Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just A Little Respect...

I don't like to talk about current events or politics on this blog, but something has been irking me since I watched the news last night. Many comments are being made that Irene was blown out of proportion. Now, I don't live in the northeast, but some of the images of the flooding do look devastating. What irks me though are the people that are saying Irene wasn't a big deal, that everyone over reacted--are they taking into account that thirty eight people died? Tell those thirty eight families that lost a loved one that Irene wasn't a big deal. The name Irene will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Back in April we had a ton of tornadoes in Alabama and the rest of the southeast. I personally wasn't really affected. The sky turned green, it got kind of windy, and the rain pounded down on my roof. So for me, yeah, it wasn't a big deal. But, I didn't go around saying that out of respect for the many people that lost homes and loved ones.

Just saying...

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I've come to believe that numerical age is meaningless. I've met forty years olds that look like they're sixty and sixty year olds that look like they are forty. But, it's not just about looks, it's also about behavior. How many young adult books have you read where the protagonist, often only fifteen or sixteen, face adult challenges and by meeting that challenge may seem more adult like than another fifteen year old.

I think responsibility matures fictional and real people, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes negative. But also a person's notions about what they can and can't do because of their age can make them older or seem younger. I know fifty years olds that still ice skate because they love it and I know twenty four year olds that won't dare lace up a pair of boots because they believe they're too old for it.
I understand that sometimes physical limitations and stress can play a role in a person's perceived age as well.

I guess I find it interesting how different and almost malleable our "age" can be via our attitude, nutrition, physical health, and external factors. When we create our characters, they're not just seventeen year old girls or twelve year old boys that fit in these perfect compartments set aside for people those age, we've got to think about them from a multi-factorial view point to really determine what their true age is.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gossip Time...Illusions

Illusions, written by Aprilynne Pike, is the third book in a series. I honestly thought this was the last book of a trilogy. I don't know why I thought that, I think I was lead to believe that (maybe Aprilynne's awesome blog sent me some subliminal messages that made me think that), so anyway, when I got to the whammy-ending I realized the story for Laurel, David, and Tamani was only beginning.

Usually, I'm not one for fairies. When I think of fairies it makes me think of cartoons and being in elementary school and every single girl dressing up like a ballerina or a fairy Halloween. No, Aprilynne makes fairies seem scientifically plausible. Seriously. And the world building is so detailed and just so believable that I'd consider searching for the gates of Avalon (the home of the fairies) next time I visit California.

If you're looking for a good series to soak into, start with Wings the first book, and then you'll immediately be itching to read Spells, and then of course Illusions. And talk about intense love triangle, this one seems even worse for the main character Laurel then Bella having to choose between Jacob and Edward. In Twilight you always kind of knew Edward was the one, but in this series, it's hard to say.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I think I've known this for a long time, but I didn't want to admit this to myself. It's un-girly. Un-nautural. Something must be genetically mis-wired in me.

Hi, my name is Anita, and I hate to shop.

Going to the mall and shopping for clothes makes my back hurt and gives me a headache. Often, I have to take someone for moral support (i.e. I sit in the dressing room, they pick stuff out, and bring it to me). I also think it's important to look for bargains because why should any one over pay for anything, but alas, bargain hunting takes time and work, and frankly I'd rather be writing or skating or doing squat thrusts followed by an infinite number of push ups. So rather than looking for those good deals, how about we just don't shop at all?

And it's not just clothes. It's cars too. Because of my long commutes my very young car has over two hundred thousand miles on it. Do you think I'm going to look for another one? Absolutely, NOT. I'm going to drive that thing until that engine's last dying breath of internal combustion.

It's also computers. Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) spent forty plus hours researching and shopping for his computers, I think I fell to the wayside around fifteen or twenty hours.

Apartments and home shopping is also a chore. If you're a real estate agent, just show me a couple, the best that you have, that are safe, clean, and in my budget, and I'll just pick one.

Wal-mart. Yeah, good luck getting me to go there. That's why I buy household products in bulk. A one time shop for soap, tissue paper, dish washing detergent. I'll even admit to the fact that I've purchased these items on Amazon. Yes, I bought soap on Amazon.

I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I get married. Ugh. I can feel the anti-shopping-nausea coming on right now. Perhaps I'll get married at one those all-inclusive set ups where all I have to do is show up. That sounds perfect.

Is it just me, or are there any other anti-shoppers out there?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What I've Learned...

I've been writing for a long time and it's a continual learning process. I thought today I'd talk about one of the many things I've learned over the years, and that is: Don't Jump the Gun.
I think this is a mistake we've all made at one point, and I made it under the encouragement of a published author, is we query too early. You've heard this a thousand times over, write the best book that you can. Well, that takes time, a lot of it.

  •  After you finish you first draft it is not ready for querying. It's not. No matter how much you love it. It's not. Distance yourself from it for a few weeks and then go back and read it. You'll see what I mean.
  • Listen to that voice in your head. Often, we are perfectly aware of the flaws in our story and writing. And yet we push those voices aside and don't really listen to them until a critique partner or agent echos that same thought. 
  • The story just doesn't have to be spectacular, the writing does too. I've critiqued manuscripts where I'm like this is an awesome story, but then when you get down to the sentences, the words, they all need some tightening and polishing. Every word has to earn it's right to be there, so take the time to let every one of them shine.
  • Don't be scared to re-write. In that first draft, you're just getting to know your characters, their likes/dislikes, and motivations. Sometimes you have to go back and delete scenes, add new ones, but it doesn't mean that what you wrote in that first draft was a waste of time. That was an important step towards learning who your characters are.
Also, if you haven't already, check out www.writeoncon.com, it's a FREE on-line writing conference with some amazing editors, authors, and agents sharing their wisdom.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Skating Update

Skating Update Since ACL Reconstruction: It's a work in progress. LOL. Kind of like writing. I've progressed from skating in a circle around the rink to actually doing some turns and spins. Yay!
I even signed up to skate in this year's ice show at our rink: Musical Legends and Divas on Ice. It's on December 3rd and 4th which means I have a lot of figuring out to do by then. Sunday was our first group practice and it went a little something like this:

Choreographer: Who here can do a double toe loop?

Me: (I don't raise my hand. But when choreographer starts eyeballing me, I succumb and raise it half way). Well, I can't do one right now, but I'm hoping I can again in two months.

Choreographer: Who here can do an illusion?

Me: Well, I used to be able to do one, so give me a few weeks to figure that one out.

Choreographer demonstrates a knee slide across the ice.

Me: That is so not happening.

You get the picture.

Despite my shortcomings, it was so nice to be on the ice practicing for a performance and being out there with old skating buddies. I just hope I can get it all back by December. I have a LOT of work to do.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm Tweeting...well, sort of....

So to add to my social networking prowess I have officially joined the world of Twitter. My Twitter name is Anita_Writes and as of yet I haven't tweeted about anything. I hope I used the word tweet correctly in that previous sentence.

 This whole twitter thing is quite foreign to me, but I started following some of my favorite author peeps such as Elana Johnson and Ally Condie, a few agents, and Publishers Weekly.

And as far as subject matter for my soon to be written tweets, it seems people discuss everything from the cute stuff their children say to what they bought at Wal-Mart. Hmm...I guess I could start there. I bought a snazzy new composition book today to write the last third of my work in progress, Shift.
What do you guys tweet about and who do you like to follow on Twitter?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Reincarnated Love Story

The other day Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) and I were making dinner and we had the following conversation:

"I've got a great idea for your next book," S.D. says as he chops onions.
I look up from the meat I'm browning, always interested to hear his thoughts on young adult literature (especially since he doesn't read any). "What's that?"
"You should write a story about love that prevails through reincarnation. About souls that find each other again and again, an eternal love story."
I smile. "That a great idea. In fact it's a New York Times best selling idea."
S.D. pauses his chopping, scrutinizing me, not sure if I'm mocking him or not.
"Yeah, it's called The Immortal series by Alyson Noel and The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate. Both very good."
His shoulders slump. "Late again." He's notorious for coming up with ideas for books, inventions, scientific theories, etc...just a bit too late.