Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Five - The Hunger Games Edition

1. I've avoided blogging about The Hunger Games movie since there have been plenty of posts from others on the subject, but I must say I was mostly pleased with it. The acting really surprised me (in a good way). I think Jennifer Lawrence has a great career ahead of her.

2. The hotness of Gale.

3. The adorableness of Peeta.

4. The effortless cool of Cinna.

5. The beard and icy blue eyes of Seneca Crane.

Bonus: The ROCKSTAR that is Stanley Tucci (Ceasar Flickerman).

That is all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucky 7

Deana Barnhart, Mandie Baxter and Medeia Sharif tagged me in a writing meme recently, and it's quite different from the regulars!

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 authors.

  I'm having major formatting issues trying to get the text from my WIP into blogger... so I'll have to type it in the way it looks in Word. It's page 77, the 7th line and the 6 after it. 

"Remember I told you that I am helping my aunt with her restaurant in Cinque Terre?"
"Yes. What--"
"I leave the day after tomorrow." She stands and clasps my hands as if she's leaving this instant, and her face glows even more. "Come with me!"
I sit up straight on the edge of my seat as the brilliance of her idea floods through me. The corners of my mouth turn up in a conspiring smile.

So that's it! I'm glad I reformatted the document correctly because page 77 used to be a little more blush-worthy. LOL. I can't think of anyone to tag that hasn't already been tagged or that I think would actually not groan at me, so if you want to try it, consider yourself tagged! It's a good exercise because it makes you REALLY  look at a section of your work and think, "Do I want to show this to anyone?" If you answer no, then you might have some adjusting to do. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop - Four Books!

It's the first day of Spring! Already! To celebrate (and to help the spring cleaning efforts) I am a Reader, Not a Writer is hosting a giveaway hop!

Here are the four books I have up for grabs for one lucky winner!

-Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Carthwright/David Leslie Johnson
-Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
-Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #3)
-ARC of The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George


Is it Spring Where You Live? (With Lots of Pictures!)

Yesterday I set out with my camera to capture springtime. It's HERE (and my sinuses aren't happy about it). I paid for these photos dearly last night when my head felt like it was about to explode, but seeing them this morning (headache free), it was worth it! Here's a little glimpse of what spring looks like in Houston for those of you who don't live here.

These first six were taken at my parents' house.

Purty butterfly:

The flower on a dill plant looks like fireworks:


Another fern:


These were taken at my parents' land. Last year we didn't have a good showing of bluebonnets due to drought, but this year they are thick!!

Yes, Indian paintbrushes ARE that blindingly bright. It almost hurts to look at them. But they're such an interestingly shaped flower!

Happy spring from me and Handy!

Is it spring where YOU live yet?!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I promise I'm not a robot

Seriously these word verification things have gotten ridiculously hard to read. Is it just me? I'm not going to lie, I failed the test like four times on a comment the other day! I've got to REALLY want to post that comment to try a second and third time. Sometimes I see the word verification and just close out of it. I promise I'm not a robot, but those things kill my patience. I used to have the verification here on my own blog but recently removed it. I don't currently have a huge issue with spammers to need it, so you're welcome. :)

In other news, I surely wish a robot could write my query for me. Okay. I'm done complaining about it. It's part of the process, I know. It would just be nice if it came a little more naturally to me. In other other news, I'm working on round three of revisions! I'm actually really excited about these new changes inspired by my first beta's notes.

How's your WIP coming? Are you revising too? Querying? Still working on that first draft? Tossing around a Shiny New Idea?? Are you a robot?

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Query Distraction Decoupage

It's official: I'm really really really bad at query writing. Nothing I have come up with has been met positively, and it has me baffled. This is a short little thing. It shouldn't be this hard. I get bogged down in details. Apparently my mind is more fitted for the synopsis, which I'm not attempting until this query is DONE because I'm trying NOT to be detailed right now. Grr. *opens From The Query to the Call by Elana Johnson*

So yesterday while I was going back and forth with query attempts and a manuscript critique for a friend, I experimented with my first decoupage. It was harder than I expected (or maybe I was just already frustrated), but I threw together a couple pictures from Florence with some scrapbook pretties. I plan to put text in the blue box but my handwriting is terrible so I'm not sure how I want to do it yet.

So that's pretty much all I have to show for this weekend. How was your weekend? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Five - New Facebook, American Idol, Queries

1. I got a new Facebook account for the WRITING WORLD! See, I have this issue telling too many people in my personal life that I'm trying to get published. Trust me, if (when) it happens, I'll be shouting it from the rooftops. But for now, they won't get it. So for those of you interested, my new Facebook is HERE. :)

2. Anyone watching American Idol? I get sucked in just about every year, mostly because it's one of the few things Handy and I actually watch together. And I like this judging panel much better than in past years. Anyone have any favorites this year?? So far I'm liking Colton, Phillip, Skylar (she's rockin that country!), Hollie has completely surprised me (glad she came back!), and Heejun is CRACKING ME UP.

3. Bones is coming back on in less than a month!!! SQUEEE

4. I'll be done with round two of revisions in just a couple more hours! Then off to betas it goes!

5. I don't know what I'm dreading more... writing the query or the synopsis. *bites nails*

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How Long Does it Take You to Write a Book?

Some people spend years on one of their stories, some take only weeks to complete that first draft. For the book I'm currently revising, the first draft took me around ten months. Now, I'd love it if my next one came to me faster than that, but I think it happened the way it was supposed to happen (obviously, since it happened that way).

Every time I sit down to write, I can't help but think about how my surroundings, mood, time of day, etc. all play a part in what I actually type at that specific moment in time. What if I hadn't met up at Starbucks that one particular morning? I probably would have gotten lost in house cleaning and done nothing constructive (in a writerly sense). And when I actually did find time to write, who's to say that section would turn out the same as it may have writing somewhere else, at a different time? Am I losing you yet? I guess I'm just saying find the time to write, if that's what you love doing. You never know what's going to come out... but you may wonder what's not coming out if you skip out.

While it may have taken me longer than some to write that draft, I sometimes edited as I went along (with the help of my fabulous critique gals *waves to Kristi and KM*), because I like less work later. This is why I'm terrified to try NaNoWriMo that so many people seem to dive into. Besides being insanely busy with photography in November, I can't imagine making that much work for myself later. To bust out a wretchedly rough first draft just to get it out in such a short period of time, then have to completely rework it later?? EH.

So how do you go about your first draft? Do you take your time, or do you like to rush through and rework later?

By the way, Kristi is giving away a SIGNED copy of Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium! ENTER HERE!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Teenage Hearttrob Blogfest

So, I'm sort of the WORST blogging buddy in the WORLD by forgetting this SUPER awesome blogfest hosted by Sarah Ahiers, Vic Caswell and Emily White.

It's the Teenage Heartthrob Blogfest: a list of seven celebrities I crushed on as a youngster. Fun, no?! Before we begin, understand that I was an odd child with a wide array of interests. I watched a lot of old movies, so.... don't be surprised by some of these. 

Jonathan Taylor Thomas - Home Improvement
My friend had a poster of him on her wall back when the show was at it's height (we were young at the time, and JTT was actually older than we were, despite how much like a baby he looks in this picture), and it was then that I realized that famous boys were worthy of being adored. (I've heard a rumor he's gay now, and I'll admit, I've had a bad track record of crushing on famous guys only to find out later they don't even like women. #epicfail)

Leonardo DiCaprio - Romeo+Juliet, Titanic
Holy. Cow. I think my crush on Leo pretty much trumps any other crush I've ever had on anyone (besides my Husband before we started dating). EVER. There are no words. I was going to marry him. Period.

Christian Bale - Newsies
I'm sure this is the first thing most of us ever saw him in. He sings! He dances! I was even late hearing about it in HS, but wow. I was smitten.

Justin Timberlake - N*SYNC
I was right on the edge of being too old to get this crazy about a singing group (though Justin is two years older than me), but boy howdy did I listen to their first CD (the only good one they ever made, besides the Christmas one) over and over and over. Justin was my favorite favorite favorite. My BFF and I went to see them on one of their early early tours. It's still one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

Gene Kelly - Singing in the Rain, Summer Stock, Anchors Aweigh
I've been a fan of classic movies from an early age. Those leading men back then... omg. They don't make em like that anymore. And Gene Kelly... swoon swoon swoon. He sings, he dances, he's HOT. I think i was physically ill when I realized he grew old and died already.

Cary Grant - Any and every movie he ever made
I don't know what it is about this smooth talker, but I still pretty much melt when I watch him. Just look at that smirk. *dies* That is all. 

Micky Dolenz - The Monkees
I know I know I know. But I'm a classic movie and TV fav, remember? I couldn't help it. I know everyone else was in love with Davy Jones (my heart is still very much broken over his sudden death last week), but Micky was the actual talent in the bunch. His voice was unique and I thought he was hilarious and adorable. I've actually seen The Monkees (Micky, Davy and Peter anyway. Mike said PEACE out, Monkees) twice on one of their reunion tours, and I've seen Micky once solo... front row. He threw his sweaty towel at my mom and we almost died. Yes I know he's old now, shut up. It's MICKY.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Revisions: Round 1 - COMPLETE

So I've been MIA from the blogging world, but I have a good excuse. I'm pretty much a zombie as I type up this post (Sunday evening). I've been nonstop reading my pretty spiral bound copy of my WIP, scribbling notes in it, and scratching out the most ridiculous sentences I've ever seen since Thursday. But round one is DONE!

I like this method because the first round is a physical copy that I make actual physical notes. I get to slash through things with markers and mark things with stickies. I found things I forgot about, things I don't even remember writing in the first place, some things that made me scratch my chin and say WOW, I WROTE THAT? in a good way, and in an omg that's awful way too.

Now this week, I'll go back through all my pretty notes (and by pretty I mean so messy I can barely read my own writing and follow all my arrows) and implement these changes in the actual document on the computer, thus becoming the SECOND round of revisions as I read through everything again. I actually can't wait for this one. I'm hoping I cut out as much as I think I did.

How do you handle revisions? Do you do it all on the computer, or do you like to print it out and get messy with a hard copy like I do?