Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Friend to Follow

A quick plug for my friend, the lovely and talented, Donna Hosie. If you’re not following her blog, Musings of A Penniless Writer you’re missing an up and coming YA writer who has more drive and determination than anyone I know.

When I’m feeling lazy, I read one of her posts in which she gets an idea for a plot and writes an 80,000 word novel in 3 months or changes her whole novel from third to first point of view. And that’s while she works full-time, raises her kids, tends to her garden or yard or whatever you like to call that big grassy space surrounding your house. Oh, and she’s probably planning her next trip to Hobbit Country as well. Whips me into shape in no time, she does!

No challenge is too daunting for my supportive, hard-working friend and I know it’s only a matter of time before an agent snatches her up. She’s 1 follower away from reaching 200. So what are you waiting for?

She lives on the Aussie side of the world so (hopefully) she’s sleeping right now. Unless she decided to get up early to revise her ms. Wouldn’t it be great if she woke to see 200 followers? You could be the one!
Now shoo! Get going!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Good News!

I love sharing good news, but first I’m going to be totally lame today and point you to another post.

After meeting with some of the big names in publishing, agent/author Mandy Hubbard, generously shared some valuable information on her blog in her post, The Epic Post on Trends (YA & MG). For kidlit writers who have high hopes of being published this info is invaluable. I suppose if the genre you write in isn’t included on a publisher’s wish list, then it would be simply “eh” news. Not necessarily bad, but not good if you just typed the final period on your epic high fantasy novel about an alien merboy and the girl who loves him. Personally, I don’t believe in writing to trends, but when my ms seems close to hitting one of the desired targets I can’t help feeling encouraged.

On to the Good News:

Ms. Hubbard's post was relevant to me because MG may well be the new YA and I’ve been plugging away at an upper MG contemporary for over a year. Just the incentive I need to finish this novel.

My “on hold” project is a YA ghost story that I’m dying to explore.

I’m not sick anymore!

The Science Fair is over! (3 kids + 3 projects/papers + 1 computer = too much tension) My life will finally start becoming my own soon.

The sun broke through the cloudy gray drizzle for about a half hour today!

And, it's Friday!!

Meet you on the other side....of either the weekend or in the Great Beyond.

What good news do you have to share? Has this song been stuck in anyone’s head besides mine this week?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh Blogger, You Devil!

Thought you'd be tricksy on Friday the 13th, did you?
Well, I'm on to you.

Thought you'd wipe out yesterday's brilliant *cough* post?
Well, I'm 2 steps ahead of you this time, even though my mad tech skillz are usually 5 steps behind everyone else.

See, because I'm so anal efficient, I wrote yesterday's post in Word and saved it. Pretty smart, eh?

So today when I discovered that you had a craving for clever writing, or maybe just writing, I was able to retrieve my words and voila!

Mwahahahahaha! Foiled again, Blogger!

(Even though I was able to repost below, the comments by the lovely Donnas were gobbled up. Sorry gals. I invite you to recomment if you'd like to.)

Did Blogger's meltdown create havoc with your blogging? Do tell!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You Know It's Time to Work on Your MS When...

You open Word and the title of your WiP isn’t listed under “Recent Documents” anymore.

You can’t remember what chapter you’re on.

You have to scroll back to remember the names of some of your minor characters.

You can’t remember what your last scene was about, so...

You have to go back and read several chapters before continuing.

You don’t know the word count of your ms (especially if you’re obsessed about this while writing like I am).

You miss your main characters.

You miss writing.

How do you know it's time?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blog Light and Sci-Fi - YA Style

Blog Light - it’s not a new brand of diet soda or beer. But I am going to cut back my blogging over the next 3 weeks. Don’t worry. This is not going to be one of those posts in which I describe how busy I am. Nope. I promise (even though I am and might be only slightly freaking out about it). Who’s not busy, right?
So, I need to prioritize what little free time I have during the month of May. After work and family obligations, I will be alternating between working on my draft one and critiquing a friend’s manuscript the next (and so on), and also squeezing in some reading time. I always make time for reading.

As for blogging during this time, I’m going to blog once a week until the beginning of June.

Speaking of reading I’ve been noticing a trend in my choice of YA fiction lately. I’ve been reading quite a bit of science fiction during the last year. Psssst. Don’t. Tell. Anyone!

Not that there’s anything wrong with science fiction, trust me. But if you had recommended a sci-fi book to me when I was a teen way back when, I probably would have either laughed out loud (since LOL wasn’t invented yet) or said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Or I’d pass it on to my friend Brian who loved all things Star Trek. Please don’t judge. I’m not proud of my closed-minded, judgemental sci-fi snobbishness. The closest I came to sci-fi back then was when Star Wars hit the theaters. What’s not love about Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie?

As far as fiction goes, I guess I could say that I didn’t hate Lord of the Flies, 1984, A Brave New World, or even A Wrinkle in Time when I was a teen. But they didn’t exactly fuel my fiery love of reading either. In fact, during those years my focus shifted from Nancy Drew to cute boys, REO Speedwagon, General Hospital, and trying to survive high school. I hardly read at all. Again, I must implore you not to judge.

My first dip into contemporary YA sci-fi was The Hunger Games trilogy. My heart raced as I devoured this series. My next sci-fi choice was The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson. Adored it! Since then I’ve read M.T. Anderson’s, Feed, and the Uglies series (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras) by Scott Westerfeld and enjoyed them all. Currently I’m in the middle of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. The chapters alternate between two characters' point of view, Amy and Elder, and let me tell you, I cannot put this book down! The pacing is excellent and the suspense builds slowly through the novel.

What I love about these books is that the sci-fi elements of the book are not in your face. The relationships between the characters and the internal and external conflicts they have to deal with are the main focus. That's what I like in any genre.

How do you feel about sci-fi? Do you have any favorite YA sci-fi novels?