Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Book excitement...

Thanks to the conference (and a short trip to Borders the other night), my TBR pile has once again grown to the point of overflowing...and just when I thought I'd begun to make a dent in it.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a great story. And if I know the author? I'm sunk. So far I've picked up:

-Un-Veiled by Eileen Rendahl (author of Un-Bridaled and Do Me, Do My Roots)

-Must Love Dragons and If the Shoe Fits, both by Stephanie Rowe
-Love Letters from a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle
-Once Upon a Midnight Clear by Sherrilyn Kenyon
-and Heart of Stone by CE Murphy

For better or for worse I have to wait until February for Unpredictable, Eileen Cook's debut novel. This may be a good thing, since I'm not sure I have the room on my shelf right now.

All of these, when I need to buckle down on the writing, and get through the last half of parent conferences.



The one where they go to a conference...

Man, I'm still in recovery mode from last weekend's conference in Bellevue. Once again I attended the Greater Seattle RWA chapter's Emerald City Writers Conference. This year lived up to all my expectations, and then some. Where to start, that is the question. Do I start with the workshops? I attended several amazing ones presented by such fabulous authors as Elizabeth Boyle, Eileen Rendahl, Christina Dodd and Jayne Ann Krentz. Workshops on the YA market and project managment, surviving the business and thriving in the business. We fed our muses and laughed our tucheses off.
I pitched TMI to an agent and two editors, all of whom requested partials.
But I know what you're all waiting for. You want the goods. The fun stuff.
The pictures.
(Sisters-in-law Kelli and Carolynn)

I also made some new friends, ones I look forward to meeting again in San Francisco next summer. Saturday night brought dinner at Maggiano's for the Tiaras, Carolynn, the "sisters" Eileen and Ruth Kaufman. Let me tell you, between the nine of us, and the table of Homecoming Barbies behind us we enjoyed a fabulous evening.
(Shannon and the "sisters" Eileen Cook and Eileen Rendahl)
(Serena and the fabulous Ruth K.)
(Carolynn and I enjoying a night out.)

And I returned home Sunday afternoon exhausted, without even the energy to pick up English muffins for breakfast. I'm still dragging two days later, but I'm hoping (and praying) it's short lived.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whatever you do, don't see this movie...

I can't even print the name, this movie was so bad. And I don't know which is worse, that we paid money to see it, or that we sat through the whole thing. I've said before that writing has ruined me for movies. Serena and I aren't even allowed to sit near one another at the movies anymore, because we cannot help ourselves from critiquing the movie as it plays. Of course, maybe if we went to see better quality movies this wouldn't happen, but then where would be the fun in that?

But I do try to curb this habit when I go with other friends. They deserve to enjoy the movie, even if I already know who will die, or get pregnant, or fall in love. So we sat through the movie...and rolled our eyes so much they almost rolled right out of our heads.

How bad was this movie? Let me count the ways:

  1. The acting was worse than a middle school musical. I'm pretty sure they were picked up in a high school parking lot and picked because the director (whoever he is) thought they might be cute.

  2. The plot...so thin I could see right through it. Cellophane anyone?

  3. It was supposed to be a mystery, suspense...the most suspense I felt was the question of when would the movie finally end?

  4. To say it was predictable would actually be too nice.

  5. The exposition. Someone needs to find the screenwriter and let him/her know about the Show, Don't Tell rule because clearly they were absent the day this was taught. Must we have everything narrated? Must we talk about exactly what we see/feel/know? Can't we use body language for it? Or how about a long camera pan? Anything other than more talking. Please!

And to make matters even worse? They are apparently turning it into a series. Oy.


Comings and goings...

How is it time seems to speed up when you have good friends visiting? One of my friends from high school spent a long weekend with me, mostly to interview at some local hospitals. Despite the lack of sleep, and work, we managed to fit in a great visits. I forget sometimes how much fun I have with my friend.
Of course, the flipside is the reminder that I'm much more used to my routines, and my way of life. I'm not used to having someone around everytime I walk in the door, or talking all the time. I'm not used to feeling like I'm entertaining for 5 days in a row.
It helps that we are such good friends we can sit silently and just be, without it becoming one of those uncomfortable things.
Despite the interruption to my routines, I love having family and friends visit. I love sharing my town with them, and all the places I love to visit. I love becoming a tourist in my own city, as we drive around to all those tourist-y locations.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's ba-ack...

The wind, that is. Yesterday morning the state went on alert, anxiously watching the weather reports for news on our latest "Wind Storm." Weathermen (and women) assured us we would not revisit last December's storm, and for that we're all thankful. So far the fastest gusts I've heard about clocked in at 62 mph. But as far as I know they didn't close either bridge, so we've been okay. There are power outages around the sound, but nothing like last winter. Mainly we're dealing with fallen trees, and traffic issues as a result.
I'm just hoping it all dies down enough so my friend Allison's plane can land at the airport. She's visiting for a long weekend. I've been looking forward to this visit for a while, as it's been a coupel of years since she's been able to get to town. Even better, she's in town to interview for a couple of jobs...so she might move here! See, ladies and gents? My master plan is working. Bwah-hahahah!
In the meantime, I sit here putting all my good thoughts to the lights staying on in my apartment, safe plane landings, graphs for school and revisions...Who says I don't know how to have fun?

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Fire in Fiction...

Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early to meet fellow writers Serena and Dona for a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island for the Fire in Fiction Conference. At the ferry we joined Kelli and Christina for our ride. Shannon planned to meet us on the island.
The ride over was foggy, but we made up for the lack of view with plenty of chatter. Plus, there would always be the ride home.
The conference itself was wonderful. The Fire in Fiction was presented by Donald
Maass of the Maass Literary Agency in New York. We've been hearing for years from other writers that if we ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, to jump for it. Let me tell you, they weren't wrong. Maass is a well known agent, as well as a prolific writer. He's the author of Writing the Breakout Novel, one of the most talked about craft books around.
Yesterday he brought us something new. The topic? Continuing to find the passion in your writing, and how to make each book the best it can be...even when it's your 50th. His writing exercises for adding unexpected details and unexpected emotions certainly helped to make some of the scenes in my current WiP richer, and I can fully see how I can incorporate these techniques in my next book. Mr. Maass was a very dynamic speaker, interspersing anecdotes and advice with opportunities for the audience to practice what he presented. In teaching, we call this the optimal learning model, moving from modeling to guided practice, to independent practice. I left the conference with much more concrete ideas of what I need to do to make these revisions more worthwhile, and
also what might need to be done in order for me to move forward with the revisions.
Serena, Dona and I took the next ferry home, giving us time to debrief the conference as well as other random discussion topics. Don't they look like they're having fun? And thankfully the sun was shining for the ride home, and burned off all the fog. So we also had a lovely view of the Sound.

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Book talk...

Ah, the smell of new books. I do love 'em. Which is why even though I'd managed to make a small dent in my too be read pile, it's grown again. Right now I'm reading Nalini Singh's latest, Caressed by Ice. It took a little longer to get into than the other two, but now that I'm in? I'm definitely recommending this one. Brenna is a wounded heroine, but rather than fall into the void, she's come out fighting. Judd makes a perfect foil, ice to her fire. I can't wait to see how Nalini pulls them out of the mess she's got them in. Go out and get this book.

Some of the other books on the wait list are:
  • Warrior's Bride by Gerri Russell

  • Agnes and the Hitman by Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer

  • Touch of Darkness by Christina Dodd

  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

I just finished Lover Unbound by JR Ward. The fifth book in the series, we finally get to read Vishous's story. And what a story it is. Oh. My. LU is one hot read, though I was left wondering if any of the Brotherhood had happy childhoods.

So, what are you reading?

Labels: ,

Hard at work...

Despite what some of my friends believe, I do not work for the CIA. I'm a third grade school teacher. I swear! For the last month the day time job has most definitely interfered with the writing job, but I'm hoping to get a better balance now that we're into the second month of school.
That being said, I've been hard at work this evening on my pitch for TMI, which I need to have polished up by the end of the month. Just in time for Emerald City Writers Conference. What have you been up to? I hope something exciting...


Giving back...

A few weeks back I went shopping with Serena, in an attempt to augment my fall wardrobe (ie. New School Clothes). Now remember, shopping is very much not my forte. By about the fifth pair of pants I'm usually ready to cry. I even promised Serena ahead of time that I wouldn't try on any pants. We were looking for tops: shirts, sweaters, etc. No pants.
We drove up to the outlet mall in Tulalip and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon making our way through such stores as Coach, Ann Taylor and J.Jill. We had a blast, and I only tried on one pair of pants.
Of course, when I came home I realized I had no where to put any of my new findings. My clothes storage is only yay big (picture hands spread out about as wide as I can get them), and there was no room at the inn. So I did what any good, kind person does. I pulled out my old clothes, the ones I never wear any more and took them over to Goodwill. I think I ended up filling something like 5 bags with my old clothes.
And if you need a better visual? Here's the bulk of it, spread out on my couch.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rainy day blogging...

Fall returned with its usual mixture of cool and wet weather. In an effort to forget about the rain I realized I never posted the promised photos from my recent trip to Hawaii. So...here they are.

The first one is my sorry attempt to illustrate for you the incoming hurricane. Can't you see the palm tree blowing in the wind?

Anyone wanna get leied?

Some of the ladies (left to right: my aunt, me, littlest cousin and Nana)
Dolphin slash! Did I mention I got to play with dolphins? They are the most amazing creatures on this planet. If you ever have an opportunity to play/swim with the dolphins? Do it!
There you have it...my little blast of the tropics on a rainy fall evening.

Labels: ,