Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pimp My Line - WINNER

Okay - we promised the winner would be announced early today. And so our winning entry belongs to ... EMILY!

Thanks to both Lisa and Emily for participating in our contest. We'll try this again sometime. Keep watch for announcements here, and on Twitter. (

Emily - please email us with your prize choice and address so we can mail it out to you.

Happy New Year from all of us at YAedge!

Pimp My Line VOTE TIME

Alright – we’ve got two entries for our first ever Pimp My Line contest….and during the Christmas break, too – not bad.

It’s now up to our readers to vote for their favourite line. Just comment with kudos to either Lisa or Emily. If we don’t get any voters, the YAedge crew will decide. This is your chance to hold the power!

Contestants are vying for a free, gently read copy of a title from the following list:

Sweep #1: Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan

Being by Kevin Brooks

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey

Here’s the original line contestants had to pimp:

“I don’t know how long I was out for, but I woke to an odd sight.”

Lisa’s entry:

"it wasn't until i opened the door that i realized i was dead."

Emily’s entry:

"I could have been unconscious for three seconds or three years, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I opened my eyes."


Monday, December 22, 2008

YAedge Pimp My Line Contest!

There comes a time in every writer’s life when you learn a stark truth. That brilliant sentence you just wrote - sucks the big one.

You know another writer could lean over your shoulder, tap on your keyboard and crank out THE BESTEST zooped-up version of your original line in the whole world.

And so the YAedge Pimp My Line contest begins. We’ll post a ho-hum line for you to wordsmith. You can make the line cheesy, snarky, fantastical or just punctuate the darn thing properly, all we ask is you keep it YA appropriate and retain the general “idea” behind the sentence. It’s your honey now.

Contest will be up for a week (from Monday to Sunday). Pimped lines are to be submitted as comments – at the end of the week they will be compiled into a single post and YAedge readers will vote for their favourite pimped line. (Contestants may vote as well – let’s face it – you’re probably our only readers…lol…) NOTE: If you have a line you want pimped – please email it to us.

The winning author will win a badge of honour to display online for all to see - and - a gently read, recently released YA novel from our collections.

Can you dig it?

Let’s get started….pimp – my – line:

I don’t know how long I was out for, but I woke to an odd sight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

And THIS is Where it All Happens...

Every writer has their own quirks. From the pen they use, the keyboard they clack on and even the size and color of the post-its. I have to admit; I will stand tall and admit I am one of those writers. Everything has to have a place, organization must reign. If I’m in a groove and nothing is stopping me, there must be a reason. Did I position my laptop just so? Was I listening to a certain song at the exact moment I hit my groove?

For months, earlier this year, I convinced myself that I was only able to write at my local Panera Bread. Why? I happened to go there a few times in one week (during my glorious free months from work) and hit monumental success. I started my current work-in-progress there and it’s the best thing I’ve written…ever. It must be Panera, right? RIGHT?

I went through a period after that with no success. Zip, zilch, zero. My husband happened to purchase a Macbook Pro for work during my dry writing period. He let me borrow it for the afternoon to take to the local library (another sacred spot for writing) considering my current laptop only has about 50 minutes of battery life. That afternoon…you guessed it. I had another breakthrough. My character, Pence, his voice came through like it never had before. It was epic. HUGE! I had been searching the laptop market around that time. That’s right, after Christmas, I will be purchasing my very own Macbook. Sad but true. I love the way the keys quietly clicks and clacks beneath my fingers. I love the way my fingers glide along the huge track pad. Not to mention the 5-6 hour battery life! It’s a dream come true.

Crazy, right? Of course it is! Even I know it is. Does that stop me? Nope.

Now comes the interesting part of my ramble. The office space. This has to be the most important part of a writer’s life. This is where the story lives and breaths. A place that is magical. Stories aren’t created here; they exist between the four walls. That is why I’d like to share my office space, along with Tracy’s and Author X’s (how mysterious! And no, it’s not the office space of our wondrous, Tess).

How is your office space organized? Is there a place where all the magic happens? Do you have to have things just right before writing? Please share your four walls with us!

Author X's office!

She even has a little gnome door for her muse! I want a door for MY muse!

This tells me that Author X is in need of a massive break. Look at all the post-its swirling around her space! Magic is DEFINITELY happening here.

Now, that typewriter sure beats a new Macbook.

Tracy's office!

I heart her desk and chair.

Love this set up. Clean, efficient, yet you can tell serious work gets done.

And my office! :)

I will admit, I usually have some kind of beverage to the left of my computer.
Is it totally lame I already have a copy of Office for my Macboo
k I don't even own yet (to the right of the mouse)?

Another confession: I print out and frame the certificates of all NaNoWrimos I've completed. Whenever I tell myself I can't continue or type another word, I just glance up at them and remember how hard the month of November can be.
The white board below them are for the times I keep track of my word count.

This area is to the left of my desk. Books, books and more books. Not to mention the two other bookshelves just like it to the left! The bottom shelf has magazine holders housing each draft of all of my stories. Oh yeah, and there's my bass...or the neck of it anyway, as well as my Harry Potter busts!

I hope you had fun getting a small glimpse of where the magic happens for us! Well, unless it happens to be a Panera, library, fill in the blank kind of day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sex and Teen Fiction

I am big on truth in teen fiction, which makes some people uncomfortable. I've had people tell me I'm immoral, wrong, trying to corrupt kids, and other fun stuff. 

Why, you ask?

Partly because many of my books are centered around gay teen characters, but a lot of the time, it's because sometimes, my characters have sex. 

People are weird about sex. They're even weirder about teens having sex. ESPECIALLY in fiction. 

Why is this? Because they remember what it was like to be a teenager? Because they don't?Because they want their own kids to wait until an appropriate time? Because their own morals say it's wrong?

My take on it is this: with many of our teenagers entering high school with no knowledge of safe sex practices, where do they get their information? TV, Movies, and Books. Being a teenager is awful sometimes: you're loaded up with hormones, you're trying to figure out who you are and what you want out of your life and a lot of the time, you're really confused about all the feelings that are going on in your body and mind. Being assured that sexual feelings are normal can really help emotionally. Surrounding sex with a stigmata will only make teens want to do it more--and they might not be prepared to deal with the consequences.  

A parent has every right to limit what their teens read or watch, of course. But from my experience, any book that I was told I couldn't read, I would take the first chance I got and locked myself in the bathroom to read it. 

Teenagers have sex. Sometimes they do it safely, sometimes they don't. Educating them a little more about their bodies and feelings--in fiction or non-fiction would be a great boon to them. 

Plus, who doesn't love some torrid (but tasteful) romance? 


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Under My Skin: The Cover

Wow - the day has arrived when I have a cover for Under My Skin. Nifty.

The Wild Rose Press has a roster of cover artists to choose from and I am glad I requested Nicola Martinez - she's got a way with black.

And I wanted a dark cover for UMS.

The contrasting colours are rich and vibrant. The wolves and crosses crank up the gloom. I love the title font. I wasn't sure about the rose at first - I was hoping for something more Nightmare Before Christmas/gothic/graphic novely - but it has grown on me (lame pun - I agree).

So, my friends, watcha think?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Research and Inspiration

My friend, Diana, started a book last year that took place on the Isle of Man. It was a place she dreamed of visting one day and loved researching the area. Her story got to a point where she felt she couldn’t do the Isle of Man justice until experiencing it in person. She got that opportunity this summer. I asked her to share her thoughts on her trip and how it gave her a different perspective on her story and research.

Thanks, Diana, for sharing your story!


If I think back to my years growing up in the Northwest and how I loved to spend my time, a few different pursuits and interests come to mind, among them acting and being outdoors and also traveling and writing. Every spare moment, if I wasn’t creating a skit, I could be found writing on some scrap of paper or tearing pages out of notebooks to write a poem or short story. And traveling opened a whole new realm to me – to see the world and discover inspiration quite out of the blue waiting around any corner. I would get ideas for stories whilst on a road trip and be scrawling notes and chapters in the car, staring out the window, culling ideas as my Dad drove singing along to the Beach Boys and my sister played with her toys in the seat next to me.

But I think no other trip was more profound to me, for influencing my writing than my first visit to Europe when I was eleven years old. Now I had NO desire to go on this trip as I knew it involved flying for a very long time, a very great distance over a very big ocean and to be honest, that idea really freaked me out! But I found once we arrived there, that Europe was so different from what I had known or ever seen that I immediately became very curious. And it was there at the old age of eleven and a HALF (that half was important! J ) that I learned a lot about myself and was struck with how just atmosphere and landscape could inspire me as I wrote. I wrote a lot of poems during those weeks, some silly, some serious, some fairly descent and some AWFUL (like REALLY bad ;-) ), but all of that writing served to show me that if I looked out beyond my horizon and what I knew, there was much to be seen and much to learn and all of it inspired me. I was bitten by the travel bug on that trip more than any other and wrote wrote, wrote after that vacation.

Twenty years have passed since that adventure to other shores, and many poems and stories later, I found myself last year working on a short novel for NanoWriMo that was set in a place that I loved, located across that same vast ocean. I had been researching it for the past few years. But I was in a quandary. Here was a subject that intrigued me and that I loved to write about but I found I could only do so much research from my desk at home and thusly only write so much as well, before I hit a sort of wall where detail was needed to continue the story with the right amount of depth and accuracy, to really help bring it to life. I had studied the beautiful Isle of Man for many years and had learned all sorts of facts and trivia but yet, not having been there in person to see it for myself, the story lacked something within the heart of it. It needed a shot of authenticity and though I felt plenty inspired and excited about the subject I needed an added shot of inspiration myself!

So I packed my bags last summer and set off for the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man for two weeks. I needed to see the lay of the land on the Island, the details of the shops and pubs, how the roads wound and connected and feel the spirit of the lovely people who inhabited this jewel I had come to know and love only through photos, videos and books. I hadn’t been anywhere in Europe for those twenty years and it was interesting returning as an adult. I found that many of the same things in travel still inspire my writing – a rain storm, no matter where it is will always draw my pen out of hibernation and I was drenched in rain on this trip, and thusly inspiration. Travel also gave me a more accurate view of the way people live in a place – the reality of dealing with day to day elements like weather and road conditions, sea conditions and how it can affect people’s spirits (or not – the Manx are a spirited and plucky bunch!) But being able to bring a dose of reality to my story by injecting details like, just exactly what a violently keeling boat on the open sea feels like as a wave tumbles over the top of it, or what motorbikers gearing up for a famous road race are feeling and how thrilled they really are to race their bikes around the most hilly and curving, challenging race track in the world; this kind of research was worth more than any cost to get there to experience it. And it still gives me goose bumps! J I have a feeling that whether I am writing about a place down the street or half way round the world, that implementing some research in person if I can, will be helpful in future writing endeavours. Taking time to soak in the environment and meet people, to research the details in a tangible way can bring new life to a work and make all the difference.

I’d love to know how you research for a story you are writing or how you overcome a writing block. And what inspires you?

Thanks Tami for inviting me to share some thoughts on writing!

Diana LaGrandeur

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Title Dilemma

My apologies for all my east-coast friends who are getting this in Thursday, rather than Wednesday: I spent most of my day at the theatre with no access to my computer. Luckily, none of the kids stuck gum in my hair this time. 

I am one of those writers who has to have a title for her book before she actually starts on the book. I like notes and color coding and character bios, all organized in a system that only I understand.

"untitled paranorm project draft 1" just does NOT look good on a word document file. It looks...messy. It throws me off my groove. But alas, no title comes to me. So I am slowly ripping my hair out, foaming at the mouth and constantly IM'ing Tami, who has had to deal with me whining about my lack of title for a few weeks now. So I've decided to expand my horizons and ask all of you for awesome title advice. 

What do you guys do when you don't have a title? How do you pick a title that fits your book AND you think would grab the attention of readers later on? What's your fabulous title secret? Have you ever had to change a title you love, and why? And also, for my own personal interest: do you use your titles when you talk to your friends about your books?  

I'm curious about the last question because when I do talk about my books, I generally don't use the titles. I define them differently: "The book about gay bashing" or "The book about virginity." Sometimes it amazes me how you can condense something as complicated as a 70,000 word manuscript into a few words. Does anyone else do this?

And please, someone pull me out of bad title hell! 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Novel Podcasts

After writing the first draft of Under My Skin, I asked a few friends to help me create a podcast of the first 2 chapters. I read the part of Eryn, the main character and had my friends read for others. The result was something between an audio book, readers theatre and an oldtime radio show.

Now, these friends of mine just happened to be members of my band as well, so we created a few tunes to serve as theme songs for each chapter. After recording the moody little tunes, I used some of the tracks throughout the chapter as a soundtrack of sorts - a throbbing heartbeat during an action scene, wind during a run in the woods. It was creative and fun.

While those chapters have since been revised with my current edit, I learned some really valuable lessons in changing how I viewed UMS. The shift from prose to script was enlightening. I learned where readers stumbled over lofty sections because I was too busy being a writer to use “real” language. I discovered key phrases I repeated that I never would have spotting in the written manuscript because I needed to HEAR them. There were action sequences entirely interrupted by narrative, killing tension and disengaging the reader.

My little podcast experiment was well worth the recording time. Ultimately I decided to revise UMS and so I removed the full podcasts from my Myspace page and just left a few samples. However, I’m tempted to try again once UMS is finalized.

I used Protools to record the audio/tunes – but then I had invested in the program for band recording. You could easily do something similar with Garageband – and jazz it up even more with their canned sound effects/music samples. Even if you just record yourself reading your WIP – I guarantee you’ll discover ways to tweak your writing and heighten impact.

You can listen to the samples on my pen name's Myspace page:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blog Roll Part 2

Since I've received positive feedback from my Thanksgiving post, I thought I would do a part 2! This time, I'm going to include review sites/blogs and important writer sites. If you have any other great links that I haven't posted, please post them in the comments section! I'm always looking for great blogs/sites to read.

Book Review sites:
  • Big A little a- Great blog for children's lit. If you're looking for interviews, reviews and even a link to Poetry Fridays, this is the blog for you. Currently, there is a great interview with literary great, Judy Blume.
  • Readers' Rants- If you're looking for a blog that reviews children's/middle grade/YA books, look no further. New reviews are posted almost daily.
  • Teen Tuesday- This blog has several members who participate. Each Tuesday, the members post reviews, their TBR pile and what books they're looking forward to. Great blog to just see what's out there in the world of teen books.
  • Readspace- The link posted is for the Teen Lit section, but they review/discuss book in Children's/Teen/Adult Lit and Fiction. Their tagline is 'We read books, and then tell you about them!" That's the site in a nutshell.
  • The Compulsive Reader- Love this review blog. Reviews, contests to win free books and links to book trailers. I've discovered a lot of great books from pursuing.
  • The Story Siren- Great review site that also includes interviews. I really like that the reviews are starred so that I can get a quick idea of if the review will be positive.
  • Want My YA- This review blog is only a few months old, but shows great promise. I went through and read all the reviews the other day and loved the insight. I really enjoy the Tuesday posts with what books catch her eye.
Writing Sites:
  • AgentQuery- I had to start with this one. If you're a writer looking for an agent, this site is a must! Make sure to do your research when searching for an agent that is right for you.
  • Wikipedia- I know this isn't necessarily a writing site, but I thought I would include it. If you need a quick answer, this is for you. Just make sure you varify the research done here because anyone can edit/post information.
  • NaNoWrimo- Most of you know NaNoWrimo and participate during November. If you've never checked it out, it's a must. The forums are great, as well as the podcasts.
  • SSA Popular baby names- Looking for a site to help with naming your characters? This is great because it lists the top baby names by year run by the US Social Security Department.
  • Writers BBS Forums- A great set of forums for writers.
  • Novel in 90- Great community to kick you in the butt. Once the 90 days are over, they start again. The goal is to write 750 words a day (about 3 pages), every day for 90. In the end, if following the "rules" you will end up with a 67,500 page manuscript. Post your word count each day, or a quote of inspiration.
  • Sunday Scribblings- Each week (on Saturday), a new writing prompt is posted. Create a piece of writing (short story, flash fiction, etc) based on the writing prompt. Just post your story on your own blog and use their permalink system to share it. Organized and awesome!
  • Write or Die- I wasn't sure about this at first, but used it in the last days of our 1k-a-day challenage. I LOVE this site. As long as you continuously write (you can set your word count goal and time), there is no penalty. Stop and watch out! Annoying songs, sounds, colors and on the most butual mode, words deleted are what you have to look forward to. If you can't focus and write for a certain period of time, this is the site for you. Just make sure to copy and paste your writing before clicking that you're done, just in case. Talk about a serious kick in the butt!
  • The Zokutou Word Meter- looking for a word meter for your site/blog to keep track of your word count? This is a great word meter that is easy to update. It even has several different options in look.
Misc. Sites:
  • Literature Map- This is just plain fun. Enter an author's name and it will map out authors who write similar books. The closer the names are to your original author, the more alike their work is. I believe there is also a music section.
  • PaperBackSwap- Have a bunch of books lying around you'll never read again? This is your solution. I've been a member for over 3 years and have saved over $450 (they keep track based on the average price of a used book). Fast and easy. I can't say enough about this site. If you have any questions about it, just post your question in the comments section or email me at our address.
Don't forget! Have a blog/site you'd like to share? Post it in the comments section!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And I'm back...

Hi everyone, remember me? Apologies for disappearing for all of November, but I was knee deep in kids (21 of them!) and they took all my time. Actually, they're still taking all my time until Dec. 20th, but I figured I could go with a few hours less of sleep to do my crit and blog duties :)

Today I wanted to talk about something that I do every year around this time: I start thinking about what my writing challenge for next year is going to be. Every year, I set a challenge for myself, for the entire year. This year my challenge was to create an entire fantasy world, which I kind of put off until the last minute, I must admit, but now I am 20K into my new paranormal series project and having the time of my life with world-building. Last year, it was to write a decent sex scene (which I did, but I am totally never showing anyone). 

I try to challenge myself with writing stuff that I either a) think I need to improve b) others think I need to improve or c) things/subjects/character types/genres I haven't written in awhile. 

After I choose my challenge for the year, I write it down (generally in glitter glue, because who doesn't love glitter glue?) and tack it to my cork board, where it looms above me constantly, whispering: "Tess, remember this challenge you gave yourself? You can't escape me. WORK ON IT OR THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY!"

Let me tell you, it's a motivator. By challenging myself each year with something big, I know that I will be improving my writing throughout the year, I have something to focus on when I'm between books or having trouble with whatever project I'm on. The challenge not only helps me grow as a writer in different ways EACH year, but it also kicks my butt into action when Lazy!Tess takes over. 

So my challenge to myself for 2009 is this: I am going to work on my settings and description and work harder at making the character's world come to life for the reader. I am told over and over again that my dialogue and characters are good, but my setting needs work, so 2009 is the year for creating realistic, fabulous settings, even if it kills me :D 

What about you? Do you challenge yourself?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And the Winners Are...

For week 4... ChickLitGurrl! Congrats! Don't forget to email us the book you'd like from the list below! You are amazing in all that you do. Between your writing, editing and!

The Big Question 3 winner is...HeatherMarie
Congrats! Loved the story. Even though it didn't end the way you probably wanted, at least the kiss was with a crush. Please email us with the book of your choice, plus your name and address!

Thanks to everyone who participated in 1k-a-day and the Big Questions in November. We had a blast and will be doing it again soon!

Here are the books to choose from girls:

ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Valiant by Holly Black (book 2)
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (book 1)
Platinum by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (book 2)
When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot (book 1 in the 1-800 series)
Size 14 is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot (book 2 in the Heather Wells series)
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
Wild Roses by Deb Caletti
Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Monday, December 1, 2008

Big Question 3...The Final Question of November.

Okay everyone! Here is your last chance for the month of November to win one of those great Young Adult books (unless you're week 4's word count winner). All you have to do is answer the big question of the weekend. Please post your answers in the comments section of this blog entry by today(Monday), 6pm PDT. We will be picking our favorite answer! Good luck!

We want to hear about your first kiss! Where were you when it happened and who was it with?

Basically we're looking for some awesome stuff. Be specific!

Just to get your mind flowing, here's a list of available books the winner can choose from!

ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Valiant by Holly Black (book 2)
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (book 1)
Platinum by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (book 2)
When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot (book 1 in the 1-800 series)
Size 14 is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot (book 2 in the Heather Wells series)
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
Wild Roses by Deb Caletti
Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Sunday, November 30, 2008

When The Stories Are Not Your Own

After surviving our 1k-a-Day challenge, I realized how difficult it was to consistently write each and every day – no matter what life threw at me. Frankly, I wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped….I know I’d have one hell of a time if I ever entered Nano. I’m not an uber fast writer.

Early into our challenge I found out that a journalist friend of mine, Tracy Wasylow (I know – another Tracy – I personally have a ton of "Tracys" in my world), had left her position at our small town paper to pursue other non-writerly employment. Knowing Tracy also had a WIP tucked away somewhere, which she was keen to dig into, I wondered how her adjustment from writing for a paper to writing fiction would unfold.

She kindly offered to share her thoughts with us here at YAedge.


Ever since I was little, I've been making up stories.

It wasn't until I stumbled into journalism in college I figured out there were ways other than being a novelist to write for a living (and you will find the majority of journalists are in fact writing novels - they became journalists to pay the bills).

For the past eight years I've put everything I had into becoming a part of a community and writing about the lives and events that mattered to those people.

It's a tiring job. You're never off. Not while you're in the area you write about.

People flag you down in stores to tell you what they did and didn't like in the articles you wrote. They suggest how you could make things better. They give you names of people they think are interesting and should be written about. They want to hear the latest gossip, and have a hard time differentiating between what is just gossip and what is real.

When you write for a newspaper for a living, you are accountable to every single person who reads your words. If there is a spelling mistake, a grammatical mistake or, worst of all, a mistake in someone's name, they have no problem calling you up (in some cases at home) and giving you a piece of the collective community mind on some perceived error.

As a journalist, it's easy to forget what time it is, what day it is, and yes, even sometimes what year it is.

In community newspapers that only come out once a week, you're constantly working a week in advance. You are on deadline every single day. There are no room for errors and absolutely no excuses for sloppy work.

There are pieces that need hours of research, interviews and rewrites.

In community journalism, you don't get that kind of time. Unless it's a feature piece. If it's a breaking news story, you have less than no time and it will never be long enough, clean enough, fast enough.

This is why you'll find most journalists are also speed readers. We have to be. But after awhile, it leaks into our personal lives.

There was a point the joy I used to get from reading a book was leached out of the process because I was far too busy just trying to get through it.

Now, after stepping back from journalism, I find myself slowing down. I know what the date is. I don't have a deadline for the things I'm writing. And I can make mistakes because I'm now accountable to the only one person in the audience - me.

-- Tracy Wasylow

Big question 3 time extended

Due to the holiday weekend and slow internet traffic, we are extending the Big Question until tomorrow, Monday, December 1st. Please get your answers in by 6pm PDT.

Here is the link where you can post your answers to the big question!

Good luck everyone!

1k-a-Day: Day 30

Well, my friends, it is the final day of our 1k-a-day challenge. This has been such a cool experience. I want to thank everyone for hanging with us and hope we'll see you again in a few months when we hold our next 1k-a-Day.

Tracy's Day 29 WC: 1074
Tracy's overall WC: 23, 306

Mindset: Drained and really winding myself up to get in my 1k today...I feel a bit whimpy saying that, considering we have writers who wiped their noses with my overall word count weeks ago. But life is thundering on, there's a ton of Christmas baking to start and a neglected house to clean. Tomorrow. Today I write.

Tracy's Day 30 WC: 1083
FINAL 1k-a-day challenge TOTAL: 24, 389
Congrats and thanks to everyone who participated!
How'd you do, Tami?

Thanks for starting the post today, Tracy! Love the banner you made! Anyone who participated, feel free to post it on your site/blog, etc. I, too want to thank everyone for participating not only in the 1k-a-day challenge, but the Big Questions. I had a blast this month even though I didn't do as much as I would have liked. It pushed me to write more than I would have, with the holidays upon us. We hope to do this again in the future (hopefully a few times a year) and hope that you join us again. Next time we won't have NaNoWrimo to push us, but that's why it's called a challenge, right?

My main goal this month was to push through the tough parts of Lost and Found. Though I'm still there, I've resolved problems that I might not have without 1k-a-day. I hope you all were able to accomplish what you set out to do. Congrats to all of our winners. Congrats to anyone who sat down to even write just 1,000 words. You're all winners in my book.

Don't forget that the Big Question #3 will end today at 6pm PDT. We will be announcing the winner tonight!

To all winners in the past, your books went out to you yesterday. Please let us know when you received them. Enjoy!

Tami's Day 30 WC: will update later with my final 1k-a-day total
Tami's overall WC for 1k-a-day: I need to add it up again. somewhere in the 14,000s
Tami's total WC: 39,431

Saturday, November 29, 2008

1k-a-day Day 29

1k-a-day is wrapping to a close tomorrow. How sad is that? Don't forget tomorrow to post your week 4 word count!

Tami's Day 28 total:
Tami's November overall WC: in the 14,000s
Tami's overall WC: 1,008
Music: nada
Mindset: Not a bad day. You will notice that my overall is listed at 1,008, the same total as my day 28 total. I didn't work on Lost and Found yesterday, but my new WIP. I couldn't resist writing the first chapter.
Tami's Day 29 WC: Will update.

How'd it go yesterday, Tracy? Did the movies win out?


Yeah, movies and couch won last night -but now I'm hard at work procrastinating (Big Question #1!), and changing my Twitter settings. :)

Tracy's Day 28 WC: 0
Tracy's overall WC: 22, 232
Mindset: I have two more chapters to tweak and then I'm done with this edit. Can't turn back now.
Tracy's Day 29 WC: will update later
I'm in awe of all our 1k-a-day friends....and Nano finalists. So productive!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Things to be thankful for in writing

Since it is Thanksgiving weekend here in the US, I decided to write a list of what I’m thankful for as far as writing is concerned. The normal list is the typical. I’m thankful for my family, friends, job and house. But I wanted to put a spin on it and thought I would include links to the writing websites and blogs I’m most thankful for.

  • First off, I’m thankful for my writing crit group. I know my post last week was about how great you are, but I just had to say it again. You guys have helped me more than you could ever imagine. So, Tracy, Tess and now Kitty, I thank you.
  • I want to thank all the people who have been participating in our 1k-a-day challenge. It's been a bumpy ride for me, but you've made my November fun. My husband also thanks the winners for the books that you have chosen from my bookshelf. I thank you for making room for more!
  • Thanks to all the people who read our blog every day. To all the lurkers out there, please comment more often. It lets us know you're out there.
  • Thanks for all the agents and editors who blog. You've taught me so much about the industry that I would never know otherwise. Here's a list of a few that I read daily:
  • Miss Snark- Though she no longer blogs, I used to check this daily...and sometimes more. All of her posts are archived and tagged. I'd recommend reading them for industry information. This is a no bullshit look at the publishing industry from an agents POV.
  • Pub Rants- Agent Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. This blog is amazing. She gives good pointers and has great stories about her clients and the industry in general. She will give updates to what different houses and editors are looking for. I can't say enough about her blog.
  • Janet Reid, Literary Agent- This blog is exactly what's advertised. She explains the ins and outs of her daily life as a Literary Agent. Love when she talks about queries she's gotten recently and what went wrong with them (of course she doesn't tell you too much about it, but just enough to get the point across).
  • The Knight Agency- This blog combines agents who work at the Knight Agency. Love the news and info they give the reader as a whole. If you want more detailed look at certain agents, there are links on this blog to each agent's personal blogs.
  • Et in arcaedia, ego- This is Agent Jennifer Jackson's blog. Love the question and answer posts, as well as the info regarding queries.
  • Writer Beware- I know I've said this about almost every link above, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog and can't say enough about it. When doing research into publishers/editors/agents, check this site first. They uncover the scams and more. Excellent.
  • I'm thankful for all of the author's blogs who let me into their writing life. These blogs make me laugh on a daily bases. Best of all, I know I'm not alone when I sit down at my computer and stare at the blank screen. Here's my list of favorites:
  • Meg Cabot's Diary- Hilarious on a daily bases. She doesn't talk a ton about writing, but I love her pop culture talk.
  • Ally Carter- I've loved watching her career grow. I started reading her blog from the start. It's amazing to watch the comments go from a few a day to now in the 50s +. Her books are great (if you haven't read the Gallagher series, you must) and her blog is just as good.
  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes- Another YA author who's career has grown before my eyes. Amazing to think she's still in her early to mid 20s.
  • Sarah Dessen- one of my favorite YA authors and my favorite YA author blog. She posts every day (Monday-Friday) and give her readers a glimpse into her writing and even normal life. I love how down to earth she is.
  • Megan McCafferty- I love her book recommendations and even her daily chatter about life. The great thing about this blog is her retro blog posts where she shares her journals from her early career. I could get sucked into this blog for hours, even days.
  • Wolfy Chicks- I'm not just including this one because they are my critique partners. I love the interviews with YA authors. Great job, girls!
  • E. Lockhart- Great blog all around. I love that she gives props to YA authors with reviews and interviews.
  • Maureen Johnson- This blog has to be tied with Sarah Dessen's as my all time favorite. I LOVE Maureen Johnson's books and I LOVE her blog. She makes me laugh so hard I almost pee my pants. I love the rambling nonsense of each post and love when she posts hilarious videos.
  • There are a ton more author blogs I read, but seriously, this post is getting long. Perhaps I'll continue with the YA author blog roll at another point.
Those are just a few blogs I'm thankful for. I'll do a part 2 soon! I still have to share the writing sites that I love, as well as the message boards I frequent. I hope you enjoyed the insight into my daily internet surfing.

What are you thankful for in writing?

1k--a-day Day 28

I hope everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving! Go out and get those great Black Friday deals!

Don't forget, week 4 and 1k-a-day comes to an end Sunday! I'll be posting a blog entry later today, so check back for that. Also, we'll be holding another Big Question! The last of the month, so don't forget to enter for your chance at great books. There are a few added to the pile this week!

Tami's Day 27 total:
zip, zero, zilch
Tami's November overall WC: in the 13,000s
Tami's overall WC: 38,428
Music: nada
Mindset: Yesterday was all about the kitchen, cooking, watching movies and eating. I didn't get any writing done, but Thanksgiving was all about spending time with family and relaxing. Back to work today
Tami's Day 28 WC: Will update.

How was your day yesterday, Tracy?


Yesterday was on fast forward - I wrote a bit at lunch and then before I knew it - it was personal trainer lady from hell time. My body may never be the same - and I'm not sure that's in a good way. :) And I even bailed on the yoga finale. My muscles prefer clenching to stretching.

Tracy's Day 26 and 27 WC: 2039
Tracy's overall WC: 22, 232
Mindset: Must finish edit. I really must. Once UMS is off to editor for further hacking and slashing, I can start on other projects. So this weekend is going to be a writing blitz.
Tracy's Day 28 WC: will update later

Thursday, November 27, 2008

1k-a-day Day 26 and Thanksgiving!

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US. My post tomorrow will be dedicated to everything I have to be thankful for this year.

Tami's Day 26 total:
zip, zero, zilch
Tami's November overall WC: in the 13,000s
Tami's overall WC: 38,428
Music: nada
Mindset: I'm okay with not writing yesterday. Why? Because a lot of positives happened instead. I got a bit of work done at my day job, video chatted with Tracy for about 30 minutes regarding my new idea (Tracy, you ROCK! I can't thank you enough), prepared for Thanksgiving (I'm cooking this year) and did plotting for my new idea PLUS Lost and Found. Oh, and the LA Kings won on the road in Edmonton. Not too shabby.
Tami's Day 27 WC: Will update.

How was the rest of your night, Tracy?


I got a bit of writing done yesterday, but forgot to check the word count - I'll update this post after school. I was thrilled to get chapter 11 out of the way and am so close to finishing with this edit...but I still have a bit to go. Was fun chatting with you, Tami - love your idea and can't wait to see how it developes.

LA won in Edmonton? Hmm...if I was into hockey, I would be ticked now, right? :)

Tracy's Day 25 WC:
Tracy's overall WC: 20, 196
Mindset: If I can walk after today's exercise class - I intend to climb the stairs to my office and spend the night writing and resting my aching bones.
Tracy's Day 26 WC: 2039 (I forgot to do my word count from yesterday - so this is a combined total)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1k-a-day Day 26

Wow, Day 26. Only 4 days of 1k-a-day left. I'll be sad to see it go. My story, on the other hand, will be happy to see edits. :)

Tami's Day 25 total:
Tami's November overall WC: in the 13,000s
Tami's overall WC: 38,428
Music: Josh Ritter and Jakob Dylan when I wasn't using Write or Die.
Mindset: Yesterday went great. Not only did I write 1,333 words, I also started an excel spreadsheet to plot out the story. I felt like I was spinning my wheels with the middle of the book, but now I will have direction. I didn't finish the plotting, but it's on its way. After that, I must start to plot for my new idea.
Tami's Day 26 WC: Will update.

Did Tuesday treat you well, Tracy?


Tami - I'd love to see how that Excel doc works - I cut out squares of paper and then re-glue them to a bigger sheet in the correct order. But if I change things when writing - it all goes bad. :) And I love the Write or Die site - haven't used it yet, but I might tonight.

Tracy's Day 25 WC: 1984
Tracy's overall WC: 20, 196
Mindset: Gots ta finish, must write to the end - and the end is near.
Tracy's Day 26 WC: 1024
Congrats to our friends who have already met their Nano word count - whoohooo! And those with a bit to go......we're rooting for ya!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

1k-a-day Day 25

Okay folks. Day 25...5 days left. This is when the huge push comes. Strap down, grab your coffee and chocolate and WRITE!

Tami's Day 24 total:
Tami's November overall WC: in the 12,000s
Tami's overall WC: 37,095
Mindset: Loved today. Wrote my 1,250 words in 40 minutes...most of it in 25 minutes! Thank you Write or Die!
Tami's Day 25 WC: 1,333

How'd writing go for you, Tracy? Any luck?


I did manage to write my 1k yesterday - a good thing. But I hope to double my word count tonight and keep it that way for the rest of the week.

Tracy's Day 24 WC: 1134
Tracy's overall WC: 18, 212
Mindset: Yes....chocolate....must eat chocolate to write - must write to eat chocolate....
Tracy's Day 25 WC: 1984 - that's funny, eh? 1984?

Monday, November 24, 2008

And the Winners Are...

For week 3... Denise Jaden! Congrats Denise! I'll be sending your lot of books out after week 4 because I have a feeling you may win that one too! Anyone up for the challenge of trying to beat Denise on the last week?

The Big Question 2 winner is...
Okay, I'm a softy. I can't resist all of your wonderful answers. We're going to give TWO books away so the two winners are Kristin B ( I couldn't resist the water bed story...too good. And Jonathan Brandis? ::sigh:: LOL).

Winner #2 is Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) with her great description of everything in her room! Love all the books and signed posters, Lauren!

If you're a winner, please email me with your choice of book, please email us @ with your name and address. I'll be mailing the books out this weekend!

Here's the books available:

How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Valiant by Holly Black
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Platinum by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot
Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Congrats everyone and thanks for playing! We'll have another Big Question this coming weekend!

Short is Sweet: Flash Fiction

I used to write with a Flash Fiction group during the summers - when I had time to crunch out a story each week. I highly recommend this group if you enjoy writing flash fiction or want to try it out:

Flash Fiction is a complete story told in under 2000 (or so) words. You may hear it called, short short stories or postcard fiction. Whatever the title, the challenge is to be concise, clear and captivating within the word count constraint. (Whew! How many "c" words are in that sentence?)

I used to love the Monday morning prompts - just a word or phrase that you had to use as inspiration for that week's story. The word can actually appear in your story or just serve as a theme.

In light of my flash fiction reminiscing, I'm offering a prompt and setting the required word count at maximum 150. Wanna play??

Monday's prompt: awaken
Required WC: 150

For an example, here's one I did (98words)- the prompt was: sweet


Margaret closed the door on the back of Mr. Franks, eager salesman and minor romantic nuisance.

"Boys?" she trilled. "You can come out now. That fool's gone and left.” The floor shuddered. "I told him to take his fancy flea powder of his outta my house before I lost my temper."

She struggled in the pantry for a time and brought out large sacks of sugar.

"Come and get it..." The floorboards groaned. Thousands of cockroaches streamed up from the depths of the house.

"Ain’t they sweet…" Margaret smiled as her boys dug in.

1k-a-day Day 24

Okay, it's back to school and back to working seriously on my 1k. I wrote a bunch of notes last night but didn't get to typing them. Today I'll be working the new stuff in, so I should be back on track with our challenge. Amazing what a little trip to the city can do to trash your writing schedule.

Tracy's Day 22 and Day 23 total: zip :(

Tracy's overall WC: 18, 078 (gotta get this number moving!)

Mindset: Can't stop now!

Tracy's Day 24 WC: 1134


I hear ya, Tracy. What a little down time did for me! Not good. Didn't write, feel horrible about it. There is no excuse. The good news is, I'm playing around with that new story idea. We need to talk!

Tami's Day 22 and Day 23 total: zip for me too.
Tami's overall WC: in the 10,000s but don't have the number with me at work.
Mindset: November is almost over. I need to write, write, write!
Tami's Day 24 WC: will update later

Sunday, November 23, 2008

1k-a-day Day 23

Okay folks. Things are not going well for me. Didn't get to write again today. Life is taking over and I need November over. Weird how the pressure gets to my mind. Hope you all had a better Saturday than I did!

Tami's Day 22 WC: 0
Mindset: This needs to be my motto in the remaining days left. This has been the hardest November for me in the past 4 years. Yikes! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving prep. Making a pumpkin pie from scratch, a tradition in my house. :)
Tami's Day 23 WC: will update

Hope your trip to Edmonton is going well, Tracy! Did you get a chance to write?


Write? No. Play? Yes! Got tons of character ideas, too - as we rambled around the artsy part of town. The South Side of Eddy is what I miss the most about the city. But then I get overwhelmed by the cars, the noise, the people and can't wait to get home.

We saw Twilight and while parts of it had energy (baseball scene rocked!), I think they had a tough time bringing all that emotion to the screen without it being a cheese fest.

Tracy's gonna get writing again as soon as she gets home....yup, she is.

Great answers for The Big Question! Keep them coming!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Big Question 2

Okay everyone! Here is your chance to win a great YA book! All you have to do is answer the big question of the weekend. Please post your answers in the comments section of this blog entry by tomorrow, 6pm PDT. We will be picking our favorite answer! Good luck!

How was your room as a teen (or if you're a teen now) decorated? What was on your walls?

Basically we're looking for some awesome stuff. Be specific!

Just to get your mind flowing, here's a list of available books the winner can choose from!

How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Valiant by Holly Black
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Platinum by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot
Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

1k-a-day Day 22

Well I had a most interesting night trying to get into see Twilight in Edmonton last night. We drove around for a few hours trying different box movie houses - all shows we sold out (except for the 10pm showings and that's a bit late for me...morning person, remember?). So alas and alack, (those are words, yes?) we decided to go to an afternoon show today instead. However, we did buy some great toys for the dogs at Petsmart.

I did zippo writing and am not sure how much I'll get done today.

Tracy's Day 21 WC: 0
Mindset: Twilight cometh!
Tracy's Day 22 WC: will update

How'd you do Tami? Have you seen the film yet?

Yep, all sold out here (though I didn't try and see it). I'm still going to have to convince my husband to go with me. I think I'm going to have to wait until most of the screaming fans have seen it, unfortunately.

I didn't get to write either. Way too busy at work and then just forgot last night. Can you believe it? Thanks for kicking off this post this morning Trace...again...forgot. Am I getting old?

Today we will have a big question! Stay tuned. Also, I'll be announcing the winner from week 3. WOOHOO!

Tami's Day 21 WC: 0
Mindset: Still coughing at night...such a bummer. I would pay to get a good night's sleep at this point. Will be writing this afternoon...hope my brain will work.
Tami's Day 22 WC: will update

Friday, November 21, 2008

Critique Partners and What They Mean to Me

Warning: This post might be a little sappy, but hopefully informative. :)

I don’t know how many people who read YAedge belong to a critique website or group. I wanted to blog about the few sites I’ve used and how I ended up with such a great group in the end.

When I realized that I was serious about writing, I looked into sites that promised my work would be critiqued by all sorts of people.

There are quite a few out there: Critique Circle, Critique Groups, Urbis. And those are just the few that I've tried in the past.

Most of these sites, you earn credits by the number of crits that you give. With those credits, you can open up the critiques that you get from others. At first, these sites worked great for me. I would post a few short shorts, a first chapter at the most. The critiques I got in the end weren’t too helpful for me. It wasn’t a line by line critique, something I realized I was looking for when going through the process. The feedback seemed to be based more on the overall impression that the reader got. Some would post questions, but there wasn’t a way to start a dialogue with them. I was frustrated and lost.

I turned to books.
I scoured writing books, read blogs and plain ol’ read anything I could get my hands on. I was reading 2-3 books a week (which I still do) in the genre I was writing to get a feel for the point of views, settings, etc. of the books that were already out there.

When the critique sites didn't wet my whistle, I wrote in my little bubble. A friend would help me, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted a commitment that wasn’t one sided. That’s when it all changed for me. Tracy (who I didn’t know at the time) posted to TeenLit group on Yahoo (a great group if you write young adult fiction), asking for critique partners who wrote or didn't mind critiquing edgy young adult fiction. I emailed right away.

To be honest, I was nervous at first. Would I be able to keep up? Was my writing good enough for someone to spend the time reading it, going line by line telling me what was right/wrong? Could I make such a big commitment to someone I didn’t know? Would our personalities mesh? These were all questions that flew through my mind

Let me tell you, answering Tracy’s email was the best thing I could have ever done.When she contacted me based on my email, we swapped the first couple of chapters from our current WIP. Reading the first chapter of her book was awesome. I loved it instantly and knew that I could give a critique that would help her. We agreed the partnership was good to go and we would start criting right away. Tess came into the picture at this point and we decided that three could work. That gave us each two different points of view. Every person notices different things when critting. We agreed to critique a chapter a week from each member.

We’ve been a group for eight months now. In that time, I’ve had a full book critiqued by both of them, as well as eight chapters of my WIP. Not only have I become a better writer from their critiques, I’ve learned just as much by going through their work with a fine tooth comb. I look forward to reading their work and when I don’t have a new chapter from them, I find that I miss it.

I would have never guessed my writing would improve as much as it has. Not only have I gained people that I trust with my writing (which I think is one of the most important parts of the process), but I’ve added two great friends. Like I said, I can’t imagine where I would be without them.

Thanks girls for everything you've done for me in the past 8 months!

1k-a-day Day 21

9 more days...time flies when you're having fun. Don't forget, today is Friday so post those week end word counts to win this week's book. I'll post the books still available later today!

Also, look for a new big question this weekend!

Tami's Day 20 WC:
Tami's overall WC: 35,845
Music: Josh Rouse again
Mindset: If only I could count the word count I put toward a new idea I was working on today, as well as the blog post on critiques. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.
Tami's Day 21 WC: will update later!

Were you able to write yesterday, Tracy? I know you mentioned you'll be on your way to Edmonton soon! Have a fun and safe trip!


Wow - I worked on a booktrailer project all morning and just now came up for air. Whew! Fun, but OMG the hours fly by when you're in the computer zone.

I didn't write a thing yesterday because of the book fair. But we're leaving for Eddy in a few hours, so I've got some time to write before the road trip. Let's hope it don't snow no more!

Tracy's Day 20 WC: 0
Tracy's overall WC: 18, 078

Mindset: Distracted, but hopeful.

Tracy's Day 21 WC: will update later

Gotta keep focused, people! We're in the home stretch.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1k-a-day Day 20

10 more days...can you believe it? The time has flown WAY too fast. I've had way too many days where I haven't written anything. I've also had the days where I hit the goal, but wrote mostly crap.

But, on the other hand, I also had great days. Days I felt confident with my word count. I hope to continue on this side of things for the next 10 days! I hope you can, too!

Tami's Day 19 WC: 1,0499,966
Tami's overall WC: 35,84534,658
Music: Josh Rouse
Mindset: Did okay. Don't love the new chapter, but don't hate it. I definitely have something to work with.
Tami's Day 20 WC: will update later!

Trace, how did the book fair go? Can you believe we only have 10 days left of November!?


Yeah, where did the month go? I'm going to be struggling to write over the next few days with us going in to Edmonton, but the goal is to push through these last few days with everything I can muster. We so have to do this more than once a year.

Tracy's Day 19 WC:1119

Tracy's overall WC: 18, 078

Mindset: I'll be skim reading a ton of books again today at the bookfair. Hopefully they will inspire me to get home and write all through the night. Or at least until 10pm. (I really do go to bed at 9:07 - sad, eh?)

Tracy's Day 20 WC: 0 - too busy living (or is that surviving) to write! ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

1k-a-day Day 19

Wow, are we already to Wednesday? Is this seriously day 19? Where is my life going? Are you asking yourself the same questions? Don't're not alone!

Look for a new big question coming soon!

Tami's Day 18 WC
: Somewhere my word count got screwy. I think I only managed around 200 today. I'm hanging my head in shame.9,966
Tami's overall WC: 34,79634,658
Music: no music :(
Mindset: So, i'm very disappointed in myself. I think the only thing that's going to keep my head above water in my goal to hit 30k is the hope of this coming weekend and Thanksgiving. Thank god for that. ;)
Tami's Day 19 WC: 1,049

Didn't make it to the exercise class, eh Tracy? Don't blame ya on that one!


I too am hanging my head - cause I bailed on that class...but I'm going next week. Sure I am. ;)

Tracy's Day 17 WC: 587

Tracy's overall WC: 18 078

Mindset: Hopeful. I have to run a book fair for the next few nights until 6:30pm. I'll be bringing my laptop to try and write in the lulls. Also, our movie theatre is having a pre-showing of Twilight at 10pm tonight. I'm thinking I just might go - to be in the audience on opening night would be a blast. However, I usually go to bed at 9:07pm (I'm a hard core morning person - I get up between 4:30 and 5am - always have - always will). So...I might bail on that idea too. :)

Tracy's Day 18 WC: 1119 (Whohoo! And on a bookfair night, too.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1k-a-day Day 18

Hope you all have a good writing Monday. Here comes Tuesday! The weeks are flying by!

Tami's Day 17 WC
: 0
Tami's November WC: 8,9339,966
Tami's overall WC: 33,62534,658
Music: Listened to Firewater today, but unfortunately got no writing done.
Mindset: Okay, so here's the deal. The writing gods must hate me. I was busy at work today, and didn't get a chance to even put in my thumb drive and open my book. No problem, right? There's always after work!
Then my friend who is helping me with critting the book signed on and we were talking about chapter 11. Stupidly, with 10 minutes left of work, I put in the thumb drive. What happens next you ask? Well, we came up with some great ideas on how to expand the relationship between my two MCs. Of course, I would need a copy of the book to do this.
When I signed off at work, I wasn't feeling great and just wanted to get the hell out of there. I'm sure you see where this is going. I get all the way home (about 15-20 min from work) and realize my thumb drive is still hanging out in my work computer. Lovely...I didn't back it up on my computer this weekend. MUST WRITE DOUBLE TIME TOMORROW! Sadly, I was actually looking forward to coming home, laying in bed and writing, now I've lost all desire unless it's to work on THAT scene.
Tami's Day 17 WC: Will update ASAP!

How did you manage your Monday, Tracy?


Wow - Tami - I feel your writing angst. I know that today we'll both crank out the words and they will be divine. :) I attended a graphic novel/Manga workshop offered by my local public library last night. While most of the detaily stuff was over my head, I enjoyed learning just how punny certain Manga character names are if you understand Japanese.

Tracy's Day 17 WC: 723
Tracy's overall WC: 17, 491

Mindset: Bring on the exercise class today after school! I'm predicting lots of pain, but I need my body recharged so I can sit at my laptop all night.

Tracy's Day 18 WC: 587 Sigh. And I don't have the exercise class to blame because I didn't go!

Big Question Winner!!

Thanks to all who participated in our first ever Big Question contest. I'm sure we'll be doing this again on our blog.

We were impressed with the diverse answers. We had cramp inducing reasons for flagging word counts (I feel a Viagra joke here, but I'm not letting it spring out of me...oops), real life family dramas, and even the o-some force that is Mother Nature.

But Tami said I get to pick the winner and so I've gone with a last minute entry that made me laugh.

Our first ever Big Question winner is Briaspage!

Congrats - please email us with your book choice and where ya want us to ship your brand new, gently used title.

Monday, November 17, 2008

1k-a-day Day 17

We are now officially into the hard part of Week 3...the actual week. This week should be easier, because by now you know what it feels like to work through the week...pick your battles. That's my advice. The battles with co-workers, family, friends and even your characters. If your MC decides to battle aliens, even though you're writing a YA love story, let them. You never know what may come from such an adventure!

Don't forget to answer the big question before today at 6pm PST to win a free book!

Tami's Day 16 WC: 1,033
Tami's November WC: 9,966
Tami's overall WC: 34,658
Music: Again, nothing. Just silence and the whirl of my old laptop.
Mindset: I'm feeling better. Not great, but more like a human being. I actually sat down and wrote today and it went quite well. I didn't get a ton of words, but I went back and edited and added in parts I wrote previous, as well as adding new stuff to the end. I started on a new chapter which was nice. I love starting new chapters. It's always refreshing, especially in the he said/she said format (which my book is in).
Tami's Day 17 WC: Will update ASAP! (I keep forgetting to update this..hopefully I'll remember this time!)

How did you manage in your blustery weather, Tracy?


Yesterday was a great writing day - cold and icky outside - toasty and writerly inside. I'm close to finishing my edit for UMS which is exciting - other WIPs are calling from the wings.

Tracy's Day 16 WC: 1776
Tracy's overall WC: 16, 768

Mindset: I loved reading everyone's procrastination stories (great question, Tami). Reading how everyone struggles with life and health issues, and online promotion, and distractions - well, it helps, ya know? I have to organize a bookfair at school this week and we're going to visit family in Edmonton on the weekend - so my major challenge will be writing in the down times. If there are any.

Tracy's Day 17 WC: 723 words - rats.

My Editor, Unleashed

I posted this editor interview on my pen name’s blog, WolfyChicks, here's the original: but I thought my friends here at YA Edge might be interested as well. I’ve asked my fabulous editor, Susan Yates, a few questions in hopes that we can all be enlightened as to the different interests of editors within the same publishing line.

So, Susan, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Susan Yates and I’m an editor for The Wild Rose Press, which is pretty much my dream job. I get to read great stories every day, I work with talented, motivated authors, and I get to be a part of publishing wonderful books.

You’re an editor for The Wild Rose Press. Which lines?

Climbing Rose, of course, which is our Young Adult line; Vintage Rose, which publishes stories set in the twentieth century; Yellow Rose, which publishes contemporary cowboy stories; and I’m the Rose Petal coordinator. Rose Petals are the fun free reads available at The Wild Rose Press. (Two great Rose Petals to be on the watch for: Old Flames Die Hard by Judith Graves and My Prom Date’s a Vampire by Kitty Keswick)

What’s your typical day like in editor land? (And do you wear glasses? For some reason I always picture an editor sporting a fine pair of spectacles.)

Spectacles, huh? You don’t picture me wearing them on a chain around my neck, do you? :-) My typical day is pretty typical, I suppose: sorting through e-mail, reading and evaluating manuscripts, working on edits, etc. And reports--I seem to spend a lot of time putting together reports. But that may just be my perception.

Why YA?

The obvious answer is because I never grew up (which also happens to be true!) but mostly because I remember falling in love with reading at a young age and devouring books like I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith or Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. I’d like to be involved in publishing great stories that mean as much to some young reader as those books did to me.

What calls to you about a certain piece of fiction? How do you know this is the one worth working on?

Well, since I only deal with electronic manuscripts, I guess I can’t say--any story that keeps me turning pages--but that’s the idea. If I recognize the characters as real people, if I care about what happens to them, if I’m dying to turn the page (scroll to the next screen?), then that’s a story I want to work on.

YA is really hot seller right now. Where do you see the Climbing Rose line going? What stories are you working on?

I’d like to see Climbing Rose become huge, of course. Sky-high sales, mega royalties for the authors, company cars for the editors…OK, maybe that’s a little unrealistic. But I do think there’s a great e-publishing market for YA because teens are much more adaptable to the concept of e-books than adults are. Teens have never known a world without computers, they don’t even remember life before the Internet--but then, who does--and they’re used to downloading their entertainment. I’m not expecting Climbing Rose to become the next iTunes, but I do think electronic publishing is only going to get bigger.

And as far as what I’m working on right now, I’m editing a great paranormal story called Under My Skin about a girl named Eryn who thinks she’s turning into a werewolf…oh, wait, you said ‘other’ stories, didn’t you? (Now, that’s a truly shameless plug!)

What do you look for in stories you buy?

Strong writing, of course, but also depth of characterization, emotion, authentic conflict, and characters who change and grow throughout the manuscript. I want a story to give me a vivid picture of its people and setting, so that I feel like I’m living and breathing along with the characters. It’s really all in the details--if a manuscript has so little description that the characters seem like talking heads in a white room, it doesn’t matter how good the story concept might be, it won’t hold my interest.

The perfect YA story would be????

A perfect YA story is fresh and filled with emotion, it tells an old story in a new way, it’s genuine, it’s compelling, and it shows real characters struggling with real problems and learning about themselves as they solve those problems.

Are you currently accepting submissions?

Absolutely! If you’ve got a great story that you think fits our Climbing Rose guidelines, please query us. We’d love to read it.

Any other words of wisdom you care to impart on the readers?

Keep writing, keep reading and come visit The Wild Rose Press Climbing Roses store. And be on the lookout for our new YA author blog! (Here's a sneak peak at the blog. It's a WIP, but coming along smashingly:

Thanks for taking time out your day to give our blog some editorial love! You ROCK!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The big question...

Here it goes. All you have to do is answer the question below in the comments section of this post to win a free book. We'll be picking our favorite answer, so make them clever. Be as funny, serious or down right silly as you want!

What is keeping you from writing/making your word count, better known as PROCRASTINATION?

Now, there are no rules as far as your answer goes. I will say one thing, my dog ate my computer won't win. ;)

Good luck folks! You have until Monday night at 6pm PST to post your answers to the question!

Just to get you a little more excited, here's the list of books to win!

How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Valiant by Holly Black
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Platinum by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot
Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld