Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm still alive!

Quick update! I'm writing like a crazy person.  If you look to the right you'll see the New WIP progress bar and that's my new baby!  I wasn't sure about it at first but now I love these characters so much.  I'm calling it TSB (because I like secrets!)  It's not really like anything I've ever written before.  It's very character driven and so far, no one's life has been threatened (well, kind of), there is no conspiracy and no supernatural creatures have shown up either.  I don't even know who I am anymore. :)

I'm also getting ready to dive into some pretty big revisions... I think.  It's complicated.  But that's my plan for the fall before NaNoWriMo.

I'm really excited for WriteOnCon next week as well.  Last year my sister's wedding fell right in the middle of it and I was in Delaware, so I'm really going to enjoy it this year.  I've also entered the first page of MISFITS into the first page contest.  I figure it can't hurt, right?

So that's been my summer so far.  Writing.  That's really it.  I think I've been to the pool twice and I haven't seen a beach in a really long time.  I'm getting my glow from my laptop this year!

Okay, quick update over.  I need to grocery shop since I realized that there is no food in my apartment.  I should probably vacuum also.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Better with age?

I think about writing books a lot.  I guess that makes sense since I spend a good amount of time working on writing books, but recently I've been thinking about the progression of a writer.  I guess it's because I'm revising one book while trying to figure out what I'm going to write next.  I've also been querying, which is something that always makes a writer think about how good they are and how good they can be, I think.

So, the progression of a writer:  Do we get better the more we write?  Every bit of advice we're given includes writing more, right?  So do we actually get better?  I'd like to think so, since the first book I ever wrote was horrible.  Really horrible.  The second book made me think that maybe I could actually write books because it was the first time a story really fell into place for me.  Writing has actually, at least in the first draft stages, gotten easier the more I do it.  That first book took me a year and half to write because I didn't know how to write a book.  Or at least I didn't know how I write.

Now I know my process and what works for me and what doesn't.  Am I getting better?  I don't know.  I like KC as much as I like H.  But I would surely hope that I'm getting better and not worse.

What do you think?  Do writers get better with age?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Meme

I stole this from the awesome, amazing, astounding and any other glowing word starting with "a" Jennifer Pickrell

A is for age:  27.  But I'm not talking about it right now.
B is for breakfast today: This is going to make me sound nuts, but I'm a night owl and I sleep late, so I don't eat breakfast food that much.  So mainly, I eat chicken nuggets for breakfast.  I know...
C is for currently craving: I constantly crave, and fight off the craving, for Taco Bell.  Also chocolate.  And hummus.  *shakes fist at healthy eating*
D is for dinner tonight: Sesame Chicken in the crockpot.
E is for favorite type of exercise:  Zumba or really, really tough circuit training.  My motto is:  If you don't feel like you might be sick, you're not working hard enough.
F is for an irrational fear: Snakes and failure, although both seem perfectly rational to me.
G is for gross food: Peppers.  I hate the taste and smell of them.  And I have the superhuman ability to taste even the smallest amount in any food.
H is for hometown: Seaford, Delaware.  It's ghetto but it was home for twenty years.
I is for something important:  Books.  And my family! Duh, family.
J is for current favorite jam: This isn't my style at all, but I am SO into Taylor Swift's song "Eyes Open" right now.
K is for kids:  Someday.
L is for current location: Living room.
M is for the most recent way you spent money: Frozen yogurt!
N is for something you need: To relax.
O is for occupation: Mainly, I'm a student but I freelance to make extra cash.
P is for pet peeve: God, I have so many.  Slow drivers, small-minded people, people who don't shut cupboard doors, anything that's crooked... seriously, I could go on but I'm working on being positive these days.
Q is for a quote: "Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."  -Howard Thurman
R is for random fact about you: I have the same middle name as my mom and my grandmothers on each of my parent's sides. 
S is for favorite healthy snack: I'm really into plums, although the season is over.  You should have seen my face in the grocery store staring at the empty plum section.  So I'm moving on to red pears.  And Power Crunch bars!  So good.
T is for favorite treat:  When I'm not eating healthy?  Late Night Snack, which is Ben & Jerry's flavor for Jimmy Fallon.  It's vanilla ice cream, salty caramel and chocolate covered potato chip clusters.  Sounds nuts, but it's amazing.  What I'm eating healthy?  Frozen yogurt.
U is for something that makes you unique: I don't have wisdom teeth or roots for them.  Yaaay evolution!
V is for favorite vegetable: Onions!  I can't eat them raw, but I could cook them and eat a whole bowl of onions.  That sounds gross now that I've typed it out, but YUM.
W is for today’s workout: I worked out my patience on the phone with my school all day.  Tomorrow will be circuit training though!
X is for X-rays you’ve had: I think just my teeth.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight:  I took the most ridiculous nap yesterday.  Slept like the dead.
Z is for your time zone: Eastern

Okay, that's it. Feel free to steal this and pass it on.  Or just read it and tell me how weird I am.  I can take it.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Thoughts on a Friday

Okay, so you know you haven't blogged in a really long time when your blog host changes the entire layout of things and it took you five minutes to figure out how to post something new.  Whew!

Anyway, the Semester That Will Probably Kill Me did not, in fact, kill me, but it was hairy there for a while.  I was hoping to graduate this summer but due to mix-ups and the universe's hobby of making my life more complicated, I have to make it through the fall semester.  The bright side is that the classes I have to take are fun, besides one math, but I'm in denial about that right now, and it won't be as intense as this one.  Look who is focusing on the positives! *pats self on the back*

So I plan on finishing up revisions on HOOD now that I have a little more free time along with beta reading and reading new books because, you guys, I haven't read a book in over a month!  I know.  I flew through the last two books of the Hunger Games when the movie came out (my feelings on that series would take another blog post, maybe two) and since then I haven't touched a book.  I'm remedying that this weekend.

Since I do have more free time, I'd looove some book recommendations.  I have a small pile that I need to get through right now, but I'm hoping it won't take long.

So, what should I read?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Go hard or go home.

So as it turns out, I'm not very good at leisurely writing a book.  If I'm not putting myself under constant pressure to finish something, I get all, "I'll get right on that!  Tomorrow."  This actually is totally unsurprising to anyone who has ever met me, because I'm a works-well-under-pressure gal.  Yay, Scorpio!  I've always said I'm awesome when things go to crap.  It's when things are going good that I get suspicious.  So anyway, the moral to this story is that if I'm going to write that sequel, I'm going to do it in a month with a hard deadline.  Plus side, I'll be awesome when I'm finally published and am put on deadline.  ::Hear that agents?!::

So now I have to decide what I'm going to do.  Do I put my nose to the grindstone and finish the sequel or try to think of a new idea?  It's silly, but I feel weird putting the amount of energy needed to write a book into a sequel of a book that hasn't been picked up by an agent or sold yet.  And writing for me is cool, but am I missing out on My Next Great Idea (yes, I capitalized it.  It felt right.) because I'm working on something for fun?

There's also something to be said for that buzz I get when I have a new idea.  It's when I know that I'm operating on all cylinders and doing what I'm supposed to be doing with my life when I get an idea that I know I can turn into 50-80 thousand words.  And I miss it.  I haven't worked on anything new since NaNoWriMo and I miss the rush of it.

Maybe I will write something new.  I guess it's time to hit up my ideas list to see what comes up.  If nothing does, then I'll finish the sequel.  A plan!

Before that though, I have finals and revisions for HOOD to finish in the next few weeks.  Then I'll put myself on an intense deadline and stress myself out.  Good times.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taking it easy.

So I think we've covered here before that I'm kind of an obsessive writer.  When I'm writing, I'm completely (okay, pretty much) incommunicado from my friends and family, and I normally knock out a first draft in about a month before I crawl back out, cringing from all of that natural light from the sun.

I'm trying something different right now.  I am casually writing a book.  Normally I shadow box, stretch and pump myself up for a knock down, drag out sort of experience but I'm going to see how this goes.  I think I look silly shadow boxing anyway.

What I'm working on is actually a sequel to one of my other books and I'm really only writing it because I woke up the other day with basically the whole plot in my mind, and that's not really something I can ignore, is it?  So I'm writing.  I haven't had to alert everyone that I'm writing a book with everything that means (read: don't call, don't visit.  I'll call you when I'm done) I'm just... writing it.  If I finish it soon, cool.  If I don't, that's fine too because I'm only writing it for me.  Which is actually what I do with all of my other books too, now that I think about it.

I'm also working on revisions to HOOD from NaNoWriMo, so this whole casual thing is breaking that up nicely. 

Hey!  If I can finish the casual book, write a new story this summer and then another for NaNo, I'll hit my three book goal for 2012!  Of course I'll be starting grad school in the fall and that might slow me down, but still!  I'll be close!

So, what are you working on?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stolen Meme

Okay, so I wasn't tagged with this but I read it over at the amazing, super fantastic Jennifer Pickrell's blog and wanted to do it.  I mean, I like vacations and quotes, so why not?

1. What is your dream vacation?
Paris!  I swear I'm going to Paris someday and I might not come back.  I'm obsessed with that place.  Not even kidding, I had a dream about going there last night.  I would just eat and read and then eat and read some more.

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
Since I'm a perfectly crazy mix of my parents, I do both.  I budget months ahead and make lists like my dad.  But I also will make a snap decision to do something crazy, which is more like my mom.  Let's just say this, if I were buying a car, I would research forever and then not talk about it for a while.  A month later, out of nowhere, I'll wake up and decide I'm buying a car and go do it without a second thought.

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don’t dare to do.
Skydive.  I think there's something to jumping out of a perfectly good plane and free-falling.  But I don't see myself ever following through with it.

4. What’s your biggest phobia?
Snakes.  I can't even see them on TV without hiding my face.  A while ago I saw one while walking out to my car for work in the morning and completely froze, teeth clenched together and everything... then I ran like hell to my car and thought about calling the cops because that's how my brain works when I see a snake.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island – what 3 things would you want with you (not including laptop, or family).
A cell phone, a GSP and a boat.  I'd have to get the hell out of there.  I'm not outdoorsy in the least.

6. Name three blessings in your life.
My family, my cats (I know, but seriously, they're amazing and always pumped to see me) and creativity.  Whether it's my creativity to write books, or other people's to write and create the things that entertain me, I would be lost without them.

7. What was your nickname in High School?
In school and in the last ten years since, people just tend to call me B.  I blame laziness, but I'm okay with it.  My family calls me Bran though.

8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?
Without getting too political, I think I would just tell him that I understand that he's doing the best he can and that I never thought he would be able to fix or change everything right out of the gate.

9. If you could be any literary character for a day, who would you be?
Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy.  Her life was hard but she's such a badass.  Plus... Dimitri.

10. What is your favorite quote?
Oh, there are so many, but I think of this one by Howard Thurman whenever I question if I'm doing the right things with my life.  "Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."  Also, from one of my heroes, Kelly Cutrone, "Be smart.  Be brave.  Tell the truth and don't take any shit."

What about everyone else?  Any dream vacations?  Favorite quotes?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Funny story...

So remember how I was here in January and was all, "Look at me! Getting back on track! Onward and upward!"?  Uh huh, well life happened and so I haven't actually gotten "back on track" with the blog yet, and it's been more about putting one foot in front of the other than onward and upward so far.

So I'm not going to say anything like that at all, you guys.  I'll just say that life has been cra-zay and in order to get everything done that I need to do and write, blogging has fallen off a little.  I'm still writing and working on books, that's a constant at Casa de Brandy but man, the beginning of 2012 has been an ass kicker.

I've reached that luscious, amazing time called spring break in this semester that I'm positive wants to kill me, and so here is an update:

I'm working on MISFITS revisions... the final revisions before I start sending it out to agents!  I'm actually pretty excited about getting the process started, although I guess I always am until the first rejection roles in and then I'm all, "Why do I do this to myself?  I'm such a masochist!" But it's cool.

I feel more prepared with this book than I did with my last.  It feels like a more complete story and I'm really proud of it.  I hope agents like it, but regardless, I'm happy that I wrote it. 

I think what I've realized more than anything else this year so far is that I would write for free forever if I have to.  I'm happy with sending my friends and betas versions of my books and talking to them about it.  And really, that's probably a good head space to be in at the query stage, right?

So remind me that I said that in a month or so. 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Getting back on track.

I'm not going to lie... I slacked off on my writing duties in December.  I was VERY busy baking and eating and Christmas-ing.  Also normal life stuff, but mainly eating.

I've made some headway into my revisions but the tough stuff lies ahead, so I'd really like dive back into those very soon.  Like right after I write this.

After that, my plan is more revisions!  I have huge, huge revisions to do on KC (secret title laugh here).  I'm looking forward to them but they also feel really daunting at the same time.  They'll take a while, for sure.

Then I need to do another round of revisions on my NaNo book.  There are plot holes-a-plenty in that one but I find myself thinking about it all the time, so I feel like I'm on to something with it. (Random: I've written whole instead of hole so many times today! What's the deal, brain?!  Also, why am I typing hole so much?)

So three books and three sets of revisions! Yippeeeee.

I'm going to be SO READY to write something new by spring.  Which is good because my December to Remember, write-every-single-idea-I-had-down thing worked and my notepad on my phone has a lot of titles of Book Idea 1, 2, 3 and so on, in it.  If I'm being honest, after I finish the MISFITS revisions, I'd really like to write one idea I came up with in December, but I can't just stick to the fun stuff all the time.  In theory, these revisions could be done by March-ish and then I can write like a crazy woman into the summer.

My writing goal this year is to write three books, which is actually the same goal I had last year.  I came up one short in 2011 though, so I'm determined to make it happen in 2012.  I actually want one of them to be the MISFITS sequel just for my own enjoyment, so we will see!

Do you make writing goals?  And if so, what are they?