Thursday, November 26, 2009

Yummm....

I'm posting about the connection between tofurky and vampires over at Children of the Night. Put down that drumstick and stop by!
http://childrenofthenightya.blogspot.com/2009/11/tofurkyvampire-connection.html

Happy Tofurky Day!

Happy Thanksgiving, Death Pixie people! Your support, your thoughtful critique and your wonderful sense of fun are all on my list of things to be thankful for!

I'm wondering how everyone is coping with finding time to write over the busy holidays. I know that I myself am struggling already, and the winter holidays are just beginning! Are you able to make a date with yourself, in between the festivities? Or do you give yourself a vacation and relax your expectations?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Twilight, Twi-boys, Twi-hards, Twi-moms

*SIGH*

That was the sound of millions of teenage girls, teen boys and moms.

New Moon, the movie, is FINALLY out!

I will not project my opinions onto you all until everyone has an opportunity to catch the flick....
(Translation: I will hold off a week or two....)

I had a great time seeing the people I met last time and meeting new people while hanging out in line.....

I'd like to give shout outs to the following:

My Twi-teen-girlfriends, it was great to see you all (again!) good luck with your junior year!

To my Twi-moms, who left the kids at home with the other parent, you have to admit, you had a good time! Sort of makes you feel young again. The lack of sleep is worth the life long smile of finishing the following phrase, "remember when i...."

To the Twi-boys who attended, it is a great way to pick up girls.... Specifically, to Jeff, I really think she likes you ask her out!
(Let me know how it goes!)



P.S.....To Alice Cullen/Alice Cullen's stylist, can I have your wardrobe? Please?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Proper Ettiquette or Hurry the Hell Up Already!

So here is a little conundrum the more experienced writers out there should be able to shed some light on: When it comes to "beta readers" a term I thought was more ubiquitous than it apparently really is, how many do you ask? How long do you wait? And how do you go about gaining compliance from your beta readers? I've heard conflicting reports on this and i was wondering what people thought. I myself handed out three times as many beta copies as I got critiques or responses. What is the ettiquette in these situations? I really would rather not pick at people, since everyone's busy and all, but these are definitely people who actively asked to look my book over. I'm certainly not having hurt feelings, i was just wondering what people thought about this somewhat delicate balance of hopefullness, guilt, usefullness and nebulous non existant deadlines?
"Its not like you need it by a certain time, i'll get to it when i get to it."
True, i'm not under outside pressure, but i sure as hell ain't getting any younger and my brain is screaming "finish that thing and send it off somewhere. How valuable can beta critique be anyways?
So i'm asking, how valuable is it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writing Role Models?

As some of you already know (because I've been geeking out about it for weeks!) I am currently taking a class about the Twilight phenomenon-- "Revamp: Writing and the Twilight Saga," being taught by Carrie Mesrobian at the Loft Literary Center here in Minneapolis. At our second class we talked about the fact that the books' protagonist, Bella, is in many ways a clean slate. She has no friends from her former school, doesn't share her memories of her past much, has no real hobbies, etc. Although this may be the secret of Twilight's success (because Bella's character is left so open-ended, it's easy for the reader to imagine herself in Bella's place and vicariously live the romantic fantasy), it flies in the face of what we usually think of as good character creation, which says that the more specific a character is, the better. As an exercise, we gave Bella a character make-over, each of us brainstorming how we would have made her different. The majority of people in our class wanted Bella to be more active, more opinionated, more secure-- more the confident young woman that we wish the YA readers of Twilight would emulate. This raised an interesting question for me: Do we as writers (and especially those of us who identify as feminist, and especially those of us writing for the supposedly impressionable youth) have any obligation to make our characters role models? And if we do, how do we do that without making our characters boringly perfect? How do we keep them flawed enough to have an arc, to have things to learn during the story? Are flawed characters still good role models? What do you think?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quote for the Day

Heather's post yesterday reminded me of this quote, prominently displayed on my bathroom wall (where all wisdom resides.) Of course, she's talking about a bigger political reality, but I think you could apply the thought to your own artistic visions as well.



"We are not asked to subscribe to any utopia or to believe in a perfect world just around the corner... we are asked to equip ourselves with courage, hope, readiness for hard work, and to cherish large and generous ideals."

-- Emily Greene Balch

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vision, promises, work....

Perhaps one of my biggest challenges has been, creating a clear vision of what I want out of my artistic career. I know I am not alone in this process.

How does one create a vision?

Make a plan. Whatever comes to your mind. Begin there. You can always revise your ambitions.

Promises.

Make a promise to yourself, to move towards your goal. Believe in your power to achieve your goal, even through the difficult parts.

Believe in your ability to create what ever it is you desire. You must maintain your vision to see beyond the immediate.

Finally,

You must be prepared to work.

Step by step.

Day by day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Books are for Girls

So the other day i was listening to Sherman Alexie talking on MPR. He is a great writer with a varied background and had a lot of really interesting things to say, I suggest checking that interview out on their archives. One, of many, things that really stuck with me during his talk was when the interviewer asked him something about his audience. His response was something to the effect of, well i'd like it if young people and men like my books but since 80% of people who buy them are college educated, adult, white women, that's really who needs to like it.
I found that pretty suprising and I understand that it wasn't intended to be a literal statistic, but I just sent out a bunch of beta copies for the novel i am finishing. Guess who actually has read them and turned in critiques? Only adult, smart, women. My younger lady friend? Nope. My guys friends? Nope. Just the mid twenties plus crowd, so there's a little totally non-scientific survey in that same direction.
Another beta reader of mine said that part of it is that his wife buys them, reads them first, and he only reads the ones that get a good recommendation from her. I wonder about other peoples thoughts on the subject? Most of the people I myself know who actually read, are the ladies.... In fact almost exclusively ladies. I wonder why that is? I mean, I know lots of guys read, I mean I read all the time, but i definitely know way more women who do. Putting it into stark contrast, I gave my parents my book. They were so proud I had finished it, they took me out to dinner, did the whole proud parent thing, blah blah. Both equally gushy, supportive parents.
Bottom line: my mom read it, my dad hasn't.