Share The Love

Love Heart

Image by Pink Poppy Photography via Flickr

{This post is part of a continuing feature on my blog. It represents what I love most about Twitter: sharing great content, no matter the source. I love promoting good books I’ve discovered, passing along great advice I’ve heard, and recognizing awesome people I’ve met. So, I’ve translated that love to my blog, and simply called this feature “Share The Love.”}

I traveled around the blogosphere this past week and loved these posts:

I played on twitter and loved these tweets:

http://twitter.com/#!/feedmespeed/status/125057348304764928

http://twitter.com/#!/Zen_Moments/status/125364469953085440

http://twitter.com/#!/Mak_pk/status/126002948118552576

http://twitter.com/#!/emmofittipaldi/status/125704199261536256

(The news of Dan Wheldon’s death was heartbreaking. Prayers go out to his family.)

I borrowed these books from the library, and would love to read them before they’re due back:

  • The Death Cure, by James Dashner
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
  • The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The People of Sparks, by Jeanne DuPrau

Speaking of books, I’ve had two books on my to-read list for quite sometime: XVI by Julia Karr and The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell. Coincidentally, the two authors were speaking at a local library this past Monday.

Unfortunately, I was late driving in from my pay the bills job, so I didn’t catch ALL of what they said, BUT, the part that I caught was a fun and interactive Q&A filled with anecdotes about their books, publishing journey, and writing process.

Love the energetic hand gestures! I can't speak if my hands are still!

I really enjoyed the story about the cover model for XVI tweeting Julia and letting her know that the photo was a self-portrait she took when she was 16.

Telling the story about the cover model

And, of course, I got to buy their books and get them signed! Here is Julia, signing my copy of XVI. Notice the ARC of Truth sitting next to her?? All the teens there feasted on the cover and back copy!

"Seek the Truth!"

Smile!

I LOVED this pretty gold marker that Saundra used to sign…

Shiny ink! me likey!

…AND, I loved jibber-jabbering with her all sugarnated (that’s a word)! 😀

Saundra: "Let's do duck faces!"

Thank you ladies for an entertaining end to a seemingly never-ending work day!

*hugs and (duck) kisses*

😀

So Tell Me: Do YOU have any LOVES to share from this past week?

A Picture’s Meaning

{So, I decided to start yet another series of posts for the best reasons of all: because this is my blog, and because I can. It’s simply titled, The Magic of Writing—that indefinable, ineffable relationship between the writer and the muse.}

A picture’s meaning can express ten thousand words.

So, thanks to Rebecca Enzor (and indirectly, Amber West), I became thoroughly addicted to Pinterest this weekend. I loved creating my pretty vision boards, hunting down beautiful images to “pin” to them. I’ve always wanted to create huge vision boards for my novels, and with Pinterest, I created one for each of my works in progress in a matter of hours.

The best part? Finding an image that resonated with a specific WIP so well, that new scenes and subplots emerged from seeing them. I also love that certain images captured a mood that I’ve tried to convey in the past, but couldn’t really grasp, and I’d end up losing that mood or forgetting what it was that I’d wanted to say. Now, I can just click on one of my boards, and relive the moment until I have the right words to express whatever scene I want to write.

(Sidenote: I love all my WIP boards, but the one that’s most precious to me is simply labeled “First,” with images that remind me of my first novel. It gives me hope that one day I’ll have the skill to execute WIP1.)

There are so many uses for Pinterest, and honestly, I have to be careful to remember that it’s a tool to support my writing, and shouldn’t take the place of my novel writing. (SO ADDICTIVE. Srsly.) But, I so enjoy being able to experience my works in progress in this way and keep my muses inspired to continue working (and by working, I mean playing ^_^).

Are you visual like me? Do you have other methods to keep your muses inspired?

(*If you want to see my vision board for my current work in progress, CLICK HERE.) 🙂

For the Love of My Laptop

laptop

So, for about two weeks, my laptop has been sick. For some unknown reason (*coughcough Laptop is really old coughcough*), it choked and died on me, leaving me dependent on my desk top computer for any kind of progress on WIP2. Which wouldn’t have been a bad thing or an inconvenience, really, except that half of my house was still under construction. So, the husband and I had to sleep in my office while the master bedroom was being dolled up with new…well, everything. (No worries, my office is a roomy bedroom, so it fit our bed comfortably. It just happens to house my desktop computer, hence the term “office.”)

Anyway, because desktop computer was also in our makeshift bedroom, I couldn’t exactly make a lot of progress on WIP2. Or, any computer-ing, really, like blog posts and visiting other blogs. For some reason, the hubs can’t sleep with a glowing screen on at night, and waking up to the clickety-clackety-ing of a keyboard in the morning makes him kinda murderous. (Crazy, right?) But, since I love my hubs, I wanted to accommodate him. Therefore, I shifted my normal writing routine from crazy early in the morning (or really late at night, depending on your perspective) to around 7 or 8 PM (basically, when I get home from the paythebills job) till 10 PM (when we go to the gym).

I’m happy to report that as of a few days ago, we moved out of my office, and into the master bedroom. And, as of Thursday evening, I have my laptop again! ^_^  *frabjous day* *callooh callay*

Throughout all this, I learned a few things.

First, “save early, save often” is meaningless if the computer on which I’m saving my files dies of a heart attack and I have no way of retrieving those files. I thank God every day for Dropbox. I don’t know where I’d be without it. Thankfully, hubs was able to recover and save ALL my files, but what if he couldn’t?? ALL my work, all my files would have been lost to me. My only hope would have been that my alpha readers had *some* kind of copies of WIP2. Since The Incident, I’ve backed everything up on a flash drive, and have DVD backups, too, just in case.

Second, I learned to grit my teeth and make the most of the resources that I had, even if the situation wasn’t ideal. I hand wrote pages in the morning. I transcribed them onto the desk top at night. I made excruciatingly slow word count progress on WIP2. All the while, I kept thinking, man, if I were on my laptop, how many pages would I have finished by now? But you know what, I still made progress despite my cramped circumstances, and for that win alone, I will celebrate.

Third, I now have a new appreciation of the freedom that my Laptop gives me, OH SO MUCH. I appreciate the freedom I have to sit in My Chair in the living room and type type type into the wee hours of the morning (not unlike what I’m doing now…;) ) I appreciate having the screen right here instead of at an awkward height/angle like my desk top. I love how my fingers don’t freeze up because Laptop keeps me warm (helps with the typing speed, fo’ sho’). And, I love how FAST I can type on it. I wrote more than my required four-pages this evening without even feeling it.

Anyway, it’s a great luxury for my writing life to have Laptop back in my life again. (Heck, I’ve even made the rounds of my fellow campaigners’ blogs this morning.*) But, I’m happy to know that if a situation arises in which I *can’t* use Laptop again (please oh please let that happen a long time from now, when I have money to replace Laptop), I know that I can continue on with my goals, albeit at a slower rate, and be all right with it.

Speaking of progress, time to add more pages to WIP2. ^_^

*Thank you to all my fellow campaigners for your patience. I have subscribed to ALL the blogs in the groups I’m in via Google Reader, and will have my dystopia/post-apocalyptic group linked and posted with my YA All Genre group on my Campaign page by next week (most likely sooner, of course). Also to my non-Wordpress colleagues, I *just* discovered that I can be a part of that Google Friend Connect thing-y via my Twitter account (I know, kinda slow, but I never bothered to click on it before because I thought I’d need a blogger account!), so as I comment on new blog posts, I’ll be sure to “Join” your site.

**Still so unbelievably happy with Laptop. *pets Laptop* *loving sigh*

Work In Progress

Writer's Block

Image by thorinside via Flickr

I haven’t been racking up the page counts as I’d expected to this past week, but then again, I didn’t expect to write much of anything in the month of August knowing how challenging my paythebills job would be this month. So, if I think about it, any progress I made this month is a good thing.

BUT. I still have a goal to get this draft finished by September so that I can get feedback on it from my dear crit partners (*waves hi*).

Seeing that I haven’t made a lot of forward progress in the storyline, I decided to summarize what I had so far, and really think about my MC’s motivations, backstory, basically, evaluating the characters’ goals, why they had them, and what’s stopping them from reaching those goals.

Admittedly, I started out with a lot of nothing.

http://twitter.com/#!/lizakane/status/108737159997042688

And then, Snow Patrol’s Olive Grove Facing the Sea started playing on my Pandora Radio station, which is the first song that I have ever associated with WIP2 back in January. I let myself be transported back in time, and relived the emotion that I wanted to capture. Soon enough, I was able to brainstorm a little and add in little details that I forgot about; I even added in little bits here and there to make the story more logical and believable.

I have a long way to go. Those little bits are not smoothed into the story at all, and I’ve added a lot of [insert something here], but even these little tweaks have helped me stop fixating so much on some issues I’ve had with the beginning, issues that were holding me back from making forward progress because I knew they were there, being all…wrong.

Anyway, I hope that in a few weeks, I’ll be able to report that I’m 85% done with WIP2. Until then, I hope you enjoy some Snow Patrol. I love their live performances, which are sometimes better than their studio recordings. There’s a long introduction here, but he’s funny and cute so please humor him. ^_^

 

Share The Love

First off, I wanted to shout out Rachel Harrie’s Third Writers Platform-Building Campaign! I had a lot of fun participating in the last Campaign, and enjoyed meeting a lot of writer friends, and visiting other blogs! If you’re interested, act NOW! The list of Campaigners will close tomorrow, August 31.

Hope to see you around the blogosphere, and on Twitter via #writecampaign

Photo shared generously by Poppy Thomas-Hill

Ok, now to share more love!

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks here, so here are a few highlights from my last few weeks…

While roaming around the blogosphere, I LOVED these posts:

Laurie Halse Anderson: The Nuts and Bolts of Crafting a Creative Life

Carrie Ryan: Revisions, The Why and The How (courtesy of WriteOnCon)

Beth Revis: Don’t Give Up (courtesy of WriteOnCon)

I also twittered a little bit, and I LOVED these tweets:

http://twitter.com/#!/Committed_Jay/status/82263496196227072

http://twitter.com/#!/veertothewrite/status/106797419995475971

I also read a TON and LOVED these books (I wish I could review them ALL):

Eona: The Last Dragoneye (Eon, #2)Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think of Eon and Eona as one epic saga, like Lord of the Rings, versus being a book and its sequel. Goodman did such an amazing job weaving culture, language, magic, action that while I read, the words just disappeared and I was living the story.

Just to emphasize how gripping this tale is, I started reading this book around 9PM Wednesday night, thinking to read a few chapters before bed. Well, I HAD to keep reading, and got to The End around 5AM. I only had three hours to sleep before going to work, but the story was SO worth the lack of sleep. (Besides, that’s what coffee is for!)

Amazing work! I only hope that one day, I can develop my scifi/fantasy to this level of sophistication.

WitchlandersWitchlanders by Lena Coakley (released TODAY, August 30!)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Witchlanders is told through the perspectives of two boys, Ryder and Falpian. Ryder is a farm boy in the Witchlands, struggling to support his family after his father’s death. Falpian is a Baen prince from the Bitterlands, mourning the loss of his twin and his potential for magic. Born enemies, Ryder and Falpian discover they have a common destiny, and need to work together to uncover the mysteries behind the cultural assumptions that they’ve inherited.

Witchlanders delivers high fantasy without plodding backstory and cumbersome terms. Coakley beautifully weaves together cultural traditions, histories, and magic to create a rich, immersive reading experience. It has the scope of being an epic story, and the potential for companion tales. And, though I would read a sequel to this story (and I hope there is one considering how this story ended), I would REALLY be interested in reading a prequel.

*Note: I read Witchlander as an egalley, courtesy of Simon and Schuster’s Galley Grab program.

View all my reviews

[I’ll be archiving any of my book reviews on my Book Love page (see menu) and of course, GoodReads.]

Those were some of the things I’ve loved these past few weeks…how about you?