Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five -- Facts About Me and Books

Five facts about me:

1.  My parents are both geologists.  I spent a considerable amount of time as a child looking at road cuts.  And I still, on car trips, can look up and exclaim, “Look at the stratification in that.”

2.  When I was ten, I wanted to go to law school and then become President.  My fifth grade teacher set up a “learn about the law” program in which kids could take “the bar”, become lawyers, and then hold mock trials.  We had one.  I was prosecuting attorney.  But during recess, when the trial was over, I saw the accused (who had been found guilty) crying in the classroom.  And my dream of being a lawyer died right there. 

3.  My sister and I shared a room for years.  At night, when we were supposed to be asleep, she read aloud THE HOBBIT and the entire LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.  I still can’t disassociate the stories from the sound of her voice.

4.  I studied ballet for two weeks when I was eight.

5.  The thing that frightened me most as a child was a nightmare I had in which a pretty little yellow bird turned into a monster.  The thing that frightens me most now?  Well, I’m not saying…

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Does anyone else do this?  You're getting ready to go out, putting on nice clothes, great shoes, doing your hair (I straighten mine.  My 14-year-old self desperately wishes she had straightening tongs, so my present-day self uses them whenever I want to look nice.  If you could see my 8th grade class photo, you would totally understand).  And, of course, makeup.  Stand back.  Look in the mirror.

What do I see?  Not the whole picture -- the nice clothes and decent straightening job.  I see the little frizzy bit over my right ear that I can't tame.  I see the little pill coming up in the shoulder of my sweater.  I see the spot just starting to appear on my forehead above my left eyebrow.

I see the imperfections.

I do the same thing when cooking -- the broccoli is overdone, the sauce is too thick, there aren't enough potatoes to serve my family (in the entire world.  My family loves potatoes.  This is not an imperfection, this is a fact.)

And again in my writing.

I just got my edit letter on Book 2.  And I have to force myself to go back and re-read the first sentence: "Let me begin by saying I loved it!" Because the next nine pages are all about what needs to be fixed.

The imperfections.

It's hard to have the imperfections pointed out.  It's like someone standing in front of you and saying, "You look great, but did you know you had a huge spot just above your eyebrow?"  There's nothing I can do about the spot (maybe a little concealer -- and about three days worth of hiding beneath low-brimmed hats).  But I can do something about the imperfections in Book 2.

And it's good to have someone else point them out.  Because I get so close to my work I can't always see them myself.  Some of them are like that spot -- I know they're there, but I desperately hope everyone else will ignore it.  But I need them pointed out to me.

These imperfections need to be fixed.  It will make the book better.  It's just hard to look them in the face.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Cure for the Monday Blues

How many of you out there get the Monday blues?  Back to work, back to school, back to whatever…Even if you love your job or your classes, getting back to the same old thing can be a bit tiresome.

Since I started writing full-time, I look forward to most Mondays.  I say most because that statement needs a qualifier.  I look forward to having a few moments alone.  I look forward to getting back to the life that happens in my head and in the pages.  Mostly.  There are weeks – when I’m in the throes of writer’s block, or when I have a week ahead that is full of volunteer opportunities that seemed fun when I volunteered…

This week, I definitely have something to look forward to.  My revision letter for Book 2.  I’m a little nervous (amend that – I’m a lot nervous) but also thrilled to find out what my editor thinks.  And as much as it terrifies me, I’m looking forward to digging back in – in part because I was in the throes of writer’s block with Book 3.

There are other things to look forward to today:

You can still enter the GILT giveaway over at the YAMuses blog!

And tonight, at 9 p.m. EST, I will be hosting my first ever Twitter chat – the Apocalypsies will be talking about world-building and we’ll be giving away prizes donated by Veronica Rossi (author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY) and Megan Miranda (author of FRACTURE).  Come by Twitter and check out the hashtag #2012debuts.  You won’t regret it!

How’s that for a cure to the Monday blues?