OK, I didn't really forget Friday Five but I'm visiting family this weekend & every time I thought about posting, I was out. So here's a Saturday Six: Characters from TTOB
1) First up, the main character & one of the narrators: Arion Rapson. I have two people in mind when I think of Arion. The very first is Charlie Hunnam in Nicholas Nickleby. I remember watching the trailer in the theater with my mouth hanging open because it was the first time I'd ever seen anyone who reminded me of my characters. So, here's that image:
The second is Matt Czuchry who played Logan Huntzberger in Gilmore Girls. Logan was a very Arion-esque character.
2) Next, the second narrator, Isis Hazelwood. I always picture her like as Danielle Panabaker.
3) I think Chelsea Staub would make an excellent Celestia:
4) This image of Clive Owen is so perfectly Mordecai that it's a little crazy:
5) Marius somewhat eludes me. I've seen him alternately as Chris Pine:
(I love putting the above image & the Matt Czhuchry image beside each other because they really look like they could be brothers in these)
Or Daniel Radcliffe:
Or lately Darren Criss:
6) And of course, we must have Connor... (a.k.a. Josh Jackson)
Do any of you have Pinterest boards for your stories? Please share! I love following other writers on Pinterest & seeing what's in their heads ;-)
In an effort to remember to blog more, I'll be attempting to do weekly Friday Fives as a wrap-up... We'll see how that goes!
1) This past weekend, Hubby & I decided to make and freeze meals, as we frequently wind up eating cereal or popcorn for dinner since neither of us want to cook much during the week. We put away six freezer bag crock pot meals (which we get 2 nights of meals out of, each), a bunch of servings of Pasticchio and Mac & Cheese and seven jars of homemade Alfredo sauce. So far, it's working out very well and I'm hoping to put away more soon! A day of work for a month's worth of easy meal prep? Yes, please!
2) Today I decided to try a cold-brew iced coffee recipe that should give me a whole pitcher to keep in the fridge! I keep anxiously checking on it because I want it Right Now! But I have to wait until tonight to strain out the coffee grounds. *sigh* But I'm Very Excited to try it tomorrow!
3) Yesterday I wound up with over 2000 words! *happy dance of joy* I'm realizing I really do have to write in scene pieces when I'm stuck-- forcing my way through the same section for the billionth time in a row just makes me irritated.
4) I've come to seriously depend on Pinterest, pinning everything from 1820s clothing (TTOB) to the Wikipedia page for Saffron (Darlington) to the above cold-brew coffee recipe. If you haven't gotten an account yet, do it! It's highly addictive but can be, IMHO, also very helpful.
5) I'm setting up an Enneagram-based character-writing workshop, which will be held in the Frederick, MD area in early November. Please see the FB note if you're interested & would like to be added to the mailing list for more details.
I swear, I didn't mean to disappear off the planet after my last post, but apparently that's what I did. Sorry!
I've been feeling "off" the last couple weeks-- that "not-quite-sick-but-not-OK" exhaustion/sore throat/headache ickness. Since my blood work came back normal, I'm treating it like an annoyingly long & mild cold. What does this have to do with my writing blog?
Well, mostly that I haven't had the energy to post anything, nor the brain power to say anything even remotely coherent, but I didn't want to keep ignoring the blog! So here's a list of things going on with me, each hopefully short enough to make sense:
1) Revision has seriously turned into REvisioning on TTOB. It's a fun challenge, taking these characters I know so well & dropping them in new situations. Or at least, I assume it will be more fun once I actually get more writing done-- I've been plotting lately.
2) Speaking of plotting, I've been reading my copies of the Save the Cat! books and using the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet for determining plotting/pacing issues. It's really helped me figure out where my story is bloated (*coff* second half of act 2 *coff*) & where I have more room to play than I thought. I've still got a very high aversion to pre-writing outlining (mostly because it gets me nowhere but frustrated), but for me, as a post-completed-draft tool, the beat sheet is wonderful.
3) My in-progress/TBR pile is very blue/black right now (meaning the cover colors). I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and reading The Grimm Legacy by Polly Schulmann (love it!). On the TBR side there's Bitterblue, City of Lost Souls and Kiera Cass's The Selection. I got to meet Kiera a couple weeks ago & she's so super-sweet & nice! Also, apparently I've been living within like, 10 miles of another YA writer for years & didn't know it, since she lives in the town where I work! So I can't wait to dig into her book as soon as my brain stops being mush so I can read at a normal pace again! :)
4) I'm nearly at the end of the available episodes of both the original Law & Order and Midsomer Murders on Netflix instant watch. So sad! What other good detective/crime shows do y'all recommend? I already watch Bones, The Finder, Castle, Murder She Wrote, Psych, White Collar, Lie to Me, Monk & Sherlock. So... Let's just say I'm well-versed in TV crime shows, but I love recs from people! Bring 'em on!
5) I've found with the brain-mush lately that I need a better way of keeping my day organized. Random scrap-paper to-do lists aren't quite cutting it, so I was hoping someone might have a recommendation for me of some sort of daily scheduler? I'm not one who usually likes things like that, but I've found the older I get, the more I need something to keep me in line or I'll just play on Pinterest all day & forget what I meant to do! So, any thoughts?
How's Friday going for all of you???
First of July Friday Five:
1) I'm SO SORRY I only blogged once in June. I honestly have no idea how that happened other than:
a) Super-Busy Time at Day Job (catalog is at the printer's though, yay!)
b) Mid-June Craziness: Dad's Birthday/Father's Day + ChLA Conference = 'zhausted writer
c) Learning I do not have carpel tunnel. Yay! But I might have a pinched nerve. Or something else. They don't know yet. My next specialist appointment? In September. *headdesk* Moving on!
2) There was something else... Oh, right. That whole REVISION thing. That's still happening. I'm sure I'm closer to the end than I think I am. Right now it feels like it will never, ever end. But I can tell the story is getting better. Er, mostly I can tell. I still sometimes need reassurances from the ever-wonderful Jess, but so far she's given the thumbs' up. So if I trust her-- and I do-- I can say "It's getting better." But it's still not done.
3) I really, really, really, super-very-much want to be first drafting right now. I'm quite worried about poor Marna. And Remi's been hanging around, so I kinda want to pick up the Cinderella book & see where that takes me, too-- though that one's not as urgent. And then there's my revision of THE TIES OF BLOOD that I want to work on, too, cause I really can't go more than a couple weeks without those characters. Yeah. Gen needs to hurry up. (Heh, yeah, I like to blame my characters. But we all know who's in charge of finishing the revision. *grumble*)
4) I'm getting SO excited for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI Event in two weeks! Looking forward to seeing Jess, meeting Caroline and getting to see amieroserotruck again, especially since I just saw her last weekend at ChLA! *dances*
5) Also looking forward to the end-of-the-month visit from Ms. Spotswood! She's headed to SW VA to hang out & write with me & tltrent for a few days. Hmmm... Guess this means I should clean off the bed for her at some point. ;-)
So yeah, busy summer continues! Hopefully I will be checking back in with y'all more, but if not, refer to this post & you'll probably know what I'm doing :)
1) I'm still revising. As far as I can tell, this is a good thing. Of course, I've also been head-first into this book for so long that I really have no clue. But it's vaguely painful, so I assume it's good. ;-)
2) Starting Memorial Day weekend, this summer is going to be busy. And by summer, I really mean until after my sister's wedding, at the end of October. o_O But a lot of it is Fun Writerly Stuff and Fun Wedding Stuff, so I'm excited, if slightly terrified by all the running aroundness.
3) My cousin (who is like a brother to me) and his girlfriend graduated from MICA this past Monday and I am super-proud of them! They're both so talented, and I'm always amazed at their work. (I think I link to John's blog on my side-bar, if anyone's interested.)
4) I have an inbox full of Awesome Stuff To Read/Critique. This makes me super-squeeful.
5) You should all give a round of applause to the marvelous Jessica Spotswood for hitting her BORN WICKED deadline(s). She's like a writing superhero! You all have February 2012 marked on your calendars, right? You're gonna want this book.
1) I'm in the revision cave ATM. Mostly small things now, a few places where I'm chucking paragraphs in favor of something cleaner, but mainly combing through those little words & phrases that don't really work but somehow make it through multiple drafts because they're not The Big Issue. (Until now, when they are!)
2) I've been watching a lot of "My Name is Earl" on Netflix recently. I thought my dad was crazy when he was watching it years ago, but apparently he wasn't. It really is a good show. (He's usually right about things-- don't tell him I said that.)
3) Reese's Cup Minis are possibly the best candy ever. Well, after Anderson's Candies Chocolate Covered Pretzels, but hey, that's a pretty high bar.
4) I'm in love with my tiny purple space heater.
5) One of these days I will have time to read again, I swear. I miss books :-(
1) Apparently a lot of people are talking about process this week! Just caught this post from the fantastic A. Lee Martinez, and I totally agree-- keep it simple! Over-thinking usually gets me in trouble.
2) I've also been thinking about names a lot lately-- playing with a new WIP and, while my MCs showed up with names, the side-characters, not so much. *sigh* So I went to my fall-back naming sites, Behind the Name and The Social Security Administration and I've come to the conclusion that naming boys is hard. The female bff? Easy-peasy. One of the guys? ARGH. I apparently know at least one guy with every name on the normal end of the spectrum. Some of them I don't mind using-- obviously I've known a number of Davids in my life-- because I wasn't particularly close to anyone with that name. But a good number are totally off-limits for various reasons. So, anyone know a good name for a "boyfriend who doesn't remain the boyfriend" character?
3) I just got the first two discs of The Vampire Diaries from Netflix. Seriously tempted to stop working for the day & watch Evil Damon be Evil.
4) Also tempted to stop working for the day and read. I started Twenty Boy Summer (Sarah Ockler) last night and you guys-- if you haven't read it yet, go buy it & start reading. There's a great blurb on the front from Jo Knowles: "Breaks your heart and puts it back together again" and Jo, this better be true, because I'm on chapter seven and every page is just making me ache-- but it's so real, so fabulous, you won't believe the willpower it's taking me not to just snatch it up and skive off the rest of the day.
5) Speaking of heartbreaking, anyone heard Taylor Swift's newest single, Back to December? I definitely rate this one up there with Breathe as hardest to listen to (though really, Breathe will probably always top that list for me). And yet I can't stop listening to it... I think she puts some sort of addictive additive into her songs.
So what are you watching/reading now? Any totally addictive songs I should add to my iTunes wishlist?
1) I still don't understand this whole pre-writing "plotting books" thing. However, I've been pointed to a few plotting methods in the last few weeks that I'm trying out on revisions/planned latter-in-series books and so far it seems to be a nice little roadmap. So while I'm still a pantser when it comes to new stories, I think I like this whole "knowing where I'm going" thing for later books ;-)
2) On a related note, I'm totally psyched to write the third book in Arion's trilogy now. Yes, I realize I need to revise book 1 and at least draft book 2 first. Still excited.
3) Fab CP Jess posted about her fashion dealmakers today & I love them! So cute. This reminded me that I planned to do a little shopping this weekend, so tomorrow I will hopefully have some cuteness, too!
4) Chatted with the bff b today for like, 2 1/2 hours (maybe a wee bit more). Always good-- talked books, aminals, hubbys and more. Probably could have been longer conversation, but her phone was dying on her. And we both had to eat. ;-)
5) And finally... I'm going to the SCBWI Winter Conference January 28-30! I'm super-excited. Like, have already started to plan what to pack excited. (Yes, I realize this probably makes me a total dork.) Not only will it be So Much Fun (I went in 2008-- it was So Much Fun!) but I also have two fantabulous roommates, Tiffany Trent and Jess! *flails with glee* And I'm doing the writer's intensive on Friday, which is super-exciting and panic-inducing at the same time.
Anyone else going? *bounces*
1) I am not at ALA. *sigh* I really wanted to go, but Hubby's birthday is this weekend, and saying "sorry, hon, I'm leaving you for the weekend and bringing home more books" just didn't seem like a fantastic birthday present. But if anyone sees Amie Rose Rotruck, Melissa Adams, Hillary Homzie, Alexandria LaFaye or Jessica Spotswood there, say hi from me! :)
2) Speaking of Jess, I don't think I've mentioned just how fab my new crit partner is, but she totally is. I've read The Other Side of the Forest, which I love-love-love, and part of the novel she's working on now (add another "love" to how I feel abt her other MS & that's how much I love this one!), and WOW. She writes stories that stick in my head for days (and with all the other crap that's swirling in there, trust me, that's not as easy as it sounds!). Plus she's a fabulous critiquer, loves to talk shop and has pink streaks in her hair. :) If you aren't already her friend on LJ, you can find her at jessica_shea.
3) I am a wee bit obsessed with Sonny With a Chance. Yes, it's a Disney Channel show. No, I am not at all ashamed by this. It's so cute & funny & fun, and it always cheers me up. And I might have gotten the bff, b, hooked on it, too. ;-) If you have Netflix, it's on Instant Watch.
4) I think I've figured out how to fill in the plot hole in Gen's story. At least, mostly. I've still got a few questions that I'm not sure I've got answers for, but they're working out. Now if I can just figure out how to get from where I am now to the next big section, I'll be happy. I need one big thing that does [redacted] to happen-- I just don't know what that big thing is yet.
5) I'm still looking for blog topic requests here. It doesn't really have to be a "how-to", that was just my original idea for postings. But really, any ideas are good or I'll just ramble about my characters. I am going to try and do some friend-locked "Teaser Tuesdays" the rest of the summer, so topics for other days will be much appreciated :)
1) I've decided to let the "boys in the basement*" work on the plot-hole issue. They just better work fast, cause I have a lot of words that need written this weekend!
2) Also on the trail of the elusive plot-hole-filler is my bff. I sent her an email this morning with all the pieces of Gen's story that she didn't have yet and a note that said "Let me know when you're done reading so you can tell me what I'm thinking." She's kinda like my Pensieve. :)
3) I'm current trying to edit, synopsis-write, write a first draft and critique... My brain's jumping all over the place. I'll be happy when I'm only worrying about query letters and a first draft, cause all these very different projects are stretching me a little thin, brain-wise.
4) I think I mentioned on here that I've had a craptastic cold lately (which is why all #3's work is piling up on me right now). I got it two weeks ago and I'm still coughing & my singing voice hasn't entirely returned to normal functionality (I'm incapable of driving w/o singing, so this is def. a problem). It's the cough that's really bugging me right now, though, because two weeks of it means my jaw is sore & pops every time I open my mouth. It's Very Annoying/Distracting.
5) A request: If anyone sees my ability to concentrate wandering around, could you please send it back my way? Thanks. :)
*I got this term from James Scott Bell's "The Art of War for Writers," which I highly recommend-- I'm fairly certain he got it from King, but I adore this book! I got the digital version from the Writer's Digest store so I carry it with my everywhere on my Reader :)