Showing posts from July, 2009

10 Things New Writers Need To Know

1. Finish a book . Really. Stop starting every shiny new idea that flashes into your brain and find the discipline and perseverance to type one idea all the way through to The End. It won't be perfect. It probably won't ever be published. But what you'll learn about yourself and the process will be invaluable and every subsequent lesson on craft will make a lot more sense. 2. Don't be so eager to share your work with others . Not yet, at least. It's important to protect the creative process and the shape of the story itself and staying away from too much outside input until you're sure of the story and the characters is a good idea. I write and write and write ... until I know exactly where I'm going and how I'm going to get there and THEN I invite critiques from my CPs. And if you're posting chapters of your work willy-nilly on your blog/site/facebook page, stop. Editors are leery about selling a book when much of it has already been offered fo

Query Workshop Registration Open

Registration for my next online Query Workshop is now open! Go here for details.

Autism Speaks!

There's a really cool concert coming up a week from Saturday here in Nashville. I say "really cool" because there's a fantastic line-up of artists, the tickets are only $30, and all of that money goes directly toward helping an organization called Autism Speaks research and find treatment for autistic kids. Go here for more info. Also, go there because my friend April blogs about life raising a beautiful autistic boy and it's a blog worth reading .

It's A Chucktastrophe!

1. I've used the same three pair of black pants for my work uniform for four and a half years. 2. Three months ago, one of the pair came apart in the crotch. 3. Yes, I stopped wearing them. 4. Last month, another pair came apart in the crotch. 5. I stopped wearing them too. 6. Last night at work, I realized my last pair--yes, the pair I was currently wearing--were one shaky seam away from a spectacular public exposure arrest. 7. So, today I'll be buying a new pair of pants. 8. I have enough wardrobe malfunctions on my own without deliberately tempting fate. 9. Daredevil 's 10th birthday was Tuesday. On Monday, I took him with me to spend some of his birthday money. We stopped for lunch at Olive Garden where he proudly told everyone he met that he was finally in double digits. 10. The older couple seated at the table next to us engaged Daredevil in conversation about his birthday and their own great-grandkids. 11. Several minute into the conversation, Daredevil

Eyes Like Stars - Part IV

In the last installment of our peek into Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS, we find the fairies rallied around their creator, in various stages of ... well, see for yourself. Mustardseed : Why, I want to know, are we wearing tea strainers on our heads? Lisa : You are going into battle. (sounds of duct tape attaching silverware-armor to the fairies' limbs.) Moth : (peering at his gauntlets, made of pocket watch bits) Against whom? Lisa : The demons from Prophecy of the Sisters. You're going to fight them. To the death. Peaseblossom : I... don't think I like the sound of that. Lisa : (more duct tape sounds) Sure you do! You can jab at them with toothpick swords, and the winners will get spectacular prizes. Cobweb : What kind of prizes? Lisa : All sorts of fabulous shiny things, but you'll mostly like the candy. Pop Rocks and Airheads... Peaseblossom will like all the glittery makeup-- Mustardseed : Makeup schmakeup... what if we PERISH? Lisa : Then you

I'm Just Saying

Just took Starshine to see Ice Age 3. (An imminently forgettable movie) During the previews, an announcer intoned gravely (in the midst of various animated what-have-you's on screen) that THIS movie (Yes, this upcoming animated what-have-you movie) is the summer's most highly anticipated movie event . Um. I think you have a much better chance of saying that without incurring ridicule if you choose, say, a non-Harry Potter summer. I'm just saying.

Another Candidate For A Petting Zoo?

Clearly, he wants your braaaaaainz.

How NOT To Scare Away A Zombie Goat

There are many ways to scare away the Zombie Goat. Zombie Cats, of course, being the most effective, but clanging a dinner bell while tossing the brains of your enemies in the direction you wish the goats to go is also a viable alternative. Losing your manhood on camera, however, is not.

I'm Alive! Probably.

1. Okay, I've been a bad blogger. 2. Working extra hours plus deep-cleaning my house short-circuited my brain. 3. Of course, it wasn't just all work and no play. 4. I did get to dress up and see the HP6 sneak peek Monday night and that was awesome. 5. Our whole family dressed up: Clint was a Death Eater, I was Minerva McGonagall (sort of), the Scientist was Harry Potter in his Hogwarts' robes, Daredevil was Ron Weasely, Starshine was Harry Potter in Quidditch get-up (w/broom), Myra came as Tonks and Myra's hubby (who isn't possessing whatever crazy gene makes the rest of us eager to wear costumes on non-Halloween nights) came wearing Tommy Bahama. We called him our Token Muggle. 6. I really enjoyed the movie. Being a book purist, there were a couple things I would have changed, but I was totally engrossed the entire time. 7. Now I need to go see it again to get past my first impression (Which was something along the lines of "Ooh. Aww. Yes!!") and

Are You TRYING To Get Me Fired?

Last night, apparently, was bring an idiot out to dinner night. I didn't get the memo, but I sure did wait on the idiots. Since my mouth tends to spout off snappy sarcasm in response to obvious instances of moronic thinking, waiting on a string of idiots can get me fired. Last night, I had three in a row. 1. I walked up to a table, greeted them, offered them tea or Coke to drink and the woman looked at me and said, "Something smells good! Whatcha cooking?" I admit I stared at her for about ten seconds of silence, trying to think of something I could say that wouldn't sound like I was accusing her of being ... well, an idiot. I mean, seriously? We're a restaurant. With one of the largest menus in the business. Whatever she's smelling could be any one of 120 items or a combination of several. I finally patted her menu and said, "Take your pick. We cook them all." She said, "It smells like chicken." I nodded wisely. "Then it probably is

Starshine--The Experience

Yesterday, Starshine bounced into my room to get the swimsuit he'd left drying over the edge of my bathtub. The ensuing conversation sounded like this: Me : Hey! Who's taking you to the pool? Starshine : Um ... guess. Me : No really, who's taking you to the pool? Starshine : *rolls eyes* My friend. Me : You have a lot of friends. Which one is it? Starshine : My bestest friend. Me : Okay, that narrows it down to-- Starshine : *who, at this point, is now stark naked* It's only my bestest friend in the whole world whom I've known since the second grade! Me : Oh. Dane? Starshine : *pulls swimsuit on and grabs a towel* Yes! I knew you could guess it. Me : Wouldn't it just be easier to answer my question in the first place rather than go through all that? Starshine : *looks at me with pity* Mom. It's more of a challenge that way. Talking to me be should be an experience . Me : It certainly is.

Spazzing Out Is Hard Work

1. In case you were wondering, Spastic Kitten doesn't always spaz. 2. Sometimes she sleeps. (see above) 3. Although the true nature of her mental instability is always apparent to the discerning eye. 4. We spent all day Friday at Nashville Shores, a water amusement park. 5. I learned two valuable lessons. 6. One, when applying sunscreen to yourself, do not get distracted by the antics of your spawn and forget to slather your face. 7. Two, women considering a tattoo on their stomachs should think long and hard about the eventual effects of childbirth and gravity. 8. Mosquitoes, apparently, love me. 9. Every time I hang around outside at dusk, I get eaten alive. 10. My kids and Clint are basically immune. 11. This A) is not fair and B) makes me glad I've never met a vampire as my blood seems to be a hot commodity. 12. The other night I had so many bites on my feet, I couldn't sleep well because of the itch. 13. I tried calamine lotion but it didn't help. 14

Eyes Like Stars Act III

The next installment in the adventures of author Lisa Mantchev (Eyes Like Stars hits your local bookstore next week!) and four very mischievous fairies. If you missed the first two installments, go here and here . (The fairies are in a tremendous hurry to finish, as Lisa has now eaten her fruit roll-up gag.) Moth : Shove another peanut butter cup in her piehole! Peaseblossom : I dunno... she might go into a diabetic coma, and then what happens to us? Cobweb : Hm. Good point. Mustardseed : I think the trick is just to be far, far away by the time she undoes the knots in the licorice. Lisa : Just wait until I get back on the laptop. I'm writing a scene where you all eat broccoli. In the bathtub. While someone reads Goethe to you. ALL : (chorus of screams) NOT THE BROCCOLI! Peaseblossom : Maybe we should ask her some real interview-type questions. Like "what's inspired you to write this book?" Moth : Yawn-tastic. How about "if you were going to exact