Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy NaNoWriMo Eve! (and Halloween)

First off, here is a photo of me in my costume.  I am dressed as my dog, Boston.  I think it's pretty good actually.  She went dressed as me.  My other dog Annie was a 100 year-old cedar tree.  We don't know why she chose that.  Annie's a bit weird.

I am actually not that in to Halloween beyond watching "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" every year.  LOVE it!  I don't like being scared, except while reading books (even then I leave a lot of lights on).  BUT what I do like is National Novel Writing Month, which starts tomorrow!

I am going to make a new tab on this site just for THE GUARDIANS OF BEN Q. FLANDERS and I will track my progress this month on that page.  I am really excited!!!

PS: The most beautiful bride in the history of the world (better known as my sister Caitlin) got married on Saturday and I made it through my toast without breaking into sobs!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On my bookshelf: my favorite YA/MG novels from adult authors

Could you follow that title?  I tried several times to make it less confusing, but each attempt ended up more convoluted, so here we are.  In honor of the wonderful SHELTER by Harlan Coben, a fantastically successful writer of mysteries for adults (I adore his Myron Bolitar novels), I am listing the best YA and MG novels littering my shelves from writers who usually write for adults.  These are all writers whose adult novels I read as well, so that criterion eliminated some books from contention. 

1. Peter Abrahams:  DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE (and the rest of the Echo Falls Mysteries) and REALITY CHECK

2. Harlan Coben: SHELTER

3. Carl Hiaasen:  HOOT, FLUSH, and SCAT

4.  Stephen King:  THE EYES OF THE DRAGON

What are your favorite children's novels from adult writers?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am officially a NaNoWriMo 2011 participant- alert the press

Despite my extremely lackluster performance as a 2009 National Novel Writing Month participant, I am giving it another shot.  This November, I will try to complete a first draft of my (totally stalled) work in progress, The Guardians of Ben Q. Flanders

I am pretty excited and hope, hope, hope that I can stick to it.

P.S.- Look who is rockin' 50 followers!  Huge shout out to number 50 the very cool E.R. King!!  I would whistle if I could.  I'll settle for a woooo hooo.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Confessions of an Unpublished Children's Writer

I read a post over at YA Highway from Kody Keplinger entitled The True Confessions of a Multi-Published Author.  So, I decided to reveal some confessions of my own. 

1.  I don't own an e-reader and I don't want to.  I am obsessed with the physicality of books and it kills me to think that they may soon be relics- that I may soon be a relic like those crazy people who still have answering machines or butter churns.  I am aware that holding on tightly to my paper books could make it more difficult for me to achieve my writing dreams, but I am holding fast.

2. I read so fast that I often don't enjoy a book the first time through because there is no time to savor it.  But, I can't slow myself down.  Books are my drug.  Luckily I am a huge re-reader (and book hoarder, I need to own books) so I get to spent more time with a book the second, third, fourth time through.

3. Happily ever after is one of my favorite phrases of all time.  I am a happy ending kind of girl.  I know it is not cool or edgy to admit that, but this is confession time, right?

4. Some days I think my writing is really good.  There are times when I read my stuff and think, "This is as good as most of what is in the bookstore right now.  I could totally make it as a writer."  I laugh at the right parts, cry at the right parts, and find a pleasing rhythm to my words.

5. Many days I think my writing sucks.  I can pick any page at random and find nothing on it that works.  These days are frustrating and if too many of them come in a row, it leads to a few weeks of non-writing. 

6.  It makes me sad that I can't get to the elusive 50th follower.  Really world?  Not ONE MORE PERSON could hit that button?  49 followers sounds so lame.  Laaaaaaaame.

What are your writing confessions?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life got in the way

Oh gosh- it's been so long since I've posted.  For my, umm, dozens of readers, please accept my sincere apologies.  As my title says, work and life have gotten in the way of my blogging and writing.  Here are a few random things that I've been up to or thinking about:

1. I've read a few really good books in the past couple of weeks: SON OF NEPTUNE by Rick Riordan (I love, love, love Percy Jackson), MATCHED by Ally Condie (chilling and cool), and THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND by Jonathan Stroud (surprisingly biting wit and great fantasy).

2. I had my entire manuscript for AN UNEXPECTED KINGDOM read by my wonderful crit partner, Jenny, who usually reads my WIP (Ben Q.) and she provided some really excellent feedback.  I have to take some long deep breaths (the kind that take a few weeks) before really pulling it all apart.  It was incredibly helpful, and I believe, necessary, to have someone read the entire novel and then give me more of a review than crit comments.  The exercise helped me gain insight into the crit comments from my other C.P. Rena, who has given me extensive comments on my first few chapters.  Big virtual hugs to both my C.P.s.  For a funny look at what writers go through after getting critique, check out this post by JEFritz.

3. My dog Annie will not stop crying and my dog Boston will not stop pooping in the house when we go to work.  I know Cesar Milan would tell me it's my fault, but I'm at a loss in both cases.  Awesome.

4. I am dying to get my hands on AWAKE AT DAWN by C.C. Hunter!  I am supposed to be cutting back my book spending and it's so hard.

5. Who else is loving new shows, The Secret Circle and Revenge??

6. My baby sister gets married in two weeks.  Odds that I sob through my speech?  10-1 in favor.