Monday, December 30, 2013

In Which I Received Books!

Well Christmas has come and gone for another year, as expected. I hope everyone had a good time with their friends and family.

As usual, my fam goes a little cray cray with the gift giving, so I ended up with a lot of books I'm excited to read. Of course, first I have to finish the library books I have checked out. Until then, my new shiny books will have to sit prettily on  my end table.

I mean, look at them!

Awesome, right? I don't know how I'll pick which one to read first.

How about you, did you get any books or awesome gifts for Christmas? (Twin, Brother and I also got a sausage maker attachment for Twin's mixer, so we spent Saturday playing board games and making up some bratwursts. It was awesome)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

In Which I Am So Busy

I am ridiculously busy and probably will remain so for the next month or more. Outside of the holidays, which is, of course, taxing my time some, I have workshop pieces to critique for the MFA residency before the 9th (10, 15 page critiques to dole out) a manuscript I have to read for a friend (paying what I owe and all that), writing group critiques and revisions on All That Remains.

...and as I wrote that last bit, I totally just realized I forgot to print off my own 15 pages for my critique at the MFA. Nice move, Sarah. DERP.

I plan to keep up blogging here and there, but don't expect posts from me on the actual holidays and also I'll take a short hiatus while I'm at the MFA residency, just because it's ten full days of stuff and I won't have much time to check emails, let alone respond to comments etc (and I hate writing posts when I can't respond).

I wish I had more time. There are some great movies out right now that I'm worried I won't get a chance to see (Though I did get to see Desolation of Smaug this last weekend. Holy frickin crap how great was it? (spoiler: so great))

But Christmas Eve is tomorrow, which is awesome. I actually prefer it over Christmas day because my family has a delicious meal of crab legs and poté , and clam chowder throughout the day and we'll open one present each and play games and sit in the hot tub and be fat and merry.


Christmas day, while full of awesome presents and stuff, is a bit too much of "we're required to go see other family" and while I enjoy seeing family, sometimes I wish I could just spend the day relaxing.

Anyway, this was a really roundabout way to say my posts will be sporadic for a bit.

What about you? Have you seen Desolation of Smaug? Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Fun

Here we are! Just a few days before I get presents!

Some of them are starting to get wrapped and put under the tree. If I could get up there, I'd unwrap them and have a good time.

definitely add this ornament to the tree

But I can't, so instead here's some fun to launch you into the weekend!









Monday, December 16, 2013

In Which I Read As A Writer

My MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults starts on January 9th. Or at least that's when my first residency starts anyway.

The residency is where everyone enrolled in the program travels to campus and spends 10 days work shopping and listening to readings and lectures by the faculty or visiting writers. We'll be assigned our mentors and then we'll work with them for the next 6 months until the next residency in the summer.

So yes, that's my actual start date for the MFA. But obviously I've been doing a lot of MFA work already. Mostly reading.

I've read about 50 of the 120 books I need to read by the end of my first year. We're supposed to have 40 done before our first residency so I'm a bit ahead of the game.

this picture would only be accurate if there was a lot more snow

Also the vast majority of my reading has been novels, which means the reading will just get easier as I go along and start to tackle the picture books and easy readers.

Well, not easier I guess. Just faster.

Because we're supposed to read the books critically, and write up 3 - 4 sentences regarding an element of craft.

And this is something that is often difficult for me. Especially if it's a book I like. If I don't like a book, it's easy for me to examine why I don't like it. But if I love a book, it's really hard for me not to be swept away.

I've got a few books on my list that I read that I didn't write anything about because I just didn't know what to say.

And sometimes I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over again. This book has a great voice. This one too. Ooh and this one.

But, I definitely think it's sinking in more. At the very least it's easier for me to get in the mindset of looking at a book critically.

Though I will add, it's a fresh breath of relief when I can read a book just for fun (even if some of the critical thinking slips in. Which, I suppose, is the point of it all)

What about you? Do you ever read critically? Is it easy for you? Or hard?)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Weird: Pukwudgie

Another one of my favorite topics today, the Pukwudgie.

The Pukwudgie is a troll-like creature from Wampanoag folklore. They resemble humans except for elongated noses, fingers and ears, and a stomach that hangs low to their knees. In the legends, they purportedly kidnap children, lead travelers astray and, most importantly, push people off cliffs.

But the interesting thing about Pukwudgies are that people have real encounters with them today.
One of the places where there have been multiple sightings is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest in Massachusetts. People have reported sightings of pukwudgies coming into their camps and even following them:

"It/he was about 3.5 to 4 feet tall and he was squatting.  In fact, he walked in a squat.  He moved that way until he was about 12-15 feet from me, then he stopped and just stared at us.  I could see the shadow he was making on the ground, in the moonlight and he wasn't transparent, (although at times he seemed to shimmer.)  He looked wet.  His hair was long and damp-looking.  His face was human, but his nose was long, almost over his upper lip.  I couldn't see any teeth.  His eyes were greenish-yellow.  He was wearing a shirt that looked as though it was made of sticks and I think he was wearing a loincloth of sorts.  (It may have been his skin too.)  His feet seemed bare, but there weren't any discernible toes.  His hands were human, but his fingers were very long also.
One hand was held like a fist, with a stick in it that only protruded from the bottom of his hand and there were beads and feathers hanging from the end.  The other hand was empty and he kept opening and closing it.  He didn't make any sound at all, not even on the dry ground.  I have no idea how long we were there like that, but I do know that he was looking at me, because my friends, (including Andy), not only commented on it later, but they were looking from him to me while we were in the "standoff."
After a while, he left.  But he didn't walk away.  He moved to his left, (our right.)  The path that he chose was directly off of the rock, but he didn't descend, he just moved through the air and we could see him passing through the trees until he was out of sight"

Most spooky of all, perhaps, is that Freetown State Forest is also known for a rash of strange suicides, where people apparently jumped off a cliff.

Monday, December 9, 2013

In Which I Hodge-Podge

I can't believe we're into week two of December. 2013 went fasssst.

So the Baker's Dozen auction went well for me! (and thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented on my entry. Totally made my day)

I walked away with a full MS request, which I've already fired off. Starting on Wednesday, any other agent who bid or didn't get a chance to bid, can request pages as well and Authoress will forward any info from lurking agents.

Will I get any further requests? I have no idea. I reached my goal just by getting in so anything else is just icing on the cake.

(mmmmm cake).

I also submitted my 15 pages for my MFA workshop. So now I don't have to worry/stress about that anymore, which is good. I have 4 extra books I need to read for the MFA residency before Jan 9th. Luckily the library had all 4 in. Unluckily no one could find the picture book I needed so now I've got to wait for an email for when it appears. (Picture books, man. I can never find them).

And Wednesday we find out who gets picked for Pitch Wars. I'm excited. Not just for myself but to see if anyone I know or am rooting for gets picked too. I'd be excited if I got picked, no doubt, but I'd be perfectly fine if I wasn't.

Otherwise, this week I've got to start tackling some revisions and brainstorming others, which I'm excited about (but also a little scared. Because, let's get serious, I run through all the gamut of feels like all the time.)

And also try and finish up my Xmas shopping.

And that's me in a nutshell for another week. How about you? How are things going? Did you finish buying all the presents you need to buy? Have you been feeling all the feels? And staying warm (I can't express how cold it's been here (actually I can. Like -10.))

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Fun

Hi Ape-friends!  It's Yvie here to launch you into the weekend with a post of internet fun!

Can you believe we're already into December? But you know what that means? It means presents.

AND! I was sneaky enough to catch a glimpse of my present. I saw it when it was being carried into the dining room and put on the table. It's an orange squeaky snake, which is my most favorite toy of all time. I get a new one once a year.

And just because I'm little, doesn't mean I don't remember where they put that toy. Tables don't stop me:

How did I get up, even though the chairs were pushed in? It's my secret and I'm not telling

All right, onto the fun!









Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

First Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another IWSG post!

So, I've been querying. For a few weeks now. And it's been going well. Which is great. I'd obviously much rather it be going well than not.

But also, just because it's going well, doesn't mean it's still not hard. Even if you haven't gotten any rejections (and trust me on this one) it is still stressful. There is hand wringing, and worrying and so much what iffing it can make a person crazy.

Ugh I can't even tell you how many times I've gone on agent stalking binges. Which is just ridiculous, too, because I've done my research on the agents, so I've read the interviews and forum posts and what have you. But when I'm in that mood, I go read them all again, because I feel like I need to do something.

The solution of course--wait. Let me back up. There are two solutions actually. The first is time. You just can't sustain that type of crazy for too long without getting exhausted. And once you reach that point, the obsessing starts to dry up some.

The second solution is starting something new. This, I think, is the most important. Because let's say the querying goes the best it can go and you get an offer. It's a lot better to go into that conversation with something else on your plate, so when the agent asks "what else you got" you can say "actually, I've been working on this" and roll off your one sentence pitch (you do have a one sentence pitch, right? Even for your WIP? (if you don't, I highly recommend crafting one))

So, yeah. Obviously this isn't my first time (or even second) around the query tree, and while I still enjoy querying (yes, yes, it's true) I do think some of the novelty has worn off this time around.

How about you? Querying or submitting or dealing with anything else that makes you a little cray cray?

Monday, December 2, 2013

In Which I Contest

So, tis the season. For contests that is! I usually jump into a few contests with each MS and for ALL THAT REMAINS it's no different.

I'm a big fan of Authoress's Baker's Dozen Auction. I've always wanted to get in (and have been trying for the last few years). But I've never been very good at loglines and stuff and junk.

But I was going to try this year again. I had a goal of getting in (which, you know, is stupid since I can't control whether I get in or not so setting a goal for it is a study in frustration, but there you have it).
and this year I GOT IN!

I'm number 50 if you want to check me out. The agents bid on entries tomorrow. I'm not sure I'll get any bids (competition is tough and stuff) but my goal was just to get in, so I'm happy.

The other contest I'm going to enter is Pitch Wars.

Like Baker's Dozen, Pitch Wars is kind of a big deal. But the thing I love about Pitch Wars is that if you get picked by a mentor, they'll read your entire MS! How awesome is that? Super awesome.

I actually think my query and first five pages have a pretty good chance. Well, as good a chance as possible since I'll be up against 100s of other people, but still. Luckily submissions are today. Unluckily I'll have to be patient (BOOOO) for a whole week to see who gets picked. I've got some QT Forum friends also submitting so I'm crossing my fingers that someone I know gets picked.

But, yeah. I don't see myself participating in any other contests for ATR. Once you reach a point in querying it just gets a little pointless to enter them anymore. But I'm feeling pretty good.

How about you? Throwing it down in any contests?
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