The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, November 25, 2016

NoNoNaNo... Radar... and Back-of-the-Book-Blurb #36

          Well, there's five more days left in November, and my NaNoWriMo is a few words over 20,000. I'm not sure how many words I have left to get down on paper--not 30,000, because it's a children's book, and I have more than half of the story told--but I don't imagine I'll have the first draft done by November 30th.

          However, I have 20,000 more words down than if I had not done NaNoWriMo. The challenge, along with my students and some writer friends nudging me, has gotten me this far.


          Today, I'll be at Half-Price Books in University City all day. From 9-1 there will be another Love a Golden dog. From 1 on (til closing) there will be the bookstore's unofficial mascot:

Radar, begging for money and attention

And now onto book blurb business...
  • Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book.
  • You choose the genre. A frothy romance? (Ugh.) A tall tale? A coffee table book on statues? You choose the genre.
  • Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this project  and this past summer, her third novel Love to Win debuted. Now she's working on her fourth novel. Check out her website. She's full of upbeat news, helpful tips, and she even has an editing company for those writers who need to get their manuscript into shape.
  • Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. 
  • Link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. You don't have to buy him a drink or anything. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is.
  • Check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.
  • And have fun with it. Think of it as a way to take a break from the truly important writing you do... like a bit of a warm-up.

      Here is the book cover and my blurb:

The Battle Against Bad Manners

Veronica Barrister-Monstrosity was an ordinary woman once. She was tolerant. She overlooked things. She made excuses for the rudeness of others.
But when a man took a last drag off a cigarette, blew out the smoke and then tossed the butt right in front of the Target door, Veronica snapped.
Picking up the disgusting bit of trash, she followed the butt-dropper up and down the aisles and when no one else was in the vicinity, she hissed, “You dropped something outside,” and mashed it into his face.
From then on, she was known as Super BM. She took care of the excrement of society in a no-nonsense manner. People who felt entitled to several parking spots--she left nasty notes. People who wouldn’t return her greeting? Super BM would unleash a tirade.
All that came to an end with an encounter with one man… one single, solitary man. (147 words)

And for those folks who'd like to work ahead, instead of seat-of-the-pantsers like I am, here is the photo for next week:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nathan? Emily? Who's Next?

      It's strange days for me lately, writer-wise.

      This was my MOD when it came to bigger projects (AKA manuscripts):

  • Write something that spoke to me/healed me
       First it was a "bridge" book about a stray dog. I still haven't given up on that one... But it's gathering dust. Next was a novel that's gone through several transformations. I have a fearless beta reader wading through it. And the third one, it's... well, I'll get to it in a moment.
  • Convince myself that it wasn't marketable/appealing. For the first one, I might be right. The judges haven't spoken yet on the second one. And this third one is not finished.
  • Channel the character. I was a stray, desperate for love. I was a woman bent on revenge and desperate to find peace (which was easy to channel, 'cause that was me). Channeling a young boy in 1921, which seems the most satisfying and is coming the easiest.  
      In the past, I've had mostly just myself pushing the work forward when it comes to the bigger projects. My writing critique groups were encouraging, and offered to read the middle project/manuscript, but I'm not sure it's anything more than a hot mess, so I'm keeping the horrified people ("OMG, do you believe this drivel?") to a minimum.

     These days, however, I have 22 students who are nosey and curious and over-the-shoulder sneak-readers. Actually, they don't even try to be stealthy about it. They're bold, these kids.

        Nathan--one of my students--asks on a regular basis--"What's your word count?"  He's kept me informed on what's going on with his NaNo project.

        Emily is another student of mine. Yesterday, she had finished with her 5,000+ word story, and was busy inhaling yet another book. Sitting next to me, her eyes strayed from the book she was reading off my monitor.  No quick glances. Nothing sneaky. She was reading my NaNo (which is soooo far behind) and unfortunately, it was smack in the middle of the story.

      Her eyes--amazingly big and expressive--spoke volumes. She was into the story. She was hooked.

       Without taking the time to think too hard on it, I printed up a copy, and tossed half of it to her. "Is this for me?" she asked. I told her she needs to keep it at school, and when she's finished with that section, she can have the next section... and hopefully by then, I will have the final third written, at least in its first draft version. (But probably not... Emily is a rapid reader and I'm wading through some tough-to-find research right now.)

       It makes sense. I'm writing this book for students in the 5th or 6th grade, and Emily's a sixth grader...

         Last night I cooked at the Ronald McDonald House. (If you have one in your area, consider making a meal for the families. It's lots of fun.) A writing friend, Tracy (who made a scrumptious veggie lasagna), gave me an ARC (advance reading copy) she got from the NCTE conference (National Council of Teachers of English). And wonder of wonders, it's a YA novel about the same event I'm writing about. (However, it's a story told from a totally different perspective, so I'm going to wait until my first draft is finished before I treat myself to it. It's called Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham.) 

       Yes, Cathy Hall--Tracy got lots of free books and she even thought of me! 

       So Nathan, Emily, my other 19 students, Shay, Tracy... and many more--I'm getting a lot of help/prodding/encouragement.

       And for that, I'm grateful.

      What are you most grateful for? Rested minds want to know...