Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm Back!

Home sweet home!

Paris was awesome. I could live off of Paris' pastries (macaroons, chocolate croissants, napoleons ... *drool*), Champagne's bubbly (did you know that France's champagne is special because the grapes are grown in CHALK SOIL??), and Versailles' gardens (Marie Antoinette was way ahead of her time). Magical bites, buildings, and ... beer! If you're a fantasy writer and need help on your world-building, I think a trip to Europe will do the trick. We just don't have the history - or the architecture for that matter - that cities like Paris or Brussels have. Actually, I found my leprechauns' City of Gold in Brussels! I can't say enough good things about Belgium - my 2-day trip there was way-too-short and way-too-delightful. Framboise beer + frites heaven! And with every other store being a chocolate shop, I kept thinking that this is where Willy Wonka would vacation.

I'll post pictures once I get over this jetlag - this going to bed by 9PM and waking at 5AM is very strange.

I haven't been in the right mind to write, but I'm doing my Brenda Novak Auction research! I've been struggling with this: How much am I willing to pay to possibly (but probably highly unlikely) help jumpstart my writing career? Winning any of the agent critiques does not guarantee representation, but it does guarantee this: a read of the first 3 chapters (i.e. skipping the query process). So ... how much is that read by a good agent worth? $200? $500? $1000? Cons: In this economy, I feel bad spending money I should be saving. Pros: The money is going toward a great cause (diabetes research) AND I may get an agent out of it. Oh! Shiny, elusive may!

Before I go attack my pile of non-writing-related work, my query is up for critique in a couple places! Check it out and leave your thoughts (pretty please!): Call My Agent and Editor Unleashed (you need to register for this one ... I highly recommend registering though because Maria Schneider has guest agents visit all the time)

* Even though I'm jet-lagged, I wish I was in NY attending BEA right now ...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

10-hour flights = 10,000 words?

I'm off to Paris!!

I'm bringing with me:

* Aprilynne Pike's WINGS
* Melissa Marr's WICKED LOVELY
* and my laptop!

If I can crank out 1,000 to 2,000 words an hour, to and fro Paris, I just may complete 98% of FRIENDS WITH DEATH!

I still need to do some skydiving and hospital/diagnosis research - the last 2% - but that can wait until I return.

My internet access will probably be spotty so my blog updates will be far and few. My best-dad-ever recently surprised me with a really cool Flip video camera (ultra HD), so once I'm back, I'm going to try and review all the Young Adult books I've read via video!

I hope everyone has a fabulous two weeks!

Au revoir!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sausages, Sangria, and Synopses - Oh My!

Last week, I worked on my manuscript every single day (at least 6 hours every night). All I did was sleep, work, and write. OK ... I fibbed. I did stop to shower and eat things - even though I forgot to eat more often than not ... who knew editing was such a great way to lose weight? What's funny is that I put my manuscript on a diet, too.

I am pleased to announce that my 109,000 word manuscript is now 13,000 words lighter! *cake for everybody*

I celebrated Saturday with portuguese sausages and red wine sangria and then spent half of Sunday agonizing over my synopsis. I didn't save any sausages or sangria for you, but here ... if you ever find yourself in a synopsis pickle, I present to you, ladies and gents, my research: