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Showing posts from September, 2009

Open Letter To Whoopi Goldberg

Dear Whoopi,

Yesterday, in your position as co-host of The View you quantified Roman Polanski's crime as "not rape-rape."

I'll be honest. I don't care if Polanski's legal team was able to plead his charge down from rape to sex with a minor. A 43 year old man giving drugs and liquor to a 13 year old girl and having sex with her is RAPE, regardless of any plea bargains. I defy you to read the actual transcripts of the trial and call it anything less. In fact, I defy you to read those transcripts and not feel sick at the severity of his crime.

For you to call it "not rape-rape" implies there are degrees to the act of forcing another to have sex. That's like saying "Well, it wasn't murder-murder" when someone chooses to take the life of another. The end result is still one person dead by another person's hand. The same concept applies to rape. The end result is one person violated by another.

Setting aside the unbelievable response o…

Rewrite! Twilight Contest Entries

The qualifying contest entries are each assigned a number and listed below. One of these entrants will win a critique of her first chapter. The top five will go into a drawing for a free 50 page critique. Please vote for up to three of your favorite entries in the comment trail.

ENTRY #1

My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. The newly chill air kissed my cheek.

“Are you excited?” she asked the obvious mom question.

I gave her my most heinous “whatever” look, and then turned away from her. I hid the smile that crept over my lips. If she knew how excited I really was it might blow her mind. Me, who hasn’t shown interest in anything for the better part of three years. Me, who took a chance and for once was rewarded. Me, who is leaving home for the first time, traveling across the country, starting a new life. I shivered.

Mom sighed and flipped her Dorothy Hamill ‘do, causing it to feather slightly when it landed.

“I hope you have a better attitude when you meet your …

Jonathan's Playlist

I'm trying something new while writing Lilli's book. Usually, I listen to two or three instrumental soundtracks per novel but somehow, that just wasn't cutting it for Lilli. I do have the Death Sentence soundtrack (hauntingly beautiful) cued up in my iPod for atmospheric scenes, but I needed something else to get under my character's skin.

I decided to use an free online music source to create playlists of songs that my main characters listen to. For Lilli, that meant branching out into soulful R&B and country, two genres I usually avoid with something very akin to horror.

Jonathan's playlist is more my style. Because I have nothing better to blog about at the moment, I thought I'd share his list with you. Lilli's will be posted another day.

JONATHAN STEWART'S PLAYLIST:


There And Back Again by Daughtry

Never Too Late by Three Days Grace

Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace

Crash by Cavo

Ghost by Cavo

Life Is Beautiful by Sixx AM

Indestructible by Disturbe…

Lilli Stone: Book One, Chapter One

I gave you the blurb for Lilli's book last week and now I'm ready to share chapter one with you. To read the rest, you'll have to buy the book. :) Of course, the book won't come with the visual aids I've embedded in this chapter just for you...



Chapter One

Some days fate hands you calorie-free chocolate and dates with men who don’t live with their mothers. Other days it sets fire to your hair, slaps five extra pounds of water weight across your stomach, and slams you face-first into the side of a barn.

Since every single interaction with my mother in living memory felt like the latter, it took every ounce of courage and desperation I had to turn onto the winding gravel driveway leading past the expanse of well-tended lawn to the front of her house. Truth be told, there were about a million places I’d rather be.

A Jamaican beach. Antarctica. The bottom of the ocean.

Okay, that last one is a bald-faced lie.

I think.

I once read a human being can go five minutes without air…

Project: Rewrite! Twilight

Are you an aspiring writer who needs a professional critique of your work? Are you entering the Golden Heart and need a critique of your contest entry?

Do you enjoy bragging rights and the thought of taking on Twilight and shaping it to your own nefarious, er, I mean creative purposes?

Then this is the contest for you!

Rules:

1. Take the first sentence of Twilight (below) and use it as the beginning of a 500 word piece of writing. Hook the reader with humor, drama, suspense, or beautiful prose! I don't care if you stick with the vampire plot from Twilight or take us in a totally different direction.

2. Leave your entry in the comment section of this post. No anonymous postings or postings with profanity or explicit content will be considered.

3. You have until Saturday, September 26th. 8 p.m. Central Time.

4. I will take all the qualifying entries, put them into one post on Monday, September 28th, and assign each author a number.

5. Blog readers (and those you send this way) will read the…

Contest Coming!

Do you

*love creative writing?

*think you could improve/transform/mangle the opening of any given famous novel?

*want a professional critique of your first chapter?


If you answered yes to any of the above, I have a contest opportunity coming just for you. Well, just for you and however many other people enter ...

I'll be posting the first sentence of a (insanely) popular novel. You will take that sentence and write an entry of no more than 500 words. Make it funny. Heart-wrenching. Lovely. Dramatic. Whatever works for you! I'll post all the entries and it's up to blog readers to vote for their favorites. You can post the link to Twitter, Facebook, your loops, your email address book...even to your crazy Great-Aunt Bertha and garner votes. Or you can leave your writing in the hands of Fate.

Personally, I've never found Fate to be very reliable.

The winner gets a critique of his/her first chapter. The top five finalists go into a grand prize drawing for a critique of their fir…

Throwback Thursday

I've decided to post links every Thursday (Or most Thursdays. Or the occasional Thursday. Or just today ... we'll see.) to some funny posts buried in the annals of this blog that newer readers may have missed.

Today's Throwback Thursday post gives my late beloved cat Taz a starring role. For the non-cat-loving men reading this post, farts are involved. You know you're going to read it.

Deep Thoughts - With Starshine

A recent conversation with Starshine, transcribed here for your enjoyment. So, er, enjoy:

Starshine: "Hey Mom! We should get a platypus!"

Me: "Really? Why?"

Starshine: "Because then we wouldn't have to buy milk anymore!"

Me: "..."

Starshine: "Didn't you know that a platypus sweats milk?"

Me: "Holy Gag Reflex, Batboy, that's disgusting."

Starshine: "I think the word you're looking for is useful."

Back Off My Bubble Gum

1. The glorious monstrosity pictured above was parked in a Kroger parking lot yesterday.

2. I laughed myself stupid when I drove by it.

3. A black 70's Lincoln--with a gold cross covering the oval window--precariously perched on a set of 22s.

4. The phrase you're looking for is Geriatric Pimp-mobile.

5. Also Word To Your Grandmother.

6. And maybe Street Cred--it's not just for those under 80.

7. And yeah, I know the owner of the car is probably some nineteen year old guy who thinks he looks FLY cruising for chicks in the Kroger parking lot with his ancient catholicized (Remember the gold cross?) Lincoln bouncing to the beat of Eminem on his 22s...

8. Speaking of cruising the Kroger parking lot (Yeah, it happens. What better place to find women than a grocery store? Makes perfect sense.), I went grocery shopping late Sunday night and was treated to the site of two of the coolest teenage boys EVER.

9. They were cruising Kroger in their mom's mini-van.

10. Mini-van.

11. With both s…

The Way I Write

Lately, I've seen various blog posts and Twitter conversations on methods of writing. Most of those end up being discourses on how a writer can properly organize her story before writing with the end goal being a streamlined writing experience and the ability to produce a finished novel in a relatively short amount of time (varies by writer) with less revision necessary.

I took a peek at several of those methods and I don't mind telling you that a couple of them had me nearly in hives before I'd finished paragraph one. That doesn't mean they aren't wonderful, helpful, amazing tools for the right writer. It just means I don't write that way.

So, I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and tell you how I organize my story before I write.

Remember the previous post? The one giving a blurb for Lilli Stone Book One? The one that had 5 paragraphs giving basic character intros and outlining the conflict and stakes?

That's it.

That's what I do.

Of course, I'…

Rough Draft In Progress

I've mentioned Twisting Fate (sequel to Shadowing Fate) on the blog and even posted a (Pantser in Progress, Will Probably Change!) blurb for it. What I haven't mentioned is that I'm also working on book one in a new series at the same time.

Since I don't have a deadline yet for TF, I have the luxury to divide my writing time.

Naturally, I have no title yet. Shadowing Fate was Alexa Tate Book One for months and I'm afraid the same will have to be true for this new series. (Hang on, long time blog readers, Earl is finally getting his day!)

I give you: Lilli Stone Book One

First line: "Some days fate hands you calorie-free chocolate and dates with men who don't live with their mothers. Other days, it sets fire to your hair, slaps five extra pounds of water weight across your stomach, and dumps you head-first into your neighbor's pig trough."

Setting: A small town in Tennessee near the Smokey Mountains

Premise:

All Lilli Stone wanted from her life was a ca…

Shh: Mind Reading In Progress

1. Since I'm in the process of applying for jobs, I've been reading a ton of job descriptions online.

2. Most make perfect sense.

3. Today, one job description said the following: Mandatory Skills: Communication. Must effectively communicate as pertains to the giving of information. Communication skill required is only verbal and written.

4. Well, that's a relief!

5. My mind-reading powers, while formidable with my own children, are a bit rusty when it comes to the general public. Although, they could be excluding body language which is a shame because I'm really good at that.

6. Also, I appreciated the definition of how to effectively communicate because, yanno, communication isn't always about the giving of information.

7. Sometimes, it's about... well, it's about ...

8. ...

9. Starshine had his follow up visit at Vanderbilt and got his cast sealed up.

10. This time, he went with a black and white striped cast.

11. When I saw it, I commented that I really liked it …

Twitterpated

Once upon a time (say about two years ago) I had enough time on my hands to browse the internet, read agent blogs, visit writer web sites, and make friends among the commenters there. That slim margin of web time has disappeared from my schedule. At most, I have snatches of a few minutes here and a few minutes there that I can guiltlessly devote to reading stuff on the web for fun.

I've had to cut out visits to agent blogs unless one of the ones I follow on Twitter posts a link to something I think I really shouldn't miss. I don't go to author websites, even authors I consider my friends, unless they too post a link on Twitter and I realize it's something I should pop over to see. Livejournal was the first site I let go and that was a tough decision since I genuinely LIKE the people I follow there and who follow me. But keeping up with two blogs and reading pages of entries sucked time I just didn't have. I do, however, keep up with my LJ friends on Twitter. *waves …