Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mark Twain and me (well, sort of)

Read my post about today's Google Doodle honoring Mark Twain here. I thought my writer friends would enjoy this post, too. And, read about the Halloween float I once made depicting this famous whitewashing scene.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finding time to write

Is it just me, or is this time of year especially difficult to find time to write? With all of the holiday preparations and shopping and wrapping and parties and more parties I feel like I'm constantly going, going, going -- like the Energizer bunny.

Not only does the busyness of life eat into my precious writing time, but I don't have the time to reflect on the Advent season as much as I should. Now I know what you're thinking. It's all about priorities, and you're right. It is. I choose to do one thing over another. I could ditch the party and write, right? It's not always that easy. I have a family and friends, and they are important, too. Anyway...

I'm trying not to beat myself up over my lack of wordage. I mean, I do work long days. I do have a family to care for. I do have volunteer commitments. What about you? Do you find this time of year especially challenging. Any tips to share?

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's that time of year....

It's that time of year when the TV is rockin' with a blizzard of holiday specials. Totally love it! Here are some headed our way. Do you have a favorite? Mine is "It's a Wonderful Life." I talk about it in this post.

"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 8 p.m. Tuesday on CBS

—"Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” 8 p.m. Wednesday on NBC

—"Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” 8 p.m. Thursday on ABC

"CMA Country Christmas,” 9 p.m. Thursday on ABC

"It’s a Wonderful Life,” 8 p.m. Saturday on NBC

Monday, November 21, 2011

When an idea won't let go

OK. So. Working on a new idea. Might be more women's fiction than YA. Still not sure about that. My brain is trying to make sense of it. I can't wait to see if I can make it work. Like my last YA novel, this one's different. Gonna give it my best shot, anyway. I don't have a choice. This idea has grabbed me with such intensity that even if I tried to get away, I couldn't. I know better than to fight it, so I'll go with it and see where it leads me.

When an idea comes to you, what do you do? Do you roll it over in your brain to see if you think it might work? Do you write an outline or the first chapter? What do you do to determine if the idea has merit? Have you ever gotten an idea that you thought was really great but when you started to write it discovered that it wasn't?

For me, I know I must at least give an idea a shot when it hangs on, when I can't stop thinking about it. Sometimes it's a character and not the idea that won't let go. I'd love to hear your venting process, if you have one.   

Friday, November 18, 2011

Disney releases first Brave trailer

"If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?"

This looks like my kind of story!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This kid's gonna be fun (and bad)

I know stories about kids who wake up and everything’s different has been done a zillion times. But my story’s different. I never woke up. At least not until…

Oops! Kind of getting ahead of myself.

Once upon a time. Nah. Need a beginning a little more grown up. OK. Got it. My middle name’s Trouble. At least that’s what my mom’s always saying. “Will, middle name Trouble,” she says, and then yells at me for whatever it is I’ve done wrong.

So the other day I got in big trouble at school, which means I got in even bigger trouble at home. But it was really Ryley’s fault. He bet me a dollar that I wouldn’t tell our teacher, Mr. Mock, that his dandruff looked like snow on the back of his blue shirt. I thought it was an easy buck, so after recess I waited for an opening. Sort of like when I play guard in basketball and look for an opening to push through and score. I didn’t have to wait long.

Mr. Mock was telling us about the pilgrims, and I raised my hand.

“Yes, Will.”

“Did they have dandruff shampoo?”

Mr. Mock’s face turned flamingo pink. I could tell he was thinking about how to answer my question but I didn’t give him time.

“Cause if they didn’t have any dandruff shampoo, their clothes would look like yours.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

'Twilight' trivia

How many of you can't wait until Friday when “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I” hits the big screen?

Here's a trivia question: What year was the original “Twilight” book released?
A. 1998
B. 2002
C. 2005
D. 2007

Here's some more trivia questions for fun.

Quote of the day

"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all." --EMILY DICKINSON

Monday, November 14, 2011

New trailer for Hunger Games

I so can't wait!

On the other side

Here's an interview I gave for YDR Insider blog. Not use to being on the other side but I gave it my best shot.

When good is bad

This story about Holocaust survivor Rochelle Sameroff by one of my reporters, Erin McCracken, got me thinking about how bad luck can really be good luck, we just don't realize it at the time.

This is an incredible story about how scarlet fever saved Rochelle, who was quarantined with scarlet fever. When her parents and little sister were taken, she was in the hospital. Read how scarlet fever saved Rochelle's life.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Use you talents

Have you ever sat in church and felt like the sermon was directed at you? Today was one of those days. Kind of made me itch, ya know? The Gospel was from Matthew 25: 14-30. It was the parable of talents.

You know the story -- the one about the tragedy of wasted opportunity. So a rich man is going away and before he does, he meets with his slaves. He gives one dude five talents, another two and another one. The first two dudes use their talents and double them. The third dude buries his talent in a hole. When the rich man returns and checks in to see how his slaves have done with the talents he has given them, he praises the two slaves who doubled their talents. But, as you can imagine, the master's not too happy with the third slave who was lazy and did nothing with his.

So here's how I see it. God has given each of us talents. Maybe you can write or sing or paint. Maybe you're a good listener or teacher. Heck, maybe you can run a mean mile or solve Suduko puzzles in record time. Whatever your talents might be, you should use them, not bury them. 

I've met people who say, "I can't do that." It's often not that they can't do it, it's that they're too afraid to try. Everything we have God has given us. He expects us to use our talents. He wants us to use our talents. He doesn't want us to be like the third slave who dug a hole and buried his talent and did nothing with it.

So why am I sharing this with you today? I was having a little pity party in the pew before church began today. You know the moment -- one of those why-do-I-even-bother-to-write-if-no-one-is-going-to-read-it moments. An if-I-had-any-talent-my-agent-would-be-able-to-sell-my-work moment.

And then it happened. I swear I didn't know what the sermon was about today. But then the pastor spoke, and he talked about talents and that's when it clicked. I haven't buried my talent. I'm using my talent (at least the talent I think I have) to the best of my ability. Dang, I'm trying to double it. And, that's all I can do. The rest is out of my hands.

So here's what I want to say to you. If you're a writer and you're struggling and doubting, don't give up. If you're not a writer and you're reading this blog, whatever your talent is, don't give up. Don't ever get frustrated and bury your talents. And don't be afraid to try.

You've been given a gift by God to use. Use your talent or talents that you've been given. And remember, no talent is too small.

God bless each of you this Sunday and I hope you have an awesome week.

If you enjoyed this post, check out these columns:

Don't be afraid to show love
One special moment can reveal a life
Celebrating the strands that bind us together
Seeds of healing fall from the sky
Tapestry: A shift of view
Our choices determine the impact
Learn to have the generosity of children
We learn from our failures

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Minute list: Fall

Let's do a  minute list. You know the routine. I give you a word and you write one word to describe it. Copy and paste list in comments. My answers are in ( )s. This should take you no more than a minute. The theme is fall.

Trees (shedding)
Leaves (crunchy)
Pumpkin (lopsided)
Bonfire (dancing)
Flowers (drooping)
Gourd (bumpy)
Football game (landslide)
Turkey (crisp)
Apples (tart)
Pilgrims (brave)


Monday, November 7, 2011

Buffy's World campaign

Those of you who follow me on this blog, might be interested in the marketing campaign behind my social media blog, Buffy's WorldRead about the campaign and see some of the ads that are part of the marketing effort.

Will, middle name Trouble

There’s a mischievous boy who’s been visiting me lately. He comes in the quiet of the night, between crawling in bed and falling asleep.

His name is Will, middle name Trouble. And I’m thinking that Will might just be my next middle-grade novel. He’s funny and bad, and he makes me laugh. And anyone who can make me laugh gets at least a literary try from me. Maybe Will and I will go somewhere and maybe we won’t. But I’m sure going to have fun trying.

When do ideas come to you? Any particular time or just whenever?

Quote of the day

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say." -- Sharon O'Brien


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Liebster blog award

YAY! I received the Liebster Award from cyber friend Halle Gomez of W is for Writing blog. 'Liebster' means 'favorite' or 'dearest' in German. In accepting the award, the recipient agrees to:
  • Thank the person that gave the award and link back to their blog
  • Copy and paste the award to your blog
  • Reveal the 5 blogs you have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog
  • Hope they pay it forward by accepting and awarding it to bloggers they would like to honor
The 5 blogs I have chosen to spotlight are:

The Hook by Louise Caiola

Mainewoods by Marcy Hatch

Papergreat by Chris Otto

Random Thoughts by Sharon Mayhew

Terry Lynn Johnson

Quote of the day

"Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will?" - Jon Bon Jovi