Sunday, October 30, 2011

Backing Up

Sometimes in life you think you can do more than you can.

I have learned this week that I really can't. I can't work part time, keep up with my house, cart my three kids around, be a part time volleyball coach, play soccer, and participate in NaNo.

So I'm following Angela Felsted's lead and I'm going to back up a bit. I'm going to shoot for a half NaNo instead. If I'm able to write more than great, but if not that's okay. I'm just going to try and write as much as I can.

Sometimes we need to do this with our writing. When I first started editing my book, I'd try to fix everything in one pass. I'd watch the grammar, the dialogue, the continuity, the pacing. I soon learned I couldn't do it all at once. I needed to concentrate on a few things at a time. This worked much better.

So good luck to everyone who's starting NaNo tomorrow and happy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Plan A-Z

I stole this off my friend's facebook.

I think I might be on Plan M or P by now.

What plan are you on?

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I need some.
So I thought maybe Nano might be a good fit for me this year. That was until last night and I started looking at my schedule and felt so overwhelmed that I went to bed early.

But at the same time, we're always going to be busy. Life is always going to get in the way. Somehow we have to find the time and the inclination to keep going.

So I think I'm going to do NaNo. Anyone else?

Yesterday Elana had a great idea to find a group of people who are doing it and email each other at the end of each day with word count and last line written.

Anyone interested?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The First Ten Minutes

I’m not one of those people who loves to run, but because I play soccer it’s a necessary evil. What I find the most interesting when I run is that it’s the first ten minutes that’s the hardest not the last ten.

It takes me ten minutes to get into a rhythm and for my body to get used to the pounding. If I can make it past ten minutes then I can run for another forty or more.

I find the same thing with writing. It takes me at least ten minutes to get into a groove where I’ve blocked everything else out: my kids, the internet, the TV, the dirty dishes. Usually it's when the kids are in bed, the internet and TV are off and my house is clean that I can sit down with a clear mind. If I can get past that first ten minutes then I’m good to go and I can write for hours.

How about you do you have a hard getting started?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is this more exciting!!!

Back in my early days of learning how to write I used a lot of exclamation marks to show excitement, fear, anger, but a wise friend of mine told me to use action to show these emotions not punctuation.

I saw this on Raising Hope and thought it illustrated my point perfectly.

For those who don't watch the show, I'll set the scene. Jimmy is trying to get his daughter into a fancy preschool and on his application form has used a lot of exclamation marks.

I'm sure there's lots, but what's one thing you learned early on your road to becoming a writer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Long Term Relationship

I have been in a long term relationship for about six or seven years now. It started off strong. We clicked right away and I thought he was perfect, but then I introduced him to a few friends. They noticed a few flaws – things they thought I should try to change.

Over the past few years I've made great progress. I've almost got him to where I want him, but I'm still not sure he's good enough.

There's still a few things he could be better at, but I'm not sure how to change him. He's quite stubborn.

So I'm giving him a few more months. If it's meant to be it will work out and if he's not doing better then it may be time to move on to something new. Although it will be hard to leave something I've worked so hard on, it might be for the best.

Here's hoping the relationship works.

PS: Just in case you didn't get my analogy - my long term relationship is with my book.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Paying it Forward

Matthew McNish and Alex Cavanough had this great idea for a blog fest.

Paying it forward.

Technically its suppose to be on Friday, October 14 but since I work tomorrow I won't be able to post anything in the morning. Combine that with the fact that my schedule thing isn't working means I'm posting this late Thursday night.

In Alex's words, the idea is to introduce all of us to everyone else. We want this to be easy - meet and follow as many other bloggers as you like. In your post, we would like you to please list, describe, and link to three blogs that you enjoy reading and know that others would enjoy as well.

Visit those who’s signed up. Visit those they recommend! If you don’t have time to comment, just follow. Take the weekend to go through the list. You might find some really cool blogs out there.

Plus we're to feature three blogs that we think other people should follow.

The first person I think you should follow is Robyn Campbell. She is the most positive person I've met through blogging. She always has a kind word for everyone and her comments always leave me smiling.

The second person I think you should follow is Heidi Willis. She is a fantastic writer and photographer. She's doing her MFA and always has great advice about what's she's learned.

The third person I think you should follow is Laura Pauling because she has great advice on how to structure your story and I've learned so much from reading her blog.

Have fun looking at over 200 blogs. It might take a while but I'm going to try and get through all of them before Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thank goodness for rejection

I'm almost finished the last of my edits before heading into query land.

I've been there before, but I've only visited for short periods of time. In total I think I had about ten to fifteen rejections. This time I'm planning on staying for a while.

When I read my earlier drafts of my book, all I can think is, thank goodness I was rejected, because I wouldn't have wanted that version to be my first book.

I've learned so much since I started writing this book. It has completely changed and this time I think it might have a chance. But even if it doesn't, I know I can write another book and it will be even better.

So thank goodness all of the agents I sent my first drafts to were smart enough to realize it wasn't ready.

How about you? Are you glad your first drafts weren't published?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 Debut Novel - Hereafter

Christina Lee had this great idea of reviewing 2011 debut YA authors and I was lucky to be in the right spot at the right time, so I was able to review a book for today.

Due to my bad habit of procrastination, the book I originally picked, was unavailable at my book store. Which turned out to be good, because  I came across Hereafter by Tara Hudson and decided to give it a try. I have to admit it is the first paranormal book I've read, so I didn't know what to expect, but this book didn't disappoint.

Here's a run down of what the book is about:

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

So not only is it a paranormal, but it's also a romance, and I'm a sucker for a good romance. And between a ghost and a living boy. What a great concept. Her descriptions of the afterlife is eerie and haunting (not a place I'd like to go). Since I haven't read any other paranormal books, I'd say this was a great one to get me interested in the genre.

So here's my question: Have you read any great paranormal books lately?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finding G and Hidden Valley Ranch

I am all kinds of tired. On Monday I canned more salsa, did a ton of errands, had piano lessons with my daughter, played volleyball and soccer (did I mention I joined a coed volleyball team).

Today I worked all day, got groceries and took kids to basketball practice.

My mind is fried. I have no words of wisdom. No clever analogies. No thoughts on writing.

Instead I leave you with two funny videos.

Have you seen either of them before? Which one did you like better? If you don't have time to watch them, which one do you think you'd like more?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Phone Call

No, I 'm not talking about that one, but I wish.

Yesterday, I got a phone call that started like this.

"Hey, Patti, how's it going."

I had no clue who was on the phone and it took me a good minute to figure it out. (I guess I didn't want to be rude and ask).

When I call someone, who I don't normally talk to all the time on the phone, I usually say, "Hey, it's Patti." This way the person I'm talking to knows who it is and we can start our conversation right away, instead of her saying three minutes later "Oh, it's Patti". I do this because apparently I sound really young on the phone. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if my mom was home. I have used this to my advantage since if I know it's a telemarketer, I say no.

How does this relate to writing?

Let's pretend the person who called me is the author and I'm the reader. It took me a while to get situated – to know who I was talking to. Even though I like books that open with some action, I also like it when the author is clear about what is going on, so I'm not scratching my head for four pages going, "What the heck..." If it's too hard to follow, I'm less inclined to keep reading.

How about you? Do you like knowing what's going on right away in a book? Or do you like to be left guessing for a little bit?