Monday, January 30, 2012

Yay Goals!

I'm nearing the end of my new project and am trying to meet a goal to finish it up by the end of the month.

So, two days to finish the last 10k+ words.

Thus, I have stocked up on Diet Coke, Post-It Notes and Sugar Babies--and now declare this officially the shortest post I've ever done. :) Huzzah!

What goals are you working towards right now?

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Window Had a Bunny

Yesterday morning, I was on the phone, leaving a message for my doctor and it went something like this:

"Blah blah, this is Jenn, blah blah blah...

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh  *sound of me jumping up onto my couch, dropping phone, then scrambling to pick up the phone*

"Oh, sorry, I just saw a bunny. Anyway, call me back, thanks, bye!"

...I can only imagine how the nurse who heard my message looked while she listened to it. 

Oh dear.

Anyway, this lovely message was left because I'd walked down into the basement and reached up to scratch my kitty's ears (she was sitting in the downstairs window sill) and on the other side of the glass I saw this:



Needless to say, I was not expecting to see a bunny hopping around this close to my window. Also, I've literally never been this close to a bunny in my life...never. So, I promptly called my husband who luckily knows much more about rabbits than I do.

Husband: "Well does it look like it's starving or dehydrated?"

Me: "Um...to me it looks like a very small cow."

Husband: *crickets*

Me: "Am I supposed to do something?"

Husband: *laughing* "Just give it a bowl of water and I'll help get it out when I get home."

Me: "Like what... open the window? Won't it attack me?"

Husband: *cracks up, tells everyone in his office, and sends me this link*




So, we had a bunny for the day. My sons named her Moo which seemed very fitting. Then we found out she belonged to a neighbor down the street and her real name is Cookie...I like our name better.

Don't you just love life's little surprises? :)  Have a fantastic weekend!

Also, I have an interview today over on A.G. Howard's blog. She has a lovely site, stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Being Yourself

See these shoes? Yeah, I bought them last week in black. I walked around my house in them for about five minutes, looking like Bambi learning to walk, and almost broke every bone in my body.

They are now on their way back to the manufacturer (thank you, ShoeDazzle, for free shipping both ways)...but I still wish I could wear them. I think being unrealistic is part of being a writer. I can see these shoes online and temporarily forget that I have the weakest ankles in the world and have had surgery on both of them. I can pretend that my feet don't feel like a tiny knife is stabbing into them whenever I wear anything higher than pumps. I can see these and think--

Oh yeah, I could rock that look.

No, self. No, you cannot.

My theory is that being able to believe in these delusions makes me a better writer. If I can create entire worlds and characters that I care so much about that they feel real...why couldn't I convince myself that I can wear these shoes?

I guess if I'm going to delude myself into believing that I can do something I cannot, then buying the wrong shoes isn't the worst way to go. I mean, I could delude myself into believing I can take my advance to Vegas and double it. Or that if I buy enough tickets then I will win the lottery...right? Buying super cute shoes and then returning them the next day = not so bad.

What about you? What have you deluded yourself into believing lately?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Short & Sweet or Long & Luxurious?

Most writers seem to fall into one of two distinct styles of drafting. First, is the short and sweet method. These writers tend to fall on the short end of beginning word counts and the first draft looks like something between a skeleton of the story and an extremely detailed outline. These writers spend most of their revisions fleshing out their story, plot, character and scenes. Putting some meat on the bones, so to speak.

Second, is what I call the long and luxurious method. These writers tend to fall on the high end of the word count range and spend most of the revisions cutting. They hone in on the unnecessary scenes, characters, description and trim it down to only that which is essential to the story.

I'm a short and sweet writer and I like it this way, but I'm pretty sure it's simply because this method is my comfort zone. I love adding new things during revisions and seeing my story brought to life in a whole new way. It's my favorite part.

What kind of writer are you? Which path do you take? What do you like most about your chosen method? Also, Happy Monday!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Licking My Wounds...

So, I've been trying to recover from the sad loss of my Packers *sniffle* at my first trip to Lambeau Field last weekend (feel free to express condolences ;-)...) and it got me thinking. No truly heroic story, in life or in fiction can be accomplished without major setbacks along the way. In the story I'm working on at the moment, my MC is thrown so many curveballs I'm starting to wonder if she can still see straight, but those challenges and defeats will make her stronger in the end. I always say that hell is probably a special place where characters get to exact revenge on their creators. *shudders* Yet another reason to always be kind to your fellow man and all that.

And so is life. Have you had any obstacles thrown your way lately? Thrown anything difficult at your characters? Just remember, the dark parts make reaching the light at the end of the tunnel that much more rewarding.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dreams

I know you're all probably sick and tired of hearing about it, but by the time this post goes live on Friday, I'll be on my way to Green Bay. As I sit here writing it the night before, there's pretty much nothing else I can think about right now.

So...

I'M GOING TO SEE A PACKERS PLAY OFF GAME IN PERSON!! Wahoo!!! Go Pack Go!!!!

Ahem...now that I've gotten that out of my system. Let me get to the point of this post. I've seen many of my dreams come true in the last few years, this weekend just one of them. I'm lucky and blessed and so far 2012 has been pretty freakin' fantastic.

Here's to a year full of dreams come true for all of us.

P.S. I'll wave at you from the stands! :) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Art of Emotion

I've worked hard at learning to write with emotion. It hasn't always come easy to me, but I now consider it one of my strengths. An interesting claim when my last two protagonists were 1 - a teenage boy (not exactly known for being expressive with their emotions) and 2 - an emotionally-stunted teen girl.

Both of these characters have more of a show not tell method of expressing emotion. They don't like to talk about it and they'd rather those around them didn't either, but still, they let people know they care about them in one backward way or another. But it's definitely been a challenge.

One thing that's really helped me is I'm a big fan of nonverbal communication. I love people watching. If you go to the mall or a restaurant, you can see the state of people's relationships just by watching their bodies and facial expressions. The couple that walks as far apart as they can, the couple that is so close you can tell they'd occupy the same space if it was possible. The couple that holds hands out of habit, but never actually look at each other. There is so much you can tell by the way people move.

I try to use as much nonverbal communication of emotion as possible in my books (my choice of characters often make it necessary). It's been hard at times, but I truly believe it's made me a stronger writer. How about you? How do you communicate emotion in your writing?


Monday, January 9, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I've been working on some scenes in my new project and I'm struggling a bit. My main character is strong-willed, stubborn, and completely distrusting of others. She has some darn good reasons for it, but as she's growing and evolving, I want her to learn to accept help from other people, but not too much help. The balance is hard to find.

See, here's the problem. I have an intense dislike for books where the main character is dragged along with things happening to them along the way. I want dynamic main characters who take action and make things happen. Sometimes it feels like accepting help from other characters takes away from that initiative and I don't want to steal that from her. What do you think? Do you guys ever run into these problems? Any suggestions?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Are You Feeling It? (+ Excerpt!)

I'm working on a new project that, quite frankly, is creeptastic. And I love it. It's at times like these when I remember why I started writing in the first place. It isn't about query requests, submission feedback, even publication.

It's about the writing. The connection to the story that takes you away from this world in a way nothing else can. It's our own legal drug, a constantly available escape route. And there is nothing like it.

How are things with your writing? Are you feeling it?

Here's a tiny excerpt from my next book. Enjoy! And have  great weekend!

~~~


            He’s there. The Father squeezes my shoulder too tight. He wakes me from a peaceful sleep to a world of pain. He stands over me, looks at me, but doesn’t see. His hair is perfect, every strand in place. Everything about him and his life is orderly, well-kept. Everything except for me and Sam. We are the dirty things. His secrets.
            I reach out for Sam’s small fingers beside me, but he isn’t there. My heart pounds in my head and I bolt upright, looking to his hiding places. The corner where he hid with his puppet. The scrap of blanket he put over his head when we played together. Everything is in its place—except for Sam.
They took him while I slept, and he isn’t back yet.
Never both of us, never at the same time. If the Father had come for me, too…why didn’t he bring back Sam?
“Get up.” The Father’s voice spilled contempt, disgust. “You have to bury the boy.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Um, Welcome?

Like many bloggers, I have a tracker that sends me updates on my visits. I have an avg daily number of 100 - 250 visits depending on whether I posted that day. Last week, I got the e-mail with my stats and expected them to be next to nil during the holidays.

When I opened it and read that I'd had over 5k hits that week so far, I was sure it was a typo. So, I pulled up the site and double checked it. It wasn't a mistake. I had nearly 3k visitors just that day. Turns out, people were pretty curious about this whole 2012 thing around New Years. Particularly people in India and China. Indians and Chinese = very interested in 2012. Who knew?

When I posted last month about my "Reasons 2012 Will Rock", I never expected to end up with so many hits because of it. In fact, I almost feel like I owe them an apology for not having more scientific information about 2012. Like someone planned a surprise party for me at my house and no one told me to clean. I'm standing here in my bathrobe and slippers and apologizing that guests have to look at my sad Christmas tree which is still up and trying to make sure no one ends up with a chocolate from someone's stocking stuck to their bum.

I was unprepared to have so many people interested in what I had to say about the future. Perhaps I should've consulted a psychic, read my horoscope, or at least researched a bit on this whole Mayan calendar/end of the world thing everyone keeps talking about. But I didn't.

I'm sorry China and India. I'll do better next time...Also, HI! Nice to meet you!