Saturday, February 28, 2009

My 200th post!!!!!!!!!!

In cellebration, I am sharing something I thought about a few weeks ago. AND, I will draw one name from the people who comment and they will get a prezzie. So. . . .

Here goes. . .
My 10 item wish list.

1) a laptop with XP instead of Vista.
2) an Alphasmart
3) a huge supply of AA batteries for aforementioned Alphasmart.
4) a black belt in Tang Soo Do.
5) a punching bag to practice Tang.
6) a scooter, the old looking vespa kind would do.
7) a chakra bracelet.
8) heck I want the georgeous chakra necklaces all seven of them.
9) a decent 15 passenger van, with air and a stereo that works.
10) a publishing contract with a huge advance for emergence and its sequels. :)

So. . . What about you? What are the top ten things on your wish list???????? Comment below and I will draw a name from the comments.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Voice and person. . .

Post #199, 200 is next!!!!!!!

Last night as I re-read some blog posts my MC of Dominion Day made last year I realized that when written in first person he has a quirky voice not evident in third. This frustrates me because I am not a first person writer, I write in third. No offence to those who write in first it is a hard position to write and I admire them.

I have struggled in the rough draft of the second book because the MC comes across as boring to some people. When I read his journal entries I am surprised at how personable he becomes. The question is, HOW do I translate it from one person to another.

I will figure it out, I love the story too much to let it go for a stupid reason. It will take time, and that is why I am glad the problem is in the second book not the first.

Just to illustrate what I mean I am including a journal entry (or two) from the things I was reading last night.

Planning to die
For those of you who don't know or haven’t thought about it. Planning to fake a death isn't as easy as it sounds. There were things that you don't normally think about. Wills, where to get a new identity, where to live, how to transfer your assets if you can... How to "Kill" yourself.

I was working on things as the new cloaking program was being tested and loaded on the Infinity, the ship we flew on. A plan was forming in my head and I was getting exited to see if it would work. I prepared my house and assets to transfer to Gage's possession if I succeeded.

There were two material possessions I hated to leave; my home which I had lived in for almost nine years and my Dodge Prowler my vanity item. But no material possession was worth staying in the Corps and under Derek's thumb.

I shipped a few boxes to be delivered to my sailboat, it was docked in Sydney Australia at the moment. I would live on my boat while things calmed down from the spectacular act that would hopefully end the war and secure my "death" in the eyes of the Corps.

The act...
Of course Gage's cloaking program worked, it had to. Everything that came from GA Tech was a huge success. Gage and his "housekeeping program" Mat, which was really an artificial intelligence program were genius'. My 60% of the company had given me quite a large retirement. If I really lived to be able to use it.

The plan was in place, and I had one definite advantage. As the munitions expert I insisted that I work alone. So if something went south, I wouldn’t take anyone with me. Once I was on the ship I would head straight for the engine compartment and set things up to destroy the ship. I would be alone and no one would see me from that moment we parted.

First, I killed an officer and stole his uniform. I made sure a door key was on his person. That was my ticket off the Mother ship. I dressed the officer in my uniform and stuffed the dead body in a utility closet. My homing beacon was in the pocket. Second, I opened the door to the engine with an EMP that melted the door controls. Whoever was guarding the area in the middle of the Anterrans sleep shift would have to fix it themselves. Third, I placed the explosives on the engine and critical points. They, of course had designed their smaller ships just like the big ship. And I knew every inch of the engines in the smaller ships. I had taken many down in my years of service.

I placed the last of the explosives, and left for the third level where the escape shuttles were housed. As I ran with the five minute detonator in my chest pocket the Earth military engaged the mother ship. In the violence that occurred as I attempted to escape the detonator was engaged. Just before the doors to the escape shuttles I informed Derek that the doors to the engine housing were locked shut and I was stuck inside. I told him I was trying to get out but I might not make it.

I opened the first shuttle door that I saw and jumped in. The shuttle was jettisoned and I flew in a haphazard way towards Earth. My boat was following my global positioning receiver and would meet me when the shuttle touched down in the ocean west of Africa where the mother ship had been this morning when we entered it. The explosion happened too soon and my shuttle was caught in it. The explosion fried my instruments, and sent me off course. A reality that I hadn't even considered. (I told you it wasn’t easy to fake your own death)

I saw, as I attempted to control the crafts descent, land where there should have been water. As the shuttle, under emergency landing procedures, hit that land it knocked me unconscious.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Writers Conferences

I just spent the last three days at LTUE. It is a free writers conference at BYU. All you have to do is get there, find a place to sleep and feed yourself. I stayed at my best friends home and had a blast!!!!! I went to her martial arts class Haidong Gumdo (the art of the sword) it was cool. Her hubby is so sweet he packed us a little portable cooler with treats.

We spent all day Friday and Saturday at the conference schmoozing with authors and taking classes. I have to say that my two favorite classes were Conflict and the Mechanism of Story Workshop by Clint Johnson, and Blurb Boiling 101 by by Lesli Muir Lytle. I also liked a presentation called "A Western in Space: An Analysis of Firefly and how it Relates to Cowboy Culture.

You need to check out, he is a writing tutor at Salt Lake Community College writing center, and is the author of Green Dragon Codex. He has an awesome formula for writing. As I listened to the class on Firefly I had am amazing epithany and I knew exactly what I needed to do with my Foxproof book. SO COOL.

In the blurb class we were taught to take our entire book and boil it down to aprox 25 words. Then once it is perfected. You use it in your querys and memorize it in case you have a chance to pitch it to anyone who could buy or represent it. She used one girls book as an example by her telling everyone about it and then having people list what stood out to them and then using those words (aprox. 10) to make a blurb from.

She asked for another "victim" and I volunteered. I read the little blurb from the back of my business card and the room went silent. For a second I thought they didn't like it. The teacher said it was really good and the consensus from the class was that I not change the last 8 words at all. She asked me if the book was done and I told her I just needed to get my edits back and she strongly suggested I start to submit it and get the edits for the first three chapters back ASAP from my readers in case somebody asked for a partial.

All I can say is AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Who knew that a little blurb I wrote at midnight could be so amazing. :)

I struggle with my worth as a writer, and while some times I am positive sometimes I get really down. Loosing a contest, hearing about the current economy and how it effects the publishing industry can sap my motivation, and discourage me. I know some of my friends feel the same way. If we wern't driven to write we'd chuck this career in the toilet. It is hard.

Today I cling to the positive blurb class experience and hope that I can have a better outlook tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inspiration VS research.

Part of my first book occurs in Kyoto Japan. It needed to be Japan but instead of Tokyo a place where many have seen pictures of and know well I chose Kyoto because it wasnt as well known and I thought it would be fun to research. I chose Canberra Australia for the same reasons, not as popular as Sydney. So as I wrote the book I did some research looking at travel websites, printing maps and researching festivals among other things.

Saturday we got a new desktop to replace the windows 98 SE. it was SOOOOOo old! Well along with other things my hubby downloads Google Earth. If you havnt seen it go out there and check it out. It is SOOOOOO cool. I was able to zoom in on cities like Canberra, Adelaide, and Nuyngen all places my book goes, as well as Kyoto. I was excited to find an all girls school called Canberra Girls Grammar School which in my imagination is now a orphanage/womens shelter. The area in Deakin has enough land that it is possible to have built several highrise appartments, again that I immagined.

(Torii Fushimi shrine tunnel)
That brings us to todays post. I was surfing the web and ran across this web photoalbum. The pictures are of Kyoto and I was so surprised that with my research combined with a hefty dose of immgination I was pretty darn close. I love that the inspiration I get is SO close and it often shocks me how close my imagination/inspiration comes.

I am thankful that I am an inspired writer. It reminds me that my skill is indeed a gift, a talent and that I am slowly improving that talent.

With a healthy dose of inspiration and research the book will be a smashing success.

Three more posts untill I get to 200 Posts!!! I have a contest and a prize! Keep reading!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Know Your Enemy

Last week when I walked into my Tang class he had the body armor out. We were going to spar. To be honest sparring freaks me out. To face a guy who's purpose is to incapacitate me?????

One thing I have an issue with when sparring is not looking my opponent in the eyes. I am supposed to be looking at his chest so I can see his arms and legs. I feel the need to look them in the eye for some reason. We discussed getting to know your sparring partners moves and techniques to analyze and use it against them.

Which made me think. Do I know my book enemy?

Every book needs to have a bad guy or what we writers call antagonists. Whether the antagonist is a real bad guy, or some trial or object to overcome it is still an antagonist.

In book one my protagonist (the good guy) doesn't have a actual physical antagonist the antagonist in this book is himslef. In book two we get to know the antagoinist who is in book one but doesnt have a major role untill the second book. Book three it all comes to a head and my MC thinks the conflict is over only to find that the antagonist left something behind for my MC. Four has a diferent MC and therefore diferent antag. Five through whatever has a antagonist that is present in 1-3 but is in the back ground.

So back to my question, do I know my enemy? To be honest, before last night I didn't. Opening up my notebook while I waited for dinner on friday started a train of thought that refused to be de-railed. So for the last few days I have contemplated who is my bad guy.

This morning, I sat down with my hot apple cider, a pen and a blank notebook. I wrote the name of the main antagonist at the top of the page. So all this morning as I supervised my kids getting ready for school I wrote out my thoughts on my antagonist. As the last kid left my house I had 26 facts that filled the page about my antagonist.

So in answer to my question, yes, I know my antagonist now. . . How about you?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The need for readers.

I sent my MS to a reader and she came back with an interesting comment. That the last third of the book wasnt as inticing as the first two thirds. This was a comment that bothered me. When i get comments from a reader I allways sonsider them for at least a moment. Then those that I don't agree with I file away into nothingness. Those that I agree with I contemplate and think about.

At that point in time I either act on them or again let them go but only after pondering. So as I thought about reader L's comment I talked with Paulette again actually I just mentioned it to her as something I was thinking about. We talked and realized that one chapter as well as it is written has to go it stopps the flow like a brick wall. The last three chapters after that were mediochre. So with a little thinking and help from the Plot Queen I was able to re structure the last four chapters and they are waiting for me to attack them with enthusiasm.

To all my readers, I do apreciate you and when I hold that hot book in my hands you will be getting a copy. Signed of course.