Tuesday, May 29, 2007

AMAZING REJECTION...
or is it DIRECTION?

Last week I received the world's most brilliant rejection. It was just what I'd been praying for--well, in a round about way. No one really wants to be rejected. Anyway, it was kindly worded, uplifting, and gave me a quick market update that confirmed I chose the right direction to take my writing. It was also complimentary, and did I mention encouraging? The respect I already had for this agent multiplied tenfold.

Why can't all rejections be so wonderful?

Sometimes it feels like ages ago I started writing, and like it'll be ages before something "happens." In the meantime, a letter like the one I got last week helps. A lot.

What encourages you to keep truckin' until you get (or got) THE CALL?

Friday, May 25, 2007

SNITCH

I SO wish I'd had a chance to read this one before posting because I love Rene Gutteridge's books! (But if you'll recall from my speed reading post, I'm the slow one of the bunch.) Therefore, I am posting the official review from the CFBA site.


Old School meets New School meets Homeschool

Just shy of retirement and a well-earned pension, Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant Ron Yeager's definition of "active duty" involves shifting his bad leg into a more comfortable position. But when he's requested from his mind-numbing desk job to head an undercover auto theft task force, the former narcotics officer determines to prove he's still got the right stuff.

That is...until he meets his unlikely team of officers.

As Yeager soon finds out, not all the crazies are on the street. An undercover rookie, the audaciously honest Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard sends Yeager's blood pressure skyrocketing by wearing her faith like an ever-present badge. Then there's Jesse Lunden, a maverick undercover officer who refuses to learn anything from an old guy with a cane. Can this tangle of egos and eccentrics be trained into a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine...even while they are being drawn into something much bigger and more dangerous than anyone imagined?

In her trademark style, Rene Gutteridge blends zany, original characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.

"Snitch is an engaging crime novel, balanced between sheer whimsy and genuine human drama."
....CHRIS WELL, author of Tribulation House

"A wonderful, fully developed ensemble cast makes Snitch an entertaining, engaging read. Rene's flair for a comedic, well-turned phrase shines here. Snitch is worth snatching."
...SUSAN MEISSNER, author of Widows and Orphans



Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).

She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.

So get your copy today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

IT'S OFFICIAL...

I'm a computer addict. I always knew it in my heart. While the quiz I took was intended to be fun, the questions actually highlighted some good points (i.e. Do you experience a sense of euphoria, excitement or relief when you're at the computer?) I scored 10 out of 20--only half of the disturbing signs belong to me (surfing for P*ORN is NOT one of them!!! EWW!) But I'll admit I get a rush when I see I have new mail in my inbox, and a wee bit disappointed when there's nothing.

Argh. Like I needed confirmation.

Anyway, click here and find out if you're addicted to the net!

PS. Check out my Honey Do blog for thoughts on gas.

Monday, May 21, 2007

THE FLAP CLOSE...

As you probably already know, my hubby used to be a car salesman. (Quit laughing.) Anyway, they talk about "soft closes" vs. "hard closes" and many other "closing" terms. My honey was such a great salesman, management pulled him in many times to close the sale for another salesman--IOW, he became the closer.

Saturday, while we were waiting for our takeout order, my husband and I toured the bookstore and he bought me a book. (Aww, what a guy! This, on the heels of a gift card to Barnes last week!) He clutched it close and wouldn't let me see it until after lunch--to heighten the suspense, I guess.

Before he let me have the book he said, "I read the entire flap, and this book has all the elements you like. I fell in love with this book for you. I was totally flap-closed." He has a penchant for making up words, but oh, how fitting.

FLAP CLOSED. Isn't that what we all strive for? A book that can be boiled down into an exciting, succinct blurb that "closes" a reader. (That also implies HARDBACK, which is cool too.) But first, I suppose I need to write that exciting book, because no flap, or backcover copy, can make up for an uninteresting story. (Well, I suppose it can, but that's another post!)

So here's to another great week of writing, friends!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

TITLE SCORES...

I've blogged on this before, but if you haven't rated your current title, click here (after reading this post, of course!) and plug in the title of your book to see if it's bound for the NYT Bestseller List. LULU devised a system after analyzing 700 titles, but of course nothing is fool proof, as The Da Vinci Code didn't fare well.

The title of my new WIP is The Shadows of Alaska. At least that's the working title, and judging by its score (69%) I'm likely to keep it. A perfect score, according to this test, is 83%. Not only is rating your title fun, it's a good exercise in the parts of speech, long forgotten by moi.

What's your score?

Monday, May 14, 2007

SCARY STALKER...

And just who is this scary stalker hiding behind the bank of mailboxes? It's me! TC's comment last week about waiting for the postman reminded me of how sadly attached I am to the mailbox. Now that I have a few queries floating around out there (and sadly, I'm not sure they're really doing any more than that!) a big chunk of my day revolves around the postal schedule.

Do you know what's bad about Sunday's? NO MAIL! (Don't get me wrong, I don't look forward to junk mail, or anything like that. See my post today on Honey Do.) I even have anxiety on the days when our regular mailman isn't working and the mail comes late in the afternoon. One day I made like 3 trips to the box! I look forward to the CFBA books, RWA magazine, and yes, I'm a sick puppy, I even look forward to the occasional rejection. It's an adrenaline rush to receive anything writing related.

Does that make me a total newbie? Please, give me a shout out if you suffer (or make your mailman suffer) the same affliction!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

RESEARCH FUN


Switching genres has been a hoot so far. One of the biggest differences between writing chick lit and writing romantic suspense has been the research. With chick lit I didn't have to interview anyone on awkward situations, verbal sparring, or other "chick lit moments." But with RS I'm learning all kinds of stuff:


*how to slash tires--the ACFW loop came to my rescue on this one

*heart attacks--hooray for crit buddies!

*human experimentation--fun trip to the library

*wilderness survival--another fun trip to the library, a few episodes of Survivorman, and my own (albeit brief) experiences in the Alaskan wilderness

Speaking of which--I dug up my old Alaska pictures. This may have been the most fun part of my "research." And now, for your viewing pleasure....







This is from an area outside of Anchorage, and the picture doesn't do the real view justice.



A shot like this starts adding a slice of reality to my setting, and reminds me to use a bit of detail here and there. Well, at least I will when I get to that part! (I'm only on Chapter 1.)





This shot was taken back in 1990 from the top of a hill in some of the most untouched land in the world--probably about 50+ miles above the Arctic Circle.


I've never seen fish so big, nor have I jumped in water SO cold. This is a spot that can only be reached by boat. This inspired a scene that will take place at the end of my book. (Yes! I plotted!)




And I thought you'd get a kick out of this one. In my defense, this is back in 1990--thus, the really big hair. (Still waiting for that trend to come back.) This pic was taken right before the Miss Arctic Circle Pageant. Yep, I wore mukluks.

Though I've had fun learning tons of new stuff, I really just want to get on with the writing. Do you have fun with the research too? What kind of research have you done for your books?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

8 RANDOM THINGS......

Yesterday I was tagged by Camy Tang and Rachel Hauck for 8 Random Things. Now, if you haven't already read their 8 random things, you must. I laughed so hard my face hurt. That being said, here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Are you ready? Here are my 8 random things/habits:

1. I'm a big laugher. With the help of my friends, we've cleared more than one restaurant. We've been sat in the back because the waitstaff knows who we are, and we've had people applaud when we leave. Yes, I'm usually part of the loud table.

2. When I left JCP after almost 8 years in management, my coworkers wrote me a song to the tune of Home, Home on the Range. To this day it makes me smile. The last line was, "...and we'll ne-ver clear a restaurant again!"

3. Hello, my name is Georgiana, and I'm a caffeholic. Diet Coke and coffee are two habits I could never--would never--kick.

4. I eat ice cream when no one is looking, even though I'm on a diet. I eat it straight out of the container. The next person who opens it is always astonished at how fast it disappears.

5. I used to chew ice chips like candy, until I cracked a tooth and had to have an $1800 root canal.

6. Speaking of teeth, I'm a compulsive flosser.

7. While my home is clean, my car is disgusting. Don't even ask about all the sunflower seeds. Oh yeah, I suppose that's one more habit!

8. In high school, I slid across the wooden bench during volley ball practice and got a splinter in my behind. I tried--and failed--to get it out on my own. Imagine trying to explain my situation to the doctor, then have a team of three standing over me for the removal.

OK, now you know all my secrets. (Well, maybe not ALL!) Now, it's your turn!

Kaye
Betsy
Erica
Delia
Mary
Sabrina
Rachel
Sally

Go forth and blog!

Monday, May 07, 2007

POTHOLES

Saturday night my husband and I went to the movies for the first time in two years. No joke. The price has gone up significantly since we last went. $40 for tickets, nachos, and drinks. (If I'd have known that, I'd have brought my own cheese!) Anyhow, I won't reveal the name of the movie, we'll leave that to your own imagination.

It was a great story, and the character arc was fantastic. True growth, even for an action-type film. The movie climaxed, then THE BLACK MOMENT. It came so close to the end of the movie I was nervous about how they could possibly resolve the conflict and serve justice to the bad guy. (I want to be able to do that in my own stories!)

Then, the resolution. At first it came across as, "A-ha!" until further inspection. My hubby and I sat in our chairs until the lights came up, and he said, "No way. That wouldn't have happened. The bad guy was too smart to make a mistake like that."

I fiddled with my straw, trying to make sense of the ending, that moments ago seemed perfect. "You're right, and what about (x,y,z)--that doesn't make sense. That's a huge plot hole."

He paused. "It's a big pothole! Why didn't the writers think of that?"

"Did you just say pothole?"

"Yeah. Big pothole."

"I said 'plot hole,' p-l-o-t."

"Oh, whatever, they still should have thought of that."

By then I was laughing my head off. LOL, POTHOLE. But you know something? What my hubby said made sense.

As writers, we have a responsibility to think of every scenario, and make every loose end make sense. When we don't, it jars the story, and sets everything off-balance. I don't want anyone second guessing something I wrote, and saying my work is riddled with potholes. In fact, a few weeks ago I read a book where, had the heroine looked at the caller ID, half the story would have been moot. Yes, I finished the book because it was a fun read, and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book. But I can't help but wonder why the heroine didn't look at the caller ID.

So, here's to writing great stories, tying up loose ends, and leaving NO ROOM for potholes.

Friday, May 04, 2007

NEW MUSCLES

I'm having the darndest (is that a word?) time deciding what to write next. I have the first two chapters of two different novels written. One is, of course, a chick lit. But the other one is the romantic suspense I mentioned a few posts back. I love them both equally, so it really is a tossup.

But can I just mention that writing in these two genres is 100% different? OK, maybe 95% different, considering that telling a good story is still the most important thing no matter which genre you write. And you still have to consider spelling and punctuation (my nemesis.) I'm telling you, it's like working two different muscle groups. It's as if you're used to doing aerobics, then switch to power lifting. Or you're an avid mountain climber, then decide to try out ballet. (Um, now that I really think about it, exercise analogies probably aren't working, as I do not exercise, so I could be way off base.) Anyway, that's beside the point.

The point is that I'm having a blast, albeit an unfocused one for the time being. I'm stretching my lil' writing muscles, and feeling great. Try it sometime!

In other news, I went to WalMart again yesterday, and there was no sign of our undercover operative.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

MYSTERY MAN........

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time at all, you know that I visit the book aisle in every single store I enter--grocery store, drug store, Walmart, etc. I don't limit book-buying opportunities to bookstores only. Anyway, that's beside the point.

The last several times I've been in the Walmart book aisle, the same man has been there too. He's a man who appears to be homeless (a sad problem in our town) and, like me, appears to be a voracious reader. He crouches in the suspense section and is about 2/3 of the way through a 400 page novel. (I hope he reads faster than my 230 WPM!)

I admire this guy, though I know nothing about him other than that he will find a way to read. Makes me thankful for the ability to buy a few books every now and then, and belong to the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance where free books are the norm. Every time I see him, I count my blessings. Maybe someday I'll have to the courage to talk to him (when he comes to a chapter break!) and find out his story. Maybe I'll have the opportunity to give away some of my Christian suspense novels.

I had no point in particular to make with this post, just that this mystery man was on my mind.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I USED TO BE COOL...

Yep. When my teen was small, I was the young, cool mom who actually chased her baby around the park, played loud music in the car, and had an awesome shoe collection. I'd climb to the top of the slide, swing, and do all the same things my baby did.

But now...

I beg my teen to turn down the music. My hair? I'm stuck in the 80's, hoping that big hair comes back. And my wardrobe--I keep saying that I'm waiting until I lose a few more pounds before I buy anything, but I don't think I'm fooling anyone.

I am not so young and cool with this round of babies. We're on our way to gymnastics where I am sure to pull a muscle while trying--repeat TRYING--to keep up with my tots. The other mothers? They're young and cool. Backflips and fun tricks abound. Then there's me, the granny of the group who can barely do a cartwheel, and let's not even talk about the handstand I tried to pull off last week while my shirt flipped up.

So here we go.

Pray.
Add to Technorati Favorites