Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
My husband threw a little shindig for me this past weekend and I have to admit, it did soften the blow of such a, uh, grown up birthday. Forty. Four to the zero. The big 4-oh. Yikes. I really can't pretend to be just a kid anymore, can I?
As much as I'm going to hate no longer being thirty-something, it's an excellent time to recount where I am in life, and where I want to be. I couldn't be more happy about my husband and friends. Truly. And my girls...oh, did I mention that they wrote and recited poetry in my honor in front of a room full of people? No? Allow me just that one brag.
But my career. Well. That area needs some work. I admit I'd hoped to have a book published before The Great Day of Reckoning. That would've made the day perfect. Instead, I'm still trudging along. Making progress, yes, and not giving up, but continuing to swim slowly through a vast ocean of publishing molasses.
Still. I'm determined to get there. My craft has improved, and I'm more confident about how to go about actually finishing 300 pages of fiction in a somewhat organized fashion. I started a new project after weeks of hemming and hawing (my agent refers to this as "percolating" which sounds much more productive) and I'm excited to be working on a novel again.
The goalpost might've been moved, but I can still see it.
How about you? Any goals for the upcoming year?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
NIGHTSHADE CITY is a fast-paced and intriguing story about a once-peaceful, underground city of rats that are very intelligent. High Minister Killdeer and is loyal helper Billycan are murderers who command respect from all the other rats. But there are some rats that are starting to fight back.
Three young rats named Clover, Vincent (my dad’s name!), and Victor must team up with the rebels to bring every rat to the new Nightshade City and away from Killdeer forever.
I think the best thing about NIGHTSHADE CITY are the characters. You start out thinking of them only as rats but eventually they become like humans. NIGHTSHADE CITY has some adventurous themes like rebellion and redemption, plus some quieter, more unexpected themes like love.
If anyone says this is a book for only boys, they are wrong! Without the heroines in the book, nothing would be as fascinating or as exciting. NIGHTSHADE CITY truly is a good book!
Blog owner's note: tomorrow, stop by Dorothy's blog to visit the next stop on the tour.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Now, I don't know about you, but I can't seem to pry my eyes away from the oil depress-a-thon that is the Gulf coast. Just ask my husband--I won't shut up about it. Gawd. How awful/frustrating/infuriating/horrifying. I think the worst part is that, with a few exceptions, we all seem to be a bit underutilized, waiting for BP to do what's right. And they just won't.
I even got disgusted enough to email the White House and all the state volunteer registration sites. I told to them I'm *very* good at organizing volunteers, and I can work down there all summer, for free. I've organized for many a benefit and I would love, LOVE to do it for something non-fancy-party related. If they take me up on it, I'll let you know. I'll totally go! It would at least give me some new and exciting blog topics.
I bet I'm not the only person with something to give. Maybe not weeks of free labor, but something, right?
I know not everyone can take off work and fly down to the coast, but if you could do something, what would you do? Wash that bird up there? Hold a fundraiser for oystermen? Lay some boom?
Are you as pissed off as I am?
Monday, June 7, 2010
I know you have 2 dogs--one of which made the cover of your novel. What's the craziest thing your dogs have done?
They are both German Shepherds, so they play hard. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a nature documentary. They bark and growl and roll around on the ground together (sometimes in the yard and sometimes in the living room).Their teeth gnash, but their tales wag the whole time. They play until they are completely exhausted. Sometimes, Argo lets Stella tackle him, and it’s hysterical. Stella is small for a German Shepherd, and Argo has about 35 pounds on her, but he’ll throw himself on the ground like she’s knocked him over, when she clearly doesn’t have the heft to.He’s very dramatic.
How did you find your agent?
I found Rebecca Strauss’s listing on AgentQuery.com and thought she might be a good fit for my book. I sent her a query letter, sample pages, and a synopsis, and she picked my query out of the slush pile. I know a lot of writers fear that things like that don’t happen and it’s all about who you know. I had a few contacts who were generous with their help, but ultimately what worked for me was sending a query through the traditional submission lines.Rebecca and I had no previous connections.
Who would you cast in the movie version of STAY, if you had a choice?
J and I joke about casting choices all the time. I'm on a Buffy/Angel kick right now, so the current joke is James Marsters in every role.
What led you to writing?
When I started college, I was a theatre major. I loved my acting classes. We worked on developing characters, taking apart scenes, and figuring out the intentions behind the characters in the scenes. I was less enthralled with that whole getting up and performing on stage part of things, which is not really ideal when you’re a theatre major. I dropped out of school for several years. When I finally went back, as a Communications major, I had a few professors who really made a point of letting me know that writing was something I should consider pursuing. I am so thankful for that. I added some creative writing classes to my course schedule in future semesters. When I started writing fiction, I felt like things began to click for me.
Under what circumstances are you at your most creative?
I come up with a lot of story ideas and solve a lot of issues that are holding me up in a story when I’m doing something active. I realized Van needed a dog while I was raking leaves in the backyard. I worked out some difficult Van/Peter dialogue while hiking with Argo. So much of my creative process happens while I’m not writing, and then when I sit down to write, I know what I need to do.
What sort of themes do you find come up in your writing?
I’m very interested in how complex friendships can be. Some are both delicate and durable at the same time. And even though there is a simplicity to some aspects of love, the way we love people and the reasons we love people are not simple concepts.
Well, what are you waiting for? Leave a comment and go visit Allie and Corinne!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
She scanned the jacket flap and placed it back on the shelf. "Nope. Can't read it. I don't do dead babies."
Hmm. I get that. Although dead babies are okay by me (in FICTION. Fiction!) as with all sorts of violent acts. Rapes, murders, beheadings (I'm looking at you, Anne Boleyn) -- all good. It's not like I seek out gore, but I can deal with it. I read a lot of Joyce Carol Oates, so yeah. She goes there.
Still, there are probably some places where JCO won't go. I don't know this for certain. It's not like we're buds. But I can imagine. Even I, reader of savage and dispicable acts, have my limits.
Here's one: I don't do 9/11. I'm sure there are a great many wonderful books written about the human drama in the aftermath, but...no. Uh-uh. It's still too raw, and frankly, I don't think I'll ever be able to go there. While I didn't personally see the towers go down (I live uptown), just living in the city in the weeks that followed was quite enough for me, thanks. No need to revisit.
My youngest daughter likes animal books, but she doesn't do dead dogs. No Old Yeller, no Where the Red Fern Grows. Nosireebob. Dead people? Sure! Just not dogs.
How about you? Where won't you go?
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I wish I had a secret potion, or a little robot overlord to thwack my knuckles when I start to slack off, but the truth is, it's always been a struggle.
A few years ago, when the hubs and I were faced with the super-fun task of finding a New York City kindergarten for our then-four-year-old, we toured a fabulous school with amazing resources and facilities. Our guide kept repeating the mantra "We ADORE SELF-MOTIVATED KIDS!"
Um, okay, great. Was my preschooler self-motivated? She was certainly motivated to get me out of bed before dawn or harass me for a dollar when we passed the guy selling flavored ices from a cart. But overall? Who the hell knew. If she was anything like her mother, I guessed not.
Deadlines work well for me, but they are tough to keep when they are only self-imposed. The tried and true Butt In Chair method is the way to go, provided you don't cheat (guilty.)
I wasn't quite sure what advice to give.
Do you have any methods to share? She lurks (hi!), so she'll benefit from your sage advice.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Oh, the power! And the importance of selecting just the right title. What should it be? It needed to draw readers in, of course, and also reflect something about me. I pondered this many a night, sitting under my Duran Duran poster. Oh, Simon, tell me the answer! And then it came to me...it was...brilliant! THE LONE SOCK!
Yes! A bit of rebelliousness mixed with the angsty lonely teenage-y feeling of being left out, discarded, not quite fitting with the rest. SO FREAKING PERFECT!
Except that no one got it. "You wanna call it what?" my journo teacher asked. "Well...okay."
Then the reviews came in:
"I liked your article, but, um, what's the title mean?"
"I thought it would be about laundry."
"Do you have some sort of sock problem? I see you're wearing two today."
Yeah. Oh well. Maybe it wasn't so perfect.
Strangely enough, my daughter's school asked me to write some articles for their parent newsletter next year. They are meant to be light in tone--like a column. I told my husband this and he said, "Just like the Lone Sock! It lives!"
I promise I won't give it that title.
How about you? Did you ever have a brilliant idea fall flat?