Yes, yes I did! Maggie, most known for Shiver and Linger, is in Houston today, and I was fortunate enough to meet this hilarious lady today at the B&N right down the street!!
She was a complete skit... I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her speak. She was hilarious, and very inspiring to my inner writer. I'm pumped that I just happen to have my critique group tonight!
One funny story she shared, was that when she found out that she sold her first book, Lament, she was out in the driveway of her house and yelled "I SOLD A BOOK!!" And her husband then yelled, "WE'RE BUYING A MATTRESS!!!" (That's about all the money new authors get, apparently) She went on to say that they still have that mattress that was "bought by faeries"!
Some fans brought in a whole stack of books--every book she's ever had anything to do with, I'm pretty sure. But I just had my two.
And here I am with Maggie (and let me just say how excited I am that in 8 weeks, I will no longer be working in a cubicle, and health kick number 4 for the year will COMMENCE--goodbye ROUND face!)
I was also pleased to finally hear her name out loud. From what I could tell, it sounds like STY-VAHTER.
And now onto the Giveaway!!! The lovely Maggie was kind enough to sign a couple of bookmarks for my fabulous bloggers!!! Aren't you excited?! I am!
OOOOO AREN'T THEY PRETTY??? Don't you want one?!?!?!?! (I would have LOVED to give away a signed book, but you know, I'm a bit poor at the moment. ;)
Here are your options:
+1 Be a follower (this is your entry)
+1 Sidebar it
+1 Finish the following:
"I was a werewolf. What other explanation was there? My biggest fear now, was that on the next full moon, I was ... "
Deadline is a week from today, Wednesday, August 4th, at midnight!! (US only, sorry... I'm poor, remember?)
I started an impromtu question session on Saturday, so here is my big post about it.
My regular blog followers probably have a good handle on my personality, quirks and writing method, but maybe there are some things I haven't covered that You're a bit curious about?
Maybe you want to know about my WIP? How I come up with names for my characters? My shoe size? As long as you don't ask about the earth's gravitational pull on my body (sore subject!), it's all good! lol.
I've already got a good list of questions building from Saturday, so any new ones I get will be added to it, and I'll work on the answers over the next couple of weeks, probably spreading them out a bit. Sounds like fun, yes?! I know I always like reading when other bloggers do these, so I figured it was my turn.
On a side note, you all know by now that I've been laid off from my job (done officially in September) and I'm trying to build up my portrait photography business. I had a Maternity/Family photo shoot this past Saturday and I've put some up on my photography blog. Have a looksie! If you appreciate photography at all, feel free to follow that blog and/or comment. I am always interested to hear which photos strike people most--it helps me further develop my style, and learn which editing techniques work the best. Here is a teaser to tempt you to check out the rest!
I mean, look at that face!!! Totally loving my new job!!
Well, it seems I've hit that dreaded point in the blogging world. I'm no longer gaining followers--this week I've already lost two of them. And I get it... Blogger only lets you follow so many before they tell you to start unfollowing if you want to add new ones. But it makes me wonder, what was I doing before that I'm not doing now? Lately I've been averaging 8 comments (and at least 1 of those is usually mine), while some blogs I follow average around 50!
How do you establish yourself as a reputable blogger? Maybe I complain too much about being in a funk and it was bringing people down? Maybe I talk to much about getting my photography business going and not enought about writing? Maybe I lurk around too many of your blogs without commenting and you think I've forgotten about you? (Maybe I have a lot of lurkers?)
Sigh. I think that until I figure out what kind of posts I should be doing that I'm not, I will finally participate in what many of you have already done. A sort of... getting to know you type of event.
I'll do a big post of it on Monday when people actually look at their blogs, but for those few of you braving it over the weekend, what sort of questions do you have for me? Questions pertaining to the way I tackle writing? Something about me that I haven't shared that you're curious about? Favorite ice cream flavor? You get the idea.
Perhaps if I get enough I can drag it out for a while :)
So... the weather has been positively dreadful. Dark, talkative, drizzly. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good storm! But a constant cloud cover paired with wet heat and mosquitos, not a fan.
Does bad weather suck you dry and make you want to do nothing but laze around and watch black and white movies? Does a good storm inspire you to write a scary scene?
My favorite time of year: Autumn. Here in Houston, the leaves don't change too much, but they do fall all around you, and the weather gets that little bite to it that makes you walk a bit quicker. I've found myself daydreaming about the perfect Autumn day lately--that's when I feel the most inspired. To write music, to write stories, to bake, to spend every possible minute outside. Despite the fact that I have yet to obtain that golden summer tan, I'm anxious for Autumn!
So... I've been focusing pretty heavily on Anemone these days. The characters have been revealing so much about themselves I've actually leaned back in my chair and said "HUH! Didn't know that about you!" I also didn't know that an ex-girlfriend to my male MC was going to be a present character, but next thing I knew, she was picking him up to carpool for work! DRAMA!!
Then there's today, which I planned on writing a lot... haven't even opened my Anemone file yet. (but hey, I did finish editing a whole photo shoot, so it's not like I didn't get anything done today... I even went to the grocery store!) So all the while I'm editing, I'm of course thinking about what to write next in Anemone for when I get to it... but guess who started talking to me.... The characters from Still Loving Ghosts which have been silent for MONTHS.
My plan for now is to focus soley on Anemone until it's DONE. I really believe in this story and have to see it through while I'm still going strong. I will certainly write down some bits of dialogue or a scene idea for SLG if I'm afraid I will forget it, but Anemone needs my undivided attention! I am curious though, what do you do when you've got characters from two different WIPs fighting for typing time??? Do you work a little bit on each? Do you ignore one for a while?
When I was a junior in high school, one of my all-time favorite dogs died. Her stomach developed quite a few issues (let's just say I'll never feed any animal of mine table scraps again) and surgery only prolonged her suffering. We had to put her down the day of my chemistry test (the teacher let me sit there for three hours to finish it... I was a disaster).
All this to say, for my birthday, my parents gave me a pug to try and fill that void that Kelsie left behind. I named him MacGyver after my childhood hero (and everyone else's I'm sure ;). Ten years later, MacGyver is a gray-haired old man, a limper, no longer able to hop up on the couch, though he still acts like a puppy when he hears that first crack of a banana peel or he sees you munching on carrots.
Yesterday, I went to my parents house (he lives with them... attached to my mom's feet) and did a little photo session with my old pumpkin. He was gorgeous in his black-faced day, but even through the salt and pepper, I can still see my baby Mac. He's still my little MacGyver.
In my first book (which is looking to be shelved indefinitely), my main character and I shared a lot of similarities. I guess I found it easier to pour myself into her... maybe thinking that I'd relate to her better or something. Her opinions were mine, her appearance was pretty much mine, her personality was partly mine.... A lot of that happened subconsciously.
But this time around, I've noticed that my female main character (there is also a boy main character--alternating POVs) isn't like me at all. I'm not sure if I'm doing it completely on purpose, or if I'm just trying to make her a different character from any other I've written.
It's like a form of acting when you write a character that differs from yourself so much. You have to try to think as they would, react, move, speak... it can be a challenge, but it's also pretty fun to temporarily pretend to be who you aren't. Don't you think?
How much of yourself do you put into your charaters? Do you seem to gravitate toward adding in your physical characteristics, personailty, opinions, a combination...? Or do you think it's too revealing to put too much of yourself in, and instead dream up someone completely different?
This past week has surprisingly allowed me to get some writing done. Anemone now has 7 chapters, and is just over 6k words. Still have a long way to go, but the inspiration is sticking around! Here is a snippet from chapter 7.
It didn’t take any extra-sensory perception to feel the awkwardness between these two. A history nestled somewhere inside the way they looked at each other… the way they spoke in broken sentences, communicating as little as possible. Even the body language—Brady practically smashed against the passenger door, and Natalie driving with only her left hand, leaning her upper body weight onto the center console with her right elbow. She liked him… yet she apparently made his skin crawl. Or maybe she made him nervous. Who had broken up with who? Or had they not quite gotten together yet? My curiosity, and some other twisty feeling in my gut, demanded that I know right away.
Taking full advantage of my invisibility to Natalie, I positioned myself into the middle of the backseat and leaned forward until my face was almost between them. I could tell Brady saw me out of the corner of his eye, but he quickly corrected any reaction. He cleared his throat, probably hinting at me to sit back down behind him, but some inner force was rooting me on like I was a player in a game…. Like I was winning.
There are a couple of things in life that feel like throw-backs to another time to me. Every time I go see a live musical I feel an overwhelming sense of emotion. Not just because of the incredible talent and great songs, but because of the crowd. I LOVE that so many people still enjoy live theater performances (and shows like Glee!)... that we didn't let it die out long ago with the passing of the greats like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, or the advent of dramatic movies and reality television.
The Farmer's Market is another one of those things that restores my faith in (some of) the human race. There are still people who want to "keep it real"... grow things the way they were meant to be grown! Sure the produce in these pictures are beat up, but they're chemical free, and they taste BETTER. Show your support to your local growers and visit a farmer's market!
The writing fairy has returned and wow have we been busy working on Anemone! To celebrate, I made a fun new banner up top, sprinkled with the purtiest Anemones the internet had to offer!!
I've felt so writerly these past couple of days, I could just bust. Yesterday I actually went to the library to get a couple books on Greek mythology for, get this, RESEARCH! Actual BOOK research, NOT on the internet!! I couldn't stop smiling on the way back out to my car. I felt like a WRITER!
I'm feeling so solid about this story, more than anything I've worked on thus far. I'm really excited about how it's shaping up, and I can't wait to be able to share some more tidbits soon. Now, here's where y'all come in.
So far, I'm feeling that Anemone is a stand alone. The story really finishes itself, and I'm comfortable with it being the one and only. Now, we all know that in the young adult world, the series is a HUGE thing. I myself am a big fan of the series. But what about the stand alones? Is there any hope for them to get noticed or taken seriously by readers of YA these days? Or even agents? We all know they want to sign writers with staying power. So, what do you think?
Well shoot. I have a new layout, template, whatever they are calling it these days. I don't love it, by any means, but I don't have too much time to get creative with it at the moment (which is unfortuante... being Kristin CREATIVE and all). ScrappinBlogs is on the verge of going under. Apparently PhotoBucket wants them to have a business account now, and they will be charged out the wazoo, so all of the codes are gone at the moment. Which is a shame. I ADORED my previous template, and I wasn't ready to change it yet.
But that's the way life has been lately... lots of changes I haven't asked for or enjoyed. Learning to GO WITH IT.
I'll try to cook up my own pretty banner on photoshop this weekend.
UPDATED: I changed my template AGAIN and made a fun banner up top with, you guessed it, Anemones!!
Many of you lovely bloggers do book reviews on Wednesdays, and I don't know why it's never occurred to me to join in before now. Better late than never.
Up for today is a Young Adult book I read in about two days this past weekend, The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting.
Description from Goodreads: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.
I absolutely devoured this book. I'm in love with it! I read over 200 pages in one sitting because I couldn't leave Violet and Jay. Teen romantic drama really sucks me in, and the tension between these two was a nice slow build up. Every once in a while, the perspective switches to the serial killer--which is creeeeepy, but interesting. I don't want to give anything way, but just know, I L-O-V-E-D it! The writing was good, it was suspenseful, original (for the most part), and the characters were likeable.
If this would have been in first person, I would have liked it even MORE. There's something about third person that makes me feel like I'm just being told a story rather than relating to a character.
My other problem... having to wait until March of 2011 for the next one!?!?!
That's probably a bit dangerous to even ask... because the answer is "well YEAH, stupid!" I went to the dentist this morning... who loves THAT? :::crickets:::
The bad: I have 2 little surface cavities. They are fixing them TOMORROW.
The good: The ladies that worked there (I'd never been before) were BEYOND NICE! And after I felt like the X-Ray square thingie sliced my mouth open under my tongue (is it just my mouth, or are those things abnormally large?? I even said afterward that I felt like I'd just chewed on a handful of staples) and I broke down crying (not from the pain, honestly... it just set me off--I've been a ticking time bomb ALL week), the hygienist was giving me tissues and giving me a pep talk about how there's just something better waiting for me around the corner. That's when I mentioned how I was trying to start my own portrait photography biz, and wow did she get enthusiastic! And she wants me to take pictures of her and her hubs with their dogs! I've been hearing that pet photography is a good market, but she REALLY solidified that idea for me.
That just goes to show you two things... you never know when and where a new client will present themself. And... not everyone that works in the dentist office is made of evil. ;)
Posted a few pet pics on my photography blog in honor of the one good thing that came out of today. Enjoy this teaser here of my baby girl, Mylie :)
Lover of books, music, movies, crafty things, and chocolate. My contemporary YA novels WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, and WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED are out now from Bloomsbury. Represented by Marietta Zacker of the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.