Friday, June 27, 2008

Quote for the Day

Okay, does it qualify as a "quote for the day" if your kid said it?

The other day, my three-and-a-half year old son, Harrison, picked out a video to watch. We happened to have that show on DVD as well as video, so I started to put the DVD on for him.
He rolled his eyes at me in exasperation. "No, Mama," he said, "I want to watch it in hardcover!"
What do you think? Future publishing exec? :)

This reminded me of something that happened about a year ago. I was washing the dishes, elbow-deep in suds. Harrison wanted my attention and I told him I would be with him in just a moment. "Why, Mama?" He asked sweetly, "Do you need to write one more sentence?"

I guess he hears that a lot :)

Parents who write often focus on the time that our writing takes away from our kids. Little moments like these remind me of how lucky our kids are to grow up surrounded by people who speak fluent Book.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

"We have to realize that a creative being lives within ourselves, like it or not, and that we must get out of its way, for it will give us no peace until we do."

--Mary Richards

"I don't have any idea why I started writing and I'm prepared to feel about it the same way I feel about, 'Why did you fall in love with your husband?' It's really better not to know. Grateful that I did and that's good enough."

--Amy Bloom
(best-selling author of "Away")

Word Count Junkie

Hi, my name is Nola (Hi, Nola!), and I am a word count junkie.

My first time was NaNoWriMo 2007.  It was great - a blank sheet of paper that I filled frantically over the course of 30 days.  It was good to be a junkie then, that was what NaNo was all about - those 50,000 glistening, glittering, brand-new words.

I told myself word counts were only for rough drafts.  Like in NaNo, they were a way to track my progress when progress shouldn't be measured by quality.  And for awhile, that was OK.  I dutifully tracked my words for each new story, for each new novel.  I checked the count before and after each writing session.  As long as the after was bigger than the before, it was good.

Then I started playing games with it.  "Just a few more words and you'll have an even 1000 for this session."  "Only 400?  Is that the best you can do?"  "Let's see if we can get to a nice round number."  "Just 50 more and you'll have crossed the threshold into the 5600's."  I needed more and more.  I began counting words per writing session, words per week, words per month.  I count new words, revised words, even blogged words.  And like any good junkie, I get excited as the number gets bigger and bigger.  I get nervous if it hasn't changed in a couple of days.  I've even started getting nervous if the difference over a period of days isn't big enough.

Recently, I've even started using the time log.  Now I can count words and minutes.  And I do . . .

Is there a cure for such madness?  I don't know that I want it if there is.  I just want more words. . . 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We think, 'who am I to be brilliant, talented, gorgeous, fabulous?' Actually, who are we not to be?"

--Nelson Mandela
from his 1994 inaugeration speech

Nuff said.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
-Thomas Edison

Edison held 1,093 patents by the time he died, so I figure he must know what he's talking about.  As writers, we often feel like what we've got in our heads is Grandma's Attic - full of all kinds of junk, most of it worthless and weird (six bins of rubber bands, anyone?), but with the occasional priceless diamond ring hidden deep in a corner.  

What Edison reminds us is that the quality of the junk isn't nearly as important as what you do with it.  With the right bit of imagination, a little ingenuity, and some hard work, even the strangest pile of junk can be made beautiful.

Happy writing, everyone!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Six Word Stories

Hey, we had so much fun writing six word stories, Hemmingway-style, a few weeks ago, I wanted to make sure you knew that Wired magazine ran a feature on them last year and that Smith Magazine published a best-selling anthology of six word stories, "Not Quite What We Were Intending: Six Word Memoirs By Famous and Obscure Writers" this spring. And if you want to go longer, is just that: six sentence stories. (Maybe our next exercise?)
Feel inspired? Post your sixers here so we can read them!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Free downloads of Hugo Nominees

Nola's post about the free books at TOR and EOS reminded me that John Scalzi has posted links to free downloads of four of the five books nominated for the Hugo award. This is for everyone going to WorldCon and can vote for the Hugo. You can check this out on his Whatever blog.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Free Books!

There are two imprints giving away free e-books at the moment.  While I'm usually an ink-on-paper girl when it comes to reading, they're books and they're free!!

Tor is in the process of launching a new website, and if you sign up at, they'll send you a link to a book, wallpapers, and a newsletter every week.

Eos is celebrating their 10th anniversary with free books - it looks like one every other month.  The current selection is The Serpent Bride by Sara Douglass.  I had to do some weird things with Adobe Readers to be able to read the file, but all of it was free.  

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Call for YA Short Story

This doesn't give you much time, but Sherwood Smith is guest editing an issue of Coyote Wild that will feature young adult fiction. The deadline is July 1st. It would be a great opportunity to work with Smith, author of the Court Duel duology and the continuing Inda series. Here's the link to her blog post talking about the issue.

Just thinking that a couple people in our group might have some stories that would fit the YA category...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quote for the Day

"When people ask me what qualifies me to be a writer for children, I say I was once a child. But I was not only a child, I was, better still, a weird little kid."
--Katherine Paterson

So, I suppose those of us who write YA should feel thankful that we were once weird teenagers? :)
Hope your inner (weird) child is alive and well and writing something new for us to read!