blank page

August 16, 2007

It’s been so long since I’ve posted an update that this morning I just clicked on the “New Post” button without anything in mind to write about. Let’s see where this takes us, shall we? Good. Buckle up.

I love my local library and I’m really looking forward to the opening of a brand-new branch which will be about the same distance from my house but in the opposite direction of the one I’ve been going to. I’ll still go to the old one, but I’m hoping that the new branch will have a better selection of YA and Middle-grade stuff for me to read. They have these inter-library loans, so I can get anything I want by going to the same branch that I’ve been going to (I like the people, and they know me) and asking for them to grab what I want from the other locations. Evil plot, I know.

I’ve purchased a few books that are not available in my whole library system (mostly new releases) and now I’m torn between keeping them for my personal library and donating them and making them available to the whole county. I’m leaning toward donation, as I think it will help those authors expand their audience and I like the idea of being part of that, but you know that will result in me buying those books all over again so I have personal copies also. Maybe that would be a good use of my first royalty payment. See how I just assume there will be a first royalty payment? Positive thinking, yo.

Speaking of writing books (we were, weren’t we?), Scrivener has lived up to my expectations. I’ll be buying a license. It is so cool to have the whole thing right there and so organized. I just wish I knew how to pronounce “Scrivener”. Does it have a long I sound or a short I sound? The first E makes it seem like the I is long, but the guy who named it is British and sometimes they throw in extra vowels. I think there may be an abundance of vowels in the UK and they just want to get rid of them. I don’t know about you, but when I speak with someone and they tell me all about how great something is and then they pronounce the name of the thing WRONG, it makes me question everything they said about it. How can you love something so much and not know how to say its name? Are you a nut? Well, maybe I’m a nut, because I love Scrivener and I don’t know how to say its name. Heck, I haven’t even paid for it yet. I hope that after I pay for it, they will send out the top-secret email with a pronunciation guide, but rarely do these types of things actually happen.

I was cleaning out the pictures from my cell phone and found one of a hideously decorated life-sized donkey that was sitting in the back room of a pizza place we went to during the Beach Torture Event. The pic isn’t worth posting, but trust me when I say that the thing looked like it was designed by an angry, blind mental patient. I don’t know how they can expect people to eat and enjoy their pizza while sitting in the same room with that thing. Then again, this pizza restaurant is located right on the boardwalk and it’s likely that most everyone who eats there is already in shock, wondering where all their money went. Most likely, their money went toward the 75 games of Skeeball they had to play in order to win their kid a plastic whistle. Skeeball, by the way, was probably also designed by an angry, blind mental patient.

whew. I told you to buckle up, didn’t I?

I have a five-dollar coupon for Borders and so I’m planning on going there and using it soon. I hate for those things to go to waste and they know it. I’m looking for Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle, Rules by Cynthia Lord and maybe Queen of Cool, by Cecil Castellucci which has just been released in paperback, so why not? These are all titles that are not available in our library. Yet. Wait until I get finished reading them and/or receive my first royalty check.

My own middle grade novel, which is tentatively titled Middle Grade Novel in an obvious nod to Daniel Pinkwater’s Young Adult Novel and also my own lack of imagination in titling, is coming together. It is amazing how the more work I do on it, the more work there is to do. Even worse, the more work I do on this first book, the more ideas I have for a second. I really need to focus on the first one, however, since actually finishing a book is a goal so many “writers” don’t achieve. I will. Maybe it will be great, and maybe no one will ever see it. Either way, it will be complete.

and the second book will be sooo cool!

Maybe one of them will get me an agent. And hopefully, that agent is not an angry, blind mental patient who is out to get me because of my blog.

Advertisements

new discoveries abound

August 6, 2007

Curse you, Cecil Castellucci! How dare you directly affect my writing life. AGAIN! Kidding, of course. Through Miss Cecil, I’ve discovered writers such as John Green, Maureen Johnson, Markus Zusak, Jo Knowles, etc. The list goes on and on. I’ve read a lot and I’ve learned a lot. Now, Cecil has a link in her blog to a program called Scrivener, which may be exactly what I’ve been looking for. It is like a workbench for book building. It looks completely cool. Later today, I’ll be diving in for a trial run. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

The Beach Torture Event went well enough. The family had a mostly good time and it wasn’t too bad for me. I didn’t have to spend much time on the beach, although I know that the eleven other people I was there with were getting a bit aggravated with me because I had no interest in what everyone else was doing (sitting on the beach for hours). I guess they just couldn’t understand how someone could dislike doing that. I can’t figure out how doing that doesn’t drive them crazy with boredom. Despite the fact that I didn’t spend much time at the beach, I still felt pretty busy all week. I did visit a very cool children’s book shop called the Children’s Book Garden, where I picked up a copy of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt, which I’m not finished reading yet. I also paid a visit to my favorite Ocean City, MD attraction, the Wheels of Yesterday museum and giftshop. I just love that place.

So, all in all it was a decent vacation, but I’m glad to be home. School starts in three weeks and the kids’ sports practices start this afternoon, so the busy time is upon us.

Summer Lull

July 11, 2007

Well, I’m finding it difficult to make time to write very much lately with the kids home all day. Still doing it, though. It’s just more difficult. I find myself getting angry when I’m interrupted from writing, so whenever it is likely that I’ll be interrupted (which is practically all day) I use the time to read instead. I can handle getting bothered by some kid crisis when I’m reading. I finished John Green’s Looking for Alaska and it was very good. I thought it was a bit slow during the first half, but the second half really grabbed me. Probably because I spent so much time getting to know the characters in the first half. I emailed John to talk about it a bit and he was really great in his response. I don’t know him well, of course, but he seems like a pretty good guy. I’m working on Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes now and it seems promising. I don’t know if I like the book, the author or just the concept. Maybe it’s all three. I’ll let you know.

My friend Andrea Glass is in Nashville RIGHT NOW recording her first CD. Good luck, Andrea! This is also her first time in the U.S., so it’s quite the adventure for her.

quickies:

Beach Torture Event is looming.

I haven’t published a July essay for the site yet, so maybe I’ll just put up a list of links where people can read some of my work that they have almost certainly not seen before. But wow, would that be lazy.

I’ll try to remember to write a blog entry about my experience trying to pre-order Harry Potter and the Unbelievable Hype Machine … sorry … Deathly Hallows. Tomorrow.

David Beckham’s first game for the L.A. Galaxy is going to be a friendly against Chelsea. And it’s televised! Whooo! Yes, the DVR is set.

Speaking of the DVR, it’s time for me to go watch On the Lot, so

later.

Foul

January 14, 2007

Watch it. I’m in a foul mood today.

My beloved Philadelphia Eagles lost a game they absolutely were able to win yesterday in their divisional round loss to the New Orleans Saints. Great. Now the media can continue their “Hurricane Katrina devastated the city a year and a half ago and now the Saints have reinvented football” diatribe. Unbelievable. According to CNN, it seems the people in New Orleans are way more concerned about finding ways to kill each other than they are about football.

did I tell you I was in a foul mood?

One more football point. To paraphrase my old pal (and greatest football writer in America) Peter King, televised football (especially on the Fox network) is one long commercial with brief football breaks. There was one sequence yesterday during an Eagles’ 4 play drive, which was 3 actual plays and 1 punt, where Fox had a commercial prior to first down, in between second and third downs and after the punt. Yes, I know that American Idol starts this week, Fox, you’ve told me 47 times since kickoff. Yes, I know that Jay-Z has a new and highly annoying record out and that he thinks Bud is a super great beverage. I know about the new season of 24. I’ve seen more than 24 hours worth of commercials for that show.

Also yesterday, our planned 4 day, 3 night trip to the beach this summer turned into an 8 day, 7 night (and almost 3 times the cost) beach torture event. I’m not a big fan of going to the beach. I like it for about 4 hours on the first day and then I’m ready to do something/anything else. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a nice coffee shop or cafe with internet access and I’ll be able to get some writing done. Of course, I don’t need the internet access in order to write, but it does help with my love of procrastination.