Friday, May 24, 2013

Five for Friday

1. I cannot reiterate how important breaks are. I took a week off from everything while my in-laws were in town and when I got back to the writing thing, well...the words burst out of me. AH-MAH-ZING.

2. On the reading front things aren't going so smoothly. I've read one mediocre book after another the last couple of weeks. The last really great book I read was Torched. I can't tell you how fun that book was. A trip to the library is long over due.

3. It's Memorial Day weekend and I'm trying to think of something fun to do. The husband wants to go camping but I have churchy things I need to be there for on Sunday. I'm sure we'll figure something out. If nothing else we'll go to the mall and check out some sales (if I have it my way).

4. Okay, so the Husband and I are totally addicted to playing Words With Friends (also known as scrabble, but for some reason isn't). I definitely get why Alec Baldwin was kicked out of that plane now.

5. With all the craziness going on in the world right now, I'm holding my loved ones even closer to me. After the recent tragedy in Oklahoma I can't help but think that could have easily been us, or anyone for that matter. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.

I hope you have a safe and fun weekend with the people that matter to you most.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why First Drafts Suck

You've all heard this. And they do. I mean, I know mine do, and I'm glad to know everyone else's do too.

Why do first drafts suck? Because we only have a shadowed glimpse of the picture. It takes time to build a full world, to clear that picture, to learn about our characters. Each writer is inspired during one moment in time for a particular story, whether by a dream, a movie, a conversation, or your own musings, in that moment we hear a voice in our heads and decide to write about it. But we don't know where that voice will lead us. Even if you're not a pantser like me, having an outline doesn't give you ever single detail of your story. And oftentimes events change, characters are deleted, we are forced to kill our darlings. Hence the reason first drafts are so awful. A lot times I'll leave notes in the margins that say "use a thesaursus!" or "put in something dramatic"  or perhaps "kissing can now commence" because I want to set up the bones of my story, the bones being the inspiring event that caused the voice to start talking in my head. From there on out I don't really have a clue as to what is going to happen, only that it's going to make or break my characters.

What about you guys, do your first drafts suck? If they don't, well, don't bother commenting, I don't want to hear about it. Just kidding...sort of.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Conference Round Up

I attended my first writer's conference this weekend! On Saturday I went to the tenth annual LDStorymakers conference in Provo, UT. It was fun, it was exciting, and I learned a lot. And I definitely plan on going next year. And I' also going to sign up for the masters classes because I heard nothing but awesome things about them.

I also mentioned I would be pitching to an agent So scary, intimidating, exciting. Honestly, it was a great experience. I surprised myself by not stuttering and sweating bullets. I even managed to ask a few questions in return. All in all, a wonderful time was had. I met some great people, everyone was so nice. I was scared because I didn't know anyone going in, but I picked a table and sat down and was able to chat easily with the other writers there because we all had the same thing in common. It was great to be surrounded by people who get what I'm going through and who are so encouraging. The writing community really is awesome! If you guys ever get an opportunity to attend a conference, do it! I know you won't regret it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

When Technology Fails You

In a tech savvy world, things breaking is sort of expected. Computers crash, phones break, touch screens malfunction. When you think about all the technology we rely on and expect to work, it's kind of scary. I've had more than a few occasions when the computer freezes up on me before I've had time to save my document. Which is then followed by some chest clutching, hair pulling, breath holding moments. I've been lucky in that I haven't (Yet, fingers crossed) lost any of my work. Blogger has even lost some of my posts when I didn't remember to press the save button.

I had kind of a mini freak out this past weekend when my NEW Kindle Fire stopped working. Just bam, without any warning. I used it in the morning to play a game (I am addicted to Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, and most of the time, no, I am not in fact smarter than a fifth grader), afterwards I put is aside by the charger because the battery was almost dead as a reminder to plug it in later. That night, before heading out to the Drive-Ins with the family, I finally remembered. And nothing happened. Nada. The charging light didn't come onor anything. I plugged my phone into the charger to see if that was the problem, but immediately my phone recognized that it was the wrong USB and wanted me to unplug it, so that wasn't the issue. I thought maybe it was too dead for the charger to recognize that it was charging and decided to leave it plugged in while we went the movies. When I came back, still nothing. Long story short, we got in touch with tech support on Amazon and they're sending me a new Kindle, so yay! But what if it hadn't been my Kindle that broke down, but my laptop? There are so many things on that thing I wouldn't be able to replace. My heart is speeding and the sweat on my forehead is breaking just thinking about it. This is why it's SO important to back up your work. I am guilty of shrugging my shoulders and saying I'll get to it later, but really, we can't afford to be so blase about it. Our hard work is just a frozen screen away from disappearing. Rachelle Gardner had some great tips HERE for saving your work as well if you're looking for more ways to back it up. I hope none of us ever have to go through those heart wrenching moments again. But, in a world that is constantly changing with technology, I think it may just be a pipe dream.