Thursday, April 30, 2009

Illusions Mini Excerpt

Jared’s voice sounded over the intercom. “All right everyone just relax and enjoy the ride. I’ll get you all home in one piece.”

Home. They were going back to The Echelon Academy for Gifted Students, but was that her home? She supposed so; it was the only home she’d ever known. But she’d never called it that. Home.

If that’s home, the whole concept is overrated.

Even when Jared set the plane down on runway three, Kate didn’t feel a sense of coming home. Instead, resignation filled her as she thought of going through the standard debriefing session.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good To Know You...Give a Girl a Pen Post

I've copied my Good To Know You post from Give a Girl a Pen. Please join in the discussion there. Thanks!

When my husband comes home from work the first thing he does is empty his pockets onto the counter. I used to have a bowl for him to empty it into. It overflowed with junk. So we got a basket. Within a week, he’d filled it to the brim. I refuse to clean them out, so they are now floating around in a junk drawer. And I have resigned myself to my husband’s routine.

When I come home, the first thing I do is kick off my shoes. At one point, I had to pick up seven pairs of shoes out of my living room. And my version of picking up shoes is tossing them willy-nilly into my closet so that I’m searching for three minutes around the closet floor the next time I want to wear them. Yep, that’s my routine.

What routines do your characters have? Do they double check the locks on their doors before going to bed? Do they water their plants in a certain order? Do they always brush their teeth after applying lipstick and have to reapply?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Search and Rescue

Wow. I am very impressed with Tess Hilmo's post today. (She should start paying me for continuing to refer you back to her blog). Anyway, she recommends a great search technique for your manuscript that I hadn't done before. Go check her post here.

It reminded me of a post Damyanti did on Give a Girl a Pen a couple weeks ago about using passive voice. That was a huge eye opener for me and really strengthened my manuscript. (Of course, Damyanti always puts up thought-provoking posts) Check out the comments to see the ridiculous sentence I discovered.

I love when other writers share their secrets!

Okay, enough shout-outs and blog-surfing. Back to writing the novel.

Mint Flavored

I hate buying toothpaste. I get to the store and forget what brand and flavor I use. Should I get the daily fluoride, anti-cavity, whitening, ultra-fresh toothpaste? Or the tartar control, peroxide, plaque-fighting, dental baking soda toothpaste? Wait…there's a gel too?

Here's the floss. Do I need dental floss? I mean- I haven’t flossed in a while, but the dentist appointment is coming up so I should probably do it a couple times. Cinnamon floss? Wouldn't that burn my gums? And it’ll probably clash with the Paradise Fresh toothpaste.

See what I mean? I avoid buying toothpaste for as long as possible. I squeeze every last sticky drop out of the tube until my husband takes pity on me and buys it for me.

I hope to write the way I use my toothpaste- squeezing all I can out of it before moving on to the next. That includes setting a scene that evokes emotion, designing dialogue that brings characters to life, creating conflict that dares the reader to turn the page. Each phrase should be another step towards my goal. Pain, anger, love, humor… all of the drops help drive home what I want the reader to feel.

Now, where’s my toothbrush?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Word Clouds...Not Just In My Mind

I did some blog surfing last week and landed on Ann Victor's blog. She had a post about Wordle. I decided to try it out using the first chapter of Illusions. Surprisingly, there weren't too many overused words other than names.

Wordle: Untitled

Sometimes we use words so often our eyes literally jump over them when we read (there- I'm using some of my college education after all). Wordle clouds will smack you in the face with your overused words so you can't skip over them.

Go try it and share where your Wordles are posted so I can check them out.

Favorite Book

Tess Hilmo had a contest on Friday about first favorite books. It made me pull out my favorite book as a child, A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne. I loved it because it had double meanings and I actually understood both.
As a writer, it reminds me that every sentence needs to be clear. Even if something seems crystal to you, it may be as opaque as my new black tights to someone else. So it's important to think of how someone who isn't intimately involved with your characters might read something. Otherwise, your characters could end up tackling a fish!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Blind Fox

My mom gave me a bunch of my childhood stuff about two years ago. I was annoyingly sentimental as I perused through awards, pictures, and report cards. Then I smooshed them together in my desk and didn't think about them again.

Until today.

Give a Girl a Pen's First on Fridays was about your first seed. I remembered seeing a book I'd written in third or fourth grade. I posted it in the comments there, but wanted to share the illustrations with you. I've gotta admit, my drawing skills have not improved since then.

Music and Writing or What Brain Are You?

Many authors write to music. They have playlists for their books they share with their readers. In theory, I think it’s great. I’ve always loved music and fully understand the powerful emotions a well performed song can evoke. I think it can only enhance the feelings a writer is trying to create.

But I just can’t do it. I can’t type and listen to music at the same time. Ever. I can type and talk at the same time (I can even type and yell). But I just can’t seem to listen to music and do anything else. Ironic, since I began college wanting to be a music therapist and I’m pretty sure I’d be listening to music and writing reports quite often.

It makes sense that creative writing and music would be so closely linked. They both require a great deal of imagination. For the most part, they are both considered right-brained activities.

The problem is I consider myself a left-brained person. I already told you that I majored (for one semester) in Music Therapy. I also majored in Mathematics for two semesters. Neither stuck and I ended up graduating with a degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. So, what’s a left-brained person doing in a right-brained world?

Well, I can still use my left-brainedness (I know that’s not really a word) and research, think through storylines logically, and focus on grammar. I let my right-brain flow once my left is no longer running the show. And music helps prime the brain for creativity.

Just don’t expect me to type while I’m listening.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mini Excerpt

From the first scene of Illusions:

“Let’s finish this and meet up for a romantic candle-lit dinner.” Giovanni kept pushing the point.

“Well, when you put it that way…I’d rather kiss a hippo.”

“Anyone I know?”

Kate worked to control her smile, couldn’t help but roll her eyes, and almost missed the subject dart down an alley.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good To Know You...Give a Girl a Pen

Wow, that's a long title for a blog post. But I wanted to share the exciting news that I am blogging with Give A Girl A Pen every Wednesday. They have a great post every day (but Wednesday's is the best, of course) so check them out by clicking on their blinkie to the right.


See my post here. And feel free to tell us what's currently in your (or your character's) purse.

Another Writer's Blog

I neglect most everything in my life. I no longer own plants as apparently drowning them once a month isn't sufficient for survival. I neglect my family blog (which is really just an excuse to post pictures of my daughter) And I let my check engine light shine for at least a year before I consider taking it in for a check-up.

And yet, I felt the need to start a writer's blog.

Yes, I have some relatives who enjoy padded rooms.

Regardless of my level of sanity, I will attempt to blog regularly about...well, whatever I feel like really. But mostly about character development, excerpts from my young adult paranormal romance novel (say that three times fast), and my progress through the writing process.

Please feel free to comment. Even if it is just to tell me I'm crazy.