Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another reason we need books part 2

One of the main reasons I like to go on vacation is to get away from the phone, tv, computer, internet etc. In this digital age it's nice to really unplug, not just from my blog but from all of it.

On my last post, I put up a link to an article that I found really interesting. I don't blame you if you didn't read it, because it was long and frankly when I'm reading blogs I don't often click on links that I'm not extremely interested in.

Basically what the author of the article was saying was that books are becoming one of the few things left that allow our minds to be free of all the noise that surrounds us.

It's hard to admit, but we all sense it: it is becoming almost physically harder to read books.

I think most of us have this sense today, if we are honest. If you read a book with your laptop thrumming at the other side of the room, it can feel like trying to read with a heavy metal band shrieking in front of you. To read, you need to slow down. You need mental silence except for the words. That's getting harder to find.

I know for myself I go through spurts. I can read five books in a month or not read anything for five months, but I also know that I rarely regret opening up the pages of a book, but there are lots of times I regret how much time I spend on my computer.

Here are some of my other favorite quotes from the article:

And here's the function that the book -- the paper book that doesn't beep or flash or link or let you watch a thousand videos all at once -- does for you that nothing else will. It gives you the capacity for deep, linear concentration.

An e-book reader that does a lot will not, in the end, be a book.

T.S. Eliot called books "the still point of the turning world." He was right. It turns out, in the age of super-speed broadband we need dead trees to have living minds.

Since tomorrow is Canada Day up here in the Great White (Green now) North and Monday is the 4th of July down there, I'll catch up with you guys on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a great long weekend wherever you are.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Reason We Need Books

I'm kind of rushed today helping my son with some schooling and doing a few more things on my day off, so I'll be by everyone's blogs on Tuesday.

In the meantime I came across this article about why need to keep hard cover books around. I'll talk a little more about it on another post. It's a bit of a read, but very interesting and encouraging in my opinion.

The Title is: In the Age of Distraction We Need One Thing More Than Ever: Books

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Intro or Extro

About a month ago I had personality training at my job. I know that sounds weird, but I really found it made me a lot more self aware of myself.

I answered about 90 questions and based on my answers I was put into four different categories - one of them being introversion.

I've always thought of myself as an introvert, except in certain situations, but the instructor explained being and introvert or an extrovert this way. Most people can go to parties and socialize, but it's how you feel afterwards that indicates what you are. If you're still buzzing when you get home and can't sit down, you're an extrovert. If you feel completely exhausted, you're an introvert.

We all know the cliched image of a writer. Locked up in a room, plunking away at the keys on their keyboard not talking to anyone. But with all the marketing and social media that seems to be required with being an author, I think those days of solitude are over.

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Does the thought of social media make you tired or excited?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No one should have this much power

Everytime I give my Critique Partner Jessie a book to read, she tells me that she's pregnant.

Okay it's only happened twice, but still.

This is all the reason I need to finish my book before her baby is born, I don't know if I can control this power I have.

So hop over to Jessie's blog and congratulate her.

Addendum: My power is limited. I'm sure you won't get pregnant if you read my book.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

As I indicated in my last post – I'm starting a new project. I finished the first chapter and decided to get my boys to read it. In the past they haven't shown much interest in reading published books let alone my books.

After they read the first chapter, they asked what the book was about so I read them my very rough query and then the ideas started to fly.

For an hour I listened to them make suggestions. You should do this. That would be so cool if you did that. Maybe this would help the plot. Some of their ideas were good, but a lot were clich├ęd.

So I've decided to keep my chapters to myself until I've finished my whole first draft.

What about you? When do you start to share your work with family or do you?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Onward and hopefully Upward

I'm done.

Or at least as done as I can be at for the moment. I finished the final edits on my book and have handed it over to my CP for a final look. Then I hope to start querying in September.

In the meantime, I have two options. Go edit the book I finished last summer or start a new one.

Over the past few months an idea has been percolating in my mind. It started with seeing a news story and then I heard a name. So I've been carrying around a notebook and writing down possible scenes, scenarios, and my favorite character names.

And for the first time ever I thought of a title before I even write a word.

All Things Sunny

Actually it's a pretty easy decision. I need a break from editing, so I'm going to work on something new. Once I get a logline written maybe I'll share.

What do you do when you've finished one project? Go edit another or start something new?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kids Know

I loved the movie Red Dawn as a kid, so when I saw it on TV, I quickly pushed the record button on my PVR excited to show it to my kids later on that night.

The movie starts with a bang. Kids get dropped off at highschool. Then the Russians come and start shooting everyone. Kids jump in a truck and head for the mountains. You don't know anyone's name or situations. I didn't even realize two of the boys were brothers until twenty minutes in.

The movie sticks with this kind of storytelling throughout the whole movie, slowing down only when the audience needs to know a little bit of information. I still found it entertaining, but what was most interesting were my teenage boys comments afterwards.

They thought the writers could have done more. They didn't like the way it started because you didn't know anyone and so you didn't really care about them. They could have developed the characters better and developed the relationships between them.

Kids definitely expect more these days, because I'm pretty sure I didn't think those things when I saw the movie at their age. Now if only my boys read books then they could tell me what worked for them and what didn't.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Interview

Every Thursday I make sure I visit Chantele Sedgwick's blog. Why? Because she interviews Aspiring Authors and its a great way to get to know other people who are going through the same things as you.

And since I'm an Aspiring Author she asked if she could interview me. So go check out my very first interview, hopefully I sound somewhat articulate.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Adding or Subtracting

This past month I've been working furiously to finish the last edits of my book before I hit query land. Hence the absence here.

I finished my major edits and now I'm on my last read through. I've managed to cut my word count from 70,000 to 66,000, which really seems like a lot of words. In total, from the first draft of this book to now, I've cut 34,000 words, which is almost a whole book. Obviously I wrote too much the first time through.

For my second book, I wrote slim with the first draft coming in at just over 50,000 words, but now when I reach chapters that I didn't write very much for I feel like I'm writing the first draft again.

This begs the question: Do you write your first drafts to add or do you write your first drafts to subtract?

I'm beginning to wonder which one is better.

BTW - congrats to Elana Johnson on her book Posession which comes out today. So excited to read this one.