Friday, February 28, 2014

WIP The Movie

Today I'm taking part in the WIP The Movie bloghop hosted by Kyra Lennon and Rachel Schieffelbein. (Please click on the above link or the pic to the left for a complete list of participants.)

The idea is to "cast" your WIP and share which actors and actresses you would choose to represent your characters on the silver screen. And, as an added bonus, we've been asked to share those songs we'd select for the movie's soundtrack.

I like this bloghop very much. It's a fun daydream in which to indulge once in a while. I especially love the soundtrack portion because every single WIP I've ever been serious about gets its own tailor-made soundtrack—and I never stop hunting for that perfect song. With luck, this bloghop may help me find some more perfect songs...

The WIP I've chosen for today is Second Nature, the sequel to my not-yet-but-maybe-someday-published novel Effigy. I did a casting call post for Effigy a while back where I didn't actually pick particular actors, just photos that represented the feel for which I was going. I'm kind of going to do that again with Second Nature's two main characters, Cate and James.

Cate is a tough talking, wildly sarcastic, yet deeply damaged young woman. She's been pulled into a bad situation that only ever seems to get worse and deals with it the only way she knows how: with an insult and the occasional knee to the groin. To represent her on screen, my current pick is Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey fame.

James is also prone to sarcasm (me writing sarcastic characters...what are the odds?). In Second Nature, he's resigned himself to carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he's damn determined to see it through. To play the male lead, James, I went with Christian Bale from Reign of Fire.

Kit Harringon (also of Game of Thrones fame) was a close second. Mostly because of this picture:


Next up is the soundtrack. It's a long WIP with a long soundtrack, so I'm not going to share the whole thing with you. Instead, I'm going to post a very key song that would likely end up on the trailer for my sure-to-be blockbuster film. It's called Ashes by The Bengsons. The video below is the only one I found on YouTube. It comes from So You Think You Can Dance, which just happens to be where I first heard this song. I find it to be just perfect. Captures the exact mood for which I was aiming.

And on that happy note, I'm headed off. Thank you to our hosts, Kyra and Rachel. This was fun!

And thanks to all of you for stopping by today. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Attack of the 200 Word Blurb (Part Two)

...The part with the actual blurb.

The past couple of days have not been pretty here at the ranch. I've been stressing Big Time over this blurb and dealt with the stress in my typical not very good way. I've slept even less than usual; I had even less chocolate than usual. According to my pedometer, I paced three miles yesterday during a brainstorming session, and when The Man came home from work, we had the following conversation:

Him: What are you doing?
Me: Brainstorming.
Him: All over the place, too, from the looks of it.
Me: (screeching in sweet, dulcet tones) Well, I have to get this done!
Him: Maybe I'll just go hide now.

This is kind of like the mess to which The Man come home yesterday. Sorry, hon!

But it's now safe to emerge from hiding because I am currently in possession of a blurb that isn't a complete embarrassment. Probably. Not to get crazy or cocky or anything, but it might even be kind of okay. Maybe. At the very least, I don't feel as terrified at the notion of sharing it with you all today as I did with some of the other blurb drafts. Just the normal amount of terror.

So now, without any further rambling on my part, I present for your consideration and potential ridicule, my current blurb draft.


The survival of a once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of Queen Haleine Coileáin, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her husband's own insatiable cruelty.

Haleine is determined to stop it, but the task is such that she cannot hope to succeed on her own. A chance encounter provides the solution, and she joins forces with Dana, the leader of the people's rebellion, giving to him her support, soon followed by her heart.

Loving him is inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary to her as breathing, so she lies, manipulates, and steals on his behalf; doing anything she can to further his cause. She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if the evil continues its campaign unchecked? 

With this in mind, Haleine leaps into a deceiving world of magic, monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The deeper she falls, the more her soul is stripped away, but she is desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price—even if it means her life.


And there you have it. Not to be a pushy pain in the butt begging for feedback, but (if you're so inclined) any thoughts, comments, criticisms or whatever else you care to share would be most welcome. Even if it is ridicule. (I can take it. I have vodka.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a desk under which to hide (it won't hide under itself, you know.). Have a great day, and thank you for stopping by. It's always appreciated.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Attack of the 200 Word Blurb (Part One)

My mission this week—should I choose to accept it—is to write an actual, serious blurb for Effigy.

I set this goal at the beginning of February to be finished by the end of February (so naturally, I have waited until the end of February to start).

That's right—it's still not finished. How is such a thing possible, you may be asking yourself, because haven't I been working on this for an embarrassingly long time? I know—a roomful of monkeys with typewriters could have written a better blurb by now, and they don't even know what the story's about!

So what's my excuse? Well, I'll tell you.

I really just don't want to do it.

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I've researched blurb writing tips, read articles on the subject, and spent a lot of time at bookstores and at home (which, really, could be its own bookstore) reading actual back-of-the-book blurbs. I've written draft upon draft of serious blurbs as I try to find that one right hook that will make the rest flow. I haven't found it yet; I haven't found anything that I feel good about for very long.

Plus, there's this thing where I keep taking the blurb off the list of Things To Do. Sometimes I get frustrated and need to walk away for a while. Sometimes I get busy with "life stuff" (translation: family and day job) and all writing-related whatevers get set aside for a while.

But when it is on the list of Things To Do, I tend to procrastinate and spend my time writing fake blurbs that I would never use in a million years. You know, kind of like this:

"This book is awesome! You should buy it!"

"Buying this book will make you cool. You want to be cool, don't you?"

"This book has sex in it! Lots of sex! Well, okay, maybe not lots, but some. There's some sex in it. Which is still sex, so I'm not lying or anything."

"Um, so there are, like, these people, and they do...things, and stuff happens. Then they do, you know, other things, and other stuff happens..."

"Read this book. It probably won't be the worst thing you've ever read. Probably."

One day I wrote a haiku blurb:

ancient evil looms
can Haleine save her people
and not lose herself

which was followed by a limerick blurb:

There once was a queen named Haleine
who thought battling evil a pain.
She found support in her lover
and a small pegasus who hovered
And soon she became evil's bane...

because that's just the kind of dork I am. Clever, huh?

But my favorite silly blurb was suggested by the amazing Callie Leuck. It goes a little something like this (warning: it may not be exactly suitable for young children or work):

Kick-ass lady! Jerky bad guy you want to punch in the face! UNICORNS, MOTHERF*&KER! Read this book.

I think she really captured here everything that needed to be captured. Which is why I printed out a copy and tacked it to the storyboard. Reading it makes me laugh.

But anyway, as much fun as the silly blurbs are and have been, the time has come for me to buckle down and knock this thing out for real. Final edits are finished (in theory, anyway). A cover is coming (in theory, anyway), and I'm going to need something to put on the back of it. Something serious. And as I am lacking promotional plugs from Oprah or George R.R. Martin or Stephen King or Joss Whedon—or anyone, for that matter, famous or otherwise—I'll have to go with the blurb.

Hence my goal for the week. Come back on Wednesday for part two of this riveting series when I share with you (for your consideration and possible ridicule) my attempts at a serious blurb.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by today. It's much appreciated. Hope y'all have a great week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Working For The Weekend

A funny thing happened in the wee hours of this morning.

I finished Effigy's final edits.

Which means I should be like this:

Or this:

But that's what normal writers would do (well, provided there is such a thing as a normal writer), and if there's one thing this blog has established it's that I'm about as far away from normal as one could possibly get.

I'm more like this:

Only more frazzled and less confident. But that's a therapy session for another day. Today's post is about celebrating—Or, you know, maybe not celebrating, but rather just acknowledging that I reached a major goal and did so with a week to spare. This means that despite my continued insecurities surrounding the finality of the final edits, I can take the weekend off...and do all the housework I neglected while finishing said final edits. Including climbing on the roof and shoveling off the alarming amount of snow that's piled up there recently.

I've said this before, and now I feel the need to say it again: Normally, I don't care about snow one way or another. I don't love it; I don't hate it. It's just this thing that happens from November (and occasionally October. Once in August) until March (usually April).

But this year I want to punch snow right in its stupid face.

Or maybe I just need a nap. A nice long winter's nap. Maybe I'll do that this weekend too.

And on that note, I'm outta here. But be sure to come back on Monday when I'll be blogging about my second major goal for February: the dreaded blurb.


Have a great weekend, all.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Celebrating The Small Things (The Valentine Edition)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

The Man and I don't much celebrate Valentine's Day. We're far too lazy for such things. Our day usually ends up sounding like (at night when we're headed to bed) this:

Him: Oh hey, it's Valentine's Day, right? Was I supposed to get you a present or something?
Me: You bought me some books.
Him: I'm such a good guy.
Me: Yes, you are.

Today is also Friday, which means it's time for VikLit's Celebrate The Small Things where participants share whatever it is they're celebrating from the past week. Please click on the link above or the pic to the left for a complete list of participants.

Here's what I'm celebrating this week:

—Being ahead of schedule. At the beginning of the month, I talked about working on Effigy's final edits and how my plan was to get through a chapter a day, to be finished by the end of February. I started off behind, but I'm now a good week ahead of schedule. Sure, I'm still incredibly worried and paranoid that it's been going too well and that that's only a harbinger of doom, but hey, I'm ahead of schedule.

—Which is a good thing because my lovely and talented niece is coming up for a few days. She's on school vacation this coming week and decided to kick things off at my house. I have no idea what's on our itinerary, but we never fail to have a good time.

—And last but not least, today is the day that advance tickets for the Veronica Mars movie go on sale. As of the writing of this post, I have not yet procured my tickets but I hope that at 9am EST—or shortly thereafter—I will have. Of course, the closest theater to me playing the movie is in the Boston area, but I love the Boston area and have driven further to see movies in the past. I'm looking forward to it. Like, a lot.

That's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by. Whether you celebrate this holiday or hate it with every fiber of your being, I hope you have a great day and a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I'm Freakin' Out! Do you mind? (An IWSG Post)*

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly meeting of writers from all over the globe who get together to voice their fears and offer support to others. Please click on the pic to the left for a complete list of participants.

So apparently, I missed one too many IWSG posts and was cut from the list. Oops. And I'm sorry about that—about missing posts, I mean. If you came here looking for an IWSG post only to not find one, I apologize. It wasn't my intention. I've since re-added myself to the list and shall try my very best to do better this time around.

Anyway, let's move on to today's topic.

In which I freak out. (Again.)

If you follow the occasionally lucid ramblings of this blog on a semi-regular basis, you may know that I have recently started what are supposed to be Effigy's final edits. I started them yesterday and got through about fifty pages or so—leaving me with just four hundred something pages more—before I had to go about doing other things. (Damn you, day job!)

All things considered, the edits are going pretty well. I mean, I am completely and totally embarrassed—not to mention ashamed—by how many stupid, stupid mistakes I made (proving that a quality proofreader is VITAL!) and should probably be sitting on a stool in the corner wearing a dunce cap on my head, but the part where I correct all of the stupid, stupid mistakes I made is going well. I spent minimal time on Facebook (only two visits) and Twitter (just one visit at the beginning). I only played a couple of Solitaire games and skipped Minesweeper all together. I took a short break somewhere in the middle of the editing session to start a load on laundry and play with my poor, kind-of-neglected-when-I'm-writing (but NOT in a 'call the ASPCA' kind of way, please and thank you) puppies. And then I went back to work. I didn't make excuses. I didn't waste time surfing the 'net. I didn't procrastinate very much at all. I just...did the work.

Which is possibly a sign of the impending apocalypse.

Or possibly not.

So you may be asking yourself what exactly it is that I'm freaking out over. These are final edits, and they're going well—isn't that a good thing? And I suppose it is, but me being me, I'm worried about the fact that they are going well.

Surely that's a sign of the apocalypse.

I mean, nothing on this publishing quest of mine has gone according to plan. Nothing. It's like my publishing quest was cobbled together out of deleted Monty Python and the Holy Grail scenes or something, and I should be out building a large wooden wolverine right now. But instead, things are going well. Not just the editing thing, either, but other things, too. Things are falling into place, and ducks are getting into these nice, neat rows—and it's freaking me out. There's been a momentum shift and, suddenly, publication doesn't appear to be so unobtainable. And I'm supposed to just accept it? Trust it? Yeah right. Where have I heard this one before?

That's right. I know better. You can't lull me into complacency. I know I'm going to screw something else up that'll make this whole house of cards thing (hey, how many more metaphors can I throw into this mix? Place your bets below!) come crashing down. I'm on to you, Lucy. So don't bother trying to trick me because it won't work. Not this time. You can kick your own damn football, 'cause I ain't falling for that again.

Except for the part where I will totally do just that. Because that's what I do. Hmm. I guess that means there's only one thing for me to do now.


Or, possibly, this:

Thanks for stopping by today. It's always appreciated!

*—In case you were curious, the title of today's post should be read in Jim Carrey's voice from the movie Liar, Liar. There's a scene toward the end where he's in the courthouse bathroom beating himself up and someone comes in and asks him what he's doing. Jim Carrey responds, "I'm kicking my ass! Do you mind?" If you haven't seen it and would like to, it can be found on YouTube here.

**—That's just a joke. I'm not quitting. I will never quit. I imagine that some day I will be 90 years old and writing a post on this blog on January 1st, stating how this year will be the year I finally publish Effigy. I'll go on to say how I know I said that the last fifty something years, but this year I really mean it. So, just to recap, not quitting. Just making a hi-larious joke.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February Fun

As I am already incredibly far behind this week, I'm going to jump right into things this morning...

Last week's goals:

1. Don't worry about it.

The 'it' in this case was my WIP, Second Nature. It hasn't been going well, but I wasn't going to worry about it. Good plan in theory, but here's the thing...I worry. The Man suggested that perhaps I hire someone to worry for me so that I wouldn't have to—but I told him that I'd only have to worry that my designated worrier wasn't doing it right. Anyway, as you can imagine I wasn't entirely successful with the not worrying goal. At last check, I had decided to trash a good portion of the WIP. I haven't done it yet, and maybe ultimately won't, but that has yet to be determined.

2. Read a book.

This was to be my brilliant plan to distract myself from the current disaster state of my WIP, didn't work out. I didn't read a book. I couldn't settle down long enough to do so. Not quite sure what to do about that. Probably nothing.

3. Walk at least ten miles this week.

I did manage this. Work made it easy. I guess my day job is good for something other than an endless supply of sarcastic haiku.

Next would be the part where I set new goals for a new week, but I'm not doing that this time. Instead I have set goals for the entire month.

1. Complete Effigy's final edits

The proofreader's finished, and my work schedule has freed up, so it's time. There are twenty-eight chapters which gives me a target of completing one chapter a day. Of course, it's now February 3rd and I have yet to start (hence the already being behind thing), so I'll be playing catch-up for a bit. But I wouldn't be me if I wasn't playing catch-up.

2. Complete Effigy's blurb

Yeah, I know. It's still not done. I took it off the table completely last year when I knew that publishing Effigy in 2013 wasn't going to happen. But as it's 2014, it's time to dig the blurb out of the vault once again. Yay.

That's going to do it for me today. What's on your agenda for this week or the month?