Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hitching Down the Internet Road

The internet is an amazing thing, isn’t it? Especially for a writer. All that information right there at your tapping fingertips.

Course it’s easy to get sucked into the roaming lifestyle and just keep on truckin’ down that road. Oh look, I must stop there and take in a few of the sites. And then it becomes, oh look they are quoting interesting sites and know such interesting places, perhaps I can take just a slight detour.....

And even while you’re doing it you can hear your mamma in your head going ‘No! No! Stay away from the road! Keep away from that moving fast trucker. Or that beguiling dude in the smart looking vehicle.’ And yet, we are still tempted to take just a little peek. Or just a little minute…..

And next thing you know you’ve been alien abducted and thrown out on your computer chair hours later with no recollection of all the time loss and probably with very little memory left – but hopefully without any actually probe stuff happening. Ick. Unless you are into that sort of thing. And, uh, not that I have a prejudice thing going, but I really don’t think I wanna hear about that okay.

As a writer I have a lot of interests and things that catch my eye. Also being a woman, I am also caught by ‘oooo pretty’ ….whether from and their whimsically wonderful jewelry and accessories, to the pretty pretty wonderful shades of mineral makeup of Heather at Go over and be inspired by her new site, and her wonderful colors. They really are Amazing! You won’t believe them when you see in ‘real’ life rather than on the ‘internet road.’ And just the names she gives them will make you grin. *grin* Really [and she’s got an eye shadow clearance going on right now at $1.50 a jar!!! Amazing! I’m tellin’ you!]

If any of you have read any of my blog at all you probably notice I mention Maggie Stiefvater and her blog a whole awful lot. Well, since her recent book ‘Linger’ debuted at #1 on NYT bestseller list! If I can learn anything from her and her blog, which I always do in some form or another, then I figure it’s well spent time.

As for the other travelings ….well, let’s just say I’m trying to stay in camp for awhile and finish the YA [young adult, for those non-writers out there] novel that I am currently working on.

But if you have any great sites to see that I Really should…..then Do let me know! Maybe I can buzz over and pick you up on the way. And if we drive real fast we can maybe be back before anyone misses us…. sitting right in our own little chairs innocently working on our works-in-progress just writing away. If not maybe we’ll pass each other along the way. I’ll probably be the one wildly looking around trying not to miss anything.

Unless I’m lost and just wandering along the road. Then please stop and at least point me in the right direction. I’ve helped you out a few times here on this blog after all. At least I’ve not left you mired in your rut of writing but tried to offer assistance where I could. Turn about’s just fair play right?

See ya around somewhere? ::::hitches pants up and moseys off chewing a toothpick::: ….just kidding, I’m off to post this on my own hitching-post site. Wait, I just went from cars to horses. Figures. No wonder my site’s been in the slow lane. Ah, well, keeps us from all getting whiplash, huh?

So if you can, sit a spell, and tell me where your travels have taken you recently. I can tell you Maggie’s site is always entertaining, and often enlightening about a Lot of things – including ham-sandwich publishing.

Like I said, the road has all kinds of things.
Let me know what you find out there…..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Improving Your Words

To go along with the ‘Tasting your words’ post, being all about improving your words and thus your writing.

Since there’s always room to improve, especially as a writer. Writer’s Digest has interesting articles Free online, such as this one on genres, and combining genres. But in the end it says, as most of us ‘seasoned’ writers, whether we are actually published right now or not, it comes down to writing a good story.

Interesting thoughts on genre and mixing genres –

The Dos & Don'ts of Combining Genres

…..what matters most: a good story…….

And if you haven’t checked out the James River Writers website lately, the annual Conference is up in detail, and accepting payment.

Some Great writers, and agents, will be there, including Jeff Vandermeer. Which if you haven’t checked out his book, Booklife - Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer then you Definitely Should, there’s Great thoughts, tips, suggestions, and more.

And then come to the Conference and see what other gems he puts out there to hear.

Jeff Vandermeer - Booklife - Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer

Page 201 - ….’If you’re stuck on a creative project, it might have nothing to do with having written yourself into a corner. Instead, you might need to change your process…..”

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tasting your words

As a writer we are supposed to engage all the senses in a reader. To make the words drip from their minds as honey from their tongues, and make them feel and see, hear and taste, along with us the rich environment we are creating along with our characters.
In McKillip's book, Winter Rose, she does a pretty good job of that. I felt more engaged visually than with any of the other senses but that's okay since she did a really good job with that. I did get lost a bit sometimes in what was really, actually, going on, but it was still a good beacon to light my writing and make as many words as I can evocative and useful, in the best of ways possible. Not a bad thing, huh?
So Denise, until I can get to some of more cheerful ditty files, this one's for you. ;)

From Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip –

….at the end of a breathless day when the air seemed so heavy and full of molten light, everyone sweated drops of gold instead of brine…

…each evening the clouds on the horizon turned the color of bruises, or overripe plums; the air seemed to listen, as we did, for rain….

…The sky was still cloudless, but its blue had darkened; twilight rode hard behind the wind.

Summer ended between one breath and another, it seemed. One morning the first golden leaves appeared among the green. Then a tree flamed into crimson. The fields were stubbled gold, morning mists hanging over them, burned away slowly by the sun. Hot, blue summer sky slowly turned the deeper blue of autumn, as if it reflected, from another country, cold northern lakes and storms that did not touch us yet. I found great cobwebs everywhere, hung like chandeliers with prisms of dew…. Two weeks later, we stood..…while trees burned all around us against a clear sky that held within it all the shadowy blues of winter…

…Clouds of gold and red and brown sailed along the wind….

…As fast as I moved, dusk raced me there. Night’s season had begun; the days took what light was left them….

“The winter nights grow old and thin and threadbare very fast, when you’re alone.”

…This village, like the hall, echoed with past. He had come to change an echo. ….

…Outside Anis’ thick window panes the distorted sky hung low and dove’s wing-grey; the intermittent rains felt icy, and the wind had a sharp, testy mutter to it. …

…cold snow…. He molted snow as he stood at the fire…

…I found my father chewing memories and his unlit pipe beside the fire….

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot Descriptions, Maggie Stiefvater and Fountain Bookstore

Got your attention huh.

Okay…so it’s been awhile. Haven’t had a lot of rainy thoughts, just brutally hot days. That have drained the ‘little grey’ cells down to no color at all, from all the glaring hotness out here.

And what few were perhaps hiding in some corner of shade got diluted I think from all the sweat everyone is generating these days.

It’s just hot, people! Forget the fried egg thing, what about our poor little brains!

So I’ve probably written some. But nothing I felt I could post since I depressed poor Denise with my last post she requested something cheerful. I’m not very cheerful when it’s this hot. And I figured no one really wanted to read ‘It’s hot. Damn HOT’ over and over so I have kept myself as still as possible so I wouldn’t be generating more heat. Which meant no typing. You buying that? Sigh. Yeah. So. I’ve been slacking. As far as working a whole bunch on my current YA novel in progress. I’ve written more depressing ‘ditties’ than should be posted. Or ones dealing with all the hot weather. And being depressed about it.

I have written reports and all that kind of stuff though so I haven’t slacked with any of those important duties. Well, mostly. I think I got behind on couple of emails. But they got buried in my inbox. I certainly mean to answer things in timely manner. Did I mention I don’t do all that well in this kind of heat?

I did do a small bit of reading. Yes, totally unlike ‘normal’ me, since I’m usually a ‘rabid reader’ and have to have at least one, or usually more, books going at once. So yes, I have been very affected by the heat.

I picked up a book that Katharine – with an A – recommended, from her favorite author, Patricia McKillip. [yeah, right, she’s got A favorite author like I do. snort. So it’s got to be One of her faves.] and I was taken away by the descriptions…. From Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip –
….at the end of a breathless day when the air seemed so heavy and full of molten light, everyone sweated drops of gold instead of brine…

Sounds a whole lot better than my, It’s hot fool Hot, huh. Well around here I don’t think I’ve even thought of anyone sweating drops of gold instead of brine but it’s a great description to aspire to huh. Writerly or not. Uh, I’m not sure I want to know any more details than that really. But check out the book for some great descriptions. I’ll have to do another post of the great descriptions that caught my eye in the book. And post them for Denise. Since I think that might be as cheerful as I’m going to get right now. Did I mention the heat?

Oh, and if you are looking for a Wonderfully written, almost lyrical, book, do Not skip Maggie Stiefvater’s book Shiver….ooo and a lot of it takes place in winter. I obviously need to read it again. But the 2nd book in that series is now out as well – Very recently. That Maggie was at Fountain Books in Richmond, Va. today personally signing and doodling in for anyone / everyone that want Maggie originals! For those who won’t be able to see the Magnifi’ Maggie in person! Maggie’s official kickoff for Linger, which is name of said 2nd book, next Tuesday the 20th in Williamsburg. But for those that aren’t lucky to see her, definitely order from Fountain Books. Haven’t gotten my copy of Linger quite yet, launch next Tues. remember, altho' I was so tempted by Fountain's Maggie visit and doodling today, so can't vouch for how cool worthy it is in any sense of cool, but I can tell you Shiver is definitely worth it. Especially if you are a writer. And it’s not set in Virginia. In summer. In this kind of miserable heat. I figured by now you know it’s Hot here in central Virginia right?

And because it’s so hot I’m doing work for you, see how nice I am.

Here’s Maggie’s site:

If you are a writer you Should also check out Maggie’s blog, Terrific info’ there!

And here’s Fountain Books: Be sure to tell Kelly ‘Hi’ They are all a great bunch of people in there they are. Not to mention most people think Kelly's hot any time of the year. ;)

Ooooo and I just noticed they are having a buy a book get a couple of galleys free this coming Sat. July 17….. Hmmm, wonder how hot it’s going to be…. Forget that, wonder if I can sneak down there, or talk patient loving husband into vicinity….. he doesn’t mind the heat anyway.

And there's Maggie doodles in books waiting...just waiting..... Uh, her books only I presume. But given her uber talent and skills I'm betting even her doodles are Magnfi' !

hmmmmm, off to plot and scheme...and fan....