Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren as a way to showcase books you have received in the mail, from the library, or by any other method during the week. 

From S&S Galley Grab: 

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst 

Expected Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Switching Gears

I thought I'd have gotten a lot more done over my summer than I have. Truth is I had a lot of fun with family this summer. Now that the summer is almost over and school is about to begin I have decided to get cracking. I relished in sleeping in and hanging around. That time is over and the time to be productive is moving in.

As of this week I have started working hard, again. No more sleeping in. No more lounging around the house watching television.

I've been working on Midnight Raynne for a while now. However, I've had a slight change of heart recently. I am really not feeling the edit process on this one. As a result I've decided to spend a little time working on another of my projects. I've really been thinking about my character Augusta. I have yet to complete the first draft, but I am about half way there already. I am hopeful that I'll be able to get this finished fairly soon and move on to something else.

Yes, I'll be moving on yet again soon. I have another project that has been shoved to the side for multiple other projects over the past year. I am determined to get that rough draft finished as well.

Of course, I'll be setting that aside too. Depending on when I finish I will either get right into edits or start NaNoWriMo. I'm not sure what I plan on writing this November. I've been hard at work researching for one project since last December that I had planned on writing for NaNoWriMo. Somehow, though, I have come up with a couple other ideas that are possible for November. I guess I'll decide on that project when November comes.

Your Turn -> Do you switch gears often?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writer Website Wednesday

Writer Website Wednesday #13


Since I'm still coming off of my WriteOnCon high I thought I'd spotlight WOC this week!

What I like ->

Honestly, I'd like to say everything! Oh, and that it's free (they do ask for a donation, so they can continue to keep the website running).

I love that I was able to go back and see what I missed in 2010. I didn't have to be present to participate in any of the regularly scheduled events.

Of course they have agents and authors "speaking" that are awesome and willing to share what they've learned.

What I don't like -> 

I wish this wasn't only once a year. I could go for a twice a year schedule. :-)

Your Turn -> Did you enjoy this year's WriteOnCon?

Monday, August 22, 2011

WriteOnCon Rocks!

If you are a writer and you haven't heard of WriteOnCon, you have got to be living under a rock. Well, maybe not, but you aren't following the right people on Twitter then. Because, of course, that's how I found out about the free on-line writing course. Why I didn't check this out last year, I have no answer for. At all. I feel like a complete nut job for not checking it out sooner. This year I was determined to find out what all the buzz was about. 

The bottom line: It's Awesome!

I found out so many wonderful new things about writing.

The tips were amazing!

The forums were great, too. Not that I really checked them out, but I heard all about them. The whole time thing was an issue for me with my little one. I hope to be able to squeeze in the time, scheduled time. Also, next year I hope to have a manuscript completed and ready for submission.

In the meantime I have tons of writing to work on.

I have realized several things during the course of reading and listening to all of the information. These realizations have caused me to rethink my current WIP and the one I have on the back burner. I have a lot of work ahead of me. Not to mention several more posts on what I have learned and what that means for my WIPs.

Your Turn -> What was your favorite part of WriteOnCon? (If you joined in on the fun.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox #11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren as a way to showcase books you have received in the mail, from the library, or by any other method during the week. 

This week is all about my writing tools. My dad happened to see that I was missing my Strunk and White after reading one of my blog posts. So, he bought me another copy and Eats, Shoots & Leaves, as well. Thanks Dad! :-)

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

Composition teachers throughout the English-speaking world have been pushing this book on their students since it was first published in 1957. Co-author White later revised it, and it remains the most compact and lucid handbook we have for matters of basic principles of composition, grammar, word usage and misusage, and writing style.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss 

We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.

In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Foil in Writing

A while back I came across a blog post by another writer talking about foil in writing. I stopped reading and stared at the term. Now, like some writers I do not have a degree in writing. Nor have I taken any creative writing classes. Therefore, this term was completely foreign to me. I had no idea what on earth she was talking about. So, I did a web search.

I really didn't find much. One Yahoo! Answers page, a ChaCha Q&A, and a bunch of other strange links. I decided that these two sites gave me enough of an answer to go off of.

So what is a foil in writing? Basically it's a character that brings out the main characters qualities through contrast.

For example: In the Lethal Weapon movies Mel Gibson's and Danny clover's characters are foils. Glover's family guy cop who plays by the rules brings out the wild cop qualities of Gibson's character.

Um, yeah. I was a bit nervous about this at first. My first reaction was that I don't have a foil in Midnight Raynne. Then I realized that I really do. I created a foil through my different characters. Raynne's sidekick, Maia, and her enemy, Jen, create that foil. And I did this without even realizing I was doing it. It just happened. Really, I think, I created a triangle sort of foil with all three of these characters being opposite of each other.

Your Turn -> Have you ever heard of this term, foil in writing? Have you used a foil in your writing?

P.S.: Unfortunately this was back before my computer crashed last November. So the link I had saved in my bookmarks is gone. As a result I cannot remember whose blog I was reading to give credit. Sorry.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

US Copyright Office Website

Writer Website Wednesday # 

Okay, I figured that since I did Monday's post on the idea of copyrighting I would do today's website post on the US Copyright Office.

What I like ->

I like that the site is easy to navigate and that it's not written in largely legal terms. It's nice to read important legal information in plain English. I like that it mentions manuscripts point blank in several areas, since that is what I am the most interested in. I like that it has a section of FAQ's that are useful and very helpful. I like the "Copyright Basics" link on their homepage. If you haven't already I suggest you click it and print out a copy for yourself. It's not that long and is good information that every writer really should read through. And, best of all, it's in common plain English - not legal jargon.

What I don't like -> 

I don't like that I was unable to find a link mentioning what happens if you register a manuscript with them for copyright, like a manuscript, then make changes and want to re-register it with them. My big question is if that is considered to be infringing on your own copyright. I guess I'll have to look into that a little more. It's worth understanding before jumping the gun and registering, then not being able to change your own document.

Your Turn -> What are your thoughts on the US Copyright Office Website?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are you copyrited?

Going into the querying process my big question is do I need to have my work copyrighted before I send it in to an agent?

After further research I came to the conclusion that, No, I do not need to have my work copyrighted.


Well that's easy. According to the US Copyright Office a manuscript is already protected by copyright the second it is created. That means that if anyone steals your manuscript, they lose.

Well, okay, so it's not that simple. You have to register your work to bring a lawsuit. So, does that mean I need to copyright it now? No, it doesn't. According to the US Copyright Office it is possible to do it after an infringement is made. However, if you register your copyright with their office before the infringement is made you are then entitled to more in the way of compensation, ie: lawyer fees.

So, what do I recommend?

I recommend you click on the link, here, and surf the site for more information. Empower yourself to find the answers you need.

Your Turn -> What are your thoughts on copyrights?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox #10

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren as a way to showcase books you have received in the mail, from the library, or by any other method during the week. 

Recieved from NetGalley: 

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab 

Publication Date: August 2, 2011 
Publisher: Hyperion Books 

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Description Wheel

I messed up this past weekend and thought that it was the second Sunday in the month. It wasn't obviously. I thought that it was my day for my critique group. I was wrong. While I sat around at the Barnes and Noble's I decided to read some of my writing magazines. This lead to a string of posts that I have started working on. I got a bunch of ideas from several of the articles within.

One of these articles spotlighted Judy Bridges' book Shut Up & Write! The article mentioned her "Character Wheel" which got my gears turning. I like my character interrogations and don't think I could do much with her wheel in the aspect of characters. Not entirely, at least. But, after mulling her wheel over a while I realized this would be great for describing scenery. I mean really great for me.

Bridges suggests writing a character's name in the center, circling it, and creating five "spokes." Label them, sound, touch, taste, smell, and sight. Now, draw lines off of each of the spokes, like the veins in a leaf. What does the character smell like? Add several lines to the smell spoke describing this character with smell. Do the same for the next four senses. Then focus on the unexpected details and describe the character this way.

My idea: What if I did this with scenery and setting. I think it would be a great way to help transfer your readers to the location in your book.

Your Turn -> What do you think you could use this Wheel for in your writing?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simon And Schuster's Ask The Author

Writer Website Wednesday #11

What I like:

Okay, I found out about this new page set up by Simon And Schuster through The Writer Magazine, and wow. I think this is such a great tool. The basic premise is that we, the general public, can ask their authors questions.

I checked out Elana Johnson's page and found a video of her telling [me] to ask her a question. I could either type in a question or choose from the questions below. I choose from the list below and immediately got a video recorded answer from Elana Johnson herself on the screen. It was fun.

Next I decided I wanted to ask a question that wasn't listed. Unfortunately, for me, she didn't have a prerecorded answer for my question. I was prompted to list my email address and asked if I wanted to remain annonymous with the question. Then when I hit submit I received a message stating that as soon as Elana Johnson had a video of her answer I would be alerted.

My question? "How long did it take you to write Possession?"

As of this posting I haven't yet received a notice. Then again, I just sent in the question. Patience is a virtue. ;-)

What I don't like: 

I know this is a new feature on the Simon and Schuster website, but I'd love to see more authors. I know they have a wide range of Young Adult authors. There are plenty of other author's whose brains I'd like to pick at. (lol)

Your Turn -> What do you think about this Ask The Author concept? Have you checked out the site? If so, what do you like/dislike?

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Writing Bucket List

This post is based upon an article I read yesterday and just couldn't help myself. You see I subscribe to two writer magazines. Writer's Digest and The Writer. When I arrived home from vacation I found three magazines sitting on the front chair in the living room waiting for my attention. I found a fun little article in the Writer's Digest September 2011 edition: "10 Things For Every Writer's Bucket List."

After reading through it I couldn't help myself, I decided I needed to make my own Writing Bucket List. I liked a few of their ideas, but also came up with my own. I cut it down to eight things that I'd really like to do.

So here it goes; in no particular order.

1. Publish a novel - Of course this has to be on my list. Especially since I'm currently in the process of writing and editing several of them. Now to finish, polish, and publish.

2. Publish a short story - This is something that I find interesting. This is one of those things that challenges me. I have to create all the elements that go into a novel in the space of less than 2,000 words. Um, yeah, challenging to say the least for me. Therefore, it goes on the list.

3. Enter a writing contest - I think this would be best done in the short story arena. I know that both Writer's Digest and The Writer hold short story contests. So, yes I'll be writing one and submitting it to a contest this year.

4. Freelance - Not that I in any way think this is easy. Actually, quite the opposite. I think this is going to be more difficult than the short story. Still, I'd like to try this to see if I can sell a freelance writing piece. I could definitely use advice here.

5. Go to a writing conference - I am so interested in going to a writer's conference. The problem is both money and I'd like to have a polished, ready for pitching, novel before I attend. Probably not this coming year. But, who knows. Maybe I'll have one of my novels ready for this stage by the next SCBWI conference in NJ next summer. Fingers crossed.

6. Go to BEA - I drool each year when I see the blog posts and tweets about BEA. I really would love to go. Again, money and timing are an issue for me. Maybe in a couple years.

7. Win NaNoWriMo - Okay, so I participated this past year. Technically I finished the rough draft of a novel, but I did not hit the 50,000 word count. I'd like to hit that word count and "win" NaNoWriMo

8. Write a verse novel - After reading and falling in love with verse novels by Lisa Schroeder I've decided that I'd definitely like to write one. I'm working on one now, but it's not the easiest thing I've ever done. I am poetically challenged. Will it ever be published? Who knows. But, I'd definitely like to finish it and have it reading in case the possibility ever arises.

Your Turn -> What would be on your bucket list?