Friday, September 24, 2010

What's in a Name?

I have to confess.  A cliffhanger gets me every time.  So if you stuck with's Sawyer.  That's it.  No more!

I love constructing names.  The names in my latest are coming readily. 

Why do we choose certain names?  Wouldn't you love to know why famous literary characters were christened?  Oliver Twist, Hermione Granger, Margaret Murry, Junie B. Jones, Ramona, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Katniss Everdeen and on and on.  Some resonate long after the book has been put away, archived, etc.  They dwell in our minds and we pull them out as needed.  Baby names, dog names, etc.  Our memories and emotions shade our choices.  I'll never use Melody or Tyler.  A strong image has forever tainted those poor innocent names.

Names you love?  Hate? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Better Than Chocolate...

Feel free to substitute any noun in place of chocolate, as long as it's something you LOVE.

It's that time during the writing process that makes me feel like Charlie finding his golden ticket.  Tomorrow, I begin writing a new book. 

The idea has floated around in my brain being refined for months and now its time to take the first step.  Turn on laptop, ignore the phone, and begin.  Characters have been molded in my mind.  A lady with a rather outdated hairstyle, a particularly obnoxious voice, or other things of note will find their way into my book.

I love names.  There is a time when you know its the right fit.  A name that you've come across during your other life that screams at you to be in your book.  No Jenny, Emily or Taylor will fit.  It must be ____.  Did you think I would tell you?

Maybe tomorrow.... Or, maybe I will write on the importance of cliffhangers.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Joy or Misery?

Neither.  I've come to the realization that writing conferences aren't about emotion.  It's a time to improve your skills.  And if you're lucky, you can take the extremes out of your reaction to what is being said.  It's a time to sit back and become a sponge.

So, you ask, what was the outcome of my critique with Jennifer Rees?  (She's with Scholastic and was the editor for The Hunger Games latest literary crush)  It was honest.  There were good points. (The smiley faces made me grin.)  There was criticism. but it pointed me in direction I need to go in order to improve my manuscript.

The best comment: "I like the quirky feel of the story and writing."  Yes, I choose to interpret 'quirky' as a positive.  Every author wants to be unique, different, one-of-a-kind, etc.  It was enough for me to come home and hack the first three chapters to incorporate other points she made. 

Joy or misery?  Neither.  Maybe I should write trampoline or sink hole next time.  I'll bounce, I mean, sign off for now. :)  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Off to See the Wizard, I Mean Editor

I am sooooo excited.  (Obviously by my very childish use of the 'o' key.)  It's time for another annual SCBWI conference.  It provides motivation, knowledge and most importantly, hope.  Yep, that thing with feathers!

This will be my fourth one.  The first was marked by uncertainty, quietly sitting in the back of every breakout session and never walking near the critique rooms.  The second year I gave myself a pep talk and signed up for a critique.  She loved it!  Yes, I glowed the rest of the day.  After talks of representation, it was a "no" in the end.  Not letting myself wallow in misery, I dug out my conference notes and plodded onward.  The third conference was full of familiar faces, great workshops and a feeling that I was truly a part of all this 'writing stuff'.  The critique kept my feet firmly on the ground but the greatest thing to come out of this conference was the formation of a great critique group.  Thank you Kim!

So here I am at year four.  The swirl of emotions!  Anticipation of all the presenters that will encourage me to keep writing; knowledge that will be added to my growing awareness of the writing world; hope that maybe this will be the year that I bust out of my cozy shell. 

Next blog?  Will it be misery or joy?  Wait and see!

Monday, September 6, 2010

No Worries

Last blog...complain about no followers.  This blog...rationalize about lack of following.

Here's my "chin-up" speech to myself. 

How on Earth can anyone follow a blog and still have time to write, let alone see to the mundane tasks of life?  I have a very kind fellow blogger who has advised me about the etiquette of blogging.  It seems that you must follow others, comment on their blogs and invite them to join yours.

This is all very productive in rubbing cyber-elbows, but I have to pause and ask myself if being obscure is such a bad thing?  I don't worry about offending.  There are few to take offense.  I don't have to worry about following their blog.  I email them and follow their blogs as time allows.  (Without hurt feelings, thank goodness.)  Likewise. if someone clicks on my website, they were searching ME!

There is something very satisfying in being under the radar.  Here's the catch...while I prop myself up on this newfound acceptance, I realize that today's world demands that we stay connected. 

While I await the Facebook Friends, Tweets and  online love, I am content in the knowledge that I have this honeymoon time to work out my blog. 

Crickets chirping...quite relaxing, at least for now.