Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Onward and upward...

I'm a member of the Books and Writers Community, which is an awesome place for writers (and readers) of all stripes to hang out and discuss books, writing, research, and anything else that pops up.  One of the things I like best about The Forum is the willingness of members to help each other out, especially in terms of critiques.  You can post a snippet of your writing and get feedback from dozens of people, all pointing out ways to make your work stronger, better, faster... (well, you get the idea)
While I love posting my work, I am usually reluctant to do so.  I'm not afraid of soliciting feedback--indeed, I'm something of a feedback junkie--but I feel like my critiquing skills are not up to par.  It's not fair for me to ask these people to put in the time and effort of critting my work, when I feel my suggestions to them are so superficial as to be laughable.

I know the only way to get better at this is to practice, so that's what I've been doing.  I'm speaking up more and more when people ask for feedback, building up some karmic points so that at some point, I can post without feeling like I'm taking advantage of this great community of readers and authors.

Do you feel like your critiquing skills are lacking, or is it just me?  How have you improved your skills?  Was there anything in particular that helped you out, or is experience the best teacher?  Please share your experiences in the comments!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Third time lucky?

I really want to give this book away, but no one is getting back to me.  I'm picking my third winner, and if I don't hear from them, the prize goes back into the vault...

Congratulations go to...  Kaci Verdun!

Kaci, please email me your address and I'll mail your book ASAP!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are you ready for November?

A quick check of the calendar reveals that November is but 2.5 weeks away!  While I could say something about how quickly the year is flying by (it is), I'd rather talk about the beauty that is NaNoWriMo.

What is NaNoWriMo you say?  Why, it's National Novel Writing Month!  It's that glorious, reckless time of year where you devote yourself entirely to writing, without a care for plot, editing, or any of the other factors that can bog you down.  You just put your butt in the chair and write.

It's exhilarating.  It's exhausting.  It's extremely difficult.

I'm still kicking around plot ideas for this year's endeavor.  I don't normally spend a lot of time getting things in order before I start, but I know some people write outlines, index cards of scenes, stuff like that.  I'm not a big plotter anyway, so that doesn't work for me.  Still, I always start with a basic idea of the characters and story.  For me, a big part of the fun is seeing where my characters take me as we go.

Is anyone else doing NaNo this year?  If so, look me up and let's be writing buddies!  My user name is Lara Lacombe.  I look forward to seeing you online!

Friday, October 12, 2012

New winner!

Unfortunately, I've had to pick another winner in the Fangs, Fur, and Fey Giveaway Hop.  Why don't people check their email/Twitter accounts more often?  Grrr....


Congratulations go to Rose!

Please email me your address, and I'll get your book in the mail right away!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's it worth to you?
I stopped by the bookstore during my lunch break today, and walked out $40 poorer, but much happier.  As I was driving back to my office, I thought about the price of hardcover books, and how that compares to the other forms of entertainment I pay for (no, not that...  Get your mind out of the gutter!)

Take movies, for example.  A full price movie ticket is around $10 these days.  Throw in a drink and some popcorn, and you've shelled out about $20 per person to see the latest blockbuster.  That buys you 2 hours of entertainment in a dark, air-conditioned environment (nothing to sneeze at during a Texas summer).  For about the same price (or a few dollars more) you could purchase a new hardcover release, which will buy you several hours of entertainment, depending on how quickly you read.  As an added bonus, you can go back and re-read it again and again without having to pay.  There's something to be said for that.

Now, I appreciate books are expensive and there is a legitimate issue regarding the price of e-books and whatnot.  But when you think about how far your dollar goes, enjoyment-wise, I think books win every time.  Maybe that's just me.

And so I have a question for you, dear readers.  Do you buy hardcover releases?  My finances can't support my book habit, so I only have a few authors on my hardcover 'ohgoditsanewbookImusthaveitNOW!' list, which helps keep things manageable.  How many hardcovers (or new e-book releases) do you buy in a given month?  Do you prefer paperbacks (or when the e-book price drops), or are you willing to pay a little extra to get the book right away?

Inquiring minds want to know...  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giveaway winner!

Congratulations go to.... Misha K! You're the winner of the Fangs, Fur, and Fey Giveaway Hop! Please email me your address, and I'll get your book in the mail this week!

Thanks to everyone for participating, and be sure to come back next month for another awesome giveaway!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happiness is....

It took an extreme act of willpower, but I managed to refrain from buying this DVD the day it was released.  Shocking, I know.

At least now I can ogle Hawkeye's biceps in the comfort of my own home. [g]  I'll miss the movie theatre popcorn though--I can never get the microwave stuff to taste the same.

What was your movie of the summer?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - October edition

How is it October already?  This year feels like it's just flying by...

For this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group post, I want to talk about the insecurity that comes with comparisons.

I have a fabulous group of fellow authors in my local RWA chapter, and one of the great things about interacting with everyone is that I get to hear about their projects and ideas and so on.  A few of the authors work on multiple books at once, and so they always have several manuscripts in progress at any given time.

I do not do this.

I work on one book at a time.  I have ideas brewing while I'm writing, but I'm too afraid that if I stop working on one book to start another, I will never return to that original book again.  Ergo, I don't veer from my course.

Sometimes I feel a bit insecure because it seems like everyone else is writing, writing, writing, being super-productive and finishing multiple books a year, whereas I am plodding along, lucky to get two books done in a year.

Do I worry that I'm not productive enough?  Yes.

Do I worry that if when I get published, I won't be able to deliver enough content to keep the readers interested, since it is unlikely I'll be able to release more than 2 books a year?  Sure.  But what a great problem to have, right?

According to Kierkegaard, comparison is the root of unhappiness.  I know this, and yet it's difficult to stop using other people's productivity as a yardstick for my own.  Something for me to work on, I guess...

Does anyone else do this?  It's okay if you don't--I'm used to being weird. :)