Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
His blog has an interactive tracking map on it so friends and family can see where he is. He posts often, detailing the hikers he's met, the mileage of the day and what he's learned along the way.
His adventure is pretty amazing. And the fact that he's blogging and recording the details is supercool.
What's on your bucketlist?
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
It’s like this
I tuck the paperback in my shorts
Flex my keds
And reach up for the second wooden “step”
I pull up, swat one knee until it finds footing on the lowest two by four
The leaves below move farther away
At the fork
I twist and climb the ladder snaking up the trunk’s back
Through the trap door, I pop my head
On the battered wooden floor of my treehouse
Although it’s not really mine
Just a hand me down
From neighborhood boys who grew to cool to care
I settle into my corner spot
Rest against a sturdy branch
Back to my unpredictable household
And turn to yesterday’s last page
Its telltale folded corner begging me to finish
Someone else’s story
As a kid, I used to devour books in my treehouse. My all time favorite reading spot.
What's your favorite place to read?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Great advice. If he's not willing to haul me around on his back once in a while, he's not ready for me.
If I were to dole out such advice, I would say, "Never marry someone who doesn't read your work."
May sound trite, but I have had more than one boyfriend who didn't want to read my writing. (Obviously, they're exes.)
How would you complete the following sentence?
"Never marry someone who ______________."
Thursday, June 24, 2010
There's a big fork in J's life road and after pulling a devil card, the psychic firmly told her which way to go. After predicting some upcoming events, J and the psychic discussed whch business ideas would be a good fit for her.
She left feeling confident and ready to kick butt.
A few months ago, I went to get a reading from the same person. She echoed a theme I've been hearing since the first time I visited a psychic when I was 17. And she told me to hurry and finish my WIP.
Yes Ma'am. I'm no fool. I'm finishing it.
How do you feel about visiting psychics?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Are you expecting visitors this summer?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
In what way did your upbringing seem totally different than that of your peers?
I grew up in a tiny town in NJ during the 70's and 80's and for a looong time, I was the only kid in school with divorced parents. Silly as that may sound in today's world, back then, it was a big deal.
I actually remember people saying, "Her parents are divorced." Like that meant my family had a disease.
And when my parents remarried, things got crazier with a stepmother, a stepfather and a stepbrother and a stepsister.
Although my upbringing was unique, it was good. But I definitely grew up very differently than the other kids around me. And a lot of that is reflected in Fingerprints, my YA novel that is currently out on submissions.
What about you? In what way did your upbringing seem totally different than that of your peers?
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
To get it there, I need beta readers. And since a lot of you bloggers are writers and all of you are readers, I thought I'd put it out there.
Is anyone interested in reading a racy Young Adult novel and providing feedback on what works and what could be improved?
Friday, June 18, 2010
The opening is slow.
So I'm off to the chopping block.
The funny thing is, I've been so worried about coming up with an ending that it didn't occur to me that the beginning could be the weak spot.
What situation proved to be opposite for you lately?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
btw... I was going to suggest the following ending for your book:
There is a quiver at the core of the Earth. The quiver quickly escalates to a sway, to a tremor, to a violent convulsing of the ground. Tally screams, "to the rocket ship girls!" As the girls jump into the rocket ship made from old keg barrels, smoke and debris cloud Tally's backyard. The girls zoom up to the safety of the moon as the world explodes.
Just a suggestion.
Ohhh...that made me laugh. It's still making me laugh. I'll probably laugh over it all day.
What funny person brightens up your life?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The other night, I got sucked into Fatal Attraction again. Twenty years later, the tension was just as strong and the craziness was totally authentic. And just like I did at 16, I jumped when Alex jumped back to life in the bathtub.
What movie was done so well that it still freaks you out?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Apparently, my sneaky Regional Advisors Claudia Harrington and Edie Pagliasotti nominated me (unbeknownst to me) and President Stephen Mooser and Executive Director Lin Oliver have so kindly granted me the scholarship.
About 1,000 writers, illustrators, agents and editors attend the SCBWI Summer Conference each year. Attendees enjoy workshops, critiques, keynote speakers and endless networking opportunities. But best of all is leaving there buzzing with that feeling like anything is possible.
I have been unable to attend the last two years, but since I've finally gotten my groove back while writing my current WIP, I really wanted to go and soak up all the awesome writing mojo. And now I can!
I'm so excited and honored that my Regional Advisors thought of me and that Stephen and Lin agreed. I'm feeling pretty darn special today.
Thank you SCBWI!
What super kind thing has someone done for you lately?
Monday, June 14, 2010
Of course it's just a draft and I'll need to revise, but the story is strong.
All I need is an ending.
Wrapping up a story without wrapping it up too tightly or too happily is so hard. And it's totally making me anxious.
What challenging thing do you have to tackle this week?
Sunday, June 13, 2010
B is German. K is Australian. The rivalry should keep things lively.
But my favorite rivalry is Yankees / Red Sox. What's yours?
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Apparently, there was a bit of a shaker on Sunday night / Monday morning, sometime around 3:00 AM. It didn't wake me or anyone else in my house.
Then around 5:00 PM on Monday, another little earthquake hit followed by a series of tremblers. I didn't feel them either. (Who knew my WIP could be so gripping?)
When earthquakes arrive in bunches, they're called "swarms." What new term have you recently learned of?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
1. Over the years, I have had over 40 roommates. TRUE. I had six roommates in college and then at least another 35 at Mansfield and in my other abodes in LA. Heck, I've still got 'em now.
2. I am an avid surfer and won the Women's title of the Huntington Beach Surf City Competition in 2006. FALSE. And clearly, I wasn't fooling any of you. I'm about as balanced as a seesaw.
3. My pupils are not round. They are shaped like upside down tear drops causing people on many occasions to scream, "Oh my god! You have cat eyes!" TRUE. They look like the picture below. Although those are not my eyes. Mine are brown. I lost the cord to download pics from my camera so I found this picture online.
4. My Great, Great, Great Grandfather was President of the Dominican Republic. TRUE. Ulises Espaillat served as President of the Dominican Republic from April 29, 1876 - October 5, 1876. His goal was to establish morality in a corrupt government. He was well supported by the public, but disliked by government officials (whose salaries and perks he cut) and he eventually asked to be relieved of office. Not sure what the real story was there.
5. I used to be buddies with Ryan Seacrest. TRUE. My roommates and I were buddies with him and his roommates. At the time, Ryan was a DJ at an LA radio station. He always worked Saturday nights, and unfortunately missed all our parties. So at party time, he would call the house and say, "What's happening now?" We'd give an update and he'd play it on the radio. He'd hype it up like "Ten girls in Hollywood are having a bash. Let's in check in." People kept calling the radio station asking, "Where's the party?" He'd never tell.
6. I have driven across the United States five times. TRUE. When you're from the East Coast but live on the West Coast, the cross country drive is a rite of passage. I love to roadtrip, so I've sizzled in Santa Fe hot springs, partied in New Orleans, visited a former roommie in Atlanta, watched Gator kiss a stranger on Cape Fear, broken down in Albuquerque, taken in the view at the Grand Canyon, camped in Arkansas, soul searched in Navajo territory, waded in the Smokey River and been stunned at the border in El Paso.
From this exercise, I've learned that coming up with true extreme facts about myself is not easy. What strange fact about yourself would you like to share?
Sunday, June 6, 2010
2. I am an avid surfer and won the Women's title of the Huntington Beach Surf City Competition in 2006.
3. My pupils are not round. They are shaped like upside down tear drops causing people on many occasions to scream, "Oh my god! You have cat eyes!"
4. My Great, Great, Great Grandfather was President of the Dominican Republic.
5. I used to be buddies with Ryan Seacrest.
6. I have driven across the United States five times.
Which of the above statements about me is a lie? (There's only one.)
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I'm writing. And that's my writing mode.
Do you have a one of kind mode? What's it like?
Friday, June 4, 2010
I had no idea how to fix it.
So I attended the Big Sur Children's Writing Workshop. (Which is an amazing workshop - especially if you're agent hunting because it's run by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.) My first critique group leader was Nancy Lamb, author of 43 books and an amazing editor.
I read the first few pages aloud. She loved the voice and the characters.
"But how is it structured?" she asked.
"What does she want and what's preventing her from getting it?"
"Huh?" I repeated.
"You need to set up the conflict immediately. What happens in this story?" She waited as I fumbled through a meandering synopsis.
Thankfully, she waved a hand in front of me. I stopped babbling.
"Go to the scene after that big night. Write it out in present tense. Flashback to what happened before that night and then rewrite that critical scene and continue the story in present tense."
"I don't know how to do that," I said. I wasn't even sure what she'd told me to do much less how to do it.
"You're going to need this book." She handed me a copy of The Writer's Guide to Crafting Children's Stories (which BTW, she wrote).
As the other writers shared their work, my brain went wild. She wanted me to open with a prologue in the present tense. Write the "before" story in the past tense and the "after" story in the present tense. What? Write a manuscript in all those tenses and add a taboo prologue? That woman was crazy.
But desperate to get the manuscript back to the agent I hoped to partner with, I went back to my cabin, read Nancy's chapter on how to write flashbacks and wrote and wrote and wrote. By morning I had a new opening, a solid framework and a desperate need for coffee.
It was good. And my agent thought so too.
Nancy Lamb saved my manuscript. So I'm pleased to let you know that she just finished a new website and a new blog. The blog provides writing tips and posts about writing life. She aso offers editing services in case any of you also have WIPs that need saving.
So please go to www.nancylamb.com, leave a comment on her blog and enjoy all that she has to share.
I consider Nancy a mentor, not only regarding writing, but life. Who are your mentors?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I immediately wondered what it would have been like to be able to blog when I was 15. Probably a little scary, because as a kid, I tended to offer up too much information. But, I've never journaled and blogging is the closest I've come to documenting any period of my life. And I think that if the technology had been available when I was a teenager I might have a better record of all those precious thoughts and feelings now.
So cheers to Dustin for blogging and writing at such a young age. If you have a chance check out his blog.
What technology that's available now do you wish you had access to as a kid?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
My pacing is off. My timing is off. And (surprisingly) my main character isn't quite slutty enough.
But my voice and dialogue are fabulous and over all, the manuscript sucks the reader in.
Voice, dialogue and sucking readers in are my strong points. I don't ever worry about that stuff. It's the mechanics that always trip me up.
What are your "given" strong points? (And we're not just talking writing here.)