Burritos & Books!

I’ve been accumulating a list of books to buy for several months now, so when Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr came out today, I had to give in and go to the store. Denver has the most wonderful independent book store, The Tattered Cover (actually there are 3 locations), and the one closest to me inhabits a converted theater. It also happens to have a Chipotle in the building, so Husband and I made a date of it! B&B is one of my favorite things… 

Well doesn’t it just figure when I get inside that there is an author event going on downstairs where all the YA is, and it’s not even a YA author?? I could hear the guy from the top of the stairs and it took me two flush-faced attempts to force myself down the steps. I felt bad skirting the back wall poking through the YA while this guy spoke to stuffy adults, but I couldn’t leave unsatisfied! Plus I have major authority-figure anxiety and I guess published authors of any genre make me go noodle-brained too. I couldn’t wait to get out of there – but I got INK! I also picked up Good Girls by Laura Ruby. I wanted Wake by Lisa McMann, but they either didn’t have it, or some person interested in the Non-Fiction talk was in the way. *sigh*

Anyway, think I’ll give myself the night off from writing and dive in. I hope this doesn’t lead to an up-all-night-gotta-finish-cause-its-too-good marathon. I want to savor a bit!

26K?

Rewrite Word Count = 26K?

How can 26K words be 100 pages? Did I hit a wrong button? My first draft was 67K and hit about 230 pages… That doesn’t add up to me. But it is 1:00AM, so maybe I should try again in the morning.  God, I hope I didn’t delete something and not realize it… 

EDIT: **couldn’t go to bed without a little math… guess that’s about right after all. Whatever, I’m on page 100!!!**

'Burbia

 Being as on-top-of-it as I am, I just discovered that April is National Poetry Month. Doh!
So just to keep my tardy rhythm consistent, here’s a poem I wrote – back in 2006. I dunno, it still seems appropriate.

‘Burbia

Into the undulating sea we plunge, through the waves
of pastel siding and asphalt shingles -
where houses shade trees, more than trees shade homes.
Each quarter-acre grotto, a bourgeois shrine
to urban periphery.
Where battles are fought in trim paint and shrubbery
with labrador and sport-utility mascots.
And wind whistles through split-rails and easements
like caves exposed at low tide.
But the lighthouse only flashes
that credit is existential
and we slip beneath the lapping red tide
to our debt.

Spring into Skin

As soon as it got warm enough, my in-lines came out of the closet. The park by my house is like the Central Park of Denver – nowhere near as big, but sooo nice. It has a two mile circuit of paved road that is almost entirely enclosed from traffic, and a perfect place to walk/jog/skate/bike. It is also THE place in Denver for people-watching – and baring your pasty winter flesh! So all the girls and guys are noticing each other (or trying to get noticed), right on cue. 

The ogling guys are hysterical, acting as if they’ve never seen an ass and a pair of boobs before. But the girls can be just as bad. The Gucci Death Squads are out, jogging in full makeup and $800 workout clothes. 

There is a high school just off the park, which also ensures that I get to watch plenty of teenagers – yay fun! Of course, you have to be very careful how you do this because teens are so hyper-aware of who might be looking at them at all times. (And you don’t want to look like a scary stalker either). You need sunglasses, and it’s best to do it while passing by or plant yourself in one spot pretending to do something else. My favorite game is finding kids who look like my characters. It’s fun to kind of “see” them and round out your mental image. Although usually I just see bits and pieces.

Anyway, I got my first sunburn of the year, so it’s official – Happy Spring!

How many licks does it take to get to the center…

I just opened up the first draft of my WIP/revision to compare where the story was with page numbers in the latest draft. Yeesh. But then I started reading some of it, and… there was much more Yeesh. BUT, I think I can take this as a sign of how far I’ve come as a writer. I’ll fully admit that when I wrote that first draft, I was a hack. It was a “shitty first draft” as Anne Lamont reassures me. Stephen King said the first draft is just for you, but not to share. I agree with him too. And I can see…the bones are there.

 blogged today about critiquing. This is something I haven’t done for someone else since college, and I haven’t had done for me yet. Husband helped me with line edits on Ye Olde First Draft, and parents said “nice honey” which should perhaps have all been my first clue about how much it sucked. It finally sank in after I queried the draft and -strangely- got 18 rejections. Most of these were forms, but I thank the AgentGods that bothered to tell me what they hated about my first pages (only one asked for a partial). This led me to set the Draft aside and ponder. I started to rewrite, and pondered some more, not really sure what was wrong. Then I started reading – duh! I soon learned all of the writing sins I had made – AND how to fix them! I gained confidence that it wasn’t my premise which had a problem (Thank whomever you choose to believe in for small favors). But everything else was bad. 

So here I am on the umpteenth draft, and starting to feel some confidence. Not only can I do this, but I can see my flaws. I won’t deny I’ve got the writer ego-bubble totally poofed out sometimes and convince myself I’m the next Stephenie Meyer, but then I get out my needles and mercilessly pop. This part sucks – POP. This is totally unrealistic dialog – POP. This is not moving the story along – POP. And then fill the holes with stuff that… works? 

Maybe I’ll be brave soon and let someone else (not an agent!) decide.

Twilight Apoplexy

This is so silly, but I just watched a Twilight teaser on MTV.com and I’m sooooooooo excited for this movie! Almost as excited as I am to read Breaking Dawn when it comes out! I know a lot of people have criticisms about Twilight, and Bella, and the “Stephenie Meyer Hype” but it doesn’t change the fact that the books somehow tethered my emotions when I read them, and the movie looks like it’s going to do the same. 

My only problem is, who do I go see this with??? My husband is out – doesn’t like vampires, and like movies LESS. But I can’t just go with anyone. I think I need to see it with someone who has also read the books and loves them, and wants to do heavy comparisons and rehashing upon leaving the theater. ideally, I need a sixteen year-old girl. But I don’t have one! Not even close. One of my BFFs would go with me (and one might even read the books first), but they’re 2,000 miles away – a minor problem.

Guess I have until 12/12 to think about it. But I might just go alone. Nothing is worse than going to a movie you are crawling out of your skin to see – with the wrong person. It’ll be me in the theater – with 300 or so other Edward-salivating young girls. I’m 27. Maybe vampires can offer eternal youth… :-) 

Get down, get down…

FINALLY! I’ve been agonizing over this scene all week, trying to approach it from the right angle. Everything I tried sounded stupid and robotic, like I was just spewing information. And the worse part was that I really NEEDED to convey that information – in a non-robotic way. So it finally clicked, and it’s after midnight now and I have to get a few hours sleep before work, but I think my characters are having a realistic, believable, informative (but not spoon-fed) conversation that moves the story along! WOOOO!

We’ll see if I still think so tomorrow. ;-)
Goodnight.

OT and Progress

 Off Topic: My dad just called me from Syracuse, NY. I was a little frazzled because my dogs had been having a fit barking at: nothing (of course). Anyway, he said hoped he didn’t wake me up, but he just got a strange call with a Colorado area code. I waited. He said nobody answered when he said hello, but he heard barking… OH. My phone was on the windowsill where the barking took place. My Standard Poodle, Basil, called my dad in New York! We put him on speakerphone to explain himself, but he just sat on the kitchen rug looking sheepish. I’m glad he didn’t call my sister in Japan! 

On Topic: Got a whole chapter revised yesterday (albeit a short one)! I’m up to page 75. I can’t give a word count because I don’t have an ending at all yet. I had an original ending… but its going to be so different with all the changes I’ve made, I’m kind of going to toss it… I can’t wait to get there! If only I could super-power my brain and fingers…

Off Topic Again: Going to try on bridesmaid dresses today. I’m actually a little excited about it… it’s my BFF’s wedding back home and she’s giving us some leeway on the design, as long as it’s floor length in navy by Alfred Angelo. I’m thinking of going with this one: http://www.alfredangelo.com/Collections/ProductDisplay.aspx?productID=39aad614-8024-4b47-9f2d-2fe7b8d5a4d4&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=0
Did that link work? I might actually be able to wear that again… I’ll know by this afternoon if the dress works on me or if I need to grow six inches first.

And then sometimes, it all makes sense…

Revised 1500 words and counting of a crucial scene… okay, they’re all starting to seem crucial. But this all came naturally, and I felt like I didn’t have to do that much! Maybe I actually wrote a whole scene that WORKS! Anyway, that pushed me out of my funk from the last chapter, which was like pulling teeth with my bare hands. Maybe that’s where Carrie Ryan got her title… ;-)