Friday, August 31, 2012

Channeling my Inner Yoda

Hello blogger dear ones! 

I recently had a rather humbling knock up the side of the head. A shame-on-you-you-should-be-better-than-that kind of a deal. Which, yeah, no one likes to get. Especially me. 

All the same, I thought I'd pass the wisdom on. Or rather, the pie. Its called Humble. EVERYONE take a slice... its yummy!!

So, the other day, I was listening to a speaker. The topic completely unrelated to writing, I might add. And the wise one, whom I shall fondly refer to as Yoda (for his bald head and fountain of knowledge), said something to the effect of:

"The good fortune of someone else does not take away from your ultimate end success. Don't dwell on what others have. Enjoy the reward YOU have been given." 

Or, to be more authentic...

"Take away from you, the good fortune of others, does not. Dwell on success of others, you should not. Rewards given you, should you enjoy." 

When I heard this I kind of did a double take with a big "Ohhhhhhh!"

Cause, this is what my little writer mind heard:

"Stop being a piss ant because SOMEONE ELSE got published before you. Stop complaining because WORSE WRITERS THAN YOU are published. Stop focusing on the success of SOMEONE ELSE. Instead, focus on YOURSELF, dummy!"

Because, I'm not the ONLY one who does that, right? Secretly think bad thoughts about other people who get published. ESPECIALLY the ones whose books I think are TERRIBLE?

Okay, not all the time... 

But sometimes? 

Well maybe I AM the only one ( ;

ARE there completely terrible writers out there? Sure. 

Ones that seem to have success coming out their hide quarters, DESPITE said terrible-ness? Absolutely.

I won't pretend to know how this phenomenon happens. If I did? I'd be published already. 

But, like my wise, Yoda speaker so eloquently pointed out... what the H-E-double you-know-what does that have to do with ME? With MY success as a writer? With MY own pitfalls? MY shortcomings? MY irritating writing quirks that are holding ME back?

I shall tell you Young Skywalker...


I like to complain about them, those writers who I have deemed far inferior to me. I like to throw my hands in the air. Pull out my hair. Kick a tree. And stomp my foot, when I see them with with success  that should--OBVIOUSLY--be mine. 

Cause, guys, I'm the goddess of all things writing, okay?!

But in reality, shouldn't I just be HAPPY for them? They've DONE IT! They're published... and THAT'S AWESOME!! Regardless if I don't like their taste. Hate their prose. Think their story is completely unoriginally. Or think they only got published because their daddy knows so-and-so...


I need to be better at this, dear writers. I need to be excited for those who have made it to the proverbial writer's paradise: publication. And not worry that somehow THEIR success is keeping ME back. 

Because its not. 

That's no one but me.

Mmmmm... wasn't that pie good? 

And since I can't say it any better than the Wise One, himself....

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Another great reads, peeps! Seriously. I read it in like a day. Okay two. Still. Preeeetty excited there's another one out in--like--five days...

[happy dance]

Read it. Love it. You'll be glad you did.

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fan Club

So... I just got my first fan. 

I don't REALLY mean my "first" fan, because, well, I have a plethora of die-heart family members and AMAZING critique buddies that would gladly walk the plank for my book. 

But as much as I love those "I-was-with-you-from-the-start-and-will-love-you-no-matter-what" fam n' friends (and, lets be honest here, my confidence and quality of writing would be EVEN FARTHER from top notch than it already is without 'em!), there is something to be said about a ridiculously and overwhelmingly passionate fan who has absolutely no obligation to give you warm fuzzies about your future as an author. 

Let me tell ya... its like a Red Bull/Expresso cocktail to your confidence!

This girl, whom I shall fondly refer to as "Rose," read my book TWICE in two days, and tackled a third reading within a week. She has sections of it memorized that I don't even remember writing (I know, right?), a fantasy cast list all picked out for the future movie, and a gigantic fictional crush on Shawn, one of my boys! Rose even went so far as to make herself a Starburst bracelet, on account of that's what Shawn always wears in my book:

She wants to chat about character development all the time. And is practically dancing with excitement every time the topic of my book comes up. When Rose timidly asked me if I was "totally weird-ing her out" with all her "nerdy-ness" I gave her a big, huge, GIGANTIC HECK NO!!

I've never had a fan club before. But if this is what it feels like? Sign me up for ten, please!

Now, I don't say this to brag. Cause, I mean, one measly fan? Hardly bragging material for the likes of the J.K.'s and Meyer's of the world! 

No, no. I only bring this up because of what a confidence boost it has been to me, knowing that SOMEONE out there (besides my devoted group of plank walkers) is excited about my writing! Its intoxicating! Exhilarating! And has done wonders for my writing!

So THANK YOU, dear Rose, for your unbridled enthusiasm. Your giddy-ness. Your casting lists. And your Starbursts bracelet. You make me want to write. All the time. And have breathed new life into the stuff I DO write. You're the best!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Favorite Schmavorite

Sooo... I've been wanting to write this blog post for a WHILE now, but due to my lazy-ness (or rather, lack of blogging enthusiasm) as of late, I have not done so. 


But, dear readers, in an attempt to draw you back to the life of ME (haha), I've decided to finally buckle down and post another entry, just so that I can rant for a tad bit on something I've noticed lately... and I'll bet you're just dying to find out what it is, aren't you?

...[Its okay, you can lie to me]...

Heehee. ANYWAY, I've noticed, dear bibliophiles, that authors have a tenancy... wait for it:

Be redundant. 

Don't worry, its totally subtle, though. 

Because, of course, if pages were filled with redundancies, we--as bibliophiles--would all throw our books down, and stomp on them in outrage! (Or maybe not). Point is, I didn't even notice many of  these redundancies until I started LISTENING to audio books. Which--as a total side note--I resisted for the longest time, because it just wasn't ink and paper gosh darn it! 

But I finally caved. (Its amazing what a long commute to work will drive you to do!) 

And what I noticed from LISTENING to a book, rather than READING, is that authors totally use favoritism in their word choices. For example.... Brandon Sanderson? He loves the word petulant. Like, a LOT. Julie Kagawa? "Her blood turned cold" or "Her blood turned ice." Seriously, its all over the Immortal Rules. Nancy Drew? Novice. And then there is the word cacophony, which I'm beginning to loathe, because too many writers use it...  and my ears and eyes have been assaulted by this word so many times now, it's not even clever. Just irritating. 

Sometimes I wonder, though, if writers even REALIZE they're doing this...

I suspect not. 

I feel like its some kind of cardinal rule for Writing 101... the high law of the literary class: Don't be redundant! You'll bore your reader! You know, that kinda thing? 

Actually, now that I think about it, its probably a striving for creativity and uniqueness that actually draws writers to use these particular words in the first place! I can just see them typing away on their lap tops, mulling over the possible word choices for LOUD NOISES.... "Aha!"--they say--"I shall use CACOPHONY instead!" 

Doh! *slaps forehead*

Then again, who am I to judge? I probably have my own list of oober annoying words and phrases that drive my readers nuts-o. Words I habitually cling to in my moments of writer's block crises.

Like saying "oober" instead of "uber," which drives my ultra-Gernamny-inclined-Auntie absolutely batty. 


How about you, dear readers... Do YOU have any near-and-dear, overly-used favorite words?

P.s. Also, you should all read this book. Because it's fabulous:

A life-sucking, productivity-quashing, page turner? Yes. But fabulous all the same.