Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Sequel!! (An Update)

First of all, I must say THANK YOU for all of your support and encouragement, comments, feedback, and enthusiasm for GAIA'S SECRET! Without you guys, I wouldn't be sitting here today, writing a post about her sequel. 

That being said, the following is a result of your pokes and prods regarding GAIA #2 (thanks for the pressure, guys :P ), so I decided to shed some light on the matter. Publicly. 

I've been working on GAIA #2 for about a year, now. I had her outlined, wrote an entire draft and it was, well, all wrong. Wrote more drafts...still all wrong. SHE JUST WASN'T COOPERATING! Then the holidays hit, and no matter what I wrote, she sat and glared at me, like this:

So, I stopped working on my current draft, sucked it up, and spent a few weeks fixing everything via writing an extensive outline (it's a lot easier to alter points in an outline than it is to alter entire chapters). The result? A TWENTY-THREE PAGE OUTLINE with a separate character reference guide! O_o

Needless to say, I am quite excited and the story is moving forward at ludicrous speed (Space Balls, anyone?) and I HOPE to share her with you this summer :D

Thanks for your patience! (I know, you don't REALLY have a choice in the matter...)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Tribute to Jim Butcher...Or, More Accurately, His Tribute To Himself...

Every so often, I'll search the world wide web for information on authors I love. You know, it's kinda like that quote by J. D. Salinger in the Catcher in the Rye (one of my favorite books, btw) :

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

Well, for me, one of those authors is Jim Butcher, who wrote The Dresden Files and one of my favorite fantasy series, Codex Alera. I even have an autographed map of Alera (thanks, John!!).

His books are so much fun - I LOVE his sense of humor - and he writes some of the best battle scenes I've ever read. Not that I'm an authority on the subject...

Which brings me back to the topic of "the author bio." Yeah, yeah...I know what you're thinking. "He went to X school and studied INSERT-ENGLISHY-SUBJECT and currently lives in Z, Washington."

Pshaw! If only....


His author bio is as entertaining as his novels!

Ahem! *clears throat*

"Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old--
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he'd added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she'd been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on
writing.  ( <-- I love this!)

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He's plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league), <--I love this, too!
his son, and a ferocious guard dog."

Awesome. :)

See why he writes great battle scenes??  :)

FLY THAT NERD FLAG, JIM!! (while you're writing more books, please :D  )

***If you like YA Fantasy, check out my book, GAIA'S SECRET. The sequel is coming soon!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Watch Out Muggles...Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios HOLLYWOOD!!


If you don't already know, in June 2010, they opened a Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The hubs and I went there about a year ago (I blogged about it HERE). 

Me and Hogwarts - I hadn't purchased my gryffindor scarf yet.




I had bemoaned the fact that they had chosen to build Hogwarts at the Florida location (I'm a west coast-er). I mean, I can't justify driving a few thousand miles for butterbeer on an annual basis. So you can only imagine my elation when I saw the following:

On December 6th, 2011, "Universal Studios Hollywood announced plans to bring the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the California theme park." - Brady MacDonald, LA Times staff writer. 

You can find the actual article HERE.

In the mean time, I shall wait...impatiently...*twiddles thumbs*

***If you like YA Fantasy, check out my book, GAIA'S SECRET. The sequel is coming soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sequels and Middle Child Syndrome

WARNING: For those of you that happen to be middle children, understand that the following is merely a generalization, used for comparing the art of writing a series, and is by no means intended to cause offense.

Many of you already know about three months ago I FINALLY let my oldest child, Gaia's Secret, out into the world. Very soon after, I gave birth to her sister, Gaia #2.

"This should be EASY," I had preened. "This time I know the process, I've read tons of books and blogs about writing and I've practically got John Truby's Anatomy of Story memorized...heck, I've already got all the characters and the ENTIRE series outlined. What could be so difficult?"

*anvil drops on head*

I didn't account for the fact that Gaia #2 is a different child, entirely.

1. Birth Order Personalities (aka WHOSE CHILD IS THIS, ANYWAY?)

I mean, really, what did I do wrong? I didn't remember having so much trouble getting my first born to talk and my first born didn't incessantly fight me over word choice and sentence structure and the direction of the plot. "Time Out" wasn't working, either, in fact, Gaia #2 seemed perfectly happy sitting in that corner all by herself...not talking.

Then I found this nice little quote:
"Middle kids bemoan their fate as being ignored and often grow resentful of all the parental attention given to the oldest and the baby of the family, and feel short-shifted." - Stacy DeBroff

Ah ha! And I suppose it doesn't help that I don't have a concrete title for Gaia #2, yet... *taps chin* 

Which brings me to...

2. Favoritism (aka Why Can't You Be Like Your Sister?)

Okay, so your first child went out into the world and is doing just fine. People seem to like that child, and some people even take a moment to tell you how much they like that child. (Of course, not everyone likes your children - but you learn to be OK with that...sorta...)

Naturally you're drawn to the child that is more like you. "Gaia's Secret" was happy, fearless, took control. Gaia #2...not so much. She is melancholy, lonely, and has an overwhelming sense of emptiness. In fact, she sort of reminds me of Eeyore with the raincloud permanently over his head. Too much time with her, and I walk away feeling depressed, drowning in a sea of woe...

And that's okay.

She just wanted to know that I was there for her, that I'd be patient and give her all the time and attention she needed. Once I did that, once I let her simmer there, in that empty corner, she grew bored and came around and started talking. I don't particularly like (or agree) with what she's been saying, but I listen. I try not to compare her to her predecessor and I try not to remind her of all the work her predecessor had done. I also try not to remind her of the expectation, set by Gaia #1, that would be inevitably put on Gaia #2.

Which leads me to my last point...

3. Sibling Rivalry (aka My World is Better than Your World)

It exists. Stay out of it. Make sure each has your constant support, and let them sort it out. Hopefully, given time, they'll be able to appreciate each others' differences and how those differences make them better and more complete.

And try not to make them feel like this:

After realizing the above, handling Gaia #2 has been infinitely easier. In fact, I'm learning a lot from her and being challenged in ways I hadn't expected (like somehow keeping track of all these characters and subplots...O_O )

And for those of you that know my first born, Gaia's Secret, I want to say THANK YOU!!! You guys have been AWESOME -  leaving so many comments, giving feedback, and sharing her with friends. That support has been enabling in countless ways, and helps me better prepare Gaia #2 before sending her out into the world :)


P.S.  If any of you are/have been writing a series, PLEASE share!
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