Archive for February, 2011

I read this amazing blog by Jae Jones (@sjaejones) this morning about kickass heroines and it got me thinking: am I a Buffy fan or an Alanna fan?

I certainly liked the tv series of Buffy and enjoyed her power, but as pointed out in the blog, her powers were “granted” to her magically. Part of her whole issue was that she was chosen to her duty, and that given the choice she would not have picked this life for herself.

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It’s All About Voice

So one of the mentors I admire is Alan Weiss, a solo consulting guru well known for his work on value-based fees. If you’ve never had the opportunity to see him, you would be stunned by the delicious way he manipulates language. He has an astonishing vocabulary and organization of thought that reflects in the way he speaks. One of the things he says is that the “Write to a sixth grade reading level” is stupid. He writes his books as he speaks – at a very sophisticated level.

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10 Influential Books

I know I just posted my huge Kindle reading list earlier this week (and believe me, that took a lot of doing considering how long it is) and right after, Marissa Meyer posted her top ten (or at least ten) books that influenced her. Pencil_gal responded here and Loki_onyx responded here to Marissa’s question: which are ten books that influenced you?

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Currently Reading

1)   The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Yes, I am still reading this one. I keep getting interesting books and I want to read them right away so I read this between whatever I’m currently reading.

2)   Traitor’s Moon by Lynn Flewelling

I think, if I could only ever read one author for the rest of my life and no one else, it would have to be Lynn Flewelling with her Nightrunner series. It is so good, I can’t even stand it. This is the third book in her series. In a nutshell: her main characters, Seregil and Alec, must journey to Aurenen (Seregil’s birth country) to help Skala in their war against Plenimar. Amazing, brilliant, gripping, I can never stop reading her words. I’m only about a tenth through it and I’m already wishing she had a hundred more books for me to read.

3) The Scene Book by Sandra Scofield

I’m already about two chapters in and it’s rhetoric with a few good points so far. I need to try one of the exercises because thus far, I’m not sure if it will help my specific issues.

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Different Forms of Editing

So often, we become fixated on getting the first draft done that we have no idea where to go from there. The first draft, in my opinion, should be written in a frenzy of creativity, a flush of crazy energy and the Muse working through you at warp speed to produce something that is raw, powerful, and malleable. Is this how I actually produce first drafts? Sadly, no. I tend to work in bursts – I get inspired for a week and write 15,000 words in just a couple days, then it sits there by itself until I figure out what to do next. I wish I could do the all-in-one-intensive-go thing (I would probably get a lot more projects done if I could) because my favorite part – the part that really makes the book – is right after: the editing and revision process.

Night_Mare is posting her response here if you’re interested to see her take on it (since she’s on her second draft right now and I am still plodding along on my first).

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While I was checking up on my normal round of blog posts, I saw this post by Cassandra Clare (author of the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices, the first of which is the prequel Clockwork Angel, which I am currently halfway through). And wow, that was a lot of links! Anyway, I was thinking about strategies for marketing books, as it becomes more and more difficult to market books (at least if you don’t know how the industry works). Just by visiting these sites, however, you can see a number of ways that Cassandra Clare has done a phenomenal job with her own marketing.

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Since I always write with Night_mare pretty much every night, we invariably end up talking about writing. Not just whether a scene works or not but the deeper aspects of writing: does it feel real? What is their passion? What do they want? What are they scared of? Why would someone care about this character?

So when I thought of doing some joint blogs with her where we actually publish some of our thoughts, it shouldn’t surprise me that she even had a problem with my first sample prompt.

Me: You write amazingly unique and fascinating characters. Why don’t we have our first prompt be 3 ways to make your characters unique?

Her: Well, it isn’t being unique that is really important when it comes to characters. It’s the emotional connection you create between the character and the reader.

So of course she has to outclass me even at the planning stages of a blog. But! I will not give up! I can talk about character development too so here goes. You can see her take on the subject in her blog here and follow her Twitter here.

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Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! I had no idea that was today but when I found out, I was very excited. Every time there is a new year, a new month, a new anything, I feel refreshed and revitalized. The start of anything is always good – the new energy, the new enthusiasm and passion! Makes me feel inspired to get things done and come back, even to old projects, with different outlook.

Today I’ve decided to be ruthlessly productive. No slowing down, time to get things done NOW and not worry about them anymore. As of right now, I am about to finish some social media planning for my internship, then I’m moving on to finishing up some more letters, and finally I will have a phone call with another client.

Actually, I think I should have lunch first. All this work sounds like it needs some fuel.

What I’m Reading:

1) The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (half way through; paperback)

2) Traitor’s Moon by Lynn Flewelling (Kindle eBook)

3) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (first chapter; Kindle eBook)

Hi everyone! I’ve been busy lately so I haven’t had a chance to post anything in a while. But I saw this contest online and started salivating on the spot. For those who are new, I am a bit of a devourer of books. I LOVE to read. When I read about the book Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, I got really excited about it. So I’m telling everyone about it (even though it would mean you’re all competing against me!) and sending you the link. Enter if you want a free copy of the first book (Silver Phoenix) and for a signed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the sequel, Fury of the Phoenix.

Click here to go to the blog and read the rules.

Hope I get it! Sounds like an amazing read.

I’ll post another entry later about my own news – just thought everyone would like the chance to win TWO free books. Ends Feb. 15!!!

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