"The pen is the tongue of the mind." -Miguel de Cervantes

Monday, September 13, 2010


Lets face it i'm a sucker for music. Most of that music happens to be old so you have been warned. When I have a SNI (shiny new idea) the first thing I do is make a playlist of all the songs that kind of play around that idea and the music pushes me through the first and second draft. This works for some people, others can watch tv, listen to music AND write. Let me just say I envy those people because I have no idea how I would get anything finished if it were more than just music.

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.

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

I have to admit, when I read Looking For Alaska it never clicked with me. The writing was great but I didn't get the meaning, or if I did it didn't resonate in a way that made me want to pick up another John Green book.

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

The Dedications Page

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

Long Time No Post

So i've been caught up in day to day life over the past two months and I want to say sorry to my readers. Wedding planning and work take up a great big chunk of my time and editing my 2nd draft takes up the rest. So again, i'm sorry for being a bad blogger i'll elaborate more on why i've been gone in my next post.

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."