Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keeping it Cool and a Congrats

I listened to an interview with Laini Taylor who wrote Daughter of Smoke and Bone. She talked about how she writes a scene. She went through her process and then said, "When I'm all done, I try to think of a way to make it cooler."

She used the word cool a lot in her interview.

I went to her blog and found these 7 general suggestions on things you can ask yourself when writing a scene.
  1. What needs to happen?
  2. Who needs to be there?
  3. Where could it take place? How make it interesting? What activity could characters be doing? or What is the coolest way this information might be revealed?"
  4. What’s the most surprising thing that could happen? Brainstorm three different ways it could begin.
  5. Play it on the movie screen in your head.
  6. Write a scribble version - five minutes to get the bare minimum down.
  7. Write the full scene.
Lately I've been asking myself number one a lot. What needs to happen? I like the other suggestions, especially the scribble version. I'm going to try that. Maybe it will help me get over the hump and finally write that dragon scene I've been putting off for far too long.

How about you? Do you do anything specific when you sit down to write a scene. And what do you do when you're stuck?

Now for a congrats. Chantle Sedgwick, who is a great blogger, just signed a two book deal. So exciting.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Common Theme

Last week when I was talking to my friend about all the ideas I had for books (yes she's very patient to listen to me), she made an interesting comment.

She said that it sounds like the common theme through out my books is being rescued in one way or another. I was taken a back at first, because all of them are quite different, but she was right. I did have that in common with all of the books I've written and want to write.

She admitted to me that her theme was all about being true to yourself no matter what.

How about you? Do you see a common theme in your writing?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday Favorites

This week has been a hard one. I've been a little bit down on myself in regards to my writing.

But on Wednesday I talked to a co-worker about it and she talked me off the ledge so to speak, since I was close to throwing in the towel. It's amazing what a few words of encouragement can do to your attitude.

I left work feeling great with renewed resolve to keep trying.

So my favorite thing this week is: "Words of Encouragement."

Try to give some today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Squiggly Lines

For the past week, I feel like I've been hitting my head against a wall or at least my keyboard.

I've been stuck on a couple of different scenes and I can't seem to get past to them. Every time I think I have it, I re-read the section and think it doesn't sound right, or I'm not capturing the emotion I want. I wonder if the character has enough motivation and I end up second guessing everything.

Then I saw this. Photo removed

I'm not saying that I instantly felt better and realized that all my struggles were leading me toward success.

In fact, even tonight I flopped down on the couch and sighed heavily.


It does make sense. There might be some who have a straight road to success, but I'm sure most people have some squiggly lines.

And right now I'm in the thick of them.

How about you? Where are you on your road to success?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Day

Today is Family Day. Once a year, we get a a day off of work to go spend some time together, so that is where I am today.

I'll be around on Tuesday to visit blogs and I'll have a new post up on Wednesday.

If you can, get out with your family today. (Technically tomorrow since I'm writing this Sunday night, but you know what I mean.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Friday Favorites

I really should have called this post Friday Frustrations, but I promised myself I'd stay positive on Friday, so I'll leave my frustrations until Monday. Hopefully by then they'll disappear.

Anyway, my favorite thing this week is a song.

My daughter came home with this video of five people playing a guitar and I absolutely fell in love with the song.

Then I fell in love with the guy who sang the original.

Although it was the same song, each artist (or artists) gave it their own voice. Sound familiar?

How about you? What have you loved this week?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just a swing away

I stole this photo off of my cousin's Facebook page and found it inspiring. Photo removed

How many of us surrender and stop trying when it might only be a few more swings of the axe that separates us from success.

You never know when you might break through that wall. It might come with your next query, your next book, your next chapter.

So just keep digging and eventually you'll reach the treasure.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Origin of Me - Origins Blogfest

I joined the Origin Blogfest being hosted by Katie, Alex J., Matt, and DL. 

I'm really excited to go visit all of the other blogs and find out what made people decide they wanted to write.

As for me. My story is pretty simple. I loved reading as a child. Books were my best friends when I was having problems with my real life friends. Getting immersed in other worlds, took me out of mine, even if it was for only brief periods of time.

Then when I was around twelve I read a book series that changed my life. "The Keeping Days" by Norma Johnston was about Tish Sterling who was growing up at the turn of the century (1900) in Yonkers, NY. She was sensitive, fourteen, and wanted to be a writer. It's a six book series and Tish's story has stuck with me, even now, all these laters.

That's what I decided I wanted to be a writer. I dabbled it as a teenager and wrote a whole story the summer I was fourteen about a group of friends who discover their parents have been lying to them. 

Unfortunately I let a few harsh words keep me from really pursuing it until later on in life, but now I crave those harsh words. Okay, maybe not harsh, but definitely critical. 

It's amazing what one book can do and hopefully I can write a book that might inspire somebody else. Or at least entertain.

How about you? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Friday Favorites

Last Saturday I drove seven hours to watch my son play two basketball games. I left at 7am and got back at 1am. That's one really long day, but I didn't really mind, because I downloaded a book off audible.com onto my iPod.

I can't even tell you how listening to a book made the trip so much more enjoyable. On the way home, I didn't even get tired.

The book was twelve hours and I finished it on my commute to work, my walks around my neighbourhood and in the bathtub (maybe that was too much information).

If you subscribe to Entertainment Weekly you can go to audible.com/ew and get one book for free. I downloaded "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" and I'm so glad I listened to this book instead of reading it. I might have tried to rush through all of the great detail and emotional scenes to get to the meat and that would have been a shame. Plus the lady who narrated the book did such a good job. I would like to find other books she's narrated.

So this week, my favourite thing is audible books. Now I just need to figure out how to burrow them from my library.

How about you? Do you listen to audible books? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rogue Power

Last week I did ten interesting facts about myself.

One of them was that I have a streak of grey hair growing on the right side of my head that is starting to resemble Rogue from X-men. Then I remembered Rogue's power. With just the touch of her hand, she can take on any other mutants power.

This got me thinking.

If I could touch any writer and instantly get their writing abilities, who would I choose.

Last week I would have chosen John Green, because I really enjoyed the book "The Fault in Our Stars." I loved his witty banter, his great way at showing emotion with very few words.

Right now, I'm reading "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" and her writing powers would be awesome to have. She's so great at describing everything: setting, characters, emotions.

It would be so hard to choose.

How about you? If you could take one writers abilities, who would it be?

Monday, February 6, 2012

World Building & Tangled Tides

I had the pleasure of reading Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper last week.

I've read about vampires, fairies, dystopia societies, angels etc. But this is the first mermaid / sea creature book and I loved it. The pace was fast, the story intricate and the characters endearing. I spent four hours last Thursday ignoring my dishes, my laundry, and my children to finish reading it.

What impressed me the most was the world building. Karen created such an amazingly detailed world underneath the sea. I loved getting immersed in it (no pun intended). The legends, the myths, the consequences of love. It was great.

I write fantasy and am currently working on a scifi book, so it involves a lot of world building, so I have a question for those who do world building.

Do you create your world and its rules before you start writing or do you start with a base, but let the plot dictate the rules?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Friday Favorites

This week it's been all about balance.

This actually might be my word of the year.

To quote one of my favourite movies in the 80's "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

When you're kids are little you think you have all of the time in the world with them, but now as I'm faced with my oldest graduating from high school next year, I'm realizing just how fast time flies.

And the scary thing is my other two kids aren't that far behind.

I know writing is important, but in eight years I'll have all of the time in the world, because my kids will be gone. So, I'm going to make sure I go to all of their basketball games that I can, attend all the plays that they're in, and go to all of the band concerts, because one day there won't be any to attend.

Take some time to enjoy life so that you don't miss anything.

Have a great weekend.