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?