Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing Sample Tag - POV

So I was chatting with Sheri at Writer's Ally (link) about killing a MC (main character). She did it, I did it, then she suggested we do corresponding posts today. (Me: Sure! :o)

She's looking at dialogue; my bit is on point of view (POV).

My second MS is a prequel-sequel to my very first book Dragonfly. The story is told through three journals given to the MC of Dragonfly, and it's like Rashomon--one complete account of the events is told followed by a second, and then the third. And in each version, the reader learns more and/or sees a different side of the story.

It was a lot of fun to write, and I think it turned out well. It was the first time I ever had a beta reader say she read something I wrote in one sitting. Wow. (Just between us, that made my life.)

I don't have a title I'm happy with, so I've been calling it Found Objects. It's older YA, possibly New Adult, complete at 80K words. And since it's a prequel-sequel, readers should know who's going to die going in. The Why behind the death (the secret revealed in Dragonfly) is a more interesting plot driver, IMO.

It's also the first time I attempted a male POV. See what you think!

Plot summary:

In the late-1970s three friends graduate from high school with big dreams.

Alex dreams of leaving the small, coastal town where they grew up and taking the art world by storm; Bill plans on becoming a super-rich developer and transforming their hometown into a high-end resort destination; Meg dreams of marrying Bill and taking her place as a leader of local society.

The three realize their dreams, but manipulations along the way create secrets that leave one isolated, one heartbroken, and the third dead.

May 31
            Margaret Louise Kyser. Mrs. William S. Kyser. William and Margaret Kyser. Bill and Meg. Bill and Meg Kyser. Bill and Meg Kyser cordially invite you to their estate on Bono Island
            I love starting a new journal. The blank pages just waiting to be filled with all the fun and exciting things about to happen to me.
            It’s almost as fun as planning my wedding. And planning my wedding is so much more fun than going to high school.
I’ve actually been planning my wedding since I was a little girl dressed up in my grandmother’s chiffon nightgowns and scarves. Meeting Billy provided the face to my mystery groom, and what a perfect face. I knew the minute I saw him that he was the one. Tall and slim with soft brown hair and beautiful blue eyes—it was love at first sight.
             We’ll live happily every after, of course, with little Will, John, Lucy and Megan. Will named after Billy and John for my daddy. Lucy is for my best friend Alexandra Marie LaSalle, who has the coolest name ever. We call her Lexy for short, and I know, Lucy’s not the same as Lexy. But it reminds me of Lexy, and I want my little girl to be just like her—creative, beautiful, full of flair, and loyal to the end.

May 31
Salt. Fresh fish. Warm, moist humidity, moldering wood. The air smells like bright oranges and deep reds, white-hot yellows and brown. Low buzzing of construction down to my right, a strong rush of wind, pushing my hair back. Crash… sizzle. Crash… sizzle. The ocean is rough and happy today, beckoning me to run down and join in its dance.
So my best friend Meg gave me a journal as a graduation present, and here I am writing in it. It’s funny. I'd actually considered following her example and keeping a record of all my thoughts and feelings. Then she surprised me with this gift. Let’s see…
It’s a crazy time for all of us. So much is changing. This morning I decided to run to my usual escape down by the shore to relax and find my center. I was meditating when I remembered being a little girl and stripping off all my clothes so I could run and jump naked into the surf. It was always so warm and swirly, and I would pretend I could turn into a mermaid and swim deep down to rule some magical kingdom.
               The memory made me smile, and I peeped through one eye at my surroundings. Nope, too many early vacationers to attempt a repeat performance. Even here on Fort Morris Road, the beach condos are taking over. Damn Bill Kyser. His big plan is only going to make it all worse.

May 31
            Getting married right out of high school was not in the plan.
Bryant and I had the entire thing mapped out. We even ran it past the retired veterans at the small business center in Fairhaven. They were impressed. Said if we could convince farmers south of Fort Morris to stop planting sweet potatoes and cotton in the sand and sell us their land, this thing could work.
Then Meg tells me she’s pregnant.
I can’t believe I was so stupid, and after how careful I’ve been. Damn Sadie Hawkins. That’s when it happened. We’d all been drinking, and Meg was dancing around in that short skirt. We got back to Dad’s truck, and I couldn’t wait to pull her onto my lap...
Careless. Not staying focused. Bryant’s going to sh-t, and after two years of planning.
Bryant and I got our big idea one summer in Florida. We’d spent the first two months working on my uncle’s farm, driving combines and stacking hay bales. It was hard work and in this heat I hated it. I told Bryant we'd get the farms out of here if it was the last thing we did. He laughed, but Bryant’s a good guy. We’ve been friends since we were kids.
Bryant’s grandparents own a house in South Walton, and for ten years developers have been going down there, taking old worthless beachfronts and converting them into luxury beach communities. Some have full-time residents and some are rentals.
I decided we'd bring that to our town. We’d turn those swaths of open sand around Ocean Pass and Lost Key into tourist dollars with our names stamped on every one. It was going to work, and it was going to work big.
Now I see it all slipping away.

* * *

So there you have it. I feel like the voices are distinct, but I'm the writer. You tell me. In the case of my one male voice, I tried to keep it short, focused, driving. Just the facts, ma'am. (That's also his personality.)

What do you think? How do you guys handle different points of view? Ever tried it? Ever killed a MC? 

Til Thursday~ <3  

And don't forget to visit Sheri's blog! (link)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday

I'll keep this short because you should all be out there eating good food and visiting with family and/or good friends. If you're far from home, (((BIG HUG))) have a wonderful holiday! If you're home with loved ones, so am I. Don't bicker. (wink)

My (quick) Thanksgiving list goes like this:

-Above all, I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, good health, my home, job, living in a great location, and basically being so, so blessed.

-I'm thankful that I started writing books a little more than a year ago. Despite all the ups and downs, the excrutiating waits and the heart-breaking rejections, it's the greatest, most exciting thing I've ever done. And the most painful.

-I'm thankful that I took that advice and started blogging. This time last year I was alone against the publishing world and all that stuff in the previous bullet I was facing by myself.

To be fair, I had friends and family cheering me on, but I didn't have anyone with me in the trenches. I love my bleeps! I've learned from you, I've been entertained by you. You've encouraged me, and hopefully I've encouraged you back... Couldn't do it without you guys~

-I'm thankful for beta readers and crit partners! You guys are the best, most awesome folks. You keep me going. (((BIG HUG)))

-I'm thankful that tomorrow night, hubs and I get to sneak off and see the new Harry Potter film. (SQUEE!) And I'm thankful that I will not be participating in Black Friday madness. (Bleah!) I'm also thankful that a group of Moms and I are taking our little ladies to see Tangled on Sunday. (SQUEE again!)

Finally, I'm thankful that regardless of what happens, I live in a country where I'm free to pursue my dreams. And my wish is for everyone to have a wonderful, refreshing break, and to be surrounded by things that give you joy.

'til Monday. Got anything to add to this list? Anything you agree with? Have a great holiday~ <3

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tips & Tricks - Writing samples on your blog

Two wonderful bleeps recently shared with me that they'd been contacted by publishing professionals who'd read synopses or excerpts of their works on their blogs. (SQUEE for them!!!)

Then I over-read (like over-heard) a comment where an agent lamented that he'd like to read more of a writer's work, but it wasn't readily available on the writer's blog.

Naturally, I got to thinking... I didn't have writing excerpts here until two days ago, so I can't say whether it works for me. But it makes sense. Just because I can write a decent blog post doesn't mean I have the chops for a novel. Or even the bright idea for one.

So maybe this is more of a heads up. And maybe I'm the last person getting the memo...  (Am I?)

I'll keep this post short in the hopes that you might check out one (or all) of my new linkies to the right over there > > >

And while I still have everything crossed that I can possibly cross in the hopes that I'll hear back positive news from Dream Agent soon, I certainly won't turn away any interested parties.

Anybody else contacted through writing samples on their blog? I'm just curious. And I'd love to hear any feedback you might have on my new pages!

Hope your week is filled with things to be thankful for. Til Thursday~ <3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review & Author Interview - Life, Liberty & Pursuit

Once again, blogging wins! Today I'm reviewing a book and interviewing the author, both of which I discovered through blogging. Life, Liberty & Pursuit is a young adult romance by Susan Kaye Quinn who runs the blog Inkspells.

I first "met" Susan over the summer as I read her posts about working with the independent publisher Omnific. She's delightful.

Then a month ago I won a contest over on Sheri's blog (Writer's Ally) and got my very own copy of her book! I literally finished it in three days. It's that engaging.

So without further ado, here's my review:

Eliza's headed to Princeton for college. David's headed to Chicago for Navy boot camp. Both are trying to be good sports on a farewell cruise with their families until Eliza falls in a pool and is rescued by David.

Mutual sparks fly, and they spend the rest of the voyage together, having dinner, visiting ports of call, wandering around the decks holding hands. It's all wonderful and romantic. But the reality is they'll say goodbye in three days and head to opposite sides of the country.

So the cruise ends, and true confession: I wasn't sure how Susan was going to keep the momentum going with more than half the story left. But she does a wonderful job building tension into the romance through David & Eliza's thoughts, fears, and long-distance communications.

I was so excited when Eliza got her first letter from David (he has restricted communication at basic training and they actually have to write letters--gasp!), I had to read what he wrote twice. Just like Eliza.

And I gotta hand it to Susan. She writes a fantastic love letter.

Seriously, Susan does a super job establishing the relationship between these characters and then seeing it through their initial separation and to their ultimate outcome.

The outcome is tricky as well because as Eliza prepares for Princeton, her best friend gets ready to leave for college in the same city where David is assigned (Monterrey Bay, Cal.). Eliza begins to doubt her lifelong dream of getting an Ivy League education in favor of switching schools to be with her new love.

So realistic. So emotional. I couldn't decided what I wanted Eliza to do.

Susan handles this challenge masterfully in the book, and ultimately, I found the resolution of the story very satisfying. The secondary characters are a lot of fun, too, and exploring the tidbits of David's Polish background, Navy basic training, even the different ports of call are great enhancements to the story.

I give Life, Liberty & Pursuit a very happy A, and I recommend you all rush out and buy it now. Here's the link to the cool book website.

Now for my interview with Dr. Quinn!

1-The story is about a couple who fall in love almost at first sight and then their later separation and attempts to stay together. Later in the book another couple fall in love at first sight. So confess: are you a hopeless romantic? Do you believe in love at first sight?

I am a hopeless romantic, apparently, although I discovered this as part of writing a love story! Actually, two secondary characters are modeled after my best friend in high school, who went on a vacation with my family and promptly fell in love with my “cousin” (we weren’t actually cousins, just friends of the family). They, too, fell in love in a mere four days. Then she moved to another state and they were separated for years. It took eight years before I was able to stand up at their wedding, and they now have two beautiful girls. When she read the novel, she said, “This is all about me!”

2-I read you wrote Life, Liberty & Pursuit for your niece Jenny. Why? Are there similarities between the story and her life or experiences? (I also enjoyed Jenny's 5-second review--here's the link.)

My niece was enamored with Twilight, and it was something we could bond over (living 1,000 miles apart). I was inspired to write a true-life love story (with no magical creatures) for her to see that epic love can happen, even when there are no vampires involved.

She was only thirteen when I started writing the novel (she’s fifteen now), so I sincerely hope she wasn’t planning on running off with a sailor at that point! But she did have a chance to take a cruise in the Bahamas shortly before Life, Liberty, and Pursuit came out this summer, so it was cool for her to visit the setting of part of the book.

3-The book had several unique and interesting details, from the sites they visited on the cruise, the Polish words sprinkled throughout, the emotional separation of Eliza and David, David's Navy training, his linguistic studies. How much was based on your own knowledge and how much did you have to research?

Research, research, research. I love it, and it’s one of the best parts of writing. However, much of the book was based on life experiences as well. My father worked for the Navy his entire career (as a civilian), and his father emigrated from Poland when he was six. However, I didn’t consult with him until the final editorial stages of the novel, when we had to discern the difference between a “mess hall” and a “chow deck.” One of my crit partners speaks Polish, so her help was crucial. Even when you think you know something, it’s always good to do your research.

4-I absolutely adored your theme: "Love brings you up, it makes you a better person." What was your inspiration for that?

My belief that it is true, and an amazing husband who has made me a better person every step of the way. One of my early readers was in love with that theme too – and she urged me to publish the story because of it. She believed young people needed to hear the message that love should make you stronger, not weaker.

5-I think this book perfectly targets older high school girls (YA). But it's been described as a "New Adult" book. If you would, please explain this new category and tell us how you'd categorize LL&P.

I think the “New Adult” category targets young people ages 18-22, who are having lots of life experiences in that age range: college, dating, marriage. Life, Liberty, and Pursuit will easily appeal to that age range, given that the characters are 18 and 20, but I also think it is great for girls who are in high school and contemplating big changes in their lives: where to go to college, how to deal with overwhelming feelings of love, how to know what to do with your life? These are questions that teens are asking before they graduate.

6-You used a small, independent publisher for your book and I remember reading it was a very positive experience for you. How'd you find Omnific? If you would, please briefly tell us the highlights of that experience. (and/or link to the blog post where you describe)

One of my friends, who beta read Life, Liberty, and Pursuit, joined Omnific when they opened their doors January 2010. When Omnific sent me an invitation to submit, I was surprised, but delighted. The full story is here (link).

My friend wasn’t involved in acquisitions, but once I had a contract with Omnific, she became my editor – which was outstanding! Having someone who knows their stuff and loves your story? It’s the perfect author-editor match. Publishing with a small press was an amazing experience, and helped me to understand the industry better, having gone through the entire process.

7-How much changed from your MS to published book? Did your title change? Did the story change any?

There were substantial changes from the rough draft to the submitted MS (David wasn’t even Polish to begin with), but less so between the submitted MS and the published book. Although with three editors and many rounds of editing, the book was in much better shape thanks to the editorial team at Omnific.

The story did not substantially change, although I remember arguing with my editor about whether the cars should be foreign or domestic (we compromised)! The title was the one thing that never varied from the very first draft. The Navy motto just fit: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of those that threaten it.”

8-What's next for Dr. Quinn? What WIPs are in the works?

I’m querying my middle grade science fiction novel right now, and working on Draft 3 of my young adult paranormal novel, which I am head over heels in love with. Isn’t there some saying that your favorite novel is always your current work? I definitely plan to keep writing books for kids and teens. I enjoy it too much to stop!

Where to buy it: (names are links)
Barnes & Noble
Book Website

Monday, November 15, 2010

And now we wait

So I sent the revision back yesterday. Ten thousand words longer and much fuller, and now the wait begins.

I'm truly beat, but I have to give shout outs to JRM, Carolyn, Tami, and Jen who jumped in to speed-read and give me feedback. You guys are amazing, and in the middle of NaNo even. I have no awards to give you, but perhaps an acknowledgements section--?

It's been crazy trying to keep up with the day jobs while revising, but I wanted to share with you the feature I wrote on local writer Murray Dunlap (link). His anthology What Doesn't Kill You actually just came out. You can purchase a copy here (link).

Give it up for my oldest daughter, who is representing her class in the school-wide spelling bee tomorrow. Yay, for my baby! I'm a very proud Mamma. This is clearly her dad's influence because the only thing I do worse than spell is remember names.

And the new Harry Potter film opens Friday! Exciting times. Mix in Tangled and the holidays, and that should take the edge off my wait.

In conclusion, a little inspiration from that book I'm studying with friends. Remember last Monday, the Mother Teresa quote?

Anyway, it was talking about your strengths and flow. It talked about how in the Bible, the first person who was mentioned as having the "Spirit of God" was a guy named Bezalel. Seriously. Who the heck is Bezalel? I didn't even know, but apparently he was one of those biblical architects who helped build the first tabernacle.

The point was this quote:

"We do not work mainly for money, recognition, promotion, applause, or fame. We work for flow. We live for flow. We hunger for the experience of flow, and when it is present, something happens in our spirit as we connect with a reality beyond ourselves and partner with God." --John Ortberg, The Me I Want to Be

It reminded me of a quote Angie shared with me a few months back:

"Creation is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Start small. Don't let fear of failure discourage you. Don't let the voice of critics paralyze you--whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside. the more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the grater your capacity to create." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf

'til Thursday~ <3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tips & Tricks - The Soundtrack

First, Happy Veterans Day! A big Thank You to all the brave men and women who've helped keep me, my family, and this country I love safe and free! I appreciate you~

* * *

Now for today's post:

I had the hardest time getting started on WIP3 (working title is Cheveux Roux).

Anyway, I worked so hard to create writing blocks of time for it and then during those times, I played and chatted with bleeps. I researched New Orleans in the Gilded Age, read about the aftermath of the Civil War, read about French surnames and histories, downloaded photographs of clothes worn at the time...

Check this gorgeous dress I found from the period.

[Note: Image removed due to copyright concerns.]

That's black velvet on white satin--very art nouveau.

Anyway, I'm happy to say all that procrastinating was not wasted time. There was actually one thing I did that seriously helped me. Nikki posted about it Tuesday over at the Oasis.

I made a soundtrack.

The truth is, I'm a musical mush-pot. Want me to remember something? Set it to music. Seriously, it's freakish the way I remember songs. So it really wasn't a hard thing for me. It was kind of fun.

Originally, I'd wanted to write a story set in a circus. Why? I don't know. But as I got to writing, I decided a cabaret in New Orleans would be more interesting. And possibly easier because of the whole "close to home" thing.

So I mined all the musicals and sort of showy, dramatic songs I could think of and assembled tunes that to me represented certain characters. Wanna hear it? (link).

I'd never done that before and I have to give it up. It worked! 

I did not listen to it while writing. I actually didn't listen to it very much at all in the beginning. But toward the end, I put it on the iPod and one character in particular came rushing back to my mind--I went straight home and wrote an entire scene with him in it.

So cool beans and kudos to whoever came up with that idea. I remember Jennie wrote about her soundtrack over the summer, and I think Jessie did too. Have any of you guys done this? Did it Help? Want to share one or two of your songs?

And just as a very non-scientific poll, what do you guys think about a French title for WIP3? Is that a BAD idea?

Here's the logline for the book (historical YA fiction). I'd love to hear your comments/critiques:

Seventeen-year-old Hale plans to escape her life as a cabaret performer in 1890s New Orleans by marrying a wealthy, genteel suitor she doesn't really love, until a handsome stage-hand arrives and steals her heart. But when a sexual predator threatens the orphan Hale rescued and raised, she is convinced their only hope is by sticking to her original plan, even if it costs her the one she loves.

All the best with your current projects! Have a super weekend~ <3

Monday, November 8, 2010

ReviseMo, Wk. 2 - Kudos & Deep Thoughts

I'm in the trenches, but I can see the light. Woo! Still, I'm creatively sapped, so today's post is shout outs and a little inspiration.

First, BIG CONGRATS to three people who've recently had amazing publishing news.

First, my sweet Mom, Theresa Talbert, who has led ladies' Bible studies since I was too small to remember recently published The Kisses of His Mouth, an analysis of the book Song of Songs. Here's a link to where you can buy it. Mom has touched so many lives through the years with her love and ministry, and I am so proud of her. To Mom--Whoot!

Second, Jessica Bell, the Alliterative Allomorph, recently signed a publishing contract with Lucky Press! Jess writes literary women's fiction and poetry, and her first book Dead in the Corner of my Bedroom is due out Dec. 2011. Visit her blog for full scoop--she's making the official announcement today as well. To Jessica--Whoot!

And last but fabulously NOT least, one of my newer bleeps, Clarissa Draper signed a three book deal with WiDo publishing. Clarissa writes crime novels and mysteries and she was so so helpful to me with a poisoning scene in WIP3. Visit her blog here. And to Clarissa--Whoot!

That's so exciting. Man, I love it when my peeps and bleeps shine.

I have two awards to pass.

First, RaShelle gave me the gorgeous Irresistible Blog award. Thanks, RaShelle! She is just the cutest, sweetest thing. RaShelle reminds me of friends I've had and MCs I've written. Visit her blog at this link.

The second came from Lydia Kang, the supercool Humphrey Bogart "You're Going Places, Baby" award. Thanks Lydia! Also the cutest, sweetest thing, Dr. L. is an actual physician, and she dispenses medical wisdom on Mondays. Go get some at this link.

Here's the deal, when I don't get a number of who to pass these to, I've decided it means ALL my followers share these awards with me. So if you follow me, I award you--take one and peace be with you. I couldn't keep this up without you guys.

Which brings me to the Inspirational Portion of the show...

Writing is such a solitary pursuit. Combined with the time commitment required, it's easy to become separate from the other humans in your life. With the holidays coming, take time to connect and serve someone you love. I recently read this in a book I'm studying with some friends:

"If you can't do great things, Mother Teresa used to say, do little things with great love. If you can't do them with great love, do them with a little love. If you can't do them with a little love, do them anyway. Love grows when people serve."  -John Ortberg, The Me I Want to Be

Til Thursday~ <3

Thursday, November 4, 2010

(something like) Near-death experiences

Over the summer we talked about using The Method to get into the spirit of WIPs.

At that time I was working on WIP2, a SciFi in which the MC is trying to escape a hostage situation. There are times when she either fears for her life, or at the very least experiences some serious anxiety.

To get in that mindset after spending hours with my two hilarious little cherubs who were home full-time enjoying the heck outta summer vacation (!), I'd channel my inner Marlon Brando and try to feel the way I felt the one of two times I ...

OK, to say I "feared for my LIFE" would be a bit dramatic. Let's just say, I felt that cold fear in the pit of my stomach that said, "This could get a whole lot worse before it gets better..."

Time #1:
Catherine was three months old and we still lived in Indy. We were at a Christmas party in Carmel (suburb to the north) where JRM was part of the musical entertainment. I left to go home, nurse the baby, get some rest, and inadvertently left my cell phone in JRM's suit pocket.

Oh, well! No worries, Indy's a grid and I knew where I was going, right?

Problem: the low fuel light was on in the car, I was at least 10 miles from home, and it was the middle of a snowstorm.

Now I grew up in south Louisiana--Baton Rouge--and we don't get much snow there (if any). And when we do, it just sort of flies around like chicken feathers for an hour and we're all high on life for another ten years.

I had no clue that when it really snows, the snow sticks to the street signs, completely obscuring them and making it very easy to get lost. Carmel is not a grid, and before long, I had no idea where I was in a snowstorm and a sputtering car.

At one point, I actually got out of the car and banged on the door of a house (no one answered) before trudging back and getting in the car to stare out the windshield at the whiteness. In despair, I put my head down on the steering wheel and prayed. I was freaking out, and I felt...

The Feeling.

[I wound up with a nice little Christmas miracle. Right when I lifted my head, I noticed a green street sign (miraculously) not covered in snow that had an arrow pointing to a school that was the landmark for Meridian Street/U.S. 31, which ran a few blocks parallel to North College, which was the street where we lived.]

Time #2:
JRM and I had traveled to one of his lawyer conferences in San Francisco, and for fun, we rented a car and drove through wine country, up the coast to Mendocino where we spent the night.

JRM has always talked fondly of that little village on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, and we got a room at the MacCallum House. It was really beautiful and romantic...

Well, when it came time to drive back, rather than taking the same road back down, JRM got out the map and plotted us a "quicker route."  (That's always the way it starts, right?)

We had plenty of gas this time, the only problem was the makers of the travel atlas we used clearly had never driven in the mountains of northern California. We headed out in the direction the map said would lead us to the highway we sought optimistic, happy, refreshed...

Then we passed a green sign that said "highway ends 20 feet." And it did! Dumped us right out on a narrow, gravel road in the middle of the redwoods. We looked at our phones--zero cell service.

No worries! JRM assured me. We'll keep going and hook up with "our" road in about 12 miles--see it here on the map? LTM: (smiling) OK!

We drove on and the gravel road got narrower and narrower until we were literally on a one-lane trail, winding through the mountains looking out across treetops and hoping a logging truck wasn't headed our way in the opposite direction.

Relief! After a few miles we started passing hand-written notes on the side of the road listing the highway number we sought.

We were undeterred that they were written in marker and posted on what looked like paint stirrers... It was going to work out! We weren't going to freeze to death or end up eating each other to survive!

After 12 more miles, three more signs, and still no road, JRM made the executive decision to turn the car around and go back the way we came. LTM: (not smiling) OK!

So we turned around and headed back... until we came to a fork in the road.

You see, along the way other, identical little roads had been joining the main one from up the mountain, down the mtn, around the mtn...

JRM: Did we come from up there or over there?
LTM: (swallows knot in throat) I don't remember... I wasn't looking.

Then we looked at the little hand-written signs and realized they were written with the exact penmanship of a Serial Killer. I looked at my cell phone again--still no service.

LTM: Try going to the right.
JRM: I'm not sure that's the direction we came...
LTM: Just try it.

So we did. Then we came to another fork. And the same situation.

At that point, JRM got out of the car and walked a little ways ahead of us on the path and stood looking into the woods. I sat in the car watching him, thinking of my two baby girls at home, wishing he were a little fatter, and feeling...

The Feeling.


Obviously, we got out of that one. Another miracle, this time not at Christmas. JRM managed to spot a trash heap he remembered on the way in and got us back on the correct road and ultimately back to Mendocino where we got on the established route back to San Francisco.

Several months later we heard a news story about a couple who froze to death after getting lost in the woods of northern California in the wintertime. We looked at each other and for a second I again remembered...

The Feeling.

So that's one way The Method helps us writers. And I'd love to hear any stories you guys have to share! Continued good luck to all the Nanners and Revisers. I'm hard at work with the latter group.

Until Monday--have a great weekend! <3

Monday, November 1, 2010

That Silly Muse

Why does inspiration strike the way it does?

I was in the shower Saturday, trying to get ready as fast as possible because I was due to work the Princess Both at our school's annual Fall Festival, and voila! I had this amazing idea for how to work a requested revision into BNN...

And then when I made that change, naturally, I would have to return to an earlier scene (which page was that on?) to work in how the change would be foreshadowed.

Oh, yes, and then there's this later scene that won't make sense now if I don't make this note...

And oh my goodness! This change is so cool, it could actually become something of a "lesson" the MC learns by novel's end! Must make note to think about whether or not that will work...

Thirty minutes later I'm almost late for the princesses!

Not only that, we almost missed the entire festival. JRM is annoyed--will you ever get away from that laptop? Babies are cranky--Mommy! It's time to go!!!


I'm thinking of my NaNo bleeps today (link). I'm not participating because for me it's ReviseMo, but I would so be there otherwise. The idea of writing every day with goals and partners sounds so motivating.

And that silly muse. Am I the only one who gets inspiration at the darndest time? (Am I the only one who feels guilty for having her head in a cloud the entire time I'm working on a MS or a revision?)

Good luck, Nanners! Til Thursday~