Thursday, March 31, 2011

In Which I Promote A Contest

Hey All -

Shelley Watters from Is It Hot in Here or is it This Book? is having an awesome followers contest on her blog where the prize is:


So head on over to her blog - and check out the rules. Last day to participate is April 2nd (which is when I will be posting my pitch here)

Check it out!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Which I Forgot...


I was super busy yesterday. And also Twin got home early for work which meant I had to cook dinner earlier than usual. All of that combined to make me completely forget to write a blog post for today.

So, enjoy this adorable video as appeasement.

Twin baby boys have a conversation

Monday, March 28, 2011

In Which I Get An Exciting Package In The Mail

So, the other night, Twin comes home from work and gets the mail (which she typically does).
She comes inside with her arms full of packages. One of them was for her, but two of them were for me.

Now, one, I was expecting. I won a Divergent arc from the lovely Rachel Alpine.
BUT, the other package... the other package was a mystery. I wasn't expecting anything else. So, needless to say, I was super excited, because who doesn't like mystery packages sent through the mail?

I scoured the return address, hoping to get a clue.
Simon and Schuster. What? That made it even more mysterious than before! What would Simon and Schuster be sending me?

So I tore into it. And what I found inside was shocking, completely unexpected, and beautiful...

BAM! I couldn't believe that S&S sent me an arc of Elana's book Possession! I was immediately elated. But then, I got to worrying, afraid I had promised to do something with it and forgotten. So I emailed the lovely author herself. She reminded me that way back in October, she had a list where you could enter your name if you were interested in an arc. She then took that list and sent it to her publisher and they decided who to send arcs to. I guess I was just one of the lucky people!

I'm reading it as we speak, so once I'm done I'm sure I'll have a lot of wonderful, glowing things to say about it, so there will definitely be blog post in the near future. Man, I can only hope that Simon & Shuster decides to send me even more arcs in the future!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fun

Yvie's back! To launch you into the awesomeness that is... THE WEEKEND!

So, things that happened this week:
All the snow melted. It was awesome. I got to sniff sniffs and the winter dog poop was all scooped.
It rained. Which sucked. Hard.
I rained ice. Which was even worse than the rain
It snowed. Now we're back to winter.

Lousy March weather.

Onto the fun!

Funny Pictures - Pygmy Goat Stampede Gifs

funny pictures - The reason Hovercat crossings  should have Yield signs

Funny Pictures - Maru Hair Gifs

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens

funny pictures - I am not the cat (who skritched ur sofa, poopd on da floorz, killd ur goldfish, barfd on ur karpit and traumatised teh goggie...) you're looking for.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Which I've Been Putting Something Off

Yep, that's right. I've been avoiding something. Avoiding it like a zombie death plague.
What is it, you ask? Why, it's writing a Synopsis.

Yep. I don't want to do it. Even just thinking about it kind of pisses me off. I understand the purpose of them, but to me, they stink of, more or less, writing an outline for the book once it's already completed.

I already wrote an outline before I wrote the first draft. Even though the synopsis is not even remotely like an outline, it just feels like it to me. It feels like a step backwards.

So I've been putting it off. To be fair, by putting it off, I mean I've been working on other edits/revisions, so it's not like wasted time. But I'm running out of revisions to do, which means sometime soon, I will have to bite the bullet and write that stupid synopsis. And probably more than one, since some agents want different lengths.

Does anyone else have this dislike of synopses like I do? Any tips how to make it go down better/easier?

Monday, March 21, 2011

In Which I Finish A Video Game About A Writer

So I finally finished Alan Wake, the video game where you play a writer's-blocked super-star author who has to find his missing wife in a small Washington town where creepy shit happens. It took longer than expected to finish because we all got wrapped up in Halo: Reach again. But we finally took a break from that and went back to Alan Wake to finish up the final chapter.

It's a clever game. The MC, Alan, and his wife rent a cabin to try and help out with his writer's block. They spend less than 30 minutes at the cabin before the lights go out and Alan loses track of his wife. Then he wakes up in a crashed car, alone, with no recollection how he got there.

Throughout the game you have to collect manuscript pages of a new novel Alan apparently wrote, that he has no memory of. The manuscript is about real life events.

It's kind of funny because the game writing is good and believable, but Alan's supposed to be this spectacular writer, and the manuscript pages are just full of writing 101 mistakes:

All telling, no showing
POV shifts (and I mean, some of the pages are from Alan's POV, 1st person, and the others are from other characters POV, 3rd person)
Cliche's everywhere.

Even my non-writerly siblings groaned over how bad Alan's writing was.

For reals, the game creators could have hired any writer just to fix up the manuscript pages. I could have made a few tweaks here or there and they would've been much better.

Still, that said, the game was fun, and creepy. Apparently in this game world, Authors go to hollywood-esque parties all the time, and have hollywood-esque agents. Also there's a crazy FBI agent who's chasing Alan and everytime he comes across him he calls him by a different writer's name. So like:
"Shut up Steven King"
or "I finally caught you, James Patterson".
Which I found clever.

So, it missed the mark on actual good writing, and for accurately portraying a writerly life, but it was still fun and entertaining. And the soundtrack was fantastic.

Check it out, if you're a gamer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Fun

Hi All! Yvie's back to start your weekend off with some fun!

How have you been? Good? I hope so. I had a cray-cray day yesterday. First, I didn't get any breakfast. Devastating. BUT THEN, Mom and Anne brought me to one of the most fun places on earth - THE VET!
You better believed I peed in excitement.
They took me in the back, and I was happy to go. A girl should always take advantage of adventures.
BUT THEN - they pulled my toof! And not just the cracked toof either, but 4 OTHER teefers (because they were loose and ready to come out on their own)!
It turns out that I have some strange teef. Some of the loose ones didn't even have roots (which is probably why they were loose) and I was also missing a random toof too!
Anne says they're gonna start calling me "Gummy Bee". I don't know about that...
Anyway, I got a lot of love and I got some delicious food for dinner.
All and all it wasn't too bad. But I'd like to keep the rest of my teef from here on out.

Onto the fun!

Think you know Victorian society?

Give this game a try! You'll have to choose appropriate clothing (for a man or woman, whichever you choose) and appropriate responses in social settings.

funny pictures - Lemme stop ya right there.
My vet ALWAYS has noms...


Funny Pictures - Surprise Giraffe

funny pictures - Actually, Scarlette, I do give a dam

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures - In ur wormholez,

So remember ape-friends - always brush and floss your teefers! Yvie out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Which We Help Japan's Animals

I know many of you have already donated, or are planning on dontating, to relief efforts in Japan. They need it, and many of us have so much.

Unfortunately, pets have been devastated as well, and are so often left to fend for themselves in a crisis.

I hope everyone will consider taking just a small portion of any donation they are planning to make , and consider giving that to an organization that is specifically providing animal relief.

World Vets is an organization that provides assistance to animals around the globe.

From their page:

"World Vets has been monitoring the situation in Japan with regards to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that has recently hit the island nation. We are currently working to coordinate relief efforts for the animal victims affected by these unfortunate disasters. We have made contact with US Army veterinary associates stationed in Japan as well as Japan based animal charities and World Vets veterinary volunteers who remain on standby. At this time, we have supplies ready to go and are preparing the deployment of a first-responder team to carry out an "on the ground" assessment and provide initial aid. We will post all updates and progress of our efforts on this page.
Your donations are urgently needed to coordinate aid for the animals in Japan. Any amount will help!"

I’ve joined Blog Paws Be the Change in declaring Thursday, March 17th “Paws for Japan” Day. We will be raising awareness of the World Vets effort and encouraging people to donate to their vital work.

Every Little Bit Helps.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Which We Discuss SCBWI Membership

funny pictures - Outside of a cat a book is man's best friend Inside of a cat it's too dark to read

How many of you are members of the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for my non- writerly pals)? I think it's quite a fair amount of you, at least it seems that way with all my blog hopping.

I'm trying to decide if I should join up. Wait, let me correct that. I'm trying to decide if I should join up ASAP or if it's OK to wait a little longer.

I like the idea of being able to add that tidbit to my queries, and the MN chapter seems pretty cool. (I also love how SCBWI lets pretty much anyone join, whereas Science Fiction and Fantasy only allow you in if you have a legit sale. Sigh. It's not like I'm not trying...)

If it was cheaper to join, I'd do it right now. But it's right at that price point that makes me hesitate. I'm not exactly rolling in the dough right now (having to fix Yvie's tooth and pay off a new window for the house).

I guess I'm just looking for opinions. Do you think it's something I should jump into RIGHT NOW, or do you think it's OK for me to wait until maybe I'm a bit more financially stable (which, to be fair, may be never...)


Monday, March 14, 2011

In Which I Need Querying Opinions

So, I'm getting closer and closer to the querying stage (Excitement! Also, unexpectedly, fear...) and have a few questions for those of you who are query "experts". Or at least have jumped into that trench ahead of me.

How do you know which agents to query first? I mean, I have a significant agent list (still growing) on query tracker, all numbered from 1-10 in relation to their awesomeness. Obvs the Number ones (of which there are like maybe two) are my favs and so on.

Do I query them first? But what if it turns out my query isn't cutting it (I don't actually think this will happen. I quite like my query and have gotten some good feedback on it. But still...). If my query stinks and I send it to my ones, twos and threes first, well then I may waste my opportunity with them.

Funny Pictures - Philosophy Sloth

I guess probably a good way to go about it is to make a small group with a mix of some "middle of the road" agents. Like maybe a few fours fives and sixes. Use them to test the query. If Istart getting some bites, then I can begin to send it to my lower numbered agents.

I think this is what I'll probably end up doing, but I'd really like to hear from those of you who have queried before or are querying now. Who did you pick to query first and why? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Fun

Hiya Ape-friends! Long time no see!
Yep, it's me, the glorious Yvie prepared to launch you into the weekend with a blog post full of fun!

Here we go!

funny pictures of cats with captions

Funny Pictures - Meme Cats, Exquisite

funny pictures - feline anatomy

Funny Pictures - Feline Anatomy (FIXED)

funny pictures - Happy Chair is Happy: Freddy Chlorophyll Strikes Again

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures - Hey...don't cry!!! I mock everyone-- I'm a cat, it's my job!!!

See you Next Week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Which We Talk Swears

*there will be swearing in this post. Look away if you do not approve

Like the title says, let's have a damn chat about swears (see what I did there?)

Specifically I want to talk about swears in fantasy (or sci-fi, or maybe even dystopian) novels.
If you're writing contemporary, or even paranormal or anything where your setting is the "here and now", well, your swears are already created for you. They're the ones we use every day (well, that some of us use every day *furtive eyes*)

BUT, what if you're writing a novel that doesn't take place here? What if it's 300 years in the future, or a fantasy world or wherever?
Fuck is probably not going to cut it.

It's important to remember, though, when making up swears, that you don't just make up any word to replace Fuck.
I mean, you can substitute Frem, or whatever, but it will hold a lot more believability if you pick a word that has actual meaning in the world.

When writing Glimpse, I needed some swears. Sure, I could have used fuck and shit (and there are some damns and hells) but it would have been a little lazy of me. My story is not on earth as we know it.
Pier, the main character, lives on an island and their whole culture is based around the sea. So, though shit may still be able to work, would a sea-related curse be even more believable?
The short answer is Yes. Also, creating world specific swears is a quick and easy way to fill out your world-building.

So, for Glimpse, I brainstormed with Twin and Brother and Also Hannah and Teebore, and the two main swears I came up with were:


Both of them are related to the sea, or ships or whatever. They're believable and they work.
Also, if you plan to use any form of God as an expletive, it's important to take into consideration whether or not God even plays a part in your milieu.
In Glimpse, Pier's culture worships a sea goddess called Mear.
So instead of God-Damn, we have Mear Damn You.

Here's another example. In Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, the MCs are typically dragon riders (holy HELL I want to read those again RIGHT NOW). Even if they aren't dragon riders, all their lives revolve around dragons and fire lizards.
The swears they use?


In Across the Universe, the swear used on the ship is Frex, which seems like a no-nonsense word, until you find out that the letters FRX appear on certain areas of the ship. If you spend generations looking at those letters, it's completely believable that Frex could rise out of that.

Of course, all of this is relative to whether or not your character would even use swears. Pier most definitely would.
Kiersten White's Evie does, but in an adorable, believable, way: Bleep.

You should first and foremost do what is right for your character, even if it goes against your own beliefs. If you force a character to conform against their nature, then the character will read false and weak. And that's something we all want to avoid.

So, give me your damn thoughts. What are some of the swears you've used?

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Which I'm Back

Here I am, back from my week long blog hiatus. It was quite awesome, let me tell you and I accomplished a lot of stuff.

Funny Pictures - Business Cat, Meme Cats

Things I got done last week:

1. Read 2 books (Ship Breaker was excellent)
2. Finished watching Veronica Mars (sadface that it's over.)
3. Got a good chunk of reading done on the two manuscripts I'm beta reading
4. Cleaned the house a bit.
5. Heard back from almost all my Beta Readers about Glimpse and have some good ideas for some changes.
6. Drew a picture (it's not done yet)

And that's about it, but that's not bad for a week away from blogging.

I also have to continue working on my "agents to query" list. I've gone through all the agents on agent query that rep both Fantasy and YA, (about 70) and now I'm working my way through the agents that have their genres just listed as YA. There's like another 250 of those.
Needless to say, it's a lot of agents to wade through.

So, how are things with you? Did I miss anything super exciting while I was away?

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