Friday, January 14, 2011

What a Week!

It's been a good week. The kind of week that sets you spinning somewhat off kilter -you know, where you have to take a moment to hang on, regain your bearings and catch your breath. In a good way.

Remember my "Just Do It" resolution for this year? This is the week I jumped in head first. I now attend a new writer's group. It's small -just three of us. We all write middle grade and young adult novels. We plan to meet every two to three weeks, and we each get up to 40-45 minutes to share and be critiqued. We can ask for whatever we need - brainstorming, plotting, line edits, constructive criticism, etc.  It will be a nice complement to my other writer's group. Between the two, I'll have three meetings a month. That will require me to write on a deadline. I'll need the practice and the accountability because....

I got accepted to Patti Lee Gauch's HEART OF THE NOVEL workshop in Honesdale!

I'm just a little excited about it. *Can't wipe grin off face*  The workshop is divided into two sessions. The first meets for four days in May. We'll look at what makes a novel come alive, then we'll begin a novel, making certain it has the right characters, an original idea, and a solid story line. We'll set writing goals before we leave in May for Part II, which meets in October. I can't wait to get there! In the meantime, I'm plotting, creating character sketches, and researching, researching, researching.

It's a bit scary to me to commit to writing a complete draft in five months. I've not had to write to a deadline - not like this anyway. But I figure if I can do this, I can handle an editor's deadlines someday. Right? Here's hoping!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good Reads and Happy New Year!

It is once again time for my yearly reading post. I didn't read as many this year as I would have liked, but I liked what I read. I've placed an asterisk next to my very favorites (which tend to be fantasy), but if they are on the list I enjoyed the book.

There was a recent buzz on Facebook about The BBC Book List. Here is an interesting Post about the Facebook book list verses the original BBC list that was compiled in 2003. They are a bit different, as you will see. I was a little discouraged to find I'd only read 20 on the Facebook list, so this year one of my reading goals is to tackle the classics. I got a Kindle for Christmas *giggles with glee*. There are quite a few free downloads in the Classics choices. My first read will be EMMA, by Jane Austen. As for hard copies, I've a stack of ARCs hip deep that's been taunting me for a while. I have plenty of books to keep me occupied.

So here it is...

Books I've Read In 2010 List
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold*
Starcrossed, Elizabeth C. Bunce*
The Hobbit, J.T. Tolkien*
The Lost Hero, Rick Riordan
The Exiled Queen, Cinda Chima*
Illegally Blonde, Nelsa Roberto
Claire de lune, Christine Johnson
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins*
The Hero's Trail, T.A. Barron
Spells, Aprilynne Pike*
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Stephanie Meyer
Beast, Donna Jo Napoli*
His Excellency, George Washington, Joseph J. Ellis
The Smile, Donna Jo Napoli*
Sisters Red, Jackson Pearce
Harmonic Feedback, Tara Kelly*
Prada & Prejudice, Mandy Hubbard*
Radiant Shadows, Melissa Marr
Stories From the Nerd Herd, Edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Eighth Grade Bites, Heather Brewer
The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great, Donald Mass*
Another Faust, Daniel & Dina Nayeri
Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia, Cindy Pon*
Graceling, Kristen Cashore*
Wings, Aprilynne Pike*
Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850, Bartoletti

Books I've Read in 2009
Books I've Read in 2008

Happy Reading and Happy New Year!