Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sometimes settings are the best inspiration

Just stumbled across this photo on Tumblr!

I do believe that, as a reward for finishing revisions (whenever those happen to get done), I'm going to write some sort of eerie fairy tale about a picturesque snow-covered city where time has stopped. Because that is totally the image I get when I look at this picture.

What are you working on this weekend?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dark YA Blogfest Week Three: Soundtrack

Good morning, everyone!

I was really looking forward to this week. I may not be terribly on top of things when it comes to the music scene (I rely on my more savvy friends to recommend things to me), but music is a huge part of my writing process. Sometimes I find music that's specific to characters and stories, but generally I stock up on mood music for writing different tones and genres. And as y'all might have guessed, I have a lot of horror-writing music!

So today, I am going to raid my playlist and put together an awesome soundtrack for you to listen to while you read stories of the creepy persuasion. And since I just read (and adored) ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, I should note that these songs make for a pretty good accompaniment!

(To learn more about the Dark YA Blogfest, go here!)

1. Howl - Florence and the Machine

I love the way this song escalates, especially with the drumming. There's a reason it's my HUNGRY GROUND theme song!

2. Haunted - Poe

I love Poe, and this song in particular is awesomely eerie. The disoriented feel makes it an especially good fit for Anna, what with the warped reality she has to deal with in the house.

3. Apres Moi - Regina Spektor

I just love the moodiness of this song, with all the deep piano notes, and the line "I'm not my own/it's not my choice." It's another great Anna song.

4. They - Jem

Another eerie, atmospheric song. The slightly off-kilter chanting in the background feels very haunted house to me!

5. Violet Hill - Coldplay

I felt like I had to get some dude singers on this list!  This is very different from their usual fare, and tonally I think it's a good match for the story.

Enjoy! And go read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD if you haven't already!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Various and sundry

First of all! Thank you so much to everyone who commented on the flash fiction piece! You guys are awesome. I was grinning all last week!

Well, my holiday weekend got off to a slightly inauspicious start: my laptop's power cord shuffled off this mortal coil on Friday afternoon, and I had set pretty lofty goals for my revision work. But after the requisite wailing and rending of garments, I figured out a few ways to stretch out the remaining battery power, and it looks like I'll be fine until the new one gets here. I didn't end up falling too short of my goal, either, since I knew I didn't have time to procrastinate on the internet and I got straight to work. And I got to relax with some new books in the name of conserving battery power! I read WITCH EYES and ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. The latter will be the subject of my Dark YA Blogfest post this week!

I also hit 90k on the revised draft, with more sure to come. My original draft was a relatively modest 74k, and most of my complete manuscripts fall around that length. I always assumed that, if I were to do revisions with an agent, I would either be chopping scenes out or rewriting and restructuring in general. There's a bit of that, and I imagine there will be more to come, but this draft is definitely the Add All The Things Draft. The number is giving me a mini-heart-attack - I think I have some sort of word count mental block - but the best thing about my editorial letter is that it's basically giving me permission to expand. I'm really enjoying the chance to dig deeper into the worldbuilding, characters, and themes.

But anyway! That's what I've been up to. How about you?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dark YA Blogfest Week Two: Flash Fiction

Good morning, all! Because I totally dropped the ball last week, I got this done yesterday evening. Yay!

The prompt for Week Two was to write a flash fiction piece about the picture below. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to do something bize-sized and surreal, so that was what I went for. Whether I was successful remains to be seen!

I am super-nervous, as this is the first writing I've posted on this blog. So I will just leave this here and go hide. I hope you enjoy it!

(For more information on the Dark YA Blogfest, go here!)

The third day – she thinks it’s the third, anyway. That was when the trees began to whisper.

And she almost put her foot down right there, because she's already had more than enough of this Lewis Carroll shit, but the trees don't seem concerned with that. Possibly because they don't know who Lewis Carroll is. They don't seem very well-read, in any case, because they murmur the same words, over and over and over until it echoes in the thrum of her heart.

This is your place. You have always been here.

It's not true. It's never been true. She knows that, though she doesn’t have proof. Her wallet has fallen out somewhere. The hands of her watch spin without pause, as if waiting for someone to tell them the time. And with each step, memories – of passing time, of daylight, of chocolate cupcakes – unspool and wind into the dust. Still, she knows, even if there's no explaining that to the whispers. They're very persistent.

That is the day she stops watching her feet. It makes no difference when each patch of sky looks the same, and each branch above her splits in the same indistinguishable way. Even so, when she closes her eyes, she can hear it, louder than anything: the chime of the grandfather clock in her front hallway, the creak of pipes in her ancient house, calling her from far away. 

It’s a tiny, fragile thing, so small it almost disappears into the dirt between her toes. But like a trail of breadcrumbs, she follows it, deeper and deeper into the woods.

Monday, November 7, 2011

NaNo Open Thread

You guys! I'm so sorry for my epic fail for the first week of the Dark YA Blogfest. My excuse is not a very good one - I couldn't choose a favorite book. D: I definitely intend to join in again this week with the flash fiction prompt, though.

But enough of that. Let's talk about NaNo! I can't do it this year because of revisiony things, but I still want to join in the excitement, so I will have to live vicariously through all of you who are. It's always fun to hear about what my friends are doing - I know someone who's aiming for 200,000 words, and is up to 30k already. (Yeah, I can't even comprehend how efficient she is. If I hadn't seen some of the novel in question, I would think she was re-enacting a scene from The Shining. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...")

So for this post, if you feel so inclined, tell me about your NaNo! What's it about? What's your main character like? What is your word count goal, and what are you up to now?

On a revisiony note, I am plugging along over here. Factoring in my current pace, the holidays, and additional read-throughs/beta edits, it looks like I'll be sending it to Secret Agent Man in January. Eeeeeek!