Friday, July 30, 2010

Almost half way there! I slept in a little, but that won't get in the way of productivity today. I'm ready to get to work, so I'll keep this post characteristically short for Friday.

Have a great weekend, go do something fun. I know I'm going to! ...not sure what it'll be, though.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Politics?

As I've said earlier, I don't want to make my blog political. However, regardless of where you stand on the issues, this election (in the US) is going to be very important. I know voting isn't until November, but now is the time to start looking over the issues and learning where your candidates stand.

I'm going to post this a couple more times before voting day because I know a lot of people (especially in my generation) don't really care. I just want every citizen to take this responsibility seriously. Don't just vote on one issue, don't just go down party lines. Please look at what matters to you, look at it closely, and then vote.

That's all I have to say today :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tired and Busy.

I'm ankle deep in proofreads today. I'm about to take off for a coffee shop so that I'm not distracted by things at home. That's important because Emily and I are making pizza for supper, and I know the dough takes a while to make. I don't want to start making it too early just because I'm impatient.

That's about all I have today. I'm thinking through a few scenes that I may post up here as an excerpt from my book, and I'm kinda mulling over a query. I'm almost ready to send this thing out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pirates waste your time!

I want to tell you a story: the story of my brother and his experience with a pirated copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, we all know the major reasons not to pirate e-books: it hurts the author, keeps them from making a decent living, etc..

Today I want to tell you a lesser known reason to download (buy) legitimate copies of e-books. You see, my brother read almost the entire book before he told me that he finally got around to reading the "final Harry Potter book." I started asking him questions about the book, what he liked about it, how he felt about this event or that one, and then I got a confused look from him.

"That never happened," he insisted with disbelief.

"Um, yes it did," I replied. "I've read the book twice!"

"But I'm reading it right now. You must be remembering it incorrectly."

"Where are you now?" I asked.

"Well, they're all on their way to visit Tonk's mother in Spain after Harry gets out of St. Mungo's," he told me.

I laughed. "They never left the UK throughout the entire series. You got a forged book."

He proceeded to get depressed that he'd wasted his time on stupid fan-fiction posing as an early draft. (At least he didn't waste any money on it.) He deleted the book from his phone and started to make plans to find the audio books at the library.

So, aside from the moral reasons not to steal e-books, you should always get legitimate copies so that you get the real story. And if you don't want to pay for a book, borrow it from your library!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Proofreads, finally!

This morning, I started my proofreading. I don't have much time before work, and I don't know how long I'll be at work today, so I'm doing a short post before I jump back in.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about lesser known evils of pirating e-books.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday

It's Friday, I'm working today, and I won't be taking my computer with me. There's just no point. I won't have time to use it. Unfortunately, I'm on the verge of being late, so I don't have enough time to write a really long post.

I loved the responses I got yesterday! For those of you who are curious, the two books that I want to read because I loved the movies so much are About a Boy and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I have to say, High Fidelity is my favorite movie. I haven't watched it in a while (I started to earlier this week, but never got around to finishing it), and I really want to.

Anyhoo, I must finish my breakfast and then rush out to door so I'm not late to the day job. Proofreads begin first thing on Monday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bad movies can ruin books!

This is something I realized when I saw Eragon with my little brother. My best friend absolutely loved the book, and I'd read an article about the author years before, so Eragon was high on my list of books that I wanted to read. But then I saw the movie. Due to the length of the book, the film obviously had to cut several things out, but the screenwriters and director, in my opinion, made some bad choices in that department. As a result, I took my little brother to see a movie filled with plot holes, poor characterization, and overly contrived circumstances intended to move the story forward. I was so disappointed that it turned me off to the book.

I think it's great when a book can get made into a movie that inspires fans to read more. Harry Potter did a GREAT job with that, but the biggest advantage Rowling had with those movies is that every change to the story had to be approved by her. As a result, the core of the story remained in tact, and anything unimportant could be cut to preserve the spirit of the books.

Not every author has that option, but it seems like so many writers want their books turned into movies that they're willing to sell the film rights to anyone who's willing to put it on the silver screen. Regardless of how good or bad the movie might be.

I don't know how many people decided not to read a book based on how bad the movie was, but I do know that a great movie will inspire me to pick up anything the author might have written.

What are your thoughts? Do you read books that were made into movies?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back in town!

Camping was great! I mean, so what if I had a headache for half the trip...I still had a blast!

I may start my proofreads today, but first I need to find out what my wife's plans are for the day. I may have some chores to do... or something. I'm definitely printing up the book, though! If I don't get started on proofs today, then it will be tomorrow for sure.

So, thought of the day... what is your favorite movie based off of a book? And why?

Don't worry, this will lead into tomorrow's post!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Camping trip!

I get to go camping, for sure, on Sunday! First time I've been camping in six years :) First I'll have to pick up gear for work, but that won't take too long. Unfortunately for my bosses, I'll be getting overtime this week.

That's what happens when you don't plan ahead!

That's about all, though. Emily's sister is in town for a couple more days, so the three of us are going to try to do some stuff over the weekend while I'm not working. My phone has some dead pixels, too. I'm getting it replaced (warranty) tomorrow.

Have a great weekend. I'll see you all on Wednesday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Off and On

I worked a bit yesterday, and then I spent some quality time with my wife. Today I get to work again, but only for a little while. My plan is to get home and print up my book. I'll start going through it over the weekend, or maybe on Monday while I'm camping.

I don't have much to talk about today, so why not check out a blog or two by someone else who writes: Lydia Kang, J.L. Jackson, Todd Newton.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Long day, short post.

I'm really glad I finished my book LAST week, instead of planning it for this week. Otherwise I'd be really frustrated today. My supervisor's nephew (who he has custody of) is sick. That means my supervisor can't work today, which in turn means I'm working today. So I'm hot, tired, and on lunch.

Tomorrow, I'll be working again, so I won't have much of an update then, either. But find a way to stay cool today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Proofread!

Okay, not really. I'm going to start proofreading next week. This week I'll be working a lot, and Emily and I need to finish cleaning up the apartment on the days I have off. I was supposed to go camping this week, but the guy I was going to go with had to work. We're delaying the trip to next week... assuming I'm not working, which is a distinct possibility with how much I'm working this week.

I'm pretty annoyed at the Netherlands for losing the world cup. Stupid Spain. But I'll get over it. My favored teams were the US and England, anyway.

I just can't get over how excited I am to be finished with my book, though. I'm surprised at how little my beta readers thought I needed change. And I made some improvements from my own perspective, too. I'm looking forward to writing the synopsis and query letter soon!

That's about all I have today.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Deadline is met!

I did it! I made it to the end of this revision by my deadline. Not to toot my own horn, but I really like this book. I've gotten some great feedback on it, too, so I think this might be one of the better projects I've worked on.

I'm excited to do my final read-through and polish round of edits... a process that should only take a week if I knuckle down. As soon as I finish that, it's on to writing a synopsis and a query letter!

At some point, I'll make sure I put an excerpt up on this blog (beneath the Defender of the Crown excerpt to the right).

Now, since it's early in the morning, I'm going to finish my breakfast and get ready for work. That's right, I get to work again today!

...not quite sure how I feel about that, but I AM grateful for the income :)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Make it TENSE!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: tension MUST be present to create a good story. That tension must be tight and severe to make that story great. A story that I've been listening to didn't get ANY tension until half way through disc 9 of 11. The previous 8.5 discs? Background. No tension. No conflict, just whiny people.

If you're writing a story, make sure that the tension hits the reader right out of the gate, even if it's subtle. It will be easier to sell that book if editors and agents need to read more to know what happens!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

49k and counting...

Yesterday I broke the 49k word mark!

I just made another pass at chapter 19, too, and I like the changes I made. I know I need to look it over again, but that will come with the polish round of edits.

I actually got called in to work tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it. Since my sister-in-law is staying with us for a couple of weeks (she's doing a short internship in town), I don't plan on getting up early enough to edit. However, Friday will signal the end of this round of edits! I only have two chapters to finish, and with all of the changes I've made, these two chapters will be easy to fix.

I'm still not sure how long the book will be by the end, but I know it will be long enough to sell as a YA novel.

Right now, my brain isn't working well, so I'm going to get some errands run. See you all tomorrow!

Oh yeah, get some writing done yourselves :D

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

As related to yesterday...

Yesterday I talked about causes. If you're thinking of supporting any cause, especially one that helps those who need food, clothing, medicine, water, and education, here are a three organizations I recommend:

The Red Cross
Feed the Children
Compassion International

There are many, MANY other organizations out there, so do your research before you decide where to give (if you decide). One of the biggest reasons I suggest these three is because of their reputations for getting the donations where they're supposed to go. Compassion, especially, gives $1 for ever $1 you donate to the exact place you specify. My wife an I sponsor a child through them, and we've never been disappointed by their openness and honesty.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Gray

It's important to believe in something, to have a goal to strive for. Lately I've found myself annoyed at some of the more popular "activist" causes. People argue about the value of organic food. "It's better for the environment, better tasting, it's not genetically altered" and so on. To start, all food that you eat is genetically altered. Unless you're eating baby corn. To get to where it is today, you know, edible and tasty, the ancients had to alter the genetics of their crops and herds.

But that's not the worst part of the problem. The biggest problem with the organic movement, the people who say the cost is worth it if we're all eating better, is that around the world, thousands, if not millions of people starve EVERY DAY because they can't afford to eat anything. At all!

Causes can be like that. Save the animals by donating ten dollars to this organization, but forget that thousands of kids a day, in our own country, are subjected to violence and hate. Not on TV, but in their own homes, in their neighborhoods, on the streets they walk to work. We set aside millions of dollars a year in tax revenue for "starving" artists, football stadiums, preservation of NON-ENDANGERED species, and when we're running out of cash, schools and after-school programs get their funding slashed.

I'm not trying to persuade people away from their cause, I just want to remind people that it's not as black and white as they might think. Believe in something, live for something, and do great things with your life! But don't forget that your cause isn't the only one :)

Friday, July 02, 2010

I'm actually doing it!

Okay, so I didn't make it through 14 yesterday, but I DID make it through 13! The only reasons 14 eluded me is because 11 took so long, it's bloody hot at my house, and my wife decided to start re-organizing the place yesterday. So I (wonderful husband that I am) jumped in and helped.

Today, I'll get at least 14 done. It could be a problem chapter, but if I get it done early enough, I'll move on to 15. I'm still in line with my deadline, so I'm not freaking out about time.

And don't worry, some day I'll have more than just glorified status updates for you all. For now, though, I need to focus on my work :)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Take that, Chapter 11!

Another challenge today! Chapter 11 almost kicked my butt. But I prevailed! This chapter really sucked, but that's because it didn't make sense. I simplified it and now it's better. It only took me three hours to fix, too.

Now I get to move on to Chapter 12. Hopefully this one will be easier to fix. I really want to get through 14 today, but if 12 is enough of a pain, I may just have to settle with two chapters today. As it stands, I'm still on track for this round of edits... then I get to follow that up with final polish, and then time to write the query letter.

Oh yeah, and I just broke 48k words! :D