Monday, May 24, 2010

University and Shiny Contests

Okay, I'm sorry, guys. It seems that me and regular blogging just do not get along. I blame my mountains of calculus work (onlythreemoreunits onlythreemoreunits) which, sadly, I must actually do so I don't fall below the minimum admissions average for my uni program and wind up trying to sell sewer rats on a street corner. I hear the benefits in that profession are rather lousy.

It's official, by the way! I accepted my offer of admission to Software Engineering. Life savings to be forked over in a couple weeks. Closet-sized dorm room and unidentified species of shower-fungus, here I come!

Oh, I try so hard not to think about those communal bathrooms. *cowers*

But anyhoo, speaking of post-secondary education and thereby dancing around the issue of rampant sexual escapades...Okay, no, that segue's not going to work. Even though Race's awesome book is called The Virginity Thief, it's not about wild nymphomaniacs. It is much, much cooler than that, as is apparent in the summary on her website.

And speaking of Race and the awesomeness she spreads around the interwebs (segue attempt #2), she is holding a massive contest over on Creare! Only three followers away from the next goodies bracket!!! (And only 38 away from the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, three novels, and an armful of pretty reading-related paraphernalia. HECK YAH!)

So y'all should scuttle on over there and have a look at that while I trudge off to work on more calculus. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Fuzziness

The fabulous Caitlin has given me a reason to do another blog post! Yesterday, she bestowed upon me this shiny award:

I do love getting these things. They make for such warm and fuzzy feelings. Especially when there are pictures of yummy cupcakes on them. :) *huggles Caitlin*

Anyhoo, apparently I'm supposed to list a few things that make me happy. So here it goes!
  1. Chocolate. Especially when it comes in the form of mousse cake. *drools*
  2. Good music. The sort that wants to make me get my butt off my chair and dance around like a nut. It's even better when it comes on the radio after I've left my ipod at home.
  3. Laughing so hard I cry. Because endorphins are fun. And healthy!
  4. Swings. Like the sort found in a playground. The bigger the better. I could swing for hours when I was little, daydreaming about my characters, and secretly I still can.
  5. And last, most obviously, and certainly not least in any way: writing! And all the sweet, funny, and delightfully crazy people it has let me meet.
Speaking of whom (I probably just committed a grammatical crime), I would like to pass this award on to a few of those lovely people.

Because one more thing that makes me happy is beta-reading books and pieces of books that I absolutely love and knowing I won't have to wait too long (by the publishing world's standards, anyway) to see these books on store shelves. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Abyss

Dear Readers of Becca's Blog,

While revising, Becca slipped and fell into The Deep Dark Writerly Abyss. Hence her recent absence.

Be warned: the edges of the Abyss, so often necessary to traverse while traveling through Revision Land, are very slippery. This is due to an abundant growth of misplaced commas and overused emdashes.

Conditions inside the Abyss are fittingly abysmal. Survivors report secretions of noxious fumes, said to lead to Writer's Block, insanity, and impulsive use of the delete key. Some claim to have seen horrific carvings in the walls -- the words from their manuscript's revisions!

The Abyss walls are sheer and in some vast chasms impossible to find. Hope of climbing out is minimal. Experts advise that fallen Revisers re-read warm fuzzy comments left on snippets, eat large quantities of chocolate, and write only when suitable amounts of sleep deprivation have knocked out their Inner Editors. Such measures increase one's ability to resist the effects of noxious fumes, and as such increase one's chances of finding a path out of the Abyss.

The following message was delivered earlier today from the depths of the Abyss via carrion bird.

Dear Blogosphere,

Am still alive. Hope to be back soon. Would very much appreciate if someone tossed down essentials. (ie. mousse cake, marshmallows, ice cream, toilet paper.)



Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Word About Revisions

In case anyone didn't hear me banging my head against the wall when I finished my WIP and tallied up the word counts from the six (count 'em, SIX) documents I had broken it into...the thing turned out to be 244K.

*glances around*

Hmm. With so many agents prowling the blogosphere, maybe I shouldn't be admitting that aloud.

(DISCLAIMER: This 244K mutant was a complete fluke! I do not usually produce books that are so monstrously long! And I am fixing this one! Honest! Hence the reason for this blog post! *stops abusing exclamation points*)

Anyhow, as I'm sure you can imagine, trimming hacking and slashing a 244K novel down to size involves some pretty massive plot changes. Subplots must be amputated. A crowd of minor characters must be evicted. Entire chunks of plot are being tossed to the curb and the jagged ends of what remains are being smoothed and soldered together.

Or so I hope.

All I have right now are pages of notebook paper covered in doodles and word webs and notes that say THIS CHARACTER HAS NO PURPOSE! CUT HIM! But soon (today possibly) I'm going to have to actually start the writing part of rewriting, and it's a strange feeling.

My book-world seems to be existing in two parallel universes. In one universe - the bigger universe - my MC spends several months and four chapters at her grandparents', safe and sound. She also has a best friend named Rory who helps her and comforts her when two lesser antagonists start antagonizing her and life generally starts going to hell in a hand basket.

In the second universe - the new, sleeker, shinier universe - my MC does not get any time to be safe and warm and well-fed at her grandparents'. Instead I'm chucking her into the midst of misery straight off, my two lesser antagonists have been replaced by one bigger, meaner, scarier antagonist, and Rory is sulking in a corner of my brain because he was taking up too much page space and preventing me from completely overturning my MC's mental state.

Now, this all sounds well and good, right? (Right? Right?! Someone tell me I'm doing the right thing here! Because Rory is sweet and sensible and I love him and I just about had to use the jaws of life to get him out of that plot line!)

Ahem. And that brings me to the point of this post: sometimes revisions can be painful.

I've never made so many changes, or such drastic ones - but that's because I've never spewed out such a gigantic book. But these changes (I hope) are for the better. Even if I have to cut characters, subplots, and dialogue that I loved. Even if I'm madly juggling right now to keep stakes where I want them and mash timelines into shape so that everyone is where I need them to be when I need them to be there. Eventually, it will all come together into one shiny novel, that is better and sparklier and yummier than the old one. (Right?)

And then I shall send it out to betas and revise some more!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday

The lovely ladies over at GotYA are talking about the books they grew up with, so I thought I'd join in!

The Harry Potter books were some of the first proper novels I read by myself. They had me looking out the window on my 11th birthday, hoping for an owl.

I've been a Lord of the Rings fangirl since I was about 7. I started reading the series for myself when I was 11 - after I didn't get that letter from Hogwarts. ;)

And then there's A Series of Unfortunate Events. My mom read these books to my sister and me before bed, so I'm quite fond of these books. We only made it to the sixth, but I think I'm going to have to read the rest!

I'd also like to mention some of the picture books that preceded the chapter books.

The Berenstain Bears,

Amelia Bedelia,

and The Mitten. Lovely illustrations in this book!

And that's it for me! *scuttles off to see what books everyone else remembers*

Oh! One more thing! Check out In Which a Girl Reads! She's giving away awesome books! :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but last week I came across a word that I already knew, but had forgotten about. Poor forgotten words! They're usually such fun words, and grievously underused, in my opinion.

For example:

fusty |ˈfəstē|adjective ( fustier , fustiest )smelling stale, damp, or stuffy : the fusty odor of decay.old-fashioned in attitude or style : grammar in the classroom became a fusty notion.

As in fusty old grandparents, which is the context I heard it in last week. ;) Or:

tallyho |ˈtalēˈhō| (also tally-ho)exclamationa huntsman's cry to the hounds on sighting a fox.

I actually didn't know the exact use of that word until just now. I thought it was some sort of greeting. Silly me!

My friend and I used to listen to the Slumdog Millionaire version of Jai Ho and think they were saying "tallyho". We were ever so disappointed when we found out we were wrong. (Although one would have expected us to clue in sooner, given the name of the song. XD)

Anyhow, this concludes my blathering for today. Ta, lovelies!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just Another Little Update

To tell you that the universe must apparently remain in balance. When something goes up, it must come down. After a bout of bad luck comes a bout of good. After you get accepted into your first and second choice universities, you are going to be burned by boiling oil and then your desk lamp will go kaplooey.

Which is to say, YESS! MY FUTURE IS NOT DOOMED! I got two acceptance letters yesterday from my top two choices of uni programs. *dances around*

Mind you, my top choice program has astronomical tuition fees and no scholarships, whereas the my second choice is $5000 less in tuition and is offering me at least $4000 more in scholarships, so now I actually have to put some thought into where to go, but who really cares because I GOT IN!!! *gloats*

I gloat because the number of pasty white females who get accepted to this program is remarkably small.

But anyway, yes, long story short: educational future not doomed. Financial future obscure. WIP still not finished. It just goes to show how much of a mutant this thing is when I've been saying for a week, "I'm almost done, I'm almost done!" But I suppose the ending must be proportional in size to the rest of the book. ;)

Anyhow, that's all I've got to say! Ta for now!