Friday, January 27, 2012

Follow Friday -- The Lucky 13s

Happy Friday, everybody!  With any luck at all, I'll be out in the snow this weekend, but before I go, I want to do two things.

First, thanks again for coming back and participating in the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes last week, that was hosted by and featured more than 50 Apocalypsies writers.  If you participated in the race, you started off at the Apocalypsies website, right?

Well, the good news is that there are more great young adult and middle grade books coming out in 2013, because the world is not really going to end.  And the authors whose first books are coming out next year (the debut authors) have rounded themselves up and created a group called The Lucky 13s.

This is a fun group, with some great books and fabulous authors.  Throughout this year, they will be blogging about their experiences and hosting interviews with Apocalypsies authors and probably doing giveaways as well.  So follow them.  They are the future.

The Lucky 13s blog here.
And are on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Change of Scenery

I actually wrote this post last Wednesday, before remembering that it was all YAmazing Race all week long.  But I couldn't leave this post in a drawer.  Today -- actually today -- I am at an undisclosed location with a writer friend, and we are both hip-deep in revision.  Change of location - and hours of uninterrupted writing time - can be akin to heaven.

Today I've decided that I need a change of scenery. So here I am, at my local coffee shop, with a 12 ounce mocha, a pumpkin scone, and my laptop. I'd probably be happier if I had a lemon poppy seed muffin, but we can't always get everything we want.

I know writers who do all of their creative work at a coffee shop. And have to say that I think the image of author, hunched over a computer keyboard at a corner table is an appealing one. I'd love to be able to be one of those authors who lists her favorite barista in her acknowledgments. It's just such a lovely scene.

But I'm afraid I suffer from a guilt complex. I'd feel guilty spending money every day on coffee I can make perfectly easily at home (I used to be a barista, after all). I'd feel guilty sitting at the table all morning with just one coffee drink.

Not only that, but I'd have to be way more productive to justify the cost.

However, I do reserve the right to a $4 coffee when no other options are available to me. When I have been at home for 4 days straight, pounding away at the same 5 pages, and my arms start to ache from sitting in the same position. When I start talking to the dog, as he snores in his basket beside my desk. When I begin to wonder if maybe my time would be better used cleaning the toilet than writing the same 5 pages. That is when I get over my guilt complex and spend the day somewhere else.

And I find that that change scenery, the simple act of sitting at a different table, and listening to different sounds, can actually make a difference. I've had scenes just flow from my fingertips as everything around me disappears and my coffee grows cold. I've had words and sentences appear in my mind, perfect and indisputable. I've had characters speak to me in voices so clear that it's more like taking dictation than writing dialogue.

Plus, this is probably the best mocha I've ever had.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winner of the BORN WICKED Giveaway!

First, I want to thank you all for participating in the Race.  The Apocalypsies are a pretty amazing group, and it's been so much fun supporting each other and cheering each other on.  And even more fun to see the number of people who are right there with us -- wanting to read all of these amazing books.

Secondly, I want to announce the winner of the BORN WICKED giveaway.  It's hard giving up this ARC, because I love this book, but I know I'll buy a copy anyway!

Chosen from all comments and new followers by Natalie! (Natalie152 at gmail).  I will be e-mailing you shortly for your address and will get the book in the mail as soon as possible.

Thanks again for coming, everyone!

Why Tudors?

A recurring theme from last week's comments was Tudor love.

"I love all the Tudor drama." -- Eliza
"I've always been fascinated with the Tudor court." -- Hannah Lorraine
"I love the Tudor era! -- picyadri
"I love anything to do with Henry VIII." -- Hannah

And it got me thinking.  Why?  Why do we love these people who lived hundreds of years ago, in what would seem like a different planet to our modern age?  Why do we get caught up in their stories and their dramas, and why do they seem so present - so immediate - in our modern minds?

I have a feeling it's not just the Showtime/BBC series (I've only seen two episodes, but Henry Cavill will always have a place in my heart) because something - something bigger and more culturally potent - threw that series into stardom.

The only answer I can provide is my own.  I began reading about Tudor history to discover if Henry truly was the gross, tyrannical behemoth so easily lampooned by modern comedians.  And learned that Henry is much more complex than I ever imagined.

My second was to find out why this diverse group of women - almost all of them well-educated and obviously intelligent - would marry him.  And their reasons were as diverse as their personalities.  Henry certainly didn't marry a "type".  Which makes him even more complex.

This doesn't come close to why I'm somewhat obsessed by the entire era.  By the wars and religious upheaval.  By the clothes and the jewelry, the food and travel and sports and entertainments.  Compared to how we live now, their ways and traditions are archaic - even barbaric.  But also fascinating - and some even beautiful.

So because I don't have an answer, let me turn it over to you.  Why are you fascinated by the Tudors?  And what is it about them that captures our collective imagination?