Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Face Time: Have You Heard Of This Thing?

Click HERE to check it out.
I'm doing the A to Z challenge. I got caught up in its enthusiasm and excitement. I'm sure it's going to be fun and awesome. Which is one of the reasons why I love face time on the blogosphere. It's like riding a wave (on my belly--I'm not the grab-a-big-surfboard,-paddle-out-and-wait-for-a-big-wave-and-wave-to-the-big-shark kinda gal).

What blog things do you get swept into? 

Check out Laura's #hashtags post today for a laugh! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Meeting: Purgatory and Other Things

The acoustic, bookstore session of The Cave, the most recent addition to one of my novel soundtracks. Consider it this blog post's soundtrack:

Resolution 2011:
So, February was a complete wash for me writing-wise. I was lucky it was such a short month. I've donated my dollar a day that I don't write to Room to Read, and I'm excited to be supporting them! I'm so thrilled that I don't feel particularly bad for not being able to write each day. But February was also an exception when real life took over my writing life. On to writing!!

New Middle Grade Blog:
Come check out Anita's most recent venture. Anita is one of the most succinct, smart, down to earth bloggers, and I, for one, can't wait to read more from her on her new MG blog. And I can't wait to read her book!!

Revision Purgatory:
All you who have spent time on this blog, know that I have been revising a MG novel FOREVER (okay, like a year or two). I have written 2 and a half other YA drafts of novels in the meantime. But I've been struggling with some flaws that I see in my MG. I'm not ready to give up on it, but I have decided to rewrite (not revise) the parts that I've been struggling with. I just think starting fresh is the way to go. I feel as though if I know what the flaws are, then I should continue revising. I'm not ready to give up. But I am ready to pull it out of purgatory. I apologize to all who are waiting to see this work. You'll have to wait longer. :)

Friday Feature:
I hope you all stop by on Friday for a peek at a super cute new MG e-book. It seems like e-publishing is a hot trend right now. Margaret Golla (remember her fantastic interview last year? We had a party in the comments that day--let's have another one--she'll stop by to answer questions!!) has published her book, TO GNOME ME IS TO LOVE ME. Come ask her whatever you ever wanted to know about launching an e-book!!
So, tell me how your week is shaping up? Have you ever been in purgatory with a book? What do you do when you see the flaws? What are your writing intentions this week?

Oh, and check out the AMAZING GOATS on Anna's blog today! Thanks, Anna for the inspiration!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Feature: Sundae Edition

Think you have the best recipe for an actual sundae? Enter here!
So, I've decided that each step towards a great writing career is like building a good sundae recipe:

1. Start with a great dish = you, the author
2. Add a couple of scoops of cookies 'n cream ice cream = your awesome novel
(although my hubby would probably recommend starting with a scoop of hot fudge, then the ice cream)
3. Throw on a generous dollop of hot fudge sauce, heated to just the right temperature = the right agent
4. Add a scoop of fresh whipped cream = the book deal
5. Sprinkle on some crushed snickers candy = your book selling in actual book stores
6. Place a cherry on top = whatever extra you dream of--movie deal, etc.

The spoon = all the writing friends and supports who have helped you along the way.

Two of our Friday Feature interviewees just added HOT FUDGE to their writing sundaes:

Carolina Valdez Miller signed with Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. Carol blogs about it here!! Read her Friday Feature interview here.  Carol--I am sooooo excited for you!! On to the whipped cream!

AND Kristine C. Asselin signed with (what are the chances?!) Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. Vickie must be one lucky gal to scoop up both of these talented writers!! Kris blogs about getting her agent here. Read Kris' Friday Feature interview here. And she is nice enough to post the evolution of her query letter.  Yay, Kris--I'm absolutely thrilled for you!! Pretty soon you'll be adding that cherry on top!

So, make sure to stop by these fabulous writers' blogs, and say congrats!!

How do you build your sundae??

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Coworker Face Time: The Practice Room

Right through this door, everyone!
A year ago, I was writing through the winter doldrums. Well, more accurately, I wasn't writing. That was the problem. I was just stuck inside the doldrums. Enter Tina Laurel Lee. She and I had met through another blog, and struck up a friendship. And when I wrote a blog post commiserating about how little writing I was accomplishing, she asked if there was anything she could do to help. (She's so sweet!) And what she proposed was the essence of the Practice Room.

We decided to meet each morning in gchat, after I had written for an hour (and before she wrote, due to the time difference). I knew that if I didn't write, I'd have to explain to Tina exactly why (she cracks a big whip). And that was motivating enough. Accountability works.

It's so much more fun to write when I have a writing partner to talk to about the pitfalls and accomplishments.

Before long, Tina had created a whole blog site (she's brilliant too!) devoted to writers who write for an hour ("unplugged") and then stop by and chat. The Practice Room. No secrets are revealed--you can say as much and as little as you want about your writing. It's a come as you are, casual Friday kind of atmosphere. And it's lovely. It always gets me out of my doldrums, no matter what time of year. And everyone is always welcome. I'll always be indebted to my friend, my coworker, Tina for creating a wonderful avenue for face time!! Thanks, T!

Do you have a face time experience at The Practice Room? Do you have a coworker that you nudge when you have a writing issue? Who cracks the whip at you when you need it?

And, consider this your invitation to lurk (and join in!) at TPR if you haven't already. Tina would love to have you over!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Meeting: Sophie's Choice

Okay, I'm being a little melodramatic--maybe the choice wasn't exactly on par with Sophie's.

But, there I was at the bookstore Saturday night, picking up a copy of RULES (Cynthia Lord) to use in my Sunday School class the next day. And there THEY stood before me. Two sequels that I had been drooling over. Both in hardcover. I don't buy a ton of books--I would love to, but, you know, the library is more in my budget. At most I would choose one. But which one?
SAPPHIQUE, the sequel to INCARCERON, Catherine Fisher
THE SCORCH TRIALS, the sequel to THE MAZE RUNNER, James Dashner

Which one would you choose? Which do you think I chose? What sequels are you drooling over?

My only writing goal this week is to write forward in both my revision and my draft. One's MG, one's dark and twisty YA. Last week I spent time orienting myself back into the projects. I still have a lot of other things on my plate, and am writing in the in betweens. Sometime soon I hope to have more time. How is your writing week shaping up? I hope you are all flying forward!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Face Time: Coffee Talk with Robert

I started writing seriously when Robert, a friend whom I greatly admired, suggested that we meet (in person) to talk writing. I had been writing a novel for a number of years, but not with an eye towards publication. When we began meeting weekly was when I began writing. Really writing. I was no longer a stay-at-home mom writing in solitary. I had an audience. I was a writer.

But I was a writer with a really pathetic first novel. I will always be indebted to Robert that he took me on, even though there wasn’t much skill or talent in that first novel. I am so grateful that he saw a spark there and that he stuck with me.

I didn’t realize how lucky I was until a year later, when I connected with other writers on-line. 

You mean, not ever writer has someone who builds them up, while respectfully pointing out the flaws in their writing? Hugs and loving friendship wasn’t a part of every writer’s experience? Coffee, laughs, and three act plot arcs? No? Robert and I loved discussing characterization and voice over our steaming tea pots.

During those meetings, Robert taught me how to be a gracious critter—something I am still aspiring to be. No matter how many problems we discussed in my writing, I always left our meetings revved up to get to the next level. He always made me feel as though I could get to that next level. And since our friendship was as deep as our writing partnership, our support for each other extended into our personal lives, our marriages and families. 

Robert set the standard for me with writing relationships. Ours was a respectful, mutually beneficial relationship, with a goal of building up not only the writer, but the career, and the life beyond the writing. It is because my first face time experience was so amazing that I continue to seek out face time with other writers. 

Thank you Robert, for helping me to see my own talent, and thank you for holding my writing career in your capable hands when I lacked the self-confidence to do so on my own. Thank you for propelling me into the writing world, and for giving me the vision to dream of my own career. Thank you for giving me the blueprint for a healthy writing relationship. I only hope that I have given you a fraction of what you have, and continue, to give to me.

To everyone else--do you have a face time mentor? Have you had your share of healthy writing relationships? Have you had some less than healthy ones? And, if you haven't had a supportive crit person in your life, please feel free to email me. Send me some stuff. I'd love to be a part of your circle of support.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jumping Back In

You can see why I codename my son "Superman". Leaping into water at the From Here to Eternity Beach
I'm back from family face-time in Hawaii, of all places. We had an unbelievably great time, with many adventures. It would be hard not to have a great time there. All since it was a family reunion, it was even more fun.Cousins everywhere for my kids to play with. It was a fantastic break from a snowy winter.

I'm sure I will find other opportunities to shamelessly post pictures. But, now, I'll bang the gavel on the Monday Meeting.

My goal: I am going to sit down, brush aside the jetlag (and daylight savings hour loss--urgh!) and plunge ahead with writing. I'm torn between making headway on my revision, and writing forward in my dystopian, so I just might do both. I'm hoping to take it hour by hour, and really make progress this week.

And, if I don't, I have a couple crit partners who just might kick my butt.

What plans do you have for the week? Are you surviving the winter? Have you hit any stumbling blocks for your writing? Are you ready to leap right in?