July, 2011

Friday News

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So this week has been very strange!  I’ve been down and out with a sinus infection turned ear infection turned ruptured ear drum.  Yep, you read that right.  Somehow during the night, I had so much fluid build up behind my ear drum that it ruptured it.  Not exactly comfortable.  It’s also made it difficult to do anything but lay down because my head spins every time I move.  It’s kinda like when you were a kid and spun around in circles with your arms out, then fell to the ground and watched the clouds spin.

So, that started off my week, but then I started getting good news!  I found out that one of my newest crit partners has gotten herself an agent!   Isn’t that awesome news!  Please go over there and congratulate her.  She really does deserve it.  🙂

I also got more good news that I can’t talk about quite yet, but as soon as I can, I’ll post it.

I’ve also gotten the go ahead from my editor (I don’t think saying that will ever get old.  LOL.)  to start working on Book 2 of the Elysium Chronicles, tentatively titled REBEL.  So as soon as I can spend more than 5 minutes at the computer, I’ll start writing it.  So excited to dive back into this world.

However, the best news I’ve gotten this week, I stumbled upon purely accidentally.  I was looking up something about RT and this post showed up.  Go on and read the whole thing, but pay particular attention to the second paragraph.  Really, go on, I’ll wait right here.  (*Smiles like an idiot*)

Did you read it?  Isn’t that freakin’ awesome!  If you didn’t read it, here’s the short of it. I ( or more specifically RENEGADE) am on the RT book reviews website and they want to read RENEGADE!

Here’s what they said:

Venturing even further into creepy territory is Renegade by Jessica Souders. Her tale is set in an underwater Utopia where a female assassin realizes that she does not control her own mind or body, and that her memories have been altered. The publication date has not yet been announced, but we are anxious to get our hands on this novel for several reasons, not the least of which is to find out why a utopia needs assassins!

This makes me all sorts of happy. 

So…what good news do you have to share? 

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Waiting on Wednesday

>So I decided to participate in a meme!  I know, I know.  I’m a little late to the party. LOL.  But better late than never.  Anyway, I’m always eagerly awaiting some book, so I thought this was a great one to be a part of.  So, here’s the deets:

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is: Fellow Apocalypise Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky!

Blurb from author’s website and goodreads:

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—nicknamed The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms eventually will. In this dystopia, even the very air she breathes could kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous—a savage. He’s also her only hope.

Perry needs Aria, too. She alone holds the key to his redemption. And their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

What’s your “waiting on” pick this week?

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Monday Musings: What I think about crits.

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I’ve been neglectful of my little blog lately.  🙁  I’m so sorry, guys. I hope to keep it up from here on out, but I don’t think I’ll be doing daily posts.  I’ll try to blog at least twice a week, but they’ll be probably be pretty random on the actual days I post during the week. 
I wanted to talk today about crits and expectations with those crits. I’ve been doing (receiving and giving) them since I started writing and I spend a lot of time on them.  I want the person I’m criting to not only have a great MS, but to learn something in the process. Something they can take with them on their next round of edits and future manuscripts.  Granted I know, especially with beginning writers, that I can’t teach them everything I know (probably not even most) in just one crit, but I do what I can.
I’m also sure that most people who crit are pretty much the same.  We’re not out to make ourselves feel better by tearing your (using the all encompassing you and this is pointing at no one in particular) stuff apart.   We’re not trying to chase you away from writing so we can take your spot.  And we’re definitely not jealous (in the bad way) of you.  We want to help you get better.  We want to help you find that agent or editor and when it is we can say with pride that we’re proud of you and excited for you and that we knew you when.  LOL. 
I’ve also been on the other side where even the tiniest constructive criticism felt like an arrow to the soul.  Where it’s sometimes hard to see past all the red to see the intention behind why a critter has said something.  But, in order to keep going–to keep improving—we need to get passed that.  We need to learn that we are not our writing. The critter isn’t attacking us personally; they’re not even attacking our manuscript.  They’re trying to help us improve. 
Even if all you see is criticism on the page and the critter hasn’t taken the time to tell you what they’ve liked, it’s not because they want to make you feel bad. Take some time to let it sit. A few days, maybe even weeks before you go back and re-read the crit. Try looking at the things they didn’t say anything about.  They more than likely liked the parts that aren’t marked up, and there’s probably more white than red, even if it doesn’t appear so.  Take a look at what they’ve said didn’t work for them.  Then ask yourself these questions.  Do you agree?  Why or why not?  Have others said the same?  Even if you don’t want to change it, what would you do to fix it and would it make the story better? 
Another problem I’ve seen is people taking everyone’s advice.  Someone says do this and they do it, but don’t really think about whether or not they agree.  Whether it works for the story or not.   Whether or not it really should be changed.
Really think about your crits.  People put a lot of time into critting it and you should take as much, if not more, time working with the notes.
One last thing I want to add is make sure the person (or people) you are working with are the right ones for you and your story. Some people crit very harshly, and are very Simon Cowell-ish.  Some just say they love your work and move on.  Personally, I’m a little in-between and that’s how I want to be critted.  And that’s something you have to think about when working with someone new.  How do they crit?  Can you live with it?  Can you handle it? 
There was a person who was doing crits a month or two back as part of their book deal news (UGH! I can’t remember who it was.  If you all remember, please let me know so I can link to it.  Thx.) and I LOVED how they handled this problem.  They set levels for people to choose from.  It was something like you were a peach if you had a relatively thin skin and wanted a gentle critique.  An apple if you can handle a fairly comprehensive crit, but can still be bruised. And a coconut for people who can take a pretty tough critique.  I think all critters should probably ask this before they do critiques and if you are getting a crit and the critter doesn’t ask what style you are, tell them. That way both of you can back off if you don’t think you can work together. 
It’s also probably not a good idea to work with someone who doesn’t write in your genre.  Certain things that aren’t okay in one genre are what make another work and vice versa.  True that certain “rules” carry out through all genres, like grammar and spelling. Punctuation.  However, things like sentence structure and tone, even POV can be completely different.  Especially between adult (where sentences are usually full and complete and the preferred POV is Third) and Young adult (where you can get away with more sentence fragments and first POV is more prevalent.)
Anyway, that’s just my $.02.  Feel free to salt to taste and ignore any advice you don’t agree with.  😀 
BTW, what the heck is up with blogger? Take a few weeks off and everything has changed.  o.O

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