Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Online-Shopaholics Anonymous

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the contributors over at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. Then readers answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


This week's question: Where do you buy most of your books? No one is judging!



I am addicted to online shopping. At the end of every month, my recycling bin is full of boxes from Amazon--book-shaped boxes. I used to do most of my book shopping at Borders, but we all know what happened there. And let's be honest, I can afford a whole lot more books by shopping at Amazon. 


I'd like to support more local bookstores, but it's so much easier to order from my living room or kitchen or wherever my laptop happens to be.


A lot of people stigmatize Amazon, but I love it. And I'm not afraid to admit it.


Where do you shop?

Friday, December 9, 2011

YA, Research, and Mixed Martial Arts

I'm working on a book right now that has a lot of fight scenes--like hand-to-hand combat, beat you into the ground, try to get a KO (too Mortal Combat?) kind of fight scenes. And while I like the idea, and I've drafted all of these scenes, I'm not a fighter.

I needed to find a way to make my fight scenes more realistic, to understand how moves work not just what they are. At first, I thought I'd take a class. I've always wanted to be a bad ass. But then I realized I know nothing about fighting styles (other than what I learned watching Dragon Ball Z). So I bought a book: Mixed Martial Arts for Dummies.

This is the cover (in case you couldn't figure that out)

It helped a lot. I didn't have a specific fighting style in mind. I want hand-to-hand combat, and I want to write about it in a way that makes sense to me. Because if I can understand it and visualize it, my readers will be able to. I'm not using everything in this book. I don't plan to title my moves in my book (because who really knows what those words mean other than the actual fighters?). 

Here's the biggest thing: the book has pictures. And I love pictures.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

YA Highway RTW: How Far Would You Go to Get Published?


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the contributors over at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. Then readers answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We writers can form quite an attachment to our characters and stories. But we also know publishing is a business, and sometimes to make it in said business--to really build a career from it--we have to bend a bit. How far would you go to break into the publishing world?


YA Highway's Baseball Diamond
I’m a writer; I write because I love my stories and my characters. Writing isn’t about getting published--not completely--but of course it’s something I think about, dream about, wish and swoon over. What writer doesn’t?

I can’t say the bases really line up with my thoughts on this. I would certainly make minor revisions requested by an agent, and even major revisions by an editor (depending on how major, what characters they want to cut, how many tears I have to shed, etc.) are a possibility. I want my story to be the best it can be, even if I kick and scream the whole way there (or smile and nod while fuming on the inside before admitting editor/agent/whoever is right).

But jumping on a trend train or switching to a well-selling genre wouldn’t work for me. I write the stories that are in my head, heart, and crazy dreams (like the time giant owls were taking over the world…still trying to figure out how to use that one). Sometimes these line up with a trend, sometimes they don't. I write YA—certainly a well-selling genre—because my experiences that shape my stories are from my teenage years. But I wouldn't switch just to get published. If I did that, I wouldn't be writing the stories I set out to write.



What do you think?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Back to Writing

I've taken a three-month hiatus from my current work in progress, a novel I'm toying with calling "The Hunters." When my husband graduated back in May, we decided now would be a good time for me to go to graduate school if I wanted to. So I've spent the past three months writing a short story and filling out applications. Now that all are submitted and my education fate is in the hand of the admissions gods, I'm back to my book. And I'm in love.

I never fell out of love with the manuscript. That's probably why I waited so long to get to work on those applications. But now that I'm back in the thick of this book, I can't get it out of my head.

I think that's when you know an idea is meant to be.