Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cleaning House: YA Giveaway and GUTGAA!

When we meet next, I will have put away the pool toys, vacuumed all the sand from out of my car (yeah right) and put summer things away until next year. School is upon us and only have time for two things:

Gearing Up To Get An Agent (GUTGAA)
When I participated in Deana Barnhart's blogfest/pitchfest last year it was really cool. I won a 10 page critique by an agented writer - and that crit helped me polish my pages. Which in turn (after a lot of additional work) helped me get an agent. It's not magic, it hard work. And GUTGAA is a wonderful way to focus your work and your mind. If you're ready to start querying, or think you are, but you don't know how to get started, this is the place for you. This year's GUTGAA is bigger, better and more intense than last year. You're mind may be blown, is all I'm saying. Seriously, if you think you're ready to take the next step, this is the perfect place to test your mettle. Plus, I'm one of the judges this year so I'm dying to lay my peepers on all the awesome stories out there!

Over at Bucks County Writer's Group we're giving away awesomesauce signed books. SEE!

All this can be YOURS!
Just head over to the Bucks County Writer's Group site, comment saying 'i want a chance at swag' or something similar, and follow us, if you don't already. THE DEADLINE IS TOMORROW! (please enter just once! GOOD LUCK!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Madness is:

Trying to get writing done in the days before school starts. Yet, I AM MAD.
I'm almost a third of the way through FIND ME and I'm so freaking pleased with myself, I must be annoying my friends and family. I just love Mop and her story, her world so much.

As a result of writing while buying glue sticks and plaid skirts, I have let the blog slide a little. I was shocked to realize that I hadn't updated in two weeks - yikes. I will don the hair shirt and get out the cat-o-nine tails (mixing religious and pirate metaphors there, I think) as a penance, but in the meantime:

Over at Bucks County Writer's Group we're giving away awesomesauce signed books. SEE!

All this can be YOURS!
Just head over to the Bucks County Writer's Group site, comment saying 'i want a chance at swag' or something similar, and follow us, if you don't already. You have until the end of August to enter (please enter just once! GOOD LUCK!

TOUCHED by Cyn Balog
WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman

So when the weather crisps, the apples bake and the sweater weather returns triumphant, what books will you be curling up with?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Just when I was getting my writing groove on, I've got to dive back into my real life. Friend just had a baby, mom's coming to stay, work threw up on me. This is a long way of saying I've got a ramshackle post today!

YA Fest
Last Saturday, my writing pal Laura Campbell and I took a road trip to Easton PA for the first annual YA Fest. All I'm saying is that it better not be the last annual - because it was awesomesauce. Want proof? See this picture? I will be plastering this sucker all over the place.

Laura Campbell, Jonathan Maberry, me, Charles Benoit at YA Fest

I'll soon be posting more about the fest and the amazing writers who attended (in addition to Jonathan and Charles, Cyn Balog, Eve Marie Mont, Jennifer Hubbard, Michelle Zink - so many!) but for now I want you to know two things:
ONE: Bucks County Writers Group will be holding a contest at the end of the month to give away SWAG - signed copies of awesome books from some of the YA Fest writers. Details will go up this Monday here - so stay tuned.
TWO: You don't know how much of a fangirl you are until you stand in front of your fan-girl object munching (candy) zombie fingers. Just saying.

WriteOnCon is NEXT WEEK!
It's awesome. It's free. Last year when I participated, I got a partial and a full request. It's chock full of useful information and the faculty this year features the amazing Gennifer Albin. Did I mention the nija agents? I didn't? These are stealth agents that rummage around the forums looking for gold. Then when they find it, they direct message you for more pages/info. It's happened to me and it's a lovely, shivery feeling. RUN, don't walk to WriteOnCon. Oh, and even though it's free, I found the con so frigging useful, I donated money. You may be moved to do the same.

Girl Of Nightmares
I've been waiting for this book. The second I closed ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake I realized I needed another fix. It's finally here. It's YA Horror, YA romance, YA How's-this gonna-end-happy-when-one-of-the-star-crossed-lovers-is-a-ghost? I don't really care, I just have to be along for the ride. Happy (belated) Pub Day, GIRL OF NIGHTMARES.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why Lie?

I'm currently reading two non-fiction books:

You are perhaps familiar with how the author of IMAGINE, Jonah Lehrer has recently executed a literary belly flop? Yeah, he's admitted to making up some of the quotes in his book attributed to Bob Dylan. He's resigned from The New Yorker. He's probably drinking scotch and eating too many Pringles (yes, I'm projecting.)

I'm trying to use the second book, THE STORYTELLING ANIMAL, by Jonathan Gottschall, to understand Jonah Lehrer's actions. Frankly I don't really understand how someone who has so much, is so smart and successful can make such a stupid mistake. Yes, I know about deadlines and pressure and confusion and "I must have done it without realizing it." And I do understand the temptation to lie. Of course I do. I lie all the time.

Because I am (mostly) human I have an instinct to tell stories, to myself and to others. Even in my own life, in my own memories, I edit, clean up, modify, make myself look better, other's worse. Jonathan Gottschall talks about the history of mankind's storytelling impulse and looks at it evolutionarily - is there a reason we tell stories? Or is it a remnant of prehistory, a left over like a tail or an appendix that we don't need any longer?  Whatever the reason, the impulse to make things up is strong in us.

But telling a story is not the same as lying, right? It's close, it can be a blurry line, but there's a moment when you know, deep in your heart, that the thing you are saying happened, didn't.

I imagine (after all, that's what Jonah Lehrer has invited us to do) it went down something like this:

I should have a quote about creativity here.
That story about Bob Dylan's early touring would be really good in the beginning.
Hmm. It's not saying exactly what I want it to say. It's close, but not exactly.
You know what he should have said, old Bob? He should have said this. That would be perfect if he had said that. It would make my point perfectly.
I think he said that. I'm pretty sure I read him say that somewhere. 
I bet, even if he didn't say that, he meant to say that. 
He said that.

So it's not that I'm without sympathy to the writer who lies. It's our bread and butter, lying and we constantly take real things and apply 'what if?' to them. But since we do sail so close to the windy truth, we need to be more careful. We need to keep the truth as North on the compass. And for anyone thinking, I write fiction, I can make up anything I want! Truth is my plaything! I have one word for you: plagiarism.

So truth is elastic, subjective, open to interpretation as any PR person knows. But it's real. It exists. And once your foot crosses over it, you know. I believe you know.

If I'm ever in the position where I come up against a wall of truth and I want to jump over it. I hope I don't. I hope I realize the difference between artistic license and out right lying. But I may not. I'm only human after all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...