Friday, August 31, 2012

Slowly, but Surely

So, as many of my regular followers may have noticed, I didn't have a Thursday TAG! posted yesterday. There was a reason for that...

I'm still working on what I want to do that's more related to my genre, but I have many things that will stay the same. My schedule won't be back to normal until Monday, September 10.

This coming Monday, I'm not only participating in a blog hop, but I've also got a second post scheduled.  And then on Wednesday, I've got the blog hop still happening on top of the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. (That one should be exciting...). Because of the double posting on Monday and Wednesday, those are the only days I'm posting next week.

But, come Sept 10, I'll be back on it. I've got a little motivation back and I'm going to push myself to find the rest. I don't know where this funk came from, but I'm crawling out of it-even if it's a slow-go.

Anywho, that's all. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Friday!!! :D

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday - Motivation

Well, I've been barely posting lately, and I hate it. I like my schedule, but I honestly have trouble asking people to read and comment on my blog when I can't get to theirs. I've been so busy and it's my fault. I lost motivation somewhere in the last few weeks. Critiques are backed up, no writing has been happening, and of course-no blogging except Thursdays most of the time.

I don't know where my motivation went. This funk I've found myself in sucks and I don't know what to do to get out of it. I start to, I get a crit done and think, YES! One down. Then I look at the long list of crits and I'm done. I get lost in cleaning or organizing the house, browsing the internet, procrastinating on AQC. My friends have been supportive-even the ones who're waiting and waiting for their chapters to be critted. I've got some of the best cheerleaders and yet, I can't seem to just get things done.

I'm writing this post because I've neglected my blog and my readers, and I don't like that.

So, I ask you, my loyal readers, does this ever happen to you? Do you lose your motivation to do writerly things? Other non writerly things? Do you ever just feel like you've lost your mojo and have no clue how to get it back? What do you do (if anything) to help get yourself back on track?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday TAG! - R.C. Lewis

Eeep! This tag is-of course :p - EXCITING!!! R.C. Lewis is a math teacher, an awesome woman, always helpful, moderator over at AQC, AGENTED!, oh yeah and she's got a TWO book (six figure) deal! Yeah, did I mention she's AWESOME!?! :D

You can find R.C. on her blog, Twitter, and AQC. And make sure to keep an eye out for STITCHING SNOW(coming Summer 2014). The query is awesome and I can't wait to read the novel itself.

(EDIT: I forgot to add that RC also posts over at From The Write Angle Blog. It's an awesome blog for writers, go check it out. :)  )

1. When did you start writing?
I began writing my first novel in August 2009.

2. What made you want to write?
I was discussing some YA novels with my sister. We talked about how some had so much potential but fell short because of this or that. I thought, "It's easy to complain, but could I do any better?" Then once I got started, I discovered how much I love it.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
That first novel started out as an experiment to see what happened if I tried. I felt like what I ended up with was pretty good, so I started looking into what it takes to get published.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Always YA, mostly sci-fi, and I have some veering toward fantasy, plus one contemporary.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
Sci-fi and fantasy have long been my favorites to read (and watch when it comes to movies). So mostly because I'm a geek. I veered to YA because I've been surrounded by teenagers for a while with my day job, and I like the psychology that comes with that period of our lives.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
It varies. I'll often jot a note or two before I start, then add to those notes as I go and things start fleshing out. Other times, I'll have a more solid idea of the whole plot from the beginning, so those "jotted notes" are more of an outline.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Straight to computer.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
I've written seven novel-length manuscripts so far, one novelette, and four short stories.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
No, never.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I'm on Twitter (@RC_Lewis) and I blog (, plus I'm a moderator at AgentQuery Connect.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Really, any advice that's presented as absolute makes me cringe. The various forms of "to be" aren't inherently evil. Neither are adjectives and adverbs. If you go a day without writing, that doesn't make you not a real writer. Everything should be considered individually, with moderation and balance.

14. What made you choose Snow White to revamp for STITCHING SNOW?
It wasn't exactly a decision to revamp something. There's a line in a Florence + the Machine song about "Snow White stitching up your circuit-board." That conjured an image, and the story started to form from there.

15. Why did you decide to set it in the future and in space?
I lean toward sci-fi anyway, and that line of lyrics already got me in the mindset of Snow White juxtaposed with technology, so it made sense.

16. How does it feel to get a (not prearranged) call from an agent? Followed by four others wanting you too.
The cold call was startling, but fine—largely because the agent was very personable and disarming from the beginning. As for five agents offering, it's extremely flattering on the one hand ... but it was also gut-wrenching. They were all stand-out, awesome agents, and I had to figure out which of five amazing choices was the right choice for me.

17. How did you react when you got that call? (Were you cool about it-"Oh hey, Ms Agent, what's up?" or OMG!)
I guess I was pretty cool about it, at least outwardly. My outward reactions tend to be kind of muted—not exactly the jumping-up-and-down type. Inwardly, though, I had mile-a-minute thoughts, especially because I was sitting in my classroom during prep time and had to violently shift my brain from math-teacher mode to writer mode.

18. Is there any specific reason you prefer to write YA?
There are a lot of reasons. I like the transitional aspects of teenage-hood. It's a fascinating (and in turns fun, dismal, exciting, and maddening) time of life. Probably a lot of the same reasons I like teaching teenagers so much. And I like writing books that I wish I could've read as a teen. Hopefully my books will reach some teens so they don't have to wish.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I teach math! Up until recently, I taught high school kids at a school for the deaf. Now I'm back to hearing kids and will be teaching eighth and ninth graders this fall.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
I covered the main thing in #13. :) But also, there are a lot of options to consider these days. Don't rush. Take your time to figure things out and do it right.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Charlee Vale

I know I keep saying this lately about all of my TAG!s, but...This is one I'm SUPER excited about. :D

Charlee Vale is a YA(at the moment) writer, who is absolutely fantastic, helpful, and a great woman and friend. I met her on, well I'm sure y'all could guess :P, AQC. You can find her on her website/blog, Twitter, or AQC if you're there.

1. When did you start writing?
I started writing in my teens, with a close friend of mine. It was one of those things where one of us looked at the other and said ‘Let’s write a story!’ We worked on that story for almost three years. Later it became the basis for my first novel.

2. What made you want to write?
When I started writing, I was in that awkward stage of life where you feel like you belong in a different skin. The story I wrote with my friend was purely fantasy, and the characters were our alter egos. For a long time I wrote because I could write my own adventures and escape the boredom/drama of high school. I put it away for a little while, but after I started writing in college, it morphed from just a stress reliever into something I truly loved. The characters were no longer me, but I still craved to tell their stories. It’s something hard to explain, but I’ve loved it ever since.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
It was a kind of natural evolution. I don’t ever remember a moment when I decided, ‘I want to be a published author.’ It came from a lot of people boosting me along. My friends in college, professors, my mentor, they all told me I was a good writer and should go for it. When you have a great support system, it’s only a short step from thinking something is crazy to following your dream!

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Currently I write Young Adult fiction, though I am not opposed to writing in other age levels or genres in the future.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
There’s a beautiful immediacy to YA that I really enjoy. I also feel that there is more freedom to be unique within the genre (or rather competition, if you think about it). So many people from so many walks of life read Young Adult literature now that it’s a great time to be a part of the YA Lit movement. Plus, being a young adult myself, I can relate!

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
No, not really. As many people have said before me, there is no one way to write a book. And each book itself is a different process that kind of dictates itself, according to what that book needs.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
I am so NOT an outliner. Typically for me I have a core of an idea, and the story spirals from there. I’m patchwork writer, so I write all the scenes out of order, and then put them together when I’m finished. Though like I said, every book is different. For my latest WIP I actually did write a three page synopsis before I started writing, because the details were flooding into my head so quickly that I was afraid I would lose them all.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
TEA. Having hot tea, (especially Awake by Tazo) majorly helps boost my productivity. Also I found that if I’m going to work I must be sitting upright at a desk or a table of some sort.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
It’s funny, I used to write exclusively on paper. My first novel was written in black and white composition notebooks. I still have them all. But although I enjoy writing by hand, it takes double the time because you then have to transfer it. So in the interest of time I now type it straight in. I’ve gotten used to it. (Go Scrivener!)

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
I’m in the process of writing my third novel. I’ve written maybe twenty short stories and probably fifty poems. I’ve also written a few stage plays, and am in the process of writing one for my graduate thesis.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
Oh, yes. I think there will always be those people. I still hear stories NYT Bestselling authors who are told kindly that they should ‘keep looking for a real job.’ But you have to know in your heart that it’s your passion, and if you cling to it hard enough, the rest of the world will catch on.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
Indeed. Twitter is my main hangout (@charleevale), and my blog/website ( I also have a Facebook fan page, tumblr, and actual Facebook, though I don’t use them nearly as often and are more on the personal side. So your best bet to get in touch with me is on twitter or my site.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Honestly, I think the worst kind of advice is the kind that is forced on you. Since the writing process is so subjective, it’s your job to be discerning about which advice to take. However, if someone is telling you that something is THE ONLY WAY to do something, it’s probably wrong, or just right for that one person.

14. Since you work for Entangled Publishing, is it easier for you to work on getting published? Or are you going the regular route and querying agents/publishers?
Because I work at Entangled, and have quite a few friends in the industry, I will admit that I am more connected than the average writer. However, I am going the traditional find-an-agent, research my brains out, query, and panic, route.

15. Between a Master's program and reading submissions for Entangled, where do you find time to write?
My sleep suffers. I wish I were kidding. I've been really lucky this Summer. I've had a BUNCH of writing time, which allowed me to finish the first draft of my latest novel. That puts me in a better place for the school year, since revising is easier than drafting in terms of creative brain power. (for me at least)

But to truly answer the question, I believe that if you love something, you will make time for it. I have to fit writing in on lunch breaks, I write in my car on the way to work/school, I always keep a pen and notebook on me. ALWAYS.

16. What is it about a tragic ending that pulls you in?
I wouldn't say I love a completely tragic ending, but more a bittersweet ending. For some reason, happy endings that are wrapped up in a perfect bow have always rung a little false to me. In my experience, there is rarely a happy ending without sacrifice, or loss.

For whatever reason, I'm addicted to that elusive feeling of catharsis that comes with an imperfect ending. You all have been WARNED. I like bittersweet endings, what does that tell you?

17. What do you like about being a non-linear pantser?
It's a very free method of working. I can work on whatever part of the story I feel like, at any time. Some people marvel at how I can put together coherent story if I write out of order AND pantsing, but somehow it works for me.

If I'm stuck, I don't have to work on that scene until I'm banging my head bloody on the keyboard. I just skip somewhere else, write a scene that I've been thinking about, or maybe a Candy Bar Scene. That usually helps me work through plot problems.

18. What scene was your favorite to write for your latest wip? (First, last, middle, etc) And at what point (word count) did you write it?
Oh my goodness, you had to ask this. There were so many scenes that I enjoyed writing. I mean, I have a costume party, battle zones, and future New York. BUT I really think my favorite scene to write was the very last one. I figured out what I wanted the last lines of the book to be, and they struck me so deeply that I knew that I had to write that scene right away.

And I wrote it about 3/4 of the way through the draft. My draft is about 60K, so I guess I wrote it at about 45K? But yeah, writing that scene will stay with me for a long time.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I’m currently getting my Master’s Degree in Theatre Performance and Playwriting, and I’m an Editorial Intern at Entangled Publishing.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
Yes, absolutely. FEAR IS A LIAR. There are so many fears that plague us as writers. Will I be good enough? Will people like my stories? Will I ever get an agent? Will I ever be published? Will I be thought of as silly for writing? Am I crazy? And so many more. But we have to remember that these fears are nothing but barriers holding us back from our dreams. There is no excuse for sabotaging yourself. If you don’t believe, no one will, so discard the fear and grab that dream.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What Do I Write?

On Tuesday I asked y'all what I write. I wanted to see if anyone knew what genre and topic I write. Some people got the genre which is Adult Paranormal Romance. No one got the topic...

First off, let me tell you the answer to that: My completed MS, titled CREATED WITH LOVE (which I'd like to be book one of a series), is about vampires. My WIP, titled UNBIND ME (which I'd also like to be book one of a series), is about shape-shifters. Actually, more specifically, it's about rugarus, puca, fairies, and demons. (Anyone surprised by this/not expecting that to be the answer?)

Now, let me tell you what made me ask: I know many people broadcast what they write, which is good. It helps them make a name for themselves before they publish. It's branding and I have apparently been sucking at it. I know I do. I mean, how often do I post about vampires, shape-shifters, or fairies? Never really.

So, I've decided to rework my blog schedule to fit in posts relating to my genre and the topics I write about. I'm not sure what I will do or what will change, but I'll post about it once I've got it figured out.

Thanks to anyone who gave it a shot or just commented to tell me they don't know. And thanks Kendra and Cat for not giving the answer away since you both already know what I write. <3

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend.

Happy Saturday! :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Brighton Luke - Act II

Okay, here is Act II of Brighton Luke's interview. (If you happened to miss Act I-click here.)

14. When did you start writing screenplays?
What made you want to write them? Probably high school I think. I wrote the script for a short a few friends and I filmed as our final project for AP English. I love movies, even more than books, to me there is no better entertainment than a well made film. So I’ve always been interested in filmmaking and I’ve always had so many stories swimming around in my head it made sense to write them down, and to me some stories either just fit a novel or a film better so I just go with whichever one, and for some I write two versions like in What the Water Gave Us I wrote that first as a screenplay and then I also thought it would make a good novel so I rewrote it as one. Movies have such a big impact on me when I watch them, so I’ve always wanted to have that same impact on people. I’m currently (we start shooting August 15th) directing and producing my first feature length film, American Dreamsicle, so even though it’s completely stressing me out I’m finally really discovering how much it’s something I want to do. Every obstacle that has come up I’ve really buckled down, found a solution and felt reaffirmed in my conviction that this is what I want to be doing, what I should be doing which is exciting. I’ve often longed for that, the conviction of feeling like I’m certain that I’m doing the right thing, and wanting something badly enough to have the dedication to reach excellence (haha I sound like I’ve been watching way too much Olympics, not that there is such a thing as too much Olympics).

15. Screenplays vs. Novels: how alike/unalike are they?
Screenplays are much more strictly structured, both in format and plot wise, which I think some people could probably use a little more of in their novels, I think learning how to properly structure a screenplay has helped me with writing tighter novels. You have so much less room in a screenplay everything has to have a purpose that moves the plot forward and it all has to be visual, if you can’t see or hear it on screen you can’t include it (well you could but it’d be pointless). One advantage I like about novels though is that added freedom, and you have way more room. I was able to add back in some of my favorite parts of the story that there just wasn’t room for in the screenplay version of What the Water Gave Us when I rewrote it as a novel, and a novel has to be the whole house, it is the final product, where as with a screenplay it’s just the blueprints, so it’s not done until the film is done. So finishing a manuscript is much more satisfying than finishing a screenplay.

16. Why did you pick a virus to write about for WHAT THE WATER GAVE US?
It fit the plot. That’s not a very exciting answer but that’s what happened. If anyone wants to know what we’re taking about you can read the query for What the Water Gave Us here.  My original spark that inspired this novel was witnessing an event where someone did something many considered unforgivable, and then watching the fallout and reactions I got to thinking about the nature of guilt, and how it changes people. I also really wanted to address the ideas of being so blindingly focused on achieving a righteous sort of goal which for Anton is eradicating this virus that you will do things otherwise considered to be bad, but in the pursuit of something good. There are some things that we as a society like to think are only done by monstrous people, but if you look at history and real life, that’s not at all the case, and I think it’s really interesting and dramatic to explore the lives of characters walking those lines. I wanted someone with almost absolute power who is consciously aware of not wanting to be corrupted by it, and how probably the most pure thing about him, his love for his wife and family, that ultimately corrupts him for reasons that would give away a major spoiler, but that was generally what I wanted to write about. So as far as the virus goes, I needed both a reason these people had so much power, and I also needed to set up a moral conflict for Anton, and I just thought it was cool to have a family whose power came from immunity to a virus. Kind of taking the metaphor of the power being in your blood for royalty literally, because it really is an unimpeachable power it gives them, I think much more so than just oh we’re the monarchy it’s tradition and we have military might. It puts them in the position of being non-virtuous saviors, forced saviors. Plus epidemics have always fascinated me. One of my favorite books when I was in high school was The Hot Zone, about the marburg virus, which inspired some of the symptoms of the virus in my story.

17. What's your favorite screenplay you've ever written and why is it your favorite?
Probably What the Water Gave Us, because I like the characters so much, they are like my friends, but I also really like the musical I wrote based on the music by The Killers, and a new project I’ve been working on when I have the time, Young Blood, I rarely write comedy, but people are always encouraging me to, so this one is a dark comedy/ satire. It’s about a woman who is a very successful blogger whose blog is about hot college athletes. Some of the guys prominently featured on her site start turning up murdered right as she’s on the verge of hitting the big time (she’s gotten the opportunity to write a cover story for a major magazine about a rising college star) so even though the police easily figure out it’s not her, public opinion really drags her though the mud, so she works on clearing her name and gets pulled in deeper to the underlying drama behind the murders. Most of the stuff I get most excited about are because of the characters, I like to think about the most interesting people I could imagine and then write their stories.

18. What happened to the Pineapple Wafers?
They still exist, in our hearts and on random grocery shelves. (Seriously if your store has them or the coconut kind, try em, they’re amazing. Go goya!) For those who have no idea what we are talking about the Pineapple Wafers are a band I was in, though I use the word band loosely. We were really an Outhouse Racing team (it’s a huge 4th of July tradition in Bristol, VT, where you race outhouse shaped things on wheels down Main Street as hundreds of people cheer on and bet on the races to raise money for charity) pretending to be a band that sang comedy songs about snack foods, and then when we did well and won our heat and made it to the finals the newspaper and tv started interviewing us and the woman from the Seven Days paper in Vermont wanted us to send her some of our music. (No one realized it was all a joke) so instead of informing them it was a joke we went with it and went and wrote some songs about food and candy, filmed a music video, and sent it off, they used the song in the video about the race, and then also wrote a thing about us predicting that our music video would become a viral internet hit. We then filmed a few more videos. Good times had by all.
Here are some links that tell the story better.

Stale Starburst Love music video

Outhouse racing

If you feel like you must hear some of our other songs (be forewarned that our motto was No Talent? No Problem!)
We might film a few more videos someday. So yeah, my personality is kind of all over the map, the Pineapple Wafers is a good representation of my goofy side. It balances out the much more serious side I tend to show with what I write in my novels. I can be a little high strung sometimes and take things and myself too seriously so it’s good to let loose and be silly sometimes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Brighton Luke - Act I

(If you missed my Tuesday post, please go check it out. I asked a question that no one answered fully...Do you know?)

Brighton Luke is so full of awesome, that he needs an Act I and Act II. Today will be questions 1-12 and tomorrow will be 13-20. Brighton is an awesome guy who knows how to make light of any situation-he'll bring a smile to your face when needed. He can perk up a group of people with his wit and he's such a great person.

Mr. Luke is not only a writer of novels, but screenplays as well. You can find him on his website, blog, Twitter, and if you'd like to see some of his humor-check out this YouTube page here.

1. When did you start writing?
I don’t remember.

2. What made you want to write?
I’ve always told myself stories, I’d often spend my “me time” decompressing from the rest of the world by having an ongoing story, or a few of them depending on my mood I’d dive into various ones. It was like having a TV show I’d watch every night before going to bed. Sometimes people would want me to do something or go somewhere while I was having my story time, and I’d be like: “go away, I’m busy, I’m thinking” and that’s what I’d be doing. I still do that actually. There are some stories that I keep for myself as my own entertainment, but I started having ones that I wanted to tell other people. I started off telling friends or my parents or coaches the stories while they were stuck with me on the chairlift skiing, and my dad was always encouraging me to write them down. Eventually I did. Though it’s still fun to have a captive audience on the chairlift.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
Growing up I knew successful, published writers, who’d been on Oprah’s book club and had bestsellers and their books made into movies. They were friends of my parents, so I think I grew up with the assumption that if you were a writer, that’s what you eventually did, was get your stuff published and be successful, but I also pictured it as something adults did. I had a hard time picturing myself as an adult ever, haha, so now that I’ve just graduated college, I’ve hit the oh I’m kind of adultish now, I should work on this whole getting published part. I wish I had made an effort to do so earlier though. Because it’s such a long process, but also because back in 2005 I wrote a YA dystopian novel, and if I’d gotten in published back then I’d of been ahead of that trend haha. So that would have been cool.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Literary fiction with a dystopian/ political bent, though some of it is a bit science fiction. I also wrote a novella under a pen name that was a satire and a huge departure from how I usually write, I think I have it posted on my website. (Which kind of defeats the purpose of a pen name, haha, but it’s more that, that’s the character I was writing it as, my more devious alter ego). Everyone tells me I should write comedy because apparently I make them laugh. So that’s a goal, to write a comedy at some point. I also have a much wider genre spread of what I write for screenplays than I do for novels. Everything from a terrorism thriller to a musical. It’s a big goal of mine to direct that someday, it’s called Jenny Was A Friend of Mine. It’s based on the music of The Killers, kind of like how Mama Mia was based on the music of Abba.
I find some stories just feel like they are a better fit for a book and some feel more like they’d make a great movie.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
I love politics. Well maybe not love, but it fascinates me, thats what I studied in college. I also get entertained by how riled up everyone gets about it, I can be quite vulcan like when it comes to politics, I think the only productive way (for me at least) is to approach it with logic and not emotions. That enables me to see all sides of it, and really helps in writing, though in order for other people to be as open minded I also don’t have my novels take place on earth. Kind of like how westerns, or science fiction, (or really any fiction) were used to address larger social and political issues using a far removed setting. I want to write things that will entertain people, but I also want to make them think and feel. And I think there are certain things that are best explored via fiction, because fiction has more power to open peoples minds to seeing things a different way, and getting past their preconceived notions. But I also enjoy just blowing stuff up and that kind of action, so it’s all a balance.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Haha, uh… no. Yes. Some weirder than others. I have Aspergers and have kind of rituals or routines for everything. Some are probably fairly common. I prefer to write in the dark. I also have a file called CHARACTERS on my computer, which I originally intended to put photos of people who reminded me of all my characters, (which I think a fair number of people do) but this failed, the start of the file is that, but mostly it’s somehow turned into a file full of photos of Jennifer Connelly and Hugh Dancy haha, and now I for some reason have to have that file open on the screen while I write even though it’s not filled with images of various characters, even if I’m writing about people who could by no stretch be represented by either of those two, I still have to have the file open.) I also get into the mood for writing by watching certain video montages I’ve made. I guess they are sort of equivalent to those fan made trailers you see on youtube, only I make them for my own WIPs (and they don’t get posted online so I don’t complete embarrass myself haha. But they really do get me in the zone and psyched up to write). That and I love editing videos.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
Outline, extensively. Once I think of an idea and mull it over in my brain for awhile, I sit down and just write all of my ideas for it. And then I close the file, and open a new one and do the same thing, just write another outline straight through, and I do that a few times. And my outlines are long, about 40 pages. I keep doing that until I have the plot and characterization making sense. I then do a beat sheet for it. And finally I’m ready to start writing the actual story. At which point I don’t write in order at all. Since it’s already so heavily planned out I just write whichever scene I’m feeling at the moment.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
Pretty much the stuff I mentioned in question 6. The proper music, proper pictures, proper lighting (I have yelled at people who have come in and turned on lights while I’m in the zone writing “you don’t need the lights just walk slow!”) the videos.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Drop open markers on a sheet of paper and shake it around, thats what my handwriting looks like. I write on the computer.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
A lot.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer? No, not that I can remember. I am often told I am wasting time, but never said in relation to my writing. Generally when I am found watching the same movie for the third time in a weekend. (In my defense it was only playing that one weekend!)

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I tweet (@brightonAwesome), I facebook, I use tumblr probably more than is healthy, and I am quite active on certain IMDb boards (I’m super into movies). I like social media because it’s more about connecting with people based on certain similar interests, where as my “real life’ friends are awesome and we have fun together, but they might not necessarily be passionate about all the same things I am. If I want to talk about writing for hours on end I can go to AQC, if I want to find people are as excited about the shooting locations of Darren Aronofsky’s new film I can go over to IMDb or twitter and what have you, it’s like that for any interest. Plus there are tweet-a-long’s on Twitter where you watch a movie or tv show at the same time as a bunch of other fans and all chat about it on twitter, those are tons of fun.

(Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Act II :D  )

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday - I'm Curious...

I wasn't going to post anything today just because of the craziness and the fact that I haven't been able to get around to commenting on everyone's blogs. But, I hate that I'm straying from my schedule. I'm too OCD about things like schedules-it makes me crazy that I'm not sticking to mine.

However, since I didn't plan to post anything, I haven't thought of a topic for today.

So, I'm just going to toss out something I've been thinking of doing on my blog.

There is a wonderful person I know-she's an awesome chick, great writer, fabulous CP, and one of the best friends I have. I've mentioned her before-Caterina Torres. She's the author of Zombie Whisperer, a zombie book that is unique in its genre. Her zombies aren't your typical decaying and grotesque undead. And I'm mentioning her because she is great with working on branding. She talks about zombies, tweets things about them, blogs topics about them...and just in general if you know her you know she writes zombies. You also know she writes undead in general. (If you don't know, know you do. :P )

This brings me to a question I'd like to pose to my followers. I know I have some who follow my blog and don't normally comment-that's fine, I'm just happy to have you reading. However, I'm going to ask a question today and I will post my reason for this question on Saturday.

So I ask you awesome people one thing...

What do I write about? Genre and topic. Answer with one or both of these, depending on what you know about my writing. (BTW-If you do not know one or both of these, feel free to guess based on what you think ;)  )

Happy Thinking :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

High For Today Is 111

It's actually *supposed* to be 2-4 degrees cooler today. Yes, 111 is *cooler*. This past week and actually the week before has been SO HOT! We've been hitting highs around 113-115(with heat index being even hotter). It's ridiculous.

What does this have to do with a weekend wrap-up? Everything...

I don't know about y'all, but when I'm hot-I'm exhausted. I don't like to freeze, but I would rather need a blanket wrapped around me than to be burning up and sweaty. The heat this week has left me hot, irritated, drained, unfocused, lazy, and unproductive. Plus, I've got a migraine from hell that I can't even get to ease up some. It's so frustrating.

I can handle migraines, but this one is adding to the unproductiveness. (Yeah, that's not a word, but ah well). So between the migraine and the heat, I've done almost nothing all week. I even had to skip my Thursday TAG! post. (Of course, that worked because I'm doing something a little different with the one I had planned anyway.)

So that's pretty much been my week, hot and exhausting. My kids start back to school on Monday and I've got to switch from Summer schedule to school schedule. There are good things and bad things about school starting back up. Good-with my kids at school from 745-245, I'll be able to get more cleaning and writerly things done. Bad-I've had a lot of fun with my girls at home these past 6weeks(I think it's been). I'll miss them not being with me all day.

Anyway, that's all really. Hopefully this heat will ease up, my migraine too, and then I can get caught up.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.

Happy Saturday. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - Secure My Insecurities

I honestly forgot that today was IWSG posting day. Oops. Double oops since I know Alex just had a reminder on his blog. :/ For anyone who does not know what IWSG is, or who Alex is, then click here.

This past month was okay writing-wise. I did get stuck the last week, but it's because I wrote a ton of scenes and need to get them organized.. Once I do that, I can pick right back up.

This past month has been full of crits for me. I've been critiquing so very much lately, but I love doing it-love helping other writers. And thinking of the people who's MSs I'm reading, makes me think of all the success I've seen lately.

When everyone around you-in your field, and a field that's complicated to survive in-is having successes...It's easy to get jealous. A lot of people would and it's a perfectly normal reaction. You're happy for the person, but jealous and wondering when is it going to be your turn.

I'm not one of those people. I have nothing against anyone who is, that's just not me. I'm not one to get jealous very easily. I don't know...I am overjoyed by the amount of success around me. It makes me emotional, happy, so very excited to the point I could explode. Sometimes I sit back and wonder if I'm possibly a little overboard with the excitement.

Oh well, I say. Really, if being oddly excited for someone-even one you hardly know at all-makes you weird, then let me be weird. I just hope I don't come across creepy ever, that'd be awkward...

Anywho... I want to recognize some of the success that has evolved from the insecurities that we writers have, because regardless who you are, you're going to have them at some point.

Ruth Cardello-She's a self-pubbed author who recently hit the New York Times eBook Bestseller list. She's now been on it two weeks in a row and it's such an exciting thing. As if that weren't success enough to be jumping up and down excited for her...She got an agent offer of rep now. And she's done this on her own. She's figured out what works and she's worked so hard at it.

Jamie McGuire-Is the Oklahoma author who wrote Beautiful Disaster which has found its way onto a few bestseller lists AND Warner Bros just picked up the film rights. Now, while I feel happy for everyone, there's a bit of pride I feel from this announcement. I mean, she's an Oklahoma author and that gives me a little more hope. There's just a little extra umph when your hear good news about someone from your state.

Jessica Khoury-Her book isn't even out yet and it's already been optioned. Someone wants to make her unpublished book a movie because it's obviously that effing good. (Now, a producer has picked up the rights to make it a movie, does not mean that it will happen, but eeeep isn't it exciting regardless?) I've not had the chance to read any kind of ARC or anything, but I know that I can't freaking wait for the book to be released. What's that? Oh, whoops, I forgot the title in all my excitement...The book is Origins.

Those are only a fraction of the people who had good news (of course, good news comes in all shapes and sizes so not guaranteeing that all the news this past month had the WOW factor that these three do), but I've *hopefully* gotten my point across.

We all have insecurities, even these ladies in this post, but we push through them because we see what kind of success can be achieved by overcoming our insecurities. And if you don't see it...Look at every bit of good news around you and know that if you want it and are willing to work for it, your day is coming.

So, if you've been feeling insecure lately, remember that. Think of these people and their success, think of someone(s) successful that you know, and know that it can and will happen for you. And always measure success based on the little things. Don't think you need to be a NYT Bestseller to be successful, Ruth has been making sales for a very long time and believe me it was great to hear about those too.

Measure your success by the partial or full request, by a contest won, by sales on your self-pubbed book(s) (ANY sales), mentions and people spreading the word about your work, or even that one lone review you have (or even a few lone-ish reviews :p ) because I promise you, this is all success.

Okay, okay...I realize I've went on and on in this post so I'll stop here. I hope everyone grasped something from this drawn-out thing and I hope too that you all have a wonderful day-insecurities/securities aside.

Happy Wednesday Everyone! :)