Friday, June 27, 2014

Picturing Your Settings

Someone recently shared a YouTube video on Facebook of the demolition of my junior high school. I watched the video, fascinated, and realizing something I'd never really thought about.

All of my books are set in this school.

I picture both the inside and outside of it. When characters are driving to school or waiting for a ride, this is where they're standing.

(That's after it had fallen into decay, by the looked much better back in the early 80s!)

What's freaky is that I do this without thinking about it. Every now and then I pull elements from my high school, but it was ROUND. Nobody goes to a round high school (now a middle school), and it would take away from the story to explain why characters are roaming the halls of a school that looks like this:

So I stick with what's familiar. A high school with straight hallways.

Where do you set your books?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Writers Don't Retire

When I worked as a government employee, I lived for the day I could retire. That was when I could live off of my pension and write for the rest of my life.

Thanks to my freelancing business, I "retired" last fall. Only I'm still (sort of) young, so it isn't retirement at all. It's just work.

When you're doing what you love for a living, you can't imagine a day when you'll stop...and...what? Sit around doing nothing?

To me, it seems like a day when I'm stop doing this.

And start doing this.

Then I saw this quote from Andy Rooney...and it hit home.

What do you think? Will you ever stop writing?

Want some bookmarks to hand out to the young people in your life? Email me with your address and I'll send some right away.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Express Yourself: Book Before Movie?

Today I'm participating in the Express Yourself Meme, hosted by Dani and Jackie.

The goal of this week's meme is to discuss the last book we read. There's actually an interesting story with that one. The last book I read was this one:

It had been on my to-read list on Goodreads for a ridiculous amount of time. It was "the next book I'm going to read" for weeks. Then, one Thursday, a group of friends came to town and informed me they wanted to see the Fault in Our Stars movie the next day.

Panicked, I opened my Kindle and started reading.

There was only one problem. We had friends in town. So no reading time. There was another problem... I hate seeing a movie after I've read the book (and vice versa), especially if it's recent. If I know what's happening next, I get restless and bored. It only works if months have passed and I've mostly forgotten where it's going.

The bad news is, I only made it through half of the book. The good news is, I only made it through half of the book. So the last half of the movie was a complete surprise.

And, yes, to answer your inevitable question...I later read the last half of the book. Even though I (mostly) knew what would happen. But if you're faced with this choice:

Take the book option. It's a much more intense experience. Maybe wait a while and catch the movie on DVD after the book has slipped your mind a little.

How do you feel about book adaptations? Can you enjoy a book after you've seen the movie?

Was there a great book you read this month? Participate in the meme by adding your name below.

Monday, June 23, 2014

4 Questions on Writing

Birgit of BB Creations and Michelle of My Writing Journey tagged me in a blog hop. 

To participate, you just answer four questions about your writing process and tag three more people. Here we go!

What am I working on/writing?

A better question is, what am I not writing! In a given day, I may write about heat pumps, cloud computing, and hosting a successful fundraiser in the space of a few hours. That's my freelancing work, though.

For my fiction work, I'm currently awaiting the next set of revisions on 25 Roses, my upcoming Simon & Schuster novel. To keep from going crazy, I'm writing a young adult book about a girl who sees missing people in her dreams.

How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre?

Good question! Generally speaking, my work tends to be a little lighthearted and girly than many books for young readers. This new book is a little darker, though.  I was inspired by a TV show--Medium. Something about that show stuck with me after I binge-watched all 130 episodes on Netflix.

Why do I write what I do?

I've written in a variety of genres over the past two decades and I can say nothing is as gratifying as writing for young girls. I think this picture says it all.

How does my writing process work?

I get an idea and start writing. I continue writing until I reach the end. I wish I could say I'm one of those people who carefully outline everything, but that's now how my process works. I was happy to hear Stephen King writes that way, those of us who don't outline are in good company.

Now it's time to tag. I'm going to only tag writers, since discussing your writing process is a little difficult if you're a painter or computer technician!

Now...a question to the commenters. How is your work different from other people's work?