My Earth Day Inspiriation

10:23 AM Monday, April 22, 2013

A little pix to inspire my writing for Earth Day!

Lessons Learned

10:44 AM Thursday, August 11, 2011

How many rejections should you receive before you stop trying?

I imagine every writer from the beginning of publishing has asked this question. So what is the answer?  

I would have thought that it would be somewhat of a gut instinct. There have been stories I pushed 20 or 30 times before I found someone who was interested in publishing it. Yet, there have been many (most really) that I only put out there 5 to 10 times before abandoning my efforts. 

My decisions to move on were based mostly on my own feelings for the story. With some, I knew deep down they didn't have what they needed (yet) to make it to publication. Others, I knew the moment I stopped typing that someone out there would be interested. It was those stories I pushed the hardest. I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to write someone an email saying that I was sorry, but that I opted to go with another publication!

I have to say that my view has changed when I found out a little more about Kathryn Stockett, the author of the novel, The Help. When I'd first heard anything about Stockett, I have to admit that I was a little jealous. Who's first novel goes on the New York Times Bestseller list and stays there?  Not fair!!

Then I read the book.  That's when I understood why she was there.  But still I was envious that this woman would write so well from the beginning, where I have had to struggle to learn.  She must be a natural! A fluke! 

Turns out I was wrong again. Here is a bit of her story, told by her, in this article.  years of writing. 3 years of rejections and rewriting.  60 rejections!  This woman was delivering a baby and wouldn't put her manuscript down.  That's dedication!

Yes, her persistence paid off.  But of all the things I'll take from her example, it is that working toward perfecting and polishing your manuscript is essential!  After every rejection, Stockett didn't just give up, nor did she send in the same thing to the next publisher. She evolved. She learned from one rejection to another, making changes and polishing her manuscript until she got what she needed.  

Lesson learned. And I think I've found myself someone new to look up to.

How to Set the Mood

9:40 PM Thursday, August 4, 2011


This was a very good post by Cheryl Reit on how to create setting in your story. 

Check it out!

Here is yet another book to movie that makes me shiver with anticipation, and pray that Hollywood doesn't screw it up, at the same time.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett comes out on the big screen on August 10. Unlike other books of genres like science fiction (The Minority Report), fantasy (The Lord of the Rings), or dystopian (The Hunger Games), I am hoping that The Help can easily make the move onto the big screen while staying true to the story line.

Here's our list of characters:

 Emma Stone as Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan

The persona is there. I haven't seen much of Emma Stone's work, but I think that is why it will be easy to buy into her playing this character.

Viola Davis as Abileen Clark
According to IMDb, Viola Davis has quite an impressive resume. In spite of that, I think I have only see a couple things she's been in. Based on those, I think Davis will do a wonderful job playing Abileen Clark.

Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson
Again, another actress with a long resume of work I've barely seen (I think I've been under my rock for too long). Based on what I do know, I am a bit worried that Spencer will be able to bring enough attitude to table. Minny's character is mouthy and irreverant, I'm hoping Spencer can be the same.

Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly
Ok, now "Victoria" I recognize! She played the part of the vicious vampire very well. I look forward to seeing her more subtle, but no less bitchy, side as Hilly Holbrook. 

Jessica Chastain as Celia
I don't know much about Chastain, and judging from her IMDb profile, probably not many people have. I think she's a gorgeous woman, but that's not what I believe Celia Foote is suppose to be. I hope the she can "white trash" it up a bit for the movie; however, based on the set photos, it doesn't appear to have happened. 

Thankfully, I don't think I'll be terribly disappointed if this movie gets screwed up a bit.  The book was written well enough to have stood on the bestseller lists for this long without it. And it will stay forever imprinted in my mind just as it was written.

The Author Interview

10:53 PM Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Author Interview... *yawn*

Sorry to all my author and blogger friends, but sometimes I find these author interviews rather repetitive and boring. What I'd really like is to hear the wacky stuff that really goes behind the scenes.  If I were to interview authors, I'd have to ask them the  goofy, sarcastic, questionable questions to keep things interesting. Maybe something like these...

  1. Which one of your characters would you most want to be?
  2. If you could go back and change anything about your story, what would it be?
  3. Which one of your characters would you want to have a... um...physical relationship with?
  4. Which one of your characters would you want to have an emotional relationship with?
  5. What is your "drug" of choice while writing?  Or, what "drug" were you coming off of when writing this book?
  6. What is your writing to Twitter-goofing-off ratio? (in hours, minutes...)
  7. Are there any parts of your childhood secretly written into your story? Which ones?
  8. What is the biggest unknown, or most embarrassing fact about this book?
  9. Which one of your family members suffers the most while you write?
  10. Have you ever based a character off someone in real life that you hope they never find out about?
  11. What is the one question you've always wanted to be asked, but no one ever has? What is the answer to that question?
  12. What was your favorite day dream/fantasy that ended up being written in your story?

    These are just a few. I'm sure I'll come up with more in time. 

    If your an author (fiction, nonfiction, books, short stories, whatever...) feel free to answer these questions and I'll give you your own post. 

    After reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, it easily became one of my all time favorite books. So when the movie was announced I was thrilled. Even though, like most people, I always find the book to be much better then it's big screen counterparts, I still enjoy going to see what Hollywood envisions when they read. Sometimes I buy it (Harry Potter) and sometimes I don't (The Scarlett Letter. Ya know, the Demi Moore one. *puke*).

    Now that The Hunger Games has been cast, here's how I'm buying it so far:

    Lyndsy Fonseca as Katniss Everdeen
    Love this! I mean, look at that picture. I think Hollywood was reading my mind on this one. 'Nuff said!

    Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
    This one's a maybe. At first, this image on the movie's website didn't impress me. This is absolutely not what I was expecting. Yet after seeing some of the set photos, I will agree to keep an open mind with this one.

    Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
    Yeah... no. Sorry, but I'm just not feeling this one AT ALL!  From the very beginning of the series, I was TEAM PEETA all the way, so for me they couldn't screw this one up. But they did!

    I like Hutcherson's I'm-from-a-richer-class-of-people-but-that-doesn't-make-me-an-ass looking face. However his face also says I'm-a-little-kid-trying-to-show-you-I-can-play-a-grown-up-part-in-a-major-film.  Not buying it. I mean, what is he? Twelve? (Ok, I know he's an adult.)  Also, I know I've seen him in movies before (wasn't he twelve then too?) and was never impressed enough to deem him Peeta worthy.

    Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
    Harrelson wasn't what I had in mind (I think that was probably more Donald Sutherland-ish), but I think I could buy into it. Maybe it's all the episodes of Cheers that makes seeing Harrelson as the drunken advisor not so hard.

    Amandla Stenberg as Rue
    What an adorable kid!! She makes me wanna cry knowing I have to watch her play this part.

    Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
    I admit, my brain automatically cast Tim Gunn from Project Runway in this part. I was surprised when heard that Kravitz was cast, but at the same time, I immediately bought into it. I am really looking forward to seeing him play this out on screen. He better not screw it up!

    Donald Sutherland as President Snow
    If I were casting this film, I probably would have cast Sutherland as Haymitch Abernathy. However, I may have been wrong if I had. I think Sutherland will be an excellent President Snow!

    7 Bullets

    11:00 AM Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    My story "7 Bullets" 
    has officially been fired out of the gun!

    Read my newest flash fiction here!

    You can also listen to it on AntipodeanSF's new weekly radio show.

    Leave a comment and let me know what you think!