Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Halloween!

We’ve had a fun-filled Halloween weekend. Dances, parades, and parties. Oh my!

The boys each have a bag full of candy and have been in and out of their costumes several times. Hopefully today won’t be too anti-climactic for them. This afternoon they have class parties and a parade at school, before trick or treating tonight.

So, what is your favorite spooky read? I love Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. It may be the creepiest thing I’ve ever read. The expression “button eyes” has new meaning for me now.

My littlest ghoul likes Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by John Manders. I don’t know what A-Read would pick. At the moment he can’t get his nose out of The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (the last in the Percy Jackson series).

Share your favorite Halloween, ghost, or just plain creepy stories in the comments. And have a safe and fun Halloween!

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Filed under Reading, The rest of my life

One Week to Go

One more week until NaNo, possibly the biggest writing challenge I’ve ever undertaken. I have an outline, I know my characters, I THINK I’m ready. I’m not as ready as I usually am, but I feel okay about that. We’ll see what happens on November 1st.

Luckily, I’ve been living the life of a full-time writer for the past month and a half. Time is helpful for a high word count. I don’t know if that will continue through November (RocketMan hopes not). I have just applied for a job with a local language center and my toes are crossed (I need my fingers) that I’ll get an interview.

There is also a week to go until Halloween. A fun holiday, but a lot of work for parents. I don’t love this time of year. I don’t like to be cold, I don’t like the smell of decay, and I don’t sew. However, both boys have costumes and don’t need me to sew anything this year – thank goodness! I am ready to have some chocolate in the house (NaNo fuel!).

What do you need to help you through NaNo?

If you don’t NaNo (or write), tell me your favorite Halloween memory.

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Filed under The rest of my life, writing

Why I NaNo

For the first time, I plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve had three kinds of response to this news.

One. Wha-?
Two. Why?
Three. Awesome! Good luck!

Here are some answers.

One. I will write at least 50,000 words of a novel (in my case, Rachel, the sequel to Sophie) in the thirty days of November. Thousands of other writers will be doing the same, and we will support each other and post our progress for all to see on the official NaNo website.

Two. Why not? I think it sounds like a cool challenge. It usually takes me about 3 months to write a first draft, but I’ve never had a deadline for it before. If Sophie doesn’t sell, I haven’t wasted the time because every writing experience teaches me something. And it’s only a month. I know enough not to send out that first draft to anyone. That draft will sit while I revise Tzohar in December and January, and then will be heavily revised and polished before it sees the light of day. Just like any draft.

Three. Thanks! I’ll need it!

So, are you a Wrimo? Why or why not?

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Filed under writing

A-Read’s Recs

This is a new series based on the Book Talks my 8-year-old son writes for school. As you’ll see, he is not ready for publication, but he knows what he likes.

Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow by Nathan Bransford.

I was inspired to read this book because my mom brought it from the local library.

The story takes place in outer space.

The main character in the book is Jacob.

Here is how I would describe the main character: funny.

Another important character is Dexter.

Here is how I would describe this character: scared and funny.

The story is about three friends who go up in space.

The main problem is they can’t get back to Earth.

I liked this book because it had extra planets.

A connection I made while reading this book was I do a lot of stuff, too.

I would recommend this book to a lot of boys in my class because it is science fiction.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

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Filed under Reading

Logline Critique on MSFV

Hello on a Wednesday, my friends!

I come to you today because the wonderful Authoress has given us the opportunity to get some feedback on our loglines (or short pitches).  A good logline should convey the basics of your story and leave the reader wanting to know more.

To see the Sophie logline and maybe even critique it, please go here. Then take a look around at the 39 other loglines and help a writer out!

The logline critiques are in preparation for the 2nd Annual Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction on MSFV in December. We will send our entries at the end of October (adult fiction) or the first week in November (YA), so you have time to get your manuscript polished and to perfect your logline.

Merci d’avance!

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Filed under Getting Published, writing

Catching Up

Life has certainly been interesting lately. And busy. My work-for-hire project took a lot of time and brain capacity, but the final manuscript was accepted by my editor and now I’m just waiting to see if I get another commission. *biting nails* *all the usual insecurities return*

In happier news, I just finished another draft of Sophie (FYI, this was a polishing round). I’m giving it a couple of days to steep before reading it to make sure my revisions make sense and didn’t screw up something else. (That’s one of the most common mistakes I see in self-published works, actually. Someone didn’t read through after making changes. So easy to fix. So frustrating to a reader.) How cool is it that I put Sophie through Mobipocket Creator to get the manuscript on my Kindle? It’s so much easier to read when I can take it with me everywhere (and it looks more professional than saving it as plain text). I’ll start querying agents soon. Ish.

A-Read has almost finished the Percy Jackson series. He took a break to read some other great books I found for him, thanks to being connected to this wonderful kidlit world (Emily Jenkins’s Invisible Inkling (he gave it 5 stars) and Nathan Bransford’s Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow – still reading).

And my little man, my brand new kindergartener, is just starting to want to read.  He is an awesome decoder, but doesn’t yet get the concept of sounding out.  He relies on his memory quite a lot.  They’ve just started learning sight words at school, so I think he’ll make quick progress.

So, what are you all up to?  Read any good books lately?

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Filed under Getting Published, Reading, The rest of my life, writing