Thought you'd like to know;)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Ok...I'm stretching this a bit, but it's still true nonetheless.
How did this come to be?
Remember my not so epic post about SCBWI First Page Session I just attended? Well another attendee, Tara Lazar wrote up a summary of everything she learned on her blog which you can read here. I think she was one of the readers too, so wow, major kudos Tara for reading and summarizing all the important points. I feel so lazy now-all I did was sit there and worry about myself!
Anyway, the points that the two editors made for my first page can be found in the above post- even though technically my name isn't mentioned nor is the actual title of my book The Seven Sisters Brandywine...but still! I've been discussed!
Can you guess which piece of advice is mine? Hehe!
Ok ok, not epic enough for you? Well here is a true bit of epicness.
Donna Gambale my wonderful friend and First Novel's Club writer is now on Amazon.com. You can preorder her upcoming book The Magnetic Kama Sutra here.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Finally, my junior year at Cornell, I made a deal with a friend of mine that I would watch all 3 original Star Wars if he would watch the first 2 Harry Potters (Prisoner of Azkaban wasn't out yet-wierd!). And thus, I learned that there was a difference between Star Wars and Star Trek...er, one is a movie and the other a tv show? and Captain Kirk doesn't appear in the Star Wars movies? Ok so I didn't learn a whole lot, but at least I've now seen Episodes 4,5, and 6.
And what is my whole point to this post-besides the fact that I find my lack of science fiction knowledge slightly amusing? I'm kind of digging the trailer for the Star Trek movie and I kind of want to see it...a lot...although as you can see I am clearly not a science fiction fanatic (not that I have anything against science fiction, I just never got into it). Plus, Captain Kirk is being played by that really hot guy from The Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement.
You can watch the Star Trek trailer here and see if you agree with me or not.
Maybe I will finally know the real difference between war and trek.
Ok now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'm proud to say I have choreographed my first Israeli Dance-I'm really excited about it and going to teach it tomorrow. Yay! I hope my kids like it. And then it's off to a meeting with the First Novels Club, finishing up my final papers so I can gradamatate and finishing my revision of the new new new chapter 2!!! I'm pumped!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So anyway...I didn't come out of there feeling grear like I usually do, but everyone will be proud of me to hear that I'm not rushing to revise chapter 1 (gasp!). I'm going to keep moving forward. Although believe me 100 new variations of chapter 1 combined with 100 old ways flashed through my mind in the 2 minutes they spent discussing me.
After the session I stopped at the book store on the way home to pick up the 3rd part of The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare.
I also got the sequel to Wicked Lovely, Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. Don't forget you can get a free ebook of Wicked Lovely here.
And here are two pictures of the covers-I really think as far as YA covers go these two are my absolute FAVORITE-they are just SO pretty, using all of my favorite colors and I guess you can tell that I'm partial to butterflies.
Anyway, that's all for tonight:-)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So I started to write down the like 3 or 4 sentences that were in my head and then I thought I'd go back to sleep. WRONG!!! I didn't get to go to sleep until six pages later-SIX PAGES at 2am! I didn't even realize I had written so much until I inserted page numbers.But...I'm not complaining. I actually LOVE what I wrote and I can't often say that. And NOW...I'm a 2am convert for a few good reason.
Another reason why this is good is because this particular scene I was working on-it was sort of giving me trouble. I knew it was in the works and things had to happen a certain way but I wasn't completely sure why it had to be that why, I just knew it was. Basically, my characters were dictating a part of the story to me and I had trusted them all along even though I had no idea what their motivation was. (Don't you just love it how characters can keep secrets from you?) So writing this scene at 2am was really special because one of the characters finally revealed his motivation to me! THANK YOU!!!
I had a few ideas about what was going on with you, but now I completely understand and it all makes sense! Woohoo! So I have to say that overall the next day my body wanted to kill me, not very happy with me and my lack of sleep and writing six pages instead of getting some REM, but I am totally a fan of 2am writing now! I think the fact that I was so exhausted kept me from self editing too much as I wrote and obsessing over every word and even though I was awake, it was like my mind was relaxed enough to let little subconcious secrets like my one character's motivation come through. SO YAY! Maybe I should start setting my alarm...
Further discussion of writing time over at The First Novels Club.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
But when I got to chapter three, I kind of froze in the middle. I think part of that was because I knew that the current outline I was following was not going to work (even though it was written in a burst of passion that took me until two in the morning). So I started to feel that things weren't working again and began worrying and wanting to start over and thinking about switching to first person (which for some reason is ALWAYS what I do whenever I run into trouble).
Anyway I decided to just go ahead and continue writing, throwing my outline a little bit to the side and I think the story went in the right direction. This is the thing about me and outlines, we have an open relationship.
For the most part I am true to my outline, I follow it, I have faith in it, we trust each other. But I find that I cannot stay too close to it. I need a little room to wander and explore and experiment. And somehow even though I stray away, I always come back and somehow it works better. Our relationship is stronger for it.
So now I am moving onto chapter four and I can see that with just a little bit of deviation from my outline that I'll be going back to it very shortly. And hopefully soon I shall be finished with this draft and ready to send it out!
P.S. More on my new metaphor of the outline being like an open marriage for me at my critique group's blog here.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that thanks to Chelsea from the wonderful The Page Flipper Blog there are a bunch of wonderful books you can download online right now, for free!
First up for you vampire lovers is L.J Smith's The Vampire Diaries (you can download the first two books in the series) which is soon going to be a tv series on the CW.
Side Note* And this is so embarassing but I still have no idea how to make a link on here and so if you want to teach me and leave a comment below with instructions I will totally love you forever*
In light of my unlinky abilities here is the link for you to cut and paste into your web browser!
Next up, is Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely.
I'm very excited about this-it was definitely on my list of to be read and now I can read it for free! Wow! Once again a cut and paste link:
And lost but not least is an e-book sample of 5 upcoming books from the Super Natural Summer Tour.
Included in the ebook are sample chapters from:
Fragile Eternity, Melissa Marr
Stargazer, Claudia Gray
Wings, Aprilynne Pike
The Awakening, Kelley Armstrong
Once Dead, Twice Shy, Kim Harrison
Cut and paste linky below!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Also, I created a new spin on the prologue and I don't know if I will keep it, but it makes me laugh everytime I look at it. I'll leave it at that:-)
Finally, I've had just a tiny bit more time on my hands with Passover break and I got to read Moonlight and The Amaranth Enchantment. Both were really fun books. Moonlight was a good sexy werewolf novel, the first in a trilogy I believe, and The Amaranth Enchantment was a really fun and lighthearted fairy tale with some really great plot twists. One thing I really appreciated about this book was that the author slowly revealed the plot and the real problem of the story. If she had tried to use a catchy hook up front it wouldn't have worked so well and I know right now a lot of authors are under pressure to hook the reader with the very first line (myself included), but this was nice. It goes to show that patience is still rewarded with good books. Also the Amaranth Enchantment made me smile at the end! Definitely recommend both!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Friday: Just after the rain stopped pouring in a freakishly heavy and hardcore rainfall I left work to go meet up with Janine, Donna and Sara from my critique group to drive down to the poconos. Despite the fact that we were all running late, and emerging from all sorts of calamities like losing all our power (electric power-not magic power), not having directions, realizing my car was running on empty like you do and so on, we were on the road. And thanks to Janine's navigation skills and my driving skills we made it to the conference only 11 minutes late AND the conference itself was running about 15 minutes behind schedule aka it was running on WST (Writers' Standard Time).
First up was a first page session which was incredibly interesting and insightful as usual. For dinner I was actually able to find a ton of fruit and some crackers I was digging on, but I totally veganed up my meal by sneaking in my own food from Whole Foods because hey...I knew I wasn't in Philly anymore and a vegan girl 's got to eat. We got to sit with YA Author Lara Zeises who claims she is a dork, but I don't see it. (Donna says of course that the fact that I don't see how Lara is a dork makes me a dork, but so is she). Anyway aside from her self proclaimed dorkiness, Lara is totally awesome and insightful and funny and just really fun to talk to. She gave a great presentation later that night as well. I was also really excited to meet up with some of my SCBWI friends like Joanne and see some familiar friendly faces that you only get to see at SCBWI events.
Later Sara and I went to our author intensive-we got matched up with other YA Fantasy writers...I won't go into details here but it wasn't exactly an enlightening use of a half hour.
Anyway afterwards we all reconvened in our hotel room (nicer and larger than the smallest hotel room in NYC from the winter conference). We opened some wine to celebrate Janine's birthday (which is today: HAPPY Birthday JANINE!) and Joanne brought me some more ARCS of amazing looking books that I can't wait to read. And finally we slept.
Saturday: Workshop day!!
After breakfast and a presentation from author Dan Gutman we broke up into small groups. I forgot to mention that even though the Shawnee Inn is not exactly a vegan's dream, the waitstaff were really sweet and looking out for me. One waitress approached me and asked if I was on a special diet because she had noticed the way I was bypassing a lot of the food at the buffet and wanted to make sure I was getting enough to eat-SO SWEET! Ok back to writing talk.
I attended two workshops in a row with agent Sara Crowe who runs the Crowe's Nest blog. She was so nice and personable and incredibly well versed in her field. She gave some great advice and information on what really happens when you work with an agent as well what makes a great query letter.
Gratuitous Show-Offiness--> She said my query letter was perfect and read part of it to everyone in the group<--end of gratuitiousness.
Ok...so there was lunch and I went to a session on First Chapters (my FAVORITE topic) that I found helpful and interesting. We had some free time and dinner and then Sara and I crashed Lara Zeises' author intensive and it rocked! I love that girl!
Then there was more celebrating back in our hotel room before we finally got to sleep.
Sunday: Ooooow waking up was hard. The weekend is when you catch up on sleep, and the Shawnee Inn is a place for restoration, but when you're attending an SCBWI conference...that doesn't happen much.
Sunday was short and almost uneventful....
There was a fairly interesting author's panel and brunch and we got to talk to Sara Crowe some more...and it was finally sunny enough to enjoy the view outside and take some pictures.
Here's Joanne and I.
My critique group now known as The First Novels Club.
So we decided to take the scenice route home and have a nice slow ride debriefing and talking excitedly about our weekend and much fun we had talking to other authors, meeting editors and awesome agent Sara when....CRASH!!!!!!!!!!
Some one totally rear ended me before I got onto a highway and totally took off my bumper cover!
Le sad! My car was only two weeks old and now it needs fixing!!!
Anyway the police came and sorted it out and so I guess you can say we ended our weekend with a bang!
In other big news besides our little car crash (seriously, if you have to be in a tough or stressful situation there's no one better to be there with you than these girls) we have decided to have a community blog where we discuss our writing and progress and navigating the publishing world as we finish our first novels together.
Check out some fun posts soon at www.firstnovelsclub.blogspot.com
Ok, now that I've had two successful conference weekends in a row, it's time to put my new outline into action and finish my book!!!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
But I seriously had a dream last night about a talking lion! So I was kind of in a combination of my house and the library I run and my dad was sitting in the library and I was watching him from outside and I saw that there was a lion in there with him and started to freak out and I was trying to figure out how to get everyone out of the library without letting the lion know we were onto him and then he just started talking. I don't remember any of the conversation but he started walking around on his two hind feet, holding books and put on a pair of glasses that looked a lot like Harry Potter's.
You know...make of it what you will.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
So after hearing the exciting news that a second editors likes me (they like me, they really like me) I was trying to figure out how to finalize the opening of my story. I've been trying to balance the fine line of writing what makes me happy, what I've been hearing from editors that they like about my story, and what I believe my story truly needs (whether that makes me or future readers happy or not). You always have to write truth, or else don't bother. Anyway, I think I was able to bring all of these things together, an opening that I LOVE, an opening that my critique group is in favor of, an opening that my first reader whom I'm dedicating the book to likes and so on, but most importantly, one that rings true to the story! Also, I've just outforshadowed myself! And nothing gets me more excited than foreshadowing!
I had this wonderful burst of inspiration for my new outline and I started writing it on Monday night. All I know is that I started writing it after class and I didn't look up until it was 2am! So I'm feeling really good about this and inspired.
I also just picked up a batch of new books from the bookstore this week including my favorite book If I Stay by Gayle Forman which technically comes out tomorrow but was sitting on the bookshelf a little early:-)
So tonight I'm hoping to wrap my outline up, maybe organize some of my laundry and then this weekend...SCBWI Poconos Retreat with my critique group and other amazing writers. So excited! Will be posting more about my weekend to come soon!