Monthly Archives: September 2011

Building New Habits

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I’m trying to build some new habits in place of old ones. I’ve never been a fan of trying to kick bad habits because it always seems like such a negative thing. Instead, I try to cultivate new ones that supersede the bad ones.

This morning I tried on several pairs of pants and found that they just would not fit over my thighs no matter how hard I tugged on them. I’ve been saying for months now that I need to start working out more, but I’ve been too lazy to actually do it. So today I pulled out my belly dance workout tape (yes, it’s VHS, that’s how long I’ve had it) and pushed myself through the entire tape. It was just as bad as I thought it was going to be and yet not. I knew what to expect and perhaps psyched myself up for more pain than what I actually got. *grin*

That said, I’ve felt really good all day. I didn’t hit the usual mid-afternoon slump and my brain is significantly less foggy than normal. (Yes, Katy, you can say “I told you so.” :-p)

I’m also trying to get into a daily meditation routine. Not only will it help with my stress level, but I’m hoping it will help with my creativity as well. I know, as a Pagan, I “should” already be meditating, but I’ll be honest and say that I’ve just never gotten into meditation. I always want to be somewhere else doing something different.

Along with those two new habits, I’m also trying to drink more plain water. I’m mostly a tea drinker, whether it’s iced or hot but that’s not the same as regular old water. So, I’m digging out my water bottle, filling it with ice and water every morning, and plopping it down on my writing desk to get me to hydrate in a more healthful way.

Do any of you have any habits you want to cultivate?

It’s Official!

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Since my name is now up in black and white, I feel it appropriate to announce that I am now an official member of Black Ink, White Paper. For those of you who don’t know (or don’t remember), I was a guest blogger for BI,WP back in July.

I will be blogging over there every other Friday starting next Friday, October 7th. They’re a great group of people from many different creative backgrounds, so come check us out and join in the fun. :-)

Snippet from Where Demons Fear to Tread

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I had a blog post all planned out about written versus verbal communication, but life sort of threw several emotional curveballs at me today, so I’ll give you a snippet from Where Demons Fear to Tread since I’m doing one final hardcopy read through before sending it back to Cameron.

 

Dinner for one, as usual. Not that a pint of Friendly’s black raspberry ice cream could appropriately be termed dinner. It was more a psychological balm to soothe my frayed nerves. I’d pay for it later; I always did, but I couldn’t be moved to care at the moment.

I couldn’t be moved to do a whole lot of anything it seemed. I’d come home and immediately curled up in my favorite green armchair in front of the fireplace, detouring only to kick my shoes off by the back door. The chair’s dark fabric cocooned me, but the comfort it normally provided was nowhere in evidence. I fussed and fidgeted trying to find some solace in its softness.

Read the rest of this entry

Happy Autumn!

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The leaves on the maple tree next to our house are starting to turn bright orange, but most of the trees in our neighborhood are still green. Halloween is just over a month away and my birthday is only three weeks away.

Yikes!

Where has the year gone?

This week I’ve been busy working on When Demons Cry because it got jealous of all the time I was spending on Zombies!. WDC is coming together quite nicely and it’s getting to be about the time I start joining the random scenes together and make the written story a bit more cohesive.

I’ve also been working on the latest round of revisions for Cameron. She just had a few things she thought needed a bit more clarity and a couple instances where she thought the motivations of the characters were weak or non-existent. So, those are almost done and she should have the changes in her hand by Monday. YAY!

That means we’ll be just about ready to go on submission to editors. *bites nails anxiously*

Tonight I head up to a friend’s farm to celebrate Harvest. Mmm… good food, great people, spiritual nurturing… Of course, it’s supposed to be rainy as all get out, but that just means it’ll be the perfect weather to be able to burn the wicker man. *big grin*

Tomorrow, again a very rainy day being called for, is the 12th annual Western MA Pagan Pride Day. I’m actually hoping they end up canceling it because I really don’t want to spend two days outside in the rain. I’m willing to endure it for Harvest, but not so much for PPD.

What are your plans for the first weekend of Autumn?

Bloggy Goodness

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I’ve lined up a number of awesome guest bloggers for the month of October. From a fanfiction writer to a writer who writes for the sheer pleasure of it and not to be published to self-published authors to commercial wannabe’s and almost-there’s like myself.

So stay tuned throughout October because there will be at least one guest blogger here each week.

Form or Fire

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I currently have two works in progress. The first is When Demons Cry and the second is the zombie YA book.

They’re both completely different books in just about every way imaginable. The biggest difference is in how I’m writing the two of them and how they “feel” in my head.

WDC is very amorphous and up in the air in regards to what happens. It’s very much a “by the seat of my pants” book. (Just like Where Demons Fear to Tread was.) But I know the characters inside and out. Alex, Vic, and Ryuu are very real and fleshed out to me and they have been since I set them down on paper. The fire and the passion of the book are there, but I don’t have the form yet. Oh, I know what the story’s about, I just don’t know the details.

Zombies! is the opposite. I have the form down. I know what happens throughout the whole book (for the important parts at least). I even wrote an outline for it! But I don’t feel quite as connected to the characters. I still don’t know yet how the characters will react to certain situations. I don’t know their inner personalities, only what they show me on the page.

Both novels have their challenges, but I don’t think I prefer one over the other.

How do you write? Are you a pantser? A meticulous outliner? Or does it vary between projects?

Say Yes to Gay YA

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I’ve been following the Gay YA debacle for a few days now and I have to admit that I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth. For those who aren’t aware of the kerfuffle that’s been raging, Cleolinda has a fabulous run-down of it on her LJ. It’s very long with lots of links, but she does a great job of breaking it down. YA Highway also does a great job of explaining the situation.

What I’ve come away feeling is that both sides have handled this badly. If I were the authors and I was trying to shed some light on the fact that the publishing industry as a whole isn’t as YA-friendly as they claim, I would have left out that individual and very specific incident and just made a general statement about what went on. The publishing industry is so incestuous and gossipy, they had to have known that the identity of the agent in question would get out at some point.

It came across, to me, as very passive aggressive. “Here’s this horrible thing that happened to us. We won’t name names ,but we know the name will get out sooner or later, so nyah!” I deal with that sort of childish behavior on my personal Facebook page. I sort of expected better of professional business people.

Joanna Stampfel-Volpe’s rebuttal and Colleen Lindsay’s note were an example of what NOT to do. They turned an already contentious issue into a mud-slinging fest complete with unverified assumptions and baseless accusations.

I don’t think either side had malicious intent at any point in this debacle. It seems to me that it’s just one huge misunderstanding wrapped with a giant bow of hurt.

What I think everybody involved can agree on (and, in truth, it was the main issue of Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown’s original post) is that there need to be more QUILTBAG characters in not only YA, but in literature of all shapes and sizes.

But, and here’s the rub, publishers aren’t going to publish something unless there’s a market for it. Publishing companies are businesses, they’re in this to make money not bring about societal change. Although books are instrumental in societal change, it’s not a publisher’s first concern. Nor should it be.

If books with QUILTBAG characters don’t sell, then publishers won’t publish them. It’s the same as with sparkly vampires, if they don’t sell they don’t get published. So, if you want more books with QUILTBAG characters (I know I do!), then get out there and buy the ones that are already out there. Email publishing companies asking them for more books with QUILTBAG characters. Make your preferences known!