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Bring it on Down to Veganville

I love Justin Timberlake. He cracks me up all the time and this makes me laugh. For the rest of my life, when I’m feeling blah, I’m watching this video. I even dance with him. My kids are horrified. My husband joins in. Unmarried ladies, find a guy who’ll be silly with you even if you want to dress up like tofu because laughter is the best everything.

Take it away JT….

Bring it on Down to Veganville: SNL

 

Trailer Tuesday: They’re Filming my Book Trailer!

208529_575031679175912_1737029865_nWelcome to the first installment of Trailer Tuesday!

I’m beyond words excited to tell you the filming of my book trailer is underway. A group of amazing Kent State Students and a local high school senior are working together to do this amazing thing for me. Matt, the blessed and hilarious student in charge is making things happen. He gets permission to set up and film all over the place. It’s nuts. They’re working on weekends and putting their hearts into a trailer which will bring my fall YA suspense, Deceived, to life. These guys are awesomesauce on a brownie and the beauty playing my heroine is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. and adorbs. I mean, it’s so unfair to every other girl her age. For real. This is a pic taken of Matt compiling my crime board for the first scene they filmed. I get to play the Mom in this scenario. *eye opener* I am old enough to be the mom of my Main character. *denial in 3, 2, *

Working as “director” <– they are too kind. They call me this, but mostly I FB chat with them and show up to drink coffee and take still shots. I’ve worked on the words for so long, images are mad hard to me. But these guys see it all in pictures. They have an unfathomable ability to translate my words into real life. My brain doesn’t work that way. It barely works in any way, so being a part of this has been something I’ll never forget.

But, let me remind you this isn’t happening in a studio. These are college students + a high school senior. When you see the footage, this truth will be lost because you’d never guess there are 7 people piled on one another with huge equipment, boom mics, lighting thingers and cameras all squished into the corner of the room 5 feet away from the actors. This is how the conversation goes….

“alright caleb, move over here”

“Here?”

“no, you’re other here”

“ow watch out”

“sorry, but youre in my way”

“i know im in your way, just move”

“i can’t, Ivory is standing there”

“oh, well he shouldn’t be”

“you told me to be here”

“well move over there now”

“ahh my leg” “stop hitting cynthia with the boom pole”

“Wait, wheres the memory card”

“ok is this good?”

“actually just go back to where you were…”

Matt recapped for me. I am NOT making it up. It’s good times. I can’t wait to share more with you, and I will, very soon!

Tumblr, Anyone?

I’ve wanted to do Tumblr for a while, but I had a number of things in my way. I had deadlines for one thing and a general inability to understand what the heck was going on over there for another. Lucky, lucky me, as a new Carina author, I received an email from the Harlequin training people offering a webinar on TUMBLR! It was a wonderful stroke of luck for me. Tumblr cracks me up in new and fascinating ways. SO, I did the seminar and I took some notes, then I attacked my husband ie web designer when he got home with all the awsomeness I learned.

SO, we spent some time this weekend setting up my Tumblr page. Unfortunately for him, I can’t just pick a free theme and move on with my life. Hence the header on this blog and Facebook and the very specific Author website. I literally drew it with my kids’ colored pencils and presented it to my husband with big excited eyes, telling him my vision for how it would move and work. He made it happen. I only make ideas. He does the reality.

What I basically leared about Tumblr is this. It’s FUN. It’s FAST. You all know how I love twitter? Well it’s like blogging but on twitter. By this, I mean it’s fast. People don’t expect to read big posts over there like this one. They don’t want to. That’s not what it’s for. Tumblr is more like “Tell me with pictures.” You write a paragraph or two, maybe only a sentence, maybe nothing! Maybe the pic speaks for itself. And you toss some media in there, a picture, a video clip, a gif, whatever, and you’re done. Fastness.

Here’s an example of a Tumblr post:

When my editor increases the word count to all the sequels by 10K

and that’s it. That’s the day’s post. You can post multiple times a day, like on other social media. It’s a mash up, really. I like it. I hope to be there more than here. I can be there and gone before I find a free non-get-you-a-lawsuit picture for the blog post here. Tublr is called “short form blogging” and it’s a perfect description. SHORT is key. Also, if you like Pinterest, you’ll enjoy knowing you can hop around and “reblog” things you love. You can get everything you need from Tublr. It’s like Repinning for those Pinterest lovers like myself. Okay. That’s all for today. I’ll link my Tublr here later when Hubsy gets it all shiny like the image in my head.

Meanwhile, do you guys Tumblr?

Help! I Can’t READ!!!!

MM900284065I’ve wandered into new territory. You may have noticed I barely blog these days. That will change now, temporarily, because I’m all caught up, ahead even, on my deadlines. It won’t last because there are always new deadlines. Anyway, when the deadlines amasses, I had no time to do anything. Just write. Just edit. My house is a disaster zone right now. It happens.

I went out to eat with a group following a book signing a few years ago. The authors didn’t have much to say about the books we were reading. They talked a bit about some books that wouldn’t come out for six months, but we didn’t know about those yet. At first I thought, “Wow. What a bunch of book snobs. You get a bestseller and suddenly you’re too good to read new releases? You ONLY read advanced copies now?” I did some mental eye rolling.

Now I know.

This is how the writing works.

You get a couple contracts and editors schedule your things in stages. One needs revisions (you won’t believe how many and you’ll wonder what they LIKED enough to buy it if it needs all these changes). Another editor will need line edits. If you find yourself with more than two publishers or several stories releasing in the same quarter, then you’ll be answering emails all day and wondering how they expect you to do the edits and revisions when you have to do all the other busy work, email stuff. But all that is good news. It means you’re moving forward. You’re doing it.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s all very exciting and overwhelms in delightful ways. BUT. What about the reading? Who has time for reading? When I’m not under a deadline, I have three books going all the time. Two paperbacks and a Kindle book. I only allow myself to read the Kindle book on the treadmill. It keeps me on there longer that way :) I haven’t been on the treadmill in a month! My ARC from NetGalley I loved so much is set aside for waiting on the kids at classes or to pick them up from school. I’m reading like 7 pages a day instead of 7 books a month. Wah! *cries* I MISS THE READING!! I want the reading! *face plant* *kicks feet*

Writers need books to fuel, regenerate and inspire them. Books are research and escapism. They fill my soul. My soul is totally running on empty. I’m just sayin.

So, enjoy that book you’re reading. Today may be the day you get your Call. Soon, the deadlines will come and you’ll be looking longinly at the books on your desk like me. But, today I’m caught up. It may not last long, but I’m embracing it. I will blog and then get on the treadmill and finish that super funny cozy mystery I’m reading. I may even make a trip to the library and then hit up B&N for whatever wasn’t in at the library on my mega list of awesome. Yeah. I need to go do that. Now.

See ya!

“To” Phrases. Not Cool Dude. Not Cool.

I haven’t written a post on writing in a while. I’m having a tough time posting at all. Deadlines are up on me — in wonderful, I have books coming! ways. Anyway, as I work with the different editors, they each bring something unique to the table and I am so new at this writing thing, I am constantly learning new stuff. Today I want to tell you about the “to phrase.”

“To” phrases are extra. They’re wasted words. They’re telly. They’re amateurish. Right? *guffaw* Who knew? Not me, and I was the guiltiest guilty of adding these – frequently.

Example:

Julie lifted the steamy mug of coffee to her lips. – Where else would she lift it to? Her eye? Readers are smart, they don’t need this for clarification.

Julie lifted the steamy mug to take a sip. – Again, Der. Why else would she do this? To pour it on the table?

Julie dropped her book and stooped to retrieve it. – Duh. I just said she dropped the book and stooped in one sentence.  Would it make sense to say she dropped her book and stooped to feel the carpet? We assume she is retrieving the book. In this case, instead of telling the obvious, eliminate the obvious “to” phrase and replace it with better words, words that tell the reader more. Something unexpected or provide a detail we didn’t expect.

Julie dropped her book onto the wet cobblestone and cursed. OR and sighed. etc. Her reaction shows us something about Julie.

Maybe the book landed on a cartoon X and Julie dug for pirate treasure. Tell the reader anything besides she picked it up. Most boring sentence EVER. Not to mention it doesn’t move the story forward. Writing a sentence whose only purpose is she dropped something and didn’t leave it on the ground…equates to wasted words.

That’s all. A short post, I know. But it’s a simple thing that will tighten your writing and help focus on the things most important and those you can delete.

Disclaimer: Not all words following the word “to” are stupid or pointless. No hate mail please. Search your document for “to” and make sure the words add something useful. If they do, then I give you a double thumbs up. Nicely done.

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