Friday, November 25, 2011
Hopefully the hiatus will jump start my brain and I'll be able to give you all in The Lurkdom some fantastic posts full of (deep) thoughts.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thanksgiving (and holidays in general) can be a stressful day filled with cooking disasters and logistical nightmares*. Some people would prefer pajamas and cribbage all day and yours truly is no exception. What people like us need is a no-frills, pain-free way to celebrate Thanksgiving that doesn’t have you contemplating suicide for the day.
Lucky for you, I’ve thought about this. A lot.
- If you’re anti-dinner planning and entertaining, you will love the dinner and a movie option. Take your Thanksgiving guests to your closest all-you-can-eat buffet. For about ten bucks per person, you can eat all the turkey and fixings you want without the prep or clean up. Then instead of working off your turkey coma by watching hours of football, go watch a movie. This year I’m voting for The Muppets, though if you’re in a heckling mood, may I suggest the greatest comedy of the year?
- Now what if you really, really, really want to host Thanksgiving but you’re really strapped financially? You should commit a hit and run with a turkey. They’re pretty big and stupid. Think about the family fun waiting for you when you need to clean your own bird!
- Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without giving, well, thanks. Instead of going around the table and each guest listing what they’re thankful for, this year everyone should share what they’re thankful for in a rap.
* At least when you’re me and one family is about four hours round trip away from the other one.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|Image courtesy of Bestie Danielle|
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you prepared?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Cats, while they don't "amuse" me per se, they do fascinate me. Their colorings and patterns, the way the pounce bottle caps, their communication. Their stares**.
Disclaimer: I am not cinematographically inclined. What this means to you: there are no smooth transitions.
As you can see, the cats provide me with tons of entertainment. Both videos were taken when I should have been doing something else. The combined video? Again when I should have been doing something else.
Tell me, what do you find yourself doing when you should be doing something else?
* This will explain any ramble-like qualities of this post. Seriously.
** Not really. In fact, The Stripey One creeps me out with her staring a lot.
Last.fm hit of the day: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
Monday, November 14, 2011
- While not everyone will have a chance to attend one of these, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the tips I heard on crafting your pitch.
- Take your time crafting it. It took The Book Doctors six months to craft their one-minute pitch for their book.
- At the end of the pitch, there should be a feeling of “what happens next.”
- Comp titles. If it’s not clear where on the shelves your book belongs, you have to include some comps, but you don’t need to pull just from other books in your genre. You can pull from movies, TV, or books in a different genre, as long as it makes sense.
- Show, show, show. If you’re writing a humorous story, show the humor, don’t just say it’s funny. Show in the pitch your writing chops and the voice of the book as well.
- Include some description for your main character (no more than 4 words) so we know who they really are and fall in love with them.
- The goal is to tell a story in a minute, so it is important to include an almost complete story arc: beginning, middle, climax, and cliffhanger.
- If you are dealing with a tired trend like werewolves, vampires, and dystopian societies, it is super important that you show your spin on it so we know what makes your story stand out among the rest.
What are some important tips you've learned from pitching?
* At least that is how it worked at Porter Square Books.
Last.fm hit of the day: Endless Sacrifice by Dream Theater
Friday, November 11, 2011
Today's post is super-late and I'm sorry about that. Lots of exciting things have been happening to Yours Truly as of late and since I don't want to jinx anything, that's as much as I can write.
- Zero distractions. With both Hubby unemployed, he's always home so I decided I wouldn't be. Thankfully my dad hooked me up with a temporary office where I holed myself up for eight hours a day over the last two weeks.
- Caffeine. I'd be lying if this doesn't show up as needed for every project, but when my brain goes "mumble mumble," the caffeine is super important. The caffeine of choice is usually Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.
- Music. Another item that shows up all the time, I constantly listen to music while I write. It helps filter out the lawn mower, cat fights, Hubby yelling at Call of Duty...
- Snacks. Since I've been writing as a full time gig for the last few weeks, I eat while I work. I've had the most unhealthy diet ever this month, but hey I *did* finish my WIP*.
- Writing Mascot. Usually seen in the form of The Stripey or White One, this NaNo has found me with a tiny magic worm that looks like Slimy from Sesame Street. See?
With all this kitty (not to mention Alicia) drama, I am painfully behind my NaNoWriMo word count and each setback like this one is enough for me to tear out all my hair. Right now I just want to get it done and retire into an afghan-making frenzy**. If only there were a way to get this done in an efficiently painless way.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Hello, zombie fans! During Halloween week, there were a lot of great shows on television that would never be played throughout the year otherwise. It's cool that channels like the History Channel and Discovery will air shows about zombies and witches, etc. during October, but kind of sad that they won't air anything like that the other eleven months out of the year.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.
Today's topic: What are your writing/publishing superpowers (drafting? plotting? writing queries?) – and what’s your kryptonite?
Today’s answer is going to be wicked fast because it’s been a loooong week for yours truly and I have this mammoth word count I need to play catch up on.
If I was a literary super heroine, like Wonder Woman, I would totally rock a fantastic no-gym-necessary body and spandex would love me. There would be comic books with variant covers and movie options showering upon my creative genius.
If I was a literary super heroine, I would have my own batch of super friends (you) and we would have our own version of the JLA and call it Young Adult Literati Legacy, or YALL for short.
If I was a super heroine, my super strength would be dialogue. With it, I would own Hollywood.
If I was a super heroine, my arch enemy would be Nemesis II. This is because there is already a comic book character named Nemesis.
If I was a super heroine, my weakness (besides chocolate) would be the selling of my own work. The queries, pitches, and loglines would obliterate me into a pile of ash.
Last.fm hit of the day: Of Masques and Martyrs by I Am Ghost
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Soundtracks. We know about them. All movies and TV shows have. Yours truly owns a stupid amount of them. I have playlists for the gym, editing, and for various projects. I'm sure you have these as well.
As I was getting ready for NaNoWriMo this year, I worked on coming up with a soundtrack for SFLN. Which is harder than you would think when you're doing it consciously. How do you manage to go beyond your "go-to" music to get the feel right for your story?
It's a good question. Below I've listed a few tips that will help you go past the norm and beef up that soundtrack.
- Broaden your musical horizons. This should go without saying. If you listen to music beyond what's in your iPod, you might hear something that will blow your mind. Last.fm is a good place to start as you can listen to music based off of genre, similar artist, or other Last.fm users.
- Go by song title. Sounds lame, but sometimes a song title will give you some insight about what the song is about, which will make it easy for you to determine if it will work for your WIP without necessarily listening to it.
- Make sure there's music representative of each character and emotion. This sort of goes with number 1, but it does bear repeating: diversity is key. If you have kissing scenes, hardcore techno isn't going to work, just like Kenny G isn't going to work if you're writing about war.
Lurkdom, tell me your tips for creating a soundtrack.
Last.fm hit of the day: Spooky by Daniel Ash
Monday, November 7, 2011
Nor is about my other love, reality television. I'm not talking about the trashy reality TV, like Jersey Shore, but something a little "classier" where the focus is more on actual life and not just hookups.
|Source: images.search.yahoo.com via Amira on Pinterest|
Dirty Soap focuses on the lives of eight people involved in soaps. Each star is at a different stage of their professional and personal careers. There's rivalry, family drama, and baby drama. Not to mention there's tons of talk about soaps. That there are entire conversations that discuss what's happening with their fictional selves is pretty awesome.
What I love best about the show is the personal edge to the show. It's easy to forget that people involved in TV and movies deal with the same crap we do. Including this into the show makes it less contrived.
Confess! What show are you reluctant to share your love for?
Last.fm hit of the day: In the Presence of My Enemies by Machine Head
Friday, November 4, 2011
Or a bout of "I can't take it anymore" itis*.
Whenever I begin to doubt my own pet project, I think about The Dark Tower.
Personal SK Pick: The Dark Tower series
(Hm... This is more difficult than I originally thought. Maybe it's because a lot of the writers that inspire me aren't actually visible in my writing?)
Personal L'Engle Pick: A Ring of Endless Light (no contest there)
Besides, check out that mustache.
Personal Hardy Pick: Return of the Native
(And it looks like there will only be four today. This writing on a time frame is H-A-R-D.)
Personal Rice Picks: The Vampire Lestat and Memnoch the Devil
I can only think of four. Which authors inspire you?
* Yeah, writing has been slow-going.
** That could be the inner goth talking.
Last.fm hit of the day: Kick in the Eye by Bauhaus
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Today's topic: Per Sarah's August post (http://bit.ly/qi9Ed1), what kind of writing coach do you need? What kind are you?
I think about this from time-to-time because who doesn't want somebody cheering you on while you work and making sure you don't quit?
Despite my self-esteem issues and my total bouts of "I suck," I don't want you to kiss my ass. That's not going to make me a stronger writer. I want someone who will tell me what's wrong when they crit me, but also let me know what's working. If I'm stuck, I want someone who is there to help me brainstorm my way through the problem. Basically, I want a Danielle*.
As for myself, if I was a writing coach, I'm not sure what kind I am. My mood dictates a lot about my coaching style. If I'm in a bad mood, I find more things wrong when I crit. I think I'm pretty good to talk things through with and I'm always willing to cheer you on. In terms of my coaching personality, I think my writing buddies are better equipped to answer that about me.
And since not all in the Lurkdom write, let's expand this out to any kind of coach. If you were going to be a coach for anything (including basket weaving), what kind would you be?
Now I'm off to caffeinate and beat my word count.
* If you're new (welcome), you won't know what a Danielle is. She's one of the besties and always has my writing back. She spends hours helping me refine queries and synopses. She has read way too many versions of the same story.
Spotify hit of the day: Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
What Is Social Media Fatigue?
According to Technopedia, social media fatigue is when people grow overwhelmed with the time and energy spent maintaining and initiating all of these connections. (Yes, this can include people you know IRL that you only now communicate with through Facebook.)
Writers are more prone to suffer this than the average bear. We constantly hear that we need to build our platform, interact with our writing community, and make ourselves visible. (That's on top of constantly honing our craft, reading, researching, and the million other things that make writers awesome.) Many of us are online late into the night participating in Twitter chats or visiting the hundreds of blogs in their Google Reader.
It's amazing we get anything done.
What Can Be Done About SMF?
The easiest (and hardest) answer is manage your time. If you're an avid blog writer and reader, you should figure out how many days a week you will blog and when your blogging will get done. Then you should determine how you're going to read and comment on all those blogs you subscribe to.
Another solution is to unplug for a few days at a time. When I had a day job, I sat in front of a computer all day, so when the weekend would come, I would limit my computer and social media time. While this strategy might not work for you, it does something that we all need--it gives you scheduled time off.
Remember, you're not alone in this. As Hubby just pointed out, everyone suffers from SMF.
Last.fm hit of the day: Going to California (Rosetta Stone Mix) by Gene Loves Jezebel