Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Presents

What did all you avid writers and readers get for Christmas this year?

An iPad?
A new Kindle Fire?
The book you have been longing to own?

Well, I didn't get any of that stuff! I got something I never wanted. I got a carpet wetting, poop dropping, little ball of fur named Max. And the best part about it is that even though he is not my present, I will be the one taking care of him. Like I need any more children!
But isn't he cute? He's a toy Morkie: Maltese/Yorkie Mix. He will only be 5 pounds. My heart is softening. As I see the way he plays fetch with my little boy, and cuddles up to my little girl, I fall in love.

What did you get?

Monday, December 19, 2011

HOLY SH....ATTER ME

I'm obsessed with this book. I love this book.
I am in lust with the writing. I am blown away by the most unique voice ever.
I am depressed it's over. I can't wait for Shatter Me #2 in 2012.

If you haven't read SHATTER ME, you might be confused right now. If you have, you might be annoyed I didn't pull off that strike-through nearly as well as the author Miss Mafi.

I am not going to review this book. I am not going to bullet point this one out. I am not going to dive into the deep waters of over-analyzation with this one.

I am going to say that this is my #1 pick of 2011.
I am going to say that this book held me captivated for the two days it took me to read it.
I am going to say that it changed me as a writer. I have never read anything so free. So rich. So beautiful. So deep.

Have you read it? What's your #1 pick of 2011?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Kind Of Blogger Are You?

I don't know what it is right now, but it seems like there is a lot of self reflection going on in the blogosphere. People are re-assessing what they want their goals to be in regards to blogging. What they want to accomplish. Things change. The things that made you start blogging are probably different for you now-a month, a year, a couple years later.

I am no different. So I ask myself, "Self. What kind of Blogger do you want to be when you grow up?"

And honestly, I haven't been able to answer back just yet.

I look around at all the awesome bloggers I know, and analyze why I love about each: (bring out the bullet points)

  • Peggy Eddleman-Peggy is so good at practical stuff. She posts about queries, and agents, and revising, and all sorts of helpful writing helps. She has her finger on the pulse of the writing world. She does surveys, enlightening us all on how others do things. She knows the publishing industry is and generous enough to share her knowledge with all of us. Plus she has awesome hand drawn illustrations. 
  • Erin Summerill- Erin is probably the most hilarious person I know. I look forward to every single one of her posts because she has so much voice. Not only does she entertain, but the girl reads a book a day and is basically an encyclopedia on what is hot and what is not. And because she is the official photographer at a bunch of conferences, she has the hookups when it comes to hanging with agents and editors. 
  • Elana Johnson- Okay, we all know how rad Elana's blog is. I mean, I have been flat out studying her blog for over a year like I was getting credit for Creative Writing 101. She has a library sized volume of posts on writing, querying, and pretty much everything else associated with the publishing industry. And she is honest, and I love that.
  • Chantele Sedgwick-Otherwise known under the blog title, "My Writing Bug," is one of the sweetest people I have met in the blogosphere. She reviews books, gives writing advice, does a bunch of interviews, and shares all sorts of interesting things. I think one of the reasons why I keep going back to her blog is because she is loyal. If you comment on her blog, she is going to comment on yours. Not only that, but she is going to help you any other way she can. Honestly, she asks questions like, "What can I do for you?" I've taken her up on that, and she totally helped me.
  • David Powers King- I think I have a blog crush on David. Now before you go thinking all your scandalous blogging thoughts--I don't mean it in a weird, cheat on my husband kind of way. I have never even met David. What I mean, is that he cracks me up. He has the funniest tag lines, stories, and way of approaching writing. He is an InkPageant moderator, an excellent flash fiction writer for blog contests and hops, and he gives stuff away. He gives away books, critiques, and amazon gifts cards and such. So basically he puts himself out there in a million kind of ways that make you want to be friends with him. He is a pimp in the blogging world...in a good way.
There are so many other bloggers that I adore, but I have no more time to spend on this post. So basically, everyone has a niche, a theme, a strength. Whether its being helpful, entertaining, educational, sweet, or awesome. (Respectively). So what's my schtick? Being a B-Word? I'll let you know when I figure it out.

So, given the opportunity to self-reflect, what kind of Blogger are you?

Monday, December 12, 2011

LEGEND by Marie Lu

For me, how quickly I read a book has a direct correlation on how much I enjoyed it. Some books lay on my nightstand begging for more attention. Some have been touched. Some have been caressed. Some have even had some serious alone time. (Why do I sound like a polygamist husband?)
LEGEND didn't have that problem. LEGEND had me at hello. I read it in a day.

Here's what I loved about this book:

    • Point of view: It was told from two perspectives. First person, present tense. Each chapter switched between the girl protag (June) and the boy protag (Day). Oh man, did this make for some juicy juxtaposition of thoughts.
    • Setting: the story takes place in dystopic California. There is no United States of America. Just The Republic and the Colonies. It was so fascinating to see an alternate version of our society.
    • Romance: Although the protags are only 15 years old, they sure do have some steamy sexual tension going on. Okay, maybe not "sexual" tension because they are never going to do it. But I mean their kisses, and their touches had me tingling. So good.
    • Attention to detail: I love how Ms. Lu created such dynamic characters with so many dimensions. They are skilled and adept in ways that blew me away. Tiny details spread out here and there really drew me to the overarching story. 
    • I also love the story behind the story. Ms. Lu and her amazing agent Kristin Nelson couldn't sell her first book. So she started over and wrote this. Perseverance dear friends, perseverance!
I could actually go on and on about how much I loved this read. Believe me, I have taken notes on all the other things Ms. Lu did so well to apply to my own writing. But I will spare you.

Have you read it? Are you going to now?

Friday, December 9, 2011

B is for Beautiful Boys

Over Thanksgiving, while staying at my in-laws, I decided to pick up a copy of People's Sexiest Men Alive Edition. Did I feel like the creepy cougar in the corner, practically drooling over muscles, smiles, and smolder? Yes. Yes, I did. Did it stop me? No. No it did not. I think it can be healthy, creatively stimulating even, to maintain an active appreciation for the beautiful things around us. If it so happens that one of the beautiful things around me at the check out stand was People, so be it! So... I decided to compile a small list of my own. Do any of these guys remind you of your protag? Your male love interest? Your devilishly good looking foe? Or do you just need a Friday pick me up?

Non-Broke Back Jake

Un-Mohawked Puck

 All-Grown Up Zach

My Man JT

May your creative juices flow, and may your weekend be full of beautiful things! Cheers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter

Look who won out! Out of the five books I was reading, the one I couldn't pull away from was this one. Why you ask? I think this calls for bullet points:
  • Style- Miss Carters voice is impeccable. Not only that, but since she chose third person omniscient, she could use her own voice without worrying if it came across as well as one of the characters. And boy oh boy is she clever. I found myself smiling almost the entire way through the book. Which must be why my cheeks are sore this morning:)
  • Action- this book is full of high stakes action and movement. They go from New York, to Paris, to Italy, to London...and a few other sexy places. There is never a dull moment.
  • Intelligence- this book is smart. Like caviar and Monet smart. I feel like a got a mini-education on art appreciation in the two days it took me to sprint through this one. And history too. Something about those Nazi's always makes me perk up--their range of their evil is widespread.
  • Character- I always "got" Kat the protag. She was clever and real, sweet and lost, beautiful and bad-A, all at the same time. She was fully dimensional and I loved spending time with her. She never made any decisions that I couldn't forgive her for. Even when I didn't understand what she was doing, I trusted her, and she never let me down. She was genius. And I realized that's how I like my protags: vulnerable but fully capable of amazing. 
  • Supporting Characters- she has this best friend who I am totally going to miss being around. I felt like he was my young, billionaire friend that could do whatever he wanted for me. The sexual tension between them didn't hurt the book at all either. Then there was this cousin Gabrielle that she didn't really get along with--I loved their banter. And a whole crew of other cast members that all gave life to the story. 
  • Random stuff- she had short chapters, which I love because I feel like I can breath. Also, the book felt like a really quick read. I dont know how many words it was, or even how many pages since my e-version was different that a book, but two sittings was all it took. I love that. I get annoyed when things seem to unnaturally stretch out. And last, I loved her cover art. It's so beautiful and mischievous...just like the book. Why did it take me this long to read it?
Now, I want to take all I learned from this and apply it to my manuscript.

Have you read this one--and if so, what did you like? Any other book that you read recently that you adored?

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Have Reading "ADHD"

Now that NaNoReviMo is over, and I am done with my first round of revisions,  and my critique partners have my manuscript in their trusty hands (or inboxes)...I finally have some time on my hands to catch up on the TBR pile mounting next to my bed. But, I have a little ADHD going on when it comes to what I am reading:

LEGEND, by Marie Lu


VARIANT, by Robison Wells


HEIST SOCIETY, by Ally Carter


MR. MONSTER, by Dan Wells

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, by Sara Gruen


I didn't intentionally start five books at once. I had a strategy. I wanted to the read beginnings of a few books and study what made them great, or what stood out to me. It was very enlightening. Here's some of what I learned:
  • Each one has grabbed my attention in different ways. But there is one constant in each: mystery. They all presented a mystery or a problem that I wanted to find the answer to. I'm totally hooked in each one.
  • No matter what tense or perspective the author chose, they all made the action present and dynamic. I didn't feel like I was reading something that already happened. It was happening for me, right now.
  • They all had a tone that foreshadowed the conflict of the book. So for Heist Society she starts out witty and snarky voice, which tells me that I can expect a fun ride. Whereas, with Variant, the tone is somber and creepy, which tells me that something is wrong here. Which made me think, "What is the tone of my manuscript?"
  • There are so many clever ways to draw the reader in: switches in point of view (like LEGEND), or switches in time period (like WATER FOR ELEPHANTS), or dramatic switches of setting (like HEIST SOCIETY when she sweeps the reader off to Paris), or life-altering switches of circumstances (like VARIANT). 
And now I have five books that I wish I were reading right this second! They are all calling my name!

Do you love these books as much as I do?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Titles Schmitles!

Were you blessed with the poetic ability to assign few words to a thing of such significance? I was not. I not only struggled naming my children, but I am now struggling to name my youngest baby: my manuscript. Hey, it's okay. I know I'm not the only one with naming/titling deficiency ("TD"). I actually know a guy named Dick Hofacker...someone is responsible for that!

Some titles seem to jump right off the shelf at me, and I marvel at how succint, or lovely, or witty they are. Like last night, I went to buy LEGEND by Marie Lu. Not only is the title awesome, but the cover is too. The title "Legend" seems to inspire an epic, grand feel to it. Another title that I love is HUSH HUSH. Along with the black and white cover art of an angel falling, it makes me feel like I want to know that secret.

Yet, for all the amazing titles out there, there are some that haven't done it for me. I put off reading HUNGER GAMES for a long time, because the title somehow turned me off. I really enjoyed I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, and yet I was always embarrassed to be seen with it in public. Shoot, when I first heard about Harry Potter, all I could think was, "Why are the British so fascinated with such an unattractive name? Seriously, a name that makes me think of hair, and hairy things?" I know I really can't talk since my last name has the word "hump" in it...but you get what I am saying, right?

So I am desperately, obsessively searching for a title that will inspire greatness. I know, I know, you say authors don't really end up choosing their own title. Well, while that's true, it's also true that an awesome eye-catching title won't hurt you either in getting published in the first place.

I was going to have a title contest or ask for feedback on titles here on the bloggy, but decided that could be disastrous. Last night I emailed a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) with a list of ideas for titles. She shot every single one of them down with gusto. Which is good...I want the truth! But really, I don't need the world to know just how bad my titling deficiency ("TD") really is.

So how about you? Do you have TD or are you do you have a black belt in titling (in which case, tell me so that I can beg you to help)???

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNo Wrap Up & Low Down





I always loved this quote. I heard it once and it stuck in my mind forever. It seems like the perfect motivation for trying your best. Until I saw this:


Oh really?! Is that true Dwight? Or did you make that up like the Shrute Farm Massacre was the largest loss of lives on American soil in US history? I don't have time to google it to find out...but I'm going to vote your full of crap. 

Just like kids need to believe in Santa Claus, or adults need to believe in lotteries, I am going to believe if I dang-well shoot for the moon, I am going to pass a few stars along the way! For NaNoReviMo, I set some pretty lofty moon-goals. Did I make it to the moon?

Uh...no! Not even close. In fact I feel 93 billion miles away from the moon actually. BUT, I worked my BUTT off! I pushed myself, I dragged myself, my NaNo buddies put me on their back and carried me some of the way. I turned my zero draft into my first draft, and then into my second draft. I now have it out with some critique partners. I know I still have a lot to do, but I swear I got done three times as much in November than I would have without NaNo. So I would officially like to thank all you NaNo buddies out there...you are the stars that I have fell among.

So take that Dwight! 


Monday, November 28, 2011

NaNo Homestretch

Day 28 of NaNoWri/ReviMo. Only a few days left before it's officially over! Though for most of us, its not even close to being over for reals.

But it is the last lap. That means we have to turn on the afterburners. Pull into the pit stop for one last fuel up. Raise the sails to take advantage of that winter cold front moving in. Throw some water in the face and ignore the blisters.

It's been a great November I have to say. The comradery I've felt has been amazing. Everyone has been so supportive and inspirational. Seriously, I have been blown away by what you guys have been able to accomplish.

Though, I have to say I am really looking forward to December. I am nowhere near done with my revisions unfortunately, and so I will have plenty to do, but I need a little break. I need some Christmas music, I need some cold nights in with the fam watching Elf and Christmas Vacation, I need some egg nog and snowflake-shaped sugar cookies, and I need some cuddling by the fire. Sounds good, eh?

BUT NOT YET! Pull your head out of your turkey, Jessie...you have three days left to go (including today). Get crackin'!

How 'bout you? You almost done with NaNo? Ready for December?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Best Thanksgiving Ever

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving people! Are you as excited as I am to sit around and eat your A's off? I'm so stoked, I can just taste the sweet potatoes now--soaked in butter, brown sugar and marshmellows...mmmmm.

So, in honor of the big day, I wanted to share the best Thanksgiving experience I've ever had. Believe it or not, it was when I was living in Paris.

I wasn't with my family, I wasn't with my life-long friends, I didn't have my husband or children yet, and I wasn't in even in the country that celebrates Thanksgiving. In fact, the Frenchies were like, "Mince alors, ces Américains!"

 I had no turkey or stuffing. Instead a French family I knew invited me over for a distinctly French meal with baguettes, salade, raclette fromage, sausage, and frog legs. Yes, I ate those slimy little legs that I once dissected in 7th grade. That part actually sucked. The part that totally didn't suck was how grateful I was for what I had. It's like that old adage: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." I missed my family, I missed my childhood friends, I missed American turkey and cranberry sauce...but I loved them even more than I thought I could. I was grateful for my country. For my freedoms. For my ability to travel. And seriously,being in Paris in Fall was amazing. Walking the cold streets with my jacket pulled up around my ears braving the wind, taking the Metro, speaking French with strangers, and munching on pain au chocolat. It was incroyable.

How about you? What was your favorite Thanksgiving ever? Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Am Thankful For...

Last week my awesome writing bestie Peggy Eddleman called me with some exciting news. News that her dreams were coming true. News that she had recieved an offer on her book from Random House. News that the editor wanting to work with her was Shana Corey, and they were meant for each other (in a non-lesbian way). News that she was getting a "very nice" deal for her Middle Grade book THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH.

I was in my office for all this "news" when Peggy kept calling me with a barrage of amazing events. There were only two other people in the world that I was allowed to discuss the "news" with, and neither of them were answering the dang phone! So I seriously got up from my very serious lawyer desk, turned up the volume on some Black Eyed Peas, and did a little happy dance for my girl Peggy.

I am grateful for this "news" for the following bullet pointed reasons:
  • Peggy is an amazing friend and she deserves success.
  • She is paving the way for some of us other "coattailers" who can glean from her experience and hard work.
  • It means that this whole "traditional publishing" thing can still work.
  • It means that dreams really do come true.
  • It means that patience is an attribute I really aught to figure out--Peggy was the most patient writer, and took years to perfect her craft, before she jumped into querying so when she got there, it was amazingly quick.
I am thankful for Thanksgiving as well this week, because I am going to be revising my brains out.

WAY TO GO PEGGY!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dont Fall In Love With Your Own Writing

Hah! I've felt like this before! Come on, admit you have too.

Like that character you created is so dear to you that cutting any part of him is painful. (Even when it doesn't move the story along).

Like that poetic sentence is just too beautiful to rip out. (Even when it makes no sense).

Like deleting that super detailed scene--that took you months to create--is not possible. (Even when it is too much backstory).

Admit it! You know you've committed one of these crimes. Of having an affair with something or someone in your book that's not good for you or the book. Well, I sure as hell have. In fact, I am still struggling with it during my revision process as I speak (or type).

I read somewhere that while you may love everything you write, liking it too much risks making it difficult to improve. I dont know about you, but I want to improve. I desperately, passionately, intimately want to improve. I want my novel to rock your world.

So I will wipe away my tears as I say goodbye, but goodbye nonetheless.

Have you had to cut, rip, and tear something you loved dearly?

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNo = Blog Crickets?

Do you hear that sound all across the blogosphere? The distant hum of crickets in the night? Well, I do. And its only getting louder.

The more I get into National Novel Writing Month (NaNo)...or Revising Month for my crew, the louder the crickets get. Every spare second I get I have to use for revising right now. We have such lofty goals set, and such serious revisers, that I can't let myself or my group down. We are almost half way through November now, Day 14 of NaNoReviMo, and I have fallen seriously behind. My fellow NaNo'er E.R. King at Get Busy Writing seriously wrote over 11,111 words in one day per our 11-11-11 challenge. And my writing bestie Erin at the Summerill Surf wrote nearly that much as well. How can I compete with that?

So sorry for the crickets. I havent read any books all the way through lately. I havent been following any new blogs to highlight in a while. Maybe December I will get to all of it!

Are you hearing the crickets too?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNo = Weight Gain?


Let's just put it this way: NaNo is not my favorite skinny jeans' best friend. In fact they are enemies and cannot exist in the same room at the same time. Like begrudging family members at Thanksgiving, they are vying for my attention. Skinny jeans will say manipulative things like, "You know you'd rather be with me. I'll make you happy." Then NaNo will call saying, "You promised me this year. Don't let me down." Then skinny jeans will gather allies in the closet so every time I go in there I'm barraged with, "Why don't you love me anymore?"...and "Did I do something wrong?" I'll explain to them that I still care for them, but I just need a little time to myself right now. Then I'll look down at my phone and realize NaNo has left me twenty messages!

AND I SCREAM, "You two are driving me crazy!"

Okay...*breathe* that was a little dramatic. But that's how I feel. I am spending every spare second of my time on revisions that my waist line is paying the price. I used to work out at least three days a week. As of today--only Day 9 of NaNo--I haven't worked out once, and I feel it. With the combo of Halloween candy laying around for me to eat when I write, and enticing Fall baked goods calling my name, I am out of control!

Does anyone else feel like this?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Give Thanks-Amen, Hallelujah!



When I heard about Beth Revis' 19 book giveaway, I was like, "Ohhh snap! I gots to have me this prize!"
I can't believe the superfluous generosity, the quality & quantity of the books, or the ease of which it took to enter. It's go time Beth Revis. I am in it to win it.

So I just have to tell you guys what the one book I am most grateful for is. Easy peasy: The Hunger Games.

It's the one book I find myself always going back to, thinking, "I love how Katniss chose that." Or smile at how Suzanne pulled off the twist. In my own writing, I sort of try to emulate the courage Miss Collins had to break rules and push past boundaries.

I clearly remember reading the first chapter of this book and putting it down for a whole month because I thought it was too weird, too out there. I wasn't huge into dystopian horror worlds. I wanted to read to get away, to be swept away to a magical place. Instead, the World of the Hunger games was bleak and horrific. It wasn't until my friend told me I really aught to pick it up again, that I wouldn't be disappointed, that I truly got into it. I read the whole series in a week. Went and paid for them all myself (instead of borrowing like I do a lot).

I want to push boundaries with my book. I want to shock readers. I want to surprise them. I want them to sit in their bed late at night and smile with the revelation of a twist. That's what Hunger Games did for me.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Team NaNoReviMo

Thanks Tara for creating this cool button! Now, I just have to figure out how to install it in my sidebar! (I hate revealing how incredibly lame I am the techy).

NaNoReviMo is off to a killer start! I have been inundated with updates from fellow revisers, full of inspiration, ideas, and good ol' kick in the butts. I can't be left in the dust. I am accountable. I must revise. I will polish and perfect.

Today, I am going to try to do something helpful and/or useful: submit a revising tip. I have been researching the revising process, and this is a little gem I have come up with:

PRINT THE SUCKER OUT!

Okay, I don't think any published author actually wrote those exact words. That is definitely my slant on the tip. It doesn't matter how you do it.

  • Email it to Kinkos to get it bound--it's cheap and when your book hits the big time you could auction it off for a cool mill'. 
  • Print it out at home and three ring bind it.
  • Go to your mom's house and print it out there using her paper and ink--that stuff costs as much as gold!
I went for the Kinkos version. I am going to read the whole DANG thing in two days! With my little red pen and highlighter. I am also keeping track of notes in a notebook.

It's amazing how the words look and sound so different on the page, as opposed to the jaded computer screen. 

Just an idea! 

Go Team NaNoReviMo!

Monday, October 31, 2011

So Many Books So Little Time

I recently stole a bunch of books off my sister-in-law's bookshelf while staying at her place in Huntington Beach. I guess its not stealing when she sees you put them in your bag and watches you walk away with them, right?

I have four of them high on my list, but I cant decide which one I want to dive into first. Quick vote:

1)
2)

3)

or 4)
*** I actually won this one off of Ally Condie's blog, signed and everything! :)

So what do you think?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Hangover

When did Halloween become a week-long festivity? Seriously, every night this week we have either gone to a Trunk-or-Treat, a Halloween Bash, or hosted our own party. It isn't even Halloween yet, and I am wasted! In fact, Halloween isn't here for THREE more days!!! Are you scared of passing out and dying of sugar poisoning and pumpkin- pureé-based baked goods?

I am.

So last night, my sister, mom and I, hosted our own Haunted Mansion Party. Other than the being wasted-the-morning-after part, it was totally killer. We killed it with the following activities and crafty foods:
Mummy Dogs

Mud Cups

Hot Cider

Thriller Dance


DJ
Our DJ was very much more alive than this, but I didn't get her picture.

We played musical chairs, did limbo, had a cake walk, ate near illegal amounts of sugar, and in all other respects partied our A's off. Dang, I deserved to sleep in after that one! But I am working on my final scene this morning. Mwah..hahahahaha! And that got me out of bed. 

What about you? Got any big Halloween plans? Are you overdoing Halloween a bit like me? Are epilogues still cool--or are they like prologues and should be buried in the graveyards of literature (according to some agents and editors)?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Killer Character Blogfest


I have been totally looking forward to E.R. King and Deana Barnhart’s Killer Characters Blogfest. I sort of forgot on Monday (oopsies), but I figure better late than never, eh?

I was about to publish this post this morning (that I wrote yesterday) when I looked on my sidebar and noticed everyone else that I knew participating in this blogfest also chose the same exact protag! Seriously? I am so not original? Oh well. There is a reason why we all chose her. She is so effin' awesome.

 Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is totally killer. Not only because she literally kills, but also because she is kick A. No matter what life or the Capital throws at her, she has to fight to survive, to protect those she loves, and make a difference in her world. She is not above deceit, murder, or duplicity in order to adapt. Yet, all of it is done in a moral way. We are always rooting for her because even when she is acting so “killer,” her heart is always in the right place. She is an anti-hero because she kills other children, but a dynamic hero because in the end she outsmarts the one responsible for all those deaths. She is vicious and fierce, but clever and sympathetic.  

In fact, I sort of used her for a model of my current WIP. I hope I do her justice. 

What about you? Are you doing the Killer Characters Blogfest? Anybody choose anyone other than Katniss?

Monday, October 24, 2011

NaNoReviMo

Yep, I stole it. My girl Peggy coined the clever phrase for those of who desperately need to REVISE this coming month instead of draft. So instead of writing for "National Novel Writing Month" (NaNoWriMo) where people set ridiculously high word count goals...a few of us are going to change it up and set ridiculously high revising goals. Sound good?

Peggy has already received a ton of comments and emails from people who want to participate. So I guess that makes Peggy the sort of moderator/leader for our little venture, but I promise to help. So leave a comment here or at Peggy's blog with your email address and we will get organized for next week. November is right around the corner!

Let's do this.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Huntington Beach

Today, this is what I woke up to. A Huntington Beach sunrise off our balcony. Not bad, eh?


Mr. Humphries and I are extending the celebration of our 7th Anniversary. Our parents are watching the kids, and we are spending the entire weekend together, alone. As in, "not with the kids." Ahhh...just typing it makes me happy. Don't misunderstand--I love the kids. Adore them, serve them, dress them, feed them, wipe their...you get the picture. But we have never done this before. In seven years, we have never gone away together alone. We go separately all the time--I go to writing conferences, and he goes to College Football games. But never together. So it was long over due, dontcha think? I do.

Here's the plan for the weekend:
Golf

Surf

Eat Sushi at the beach
and of course...

Write
In fact, I am hoping to finish my first draft this weekend. I have about 10,000 words left. And this is the kicker, my story is set in Huntington Beach, and the final scene that I am writing right now is down the street. It feels so cool to be here.

Do you have any awesome plans this weekend? Have you ever written a scene from the real life setting? Did you love it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pinterest...Say What?

For the last several months I've heard this weird word going around: Pinterest. Pinterest this...and Pinterest that. What the H is Pinterest????

So I finally googled it. Therefore, the official "Pinterest" definition:

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Okay, after spending some time on the sucker, I still don't get it. You have to be "invited?" By who? How long is the "waiting list?" All I know is I'm still waiting. In the mean time, I am following in the footsteps of my totally Pinteresting friend Erin, and pinning up my dream cast here. I think its a great tool to get a better feel for supporting cast. For me, I already know my protag so well that its actually hard to put a face on her. But the rest is totally fun:

Ruby Rose- My Beautiful but Deadly Protag (Alpha Heroine)

Jane Rose- Ruby's mom and hard as nails L.A. County District Attorney

Jack Rose- Ruby's dad and fallen Swat Sergeant 

John Faché- the villainous Mastermind 

Luke Slater- Ruby's love interest and sexual tension creator (Beta Hero)

Why do I feel so creepy putting this picture up? Did you catch that I changed brothers on this one? This is Chris Hemsworth (pre-Thor/pre-steroids)...not little bro Liam.  Lets just keep it in the family.

And with that...peace out. This actually took a ton of time!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Writing and Spouses

Saturday was the Lucky 7 Anniversary with Mr. Humphries. He took me out in style:
Bellagio Hotel and Casino

We ate our faces off! (Does that saying actually make any sense?) This is a picture of my delicious jumbo shrimp cocktail and the view while I ate it:

Our table overlooked the dancing fountain show and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. It was a fabulous night. And guess what we talked about???? Yep, you writer friends guessed it: my manuscript. I totally talked his ear off, course after course, for nearly two hours! A few times I got so excited about things he had to tell me to keep my voice down about a killing scene near the end. One time he actually told me to put the steak knife down during another violent description. His actual words were, "You are starting to scare me." 

So my question is: How involved is your spouse in your writing? Do they beta read, brainstorm, ferociously edit? My guy is an avid Sports Page reader. Even the occasional Sports Illustrated article. Novels are not his thing. He often scratches his head at me and says, "How do you do it?" For him, writing = torture. But he supports me in other ways. He lets me have my writing time early every other morning. He lets me go to writing conferences with my friends. And he believes in me. I love him for that. 
Mr. Humphries & the B-Word in the Famous Bellagio Flower Garden

So how about your spouses/significant other: supporter, stimulator, saboteur?

P.S. I had a nice piece of chocolate cake in celebration of my writing Bestie Peggy landing "our" dream agent Sara Crowe last week!