Sunday, May 31, 2009

It’s Done

Even though typing with a cast and at times one hand is difficult I fought through and met my self- imposed deadline.

That’s right I’m done my last round of major edits.

Hooray for me!!!!

Next week I’m going to do one final read out loud and then I’m completely done until the person I have reading it is finished. So although I haven’t quite passed the finish line, it’s definitely within sight.

Next deadline: Submission date, September 1st, 2009.

Meantime, I’m planning out Book 2 of series and my other WIP. That I can do in a notebook and a pen, because typing with one hand is for the birds.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We all remember the girls in high school who were so excited about having a boyfriend that they spent all of their time with them, ignoring their friends. Then two months later when the boyfriend disappears her friends were gone as well.

I feel that way with writing. It’s my friend that I’ve been ignoring. My self imposed deadline of June 1st looms but I’ve Instead I’ve been spending all of my time playing soccer and watching my boys play basketball. Not that those are bad things but they’ve definitely taken me away from writing.

Now that I’ve broken my wrist and have a huge cast on, making it hard to type, I’m regretting how much I ignored the pages sitting beside my computer. Fortunately, unlike people, the printed word doesn’t have feelings. They don’t get mad that I’ve pushed them aside for so long.

So now that my boyfriend, soccer, has turned on me I’ll go seek forgiveness and finish my last two chapters by Monday, even if it’s only with one hand.

Let this be a lesson to you all; type while you still can.

Monday, May 25, 2009


7 weeks ago my husband had reconstructive ankle surgery on an injury he's had since his collage basketball days. I won't say how long ago but his shorts were actually shorts. He's still hobbling around the house on crutches, not able to make diner, do dishes, vacuum or any other household chore, which has been a little stressful, especially when he couldn't drive.

Now I've either severely sprained or broken my wrist (I'll find out later today). During a soccer game I was going to head the ball on a corner kick and instead it connected with the top of my hand, bending it forward. Now I can barely move my fingers and have to type with one hand, which is very slow going.

My poor children, with two injured parents they have to help out a lot more by doing the dishes, cutting up food for dinner and folding socks. It also sucks because I'm only 3 chapters away from finishing my edits on my book before I go through one more time, reading it out loud, which is the true test. I'll still work on it but I'm sure I'm going to get carpal tunnel or someting on my right hand.

Anyway sorry for such whiny blog but I'm tired and in pain and my right hand already hurts.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dream On or Not

What did you want to be when you were little?

I always wanted to be a writer; never a teacher, a nurse or lawyer. Nothing interested me except for writing. Unfortunately I never received very much encouragement from family, teachers or friends. No one ever said, “Go for it” or “This is what you need to do to become a writer.” This was probably due to a number of reasons. A) They didn’t know to the extent I wanted to be a writer. B) They didn’t know what I needed to do to become a writer. C) They didn’t care.

It was probably a combination.

A few months ago I put up a post about telling my dad I wanted to be a writer, to which he quickly responded; What else do you want to be?

Now as a parent, I’m wondering how to handle my kid’s ambitions.

Both of my boys want to play in the NBA and my daughter wants to be an artist. I have no problem encouraging their dreams while their young, but my oldest is heading into high school where grades and what you take starts to matter.

I find myself torn between trying to help them follow their dreams and pushing them to do so or being realistic.

So do I encourage their dreams or ask them what else they want to do?

When it comes to it, I think that I might have started following my writing dream sooner if I had someone pushing me to believe in myself. Thanks heavens for my husband who has been nothing but supportive in everything I've tried.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love is like sellotape.

Lately I’ve been carrying around the book The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman in my purse so that I have something to read during half times at basketball games and gymnastics. Not that I don’t love watching my children play sports but it’s the end of May and I’ve been watching them since October. I’m tired.

Anyway I’ve learned a lot from this book and if I can apply even a tenth of the advice I think I’ll be doing well.

One chapter is all about comparisons. Using analogies, metaphors and similes to describe things. He says when used properly a comparison can help cut out a lot of description, which sometimes effects the pacing of the book. It could help make a tighter read.

Then he says:

While the benefits of comparison for the skilled writer can be huge, the consequences of badly worded comparison for a lesser writer can be disastrous.

What do I take from this? You have to be careful with how many comparisons you make and how you make them. It definitely is an art form. I recently read a book that used them a lot. You don’t want a paragraph that sounds like this.

John ran down the block like a banshee. He was sweating like a pig. He checked in to see his Aunt Shirley, who looked as pale as a ghost. She served him a drink which tasted as sour as lemon.

You get the picture.

Anyway since I’ve been so focused on editing lately, it’s my life really, I thought I’d ask you about comparisons. Do you like them? Do you use them?

Here's a song that uses comparisons, whether it's good or bad you decide.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Taking the Fast Lane?

On my commute to work there’s a section where one lane is faster than the other. It’s just past a busy intersection where the road verves off in many directions. If you stay in the right lane, all of the cars merge off the road and you pass by everyone in the left lane. Unfortunately after you get to the top the hill, cars begin merging into your lane, causing it to back up.

If you’re patient enough to stay in the left lane and watch cars race by eventually you’ll pass by everyone in the right lane. Some days when I’m impatient I swing into the right lane only to regret it when we get to the top of the hill and the truck I was originally behind passes me. Mostly I stick to my left lane knowing that eventually other traffic won’t bog it down and I will reach the next set of lights quicker.

What does this have to do with writing you may ask? Well this is the way I see it. I was really hoping to start submitting my novel on April 1st. I was tempted to send it out even though deep down I knew it wasn’t quite ready. I wanted so badly to jump into that right lane. But I’ve stayed in the left and I think in the long run it will get me to where I want to go faster.

What do you think? Do we sometimes jump into submitting sooner than maybe we should because we’re impatient?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dialogue - Teenage Boy Style

Last weekend I drove to a basketball tournament with my husband (who just recently had ankle surgery), my 13 year old son and four of his team mates. It was a three hour drive there, we slept over night, watched them play four games of basketball, saw Star Trek and then drove back three hours.

It was very enlightening.

Now think for a moment if you actually wrote dialogue exactly as adolescent boys talk.

Here are some snippets of what I could distinguish this weekend.

"Dude I am so stoked for this weekend. We are going to kick some major butt."

"That is totally random."

"He totally caged raged on me." (I know I had the same thought. What the heck? By the end of the weekend, I finally had to ask. Apparently it means being verbal abusive. Who knew.)

"It was the funniest moment of my life."

"Every girl I know named Sydney is beautiful." (I might use that one)

"Girls are more trouble than their worth." (This coming from a boy who lights up whenever a girl passes by)

"Richardson is awesome, I'm totally going to become a fan on facebook and invite you all."
(They were watching Hot Rod)

"Dude, what the hell was that for." (Apparently he'd been hit where he shouldn't have been)

"That's the best song ever."

There were a lot of best, funniest, and most awesomes. It was a very funny weekend and I wished that I would have brought a tape recorder. I've also decided that any movie infested with people getting hurt, random acts of nonsense and men getting hit in the groin will keep teenage boys entertained for hours.

Note: Boys won the tournament but had three bleeding noses, five technicals and one flagrant foul. It was a little rough.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One or the Other

I posed this question on Heidi's blog.

Is it better to be a fantastic writer or have a fantastic story?

What do you think? Would you rather have an incredible ability to wordsmith. To have a masterful understanding of the English language or to have a wonderful story that engages and entertains the reader.

I like all kinds of genres. YA, Chick Lit, Historical Drama, Humor, and even books that are considered literary. I also have a whole stack of books that are well written but I haven't finished them because the story isn't engaging enough.

I know you need both in order to succeed BUT if you could be stronger in one area or another, what would it be?

Monday, May 4, 2009


I hate housework.

Actually I don’t know very many people who like it (except for maybe my sister-in-law) but I really hate it. Mostly because I feel like I never get anything accomplished. I start cleaning the kitchen then I go to my daughter’s room to put something away and start cleaning up in there. Before I finish I put her dirty clothes in the laundry and realize that I need to put a load in. After an hour I realize I have only cleaned half of every room and nothing really looks better.

Sometimes I find that with editing. I’ll go through a chapter looking for every problem at once. Often I miss things because I’m trying to clean up everything at once. I read once that you should read through your book focusing only on one character.

Recently I’ve tried to adopt that theory. First I print off a hard copy of a chapter and make corrections with pen; everything from rewriting sentences, punctuation, spelling, dialogue etc.
Then I make those changes on the computer. I then read through the chapter looking only at dialogue. After that I read it again looking for echoes. I might read it once more if I’m giving it to someone to look at.

How about you? Do you try to edit all at once or try to focus on one room at a time?