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Monday, July 28, 2008

2 days and counting

I have a thousand things to do between now and my flight Wednesday morning (why is it that EVERYTHING crops up right before a vacation and HAS to be done immediately?), but I'm eagerly anticipating San Fran. Got the guide book, the walking tour plan, the meet up with friends plan, and most importantly the pitch plan. I'm so ready!

Among my sightseeing tours, I plan on visiting the Ten Ren Tea Co., Ltd. and The Great China Herb Co.

And in between walking, talking, and hobnobbing, I'll be practicing my pitch. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

RWA National

I'm really excited about going to a National Conference. It'll be my first one - national that is, I've been to 2 (or 3 maybe?) NJRW conferences. I really like them, smaller scale, closer trip. But National is National. I have an appointment with Lori Perkins and plan to loiter around the editor tables in the hopes someone cancels and I can get a Tor appointment - those filled up faster than I could blink.

In addition to that, I've printed out (new thing this year to save them money but at least I used the 2nd side of some old paper, so I recycled!) a bunch of handouts for the workshops, and am looking forward to going to them. I'm also looking forward to meeting people I've only known online and seeing people I usually see only once a year.

Plus, it's in San Fran! So Chinatown here I come for some nice herbs and hopefully a meeting with a Chinese doctor about headaches and allergies. And I've got friends there I'm hoping to meet up with Thursday night (if I haven't completely crashed) for dinner. And, to top it off, if I have time, am not beat, can see straight, Mamma Mia! here I come, I really want to see the movie. Love the music, even if I haven't seen the play, so hopefully I can fit that in with some friends in addition to everything else.

I'll keep you posted on what's happening there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Life of Pi

For a book club I'm in (and mostly stay with) we read Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The discussion is tomorrow, but frankly I don't care what anyone else thinks. I LOVED this book, right down to the ending I expected but ignored because I liked the story itself so much better.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It was fantastic.

They concept of a 'story' is explored here as well as Pi's life. What is a story, versus what is fact? What difference does it make in the grand scheme of survival? Is it the 'truth' or what gets us through?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Diligence

It's hard to write when so much else sucks up your time. I use this excuse a lot. It's not really an excuse when you fall into bed exhausted every night, but it's still an excuse when I don't write a damn thing any day of the week.

Embarrassing but true.

I'm heading to RWA National next week in San Fran, so I KNOW I won't have any time to write, but maybe I'll have a chance to doddle in the plot department for an eventuality of writing. That'd be something at least.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Molly & Birthrite - Raven

Birthrite - Raven advanced to Round 2!

It's very exciting, I've never made it beyond the initial weeding and rejections. I'm pretty psyched, actually - made my whole day.

The Virginia Fool For Love Contest yielded some great feedback but wildly different scores. Of a possible 150 I got 73, 118, 143. Uh...huh? *shrug* I'll take what I like and ignore the particularly vicious 73 score who clearly didn't like anything about the concept. It's all subjective anyway, but the other 2 scores had great ideas for a lot of things that I plan on incorporating.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ideas

It's not hard for me to come up with new ideas for stories. It's hard fashioning the stories into something cohesive and workable. Sure I can say that I want Hero to meet Heroine in the Caribbean in 1670 on the run from a lunatic who wants her fortune but therein lies the problem.

Research is only the 1st issue. Clothes, speech, travel time, accommodations, etc. It's a nightmare. Interesting, but it's so easy to get bogged down in details.

Word usage is the 2nd. Can't use lunatic, really; it was around but madman would be better. Can't use moron - wasn't invented until the early 20th century. Plus they were much more proper in their use, polite even (and especially) when they were being rude.

Plot aside, it's hard to wrap everything up in a neat and tidy package with no holes, loose ends, or dangling ribbons.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New week

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I know I did, very relaxing and yet also productive. Just one of those weekends. :)

This week I'm again super busy and don't know when I'll get to any writing but I have a couple books for research to read, and am currently listening to Life of Pi for a book club. Or, I'm about to start it. Any day now. Really.

I also plan on getting ready for RWA National in San Francisco the end of the month, so lots of workshop planning for that and one day of sightseeing.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Holiday weekend

3-day weekend! It's a great feeling, even if you do nothing. I plan on eating, sleeping, sunning, and spending time with the family. The 4th holds special meaning to us Americans, and I hope everyone realizes it's not just a convenient summer holiday. Take a moment to remember the sacrifices our forefathers made to ensure we have all we do today. (Canada had their own Canada Day earlier this week on July 1.)

Of course writing. I'll immerse myself in Charleston during the Civil War. Or maybe England during the Great Exhibition. Or something. But I plan on writing, writing, writing. It's a great feeling just to know I have the time to do this!

What're your plans, writing or not, for our National Holiday?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

World Building

Recently (April) I took a workshop with bestseller L.A. Banks. She spoke on a great many topics (her energy is boundless) but one was on world building. Not just a paranormal or alternate history world, but building your fictional world.

Characters, neighborhoods, work environments, they're all part of your world and as sch part of what yo need to build. Is your Hero white from a rough poor neighborhood? Better get those slang words and accents right then. How about former gang member? Better brush up on that, too.

Now this doesn't mean you have to go to a neighborhood with a gang or spend time driving around with a camera. Research is available in so many ways to our networked writers. Take advantage of it! Ask around, someone always knows someone.

Use this to your advantage - the more authentic the setting the more 'real' the story will be to both you and your readers.

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