Friday, December 08, 2006

I think I can...

Most of you know that this summer I took a big step forward in my writing, which was to join a group called the Writers' League of Texas. I went to an annual conference where I met with an editor, and learned about how to approach getting published.

At the conference, I ran into a friend who used to work at Dobie, and she and I have been meeting every two weeks to critique each other's writing. We are both writing young adult fiction, both our main characters are teenage girls, and we're both writing in first person, present tense. Other than that, our subject matter and writing styles are quite different. The great thing is that we're really getting to a point where we're digging into the writing, and pushing each other to revise in certain ways and make the writing really strong. It's fantastic.

It was my original goal to be done with my book by the end of the year. I've always gauged that I wanted to write about 150 pages. Since then, I've learned that in the world of publishing, you talk more in terms of word count, not page numbers. Right now I have 27,000 words, which is 115 pages. Typical YA fiction is between 25,000 to 35,000 words, and I'm still expecting to write several more chapters, so I think I'm right on track.

The exciting thing is that if I work really hard over the holiday, I may still be able to meet my goal of finishing by the end of the year. There's an end in sight, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can write my final page, close my laptop and feel that I created something I'm proud of. And yes, I sometimes broke the rules of grammar, like how I ended that last sentence with a preposition, or started this sentence with the word "and." And that's okay.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Guilty Pleasures.

Since everyone is doing it, why not join in the fun?
My top Guilty Pleasures that I am NOT ashamed to admit:

1. Chili cheese dogs, preferably from Dog Almighty or the Drafthouse, although I will settle for one from Sonic
2. Whose Line is it Anyway?
3. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (the song, AND the movie)
4. Sugarry kids cereals
5. The E Channel, Oxygen and We
6. Drug commercials that list funny possible side-effects
7. Going to bed at 8:30
8. The Game Show Network
9. Anything with Sarah Jessica Parker, even those Garnier hair color commercials
10. McDonalds French fries
11. Burger King cheeseburgers
12. Sonic tots
13. Popeyes spicy chicken
14. Whataburger sausage biscuits
15. Nestle Quik
16. So You Think You Can Dance
17. For that matter, almost ANY kind of reality TV, including ones that swap wives and bring in super nannies, but not the ones that make the contestants eat bugs
18. Cheesy aerobic workouts, like step or water
19. Jammin 105.9 (they mainly play disco hits of the 70s)
20. Robert Zemeckis movies like Romancing the Stone and Back to the Future
21. The #1 Spot at Target (those shelves right at the front where everything is on super clearance for $1.)
22. ABBA, the Carpenters, Journey, Heart, Whitney Houston (Pre-Bobby)
23. Oompa Loompa dance choreography
24. Kid songs like this.
25. samples at Central Market, which I eat 2 or 3 times the polite amount

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The most fun I've had in a long time.

The Secret Fish-Girl Sing-Along at the Alamo.

You just can't imagine how singing like a fool at the top of your lungs with strangers around you doing the same can feel so, so good. Or maybe you can.

Either way, I'm hooked on this Sing Along stuff. Coming up next is the Christmas Pops! Sing Along which promises holiday songs by Boyz 2 Men, Dolly Parton, and New Kids on the Block. Add to that "Last Christmas" by Wham, and the strange but memorable duet of "Little Drummer Boy" by Bing Crosby and David Bowie, and you've got something special.
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