MYTHICAL UNICORN

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Writers Conference, that is. Was supposed to go in March and they cancelled it. I am bereft. I shall no doubt go into conference withdrawal as my calendar from June through September is filled with weddings and babies and similar excellent but time-absorbing events. Perhaps I will have a pretend conference in my house utilizing crash test dummies.

A BOOK LIKE MINE?

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So here’s the challenge that has eaten up two hours of my time and burned out my brain : Name a book that would be most like yours. Lovers of YA, anyone familiar with a modern fantasy/magical realism book (not dystopian or set in some fantasy kingdom), about a girl who is unaware of her hidden powers and must lift a curse to get rid of it? ANYBODY? ANYBODY?

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Decided my basically wiseass flippant style needs a touch of bittersweet melancholy yearning now and then, because, HEY, we’re talking teens here!

TIMELINE

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There is only one thing more boring than checking punctuation, and that is making a timeline, so that, for example, your main character doesn’t have a serious conversation with someone she hasn’t met yet. But I only have six months to go in said timeline! And I will undoubtedly find some error  that means twelve sections have to be rearranged.

A POX UPON YOU, MICHELLE HODKIN

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For writing the Mara Dyer Trilogy whose third book I just reread a second time (which is to say, I read it thrice).  Because it is really, really, really moving and melancholy and bittersweet, and if I were 16 I would read it three more times. I might anyway. My only comfort is it took you five years.

EUREKA #2

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And then I said, “No, not Asteri. ASTRAEA! At least this time the ‘find replace’ function was a one step process.

Speaking of everything, reading really fast and really obsessively is a really expensive combination.*

* Don’t say ‘library.’ I have to keep the books, and that wouldn’t be nice, and I’m a very nice person.

EUREKA!

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In the single digit hours this morning I realized what I needed to do to make one of my novels instantly captivating! Just change the main character’s first name from Star to Asteri. It was easy! Except for the ‘replace one word at a time’ issue, because there are gazillions of words with ‘star’ in them and ‘He Asteried at me makes no sense whatsoever.

MARLA DYER

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As part of my ‘Homework Can Be Fun’ effort I just ordered the second in the ‘Marla Dyer’ trilogy. I could say it was for more research, but the truth is, 1. I want to know what happens next, and 2. It accomplished something few books do; it had a plot twist I never saw coming, and yet, working backwards, all the clues were there. I say this as someone who figured out Presumed Innocent in the first few pages (no, really).

AGAIN WITH THE QUERIES

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Now that I have an actually, truly finished manuscript ( as in, I’m not opening the file again except to copy sections for queries) I am submitting it to some agents who showed no interest whatsoever the first time around. In most cases this is considered taboo. However, since those queries are ancient* the novel has been completely rewritten, including the title, and I now have some actual credits on my resume, I thought ‘what the heck.’ What’s the worst they could do, send me to Submission Prison?

*I believe they were written in cuneiform.

LESSON IN MARKETING

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Stop caring whether you build it or not, and they will come. And that is why (she said somewhat cryptically) the guy from Marriott called me yesterday and spent 15 minutes discussing ways we might work together on events both corporate and non. Alas, I doubt the same approach works with writing, unless you are J.K. Rowling.