Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Wrap-Up

Okay, so what happened to May? Anyone? Anyone? It was there and then suddenly it wasn't.


I've been quite the blog slacker lately, eh? I have no excuse except that I was busy writing. It's an excuse I can live with, since I was being all productive and writerly.




Writing


1) Critiquing. My CP and I are still critiquing each other's chapters on a weekly basis. We took a short break during the winter months. I don't know about Natalie, but I think my writing momentum suffered because of it. Now that we're critiquing regularly, we're on a roll. 


This week was a bust, though. I had a cold. So I didn't open my WIP once. 

 
   

Never fear. I'll get back on track by Monday.

2) Loglines. I wrote loglines for a few of my future projects. I like to write them before I start my books, because it jump starts my creative process. A good logline is gold. If you think it's easy to write one, it's not. At least, it isn't for me. It's difficult to boil a book down into one clear sentence. Alas, it's a necessary evil.

After several drafts, Natalie gave my loglines her seal of approval. Frankly, I couldn't have done it without her help. Thanks, Nat!


3) Blog updates. I've updated my WIP page. I now have one for my books and another for my novellas. Check 'em out to read my new loglines.

4) Adjusted my writing schedule. After the holidays, I started writing first thing in the morning before I tackled my day. It was the only way for me to stop procrastinating when the winter blahs threatened my writing mojo. I immediately saw a marked improvement in the amount of writing I accomplished in the wee hours of the morning. With the winter gloom gone, I'm back to writing in the afternoons. The sunshine makes me more productive and happier. 


  Personal


 1) Bored senseless. In terms of life things May has been rather uneventful.


Okay, so maybe that's a bit dramatic but I do love this GIF. I have a huge crush on Michael Cera. He's so awkwardly cute in an adorable, nerdy way. Plus, Scott Pilgrim vs the World is one of my favorite movies. Anyhoo, this month hasn't really sucked but just been awfully boring. Thankfully, some fun times are ahead. Read on.

2) Good Times Ahead. A few fun things are going to happen in June. First, I'm taking a short trip to the Oregon coast to attend my nephew's high school graduation. Second, I'm getting a new puppy.


 How was your month? Did you do anything fun or noteworthy? Do share!
Thursday, May 15, 2014

Uplifting

The Greeks called them mastatedons, but in 1907 Vogue used the French brassiere, which, translated literally, means an infant's underbodice or a harness. Whatever you call them, they changed the female silhouette forever.

In 1889 Frenchwoman Hermini Cardolle replaced the corset with a brassiere which enlarged the cup and counted on a new device--the shoulder strap.

Image source: madeclothes.blogspot.com


In 1914, with two hankies--French, or course--and some help from her maid, America debutante Mary Phelps Jacobs (who changed her name to "Caresse Crosby" for marketing reasons) improvised the first boneless midriff-free bra.

Image source: Pinterest

- Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger -
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Upside Down

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released.  This week I choose...

  NEW ADULT
 
UPSIDE DOWN by Lia Riley
Off The Map, Book One
Hachette Book Group
August 5, 2014


Talia Stolfi lives her life by one rule--fake it till you make it. But the act is getting harder and harder to maintain. Her older sister was taken off life support last year and her whole family fell apart. Mom drunk-dials with TMI about the hairy hippie she's dating. Dad spends his nights eating cold pizza and not talking. Talia disastrously loses her virginity to her sister's boyfriend in a shared moment of grief. To top it off, no one knows she suffers from OCD. In fact, she's been so wrapped up with her secret compulsions that she never turned in her senior thesis. Now she's not graduating with an honors in history. She's not graduating--period.

A low-key exchange semester to Australia seems like the perfect way to cut and run until a chance encounter throws her into the path of a surly environmental activist.

Bran Lockhart is square in the midst of a shite year. After the girl of his dreams turned into his worst nightmare, he slunk back to town, and lives in the world's dodgiest share house. He alternates his days between being mocked by commuters while dressed as a pocket-change collecting Koala for The Wilderness Society and tutoring at Melbourne University. He needs to salvage his plans to study climate change or pack it all in, move to the beach and be a full time surf bum. The last thing he wants is this nagging curiosity about a cute American with sad eyes.

One unexpected kiss leads to another and soon Talia and Bran find themselves in uncharted territory. As they are tested by life's challenges, they discover the courage to claim love and learn that sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to venture off the map.

I'm intrigued by the unique setting and romance in this debut.

~ Book blurb courtesy of author's website ~

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WIP Wednesday

It's been a few weeks since I've done a writing update. Sorry. Life got in the way of my blog posts. Thankfully, my writing hasn't suffered. Yep, that's right: I kept my arse in my chair and my hands on my keyboard.
 

My CP, Natalie, went dark last month to focus on her writing. Her break from social media was a good motivator. I pushed myself to keep writing. I pulled a couple of all-nighters when my Muse demanded it, which made me all grouchy and whiny.  


Some mornings I had hideous dark circles under my eyes.


The lack of sleep was worth it. I accomplished a lot. Unfortunately, I didn't complete my second draft, but I came close. I can't wait until my revisions are done.


Now that Natalie is also nearing the completion of her second draft, we're back to critiquing each other's chapters on a weekly basis.

Excuse me while I take a moment to gush about my CP. She is amazing!!! First, she loves my writing voice. Second, she's interested in my story. Third, her critiques are spot-on and very helpful. She's a better grammar checker than Word. For reals.
 

We had a fun brainstorming session this week after she critiqued one of my chapters. Her ideas were golden.
 

The whole process made me excited to tackle my revisions. I have several things I need to address:

1) Pacing.
Sometimes my pacing is too slow. I need to make sure it's just right.


2) Hyphenated words. Yes, you can overuse hyphenated words. Yes, I did overuse hyphenated words. Apparently I'm a big fan of hyphenated words.  


3) Wordiness.
I need to write tight. Always. Let the slashing of unnecessary words begin!


So that's what I'm working on this week.


How's your writing coming along. Do share!
Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Releases

Image source: weheartit.com

The April showers are (or should be) over--if you live any place other than the Pacific Northwest--and it's time for summer to kick in. So throw a garden party. Spoil your mom. Chow down on quesadillas and empanadas. Watch the Kentucky Derby. Enjoy a long weekend. Buy some books!


Here are the new releases I want to read:

  HISTORICAL ROMANCE
 

When a Laird Takes a Lady
by Rowan Keats
May 6
Meet the Earl at Midnight
by Gina Conkle
May 6

 
Rowan Keats's first  novel was enjoyable. So, I look forward to reading book two.

Gina Conkle is a new-to-me-author. RT Book Reviews gave this Georgian-era romance a good review. The Beauty and the Beast theme feels a bit been-there-done-that to me, but the magazine says this story has smart repartee and simmering sexual tension. Well, okay then! How can I not read it? These things are all the reasons why I love romance books, after all.

What's on your must-read list this month?