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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Writer category, dated 3/25/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 56
1. Notes on Taking Notes

A recent blog we covered, HOW I WRITE BOOKS . . .



And the blogs before that covered, I LOVE SCRIVENER BECAUSE IT TIDIES UP MY MESSES . . .

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And before that there was a blog about FREEDOM, the amazing thingy that helps tame my internet addiction . . .

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So, in keeping with the STUFF I DO WHEN I WRITE theme, there's this . . .

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Oops. Ignore that. That was the drawer where I keep the cords and cables from old cellphones, et al. that I don't know what to do with because they might be important someday.

Let's try again, shall we? There's this . . .

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Um. Okay. "What's that?" you ask, or I ask, or Johnny Depp asks, or Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy asks . . .

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Well, let me tell all of you. Those are my NOTES!!!

Yes, NOTES!!!

Notes.

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Why? Because I have this insane scary ability to remember my childhood, including my best friend from second grade's phone number . . .

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(Above: Me, making memories back then that I remember now.)

Yet, I cannot recall yesterday . . .

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So I have to take NOTES!!! when an idea hits me. I write them all down, and after I transfer them to my computer, I rip them out and skewer them (see above), or I cross them out in the small, but delightful, notebooks I have.

How many small, but delightful, notebooks do you have, you ask, or I ask, or Nathan Fillion asks?

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2. The Little Free Library Movement: Be a Home Librarian

You may have never heard of Ursula Oaks, but she’s a pioneer. She and her family are one of only a handful of East-Coast bibliophiles who have become stewards of a Little Free Library.

What’s a Little Free Library? Just as it sounds, it’s a small structure—a little bigger than a breadbox—that houses books which are free to borrow. Take a book, return a book, leave a book. Visit as often as you wish!

The brainchild of Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, the Little Free Library enterprise began in 2009 and flourished in the Wisconsin and Minnesota region. Intended to support literacy, social empowerment, youth and community development, the libraries sit on front lawns and places of business, encouraging neighbors and patrons to read…and share great literature.

A map on the LittleFreeLibrary.org website displays registered LFLs around the country. I was hoping to find one in New Jersey, but alas, none exist. (Don’t worry, my neighbor and I plan to change that soon.)

But I did find Ursula Oaks in Silver Spring, MD, living just three miles from my brother’s home. Originally I planned to visit her and the little library-on-stilts in her side yard, but since that didn’t work out, we chatted via email about her experience with being a Little Free Library “home librarian”.

TL: When and why did you decide to open a Little Free Library?

UO: I first heard about the LFL movement on an NPR program out of Wisconsin Public Radio called “Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders”, which is hosted by the amazing journalist Jean Feraca. She interviewed the founders, and the whole thing sounded so fun and meaningful that I went home that night and told my husband and son about it. They were both interested, too, so we started making plans. We thought the idea was a perfect melding of our shared love for building things, for libraries, and for books. Our son Liam loved the idea that we could select books from our own collection to share, and that we could host something in our yard that the whole community could take part in. My husband Craig was excited to have a new building project. And we all loved the creative aspect of designing and painting something totally unique. That was September of last year. It took us five months to actually get it completely finished, due to schedules, weather, travel, etc. The finished library finally went up in the yard on January 25 of this year.

TL: How did it get built and why did you choose the Madeline theme?

Craig is great with woodworking, so he built the structure, complete with copper run-off pipes, tin roof, and clear plexiglass front door. I sketched out the design based on the original Bemelmans drawings in one of our Madeline books, and everyone pitched in to paint, including 7-year-old Liam. Frankly we were surprised at how well it turned out, because none of us is particularly gifted with a paintbrush.

The story of how we ended up with the Madeline theme is a bit convoluted. We knew we wanted to do some kind of stylized approach to the house, so we thought about a barn or a farm house or bird house, and then at some point I suggested we try to come up with an idea that had some connection with a book we love—something that people would recognize and understand. Liam has always loved the Madeline stories, and we had recently returned from a visit to Paris for Thanksgiving, so the idea came to us pretty quickly once we went down that path, especially because while we w

10 Comments on The Little Free Library Movement: Be a Home Librarian, last added: 3/26/2012
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3. Words of Wisdom from Teller (Penn & Teller)

Magician Brain Brushwood tells a story on his blog about talking to Teller of Penn and Teller and how Teller ended up responding to a letter he wrote when frustrated by his industry.  He’s talking magic, but isn’t that what we do, too?  I think you will find it good advice for anyone writing a book.

Here’s Teller:

Try stuff. Make your best stab and keep stabbing. If it’s there in your heart, it will eventually find its way out. Or you will give up and have a prudent, contented life doing something else.

Surprise me.

That’s it. Place 2 and 2 right in front of my nose, but make me think I’m seeing 5. Then reveal the truth, 4!, and surprise me.

Now, don’t underestimate me, like the rest of the magicians of the world. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that I’ve never seen a set of linking rings before and I’ll be oh-so-stunned because you can “link” them. Bullshit.

Here’s how surprise works. While holding my attention, you withhold basic plot information. Feed it to me little by little. Make me try and figure out what’s going on. Tease me in one direction. Throw in a false ending. Then turn it around and flip me over.

Read Rouald Dahl. Watch the old Alfred Hitchcock episodes. Surprise. Withhold information. Make them say, “What the hell’s he up to? Where’s this going to go?” and don’t give them a clue where it’s going. And when it finally gets there, let it land. An ending.

It took me eight years (are you listening?) EIGHT YEARS to come up with a way of delivering the Miser’s Dream that had surprises and an ENDING.

Love something besides magic, in the arts.  Get inspired by a particular poet, film-maker, sculptor, composer.  You will never be the first Brian Allen Brushwood of magic if you want to be Penn & Teller.  But if you want to be, say, the Salvador Dali of magic, well THERE’S an opening.

I should be a film editor.  I’m a magician.  And if I’m good, it’s because I should be a film editor.  Bach should have written opera or plays.  But instead, he worked in eighteenth-century counterpoint.  That’s why his counterpoints have so much more point than other contrapuntalists.  They have passion and plot.  Shakespeare, on the other hand, should have been a musician, writing counterpoint.  That’s why his plays stand out from the others through their plot and music.

Here is the link to read the whole letter:

http://shwood.squarespace.com/news/2009/9/21/14-years-ago-the-day-teller-gave-me-the-secret-to-my-career.html

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, inspiration, Writing Tips Tagged: Alfred Hitchcock, Brian Allen Brushwood, Penn & Teller, Rouald Dahl, Salvador Dali, Shakespeare 1 Comments on Words of Wisdom from Teller (Penn & Teller), last added: 3/26/2012
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4. Climbing Mountains with Patrick Ness, Tim Bowler, Sally Nicholls and Moira Young

by Teri Terry On Saturday I went to the Oxford Literary festival with most of my crit group and a few others along as well. Friends, books, a gorgeous sunny day in Oxford, and promise of a pub after: bliss. But first and foremost, we were there to hear a stellar panel of award-winning YA authors on this topic: Life, Death and Other Grown up Subjects. Patrick Ness: author of the acclaimed

21 Comments on Climbing Mountains with Patrick Ness, Tim Bowler, Sally Nicholls and Moira Young, last added: 3/27/2012
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5.

Welcome!

Thanks for visiting the official site of children’s author Artie Knapp!  

Where Alligators Bowl, Roosters Moo, and Elephants work at car washes!


COPYRIGHT © 2012 ARTIE KNAPP

Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law


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6. How is everyone?

Hi, guys!

Writing from Rochester, Minnesota while Kate and I are still at the Mayo Clinic. Not sure when we'll be heading back to the BK soon, but we miss home!

And the kitties.

And our neighborhood.

And R.

And the apartment.

And the sweet guys at the bodega.

And Mike, our UPS guy.

And a zillion things you don't think you'll miss when you're gone, but you do!

(Like, K's a Mac person and she brought her Mac. I didn't bring my PC. I'm going through PC withdrawal!)

We're in our hotel room or at the hospital 99% of the time, but we did get to the local Target for some fun PJ shopping and groceries (our room has a microwave and mini-fridge) and also to the local mall for a little bit.

So, tell me what you're up to! How long have you ever been away from home? What did you miss the most?

xxoo

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7. Back From Chicago … and Planning Another Trip

We got back home about an hour ago.

Actually, we got back into town about 7:00 p.m. But we stopped to eat at Taco Bell, went over to my in-laws to eat cookie cake and sing happy birthday to Jazz, THEN we came home.

And this was AFTER riding the Amtrak train from Chicago to St. Louis for five hours and driving another 3 1/2 hours from St. Louis to Springfield.

So yeah, I’M BRAIN DEAD.

I simply can’t write anymore tonight. But I’ll write about our adventures and share some pictures very soon.

Now? I’m collapsing into my own bed and (hopefully) getting a full, uninterrupted, seven hours of sleep.

And then it’s back to work tomorrow … unless they suspend me. My boss left me a voice mail Thursday, but honest to God, I forgot to call her back so, who knows if I HAVE a job to go back to. Her message didn’t say NOT to, but it was rather a question as to whether I had gotten the shot (no), or if I planned to (no). So. I figured if I was suspended, surely she would have called back and told me not to come in on Monday, right?

RIGHT?!?

At any rate, I’m going to work tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. If I get suspended, then I’ll come home and blog about Chicago.

I know you’re rooting for me to get suspended so you can hear more about Chicago – don’t lie! (*grin*)

And don’t jinx me. Cause I really do love my job and I really don’t want to get suspended.

UGH. I can’t do this “am I going to be suspended this year or not” every single year thing. It’s exhausting. (To live and to write about).

P.S. Kevin and I are thinking about going back to Chicago in June – just me and him. OH YES WE ARE!


Filed under: Chicago, Work Stuff

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8. Writing stuff

Okay, so I had a BLAST at the Write2ignite conference! We had editors from Focus on the Family, JourneyForth Books/BJU, Kids’ Ark magazine and several agents including Terry Burns from Hartline! Lots of great info! Also – came away from the conference with a renewed desire to get my backside in high gear and finish [...]

10 Comments on Writing stuff, last added: 3/27/2012
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9. not quite self portraits (because someone else took them)

My husband is at work on a new series of art pieces that begin with photography (and become far more).  In the process of making these new things (which I will someday showcase here) he has been testing a series of lights and flashes, and so today, after I came home from church, I sat for a few moments while he tested one thing, then the next.

These are a few unfinished outtakes. 

4 Comments on not quite self portraits (because someone else took them), last added: 3/26/2012
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10. Nature's Rewards

I planted bulbs in autumn
And buried them real deep,
Where they remained all winter,
In hibernating sleep.

They slipped my mind completely
As leaves fell from the trees,
And Nature brought her changes,
To varying degrees.

A wave of warmth descended
To usher in the spring,
Erasing winter’s palette,
Replacing it with zing.

And right where I’d been digging,
The result of which I’d doubted,
A burst of yellow let me know
My daffodils had sprouted!

Who knew back in October
When I scooped that rock-filled soil
That I’d reap a splash of color
As the payment for my toil?

Nature is mysterious,
A trickster in disguise.
It’s lovely when our efforts
Are rewarded with a prize.

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11. The chipmunks are coming! The chipmunks are coming!

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Oh, Nuts!
by Tammi Sauer
illustrated by Dan Krall
Bloomsbury (September 18, 2012)

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12. Munich II











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13. I May Have Experienced A Plotting Breakthrough

A few weeks ago, I read Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. Because I am Gail, I didn't get with the entire program. But there were any number of bits and pieces that grabbed me.

For instance, Bell talks about plots beginning with a disturbance to the world of the book, or the world of the character, however you want to think of it. There was something about that that I thought sounded far more useful than all this stuff about give your character something to want and then throwing stumbling blocks in her way so she has to struggle to get it. For one thing, that seems like a formula to me, not a plot generating method. For another, being an organic writer, as I am, I always wonder, What character? What does she want? What stumbling blocks? Where am I supposed to get all that stuff? None of this stuff just comes to me. A disturbance to the world of the book, on the other hand, seemed far more useful. It could be a real jumping off point for coming up with a plot, I thought.

I'd been thinking about disturbances off and on ever since I finished Bell's book, particularly how they relate to my books. I'd been thinking that my books have all started with disturbances. The disturbance at the beginning of my very first book, My Life Among the Aliens, is the arrival of aliens. At the beginning of A Year with Butch and Spike it's the main character finding himself sitting between the bad boys of his class on the first day of school. With Club Earth another alien arrives with news. In The Hero of Ticonderoga, the main character is given the Ethan Allen research project. With  Happy Kid! the main character is given a book that influences his life. Even the Hannah and Brandon Stories, which are collections of connected short stories, have a disturbance at the beginning of each book--a neighbor with a dog moves in with the first book and the wild kids next door start moving in on Hannah and Brandon's lives in the second. The two books I've written and haven't sold yet start off with disturbances. I can see it in some of my short stories.

I was aware of all that, but it wasn't until this morning while I was out working in my yard that I realized something. (Breakout experience!) When I was writing all those books, I didn't realize any of this disturbance at the beginning of the book thing. If I had known what I was doing, couldn't that have made my plot creation process dramatically easier? If I had realized that my characters' worlds were experiencing a disturbance, wouldn't that have helped me with plot points because I would have known that I was dealing with the impact of the disturbance, its consequences, how characters respond to it? It would have generated a lot of material for me, and for organic writers, generating material that we can work with is a big part of our work battle.

Over the last couple of years I've been doing what I call the Plot Project here at Original Content: When I do a reader response to something I've read, I speculate about whether the author developed the plot through the give-a-character-something-to-want formula or if it could have come about in some other way. Going forth, the Plot Project is going to be about looking for disturbances.


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14. Week-end Book Review: The Qalupalik by Elisha Kilabuk, illustrated by Joy Ang

Elisha Kilabuk, illustrated by Joy Ang,
The Qalupalik
Inhabit Media, 2011.

Ages: 8-12

The Qalupalik is a picture book about a mythical Inuit creature (pronounced ka-loo-pa-lick) who lives under the arctic ice and preys on unsuspecting children.  Illustrated by Joy Ang, the book contains rather comical and slightly hideous pictures of the qualupalik, whose skin is said to be “wet and slimy like fish scales” and who also wears the Inuit cloak known as amauti made of eider duck skins.  This figure was probably used by storytellers to warn children from going too close to the edge of the ice.

After an introduction is given to the reader about the creature, a story about one is told, called “Qalupalik and the Orphan.” In this tale, an orphan child defeats the creature by outwitting it.  The child is poor and wears tattered kamik from out of which his toes appear.  When the curious qalupalik sees the toes and asks them what they are, the orphan comes up with a quick-witted and imaginative answer that saves him from the qalupalik’s clutches.

Presenting stories of monsters to young children can be troubling for some parents, but this story clearly makes fun of the qalupalik in a way that is both instructive and entertaining for young readers.  And it’s just plain fun for kids to hear about new kinds of monsters!  Sometimes an imaginative way of telling children how to avoid danger or overcome their fear can be the best instruction of all.  Joy Ang’s lush illustrations are nicely done presenting a comically grotesque qalupalik alongside laughing round-faced Inuit children.

This book is in pioneer terrain insofar as it is creating text out of the work of storytellers; in this case, the story comes from Inuit storyteller Elisha Kilabuk and serves an important purpose in preserving the tales of indigenous people of the far north.  The Qalupalik is the first of a proposed series by Inhabit Media called the Unikkakaluit Series.  This debut title makes for an auspicious start and I look forward to reading more tales in the future.

Sally Ito
March 2012

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15. Week-end Book Review: Waterlife by Rambharos Jha

Rambharos Jha,
Waterlife
Tara Books, 2011.

Ages 5+

New Horizons Mention, BolognaRagazzi Awards 2012

A wonderful array of sea creatures adorns the pages of this visually stunning book from Tara Books. Intricate patterns in jewel-like colors provide the endlessly changing water backdrop, over which reptiles, birds, fish and crustaceans are placed alongside smaller waterlife motifs. Waterlife brings together the crafts of bookmaking and printing so that reading the book becomes a multi-sensory experience: not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it is a pleasure to feel the texture of the hand-printed pages and even to smell them! This is a book to be cherished and would make a very special gift to a child, as it offers a reading experience that will grow with them through into adulthood.

The book opens vertically with a picture filling the bottom page, such as a sharp-toothed crocodile; a lobster; male sea horses “their pouches heavy with eggs”; four white swans framed by lotus flowers. In the bottom left corner of the creamy-white page above, the book’s artist Rambharos Jha gives a short description of each picture, relating it both to his culture and his own artistic development and curiosity. His art is heavily influenced by the Mithila folk painting of his childhood, from Bihar in Eastern India: however, as an artist he has developed the motifs of the Mithila tradition to generate his own voice. So, for example, a page full of different sized fish comes with the title “Changing Tradition” and Jha explains that he knows all these fish through Mithila art but he doesn’t know their names, and moreover: “Their otherness lies not in their shape, but in the lines that pattern their bodies – these are not traditional Mithila lines”. The sense of freedom of artistic expression that this engenders in a sense also opens the door for readers of Waterlife to find their own artistic voice.

Young children will be attracted to details such as the facial expressions of the fish or the hugely long water snake; and they will enjoy counting and finding things. As well as the art, older readers will absorb Jha’s descriptions, with their inviting headings like “The Trick”, “The Octopus at Home” and “The Food Chain”. There is also excellent back matter encompassing an afterword by Jha, “How I Came to Waterlife”, and a note on Jha’s background by Tara Books’ Gita Wolf, as well as a page showing different motifs from Mithila art that appear and are embellished in the book.

Waterlife is an exquisite book on every level. Adults buying the book for children (and what a beautiful gift it would make) will probably need to acquire another copy for themselves.

Marjorie Coughlan
March 2012

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16. Whether to Finish or Not

I was sorting through my TBF (to be finished) files this morning and came across a little ditty that I’d like to share. I have many files like this one; bits of story ideas, entire chapters that sounded good at the time but fell by the wayside when a more exciting project came along, or things that I never finished researching for one reason or another. 

This is only the first page or so of a story’s first draft. There is much more at home that follows this. What I’ve decided to do is ask you if you think I should spend valuable time to finish it. Do you think it could spark enough interest to encourage a reader to turn pages? Can you easily envision possible scenarios for the events hinted at by the writer? Would you be curious enough to turn pages?

I’m taking this step because I have so little invested in this wee sample. I could easily finish it, or, I could ignore it and let it fade into the distance of the past. You tell me how I should treat this prospective story.

As I’ve said, I have little invested in it. I’d much rather have honest opinions than sugar-coated rhetoric that means nothing.

 SAGA OF THE FLYING YEEJ

          Ever wonder if other people’s lives were punctuated by oddities like yours? Let me tell you; you’re not alone. Take it from the Queen of Weirdness, everyone’s had their lives polka-dotted by those little quirks that have little or no explanation.

          During my life I’ve experienced so many oddities that flamed across my reality that many times I felt like I was living an episode of the Twilight Zone. I suppose that’s why I knew I just had to write this small, focused catalog of incidents. I wanted to assure others that just because they’d never seen anything like what had suddenly flipped through their lives didn’t mean it wasn’t possible.

          After all, just because someone’s paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out to get them, and that’s my motto about weirdness. The Creator put a lot of stuff out there in the heavens and on Earth. You or I could be a little slow on the uptake and missed something along the way. And occasionally that something drops by to introduce itself.

          I doubt there’s much in the way of weirdness that I have seen. Take ball lightning, for instance. I was twelve the first time I saw it. Goosebumps coursed down my spine, leaving entire meadows of their offspring on my arms. The thing that caused me the most fright was that it moved when it was observed, took a fancy to certain people in the room, and then gradually faded from sight without emitting a sound.

Now that you’ve had a chance to go through the beginning, what do you think? Please let me know. Is there enough here to create a worthy story or not. Give me your comments with opinions. Don’t be shy.


2 Comments on Whether to Finish or Not, last added: 3/26/2012
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17. Reading for the Record Books

Here’s a follow-up story on the event last month in Chaska, Minnesota.

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18. Spring Break!

It's Spring Break this week! So I will be taking a break from blogging until Apr. 2nd.

This week I plan on sending my latest WIP to betas, reading all the new books I ordered, and hanging out with my family. I'm so excited! There are no words.

I do hope you'll stop by next Monday, Apr. 2nd. I'll be interviewing Elissa Janine Hoole and giving away a preordered copy of her upcoming release, KISS THE MORNING STAR. 

3 Comments on Spring Break!, last added: 3/28/2012
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19. Current Scratch: Workshop, Next, Pinterest, Craft

Howdy, folks!  I know the sunshine and perfect weather is calling. How do you keep moving forward with your work? Come to our Schmooze where we will discuss Balancing Writing Life--Goals & Deadlines.

The SCBWI Brazos Valley Schmooze topic this Wednesday, March 28, is "Balancing Your Writing Life" with Jacqueline Gramann, speaker. Join us at 10 a.m. in the Science corner at Barnes & Noble, 711 Texas Ave. in College Station, TX.

Open critique before the meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring 5 copies of 5, double-spaced pages of a work in progress for peer review.


Local authors Kathi Appelt, Kathy Whitehead and Sherry Garland are all signing at the Texas Library Association conference on April 17-20 in Houston, TX. at the George R. Brown Convention center.  Here is the link.

Don't forget the upcoming yearly events:

SCBWI Saturday Workshop  Finding the Story
August 18, 2012 10 am/ Arts Center
Mary Wade, SCBWI Houston—Non-fiction
Jessica Lee Anderson, SCBWI Austin—Fiction


and

Writing Retreat  Speakers TBA
November 3, 2012
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20. BLACK HEART almost out - April 3rd.



I am really, really, really excited for the release of BLACK HEART on April 3rd.  It's the final book of the Curse Workers series, full of twists and turns and reveals that I hope you'll be surprised by.  This series was a real departure for me and I've had a lot of fun writing them.  

I've just come back, two weeks ago, from my annual writing retreat to the mountains of Mexico and am settling back into my real life with some reluctance.  Cindy Pon did a great job of blogging the retreat over at her journal (much better than I have done, clearly).  The last time I was there, I wrote the last half of BLACK HEART and this time I wrote the middle of COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN.  Writing the middle of a book has many inherent frustrations, but I still got a lot done.

San Miguel at Night

Here's the city at night, view from the room where I slept.


The city streets - and yes, it was as warm as it looks.  Warm enough to swim in a pool, for instance.



Like this one.

San Miguel 3
And lots of inspiring (and sometimes strange) happenings around town.  

Now that I am home, I have switched brains and am in the middle of editing DOLL BONES. And sometime this week, I will post my "how I wrote" for BLACK HEART, listing the day-by-day word counts that let me finish it.

Here's an excerpt from the very beginning of the very first chapter of BLACK HEART:

My brother Barron sits next to me, sucking the last dregs of black milk tea slush noisily through a wide yellow straw.  He’s got the seat of my Benz pushed all the way back and his feet up on the dash, the heels of his pointy black shoes scratching the plastic.  With his hair slicked back and his mirrored sunglasses covering his eyes, he looks like a study in villainy.

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21. Book Illustrations are in full swing!

Hello All!!! I wanted to stop by and give a quick update. The illustrations have been in progress for a few weeks, and all of the sketching that I have been working on is starting to pay off. I am currently working on developing each of the characters. The process has been a little slower than I had originally anticipated. I started with a more cartoonish and simple style for the characters. The simplistic style proved to be too easy for me and I was not satisfied with the result so I have tried a few other angles until I finally arrived at the perfect combination of style for these characters. Now that I have found my stride I am confident that the rest of the design will come together really nicely. I am going to keep pushing this pencil around until the rest of it falls together. Perhaps we will post up some sneek peeks for you sometime soon :)

John

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22. Illustration Friday: Swamp

Sorry for the multiple postings on this topic, I was just really inspired by it, and I needed to add some new pieces to my portfolio. :0)

14 Comments on Illustration Friday: Swamp, last added: 3/29/2012
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23. Whether to Finish or Not

I was sorting through my TBF (to be finished) files this morning and came across a little ditty that I’d like to share. I have many files like this one; bits of story ideas, entire chapters that sounded good at the time but fell by the wayside when a more exciting project came along, or things that I never finished researching for one reason or another. 

This is only the first page or so of a story’s first draft. There is much more at home that follows this. What I’ve decided to do is ask you if you think I should spend valuable time to finish it. Do you think it could spark enough interest to encourage a reader to turn pages? Can you easily envision possible scenarios for the events hinted at by the writer? Would you be curious enough to turn pages?

I’m taking this step because I have so little invested in this wee sample. I could easily finish it, or, I could ignore it and let it fade into the distance of the past. You tell me how I should treat this prospective story.

As I’ve said, I have little invested in it. I’d much rather have honest opinions than sugar-coated rhetoric that means nothing.

 SAGA OF THE FLYING YEEJ

          Ever wonder if other people’s lives were punctuated by oddities like yours? Let me tell you; you’re not alone. Take it from the Queen of Weirdness, everyone’s had their lives polka-dotted by those little quirks that have little or no explanation.

          During my life I’ve experienced so many oddities that flamed across my reality that many times I felt like I was living an episode of the Twilight Zone. I suppose that’s why I knew I just had to write this small, focused catalog of incidents. I wanted to assure others that just because they’d never seen anything like what had suddenly flipped through their lives didn’t mean it wasn’t possible.

          After all, just because someone’s paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out to get them, and that’s my motto about weirdness. The Creator put a lot of stuff out there in the heavens and on Earth. You or I could be a little slow on the uptake and missed something along the way. And occasionally that something drops by to introduce itself.

          I doubt there’s much in the way of weirdness that I have seen. Take ball lightning, for instance. I was twelve the first time I saw it. Goosebumps coursed down my spine, leaving entire meadows of their offspring on my arms. The thing that caused me the most fright was that it moved when it was observed, took a fancy to certain people in the room, and then gradually faded from sight without emitting a sound.

Now that you’ve had a chance to go through the beginning, what do you think? Please let me know. Is there enough here to create a worthy story or not. Give me your comments with opinions. Don’t be shy.


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24. Reading for the Record Books

Here’s a follow-up story on the event last month in Chaska, Minnesota.

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25. Maine Maple Sunday 2012

Now Playing -  Crazy In Love by The Puppini Sisters Life - One thing Linz and I have always enjoyed is doing the local tourist things. We find that a lot of people never take the time to explore the area they live in and we've been guilty of that lately too. SO this weekend, we bit the bullet. The last weekend in March every year, the state of Maine's Maple Syrup makers or Sugarhouses have

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