Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Janet Fitch's 10 Rules of Writing

If you missed this list, check it out here. The LA Times reprinted Janet's rules last month. These are worth printing out and keeping next to your keyboard. My favorite? #1: "Write the sentence, not just the story". Great stuff.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Truth About The Mayan Apocalypse

If you didn't read Veronica Sicoe's post on why the Apocalypse won't kill you last week, you totally missed out. Go read it, watch the video (longish, but well worth it), and spread the word to the nearest doom-monger near you.

The stone isn't Mayan but Mexica (Aztec), and
it's not a calendar, not even by the loosest of
definitions, but ignoring that, the concept is
brilliant :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Plotters, Pantsters, And Self-Pubbing Success

Mona, the Montana Scribbler, had Rasana Atreya (author of A Thousand Liesguest-posting on her blog today. If you're ever considering self-pubbing, this is a post you must read. And, by the way, A Thousand Lies rocks. Get it. Read it. You'll love it. 

A Thousand Lies blurb: 
In a land where skin colour can determine one's destiny, fraternal twins PULLAMMA and LATA are about to embark on a journey that will tear their lives apart.  
Dark-skinned Pullamma dreams of being a wife. With three girls in her family, the sixteen year old is aware there isn't enough dowry to secure suitable husbands for them all. But a girl can hope. She's well versed in cooking, pickle making, cow washing -- you name it. She's also obliged her old-fashioned grandmother by not doing well in school.  
Fair skinned and pretty, her twin sister Lata would rather study medicine than get married. Unable to grasp the depth of Lata's desire, the twins' Grandmother formalizes a wedding alliance for the girl. Distraught, Lata rebels, with devastating consequences. 
As Pullamma helps ready the house for her older sister Malli's bride viewing, she prays for a positive outcome to the event. What happens next is so inconceivable that it will shape Pullamma's future in ways she couldn't have foreseen.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Down here in the Caribbean it's summer year-round, which makes it difficult to write about anything summer-specific. Barbecues, poolside piña coladas, outdoor dining with candleholders strung up in the trees, beach time? Any weekend, January or July, is fine. Heaven, right?

Well, yeah. Sort of.

But here's the downside. It's hot. All the time. Want to do some gardening, chores around the house? Within five minutes you're soaked in sweat. Feel like taking a walk? Forget it; there's little vegetation on this rock, much of it shrub-height, so the sun will bake you in the first block. Even the thought of spending an afternoon baking is psychological torture. A/C? Well, turns out electricity is kinda expensive down here. Unless one is prepared to spend USD 1,500 a month on energy, it ain't doable.

The worst part? There's no end to it. No change of seasons, no crisp fall days to look forward to, not even a real rainy season. Here the "rains" come with hurricanes, which--need I really say--aren't all that fun.

So this contribution of mine to Jeremy Bates' Dog Days of Summer blogfest is to tell you that, as much as you enjoy your summer and as much as you dread the arrival of that Labor Day weekend... Please cherish it. Be grateful for your changing seasons, for the dip in temperature, for snow and slush and ice and hail. Because, as much as you hate those, they're what make it possible for you to enjoy your summers with childish glee.

Enjoy these last days of summer! And share your unique summer stories by signing up to the Dog Days of Summer blogfest!

Friday, August 10, 2012

WRiTE Club!

Cruising Altitude 2.0 is running WRiTE Club again! Sign up here and get ready for a one-on-one twelve-week-long fest of 500-word-long literature butting heads. Best of all, this year the final round will be judged by publishing professionals: agents, editors, published writers!

Wait, what? You don't know what WRiTE Club is? Hahahahahaa.

You're serious?

Oh, man. Okay. Here's the link to the full explanation, but the short of it is this:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Childhood Monsters

Christine Rains is celebrating the release of her book Fearless by hosting a Childhood Monster Blogfest from Aug. 7 to 9--post on any of those days about the monsters that made you pull the covers up higher. She says that one of the funnest parts of writing Fearless was creating the monsters that came from children's imaginations. And we all know how vivid those can get :)

I couldn't resist signing up, but I'm afraid I have to disappoint.

I had no childhood monsters.

See, my parents, being the wonderful atheists they are, had little patience for make-believe dangers. My mother especially taught me to view the night and darkness as a time of peace and quiet, not of fear. She explained that ghosts, on the very remote off-chance they existed at all, would be harmless and probably suffering, unable to let go of something in this dimension. Devils and ghouls she discarded with a pragmatic scoff that left no room for doubt. She changed the focus entirely from fear into curiosity. "If you ever see anything like that," she'd say, "make sure to observe carefully. You could become famous as the person who finally proved the existence of these things!"

So I'd wander the house--huge six-bedroom house--at night, alone in the dark, without a qualm. Until...

Monday, August 6, 2012

WIP Update

It's coming close to the one-year anniversary of me typing THE END on this WIP of mine on August 15th last year. As a pantster I knew I had tons of revision ahead of me, that THE END was merely the beginning... But I never imagined exactly how much, or how tough it would be.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Becky Levine on Critiques & Time

If you're a writer and you missed Becky Levine's post on giving critiques time--how could you miss it? Even Nathan Bransford picked it up, it's that good--here's the link. Seriously, read it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

On Crime And Honor

This morning, in that misty land between waking and dreaming I hover after hitting snooze the first (or second) time, a realization on the meaning of life came to me.

No, not on the meaning of life.

On crime, and honor. And the law.
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