Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Guest Post

Okay, I'm using this week's post to direct you to the guest post I wrote at www.aspiringwriterworld.blogspot.com.

Confession time---It was my first guest post so check it out. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nanowrimo: Nearing the End

Nanowrimo takes 30 days to complete. In the end, participants have written a first draft of their novel. Each participant writes 1667 words a day for a total of 50,000 words in a month. It requires a lot of time to complete as any Nanowrimo participant can attest. Participants sacrifice if success is attained. More than a few people can probably attest to just how much sacrifice.

I participated in Nanowrimo this year and I lost track of how many hours I put into Nanowrimo weeks ago. The one thing I didn’t loose track of, however, is what I’ve given up to be a participant. While Nanowrimo provided a much needed break from some things like the laundry and dishes (they were done, just not as often as normal), I gave up some things that I can’t wait to get back to.

I have given up countless hours of sleep, reading and free time. As Nanowrimo comes to an end, I look forward to sleeping again, reading a good book, and catching up on my weekly magazine subscription. The lack of sleep is catching up to me. My characters, plot and writing goal are in my every waking thought. When my mind can process something other “Family Times” (my WIP), I plan to use my free time to catch up on my back issues of US Weekly. I haven’t read my US Weekly subscription in a little over a month (Nano prep) and I need to read my weekly news, gossip and entertainment. At this point, I’ll accept just being able to read my Twitter feed. I don’t need to read the next great American novel--any reading will be fine.

So I ask you, what have you given up to complete Nanowrimo? And what can’t you wait to get back to?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Old Books: Love them, Leave them or Throw them away

In anticipation of the new books I’ll get for Christmas, I started thinking about the old ones I have. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t own a ton of bookshelves lined with books. For that matter, I don’t even own one bookshelf overflowing with books. But the small area I do have for books suffocated a while ago.

I need to get rid of them. I don’t recall what I've done with my books in the past. I know I have never thrown a book away and I rarely donate my books to the library. However, considering the books I’ve owned in the past and the books I currently possess, something is not adding up.

I did something with them. I probably left them in an old apartment or house in a prior move.

But for the first time, I need to get rid of some books and I am making the conscious decision to do so--and I have a blog. I’m considering hosting a giveaway on my blog for all of the books I need to clear out---and can bear to part with.

But first I ask you, what do you do with your books? Are they hoisted upon one or several bookshelves in your home like a red badge of honor? Do you use them as conversation pieces at dinner parties? Do you give them away to friends, acquaintances, or donate them to a library? Will some of them--a chosen few--be taken to the grave with you? Because of the impact they've had on your life.

Tell me, what do you do with your old books. But if you throw them away, don't tell me. In that case, I grant you full authority to lie to me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Am I too old for Chick Lit??

I recently read a Chick Lit book, which shall remain nameless, and found it a little difficult to relate to. I must say that experience left me a little freaked out. Chick Lit is MY genre. I read it. I write it. I get this genre---or so I thought. I know what you’re thinking---It must be the writing. But no. The author aptly wrote the novel.

The author hit all of the points of a Chick Lit novel. A Chick Lit novel is typically written from the point of view of a twenty something to a very early thirty something woman. The main character was a 25 year old female. Chick Lit typically involves the search for the perfect man, a promotion or new job—all while either looking fabulous doing it or painstakingly tipping the scales (think Bridget Jones' Diary and Confessions of a Shopaholic). The main character in this novel wanted the promotion and while not specifically pursing a man wouldn’t turn down a good one; all while being very aware of her weight. The author met the criteria for the quintessential Chick Lit novel and wrote it well enough.

I just couldn’t connect with the desire for the promotion or a man. I pursued both at one point in my life but now I feel accomplished in both of those areas. At this point in my life, I could not help but think the main character does not have any children depending on her. Priorities tend to change after children. I kept thinking if your family is okay then you can rebuild. You’re okay. If the job did not pan out for the main character she could always find another one. She’s in her twenties. In my twenties I had a billion jobs. Well, I had a lot. I’m 32 now so I sneak in just under the wire of the typical age for the main character. However, with the gnawing feeling that the stakes just weren’t high enough I find myself asking “am I too old for Chick Lit”? And I need an answer before I give my husband my Christmas list—of books he would never otherwise get me on his own.

Not to mention, I entered a contest to re-name MY genre and was selected as a semi-finalist. *insert look of disbelief here* No really. I was. Here’s the link: http://aspiringwriterworld.blogspot.com/2010/11/we-have-our-semi-finalists.html. However, to become a finalist and win the critique, among other things, I have to write a paragraph explaining why my name best suits the genre. Yes, for the genre I’m not even sure I’m suited for. Umm.

So what do you think? Have you ever read/enjoyed Chick Lit? If so, did you outgrow it or are you 80 years old still reading it?

Off I go to think about whether I’m too old for Chick Lit and why my name should be chosen for its new moniker.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giveaways, Contests & Prizes Oh My

I find myself jumping from website to website for the latest contests, prizes and giveaways related to writing. This week, I compiled the things I found here to share with my fellow writers.

1. On http://www.aspiringwriterworld.blogspot.com/, Gabriela Lessa in conjunction with ChickLitShortys is hosting a contest to rename the ChickLit genre. So if you enjoy writing or reading Chick Lit here's your chance give the genre a new and much needed moniker. Not only do you get to rename the genre but if your name is chosen you win books, an Amazon gift card, a guest spot on the blog. And best of all a 10-page critique. SQUEE!!!

2. Lisa Desrochers is giving away signed copies of the Young Adult novels, Firelight and Personal Demons, if you enter her contest at http://www.lisadesrochers.blogspot.com/ by November 3rd at midnight. Readers need I say more than--free books. Writers, it helps to read the genre you write in and there's no better reading than well-written FREE books.

3. If you are looking for a critique partner and/or beta reader and have a Twitter account, tweet your genre and what you're looking for with the hashtag 'betamatch'. This hashtag is being used to match writers with beta readers and/or critique partners.

4. Nanowrimo--the contest in which you write 50, 000 words in 30 days, started yesterday. I'm sure if you'd like to join in the fun and haven't yet, you still can at http://www.nanowrimo.org/. You just have a lot of catching up to do.

5. Literary agent Nathan Bransford provides a first page critique every Friday. At http://www.nathanbransford.blogspot.com/, you can upload the first page of your novel to the forums section. He critiques one random page every Friday. So eventually you'll get an awesome free critique of your writing by an expert in the field.

6. WriteOnCon, the first ever free online kidlit writer's conference, is hosting another live chat on November 15. Visit http://www.writeoncon.com/ for more information.

7. The IndieBookIBC is hosting a free social media workshop for writers via webinar on November 9th. Visit http://www.indiebookcollective.com/ for information.

Do you have others to add to the list? Please share anything I haven't mentioned and help out your fellow writers.