Saturday, January 28, 2012

Putting a book down

Hey you, reading that book you're not so into?

Yeah, you.

It's okay to stop reading.

I've done it a few times.  A part of me doesn't like to do it because I feel like I'm quitting, I'm giving up, or I've invested a lot of time into this story, and while I can't seem to care about the characters and can predict the plot from a mile away, it feels wrong to just set it down.

Set it down.

Don't waste your time.  It will frustrate you to see how a book this bad could be published.  The characters will enrage you to the point where you want to throw the book across the room.  And then, when everyone starts to get really into the book, you want to scream at them because, hello, this is the worst book ever written.  Why can't anyone see that?

Trust me.  I've been there.

You're not going to get a reward for following through and finishing the story.  If anything, your brother will ask you, "Don't you like Book?"

To which you'll reply, "Um, no."

And he'll be all, "Then why'd you read all of them."  And then rub it in at various points in your life because he's going to hold it against you for that long.

It's okay to put the book down.  You didn't fail.  The author did.  Don't waste your time.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Heath Ledger

Hey guys.

So it's January 22.


It's also the anniversary of Heath Ledger's passing.  I can't explain why, but for whatever reason, I have this strange connection to him, more so now that he's gone than I ever did when he was alive.  As such, I like to make it a point to remember him on this day.

Today, I plan to watch 10 Things I Hate About You in honor of him.  It's one of my favorite chick flicks (and one of my favorite Shakespeare plays).  It's my little way of letting him know that we remember him.  It's not much, but it's something.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Taking fate into your own hands

Society's a pretty interesting thing, isn't it?  The double standards, the expectations, the social norms that are constantly changing...

This is for all the girls who have a guy they want to ask out (or are waiting for a guy to ask them out).  As you well know, I'm a big believer in signs.  In the universe.  In that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  In everything happens for a reason.

Since my April breakup with Goatboy, I've been very resistant to relationships.  Even now, I cannot picture myself ever getting married.  Not that I don't want to, I just can't picture it.  Yet.  I haven't met That Guy.  And really, I don't want to meet him yet.  I'm only 22.

However, I find myself wanting to date.  Casually.  Just for fun.  And I had a particular guy in mind that I wanted to take that chance with.  So I talked to fate, and I said, "Listen, if you give me this opportunity, if you put me in this position, I promise I won't waste it."

As we all know, the universe works in mysterious ways.  The guy turned out to have a girlfriend (or a date or a female friend, whatever signified that perhaps he wasn't looking to date anyone else at the moment) but at the event, I met someone else, someone I briefly interacted with in November.  We fell back into easy conversation, and before I knew it, I gave him my number.

In a way, I'm glad Guy #1 was taken (or seemingly taken).  Now I'm free to choose whoever I might find interesting enough to date.  I'm not tied down, and I refuse to wait for anyone.  I feel empowered, as though I can pick and choose which guys I want to hang out with and which guys I don't.

So girls: why not take fate into your own hands and ask a guy out?  You can make it really casual, like offering to be a tour guide to a new guy in town (that's the one I used), tell him, "Hey, I'd love to buy you a drink some time" (my  original line on Guy #1 - IF you're of age, of course), or, if you're not, "We should grab coffee some time."  As common sensical as it sounds, you don't have to be like, "Do you want to go out with me?"  It can be casual and fun and noncommittal, like, "We should hang out."  That way, you put the power in his hands.  If he wants to hang, he'll call/text/Facebook, whatever.  If not, so what?  The world is at your feet, with guys just waiting to hang out with you.

Go for it.  Don't wait around.  How else is the universe going to take what you want seriously if you don't think it's risky enough to take a chance on?

Friday, January 13, 2012


The Ducks went streaking, my friends, winning three games (at home) in a row.  And then, last night (my grandfather's would-be birthday), they tied it up 0-0 and lost in overtime.  However, I'm not too worried.  Why, you may ask?  Because if you watched the game, you saw that they played really, really well.  Which gives me hope.

But Heather, you say, today is Friday, the Thirteenth.  Aren't you worried about that?

Pshh, no.

Friday the Thirteenth has been especially lucky in my family and I have no problem transferring my luck to my team for tonight's game.

Some great news for the Ducks, though?  Corey Perry was named to the AllStar Game.  Um, as if there was any doubt.  But congrats to Corey, who definitely deserves the honor.

Some big news in terms of writing: I've chopped Stranger in the Mirror in half.  Like, I cut out two main characters and their storylines and made them secondary characters.  You might think I'd be upset at all the time and effort I put into writing - by hand! - their stories only to end up having them cut up.

You'd be wrong.

I decided it because with four characters, there was too much going on.  As much as I love Brielle and Elle, I was doing a disservice to the story by writing their stories in conjunction with Sophie and Jane's, when the latter plotline is the most important.  Even my writing reflected that my passion favored the first two compared to the second group.

And, when I did it, it felt right.

Of course, there will be much more editing to make sure everything flows better, much more work, but I that it will be worth it

You guys, I am so excited about this book.  I can't wait to share it with you.  And these changes, no matter how drastic, will make it even better.  I promise.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Revisions and rewriting and reviewing

Today, my holiday officially ended.

Today, I began revisions for Stranger in the Mirror.  It was the longest, most exhausting novel I've ever written, but definitely the most satisfying.  And, as I read what I've written - making necessary grammar/spelling/plot/character changes, I still believe that.  I am so proud of this novel.  It's going to take lots of work to polish it, but even though it's exhausting, it was and still is so totally worth it.

Today, I began writing my new WIP.  Well, I should say, rewriting it.  I had written a mystery-hockey story earlier this year.  I queried, and while some commented on its uniqueness and I got one partial request, no one bit.  I put it aside, wrote other things.

But I had to write this story.  Had to.  The idea wouldn't let me go.

So I changed it.  A bit.  Instead of a chick-lit mystery, it will be a YA contemporary mystery.  Instead of 3 POV characters, there will be 4.  Instead of typing it up, I'll be writing it out first.  I have 8 hockey books - everything from a coffee table book with big pictures to more focused books about superstition and rivalries and more.  One book is written by Bruce Boudreau, a coach (yes, the Ducks coach).  I'm planning to buy a couple of books written by referees and other coaches and players.  Plus, I watch every single Ducks game I can, and, when there's nothing on TV and no Law and Order: SVU marathons on, I'll flip over to NHL Network and watch a repeat of a previous game just because I love this sport, whether the Ducks are playing or not. 

I want this book to be authentic and to show just how amazing this game is while maintaining well-rounded characters and interesting relationships.  So I'm writing it out by hand, like with Stranger in the Mirror, and then typing it up.

I was excited about my initial story, excited to write about hockey through three girls' POV.  Now, I'm ecstatic.  I'm brimming with excitement at rewriting to make the manuscript even better than it is.

Rewriting is daunting.  Besides key scenes here and there, I don't really rewrite because I plan so much before actually writing the story.  I know what I'm writing, everything's   there for a reason, there's no need to excessively rewrite.

But then, rewriting is fabulous.  It's taking your amazing idea - the one that had you so excited you actually finished writing a book about it - and making it better.  Fleshing out characters.  Adding needed subplots. 

I'm 2 chapters in and looking forward to writing the best damn YA hockey book there is.

Finally, today I plotted.  Reviewed an idea that's been teetering around in my mind for the past few weeks.  Not on paper, but in my mind.  You know me, I can't focus on one thing at one time.  I have this amazing idea about a new take on angels and demons and our concept of heaven and hell.  No, it's not religious.  It's more about... perfection vs. imperfection.  Anyways, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I've been doing a lot today and I can't help but... smile.  :)  It's like I said, I'm excited.  Ecstatic.  This is how I know I was born to be a writer.