Update Tuesday: 5/20-5/26 — May 29, 2012

Update Tuesday: 5/20-5/26

Another week gone by. Time is flying by at a rapid speed, I tell you.

I got a good chunk of background stuff done on the action-adventure novel. I still have to do a lot of research so I can plot the book itself, but that will happen this week. I just need to reach a point in the research where I can plot a basic outline and start writing. My fingers are itching to get a pen in them again.

How are your WiPs going?

Also, don’t forget to enter my 500 posts giveaway! Your odds are really good right now of winning one of the prizes! I’ll be drawing winners in early June.

Update Tuesday: Whenever to whenever — May 22, 2012

Update Tuesday: Whenever to whenever

Not sure when I last updated and such. Hence the ambiguous date range in the post title.

I’ve been working and working on Woven and I think it’s finally ready for betas. I’ve done what I can for the voice and POV edits because I think I’m just too close to the book at this point. I’ve now gone through 5 drafts of the manuscript. Sigh. Once it’s back from betas I’ll let it sit some more and then revise further. I’d love to be querying this by mid-summer.

As for other projects, there has been a lot of seesawing in my brain as to which project to work on next. I originally thought I’d go back to my Storymaker Chronicles books that I’d begun writing a month or so ago. This series of two books is set in the same world as Woven and begins around the time of that book’s trilogy’s end.

Then I went to LDStorymaker’s and, well, yeah. I’ve bounced around from project to project ever since. I might be resurrecting Clockworks and Cogs now re-named Dragon’s Steam but at a future date. I say future because I realized something as I sat down to work on the world-building and such for that book.

I need to alternate between fantasy and not-fantasy if I want to keep my sanity. Even if it’s just a short story. But my pattern has been that way for years. I find that I am creatively drained after writing a fantasy novel because I’ve put so much energy into the world building.

However, if I alternate and write even just a contemporary fantasy, one set in our world rather than an entirely created world, it’s enough of a break from the mental gymnastics of world-building that I can write. But to try to create another world entirely so shortly after I created the last one is a no-go for me. I can’t do it.

So I’m switching gears and resurrecting the action-adventure novel I’d shelved earlier this year. Already it’s going great as I launch into the research and history-writing that is required of the story I want to tell. Soon I’ll be plotting it and hopefully by the beginning of June I’ll be writing the book itself.

How are your WiPs going?

Also, don’t forget to enter my 500 posts giveaway! Your odds are really good right now of winning one of the prizes! I’ll be drawing winners in early June.

Happy Book Birthday for The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle! — May 1, 2012

Happy Book Birthday for The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle!

Announcing THE BREAKAWAY by Michelle Davidson Argyle
If you like novels bridging the gap between young adult and adult, you don’t want to miss out on The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle. Author Zoe Winters calls this contemporary novel, “Lush, literary, and multi-layered.” Author Karen Amanda Hooper says it is, “A total mind-bender that will leave you breathless.”
BOOK DESCRIPTION: When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.
The Breakaway is available now! You can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and anywhere else books are sold, both as an e-book and in print. Find it for a discounted price on the publisher’s website here: http://shop.rhemalda.com/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She loves the seasons, but late summer and early fall are her favorites. She adores chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in whatever time she can grab between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life.
You can find Michelle on her blog, http://theinnocentflower.blogspot.com
Look for my review of The Breakaway on Thursday!
Ideas — October 13, 2011

Ideas

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend a one-day conference at a nearby university.  Dan Wells was the keynote speaker and he talked about ideas.

He said that the worst question you could ever ask an author is where they get their ideas.  I agree with that, but if you ask me where I get my ideas I can always pretty much tell you.

Life.

That’s it.  He said pretty much the same thing as far as teaching us where to get ideas from.

The first novel I ever set out to write grew from a spark of an idea based on the meaning of the main character’s name.

The second novel I set out to write, which became the first completed novel, was my exploration of identity.  I guess.  I mean, the main character was a girl who lives life as herself but lives her author life under a carefully guarded pseudonym.  It’s totally implausible but it was a fun story to write.

Novel 3 was the inkling of an itch to write something in a paranormal vein.  Reading the Wikipedia page on my chosen paranormal being sparked the entire mythology when I read a two-sentence paragraph at the very bottom of the page.

Novel 4 was an expansion of a story I’d written that was sparked by a TV series I caught in syndicated reruns.  There was a storyline that was prominent in its final season and I asked myself how it would work if the characters were LDS and lived a different set of standards than the characters on the TV show.

Novel 5 (current WiP) was a combination of a love of fairy tales (more the Disney-fied tales rather than the more original versions) and an idea that struck me while playing a demo of a video game.

In all of these instances, though, I twisted the inspiration around so I wasn’t copy-catting something that, frankly, was under copyright or some other protection.  I mirrored elements but I shaped them until they really don’t resemble the original idea by the time the story gets through its final iteration.  (In some cases that final iteration is the first draft as they’re more practice at aspects of the craft and not intended for publication.)

Ideas come from everywhere.  Sometimes we don’t even know where in our real lives they come from.  I have two sticky notes on my desktop (I’m a Mac girl, what can I say?) whose contents are dreams I had two nights in a row that I plan on merging together to form another novel.  It might become the project I work on for NaNo.  But I might work on the YA adventure novel I’ve had on the backburner for ages.  (Which was also sparked by a dream.)

Writers are notorious hermits.  Or so most people seem to think.  The truth is we’re quiet observers of life.  My mom gave me a t-shirt for Christmas one year that reads “Be careful or you will end up in my novel.”

If people knew how true that is they’d all become hermits to avoid their characteristics ending up in books.  (Not that smart authors pull people wholesale from real life.  But if you know an author you can bet they’ve thought about taking a quirk or tic you’ve exhibited and putting it into a character.)

Blogging Hiatus — August 9, 2011

Blogging Hiatus

I’ll still be around, commenting on your blogs and such.  But I am kind of at a loss for time right now for creativity and blog content.  I’ll be back with regular content in September, after I move and such.

Have a great August, everyone!  (And while I’m away, please don’t hesitate to read the archives.  There are some gems there, if I may say so myself.)

Fears — July 21, 2011

Fears

“I’m afraid my book isn’t ready to query and if I query it’s too soon, ruining my chances.”

“I’m afraid no one will like my writing or the stories I have to tell.”

“I’m afraid I’ll never land an agent no matter how many books I write or how many books on craft I read.”

Not necessarily my fears, though I do worry about these sorts of things from time to time.

What are you afraid of?  Are you afraid of failing, of rejection?

Me?  I’m afraid of success.  I’m afraid of being so successful it’s no longer possible to have meaningful interaction with people who genuinely enjoy the books I publish.  (In theory since I am neither published nor soon-to-be-published.)

I have been to four author signings in my life.  Three of these were for the same author.  Of these four, these three were my favorites.

These three were held in small-ish bookstores with a hundred people, maybe 150.  Pretty small.

The other was in a high school auditorium.  Probably the only place available for not much money that could accommodate the hundreds of people coming to this.

I got my book signed at teh three for the one author.  I didn’t get my book signed at the other.

I had a nice little conversation with the author at each of the three of their signings I attended.

I never even said a word to the other author at their signing.

This huge signing, where people would have been there well into the night (on a school night and the author was a MG/YA author), like 11, to get their book signed, left me with a fear of succeeding.

I came away from this signing with the decision that I wanted to be mid-list with a devoted fanbase who allowed me to keep publishing because I always brought reliable sales.

Is this fear rational?  Probably not.  Does this post kill my chances of publishing?  Probably not though it might make it a bit more challenging when I go on the agent hunt.  But I have to be honest with myself about my goals in my career and about my fears.

What about you?  What are you afraid of in this whole publishing journey?

Under Construction — June 16, 2011
Miss You — June 10, 2011
Moving Forward — November 30, 2010

Moving Forward

Lots of upheaval of late.

I have been a horrible blog friend and blogger.  This will improve in the future.  I look forward to a change in my life that should bring lots of good things to me.  And more time for writing, perhaps.

We shall see.

I do promise to be better.

Misplaced Motivation — October 26, 2010

Misplaced Motivation

I seem to have lost my motivation to write Clockworks and Cogs.  I loved this story when it was a short story.  Adored it.  Those two days I spent in a flurry of words (almost 8200) were sheer enjoyment just for the pleasure of telling a story.

Now that I’m adapting that short story into a novel, I’ve fallen out of love with it.  I have no motivation or desire to open the document each day.  When I do open it, the file sits there, taunting me.  It’s there when I finally close down solitaire with the intention of returning to it.

It sits there when I get back from folding that next load of laundry.  It’s there, but the motivation muse has gone on permanent vacation it seems.

It doesn’t help that I’m tired all the time from school and the crazy hours I keep these days.  But I’m desperately seeking a temp muse to replace the vacationing one.  The ideas are there, sort of, but the motivation isn’t.

Has this ever happened to you?  How do you find the motivation when your muse has gone on permanent vacation to Mount Everest’s summit?