Monday, November 30, 2009

Quote of the day

"If you would be a writer, first be a reader. Only through the assimilation of ideas, thoughts and philosophies can one begin to focus his own ideas, thoughts and philosophies."

--Allan W. Eckert

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quote of the day

"However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once."

--Jean Jacques Rousseau

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quote of the day

"If a book is not alive in the writer's mind, it is as dead as year-old horse-shit."

--Stephen King

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Black Friday tale

 I stopped at a store (I won’t mention the name but it’s one of my favs) on my way to work this morning, thinking that I could dash in, grab what I wanted, and dash out. WRONG! Wasn’t going to happen. The store was an absolute zoo. The lines were crazy and the people were crazy and I was crazy for even thinking this was a good idea.
So I left without anything except for the bruise I got when I tried to maneuver around a moving mass of madness and ran into a shelf. Ugh! But it got me thinking how writing can be this way. We think it’s going to be easy but it ends up being damn difficult. There are obstacles to overcome, we spend what seems like eternity waiting for news (good or bad) and even when we get what we want, we wonder if the reader will even like it.
BUT, despite the difficulty and the obstacles and the wait times and the doubts we keep on writing because we have dreams. And a life without dreams is no life at all. So, I guess at lunch I’ll go back to the store and see if what I want is still there. If it is, great. If not, onward to the next great chapter in my life. (Smiles)

Quote of the day

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
--Mark Twain

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Thanksgiving wish

Today is Thanksgiving, a time to gather with loved ones. And yet, I can’t help but remember all of the loved ones I’ve lost, the holidays we’ve shared when we thought that tomorrows were forever. Holidays are difficult when you’ve said as many goodbyes as I have. But I am thankful that each loved one was a part of my life. They’ve touched it in ways they will never know and helped shape the person I’ve become. So today, when I gather with family and friends, I will say thank you for all the important people in my life, past and present, who made my world better by being a part of it. I wish each of you a blessed day full of love and fellowship and fun. Peace be with you, B.

Quote of the day

"Becoming the reader is the essence of becoming a writer."
--John O'Hara

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quote of the day

"Start early and work hard. A writer's apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he's almost ready to begin. That takes a while."

--David Eddings

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quote of the day

"Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window."
--William Faulkner

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quote of the day

"When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away even if it's only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time."
--Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Writing is like riding a rollercoaster

Writing is like riding a rollercoaster. There are highs and lows, twists and turns and seconds when you wonder why you ever wanted to ride such a stomach-churning, headache-inducing, heart-pumping mass of mean steel. I mean, the ride’s not forgiving and there certainly seems to be more downs than ups. But here’s the thing. We’re on this ride together. I’m sitting right beside you (in the front seat) and we’re going to ride this damn rollercoaster until we can’t ride it anymore. So, are you with me? I know that it seems intimidating, but guess what, we can handle the metal monster because we are writers. So let’s board this baby and go for the ride of our lives. Hang on!

Another great contest to check out

This one's for YA writers. Good luck to everyone:)

Quote of the day

"You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist you must learn your craft—then you can add all the genius you like."
--Phyllis A. Whitney

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quote of the day

"Write what you care about and understand. Writers should never try to outguess the marketplace in search of a salable idea; the simple truth is that all good books will eventually find a publisher if the writer tries hard enough, and a central secret to writing a good book is to write one that people like you will enjoy."
--Richard North Patterson

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You're invited to a blog carnival

Check out Rachel Zurakowski's blog carnival.

You know you're a writer when:

  • You talk about your characters as if they were real people.
  • You know what PB, MG, YA, MSS, MS, WIP, MC, etc. mean
Let's keep adding to this list. Anyone?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote of the day

For my fellow writers who struggle each day wondering why. Don't give up.

"Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.  Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before."  ~Jacob A. Riis

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quote of the day

"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

What are you thankful for?

Using the first letters in your name, write what you are thankful for. Share in posts.

I’m thankful for:

Brothers and sisters in Christ

U.S. service men and women



Yummy food to eat

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check out this contest

Wander over to Buried in the Slush Pile and check out this one page summary contest. And good luck to all who enter.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Writing a Thanksgiving story together

New exercise. Let’s write a short story together. I’ll start and you add via comment posts. Each person must pick up from the last comment posted to add to the story. Let’s do something with Thanksgiving.

Becca and JR grabbed the slimy wishbone.
“I know what you’re going to wish for,” JR said.
“Do not.”
“Do too.”
“Mom, JR's breathing his stinky breath on me. Tell him to stop it.”
“James Robert,” Mama said.
“But my breath's not stinky. She’s just mad because I know what she’s going to wish for.”
“OK you two. When I say go, go. Ready?"
Becca and JR nodded.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crazy day that ended with a Rolo

So I was totally thinkin’ about my day. It was crazy. Started out by going to a doctor’s appointment and learning that I was a week early. Ugh! Too long to wait so I went to work. But I was perturbed because I had planned my entire morning around this one event, which turned out to be a non-event. Got me thinkin’ about life and how sometimes the things we plan end up being turned upside down and inside out.

Writing is like that sometimes. We start down one path with our characters and suddenly they’re in our heads leading us in a different direction. Just try to ignore them. Not gonna happen. They’ll haunt you and torture you until you listen.

But, and here’s the point of my mumble jumble (hey, it’s late), sometimes the best things happen when the things we had planned fall through. It’s like wanting a Hershey chocolate Kiss and getting a Rolo instead and discovering the creamy caramel center of the Rolo is heaven on your tongue (oh how I love Rolos).


Be willing to adapt. Be willing to go along for the ride. Listen to your characters. Trust them. You never know where you’ll end up and there might just be a Rolo at the end.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Writing dialogue is sooo much fun:)

I love writing dialogue. It’s so much fun. I just wrote this in the story I'm currently working on and it made me laugh big time.

“Oh. My. God.” Petra blurted out as soon as she saw Annie at lunch. “Did you hear? Did you hear about Jess Gross? She really is gross.”
“What happened?” Annie asked, playing dumb.
“Well, I heard Chad Hoover, he’s the catcher on the baseball team, tell Scott Martin, he plays first base, in math class that Jess picked her nose and wiped it on his shirt. He was totally grossed out. I mean, I would be, too. What was she thinkin’? You know what this means, don’t you?”
“Jess is off the A-List. Not that I care. I mean, she was the mastermind behind the granny pants incident. Remember that?”
“How could I forget.”
“Yeah, you and everyone else. But maybe now they’ll talk about Jess instead. After Chad told Scott about Jess, they started callin’ her Boogie Boobs. Cause you know she has big boobs, which I think they like, but now that boogie deal sort of scratches that out.”
 Petra went on and on recounting all of the incidents that Jess and the other Sisters bullied and made fun of others. The boogie incident had clearly made her day.
“And another thing. Did you know The Sisters have rules?”
“Like what?”
“Like they’re not allowed to wear jeans, even on gym days.”
“That’s just plain weird.”
“Yeah, I know. But they have this whole list of rules that they all have to follow.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, Jen's locker (she's the blonde with the mole like Cindy Crawford) is near mine, right? And one day I saw Jen and another girl, I forget her name, but she’s also a sister, yell at another sister because she wore jeans. They were designer jeans, but that didn’t matter. They told her that she had to follow the rules or she was out. Like how stupid is that?”
“Pretty stupid. So what happened?”
“They snubbed her the rest of the day. Wouldn't let her eat lunch with them. Haven’t seen her in jeans since.”

Want to share a snippet of dialogue from your WIP? Please do in posts.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The ABC's of the Writing Business

Let’s have some fun. Can you help me think of something that has to do with writing or editing or publishing for each letter of the alphabet? Do as many as you want, but keep the order. If the list is at D, don’t jump ahead to P. Put your addition(s) in comments and when we finish the entire alphabet, I will pull it together and put it in one post. Do as many as you like.
Be creative. Think outside the box. Have fun. And keep it relatively short. We don’t want essays for each letter. Good luck and thanks for helping. I'll start it.

Anticipation is what writers, agents, editors and publishers feel as they await word on their work. (Note: often followed by depression when work gets thumbs down.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some moments last forever

Wendy sat on the pew, her husband’s coffin a few feet away. She was dying, not of a broken heart or colon cancer like Brad, but from lung cancer. With her sons by her side, she sat as bravely as she could, battling the pain in her purple-reddish leg, which was now the size of an elephant’s. If the blood clot in the leg traveled through the bloodstream to her lungs or heart, she could die. 
    Right then. 
    Right there – in the church filled with family and friends.
    Sobs filled the cavernous sanctuary. Whispers hung in the air:
    Poor soul.
    He was so young. 
    Pity her and the boys.
    So unfair.
    In less than two months, Wendy was gone.
    Strange how some moments last a lifetime. 
    Do you have any moments like this?

Writing contests

Check out these writing contests. And good luck to all of you.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some of my writing tweets

Here are some of the tweets I've posted on Twitter about writing. If you don't follow me on Twitter, please do @Buffy_Andrews. Hope you enjoy these.

· Writing is that thing we do that keeps us sane.
· I wonder if in Heaven everyone will love what I write. Because, well, down here I'm not having too much luck.
· Cutting manuscript is like pulling your hair out. Man it hurts.
· Writing is literary magic that turns ideas and thoughts and characters into something tangible.
· Writing is that thing that gives us peace.
· Writing allows me to be someone I'm not.
· When I write, I dream.
· Revising reminds us that our writing can always be better. Strive for the best.
· Writers must be the biggest believers.
· Me to characters: talk to me people.
· Writing is like opening an unexpected gift. It surprises us and makes us smile. I love unexpected gifts
· Sometimes the writing just comes and we're like, oh yeah. Gotta love when that happens.
· Writing can be agony and joy and every emotion in between.
· Revising is like surgery. Cut. Cut. Snip. Snip. Cut. Snip. Cut. OUCH! All better.
· I am so over you, Rejection. You can't get to me like that anymore. I won't let you squash my hopes and dreams. (Slams door) So there!
· Why is writing sometimes like trying to get gum out of your hair? Ouch! It's a mess & hurts. Sometimes you just have to cut it out. So there.
· Writing is like making rich delicious chocolate for our minds to savor and enjoy.
· Writing is like wallpapering. You work to get it up and looking perfect, hope it sticks and that others enjoy it.
· Writing is like peeling an orange. You pick away at the shell until you get to the delicious fruit inside. And then enjoy it.
· Writing is like opening a treasure chest -- you never know what you will find.
· Writing that inspires us is like getting candy as a kid - a delightful treat:)
· I'm in love with writing, but sometimes I swear it hates me. Doesn't want to cooperate. Can be stubborn and downright nasty. Listen up, U!
· Good editors are priceless.
· Writing is the key that unlocks the stories battling in our brains to get out.
· If I write as well as I golf, I'm in trouble!
· Writing is our medicine. It makes us feel better.
· Writing is like eating dessert -- you can never get enough of it.
· Writing sweetens our day and makes life so much richer.
· Writing is a mental massage that soothes our soul in ways nothing else ever could.
· Writing is as natural and essential as breathing.
· Never thought I'd write "fart" in a middle-grade query letter, or "pimple" for that matter. But what the heck. This book is fun.

A great reminder for each of us

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don't give up. EVER!

Thought for the Day No. 4

I looked out the window and noticed the naked tree, its gnarly branches scratching the gray sky. It seems like only yesterday it was dressed in a green leafy drape accented with white silky fringes. I miss that green number already. I know that there is a time for every season, and that I need to embrace each one, valuing it for the gifts it brings. But it’s hard for me to find beauty in dying things. I think perhaps it’s because I’ve experience so much death in my life. Sometimes the sadness is so heavy that I crumble from all the weight. And then I remember my mother and the strength she showed as she battled cancer. She never stopped thinking of her daughters, even as she took her last breath. I know the green leaves and silky fringes will return to cover the tree when it’s time. And I’ve come to realize that although my mother is gone, my sisters and I are the leaves and fringes that keep her beauty alive during every season.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chat acronyms link

Ever wonder what BBIAB or YW meant in an e-mail, text or tweet? Here's a great resource for chat acronyms. By the way, BBIAB is Be back in a bit and YW is You're welcome.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do you struggle sometimes when you write?

Sometimes, when I sit down to write it just pours out of me. Other times, it’s a struggle. Why is this? Does this happen to you? If so, how do you handle the times you struggle? I’d be interested in any tips you could give. Thanks:)

"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." --E.L. Doctorow