Archive for February, 2011

analogy 101

February 11, 2011

how match.com is like querying an agent:

(1) you sign up for the website (match.com/agentquery.com)

(2) you troll through the interwebs searching for the boy/agent who has similar values, sense of humor, intelligence, ambition, track record, and/or represents your genre.

(3) you craft an email/query letter.

(4) you imagine all the ways this boy/this agent will be your missing piece.

(5) you revised that email/query letter.

(6) you (might) doddle your names together/craft your acknowledgments page.

(7) you ponder possible first date/THE CALL options.

(8) you polish the email/query letter to perfection because you have one shot to make that first impression, to entice the boy/agent with your/manuscript’s witty banter.

(9) you wonder if it’s excitement, anticipation, or just heartburn.

(10) you cross your fingers and hit SEND.

(11) rinse, return to step 2, repeat.

tweet-a-leedly-dee

February 8, 2011

the most unfamiliar part of the night was not when i hopped offline to meet some online friends at last monday’s boston kid lit tweet-up* in central square. (*tweet-up: when a group of people, connected by twitter and a theme [in this case, children’s literature] decide to meet up in the real world.)

it wasn’t when i walked through the streets of central square and went left instead of right and crossed instead of staying on the side i was on. nor was it when i remembered this area of cambridge is my own personal bermuda triangle.

it wasn’t when i heard “abby?” from behind me and turned to find @pebbleinmyshoe. apparently her definition of “i’m going to be a half hour late” is “i’m going to be right on time.”

it wasn’t when i walked into the room and saw some unexpectedly familiar faces (@caseygirard) and met some of the ones i’d only interacted with online (@bostonbookgirl, @briquinlan, @mitaliperkins).

it wasn’t when i discovered @briquinlan isn’t actually a sweetheart…well, she IS, but not the piece of candy that her avatar (this) depicts. so anyways, what i mean is that she is a hilarious and curly headed writer.

it wasn’t when i discovered that though i’d only talked to a handful of these people before, the topic (all aspects of children’s literature) was comfortable. from production to writing to agenting to illustrating to selling to reviewing to trends to ebooks, this was what brought us together and what kept us chatting for 2+ hours.

it wasn’t when i heard excited exclamations of “oh, abby of the sunglasses fame?” or “abby from twitter??!!” (my profile pic is one where i’m wearing sunglasses, so i guess i was a little incognito myself as i wasn’t wearing any that night. [i may be cool, but i don’t wear my sunglasses at night.])

it wasn’t when pebbsie and i found out that anindita knows jandy nelson (author of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, one of the most stunning, gorgeous, and haunting novels ever written) meaning we were now only two degrees separated from the genius that is jandy nelson. nor was it when people couldn’t hear past our screeching and thought we said the title was DIETS EVERYWHERE. or (as pebbsie thought they said), GARBAGE EVERYWHERE.

the craziest part of the night was during the group introductions when i had to stand up and say “hi, i’m a writer.”

it’s time to focus

February 4, 2011

as i’m delving deeper into my writing, it occurs to me that i need to be writing more. not in the blogging, twittering or emailing sense, but in the noveling sense.

exhibit A

exhibit B

exhibit C

i will probably limit myself to writing blog posts (and commenting on others), as it may be the distraction i need, but other than that, i’ll probably seem a bit absent from the interwebs for awhile. i need to buckle down and write, so that’s what i’m doing.

*enters writing cave*

setting the mood

February 1, 2011

i’m in the midst of discovering my writing process. here’s what i know so far:

i balance on the line between plotter and pantser. (writing out the full plot before i start writing vs. writing with no tools, no outline, willy nilly, by the seat of my pants). i need to have a list of a few major events that occur throughout the book. these act as guidelines making sure i stay on track, but getting the characters from one point to the next is where i can expand, expound, expunge, uh, let the creative juices flow.

the next trail along my path of discovery is music. i cannot write with music on. the lyrics (WORDS written by ANOTHER) infiltrate my mind like little zombies who eat my brain and turn me to mush. me slumped and drooling over the computer isn’t a pretty sight not to mention the drool could short circuit the laptop causing an electrical fire that could burn into a large, more damaging fire. so in the interest of fire safety, i write in silence.

(note to self, don’t ever google image the word silence again. it’s nightmare inducing.)

BUT, music does something that nothing else can. it sets the mood. it gets my mind churning. when trying to get into the brain of a teenage protagonist, music helps to tap into those emotions (oh, ALL those teenage emotions), so i find it beneficial to pump the jams before writing. however, my current WIP’s playlist is only 3 songs. how do you find songs that relate to your story and your characters when it’s music you wouldn’t normally listen to?

*puts headphones in*

research time.