8 Random Links

Some of the way-cool places I’ve visited in the past couple of weeks:

Clark Little Photography: some awesome photos of Hawaii sent to me by Pat Kahn.

Get Genrefied: Verse Novels: an introduction to verse novels, with some excellent recommendations both new and old. Pointed out by Helene Dunbar.

Legendary Surfer Woody “Spider” Brown: biography of a really interesting surfer, one of the big wave pioneers.

Conference Commandments: I plan on adapting this list of Veronica Rossi’s for when I go to the SCBWI Summer Conference.

YA Girl, Episode 1: Kristen Held‘s hysterically funny post on what happens when your characters really talk to you.

20 Awesome Examples of Literary Graffiti: I think I found this through a tweet by Scholastic, and I keep going back to look.

Manuscript Formatting and Prep Screencasts: an extremely useful formatting tutorial. I loved it, and realize this makes me look like more of a nerd than ever. Another one sent by Pat Kahn.

The Art of the Rewrite: Heather Anastasiu’s post at Adventures in Children’s and YA Publishing. I liked it so much I actually copied & pasted it into a Word document so I wouldn’t lose track of it (because my computer file system is so foolproof…ha).

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Two Fridays left in December, and I’ll be wrestling kids into naptime spending time with family, so I won’t post anything until January. However, I wouldn’t want to leave you without cool blogs to read, so here are a few of my favorites (in random order). There are more on the sidebar of my homepage, so check them out, too.

  • inkscape – Melissa Jackson is a writer and critique partner who blogs about books and writing. She also just announced that she landed an agent – whee! Congrats, Melissa!
  • Writer Unboxed – Here you’ll find a wealth of writing inspiration, writing craft, and author interviews. Seriously great stuff.
  • Jamie Weil – Jamie’s a fellow writer who blogs about healthy living. I read it for a daily dose of health inspiration, humor, and heart.
  • Maggie Madly Writing – Whatever topic Maggie decides to take on, she does so with a mix of philosophy and care that I can’t help but admire.
  • PB Writes – PB Rippey’s posts are poignant and beautiful, often a prose-poem with delicious images and always humor. This one, about a squirrel, was one such post, although the one about the Swedish au pair with a taste for bikers left me in hysterics.
  • The Graceful Doe – Jo Hart writes kidlit for all ages. I got a kick out of reading her recent post about 12 x 12, in which she aimed to write twelve picture book drafts, one for each month of 2012.
  • Kris Aro McLeod – If instead of reading, you’d like to feast your eyes, head over to Kris’s blog. She’s a local illustrator who just began posting daily sketches inspired by whatever novel she’s reading. She recently finished Life of Pi and is currently on A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. Here is one of my favorites.
  • YA Muses – This blog is full of awesome because it’s five of my favorite writers in one place – Donna Cooner, Katherine Longshore, Talia Vance, Veronica Rossi, and Bret Ballou. They share craft tips, book recommendations, angst, and inspiration. What’s not to love?
  • Reading is Delicious – A good pal of mine writes about anime, books, cons, food, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She presents her opinions solidly and intelligently and she has a keen eye for artwork and illustrations.

Also, totally unrelated, our Christmas tree came with a few stowaways this year. Arachnids, specifically Spiderus Terrifyus. My favorite. Z found a big spider the other day. Aragog lives! In our Christmas tree!

See you in the New Year! If I’m not eaten by spiders first!

Writer Quiz

Dreamer? Wisher? Hoper? Player? [A Friday Free-for-All Entry]

1. Do you have at least seven titles but no salable manuscript?

2. Have you spent over two hours finessing your writing space (on purpose–not just cumulatively over the years)?

3. Is your Acknowledgments page already drafted (if even in your head)?

4. Do you read five or more different writer blogs?

5. Can you hear your friends groaning when you ask them to read your manuscript (again)? Even if you’re asking in an email?

6. How many times have you checked the query success pie charts on an authors website like authoradvance.com?

7. Have you ever used your blog as an excuse to put off revising your manuscript?

8. Have you ever used dirty dishes as an excuse to put off revising your manuscript?

9. Is your manuscript…
a) halfway through the first draft
b) finished after only a few months
c) halfway through a rewrite after it was supposedly finished?

10. If someone asked you to describe your writing routine, would your answer be among the following?
a) when inspiration hits
b) when my child takes her nap
c) when the moon is full and I’ve just finished a Laurell K. Hamilton book for inspiration

11. How many drinks does it take for you to think your writing is “really great?” Is it the same number it takes to make you think you’re speaking fluently in a foreign language?

12. Do you indulge in fantasies where Stephenie Meyer greets you with the words, “Dang, I wish I had thought of that idea”?

13. Do you indulge in fantasies where Seth Green bites your neck (as he did Stephenie Meyer’s) at the premier of your book-made-into-a-film? Have you lost 15 pounds in said fantasy?

14. Do you feel just a tad bit queasy posting this blog entry, knowing that it’s sort of a confession but put into the form of a survey?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, wow. Get thee to a writer’s conference.

Yes, yes. I’m going. Tomorrow.

Reno, bay-bee!