Friday, July 13, 2012

Finding My Voice

 I think it was three years ago I had a cool dream and decided I should write a book about it.  I didn't think about how I should say things, or what the readers would think, I just wrote it.  I ended up re-writing the entire story at least four times.  I changed the ending significantly, I decided I had written it in the wrong point of view, and I thought the first draft was just kind of dumb.  I made huge mistakes in querying and ended up trashing the entire project. 

After that, I joined a writing club, started going to seminars and classes, and began to perfect my craft.  I talked to people about my stories, got opinions, and changed my writing for the better - or so I thought. 

I know friends and family are biased and therefore don't usually have objective opinions, but my mom said something significant to me a few days ago.  She said she liked the first book better.  That the characters were more real, that she could identify with them.  Though I think the story is underdeveloped- the difference is- it is true to my voice.  I didn't write it to please anyone but me. 

Now I know with my current WIP to stay true to me, and write for me.  Hopefully other people will like it, but if they don't, it doesn't matter.  I do this for me. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Nice Rejection? Could Be Worse.

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for querying me about your manuscript, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT. I've read your sample pages and I'm sorry to say that the project just isn't a perfect fit with my current needs. This has less to do with your strengths as a writer and more to do with my goals as an agent and the trends of the current literary marketplace.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for the right agent and publisher. Keep writing!

Kindest Regards,

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Time To Mourn

By now, everyone has heard about 6 year old Sierra Newbold from West Jordan UT.  She was kidnapped from her room in the middle of the night, raped, and thrown in the canal.  There is nothing I can say that will make a difference, but I have to say a few things. 

I am so sorry for that little girl.  For the things she must have suffered  - the terror she must have experienced before she died.  My heart goes out to her parents.  For the things they have suffered and for the time they will continue to suffer. 

I hope they catch they horrible, discuting, dispicable "human being" that did this to her.  There is no forgiveness for someone like that. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Writer's 'Tell'

Everyone has pet words.  One of my favorites is amazing, I think everything is amazing.  My 10 year old changes his pet words often.  His current one is epic.  He is always saying "That was an epic failure."

I was listening to a podcast called Writing Excuses and they were talking about writers pets and calling them TELLS. Things authors sometimes overuse- such as making a character blink too much.  I notice I have characters swallow emotions and bit their lips and chew on fingernails.  (A few of my bad habits.)

I was watching the last episode of one of my favorite shows, ONE TREE HILL, and I noticed a tell of the writer.  Often, like almost every episode, two people will be having a conversation and when they end it one of them walks off.  The person left standing there calls out their name, the other one turns back, and the dude standing there says something profound.  

One of my idols screen writer Mark Schwahn

It kind of started to get on my nerves, it was so predictable. That being said I think it is a challenge for us to get outside of ourselves and come up with new material.  Still, a worthy challenge for the watches and readers sake. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Man On A Ledge - 3*

"There won't be a Man On Another Ledge," said Sam Worthington in an interview on Ellen.  He had to spend three weeks filming out of a "really high" window with only cables to keep him from falling to his death. 

This was another pick of my husbands that I wasn't exactly thrilled about, and again, happily surprised.  Though the acting was simply put, fine (Worthington drives me crazy with his inability to master an American accent), the story was intense and actually kind of believable.  I really love to enjoy a movie I didn't think I would. 

BTW - my pick was Moneyball and it was as good as everyone said it was.  Seriously, can't go wrong with Brad Pitt.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Year Round School Doesn't Benefit Kids

My kids are still in school and it is June 25th.  It is 100 degrees outside, a perfect time to be swimming in our pool, eating Popsicle, and going to the park, they are sitting in a hot school under florescent lights.  In January- they will be out of school when it is like 12 degrees outside and the only thing to occupy their time is fighting and watching TV.

Year round school has been around, in some form or another, since the 1800s.  The theory behind it was that the kids would benefit from shorter breaks, thus not losing all that they learned over a prolonged break.  It is also said to save money.  However, Charles Ballinger - executive director of the National Association of Year round education- says a year round schedule cost the same as a traditional school year. 

As for the benefits for kids, I have seen none.  My kids get a 6 week summer, which they don't forget anything they learned.  Sure when they get back to school they it takes a few weeks to get back into the swing of things, but it does every time they go off track.  My youngest has a particularly hard time re-adjusting to school after being off-track.  A process that is unfortunately repeated multiple times through out the year. 

As far as I can see, it does save money by allowing the schools to fill the school with more children.  They can have a lot more kids if an entire track is always off, the teachers just have to move class rooms every time they go off.  So instead of ponying up and building the right amount of schools, the government forces the kids to go year round.  I would love for our school to do away with it, like many in our area have, but since there are over 900 kids enrolled at our school, it won't be anytime soon. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kindle Direct Publishing

"Did I cry over some of these rejections?  Absolutely.  Did I feel inadequate, untalented, hurt?  Did I doubt my ability to craft a story that readers could fall in love with?  You bet."

Jessica Parker got tired of the rejections for her book Flat Out Love, so she went with Kindle Direct Publishing, and did it herself.  They claim to 'empower serious authors to reach readers, build a following, and make a living' on their own terms. 

For the record, I think it is so amazing to have this option.  Used to be self-published authors were pretty much unheard of, but with e-books they are getting a lot of attention.  I am glad it is available. 

That being said, I am not ready for it, and may never be.  I don't think I have the ability to promote myself the way these authors do.  They spend tons of hours and definitely a lot of money  to get their books out there.  NOT that I don't want to help promote myself, just that I want my book to be its very best, and don't think that is possible without traditional publishing. 

Congrats to Jessica Park for making it happen.