Thursday, May 31, 2012

What to Expect When You're Writing.

The last two weeks I went on vacation and saw the movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting." If you want to see this movie and have it unspoiled please stop reading now and tune in next time.  If you've already seen it or are just brave and don't care about spoilers, read on.

Everyone always seems to compare book writing to baby making.  I don't know anything about baby-making--except what I read in books or watch in movies. In this case I think I feel like I'm more like Elizabeth Bank's character and this book might kill me.

In other words, this is that odd stage where it's just like...I'm gonna punch someone in the face, but then again not. And I want this gosh darn book to be OVER. Then again, I still love it cause it's cute and cuddly. See it's the post writing that doesn't live up to this baby making metaphor--or it's just my lack of baby-making.

So while being in this odd place, I decided to make a list of all the things I liked about this book (because I've spend so much time focusing on the bad stuff--AKA editing hell)

All I want is my book to be healthy....

(also these are in no particular order, except for numero uno, because that one's just awesome)

One. I'm going to take a moment and celebrate (you can celebrate too) because Draft 3.0 is done.  It required some hacking, some re-writing, some character smoothing, some fight scene adding--good times.

Two.  I still absolutely LOVE my main character, she's a crazy girl, but I heart her.  I also put her through a lot of pain so kuddos to Foxtrot for surviving my imagination.

Three. Woot for secrets--because now every character has one. Scary dark deep secrets that come out to bite them.  Oops, just remember secrets don't make friends, they make very very very good friends.

Four. Totes brand spanking new ending.  Complete with cute brother/sister moment.

Five. Let's just say for five minutes that crazy-psycho-killers are extremely fun to write.

Six.  I found out way more about ballet. Who knew, dystopians and ballet went together... Also I now have this insane desire to buy tickets to New York just to see a performance by the NYC Ballet or travel to San Fran and see their ballet company.

Now I am going to stop, because once I started I found I could keep going.  When editing do you ever feel down about your work?  Have you ever made a list of things you like about it?  Wanna share something off that list?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


So today we're deviating for the blog schedule.  One, because my friend is coming into town [I'm super excited for this] and two, because I thought I'd tell you quickly something about writing me and do a little share-thingy. [I hope that's ok? I'm going to go with the it's ok] [plus there will probably be no blogging for the rest of the week, because A) super awesome BFF in town and B) Disneyland with other super awesome friend on Sunday, so extra long-ish thing for you all!]

Inevitably, while I write/edit/refine WIP there are side projects.  They really don't go anywhere but will distract we for an hour or so, while I cook on the true project. They're nice because it's a "just for fun" thing.  It's not meant to be something more than what it is, a few thousand words written quickly with some characters who probably aren't as rounded as they could be. Side-projects span every genre and often start as what-if questions from books I've recently finished--which probably explains why they rarely turn into anything like a WIP.  But they are delightfully fun to imagine and think about.

So I'll ask the question first and feel free to respond without reading the rest of the post.  Or respond to it all I'm coolies with either.  Do you have "side-projects" like these? Do they turn into anything or are they just fun for you to write?

Monday, May 7, 2012

First Position

For those of you tuning in at home, Blog me MAYbe Mondays are MAY I tell you something about my writing? Here goes something about my writing but first we're going to pause and talk about ballet, and then get back to writing.

This past week I have sort of thrown myself head first into the world of ballet.  I took classes at my local gym when I was a kid, but I stopped after a few lessons. In sixth grade I picked up dancing again, but this time it was tap not ballet.

Still I've been a closet ballet freak my entire life.  I've never met a dance movie I didn't love, Center Stage, Turning Point, First Position. (Yes even all of those Step-Up movies--I've seen them ALL.) Every year, I get excited for the Nutcracker Ballet.  I enjoy going to see them and more so, I like learning about the dancers themselves and their training.

How does this have anything to do with writing? Because I am a research freak and one of my characters is in fact a ballet dancer.

I research because I am always looking to understand people who have completely different lives. My life is weird enough sure, I mean very few people I know have spent more time on the operating table than I have.  But as I started this rewrite of my novel, I found I needed to know more about being a dancer.  These are kids who at a very young age decide what they want to do.  They practice  every day giving up their childhood in order to achieve a dream.

In my first draft, there isn't a lot of dance references.  A few but not many.  As I went back through, I noticed there was not a lot of depth to the passages.  Right now my characters past did not round out her present.  Because I knew this had to add to her present and play a major role in her story, I dug back into the research.

I've spent hours on wikipedia reading about the different dances (I now need to find a company performing Coppellia because I really want to see it now) and looked through youtube videos of professional dancers, as well as watching documentaries on old ballet companies like Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and ones on new dancers like First Position which follows six dancers competing in the Young American Grand Prix.

Even though I knew how hard ballet was, I mean think about dancing on your toes for five seconds and I realize how much pain that it.  But my research gives me a whole different look at the world.  Yes it's hard but if you have passion and you love what you do, it's all worth it.  There are tons of little things I've picked up from my research, now it's time to let them simmer and what will come out will go into the story.

Do you research before you write? After? During?  What sort of things are you looking into now?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Questions, questions, who's got answers?

So it's time for day two in the Blog me MAYbe world and that means it's time for you lovely followers to come on down!

When thinking about the subject for today, mainly asking all you lovelies out in the blogosphere a question, I was at a loss.  Do I ask about writing?  Reading?  Real life problems?  (ok not real life problems)

Still it's a question.  Then I hung out with some of my film friends and they know me as the TV person (and also the girl who reads way too much YA--although I don't think that's possible).  They asked me "What shows should I be watching."

So because we're all writers I assume we're all readers as well.  I'm always looking for a new read.

Today's question will be reading related.  The question, should you choose to answer is:

When someone asks you what should I be reading, what book do you tell them? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Good Morning Blogosphere, long time no see.  (and that's totally my fault)  Anyway there is this super cool idea going around and maybe you've heard of it? It's called Blog me MAYbe started by the wonderful Sara McClung.  Basically it's to help us all remember why the heck we love blogging in the first place.  Every day has a topic and today it's all about me, but it can totally be about you too.  If you sign up.

Actually Tuesdays' Topics are MAY I tell you something about me?

I bake cupcakes.  Not professionally, but it's sort of a hobby.  I think if the whole film thing doesn't pan out, and the book fails, then I'll open a small bakery called Bookcakes. That is a long about way to say,  I bake cupcakes with literary themes.  Or at least based on literary works.   How did this happen? Well it all started when my BFF posted a recipe for snicker-doodle cupcakes.

There's no literary idea there, but it was the start of my cupcake frenzy.  I'd already been addicted to shows like Cupcake Wars.  Plus, when I get stuck creatively, I find my way by baking.  Like how some authors take showers or long walks.  I bake.  Which is great because then I have tasty snacks while I write.

I mention my BFF and her Facebook cooking recs because she also got me started on the baking with books track.  Now a book from my childhood and a cupcake from my adulthood: the Butter Beer Cupcake.

Doesn't it look yummy? They are a class favorite.  I've made them a few times and every time they fly out of the pan as if they're attached to Nimbus 2000.  

Now familiar with books and baking, I became the magnet for all recipes book related.  In honor of a very special movie, that I very much looked forward to, I baked Girl On Fire Cupcakes.  Which should be called Will Set Your Mouth On Fire Cupcakes. 

(Also a cameo of other books on my shelf)
You need a glass of milk with these cupcakes.  2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper will set your tongue on fire. 
So there you have it.  What will I do next, no idea.  But I am willing to take suggestions.