WWW Wednesdays (Jan 30)

January 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. To play, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:
I’ve made hardly any progress here from last week. Ongoing family emergency issues have been seriously cramping my reading style.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

Casual Vacanc

The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.

dgsc

What I just finished reading:
Do graphic novels count?
Batman Volume 1: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion. This highly raved about New 52 reboot was dark and complex enough to take my mind off the family emergency troubles. Plus Bruce Wayne is freakin’ hot.

Batman

What I think I’ll read next:
I added three new titles to my Goodreads shelf:

Suspect by Robert Crais. It’s the war veteran/PTSD/man and dog thing that got me.

Suspect

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Yesterday was the third time I’ve seen this book recommended on a blog.

CodeNameVerity

Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto. Eight women juggling careers and romance? Right up my alley!

EightGirlsTakingPictures

Leave a comment with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or just share your answers here.

WWW Wednesdays (Jan 23)

January 23, 2013 § 5 Comments

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. To play, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. So far, the lack of a primary character is disconcerting to me, but something about the story keeps drawing me back.

Casual Vacanc

The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. Right now I’m at the part where the main character is at a low point and it’s like watching a train wreck about to happen. My head is screaming “No! Stop!!”

dgsc

What I just finished reading:
Bared to You by Sylvia Day. I have to admit, I am re-reading it now. It’s great—um—bedtime reading.

Bared to You

What I think I’ll read next:
I think it’s going to be the BTY sequel, Reflected in You by Sylvia Day,

Reflected in You

and Slammed by Colleen Hoover.

Slammed

Leave a comment with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or just share your answers here.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Power of Emotion

January 20, 2013 § 2 Comments

I am watching ‘The Abolitionists” on PBSAmerican Experience. Part 2, which aired Tuesday, January 15th, 2013, featured the 1852 publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a best-selling book that helped change the hearts and minds of millions of Americans about slavery. As a writer, what struck me about this was that it was Stowe’s appeal to emotion that fueled her book’s success and influence.

abolitionists_film_landing_dates

“The Abolitionists” on PBS

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s impetus for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the loss of her beloved son to cholera. The grief she felt after his death fueled her empathy with slave mothers, mothers she had witnessed being forcibly separated from their own children on the slave auction block. Her abhorrence of slavery as a cruel and inhumane institution was cemented. The aspiring writer felt that if she could channel her grief and her horror into a book, then her son’s death would not have been in vain.

Portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe Deutsch: Die...

Portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe Deutsch: Die Schriftstellerin Harriet Beecher Stowe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold ten thousand copies within the first week of publication. The publisher couldn’t keep up with the demand. One historian commented that this book is unparalleled in its popularity and influence in American history. The reason is that the book appealed to people’s hearts. Slavery was being told from the viewpoint of its victims, human beings in peril. As a result, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was responsible for converting millions of Americans against slavery.

Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. B...

Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Boston: John P. Jewett & Co., c1853. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a powerful lesson to remember as a writer and as a person. Creating emotion, appealing to the universality of what it feels like to be human, is what makes a compelling story. And it is our human bond, our common human emotions, that drive us as a people toward greatness.

Part 3 of “The Abolitionists” airs Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013, on PBS. Check your local listings for showtimes.

Read, Write, Bliss Highlights of 2012

January 7, 2013 § 2 Comments

It’s Good to Have Goals

I didn’t finish the novel in 2012. But enough of that. I’m going to focus on the positive— the accomplishments and highlights of 2012.

Made serious progress on the novel

Writers Journey

  • Finished draft 2.
  • Finished the detailed timeline.
  • Finished the in depth character bios.
  • Finshed the Save the Cat Beat Sheet.
  • Revamped the mythic outline after reading The Writer’s Journey
  • Started draft 3 which includes a lot of total rewrites and scrapping of old scenes and creating new scenes thanks to the whole timeline and character bio and save the cat thing. Oh, well. It’s gotta be done.

Finished my 2012 Goodreads Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge

I haven’t read 25 books in a year since I was in college!

Joined LERA

DaryndaGabiKatie

This group really knows the writing and publishing industry, all of the members are very interactive and supportive, and I look forward to the meetings because they are super fun.

Met a whole bunch of authors in person

Alisa Valdes—The Dirty Girls Social Club, The Temptation, The Feminist and the Cowboy

Author Alisa Valdes and her YA novel The Temptaion. At Bookworks bookstore in Albuquerque.

Author Alisa Valdes and her YA novel The Temptaion. At Bookworks bookstore in Albuquerque.

I love Alisa’s openness and honesty about everything. She proves that vulnerability is strength.

Alyson Noël — Fated, Faking 19, The Immortals series, Fly Me to the Moon

Noel1

Alyson’s Soul Seekers series is set in New Mexico. She also turned me on to Save the Cat, and my “Save the Cat” moment in my book makes it much better.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips— The Great Escape, Natural Born Charmer, It Had to be You

Susan Elizabeth Phillips and me at her book signing in Albuquerque, NM

Susan Elizabeth Phillips and me at her book signing in Albuquerque, NM

SEP gave me the idea to nix the prologue in my book, and it’s better for it.

Darynda Jones —Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Third Grave Dead Ahead

Shannon with Author Darynda Jones

Me with Author Darynda Jones at Page One Books

I love, love, love Darynda’s Charley Davidson series.

Katie Lane— Going Cowboy Crazy, Make Mine a Bad Boy

Katie_Me

Katie’s books may just make me check out the country and western dance hall here in town. I’ve heard there are a lot of pretty cowboys there!

Met Judy Blume!!!

Judy Blume and me! Gwen Goldsmith, a Minister who played the Rabbi in the movie, took this photo for me. Talk about divine intervention.

Judy Blume and me!

I’ll always remember how just about every twelve year old girl was reading Forever, on the bus and on the playground. We were so relieved that somebody was speaking to us frankly and genuinely about love, sex, and girlhood. And, yes, this is still my Facebook cover page photo.

ACE!

Got a comic book signed by Len Wein.

Plus, my blog post was posted to the ACE Facebook page and to their blog on the SuperCon2K site.

The celebrity sightings!

Met Daniel Gillies at ABQ Comic Con

DanielGillies

He’s even hotter in person, really easy to talk to (once I actually got up the nerve to walk over to him), and pegged me for several years younger than I am. Score!

Met Alexis Bledel at President Obama’s Birthday Celebration

Alexis Bledel and Me!

Alexis Bledel and Me!

I love Gilmore Girls, own every season on DVD, so this was a real treat.

Met the co-producer of Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl

MoreauJulieDunfeyDia

Julie Dunfey’s advice to aspiring creators: If you have enthusiasm and passion for your project and communicate that, you can sell it.

Wrote for and assisted with production of the Cheza Jouer Films Sandals Worn Backwards trailer.

It was a total blast, and the trailer is fantastic. Check it out.

On to a fabulous and productive 2013!

Goodreads Challenge 2012

January 1, 2013 § 7 Comments

Yay! I finished my 2012 Goodreads Challenge, just in time.
Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)The ChaperoneMake Mine a Bad Boy (Deep in the Heart of Texas, #2)The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)Hunk for the HolidaysUnder the Desert MoonTiger Eyes
On the IslandSharing HaileyGoing Cowboy Crazy (Deep in the Heart of Texas, #1)The Great Escape (Wynette, Texas, #7)
Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)Fly Me to the MoonMr. S: My Life with Frank SinatraFaking 19
The Temptation (Kindred, #1)Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #1)Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4)The Fury and Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #3-4)
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #2)The Awakening and The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3)
What to read next? I’m debating between The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, and The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. What do you  suggest?

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