May 28, 2011

Go Kristen! And Variousness


My friend and crit partner, Kristen Yard, writes the most chilling and awkward stories. Her brain works in ways mine is not even capable of and sometimes that leads to me giving a really bad crit. But, when she explains the scenario to me, it's like, "Duh, how did I not get that...?" 

My skills as a crit partner and as a writer have grown in such unexpected ways by being friends with Kristen, a partnership that is sure to last for years. I, and anyone who wants to write creepy, have a lot to learn from her. Here's proof: SHADES OF GREY, by Kristen Yard.

And she's purdy.


I am going to see The Hangover 2 tomorrow. So. Excited.

I started a Tumblr...even though I cannot figure anything out to save my life. I want to add my twitter feed, but have no idea how. I am not even sure why I started an account other than the fact that all the other cool kids are doing it and their pages are so nice and streamlined. Tahereh's is extraordinarily funny and Ali's is adorable and informational. 

I think my biggest reservation with Tumblr is that I have no idea how to connect with the audience I don't yet have. Ali 'liked' one of the few posts I have on there and I JUST figured out how to 'like' something (click the heart for those who were wondering).

I can't afford to spend too much time trying to figure out Tumblr. Kelly and I are going for a TKO with our manuscript and so far she's been pulling all the punches. Looks like it's my turn to jump in the ring, "At the ready!"

May 26, 2011

Deadlines and Other Motivators

Yesterday, I arbitrarily chose #WritingMotivators as the #TwitterGame for the day. Then I realized my subconscious was in charge at that time because what a perfect topic it turned out to be.

Without giving time specifics, Kelly and I need to bust out this novel. She's moving soon (*prayers*) and I am back in classes in a week. Oh, and we have wannabe betas sending us funny emails as inspiration. (Part of me wants to delay The End just so I can see what extremes our friends are willing to go through to motivate us. What a strange food chain that would be.)

Okay, I totally copped out about with the non-specific time deadline. The end of June is our deadline. Yup, I said it. And guess what, next Friday we'll be drafting our first query AND sharing it with a few folks. EEK. But it's all in the interest of pushing ourselves to the limit and busting out an amazing novel. Shebang!

Oh, and you were all WAY too supportive of that Newbery talk last week. Why didn't anyone put me in my place? Gosh. You made me think we might actually be entering that territory. Okay, fine...we totally are. We aren't writing to the award, but it's kind of an interesting way to think.

SASQUATCH ELEANOR is beautiful so far and the potential we have as writers is staggering. And that is a mighty epiphany for me because I am focusing less on the expectations others have of our novel and more on the the responsibility we have to the 12 year old Kellys and Jons of today. Whoa. Heavy.

Thanks for reading guys!

Oh, and I put my iTunes on shuffle for the first time in years and holy moley I have diverse taste in music, but each song perfectly compliments its predecessor. 

May 19, 2011

On Trends per Mandy Hubbard

Author/Agent, Mandy Hubbard, posted a comprehensive list on trends. She complied feedback from editors via 37 meetings and broke it down for us.

I'm not going to lie: I skipped straight to the MG section to see what editors want in that area.  I was freaking out over what I read. I thought, am I reading this correctly? Only 10% of one agent's submissions are MG?! They want "Magical realism, humor, big hooks, distinctive voices."?!?! Hubbard goes onto use the words inventive and standout. 

You see, what I am doing is comparing the premise Kelly and I developed for our collaboration project and I am so confident in our project that it keeps me awake at night. Magical realism: Sasquatch. Humor: summer camp. Big hooks: our MC is compassionate, but full of original foibles. Distinctive voices: she dreams in Harry Potter and talks to snails.

Three nights ago, I asked myself, "How does it work when a coauthored book wins a Newbery? Do they conference call or will one of us know before the other? They should call me first, I'm in the eastern time zone."

My brain goes all irrational!

Back to Hubbard's post, did you read it? I went back and finished the whole post. What are your thoughts on trends? Think outside of the easy targets (vampires, zombies) and tell me some trends you dig and others you avoid. I know most writers say they don't write in line with trends - I have said so myself - but it's impossible to have an online presence and not notice which trends are up and coming and which are declining.

May 13, 2011

An Inadvertent Hiatus

Since my computer has crashed and I am sending it in for repairs, I will only be able to use a computer when one   from around the house is available. I am taking this time to focus on getting ready for school and writing. Therefore, I will be infrequently blogging and rarely tweeting.

In just a few weeks, several exciting things are taking place, all of which revolve around Elana Johnson and the June 7 release of Possession! She has a tour going on right now - make sure you go check out the awesome posts listed at her blog. Thankfully, I signed up for the last post.

Check ya later.

May 12, 2011

Update from the day of suck

Yeah, yesterday equaled suck, but today is going alright. The loved one is home, thank you for the thoughts of hope and kindness.

Twitter: I randomly picked writer J.F. Jenkins from my Twitter followers as the winner of a token of appreciation in the form of chocolate. I picked out something really cute for her from

Computer: My computer is officially in trouble. There's one possible fix, but I may lose most of my work. Um, not crying over it...I want to, but I am not going to. Thankfully, my current projects are on Google Docs.

Life: I am heading back to the state park today, not for a run, but for a casual stroll. I'll be collecting my thoughts and figuring out how I can finally get ahead after 25 years of playing catch up.

"What do you do when you see Madonna walking down the street?" #childhoodmemories

May 11, 2011

Twitter Loves Me?

Why, it sure does!

5pm I rejoin Twitter. Heather was there to greet me, flowers in hand. I roll my eyes.
9pm I have 10 or so followers. I remembered why I liked Twitter.
12am I am at 25 followers and I logged off.

11am I log back onto find I had 48 followers, I tweet "Anyone think I can reach 100 followers within 24 hours? Six hours to go." Some wish me luck, others call me crazy. Kris calls me cocky and I LOL.
noon I make it to 50...uh, not the start I was looking for.
1pm 60 I offer up chocolate to one luck follower if I make to 100 by 5.
2pm 65 
4pm 70 
4:15 73 "45 mins to go! And I need 27 followers! Who wants ?? Spread the word. "
4:30 88
4:45 88
4:50 88
4:55 88
5:00 91 "Okay, Twitter, here's the dealio. 9 away an it's just past 5. I'll give you an extension. "
5:05 I leave my house for dinner with my sister and my nieces 6th grade band concert.
10:00pm I get home to find my computer has crashed in the time I was gone. I restart it.
midnight TWO hours later.................and it is still not working. It logs on after about twenty minutes, but will only load one thing at a time. Gmail wins and Twitter loses. I fall asleep waiting for the "repair wizard" or whatever to run.
8:00am My phone is ringing, I answer it, a loved one is in the hospital. I pace around the house, make coffee, and pet the doggies for comfort. And my computer still will not start I text Heather, she comforts me more. 
9:20 I call my bro-in-law for help with the comp. Thick, black clouds roll in.
10:50, right now It's been raining, lightning, and thundering. That would be awesome, if it weren't such a bizarre day. Things will be fine. Yes they will be.

Today's twitter game is , so join in and help make my day more fun!

Oh and I MADE it past 100, so I will randomly choose a winner later today on Twitter!

May 7, 2011

Searching for Saturday

Do you get bored like I do? Well, that's because we are lazy. I went looking for some local beauty.

I have posted beautiful pictures of my area plenty of times, but they never get old...

If I'd had a Nikkon, you'd be able to see Ludington's lighthouse and some of the town through the haze.

So go and see what you can find within ten miles of your house.

May 5, 2011

May 5

image credit

Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Happy last day of the semester to me.

Happy I really need a big tall beer.

photo credit

Yup. That'll do.

Replace the light urine-looking beer with a smooth dark beer.

All right. Good day.

May 2, 2011

AA is for...oh wait, we're done with that, check this out though!

Anita and Kelly are having a dance off! I am not sure who's going to win, but choosing between my favorite author and one of my writing partners is scary stuff. Check out both of their blogs for their rules and some fly dance moves!!