Sunday, March 25, 2012

Feeling Lucky

I'm feeling lucky this week for a number of reasons:

1) Child #3 is turning nine. Nine is the name of my current MC. This has to mean something good. :)

2) I wrote over 20,000 words last week. Ya, you heard me, over TWENTY THOUSAND WORDS. Which also means I'll finish drafting my fourth novel this week. Yipee.

3) I've hit 100 followers and you all rock! In fact, if you are a follower (new followers welcome) and leave a comment on this post within the next week, you'll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Oh, yeah baby. And if you blog, tweet, facebook, scream off a rooftop about it, you'll earn an extra entry...just let me know in your comment. See? This is your lucky week too!
4) I watched Hunger Games at the crazy midnight all know that movie rocks by now.

5) I secured airline tickets for a week at the beach in Georgia, and two+ weeks at the beach in Hawaii this year. Be jealous, go ahead, I'll allow it.

6) Also my husband found his dream car (across the country--he's driving it home as I type) and I'm thrilled for him.

7) So to carry on the luck and to help spread it to others, I'll finally cave after being tagged a number of times for The Lucky Seven Meme. Here are the det's:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines and post them as they're written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 authors.
5. Let them know.

So, here goes:

I can’t breathe. I try to take in air but nothing comes.
“Nine?” It’s Ara’s voice.
I look to my left and see him walking up the shore, holding a mass of tangled rope on his shoulder. Kai is behind him, holding more rope. No—they are holding the same rope…a net, draped between the two of them.
Breathe, Nine. Breathe.
“Nine, what’s wrong?” Ara asks. “What are you doing here? Where’s Pua?”

Haha. Nothing too spoilery. I'm going to tag the last seven people to leave a comment on my blog:

Don't forget to follow my blog and comment on this post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! I hope you all have a lucky week. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

CP Retreat

*did the camera click yet?*

I'm back from lovely California after an amazing long weekend with my critique partners:Emily, Robin, Kathryn and Taryn. We talked, laughed, plucked eyebrows, ate, walked, showered, slept, watched movies, drank diet coke, took pics, played with baby, and wrote, wrote, wrote. But mostly wrote. Seriously, it was so nice to be around people WHO GET IT. It's hard talking to non-writer friends and family as though my characters are real people...they think I'm insane. And in a way, I guess all writers are. But being around my fellow insane all weekend made me feel not so crazy...just a little bit.

*eating at the fancy winery restaurant in Emily's novel--so cool*

Not only did we make fun of each other's writing :), but we also laughed, cried, and talked way too much about sex...especially for a group of thirty-somethings and one nineteen year old. :) We tried living vicariously through the teen and ate way too much chocolate, homemade bread, and cinnamon rolls, but it was wonderful! I can't wait to do it again.

*waiting for Emily's homemade cinnamon rolls...yum*

Have you met your critique partners in real life? Ever have a CP retreat? Would you rather write than do almost anything else?

Here's a video treat for you all, if you have 15 minutes to spare. (Ha!) For book lovers--readers and writers alike:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beautiful People

When I come up with a story, it usually starts with a scene or two in my mind. I then stew over it, figuring out what happens before or after that scene. I like to outline, and I always know how the story will end, but the outline is very moveable and things change a ton as I write, so the process still feels creative and new. Also, I write out of order sometimes. If there is a scene I can't stop thinking about, I'll jump ahead and get it down on paper (or Word) so I can relax and concentrate on the rest of the story.

Where do you all find inspiration for your stories?
Do you outline or write out of order?

I'm over halfway in my current WIP and I think it's the easiest story that's ever flowed out of me. I wrote 17,000 words last week (a record for me) and would've gotten in a lot more if life didn't get in the way. I even took time out to cast my characters for my WIP the movie. (Oh, please. I know you've all done it. Right?)

Theron: Adam Gregory

Nine: Saoirse Ronan

Kai: Alex Meraz

Pua: Kelsey Chow

Yeah. So I know the character names mean nothing to you, but isn't it nice to just look at beautiful people sometimes?

Speaking of beautiful people, I get to see my CP's this week. I am SO EXCITED you have no idea. We live all over the country and are headed to San Francisco for some writerly retreat girl weekend fun. Even though we met at a conference last year, we didn't interact much there, so I feel like I'm meeting someone I've been dating online. I'll fill you in on all the sweet details next week. Have a good one!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Day in My Writing Life

I have a love/hate relationship with online writing contests. Since I started querying, I've decided to bite the bullet and do whatever it takes to get my stuff in front of an agent. And the rare times that a 'request' does come, it makes all those crappy rejections worth it (just like the query inbox, I suppose, except a lot more public.)

How do you all feel about online contests?

I've been participating in a twelve week contest at Throwing Up Words (6 weeks in). The prize is an agent critique for a couple of lucky winners at the end and door prizes along the way (I've already won a book. Who-hoo.) Though the grand prize is a long shot, I've had to stretch myself writing-wise with the weekly challenges. Poetry, middle-grade voice, and an essay really had me pulling my hair out. But I'm growing. Upwards. I think. Anyhow, head over there later this week to vote on entries (we use a new pen-name each week so you won't know which is mine). I'll leave you with my entry from last week (It was supposed to be an essay about why writing matters to us. Alas, I'm a rule breaker, so deal with it.) Enjoy a day in the life:

Wake up.

Omigosh, I had the most amazing dream.

Jots down said dream.

Stephenie Meyer, watch out.
Email check: query rejection.
I never liked that agent anyway.
Kids to school.
Open WIP.
Blinking cursor. Blinking cursor.
Blog hopping. Twitter tweeting. Facebook facing.
Rereads last few pages written.
This sucks.
Designs book cover for WIP.
Finds song for WIP playlist.
Googles actors for WIP the movie.
Email check: query rejection.
Is it too early for Diet Coke?
Rereads dream notes.
What was I thinking?
Email check: full request!
Best. Agent. Ever.
Becomes said agent’s Facebook fan.
Twitter follower.
Blog stalker extraordinaire.
Rereads last few pages written.
This stuff is magic.
Writes 500 words nonstop.
Rereads said 500 words.
Wordy. Wordy.
Em dash much?
Enough BE verbs already.
Delete. Delete. Delete.
Kids come home.
Snuggle and read some Roald Dahl.
I need made up words for my WIP.
Except, made up curse words.
And science-fictiony.
Googles science-fictiony curse words.
Signs up for WIFYR sci-fi class.
Drives kids to dance, theater, scouts, underwater basket-weaving.
Reads latest bestseller in car.
Enough BE verbs already.
Ooh. Nice.
My writing sucks.
Drives home.
Stares at dirty dishes.
This is why paper plates were invented.
Husband reads aloud while kids hang on every word.
I wish I could write MG.
MG can have romance and horror, right?
Kids to bed.
Rereads last 300 words (formerly 500 words).
Cry. Cry. Cry.
Husband: What’s wrong?
Me: I’m gonna have to hurt my MC.
Like, REALLY hurt him.
I don’t know if I can do it.
Husband: Um…I love you?
Flings arms around husband and bawls some more.
Writes 5,000 words non-stop.
Can’t see keyboard through swollen, tear-filled eyes.
3:00 am.
Emails CPs: Writers are insane!
Cries self to sleep.
So worth it.