Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Here we are again...

It seems like I end up at this crossroad a lot.  I'm editing one story, fleshing out characters from a different story, and plotting out three future WIPS, while my alotted writing time has hit negative levels.  When I figure out how to fit "prolific novel writing" into my already stacked schedule, I'm totally gonna rock at it.  Until then, I will marvel at others from afar. 

If you have a book you want me to recommend and share...let me know- even if it's your own and I haven't read it.  I like reading books recommended from people I know, so give me something...

This may be the month I FINALLY get an ereader!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's not that bad, right?

I recently saw a comic about loving your writing....then hating it....then thinking it's not that bad...then rewriting.  I smiled and shook my head at the same time, thinking that is EXACTLY how it is.

So in honor of being too hard on yourself, I decided to post a quick reminder to all fellow writers.  It is okay to be hard on yourself.  Being hard on yourself allows you to weed out the weak spots in your story and correct them.

But, it is equally as important to recognize strengths in your writing as well.  Find something you liked in one of your WIP's....witty dialogue, a great setting- whatever it is.  Refer back to this when you can't stand your current story.  It will help you feel better about your ability to write.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Zesty Italian and Relationships

Eating: Grilled sliced zucchini marinated in zesty Italian dressing.

ReadingFifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Listening to:  a mix of Cold War Kids, Mazzy Star, Sneaker Pimps, and Smashing Pumpkins

What I'm thinking:  I definitely ate too much!   and... I read books for the characters.  They don't have to be unusual, relatable, or even original.  They just have to hook me.  Whether that happens through their relationship with someone else or during their own personal struggle, it just has to feel real to me.  How characters interact with one another can put me off or make me push through one more chapter at midnight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Pepper and Plot

Eating:  Marinated asparagus in olive oil, kosher salt, and crushed red pepper.  Baked in the oven for about ten minutes and sprinkled with a mixture of shredded parmesan, romano, and asiago cheese.  Enjoy!

ReadingLightning by Dean Koontz

Listening to: a mixture of Shinedown, Sum 41, Good Charlotte, My Chemical Romance, and Paramore.

What I'm thinking:  Plot or Character Driven?  As I'm taking time to savor the flavor, I'm also looking at my writing in a different perspective.  I'm a plot driven writer, which is great for pounding out numerous scenarios and adventures, but for me, my main concern is that my characters will take a hit.  I spend more time on them during edits just to make sure I don't short change anyone.  There's no right or wrong way to generate your story.  As long as it becomes a finished product, who cares how you get there, right? 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Change of course...

To be honest, I'm usually plagued by what type of posts will be deemed useful by my fellow bloggers.  Writing tips?  Book reviews?  Entertainment?

I don't know... all I've come up with is this- I can cook.  Yah for me, right?  No seriously, I can cook fantastic meals, but with the hustle and bustle of my everyday life, I choose to unthaw, warm, or even worse, prepare a packaged meal.  It's the result of an overpacked schedule in which every aspect of my life pulls at me from different directions.  I have nothing against easy, but sometimes rushing through something simpy just to get it done, isn't going to yield the best results.  I can easily relate this to writing. 

For me, it all boils down to time.  There doesn't seem to be enough of it to go around.  So along with the new look of my blog, I've decided to add a few recipes that are mouthwatering and good for the body.  Brain food.  I need to do this as a reminder to myself to slow down and savor; whether it's meals, quality family time, or whatever scene I'm working on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fuelling up the tank...

I read numerous books in numerous genres, watch tons of films, movies, and plays, but sometimes in order to fuel up the writer within, I just have to observe.  Simple actions I witness during the day, are a powerful tool in making my characters believable and relatable.  I've hit research mode in one of my current WIP's and everything around me is fair game.  I noticed a kid pumping gas today into his rusty Cheverolet and he was chomping his gum just like a cow chewing its cud.  For whatever reason, it was annoying as hell and a perfect fit for one of my characters.

I believe that everytime you see a gesture, motion, or action that speaks to you;  you should WRITE IT DOWN.  You can always use it or lose it later.  An excellent resource for this is your Daily Newspaper.  Sports pages are my fav.  There's so much going on in one single action shot, that it begs you to notice every detail, and details are crucial to pulling a scene together.  It's okay to get carried away in research mode, because you can always pick through the most unique details when drafting your story.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

NEW LOOK

My blog is undergoing some drastic changes in an attempt to become more user friendly.  I hope to have a little better organization so that readers can sift through the resources with ease.  Feel free to comment on it, even if you hate it.  :)   Happy Thursday all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Putting yourself out there...

I recently entered the first 250 words of a MS on a blog that was conducting a YA workshop.  The main focus was to get feedback from idustry professionals on how interesting the hook was.

I wanted to share this because I made two fairly large errors when entering this and hope you can learn from my mistakes.  :)   First, I entered the first paragraphs of a story in its first draft.  Second, I sent it via email without using the proper marks to indicate what should've been in italics. 

My take?  I don't mind putting myself or my work out there.  For me, it's all a learning experience and I don't think I will ever get to a point where I tell myself I can stop learning, because I could never know everything there is to know.   

It's interesting to get perspective from published authors, agents, and editors, but I think it's important to seek that point of view from someone who writes/reads/represents the same genre you're writing in.  A person who ONLY likes Contemporary YA is not going to be the best fit to give feedback on your YA Fantasy. 

It is a matter of style.  You can find positives in every critique, but stay true to your story and don't be afraid to put yourself out there.

For anyone who is interested in seeing the workshop I entered, click on this link and it should take you right to it. 

http://shelleywatters.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/after-madness-workshop-s-7-holly-boland.html


By the way, if you are not a member of the blog listed below, I highly recommend it.   There are several authors who contribute to this blog and there is always a ton of fun things happening!  Enjoy!

http://yatopia.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Contest ALERT

If anyone has completed manuscript.....listen up! 

Follow the below link to be taken to a contest via "The Voice" style.  Several agents will be the final judges, so this is a great opportunity to get your work out there. 

http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/2012/04/writers-voice-deets.html

 Good luck to all my fellow bloggers!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Query Letter Help

Writing a query letter can be the most mind numbing task of submission.  You certainly don't want to spend all that time on your MS, if your query letter isn't up to par.

These are helpful links about do's and don'ts of querying....For specific guidelines, be sure to do your research on the agent/ editor you are querying. 

http://evileditor.blogspot.com/p/frequently-asked-questions.html   What will you find here?  A blog based on why you don't get published.  Created by an editor, who takes query submissions and picks them apart...talk about the ultimate critique!  While the purpose of submissions is for entertainment value only, I can't help but feel there would be some kind of major silver lining here.  I have spent time reading this blog, browsing the archives and searching for the most relevant issues with querying that I'm experiencing.  I haven't decided whether or not to submit my query to this blog for a smack down, but I'm heavily considering it!

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/crapometer-cover%20letters  What will you find here?  A CLOSED blog- that's right.  This blog is no longer open...what a shame.  The good news is, the information  is still available on this blog.  Here again, an editor took query submissions and explained why they didn't work.  The archives are chalked full of examples.  Worth the read.

http://queryshark.blogspot.com/  What will you find here?  An active blog for submitting queries to and receiving feedback.  Take care to read the guidlines for submitting your query and read the archives.  There is a lot of helpful info, so take time out of your day to read other submissions.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nick Danielson- singer/songwriter

Right now, Nick is in LA, performing in a showcase.  Crossing my fingers that a major label snags him.





Click here to listen!
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/nickdanielson3

click here to view his blog
http://nickdanielson-insidelook.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's Official...I'm a Pinterest addict!

For  those of you who are not familiar with Pinterest, here are the top reasons I can't pull myself away:

-For the creativity-  with unlimited DIY ideas, ranging from simple home improvements to genious gardening and food ideas; you'll never run out of inspiring visuals.

-For self expression- being able to collect ideas and quotes that are meaningful to your life, and then turn around and share those with others, is truly liberating for some reason.

-For the community- It's amazing how many other people share your ideals, taste, and humor. 

-For the Story Boards-  As a writer, I find this to be the most useful way to collect and sort visual inspiration for each one of my works in progress.  Prior to creating my story boards, it was difficult to display the different images in one place.  Now I can browse my research and take in settings, clothing, moods, structures, buildings, food..etc   It is absolutely perfect for a visualist, like myself.

If you are interested, click on the link to request an invite,

http://pinterest.com/

or if you already Pin, here is a link to mine:

http://pinterest.com/hollyboland/

Hope to see ya around the Pinning world!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Great quotes

Whenever you get discouraged; it's important to stay positive.  It will happen.  So...I'm sharing some great quotes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What a way to ring in the New Year...

I give you ... The Trojan

Up until recently, I mistakenly referred to this nasty little bugger as a virus.  Well, it's not.  It's much worse.  A virus can be detected by your antiviral software.  A Trojan is similar in nature to a simple download…ie, your computer doesn't recognize the difference between downloading a Trojan and downloading music.  However, the look of a Trojan is much more clever.
 
A square will pop up in the lower right hand corner of your computer, telling you there are multiple infections and to click the link to update your security settings.  If you see this, for Heaven sake's, DON'T click anywhere on that box.  Not even to x out!  Clicking one sliver of this box, will enable the Trojan to download software onto your computer, thus seizing your ability to adjust firewall settings, block viruses, or spy ware. 


They offer an upgrade to your security program and then a window pops up asking which protection package you would like to purchase.  They are creating a huge problem and then offering the only solution possible as you can not access any other part of your computer.  Don’t click the box.  I repeat, don't click the box!

Instead, shut your computer down immediately, or use the control, alt, delete, to activate your task manager and end the program from there.  Had I known about this little piece of knowledge a week ago, I could have averted disaster, instead, my laptop went in to the shop. 

If I have learned anything from this little experience, it is this:  I will be buying an external hard drive this week!  AND…backing up my computer daily!