Showing posts from December, 2014

A Year in Blog: 2014

2014 was quite an exciting year, writing-wise.

I finished draft four of The Keegans of Banner's Edge and began querying it, thereby receiving my first rejection letters. But still, I finished a book, queried it, and the rejections weren't that terrible, so better luck next time!

Some of my blogging buddies and I formed a loose writing group called The Consonants. Although we haven't had a regular chat in a  while, we do email each other asking for input and advice and a bit of critique. Yay writing friends :-)!

I challenged myself to read 40 books not of the research variety in 2014 and succeeded, surpassing 40 and making it to 46 books read for the challenge and maybe more like 50 total for the year, counting books I'm reading for fiction research purposes. I might go for 42 books in 2015.

I took a tiny step in making some of my fiction more public by posting fan fiction on Granted, I haven't finished the last story I was posting on there and prob…

American Girl

I came across this image on Tumblr tonight and immediately, my childhood reading experiences came back to mind because I read all of these books. These are the original American Girl books--historical fiction stories for children, about a ten-year-old girl living in different historical periods. 
These books are probably the reason for my historical-seeking reading behavior now. I think I started with Addy's stories, then read Samantha and Kirsten's in school. In about third grade. Then I definitely remember reading Molly's stories and then, later reading Felicity and Josefina's books. I had most of the books at home--and they were such gorgeous books and the historical notes at the end were the bomb. 
So. Yeah. Slice of childhood.

Orphan Black and Outlander

Before, during, and after NaNo, I binged-watched Season Two of Orphan Black, which was twister than Season One, with more mysteries revealed and more clones in on the action.

One of the things I love about Orphan Black is Tatiana Maslany's incredible performances. She plays all of the clones. All. Of. Them. And it's incredible because in scenes where there are two or three or four clones (four clone dance party, anyone?), I don't think, "Oh, it's Tatiana Maslany acting opposite herself." I go, "Oh, it's Cosima talking to Sarah while Alison is doing something in the background."

Each of the clones has a distinct personality, appearance, reactions, just as if they were really different people who had grown up in different environments with different beliefs, despite being played by the same actress. I think it's exciting to see so many different types of women portrayed in one show. It's certainly opened up my mind to different ways I can …

NaNo Update: A Question for Performers

So, wee update on the NaNo project here:

1. I have 400 words of a re-written beginning and I think I'm getting a sense of Nicole's voice. There's a little more meat to her plot, too, but I haven't figured out how that's going to wind through yet.

2. I'm reading some research on the Victorian era, in particular The Glitter and The Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, which is a really lovely book. Her descriptions are going to be so helpful when I go back to revise the Victorian portions of the book. I've also bookmarked other books that might help; will wait for after Christmas to get those.

3. Found some fiction from that era, too: Edith Wharton to start and then maybe I'll read Henry James and then scrounge up some time to watch the movie of The Importance of Being Earnest.

4. I've also been thinking a lot about what makes Victoria tick, exactly. She chooses to become an actress in a time when girls like her did not go on the stage, so she has to h…

One New Yorker's Reaction to the Eric Garner Case

This is a rant. You have been warned.

When I was a four or five-year-old, my (white, Irish-American) father used to tell me to duck if we were in the car and a police car drove by. This is not a normal reaction to cops. In kindergarten, we were asked to draw "our heroes." The other kids drew firemen and policemen. I drew the gas station attendant. My dad has never been a person who trusted the police--shades of the Irish dislike of authority here, despite so many Irish-Americans being policemen--and so, I ducked in the car.

IWSG: The Next Plateau

It's IWSG Wednesday! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an awesome group of writers who post every first Wednesday of the month to share their ideas, struggles, and insecurities. Check out the group here! Thanks to the co-hosts for December: Heather Gardner, T. Drecker, Eve E. Solar, and Patsy Collins.

Also: pick up The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond e-book wherever  you get your e-books. I have an essay, "Writing Vivid Characters," in the volume. #shamelessplug

So, this month: I won NaNoWriMo, which left me with a 50,000-word mess of a first draft. Leaving aside the mess, the things I learned about my characters, the list of reading for research--all of them are typical for me after finishing a first draft--I feel like I'm poised on a threshold to a new plateau of writing.

"Show not tell" has always been a bit difficult for me, not being the naturally descriptive type. It's not quite right to judge a first d…