November, 2010

Music Monday: Bruno Mars

>Welcome back from Thanksgiving break.  I hope you had your fill of food, family and fun!  I know I did.  I had a blast at my DH’s boss’s house.  And I had deep fried turkey for the first time EVER.  I LOVED it.   I know, I know, completely redneck, but I suppose that’s what I am.  😀  I ate entirely too much of everything.   And later that night I did it all over again at my parents’. 

I didn’t get any writing done, then again, I wasn’t planning to.  😀  I started in on my TBR pile and made a dent, only to fill it again during the black Friday sales.  What can I say?  I’m a glutton for punishment.  However, I think I’d be willing to go by death by book.  😀

A friend of DH’s gave us enough pies and bread to last at least a year, if not longer.  And not just pumpkin!  But apple, blueberry, cherry, etc.  I think if any of you see me, I’ll look like a giant ball with arms and legs.

Anyway, enough about me, what did you do this Thanksgiving? 

Since I’m getting close to 250 followers, I want to remind you I’ll be doing a large give-away! Partially because I reached 250 followers and also because I missed my 1 year blogversary.  So make sure to pass the word that I’m here.  😀

And now, without further adieu, this week’s selection for Music Monday.

This song is on Artifact Spirit’s playlist because no matter what the “Evil stepmother” does to Mai, Del loves her “just the way she is.” 

Hope you enjoy. 

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Happy Thanksgiving Week

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Hi guys!  *waves*  Just a quick post today to tell you I’m taking this week off from blogging.  I will be back next week with more advice, a few book reviews, and other such wonderful things.  If you’re still waiting on contest goodies to be mailed to you,  my email program deleted some emails and I lost addresses.  PLEASE, please, please email me again with your addy so I can get these winnings out to you.  Thanks. 

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Two more blog awards

>I keep meaning to post these, but I never remember!  So, I’m doing it now.

Both of them come from another writing friend and the wonderful things she’s said about me and my blog made me teary.  So thank you Dorothy Dreyer!

The first is a strange award.  No really that’s what it’s called!  And I LOVED this one.  It’s SOO true!  I’m a bit strange and I celebrate it gladly!

 The next one is a beautiful Life is Good award and comes with questions, so here ya go:

Questions:

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
No I love being open about my blog.  Besides that would completely ruin the point of wanting everyone to know who I am!  😀


2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
My husband would be able to answer that better than I can.  ; )


3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
A little girl who wonders why she’s looking at old, fat girl.  😀

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
Arnold Palmers:  1/2 lemonade, 1/2 iced tea

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Read a book in the bath or hot tub. Or go horseback riding in the woods.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
Getting published.  Getting published.  And…oh yeah, getting published. 😀


7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?
I was the shy one.  People thought I was rude and prissy because I was too nervous to speak to anyone.  And I always had a book with me so I wouldn’t HAVE to talk to anyone.  I was just too shy, though.  If they’d come up and talked to me, I would have talked back.  I like making new friends.

 
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
Poignant as in touching, not poignant as in sad: the births of my children.
  (BTW, I totally stole this answer from Dorothy, because it’s exactly right.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I don’t know.  I guess it’s just easier to use myself as an example, but I can do both fairly easily, so…I don’t know.   

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Definetely read.  I hate talking on the phone.  It makes me feel weird with all the silences that must be filled.  Give me a good book and a cold drink and I’m good to go.



So now I’m supposed to pass these on to other bloggers.  Here’s my lovely list.  

The girls from Oasis For YA:

* Jessie  at The Daily Harrell
* Sheri at Writer’s Ally
* Nikki of her self-titled blog
* AE Rought at Love, Light and Shadows

Other writer friends
* Liz Czukas at her self-titled blog
* Larissa Hardesty at Larissa’s World
* Jaclyn Dolamore at her self titled blog
* Kristi LaPointe at Mommy Barbie
* Adventure’s In Children’s Publishing
* Leah Crichton at her self titled blog
* MJ Heiser at Dispatches from Jaenrye
* Slushpile hero
* Jody Hedlund at her self-titled blog
* Lynn Rush at Catch the Rush
* Jordan Deen at her self titled blog

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Make your own luck? Or a roll of the dice

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There is no such thing as luck, someone once told me. You make your own luck. By working hard and never giving up, you’ll always succeed. And for the longest time I believed that was true. And I proved them—and myself—correct at every turn.

Did I want to make it through boot camp? Work harder! Did I want to succeed at breast-feeding? Never give up! So when I decided to write professionally, I applied these two logics. Work harder and never give up.

For nine months, I spent every second I could spare writing, critiquing, revising, editing, rewriting. Until, by chance, I found a post about my soon-to-be agent. And this weird tingle tickled my stomach, so I sent off my query with partial, though it went against my own rule to not snail mail unless specifically requested. And my other rule not to send to non-responders, which is lucky I did, because about a month later I was offered representation.

So, some of you are saying, what’s the point? We’ve heard this all before. I know. 😉 But see, even then I didn’t believe in luck. I worked hard on that MS. I wrote, rewrote, revised, edited, and suffered through a few rejections. Plus I visit that site every day. I was bound to find an agent through there. ☺

Well, about 2 months ago, I was sitting watching my son playing a video game, struggling through a story that was kicking my butt, and it hit me. The what if question all us writers get. And that question was, what if a little girl was stolen from the surface and dragged to live with this monstrous woman who brainwashed her in this underwater utopia/dystopia?

I immediately started plotting it out. Obviously, it quickly mutated and is completely different than that first what if question, but I couldn’t stop. Even when my agent sent me revision notes on two of my other stories, so we could go back out on submission, I had the hardest time pulling myself away from the computer.

I even brought my laptop with to RWA Nationals so I could keep writing. My characters wouldn’t shut up. And then the most amazing thing happened, the story changed AGAIN.

I realized I was writing in my most hated of writing styles. First person, present tense. And that it was good! I couldn’t get myself to write in past. No matter what I did, I always reverted back to present tense. And Evie, the MC, had this most amazing voice. It was formal and informal at the same time. So, I gave up. And wrote it the way it wanted.

Even though I’d plotted it out, things changed while I was writing it. It went from mildly dark, to darn near pitch black at the end. And still it wasn’t enough. I had to go back through the MS again, and again. To get it right.

In the meantime, it’s gone back to my critique group, who loved it. Then my most trusted critique partner, who fixed the few present tense slips. And then when I was pretty sure it was perfect, it went off to betas. And all reports back are: It’s great. When can I buy it?

Now it’s in the hands of my awesome agent, and I’m nervous as hell, because it’s unlike ANYTHING I’ve ever written before. But it’s also the best thing I’ve ever written.

And I STILL can’t get the story out of my head.

I just have to hope Natalie likes it and some editor snatches it up, because this has proven beyond a doubt that while hard work and never giving up are important, luck goes hand in hand with it.

Being in the right place at the right time means everything.

So, share with me. What’s your opinion? Is there luck? Or do we make our own luck?

Also, I’m in two places at once.  I’m here and over at Makin’ Baby Grand talking about World-building in YA Science Fiction.

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My hero: J.K. Rowling.

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So, just a quick blog post today because I’m still in post-Harry Potter bliss.  Last night I went to an advanced screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I” and let me tell you, it was AWESOME.  Seriously and truly.
 
That, of course, prompted this blog post, because J.K. Rowling is my hero.  And I mean that.  I honestly don’t use that term lightly, but J.K. Rowling deserves it.  The fact that she started writing HP on napkins, on the train, and…everything else she did.  Then, to know her UK publisher gave her a teeny, tiny advance for it and it didn’t do very well at first, only to be picked up by Scholastic and do what it did…yeah, makes me realize that fairy tales do come true.
Also, the fact that she isn’t afraid to hurt her characters in a way that moves the story makes me envious.  I have such a hard time hurting my characters, but it’s necessary.  And I have to remind myself they’re not real. LOL.
 
If there was one person in the world I would want to meet and just talk to it would be her.  Because she seems so nice, despite having all the fame and money she could want.  And the fact that her writing has spurned hundreds of thousands of kids to read.  Yep, don’t think I could have picked a better hero.
Also, this probably isn’t going to  happen, but I’m actually trying really, really hard to see if I can get an interview with her.  Like I said, it’s probably just wishful thinking, but I can try.  Hasn’t she taught us that nothing is impossible, no matter how improbable?
 
So, my lovelies, who’s your hero?  And why?

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