Friday, March 30, 2012

Forever Faves #4 - Kidnapped

Robert Louis Stevenson has always been one of my favorite classical authors. He wrote a number of amazing and memorable works such as Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Black Arrow. However, my all-time favorite novel written by him is Kidnapped*. I was a young teen the first time I read Kidnapped, and I totally and completely fell in love with the story. It’s been a favorite ever since.

Book Description:

Young David Balfour, left in poverty when his father dies, goes to his uncle, Ebenezer, for assistance. He soon finds himself kidnapped and on board a ship, headed for a life of slavery. With the help of daring rebel Alan Breck, David escapes, only to get mixed up in a desperate adventure – suspected of murder and hunted across the Scottish moors.

*For those of you who may not know, Kidnapped has a sequel entitled David Balfour (otherwise known as Catriona).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lucky Seven Meme

My brilliant writing friend Julia King tagged me to post 7 lines from my MS. I’ve never posted an excerpt from my novels on my blog, so you are in for a *very* rare treat. :)

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating
4. Tag 7 authors
5. Let them know

This is definitely taken out of context, but hopefully it still makes a bit of sense.

After an hour of stares and near-approaches by one person or another, I finally get fed up. I grab a bow and quiver of arrows from the wall and leave the main building in favor of the training fields.
The bow is definitely not my strongest weapon. I’ve always envied the people who can shoot well – their stance, the fluid way they aim, the precision with which they hit the target. No matter how I practice, I never seem able to achieve that ability.
Determined that today will be different, I shoot several rounds in a row. But most of the arrows skirt the bulls-eye as if some hidden force is pushing them to either side of it. The rest hit the dirt.
Gathering the arrows, I try yet again.
The first arcs over the fence, the second skids across the ground, and the third somehow manages to break in half mid-flight.
This weapon hates me.
As I take my stance and aim the next arrow, Jarrett puts his hand on my arm. With a small movement, he realigns my elbow. “Shoot,” he whispers.
Well, I hope y’all enjoyed it!

And now, on to the tagging… *rubs hands together*

I’ve chosen the following people to share lines from their current MS:

Some you may be unable to post lines right now (due to a whole host of factors), and I completely understand that. This is a no-pressure tag. *smiles* For those who are able to post, I look forward to reading!

Have fun, my friends!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Animal Rescue Mission

So, this morning, we found a cute little guy stuck in our basement window well:

No, this isn't the exact one. I was so focused on rescue
that I forgot to take a picture of it. *head smack*

Upon further research (and a call to the local animal rescue), we discovered that the little guy was a vole. And that it would die if we didn’t do something…

And so began the mission to save it’s life.

My family contributed the following rescue tools:

One plastic, flexible garden stake

One quality butterfly net

One small piece of cardboard

One delicious piece of leaf lettuce

These tools are proven to work. I would highly recommend them to anyone trying to rescue a vole from a window well.

Anyway, back to the story…

When I first descended into the window well to retrieve the little guy, he turned into a frozen statue and played dead.

He wedged himself into a corner, so I used the flexible stake to carefully nudge him out. Finally free of the corner, the little guy was totally and completely confused as to what it should do (yes, I know what the Vole was thinking – trust me, those little black eyes were confused).

I placed the tantalizing bit of leaf lettuce at the opening of the butterfly net, put the piece of cardboard behind him, and gently guided him to the opening. Once he scampered into the net, I was able to successfully lift him from the window well and carry him to a location where he (hopefully) will stay out of trouble.

My reward: The satisfaction of helping a tiny animal in need

His reward: The juicy piece of lettuce, which he quickly confiscated as his own

I know that isn't leaf lettuce the vole's eating, but it's close enough. :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Writing and Publishing Link Love

I’ve gathered links to just a few of the fantastic writing/publishing posts I found this week. I hope you enjoy them!

The Point When Everything Changes

Recently, I was obsessing over critically watching the fabulous TV show, Sherlock, and in the episode called “The Hounds of Baskerville”, Sherlock says this to his client:
“And what happened when you went back to Dewer’s Hollow last night, Henry? You went there on the advice of your therapist, and now you’re consulting a detective. What did you see that changed everything?”
And that simple exchange set me to thinking. In a novel, there is always That Point–the point when everything changes for your main character. The point when he/she can no longer go back. The pivotal moment (or change) that spurs the MC to take the next step forward…. (read the rest of this post here)

Prime Real Estate

I’m not a real estate agent, but I do know there are things that real estate agents do to sell a house: they play up the important features. Their other favorite thing to talk about, if it’s good, is the neighborhood and the location of the property. After all, isn’t it all about location, location, location? Well, these considerations are applicable to novel craft, because once you know the important information features and the prime locations for material in your story, you can play around and really present your reader with important information, in a way that seems important, and in places that will make it seem even more important. Let me explain… (read the rest of this post here)

Query Letters: Constants and Not so Constants

Recently, I've taught several workshops on query letters and in studying examples of recent queries that work, I've noticed some minor changes in the trends…. (read the rest of this post here)

What’s an Author-Agent Agreement?

Today let’s talk about the agreement between the writer and the agent, known as an Agency Agreement. This is different from a publisher contract. The agency agreement formalizes the working relationship between you and your agent. It can be simple and relatively brief (the one we use at Books & Such is three pages) or it can be more complicated.
Here are a few things the agreement might specify. Your agreement might not cover all these points, or it may cover more…. (read the rest of this post here)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writing by Music #3

Since I did a Forever Faves post not long ago featuring The Lord of the Rings, I thought I'd focus in today's post on the soundtrack music from the movies. The Lord of the Rings score is some of my absolute favorite music to listen to while writing (or doing anything, for that matter). I love it so much that I even invested in the special edition releases that contain the complete recordings for all three movies. I don’t really have *favorite* songs since I love them all, but here’s a sampling (one song from each movie).