Monday, January 31, 2011

Last Day of Jan-Nan-O

Since this is the last day of January, it is also the last day of my Jan-Nan-O.  Here is a great way to show, not tell, you how I feel.


Take your pick...they all fit.

When I put my mind to something...I do it.  And after two more chapters, the first draft of my novel will be done!

Tomorrow, join me as I
That is...if I have enough energy to do it :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Aspiring Author Ishta Mercurio

On Istha's blog, 

You can find a picture of her...
My Photo

And also this to go with it...

Actor, dancer, writer, vegetable-grower, conservationist, wife, and mom.

I first met Istha at WriteOnCon last August.  I can tell you she knows her stuff!  I loved her critiques and secretly wished to snag her as a crit partner :)  Okay, so that last bit didn't happen, but it's okay.  At least I had time to take a peek into her writing brain.  

Here's what I discovered from interviewing her.

Ishta, how long have you been writing?
Ooh, since I was about nine? But then I took a looooooong break, so officially - properly, with critique partners and revisions and everything - about two years. 

And, what made you want to write?

I have tons of stories in me and THEY DEMAND TO BE RELEASED! Plus, I can do it from home, and being around for my kids is a top priority. 

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?  Is there anything you must have or maybe something you can't stand?

A cave. I need a cave. Or a fully wired, insulated, heated shed in the backyard with windows and a desk. (Anybody got a spare one of those you could send me?) Well, actually, a small corner of a room will do. I need a five-foot-minimum clearance around me when I'm writing - no kids pulling on my clothes, or jostling against the computer, or messing up my hair or anything like that. No projectiles flying in my direction. And NO. INTERRUPTING. (Hubster, I'm talking to YOU.) Sometimes I need music to get myself into the right mood for a scene, but once the words start to flow I need quiet. 

(I totally understand the kid thing.  I'm getting better at writing if they're watching a movie, but they can't be leaning against me at all.  A fully wired cave would be nice.  Let me know if you find a good bargain :))

So, what are your favorite genre's to write? 

AACK! Don't make me choose! I can never do that, ever-ever-ever. I like picture books because you can draft them relatively quickly, then take in the whole thing right away and spend weeks mulling it over in the back of your mind, then sit down and revise or rewrite the whole thing in one go. I like Middle Grade because that age group is so fun - just starting to get vocal with their (strongly-held!) opinions. Those characters are super-fun to work with. And I like writing for teens because they're right on that knife-edge between childhood and adulthood, when everything feels razor-sharp. It's a very complex time, emotionally. But I find novels challenging - so much to hold in your head! I like them all, really.

(That's awesome that you write for each level of children's books and I like the way you described each of them!)

If you could sit down and reread any book, which would it be?

Again with the choosing! Okay, ummm... (Takes a moment to go and peruse bookshelf...still perusing...I have a lot of're still here?) Okay, I guess I'll choose The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe. And if that fell apart from overuse, I'd go with The Complete Works of Shakespeare. And if that fell apart, I'd go with an anthology of Roald Dahl's children's novels, if such a thing exists. (Does it? Anybody?)

(Awesome!  I'm sorry to make you choose.  It's fun to find which books writer's enjoy the most.  I'll call yours the complete works of Edilliald Allen Pokesahl :))

Let's say you only had enough time to visit just one or two writing blogs a day, which would they be?

Well, at least this time I get to pick two. I could go with Nathan Bransford and Mary Kole, because I DO in fact visit their blogs every single day, but everybody's heard of them, so I'll go with Casey McCormick's Literary Rambles blog (because she's sweet and helpful, and she has bajillions of Agent Profiles, guys - GOLD MINE!) and Elana Johnson's blog, because she posts every day and is always funny or enlightening or informative or sometimes all three.

(I agree with ALL of the above.  Gold mines and humorous posts of information are always a plus!)

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would you choose?

I've met a lot of authors these past few months, actually, which is kind of one of the awesome things about being serious about writing. But someone I know I can never meet, but would like to, is George Orwell. That would rock.

What if your computer died, your paper and pens went missing, and all the books around you were hidden, what else would you do to fill the void?  What other passions and hobbies do you have?

I grow my own vegetables. I knit. I like good food, and I'm a pretty good cook. I like exercise, and I LOVE to dance. I studied acting and want to get back into it - although it's hard to do that with no paper for a script. Oh, and I have kids. We go for walks and do science stuff and catch bugs and tickle each other so hard we make each other cry. So I'd definitely do more of that. 

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate?

CHOCOLATE. Preferably dairy-free and paired with mint. YUM. 

Here's one final random fact from Istha.  

I once had a roommate who was dating a guy who was called Random. That's pretty random, don't you think? 

Sure is!  Thank you so much Istha for letting us see into your writing mind :)  Now, for those who haven't been to her blogdo it NOW!...I mean please...I promise you won't regret it!

And have a great weekend!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jan-Nan-O and another award :)

My January Nano is coming to an end soon...and I am SO far behind.  What was I thinking?  I can't believe anyone has the time to write a whole novel in one month!  I've had so many set backs.


No, those aren't mine, but I do have four of them.

2.  Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)
Not just this book, but other books as well.  I have officially banned myself from reading until the month is over.  Does that mean I've spent more time writing?  NO, absolutely not, because my sister got me addicted to this

And for the record, you can watch them on youtube.  I just couldn't wait for the third season from the library.  No, it's not a fast paced plot driven story, but over time the distinct character's and regency period keep you hooked from one episode to the next.

Of course I've had other set backs, but I'm determined to get my novel down and done before the end of the month!

Since my blog is another one of those lovely addictions that interfere with my writing, I probably won't be back until Friday for the next awesome interview.

But before I go, here's one last thing.  I was awarded another one of these!
Thank you Rachel for thinking of me!  The two other things I need to cover in order to accept this award are:  share seven things about me and award it on to a few bloggers I've recently discovered.  

Wow, seven things?  Here goes.

1.  I have an unhealthy obsession of finding a good deal on clothes.  My biggest weakness in that area, Old Navy Clearance.

2.  I don't write on Sunday's.  

3.  I love the color red, but don't wear it very often so my favorite color is blue.

4.  Out of the four kids I have, half of them are twins.

5.  I love to laugh.

6.  Every time I sit down with Janco (the laptop) to write, I wish I had a lap desk (which would be called Ari, because the two are even better when they're together.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, go read the Poison Study Series).

7.  This is one of my favorite quotes.  "To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded!" -Emerson

I want to pass this award onto these three people.

#3.  Melissa

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Come Above Water and meet aspiring author, ABBY MINARD!

Over at Abby's blog, Above Water, you'll find a picture that looks like this...
My Photo
And this description to go with it...

Mother to my awesome 'only', wife to my incredible husband, part-time librarian, housekeeper (sort of), and budding YA fantasy novelist.

Since that description wasn't enough for me, I jumped over to her about me page and took a little more.

Writing is my passion (well, and sleeping...but I can't really make a living doing that), and I try to find time for it in between ignoring my child, staring blankly at my husband while he speaks "video game", and goofing off at work.  I pretty much exclusively read YA fantasy, so naturally, I write adult mysteries.  No, just kidding.  I dream about the day my YA fantasies will get published and speak to teens (and adults!) as my favorite books did (and still do) to me. 

Actually, if you head over to her blog right now, which you shouldn't do quite yet, you'll find that she is also interviewing an aspiring author.  Great minds think alike ;)  Enough about that interview, though, let's get on with this one.

Abby, how long have you been writing?
I've always loved to write, ever since I was little.  I wrote stories all the time.  But as far as whole novels, I only started that sometime in 2009.  My husband told me if we bought me a laptop, I HAD to write the book I had been imagining for a while.  So we bought one, and I wrote!

(That's awesome!  Way to have the hubs support and a great incentive to get your own computer :))

So, what made you want to write?
I've loved YA fantasy for as long as I can remember.  Reading my favorite fantasies made me want to make teens feel the way I did about those books.  Those characters were my best friends- I laughed and cried with them.  I want to impact a teen the way those books impacted me.  I didn't realize I could maybe possibly do it, until I started talking to my husband about my idea.  He encouraged me, and so I started writing.  I love it, and dream of doing it full time some day.

(I love that you did it for the impact.  Teens definitely need more positive impacts these days!  And what could be better than reading?  Well, maybe writing, but they can discover that after they learn to love reading.)

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?  Is there anything that you must have for concentration?
I need complete silence.  I can't listen to music, and Little Monster has to be either a) asleep or b) in school.  I just can't concentrate with other distractions around. 

What are your favorite genre's to write?  
YA Fantasy- it's the only genre I picture myself writing.

If you could sit down and reread any book, which would it be?
Sabriel by Garth Nix.  My favorite- I just bought the box set, so I may just do that!

(I'm putting that on my to-read list right now!  You are the second person who's raved about it and I've never even heard of it.  Man, am I behind!)

Quick, you have five minutes to check out one, maybe two, writing blogs this morning.  Which ones are you going to choose?
Colene Murphy at The Journey- she is my crit partner and totally awesome.
Kristen Nelson- she has a great blog with great info.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be?
I can't just choose one!  It'd have to be Sharon Shinn, Garth Nix, Meg Cabot or Kristin Cashore.

(I'll just call that person Sharthegin Shixotore.  That would be an epic get together!)

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate?
Fruity.  I love chocolate but it makes me sick.  So give me some gobstoppers, sour patch kids or swedish fish any day and I'm happy.  Oh, and red vines...and this australian licorice that my hubs sells at his store...oh and of course jelly beans.  Okay, just give me some Mr Bulky's and I'm happy.

(Yes, another fruity lover.  I used to buy chewy gobstoppers almost every day in Junior High and when I'm pregnant, sour patch kids are the only way to go!  Awesome.  Let's have a fruity candy party...I just bought a bad of sour gummy bears!)

Thanks a ton Abby.  It was fun to have you on my blog!  

Now it's time to head over to Abby's blog.  And if her current post isn't to your liking, just skip it.  I try not to taint too many people, but she insisted :)  No really, Abby's blog is worth visiting on a regular basis, don't let my interview scare you away.  

I want to thank Abby for being the first to interview me.  I had a blast answering the questions.  I may or may not have answered them in the wee hours of the night so, ya know, don't judge too harsh :)

Have a great weekend!