Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Entourage

I love the show Entourage on HBO. So I put out a call on Twitter and Facebook for people who wanted follow me around with no real goals. I can be the cash cow and in return, I can have people who will keep me company and do things for me…great life right? Well, I got some takers, friends and family, but it got me thinking.

First, I don’t really have any money to be the cash for anyone’s cow, and second, do writers really have entourages—well, do medical billers, aspiring to be writers have entourages?

Then, that brought about another question…are there any rock stars of writing? I know there are writers out there who I idolize, but rock stars? Thinking about the life of Michael Jackson, watching all of the video footage of people—nay, grown men—crying and fainting, I wondered why writers don’t garner that type of reaction.

Now, am I saying that I want to be a rock star of writing? I don’t think so, because even with all the accolades, the screaming fans, the buckets of money and yes, even the Entourage, there is a price to pay when you are the rock star of anything.

A loss of privacy, living under a microscope, and even falling victim to selling out (whatever that may mean for you), are all things I don’t want…well, maybe I’ll take the buckets of money. So even though I love Entourage, and would love to live out that show, when you think about it, where would my entourage follow me...to my dining room table where I set up my laptop to write? Sounds like just the stuff HBO is looking for!

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Writing Flaws

As I typed my way through the first chapter of my SNI, (got in close to 3000 words today!), I realized one of my writing flaws…compound words. For some reason my brain doesn’t want to connect them.

One of the main ones is…without…see, even when I typed it just now I initially typed with out.

For this particular novel, my main compound blunders were:


Now, as my brain wouldn’t let me make those words compound words, I kept trying to make duffle bag one word! WTH? My brain is on some serious malfunction. At least I know…admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

To Quote or Not to Quote...

A while back I was speaking with a friend who writes, but not really with professional aspirations (which is still good. I don’t care what your goals are for writing if you love it!). She asked if I planned to add quotes to my book. At first I wasn’t sure what she meant. I thought she meant like a foreword or like some song lyrics at the beginning that may capture the meaning of my book.

She actually meant a quote at the beginning of each chapter—something that may foreshadow the plot, the heart of the character, or the main purpose of the chapter. I had to think about that for a moment. First, I don’t know that many quotes that would convey the meaning of all 25 chapters of my book. I don’t read a lot of poetry, nor do I write much (despite how fantastic my mother and my sister thinks my poems are), so I didn’t think I could even come up with 25 places to quote from. Granted, they don’t all need to come from poems, they could just be quotations from people that resonate with my story.

Then I started thinking about the books that I’ve read that have quotations introducing each chapter.

Tithe, by Holly Black and Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr are just two that I can pull right off the top of my head. Even though I remember that they both quoted people, stories and maybe even songs at the beginning of each chapter, I couldn’t tell you what any of the quotes were about. I never read one of them. Well, I think I at least read or tried to read one, but I found that it pulled me out of the story to stop and read a quotation that I may or may not get the relevance of at that moment. Most of the time I barely stop to read chapter titles (even though I prefer naming my chapters as opposed to simply numbering them). This in no way means that I think Black and Marr should not have used the quotes in the beginning of each of their chapters, it’s their book, they can do what they want, (like they care what I think-lol). And this doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the books. I did, very much, and that’s why I couldn’t waste time reading a quote because I was too busy enjoying the book!

So the short answer to this question is, No, I would not add quotations to my chapters. Now if one day I write something with a heavy lyrical pulse, maybe I would quote some songs since music resonates with me more than poetry. And I can certainly think of 25 songs that would speak to the feelings I want to convey in each of my chapter.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett

Today we lost two pop icons. We'd been preparing for Farrah but Michael was a shock. I feel like part of my childhood just died. It amazes me, as I sit here watching MTv Jams play back to back MJ videos, HIS SONGS ARE STILL AWESOME TODAY! Even some two or three decades old! Music is timeless and Michael Jackson will live on forever because of that. As will Farrah with Charlie's Angels. I remember watching The Burning Bed and being horrified but also moved and by her performance.

Now, I'm off to watch Smooth Criminal and try not to cry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What’s next…

Well, now that I’m letting my novel sit and marinate, I think I’m going to start on a few of my SNI’s. I have a paranormal YA mystery series—featuring a 16yr old psychic—that I think I want to be next after Light Bringers. Granted, I still have a 3rd book to write to complete the Light Bringers series, but I don’t want to start that until I have books one and two set in stone.

So, I also have demon hunter series I want to start—kinda like a YA girl version of Supernatural! Plus this werewolf story is just buzzing around in my head. I know there’s a saturation of vampire, werewolf and faery books out now, especially for YA, but I have WIP’s in all of those topics. I can’t help what wants to be written. So I’m just going to write them and see where the cards fall. Something tells me that I’m going to be writing several novels at once…something I’ve never done before. We’ll see how it goes!

Off to watch So You Think You Can Dance….

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book, Book, and More Books

So far this year I’ve read/listened to 32 books. Last year, my total was 60, which I’m trying to beat this year. Looks like I’m well on my way! I know some don’t count audio books as actually reading, but I do. I listen to books only at work. My job lends itself to sitting in my office and going completely nutters if I don’t have something like the radio or audio books to keep me sane. This way, it’s better than the commercials on the radio and simple silence. If given the choice I’d read the actual book, but as I can’t do that and do my job, audio books have saved my life.

I especially love J. D. Robb’s In Death series. The woman who reads them, Susan Erickson, is awesome. And THAT can really make or break a book. There are some books that I suspect are really awesome, but the reader sucks the life out of the story so it’s impossible for me to listen to it.

Right now, I have no audio books left to listen to, so I’ve taken to re-listening to some of J. D. Robb’s. As for the actual books I have waiting…there are about six in my bedroom and about twenty on my wish list. I just finished the third in the Night Huntress series (At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost) and now I’m reading Pretties by Scott Westerfeld…I know I’m late, but there’s no expiration date on good reads!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Weekend with the Parental Units

My mom and stepdad were in town this week to finalize the paperwork on the new home they just bought in Dover, Delaware. They currently live in Memphis, Tennessee because my stepdad works for the military. Anyway, they came down to lovely Baltimore on Friday to visit with me until today.

My mother LOVES The Cheesecake Factory so we went there on Friday. Our wait was less than 15min! If you’re familiar with The Cheesecake Factory then you know that is UNheard of at that place on a Friday night. And can I just say, Avacado Eggrolls…YUMMERS! My fav.

Saturday…I FINISHED the second book in my Light Bringers series! Holy Crap! I knew I was close to the end, but with Ma and Pa in town (they hate when I call them that) I knew I wouldn’t have time to get any writing done. Fortunately, my parents went shopping and since I hate shopping (really, I’m like a man when it comes to that), they went without me so I had all day to write. Later we met up for steamed crabs—yummers again!

Sunday…we went to see Spring Awakening and it was AWESOME! I’d heard it was good, but I really loved it. It also made me thankful that my mother isn’t a prude. During the first act we’d already seen a guy masturbating during a musical number, and a simulated sex act. As we went to the bathroom during intermission, I asked my mother if she liked it. She said that she did. Then I asked if she was scandalized. She laughed and said, not in the least. My stepdad was a different story. I asked if he liked it, he said, “Well, it’s entertaining.” But he’s military and doesn’t function well without being fully briefed. I didn’t tell him what the play was about, only my mother. I didn’t want to say, “Hey, it’s a play set in the 1800’s about teens coming into their sexual awareness.”

All the same, I loved the play and even though it was Father’s Day, I felt like it was a day for me! Not that I forced my will on them. My stepdad is just a go with the flow kind of man, so he was happy we were just doing something fun.

I’m still giddy about finishing my second book. The ironic part was it’s the exact same number of pages as the first book in the series and nearly the same word count. I plan to let it sit for a month or so and then read it over. Maybe I’ll print it out to work on when I fly to Reno next month. Now, I can get back to all the reading I’ve been dying/needing to do. I’ve got a stack of books and zellie_bean manuscripts…I haven’t forgotten about you, darlin’.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Rejection That Made Me Smile

So today I get home and there is only one letter in my mailbox. As soon as I see the golden envelope that I've addressed, I know it's from an agent and more than likely, it's a rejection as all the requests I've received came via email. Well, I open it and yes, it is a rejection, but it’s definitely the nicest one I've ever received.

Now this was not a reply from a request for a partial or a full so I was VERY surprised to see that it was addressed to ME and not, Dear Author. This is one of the agents who allow you to send along a sample with your initial query so I sent 3 chapters. This is what the letter said:

Thank you for giving us a chance to represent your novel, Light Bringers. While it is clear from the excerpt that you have much talent (really, there is some fine, polished writing here), we are taking on very few works of fantasy at this time. I'm sorry to say that Mr. Agent may simply be the wrong agent for it.

Truthfully, any rejection sucks, but this is the best one I've ever had. I especially like the part in the parenthesis! First time a rejection has made me smile.