Saturday, August 27, 2011

My first YA Rebels Video

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably already know this, but my sister and my's first YA Rebels video went live today! Check it out!

Make sure to stay for the end; it's everyone's favorite part!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I Learned Today

And by today, I mean from the time I woke up on 8/20 until now, at 3 am.

1) You all are awesome. I posted this tweet at around 7pm:

And at least 45 people RT'd it - most of whom I didn't even know. It's estimated that, at this time, that tweet has reached over 20,000 people. (Thank God I didn't make a typo!)

Also, there are over 54 of you who saw that RT'd more than seven times. I'm sorry.

(BTW: The reason I'm asking is I haven't been able to find a writers group within reasonable driving distance from me and the bookstore here just closed and I really yearn for face-to-face contact with other bookish people. Also, the reason I clarified about pursuing publication is due to a problem unique to Florida: most of the "writers" I meet here are elderly people looking to write their memoirs for their family to read. Which is fine and dandy, except it doesn't quite fill my needs.)

ALSO, yesterday (now, remember, by concept of "days" is slippery at best), several of my Twitter friends helped me figure out what country my MMC is from. And it's so perfect it's like my subconscious knew what country he was from all along and I just needed Judah to name it for me.

2) Out of the over 20k people who saw that tweet, none of them are or know writers who live in the mid to upper Florida Keys. I did find one person who is occasionally in Islamorada for vacation and another who has a 2nd house in Key West.

3) Nobody north of Miami has any clue about the geography of the Florida Keys. And that's OK. In fact, I don't really know why I expected them to.

But here's a quick crash course. I live in Key Largo. Do you see how far north that is? It's about 100 miles north of Key West (remember: at an average speed limit of 40). So, Miami is about half the drive as it is to Key West. Anything south of Tavernier really isn't close enough for me to drive with any sort of regularity.

4) Judy Blume lives in Key West. (Along with Meg Cabot, who I already knew about.) I would SO drive the 100 miles for that.

5) How to make a disposable razor last much longer:

6) My YA Rebels vlog-mate Leah Clifford and former YA Rebel Scott Tracey live together. I seriously don't know how I missed this, but ... anyway... stop judging me and go watch the video of what it's like to live with another YA author.

7) My YAtopia blogmates are AWESOME! Even if you ignore the fact that the posts at YAtopia are just getting better and better AND that we've hosted a ridiculous amount of agent-judged contests, here's something else: Two of them are sending me an ARC of two awesome books! It's no secret that I'm having a rough time financially, and one of the things I miss most is not being able to buy new books, so this just made my day. :-)

8) My dog is apparently perfectly comfortable sleeping like this:

OK, so I didn't JUST learn this, but I just took this picture like 15 seconds ago and I needed a reason to share it.

9) Carolina Valdez Miller is missing out on her calling as an actress. Seriously, check out the best book review I have EVER seen here.

10) My webhosting company has figure out what is wrong with my server. But they haven't fixed it yet. Which means I'm here on blogger for at least another day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Server Issues

Hey all. I just wanted to let you know that my hosting company has had some issues with my server and can't figure out how to fix them... so I'm hosting on Blogger for a while.

Most of y'all know, I was thinking about switching back to Blogger anyway, but some friends of mine talked me into giving Wordpress a second chance, but I had already half set up this site, so I'm glad I have something to fall back on. It doesn't have the last few posts and things aren't functioning exactly the way I would like, but I'm hoping they'll get my darn server fixed soon.

I'm going to try to get the Google Friend Connect switched over, but until I do, please don't "Follow" this site as long as GFC says I have 0 followers. I have no idea how this will affect subscriptions in Google Reader, but I will know as soon as I publish this post.

Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Design Me

When I first launched this website, I chose to build it. And lately, I've been regretting that decision. I chose WordPress because it is more customizable and you can do more with it than Blogger. But I HATE working with it. I think the interface is clunky and not intuitive. So, after writing this post over at YAtopia, I've decided to switch my site over to Blogger.

It's time for my favorite part of building a blog - choosing the template! I'm not too dedicated to having a unique design so I often use, where designers offer free templates in the hopes you'll choose them when you finally need a customized design.

I've narrowed my choices down to seven templates. When I chose this template, I was wanting to be "professional" looking. But now? I'm more interested in my blog showing off my and my writing's personalities. Check out the screen shots below and tell me which one is your favorite. You can also click on the screenshot to see a live demo.

[caption id="attachment_495" align="aligncenter" width="516" caption="Midnight Cats"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_496" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Sticker Theme"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_497" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Green Earth - This is the template YAtopia's design is based on"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_498" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Balikato"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_499" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Notepad Chaos"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_500" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Stubborn"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_501" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Night Sky - This is the one I used to use before I switched to using my penname."][/caption]


Let me know which one you think represents me the best! Once I get this decided on, I'll start building the site and attempting to move my posts and GFC over to it. If anyone has ever done this before and has tips, please let me know!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Am I a YA Rebel? I could be!

About a year ago one of my first twitter-writer-friends, ChristaCarol (you really should go visit her website to find out how you can donate blood to help her 2.5-year-old daughter who was recently diagnosed with leukemia), tweeted about the YA Rebels - and I've been watching their vlogs ever since. They are 7 YA authors who video blog about YA lit and other related & awesome things.

And now, my sister and I have a chance to join them! Leah posted this video on Tuesday, explaining that some of the Rebels are moving on and they are looking for new cohorts! Naturally - since K is a compulsive video blogger & a YA book reviewer and I'm a YA writer & love to talk about books - we jumped at the chance to audition as a sister/sister team. (I, of course, made sure this was OK with my YAtopian peeps and they're pretty much the most supportive people on the planet so they're cheering me on.)

Check out our audition video below: (and here's the YT link because I know the embedded videos don't translate to Google Reader sometimes)

The time has come for blatant, shameless self-promotion. You see, our competition is fierce. We're competing against charming accents, adorable people, hilarious senses of humor and unparalleled talents. So if you like our audition video? "Like" it. Favorite it. Comment. Tweet it. Share with your facebook friends. Email it to all of your 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins. Do whatever it takes to help us win this thing so we can continue to entertain you.

And just in case my sister's incredible directing/producing/editing skills have you convinced this vlog was effortless to make? Check out the hilarious out-takes:

Also, mosquitoes were biting me the WHOLE time. That's what they call dedication, folks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

RTW: Five Senses? How about a sixth?

It's Wednesday so y'all know what that means...

This week's topic? The Five Senses. How you use them in your writing, how you are inspired by them, pictorial essays, that character with smelly socks, books that have used them well, the ones that are currently missing from your work, etc.

90 % of Americans are visual learners.

So it makes sense that writers use a lot of the visual in their writing and as inspiration. Auditory learners are the second biggest group, so again... makes sense that we use sounds a lot in our writing as well as music to help us write.

The thing I really like though? Is when I get to make up a sense. For THE DEMONS YOU KNOW, Miranda is a Mage and has a magical sense. She can "feel" magic in the world around her. For example:

  • When someone starts using Psychic magic on her: "Miranda felt cold magic creep inside her brain. It reached out icy tendrils of Psychic energy, searching."

  • And this when she reaches the site of a massacre: "A tangible trembling of magic hung in the air like the sound of a muted television."

  • And comparing magics: "They felt like demons, the way Gadriel's magic felt like light and her father's had felt like fire."

  • And sensing Gadriel's magic: "His magic flared subtly and Miranda wondered again at the strangeness of it. It held calm notes of light, music and triumph – so different from the heavy waves of vigor and elemental forces the Mages expelled."

I used mainly the sense of touch to help create the magical sense, but I also used sight, smell, taste and sound occasionally.

What about you? Do you remember reading a book where the author created a sixth sense? How was it done?