Road Trip Wednesday: What In Real Life People Can You Talk To About YA?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

This Week’s Topic:

What IRL people can you talk to about YA?

I haven’t met many of my current YA book buddies, since most of of them live in my computer, and I have yet to determine whether or not they’re just cleverly disguised Twitterbots. However, I did have the pleasure of meeting and lunching with several YA writers IRL at my local SCBWI’s annual conference, and since then, have had quarterly business lunches with a few of them to catch up on…business. 😉 So, I do have an occasional outlet to talk books.

I’m also grateful that I have a bunch of book nerds in my family. So even though they may not be up to the specific goings-on of Young Adult literature, we can always talk about stories in general and what great stories we have read recently, and why it worked for us, and what didn’t work. And, these stories can range from every genre of literature to the latest movie or television series. I know that I’ve been over-the-moon enamored of the CBS series, Person of Interest, simply because of the intriguing storyline that show offers every. Single. Week.

(Oh, and my siblings and I have been SO EXCITED that Legend of Korra finally started airing after years of following news of its release!  Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then, we probably shouldn’t be friends. Just click over HERE, and soak in all the Avatar-goodness!)

Maybe you don’t get to talk YA with people IRL (heck, maybe it’s not even your genre, so why would you?), but do YOU have anyone you can gush to about stories? What story has captured your interest lately?

[I’m celebrating my blog’s Birthday Month! Hop over HERE to read the deets, and fill out the comment form to enter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble e-gift card. Remember, any additional comments on any post this month will earn you extra entries!]

Road Trip Wednesday: Images and Imagination

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs.

This Week’s Topic:

What images inspire/ represent your WIP or favorite book?

Several months ago, my hubs wanted me to play Machinarium, a new game he discovered on iPad2. At first, I wasn’t interested, knowing how addictive game playing would be for me, and I needed to work on my then-rough-draft of WIP2. But then, he opened up the game, and promptly sat the iPad2 on my lap. This was the image that greeted me:

20120412-063935.jpg

It reminded me of the landscape that I saw in my mind’s eye of WIP2’s opening scene, that I was compelled to play the game. (Plus, the robot character is really cute. I talk more about the game HERE.)

The above image was the first ever visual representation I had for my WIP. I mean, I became thoroughly addicted to Pinterest well before Machinarium, but the images on my board capture more of the mood or science-y aspects of WIP2, but nothing as close to capturing an actual setting that had only lived in my mind as Machinarium’s Junkyard scene.

Over time, I eventually stumbled upon this picture:

20120412-064007.jpg

It’s like a world within a world, right? It also captures the scenes leading up to The End of my story.

Cool, huh? So, now you can kinda see what the beginning and end(ish) images are for WIP2. For more images that capture the mood of WIP2, visit my pinterest board HERE.

So how about you? What images inspire/represent your WIP or favorite book?

Road Trip Wednesday #100: Your Writing Journey

I haven’t participated in YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesdays before, but since I’m a sucker for milestones and round numbers, I felt like this Road Trip Wednesday was made for me. 😀

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs.

This week’s topic:

What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic jams and detours?

Where are you going next?

My blog is sort of an answer to this question, since I keep it as an accountability tool for myself. Ever since my first posts, (“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” “Prioritizing My Life” and “Music, Fitness, and My Muse“) (I just noticed they were posted on Star Wars Day, May 4, 2010…yes I’m a BIG nerd!), I have been focused on making the most of the time I have, and have challenged myself to finish a novel in a year.

After my declaration to pursue novel writing seriously, I have fumbled my way through my writing process, eventually participating in NaNoWriMo, and winning! My novel wasn’t complete at 50,000 words, but I eventually reached The End in December.

The satisfaction of reaching The End didn’t last since I knew my story was a Hot Mess. After a break in January, I tried to get back into the story and revise it. During that time, another story (Scrap Metal, aka WIP2) begged to be written. After scribbling down the first two chapters on post its and index cards at my pay the bills job, I dutifully ignored The Shiny so I could make my Hot Mess less messy.

I attended my very first writer conference, SCBWI. Though I enjoyed the experience of hearing from industry professionals, by far the best result from that conference was meeting local writers. (I’ve enjoyed many a business lunch with them since that conference. :D)

Then, I went to a John Green reading, and that was the aha moment that “gave me permission” to let go of my Hot Mess (for now) and start drafting WIP2.

With WIP2, I’ve learned the value of slowing down and delving into my scenes (“Stuck” “Stuck, Redux“), and that I can balance plotting and pantsing to design a story worth reading. (I’m still learning the rhythm that works best for me).

I’m currently in the Plotting portion to develop the Act 2 of WIP2. I participated in ROW 80 to keep me on track. My goal is to have a rough draft finished this month, and have a prettier draft by the end of this year.

I know that I have so much to learn about my process, but the best thing is knowing that when I’m creating stories, I am truly happy. All throughout my life, schooling, jobs, relationships, etc, everything seemed to come easily for me. I’m grateful for that, but when I look back at my life, the road seems kind of fuzzy; like, it’s all been one big dream. And then, I come to the point in my path when I committed to finishing a novel. The path from that point on sticks out in high relief. With that decision, I became aware. When I decided to follow my dream of writing stories, I awakened to the rest of my life.

I know I talk about writing in almost transcendent terms, but honestly, I don’t know how else to describe it other than an epiphany. A mindset altering, life changing decision. With writing, I have found my purpose in life. How can I treat it as less than a spiritual awakening?

*I couldn’t have gotten this far without my writing partners, alpha/beta readers, and cheerleaders. They keep me refreshed and motivated to keep pursuing my dream, and for that reason I’m ever so grateful for social media for helping me find my writing circle.

So, what has your writing road trip looked like so far? Where are you going next?