Monday, February 28, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Each year, at the start of a new semester, I give my students an information sheet. On it, they answer a plethora of questions from their birthday to their math homework habit to—uh-huh—their favorite book. Three years ago one of my students listed The Perks of Being a Wallflower as hers. The next year one of my juniors dubbed it as his. And each time it popped up on an info sheet, I was intrigued. I mean, really. What are the perks of being a wallflower?

Four weeks ago, another student listed it as her favorite book.

So I asked her if she had a copy.

She brought it to me one fine sunny Wednesday. (ahem - the perks of being a teacher)

I sat down to read it Thursday.

I finished it Friday.

I closed the book and sat in stunned silence.

And then I decided to wait two weeks to write this post to spare you from my DUFF reaction—ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh.

Yep—that good.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an MTV publication which makes it a little hard to find in your average B & N. Meaning if you want to read it, you’ll have to visit Amazon or Half.com. Or be like me and borrow it from someone you know. It’s almost like it’s one of those underground publications—EVEN MORE INTRIGUING. And it was written by Stephen Chbosky—uh, he wrote the screenplay for Rent. Even better.

It’s an epistolic tale, told by the main character Charlie through a series of letters he writes to an unnamed “friend.” The letters chronicle his freshman year of high school—new friends, his first crush, his relationship with his family, and his experimentation with sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Gotcha hooked yet?

At fifteen, Charlie is incredibly thoughtful and observant—aka—a wallflower. He’s honest and sincere, just so genuinely frank about the people he sees and his thoughts about them. His family’s fairly put together. Mom doesn’t say much. Dad doesn’t show much emotion. Older brother plays football at Penn State. Older sister’s a senior at his new school. Their interactions remind me of my own family. Not perfect. But not reeking of dysfunction either. Yet Charlie suffers depression. Has for a while.

As Charlie enters high school, he’s dealing with the recent suicide of his best friend and a perpetual feeling of guilt regarding the death of his favorite aunt. This leaves him at times uncontrollably crying, other times violent, and yet other times experiencing periods of frightening stoicism—a boy many perceive as a depressed and emotional basket case—a freak. Within weeks he befriends seniors Patrick and Samantha (Sam), and they introduce him to their liberal and hard-core ways, a world in which he learns to do more than “sit on the sidelines.” He becomes what his English teacher encourages him to do—become a participant. Charlie makes friends, indulges a wild side, and falls in love. Yet at times, he still remains very much a wallflower.

Here’s just a little of Charlie’s wallflower observations and reflections…

It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.

I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.

And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t.

Or my favorite

Maybe these days are my glory days and I’m not even realizing it because they don’t involve a ball.

Charlie observes people and feels very deeply for the experiences occurring around him. He reminds me of E.T. He almost takes on everyone else’s issues like they were his own. And through their experiences, Charlie wonders how things will end up. How that girl’s going to turn out after he watched her almost get raped by her boyfriend. He wonders if that four-year old who’s screaming at his mother about his French fries is going to end up abusing someone like his sister. And while appreciating and trying to understand those around him, he comes to appreciate who he is. And understand why he is the person he’s come to be.

I read the book with a wallflower experience that paralleled Charlie’s walk through his first year of high school. I laughed with his "highs," and cried when he hit the lows. Many times, I wanted to just reach through the pages of the book and give him a freaking hug. And just as Charlie learned a lot from his observations, I learned a lot from him too. Being a wallflower does have its perks. We can look at the people around us and appreciate them. We don’t know what their lives are like. We don’t know what pain they endure. And so we should not judge. But appreciate.

So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.

Live in the moment.

Observe. Feel. Particpate.

And in those moments, just like Charlie, we can be “infinite.”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Awards and Contests and Conferences... Oh My!



My new crusader friend and critiquer extraordinaire, Michelle Merrill, awarded me a stylish blogger award. I was honored. And a little surprised. I haven't exactly blinged-up my site since, well... never. Oh - and I won a critique in one of her contests - which she got back to me the next day. Yeah... she's amazing.

So, yay! I'm a stylish blogger. I have to tell you seven things about me and pay the award forward to some new and fabulous blogs I'm following.

Seven things about me...

1) I have a cat named Cosmo (even though I'm super-duper allergic to him)

2) My fave food is sushi

3) When I went to college, I studied vegetarianism. I've been red-meat free ever since.

4) My favorite vacay spot is Disney World - and I experience the magic every year... in April... with a hundred some high school seniors (aka I chaperone their senior trip - PS - totes amazeballs!)

5) In high school my life aspiration was to marry Harrison Ford. Yeah, I'm pretty much a Calista Flockhart hater.

6) I could watch The Breakfast Club every day.

7) Theatre's one of my passions. I performed in various musicals and plays in the past thirty some years including The Mousetrap, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (yes - I really did just put those two in the same sentence)


And now to pay it forward! Check out these cool blogs!

1) Ciara Knight

2) Amanda Milner

3) Chantele Sedgwick

4) Christine Bryant

5) Tessa Quinn

6) Patricia A. Timms

7) Sari Webb

8) Susan Fields

9) Jennifer Hendren

10) Quinn

11)Regina Linton

12)Christine Danek

13)Devin Bond

I don't think I was supposed to do that many, but I got carried away. Hee.

And some contests!

In my recent blog journeys, I've stumbled across some cool contests... check them out!

Show Your Love LDStorymakers Contest (runs through February 28th) - you could win a 30-page manuscript review from agent Sara Megibow

Win a copy of Kirstin Hubbard's Like Mandarin

Beth Revis (author of Across the Universe) teamed up with YA authors Elana Johnson and Shannon Messenger to give away ten SIGNED copies of The Liar Society



Hope Junkie is giving away four really cool books on her blog

And for fellow writers with a novel ready to query, the Backspace Conference contest is back. You can win a free registration to the Backspace Conference in New York in May. Check it out here

I've seen a lot more, but I'll stop there. If you're hosting a contest, feel free to put a link in the comments. I'll check it out.

Finally... conferences!

There's always a fab writing conference going on and always a mils I want to attend. But I am attending the Maryland SCBWI regional in March. Why am I driving six hours for a one-day affair?

Simple

a) I get to spend the weekend with my writing BFF, the uber-fabulous Ricki Schultz

b) A day of writing workshops and panels. (um... need I say more)

c) Rosemary Stimola. As in Suzanne Collins' agent. As in The Hunger Games author's agent. She'll be speaking. Can't wait.

Whew. So - any conferences or contests YOU'RE stoked about?!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Want It All! What Do You Mean I Can't Have It?!


Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


This Week's Topic is super interactive:

What do you want to know about writing and getting published?





I don't know if my question is specifically about your writing, fellow bloggers, but it pertains to my writing world. Here goes...

Many writers hold down full-time jobs, many have children, husbands, a gazillion things going on... in other words, we all have busy, busy lives. How do YOU juggle? How do you stay true to your family, work, do everything else you need to do, yet still find time to write?

This is something I've been struggling with lately (have you seen my last couple of posts?!). Usually I'm fantabs at keeping a to-do list, keeping it reasonable, and checking most of it off by day's end. Lately, there's been a lot going on. I want to be a good parent. I want to be a good teacher. I want to be there for my family, my friends, my writing peeps, my dance friends... and usually the first thing to migrate to the back burner - the writing. I know it's a storm we all weather. I also know it will pass. But when writing is the sanity to my daily craze, well, I guess you can imagine I've been experiencing the perpetual funk lately.

So how do you do it, fellow writers? How do you juggle life and still manage to have it all?

PS - the other day I posted my first crusader challenge (hehe). The lie - I do have OCD, but I wear black EVERY day - it's not OCD dictated. Thanks for participating!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Me Nobody Knows



Crusader Challenge #1!!!



Most of you know I recently embarked on a writers crusade and this week we have our first challenge. I have to tell you about me! Aren’t you lucky?!

So here I am, summed up in 224.


The Me Nobody Knows

Shyest in my high school class
Chinese symbols center the small of my back
Tattoos are my addiction.
This is the me nobody knows.

My editing Nazi causes perfectionist review
Emails, texts and tweets—spelling error free
My OCD dictates I wear black on Mondays
Prayer is my rabbit’s foot.
My quirks and habits
The me some people know

Dancing, writing, teaching, parenting
When I’m passionate—I dive heart first
Relentless in my pursuits
Striving despite rejection’s jagged blade
I work beyond hurt
This is my best trait
The me those close to me know

I have favorite things: York Peppermint Patties, Eeyore, a book at the beach
But I’d rather you know my favorite people
My snarky tween whose smile melts my heart
My sweet, sweet first-grader, inducing tornados in his wake
My husband—his love and support my safe haven
They complete me
The me I want you to know

I do not waddle through life in fuliguline fashion
Rather I soar at astronomical speeds
Some days I wish I could pause. Others I’d like to rewind.
Too many missed moments.
This is the me and probably the you—we all know

So my blogging friends, new and old
I hope I did not bloviate
My quirks, secrets, traits, and more
This is the me you now know

PS—I may have revealed something about me that isn’t strictly true, can you guess what it is? (I’ll let you know in my next post!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Insanity Update: #252

This post is to all my new crusaders and fellow bloggers and well, okay - it's for everyone.

I joined this really cool crusade last week and here's why it's totally fantabulous: I am meeting a lot of really neat aspiring authors! And I find that when I stop by I want to read their posts (sometimes more than one), and then sometimes I find myself leaving these really long comments and then fifteen minutes later I realize I've only visited one blog on my list of 200.

And so if I haven't visited you yet, please forgive me. I'm getting there. I'm just seriously having too much fun in the process. :)

Other things on my weekend plate:

Finish reading House Rules for my book club

Write a review on this totally amazeballs book I finished, um... over a week ago.

FIX THE FRONT END OF MY NOVEL!!! (sorry, peeps - this one's taking priority)

Step up to my first Crusader challenge (PS - very excited)

Vacuum (ugh)

Grade papers (Thank goodness Monday's a teacher workday)






I guess I should just jump all over that to-do list.

Bu-ut...

it's, like, seventy degrees and beautimous in North Carolina.

Hmmmm.

So, the Queen of Procrastination is issuing a formal proclamation:

I'm ignoring everything for a few hours (will pay for me-created insanity later) and going OUTSIDE. I might wash my car. I will probably take a walk. I may read. Play soccer with my children. But I'm def going out to enjoy the winter reprieve.

And if it's nice where you are, I think you should procrastinate too! Time is fleeting. Enjoy life's little pleasures while you can. My to-do list can wait a few hours. How about yours? What can YOU procrastinate today?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Name That Book!



Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.






This Week's Topic:

How do you pick your titles?

Easy. Peasy.

I just pull up the TV Guide, do a quick eeny-meeny and voila - new book title. My first project about superheroes I dubbed "Champions League" and my most recent paranormal - "Devil's Night"

Those who've actually read those manuscripts might actually believe they could work (PS - really did just do a quick flip through this week's programming), but yeah.... no. My quest for a title is labor intensive. Or should I say thought intensive.

Acutally, up until a month ago, I was least stressed about picking a title. I was more worried about my novel as a whole, my query, and (ugh) the synopsis. Don't get me wrong - I chose one I somewhat sort of liked, but my adage has always been "Why stress about it when someone could change it with a quick swipe of the keys?"

And then I read Save the Cat.

Boy, was I wrong.

Choosing a title (a KILLER title) ranks right up there with formulating an amazeballs logline. Something that completely NAILS the concept of the book. Yeah. I've been killing myself for that killer title for the past month. And I think I've narrowed the playing field to three. Yay! Three is totally better than the vomit-worthy one I had for, like, ever.

Andheyyeah - I was about to share with my critique partners and writing group TONIGHT. So the timing of this particular RTW - eerily perfect.

Just FYI - I have three other projects I'm playing around with and two of the titles smacked me in the head before the premise did. The third one I think I'll have to beat out first.

So... if you're a writer, how do YOU pick your titles?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time Warp, Please.



To say life is a little crazy lately is to say Justin Bieber sings a little like a girl. Between teaching, grading papers, prepping two kids for school, trying to be a somewhat good wife, cleaning (what's that?!), blogging, blog reading, writing, revising, querying, reading, critiquing, tutoring,... Yeah, alright - you get it. I'm busy. But who isn't these days?





Andbutso a while back I did this post on making time for EVERYTHING. Lately I've felt the need to revisit. And tweak it.

Here 'tis...


To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose during the school year…

A time to play Legos and a time to put on SpongeBobICarlyWizards while I fix dinner breathe.

A time to drive fifteen minutes to work and a time to hash out that murky part of my novel while driving

A time to hang out with my husband and a time to praise Ducks (his hangout after a soccer game) so I have a night to write

A time to exercise and a time to take the kids to McDonalds

A time to praise God for my mother—totally would be a full-time SAHM without her

A time to renew my National Board Certification and a time to commiserate about the process with old friends

A time for a three-hour catch-up chat with the wri-be-fri and a time to feel completely rejuvenated and confident about writing

A time to thank God for eve-ry-thing and a time to implore Him for an agent

A time to do laundry and a time to ignore the dust-bunnies and let my house be condemned

A time to submerge myself in the Twitter-verse and the Blog-o-sphere and a time to turn off the Internet and play with my imaginary friends

A time for just one more school-oriented meeting and a time for me to outline the next five chapters during said meetings (SHHHH)

A time to Facebook while sitting in my son’s doorway—waiting for him to go to sleep

A time to grade papers and a time to procrastinate them just one more day

A time to be a wallflower with my online writing group and a time to feel I'm not going it alone

A time to write and write and write (even if the clock’s struck two-ish) and a time to hit the sheets before midnight because I have to teach complex fractions the next day

A time to fret about my daughter being in middle school and a time to play Barbies because if I blink she might just have graduated high school

A time to have a beer. Or two. Or eight. (Haha—just kidding. Maybe.)

A time to plan a fabulous new activity for Algebra II and a time to scrap it when your ninety minutes gets shortened to sixty for an impromptu fire drill and surprise survey

A time to watch my husband’s soccer team play and a time to catch up with my long-lost best friend

A time to take my children to soccer or dance or whatever and a time to edit, edit, edit!

A time to read to my children and a time for us to all sit in the same room—engaged in our own silent reading

A time to wait in the orthodontist office and a time to plan lessons finish that one chapter

A time for IEPs and PEPs and NCLB and a time to say screw it and just let me teach

A time to have a date night with my husband—because he definitely deserves my time too

A time to struggle teaching my son to ride a bike and a time to just carry him and relish in the fact that he’s not totally grown

A time to review my critique partners' work and a time to fall in love with so many awesome characters

A time to indulge in tap-u-topia and a time to skip my dance class because I haven’t seen my family in three days

A time for teaching and meetings and tutoring and fundraisers and a time to just ignore everything and close the door on the tanning bed for ten mind-numbing minutes

And a time to write. I don’t care if I have to down five cans of Red Bull, there NEEDS to be a time to write.


SOOOO - what do you make time for?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Angels, Math, and VD

Tomorrow’s V-Day (duh)

And thanks to Kody Keplinger my thoughts of Valentine’s Day will forever be tainted…

I mean, there is a reason its initials are VD. I bet you more people contract syphilis on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year. What a cause for celebration. (Bianca Piper, The DUFF)

Huh.

And just in case I haven’t totally killed Valentine’s Day for you with that one, this is for all you math lovers out there—a Valentine—from me to you.

Solve for i:

9x – 7i > 3(3x – 7u)

And in case you're not a math nerd lover, the solution's near the end of today's post.

An-y-way…

I’M SUPER-DUPER EXCITED ABOUT VALENTINES DAY!!! (um… can you tell?)

Why?

Is it because I get to teach math all day? Or spend the evening with my kids and husband? Or is it because I have tap class tomorrow night?

Well, these things are all fabulous, but uh… no. My enthusiasm stems from a book.

Yep – a book.




Tomorrow ANGEL (Maximum Ride 7)hits the stores and well, it is my all-time favorite. Those of you who stood in line before midnight to see premieres of Twilight or Harry Potter or Star Wars (oh wait—me that was), well… that’s how I am with this book series. Last year, I broke down the doors at B&N to buy the sixth one. This year, as tempted as I am to skip work and read the whole thing in two euphoric hours, I’ve decided to wait until after school, after I tutor, after I spend time with the hubby and kids at dinner, and jet to Sams Club before my tap class. And subsequently be a zombie at work Tuesday because I’m certain I’ll stay up half the night to read it.

In case you’re not a complete Maximum Ride freak like moi, here’s why it gets me more excited than most four-year olds at Christmas...

1) James Patterson wrote it – you know – king of the page-turners

2) High-flying adventures, non-stop action, and a little bit of romance (uh… SOLD!)

3) Maximum Ride – the snarky fourteen-year old protag (um… so inner me) Her voice is one of the main reasons I keep reading.

4) A flock of friends—Fang (her taciturn bff), Iggy (blind but cooks a mean chicken fricassee), Nudge (aka motor-mouth tween), Gazzy (eight-year old bent on living up to his name), and mind-reading (yes – I did say MIND-READING) six-year old Angel.

Here’s how Max describes them and their precarious upbringing…

Basically, we're pretty cool, nice, smart - but not 'average' in any way. The six of us - me, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel - were made on purpose, by the sickest, most horrible 'scientists' you could possibly imagine. They created us as an experiment. An experiment where we ended up only 98% human. That other 2% has had a big impact, let me tell you.

They're kids with wings. Yep – can fly and do a lot of other cool things. And when they’re not trying to evade the baddies who created them or want to use them in some sort of sick evil way, they help people, fight for causes, and well… grow up.

And I heart all six of them completely.

If you’ve not read Maximum Ride, start with The Angel Experiment (still appropriate for V-Day). Trust me—it’s one heckuva ride.

Oh - the solution to the MATH thing…

9x – 7i > 3(3x – 7u)

9x – 7i > 9x – 21u

-7i > - 21u

i <3 u

AND I DO!!!

So, peeps. Enjoy tomorrow. Happy VD!

Just uh… try not to catch one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Lovely Crusade



Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes has started her second Crusade - an opportunity for writers, bloggers, industry people, even established authors to network with each other while building their online platforms. I'm signing up for the crusade. And if you fit any of those categories, well - then you should too!

You have to hurry though. The portal to participation closes Saturday at midnight.

I'm in. You with me?! Click here for more info!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

RTW: Best Couple


Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:

Who are your favorite literary couples?
You know -- the ones you like by themselves, but LOVE together!


Hmmmm. Well, definitely not as difficult to answer as the last several, but still a tie, IMHO.


1) Katniss and Peeta (The Hunger Games)

2) Zoey Redbird and Heath Luck (House of Night)

WHY?

Two words - unconditional love

I shall redirect you to an earlier post of mine - Team Peeta - should explain it more!

So how about you, blog readers? Who's your fav literary couple?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pimps and Whores

WHORE:

1) A woman who sleeps with you for something in exchange, usually money

2) Someone who does something excessively.

Oh, that second one’s me.

I’m a writing whore. And I am definitely an attention whore (um, title much?). And maybe an exercise whore. But in the past few years I’ve become something of a book whore. I mean, I’ve always read a lot; now, reading and writing seem to be my major forms of entertainment (Yes - I am pathetic).

But the reading has been so, so good. I used to stick to certain novelists—James Patterson, John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks. Dude—now, I’m all over the place. And, while one would think I get enough of my YAs at school and at home, yeahhhhh… no. I write YA and consequently I read YA. A whole fab-load of it.

The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, Maximum Ride, Uglies, The DUFF, House of Night, anything ELLEN HOPKINS,… I could go on forever, but fortunately for you, I won’t. Point made though. I heart me some teen angst. And apparently can’t get enough of it. But lately, there’s been one particularly author I’ve been reading a lot of… A lot. And today, he’s on my pimp list.

Yes—I did say PIMP list.

PIMP:

1) a male in charge of prostitutes

2) to advertise or promote

3) very good, excellent; COOL, AWESOME

Yep—I’m a pimp too. I pimp websites, blogs, the ├╝ber-fab calculus. And I pimp amazeballs reads. I pimp the books I love, love, love to my friends, blog followers, tweet buddies.

And today, I’m pimpin’ the rather pimpalicious John Green.

He’s written four fabulosities since 2005 and I’ve read three in the past month and am half-way through the fourth. (Yeah—that good)

Looking for Alaska (my fav; won the Printz award)

An Abundance of Katherines (the cover had me)

Paper Towns (*sigh*)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson (bahahahahahahaha!)

And if you follow my astute advice and pick up a copy of Mr. Green’s fabulousness, here’s what he’ll deliver:

1) An eclectic cast

• An adorable, somewhat unassuming male protag with some sort of endearing quirk

• A totally hilarious side-kick that will attempt (and often succeed) to draw Mr. MC out of his box

• An unattainable attainable breath-taking goddess with her own little quirk

• a mish-mash of friends, enemies, frenemies the story cannot live without

2) humor—I don’t think I have ever lol-ed so much in my life while READING

3) adventure—NEVER a dull moment

4) thought-provoking, mind-blowing twists and turns

and for me personally (since I’m trying to write my new novel from a guy’s POV)

5) total insight into the teenage male psyche. I learned more from reading John Green than I did from growing up with a brother, hanging out in college with “fraternities of vapid asshats,” or from living with my husband for sixteen years.

So yeah… speed off to your local library, pick up some Mr. Green.

But, just fair warning—if you’re like this book whore, you may just go home with this JOHN.

And like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman—you may… just fall in love.

Friday, February 4, 2011

On my Bedside Table

Happy Friday! It's the weekend. Sunday's the Super Bowl. Life is good.

And it's book blog hop Friday hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books where you hop from blog to blog meeting new bloggers and answering a weekly question. The topic this week:

What are you reading now and why are you reading it?

Currently by my bedside table, in the teacher bag, in the car on the way anywhere...




Really? I'm not a screenplay writer. So why am I reading it?

Well, my CP Ricki raved about it. Thought it would resonate well with me because it breaks any effective screenplay down into beats and she sent me the mathematical breakdown for novels based on their word count. A mathematical analysis of novels? Dude, I'm in.

Then, Elana Johnson extolled it on her blog. As did my CP Melissa.

And then Melissa sent me a copy in the mail.

Holy 75000 watt lightbulb.

Yeah, talk about the book of aha moments. And I'm only on chapter three.

Allow me to share only a sparkle of Blake Snyder's brilliance (PS - I'll come back weekly to share more - it's that good)

* liking the person we go on a journey with is the single most important element in drawing us into a story (ahem... Save the Cat!) I already knew this, but it was too good not to share.

*the number one thing a good logline (aka your one-sentence description as to what your book or project is about) must have, the single most important element, is irony

ex: A newly married couple must spend Christmas Day at each of their four divorced parent's homes

Know that one? (4 Christmases) See the irony? Me too.

Snyder shared a lot more intro stuff that I already knew or didn't know, but the one that really sent my mind spinning:

*your pitch must include a killer title

Well, yeah. But I never stressed about it because my naive self figured why spin my wheels on an amazeballs title when someone could sweep in and change it. It's been known to happen. Stephenie Meyer's original Twilight title was Forks.

One of my CP's has been big time stressing about the title to her manuscript. I finally understand why. Don't get me wrong - I've been through several title changes for two of my projects, but frankly I still hate what I eventually settled on. So, now I have a new mission: come up with a title that tells exactly what my project is about without being as long as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf which - PS - is totally fabulous. I need something completely telling and selling like Legally Blonde. Or Rear Window. Or Bruce Almighty.

Blake Snyder's already given me a lot to ponder. I can't wait to dive back in and start applying his secrets for success to my completed and future projects. And I'll share some of his brilliance with you too! Stay tuned. I may just figure out this writing-a-novel thing. And have an incredible learning journey at the same time. And that's one killer concept.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stuck On You




Happy Groundhog Day!!!

And it's Road Trip Wednesday!


Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.



This week's topic:

In the movie "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray has to relive the same day over and over. What books would you pick to read over and over for the rest of your life?

Soooo this should be easy, right? Most of my blog readers know that I am not a "leftover" girl. I rarely can read the same book twice, but I actually have four books trying to win my vote!

1) The DUFF - already read three times. Could seriously have a daily dose of Wesley and Bianca.

2) Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports - because I can't get enough of Max and Fang and well, this, IMHO, is the best one of the fab James Patterson series.

3) Will Grayson, Will Grayson - because I would like to be friends with Tiny Cooper and tramp a perpetual journey with him every day for the rest of my life. And the book still gets me kicked out of whatever company I'm in. Too funny.

4) And The Great Gatsby - Jay Gatsby. Enough said.

How about you wonderful readers? What book would you choose to read every day for the rest of your life?