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. 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 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, 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.