Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Five: Write, Write, Write

1. Sadly most of my time this week, and really the whole month, has been spent on moving, not on writing. But I'm anxious and ready to go. Lexy is calling out to me, she wants her story written. So sadly, I've read like three books this week with the name Alexia as one of the main characters. But that's her name, dang it! What's a writer to do?

2. I've done lots of reading this week as well. We sold off a bunch of stuff on Craigslist which meant sitting in parking lots waiting for people to show up. And so I read. It was quite enjoyable. Truly.

3. I've been toying with the idea of taking an online writing class. Do any of you have any recommendations? Or I could take something local over the summer. I'm thinking of doing this instead of a major writer's conference this year. That way I can really get deeper into my writing, and still hit the Charlotte conference in NC.

4. I just love our new place. I've got more energy, and I'm a lot happier. It's so nice to start with something fresh and new and bold.

5. I've been thinking a lot about the objective correlative. And trying to work it into my writing. That's where you take emotions of someone and instead of stating them you demonstrate by the way they act towards certain objects. It's a great way to deepen your writing.

Happy Writing!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Five: Beautiful Weather

1. This weekend beautiful weather is on the table. We went ahead and moved despite the snow last weekend. Unfortunately for me that meant we didn't have anyone come and help. I've always considered myself strong and tough, but now I can prove it. I lifted and loaded and helped move all of the big, heavy furniture in our house. We're not quite done, but mostly we just have to haul stuff away. It's so nice to purge.

2. With moving, and organizing, it is hard for me to admit that I've not gotten much writing done this week. Hopefully next week will be better. Seriously, it's driving me nuts. Poor Lexy is stuck in limbo just waiting for the next big thing to happen to her. Don't worry Lexy--you've got great adventures (and scary things) ahead of you. Just be patient.

3. I just read the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book to my five year old. It was hilarious. Seriously I had a hard time reading parts of it to my son because I was laughing so hard. Now he wants me to read whatever I'm reading out loud to him. I was reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen--great book--but there are some romantic scenes in it. Guess where I was--so I'd start a sentence, and then trail off as I edited whole paragraphs out of the story. Finally he lost interest.

4. Moving is like a fresh start or a new draft. I get to figure out new routines, new places to put things, and new ways to organize things. I can also get rid of stuff that has been cluttering up my life for years. It makes me so happy. I wish I could feel the same way about a revision. Maybe someday I will be that good of a writer--where it doesn't pain me to revise, but it makes me happy. I'm getting there.

5. Zombies, you've got to love them--at least my zombies. And werewolves. I definitely like werewolves.

Happy Writing!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Five: Snowing Again

1. It's snowing again. We are supposed to be moving this weekend, and while I might attempt it if we lived elsewhere, it's a no go here in the south. My house is a mess and driving me nuts and now we are stuck, stuck, stuck for one more week. I simply can't deal anymore. This storm snuck up on everyone, but every news report as the time drew closer kept adding more inches of snow. I just want it to go away.

2. Critique groups are great. I love that someone can see something that you know is wrong, but you have no idea how to fix, and with one or two random ideas you totally know how to fix the entire thing. Whew! What a wonderful thing. Very wonderful.

3. My kids are asleep, and I should be working, but I want to sneak off and read somewhere. I am not currently tired, though I ought to be. I'm the only one awake, Rob's snoring. And it is so quiet. I hardly ever get that.

4. This week is one where I feel like I haven't accomplished much of anything, but I've been super busy. My dryer broke (and is now repaired, but at our new place) and so I had to go to the laundromat, which ate up a few hours, I had to volunteer at school for a Valentine's Day party. I packed stuff and moved stuff and unpacked stuff. Plus I had to go to a science fair to set up the exhibit with my daughter--she scored quite well, and then to the science fair open house at the end. I could keep going, but it makes me tired to think about it.

5. I just want it to stop snowing so we can move. That's all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Contest and Other Information

First I want to mention a first pages contest over at Guide to Literary Agents. It's a chance for a query critique as well as a first 25 pages critique. It sounds like an awesome prize to me, so you should go check it out.

Next I started writing, ooh it's so scary. I kind of creeped myself out as I wrote the first few pages. Yeah. I'm such a wimp though, that I'm sure most people wouldn't find it remotely frightening. My husband walked in while I was typing and I mentioned that I was scared, and he laughed, "You're such a wimp Mim, it couldn't even be slightly scary."

The thing is that my imagination runs so wild, that I think I can come up with some pretty scary stuff. But don't worry this isn't a horror book (I don't think).

Today I got a great suggestion on my dystopian novel idea, that would help me really set the tone and fix back story issues in the first chapter. That's why I love people to critique my work. It was one of those "Well, duh, why didn't I think of that" moments.

Anyway I'm off to creep myself out again. It's totally dark right now, no lights on in the house. Spooky!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Five: Starting Fresh

1. This has been a week! That's all I can say about it. School was canceled for three days, and today they were calling for slick roads in the morning. The kids are already have snow day make ups during Spring Break. But I think the hardest part was that everyone was going absolutely stir crazy. Wednesday was just one fight after another with my kids, and my nearly cleaned house turned into an utter disaster. Yikes!

2. On top of all of that we're moving this week and next week. But if the weather doesn't clear up, my supposedly easy move is going to turn into the nightmare move. So I don't know how much acutal writing I'll get done. But it helps to keep me sane, so I won't abandon the process entirely.

3. I decided last week that I was going to slow down my dystopian novel (just write a chapter a month for my critique group) and move on to my Zombie/Werewolf book. It was a big decision, and one that I'm super excited about, but I haven't started writing it yet. First I spent a day working on the tagline, and the query letter, which was good because I realized that I needed to figure out a third of my story. So I thought about it and wrote some ideas down. Then I sat down to write, and I just couldn't. Right now the story, the characters and the setting are so real to me and perfect (in my mind) that putting that first word down on paper and getting the story going is intimidating. No matter how hard I try I know that first draft isn't going to live up to this awesome story, but at the same time I just need to do it. I plan on doing that tonight.

4. I am finally completely alone thanks to school, preschool, and a play date and quite frankly I'm in heaven. I should be working hard, but all I want to do is curl up and take a nice nap and maybe visit the library or the bookstore. I also want some chocolate. Cold rainy days do this to me. I can't wait for the sun to come out and Spring to come.

5. Today is my brother's birthday. That is a totally random thing to share, but I'm super proud of him. He wants to be a writer for a living as well, and while he is still in school, he ended up majoring in the same major as me. This came as a total shocker to me, because we were totally different as kids. Very opposite, but it's funny how we ended up going in a similar direction as adults. I've got a great family with awesome brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Query Contest

If you'd like to have your query critiqued by an actual agent (and honestly who wouldn't?), then you need to pop over and check out Kathleen Ortiz's Query Contest. It's not hard to enter--just read the rules and make a comment!

Good luck!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snowed In!

I remember as a kid being in love with the idea of being snowed in. Growing up it never happened. I lived in a part of the country where snow was a regular occurrence. I remember my junior year going to school in the morning at 6:00 (early school activities) with it snowing and leaving that not after six because of more activities with it still snowing. On my way out I overheard the principal talking saying that we had gotten close to eight inches during the day. It was difficult to drive home, I slipped a little bit, but I made it. The snow was falling so fast that the plows couldn't keep up with it.

This weekend we got snowed in with just four inches of snow. Technically if we had to get out we could have, but fortunately we didn't have to. School is canceled today and tomorrow. This afternoon we ventured out because we were stir crazy and quite honestly the roads were clear. It was over 40 degrees, just jacket weather and we are still "technically" snowed in.

Somehow the romantic idea of being snowed in has worn off. Something about three kids driving you crazy for four days. And you don't get the advantage of curling up with a good book or your laptop and losing yourself in a good story. Maybe being snowed in isn't all that it's cracked up to be. So many times the things that sound so great and so easy become harder when you are actually experiencing it. Writing a novel sounds like a fun, creative thing to do. And while it is that, it's also a lot of work, hard work and frustration. But in the end it's always worth it.

Happy writing!