Listen to the Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.

Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Name that Character Contest

Calling all creative minds! If you are interested in winning a $10 Amazon gift card all you have to do is find the perfect name for two of my characters!

1) I need a last name for Austin...I had Austin Rivers but it is bugging. I already have Macoy Parker and Cameryn Edwards...another cute whitey last name that looks like a first name seemed too much. But, if you think Austin Rivers is still the perfect name - you can vote on that as well.

2) I need a perfect jock-jerk name.

So, 2 gift cards up for grabs for whoever's name suggestions I use - spread the word to others who might want some free $$ and leave me your comments!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Lesson From the Quackers

I have spent the weekend trying to digress everything I learned at WIFYR. I am excited to dive back into my book with renewed perspective and wisdom...or at least with a renewed false sense of security :)

Here is our awesome class. We had a great time and I am looking forward to getting to know them better and enjoying lots of writing misery and angst together! (If you look closely, you can even see two members of the Sacred Six!)

By the end of it, I was nominated as the person who would read every one's manuscripts for inappropriate content and sexual innuendos. I can't imagine how that happened...although I must say, ten years of listening to Bob and Tom and hanging with boys has finally paid off!

So, as I progress on my writing journey I have decided to take a lesson from our adopted nine little duckies... My Grandmother always used to say, "Be like a duck, calm on the surface and paddling like made underneath." When writing a book, I don't know how you act calm on the surface. I don't think it's possible. Or maybe, keeping your big fat mouth shut is how you appear calm on the surface.

I like the idea but I think there is more to it... Not only do you have to be paddling like mad underneath, churning up ideas, dialogue, similes, voice, perspective, plot, etc. But sometimes you just have to dive in and fly around aimlessly. Sometimes, you have to stick your head in the water and let your ass bob up an down above the surface. Sometimes, you just have to puff up your chest, flap your non-existent wings and say to the world, "That's right, I'm the sha-zizzle!"

Check 'em out!

Now, if I can just put down the books I am devouring from the conference and work on mine, that would be most helpful in my whole "I'm writing a book" charade!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Information Overload

WOW!  I am exhausted from the conference and I still have a day left!  SOOOO many great classes - I have learned so much it is overwhelming.  Today was the book signing and I am excited about 4 authors/books I picked up.  I haven't ready any of them yet but plan on reading all of them.  They all signed my book with encouraging words to keep writing - that seals the deal for me right?  I'm as good as gold?

Or not.

Anyone want to read these with me?

#1) The Dying Breath by Alane Ferguson - fabulously zany, fun lady with a killer name.  As you know, my oldest is an Alaine (but with an "i" obviously) so I was immediately drawn.  She writes forensic mysteries drawing from experiences and an obsession she developed when her best friend was murdered by a serial killer when she was young and he got away with it.  There are many books in the series but they are not sequencial.  This one is her newest.

#2) Fablehaven Book 1 by Brandon Mull - I have to see what all the hype is about.  Plus, he was a pretty funny guy.  I must know what the kids are reading these days.  You know me, can never be left out of a good fad.

#3) Once was Lost by Sara Zarr - She is a local author and her first book "Story of a Girl" was a National Book Award finalist.  She is more of Realistic YA genre but I have enjoyed her other work.  I like her so I wanted to support her book.

#4) The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson - I am most excited about this one.  She was our keynote speaker and is an award winning novelist.  I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of her before but when she walked into our private workshop the two instructors in there about peed their pants...so I assumed she was the bomb.  She was a wonderful, personable lady.  Even though this book isn't about her personal experiences, she wrote this book when her daughter had cancer and they were going through chemo.  I have heard it is exceptional.

Anyone read any of these yet?  Happy reading everyone!

Monday, June 14, 2010

WIFYR Conference...

This week is the writing conference for young readers. I am very nervous waiting for it to start. I will try to blog a bit this week about it. Tons of lectures, book signing, workshops, etc. Should be valuable and motivate me or I may throw in the towel at the end of the week...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Snowflake Method

First, I have been reading 13 other 10 page manuscripts from the other participants in the class and I am happy to report that (in my own opinion) I do not have the suckiest 10 pages of the group.  Whew! 

Now that I am home from vacation and work has settled down, I am diving back into my book...I'm all over it like stink on a monkey!  One of Bree's fantastic suggestions was to use "The Snowflake Method".  It is 10 steps to writing my novel in a structured format.  It's a recipe - how great is that?  I am excellent with recipes.  I can bake like nobody's business, just ask my fans - Thunder Thighs, Badonka-donk Butt and Glutony Gut.  Cooking on the other hand?  I am better off eating off the floor of a chicken coop. 

So, I completed Step 1 tonight.  How about that, I am 10% done!  The assignment was to write a New York Times Bestseller one-line blurb.  Here is mine, what do you think?  For those of you who read the first 10 pages - does it fit?

A tormented young girl battles against herself and the unknown to win her freedom.

Stay tuned for Step 2....