Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jane Austen Has Done it to Me Again

I was nearly halfway through Emma when I thought, “Nope, not really liking this one.”
Emma is snooty, meddlesome and a know-it-all. I did not like her through most of the novel. As with Pride and Prejudice, I felt it was drawn out with lots of telling vs. showing and everyone was so terribly fussy-lol.

And then Mr. Knightley told off Emma. Told her off good enough to have her hiding tears and I fell in love with Mr. Knightley a little bit. That was the start of Emma looking at her behavior and how she treats people and let me just say, thank God for character growth.

All the same, Emma has not replaced my love for Pride and Prejudice. P & P is just so much more romantic.

Now I’m off to watch the BBC mini series. I think I saw the one with Gwyneth Paltrow and while I have nothing against her as an actress, I have something against Americans being put in a British roll. I mean, is there a shortage of British actresses that I didn’t know about? Me thinks not.

Up next...Sense and Sensibility.

Have any of you read Emma? If so, how did you like it? Better that Pride and Prejudice or no?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Backspace: The Writer’s Place

One of my blog posts is featured on the fantastic site Backspace: The Writer’s Place. If you haven’t heard of it, go right over and check them out. I’ll wait….

Okay, so now that you see all the fabulous and informative articles, posts and events they have, you can be in the know like me! Actually, I just learned about them when I was contacted to feature two of my posts about rejection.

I’m very interested in the upcoming agent/author conference. Really, I’m just excited to have a new place to gather information and network. How did I not know about this site?
Anywho, if you want to check out my post go here and be sure to leave a comment!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I’m Not Writing

My laziness during the past week has been astounding. I can barely pull myself off the sofa least of all sit at my computer and string together two sentences. Wait, I just did that, didn’t I? Nevertheless, I’ve been struck by a paralyzing bug and it’s called Laziness. Perhaps I suffer from seasonal depression. Perhaps I just don’t feel like writing.

But I’m starting to feel guilty. As I walk past my laptop and don’t even bother to boot it up, I hear it mocking me, calling me a good for nuthin’ hack, but I just ignore it. It’s not like I don’t have things to write. I have at least five wips I can dive right into. I have a massive rewrite of Light Bringers that I’m actually excited about, but something keeps my butt on the sofa.

If I want to be a fulltime writer I can’t just sit around and waste valuable writing time, can I? Absolutely, not! Deadlines and editors won’t care if I want to watch all the season premieres of the new fall shows. They won’t care if I have miserable menstrual cramps, well, they might care, but they won’t want to hear it as a reason for missing a deadline. And even though I don’t have a deadline, editor or even an agent, it’s not at all prudent to wait until I have those things to start writing like it’s my sole source of income. So with that said I’m going to give my laziness another week and then I’m going to put a boot up my own @ss and get to work.

What do you guys do when you just don’t feel like writing? Do you worry about leaving work undone? Do you feel guilty when you don’t write?

Note: I’ve taken down the link on the sidebar to Zellie’s novel, Lightning Spliced, because it was taken off Zulu and edited for the second printing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Have Stepped Into Query Hell…


A few days ago I started trickling out queries. Fifteen! I know for most people fifteen is not a trickle, but when you consider on my last novel I sent out close to one hundred, fifteen is modest.

I’ve received 6 rejections thus far—Ouchie! But the way I’m looking at it is each rejection will clear the way for the right agent to step in. So, from now on, I’ll be sending out one query—to a well researched agent—for every rejection I receive. This is keeping my attitude positive. I realized, I thrive on that hope of hearing that ding on my Blackberry, hitting the button, seeing it’s indicating an email to my gmail account and then opening that to find a request from Mr. or Ms. Dream Agent.

Giving up is not an option. I mean, what else would I do if I gave up writing? Sit and drool in a corner? No, that’ll never do.

Tell me, how do you keep yourself motivated? Are you in Query Hell right now and is there anything I can do to help you?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Go Ahead, Say I Told You So

Months back, when J.D. Salinger passed, I was moved to conquer some classics. As a writer, I felt kind of bad when people would talk about certain classics that I’d never read.

On my short list was:
The Great Gatsby
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Catcher in the Rye
Pride and Prejudice

I’ve conquered two on that list so far—The Catcher in the Rye and Pride and Prejudice. Lets just say, I’m not such a fan of The Catcher in the Rye.

Pride and Prejudice. First, lets not talk about how I’m probably the last person to read this book, because I know that I am! As I started reading I thought, “WTH is going on? Why do so many people love this book?” I just didn’t get it. It was drawn out, full of telling over showing and—as I put it to my sister—terribly fussy. Some parts of it actually exhausted me. I think I caught the vapors.

And then Mr. Darcy proposed…and was turned down flat. All of his pride and arrogance tossed back on him by lovely and head-strong Elizabeth Bennett.

I was hooked from that moment on. Whoda’ thunk it…me, a romantic. But I wanted MORE when I was done. I wanted it so much that I went on Netflix and looked up Pride and Prejudice. There are about half a dozen versions so I scaled it down between the one with Kiera Knightley or the miniseries with Colin Firth…Colin won and boy was I happy I chose that one.

I don’t have a big problem with Kiera Knightley, but the in the A&E miniseries seemed so much like Elizabeth. I thought I’d always be conscious that it was Kiera Knightley if I’d chosen the other one. Plus the reviews said the man playing Darcy wasn’t at all like book Darcy. I wasn’t disappointed in Colin Firth.

A lovely time was had by all. So I can now be counted as one of those people who love Pride and Prejudice.

Go ahead, say I told you so…

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In Memory of Zellie Blake

I lost a friend on Sunday September 5, 2010. Actually, I don't want to say it like only I’ve lost a friend, because Zellie meant a lot to so many people. I first met her two years ago in the beta forum on Absolute Write. We liked each other instantly. She was quirky and had a bubbly personality, not to mention a wonderful way of giving critical feedback.
When I gave Zellie LIGHT BRINGERS to beta, her comments, advice and support helped me shave it down from 102k to 78k. I truly believe it was her input that helped me grab the attention of several agents, three of which wanted to read the full.

When she told me she was sick with cancer, I was terrified. It’s a horrible disease and I haven’t meant a single person who deserved such an evil thing to live inside their body. Zellie, however was always so upbeat, so bubbly and even in emails you could see the sun shining through her. It was because of this zest that I thought we’d have her for so much longer.

It happened so quickly that I never got to tell her how proud I was to be her friend or how happy I was that she’d published her novel. LIGHTNING SPLICED is now available here.

I read a rough draft of this last year when the title was The Resistance so I can’t wait to read it now and see what’s changed. I just wish I could gush over it with my friend.

ALL proceeds from the book will go to The Cancer Society.More information is available on her website. So please, pick up a copy 0f LIGHTNING SPLICED. Zellie will live on through her words, and we can help find a cure for this terrible disease.

Thanks everybody.

Rest in peace Zellie Bean.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How Can You Write For Teens When You Don’t Like Them?

This question was posed after a particularly colorful rant I had the other day. I was in a grumpy mood to begin with, but then I’d been hearing my coworkers complain about their selfish teenagers. I’d witnessed lazy teens in the waiting room giving their parents attitude for no reason, while their pants hung below their butt-cheeks. I’d started listening to a book (I won’t mention the name) where the main character was whinny, hateful and just an all around little sh*t.

This sparked a rant like I’d been channeling a crotchety old man—minus shaking a cane at the neighborhood kids to keep them off of my lawn.

So when the question was asked: How can you write for teens when you don’t like them? It stopped me in my tracks. The coworker who asked this has read my work. She looked at me like she was completely confused.

That’s when I had to step back and rewind all the things I’d said in my head. Yes, I guess it would sound like I don’t like teens, but nothing could be further from the truth. I actually love that age group. The immediacy of everything and the intensity, but what I probably love the most is the new experiences, straddling the lines of child and adult. I loved being a teenager. (I wouldn’t want to go back, but…) I loved high school and this is why I write for teens.

What I explained to my coworker is that my rant should have been aimed at selfish people, at whinny people, and mean-spirited little sh*ts because that’s who I really dislike. And as we all know, those personality flaws are prevalent in all ages.

So even though no teens were harmed during the production of my rant, I apologize. I love you teenagers. Rock on! lol.