resolutions in writing

11 Dec

Resolving to write in the coming year is a given for me. I have to write, so I like to narrow in and break it into smaller goals:

  • I want to finish edits on my current work-in-process.
  • I want to finish the first draft of a book I have in mind, supposing things work out for that to happen (just trust me on that one).
  • I want to write some poetry.

Notice how I only said “I want to write some poetry”? Not a poem a day, or a week, or even a month? That was intentional. Some resolutions are better left vague.

I started a poetry blog so I had a place to collect and share them. Try as I may, the artist in me can’t help but want to share the things I write. Is this just the nature of art? The introvert in me is still trying to adjust.

My other two resolutions are being carried over from last year. They are THE BIGGIES:

  • Get an agent
  • Get a book deal

I’ll carry these two resolutions over for as many years as it takes!

But I’m hoping that this is my year ;)

Are you resolving to write in 2015?

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Next up is Resolutions at Random

resolutions in reading

9 Dec

unnamed

It’s December so I’m thinking about resolutions.

If you’re a hater of all things resolution-y then, by all means, move along. The amount of people blogging about how lame New Year’s resolutions are is pretty astounding, so you have lots of material to work through, material that will resonate with your own bitter heart.

It was a terrible thing to say; I’m sorry. You’re just a realist, right?

Well, I’m not. Not even close.

On to the resolutions.

Last year I decided that I wanted to read 24 books in 2014. That was quite a bit for me. It’s baby numbers for others, but I have four kids, and I homeschool them, and I write novels, and I’m easily distracted. It was a lot to ask. But I read them all and I’ll finish a couple more before the month is over. I get to check that box and feel all warm and fuzzy from a resolution completed.

This year I want to forget about quantity and focus on quality. I read on a whim last year. If I saw a book that sounded even¬† a little interesting then I requested it from the library. Ghost hunter falls in love with a ghost? Request. Girl gets whisked away to finishing school only to find that it’s a secret school for secret agents? Request. A book pitched as “little house on the prairie meets X-men”? Request.

It’s a pretty fun method that gets you reading far and wide, but I want to hone in in 2015. I want to read books that trusted people have made special places in their hearts for. And I want to take my time.

This next year is going to be about quality books, and I’m already going about the business of finding them. I have two more recs from a person in the book industry whom I admire (Chime by Franny Billingsley and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman), and I’ll start with those. I adore Maggie Steivater’s The Scorpio Races and plan to pull a few titles from her five star recs on Goodreads later today. My father and husband are both urging me to read Foundling by D.M. Cornish (which also means reading book 2 and 3 after it), and I’ve heard so much about Sabriel by Garth Nix that I feel a bit like a sham for writing fantasy without having read his work. So add that to the list.

I’m looking for books like Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief and Jodi Lynn Anderson’s Tiger Lily.

I’d also like to read at least one adult book since I am technically an adult (whatevs), and I’d like to up my poetry game.

Will you be reading this next year? What’s on your list?

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Stay tuned for Resolutions in Writing next…

a dozen things i’d tell my younger self

14 Oct
Ronald and me, circa 2010, Thailand

Thailand, 2008

1. Go ahead. Hang up on those telemarketers.

2. Don’t sweat the mess. Keeping a tidy house is not how you want to be spending you time, trust me. Did someone see it? Don’t sweat that either. IT’S FINE. So you’re not going to be remembered for how orderly you were. So what?

3. The world is a wildly confusing place. Form your opinions, but don’t expect to be right all the time.

4. Don’t rush your plans. Think slowly and carefully about where you’re going with your life. At the same time…

5. Make decisions! Yeah, you’re going to make bad ones, but picking a path and walking down it is better than being in limbo all the time.

6. Mistakes are great. Mistakes are the best teachers.

7. Rejection will help to refine your art and transform you into a badass. Don’t shy away from it.

8. Let the kids flip the pancakes, even though they suck at it.

9. Wake up early. You actually like it. No joke.

10. This is not a perfect little world so drop the perfect little facade. Things getting real? Well, get real with them. Don’t be embarrassed for you or anyone else. You’re not putting on a play. Besides, if you were putting on a play then you’d need all of that emotional and awkward¬† and messed up stuff or else it’d just be boring.

11. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

12. Persistence is key. Forget about easy. Easy gets you nothing.

Anyone else feeling any of these? I missed a lot. Anything you would add?

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notebook love

29 Sep

WIN_20140929_183406 (2)

I just gave this composition notebook a facelift for my fellow writer & father, Tom Demma.

SHHH! Don’t tell him about it. He’s making the long haul up to Minnesota from Florida right now. It’s a gift. My hope is that he won’t check my blog while on the road. He wouldn’t, right? I mean, who does that?

I love working in composition books and on legal pads and have quite a collection going. Getting away from the computer can really help un-stick my brain when it starts getting sticky. Which happens often. They’re also easy to take places. When I’m sitting in the car waiting for my hubs to get out of a store I can pull one out and jot down a scene or slew of ideas.

Anyway, I’m looking for another quote so I can make one of these for a certain writer in my life (you know who you are). Composition books for everyone!

Isn’t Adelveiss getting so big? She’s the cutest Itty-Bitty around :)

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diy the-sky-is-the-limit shirt

3 Jul

WIN_20140701_130610 (2)

This is not a diy blog, but this is a diy post.

Readers, ye be warned.

The bad thing about Pinterest is it brings all kinds of things to my attention that I don’t currently have and that I immediately want. Like a shirt that pretty much sums up my soul with the words “COFFEE, BOOKS, & RAIN”. The good thing about Pinterest is that it sometimes gives me hacks for how I can get these things FOR CHEAP.

I made that shirt up there, and I’m going to tell you how. But I hate those diy posts that have to make things complicated and that give you a picture of every single step to have to scroll past, so there will be none of that. I’m just going to tell you how to do it. Quickly and simply. With words.

Because I’m assuming you have a life you’d like to get back to.

Okay, here goes:

Get your shirt, a bleach pen (they can be found in the smelly chemical isle of your local store), and an idea. Masking tape is optional, as is white vinegar. You should also have something flat to shove up inside your shirt to stop the bleach from getting on the back. Stick that thing in. Make sure that the shirt is flat. If you want, take some masking tape and tape yourself a little border. That’s what I did to keep my words in a nice square. Now go to town with that bleach pen all over your shirt. It comes out like a gel so it’s pretty easy to figure out. When you’re done, let it sit for around 15 minutes. Different colored shirts are going to require more or less time. It’s not rocket science. Just wing it. Rinse in cold water and soak in white vinegar if you have it. I’ve heard it helps to stop the bleach. Then wash it in a load of lights.

Presto! It looks great! You’re one of the cool kids on the block!

Okay, over and out.

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cssw :: logline

23 Jun

When villagers threaten to put them in the mission in town, Crow and her band of orphaned girls must work harder than ever to keep their home in the Spirit Woods. But the haunted forest lets a group of no-good boys invade, and a white bear is stalking the camp, causing the girls to wonder if the home they’re fighting so hard to save will keep them… or kill them.

 

That’s my new logline for CROW AND THE SECRETS OF THE SPIRIT WOODS.

Loglines suck to write. It’s a struggle to decide which points to show and which to leave out. For example, the girls are facing more problems in the woods than just boys and bears. For starters, a lack of supplies. But a bear that is white and also stalking seems a bit more exciting than a lack of salt and horse feed, so in I put it while the supply issue wasn’t mentioned.

I think fantasy is particularly difficult to have to sum up. You create an entire world over the space of hundreds of pages, and to try and squeeze it down into something that doesn’t sound utterly ridiculous is tricky. When people ask me what my novel is about, I become something akin to a train wreck.

Need an example?

“Well, there are these girls, and they live in this forest that is haunted, only it’s not really haunted so much as it is just… alive. And, well, they start having all these problems, and there’s this bear that keeps leaving them piles of teeth- like… animal teeth, you know?- and… and…”

It’s never pretty. I need to work on my talking skills, you guys.

Anyway, I don’t know how I feel about my new logline. I’m going to let it sit and take another look at it in a week or so.

Here is the blog post I used to help me form it.

Next up will be an elevator pitch :)

Okay, now I have to know something: when people ask you what your story is about, do you nail it or flub it?

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a nook for a writer

20 Jun

I’ve had so many ideas for blog post circling around in my head -researching for novels, interests and how to priorities them, new book finds- but right now is not the blogging season for me. Adelveiss turned three-months-old yesterday. Enough said, I think.

When the time comes, I’ll have lots of content worked up. Until them, check out what I’m working on now.

I give you, my writing nook:

DCIM101GOPRO

It is, in fact, a closet under the stairs which makes me feel an awful lot like Harry Potter (!). Trim still needs to go up in all those places where the walls meets, and my husband hasn’t put in all the shelves that will go up the stairs, but it’s coming together so well. Add a lamp and a rug, and it will be dreamy.

Many fine books will be written from this closet. I can feel it.

I’ll post progress photos as I take them!

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