Thursday, January 31, 2013

Run (Total, Smuggle, Liquified ...) to the Thesaurus

I'm the first to admit that I adore the thesaurus ... or more specifically ... because there are many times I just can't think up an alternate word. I'm a stickler for variety, and hate to use the same word repeatedly on a page. It truly is boring for the reader, and you don't want a disinterested reader. Sure, there are times when I purposely use repetition of a word to drive home a point, or if my main character is in distress and thinking the same thought over and over. But, that's an intentional decision.

I recently bounced over to my Thesaurus tab (yes, it's always open in my browser when I'm editing) and saw that there is one word with 179 entries.

The word?


Here are just a few of those synonyms ...

verb (used without object)
1. to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.
2. to move with haste; act quickly: Run upstairs and get the iodine.
3. to depart quickly; take to flight; flee or escape: to run from danger.

verb (used with object)
53. to move or run along (a surface, way, path, etc.): Every morning he ran the dirt path around the reservoir to keep in condition. She ran her fingers over the keyboard.
54. to traverse (a distance) in running: He ran the mile in just over four minutes.
55. to perform, compete in, or accomplish by or as by running: to run a race; to run an errand.

98. an act or instance, or a period of running: a five-minute run before breakfast.
99. a hurrying to or from some point, as on an errand: a run to reach the store before it closes.
100. a fleeing, especially in great haste; flight: a run from the police who were hot on his trail.
101. a running pace: The boys set out at a run.

And the list goes on!

Do you use the thesaurus? Any other writing tools always at your fingertips?

Image Source: SXC

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Fear

I recently read a wonderful blog post by the lovely and brilliant Kristen Lamb. I love her posts, and subscribe to her feed via email (and I highly recommend you do the same!).

The particular post I'm speaking of today is here.

In that post, she tells a personal story about fear, but then talks about fear as a writer. About how when something about a story or an idea scares you--in that I'm-not-sure-I-can-actually-pull-this-off kind of way--you should do it.

I'm feeling that fear with my current WIP. I'm revising it, and trying to figure out the best way to tell this story.  It's scaring the crap out of me, because I'm not sure what that way is. And I'm not sure I can pull it off.

Sadly, I don't have any advice about how to conquer this fear. LOL. I think, as Kristen says in her post: "Sometimes our only way out is through." I think I'm going to just have to do it. Try different things until I find the right way.

Dan Yaccarino was a speaker at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference I attended a couple of weeks ago. His talk was about saying yes. He told us about how numerous times in his career, he'd been asked to do something he didn't know how to do and wasn't sure he COULD do, but he said YES anyway. And he found a way to do it.

So that's me today. I'm going to keep going and find a way to make it work.

When have you stretched yourself (in writing, or anything else)? Tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TBR Tuesday--UNWIND by Neal Shusterman

This is a book I've already read and wanted to share with you as a 'I highly recommend.'

UNWIND is twisty, turny, fast-paced, never boring read. A completely different Dystopian thrill with a cool cover.

 Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

And after you read UNWIND, then might as well get the sequel, which I've also read--UNWHOLLY. Sequels usually scare me. I hate loving book one only to be disappointed with book two. Such is not the case here. UNWHOLLY builds on the concept, enriching it, instead of repeating the same plot. Needless to say, I love it. 

Plus, another cool cover. 


Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.

Information brought to you from Goodreads

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On A Reading Roll

This Thursday, I thought I'd share some of the great books I've been reading.  It seems like I've been on a 5-star streak, and just in case you're as behind the times as I am, I wanted to pass these recommendations along to you.

First, I read the three currently-available books in Jennifer Armentout's The Lux series: Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal.  When looking up the series, I see that Origin will be next, which is good, because if this had been a trilogy and ended with Opal, I'd have been MAD.  The series simply cannot end on that big of a cliffhanger.

Anyway, the heat in these books between Dameon and Katy is smoking.  The plot is fast-paced and expertly crafted. If you like YA paranormal romance, these books are not to be missed.  (Caveat: if you've never experienced a relationship where you hate someone so much you want to kiss them, the relationship might seem far-fetched, but these things do happen.)

Next, I read Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  If you haven't started these yet, it's another that I highly recommend.  I wish I had read them a little closer together because it was hard remembering all of the details from the first book, but eventually I pieced it all together.  While Daughter had lots of romance, Days had none (just FYI).  Still, this fantastical, uniquely-imagined world, has incredibly high-stakes danger and creatures you just have to learn more about.  One other thing ~ I love the way the author shifts between view points in chapters, allowing us to see many moving parts coming together.
Finally, I read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.  I'd had Anna on my Kindle for awhile, but just hadn't been feeling the contemporary-horror vibe until now.  Man, I wish I hadn't waited.  This story was fabulous and not nearly as scary as I'd feared.  (Which, looking back, I met Kendare at the Decatur Book Festival in September and she's SO sweet, so I should have known the book wouldn't be a total creep-fest.)  Now, don't get me wrong, there was plenty of tension and the stakes were high, but there were also some sweet moments, and Cas's wit is awesome.  He's a boy character you'll be rooting for all the way.
So there you have it.  My recent reads that I couldn't put down.  No wonder I've been so tired lately.  These books are keeping me up!!  I'd love if you'd share your recommendations with me too.  There's always room on my Kindle for one more book.  :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


*faints from cover lust* *revives*
This is not on my TBR pile. I've already read it once. I'm partway through reading it again. I'm using my TBR post to insist You put this book on Your TBR pile! ALTERED is a masterclass in ninja mindscrambling, twisty, turny up-all-night page-turning adventure and romance.

I loved Anna and the boys from the start, and the further I read, the deeper I fell. Sam is the perfect, broken, tortured hero. Anna inspires you to wish and hope so damn hard for things to work out for her. Cas is one of my favorite secondary characters EVER. Trev plays his role to a T. And dear Lord, Nick is just *heart squinch*

From ALTERED's page on Goodreads:

 When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Jennifer's website? CLICK HERE
ALTERED's Goodread's page? CLICK HERE

Seriously, click there. There's buy links, and you want this book! Join me in my fangirling, please! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chaos Theory Thursday

Diverting from our normal linear pattern of writing prompts, suggestions, and inspirations to kick that writer brain in gear, I've decided to explore the world of Chaos.

Is chaos really chaotic or is it just nature's way of reorganizing, growing, and pushing us beyond ourselves? I don't have an answer, but I'll start a discussion and see where you go with it pertaining to our writing lives.

Imagery used on source site
to show chaos
Over the past three and a half months, one thing after another has been thrown at my family. Now, I'm not a complainer; that would just be a waste of time. But when life tosses you about like a leaf fighting for its last, lonely breath in the Fall breeze, it's hard to keep a positive view of your world. These 'things' have clogged my writer brain and kept me from writing creatively. I've still been keeping up with my freelance work and even moving forward with my plans to start designing book covers. But forging ahead with the sequel to Marked Beauty - which will hopefully be out this year - hasn't happened.

I recently found this on, believe it or not, a Chaos Theory website. Yes. This is an actual study. Go figure.

Chaos Theory - Study of nonlinear systems; Chaos theory studies pattern and organization within nonlinear systems. Nonlinear systems are typically characterized by unpredictability (weather, populations, stock market, etc.) Chaos theory is about discovering how simple predictable functions can create unpredictable results. Through the discoveries of chaos theory, we are able to understand how systems which were once thought to be completely chaotic actually have predictable patterns. Chaos theory originated in the 1960s. One of the early pioneers was a professor at M.I.T. named Edward Lorenz, who designed computer models of the weather. (Source: Fractals and Chaos Theory.)

There is loads more information, ponderers, and discussions on this site as well as others about this topic. What really struck me was this statement: Through the discoveries of chaos theory, we are able to understand how systems which were once thought to be completely chaotic actually have predictable patterns. 

So, does chaos really exist, or, as I questioned at the beginning of this post, is it nature's way of moving forward? Have you find after chaotic periods in your personal life that your writing life has been enhanced or dulled? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Writer Wednesday: The Middle Book Syndrome

Let me preface this by saying I have not yet written a sequel to any of my manuscripts.  A couple of earlier my WIPs were created with the intention (hopefully) of being a trilogy. But lately, I'm not so sure I want to go that route. Sure, there's something to be said for having an established world, a built-in audience ... but as a reader? I can honestly say there are very very VERY few books where I buy and read the third book of the trilogy.  Why is that?

Usually the second book falls short.

Here are some common themes/issues I have seen with the middle book of a series (and something as a writer you should be conscious of):

  • The Love Triangle. You know ... where the main character suddenly falls head over heels for that other person. It's an easy  way to build tension in the relationship ... but it seems to be way overdone IMO.
  • The Breakup.  Or what I'll call the Twilight syndrome. This can be the love interest breaking up with your MC ... or the MC thinking the love interest is better off without her, so she does the breaking up. Either way ... lots of angst.
  • The Paranoia. And yet another (annoying) way to add tension between your couple ... the MC thinks the love interest is constantly cheating on him/her. Every move, every word is over-analyzed. 
  • Book 1, Take Two.  My latest example of this is Unravel Me (which I know isn't out yet, but I got the ARC at BEA over the summer and I feel like that was eons ago!)  I don't want to spoil it, other than to say that I feel like the character growth was exactly the same as Shatter Me. Juliette somehow went from being this strong character, no longer self-editing her thoughts ... right back to square one.  
  • The Tangent. You've established a world in the first book. And then BAM your characters are off somewhere completely different with different rules, settings, and you are practically starting over.  It seems a bit of a cop out to me. And it doesn't make me want to keep reading. If I liked your first book enough to pick up the sequel, I kind of want to stay in that world. 
  • The Cliffhanger. This isn't so much an issue with the plot, and it it can appear in the first book too ... but I despise the cliffhangers.  May be a personal thing, but goodness do I hate them!
So there you have it. My issues with sequels and trilogies. Sure, there are some authors I love enough that I'll pick up all their books, no matter what.  But they are few and far between.

And just in case you're interested - one of my favorite sequels of all time (and it was a surprising one, because I didn't so much like the first) was A Million Suns. Beth Revis managed to continue the same romance (without much drama between the two characters) keep us in the same world, and yet throw a new spin at us. It was a great plot, and a great bridge (hopefully) between the first and last book! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

TBR Tuesday: Dangerous Boy

I'm a bit behind on this one, but I just bought it because I'm going to a conference where Mandy Hubbard is speaking.

From Goodreads:

A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a chilling twist

Harper has never been worried about falling in love, something she is skeptical even exists. But everything changes when Logan moves to town, and to Harper's shock, the two tumble into an intense romance. It's everything she never thought she wanted.

Then she meets Logan's twin brother, Caleb, who was expelled from his last school. True, he's a bad boy, but Harper can't shake the feeling that there's something deeply sinister about him--something dangerous. When Logan starts pulling away, Harper is convinced that Caleb's shadowy past is the wedge being driven between them. But by the time she uncovers the truth, it may be too late.

The author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, and Ripple delivers a modern-day retelling of a famously gothic tale, full of suspense, lies, and romance.

So, has anyone read this? What did you think?

Sidenote 1: There is a fun and exciting announcement coming out tomorrow. So keep an eye out! (I'll be announcing on my personal blog.)

Sidenote 2: I always do conference wrap ups with giveaways of signed books after I attend a conference, so stay tuned for those, as well!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

We Can't All Be Hemingway ~ And Here's Why You Shouldn't Try

Ernest Hemingway.  Perhaps one of the more infamous authors of our time.  Known for drinking too much, marrying too often, traveling extensively, and living the good life in his Key West, Wyoming, and Cuban homes.  It almost sounds idyllic (well, perhaps not the serial marriage part) until you consider that Hemingway took his own life.  Before that, he was infamous for treating people badly.  He suffered crippling pain as a result of multiple accidents.  And he was treated with electro-convulsive therapy for his paranoid depression.
As I consider Hemingway's life, it occurs to me how much times have changed.  Today's author need not drown in whiskey or travel the world to tell a great story.  They need not be listless or on the verge of suicide to go down in history.  The whole notion of the tortured artist has almost become a bygone of another era.

Which is not to say that tortured souls are not some of the better story tellers out there.  All you have to do is a read a few stories on the Dear Team Me blog to know that a great number of authors have suffered traumatic or heart breaking experiences.  They draw on these experiences, heal themselves through their characters and often help their readers.

But most authors today are ordinary folks.  They are the moms you see in grocery lines, herding kids and trying not to dump their purses.  They are the business men who sneak into their offices at night to pen a thriller they can't get out of their heads.  Today's authors don't necessarily make a career of their writing, and they certainly don't use the label of "author" as an excuse to live life with no regard for who they harm along the way.  Today's authors are good people, who help one another, and who have been forced to climb outside of their shells by the world of technology.

So even though I am sort of sad to think that the days of Hemingway-style novelists are long-since passed (after all, who doesn't fantasize at least about the extensive traveling and multiple homes part?), it's probably for the best.  I couldn't appreciate today's community of authors more.  And when it occurs to me that we can't all be Hemingway, I realize that's a good thing.  I'm not sure I'd wish his life - or misery - on anyone.

And so I wonder ... if you could trade places with Hemingway, would you?  Would being such an esteemed novelist (not to mention well-to-do partier) be worth the anguish?  Or are you glad that writing today is looked at more as catharsis and creates a community of healing?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Top 10 Myths About Getting Published

I thought that I'd start the new year off right with a top - ten list. Everyone loves lists - lists rock! Well here's my big list for those contemplating trying to get a book published or those who are knee-deep in the querying process. Glean away, folks!
10) Everyone has a book in them.
Not true. Most people probably have an idea for what might be a cool premise on which to base a novel, but an idea doesn’t translate into 80,000 t0 100,000 words. It doesn’t include world building, creating believable characters or an actual plot. Yeah … a plot. Plots are important because if you don’t have a beginning, middle and end, you’ll have the most boring novel in the world.  It takes a hell of a lot of work to write a novel and some people just aren’t up to it because, believe it or not, there’s this issue of actual talent. Like it or not, to become published, you have to possess some degree of talent – that’s just how it goes.
9) This book is going to make a ton of money.
Um … no. Chances are that if you become published, you won’t even earn out your advance. I know bestselling authors who have yet to quit their day jobs. Ain’t gonna happen unless you have written something with huge commercial potential.
8) All published authors are rich.
Um … no. This goes hand in hand with number nine. We’re not. If anything, published authors are among that 99% we keep hearing about these days. Don’t get me wrong, if I strike it big one day I’ll get grills and wear a fur coat, but until then I have to keep plugging away at a day job and writing books in hope that the next one will be more commercially successful than the last one.
7) I wrote a book, I’m gonna self-publish it on Amazon and make a mint.
Unlikely. While there are some self-published books making a lot of money over at Amazon, chances are your masterpiece will float alongside all the rest of the self-published dreck. Once in a while someone will buy your book and Amazon will skim their percentage off of your sale. You see, Amazon is FLOODED with self-published books. The average self published novel will sell under a hundred copies and if Amazon is skimming a percentage off the thousands and thousands of books that sell less than a hundred copies, do the math. Amazon is making money, you’re not.
6) I wrote a book, literary agents are going to climb all over each other to sign me.
Very simply, if you believe this, you’re delusional. I used to think getting published was hard work … then I started looking for an agent. Here’s my stats so you can use them as a frame of reference. My novel POLTERGEEKS was submitted to more than forty literary agents. FORTY! My query was rejected by two thirds of them. I received five requests for a partial and five requests for the full manuscript. I received more than twenty seven rejections. Each rejection where the agent cared to comment on my work differed sharply from the next one. There was no common thread in each rejection and that taught me that finding an agent is an entirely subjective experience because reading is a subjective experience as well. I finally found an agent but this was after having plodded along for more than two years. In short, chances are that you won’t find an agent. I know that sounds harsh, but that’s the cold hard truth. It’s important to remember that you’re one of a jillion other authors who are looking for an agent. Agent inboxes are FLOODED with queries so in order to grab an agent’s attention, your query and ultimately your manuscript has got to shine. It has to have commercial viability, too, and finally, your story has to be really freaking good for an agent to take you on as a client.
5) I don’t need an agent.
This might garner some push back. Do you need an agent? Well, I guess that depends entirely on what your aspirations might be. If you just want to self-publish your stuff for family and friends, then no. But if you’re like me and you want to make a career out of being an author, you absolutely must have an agent. Aside from the fact that big publishers won’t even look at your query letter without an agent, you have to remember that an agent isn’t just the person who can get a large publsiher to look at your work. They’re professionals in the industry. Let me say that again: agents are industry professionals. They know what flies or fries, they’re up on publishing trends and most importantly, they’re not going to submit your masterpiece until it’s been revised, revised and revised some more. Don’t believe that you still need an agent during a period of transformative change in publishing? Read this.
My novel POLTERGEEKS went through a nearly twelve month long revisions process that at times was so frustrating I thought that I’d lose my mind. I’m glad I didn’t because the final product is just so much better than what I’d submitted to my agent in the first place. Agents are your coach, your mentor, your bodyguard – yeah, bodyguard. They make sure that you get a fair and equitable contract. They deal with blips between you and your editor. They ensure you get all the money that’s owed to you. God, I could write a list a mile long about why having an agent is crucial … trust me. You need an agent if you want to make a go of it. (Also, they’re cheerleaders. They help lift you out of self-doubt and set you on the path to writing something that you can be proud of.)
4) I’m published. Everyone is going to buy my book. Yay me.
No they’re not. Remember that you have to compete in a market that’s flooded with similar works. Bookstores are closing all over the place and online booksellers live in the shadow of the all seeing Amazon. Fewer and fewer people are actually reading these days … it’s almost as if the publishing world is geared toward your failing at every turn. The fact is that unless you are published by a publishing house that wants to spend a boatload of money on marketing your book, then the marketing is going to be up to you. That means blogging, blog tours, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, contests, giveaways, asking for reviews. You could fill half of your time you’d spend on writing just by getting the word out on your book. This is hard, hard work – I can’t stress enough how hard it is for you to somehow get noticed.

3) I just completed NaNoWriMo – Now is the time to start sending out queries.
No. No, no, no, no! A lot of literary agents shudder when December 1st rolls around each year because their inboxes are going to be flooded with query letters for a 50K word masterpiece that is convoluted, filled with grammatical and style errors, and like it or not, terrible terrible writing. Do not send out a query for something you just finished last week. You need to rewrite it, print it off and rewrite it again. It has to be a damned fantastic piece of writing BEFORE you send it off. Look, I think NaNoWriMo is fantastic. I participated this year for the first time, but you have to be realistic about the outcome for your book. A lot of people participate for the sheer love of writing and that’s great. But a hell of a lot of people do it because they want to get published and you have to be realistic about things. Your work has to stand out if it’s going to pass muster with an agent or whether a small publisher will consider even looking at it. Stop. Sit back. Pat yourself on the shoulder because you wrote 50K words in a month. Now ask yourself – what’s the next move? If you’re serious about getting published, you’ll embark on the lengthy process of revising that story and making it shine. Only then will it be ready for the querying stage.
2) Yeah, but my book is different than the other ones at the bookstore.
Is it? How do you know? Genre fiction is the domain for some pretty damned impressive book series. A lot of authors think that writing a series is the sure fire way to find success and I’m going to tell you that it isn’t. The market is flooded with books in a series that are so similar to other series by other authors that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference from the cover art on each book! If you’re going to find some measure of success, I think you need to think about each book in a series as being a stand alone novel. It has to be capable of selling as a stellar piece of individual fiction.
I love books in a series. I have two books in a series out on my own and they aren’t selling. Why? Because there’s a lot of similar books out there and the discerning book buyer generally wants to spend their money on an established brand. Chances are they’re going to pick up the next book in a best selling author’s series before they risk spending ten bucks on your first in a series that nobody has ever heard of. That’s just economics – people like consistency in our buying habits. As well, you have to remember what I call “the consumer buying equation”, namely Benefit (what’s in it for me – meaning the buyer) has to outweigh Price in order for a consumer to experience Value. We do this consciously and unconsciously every single day in all our buying decisions – from bread to books. Your book has to solve that riddle if it’s going to stand out and you probably won’t if you haven’t signed with an agent and managed to get published by a large publishing house that is willing to spend the money marketing your book. And even then, there’s no guarantees.
1) The publishing industry is undergoing transformative change - this is the wrong time to think about getting published.
Your success, indeed, any author’s success is going to happen as a result of two sure things:
a) a TON of hard, hard work
b) No shortage of plain old dumb luck
Yes, there are authors who have experienced incredible first-time success as a self-published author through Kindle self-publishing. Yes, ebook readers can now be purchased for under a hundred bucks. Yes, the digitization of books presents boatloads of opportunity for authors, but I cannot stress enough that not even industry professionals know what the end-game of all this transformative change in publishing will be. It wasn’t that long ago when people scoffed at the notion of eBooks selling more than print books – well, they were wrong. They’re selling in ever increasing numbers … BUT … ebooks still represent around ten percent of the overall sales in North American publishing, so don’t crack open that bottle of champagne just yet. There’s an economic slowdown the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1930′s – THAT has a lot to do with an incredible amount of fear in the publishing world. Borders … the freaking Home Depot of book sellers shut their doors this year forever. They went bankrupt!
Think about that for a second – if one of the world’s largest bookselling chains went tit’s-up and you’re a professional in the industry, you’re probably experiencing your own economic pain as well. Publishers are looking for something that is a sure thing and increasingly, that means sticking with established brands that they can count on. That doesn’t mean publishers won’t take on new authors, it just means they won’t be giving as much in the way of advances and marketing will probably be more and more the responsibility of the author.
Yes, you can be successful amid this doom and gloom environment that publishing is struggling with, but chances are that you won’t. Chances are that I might not … and I’m freaking published already! Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s a game of playing the odds and if you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you’ll know that the house generally wins. Right now, the house are the sure things – the established brands. The house is also Amazon and the mind boggling way they’re reshaping the industry.
Now I’m not saying that you should give up your dream of becoming published. If anything, I want writers to keep on writing … but go into this with realistic expectations. It is realistic to assume that you won’t become the next Laurell K. Hamilton or Jim Butcher or Jasper FForde. It’s realistic to believe that you might one day become a published author, but it’s unrealistic to assume that you’re going to be able to make a living at this gig – and this brings me to my final point.
Why write when the odds are stacked against you?
That’s all I can really say. It’s just so damned cool to walk into my local bookseller here in Saskatoon and see my books on the shelves. Yeah, they don’t sell a who hell of a lot, but I wrote them! Me!! It’s also cool when you get an email from someone in Switzerland who you’ve never heard of in your life, but who bought your book, read it, loved it and took the time to send you an email to tell you as much. That’s an incredible feeling, frankly, and for me at least, that’s why I write. That’s gratification. (Getting paid is gratification, too, but knowing that you have a handful of fans out there can sustain you when you’re banging your head against the desk on your next masterpiece.)
So there you have it. My top ten list of myths about getting published. Keep on writing, by all means. But go at this with a sense of the likely outcomes. Writing is a craft, never forget that. It’s a hard, hard slog – but it’s a hell of a thing, getting published. Good luck!ck!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Oasis for YA gang. Wishing you a successful and inspirational year ahead!  

The Oasis gang has made some writing goals and resolutions this year, including:

I don’t usually do resolutions. But this year, with deadlines looming, I have to. So for me, the two main resolutions are:
More writing, less social network site trolling. Great for being social, bad for word count. Could also be worded: Work smarter, not harder.
More writing, less searching for/reading reviews. Great for getting a bead on what others think, bad for it’s affects on how I think. could also be worded: Reviews are for readers.

To polish my WIPs and start querying again (AKA get an agent!)

Revise and query WIP and Complete a draft of Shiny New Idea. :)


Live life and write from my experiences, letting creativity expand and enhance my stories. I vow not to "Go quietly into the night," but forge ahead, even blindly, trusting my instincts to become a more crafty writer, patient mother & wife, and overall passionate human being.

What writing resolutions did you make this year?

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