Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Miss me? Find me!

Hi aces :) If any of you follow me- but do not follow Pam Harris then you don't know about our new and improved site!!! This post is to let you know that Marquita Marks has closed now and a new blog baby has been born! Go to Y(A)? Cuz We Write! to see me and my cuz's new blog! YEAH!!!! See ya there :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dumb Disappointment

Yes, aces- I am disappointed in the winner of American Idol (is it just me or is that Carrie Underwood song HOTTT?) last night, but if you know me, you know that's because I thought Casey James should go away with the title- but alas, that's not the case- so moving on.
I was thinking about my disappointment and also thinking about the Flash Forward (finale I HOPE) that is coming on tonight. And I realized, WHO writes that show??? Or maybe I should blame the actors instead of the writers, but either way- the show is kinda whack. Just in case you never saw it- please check out this remixed version of one of the lines from the show.

Now, I ask you- why are some of us still struggling when we can write better material than this? My thought process led me to this question I would like to ask all of you- do you ever feel like you are dumbing down your writing in order to get published/sell your novel(s)?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music-al Monday! Book Musicals

Hey aces :) It's yet another (dreary,dark in VA) Monday and I am fresh from NO Sleep due to the fantabulous Lost series *weep* finale. I had a strange dream at one point - it might have been a daydream even- and it made me think about musicals. No, you do not want details as to what my dream was about. Anyway, it got me thinking- which novels would make great musicals? And I'm not talking the obvious ones- like novels based on mythical creatures and/or novels about true love. I'm talking about obscure novels that would ROCK as a musical.

For example, John Grisham's A Time to Kill. Imagine this: cold court room, prosecution lawyer is pacing back and forth. He is making a nice rhythm with the click of his slick black dress shoes. The judge bangs his gavel to the beat.

The African American fathers stands and sings, "Hell yeah, I think they deserve to die- and I hope they burn in hell!"

Beautiful? Yes. Disturbing? A little.

But you get my point. Some novels would make brilliant musicals. Another one that comes to mind is Lord of the Flies by William Golding.The costumes and scenery for that would be rock hard!

Or think about if Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (if it already hasn't been) was made into a musical. Wouldn't that be bad ass?

This idea can't be that far-fetched, Greenday already has a flipping musical! Can you think of a novel that would rock as a musical???

BTW- the answer to my *oh so wrongly done* 6 truths and a lie post- I never knew, nor do I want to know, how to knit. So, that is the thing that is not true about me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tat-Tat-Tatted Up!

It's that time again! My aces at YA Highway have given yet another stellar and thought provoking question for this week's Roadtrip Wednesday. I have been trying to push myself to get a tattoo for the past two years now. And for good reason- it would be to remember my late father. My entire immediate family (mom, older sister, and younger brother) all have theirs, but I am too much of a wimp to git 'er done! So...I am enjoying this week's question. What tattoo would I get to celebrate my book's success OR what tattoo would I get to celebrate my favorite book?
Of course if I every really get the courage to get a tattoo- the first one will be an ode to my dad, but in the meantime I want to play around with this topic! I'll start with the first part of the question, if one of my books is ever successful- only one is complete so I will use that for this post-I would get devil horns AKA the rock symbol. Why? Because my POS Chasing Manson is a 1960/70's music (mainly rock) love fest. The novel is not entirely focused on rock n roll, but the chapter and section titles are all pulled from song titles during that time period so it seems only fitting.

And as for a tat to celebrate my fave book??? Oooh...hard one. I have so many fav books right now! I guess I would have to get the mickingjay from the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins- most def!

And I would want something to rep. Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates and stay tuned- you might see Q_P_'s (the main character in the novel) playlist up here one Monday! Maybe I can get something like a rattail- read the book, NOW, if you wanna know why I chose that. I could write about this forever. There are so many others that I can think of- fangs for the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, a baseball bat for Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim, and a gavel for The Associate by John Grisham. All great books and totally ROCK HARD tattoos ideas!

What would you choose for a tattoo?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Got An Award *Wipes Tears*

Really, I feel like I just won a blogger version of a Golden Globe. She likes me, she really, really likes me! The "she" I am referring to? Why, none other than the Blue Lipstick Samurai! She gave me a "Creative Writer" Best Blog award. Granted I share it with some other cool cats at the moment, my cuz, Pam Harris, and the wonderful Tabby Catt. But still, it ROCKS to get this award. The really awesome part about it? First I get to pass it on, and I will pass it on to: the lovely Sarah Enni with her always inspiring blog, Jessica Byam who loves to share her insight, and Stina Lindenblatt who just got an array of fabulous blog awards..And second, I get to tell you 6 truths and a lie and see if you can guess which one is a lie. It's like Christmas day for a writer! My evil brain is now at work. Can you figure out my lie?

  1. When I was younger I ran into a 4 * 4 log of wood that hung out of the bed of a truck. Ever since that day, I can't remember a lot of stuff.
  2. In my spare time I knit sweaters, blankets, etc for pets and babies.
  3. On my very first trip to England my room was infested with labybugs.
  4. I stalk Casey James, Robert Pattinson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Eminem, and Ashton Kutcher on a daily basis.
  5. I used to have to run from someone referred to as "The Naked Clown," during my childhood in the "ghetto".
  6. My novel (POS Chasing Manson) already has a screenplay written for it.
  7. I love to eat grape jelly on sausage biscuits- YUM!
Tell me- which one do you think is a lie?

BTW- Way back when I was despondent about blogging b/c no one would follow me *sigh* my lovely cuz, Pam Harris passed on the Sunshine Award to me too. I just wanted to give her a shout out for thanking of me way back when :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Music Monday: Character Playlists

Hey aces! It's time for music again- so pump up the volume! Yes, I did just use that archaic phrase, but I am cool enough to make it swaggerific again. So, last week I talked about tips on using music in your writing and included a list. In that list, I told you all to make playlists for your characters in order to help you better understand that character's voice and write their scenes. Therefore, I thought I would give an example of playlists for a few literary characters that we all might know. Ready for it! Here we go!

Bella's Playlist (Twilight)
  1. Obsessed-Mariah Carey (Song to Jacob :) )
  2. Crush- Jennifer Paige
  3. Bubbly- Colbie Callat
  4. '03 Bonnie and Clyde- Jay-Z feat. Beyonce
  5. The Only Exception- Paramore
  6. Clumsy- Fergie
  7. All Around Me-Flyleaf
  8. Crush on You- Lil' Kim feat. Lil' Cease
  9. 3- Britney Spears (Ha ha!)
  10. My Life Would Suck Without You- Kelly Clarkson

Melinda's Playlist (Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson)

  1. Don't Speak- No Doubt
  2. More than Words- Frankie J (originally written/recorded by the rock band Extreme)
  3. Another Brick in the Wall- Korn (originally by Pink Floyd)
  4. Talk Show on Mute- Incubus
  5. Enjoy the Silence- Depeche Mode (Re-makes by HIM and Tori Amos)
  6. Numb-Linkin Park
  7. Drop the World- Lil' Wayne feat. Eminem
  8. Our Lips are Sealed- The Go-Go's
  9. Silence- Portishead
  10. Cleaning out my Closet-Eminem
Micha's Playlist (Liar by Justine Larbalestier)
  1. Liar-Rollins Band
That's the only song for this one because I wanted to expose you all to this rare, precious jewel of a song- please check out the link. My cuz Pam can vouch for the beautiful-ness that this song possesses :)

Can you think of any literary characters whose playlist you would like to create?

Friday, May 14, 2010

YA Writing Tips

Hey aces :) I wanted to share with you another article from the Writer magazine that I read this past week. I usually don't get a whole lot of info from the Writer that I can use myself, but this past issue seemed like it was catered to me!

There is an article written by Nora Raleigh Baskin where she spells out six tips for writing young adult (YA) novels. Nora is a Middle Grade/YA author who also teaches at Gotham Writers' Workshop. Some of her books include, Anything but Typical about a 12 year old autistic boy, and All We Know of Love about a girl who's mother walks out on her and she goes on a journey to find her.

If you are a not a subscriber to the Writer magazine, and you still want some inside info, check out my blog from time to time b/c when I find really cool articles I will definitely share with my fellow writers!

Without further adieu here is what Ms. Baskin says about writing YA novels:

  1. Get your POV right- the perspective needs to be immediate. The teenager will not relate to an adult looking back as much as they would relate to the here and now.
  2. Make sure the character's age suits the audience- middle grade novels should deal with kids in middle school, while young-adult novels should deal with high-school aged characters. Baskin says that most high school students read adult books too, so the real audience is somewhere between 7th and 10th grade. Your character needs to learn, grow, an change during the course of the novel
  3. If your figure out the voice, the language will come- while writing the first draft, figure out what kind of voice you want your character to have and the sentence structure, vocabulary, and even plot structure will follow.
  4. Don't shy away from touchy subjects- As a general rule middle-grade fiction does not actively involve sex and drugs, but YA can be on pretty much any topic. They are no bounds-sexuality, homosexuality, abuse, drunk driving, incest, or rape are all topics that are considered "acceptable" for YA fiction. ( I find this slightly debatable- I think some people still shy away from some of these topics).
  5. Don't get preachy-No one wants to be taught a lesson while reading fiction (unless it's a fable or something) Writers don't need to answer the questions- we should raise them.
  6. Write hopeful endings- Most YA novels leave readers with at least a glimmer of hope. Don't drill in lessons or give warnings, but allow for possibility.
At the end of the article there are helpful links and here are some of them you should check out:

Young Adult Library Services Association

Interview, Podcasts with YA authors and agents

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (which I am a member of and I am attending the LA conference this summer! YEAH!)

I hope this helped you if you are writing YA or Middle Grade- and as I said, these are mainly Nora Baskin's words/tips- however, I agree with most if not all of them. What do you think about her tips? Would you change any of them?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fictional Following

My number 1 aces at YA Highway have posed a BRILLIANT question for this week's Road Trip Wednesday. They are asking, what fictional character would you follow if they had a Twitter account? Ooooh, how cool is that???? I am Twitter obsessed so this question couldn't get any better for me. I have a few literary characters whose tweets I would love to follow! Check it out below:

  1. Micah from Justine Larbalestier's Liar. Why? She would have the most outrageous tweets and I would never know if they were the truth or not :)
  2. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Why? Because she is uber cool and says some of the wittiest things.
  3. Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Yes, she doesn't have much to say but whenever she does speak, it is sooo profound
  4. Austin from Pamela Harris' soon-to-be-published-because-it-needs-to-be WIP Wants. Why? The dude is swaggerific- like forreals ;)
  5. Alcide the werewolf from Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series? Why? Because he seems so sweet and hot at the same time.
  6. Last but not least, Edward Cullen from the Twilight series...why? Because I stalk Robert Pattinson, therefore, I must stalk Edward Cullen. Makes sense right???

Who would you legally stalk on Twitter????

Monday, May 10, 2010

Musting Advice

My title sounds like this post is going to be about how to get yourself musty- what I attempted to do was a mash up of music and writing...bad idea- noted.

Anyway, the weekend drained me! I feel like a zombie robot- hey, has anyone written a book about zombie robots yet? Wouldn't that be badass???

Anyway, I always have energy for my aces, so I'm back on Music Monday to discuss the beautiful relationship of music and writing. I was doing some research on how many other blogs/sites out there discuss the use of music in writing and I stumbled upon this jewel of an article. Here, ginettewk12 (her username) discusses how you can best use music when working on fiction. She outlines steps in order to get the most out of music. I am going to do my own variation on her list! Feel free to check out hers to linked above by the word- jewel :)

Getting the most out of music when writing:
  1. Turn on your music, be it iTunes, Rhapsody, or an old fashioned stereo (cough- loser-cough).
  2. Whatever song is on, listen to the music/lyrics- what are they telling you? Is it a bad pop song that is begging to sound like Britney Spears about being "tamed?" OR is it is a rap song talking about picking up the entire earth and placing it on someone head? Whatever it is about- use it! Take those lyrics and think about writing your characters into those situations. What would your teenaged protagonist be like if they were locked in a cage and needed to get out, or if they were so frustrated that they wanted to attempt to cause bodily harm to someone?
  3. If you are using iTunes or something like it, create a playlist that fits the mood of your novel. Let the songs play as you type and allow the music and lyrics to determine what decision your character is going to make, or where the next scene will take place
  4. Create playlists for each of your characters- if they have key parts in the novel and you want to create a distinct voice for each of them- make a playlist that seems like would be on their iPod and play it whenever you are writing scenes or dialogue for that character
  5. FINALLY- Repeat all of the above. If you play this music over and over each time you write- yes, you will grow to hate the song, but it will get you used to writing on a regular basis.
Okay- that's it for my musting words of wisdom. What do you think about these 5 points of advice?

Also, go check out a contest from recently signed Frankie Diane Mallis- she just signed with Laura Rennert from Andrea Brown Literary Agency and she is giving away something uber cool if you're a fan of the Hunger Games trilogy. Why are you still here? Wait! Comment on my blog first and then go check out the contest- and make sure you tell her I referred you!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Casey Fever!

Okay, aces- at first glance this may seem like it has nothing to do with my writing----and well, maybe it doesn't- but if Casey doesn't get enough votes tonight and ends up going home on Wed., I think I may cease to exist.

Dramatic? Yes. True? No.

But, I need YOUR support, your help! I think Casey James (listen to this performance is you don't think I'm right!) is the most talented person to grace the American Idol stage in some time. Okay, so in your opinion he may not be AS good a singer as David Cook, or Chris Daughtry- but the man is GORGEOUS and he can blow! Watch him sing "Don't" on AI here. Who else could make a Shania Twain song so sexy???!!!

If he goes home tomorrow, I will not only have lost faith in the AI system, but I will also have lost my will to go on- which in turn makes me lose my creative juices, which in turn makes me stare at my computer screen and wonder what the hell I should write.

Long story short, if you ever want to read my brilliant work, Casey James MUST survive on AI. It's that simple. I will tweet his number later on tonight so you all can vote for him...I know that you will because you realize that the fate of the publishing world relies on this one night.

I have CASEY FEVER! Do you????

**Disclaimer- NOTHING- not even Casey James- will take away my desire to write. This is just my evil, yet clever, ploy to get more votes for the best artist on American Idol right now.**

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Monday: Book Scores!

What's up aces???? So, I went to see A Nightmare on Elm Street this past Friday ( I told you guys I was going!!!!) and it was exactly what I expected- suspense, drama, a REALLY scary part here and there, and a killer score.
This got me thinking...if my book could have a musical score, what would it sound like? I know that some people make book trailers and I can only assume they use some type of music during the trailer, but I'm thinking more along the lines of an actual song/score that I would hear while reading my novel.

Of course my POS Chasing Manson is heavily influenced by 60/70s music so it's easy for me to think of several songs while I am re-reading and re-writing. However, I am talking about an OVERALL song/score. Now that I think about it, I am sure it would be "Riders on the Storm" from the Doors. It might even be an instrumental version- but the lyrics/music of this song are haunting enough to the be the theme song of my novel.

What about you? If you had to choose a song or score that embodies your novel(s), what would it be?

BTW- Casey McCormick is giving away a really cool prize on her blog- go check it out!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Nightmare...on MY street!

It's a shame b/c the man frightens the CRAP out of me, but I am MAY-JOR-LY excited to see the new: A Nightmare on Elm Street. I mean, I used to hide out in a bedroom when my cuz and my sister would watch creepy, old, evil Freddy Krueger.But I can't wait to go see this new one (today at 4:15 !!!! ). I think it's because I love to scare myself (and about a year ago, I made a goal to try and see every scary movie EV-AH created). What does this have to do with writing?

Well, since I am such an avid fan of suspense and thriller, and well, scaring the shiznit out of myself, I think watching a few scary movies will help me to write my own suspense filled scenes in my novel. I know, I know- books are supposed to be better than movies- and most of the time they are, but I don't think it hurts to take some pointers from those lovely gems, right? So, basically- this is a post about my passion for scary movies and the fact that I get to see one TODAY! YEAH!

Tell me, do you write suspense? And if so, what helps you to push along those scenes in your novel/short story? If not, have you ever THOUGHT about a scene from a movie to help you write any genre of fiction?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Best. Book.Ever-well, this month :)

My aces over at YA Highway have come with an interesting question once again for their road trip Wednesday. The question? What is the best book you have read this month? How awesome is that? So, I haven't read as many books as I would like this month, but I did happen to finish one that is AH-MAZ-ING! It is Justine Larbalestier's Liar.

This novel is pure genius. It starts off with an unreliable narrator that promises to tell us, the reader, the truth about the events that have occurred in her life. What is so cool about this novel is that you think it's about one thing, and it is, but then it's also about something else- something BIG (I know this sounds vague, but I don't want to give away any twists!). It is written in three parts, and not in chapters, but under headings- like "Before," "After," "My Family History," and "School."

If you haven't read this book yet, GO GET IT! It is soooo good- not only is it a great "love" story in a sense (and I'm not talking about your normal love story here) but it's also thrilling, and mysterious. It made me laugh, cry, cringe, and shudder. Liar has everything YA readers/writers would want in a novel. It has come to be one of my favorite books of all time. So, not only is it the best book I read this month, it is one of the best books I have EVER read.

If you don't already, follow Justine Larbalestier on Twitter and visit her blog (linked through her name). I just ordered and received How to Ditch Your Fairy and that promises to be just as good. So excited to read it! What's the best book you read this month???

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Y is it sooo hard to write Historical YA?

So, I just ordered Fever 1793 from Laurie Halse Anderson and will read it soon to get a grasp on how historical YA should be written. WHY? Because she is a freakin' awesome author, and because I am trying to work on a historical YA novel of my own! It is going to be about a 15 year old boy who's 18 year old brother goes off to fight in World War I- all while Spanish influenza (the disease that killed more people than the Black Plague) comes on the scene and spreads rapidly! I am having a little trouble writing it though. WHY?
First, stop asking so many questions!

But if you must know, it's because I am too lazy to look up information. Every time I type a sentence, I have to pause and think- hmmm, did they have *insert random object here* OR did they say *insert brilliant line here* back then? Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love history and I LOVE researching. But when I just want to write, I don't feel like researching at the same time.

So...here is my question, if you are writing historical YA (even if you aren't your advice would be great!), do you get your words out and fact check later? OR do you do all the research first and then base your story from there?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Who Else Uses Playlists???

Man- is it just me or are Monday's awful??? It can be because I work in education and the weekend is never long enough, or it can be because I wish I was able to stay home and work on my POS, and my two WIPs.

Anyway, today is music Monday, and my wonderful cuz gave me a pretty good idea. I have already talked about how I use music with my writing, and a few of you have agreed, so what she suggested is that I find authors that discuss their play lists that they use for writing and share them with the rest of you! So, here is a look at a few authors that do this:

  • Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series- duh!) boasts about her use of playlists- even including her playlists on her website. She often listens to bands like Coldplay, Muse, My Chemical Romance, and Blue October.

  • Maggie Stiefvater (author of Shiver and Lament) discusses how she uses music while writing at her blog. She uses music to help her focus (it helps me too!) to help find the mood in her writing, and also to help her with character development.

  • Stephen King (you BETTER know who he is) has been said to listen to Metallica while he writes.
  • Douglass Clegg, (author of Neverland) listens to movie soundtracks with no lyrics, classical music, or French/Spanish music.

Do you know of any that I have left off??? If so, please share with the rest of us writers who are also music lovers :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Adult ADHD & Writing- What a Relationship!

Why can't I do one thing at a time? Is it normal, or do I TRULY have the self-diagnosed condition of Adult ADHD?

No, I'm not being dramatic. I see the signs in my everyday life, as well as in my writing life. Example: I am reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Sight by David Clement-Davies (per one of my student's request), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and The Body Finder by Kimbery Derting all at the same time! I am also writing, working on three novels- one is historical YA set during World War I and when the Spanish Influenza broke out, one about a teenaged boy who's drug dealing best friend goes missing, and one with my lovely cousin (who just made her vlogging debut!) that I will not talk about it here because our idea is so flippin' AWESOME that I don't want anyone to steal it :) Anyway, I can't stay focused on one project long enough to...oh, look it's not raining outside anymore...what was I saying?

Happy Earth Day!

So, tell me- is this freakin' normal, or should I start taking some pills?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Music Monday: Musical Inspiration

Hey aces :) So, I've discussed music a few times here , and here, and even here on my blog and probably bored you with my talk of how much I LOVE music and use it to help me write...well, too bad because I intend to bore you just a little bit more with my discussion of certain songs that may help you write pivotal scenes.

For example, wanna write a really cool fight scene? Try Slipknot's "Wait and Bleed," Linkin Park's "Bleed it out," Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff," Chevelle's "Forfeit," The Used's "Sound Effects and Overdramatics," or even Lil' Wayne and Eminem's "Drop the World." The last one might seem like it doesn't fit, but if you listen to the lyrics - you'll get angry enough to make one of your characters give another character the best verbal attack ever written!

Want to get inspired to write that sorrowful, yet necessary break up scene? Try "Don't Walk Away, " by Sick Puppies, Kelly Clarkson's "Cry," or "Already Gone," also, "Again," by Flyleaf. All of them are great songs that will tug at your heartstrings and help you feel the emotions that you want your characters to feel.

What about romantic songs for love scenes? Or party songs to help you write a happy scene? Why don't you share what you listen to (or whatever else you do) to get your writing mojo going?

Friday, April 16, 2010


Why is there never enough time in a week? Here is what I need to do this weekend:

Create a lesson plan to do SOL (standard) review for History/Civics classes.
Finish an annotation on the wonderful novel: Leftovers by Laura Weiss
Finish a short story to turn in to be critiqued by my class
Check Twitter
Revise my POS (piece of sh*t) novel
Outline my new BRILLIANT novel
Check Twitter
Read another book for my second annotation this module
Watch TV (Have 4 shows of GLEE to catch up on)
Have a smoothie (YEAH, TROPICAL SMOOTHIE!)
Check Twitter
Maybe attend my middle school's talent show (I have to support the babies)
Work on my Teleplay that I write for FUN :)- But still feel like I MUST do it
Stalk some more Hollywood actors- visit their sites, scour Twitter to see if they have an account, try and find them on Facebook etc.
Visit the blogs that I follow
Check Twitter again
AND read some craft books/magazines to learn how to form ideas and get them down on paper

Okay, maybe I can cut some of that out, but it's a start that I made a list, right? Which brings me to a point- after reading several craft essays from The Writer magazine, I've learned that writing things down help, using a journal to create To Do List ( which I already do for work, but I didn't want to do it for the weekend- makes it seem less fun or something) but putting all of that down has helped me to get a glimpse of what I need to get done and what order I should try and do it in. Maybe making a list will help you, too!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The BEST Advice- Ever!

Today, my aces at YA Highway has posed a thought-provoking question. What is the best advice I have even been given on my writing? I'm not sure if I can think of one piece of advice given to me sense I've started to take my writing seriously, but there are few notable pieces of advice that have helped me work on my POS and various other writings. Just yesterday, I read a blog post from Tahreh that inspired me (and several other writers) to not give up, push forward, and grin and bear the whole process. It was very uplifting and inspiring- check it out here if you haven't already.
Also, my cuz gives me really good advice, I tend to go on-and-on with certain topics, ideas, and words in my writing and she definaltey knows how to trim the fat. The advice she gives me? Shut up and deal with the loss of words- I'll get over it eventually. I have had a few professors thus far in my MFA program and one of them stands out as a great advice giver. His name is Tom Kennedy and he has written several books and short stories. He was my first professor in the MFA program and he helped me to overcome my shyness about my inability to critique others' works. He also helped me realize how important it is to learn and grow from negative critiques.

Oh, and some recent advice? Turn of the TV and write(but how can I give up my Casey James on AI *sigh*)

To set up a schedule to write, buy a journal to jot down all of my ideas, and oh yeah, turn off the TV and WRITE!
What about you? What have you learned that has made you the best at what you do???

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crescendo Cover...Makes Me Think

The cover for Becca Fitzpatrick's sequal to hush, hush was revealed April 10, 2010. You can go here to see a chalk drawing (like-someone is ACTUALLY drawing it!) of the cover. Crescendo picks up where hush, hush left off and the cover does just the same. The mysterious and dark cover will help to pull readers in...this got me thinking, though. What would the cover for my POS look like? Would it just be my main character, Blue Hudson, standing next to van to illustrate the significance of the road trip? Or could it be Blue, with a faded picture of Charles Manson in the background, staring down at him with a cross stitched into his forehead? Have you envisioned the cover for your book, yet? If so, what does it look like?

Also, go here and here to see my discussion (and my cuz's) from a YA Highway question back in January on other good book covers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why are you here? Go check out this COOL Contest!

Do you want your YA or MG novel read and critiqued...by a real editor/successful YA author??? Deborah Halverson has helped many authors become bestsellers and she herself has written two teen novels- Honk if you Hate Me, and Big Mouth. To celebrate the one month anniversary or her blog, she is going to take the time out to read YOUR work!

If you would like her in put ( I know I would), then enter for your chance to win here. Pay attention to the rules and good luck :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Can't I Be a Successful Writer TOO?

Like a lot of people, this weekend I went to see Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? It was entertaining overall. You had humor, drama, love, etc. but I still watch his movies with my brow furrowed and my brain in pain---how? why? Yes, there is something to his movies- and then there are parts that make the viewers (especially those that are fellow writers) question- why is he successful? For instance, the quintessential fighting couple meet up with their group of friends and at one point say:

"Why did I get married?"

"Why did I get married, too?"

No joke- THAT was the dialogue.

Like I said, not hating, but it just makes me depressed. I think I write a tad better than Perry and I can write screenplays as well ...so, why can't I be a successful writer, too???

I realize that part of getting there is sacrifice, and if you don't believe me, then listen to Perry discuss his life before all of his success. The man was living in his car at one point. I think a lot of us say we want to do whatever it takes, but we may not be acting on those words just yet. I'm trying to think of what I can give up- what can I do to ensure that I am pouring my everything into my passion...and it comes down to TV. TV is my damn vice! I will literally schedule my life around certain TV shows- and it's like when 8:00 comes around, my laptop MUST be closed.
Is this keeping me from becoming a successful writer?? Is there something holding you back? If not, tell me how YOU keep focused on the task at hand.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If I was a rich girl...

YA Highway has posed quite a brilliant question...what would I do if I had a lot of money? First, I would thank my agent and publishers with a beautiful gift :) WHY? Obviously because I would be rolling in the dough from my book deals. Anyway, I would also get better living quarters- a place that would be worth the stupendous amount that I pay every month- AND HAVE A WORKING WIRELESS INTERNET SYSTEM!

I would get a better car- one that is not WHITE and a TWO DOOR (which were the only things that I didn't want when I went to the car dealership :( ).

Hmmm, what else would I do? Buy some cool books- cause I already spend too much money on books, I can't imagine what kind of damage I would do to Borders and Barnes and Nobles if I had more money! I would get a new laptop, a new desk, some notebooks, a million Sharpie Fine Point pens- although I barely write with pen and paper anymore-and finally, I would buy plane tickets to go and stalk Robert Pattinson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ashton Kutcher, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tobey Maguire, Eminem...I think you get my point :))Look at all that hotness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, tell me- what would you do if writing made you freakin' rich?!!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Angels, Hybrids, and Vampires OH MY!

I am a big fan of paranormal/fantasy YA as I am a hardcore Hunger Games follower, I love Twilight (more because I love Robert Pattinson *swoon*)

...and I am really getting into hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick- but it makes me wonder...when are we gonna overload on these topics? It makes contemporary YA look like boring garbage- and that makes me sad :( I'm also jealous because I didn't create any of these concepts and really wish I had. Yesterday, my cuz (she has a new contest going on - check it out!) and I were just talking about how much we wished we had come up with the concept from Supernatural- two brothers road tripping to kill goblins and ghouls? Can you say, SO MUCH MATERIAL!

Anyway, I'm wondering if there is still room for my kind of writing- which, like I said I would love to do paranormal and fantasy, but I just have to come up with something unique. So, for right now- my kind of writing is dark, moody, thrilleresque (I create my own words too) YA. Kind of in the vein of movies like Brick and Lucky Number Slevin -if you haven't seen those movies, you HAVE to check them out. I am working on a new novel that will fit in that genre and I am just curious to see how many agents and editors are willing to take a novel that does not include one of the three things mentioned in my title. What do you think??? What kind of novel are you working on- will it fit in fantasy/paranormal- or do you feel like that fat kid on the swim team like I do???

Friday, March 26, 2010

Submitting Short Stories

I must admit, I have been more focused on working on/polishing what I refer to as my POS (piece of sh**), but others may call it a WIP- Chasing Manson. The first draft is complete, but I need to make some se-riou-s changes to it. Anyway, in the mad fervor to compelte my novel, I forgot about it's ugly, red-headed step-child- the short story (short stories are almost one of my nemesis-people ALWAYS think my short stories are part of a longer piece). I am in a MFA program so I wrote a few short stories, but I need to complete more to meet my word requirment for my creative thesis- and I just want to write more short stories. I was reading the Writer magazine and an article pointed out how good it looks for a writer to have their stories published in a literary magazine- well, duh!

So, I am trying to get to work on some new short stories to submit to various magazines. I have a short-short that I sent to a few mags back in October and I only recieved one rejection- the others haven't bothered to contact me yet. When I work on more quality material I will follow the advice from John Matthew Fox (he's published fiction in Tampa Review, Los Angeles Review, and Pedestal Magazine, and nonfiction in teh Los Angeles Times and US Airways Magazine) and his article in the Writer magazine's April 2010 issue:

  • He offers up the best and worst times to submit to lit mags- best is in September, worst after Christmas, and university mags are closed during summer breaks so don't submit to those in May and June.
  • The length should be around 4,000 words.
  • Submit to local lit mags
  • Go for issues that have a theme
  • Don't worry if you have no pubish credits to your name
  • KNOW the journal that you submit to (research it)
  • And don't stress over the cover letter
There is more details in the article that will help if you are interested. You can also visit John Matthew Fox's blog to get more of his insight on short stories and publishing.

You can go to The Writer Website to get some insight on various lit mags. Click on Writing Resources :) (You have to become a member to view) Have fun!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Want To Be Just Like...

Yeah- I'm back in the game, baby! All other bloggers go to sleep because I'm awake now :) Okay, I'm done with the trash-talking. My besties over at YA Highway have posed a wonderful question- which author's career would I want to emulate??? Do I have to choose just one? There are a lot- but if I have to narrow it down I would say that I have to give props to the lady that has created one of my obssessions- Suzanne Collins. I would love to create something so unique as The Hunger Games Trilogy- it's just one of those ideas that you wish you came up with. And there is a movie in the works, which combines the two of the things that I love!

And I have to shout-out another favorite of mine- the incomparable Joyce Carol Oates- especially since I just found out that she writes YA too (Freaky Green Eyes). It's kinda what I want to do- YA and then some creepy adult books that make you wonder and dream about - (ie. Zombie). Oates has so many novels under her belt and they are very effective and interesting- all about topics that some may consider taboo. I am completely and utterly intrigued with dangerous and taboo topics and books and I want to end up writing novels just like hers!

I want to know all about the author's careers that you want to have too- share with me :)


Hi :) This is just a quick post- I am writing to inform you of two contests that I have heard about thus far!

First, My cuz- Pam Harris- is offering a really cool contest that she will post next TUESDAY. I cannot reveal any secrets, therefore, I can't tell you what it's about- but you'll love it- believe me!
Make sure you check it out.

Second- Beth Revis at: writing it out is offering a contest to both writers AND readers. Check out her post to find out what it is! Also, congratulate her on her recent book deal :)

Okay, there's some insight for ya!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Obsessions Part II (Team PEETA)

So, I have a stack of maybe 10-15 books in my bookshelf, and then I went and got MORE books Friday- I spent almost $60.00 on various YA books. One of them is hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I read the first five or so pages before I had to get back to real life, but I am intrigued. The opening was slightly confusing, but I still feel like I want to keep going. It has something to do with a girl, a fallen angel, romance, and an epic battle- all things that I can relate to :) I also see that there will be a sequel coming soon called Crescendo- I think I'm already liking these books- the titles alone are pretty enticing.

If you want to learn more, or even hear a snippet of the book go here: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Hush-Hush/Becca-Fitzpatrick/9781416989417 OR here:
I intend to follow her page.

Now to my old and # 1 obsession right now! I'm a little upset because I ALMOST bought Catching Fire, but I am trying to hold out for the paperback. I regret it now and I can feel my hands itching to go and get that book. I have already read that one and The Hunger Games, but I intend to read them both OVER...and OVER again. It is a genius series and I am counting down until the third book: Mockingjay (August 24th, 2010) is released! And as always, just like the title of this blog post says, I am Team Peeta!!!!!

Here is a fan club website that I go to often: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/the-hunger-game-trilogy