Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Favorite: Live In The Along

It's Friday and I thought I'd post something that's a favorite of mine. This is a poem I have loved ever since I saw it on a bus poster over ten years ago. It's stuck with me all this time. I hope you love it too.

Speech to the Young : Speech to the Progress-Toward
by Gwendolyn Brooks

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
"Even if you are not ready for day it cannot always be night."
You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

I find myself thinking of the line "Even if you are not ready for day, it cannot always be night" whenver I need a little courage.

Have a happy and SAFE St. Patrick's Day weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Do YOU Count?

Recently I was talking to a fairly prolific writer friend and commented that while she had written two books and edited a third last year, I had only managed on 7k word short. She was horrified. She went on to say how many thousands of words she'd written and deleted in that time and estimated that just those alone would be another full-length novel. And that was when I realized that I count much differently than most writers.

I only count what I consider "finished" and "successful". And so while I revised my first book twice, throwing out the bulk of it and rewriting from scratch, and while I made several starts on my next book, and another 15k or so of figuring out my anthology short, filled a 100 page notebook with detailed plot and character info, not to mention all my Tangled Fiction stories, I only had one thing make it to its intended destination. My 7k anthology short, STILLWATER.

It honestly never occurred to me to consider all the things I wrote that have not yet become something as something I wrote, LOL. But now I'm starting to wonder if I'm not giving myself enough credit. I suppose if I were to put it all together, I actually did write over 100k in 2011. I just never thought of it that way. Maybe I should, since each word I write, makes me a better writer. And looking at it the way I have been makes me feel more like an underachiever.

So I ask you, how do you count? And does it matter to you how much writing you've done? No matter where it goes? (Or doesn't go?) I'm really curious!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DEFY THE DARK News! Get Published!

Back in January I announced that I was going to be published(!) alongside some of my MOST FAVORITE authors in the HarperTeen anthology DEFY THE DARK, edited by Saundra Mitchell but I couldn't tell you who they all were. Well today I can spill the beans. And what's more, I can also share with you the exciting contest that could make YOU the eighteenth author!

So, first things first, here are the authors appearing in DEFY THE DARK:

  • Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Tessa Gratton
  • Rachel Hawkins
  • Christine Johnson
  • Valerie Kemp (eee!)
  • Malinda Lo
  • Myra McEntire
  • Saundra Mitchell
  • Sarah Ockler
  • Jackson Pearce
  • Aprilynne Pike
  • Dia Reeves
  • Beth Revis
  • Carrie Ryan
  • Jon Skovron
  • Courtney Summers

So you see why my head basically exploded when I found out.

BUT that's not even the best part, because HarperTeen and Figment have teamed up to hold a contest to find one more story for the anthology. That's right. YOU could have YOUR STORY published alongside those AWESOME WRITERS! The details aren't all out yet on just how the contest will work, but you can sign up here at Figment to be notified the moment they're released.

You can also learn more about the DEFY THE DARK, the writers, and see sneak peeks of their stories at the newly launched DEFY THE DARK website. The sneak peek at my story, STILLWATER is here, you know, if you're interested.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sh*t Writers Say - The Retreat Version

Always wondered what happens when eleven YA writers hole up on a mountain with no internet? They make videos. About writers. And the things they say (and sometimes the things they wish they could say!)

I said there'd be video of our escapades in Asheville, and here it is. Shot and edited by the fabulous Jackson Pearce. (You should check out all her videos. Just sayin'.)

Featuring - in order of first (spoken) appearance:
Brenna Yovanoff
Victoria Schwab
Saundra Mitchell
Natalie C Parker
Jackson Pearce
Beth Revis
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Myra McEntire
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd

Monday, March 5, 2012

Revitalized! (A Retreat in Photos)

So I'm back from a glorious, internet-free writer's retreat. I spent last week in the mountains of North Carolina with some of my very favorite people. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: There is nothing better for a writer than spending time with other writers. Seriously.

Aside from the sheer relaxation of being away from home and normal responsibilities, I left this year's retreat inspired and motivated. I would say there was as much writing talk (both business and mechanics) as there was silliness, and that makes for an awesome time.

I got to (finally!) work out the starting place and emotional core of my novel, and have dance-offs with my Dance-Partner-for-Life, Myra McEntire. I got to learn how other writers push through the doubt and keep writing, and hike up a gorgeous mountain (and um, nearly die because apparently, I'm that out of shape.) I got to totally make a fool of myself by getting tongue-tied when the even-more-awesome-in-person Stephanie Perkins stopped by with 2013 debut author Megan Shepherd.

I highly recommend finding yourself a crit partner like my very own Natalie C Parker who finds planning epic retreats relaxing. (No, you can't have her.)

I'm sure it won't be long before you see some video evidence of our escapades, but until then, here's a little photo story of the week that was.

The food.

The turret.

The turret view.

Hanging out. (Photo totally stolen from Sonia Gensler.)

The strange brew.

The signing at Malaprops. (From left: Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan, Jackson Pearce, Myra McEntire, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Brenna Yovanoff, Tessa Gratton, Victoria Schwab)
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