Thursday, January 31, 2013

End of BIg Box Brick and Mortar?

I was visiting Nathan Bransford, Author’s blog yesterday and read something that surprised me, and didn’t at the same time. He said that Banes and Noble made a statement that they were going to close a third of their stores; that’s twenty stores a year for the next ten years.
Does that surprise you?
The last time I was in a Barnes and Noble, I did buy something; it was a last minute Christmas gift that I didn’t have time to order online. But usually that’s what I do, I go to Barnes and Noble to look, but then I order on Amazon. The only exception to that is my local book store. It is a quaint little place with (free) fresh ground, fresh brewed coffee and a sales staff that knows your name and just what to recommend for you. I love it in there. I could live in there. And yes, I’ve purchased many full price books from them from the sheer pleasure of their store and their knowledge.
Where do you purchase your books?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Day Job"

Last year about this time I went from working two twelve hour shifts every weekend to just working one on Friday nights as a Psychiatric Nurse. It was quite a shift for us as a family, because I was in a wonderful position of that being considered a full-time job.  Many things went into that decision, and yes, writing was one of them. Mainly I decided I wanted to do a few things well instead of many things poorly. As far as the writing went, I decided that was what I wanted to do now, but you know, when people ask me what I do, I still automatically say I’m a nurse; which is technically true. But I spend way more time writing than working as a nurse.  I also make way more money as a nurse than I do as a writer. I wonder if that’s why I don’t consider it my real job? I Oh well, just the psychoanalyst in me at work again.
What is it you do? And when people ask, do you say that you’re a writer or do you just say your “day job”?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog You vs. the Real You

For my blog, I usually have a fair amount of time to think about what I want to say, and then time to edit, if necessary. In real life that’s not even remotely possible.  So in reality, I spend much more time being plagued with the oooh…shouldn’t have said thats.  How many of you wish for an edit button on life? I’m not talking specifics here; I didn’t run my mouth off last night or anything. I was just thinking about the difference between the process of writing things in a blog, where we get to be whoever we want to be, and what actually comes out of our mouths; aka who we really are.
Who are you really?
I am a Christian, a wife, a homeschooling mom, a writer, a nurse, a disorganized procrastinator, a runner, a people watcher, a traveler, a want-to-be- self-sufficient gardener, a knitter, a friend.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where do you write?

Right now, I write in my bedroom. I have a couch angled towards a window and a table made from an old sewing machine. It’s just the right height for the couch and the perfect size for my laptop and a nice pot of tea; kudos to my husband for building it for me.
But that’s not where I always want to write. You see I have plans, literal ones.  Four years ago my husband and me turned our side yard into a beautiful garden with fruit trees and raised vegetable beds. The whole thing is centered around a mulberry bush that I hope (someday) will be a great climbing tree. Little did my husband know it at the time, but those weren’t my only plans. I left a big open space for a small Victorian house. Alright a shed, but you get the picture. I had no idea why I wanted it, just that I did. Now I know. I want a writing loft.
So with great plans (for my husband) in mind I look at that one bare spot in my yard and dream and hope. In the meantime I sip tea, looking at the roses instead.
Where do you write? And do you have any future plans to change that?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Writer’s Conferences.

This is the first year I’m not going to one. For the last two years I’ve headed to NYC for SCBWI’s winter conference and had a great time. I didn’t leave last year thinking it would be the last time I would go, it just was.
I only have so many times a year I can convince my husband to go with me to NYC, so I decided to cash them all in on BEA (Book Expo America) instead. I’ve never been to BEA before and really don’t know what to expect, except that I’ve been warned to be overwhelmed.
I’m not saying writer’s conferences aren’t important or that being around other writers isn’t valuable. I have this blog, and visit several of yours as often as I can because I know it is.  The first Thursday of every month you’ll find me at my local Panera sipping coffee with as many other local writers that show up. I love that.
But as far as my traveling goes, I’m ready for something else.
How about you- have you been to a good conference lately, or are you doing something else, too?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time...Where does it go?

Today I’m writing about time management.  I know based on the quick turn around on some of your responses that some you have this down. I do not. Whole days go by and I wonder what I did with myself. I spend way too much time going from one half-finished job to the next. I could use the excuse that I homeschool two kids and have a toddler at home as an excuse, but I don’t know if my house would look any different if they all went to school.  Organization eludes me.
Ironically, my husband is the most organized person I know; it’s basically what he does for a living. My sister has adopted a system where she has her whole day planned out in fifteen minute segments, and she gets A LOT done in a day. While I don’t think that will necessarily work for me; I have to admit I would benefit from some kind of system.
What do all of you do to stay organized?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Launch Day Party

My novel, THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT is being released courtesy of Black and White Publishing Co. on May 1, 2013. I’m mentioning it now because I’ve been racking my brains trying to come up with what to do for a launch party. Some of my ideas have been extreme; having a three day FTX in Weston, Vermont, where my story takes place, to something much less so;  putting together a local 5k in my hometown. But I know I want to do something. I’ve been waiting for this day for so long; I don’t want to just let it slip quietly into the night.
Any ideas or stories about your own launch parties?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First 500

Last year I went to SCBWIs winter conference in NYC and while I was there I had my first 500 words of THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT critiqued by two editors, both from big six publishing houses. Before I went I must’ve written and re-written those first two pages more than a hundred times.  In the beginning I relied heavily on my husband, which was a very bad idea. For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a brilliant man who does lots of non-fiction technical type writing for the Navy Nuclear Industry and when he reads for pleasure  it’s always something nonfiction about some war in the last century. So when I handed him my first two pages of my YA thriller all he could say was that it was good, but it had a lot of bad grammar stuck in incomplete sentences.  Needless to say I was more than crushed, I was paralyzed.
Going to NY did that to me, too. Not that the editors were harsh, they weren’t. It’s just that because of my fears and constant revisions, my first 500 words didn’t match the rest of the book at all. They were sterile and vanilla, but they were written in perfect grammar and without a fragment to be found. In short the voice was gone.
The first 500 words were my first chance to introduce the reader to Joel, my MC that I love so much and he wasn’t there. Nothing was.
The reason I write this is because on Friday I sat down with a list of edits from my copyeditor for those same 500 words and for the first time in two years it feels like the rest of the book.
Have any of the rest of you had a hang up like that?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Can a great book be an even greater movie?

I think I finally found a time when that was true.  A bunch of us girls went out to see Les Miserables on Sunday and it was wonderful. Not an I leave the theater and never think about it again wonderful, but waking up in the middle of the night sobbing kind of wonderful.  Most of it was the superb acting. It gave a whole new dimension to Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. It also didn’t hurt that it was condensed, but that’s not the point I wanted to make here. Seeing it felt like I was living it.  
Which leads me to that point I was referring to:
Most of my readers are writers; with that in mind- would you like your book made into a movie? Why or why not?