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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stephen Fry on Language

Stephen Fry on Language (see below) is one of my favorite videos. It was first introduced to me in a literature class a few years ago. Now the editor part of me wants to disagree about the lack of need for a strict use of language, but the lover of words side of me delights in the world's ability to adapt and change language to fit into our new landscape. I love language's ability to evolve but don't try to make it evolve in anything I have to edit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: Overwhelmed By Everything

Surised to see me on a Tuesday? I decided to start posting on Tuesdays with the Tackle it Tuesday meme, where I will post about things I have had to "tackle" in the past week. So of course it makes sense that I will start off this tradition with complaining about all of the things I had to complete this past weekend.

Some of you may know that I am in my senior year of college and trying to apply to grad programs for my Masters in Publishing. Well on Thursday I sent in my first application. I still have four more applications to fill out, but this is the second step towards my editing goal (my first step was getting an internship). This is nerve wracking for me. Anyone who has ever tried to get something they really wanted and was forced to play the waiting game knows what I mean.

While I am waiting for that, I have had to finish two editing tests, was rejected for a job, work on a short story I want to submit for a themed magazine issue, work on my novel, help put together a blog tour, homework, and two critiques for my writing group. Wow that's a lot right? I'm not even sure that is the completed list.

I am excited about my short story though. It is my first time trying to do a speculative and horror story so I am kind of pumped. This is also the first time I have had to write something on a deadline outside of school. I really love this story so far though, so I hope it's not my first literary rejection. Even if it is I would still shop it around.

With everything going on I have barely had time to work on Song in My Heart. I hate when I don't have time to work on my major projects because it makes me feel as if I will never finish it. I am the type who likes to see results fairly fast. Kind of surprising for someone who is looking into two careers that take time and patience: writing and editing. But in my defense when I edit I can see the edits I do and when I write I see the addition of words to the story.

Some kind of exciting news for me, though, is I signed up on NetGalley, thinking no one would send me galleys to review. Much to my surprise, so far I have seven requests for reviews and only two declines.  I really did not expect that to happen, but I am glad it did. That means in the coming weeks I will start doing book reviews here. I need a little time to catch up with work and read the books, so the first one probably won't come until mid- to late-March. The books I requested all sound really interesting and  I look forward to reading them. I haven't decided what day to post them on, but I will be sure to tell you before hand.

This post has started to ramble and has strayed from the original topic of how I have been super busy these past few days, so I'm going to just close it out now. See you Friday.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Doyle Estate to be Sued Over Sherlock

I find law fascinating. In fact before I decided to pursue my love of editing as a career, I had already taken my Lsats and was making out my list of law schools to apply to. But I love literature even more than law. So imagine my excitement that these two areas are combining for what is shaping up to be the biggest literary lawsuit of the decade. Even more so since one of my favorite characters is the star.

Now in case you have been living under a publishing rock here is what's going on. Writer/lawyer Leslie Klinger was poised to publish a book of stories about Sherlock Holmes and characters inspired by him from various writers. His publisher then got a message from the Doyle Estate threatening to tell the distributers not to print the books if they did not pay the estate fees.

Klinger, having paid fees for his various Sherlock books in the past, felt this was the last straw and decided to sue. 

"It is true that some of Conan Doyle's stories about Holmes are still protected by the U.S. copyright laws. However, the vast majority of the stories that Conan Doyle wrote are not. The characters of Holmes, Watson, and others are fully established in those fifty 'public domain' stories. Under U.S. law, this should mean that anyone is free to create new stories about Holmes and Watson. 

"This sin't the first time the Estate has put pressure on creators. It is the first time anyone has stood up to them. In the past, many simply couldn't afford to fight or to wait for approval, and have given in and paid off the Estate for 'permission.' I'm asking the court to put a permanent stop to this kind of bullying. Holmes and Watson belong to the world, not to some distant relatives of Arthur Conan Doyle."

I say Bravo, Klinger! I may not know a lot about law, but his argument sounds sound to me. Now I may be a bit bias in this a opinion because I have plans for a teenaged Sherlock story and cannot afford to pay the Estate anything. I am glad someone is standing up to them. They tried to take money from the wrong person this time, and hopefully for the last time.

For more information visit Free-Sherlock.com

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Top Five Procrastination Destinations

In my first post I talked about how I get easily distracted from writing. These are the top five places I go for easy distractions.

1. Absolute Write

Those forums are addictive. Talking to people with different experiences is a great way for me to learn more about writing and publishing. I keep my eye on a few of these forums, but generally just cruise through and reading through whatever catches my eye. It is a great place for anyone in the writing industry to get information, whether you are a writer, editor, publisher, or something else.

2. Facebook

The publishing house I intern at has a private board for authors and staff. There are always great posts linking to different blogs and articles that can keep my attention for a while. This is where I find a lot of interesting articles that I eventually tweet.

3. Twitter

I love this form of connecting with people. I see and send out different articles, videos, and blog posts about writing and publishing. Because I read through every article I post, this is a great time waster. I love doing it and learn so much.

4. Blogger

If you guys could see the amount of posts I have drafted on here you would understand why I call this a procrastination destination. I love that I have this forum to express my thoughts and ideas and can't wait to share everything I have planned for you.

5. Email

I get a bunch of emails from my internship, Twitter, schools, and other places. Going through it all can be tedious, but I tend to gain access to even more interesting articles and information on publishing and editing.

Now I know procrastination can have a bad connotation but, if you don't take time from writing, ideas can dry up and you can become stressed. I often need something to do to get my mind off things and relax before I jump back into writing. These places are the perfect way for me to unwind. I suggest for everyone to find there own top Procrastination Destinations you can retreat to when writing gets to be to much. Don't procrastinate so much where you get nothing done, though, just step away from the writing long enough to let your brain take a break.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Liebster Award

So for the second week in a row, I was tagged in something that pushes my planned post back. I will probably end up posting that one tomorrow, so it's really no big deal. The amazing Paige Lollie nominated me for the Liebster Award. She, like me is a young writer and wants to get into publishing. If you find any of that interesting, follow her. I know I do.

The Rules of the Liebster Award:

1) Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to that person's blog.
2) Ask eleven questions posted by the presenter, ask your nominees eleven questions, and list eleven random facts about yourself.
3) Nominate eleven bloggers who you feel deserve this award and have less than 200 followers.
4) Post this award on your blog

Since I don't know eleven blogs that have less than 200 followers, if you read this then you can consider yourself nominated. Comment and I will link to your blog in this post.

Ok so my eleven random facts:

1. I write across genres. In the back wings I currently have an NA mystery, NA clockworkpunk, and YA fantasy. There are others, but those are the one most on my mind.
2. I am a total chocoholic. If you love me send me chocolate.
3. I read almost anything except horror.
4. Sherlock, Supernatural, and Doctor Who are my favorite shows
5. Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O are my role models
6.  I love to knit
7. I have arthritis
8. My dream is to become a popular enough writer where people will write fanfiction based on my work
9. I speak a little French and am trying to become fluent
10. I can't swim
11. I listen to almost any kind of music

Paige asked:

1) What was the first job you've had? What job do you have now?

My first job was working at a college bookstore and a math tutor (they were at the same time). Currently I am an intern at a small publishing house.

2) What is your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness is over editing. It makes it difficult for me to write because my mind wants to revise.

3) What are your top three favorite foods?
Pasta, escargot, and goat cheese

4) Who or what is your biggest inspiration with writing?
Many of my plots and characters come to me as I am falling asleep. S I guess sleep inspires me. With other authors, Tamora Pierce. I love her books.
5) In a story, would you be the main protagonist, the damsel, the villain, the side-kick, or the background character? Why?
I would rather be the background character. I am not one to want to be in the forefront. Just let me do the background work.
6) Where do you hope to be in five years?
Five years from now I want to have my Masters in Publishing and working as an Editorial Assistant at a publishing house.
7) Who is your dream girl/boy?
I don't really have a dream person. As long as they are intelligent, funny, and enjoy some of the same things as me, then we would be okay.
8) Confidence booster time! What are five good/positive/amazing things about yourself?
Hmmm I think I am creative, intelligent, a good baker, good knitter, and I can remember almost every movie I've ever seen and book I've read.

9) What is your favorite holiday and why?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love spending all day cooking with my family and even better eating it all!
10) When and what made you realize you wanted to write?
I;ve always known I wanted to write. I figured I would have other jobs and never expected to make a living off of it, but as long as I got to share my work I would be happy.

11) Quick! The world is under attack! What is the weapon you go for, real or fictional?
Can I have the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter or the Ring of Invisibility from Lord of the Rings? Really I just want to hide until it's over.

My Questions for you dear readers:

1. What skill do you wish you had?
2. What is the first thing you remember writing?
3. What fictional character do you identify with the most?
4. Who is your favorite author?
5. What is your dream job (other than being a writer)?
6. If you could only write one genre forever, what would it be?
7. Outline or fly by your pants?
8. If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
9. Where is your favorite place to write?
10. What kind of movie is your life (romance, comedy, tragedy, etc.)?
11. What would you name your memoirs?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

So I had a totally different post planned for today, but a couple of great bloggers, Shayla Mist and Amanda Roberts, tagged me for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. You should really go check out their blogs. I am supposed to talk about one of the books I have published or in progress. Since I have nothing published I picked one of my many WIPs.

What is the working title of your book?
Right now I call my story Song in My Heart

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It started with thoughts of my MC, Jessica. I had visions of a singer with green streaks in her hair and my mind just started building a story behind her.

What is the genre of the book?
The book will be contemporary erotic romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh I never thought about who would play Jessica until now. Maybe Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Stone, if they dyed their hair brown. Especially when they look like this:


For Julian, I have only imagined Daniel Gordh. Specifically how he portrays Darcy in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Singer, Jessica Jones, is pulled back home to be pressured into a marriage for money to the sexy, but irritating computer engineer, Julian Moore.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?
There are no publishing plans yet, but I would like to go the traditional route and be represented by an agent and publisher. If that doesn't work out, then self-publishing is fine with me.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
*blush* I am actually still working on the first draft. This story won't see shelves for a while yet.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I think maybe a Nora Roberts book but with more sex.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I have been a sucker for romance novels for as long as I've remembered. I used to sneak my grandmother's old Harlequin romance novels when I was still in elementary school. I don't even know if I am physically capable of writing something without even a dash of romance in it.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Jessica is not a wilting flower. She stands up for what she wants and allows no one to push her around. Julian is much the same, so there will be plenty of head butting going on between the two.

Next on the blog hop will be Musa authors Karen Kennedy Samoranos and Grace Wen.

*I own none of the pictures used in this post

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Movie Review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

As I said I will usually only post on Fridays, but today is one of those days I will be posting off schedule. Yesterday I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for the first time. Yes, yes, I know, I am very late, but in my defense I wanted to see it a long time ago. Between school and conflicting schedules with friends, I didn't get the chance.

I originally wanted to see the movie because 1. I love the Lord of the Rings Trilogy from a few years ago and 2. Martin Freeman. The trilogy has been some of my favorite movies for years. I probably have  seen each movie over ten times, sometimes watching the entire trilogy in one sitting.

And Martin... I fell in love with his acting in his show Sherlock, but have watched him in several films since. He is such a phenomenal actor that every role he does seems like a completely different person. I was excited that one of my favorite film series would now be staring one of my favorite actors. (You don't want to see me react when Benedict Cumberbatch has a bigger role in the movies.)

From the start of the movie I was amazed. They were able to somehow, seamlessly transition between parts from LotR to the background needed to understand The Hobbit's plot back to LotR, before settling into the main storyline of The Hobbit. Even describing the story progression sounds all over the place, but Peter Jackson did a great job at making it work.

The little details in inserted in the movie to give hints to later happenings were masterful. When Frodo is going through Bilbo's treasure chest, he pulls out a few things, that to the observant eye, gives little clues to what is coming up.

As with all of the other LotR movies, the visual affects are stunning. The entire movie looks as if it were shot in front of a green screen, but apparently New Zealand is just naturally that beautiful. The soft beauty of the setting gives a contrast to the tough dirty look of all the main characters and enhances the beauty of the elves whenever they are on screen.

Along with the elves of Rivendell, another minor character you would recognize from the previous movies is Gollum. His scene has to been my favorite in the entire movie. Although he is a CG creation, his mannerisms, facial expressions, and actions all present the inner fight for sanity he goes through.The scene is a perfect balance of funny, scary, and exciting. Bilbo and Gollum are fighting back an forth, but not in the physical sense, but mentally. Although Gollum is portrayed as insane, he is still shown to be highly intelligent, holding his own in a battle of riddles.

Gollum isn't the only character that is able to show everything he is thinking through body language; Bilbo seems to wear his heart on his sleeve. Somehow Martin is able to express so many thoughts and feelings through his face and you can only sit there amazed that a person has such ability.

Though Bilbo and Gollum's scene together does not have much action, the rest of the movie makes up for it in spades. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the amount of action in the movie was a pleasant surprise. There was a great deal of swords flurrying around and arrows flying through the sky.

All in all, I think it's a movie almost anyone could enjoy. Fun for the family and men and women would find something to love about it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Writing Habits and a Hello

For the past few days, I have been debating back and forth on what topic I should write on for my first post. After watching a video by Joanna Penn about cultivating better writing habits I knew exactly what to talk about. I know I am in the horrible habit that instead of writing, I am constantly reading or wandering around the internet.

This video, though, inspired me to stop squandering my time so much, and make more time for writing. I constantly want to write and have ideas bouncing around my head, but I'm so easily distracted that I end up doing other things even as I think about the sort of things I wish I were writing at the moment.

With this in mind I have made the (belated) New Year's Resolution to write at least 500 words a day. That is enough to write two 80,000 word novels in a single year. As I get more comfortable in the habit of writing, I will start upping the minimum words per day.

So many goals for this year: Completing my two in progress novels, writing a few short stories I have in mind, and starting on the process of qualifying for the SFWA Associated Membership. So far 2013 has been a good year for me, but maybe I can extend this good fortune into my writing life.

One of the more public goals of the year is keeping up this blog. I love connecting with other writers and readers and hope that I will be able to here. You can expect posts every Friday, with the occasional post on other days. Almost everything I post will be about writing, reading, publishing, and the world that encompasses all of that.

See you next Friday.

How To Write More And Create A Daily Writing Habit by Joanna Penn