Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm Having An Affair...

A few weeks ago, I started sneaking around, peeking at my ex-WIP, leaving my current WIP to wonder where I'd been all day. Why hadn't I opened it's file? Am I seeing someone else? Is that--lipstick?!?!!?

I'm having an affair with my abandoned manuscript.

Is it because things got tough with my new manuscript--like the day I realized that I'd need to rewrite 20,000 words because I'd rambled off in the wrong direction, following a whim? Yeah, that's part of it. 80 pages is a lot of deleting. My ex-WIP is all mapped out, planned and plotted. Maybe it will be fun to write those last few chapters?

Also, my sixteen-year-old daughter keeps calling me a quitter for not finishing ex-WIP. She likes the story much more than I did while writing it. Because writing it was HARD for me. I eked out words, slowly, painfully. I doubted so much. But maybe it's not so bad...

And it isn't. I've never followed the writing advice, even when Stephen King said it in On Writing, of setting a manuscript aside before revising. Now I see the value of putting space between the emotion of drafting a challenging story (this is hard, so it must be bad) and reading it again months later (ooh, this part is good, but that part could be better).

I'm having fun, even sneaking off for a bit of revising on the weekends. I love my ex-WIP! Sorry, current WIP, you're going to have to sit in the drawer for a little while longer. Maybe you could talk to one of Stephen King's manuscripts and learn about being a bestseller?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Learning From Other Genres

People often say that if you want to write in a particular genre, read 100 books in that genre, and I really like that advice. But I also think there are advantages to breaking free from your genre and learning what another has to offer. 

Last weekend I took a class about writing Collage Memoir from Paisley Rekdal who teaches in the MFA program at the University of Utah. While I do write in a journal every night, I'm not quite sure why, since my life is usually pretty dull. I read, I write, I cook, less often I clean...I watch soccer, drive carpool, chat with friends, watch TV, bad Reality TV...


So it was interesting to discover that I do have interesting things to say as Paisley guided us through a series of readings, followed by writing exercises. Collage writing combines personal writing, poems, photography, art, fiction--or even "found language" from news articles, etc. 

I actually came up with a few essay ideas that I'd like to pursue. And I added several unusual books to my ongoing To-Read list--books I never would've heard of otherwise--like Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud which provided the starting point for the class. Talk about a different genre! 

Best of all--I found myself jotting down note after note about ways I could use collage writing techniques to develop characters in my novel and move the story forward in unique ways. So, if you're looking for a way to pump some energy into your writing, try taking a class outside of your comfort zone. It'll spark your imagination for sure!  

Thanks Writers@Work for sponsoring the class! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Summer Fun & Giveaway with Mindi Scott

Please welcome Mindi Scott, author of Live Through This, for one last installment of summer fun. Leave a comment to win a copy of the book! 

What's your favorite summer memory?
My summers were spent traveling with members of my dad’s side of the family. For a number of years, my aunt, cousins, and grandma, would stay for several weeks at my aunt’s vacation house in Ocean Shores, Washington. When I think of summer, that’s where my mind goes first.
Ice cream or popsicle? What's your favorite flavor?
I love Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream more than anything ever.
What did you read last summer? 
I read bunches of contemporary YA novels and even a couple of YA novels that fall more into the fantasy realm. 
About the book:
From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a mom and stepdad who would stop at nothing to keep her siblings and her happy.

But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted fa├žade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now that Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

In this unforgettable powerhouse of a novel, Mindi Scott offers an absorbing, layered glimpse into the life of an everygirl living a nightmare that no one would suspect.

About the author:
Mindi Scott is the author of Live Through This and Freefall. She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her drummer husband. Please visit her online at

Please leave a comment to win a copy of the book!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Contest Winner!


Karen is the winner of Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Please contact me with your mailing address! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere

Today I'm over at YA Outside The Lines. Our monthly theme is fear!

Just for fun here are my three most irrational fears:

1. Jello

2. Grasshoppers

3. If I'm walking across a bridge, I worry that I will somehow dig my car keys out of my purse and throw them into the water below. How weird is that?