Showing posts from July, 2015

Restaurant Week NYC: Lafayette

New York Restaurant Week is twice-annual, when many restaurants have specific discounted prix-fixed menus. This time around, it goes from July 20th to August 4th and, being a little inspired by Michelle Tran's restaurant posts, I decided to take pictures of my meal.

My best friends Nali and Jessi and I went to Lafayette, a French bistro on Lafayette and Great Jones in NoHo, Manhattan--not our usual neighborhood and not our usual fare. Which is the point of Restaurant Week! Lafayette has a bakery in front--and a bar tucked into a corner, from which I ordered a cocktail called the Raspberry Fix.

It was fizzy and fruity and sweet. I drank that first one wayyy too quickly. Nali tried a sip and said it tasted like Tang. :-) It was on the lighter end of cocktails, almost tasted like soda, and therefore, I was buzzed rather quickly. Nali ordered a mint Julep. Once we were seated in a comfy corner booth, Jess ordered a drink called the French Melon, which tasted much more of lemon than me…

How To Write Contemporary

This week, I hit a wall while writing my novel. I've been having problems with Sagging Middle-itis and I was up to a transitional part where Victoria, in 1895, is about to embark on something and...

I just couldn't move forward with it.

I know where this story is going, but it's not getting there--it's just useless amounts of words on the page.

This GIF accurately depicts how I felt about this particular draft.

So I thought. And I angsted. And I critiqued Michelle Tran's first three chapters, which reminded me what writing good chapters were like. And I read fan fiction. And I watched some movies. And I watched Hayley Atwell's Dubsmash clips, 'cause they amuse me. And my best friend told me via email: "You probably know this by now, but you're your own worst critic." Yes. Yes, I am.

I figured out what's been bothering me about this book: it's in thinking that it's going to be half historical and half contemporary. I've read boo…

Guest Post: What Editors Wish You Knew

Guys, we have a very special guest blogger today--the woman who corrected my grammar and comma splices in Pearl, acquiring editor and freelance editor extraordinaire, Jess d'Arbonne! Jess agreed to write a post explaining those mysterious creatures of the publishing world: editors.

What Editors Wish You Knew
When my author friend asked me to write a post for her blog, my initial reaction was giddy excitement. At last! An opportunity to reach out to writers in one small corner of the Interwebz and dispel all their misconceptions about editors and our nefarious ways! I could bridge the divide between creative types and the heartless overlords who alternately crush their dreams and dangle the carrot of literary immortality before them! I could be the Jimmy Carter of the publishing world.
Or I could make things much worse. Probably that. But hey, points for good intentions, right? By day I’m an acquiring editor for a university press. By night I do freelance developmental editing and…

30 Books Read!

I've now read 30 books this year. I think this list is particularly diverse in genre and form. There's a nonfiction book, a contemporary romance, a dystopian novella, a book of plays, poetry, and short stories.

21. China Dolls by Lisa See. Historical fiction/Chinese-American History/Japanese-American History/1930s/WWII. 3 stars.

22. The One In My Heart by Sherry Thomas. Contemporary Romance. 2 stars.

23. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson. Poetry/American poetry. 4 stars.

24. Cutting The Bloodline by Angeline Trevena. Dystopian/Sci-fi. 4 stars. Review.

25. The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey #3) by Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction/Mystery. 3 stars. Review.

26. The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquintaine #1) by Elizabeth Chadwick. Historical fiction/Fictionalized biography/Medieval/France. 5 stars.

27. Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn. Short stories/Horror/Fantasy/Supernatural/Folklore/Japanese culture. 3 stars. Review.


Happy 1 month, Pearl!

Once upon a time, in a not-very-exotic land called Queens, there was a short, shy-to-the-point-of-stupefication young nerd who realized that she liked stories. Loved them, in fact. Absorbed them quickly.

At age nine, influenced by her best friend who was a brilliant storyteller and the books she loved so much already, the girl decided to try to write a story that wasn't for school.

It was about eight pages long, was a direct plagiarized version of Interview With The Vampire (don't ask what this girl was doing watching movies like that at her age; her parents had no concept of movie ratings), but she'd had fun writing it.

Twenty years later, she wrote and published a novella...

PEARL has been out for a month today. That went by fast! (As opposed to the twenty years of creative writing. That did not go by fast.)

Since this is a "writing process" blog (at least in part), here are the numbers:

-16 sold. Of those, 1 of them was me (checking on the formatting), 15 were…

An Excerpt from Chapter 19

So. . . I don't know what's going on, but it's like the dam broke and all of a sudden, I'm just typing like it's NaNo at the Vic/Nic story. Which is great! I'm not going to question it. But I realized something today: 
1. I'm in love with The Remains of the Day, which is my current read.
2. It's been twenty years since I started writing creatively. So henceforth, we're celebrating!
I wrote something today that I think kind of describes what it's like to be a creative person. It's a draft, it's kind of rough, but I'll let Nicole take the floor:

Don't be paralyzed; just write

In the past, when I'd finished a story and it sat on my computer waiting for the day when I would revise it, let a friend read it, feel like I knew more in order to fix it up, or shelve it, only to be read on the occasions when I felt nostalgic or for a blog post, I could let the story pass from my mind and move on to the next thing.

But here's the thing about having released a book into the e-book universe: you can't just forget about it. It's out there. People--well, people I know--the day someone I don't know reads it, I'm going to have a heart attack--people are reading it. I want to promote it a bit, here and there.

I put the novel I'm in the middle of...drafting, I suppose...on hold for a bit while I finished and then published Pearl. But now Pearl's out and I've been getting back into the headspace to write Nicole the modern day existential heiress and Victoria the Victorian Age poor relation turned actress turned businesswoman.

All I could …

IWSG July: I Wrote a Book

This is a post for IWSG. The Insecure Writer's Support Group posts every first Wednesday of the month, releasing our neuroses into the world. Come join us!

Thanks to this month's co-hosts: Charity Bradford,S.A. Larsen,AJ,Tamara Narayan,Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!

I wrote a book.

I wrote a book?

I wrote a book!

On June 13th, I pressed the "publish" button on my self-pubbed historical novella PEARL. So now, three weeks later, I can say "I wrote a book," but more importantly, "I wrote and published a book."

Since then, I've been getting back into the sagging middle of my Victorian/contemporary novel while also wrapping my head around the publicity and marketing side of having your book out by ear:
I played with my Amazon keywords. I've had my tight little writing group let me do guest posts and interviews on their blogs. Here, here, and here. I've joined a historical fiction group on Facebook. I joined an author's group on Goo…