Sunday, April 21, 2013


I'm lucky to have some truly amazing people in my life. Like all around, my friends and family are incredible, supportive, wonderful, wonderful people. (There aren't enough warm-fuzzy adjectives to describe my peoples.)

I appreciate them like you wouldn't believe, and I tell them so all the time. I say "I'm glad you exist" so often that it's actually rubbed off and some of my friends say it now.

Appreciation is free. Telling someone you care about them, that you are aware of their efforts and are doesn't cost anything, but it's worth it's emotional weight in chocolate covered coffee beans.

The wonderful people in my life include truly special critique partners and writing buddies. One, especially. Zoƫ is a lifesaver. I talk to her every day, sometimes many times a day. She talks me through anxious moments, gives input on random lines I'm struggling with, suggests contests, and pushes me to do things I'm scared of (like said contests or applying for things like the YAvengers initiative).

So when I offer to do something like proofread her mss before she started querying, it wasn't with the expectation of reward. I offered because she does so much for me that I wanted to give back. Also, she'd had four (I think?) more betas after I beta read for her, and I wanted to see all the changes. ;)

We had a conversation that somehow came around to David Levithan's THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY, and when she found out I hadn't read it yet--even though it's high on my list--she sent me a copy.

No joke.

That was about the sweetest thing ever, and I was so happy when I picked it up from the post office yesterday that I miiiiiiight've twirled a little bit. Not in the post office, of course, but when I got home and flipped through it and experienced the tactile awesome of the cover. (It really does feel cool.)

So this is me saying thank you to an awesome writing buddy, not only for being awesome, but for showing her appreciation in an adorable way.

If you have a beta or a CP or a writing buddy or a friend that's awesome and helpful, make sure to say thank you. They will notice. Gifts are not required (but appreciated!) but words should be. So take the time today to say thanks.

And call your mother.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Won Game of Secrets!

The Secret Life of Writers recently held an awesome writing contest/event called Game of Secrets. (Teehee.) Basically, it was like Clue meets Choose Your Own Adventure. Each of the ladies over there wrote a short piece from the perspective of a character at a party where a murder takes place, and they left the ending open for someone else to write.

Whoever wrote their favorite ending would win.

And I won!

I'm not going to lie. When Zoe pinged me on gchat today congratulating me, I had no idea what was going on. She linked the "winner" post and I had a giggly happy moment where, yes, I bounced. A lot. Ahem.

This is an awesome boost of much needed confidence as I'm trying to get my book ready for beta readers. Not to mention....MUSTACHE MUG.


Read all about it here.

But before you read my entry, read the other parts of the story, linked here.

Now I'm off to be excited more!!

Fear and the Art of What-the-Hell-ing It.

For the first time this week, my book, NIGHTMUTE, was read by eyes other than my own.

I'm pretty sure the overwhelming panic and nerves and general unwell feeling I lived with for two days is sort of what dying feels like...if self-doubt could kill. Fortunately, it can't. Trust me--I know. If anyone was going to succumb to a lethal case of insecurity, it would be me.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Q's Sneaky, Tricksy Word Count Killer

*  *  *  *  * WORD COUNT

Innocuous enough words--or so you'd think. When they're paired together, these two innocent little devils can illicit dread and flop sweats in the burliest and hardened of writers. (Unless you're one of those who under-write, in which case I envy you.) Fantasy writers especially are notorious for having hefty, intimidating, bloated word counts. (See what I did there with three adjectives? Don't do that. That's partly to blame for your unnecessarily massive word count.)

I'm definitely guilty of this. (Although not the the extreme, 600k counts I've seen mentioned in the wilds of the interwebz.)

Right now, I'm at 101,696. My highest was 102,600-ish. I've managed to cut down 1k in the past day or so, but it's not enough. And now I might need to add an epilogue? It's almost enough to want to crawl into my Word Cave (*cough* blanket fort *cough*) and not come out. What?? Batman gets one...

My initial reaction would be panic, because it's what I do, but panic is not going to help me. Alpha reader #2 told me she'd kill me if I cut anything, and I assured her I'm not going to cut any more scenes. Yet. Probably. So how else to get back down to that 95k range I'm aiming for? 

Sneaky editing that tricks my brain into thinking I'm not losing anything.

That's right. 

So here's it is:  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Today is a good day, because today I can read.

This time last year, I was curled up on a beach in Florida under a giant umbrella with my toes in the sand and a copy of Terry Pratchett's NATION...and working on Book #1 in a breezy oceanfront sunroom...and eating alligator and ridiculously fresh seafood and obscenely delicious key lime pie and grapefruits so sweet they tasted like candy.

This year, I'm curled up in my pajamas in an oversized chair with a nubby blanket and hot coffee, avoiding the chilly Michigan outdoors like I'm going to catch the zombie virus if I step foot outside. But I am working on Book #2, at least.

Sort of.
(Between sobs.)