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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Writers' Tip #4 and Angelina's Secret

Hello everybody!

Again, it's been a slow week. Not much has happened in the publishing/writing world. The one thing to note is that I bought one of Spencer Hill's already published books. It was Mom's idea to do so and see what type of stuff they work with and what my fellow SH authors are like. The name is ANGELINA'S SECRET, by Lisa Rogers, and it's about a high school cheerleader who talks to ghosts while trying to stay out of a mental institution. Haven't started reading it yet, but I'm almost done with the book I'm on right now (CARTER FINALLY GETS IT, by Brent Crawford), so I'll start SECRET after that.

Now it's time for you weekly dose of Writers' Tips! This one focuses on characters. Tip number four: get a baby name dictionary. I found one for two dollars at an antique mall, and it helps me develop my story characters A LOT, because whatever you name your character can define it greatly. There is actually much in a name!
So, get a baby name dictionary and flip through it every time you make a character. You can probably find name websites, but a book is more correct/sound for definitions. You can use any process to name your male or female. Make it random, or go after a name starting with your favorite letter. My naming process is giving my characters names that identify with something they can do or something that describes them, which is very common for authors. For instance, Rylan Forester, the lead in THE SWAMP ANGEL got his name because I wanted to connect him to the plant life that surrounds his home with the swamp. Hence, we have Rylan, which means, 'rye land', and Forester, which is an old title given to someone who works in a forest. Another character of mine in a different book can see ghosts, and so has the name Enid, which means, 'spirit'. I love the naming process, if you can't tell. ;)

And finally we have the Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1. The song 'America' by Deuce. Heard it first on the radio a month and a half ago, but only watched the music video this week. It's sung by an ex-member of the band Hollywood Undead, and I really like it. Which is weird, considering I usually don't like songs that drop the f-bomb constantly like America does. Either way, I like it because of the beat and the lyrics (minus the swear words) and it just sounds so good. I'm sure we all have those random finds of music; when we end up loving a song that is so not like what we usually listen to. Those are always exciting.
What's funny to me at least is when I first heard this song, I thought it would be great background music in a preview for a zombie movie with lots of fighting. Then I see the music video, and IT has zombies in it.

Like 2. Voting. My mom talked to me about registering to vote. She thinks I should do it. I'm not too sure. I don't like either of the candidates (Obama is Obama, and Romney is an idiot who doesn't know when to shut up) and I really don't think much is going to change despite who wins. One thing I hate about the government? They take so DAMN LONG to do things, and it never seems to be in the best interest for the entire people; the bad outweighs whatever good they do. On the other side of things, I am glad we can choose our leader when so many countries can't; I'm not that ungrateful and I know how lucky we are to live here. Sigh...this decision would be so easier to make if Ron Paul was in the running; he was the only politician I liked because he seemed honest and didn't say anything stupid as far as I know of. (And please respect my political views. I'm not making fun of yours, so don't make fun of mine.)

Like 3. Hairspray, the musical. Not the beauty product. A nearby restaurant theater that my grandmother has season tickets to was doing the show, and I went with my mom and two of my dearest friends. First time seeing it live, and it was wonderfully done. The actors were talented, the singing was great, and it was just plain awesome. The best part, however, was seeing my friends and getting to talk to them, since we've been off to college and haven't really been able to contact each other.

And we have our first dislike:

Dislike 1. The Aurora shooting. I'm sure we've all heard about this by now. They're saying its the worst shooting to happen in Colorado since Columbine. It was 10 miles south of Denver. My sister lives there most of the year to attend college. Granted, she wasn't there since it's summer, but still! More than 50 wounded and 12 dead, including a six year old! There was a four-month old in the theater when it happened! What if he got killed?!
I want to know why, like everyone else. But I also want to know why people can do this with no problem. No matter what anyone tells me, though, I think that's something I'll never understand. In the paper today was an article about how my generation is becoming desensitized to violence like this because we basically grew up with it, being 9/11 kids. I also don't like that idea. Are we becoming an unfeeling nation? I know I'm not; I stay hopeful, and I don't brace myself waiting for each attack. But what of everyone else? Bad stuff happens all the time, but that doesn't mean we should get used to it. We should try to prevent it so it's at least not as bad as what happened in that theater.
I just hope we get some better gun control laws out of this. And where's the real Batman when you need him?

My prayers are with the victims and their families. 

See you next week,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

News and Writers Tips #3

Hello readers!

Not much on the book front except for Rich sending me his first couple of points to discuss. Apparently Rylan can sound a bit girly at times, and the ex best friend thing should be expanded on. And I agree! I guess writing in the opposite sex's point of view is harder than I thought. I probably made him girly because his dad was absent for the most part and was basically raised by his grandma. But Rich and I will look into it and make it better! (Sorry if you have no clue what I'm talking about; you'll find out when you read the book.)

So, since there's no other news, it's time for a writer's tip! Number three is ... write in your favorite genre!

Obvious again. But it clearly makes sense. I mean, if you want to write for a living, you want to do so by writing about what interests you, right? You wouldn't want to do it if you're, like, stuck writing non fiction (my least favorite genre) when you don't like non fiction. Write what you like to read, and it'll be fun! For instance, I like reading romance, fantasy, science fiction, and realistic fiction, so that's what I write. Why I like these is because it allows so much manipulation and imagination; you can create a whole world from scratch! How is that not fun? (And yes, realistic fiction counts because you can at least make the people and the situations they're in. Not like non fiction, which is nothing but facts about this boring reality. No room for creation whatsoever).

My point is, people are always saying that you should have a job you love and can have fun with. And part of that as a writer is to write something you would read as well. Of course, that doesn't mean other genres are off limits. If you want to try writing something you've never written before, go ahead. You may find it to be not so bad in the first place and have a new favorite in the end.

That's all for today. But before I end, I introduce to you a new section that will be included in each blog. It's called Weekly Likes, and it's basically where I list the awesome things I discover during the week. Here's our first list:

1. Wreck-It Ralph. It's a Disney movie coming out in November, and it looks amazing. It's like Disney's earlier TRON, but with a video game twist, including legendary video game characters like Browser from MARIO! Check out preview here:
2. All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium! Didn't actually get to go to the real game, but I did go to the Home Run Derby, and that was lots of fun. Man, baseball is awesome. It's like the only sport I like to watch besides the Olympics (can't wait for that either! Go USA!)
3. This Saturday morning's FYI section in the Kansas City Star. They wrote about FANFICTION!!! For a page and a half! They had a picture of a female Harry Potter on the front page! Granted they didn't write about the great purge happening on (did you sign that petition like I asked?), but still so informative! So amazing! ONE OF THE BEST PAPER ARTICLES EVER!

Eh, can't think of anything else. Smell ya later!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slow Day

Another late blog. My apologies, folks!

Then again, in the wake of revealing my cover idea, nothing much has happened. Rich Storrs is still on vacation, so no editing as of yet. No real news from Spencer Hill either, although they accepted all the biography stuff I sent them. The cover is up to debate; they WILL use it as a springboard, but they think Rylan, being the main character, should be on the cover, and I agree with them. Can't figure out how, but hey, it's a work in progress.

What's also in progress is that I sent Leticia two of my other book manuscripts. She's reading them right now, and eventually she'll start handing them out to publishers to read. What are these manuscripts? I'll tell you once Leticia sends word back on their fates. ; )

'Til the earth quakes,