Friday, August 24, 2012

When you have nothing to say...

Hello darlings,

So today you get another dose of Friday Fun because I'm not feeling well and writing anything is like pulling teeth at the moment. So here are a few things that I've been up to this week. Enjoy!

Slightly in love with all of these! Any movies you're looking forward to? 

Have a great weekend, 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Surprises, who likes surprises?

Hello lovelies,

So today I don't have much for you, just a video I made, full of book and author love! I know, I'm so creative!
But before I share that creation with you, I have some news. Well, kind of, because I can't really share the news just yet.
Here's the deal: we're going to have another blogger joining our YA Warehouse family!! *SQUEE*

Guys, you're going to be so ecstatic when you see who it is! I'm not kidding! I'll give you a hint. She's a debut author, who's book hit the shelves recently (and it's awesome). Are you excited yet? You should be! Anyway, I'll be a posting a full introduction when the time comes so look for that. In the meantime, what do you think of my video?

Much love, 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Favorite Tools Part 1

Happy Wednesday everyone! This week I want to talk about my favorite tools. No not screwdrivers and such! Who am I kidding? I break things more than fix them. I'm meaning writing tools. I always love reading posts about what they must have within reach while writing. I like to compare what they are doing to my own process as well as learn some new things to try out. Lets get started!

I am really picky with pens. They have to be fast with the ink flow and feel good in my hand. I used alot of gel pens at first but after awhile they would get spotty with the ink when I wrote and I hated that! Not all of them do it but I got tired of testing them. Then I bought these little babies and I was hooked. They flow very fast and I never ever have a problem with them getting clogged. It is a wider writing size which doesn't bother me. I write very big anyway. I usually stick with the black and buy them in two packs. I do like the other colors as well but I don't use them on a regular basis but I more than likely will when I get into the editing phase of my writing. The teal and purple are sooo pretty on paper :D 

I am also a bit picky with my notebooks. I usually buy a bunch of different ones and never use them. HA I do the same thing with journals. I buy fancy leather ones or ones with pretty stationary but the same thing always happens with those--I feel I have to write perfect words in them and so they never get filled. These composition notebooks are super cheap, especially right now since it is back to school season. I usually stock up on them around this time because of it. I buy the ones that have about 100 pages in them and wide ruled because I write big. Composition makes a bunch of different designs and colors but I get the black and white styles. When I start a new one, I take sharpies to it and color in the white areas. It always makes me feel creative knowing I filled one and now I'm making a new one to fill. I also love how they are made of heavy cardboard because I tend to put them through alot. I've been using these notebooks since about 7th grade so I don't see these going getting discontinued anytime soon. 

If you have read my personal blog you know that I am a HUGE note card user. I use them to outline and make small notes that my brain spills out. I usually move those note cards over into Scrivner when I'm done. I like the option to move them around until I have all my scenes in the preferred order. I buy them around school season and stock up and get the Mead brand with lines but they also make them in plain. 

I didn't even know that these existed until I watched Jackson Pearce on a Liveshow. I sometimes put notes on my wall with post its and I was using just the regular ones. When I saw her post these suckers up, my mouth dropped open. I found them in stacks of 25 at Target for less than a dollar and all the main office stores sell them in larger stacks. The best thing about them that you can peel them and stick them without losing the same stickiness. 

As I write this, I have two of these in my office. One of them is hung up and the other sits right in front of me on my desk in the size of 24x36 The one on my desk has alot of character pictures and motivational quotes plus my favorite fortune cookie quotes. I'd show it to you but it has alot of secret stuff :P 

I also have two of these hanging in my office. I use them for my full adhesive post its because my office walls are textured so they don't stick well to them. Both boards are 24x36 like the cork boards. Currently they are filling up with notes on the #classified series and ideas for a different stand alone novel. 

I can't express how much I am in love with this flippin' app. I started using this about 8 months ago and instantly fell in love with it. I have a droid smart phone and of course it is always with me unlike my composition notebook. I use catch notes on the fly and even when I wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea. Instead of turning on the light to write it down, I just open up the app. One of the best features on it is the fact that you can organize your notes by hashtags! It saves your hashtags so you can pick from the list or add a new hashtag. Then you can view your notes by each hashtag if you choose. You can make txt, pic, and sound notes which I love. I don't use this just for writing but anything and everything in general. Plus the app saves it online in case something happens to your phone. You only have to re-download and sign in to view all of your notes unharmed. *love* 

I use PC and have never owned a Mac. I would like to give one a shot one day but it really isn't in my budget right now. I have two laptops: one for my writing which has a 15 in screen and the other with a 17 in screen that I use for my art. I also have a second monitor that I use when I am at home. If I am just surfing online or writing/researching, I have it hooked up to my laptop. I tend to multi-task so instead of tabbing alot, I use both screens. Sometimes I even have a movie or youtube going while I use the other monitor to surf. 

Check back next week for Part 2! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday is Full of Laughs and Wonder

Well hello there beautiful people,

So today I'm swamped with craziness and therefore have no time to write. And that goes for every kind of writing you can think of. Blogging. Secret Project. Letters. (Also, for some reason my inner voice has a British accent today, hmmm)
Anyway, I thought I'd share some awesome videos with you instead. Maybe brighten your day a little? Ya?

And yes, the goat, I had to! 
Hope you have a great day!

If you'd like to share some great Youtube videos, leave a link below and I'll come check it out!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Working Doc

If any of you are up to date with the YA world you know who Laini Taylor is by now. If not, SHAME ON YOU! I recently became a fan since reading The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The girl knows how to write but not only that, she give some great writing based advice. Usually after reading a book, I check out the authors blog/twitter if I'm not already hooked on them. I like to get a feel for their process.

It is no surprise that I have been having some problems on the writing front. No matter the kicking I give myself to put my butt in the chair, I just stare at the stupid blinking line that mocks me with the fact I can't seem to write a freakin' word. Now, I'm a perfectionist and sometimes to a fault. This is where Laini comes in. I rummaged around her blog and found a post where she mentioned what she calls a "Working Doc." She then linked me over to a different blog of hers where she talks about it. I recommend that you read all the posts on Not For Robots. I can't express enough how informative it was.

In short, the Working Doc is a document separate from your MS. I think of it a journal for my MS. I can sit there and say whatever I want inside it without criticism from anyone including myself. I can yell at characters who are hiding something from me (which is what I'm currently doing with my lead), keep blabbing about life until I can see the scene fully, spit out the things I see in the scene, etc. Doing all of this helps me focus better and makes me feel that it is ok to suck in this doc because it isn't really what's going in my MS. I can sift through all the crap and pick out lines that I like or a certain idea and expand on it, then move it over to the real MS.

I'm not really sure how or why it works but out of all of the things I've tried, this seems to work the best. This is one of those things I say "Don't knock it till you've tried it." Happy writing! Let me know if it works or you and give a shout out to Laini as well. I'm sure she would be delighted to hear she has helped out more writers with her process.

PS! I'm starting up on my own blog again after quite the break. I have some cool stuff coming up so stick around y'all! Yes I can say y'all ppl! I was born in the sticks. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Letting your subject find you...

Hello lovelies, 
    This morning I woke up all confused about what day it was. My end days at work changed and so while normally today for me would be Sunday, it's not. It's Friday. Which means I have to write a post. *Let the panic set in*
    Don't get me wrong, I love having a writer centered blog (with some awesome ladies) but sometimes I'm just not exactly sure what to write. Then, inspiration struck! *BAAM* While I was browsing twitter I stumbled upon this link to an awesome article GO HERE (Thanks Veronica Rossi for always sending greatness my way) It's basically an outline of How To Write rules by Colson Whitehead. It's amazing! Seriously, you guys should go read it, it will help you. 
    Rule #2 is simple: Don't go searching for your subject, let you subject find you. Deep, I know! And I'm sure we've talked about this before, I'm definitely sure you've heard it, but sometimes it seems we forget how important this aspect is. 
    Even in my own writing, sometimes, I want to "push" things when I really shouldn't. For example, I'm in love with fantasy right now. Seriously, if you haven't read Throne of Glass & Seraphina you're missing out, majorly! In my own writing, I'd love to write a stellar fantasy, preferably with lots of dragons. Just look at this beauty!

    But I can't. I know for a fact, that right now, I'm not a strong enough writer for a fantasy. Right now, my mind and my writing are on thriller/mystery type of stories, with a bit of romance. That is what came to me and that is what I write well. While I'd love to someday follow my dream and create something awesome with dragons in it, that someday is now right now. 
   Letting a subject find you allows you to write something you love and something that others will love. If you're sitting in front of you computer, crying your eyes out because you want to make this story great, pushing it out with your whole being, and begging your characters to work with you, then maybe this is not the story you should be writing at the moment. (I have to say though, if that's how you write, then write, but it doesn't work for me) I had to do that. I have two great ideas on the back burner because I know for a fact I can't do them justice right now. And who'd want to read something if you wouldn't want to read it yourself? 
  Well, that is my two cents. Take it or leave it. But I really do hope that when you write, you write something you love. That's the most important part. 
What you think? 

Much love, 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Books on Writing

In the last week or so I have been diving into some books on writing. I have quite a few that sit upon my own shelves that I have read pieces here and there. To be honest some of them I find not my type of books. Yes I understand they are meant to be for educational purposes but I don't find them engaging at the same time. That was until I ran across Writing Down the Bones by Victoria Goldberg. I completely devoured it in a single day. Everything she talks about in that book, I have been feeling. It was so strong that I felt like it was wrote to me, for that very moment. Since reading it, I have put "Thunder and Lightening" on hold at the library. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

I was also recommended Plot & Structure, written by James Scott Bell, by Kristen Lamb. I just started it and I'm only a 100 pages or so in but so far it is crazy informative. Things that you find are common sense your mind doesn't really think of. I know that sounds strange but if you have been through it, then you know what I am trying to say. Even though I am not that far into it I HIGHLY recommend it to every writer. Heck, any of his writing books are a must buy. I have a few and loved them all.

I was at my town library, yes I go to two different libraries on a regular basis and yes that makes me a super nerd, I ran across The Zen of Writing by Ray Bradbury. If you guys don't know I am a big Ray fan. I have been for many many years and I knew that he wrote a book like this but I never read it. The book is essays on the art of writing and creativity with a splash of his life thrown in. I already knew alot about his general life from interviews and articles I've read before but these essays dive deeper. I have one more essay left in the bunch but everyone should check this out. I'm considering doing his noun list that he talks about early on in the book to help find story ideas.

Next is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I have this sitting beside me on the desk as I write. I haven't started it quite yet but every writer I have spoke with about books on the craft, this one always comes up. Normally I read quite a few books at one time but I am trying to finish the other two before I start this one. I have a feeling that once I do, I will devour it the same as I did Writing Down the Bones.

Then there is the ever popular On Writing by Stephen King. I have read this book so many times that it is crazy. It seems every time that I read it, I find something new and I wonder how I had missed it before. The book is parted in two with one containing his life and then another section on his writing/advice. If you are ever going to read a writing book this is one that I suggest starting with.

To end with The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I have tried to do this 12 week program book 2 years ago when I was living in California but it really wasn't the right time to start it since I was driving back to Illinois. Now I have started it again and I'm on week 3. So far so good. I do my morning pages everyday and all the while I'm thinking, why haven't I been doing this forever. I know part of the reason why but still, I was silly not to keep with it. I have learned alot about myself and well as writing some interesting things in there. Of course, part of the idea of the morning pages is that you don't show anyone so sorry folks, nothing to see here :P

If there are any books that you have read on the craft and want to add to the list please do and please let me know. I am always looking for new stuff to try!