Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hibernating

Happy holidays, everyone! I'm peeking my head out of my writing cave to wish you all the joyful well wishes and luck for the new year!

I've been working on major revisions of my book. My agent and I have been kicking my book's butt in a big way and the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of phone conferences, e-mailing new pages and brainstorming ideas to make my book super fabulous. We're in the home stretch and hope to start subbing in early January.

I'm going to continue to be in blog hibernation while I make these changes, but I'll be back at the start of the new year and resolution number one will be to get back to my blogging routine. I miss you all so!

Right now I'm writing on the couch in my new family room. I have the fire going in front of me...


And if I look to the left, I can see our Christmas tree in the living room...


It's the perfect place to get some revisions done on a snowy winter night! Now please excuse me, I have some MAJOR writing to do!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Literary Time Waster

The LA Times reported a new word data base that Google has come up with called Book Ngram Viewer.

Basically, you can type in words and see how the trends of when they appeared in books. You can look at words that were popular during different time periods or how the choice of what word to use changed throughout the centuries.

Google draws the information from a database of more than 5.2 million books, so you get a pretty accurate response. You can click on the graphs and see the specific books that the words were used in.

I'm not quite sure why this would be useful to me, but I did waste a lot of time looking at when the word "canary" was popular and how it was used. I took a few other words from my book too. There's nothing like finding new ways to procrastinate from revisions!

Give it a shot and let me know what words you searched for to waste time on this web page!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lots O'Books

Hey, hey....I'm back, although just briefly. I've been writing down my good reading but not blogging it. Since it's almost the end of the year, I wanted to get all my books down to keep track. I've read some AMAZING books during the last two months.


I thought about putting them in order of how much I like them, but then I realized they were all fantastic.


Which of these books have you read or want to read? Share your thoughts!


Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro) 304 pages

Room (Emma Donoghue) 336 pages


The Duff (Kody Keplinger) 288 pages


You (Charles Benoit) 240 pages


The Mockingbirds (Daisy Whitney) 353 pages


How to Say Goodbye in Robot (Natalie Standiford) 288 pages


The Summer I Turned Pretty (Jenny Han) 304 pages


It's Not Summer Without You (Jenny Han) 288 pages


Revolution (Jennifer Donnelly) 496 pages


Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters (Natalie Standiford) 320 pages

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Is What Scares Me

I had a power talk with my agent yesterday, and she has a few more revisions that she wants me to make before we go back on submission. It's not a problem at all because we brainstormed some pretty awesome ideas and I'm looking forward to seeing how it improves the book. They were epiphany types ideas that make you hit your head with your palm and say "duh! Why didn't we think of this sooner?"

That's not what scares me.

What scares me is all the times that I've finished my edits and think my book is ready.

And then it's not.

I have done a lot of revisions, many of them after others have read my book. Betas, agents I first queried, my agent, even editors, will come back with comments. Usually these comments are kick ass and make my book better.

That's what scares me.

The idea that I keep thinking my book is strong and then realizing that there are ways to make it better. Often ways to make it a lot better.

It's scary.

Because in between these edits, I've put my book out there thinking it's the best that it can be. I've sent it to agents in the beginning and editors after I signed with my agent. I've sent out what I thought was my strongest draft.

And then I realize it's not.

So as I'm making revisions again, I must admit that I'm scared. I will make these revisions with the thought that these are the ones that make my book the best it can be, the strongest draft I can send out there, but in my mind, I'll wonder if it really is.

How do you ever know that your book is ready?

Do you ever know?

Does this ever scare you too?

Also, if you want an honest look at the submission process (one full of the fears and ups and downs), Natalie Whipple wrote a great post here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nervous

A lot of you know that my agent and I took a break after our first round of submissions for CANARY. I've been working on revisions since late August (uhm, yeah...that makes it sound like I had a lot of revisions to do! Not really, just a full time job and revisions and moving and wedding planning...phew!).

Anyways, the revisions are done and I sent the new draft to my agent about three weeks ago. We're having a phone conference today to talk about the book and our next round of submissions. I'm excited but nervous too. I'm hoping she likes my changes and that this round of submissions brings some very exciting news!

I'll keep you posted on her feedback and whether we're ready to submit again. In the meantime, what makes you nervous about your writing?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leo + Gatsby = Best Ever

This is now old news, but I haven't done my fan girl scream about it yet.

Baz Lurhmann is directing The Great Gatsby.

You know, Baz Lurhmann who directed Romeo and Juliet...one of the best movies ever made (partly because he cast Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, who together are awesome). I look forward to showing it every year to my freshmen when we finish reading the play. I was obsessed with the movie in high school (to the point where my friends and I tried to find t Claire Dane's dress from the costume party scene for prom....which my one friend did!).

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books in the world. I read it almost every year and when my main squeeze and I first started dating, he read it too because I told him about how much I liked it. That's when I knew that he was special...any man willing to read Gatsby for a girl has to be the bomb diggity.

So far Leonardo has been cast for Jay Gatsby (squee!), Tobey McGuire for Nick and Carrie Mulligan for Daisy (both I think are a great choices). Although I must say, I don't know if anyone will ever top Robert Redford.

People are speculating about Tom, Jordan and Myrtle, and I have my choices. I think Ryan Gosling would be perfect for Tom, Natalie Portman for Jordan and Scarlett Johansson for Mrytle (if you want to go with big name actresses).

What do you think? Who would you cast? Are you as excited as me?????

We still have to wait over two years for the movie, so how about the trailer from R and J to remind you of how brilliant Lurhmann is?