Monday, August 31, 2009

Tweetchat in the Twitter-verse

I ventured into that alternate reality, the Twitter-verse this weekend. I joined Twitter earlier this month, around the same time I started blogging. New and exciting endeavours all the way around :)

My learning curve in the Twitter-verse has been steep at times, with a few bumps along the road. Honestly it was a little overwhelming at first - with a touch of "Am I Crazy?" thrown in. But, I'm learning!

My latest achievement is learning about Tweetchats. Thanks to fellow Twitterer, Inkyelbows, I found out there are live chats for writers on Twitter. So I followed her handy-dandy, easy to follow link and instructions (, and found myself in the chatroom.

What a rollercoaster ride! Comments fly back and forth with amazing speed. Some people can multi-task like I've never seen. There were so many interesting comments and contributers! I mostly lurked this time, but I'm already looking forward to the next time.

How many of you have entered the Twitter-verse? Will I see you in a TweetChat?

Friday, August 28, 2009

What a Week!

Wow, this has not been my week for electronics.

First, my laptop went belly-up. Not completely, but required a repair worth a couple of hundred dollars. Not worth it on a 3 year old machine. So, I'm on a new laptop and my wallet is rather light :)

Then... the television decided not to work anymore. Then the ringer on the cell phone decided it preferred silent mode - in every mode. Sigh.

Maybe I should check my horoscope before I turn on anything else!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Research Help

I've chosen an idea for my next novel. So exciting!

I need some help with research. The Internet can only tell me so much. Some of my characters will be members of the Chippewa tribe. I need to create some new mythology, and I want to make sure I keep it in line with the actual belief system. I also need to make sure I'm not messing up the language when I've combined a couple of words. So, if you know of anyone of Chippewa heritage who might be willing to answer a couple of questions, please send them my way! Thanks :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Ideas

I’ve been revising and editing for months and months. For the most part I enjoy both of these tasks. It’s exciting to see how each change improves the story or the flow or the characterization. But...

I’ve also got a lot of ideas for new stories rolling around in my head, trying desperately to get out. I work out parts of the story before I put anything at all down on my laptop. The first scenes I imagine are the ones at the end of the story - the culmination scenes. From there I develop the main character, then the other characters. The setting is usually interwoven throughout these scenes, but I start fine-tuning it at this point. Then I jump backwards to the beginning part of the story.

I know where the characters end up. I just need to start writing so I can find out how they get there.

So, what comes first when you get a new idea: the ending, the beginning, the setting or the characters?

Friday, August 21, 2009

7 Things About Me

The Editorial Ass blog (aka Moonrat) has a great post today entitled 7 Things About Me.

Here's the link

Following along with her post, here are the 7 things about me:

1. My dad chose my middle name - it’s my mom’s first name, which she hates.

2. I can’t read or watch anything without a happy ending. My teenagers screen movies for me because I become quite an embarrassing mess if it’s a sad ending. Worse - I scream - loudly - if it's scary.

3. I love working with troubled kids - although I think that explains my penchant for romance, fantasy and happy endings.

4. Never owned a pet growing up.

5. Had three very vivid imaginary friends - possibly in response to #4 :)

6. I’m a Trekkie - oops, did I say that out loud? No costumes or toys though, so it’s okay. Right?

7. I love the smell of coffee, but can’t stand the taste. Earl Grey tea for me!

Anyone out there willing to share?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Contests and Confidence

I've put the first 250 words of my current ms in the Secret Agent contest over at Miss Snark's First Victim's Blog. If you are an aspiring author, this is a blog you really have to read!

It takes a lot for me to put my writing out there for other people, and I'm wondering how common that is for writers. As I read authors' blogs, tweets and websites, I'm struck by the amount of self-confidence I see. Is that the norm? Is it part of the person or the persona?

I wonder how easy it was for published writers to put their work on display before they got published. It's become easier for me, mostly thanks to some wonderful critique partners who mix in just the right amount of support, advice and humour with their comments.

Do you find it easy or difficult to put your writing "out there"? What gave you that first boost to let someone else read your work?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sand Art

Normally, I use this blog to talk about writing, but I need to share this. It is one of the most powerful things I have ever seen. This is from the Ukrainian version of "... Has Talent".

If you haven't seen sand art before, you will be amazed. It's set to music, so make sure your speakers are on. I've used Sand Art clips in the past to inspire my students in exploring their creativity, and I can't wait to show this one. What a message. Apparently the words she writes at the end translate into, "You are always near."


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dialogue Tags

My lastest round of edits is all about dialogue tags. I am working on breaking my addiciton to them. In one scene, there were about 15 pieces of dialogue together. There were only two characters, so it wouldn't have been difficult for the reader to keep track. Yet, I tagged every single piece of dialogue!

Now, not every tag was an official tag. In many cases, the dialogue stood alone, but I'd felt compelled to add an explanatory sentence before or after. Ex., Nick shrugged and turned away.

Thankfully, one of my crit partners noticed my addiction. I eliminated a ton in this last edit round. The dialogue and scenes flow much more smoothly now. Of course, the pace is better too.

Don't you just love it when a simple change makes your writing stronger?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ready, Set, ... Blog!

Okay, deep breath...plunge...surface. Mmmm. Swimming in the blog pool may not be as scary as first anticipated.

As an aspiring author, words are a way of life. Thinking about them, mulling over word choice, and writing them to best express ourselves, are what we writers do every day. Blogging is an extension of our need to communicate with others, our need to express what’s inside of us. As an added bonus - it’s fun!

Blogging has become a world-wide phenomena in such a short time. There are so many blogs, on so many topics. Pretty much irresistible for a writer and a reader, don't you think? So, don’t resist - keep in touch. You know you want to :)