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!