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*finger snaps quote of the day*

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kate Braverman: “Writing is like hunting. There are brutally cold afternoons with nothing in sight, only the wind and your breaking heart. Then the moment when you bag something big. The entire process is beyond intoxicating.”

Something Borrowed. A bathing suit, maybe?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saw a pic today of Ginnifer Goodwin arriving on set at Something Borrowed, the film version of Emily Giffin's book. I love Something Borrowed, and I have the sequel ready and waiting if I can ever FINISH the OTHER 18 BOOKS I STARTED. (Actually, it's only two, but 18 sounds sexier). Anyway, can't wait to see the movie and live vicariously through Emily Giffin. Here are paparazzi pics of Ginnifer on set. Granted, they're not supa saucy, mostly Earth shoes and various shades of gray. But then again, my standards for celebrity photos are incredibly low.

This reminds me. Last season on Big Love, on that kind of janky episode where the family went off campus and took an awkward road trip and Bill made everyone pray (as usual), Margene (Ginnifer) rocked a red and white two-piece bathing suit that had scalloped trim and corseting up the back. When I saw said bathing suit, I fell instantly and everlastingly in love. I required the suit to keep living, you feel me? But as the sand through the hour glass, as the cookie dough through the spoon, it was gone in a flash. I searched around on some message boards for clues, and the consensus was that Betsey Johnson made the suit. Which would make sense, because not only is BJ my favorite designer, I, as a rule, can't afford her. You can see my suit of dreams here. It's a smoochy polygamy hotel scene, so be sure to call the kids around the monitor first (sarcasm).

This is a long way of saying that, Ginnifer, if you're out there and have a Google alert set up for your name or whatever, can you plz send me your bathing suit with no questions asked? It's summer and all. Kthx. And, uh, best of luck on the new movie.

Rejection doesn't mean everyone hates your guts

That deal is MAY-JAH!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I flicked away the tiny little miser who lives on my shoulder (he wears his pants really high and wags his finger at the kids blaring hip hop music, see left), and subscribed to Publishers Marketplace. So far, it has been worth the $20. It's really useful. You can watch big fancy book deals go down as you sit at home transferring money from the savings bond you got when you were 12 to your checking account so you can have air conditioning this month.

But seriously. It's good, because you can see what deals the agents you're querying have made recently. You can find out which agents represent which authors. And you can learn all the insider speak (you know, words other than "book" and "write" and "PLEASE I'LL DO ANYTHING").

Also, it cleared something up for me. In my web travels, I kept coming across the verbiage "good deal," or "nice deal" or "very nice deal" and so on. I thought this was just agents being sweet. Like, "Check out my super-neat deal, flowers and rainbows, yay!" But apparently, those words stand for cold hard cash. Publishers Marketplace explains:

Nice deal = $1 - $49,000    
Very nice deal = $50,000 - $99,000
Good deal = $100,000 - $250,000
Significant deal = $251,000 - $499,000   
Major deal = $500,000 and up

So you see, next time you hear an agent or writer say "major," they are not just fond of Victoria Beckham (though, I can't imagine why they wouldn't be). They are HAPPY. SRSLY HAPPY.

A love letter to my netbook

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

After I finished the book and edited the crap out of it and sent it out to the first round of agents, I took a little breather. I deserve that, right? It felt really weird to spend my lunch just... eating. My salad felt so alone, so cold. I avoided my favorite Subway, because without something to work on, I would just be... sitting in Subway. Which is kind of creepy, isn't it? I can't very well just sit there nibbling Sun Chips and leering at people eating five dolla foot longs. Don't they arrest people for that sort of thing?

It's been a week and a half of fiction detox. Today, I decided to take another jab at editing, maybe even start a scene in the new book that's swirling my head. (Neuroses? Maybe). I went to Evos (free shake day!) and got bizzy with my best friend, the thing that makes working on this crazeballs hustle so much easier.

My netbook!


That's me with the netbook on the day it arrived in the mail. LOOK HOW HAPPY SHE MAKES ME! We are so in love.

For the first month or so of writing, I lugged a full-size laptop everywhere. It was heavy and clunky. It gave me scoliosis. It died after an hour unplugged, forcing me to tackle bitches en route to the last open electrical outlet in Starbucks. It was making me a bad person.

I decided to pony up $300 for this (PINK) Asus Eee netbook with an 8.5 hour battery. I got a supercrazeballs deal online at buy.com, but you can get them for a little more money at Best Buy and the like. There's a bunch of other brands out there, too, that I'm sure are great.

It totally changed my writing game. It is so light, so long lasting (does this sound like a lip gloss/tampon/deck sealant commercial?). I can take it anywhere, and it feels like carrying a book rather than the entire contents of the Microsoft warehouse. Waiting in the doctor's office? Type a few words! Layover in the airport? Type a few words! Bored with your family at dinner? Type a few words!

Caution points: My boyfriend, who is six-foot-two and has man hands, can't type on the tiny beast. Also, it's not the greatest for browsing the web, but if you're trying to write a novel in little windows of time, you don't need to be all up on Lohan gossip sites anyway.

I really believe this itty bitty machine enabled me to write a book in six months. It's been my greatest investment, other than Diet Coke, of course.

Incidentally, my netbook DIED at Evos today, because I neglected to charge it during my detox. I promptly left Evos, because I didn't want to stare at people eating air fries. I'm happy to report she's fully charged again, so I hope I won't stare at anyone eating for the rest of the week.

UPDATE: Someone asked me what I use to store my writing. Good question! I use a thumb drive, and also back it up on the netbook hard drive and the hard drive of my computer at home. And sometimes, when I get a good amount written, I e-mail it to myself. You can never be too safe when backing up your word magic. Plus, thumb drives tend to break and disappear. I killed my first one when I DROPPED the computer on the ground and bent the poor thumb drive, which was minding it's own biz sticking out of the side. And I can't tell you how many nights I've spent searching couch cushions for the little thing. Back it up, people. Back it up!

Other people fail, too. And then they win!

Monday, April 19, 2010

When I'm having a bad day, I like to read this. Over and over and over.

Process is a four-letter word (well, seven, but you get the point)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Had lunch last week with my writer friend, Angel (whose name I ALWAYS WRITE as "Angle." Why do my fingers do that?)

Anyway, we talked about process, and, HAHA what's that? Are there really writers who sit down with a fully-sketched outline of plot arch and character development and finely-selected places to insert symbolism? Do people DO that?

Here is my "process."

1) Sit down, preferably in coffee shop or book store where there is no opportunity to chuck writing to the side and watch 16 and Pregnant marathon instead.

2) Write whatever comes into my brain. Hope it sounds like English.

3) Get latte. Tweet about weird people sitting in coffee shop.

4) Write a scene based completely around a bad 80s song that pops into my head.

5) Get stuck, because scene is based solely on bad 80s song.

6) Quit. Schedule lunch with parents/friends/strangers. Explain plot dilemma. Hope they say, "Well, what if you..." Hope idea is brilliant. Usually, it is.

7) Write with renewed direction, destined for greatness.

8) Get stuck again, attempt outline, settle for crumpled piece of notebook paper scrawled with things like, "DON'T FORGET TO FINISH BOOK."

9) Have a million friends read over me, point out inconsistencies, use manuscript as parakeet cage liner.

10) Write blog about lack of process.

Angle (SEE?) gave me a good tip over lunch, though, one that I think I might actually use. She writes note cards for her characters, listing their names, ages, jobs, traits, likes, dislikes. That way, you just refer to the cards to stay consistent. It helps you avoid a mental breakdown after you send your book out to ten agents only to realize you have made the main character 12 different ages and heights.

Good idea, right? Talking to other people is the only process that really matters, I think.

First book, first post, WHOANOW

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good gravy, you guys. I wrote a book.

Put my ass-in-chair for sixth months on lunch breaks and weekends and late nights and typed out mounds of garbage until it kind of looked like a body. Then I threw myself a mental ticker tape parade, complete with a full brass section and kettle korn. Then I re-read the mound so many times that I hated myself more than ever. Then I took out the -ing verbs and the suddenlys and hated myself a little less. I like myself again, but the day is young.

Now's when I try to get it published (in other words, now is when I spiral deep and fast into paralyzing fear and self-loathing). I'll let you know how that develops.

I really love reading publishing blogs, blogs by authors, blogs by agents and geeks-at-large. Seriously, at times it's the only thing that gets me through. If you've ever written anything other than a check, you know what I mean. Your eyes are crusty and bloodshot, your Diet Coke is GONE, your confidence is GONER, and all you can do to feel better is frantically Google "people + still + like + chick + lit + don't + they + ?"

Right?

That's why I'm writing my thoughts here. If you have stumbled across this, you are either an acquaintance I have forced at knifepoint into my world, or you are a writer in bed with your meta-lifemate the laptop, crying into an empty box of Wheat Thins, looking for a friend.

Let's hug, OK?