.

So, there you have it. Our literary club is a definite success even if it is just the two of us.

In other writing news, I hit 40,000 words on Saturday!!!!! I was so proud of myself that I had a few beers and got into a Princess Bride quote battle on Twitter with @thatwritergirl7. Go follow her because anyone who knows as much as I do about The Princess Bride has got to be awesome!

So, I'm about to start the third act, if you will, of my book today and I'm extremely excited! LET THE EPICNESS BEGIN!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 62: Epiphanies and Merlot...

...always seem to go together, don't they?

I spent most of the day yesterday writing. I didn't hit the 5k mark but I did get 2k and did some revising. I also did some thinking on improving the story. And after a slow glass of red wine, I had an epiphany! It is an event that will happen in the book that is so awesome and unexpected. I love the idea and can't wait to write it.

The kids were at Grandma's for the evening so the DH and I had time to talk about my book. And since he's the super amazing man that he is, he actually liked helping me out. He's always saying, "Yes, that sounds so cool. I can't wait to read it! Go write! Now!" I'm such a lucky duck, ya'll :)

I also realized last night that my book might not end up being the length that I predicted. That's nothing to be freaked out about, though. 80,000 words is a little on the long side for a YA fantasy, I think (but really I have no idea, being the big, honkin' newb that I am). Now I'm looking at around 65k to 55k. But, who knows what it'll end up being. I can't count on anything when it comes to this story because as I write, as I analyze it, parts of it get thrown away as I add things that I believe are better ideas.

I've been trying my hand at writing a book for many years now. But, as I think I've said before, none of those were ever as promising and complex as this one. I've never believed in an idea as much as I do this one. So, I want to do it right!

Anyway, I see a lot more writing in store for today. My coffee cup is almost empty which means the brain is about to start working double time. This is my favorite time to write. I guess coffee and high word counts always seem to go together.

Here's a song by a chick that I'm a little obsessed with right now. Her stuff is a little poppish which I'm not usually interested it, but her voice is unique and the music is a little quirky. Enjoy! (could say 'a little' just a little bit more, grrr)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 61: Time to Bust This Thing Out!

I feel very determined today. It feels like a 5k word day. Let's do this thing!

That's it. That's all I have for today. Peace out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 60: Music...

After reading Stephanie Perkins's blog post yesterday, I went on a music hunt. She posted a completely amazing song that hit a nerve with me and my WIP.

So, I thought maybe discovering some new music would get me out of this writing slump I'm in. I was looking for weird, unique, dreamy, and pretty music. I hit up my Facebook friends and got a lot of good suggestions. Here's some of the stuff I came up with.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Got anymore suggestions for me? Is there music that you always listen to when you write? Or does it depend on what you're writing?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 58: Moving On...

Thanks so much to everyone who gave me suggestions yesterday! I really appreciate it. You all know what I'm going through and it is such a wonderful thing that we are all able to communicate and help each other. I did take a break from looking at my WIP. I ended up having to take my kiddos to the doctor. I cooked dinner for the fam. And this morning I've made a decision: I'm going to leave that scene alone, I'll write it another day. I'm going to move on to some scenes that I'm really excited to write. Namely, a kissing scene *grin*. I'm also going to start editing and revising. I started rereading this first draft yesterday and realized it needs sssssooooo much work. But, that's what first drafts are for, right?

Here's another question. Do ya'll have any tricks that you do when you start editing? Certain words or sentence forms you look for? I know some of the classic tips like "get rid of all your -ly words". Do you guys follow those tips?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 57: Writer's Block Is A Bitch!

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

What the hell is going on here? The words have disappeared. They've flown away. They've packed their bags and left for Bermuda. "Don't forget to take a left at Albuquerque!" I yell and wave bye-bye.

I'm half way through my novel and I can't think of how to start this next scene. And things were going so well. *shakes head in shame* What do I do now? I can't even think of a way to just push through it. ARG!

Why is this scene so hard to write? Does that mean I shouldn't even write it? Oh no, I'm starting to doubt myself. My ability, my plot, my characters. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. I'm spiraling down.

How do I get past this? Any suggestions, all you beautiful, wonderful, supportive people?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 54: Intimidating Scenes...

I didn't get anything written yesterday, but that doesn't mean I wasn't working. See, the next scene is supposed to be a spectacular fight scene. And I mean, it HAS to be amazing! That's my problem. I can't stop thinking about how awesome it is supposed to be. It has become this intimidating scene that I can't seem to start.

I need ways to get pumped up to write this. I need good music or movies. I need inspiration!

What do ya'll do to get into the fight scene mode? If fight scenes are easy for you, what scenes are the intimidating ones?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 53: But I Don't Want To Be Trendy!!!

I read an article the other day about what might be trending and it just so happens that I am, apparently, smack dab in the middle of writing a "trendy" novel.

So what does this mean for me? Does it mean that even when I finish and polish it, the agency will automatically reject it. Apparently, this trend has just begun. That has to be the case since I have yet to see any books on the shelfs dealing with this idea. Does this mean I'm already too late? Even though I had no idea that this was a "trendy" topic, will my novel be labeled as "just trying to jump on the bandwagon"?

I still have at least 2 months of work ahead of me. AT LEAST. Will my idea be old news by then?

I love my book! I love my characters! I love my idea! I don't want to see it trashed because the agency is tired of seeing stuff with a similar topic.

I'm hoping that by the time I'm done with it, the "trend" won't have burned out. I'm hoping someone will see what's so special about my writing and my story. All I know is that I'm NOT giving up! If I have to self-publish I'll do it! Don't push me, man!!!

But I really want an agent... And that book deal... And that box of hard back books... I swear it's enough to make a girl cry.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 51: Huh? Who Knew?

Who knew that Bravo reality TV could help cure writer's block. I was watching Tabatha's Salon Takeover last night and she said something that really struck home. It was something like, "You can't get better if no one tells you what you're doing wrong." Plus, she's always so driven and disciplined. I think I've got the driven part but the disciplined part I'm still working on.

From now on, when I begin to flounder I'll just picture Tabatha standing over my shoulder.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 50: I'm a Goof, I Know...

If you are checking out my blog today because of Brenda Drake's awesome contest, I'm sorry but I was an idiot and didn't realize at the time that I entered that it was for finished manuscripts only. Yes, I'm lame, sorry.

But since you were nice enough to check out my blog, I'll post my first line anyway. Just don't consider it an entry for the contest, since I'm only a little over half way finished with my book.

Genre: YA Fantasy
Title: Dreamweaver (working title)

 The bodies floating in the water looked serene as she peered down at them, but Penny knew they were dead.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 47: Ahhhh, the Weekend is Here!

Thank goodness the weekend is here! Being a stay-at-home Mom, I have some trouble getting words down during the week. I try, I really do, but there's always something else to get done. Did you know kids can be needy? I know, I was shocked, too!

The weekend is when I get most of my writing done. I get to foist the kids onto the DH or which ever Grandparent needs kiddo time. I tend to lock myself in my office and frantically type, type, type.

So in honor of those munchkins we all love so much, here's a little example of one of those things that tend to distract me during the week. As parents, we have to keep an eye on what our kids are watching. I freakin' love this!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 45: Who Has 2 Thumbs and is a Little Crazy?

THIS GIRL! Seriously, folks, I now see why writers are considered a little bonkers. Everyday on my way to pick up my son from Pre-K, I have conversations with my characters... Out loud... Thankfully, the only other person in the car is my 18 month old. I hope I'm instilling in him the need to be creative and not the need to talk to people who aren't there.

In other news, there are some AMAZING contests going on right now! Of course, they're mostly for people with finished manuscripts so I can't enter, but that doesn't mean ya'll can't!

There's the one over at Shelli's (@srjohannes) Blog, Market My Words: Pay It Forward Contest.

There's also the one over at Brenda Drake's (@brendadrake) Blog, It Was A Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest.

So, there you have it. Go check them out and enter them, all you finished novel people >.<

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday

YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday question is:

It's Groundhog Day! Pretend you're Bill Murray in the 1993 movie-- what book would you read over & over forever?

For me there were only 3 choices. And my pick is:

This book has EVERYTHING! An epic story, triumph of spirit, characters that will live on in your heart, frightening scenes that will haunt your dreams. Seriously, I could read this book forever! 

First runner-up was:

How could I not pick a Harry Potter book. This is not my favorite in the series (that would be PoA) but it is one of the longest. Is it THE longest? And if I would have a HP book to read, I would want as much as I could get. 

Second runner-up was:

Mr. Gaiman is a master at his craft and this book is proof. The characters are quirky and well written. The story is unique and memorable. Love this book!

Day 44: The Color is Touching the Numbers!!!

So, for a while now, I've been constantly updating my little word count meter over there ----->, just waiting for the day when the color part touches the numbers. Its silly, I know, but its like when you stare at a lava lamp, waiting for the first bubbling up of the lava. Or when you stare at a screen saver waiting for the corner of the logo to bounce exactly in the corner of the screen.

Yeah, well, it happened today, folks! I'm so proud that I've reached 30,000 words. Actually, every day that I can get at least 500 words seems like a huge accomplishment. Granted, the house is kinda a wreck and I'm not even gonna say when the last time I made the bed was.

But who cares about that stuff! THE COLOR IS TOUCHING THE NUMBERS! HUZZAH!

Anyway, this morning my husband's alarm woke me up and I almost fell back to sleep but... You know those images that sometimes flash before your eyes right as you're falling back to sleep and you go "Huh. That's weird." Well, I had one of those that was so haunting and perfect for my book I sat up and thought about it some more. I didn't trust myself to remember it if I did go back to sleep so I had to get up and jot it down or something. Its so spooky and freaky and eerie and well, I can't wait to write about it.

So, there you have it. My rambling thoughts for the day. You may now continue with your scheduled life... BBBBEEEEEEEPPPPPPP.......

But watch this first cause its hilarious!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 43: Some Days You Wanna Write...

... and some days you don't. Yesterday was one of those "don't" days for me. I just didn't feel like it. I couldn't even think about writing. I watched like 3 movies and just hung out with the boys. Today though, the monster returned in full force. I woke up thinking about what my next scene should be. Thank goodness... I was a little worried there for a moment.

Oh, the New Horizons Literary Club's (we're still debating on the name) first meeting on Sunday went extremely well. Melissa has a great story idea and I hope I helped her. It did seem like she was working it out as we went along. And of course, her input on my WIP is always helpful. Plus, it made me feel super good that she was excited to read the stuff that I'd done since giving her my partial manuscript.

We did end up scraping the reading of Les Mis and The Great Gatsby, though. Les Mis is such a long and involved story that I don't blame her for being a little annoyed with it. And I tried to get into Gatsby. The writing of it can be very beautiful, but I just can't get into it because I just plain disliked all the characters. Oh well. Melissa does have Anna and the French Kiss so, maybe, she read the first few pages and inevitably get hooked!

It looks like today is going to be a super stormy and all around bad weather day. Which means my internet will be down. Which means NO DISTRACTIONS! Good for writing...

So, its time to get back to it.

Living the Dream Copyright © 2012 Design by Rachel Silberman to fit Leah Rae Miller