Monday, February 22, 2010

If your writing style was a person

I love hearing about what other people write. The internet seems to have a ton of Urban Fantasy writers, especially of the Young Adult variety--and who can blame them? It's an exciting, growing genre. There also seem to be zillions of Romance writers, or those like Jill Myles who combine the two.

Because of social media, I've been reading outside of my genre quite a bit lately, and enjoying the change. It's a bit like visiting new people. So tell me about your (writing) self:

Is your writing weird and cutting edge, with experimental short stories, perhaps published in McSweeney's?

Are you all funny and domestic and feel-good-y?

Are your sentences classic and perfect in every way?

Do you write for kids?

Hmm. I like historical fiction, but Marie here feels overwritten.

Or are you instead Mr. Manliness, flexing your rippling prose?
(Hubba hubba.)

Me? That's a tough question. I'd like to think my writing is a bit modern mom Sarah Jessica Parker--warm, accessible writing you've known since Square Pegs, who did the whole urban vibe and now focuses on mainly on family stuff, but still likes to get dressed up.

Who are you?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's either this or Xanax.

I recently read a study claiming that reading reduces stress levels by 68%.

"Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis. Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found."

Six minutes! That's it! I'd believe that. In fact, I'll see your 68% and raise you another 10% for *writing* as a stress-reducer.

I haven't really talked about this, because, really, who wants to be a downer, but I've been going through some pretty relentless anxiety over my dad's health in the past few weeks. He has a mass on his lung that we just found out is not malignant (thank God) and it took a long, loooooong time to get any kind of answer. He'll still need surgery, but in case you weren't aware, lung cancer is a REALLY FREAKING BAD ONE.

So I'd like to thank Beth Hoffman for writing a book that buoyed me up and away from my dark thoughts (check out Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, it's excellent.) I'll also thank my current main character Valerie for being such an unpredictable smart ass. It was a relief to retreat into her crazy world for a few hours each day. (Yes, I know she's not real. I promise I'm still sane.)

I'd love to create a book that helps someone else out like this someday. Return the karma favor, or whatever.

How do you reduce stress?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Well, hello handsome!

Lately I've noticed a huge uptick in new visitors to my little blog. (Well, huge for me, not like TMZ's numbers or anything.) I'm not sure why this is, because I'm neither suddenly a) more entertaining nor b) more informative, but hey! whatever! Welcome all! Do chime in if'n you feel like it.

In completely unrelated news, I did finish my WIP (yippee), so I've given myself permission to fritter away time on the internet again. And look what I found. Cuteness. From Jezebel:

ETA: And this!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Help! Police! My Kindle's been kidnapped!

Description of victim: slim, white, gray screen. Little buttons across the bottom. Clothed in a leather cover. Filled with Jennifer Weiner novels, Alice Munro's latest, and an unread copy of The Road. Last seen on kitchen counter, awaiting next reading session.

Suspect: 4 ft. 8 in. tall, long straight brown hair with bangs, blue eyes. Partial to wearing jeans, t-shirts featuring sparkly pictures of dogs, and Vans because she doesn't like messing with laces. Can usually be found reading a book or hitting boys with a sword. Warning: this suspect's room is landmined with tiny sharp Lego products. May be armed and dangerous.

Incident report: Suspect entered kitchen where victim's owner was preparing dinner. Suspect asked, rather sheepishly, "There's this book I want. Um, I don't know if you'll let me have it."

Victim's owner pictured a modern, racier version of Judy Blume's Forever, and replied with,"What book would you like?" To which suspect replied, "It's by Jules Verne? A Journey to the Center of the Earth? I read 20,000 Leagues and I liked it."

"Oh!" victim's owner replied (relieved, frankly), "Yeah, sure. I'll order it for you."

Suspect then eyed victim on the counter and said, "I hear those things get books really fast."

Shortly thereafter, suspect disappeared.

How you can help: If spotted, please return victim to rightful owner. Well, after suspect finishes with Jules Verne.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

So close I can taste it

I've been scarce around the internet lately for a couple of reasons, but the most exciting one is that I have been toiling away at my new manuscript and--get this--I'm days away from finishing yay yay yay!*

January has been Get 'Er Done Month over here, and I've had to rearrange my schedule to revolve around writing time rather than doing-something-else time. Friendships, both real life and digital, have suffered. Sorry 'bout that.

Tell me about your writing schedule.

*Only the first draft, that is, and it's a little (okay, a lot) thin. But work with me here.