So Here’s What Happened This Week (July 27, 2012)

What I Did: Sent out a few chapters of SINGLES VS BRIDEZILLAS for critiques, did some revising, sent out queries for RAIN ON THE WATER. Got one rejection for RAIN ON THE WATER and one for QUEEN HENRY.

What I Read: INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY by Janet Reitman

What I Saw: MAGIC MIKE (see yesterday’s article for visual aids…) and THE BABE (in prep for baseball novel I’m working on )

Cool Links I Found:

Is Talent Overrated?

25 Things You Should Know About Antagonists

Bookstore Tears

Dear Hollywood: Thank You for Magic Mike

Thank you for finally realizing that women buy movie tickets, too. Save for gay men and a few hardy straight guys who braved the movie theater with their wives and girlfriends, it was women who drove to film to earn $102 million in ticket sales thus far.

Thank you for remembering that women are interested in more than THE NOTEBOOK and other romantic weepfests.

Thank you for making a film that is not a remake, a sequel, or a rehash of an old television show. You don’t hear anybody saying “Not another movie about male strippers!” Love it or hate it, it was something DIFFERENT.

Thank you for a movie that did not feature a superhero in tights. Sure, the guys in MAGIC MIKE looked ridiculous in thongs (even Channing Tatum can’t pull that look off…) but the filmmakers seemed to know this and used it for a humorous effect.  Case in point – the scene where the strippers, dressed in thongs as fake cops, got into a fistfight with a bunch of fully dressed guys was a riot.

Thank you for a movie that did not feature any gross-out humor. I can’t remember the last time I saw movie didn’t feature something that made me cringe.

Thank you for a movie that actually had a plot, which I paid attention to. Most of the time…

But most of all, thank you for this:

So Here’s What Happened This Week (July 20, 2012)

What I Did: Sent out more queries for my middle grade novel, RAIN ON THE WATER. Got two more rejections on QUEEN HENRY. Finally found some critique partners! Sent out Chapter One of SINGLES VS BRIDEZILLAS for critique. Wrote a blog article.

What I Saw: BRAVE

What I Read: SWEET SPOT by Kate Angell

Cool Links I Found:

 Don’t Be the Smartest Person in the Room

Live With Intention

 Back to the Drawing Board


5 Things That Make A Good Story

The following are five of the most important things that I look for in a book.

1. Somebody who wants something. Desperately. The more a character wants something, really no matter what it is, the more we want them to get it. Unless it’s something nefarious, and then we hope they don’t reach their goal. Either way, we’re invested.

2. Characters that care about each other. If we like the main character, we’re going to care about the people she cares about. Whether it’s a romantic, a parent-child, or a friend relationship, we’ll be emotionally involved.

3. Believable dialogue that’s individual to the character. Nothing’s worse than dialogue that all sounds the same. Well, the one thing that’s worse than that is obvious expositional dialogue. “Wow, I sure haven’t been the same since my dad left when I was twelve and it’s a good thing I’m a championship swimmer, it may come in handy someday!”

4. It does what it’s supposed to do. If it’s a romance, the two people involved better be front and center, flirting or denying their attraction or whatever. I’ve read (well, started and abandoned) romance novels where the guy and girl are hardly in the same room together. Boring! If it’s a thriller, you better thrill me ASAP. Horror? Scare me. And quick.

5. Stuff keeps happening. A story drags if it’s the same old conflicts over and over. New developments, new revelations keep you turning the pages.

 What keeps you reading a book? What makes you put it down?

So Here’s What Happened This Week (July 13, 2012)


What I Did: Sent out some queries for my middle-grade novel, RAIN ON THE WATER. Got 2 more rejections on my novel, QUEEN HENRY. Caught up on blogs – reading and writing them. Started rewrites on my novel, SINGLES VS. BRIDEZILLAS.

What I Read: MAN SEEKS GOD by Eric Weiner

What I Saw: HORRIBLE BOSSES, re-watched BULL DURHAM (in prep for writing another baseball novel)

Cool Links I Found:

Writers Assemble Against Nefarious Threat of Empty Words.

Critique – Grit Your Teeth and Get Better

Pros and Cons (of attending conferences)