Saturday, March 31, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - 3/30/12

Shh, it's still Friday for many people. Why should I be penalized just because I live on the east coast?

Anyway, I had a critique session with K.S. Lewis tonight that last until after midnight, so I didn't get to put this up earlier. I'm feeling kind of punchy this week, so I decided to use a snippet from a previous finished work, Peter James, aka The-Novel-We-Speak-Not-Of. I've been toying with the idea of rewriting it lately. That project is pretty far down my list of priorities, but you never know (that, and I didn't want to put up anything that I might actually try to get published).

Peter James is about five kids (and their babysitter) who discover a tunnel to a secret land in their basement. Kind of like Narnia meets Peter Pan. This conversation happens just after they get back the first time.

“We need to talk about rules,” he declared.

“There are rules?” Nicky whined.

“Of course,” Peter replied. “All the best games have rules.”

That was true enough, so nobody bothered to argue with him. “What are the rules?” Ed asked.

Peter looked like he was thinking really hard for a minute. “Rule number one: no one but the six of us can know about Eversea.”

“What about Mommy and Daddy?” Charlie asked.

Pete bit his lip before he answered. “We can tell Mom and Dad. But they can't come in. It's for kids only.”

“Yay!” Nicky cheered, clapping.

“Sadie's not a kid,” Edwin argued.

“Sadie doesn't count.”

“Thanks, Pete,” Sadie said, setting the oven timer for 25 minutes and walking back to the table.

“You know what I mean,” he huffed.

“Why no adults?” Ed asked.

Peter looked like he wanted to hit him, but he didn't. “Because,” he said like he was speaking to a two-year-old, “it's our place. Only we're allowed there. It's where you go when you're really sad or really happy or really angry, and there's no one there who'll tell you to clean your room or eat your broccoli. In fact, there's no broccoli there at all. It's just kid stuff, all the time.”

Friday, March 30, 2012

So Much to Blog About, So Little Time

I'm going to put today's flash fiction in its own post because I have a lot to talk about (because I'm a lazy blogger who didn't want to take the time to write any posts this week). So, first, an update on Rosetta. Well, to start, it's not called Rosetta anymore. It's now the untitled first book of the Capitoline Hill Chronicles. Which means I'm going to have to go back and change all my blogpost labels to match. x_x

Why the name change? Well, "rosetta" is a word with a lot of meaning and some symbolism... none of which related in any way to the book I wrote. Capitoline Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome (and if someone who knows Italian could tell me how to correctly pronounce that), and the myth is that Romulus built a fortress on it that would serve as a sanctuary for the Romans if the city was ever attacked. This seems much more like something that werewolves would name their compound.

Also, I'm done with my second draft! I'm not sure exactly what happened last Friday, but once I finally committed to working on it, I edited ~260 pages from Friday to Wednesday. I didn't do any of the nitty-gritty edits so there's still a lot left to do, but I think the book's actually in the order I want now, and I hopefully fixed most--if not all--of my continuity issues. I'm getting to the point where I'm almost ready to possibly be proud of certain part of it. I actually made myself cry a little while I was working on it... and it wasn't because the chapter sucked!

Next bit of awesome news: I'm being featured on a blog today! I was one of the winners for this month's Knights of Microfiction (along with Stephanie at Word by Word), so Kathy at Imagine Today interviewed me and featured me on her blog. Go check out my thoughts on life (writing), liberty (television), and the pursuit of happiness (Vanilla Coke).

Also, yesterday kicked off the triannual YA Scavenger Hunt. There are 60 authors giving away cool prizes, so you should definitely head over and check it out. I did the YELLOW team puzzle yesterday, and I think I'm going to work on RED next. They're fun, and a great opportunity to check out some YA authors with whom you might not be familiar.

Also also, you should go check out Kindles for Kids if you haven't already. It's for a great cause, and you can submit a short story or enter a contest to win some awesome prizes.

Who's excited about the Blogging from A-Z Challenge? This is my first year entering, so I'm pretty psyched, even if I've only come up with, like, seven of my topics.

I... think that's it. For now. Stay tuned for my Flash Fiction Friday update later (you know, after I write it).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Knights of Microfiction and Teaser Tuesday - 3/27/12

It's the last Monday Tuesday of the month, which means it's time for a Knights of Microfiction prompt. This month's was:

In 250 words or less:
Use at least one of the following adjectives: delicate, repulsive, hostile
And at least one of the following nouns: New York City, My 16th Birthday (yes, this would be referring to you), and Kilts
For the words you don't use (unless you use them all), you can just use them as inspiration.

I'm not normally a dystopian writer, but apparently when I think of NYC, I think of the apocalypse. So here's what I came up with:

They said that by the time the survivors came to, New York City had crumbled. The greatest city in the world, and now it was nothing more than piles of rubble and smoldering remains, its population all but wiped out.

There were perhaps three hundred people left in the city, maybe a couple million in the world. There was no way to know for sure since all lines of communication were down. Ari wished she knew whether her family in Ohio was okay.

She’d made friends quickly. Allies, she supposed, since they weren’t likely to be meeting for drinks or chatting about boys any time soon. But they found food and water and shelter together, and they shared everything they had.

Puppet had survived, but she wasn’t sure how long a Goldendoodle puppy would last in this strange new world. He ate their scraps and whined pitifully when she had nothing else to give him. She knew the others were wondering if they’d be better off without him.

They were living a delicate balance now, surviving while trying to maintain their humanity. Something would give soon; she just knew it would. All she could do was try to stay out of the crosshairs when it happened.

Also, it's Teaser Tuesday. I'm still reading the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, but I'm on book 5 instead of book 2 (yeah, it's been that kind of week). So here are the rules and an excerpt from Silver Borne.

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.
"I woke up lying in the dark and hurting all over, but especially on the back of my head. My ankles were also sore when I tried to move them." --Mercy Thompson

I'm taking this week off from writing so I can focus on editing Rosetta (which will soon not be called that anymore as I finally came up with a new name). I'm hoping to have the rewrite done by March 31 so I can start giving it to the wonderful people who've offered to read it for me, and maybe even stay on track to start querying agents in June (for the record, if I do, it'll be the first time I've ever created a schedule like this and actually stuck to it). So if you start seeing a barrage of either ecstatic or very angry comments on Twitter, don't be alarmed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - 3/23/12

Sorry, guys, I haven't been the best blogger this week. I had a lot to do at work, and I've been feeling a little creatively tapped. I'm hoping that spending this weekend really plotting out some of Defenders (and maybe even editing Rosetta) will help get me back on track. It feels pretty messy and disjointed, and it's making it hard for me to write it when I don't know what's going to happen next. I didn't even take a swing at hitting my word count yesterday, so I've got almost 1600 more words to write before Monday to keep me on goal.

But anyway, this is Flash Fiction Friday, not Tobi Whines Friday. And this flash fiction is a possible future scene from Defenders (depending on how the story goes). Hope you enjoy.

He knew he was in trouble. His chest ached where the sword had pierced it, and no amount of fairy magic could heal a gash like this.

Yeah, black magic was a bitch like that.

Still, he forced himself to his feet and summoned the remainder of his strength. He might be dying, but he wasn’t going down without a fight.

She was only about a hundred feet away—though it may as well have been a hundred miles to his battered body—and he staggered to her just as she threw a Trip Spell at her opponent. He fell back, head smashing against a rock, and didn’t rise again.

“You’re getting better,” he grunted, and she whirled to look at him, face falling when she saw his bloody shirt.

“You’re hurt,” she said.

“You always did have a way of pointing out the obvious.”

She glared at him, fierce. He liked her fire, even if it would get her killed someday. “I’ll be fine,” he lied, and she didn’t believe him.

She let it go anyway. “They have us surrounded,” she said. “And there are a hell of a lot of them.”

“Where’s your backup?” he asked, looking for her teammates.

“They’re here. Not far. They’re waiting for my signal, but I don’t… I…” She hesitated, then pushed on even though the words seemed painful. “I don’t have a strategy for this.”

He nodded. “You’re in luck. I do.”

She looked heartbreakingly hopeful, and he had a moment to remember that she was really a kid still. “You think we can take them all?”

“No,” he said. His realism made her face fall, though she hid it behind determination.

“Of course we can,” she argued, and it was a struggle not to laugh, even though that would have hurt his wound.

“The best you can hope for is to delay them until more backup arrives. But that,” he continued before she could interrupt, “we can do.”

He watched the conflict flicker across her face before she nodded. “Okay,” she said. “Where do we start?”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 3/20/12

Why do I always find the cool things to post after I've already posted for the day? Oh, well, this one is a bit timely, since "Tuesday" is in the title, and it looks fun, so here's two posts in one day again. Got this one from Jaycee DeLorenzo's blog, and she got it from MizB of Should Be Reading. The rules are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up to Should Be Reading to add your link.

Right now I'm (re-)reading Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs, number 2 in the Mercy Thompson series. I also LOVE her Alpha & Omega series (to the point where I get stuck in an infinite loop reading and re-reading them). Highly recommended for urban fantasy/werewolf fans.

Teaser (it was very hard to keep this to only two sentences):

I turned the vacuum off to move the couch and realized the phone had been ringing. Had something else gone wrong? --Mercy Thompson

Lucky 7 Meme

Yay, I was hoping I'd get a chance to do this one, and McKenzie McCann tagged me! The rules are:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines as they're written-- no cheating!
  4. Tag 7 other writers
  5. Let them know!

I'm going to use Rosetta because that part's already edited, and I'm pretty sure page 77 of Defenders is smack-dab in the middle of the absolute crapfest that is chapter 6 (it's not; I checked. But it was a slow part of chapter 8, so this is still better).

“We were razzing her a bit,” Nick said. “Jeez, it’s not a crime. It was just a joke.”

“It’s always just a joke!” Aly snapped, then looked away.

“You used to have a sense of humor,” Ben said. “You used to like it when we teased you.”

“Or at least you liked it when Luke teased you,” Nick said.

“Shut up!”

“Aly and Lu-uke, sitting in a tree,” Ben sang.

“Guys, knock it off,” I said. “It’s bothering her.”

Hm, I don't like that without context. It makes the boys sound mean.

And I'm tagging...

  1. K.S. Lewis
  2. Rebecca Belliston
  3. JoLynne Lyon
  4. Nick Wilford
  5. Chantele Sedgwick
  6. Erin Summerill

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - 3/16/12 (and a plug)

OK, plug first. My friend Jeanne Donnelly just published her book, Soul Mates (A different kind of Love Story), on Amazon.

After a tragic death on mean city streets, a woman meets God and begs him to let her reincarnate to bring the heavenly message of unconditional love to the world. Follow the adventure when she is tossed back to earth as one of the smallest dogs on the planet.

She's a fantastic writer, and you should go check it out.

And now for your regularly scheduled (St. Patrick's Day) flash fiction. I don't really know how I feel about this one, so I welcome your critiques.

Jace pounded back his drink and slammed the glass on the bar, silently signaling for another. He made a face at the green shot the bartender pushed toward him but drank it anyway. He could get just as drunk with a green drink as an amber one.

From what he understood about St. Patrick’s Day, that’s all it was about anyway.

The bartender wasn’t moving fast enough, so he took a hit off the flask he’d snuck in, the one that was laced with a little more than whiskey. He felt the familiar rush that was half-adrenaline, half-chemical.

He’d had ten months clean.

He took another furious swig. He’d only gotten clean for her. If she didn’t want him anymore, then who cared if he had a few pills anyway?

Someone sat on the stool next to him. Jace ignored the short, stocky girl who leaned over him to get the bartender’s attention, but he couldn’t ignore her slow Southern drawl. “Where are you from?” he asked reluctantly, and she grinned when she heard his own accent.

“Georgia. You?”

“South Carolina.”

“What are you doing in this big bad city?”

He huffed a bitter laugh and said, “Followed a girl up here. Stupid me.”

“So did I.” Off his look, she laughed and said, “My sister. We’re on a road trip.”

“Cool.” The drugs were starting to loosen him up. “She around here too?”

The girl waved a hand behind her. “Somewhere.”

He glanced around, then took another hit off the flask. Then he smiled, his best, most charming smile, and said, “You wanna go somewhere too?”

She laughed. “We just met!”

He flushed a little. “I meant just to talk. Someplace quieter. I’m not looking to start anything.”

She looked him up and down before shrugging and sliding off the stool. “I could probably take you anyway,” she said with a smile.

No, Jace thought as he handed her the flash so she could take a healthy drink, you really can’t.

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

11 More Questions

So K.S. Lewis put 11 questions up on her blog with an open tag, and I'm bored/I want to answer them.

  1. hat's your favorite fairy tale? Oh, man, that's tough. Does Peter Pan count? It has fairies! If not, probably Beauty and the Beast or Rapunzel.
  2. Have you ever written a scene that suddenly introduces a new character not previously created, and that character becomes important? Hm, probably, though I can't cite a specific example. But I've definitely written a scene that introduced a character who was supposed to be a throwaway, only to find out she was actually pretty important (Brittany, from Rosetta).
  3. Quick! You're trapped in a library with a zombie! You just threw Pride and Prejudice at its head. It doesn't appreciate classics. What do you do next? Curl up in the fetal position and cry. No, scream. Um, run like hell?
  4. How bad was that joke? Psh, I thought it was funny.
  5. Do you have a favorite genre? For the moment it's urban fantasy. Before that it was crime. It changes with my mood.
  6. Would you stay in a supposed haunted house overnight if given the chance? No. Absolutely not. No way in hell.
  7. Favorite color or pattern? Red, purple and plaid. Not necessarily altogether (although...).
  8. What made you want to start blogging? If you don't have a blog, would you ever consider starting one? Hm, not to give K.S. all the credit, but actually... she did it first and I wanted one too. But I really got serious about it when I started following other writers and realized that there's a whole community for people like me (that's not in a mental health care facility) and that I wanted to be a part of that.
  9. Seven-leagued boots or invisibility cloak? Invisibility, I think. I think that'd come in handy.
  10. What's the oddest thing you've heard/seen while in an elevator? Or, if you've never been in an elevator (hey, anything's possible), the strangest thing you've heard/seen while waiting in a line? "I know you can be overwhelmed. And you can be underwhelmed. But can you ever just be whelmed?" "I think you can in Europe."
  11. If you woke up inside your favorite movie, what is the first thing you'd want to do (besides find a way back home)? Take Marla Hooch's place playing 2nd base for the Rockford Peaches.

That was fun. Since I already tagged people, I'll leave it open for anyone to answer these same questions, or the ones I posted earlier.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Plotting vs. Plodding

My guest post is up! It's over on Rebecca Belliston's blog, about Plotting vs. Plodding. Go on over and check it out!

Thanks to Rebecca for giving me the opportunity to write it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

11 Questions, An Award and a Guest Spot

First on the agenda, The Capillary tagged me in the 11 Questions meme that was going around, and I'm just now getting to answer them.

  1. What's your pipe dream/dream career? Professional windsurfer. This would be a lot more achievable if I could actually surf.
  2. What do you fear more? Dying or public speaking? Dying. Definitely. Especially if drowning or smothering or being buried alive is involved. I actually don't mind public speaking. I did extemporaneous in high school and debate in college, so it's not that bad to me.
  3. If you could be one hero's side kick, who would it be? Beckett, from Castle. My level of hero-worship for her is bordering on the pathetic, especially when you consider that she's not real. But she does everything the boys can do, and in heels. She's awesome.
  4. What character archetype do you find yourself drawn to most? The comic relief/sidekick. I don't know if that's the technical term for it, but I always love the sweet character who makes the MC laugh and so rarely gets the girl. Like Ron Weasley (though he does get the girl so he's not the strongest example).
  5. If funds were not an issue, what cosmetic alteration would you get on a continuous basis? ie. fake nails, hair extensions, laser hair removal, liposuction, etc I don't know that I'd really get anything. I wish I could say this is because I'm comfortable with my body just the way it is, but it's actually that I'm too lazy to deal with the upkeep of anything. I guess maybe the Keratin treatment for my hair, if I had to choose.
  6. Do you need a playlist or a song to inspire you? It depends. Mostly no. In fact, I have a lot of trouble writing to music usually, because I get distracted easily. But I have a short story based on a Taylor Swift song (don't judge) that I like to write while listening to the song. On a non-writing note, I do use music to pump me up when exercising (or driving... because that's an activity I need inspiring to do).
  7. What is your go-to fandom? It changes. Harry Potter is a pretty safe fallback. Most recently, I was reading a lot of Criminal Minds fanfiction. Before that, I think it was The West Wing and Gilmore Girls.
  8. Wine or beer? Wine... coolers.
  9. Rum or Gin? Um, neither. Amaretto.
  10. What are your 3 essential things you need when you're trying to be creative? Silence/white noise, my laptop, soda
  11. Buffy or Bella? Buffy. Though this isn't really a fair fight because I'd choose a Teletubby over Bella.

And now I tag 11 people. I'm sorry if you've been tagged before.

  1. K.S. Lewis
  2. Hope Robertson
  3. Erin Summerill
  4. Nick Wilford
  5. Veronica and Thomas
  6. Shelley Sly
  7. Sara - Cutest Landing
  8. Roland D. Yeomans
  9. J.A. Bennett
  10. David Powers King
  11. Becky - Once Upon a Time

Here are your 11 questions:

  1. Favorite TV show?
  2. Beach or ski resort?
  3. What's your favorite part of the writing process?
  4. Self-publishing or traditional?
  5. If you could have any one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  6. If you met an alien, what would you do?
  7. Would you prefer watching a mediocre movie or a really, really bad one?
  8. How do you relieve stress?
  9. If you ever got the chance to participate in a really big tomato fight, would you take it?
  10. Craziest thing you've ever done/would like to do?
  11. What are your favorite boys' and girls' names?

Sara at Cutest Landing gave me an award for cool blogs who have less than 100 followers! Thanks, Sara! The rules for this are:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. See above.
  2. Nominate up to 5 others for the Liebster Award. See below.
  3. Let said bloggers know via comment on their blog.
  4. Post the award on your blog.
  5. Consider signing up for the A - Z Challenge. It's a great way to find new and interesting blogs.

I think these people have fewer than 100 followers, but I can't tell if that's just through Google Friend Connect or real, so please let me know if I underestimated! I'm tagging:

  1. K.S. Lewis
  2. Rebecca Belliston
  3. The Capillary
  4. T.Z. Wallace
  5. Ilima Todd

MBM Tobi 2

And last, but definitely not least, I'm going to be a guest blogger on Rebecca Belliston's website tomorrow. My topic is Plotting vs. Plodding. You should head over there every Tuesday and Thursday this month to see other great guest posts.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - 3/9/12

This is my entry for Rachael Harrie's Second Campaigner Challenge. The prompt I chose was this picture:

I went with the 200 word flash fiction, which is also in a genre I don't normally write (Contemporary Romance).

His breath was warm on my cheek as he leaned over my shoulder. “That looks like a screensaver,” he said after a minute. “You know, the kind with the swirls?”

I turned slightly to glare at him, realizing belatedly how close he was. Too close for “just friends.”

“Well, it’s not.”

He shrugged amiably. “Okay,” he said.

I pushed back, exaggerating my anger so I’d have an excuse to get away from those eyes. “I can’t believe you’d reduce beautiful art to a screensaver.”

His lips—perfect, full lips—quirked into a half-smile. “Sure you can,” he argued. “I do it all the time.”

“You can be impossible.”

He smile widened, and he slid closer again. He had to know how much I still wanted him. “Yes,” he breathed, hovering over me, hands resting on the arms of the chair. I tried not to squirm. “I can.”

And then he kissed me, and even though I knew all the reasons we shouldn’t be together, I just couldn’t care when he was holding me that close and making me feel that good.

So even though I knew it would probably kill me, I kissed him and let myself fall again.

WIP: The Movie

I'm so excited for Kyra and Rachel's blogfest. I mean, I have a tendency to cast actors for my books anyway, but now I get to share them with lots of other people.

A few basics about Defenders, which is the WIP I'm using. The story centers around a team of six girls, all 16 years old. They're one of many teams of all of different supernatural species who are tasked with defending their city from external attack. For a longer plot description, check out the page.

And here's the cast:

  1. Laurie - Saoirse Ronan

    Laurie Casek - Saoirse Ronan

    Laurie is the main character/narrator of book 1. She's a witch with a strict adherence to the rules and a head for strategy. She's been dreaming about being a Defender since she was a little girl.

  2. Shawn - Mia Wasikowska

    Shawn Doyle - Mia Wasikowska

    Shawn is the secondary narrator for book 1. She's an electric mage, who's perky and perpetually happy, though she sometimes comes across as ditzy.

  3. ZJ - Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar

    ZJ Khayri - Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar

    ZJ is a demon. She's an only child and spoiled, with a dark sense of humor and a cocky attitude.

  4. Kali - Melanie Tonello

    Kali Conway - Melanie Tonello

    Kali is a werewolf, with a strong mothering instinct. She's reasonable, and she tries to keep the peace.

  5. Alexi - Melanie Abramoff

    Alexi Markum - Melanie Abramoff

    Alexi is a fairly small, unimposing berserker. She's far stronger than she looks, both physically and emotionally.

  6. Meg - Molly C. Quinn

    Meg Prescott - Molly C. Quinn

    Meg is the fairy. She's a bit of a dreamer, who loves music and is everyone's little sister.

And the soundtrack. This part was a lot harder for me. This story exists in a world where the concept of love--romantic, familial, etc.--doesn't exist. The word love doesn't even exist.

And do you have any idea how many love songs there are?

But I finally got the idea to look up songs about soldiers, and eventually settled on "Citizen/Soldier" by 3 Doors Down. It looks like it was a promotional piece for the National Guard, which is oddly appropriate, since the Defenders are kind of like a mandatory National Guard for their world.

MBM Tobi 2

And last, but definitely not least, check me out as a guest blogger on Rebecca's blog next week. The topic is plotting vs. plodding. I'm really excited about it, so I hope you all enjoy. Also, go on over and check out yesterday's really informative guest post about querying by Lynn Wiese Sneyd.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What am I doing?

Deep down, every author wants to write that epic book or series, the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings that moves a generation, becomes a major motion picture, and makes you so successful that you never need to work a day job again. It may not be an all-consuming thought, and that certainly doesn't mean you're not going to write and even publish other things, but I firmly believe somewhere in the back of every writer's mind is that desire to write an epic story.

For me, Defenders is that story. It's a five-book series, and by the end of book five, I truly expect it to change lives. It's got romance, action, philosophy and politics all rolled into one, like The Giver meets The Hunger Games but with werewolves (and a host of other supernatural creatures). I have big dreams for this series.

So why am I writing Angels instead?

Unless you follow me on Twitter, I know I haven't talked much about Angels. It sort of came out of nowhere. I wrote half the first chapter during NaNoWriMo last year, then stuffed it in a metaphorical drawer in lieu of finishing Rosetta, starting Defenders and writing some short stories. It was really just a silly little writing exercise when I had writer's block one day.

Which is what happened again a few weeks ago. I had writer's block on Defenders, so I looked through some old projects to get my mind off it for a little while. Angels popped up, and I wrote a little more. Then a little more the next day. And again, and again, until I'm now 3,000 words into it, and it's starting to develop a plot.

Perhaps the scariest thing about it is that it's middle grade fiction. I've written MG fiction before, mostly when I was in the middle grades. The only MG thing I've written since graduating middle school, however, is The-Novel-We-Speak-Not-Of.

For those of you who haven't been following my blog since last November (so... everyone), I consider my third novel (and 2009 NaNo submission) to be the lowest point of my writing career so far, made all the worse by the fact that I had been sitting on the plot for several years before getting up the nerve to write it. Badly.

(Kim says it isn't as bad as I think it is. I agree. It can't possibly be. The Hindenburg wasn't as bad as I think this novel is.)

Needless to say, I have some concerns. I don't speak like a normal person to begin with. I like vocabulary, and I like using words to their fullest extent. I like grammar, and I like using it properly. 13-year-old girls do not do this, or at least not often. Not the ones in my story. And the 13-year-old girls I used to talk to are now in high school (I have a lot of younger neighbors). So what makes me think I can write this character and her friends convincingly?

I'm also afraid that the minute I put any pressure on this (i.e. call it an actual WIP), it'll crack. It feels so very fragile right now. I guess all books do when I first start out, but I think my insecurities are making this one worse.

The flip side of this is that 1) the words seem to be really flowing with this one, and 2) I'm having a ton of fun writing it. Which is a really nice change, considering how difficult Defenders is being. I guess I'm just confused because I've seen myself as an adult author, and I've seen myself as a YA author, but I'd never even considered the possibility I might also be a MG author.

Of course, I'm only 3,000 words in. Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself.

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? Every gotten really into writing a book you never expected? Or ever written something you didn't think you knew how to write? Or should I just shut up and be glad the words are coming?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Teenage Heartthrob Blogfest and WIP: The Movie

Well, there was absolutely no way I could resist doing this blogfest. Thanks to Emily, Sarah and Vic for hosting it. I was that teenage girl who had a crush on EVERYONE, so restricting this list to just seven is going to be incredibly difficult. But here goes:

  1. Dream Street

    Oh, yeah, this was who my teenage heart beat for. I must have had five or six different posters on my walls, including one that was signed to a friend who gave it to me when she found out how much I liked them. I nearly wore out their CD, and I'm fairly confident everyone in my family knows all the words to it. I saw every video (including the really, really bad movie) and all the songs that weren't released because they never had a second CD. And, yeah, I may have cried a little when they broke up.

    P.S. My favorites were Matt and Jesse.

  2. Rider Strong

    I've actually been watching Boy Meets World again recently because I apparently don't remember any of the episodes, and I still remember the way my girlish heart fluttered over Sean. I usually wasn't into the "bad boys," but Sean had the heart of gold to go with it. Plus the leather jacket. I did like the leather jacket.

  3. Rupert Grint

    Now, I will admit that my crush on Rupert probably had more to do with my crush on Ron Weasley than anything else, but there was still something about the awkward redhead who was loyal beyond all measure. Also, there's a strong possibility I just like redheads.

  4. Joshua Jackson

    Now, I've never played real hockey, but I always wanted to be a Duck. My brother and I used to play in our upstairs hallway with socks, then outside once we got older with a baseball mitt for the goalie. And I was always Charlie, because Charlie was the best of all the characters. He wasn't the best player, but he came through when they needed him, and later he proved that he was also willing to make sacrifices for the good of the team (I'm starting to see a pattern with my choices).

  5. Aaron Carter

    While girls in my middle school fought over Nick, I was far more interested in the younger Carter brother (not that I WASN'T into Nick, of course). He was carefree, he could do crazy gymnastics, and his music was fun and happy.

  6. Devon Sawa

    I must have watched Now & Then a dozen times growing up (and Casper a fair few as well), and I still got that warm, fuzzy feeling every time Scott and Roberta kissed after playing basketball. I think that was probably my first introduction into the wide world of on-screen romance, and the first time I realized I really like on-screen romance. ^-^

  7. Zac Hanson

    I almost went with an older picture of him here because he's very little in this. But I was very little when I had a crush on him (this may have been the pre-teen years really), so it was okay at the time. He's actually older than me, so I don't feel bad about this. But, again, while all the girls swooned over his older brother, I was deeply in love with the youngest Hanson... for no real reason that I can think of. Looking back, I can't remember what I found attractive, but apparently it was enough to make me buy the CD and the book about their life story.

And also there are just a few days left to sign up for Kyra and Rachel's WIP: The Movie Blogfest. The rules are as follows:

  1. Follow Kyra
  2. Follow Rachel
  3. Sign up using the linky list at the bottom of the page (click on the picture above to get there)
  4. Add one of their funky graphics to your blog to promote the event
  5. Post your entries on March 9th, and hop around to see the other entrants on the list!

Go check it out!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - 3/1/12

In an effort to make sure I have at least one blog post a week (not an problem yet, but my blog is still kind of a new toy), I'm going to try to write/post a flash fiction story every Friday. I'm scouring the web looking for good writing prompts for these occasions, so if you know of any sites/books/etc., please let me know.

This is a title prompt that came from The title I chose was Yesterday's Promise. And, like most things I write, I have no idea where this came from.


She felt like she could only stare at Lexie in horror. “What… what are you saying?”

“I’m saying it’s over. We can’t do this anymore.”

Trace’s eyes filled with tears, and she shook her head hard. “No. No, you promised. You promised me you wouldn’t do this.”

But Lexie was cold. Unmovable. “That was then.”

“That was yesterday!”

For just a second, Lexie’s marble fa├žade cracked, and her lip quivered. “That was before. Before you outed me in front of the whole school!”

“I… I didn’t mean…”

“No, of course you didn't. You never do. You never think. But this time it wasn’t just you that you brought down in flames. This is my life too.”

“Lex, I—”

“No. You don’t get to talk anymore. And you don’t get to call me nicknames or tell me you love me or give a damn about me. You ruined my life. And there’s nothing you can say to make that better.”

Trace’s heart was in her stomach, and her nose and throat burned with the tears she was barely holding back. “I’m so sorry, Lexie,” she said, her voice nothing more than a whisper.

“Yeah? Well, you can take your sorries and go screw yourself with them,” Lexie said.

And she spun on her heel and walked out of the room and out of Trace’s life.