Monday, August 30, 2010

Plodding Along

You know, despite all the cool stuff going on right now, some days are not easy. Particularly when it comes to revisions. Even more particularly, when it comes to revisions made under a major deadline.

Sometimes the ideas are just a little stagnant, and the sentences don't flow. Too many "thats" pop in there, or maybe a (gasp) exclamation point or some excessive underlining, because my good emphatic words are on vacation.

Whatever the case, those are the days when you just have to push through, and promise yourself that you'll reread tomorrow, to cut all the rubbish you added the night before.

Oh, and also drink a giant diet coke to wash down a serious amount of blackberry & almond ice cream.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Big News!!

Considering how long it's been since my last post, are you surprised that I have a wealth of news to share with you? As is my forte, I'll just go for it in list-format!

Things to Celebrate:
1. Hereafter has an official release date! Tuesday, June 7, 2011 is going to be a big, huge, seriously awesome day for me, and hopefully for a group of YA readers! And can you say launch party? Oh yes!
2. In other "big release" news, my kiddo's arrival has been unofficially moved up to late October, thank goodness. I'm hopeful for a Halloween birthday, which will give me a lifetime of excuses to throw massive Halloween parties. As if I really needed any.

Things to Bemoan:
Nothing...the news above is to great to let me worry about anything right now!

Things to Ponder:
I kind of hate the song "Maggie May," but I'm deeply in love with it's mandolin solo and have had it stuck in my head all day. Weird, right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Holy height, Batman

This is completely unrelated to my writing, but since I haven't posted in so long I thought I'd chime in with something that currently occupies my mind: my new king-sized bed. Is it the first time I've owned a bed this size? Yes. Is it really pretty in my master bedroom? Yes. Did I have the best night's sleep I've had in six months? Yes.

Is it UNGODLY, UNHOLY tall? Why, yes. Yes it is.

This bed is seriously 12 inches taller than our previous one. First, the gorgeous frame we purchased for cheap (compare this Walmart Bed to this Pottery Barn Bed) is a good 5 inches off the floor, allowing for a med-sized bulldog to crawl right under it. Second, the mattress we bought is the deepest thing I've ever seen. (No jokes...what are you, 12 years old?) Third, I added a 3-inch down alternative feather bed because...well...I can.

So, I can no longer see my bedside clock while lying in bed. If I try to read in bed, the light from my lamp can't reach the surface of the bed because the lampshade itself doesn't even crest the mattress. To get on the bed, I basically have to take a running leap.

And you know what? It's totally awesome.

Monday, June 14, 2010

That Foot Doesn't Taste Very Good...

So, you know how sometimes you do or say something dumb, and it's easily misinterpreted? And you know how I'm not perfect? Well, combine those two ideas and you have a nice slice of my afternoon, in which I inadvertently offended a friend.

After trying to remedy this mistake with said friend (who, blessedly, is very understanding), I thought about how I might incorporate such a speak-before-thinking trait in one of my characters. After all, it's a flaw I know well.

Since I've been absent lately, how about I pose a question - what are the ways in which you've occasionally inserted your foot into your mouth? How did you fix the problem you created? And, since my apologies tend to be inarticulate and blubbering (if sincere) messes, how do you craft a good one?

Monday, May 24, 2010

With love

It's been far too long since I've posted, but one of my best friends was struck by tragedy and that has been at the forefront of my mind.

So forgive me if I get a little preachy right now, but I have to ask/tell each and every one of you to take stock of your lives. Name all the people you love, and then make sure to feel grateful for them - every minute of your day. That is the type of person my friend is, and that is the gift that is going to help her through this time.

Life is short and precious - and I'm grateful for all of you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday Lists, Part Deux

To really, terribly rephrase Walt Whitman: Do I repeat myself? Very well then I repeat myself. (I am large (i.e. pregnant), I contain repetitious posts.)

Things that are not awesome:
1. The constant repetitions of "Luchenbach, Texas" in my house. I can be repetitive; my husband cannot. Billion-year-old country songs are not conducive to good revisions of my novel. (And, yes, the truly awesome Willie Nelson contributed to that song; doesn't matter upon the 700th listen.)
2. The girl who made sure to point out that my current back-pain was in no way related to my pregnancy, because I have not yet achieved the term/weight/general snootiness to claim the true pains of motherhood. Thanks, judgmental girl. I'm sure your sense of superiority has nothing to do with your raging insecurity, either. :)
3. I have to play an entirely new waiting game, which is actually awesome if you read why, in #3 below

Things which are so awesome, they actually hurt:
1. You can thank for this later
2. The fact I revised two chapters today! Two! That places me around 1/3rd of the way through the manuscript, which may not seem like a lot, but it feels like a real accomplishment.
3. Drum roll: not only do I have an agent, I have a publisher!!!!!!!!!! That's right folks - we've come to a tentative agreement with a major publishing house, for a 3-book series based on Hereafter. Get ready to read an awesome new YA book in Summer 2011!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Lists

Things Which are NOT Awesome:

1. Waiting, especially when you hope you're waiting for great news from an amazing publishing company
2. Waking up at 3 a.m. with an intense craving for chocolate milk. Thanks, Impending Child
3. Watching my husband drink a glass of wine to relax, while I'm the one working on edits after a 10 hour day. Impending Child, I'm thinking about pushing your 21st birthday back by 9 months, just out of spite.

Things Which are, in fact, Awesome:

1. Waiting, especially when you hope you're waiting for great news from an amazing publishing company
2. Sneaking contraband frozen yogurt into my local Panera while I work on edits. If this is my only vice, then I feel like I'm really ahead of the game. (FYI, this is not my only vice.)
3. Buying a Chewbacca onesie for the Impending Child. My kid will rule, from day one. Do not try to argue with this logic.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shame, and the Shameful People Who Experience It

It's been a shamefully (already notice a trend in today's theme?) long time since I've updated my blog. So, in a very intense "waiting-period" (which has seriously only last one day...I'll explain later), I'm blogging!

The biggest news since this blog started: the Impending Child. (Kind of a ominous name for my as of yet identity-less child. I kind of like it.) That's right folks - as if the full-time job and the query process weren't enough, I'm also dealing with the full-time responsibility of feeling queasy. Thanks, Impending Child.

The second biggest news: I now have an agent, an awesome woman at an awesome agency.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ya'll Talk Real Pretty

So, here's a question for the masses: when I'm writing dialogue beween two Oklahomans, should it be?

Now, I realize that many of us grew up in the suburbs and thus have pretty generic, vaguely Midwestern accents. (And, of course, we can blame this blessing on the best equalizer of them all: T.V., the most loving and awesome babysitter on the planet! FYI, if you can sing at least one line of the theme song from Charles in Charge, then you can't place youself above this generalization.)

Still, despite our similarities with other slow-speaking Southerners, we have a few special qualities of speech. Yes, yes, we all drop our g's. Example: We are never, never going to the store; we're goin'. And we aren't talking to our Papas; we're talkin'. But what other Oklahoma-isms make us special? Oh, hell, if ya'll have to ask, then I don't think I'm gonna tell ya.

See? (And before you get all huffy with me, ask yourself this: have you ever told someone that you were "fixin'" to do something? $20 says you have.)

So...what do I do with this pecularity in my dialogue?

Of course, I'm not going to make my characters discuss the tars* on the car. That kind of talk is for my Papa, who supposedly picked cotton and still hordes canned food as though he were preparing for nuclear winter.

But maybe there are less dramatic boundaries? Do my Southeastern Oklahoman characters speak with correct grammar and punctuation, or are they a little more authentic? Does "authentic" Oklahoman speech verge on cheesy? You tell me!

*FYI, "Tars" means "tires," in Oklahomaspeak. As in: "Would you nice group of people please help me place these tires on my car?." Or, translated: "Ya'll folks gonna help me get these tars on my car?"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here I am...

Well, you've all heard my bitter diatribes against Facebook and Twitter. (It should be twitting, not tweeting, if you ask me). I take issue with the very idea of the Status Updates of the Mundane and Famous. "Major Singer-songwriter feels his sushi about to come up" = a serious overshare, in my book. In fact, a major event has to occur in order for me to post my own status updates. Ex.: Being snowed in for four days with only leftover Christmas turkey and few bottles of red wine; I dare anyone to resist that kind of updating-temptation.

Despite the fact I'm an admitted troglogyte, I find myself drawn - albeit REALLY belatedly - to the world o' Blog, particularly when I read such gems as The Rejectionist and the (dearly departed, bloggywise) Miss Snark. When you add the delightfully vicious comments of the Query Shark, how can I resist? The literary agents have graciously shared their thoughts on the world of writing, querying, and publishing. So, why shouldn't I share my thoughts on my side of that process with my dear friends - ya'll! (FYI, this blog will be chock full o' Oklahomanisms. Deal with it.) am I. Are you ready?