Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cliches.

I have had a major "a-ha!" moment today. Also known as a "oh crap" moment, as well as a "feel stupid" moment. But overall, today has been tremendously successful for me as a writer.

I went to Tina's PR today (the afternoon one, which normally I don't ever make) and I'm so glad I did because we began talking about things like dialogue tags (see below post), "shooting glances," fake words like 'alright,' and other cliches that are to be avoided when writing. Things that make your writing amateurish. Things that make editors want to take your manuscript, attach a grenade to it, throw it, and watch that sucker explode. And guess what I realized, 30K into my adult fiction and after posting the start of a possible MG novel of mine?

I AM AN AMATEUR. Of course, I knew that. You all knew that.This explains why my work is amateurish. I just started my blog at the beginning of this year. I've never actually written a BOOK before. I've only ever written short stories and picture books, which don't tend to have a lot of dialogue, and let's face it...they're usually too short to get into cliches. Too short to reveal my little "tics," as Mary Kole calls them. In other words, things that are going to annoy the hell out of you once you start reading it. Things that I, master writer that I am, haven't even noticed or are simply unaware of.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not new to writing. I started writing the minute I could hold a pencil. But I'm new to writing to get published. I'm new to the publishing world. I haven't even put my feet in the shallow end in the publishing world. I'm new to meeting other writers, I'm new to the extensive list of "no-no's" in editor-land. I had no idea this would be such a process.

BUT BUT BUT BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, am I glad I "met" you guys. I am so thankful for Tina, for hosting something like The Practice Room. I am so thankful for all you followers who have commented on my blog. Days like today make everything worth it.

Now I can grow as a writer. I'm thank much closer to getting published, thanks to all of you.

Okay, love fest over.
Here's some inspiration.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Now I've gone and done it.

Despite the fact that I'm almost 30K into my adult fiction MS, I lost my mind earlier today and decided to tentatively draft a new story, just for the fun of it. The problem is, once I started writing it, I enjoyed it. A lot. A little too much to give it up.

Problem is, I really don't know what to class this story as. I'm thinking it reads like a MG, ***EDITED TO ADD*** (okay, so I might be wrong, but my MC is 11-12 yrs old) but honestly...I really don't know. I'm new to this MG/YA world. I am posting a little of what I've started below.
***ALSO EDITED TO ADD*** Before I get spanked for this, I thought that MG novels were basically like YA but with a younger MC, and in general shorter? I guess I'm wrong, but could someone tell me what the major difference is?

What do YOU think it is? Would you want to keep reading it?

***WARNING***
Might make men uncomfortable.

*ALSO EDITED TO ADD, YES AGAIN* I have removed (almost all) annoying dialogue tags from writing below, thanks to a comment from Tracy. Tracy, I love you! But not in a weird way.



Getting your period sucks.

“Well, either your period started or you crapped your pants,” Alyssa said, putting on an extra coat of lip gloss.

“I didn't crap my pants,” I insisted, stranded on the toilet. “Aren't you going to help me?”

“Here's a pad." She tossed me one from the cabinet underneath the sink. I looked at her, realizing that she fully expected me to figure this out on my own. “It's not rocket science," she added, in all of her infinite fifteen year old wisdom. With that, she walked out of the bathroom, leaving the door wide open.

I sat there, totally humiliated, until I realized that I needed a fresh pair of panties. “ALYSSA!” Suddenly I was glad the door was still open. I knew she could hear me.
“ALYSSA!!!!!” Silence. She was probably on the phone again. Or just ignoring me...which, lets face it, seemed much more likely.

I refused to put my nasty underwear back on, so I left them on the tile floor, wiped, then ran to my room as fast as I could, my pad in hand.

Ten minutes later, I was sitting uncomfortably at the kitchen table, feeling like I had a mattress shoved in my pants. Have I put it on right? I wondered. There didn't seem to be a “this end up” sign or anything. And besides, like Alyssa said...it's not rocket science.

Getting your period might be a wonderful experience if you have a mother. I can just imagine it now...the speech about becoming a woman, the pad explanation, the my baby's growing up tears in the eyes. Feeling validated, feeling all kinds of grown up.

Maybe, if I had a mother, I'd get some kind of special treatment today, I thought to myself. Today would be different, somehow. A cupcake worthy day...or something. But I knew that wasn't happening. Moms and cupcakes were hard to come by...especially with my dad running the show.

Alyssa is my only sister, thank god. Sisters aren't exactly what movies make them out to be. I don't have a brother, so I don't know what that's like. But I'm willing to bet it's a whole lot better.

Dad walked into the kitchen, pouring himself a cup of coffee with his large hands, permanently stained with oil. I swear, it's like he never washes them. Dad's a car mechanic, and he can't do much else. Once he tried to start up a conversation with my friend's mom about books...that was an epic fail. I knew if he found out that my period had started, he might do something crazy like talk about it. He wasn't exactly on a need-to-know basis, so I decided he didn't need to know.

“Jacie started her period,” said Alyssa, ratting me out the minute she graced us with her presence. She dropped down into her seat at the kitchen table, and I felt my face burning with anger and embarrassment. I'm pretty sure my dad spilled his coffee.
“Thanks a lot." I hated that I couldn't deny it.
I didn't look at dad, but I could feel his stare boring holes into my head.
“You did?” He asked, and I heard his coffee cup touch the table.
I shrugged. “It's no big deal." I shot daggers at Alyssa from the corners of my eyes. She smiled innocently.
“Did Alyssa....take care of it?” He asked, and I'm pretty sure he had no idea what 'taking care of it' even meant.
“Yeah, I totally did,” Alyssa said, getting up from the table and grabbing a granola bar out of the pantry. “No problem.”

I glared at her openly then. Dad had no idea there was anything hostile between us, despite the unmistakable tension that hung in the air. Walls had better intuition than him.

He smiled. “Well, I sure am glad you have a sister." He took a sip of his coffee. “You guys can take care of all that lady business.” He paused, wondering if he should say more. The answer is always no. He never listens.

“Don't go getting pregnant now!” My body hit the table as he slapped me on the shoulder like I was one of his buddies at work. I should have known it was coming, but I guess I had assumed that he knew better. I assumed wrong.

As I rolled my eyes in response, Alyssa pushed herself back in her chair, her painted toenails propped on the kitchen table. Where we eat.
“HA! AS IF!” Her long, shiny blonde hair rippled down her back as she laughed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hopeful things

This week I'm hoping...

-That my husband will fix the curtain rod so our valance no longer tips to one side (wink wink, nudge nudge)
-That I will actually hear something good from a publisher regarding one of my picture books.
-That my husband will get a promotion sooner rather than later.
-That I'll be able to clean upstairs sometime today without falling and getting lost forever in a mound of laundry.
-That my son won't crap on the floor again.
-That my son will figure out how to make the S, K, and J and L sounds so I can understand what he's saying.
-That it won't rain all day.
-That my daughter will stop hurting herself every 5 minutes.
-That I'll lose at least 5 more lbs before the beach in September.

And a lot more.
What are you hoping for this week?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Even MORE inspiration!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inspiration.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I write like Stephen King!

How much fun is THIS!!!! Thanks, Marisa!!


I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!





It says I write like Stephen King, but I analyzed another part of my writing and it said Dan Brown. I'll take both, thankyouverymuch. As long as I can get my millions LOL!

Click the link, guys!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dorking out for a moment.

Back in 1998, I was in a marching band that won what's called Grand Nationals. We practiced non stop, every day, in the Georgia heat for almost a year to get to this moment, and we won.

I found a video of it on youtube!!! HA! I'm in this band, somewhere.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

What I've been up to...

For those of you who didn't know, or are just now joining me on this journey, I am currently writing an adult fiction book (women's fiction) entitled The Fall. This is a spin off of my recently published short story. I am now working on chapter 8, and am currently up to 18, 500 words. This has been taking up a substantial amount of my time (you know, when I'm not busy raising my kiddies), but I also had the opportunity to finish Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which was an excellent book. Not what I expected, but awesomely written.
I am now about to read The Host, by Stephanie Meyer. There are soooooo many books on my list, and I wish I had all the time in the world to read them...but, I don't.

On a random but good note, Jacob used the potty for the first time today! yay! I'm a step closer to not ever buying diapers again!

What are you guys currently working on/reading?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A VLOG! (or something...if I can stop it)

This took ONE take. I'm sure you'll be able to tell. Bear in mind I just woke up as well...well, okay, don't. I always look like that.

BUT REGARDLESS!!! This is the face of creative genius.

video

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Hope everyone has a great one...I'll be posting pictures/video of our weekend adventures very soon!