Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Blog?

Why do you blog? I've been reading some anti-blogging posts as of late (not sure why, maybe they're just on my radar?), and it's made me think about why I blog. I know some of you don't blog, some of you are thinking about blogging soon, some of you blog and wish you could do better, and some of you are old pros.

But I think a good self-talk is a good idea for everyone, every now and then. So today ask yourself: Why do I blog?

I blog because:

1. I love the blogging community. I've found crit partners, amazing friends, and outstanding connections through my blogging endeavors. (And hey! Remember my first fanboy?? Well, I've got a fangirl interview up with Magan Vernon. Go read it -- and then follow her!)

2. Every author needs to use social media to promote their book, but I find authors who only blog about their books, their release dates, their whatever whatever, to be annoying. I don't want to be that blogger. Of course I'm going to talk about my book here. And I'll post my cover, and my release date, and all that jazz. But it will never be the ONLY thing I do. Bloggers who do that come across as disingenuous to me.

So I've started early, so that you all know that I'm here for you as much as I'm here for my book.

Why do you blog? Why don't you?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bookanistas -- YOU by Charles Benoit

Okay, so I got this ARC and the front cover is plastered with things like "Shattering" and "Powerful" and "Poignant" and "Unforgettable."

So I'm thinking, Yeah, right. This book isn't going to shatter me, haunt me, or any of those other things. I'm (super, uber, really) cynical like that.

So I open the front cover, check out the pages we authors all check out (you know, copyright page, acknowledgements, etc.). On the very first page, the editor says the book will be talked about for years.

Add another brick to my cynicism.

So I start reading. And I can't stop. YOU is written in a style I've never read before. It was gripping and compelling.

And I'm pretty happy to report that I was wrong. YOU is a fabulous novel that many, many readers will be able to find themselves in the main character. After all, the MC is YOU, which makes it "unforgettable."

Though it's only the story of an ordinary teen, it really is a book that you should add to your list of outstanding young adult literature. YOU comes out August 24, so be sure to preorder it or mark your calendar to get it in a couple of weeks.

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week!
Myra McEntire - SHADOW HILLS
Christine Fonseca - LINGER
Shannon Messenger - ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Carolina Valdez Miller - PARANORMALCY
Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton - MONSTER HIGH
Lisa and Laura Roecker - YOU
Jamie Harrington - cover love for ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Write a Synopsis

Okay, so I've spent some time on how to write query letters. I've had some people request that I give some secrets for writing a synopsis.

Sadly, I suck at synop's just like everyone else on the planet. But I do have a skeleton system that I use.

First, everything I say from here on out will make a heap more sense if you go to Author Dan Wells' site and read his Seven Points of Story Structure. (I've met Dan and he's written two AMAZING novels, so you should get and read those too (I Am Not A Serial Killer and Mr. Monster), but most of all, click on his video or powerpoint for these seven points.)

Once you've gone through the powerpoint and wondered how on earth you've written a book without this information, you're ready to write a synopsis. Now, don't freak out, but you're going to start with a 7-sentence synop.

So sit down, crack your knuckles, think of your story, and write ONE SENTENCE for each of these areas:

  • Hook - how the story starts
  • Plot Turn 1 - introduces the main conflict - moves the story toward the midpoint
  • Pinch 1 - introduces the villain/pressure to force action
  • Midpoint - the point at which your story moves from beginning to ending
  • Pinch 2 - more pressure/problems, so many that the situation appears hopeless
  • Plot Turn 2 - the MC has what they need to overcome the main conflict - moves the story from midpoint to ending
  • Resolution - how your story ends

In fact, Dan advises that you actually think about all these things BEFORE you write your story (Hey, don't look at me! You know I don't do this), which means that technically, you should be able to write your synop before you write the novel.

So give it a try. I especially like slide #46 as a means to write the skeleton of your synopsis. Okay, so go, write, conquer.

Coming up next week: How to fill out your skeletal 7-sentence synop.

What do you think? Isn't Dan amazing? Can you write a synopsis in only 7 sentences?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I Forgot

Okay, I've been watching the general masses for character ideas. Yeah, I'm looking to start a new story, and I need a character to do that.

So I went camping last week (I swear today will be the last day I draw a parallel from that trip. Maybe.) And I had to pack up a lot of stuff to do that. I had lists on my lists. And of course, I forgot some things.

1. The red vines = the ultimate travelling food. I spent about 13 hours in a car to get to my destination and the lack of red vines was torture!

2. Grape bubble gum. I adore bubble gum, and chew it every day. Grape is my favorite flavor. No gum in the car makes Elana very crabby.

3. Toothpaste. Do I need to elaborate? (In my defense, we were out and I was going to buy more. I didn't.)

4. Ingredients for Rice Krispy treats. It was one of my food assignments and I failed. Le sigh. We ate cookies two days in a row instead. Lamesauce.

5. My crit group stuff. I forgot to email it out to my live group. I forgot to post it for my online group. Double fail.

So I forgot a lot of things. As we were loading the car, I told my kids that whatever we forgot, we could buy (yeah, see #3 above, that clearly didn't work) and that we didn't need it. As the drive progressed and I realized all the crap I forgot, my daughter (five years old) says, "Mom! Forget about it. We don't need any of that stuff."

So I decided that my new MC is going to be forgetful. Like, majorly, and it's going to cause some bigger problems than dirty teeth and the world's longest drive without treats.

What do you do to find a unique character trait for your MC? And what have you forgotten to do today??

Monday, July 26, 2010

Surrender Yourself

So I spent a bunch of time in nature last week. With a bunch of people. As I was conversing with one of my sister-in-laws, she said something that struck me as poignant, something that can apply to almost anything and most certainly publishing.

She said, "Surrender yourself."

I guess she used to see an acupuncturist and that was his advice. Look to nature and surrender yourself. If a rock lands in the middle of the river, the water doesn't get all torqued off and bugged that it's there. It simply flows around it, over it, through it, wearing it down bit by bit.

When lightning strikes and the forest burns, the trees aren't all mad. They release their seeds and start over. They surrender themselves.

I think sometimes we fight against the flow of publishing. I know I do. I want everything to happen when I want, fast fast fast. That's not how things are.

You may want a specific agent that then rejects you. You may wish your journey were as fast as someone else's. I guarantee that you'll wish something about this whole publishing thing was different after you spend a bit of time really entrenched in the game of finding an agent or an editor for your work.

So my challenge for you today is to surrender yourself. To publishing. To the dishes. The mountains of laundry. Whatever it is. Don't let it get you all worked up. Just flow over, around, and through those dirty clothes until you come out the victor.

What are you going to surrender yourself to?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Leave You With... from an amazing party I attended last week. There are some amazing, amazing writers that I've managed to pay become friends with.

Nisa Swineford and Tess Hilmo

Jenn Wilks and Ali Cross

Stephanie McGee and Windy Aphayrath

Danyelle Leafty and Nisa Swineford

Alaina Evans and Angie Lofthouse

Sara Larson, Natalie Whipple, and Nichole Giles

Alaina Evans, Suzette Saxton, Angie Lofthouse, and L.T. Elliot

(back row, L-R: Alaina Evans, Angie Lofthouse, Jenn Wilks, Stacy Henrie, Tess Hilmo, Nisa Swineford, me, Danyelle Leafty, Nichole Giles, Mary Campbell, Carolyn Vawdrey, Sara Larson.
front row, L-R: Ali Cross, Suzette Saxton, Windy Aphayrath, L.T. Elliot, Stephanie McGee, Natalie Whipple, Michelle Argyle (photographer extraordinarre)

I'll be gone this whole week, camping in Glacier National Park. Hope you have an amazing week, filled with good writing, fun friends, and epic news!

Catcha on the flip side.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Dude, okay. I've heard some rumors out there about this wicked amazing online conference. Yeah, okay, I may or may not have started the rumors. *wink*

I've also heard a few things that I'd like to clear up.

1. Yes, WriteOnCon is being geared specifically toward the children's market. The six of us organizing it are children's writers. We had to have some sort of focus, or everything would spiral out of control.

However, ANYONE can (and should) attend the conference. The kinds of classes and workshops we have lined up would benefit any author, at any stage.

2. Yes, WriteOnCon is free. Now, later, free. The forum is free. You can post your query letter, first five pages, and first 250 words for free. The live chats will be free. It's all free.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, in this case, it's not.

3. Yes, you should be preparing now. Polish up your manuscript. Rework your query. Need some motivation? Check out Heather Kelly's Tour de Writing. (With prizes.)

If you've got something going on with your writing group or circle of bloggers, let me know and I'll help get the word out. We want the final month leading into WriteOnCon to be full of excitement and hard work, anticipation and buzz. So if you haven't signed up yet for whatever reason, get on over to WriteOnCon and register!

Any other questions? Here's one: What have you gotten for free, and was it amazing? Because this is going to be soooo amazing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bookanistas -- Cover Love!

So for our weekly installment of The Bookanistas (not sure what this is? Click on the words) today, I'm going to be giving out some major cover love to Carrie Harris and her debut novel (which comes out next spring), BAD TASTE IN BOYS.

Here it is:

Now tell me you don't want to stroke that. Breathe it in. Lick it. (I soooo want to taste that mouth, badly.)

I totally do. I cannot wait to read this book!! Which books have grabbed you by the cover alone? And while we're on it, do you judge books by their covers? (I do, just so you know. I'm very judgmental, as I divulged last week.)

Add BAD TASTE IN BOYS to your Goodreads list. Oh, and you better be following Carrie Harris. She's frawesome.

Need some more Bookanista love? Check out my fellow conspirators.
Christine Fonseca is dishing about TELL ME A SECRET
Scott Tracey is gushing over PARANORMALCY
Beth Revis is spreading some cover love with XVI
Carolina Valdez Miller is raving about FIRELIGHT
Myra McEntire is loving SIREN
Shannon Messenger is digging THE DUFF
Michelle Hodkin is embracing the awesome of THE REPLACEMENT
Shelli Johannes Wells is adding to the buzz about MATCHED
Lisa and Laura Roecker are grilling author Lee Bantle
Katie Anderson and Sarah Frances Hardy are tickled about THE HEALING SPELL

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Wanna Be A Billionaire...

...and not for the reasons you think. Oh, no. For one reason.

You see, my husband drives a 1994 Ford Escort wagon.

Go ahead. Read that sentence again. Try to stifle the laughter. Then let it all out. It's okay, I've heard it before.

The piece of crap has many problems.

People's Exhibit A: The fabric on the ceiling (yeah, you read that right) is falling down. So he stapled it back to the roof.

People's Exhibit B: Someone backed into the passenger door (and didn't bother to tell us) and now that door won't open very far. This actually isn't too much of a problem, since we only take passengers in this car if we're trying to torture them into telling us a government secret.

People's Exhibit C: Did you read the word "wagon" up there? That should be enough, but sadly, it's not. It's also this funky color stuck somewhere between orange and beige. Sometimes we call it tan, sometimes coral. No one's really sure.

People's Exhibit D: No air conditioning. In case you didn't know, we live in Utah, and it's a desert out here. A hot, dry desert.

People's Exhibit E: It's a 1994. You do the math.

I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad. Simply so I can buy my husband a new car. That's not so much to ask, right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adjust Your Thinking

Sometimes, when in that deep pit of despair, all you need to do is change the way you think about something. For example:

1. When you get a rejection, instead of thinking, "I suck. My book sucks. This s-u-c-k-s." you might try thinking, "Dude, this sucks, but you know what? S/He wasn't the agent for me."

2. When you get a critique back from a beta, instead of thinking, "Holy crap! They hate me, my book, my dog and the color orange!" you might try thinking, "This will make my book stronger. I'm glad I have people who are smarter than me helping me out."

3. When you see a picture of yourself and you notice that you look like death warmed over (see yesterday's post), instead of thinking, "Holy crap! How do I go out in public like that??" you might try thinking, "I am beautiful, in every single way."

Positive thoughts lead to more positive actions. (So says I.)

What do you think? Can you change your attitude about writing, querying, and/or your perceived level of self-worth simply by changing the way you think? And if so, what positive thoughts will replace those negative ones?

Monday, July 12, 2010

This Is Why You Wanna Come to my Party*

Okay, so I cleared my post for today because of the epicness that happened last Thursday night. Hopefully it's not too long, but if you look up EPIC...

First and foremost, if you are in a 2000-mile radius of Salt Lake City (which means everyone in the U.S. and most of Mexico and Canada) you must eat at Mazza Restaurant. It's right next door to The King's English where Kimberley Griffiths Little had her book signing last night, and they serve the best Middle Eastern cuisine I've ever eaten.

Not only that, they were the nicest people ever. EVER. Lemme give you a run-down of how this simple author book signing with a little dinner beforehand became an event of epic proportions.

First we arrived at Mazza. And we didn't have time to eat before the book event. So we said we'll be back and can you please hold our food. Not only did they do that, but they said they'd make it fresh for us!

I mean, who does that?

Mazza Restaurant in Salt Lake City.

So we ran over to the book event. And it was amazing. Kimberley is da bomb. Here's a pic of me and her.

Then we were late getting back to Mazza. Did they care?


Because they're freaking awesome. Then we increased our party of 3 to a party of 7. They didn't bat an eye. They moved two tables together and brought out some ambiance candles. I mean, candles!

Here's us: (clockwise, Jenn Wilks, Nichole Giles, me, Ali Cross, Sheralyn Pratt, Suzette Saxton took the photo)

Where was this? Mazza Restaurant in Salt Lake City.

FRAWESOME. Our waiter, Jody, was the best waiter ever. He had this deep voice and wicked awesome glasses, and sort of spiky hair. And, dude, you guys, you know how I like that stuff. After he used the word "sidled" (best word of the night), I mentioned to Ali Cross* (one of my favoritest peeps) that I was going to write him into a book.

So then we thought it was only fair to let him know that he'd just served a table of six authors, and hey, he might see himself in a few novels in a year or two.

(Have I mentioned that you should all eat at Mazza? Service = incredible. Food = divine.)

So then Jody sidled back on over and we had a little photo op, courtesy of the fabu Suzette Saxton. Jody thought it'd be pretty funny to stare straight at me, and ohmyheck youguys! He's my first fanboy!!

*insert fanboy scream*

So after I told him that was a little weird, Jody goes, "I can't stare at you?"** and we decided that indeed, he could, and should. So he did.

*blissful sigh*

Best. Night. Ever.

The King's English with Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Mazza Restaurant with their wicked awesome service and ultra-fanboyish waiters and scrumptious Middle Eastern delicacies. And the writing friends. Dude, the writing friends.***

They're the best (after Mazza, where I will be having a party before my book signing next year).

So. What's the best time you've had with your writing pals? What did you do? Anyone find that perfect restaurant with the perfect waiter? Lemme know.

*Ali Cross named this blog post.
**Nichole Giles made sure I wrote this quote down.
***Other writing friends in attendance: Jenn Wilks and Sheralyn Pratt and Suzette Saxton.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Answers To Your Deepest Questions

You guys. I had the. Best. Time. last night. Full details coming on Monday -- complete with pics!

All righty, then. Here's round two of Ask Elana. I'm going to archive these on that handy "Ask Elana" page up there. Got a question for me? Ask away!

Question #1:
I attended a couple sessions about online marketing for authors at a writers' conference. Both speakers said aspiring authors don't necessarily need a blog, but they certainly need a website. I like the idea of a website, but I have no idea what to put on it. What should an aspiring author with no professional writing credits put on her website?

To which Elana said:
Websites are more static, and MUCH less work than blogs. I think even if you have no professional writing credits, you can still have a beautiful website.

You definitely need these pages:
HOME - a place for announcements, a welcome page, all your links to other pages go here.
ABOUT - this should be your bio, with a picture
BOOKS/PROJECTS - even if they're WiP's or you're querying, you should have a place where people (agents, the public, whoever) can learn about your work. Consider posting the query blurb, a picture and the first five pages. Be careful how much or your work you put in a public place.
LINKS - any links to your social networking sites. Or links you like
BLOG - a link to your blog if you have one
CONTACT - a place with a form or your email where people can contact you

And that's the basics. You want the website to look professional and tell about 1) YOU and 2) YOUR BOOKS. And you want people to be able to get through it quickly (so be brief) and have a way to contact you or continue to socialize with you later on.

Question #2:
I took a writing class recently but the things we were taught are in opposition to things I've read online...but the teacher was published and I'm not so I'm second guessing myself. In your manuscript how do you handle things that will be in italics in the final version? Do you do an underscore like _this_ or actually italicize? Which is right? Perhaps it's a nonissue with electronic files nowadays?

To which Elana answered:
Okay, my opinion on things is a bit unconventional. Yeah, I follow rules. I mean, everyone has to spell right, and use grammar to the best of their ability. I subscribe to a tense opening, and tight writing and a cliffhanger at the end of chapters. That kind of stuff.

But I go my own way with other stuff. My chapters are short and then long. I have many flashbacks. I write in both present and past tense, sometimes in the same sentence.

So my point is: YOU have to decide what YOU want to do. And then don't be afraid to do it. Yeah, use good grammar and create interesting characters. Other than that, I say "go for it!" And be YOU. Write what YOU think is going to make your story/characters the most compelling and unique that they can be.

Sorry, that's sort of a non-answer, but sometimes I think we let ourselves get folded into boxes. And I'm sort of an out-of-the-boxer.

And things that will be in italics in the final version, go in italics now. I believe underlining was done on typewriters because there wasn't a way to italicize, but with computers, there is.

And that's it for today! Got any questions? Agree/disagree with my answers? Lay it on me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bookanistas -- Books are the New Black!

Today is launch day for a new team of book review bloggers - The Bookanistas: Books are the New Black! *insert fangirl screaming*

We are a group of writers in various stages of the publishing process, and we've decided to band together and review books. We--as fellow writers--will only post positive reviews, because The Bookanistas are all about spreading the love!

Starting today, we will post every Thursday covering various topics: upcoming ARCs, books we love, special diamonds in the rough, classics, and even cover reviews. And I mean, look at that cute badge. Isn't it the most amazing thing ever? (Special props to Shelli!)

So join me, along with Christina Fonseca, Jamie Harrington, Michelle Hodkin, Kirsten Hubbard, Shelli Johannes-Wells, Myra McEntire, Shannon Messenger, Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton, Beth Revis, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Sarah Frances Hardy and Katie Anderson, Scott Tracey, and Carolina Miller, as we look at books in a whole new way -- as the best accessory!

Up today as the newest fashion accessory you shouldn't be caught dead without is THE HEALING SPELL by Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Why this book is the new black, and you should run out and buy it right this second: The main character, Livie. I simply loved her. She's stuck in the middle of two sisters (you know, that dreaded middle child) and has such a unique, headstrong personality that you can't help but love and root for her.

Secondary characters that are just as awesome as Livie: her father. I could *hear* him in the dialog, and simply loved his devotion to his family, to Livie (despite her flaws) and the way he called her Sugar Bee.

One more thing that makes THE HEALING SPELL a 5-star read: the setting. I could smell, hear, breathe in the bayou from the page. And that takes a darn fine writer, my friends. I felt there, in a way I long to feel with every book I read.

If you haven't entered my giveaway for a signed copy of this book, click here. I'm going to Kimberley's signing tonight, and can't wait to get you your signed copy! If you don't win (announcement tomorrow), get on over to your favorite retail locale and pick up THE HEALING SPELL. You won't be sorry.

If you would like me (and possibly The Bookanista team) to review your book or ARC, feel free to contact me (elanajohnson(at)gmail(dot)com) and we may add it to our list.

Other books up for review today:
Katie and Sarah Frances - ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Lisa and Laura Roecker - STRANDED
Christine Fonesca - NIGHTSHADE CITY
Shannon Messenger - LINGER
Shelli Johannes-Wells - DARK GODDESS
Scott Tracey - OTHER
Kirsten Hubbard - THE DUFF
Beth Revis - PEGASUS
Carolina Valdez Miller - MATCHED
Jamie Harrington - ARCHVILLIAN
Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton - NIGHTSHADE CITY

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Querying is a Game

It really is. If you're querying right now, you're playing a game, one where you don't have all the pieces.

If you're feeling down about some rejections you've received recently, try to remember these things (these are the pieces you don't have to play with):

1. You don't know the agent's full client list. They may have a client that writes similar books to yours. They may reject you for this.

2. They may have just picked up an author with a similar plot line to your book. They may reject you for this. (This totally happened to me. I could name names. I won't.)

3. They may only be looking for a certain genre right now -- and you don't know what that is. They may see that yours isn't what they're looking for and reject you. Does it suck?


But like I said, it's a piece you don't have, that you can't play with.

4. They may have just sold to an editor that they would pitch your book to. They can't sub every book they have to the same editor, so they may pass on yours.

This is sucktacular too.

5. Timing is king. And unfortunately, you have no idea if it's on your side or about to checkmate you. So, uh, good luck with that...

So what can you do to stay in the game?

1. Write the best book you can.
2. Don't give up.
3. Whine to your writerly friends.
4. Work harder, learn more, write better.
5. Write another book.
6. Try, try again. (Okay, this is the same as #2. But it bears repeating.) Basically, I'm saying to send more queries. Each one is like a shiny new piece, a new opportunity, that could be the card that says, "Go directly to home, collect the $200, you're a winner!"

So yeah.

What do you think? What pieces of the game are you missing? Will you keep playing until you win? I hope you do. If you feel like throwing in the towel, send me an email, okay? Okay.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tell the Truth Tuesday: So Sue Me Edition

So it's Tuesday and I've been buried under like, forty thousand pounds of whatever. Edits, laundry, cleaning out the garage, we've been doing it all here at my house. So I'm feeling a tad snarky, which means today's version of Tell the Truth Tuesday is going to be extra-entertaining. Yeah, entertaining.

The Truth:
1. I jump to conclusions, even in situations where I know I shouldn't. So sue me. Twice.

2. I have two tubs of red vines. One is 5.5 pounds, the other 4. So sue me.

3. I have not showered before 3 PM in like, a week. So sue me.

4. I tend to drama-queen everything up. Even though I hate drama. So sue me.

5. I totally watched Jake and Vienna duke it out after The Bachelorette last night. Yes...I watch The Bachelorette too. So sue me.

6. I've been under a self-imposed no-forum rule, but I can't stay off WriteOnCon. It's amazing -- and anyone can register! I mean, it's free, so why wouldn't you?? So yeah. I'm on the forum there, I can't help myself. So sue me.

What do you need to get off your chest today? Tell the truth now...I promise I won't file any lawsuits. O:)

Oh, and do you like free stuff? Enter to win a signed copy of The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little, and a sweet gator too! (And she's giving away two more gators at her signing on Thursday night, so if you're near Salt Lake City, come on over to the King's English!)

And today on the QueryTracker blog, literary agent Suzie Townsend is taking your pitch -- twitter style. Click here for all the deets, and the contest opens at noon, EST.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Healing Spell Giveaway

Dude, you guys, you need to get and read The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little. I was lucky enough to get an ARC and I'll be posting my review on Thursday this week.

But today it's all about you. Not only is Kimberley the nicest person ever, and I'm going to see her again at her signing in Salt Lake on Thursday night, but she sent me some swag for The Healing Spell!

And my son totally wanted this gator, and he's pretty mad that I'm going to be giving it to one of you.

First, what The Healing Spell is about. Watch this amazing trailer.

You know you want this book. It's just that good, trust me. A 5-starrer, for sure.

So the giveaway. You'll get a signed copy of The Healing Spell (not pictured), the below-pictured stuffed gator, and a book plate and bookmark.

To enter:
1. Follow my blog.
2. Leave me a comment.
3. Extra points for tweeting, posting on your blog, etc. Just let me know what you did in your comment.

Have a great day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sucked Dry

Okay, so I saw Eclipse at 12:03 AM on Wednesday morning. Have you seen Two Weeks Notice? When Hugh Grant is playing chess with his driver and they're talking about women and the driver says, "You taIk about your feelings until your breath is sucked out your body."

That's how the conversations were in Eclipse. And that's how I feel in general. The breath's been sucked out of my body.

But in a good way.

WriteOnCon opened up for registration yesterday. We had over 360 people register yesterday. It's awesome to feel their enthusiasm.

I've been editing this week. It's the best part of the process (for me), but holy brain cell drainage, Batman.

So I'm sucked dry. And this is the blog post you get because of it. I did buy myself some orange sherbet to aid in the recovery process, and that's what I'm going to spend the holiday weekend doing. What about you? When you're sucked dry, how do you rejuvenate?

And isn't Two Weeks Notice the best movie ever??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Writers: Snack-crazed or what??

Okay, so last week I revealed the formula for writing. Remember that? Well, a whole bunch of you writerly types started throwing things at me, even though I asked you very nicely not to. And I noticed some themes...

Here's what writers (apparently) need to write:

Piedmont Writer said...
You forget the list of handy dandy chocolate snack thingy's right by the edge of the desk.

Jen said...
I think you definitely nailed it, however it doesn't always seem that easy... when the words don't flow I find adding a glass of wine (at a decent hour of course!) helps loosen the words!

Jonathon Arntson said...
I am just so offended Elana. After years and years of working on my writing, surviving because of one product and you insult my Diet Dr Pepper by calling it Coke?! I go with the real professionals' supplement. Hmph.

Meredith said...
That's basically it, for the first draft, at least. Butt in chair. That's the only way I get anything done. But chocolate-covered pretzels help.

Kristi Helvig said...
The only thing you're missing is the chocolate. I can't write without it. :)

JEM said...
I think you're forgetting the copious amounts of coffee and chocolate. Or Diet Coke and Twizzlers, if that's your thing.

Dammit, I just remembered the pretzel M&M's. Why am I not at a grocery store right now?!?

SWK said...
Yeah. Haven't heard of a better way :) In my case, kinda have to have coffee and chocolate in close proximity!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...
Lol. I'm going to include chocolate and snacks in that list somewhere. :)

Karen Lange said...
Think you have it down except you forgot pretzel M&M's.

Jemi Fraser said...
I'd like to include a cup of Chai tea, but other than that, it's perfect!

Kimber said...
All that list needs is a big bag of Twizzlers:)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...
I thought you had to eat Twizzlers to get published???

Notice a trend yet? Foodstuffs? Drinks? (For the record, I've always wanted to use the word "foodstuffs" for something. My life is almost complete.) And I totally blame the Roecker sisters for this falsehood about Twizzlers. Red Vines are clearly the superior licorice. Everyone knows that.

Another vice for writers: the Interwebz. Twitter. Facebook. Email. Cable TV. But remember how we're quitting stuff? Yeah, you can do it. Write.

Me? You want progress? (Or maybe I want to brag? Ha!) I wrote almost 20 K in a new project = 78 pages. Then I got my edits, so I basically haven't moved from in front of the computer for like, three days.

Just goes to show that if you have enough Red Vines and ginger ale, you can write for a long time. Just sayin'.

What do you think? Are you snack-crazed? Do you think this curse just applies to writers, or do painters have to have a bowl of pork rinds nearby?

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