Thursday, October 21, 2010
Thank Goodness for NaNo! As most of you know next month is National Novel Writing Month where thousands of writers all over the world will try to complete a 50k word first draft in one month. Lucky for me i've had an idea brewing on the back burner for a year. TRAP is an edgy YA about seventeen-year-old Jen whos only wish in life is to become a drag queen. All I can say is this is going to be a blast. Maybe, maybe, maybe this will keep my mind off GRIMACE for a while.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Last night was the first annual Banned Book Swap at Cavalier House Books. It was a small group but I think small makes things more personal. I went with a copy of Tender Morsels and The Perks of Being a Wallflower and each of us in turn told the others about the book we brought. I ended up taking home a copy of NAKED and instead of swaping Tender Morsels for Lolita (I already have a copy just haven't got around to reading it yet) I promised Michelle I would tell her how I liked it in a few weeks. Needless to say I went home feeling all fuzzy inside.
So why do people ban books? Mostly due to misconceptions, religious beliefs, and censorship . Black Beauty was originally banned in South Africa because of the misconception of it being a book about a black woman. Uncle Tom's Cabin was banned in the South during the Civil War because it held anti-slavery content. Steinbeck's East of Eden was banned in American libraries for being "ungodly and obscene". Those are just three examples and sadly many more could be named.
So why have Banned Books Week? Other than examining past incidents I believe it is all about having freedom of speech. To be able to express our ideas and opinions without fear of censorship. If we start taking away some privileges or changing those privileges then what is to keep others from just pulling the whole tablecloth out from under us? Sorry to go so patriotic on you guys but this is a topic that always gets me pumped.
I will end this with a quote from John Mill.
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."- John Mill
Monday, September 13, 2010
So here goes, the playlist.
1. Dancing In the Moonlight- King's Harvest
2. A Day in the Life- The Beatles
3. Wild Child- The Doors
4. I Miss You- Blink 182
5. Abracadabra- Steve Miller Band
6. You Can do Magic- America
7. Into the Night- Benny Mardones (Yep, just wrong but I love this song)
8. Africa- Toto
9. Black is Black- Los Bravos
10. Sealed with a Kiss- Bobby Vinton
11. Sleep Walk- Santo & Johnny
12. Spill the Wine- The Animals
13. Within You- David Bowie
14. Run Through the Jungle- CCR
Like I said. Old music is old but this came up a while back on Absolute Write and it makes a fun blog post. What is your playlist? Post it on your blog and send me a link in the comments to this post. I'm curious to see what other people are into these days.
One year later I buy and read Paper Towns and boy does it blow you away. Start off with a cast of characters so real you feel like you've known them your entire life and add in Q's epic internal journey and bam you get a smash hit.
The entire length of Paper Towns you are made to believe the novel is about this girl named Margo Roth Spigelman but quite honestly (eww I used an adverb) Paper Towns has much more to do with how Q percives Margo.
The planning and imagination that went into the story would put some Urban Fantasy writers to shame. Even though it only weighs in at 82k words you will get much more out of it than that.
The best thing about Paper Towns? Q's friends Radar, Ben, and Lacey. Don't worry I won't give anything away except WORLDS LARGEST COLLECTION OF BLACK SANTAS.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Some writers can pump out five finished manuscripts a year others like myself do well to finish one. This isn't to put down on either type of writer, not at all. This post is more about the journey. What drove me to write GRIMACE and a little about the person who pushed me to do it.
Last summer I started taking a friend of my fiance's family to chemotherapy. I had met Ms. Dee Dee before and like my mother and mother-in-law she was a third grade teacher. I was unemployed and not attending school so I spent much of my time with Ms. Dee Dee at the clinic and in doctor's offices waiting for good news that never came.
On the third visit or so Ms. Dee Dee who often referred to me as just 'friend' asked me "You know, i'm curious to know why you are always writing down things in that notebook friend." I was embarassed to tell her the notes were ideas for my novel but I fessed up. To my suprise she was delighted and in seconds I was spilling the details about my heart broken character that was either schizophrenic or the reincarnation of Joan of Arc and Grimace the gargoyle that found purpose in protecting her.
Even as the months went on and the cancer presisted Ms. Dee Dee would squeeze my hand as we sat side by side in the cold clinic and ask, "So what is Jillian doing now?"So I would her .
Ms. Dee Dee passed away this year in late July. Now it is September and i'm creeping closer and closer to being query ready. I guess the message of this post is to always remember those who inspired you on your journey. I know that if GRIMACE ever finds a home I will have a small message to my very special friend somewhere between the cover and chapter one.
I like to think of myself as the tortoise in Aesop's fable, inching ever onward to the finish line. He believes in himself , and it dosen't matter if he wins the race just as long as he makes it to the finish line. Just me here, your humble blogger, getting closer and closer to the finish line.
Monday, September 6, 2010
The good news? I've bought a wedding dress and the second draft of GRIMACE is almost ready to go into the hands of a few beta readers. Man I really need to get over my fear of critique. That sounds like a great post topic for Absolute Write: Over Editors Anonymous.
I just feel blessed that I have so many friends and a wonderful fiance that keep me inspired and in the right direction. Like C. S. Lewis once said, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
As you can imagine I have a stack of unread books and I want to gush about each and every one of them as soon as i'm finished. So here is the list in no particular order.
Dirty Little Secrets
Infinity: Chronicles of Nick
Tender Morsels (need to finish)
The Graveyard Book (need to finish)
Claire de Lune (finished need to review)
These plus the half a million books I want to buy when I get a chance. Stay tuned.
On a recent trip to B&N this book came as a wonderful suprise. Having recently become a fan of Holly Black's Tithe series I was hungry for more, and didn't have to wait long.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Dystopian. (Hah! I got ya’) With the emergence of books like The Hunger Games, Unwind, and The Forest of Hands and Teeth agents are receiving more and more queries pitching Dystopian YA. Is Pen Sister excited? Well freaking yeah! I admire these people because I don’t think I could ever pull off that much world building myself.
What is coming up this year? Werewolves. We will see a ton of werewolf novels this year. One that recently made it to the shelf is Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson. A quick but fun read about a girl that finds out she is a werewolf.
What do I want to see? Well, I will leave that for another blog post. Make sure you take a look at my Trends in YA contest if you haven’t yet, and as always happy writing.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Until I met my fiance in 2007 I had all but forgotten them. I can remember the first time we ate dinner at his house. After dinner and a movie it was almost time to head back home but curiousity had me in it's nasty clutches and I stole a peek into his room.
The walls were lined with bookcases and on them without a space for more were hundreds of graphic novels. "Uh, I thought you said you had books?" "These are books." he said giving me a blank stare. I have to say until then I thought Graphic Novels were for people that hadn't outgrown those old lower Middle Grade picture books.
Upon better inspection I realized that he was drawn more so to the art than the story line. These books that he had collected since the 80's were what fueled his inspiration. I realized that a lot of my friends from High School had the same thing going on with Anime and Manga and most of them were some type of artist.
Comic books have drawn kids and teens to read for close to a hundred years and with the explosion of dozens of major motion pictures like Iorn Man, Watchmen, and Fantastic 4 we can be promised that comic book characters will be part of the main stream for quite some time. Not so much into endless words on the page? Pick up a Manga book or a graphic novel. Some of my favorites are Japanese: Hana-Kimi, Petshop of Horrors, Bleach, and Inu Yasha. American: Green Lantern, Dark Avengers, The Mighty Thor, and Batman.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
In her debut YA novel, Kelley Armstrong (Authors of the popular Women of the Otherworld series) brings not only the fun and excitement related to Paranormal Fiction but realistic characters that pop from the page.
If you want a cute and cuddly fairy tale then leave Tithe on the shelf. On the other hand if you want an edgy, gripping read then this is your best bet.