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Showing posts from May, 2010

Listening for the accent

A friend told me once that she hears my voice whenever she reads my writing. It's a woman's voice with an English accent of course, and my friend says she likes it. But I wonder sometimes, how will I write a Texan if my accent stays the same?

I know I can write with more than just one English accent. Sometimes I leave off endings of words, skip syllables or sounds and write Mancunian. Other times I'll be prim and proper and write a landed Londoner with a mouth full of plums and silver spoons. But what if my character's an American teenager, like in my Hemlock Edge stories. Will everyone hear the words with an English accent, or will only my friends?

I've read a few books recently where the written accent was very much part of the tale. What's Really Hood, edited by Wahida Clark, is a book of street stories told in the language of the streets. What impressed me particularly was how easily readable it was, the narrative text maintaining the same street accent till …

Book Blurbs

I signed my contract for Gypsy Shadow Publishing, filled in my tax form and put them both in the mail. It's scary stuff. I worked on writing a new author bio for them too - one where I finally admit I might really be an author. I have to do a book blurb and one-sentence summary next. I'm not sure which part of it all is scariest.

Writing the blurb is an interesting exercise. Once upon a time I always wanted to write blurbs for my stories. I imagined how the back of the book would read, a cleverly catchy paragraph perhaps, giving nothing away except for the subtlest hint. Then I started submitting to publishers and agents and learned that a real synopsis has to tell the whole tale. I struggled and groaned and trained myself not to keep secrets.

But now I'm writing a real book blurb and I mustn't tell it all or why would anyone buy it. Even naming the genre's got me asking my son for help. I can't say this, or that, or the other, or... well, never mind.

I'm stil…

More Reading and Reviews

I finally got around to totalling April's points for the Reading Journey, so I'm feeling pretty good about how much I'm reading, even though it seems like I never have time. I guess graduation weekends gave me a good excuse to be busy, but they also meant I was hanging around waiting for things to happen quite a lot, so maybe that's how I managed to read so many long books recently.

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz, was an appropriate book for the season. The author paints a very authentic picture of the admissions process, while including an intriguing mystery as her protagonist tries not to admit the secrets of her past or of present emotions.

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, is another relatively long book that I borrowed from a friend's grandson - yes, a long children's book, and an excellent read.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton was a wonderful read (also long), set in Australia, London and Cornwall, and spanning the last century w…

!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I'm speechless!!!!! And smiling all over my face so broadly I'm not sure how I managed to eat dinner.

I just got an email from Gypsy Shadow Publishing. There was a contract in the attachments! I won their writing prompt competition and they're going to publish my entry as an e-book!

Follow the link and you'll see my name on their front page. I still can't quite believe it. I keep going there to check. Yes, it really is me. Yes, I really have a contract. Yes, if I could just stop running around like a headless chicken long enough I might even read and sign it...

And post a quick blog post to share the good news!

Carry your Business Cards everywhere

I wander the internet, meeting a world of wannabe writers like me, and real writers, and really skilled wannabes, and maybes, and almosts, and ams. I pick up hints which I try to obey, and I work on remembering to say that "I write" when people ask "What do you do?" They usually walk off muddled and confused.

One thing I learned a long while back was that you're always meant to carry a stack of business cards. "You'd be amazed how many opportunities you get to give them away," or so they say. Though I haven't plucked up courage yet to offer cards to strangers, and I'm still unamazed.

I do carry them though, most of the time, but when I went to my son's graduation, I decided not to bother. It was his day, not mine. And for the first time ever, someone sitting next to me asked "What do you do?" was interested in my answer, and wanted to know how he could find my books.

John, if you're out there, you'd've made my day ex…

The graduates

One son's a doctor. One just got his Bachelor's. And I feel old. So now I'm home after a long and eventful weekend. Real life looms with growing weeds and rain outside the window-pane. Inside the cupboards are emptying fast, while washing machine and dryer are full to overflowing. The rooms explode with sheets and towels and several weeks worth of black and white tee-shirts on top of holey jeans. I struggle to have and to fold, and can't hold onto the children because they're all grown.

Still, I also feel proud, just in case you were wondering. And stunned and astonished at the sons' achievements. And glad that I could watch one while my husband watched the other because, in accordance with Murphy's Law, they graduated on the same day at the same time but in different states.

So, if I've seemed to be slow to respond to emails, and oddly absent from the internet and your posts, now you know why. It was a really good weekend.

creative writer blogger award

Image
I just got another blogger award, this time a

Creative Writer Blogger Award

from Creative Writer A F Stewart. (Many thanks!)

Apparently, as a recipient I have to tell seven facts, all lies and one truth (or all truth and one lie), leaving my readers (if any) to guess which is which. Afterwards I have to send said readers chasing links to seven more creative writers. So, here goes...

My Creative Facts:

My siblings include a Catholic priest, a retired schoolteacher, an astronaut, a secret agent, a mother of ten, a librarian, and an alien.My past and present pets have included several goldfish, a cat that my Mum said ran away to live on a farm, a dog that escaped through a hole in the fence, a goat, a pony, a spider and an invisible unicorn.My favorite pastimes as a child included reading, writing, travelling in space, saving the world, dancing, building with Legos, and controlling a very large family of imaginary children.My favorite music includes classics, classic rock, indie, rap, metal, …

Snowflakes in May

A member of our writing group issued a challenge to create a small book, or other writing project, from scratch. Impelled by my excitement at finally picking 5 poems to send to Poetic Asides yesterday, I decided to try to compile some of my other poems into a "chapbook." If you've ever tried that, you'll know what "fun" it is trying to order, reorder, pick, reject, repick, etc...

I bought the Snowflake Pro software a while ago to help organize my novel-writing. It was on sale for a ridiculously low price, and it has indeed got me more organized, though I'm not sure I use it the right way - more as a list-what-I've done machine than one to point me in the right direction. Still, organization after the event is better than no organization..., and those poems really needed to be organized.

I decided to list my poems like chapters in Snowflake Pro, with critical lines or comments like scene descriptions, and there I was, just dragging them up and down the…

I did it!!!!!

I finally submitted my "best five" poems to the April 2010 PAD Poetic Asides challenge, just crawling under the "midnight (Georgia/Ohio time) on May 5, 2010"‏ deadline. On July 4th there'll be an announcement of top poems from the month and Poet Laureate, not that I expect to make either of those. But there's a certain satisfaction to knowing I really did write a poem a day for thirty days, and managed to whittle the thirty down to only five favorites. There's a certain satisfaction to the word "submission" too. I made a submission! I did it!!!

Still Reading that Journey

It's May - the month of graduation and change and memorial - and I'm still taking that reading journey. Recent books read and reviewed include...

Running out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix was a really interesting children's book, despite my husband's complaint that it sounded like "The Village" revisited from the back cover. It's depiction of modern America through the eyes of a frightened 1840s teenager was just stunning.

Immortal Warrior by Lisa Hendrix was a surprisingly absorbing read, combining Norse and Celtic mythology with a fascinating historical romance set in the time of William the Conqueror. I loved it and can't wait to read more of the series.

Rion, by Susan Kearney, is the second in her Pendragon Legacy series. If I'd read it before reading Jordan (book 3), the latter might have been less confusing. Which leaves me wondering just how I'll ever complete my magical series without totally flumoxing readers who enter at book 3. A…