Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.
What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?
And, if you’re feeling generous enough–head on over to Amazon and actually send one on its way!
So, I finished judging a bunch of contest entries right at the moment Darcy sent me the revised version of Geek Girl’s Guide (breathe, breathe, no pressure) for my turn to edit. And I do mean, right at that exact moment. It was like we synchronized our atomic watches.
Because I’m all about making the most productive use of my time, I turned immediately to cleaning out my overflowing inbox. I found subject lines such as:
These are all from Darcy. In one email, I respond to her with:
I don’t really have a jones for the industrial revolution.
But then, who does?
We also chatted on topics such as:
The Six Million Dollar YA
The Art of War
No Borg. Odd, that.
So this coming week, I’ll be playing my part in the collaboration and using my Borg skills to edit (I’m not sure if we’ve decided who’s 7 and who’s 9).
You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.
You understand people better than they would like to be understood.
Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.
You figure out what’s going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!
Why you would be a good superhero: You don’t care what people think, and you’d do whatever needed to be done Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now
Hard to believe, I know. That bar should be all red. Not sure why it vanishes when I publish in WordPress. Although clearly, if I were as smart as it said, or could read minds, this wouldn’t be an issue, would it.
I did the insane the other day. I entered The Fine Art of Holding Your Breath(MacKenna’s story) in the Golden Heart. I only have ~17,000 words in the first person version so far. The receive-by deadline is December 3rd.
So. Yeah. External pressure. Insanity. Same thing.
I’m also contemplating my “education” plan for next year. Last year was all about regrouping (can you regroup if you’re just one?). I worked through Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. I tore apart and put Geek Girl’s Guide back together. I think that helped me prepare for this round of revisions. But I did a lot of this on my own.
This year was the opposite. I needed outside opinions. I partnered up with Darcy. I needed to understand what people weren’t seeing. And I think/hope I have a better grasp on that too.
So, I’m thinking of next year (yes, already). This year is pretty much booked with writing, revising, editing (Darcy’s getting ready to send me Geek Girl’s Guide for an edit). What do I want to learn next year?
That’s the great thing about writing–the possibilities are endless.
Over on Romancing the Blog, they’re talking about point of view, which is kind of like shouting fire in a crowded theater. I never understood the prejudice against first person point of view in stories. As one Noodler gal astutely noted: it’s simply one way to tell a story, not the Antichrist.
Still, it gets people fired up.
I love first person point of view. I also like close third, omniscient third, big sweeping sagas where everyone gets a say, even the flea in the errand boy’s pocket.
In other words, I love stories. And I agree with the sentiment that some stories demand to be told a certain way. I’m not certain why it took me so long to try writing in first. Oh, I did a few short stories. And I wrote all my character sketches in first. And, of course, the last three books I wrote, I wrote in close third, but from only one perspective.
Someone hand me a clue.
I love quirky, “unconventional” first person narration. I like made up words. I like it when the narrator turns to the reader and says, “Reader, I married him.”
And talk about unconventional: two writers, one first person point of view. This “shouldn’t” work. But it does. Of course, we’re the Borg. Oddly enough, Seven of Nine came up in our conversation the other day. (And not Hottie McHottie, prom, or eyeliner.)
So I’m thinking: if you have to be the Borg, that’s the Borg to be. No?
This should make that author photo so much easier.
As the web site for Andrew’s football league likes to remind me:
The Season is on!!!
This fact needs to be emphasized with three exclamation points.
So, as you can see, the season is on. (!!!) Sadly, the season isn’t always as sunny like in this picture. Last night, Andrew’s team played on the high school field. The thing about playing on the high school field (astroturf) is, as long as there isn’t any lightning, they can still play in rain.
Or torrential downpour.
Boys = soaked
Miss B. = soaked
Mom = soaked
Ah, but they won, 19 to 0, and Andrew recovered a fumble that led a to a touchdown two plays later. Kyra and I did about a mile’s worth of walking around the track before the game, and she danced in the rain during.
When we got home, everyone pulled on warm pajamas. We had a second hot hot dinner. Andrew started some homework. Five minutes later, he called out, “Mommy, Kyra’s asleep.”
She was, head down on the dining table. Mr. Gallant even carried her to her room. Not much later, Tuesday night lights were out … for all of us.
Chekhov called it the gun on the wall. Bill Johnson, in his writing craft book, A Story is a Promise, called it just that. When you hang a gun on the wall in Act I, you promise that it will go off sometime before Act III. (And you know, even when I see a literal gun on the wall in a play, and they post that little sign out front: Act III contains simulated gunfire and smoke, I always flinch when its fired.)
Darcy sent me a little scenelet today that I think reinforces one of the promises we made. Actually, I think it opens it up even more. It’s terrific. One of the neat things about this process is getting little presents like that in my inbox.
We’ve also pondered how to show off our guns on the wall. Darcy and I both like subtle. But we’ve discovered that one (or two) person’s subtle is another’s what the hell are you talking about?
So we ponder. We want it organic, natural to the story, not some sort of neon: LOOK HERE! GUN ON WALL! I emailed Darcy the eloquent: Some readers really need a lot of “stuff.” I know we don’t need a lot of “stuff,” but for readers who do, they really need it.
I should write my own craft book. I can call it: Writing Stuff.
Anyway, I think we’ll have our stuff together in the next few weeks. Then maybe I’ll update the blog a bit more (I say that, but watch, I’ll be back tomorrow).
Until then, watch out for guns on the wall–and keep all your stuff together.
This is the story that made the honorable mention list in the Women on Writing Flash Fiction contest, the one where they sent me that gi-normous box of stuff as a prize (all consolation gifts should be so grand).
So, thanks to Marianne, Judy, and Michele for giving it a home.
Go to the advanced book search on Amazon, type your first name into the Title field, and post the most interesting/amusing cover that shows up.
There were a few tempting titles, like: When Charity Destroys Dignity (I’m sorry) and The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity (Don’t blame me; I haven’t been international for years.)
But, dude, check it! I’m a romance novel.
Actually, I’m several, mostly (and somewhat predictably) inspirational romance. Bah. How boring. True, there is that Ellora’s Cave book, but … uh … we’re not going there. Not when there’s:
Him: Dang, my sleeve’s all bunched up and I can’t get my arm through. Why is my shirt tucked into my pants?
Her (note barely contained eye roll–that’s not passion, that’s disdain): Gawd, he can’t even dress himself. Sigh. Now where’s my circa 1860’s blow dryer and round hairbrush. My layers need some work.