Monday, January 30, 2012

Why Do You Read/Write YA?

Laurel had a post the other day about there not being much of a market for college-aged kids out there.  I had commented that I had never really thought about it when I was in college, because I always just read YA.  Even at 30, I still read YA exclusively.

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So that got me thinking.  Why did I just read YA?  Why did I never transition into reading adult novels like many college/mid-20's people?  Why do I still read YA?

There is just something about that raw emotion YA novels (especially fantasy- my favorite) exude that (for me) adult novels just come up short on.  The whole coming of age, experiencing love and adult-like dilemmas for the first time, and just the ability to escape to another world just drew me in.  And it still does.  Your teenage years are one of the most important times in your life.  It's real and it matters.  No matter what anyone says.  It's what helps shapes you into the adult you are today.  I think those books had such an impact on me, that's why I wanted to write YA.  To give to someone what I experienced, and still do experience.

I've never been ashamed to admit I read YA.  I know some adults are, and they shouldn't be.  It's interesting how in the past few years it's become less taboo for adults to read YA.  I think Harry Potter and Twilight contributed a lot to that.  I meet so many adults now that actually sound interested when I talk about a certain YA book I'm reading.  And that makes me so incredibly happy.

So, I still don't know why there isn't much of a market out there for college aged kids.  But I do know there's nothing better than sitting down with a good YA and experiencing those teen years again just for a little while.

And then coming back to reality and realizing how glad you are those years are over.

So why do you read/write YA?  Or if you don't, what drew you to start reading adult novels?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finally Raising the White Flag

Okay.  So I never thought I'd utter the words I'm about to say.  Never.  But I'm giving up.  Raising the white flag.  You win, I lose.  I couldn't hold out forever and the opportunity presented itself so here goes....

Whew...  Okay, I'll just say it....deep breath....

I'm getting a kindle.

Omg, I can't believe I just said that.

You see, when the ereader first came out I vowed never to buy one.  Blasphemy! I cried.  What an abomination!  I need cold, hard books in my hands!  I need to support my fellow authors!  I don't want libraries and books to go away in favor of the ebook!

But as the years passed, I started to think a little more about them.  Maybe they weren't so bad.  I mean, lots of my writer friends started epublishing and it'd be SO nice to support them and buy their ebooks.  Then when they opened up library books to check out, I thought, well, that's cool- I can bring a library book on vacation without worrying about losing it.

So when my friend told me she was getting a Kindle Fire for her birthday and asked if I wanted her 1 year old kindle, I decided to throw in the towel and just take the plunge.

So I'm buying her 3G kindle and I'm very excited about it!  I get to support all my friends who have epublished, check out books from my library, get all those cool old books that are free, AND I will still buy those hard copy books I can touch and smell, so I can support my friends that publish that way too.  Because I will NOT give up my library, no matter how popular ebooks become.  But who says I can't have both?

So how many of you have raised the white flag and finally bought an ereader?  Or were you on board from the beginning?  Or are you still holding off, hoping its just a fad that will pass?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Downton Abbey...

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Oh how I love to hate you, Downton Abbey.

It's your fault I didn't get any blogging done.
It's your fault I didn't get any writing done.
It's your fault I didn't get any cleaning done.

I blame you.

Because I love you so, Downton Abbey.  You are my new obsession and I wish SO badly I could watch all of season 2 right now!  But alas...I have to wait till February when it comes out on DVD (or netflix...*crossing my fingers*) because I've already missed the first 3 episodes on PBS.

It should be a crime there are only 7 episodes in the first season.  I weep at the injustice of it all.

Until February...I bid you adieu.

*Update: OMG, I can watch season 2 on!!  They have the 1st and 2nd episode online!  Yayyayayayayayayay!  Thanks to my friend Jennie for pointing that out!

So looks like I don't have to wait until February!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We're sorry, but your account as been disabled...

Imagine my horror as I was merrily reading blogs and commenting Monday evening, when I hit "reply" on a blog, and I was redirected to a google page saying that my account has been disabled due to a violation of the terms of service.  Um.....last I recall, I don't think I put up any porn on my blog...

So naturally, I freaked out.  It said if I don't believe I violated the terms of service, to fill out this form and I MAY get my account back.  And they MAY or MAY NOT contact me.  (This was my email and blog, btw).  Holy F%@! I could totally get my email account and my blog deleted!  What did I do??  I am just a little 'ol wholesome pregnant lady trying to chronicle my life as a struggling aspiring novelist! (Which, if you didn't know already, DO NOT piss off a pregnant lady.)

So naturally, I freaked out even more.  After much crying, hair pulling, and gnashing of teeth, I clicked around google (desperately searching for a phone number so I can talk to an actual PERSON, to no avail) until I came back to the email login page and there was a link to click if you have trouble logging in.  So I clicked on that.  Then, it brought me to a couple more steps in which I had to fill out some more forms and get a code texted to my phone, change my password, promise my 2nd born child, and FINALLY I was able to get back on.  It said my account had been compromised.

So, after that near-death experience, I'm back and everything seems to be fine.  Still a bit nervous so I upped as much security and account recovery stuff as possible.  But whew, that was close. 

Anyone ever experience this with their blog or gmail account?  Did you almost DIE? How did you get your account back?

Monday, January 16, 2012

We Have a Winner!

So last night as I was agonizing over what to blog about today, I realized I had totally forgotten about our Comeback contest and needed to pick a winner!  And then I remembered I also needed to switch the laundry over that had been sitting in the washer all day.  And then I also remembered I'm off work tomorrow and Little Monster is off school.  Ah, preggo brain.

If you don't remember (which means you are probably pregnant), Colene and I held a contest celebrating our comeback to blogging.  We promised you the book of your choice if you win.

And my winner is......

Lola Sharp!

It's funny because the book she wants is Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore.  I had emailed her back and told her if she wins, I'll order her the book but I might have to read it first before I send it to her, teehee.  So, Lola, I'm going to pre-order it on Amazon for you and will be sending it to you in May (after I read it) (Just kidding...I'll probably just get it from the library- I don't want to mess Lola's pretty book up)!

Head on over to Colene's blog to see if you won over there!  Thanks to all of you for entering and showing us your support!  We truly are happy to be back to blogging!

Oh, and happy MLK day!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh Baby!

I have some exciting news I finally get to share!

No, it's not an agent or book deal. (I know I know, sorry to get your hopes up!)

It's even better! (well, for me, anyway)

My tummy, which will very quickly
get in the way of my typing I'm sure
Little Monster is going to have a little sister come May!  Mini Monster (whom I have fondly dubbed her) is kicking away as I type, taking after her big sister.  I'm sure I'll be nice and bruised up under my ribs by the time she graces us with her presence.

This decision took a long time for us- Little Monster will be 7 years older than Mini Monster, but we're confident it will be a perfect match for our family.  One thing (among many others) I did think about was my writing career.  I worried that it would be delayed and would I be willing to make that sacrifice?  The answer was a big yes.  Family comes first, and I have all the time in the world to get published.  My biological clock is ticking away and I don't want to be all old and rickety chasing after a toddler just because I decided to try and get published first.

So I totally accept the fact that my writing will probably significantly slow in the next few years, but I'm happy about it.  I'll still write and blog and all that, but it may just take a bit longer than normal.  I'm definitely not giving it up- it's my passion.

We're all super excited and it makes me happy that Little Monster is so excited.  She came with us to the ultrasound and got her own picture to take to school and show everyone.  We even took her to pick out Mini Monster's going home outfit.

Okay, off to try to bang out this WIP before our lives change forever in May!

(P.S. Don't forget to enter my contest if you haven't yet!  You get a chance to win the book of your choice!  It closes on Sunday!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Total Epic Crit Partner Fail

So....I'm a horrible crit partner.  

Friday I'm all getting ready to go out of town for Little Monster's gymnastics meet. You know, packing last minute, cleaning the kitchen, running around like a chicken with my head cut off...the usual...and I email Colene to let her know we're leaving in a bit and I probably won't have internet all weekend (we're addicted to emailing each other- if we don't hear from each other within like, 4 or 5 hours we're convinced one of us is dead).

I get this text from her:  Um, so aren't we meeting today?
Me: Uh....
Colene: We're supposed to meet today to go over my section? (we "hang out" on google+ -  pretty sweet gig, actually)
Me: Uh....wait...what?
Colene: Yeah, I sent you my ms last week and we're starting back up with meetings, right?
Me: HOLY CRAP!!  I mean..yeah, totally.... (I'm silently kicking myself because I TOTALLY forgot).
Me: Oh man, we're leaving in a bit...I'm SO sorry.  How about you and Jennie just meet and then I'll send you what I have Monday and then we can go over the next 25 next Friday.
Colene:  Well, you guys aren't sending me your notes, remember?  We're waiting till the end.
Me: Uh...wait...what??  CRAP...what the heck is wrong with me?? (okay so I may have used more explicit words in that text but I gotta keep this post PG...for my mom, you know)
Colene: Um, yeah, we talked about it last week...
Me: Okay I'm stupid...apparently I slipped into a black hole or other dimension when we were emailing about this.  But now I remember.  I'm SO Sorry.  And tell Jennie sorry I totally failed you guys as a crit partner.
Colene: It's okay, don't worry about it.  We'll meet next week.
Me: *love*  (Big sigh of relief.)

Anyway, so that was me crashing and burning as a crit partner.  But it's all good.  I've got our meetings back on the calendar now and I'm good to go!  I'm very lucky my crit ladies love me so much.  I mean, seriously, who wouldn't?  Teehee.

Have you ever "failed" as a crit partner?  Did they ever forgive you?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dreaded Synopsis

So one of the things I worked on during my break was my synopsis.  I pounded the thing out in an evening and sent it on to my crit partners.  Apparently they died of boredom so bad one even forgot to send it back to me with notes.  Sigh....

So, back to the drawing board.  Thankfully my wonderful crit partners were able to explain to me a little more about what it's all about and give me some great notes as well as give me this great link from Elana Johnson's blog :  How To Write a Synopsis

I'm still a little clueless as to how we are supposed to make an essentially dry and boring book report into something so juicy you want to immediately sink your teeth into it.  It's one of the most frustrating things I've dealt with in my writing "career" so far.  But I'm working on it...(as you can see by the self portrait)

So tell me, how did you overcome the dreadfully boring synopsis and make it shine?

(also, don't forget to enter mine and Colene's contest HERE!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Watch out 2012, I'm Back!

Hello my lovely Bloggy Buddies!  I'm very pleased to announce that I am officially back to blogging!  I miss you all so much, I just couldn't stay away too long.

And to show how much I love and adore you, and have missed the pants off you (okay not literally...because that would be weird) Colene Murphy and I have decide to hold a little contest!  Yep, she's back too!  We're comin' back in style, my peeps!

It's SO super easy and I would feel oh-so-loved if you'd just leave a comment here and tell me which book you've been DYING to read but just haven't gotten around to it.  If you win, I'll buy it for you! (or if you have a favorite book that you'd like to own, put that down!)  Plus, you have TWO chances to win- leave a comment here, and jump on over to Colene's blog and leave a comment there!  We'll be picking 2 winners on Monday January 16.

Anyway, so now that that is out of the way, I'll just do a quick little list of what I've been up to while I've been gone.
1. Finish revising WIP to make it shine.
2. Write the dreaded synopsis and subsequently kill my crit partners with boredom.
3. Drive Little Monster back and forth to school, activities, parties, and gymnastics.
4. Catch up on reading- I almost forgot how to do that.
5. Keep my house above sanitation codes.
6. Start NEW WIP, yay!

Welp, that about sums up my break!

Now I want to hear what YOU'VE been up to!  Please please let me know because I really have thought about you a lot during my break.

So remember to let me know what book you'd love for me to get you (don't forget an email if its not attached to your account), tell me how you've been doing, and go see Colene!  Contest closes Sunday January 15th!

I'm so glad to be back and see your shining faces!  Tootles and mwah!