Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do the Write Thing

The brilliant Margot Kinberg over at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist is Doing the Write Thing. Love this idea!

Margot's putting together a charity raffle to help out the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake relief efforts. She's looking for authors who are willing to donate signed copies of their books to support the cause.  In her words...
If you are an author who’d like to donate a signed copy of one of your books, please email me at MargotKinberg(at)gmail(dot)com) and let me know that you’d like to be a part of Do the Write Thing and which title you’d like to contribute. Your donation will be greatly appreciated!! If you've already been in touch, thank you! I truly appreciate it.
And here's what Margot has to say about the raffle ...
Once the list of authors and titles is final, I’ll announce the “book packages.” You’ll then have the opportunity to win one of them. How do you get into the raffle? All we’ll ask is that you make a donation to the New Zealand Red Cross. Once you do that, you’ll be entered into the raffle, and you will have a chance to win a “book package” of terrific reads by very talented authors.
Margot - you rock!! Spread the word everyone - let's help out those in need!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Life is Good!

The lovely E. Elle over at The Writer's Funhouse passed along the Cherry on Top/Life is Good! Award to me recently. Thanks so much, E!

This award comes with a unique twist - I'm to share some things about my past that I would change if I could. If this were real, I don't know if I would actually change anything (except #5). I like where my life has led me, so I wouldn't want to take the chance of messing that up. :)

Here we go...

1. I wish I could go back and be braver - especially in high school. I wish I'd submitted that poem for the yearbook - it really was pretty good. I wish I'd joined the band and the drama club - despite the fact I didn't know anyone in them. I wish I'd stood up to those teachers who gave the physics & phys ed awards to people with lower marks because they were 'boy subjects'.

2. I wish I could go back and take even more photos - of people who are gone and those incredible moments and images that make life special.

3. I wish I could go back and invent the Internet. Or Google. :)

4. I wish I could go back and not splash that poor man I soaked when I was learning how to drive and didn't realize how slowly you should go through really big puddles.

5. I wish I could go back and NOT put those perms in my hair. They were BAD. And, no, you can't see the photographs!

Because of the crazy chaos that has been my life lately - instead of linking to a select few, I'm going to offer this award up to everyone. The community of online writers and readers is truly amazing - I think we all deserve a treat with a cherry on top! So please, take the award with my blessing and pass it along. Life really IS good!

In the same spirit I'd like to pass along Jules' award. Jules created this to help us all celebrate each other! So thank you to each and every one of you - please take the award and pass it along yourself! :)

So, what would you change if you had the chance to go back? Any bad hair choices we should know about? :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The BPB Blogfest

Nicole Ducleroir over at One Significant Moment at a Time is hosting a very cool blogfest. The BPB blogfest - aka the Bernard Pivot Blogfest - is to celebrate her 500 followers. Wow!! Way to go Nicole!

Here's what Nicole had to say about the blogfest...
Anyone who's watched Inside the Actor's Studio will be familiar with the questionnaire. The show's host, James Lipton, asks it of every celebrity guest at the close of the interview. The questionnaire was originally created by Bernard Pivot, a French journalist, for the cultural series he hosted on French television from 1991-2001, called Bouillon de Culture.

So here we go. Here's Bernard Pivot's famous questionnaire:

1. What is your favorite word?

2. What is your least favorite word?

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Music, laughter, art, sunshine

4. What turns you off?
Sadness, exhaustion

5. What is your favorite curse word?
I'm a teacher - I don't use those! :) When pressed, I will say 'piddlepop'

6. What sound or noise do you love?
Laughter, music, songbirds

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
Chainsaws, dentist drills, forks on plates

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Author, marine biologist, computer programmer, animation artist, horse rancher, researcher, sports analyst, counsellor, special effects creator, photographer, photo-journalist, architect, director, chef, ... (okay, I'll stop now!)

9. What profession would you not like to do?

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
The library is in that direction...

That was fun! Thanks Nicole - if you haven't visited her, make sure you do. Also check out her blog for a list of all the entrants.

What's a profession that always sounded interesting to you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Let's Get Sappy!

In honour of Valentine's Day, let's get a little sappy. Let's talk about our favourite couples in the books we've read. Here are a few of mine...

Favourite Classic Couple: Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. These 2 are such fun. Anne is one of my favourite all-time characters. She's fun, feisty, gutsy, kind, and has such an imagination. Gilbert almost loses his chance for good by pulling her pigtails and calling her Carrot Top, but it all works out ... eventually!

Favourite Book-Turned-Movie Couple: Aragorn and Arwen from Lord of the Rings. I was so worried when they decided to make movies from these books. But, they did a great job. They kept the feel of the novels, the characters were all so well done! And who wouldn't want Aragorn to be happy? :)

Favourite Chick Lit Couple: Mattie & Kyle from Talli Roland's The Hating Game! This is such a fun story-line - filled with laugh out loud moments, "I can't believe she did that!" moments and, "Awwww," moments. If you haven't read Talli's book yet, check it out!

Favourite Romantic Suspense Couples: This is a favourite category of mine, so I'm including 3 authors! Eve Dallas & Roarke from JD Robb's In Death series. Frankie & Ryan from Terry O'Dell's When Danger Calls. Jules & Robin (& so many more!!) from Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series. Great stories all of them!

Favourite Couple That's Not a Couple: Alek & Deryn/Dylan from Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan are a wonderful pair! They are so very different and yet have much in common. They're both courageous and willing to learn and take risks. This is an awesome Steampunk read and I HAD to include it! :)

So, maybe not so sappy afterall!

So, tell me about one of your favourite literary couples of all time ... or, of the moment!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Background Noise

I've been working on report cards a lot lately. I've also been working on some revisions & editing & trying to create an outline for an unfinished first draft. Occasionally I've been able to work on finishing that draft - but I like more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time for drafting.

While I'm doing all of this writing (even the report cards), I need to have some kind of background noise on. I don't work well in silence.

Sometimes I have music on, but currently I've got season 2 of Battlestar Galactica running in the background. For those of you who don't know this series - and you should, you really should! - it's dark and intense. Lots of loud music, harsh dialogue, noisy battle scenes.

And it's perfect. I'm writing a romantic suspense and a YA steampunk. But, because I love the show - and I know the show - I can let it occupy the antsy part of my brain while I focus most of my attention on what I'm writing. I'm much more productive this way.

How about you? Do you like to have your favourite reruns or movies playing in the background? Or do you prefer silence or music?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recycling or Trash?

I'm a bit of a tree hugger. I recycle everything I can and try hard to reduce the items I use in the first place. But in my writing? Not so much.

I'm not an outliner. I have a vision for my ending, a vision for my beginning and no idea how I'll get from one to the other. This generally means a messy first draft and a lot of rewrites. I go through my draft several times - each time looking for something else. First = plot holes, 2nd = scene order, ...

I keep each version under a new file: Title 1, Title 2, Title 3... That way I know which version is the most recent. In the back of my mind is the worry that if I delete, I'll want something from that previous draft.

So far, it's a worthless worry. I've never gone back. I know each draft is stronger than the previous. If I deleted something it was for a dang good reason. I haven't recycled a single scene, or even a word. But what if I've deleted something magical by mistake, something I can springboard into a shiny new idea? Yikes!

So, I'm curious, do you recycle your deleted writing from your previous drafts? Are you brave enough to trash it all or do you keep it just in case...?


On another note, thanks so much to Michael over at In Time... for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award.

Thanks Michael!! I appreciate it! :) If you haven't checked out his blog, hop on over - you won't regret it!