Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sutherland is President Snow

Donald Sutherland has officially been cast  in the film adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES as President Snow, the ruler of Panem. I so can't wait for this movie! What do you think of Sutherland as President Snow?

Other cast members:
Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss
Josh Hutcherson is Peeta
Lenny Kravitz is Cinna (I loved this character)
Woody Harrelson is Haymitch
Liam Hemsworth is Gale
Paula Malcomson is Mrs. Everdeen
Latarsha Rose is Portia
Brooke Bundy is Octavia
Willow Shields  is Primrose
Stanley Tucci is Caesar
Wes Bentley is the gamemaker, Seneca
Elizabeth Banks is Effie Trinket
Amanda  Stenberg is Rue
Alexander Ludwig is Cato
Isabelle Fuhrman is Clove
Jackie Emerson is Foxface
Leven Rambin is Glimmer
Jack Quaid is Marvel
Dayo Okeniyi is Thresh
Kalia Prescott is District 3's female tribute
Ian Nelson is District 3's male tribute  
Imanol Vepez-Frias is District 9's male tribute  
Annie Thurman is District 9's female tribute 
Samuel Tan is District 8's male tribute 
Mackenzie Lintz is District 8's female tribute 
Ashton Moio is District 6's male tribute  
Kara Petersen is District 6's female tribute 


Dealing with digital distractions

I sit in front of a computer with probably a dozen tabs across the page allowing me to switch quickly from one tab to another and juggle multiple accounts and tasks. My iPad sits to the right of me and my Android to the left allowing me to check different things simultaneously. Yes, I'm wired. And sometimes, despite my ability to multitask, I get digitally distracted.

I saw a survey today from social email software provider harmon.ie that said workers are costing companies thousands of dollars in productivity each year because of such distractions. Now, many of you do not work outside the home. But still, how do you deal with digital distractions and keep them at bay when it comes to protecting your coveted writing time? Do you have some tips to offer others that might prevent them from becoming distracted by social media?

Here are the greatest digital distractions noted in the survey:
* Email processing: 23%
* Switching windows to complete tasks: 10%
* Personal online activities such as Facebook: 9%
* Instant messaging: 6%
* Texting: 5%
* Web search: 3%

Can't wait to read your tips.

If you missed it, here's 10 things I've learned from social media.

A column on the digital age isn't so bad and another on lots of ways to connect with our readers.

Quote of the day

"Never save anything for your next book, because that possible creation may not be properly shaped to hold the thoughts you're working with today. In fiction especially, anything that could happen, should happen." --Tam Mossman
I hope you have a productive writing week and that the muse flows effortlessly.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A visit to Hemingway's house

I just returned from a fabulous trip to Key West. I couldn't wait to share these photos of Hemingway's home with my fantastic writerly friends.

1. This is Hemingway's studio. He had it built on the second floor of the carriage house. Originally, there was a catwalk that ran from his studio, over the cookhouse to the veranda outside his bedroom. Hemingway could get up in the morning and walk right to his studio to work. In 1948, a storm destroyed the cookhouse and catwalk.

Notice the Royal typewriter (above) and Cuban cigar-maker's chair. The studio is filled with mementoes Hemingway collected. It was here where Hemingway worked on many of his classics, including "Green Hills of Africa," "To Have And Have Not," and "For Whom The Bell Tolls." He also penned some of his most-famous short stories, such as "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber."


 2. The house (below) was built in 1851 by Asa Tift, a marine architect and salvage wrecker.  Hemingway moved into the home in 1931. The house contains the furniture that the Hemingways used.

3.  There are tons of cats around the home and grounds. They are descendants of the cats Hemingway  kept while he lived in the house, including many polydactyls, or extra-toed, like the one Hemingway loved.

The cat above lounges on a tiled area outside and the one below at the foot of Hemingway's bed.
I will post more about my trip to Key West in the coming days. Have you ever been to Key West? If so, what was your favorite thing to do or see?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Acronym primer inspired by my tweet today

TWEET: MG. MS. MSS. YA. PB. WIP. ARC. POV. CB. ER. TBR. SF/F NaNoWriMo. LI. NF. HEA. What a strange world I live in. #amwriting

So, what do all these things mean anyway?
MG: Middle grade
MS: Manuscript
MSS: Manuscripts
YA: Young adult
PB: Picture book
WIP: Work in progress
ARC: Advanced Reader Copy
POV: Point of view
CB: Chapter book
ER: Early reader
TBR: To be read
SF/F: Science fiction/fantasy
NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month
LI: Love interest
HEA: Happily ever after
NF: Non-fiction

Have any to add to the list? Please do:)

Two interesting blog posts

Check out this post from Sarah LaPolla on YA: Then vs. Now


this post from Mandy Hubbard YA and MG trends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quote of the day

"For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die."
— Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A minute list: yard work

It's time to mulch, plant flowers and do all other kinds of yard work. And that can only mean one thing -- a minute list. You know how this works. Copy and paste the list in comments and describe each in a word or two, taking no more than a minute to complete the list. Mine is in ()'s.

Mulch (smelly)
Flower (lipstick red)
Grass (scratchy)
Tree (dressed in leaves)
Birdbath (empty)
Flag (waving)
Flower pot (cracked)
Bush (budding)
Weeds (nasty)
Garden (tilled)

Now, your turn:)

Monday, May 9, 2011

YA contest under way

Check out QueryTracker Blog's YA contest. Agent Roseanne Wells from the Marianne Strong Literary Agency is the judge. Good luck to all who enter.

Quote of the day

"There were days when I wondered if I was a glutton for punishment or simply delusional. However, my writing must have been improving because one day I found myself with three agents interested in my latest manuscript." --Lois Winston

Have you ever felt as though you were a glutton for punishment or delusional? If so, hang in there. Look at what happened to Lois. I think she's right about your writing improving. What do you think?

Friday, May 6, 2011

How about a zombie wedding cake?

Beth Neail, the bride who was kind enough to share photos of her zombie wedding cake with me, wrote this about her reasons for this choice:
1. We both enjoy watching horror movies
2. My master's thesis will be on zombie films
3. Which I like to call the cheesy reason - our love came back from the dead...kind of like zombies :)

Would you have a zombie wedding cake? Was your wedding cake or topper unusual?

A minute list: Prom

Prom season is upon us. In honor of the high school rite of passage, here's a minute list. You know how this works. Copy and paste the list in comments and describe each in a word or two, taking no more than a minute to complete the list. Mine is in ()'s.

Dress (too short)
Tux (too big)
Pictures (expensive)
Dessert (decadent)
Flowers (fragrant)
Necklace (cross)
Shoes (glittery)
Favors (cheap)
Limo (white)
Purse (beaded)

Now, your turn.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A quick list: Smells you love

I'm up to my eyeballs these days planning all the details for my youngest son's graduation party. He will be headed to college in the fall and then I will have two at Penn State. (OUCH!) Anyway, I've been making tons of lists so I don't forget anything. I love making lists. If you love making lists (and sharing them) check out the website Listgeeks.

Here's a quick list challenge for today. List five smells you love. ie. Chocolate chip cookies baking in oven.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quote of the day

"Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving, and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones, demands great patience and strength of purpose and particular skill."
--Edmund Morrison

Monday, May 2, 2011

Salute to Bin Laden coverage

I have to salute my colleagues for this morning's paper. What an awesome job they did. Keep in mind what time they heard the news about Bin Laden last night. This incredible team of reporters and editors and copy editors, a skeleton crew on a Sunday night, managed to redo the front page AND get local reaction by 12:25 a.m., when all pages had to be sent to composing. Incredible!


Read a colleague's post on two York Daily Record front pages, 3,520 days apart, here.

Where were you when you heard the news?