Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Montage

The end of the school year for teachers is a crazy busy time, especially if you travel and have more than one building to close. I have three to shut down this year, and I'm preparing to implement a brand new program for next year. It is a fabulous opportunity for the kids, and I'm excited! Don't tell anyone, but I've got the best job in the district.

I've neglected my blog in May. Sorry! But today I've some things to share. It's a bit of a hodgepodge. No real theme, just some catch up items.

Forty-Seven days until I leave for the Writer's Workshop at Chautauqua (dances with glee in between severe bouts of anxiety).

I'm now on Twitter! That's right, one more writing distraction has been added to my life. You can thank Alex, a former student and current Novel Workshop attendee. He informed me that I needed to join because of the contacts, the information, and the literature chats - specifically #YALitChat, every Wednesday night from 9PM - 10:15 PM. He then proceeded to sign me up, give me a username and password, and emailed the information to me. I asked him if that made us both twits. He laughed, kind of, then forwarded to me a list of Tweet vocabulary. I am now ready for Twitterland, and I promise not to call any fellow tweeters twits.

I am reading a new book called HARMONIC FEEDBACK, by debut author Tara Kelly. You can find out more about her at her website, and on Twitter @AuthorTaraKelly.

Here are some recent posts I've read with terrific writing advice:
Wordiness, Wordiness, Wordiness List
The Ten Best Things You Can Do For Your Manuscript
NaNoReVisMo #1: the electric kool-aid conflict test
Nine Questions & Answers, by Cheryl Klein

Kim Kasch posted a beautiful poem on her blog today: Memorial Day - Let's Take a Minute to Remember

Thanks to author Rena Jones who awarded me the Blogger Buddy Award. (Sorry it took me so long to post). I love this, because it came from Rena, and because I'm a sucker for blog bling...

My garden (aka. the jungle) is calling.  I must attempt to tame at least one area before dinner. The rest of the evening is slated for my WIP.  Have a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Because It Made Me Think...

I'm amazed at this man's accomplishments. What a difference our mindset and attitudes make!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, Cool blog post recommendations, and Spellbound

Today is Mother's Day here in America, and for me, it's been a good one. My husband took me out for a brunch buffet at a local restaurant named Riley's. It was wonderful to be able to have an uninterrupted conversation! My daughter spent the night with a friend, but she came home with a big smile on her face and roses in hand. My next door neighbor's little girl arrived with a beautiful purple carnation, and my daughter and son presented me with cards that made me laugh and the DVD of Avatar. I have a terrific couple of kids and a keeper of a husband. Thank you all for making my day the best!

If you are a Sci-fi writer and you're world-building, Jaclyn Dolamore has a great post called 10 Awesome Books for Fantasy World-Building.

Angela Ackerman's blog, The Bookshelf Muse, is another great site to help you make your story come alive for the reader. I visit often to use her emotion thesaurus, setting description thesaurus, and color, texture and shape thesaurus.

And finally, I'm not much of a television watcher, but I do like Britain's Got Talent. There are several really good acts this year, but my favorite so far is a troupe called Spellbound. Youtube has disabled the embedded option, but you can watch by clicking here. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Antagonistic Synopsis!

My synopsis is out to get me.

Chautauqua has given me an assignment: Write a one page synopsis to send with the first 2500 words of my novel. Due June 1st. Okay, I can do this. I know what my novel is about. I've written the premise and turned it into a logline. I've prepared a picture file to help me visualize my settings. I've done character studies and I know my protagonist well. I've written the first six chapters. I thought it was all very clear in my head... until I tried to put it down as a synopsis. That's when I realized there were major issues.

First, my ending is fuzzy. How can I write my story if I don't know where I'm going? Second, I discovered I didn't know my antagonist. So I pulled out the big guns - Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, by Donald Maass.

I don't know if you've ever used this workbook, but it's a fabulous tool. Hard to do, but that's because he makes you dig deep to get to know your characters, their motivations, and plot development. He makes you think about your darlings thoroughly, and the results are well-rounded, believable characters that (hopefully) your readers will love, and a plot that satisfies. Did I mention this was hard?

I spent over two hours this afternoon with my antagonist -getting to know her, defining her desires and goals, working on the world of my novel and how she wants to change it. It was liberating! The ending fell into place - the last piece of the puzzle. I hope, anyway. I've listed the major plot points, and I'm confident I can write the synopsis. Now, if I can only get it down to one page...