Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Readers

I need a few people to start reading a first draft for me. Not proofreaders. Not beta readers. Not critique partners.  I'll be needing those too, in the future. Right now, I just need people who love me enough to waste a little time reading chapter by chapter installments of my book in rough draft format. People who will say stuff like "oooh, interesting, I can't wait for more." People who will nag me saying, "it's Sunday, don't you have another chapter done?"

Sure, I'll take corrections, suggestions or constructive criticism. But I'm also going to try my best to make it reader-worthy, with a minimum of typos and an effort to be at first-draft level, or at least a bit above true "rough" draft.

For any  fellow writers, I will return the favor (in any manner you like, FYI I'm a very good proofreader--to other people's work, not so much for my own). 

Here's the concept of my story, if you're interested.

Kelsey knows it’s rude to stare at Calvin Baker, when everyone else at school glances away politely. She knows it’s wrong and cruel to think of him as Creepy Boy. It’s not Calvin’s fault he was in a disfiguring accident and can barely speak a coherent sentence.



But Kelsey can’t forget her recurring dreams that predicted Calvin’s fate. And she can’t shake the haunting sensation that Calvin has returned from the dead. Soon she’s drawn into a voyeuristic fascination with Calvin and discovers that he has an obsession of his own—Kelsey’s long-time friend and recent ex-boyfriend Dave.


As Kelsey attempts to salvage her relationship with Dave, she finds herself unwillingly sympathetic to Calvin’s own attraction to Dave. Until one day she discovers Calvin’s true dark desires, depicted in the pages of the lurid comics he draws. But by then, Kelsey has already gotten too close to Creepy Boy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Writing Blog

How would I classify myself as a writer?  Fiction, for sure.  My first effort was chick-lit, of the "lifetime movie" variety.  Which is why I suspect it's currently buried, awaiting a rewrite that may never come.  I enjoyed the tortured love-affair aspect of it, but got really tired of the redemptive ending I tried to create for my main character.  And honestly, what's the point of all the agony I put her though if she doesn't learn/grow/change?  It's just that learning and growing can be so good and boring. 

I'm new to this writing, but have been told, Young Adult is where it's at.  I know this genre is rife with fantasy, which I've never really felt inspired to imagine or write.  The other biggie is the "post apocalyptic" types, which I cannot fathom writing.  Not that I've never imagined in this style.  But usually my "end of the world as we know it" fantasies are just an excuse to send myself, my crushes, and my enemies into the wilderness, where I then show how tough, capable, clever and compassionate I am, and they all fall in love with me. A lot of fun to think of, but would be embarrassing to write.  In fact, even a little embarrassing to admit.  Just forget I even mentioned it.

The book I'm working on now, I can clearly classify as YA (teenagers, high-school, angst, it fits), paranormal (out-of-body-experiences, comic book alter ego) and romance (a twisty love-triangle).  This one is fun and I'm pretty excited about it, and it has a nice dramatic showdown for the ending, so I know I'm not going to get bored. 

I can think so much faster than I can type, and in the time I've been writing this particular blog post, I've come to the conclusion that if I had to label what I write, I'd classify it as "Misfit Romance."  Which sounded a lot better with all the accompanying thought process.  Forget I even mentioned it.

P.S. For you faithful followers of my blog who are more used to my "mommy life" type posts, I'll not be posting all of these writing posts on facebook, and if I do, I'll clearly title and label them so you know what to expect.  I'm sure there's some better way to do this, but I can't get bogged down with tech stuff.  Need to keep writing my book while I'm feeling it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Splittttttt

Just imagine a 6-year-old, missing two front teeth, with a mouth full of mostly chewed french fries, excitedly shouting "Banana Split!"

Now imagine her doing it two inches in front of your face.

No dessert for me, thank you.  I've lost my appetite.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Survey Backlash

Everybody wants to know what I think.  I'm so flattered.  Every time I go on a website, a survey window pops up.  Every time I shop, the cashier is circling something on the receipt and telling me "go to our website and take a survey."  Right.  I'll get right on that.  Just as soon as I clean out my purse.  So, like three months from now, okay?

My son's preschool just sent home a 3 page survey form.  Three pages.  Front and Back.  Something about accreditation, full of questions like "My child's teacher cares about what's important to my child, and My child's teacher gives me ample opportunities to participate in classroom activities."  And I was supposed to respond Yes; Yes, but; No, but; or No
.
The thought of answering questions with "Yes, but I couldn't care less, because I just want to get away from my kid for a few hours so I can shop, think, clean, shower without the voices in my head saying "Mommy, mommy, mommyyyy"," just seemed way too tedious, and too shamefully honest.

So I just whipped through that survey, circling yeses like crazy, even accidentally some that I should have chosen "not applicable" because overall, I'm satisfied with my child's school.  So yes, they have accommodated my child's special needs, language barriers, discipline issues, and food allergies, or, I assume they would have, if he had any.  Hope this helps.  

Then today, when I went to swipe my credit card at Kmart, the lovely card reader prompts a survey before I can even make a payment.  What tha..???

It asks me, "how likely are to to recommend to another person to shop at Kmart?"

Again, they don't have a choice that fits my thought process, which is, "Much to my surprise, I was rethinking my whole hatred of Kmart today because you actually sell plain white, sturdy, Rubbermaid laundry baskets, unlike Target that's so focused on being trendy that every laundry basket they sell is a non-branded weirdly-shaped modern art piece in colors that match nothing in my home or in nature.  And your employees were pleasant today which is nice.  A shocker, but nice.  But now, I'm just thinking, I'm "Not At All Likely" to recommend a person to shop at Kmart, because you are forcing me to participate in this moronic survey."

Fortunately the cashier was both nice, and smart, and as soon as I grumbled at the screen, she said, "I don't know why they do this," and quickly pushed "Likely" on the screen on my behalf.

I understand the desire for feedback, but I wonder if researchers are taking into account the "survey backlash effect."  How about you add one more question.  "Does this survey annoy you?"  
  • Yes greatly, it triggered an aneurysm. 
  • Yes, (I threw up in my mouth) a little bit. 
  • No, not any more than your average housefly or mosquito. 
  • No, not at all, what annoys me is everything else about your website/establishment/self.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things That Cannot Be Done Faster

There are certain tasks that are impossible to complete more quickly regardless of how fast or hard I work at them.
  • Ironing.  Several slow passes with a properly heated iron will make that skirt look beautiful.  Skating the iron furiously back and forth as if beating eggs, after letting it heat up for 5 seconds, will not get the skirt ironed any sooner, but will just make me sweaty.
  • Blowdrying my hair.  It takes 10 minutes.  It always takes 10 minutes.  It will not take less time if I brush faster, or hold the hair dryer closer.
  • Vacuuming.  Same as ironing.  Vacuuming faster can save time only if I use it as an excuse to skip exercising.
  • Cooking.  Because raw food sucks.  And so does bleeding on the veggies because I was chopping too fast.
  • Putting kids to bed.  Speed reading the Clifford book will result in at least 2 additonal minutes of interruptions and requests to see that page again.
Those are my "will I ever learn?" downfalls.  What about you?  What do you try to rush, even though it doesn't work?