Monday, August 29, 2011

Teen Tales Guest!

Today I'm a guest on Shallee McArthur's blog. She runs a teen tales post each Monday that connects YA experiences with YA literature. Head on over and learn through my past about Making Mistakes :) 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Come Meet Melanie Stanford

From Melanie's blog we learn that she's a "Writer- hoping to be published one day. Mother- hoping that I'm doing it right. Enjoying the little things: my kids laughter and when they say "luv u mum", the excitement of cracking open a brand new book, that moment in between the previews and when the movie actually starts, the taste of oh-so-yummy swedish berries."

I totally get that...hoping that I'm doing everything right, the cracking sound of the spine on a new book, the silence before a movie starts, and--wait a second. What are Swedish Berries? I think I'm missing out on something yummy!

I'll look into that and let you all know by the end of the interview :)

So Melanie, how long have you been writing?

Since grade 2- my first story was Alvin and the Chipmunks meet Bloody Mary and it was around 100 pages long (yikes!)

(100 pages in second grade? That's sweet! And I love the premise.)

What made you want to write?

I don't really know why I started writing. When I was younger I would make-up stories in my head and act them out (I remember wearing a sheet as a cape and using my mom's jewelry as "magical artifacts"). The stories have never left my head- now I just write them down instead of acting them out.

(That's awesome. It totally reminds me of Joe in The Little Women. Well, all of the girls, but Joe became the writer!)

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?

Getting interrupted is always a big one, but also unavoidable with four little kids. Or knowing I have to stop to make dinner or something but I just don't want to because I'm on such a roll.

(You write before dinner? I totally give you props. That's the worst time at my house.)

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

Harry Potter- I would reread those when each movie came out. Won't be able to do that anymore (sniff). Actually, I used to reread my books all the time until I got a library card and started reading YA. Now I don't really have time- too much on my TBR list.

Quick, you only have a couple minutes on the internet, which writing blogs/websites would you go to?

That's hard to choose because so many blogs bring different things to the table. Probably the Guide to Literary Agents blog, and the BookEnds blog. They're both really helpful and informative. And SlushpileHell is good for a two-second funny.

(Thanks for sharing! I think I got the links right, but in all could be an ultimate fail! Let me know if I need to change them.)

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

Jane Austen. I really want to know if her books are about what I think they're about, or if they go deeper, like some people think. Then again, maybe I don't want to know.

(Wait! People think they go deeper? Hmm. I don't know if I'd want to know either.)

What book are you reading right now and which one do you have lined up to read next?

Right now I'm reading FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater (so good). Next is THE FAMILY FORTUNE by Laurie Horowitz (but I'm mostly reading that to see another author's modernized version of Jane Austen's PERSUASION since I'm doing it too and don't want mine to be the same).

(I LOVE research reading. And I need to read Forever.) 

What's your favorite:

Character: I assume you mean characters that I've read (not my own), so I'll have to go with... haha that's hard! I can't pick one! Okay, the first one I thought of is Mia Thermopolis from THE PRINCESS DIARIES. She's hilarious and charming and I want to be her friend.

Setting: I love the half-fantasy, half-reality of the whole Harry Potter world. I wish I could go to Hogwarts, and learn magic, and meet Harry and everybody, and ride a dragon... okay maybe not that last one.

Thing about writing: I don't know, it just makes me happy. Like after I've spent an hour or two writing and I step away from the computer and I've got this huge smile on my face and I'm practically giddy because I'm in love with what I've just created. That's such a great feeling.

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

Haha- I knew this one was coming (I've read many of your past interviews). Can I say both? I have a sweet love for mini Mars bars (I think you can only get those in Canada) and a scary obsession with Swedish Berries. Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

(Now for the Swedish Berries. These are Swedish Berries!
 And for all the chocolate lovers. Here's a taste of some mini Mars bars.

Thanks so much, Melanie, for a sweet ending. I enjoyed interviewing you and am lucky to have you as a blogging buddy and a writing friend! Be sure to visit Melanie's blog, Daydreamer to Writer!  Right now would be a great time :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writer's Platform Building Campaign

Have you ever heard of this? If you haven't, or even if you have, you should get on over to Rach's blog to become part of the campaign. It's a great way to meet other writer's and build your online platform. My favorite part is actually the challenges. I love the things Rach comes up with!

Come campaign with me :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

You DON'T suck!

Last week was WriteOnCon. If you missed it...shame on you. I mean, go register and check out the awesomeness. It should be posted for a long time :)

I have a TON to catch up on. The week was packed with unexpected things and I fell way behind. But not until I had this experience.

I debated whether or not to post anything in the forums. I knew agents would be lurking and I knew that my MS wasn't 100%. But I also knew that it didn't matter if it wasn't all the way ready. I was looking for a critique, not a deal. So I posted my first 250 words. 

And who was the first person to comment? AN AGENT!!! They were fast too. They commented almost instantly.

You know what they said?

"You can cut all of this."

My first reaction. "I SUCK."

I closed my laptop and wanted to throw it. I questioned why I ever decided to write in the first place. 

Eventually, meaning a day or two later, I realized something. 

I don't suck. I've worked on this thing for months. I've spent all my time and energy writing and revising. And even if I don't ever get it published, the whole experience has gotten me one step closer to where I want to be. 

And really, the agent wasn't saying that I suck. What they were really saying was that I started in the wrong place. I just took their advice the wrong way.

So my advice today is to take criticism. Don't let it get you down, though. Not for too long anyway. Turn it around and learn from it. You know the saying, "No pain no gain?" Well, it was painful for me to hear that my first 250 words were worth cutting. But after I read over it a few times, I realized the agent was right. It was boring and definitely not needed.

And my beginning is that much better now. Maybe not perfect but certainly one step closer to awesome!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where will you be this week?

I'm going to be a little busy...
Doing what? Oh, that's the best part.
I'll be here.

Three words:




You know what that means? Priceless advice at a price you can afford for three whole days in your pajamas! You don't have to go anywhere :)

No, I won't really be in my jammies but I will be in and out of the conference all week!

You. Need. To. Be. There! Go register now!

I'll be back next week :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aspiring Author Jeigh

My Photo Cool name? Yeah, I think so. Cool person? Read more to find out for yourself :)
Here's more about Jeigh from her blog. "I once read a trilogy in a week for a bet and won FIVE DOLLARS. I probably would've read them anyway, just for the glory, but please don't tell Scott W. that."

How many of us are writing because we first loved to read? I'm totally guilty. Sounds like Jeigh got herself into more than just a bet :) 
Here are a few more facts I snagged for her "Jeigh Facts" page.
I like colors. Right now eggplant, burnt orange, mustard and apple green are my favorites. 
Cafe, charcoal, copper, and chocolate brown are constant favorites.
I like naming colors correctly, too.
Four kids don't offer optimal writing conditions. Don't ask me how I know that.
I won't, but I understand 100% :) Enough fun facts, though, lets get on with the interview. She is a writer after all.
Jeigh, how long have you been writing? 
Ahh, the eternal question…I always wanted to be an author. I was the nerdy kid asking for extra time on creative writing assignments all through school so I could make them ten pages longer than required, but then it fell by the wayside. I started seriously writing again about a year and a half ago.
What made you want to write?
I guess the short answer is that it entertains me. I tend to embellish reality with large doses of imagination and that lends itself to a penchant for writing.
Do you have any pet peeves while writing?  
This isn’t really something that happens when I write, but since I’ve started writing on a regular basis, I’ve noticed I edit people in my mind when they talk. I rearrange their sentences so they’re more concise, so they’re not passive, so they aren’t full of grammatical errors. It’s good practice.
If you could sit down and reread any book, which would it be?
One book that I was really sad to see end was “I Capture The Castle” by Dodie Smith. It’s beautiful and endearing and hilarious.
(And now its in my TBR pile.)
Quick, you only have a few minutes on the internet, which writing blogs would you visit?
I always check up on Christine at Writer Coaster. She has great posts full of info and the best titles ever. 
I also love Juliemybird at Rosewood Pencilbox. She’s so cheery and enthusiastic. They’re awesome!
(Thanks for the links. I'll head over after the interview!)
If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Gail Carson Levine. Her books inspire my own writing and she’s so darn cute! I’m convinced that she knows so much about woodland creatures because she is, in fact, one herself.
(Uh, yeah. Just bought Ella Enchanted. Love it! I'll have to read more. Great answer.) 
What book are you reading right now and which one do you have lined up to read next?
I’ve recently had a string of pretty mehh books, but I read DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth and the CHAOS WALKING trilogy by Patrick Ness and they were excellent. I have a lot of sequels that I’m raring to read, but they’re not out yet, so I’m up for suggestions. Anyone have any?
(I've hit that same string of mehh...but I absolutely loved Divergent! You like Fantasy? Read the Mistborn series. It'll rock your world. Brandon Sanderson is awesome.) 
Do you prefer:
Vampires or Werewolves? Bluuhhhhh
Mountains or Beaches? Ooh, that’s a close one, but I’ll go with the beach.
Mornings or Nights? Nights, definitely.
Dashes or Parenthesis? Parenthesis. I can’t seem to use dashes properly.
And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate?
You know, I’ve made every effort to love chocolate, but I only like it. (And for some reason, feel ashamed to admit it.) So, fruity candy it is. Wild Berry Skittles, Sour Gummy Lifesavers, Swedish Fish…ah, yes, fruity candy!!
( I had the same chocolate guilt. But it is not allowed here! You said sour? I'm totally there!)
I told you she was cool. Jeigh, thanks so much for answering my questions. It was fun learning more about you! Everyone else, be sure to stop by her blog, WriterBrained. It's fun!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life gets crazy!

Man, I've been busy! Where has the summer gone? Is life crazy for everyone or is it just me?

So, here's what I've been up to...

Reading this.
Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)

If you like fantasy and haven't read it, get to it! I'm not kidding. Brandon Sanderson has created a mix of compelling character's, fantastic world building, intense conflict, and a heightened climax all in an epic fantasy. Who cares about falling ash and night time mist when you have a little magic. You don't want to miss it!

I've also been busy with the final rewrite of my book. Yes, there will be one more read through and edit, but I'm so close! I can feel the end...but it's still so far. This whole revision process is killing me. I just want to sit down and write another book. That's why I tell myself it will come soon!

I've also been busy shopping. Yes, I have a little weakness for deals. And end of summer deals are here. Not to mention the Border's going out of business and everything being on sale. We may or may not have spent too much time and money on one of my favorite things. Books. 

Actually, most of them were for the new reader in my family. I just can't pass up on Ramona Quimby, Junie B. Jones, and Amelia Bedelia. I'm so excited for her to read them! And I also snagged a few BOB books for my preschooler's! 

Yay for books :)

I hope you all have a fabulous week! Don't forget WriteOnCon next week. Head on over now to get in on the early excitement. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Do You Know Mel Fowler?

My Photo If you don't know Mel, be sure to read this interview!

What does she do? From her awesome blog, she tells us that she's "Creating adventures out of everyday life."

Isn't that what we're all doing? Don't you get your ideas from life itself? I sure do! Let's learn more about Mel and her journey.

Mel, how long have you been writing?

I started writing the summer of 2007, but only recently started to call myself a writer.

So, what made you want to write?

Boredom. Yes, that's what I said, boredom. I was the cook at an archaeology field school and we lived in the middle of nowhere for 2 months and I didn't have anything to do. So I started writing a book about a game that my sister's and I used to play when we were young.

(That's great. I wish I would've started writing when I was bored. I had to wait until I was super busy to find that passion.)  
If you could pick the setting of one book to live in, which would it be?

I really like books with older settings. Like the book  Dealing With Dragons or Goose Girl. I would enjoy living in any old style setting as long as there was magic in that world.

(Goose Girl is one of my favorites! Magic makes everything better right? :))

What's your favorite genre to write?

Fantasy. Yes, definitely fantasy.

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?

Only that I can't type fast enough.

(I never thought of that one, but it would certainly make things better. I could accomplish so much more!)

What book are you reading right now and which one do you have lined up to read next?

 Well I just finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and POSSESSION. Next on my list is Nightshade, The Dark Divine, and Siren.

(I'm not sure I've heard of all those. I will have to check them out!)

What's your favorite:

Book- Growing up it was Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia Wrede, and Beauty by Robin Mckinnley. Now that I'm grown up, I'm not sure what my favorite is.

Author- Is myself and option? Just kidding! I don't have a favorite. Sorry.

Character- I think that Katniss Everdeen is pretty awesome!

Thing about writing- When your words come together to create something that is not possible in our world today.

Time of day- Dawn, I love the sunrise. 

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

Did someone say CHOCOLATE? Sorry I got distracted, what was your question? Oh. It's about chocolate. Hmm. Chocolate is um really delicious. It's the best!

(That's hilarious! Great answer.)

Thanks so much, Mel, for being on my blog today! It's good to be interviewing fellow writer's again. Thanks everyone for stopping by to learn more about Mel. Don't forget to hop on over to her blog, Adventure Writes

Have a great weekend!