Sunday, July 27, 2008

Shadows Book Trailer

Status of my Life: Oscillating back and forth on point of view - again! Argh! What is wrong with me?

So I've been watching a lot of really cool book trailers lately. Of course, that inspired me to make my own. I made it in iMovie, and I'm not really sure if I can figure out how to post it, but I'm going to try. Um, yeah. Here goes nuthin'.

I think it might have worked. I guess we'll see!


Friday, July 25, 2008

11 Minutes Until Writing Time

Status of my Life: I've spent the last week out of town, borrowing bandwidth from neighbors, and then in a lodge in Park City on a family reunion. It's a good thing everyone goes to bed early around here. I still get my late-night writing (ahem, Internet-surfing) time. I'm down to ten minutes until it's time to write. Yikes!

Okay, so I had fun with the blog chain. It was exciting to read what other people had to say about their writing methods. I was totally justified by downloading that last iTunes song because of Leah's post. Thank you! Distractions do work.

I'm glad I've still been getting my writing time. Yesterday I wrote 1300 words between 11 and midnight. And then I got up and made breakfast for 30 people and went on a hike that had sweat dripping down my back well after I returned. So not fun. Hiking and Elana don't usually go in the same sentence, just so you know. Neither do Heights and Elana, but there I was, riding the chair lift to the bottom of the mountain. *sigh*

I've been reading a manuscript for a guy in my crit group. (Here's lookin' at you, Jeff!) It's wonderful! Sometimes I wonder if my stories will ever be as good as some that I read. Published ones as well as unpublished ones. I'm hoping they will be, and that someone will think they are too. I guess I'll never know unless I keep trying.

Dang, only six minutes left. I still have a couple blogs to check, a link to find for this post, and I need a drink. So...later!

Reading: MAXIMUM RIDE: SCHOOL'S OUT--FOREVER by James Patterson

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm a Chainer...A Blog Chainer

Since I love to blog, but sometimes I run out of things to talk about (I know, I know, most of you are not simply fascinated by my life! Shocking!), I signed up (at QT, no less) to be part of a blog chain. Check out the other bloggers in the chain. I put their links on my sidebar.

So I guess it's my turn. You can visit the first post in this chain here, and the second post here. The next post can be found here (well, whenever GG posts it, that is). The topic is Writing Methods. Here's my attempt to offer my own methods--but be warned, they are methods of madness. :)

First a brief bio of how I became a writer. I'm sure you'll all read this several times, memorizing every word. Ha, ha!

I've been an avid reader for much of my life. I never gave writing a second thought. It was just something I had to do to pass my English classes. I hated English. I mean, really, really hated it. I took the AP test as a junior in high school just so I wouldn't have to take English anymore. Seriously.

I started writing over Thanksgiving last year, 2007. I thought, "Hmm, maybe I should try this whole writing thing." A month later I had my first novel typed out. It stunk. Really, really bad. But I believed in myself, and decided that my newfound friends--the ones talking to me in my head--deserved to be heard (read) by others. So I joined an online critique group, and the rest is history.

Not that I've published my novel yet. But I'm on my way. Every journey begins with a single step. So now that I've gotten the boring backstory out of the way, here's my writing methods.

I write almost exclusively on the computer. Almost always from 9 or 10 PM until 1 or 2 AM. I have a goal to write 1000 words every single day of the week. Sometimes I write more--a lot more if the voices are talking. I rarely write less. If I don't feel like writing, or the characters aren't telling me the next part of the story, I free write. Every word counts.

Since I have kids, I have to drive them places, wait for them at lessons, etc. I started taking a 6-inch by 9-inch notebook in my purse. I'll write scenes out by hand while I wait. That's my "good" notebook. My "notes" notebook has notes, thoughts, lines of dialog, whatever I think of as I'm driving. Most of it is written sideways in illegible writing, little snippets of thought that I don't want to forget. I hardly ever read it again, but if I don't jot it down, it flies out of my brain and I can't get it back.

The writing is backward because that's how PhotoBooth works. Not that you could read it anyway. This is the beginning of one of my novels. You never know when inspiration is going to strike!

I don't outline. Like ever. I may write a few lines about something I think might come up in the novel later on at the end of the working draft. When I finally get to that part, I delete that paragraph. I have only started a novel at the beginning once, and it was a sequel, so I'm not sure if that counts. The novel I'm currently shredding in crit group, the first scene I wrote is now chapter 30.

Just to recap my Mindless Musings:
1. My goal is to write 1000 words every day.
2. I do most of my writing at night after my life has calmed down.
3. I carry notebooks with me everywhere I go in case inspiration strikes.
4. I don't outline, but I do make rough notes.
5. I believe in myself.

:) There's my post for the chain! Man, I thought I wouldn't have much to say, but I sure can ramble! Tag, Leah, you're it!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why I Read, Why I Write

I've been thinking about why I read and why I write. I really only read fiction - yes, I'm that shallow - and usually only speculative fiction. I'll read a little bit of straight young adult, but hardly any realistic fiction for adults, no mysteries, no romances, nada. The books I've been recommending to others, they don't like. So, I've been thinking about why I like them when others don't. Here's what I came up with.

1. I read because I want to escape my real life.
2. I want to fly to another world.
3. I want to have my first kiss again, and again, and again.
4. I want to find a note in my locker from a cute guy.
5. I want to explore mountain tops and see the ocean every day.
6. I want to have a cool super power that allows me to do cool things.
7. I want to fall in love for the first time--again.
8. I want to ride on a yacht and not be afraid.
9. I want to be brave, and strong, and defeat evil, even if I'm only five feet tall.
10. I want to experience heartache without any pain.
11. I want to cry when my mother dies.
12. I want to time travel to a new location.
13. I want to learn how to drive again.
14. I want to tell the mean girl in high school to shove it.
15. I want to travel the world.

I'm sure I could come up with a thousand reasons why I read, and why I write. I adore young adult and middle grade literature, from realistic fiction to urban fantasy and science fiction to high fantasy. I want to go through what kids 9-18 go through, over and over. And I've realized that some people don't. They don't like the books I do, and that's okay. That doesn't mean the books are bad, or that I'm bad, or that my book is bad. It just means they're writing political thrillers, or memoirs, or nonfiction, and they don't read or write for the same reasons I do.

Whew! I feel better already.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cool New Blog

Status of my Life: I've been writing like crazy. The sequel to Shadows is coming along great. I'm at 55 K now. It's amazing how much you can write when you don't do anything else... ha, ha!

I've stayed away from most of the blogs for almost 5 weeks now. I have to say, I feel freed up by this. I don't feel like I have to know every little thing that's going on in the publishing world. (Well, I've been checking The Buried Editor for a few days now. Stalking is more like it. :) ) I've been able to focus on just writing and critiquing. And I got sucked into another forum, but that would require an entire post of it's own, and sadly, we don't have time for that purging today.


But today, a friend of mine let me know about a first page contest on this blog, Miss Snark's First Victim. I was so impressed with it, it's going on my sidebar of cool blogs to visit. In honor of Miss Snark.

Reading: Critiques. Sadly, I haven't read a published book for about a week now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seeing Shadows? on WordPress

Status of my Life: Currently writing the sequel to SHADOWS. It's called REFLECTIONS. Not that I think the first one will sell, but I'm just in love with my characters and wanted their story to keep going. And you never know...

I've started another blog (yeah, like I need that!) exclusively for my novel Shadows. It's my first novel, and I wrote it in just under two months. It's been going through a critique group for about four months now and I have a goal to query for this novel in September. So I thought it would be fun to start a blog just for that book. I'm going to post little excerpts, blurbs, things I have to cut but that I love, pictures of my characters, and whatever else I feel like. I added the link in my sidebar under "Find Me Online" and here's the link. Seeing Shadows?

Don't worry, this will remain my main blog. I know some of you were really concerned there for a minute. Pshaw! This will remain my main mindless musings on the journey of becoming a novelist, so stay tuned!

Reading: THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE by E.L. Koningsburg (still)

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