Friday, December 31, 2010

A few of my favorite things

There's nothing I love more than finding a package from Amazon in our mailbox--addressed to me of course. If someone asks me what I want for my birthday, Christmas, anniversary, or other occasions that require unwrapping presents, I always just have one answer. Books, books, books and many more of them.

Back to why I'm writing this post. A few weeks ago I received one of my endless orders from Amazon. This is what I bought:

 Romance Writer's Phrase Book (Perigee): I actually bought a copy of this book last year but after moving twice, it disappeared. I loved it so much that after ransacking the apartment for months and not finding it, I had to order it again. I can live without it, but I don't want to. It's not only the romance phrases I'm interested in--some are really great--but the way it never fails to get my juices flowing is inspiring. I just had to get it...AGAIN. I know at some point I'll probably bump into the old copy, but what the hell, then I'll have a reserve.

 The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile: I heard great things about this book. I haven't really read it through yet, but so far, I am happy with the advice Noah Lukeman has given me. It definitely wasn't a waste of money.

 Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print : I really like this book, but I was quite frustrated when it landed in my mailbox. When I flipped the first few pages, I realized that I already have it--with a different cover. But I do have to tell you that it is worth having because it taught so much about editing. I thought my writing was all that, until I read Chapter 1: Show and Tell.and Chapter 7: Easy Beats. After reading especially those two chapters, I wanted to shrivel up and die. The scenes, sentences, and words I thought made my novel a super star, were the things I did wrong. I'm glad I bought it. And having a second copy can't hurt either.

 The Describer's Dictionary: A Treasury of Terms & Literary Quotations: This book is the reason for this post. I love it love it love it. I mentioned on twitter that I love a reference book that just gets me. This book is it. No writer should be without it. With this book at my side, I think faster, writer stronger and make my scenes pop like never before.

Those were just a few reference books I feel make my life a little easier. They deserved a mention.

What are your favorite writing reference books?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The gift of creation

Did I mention I love being a writer? Okay. Then let me tell you something you don't know. I really love being a writer.
I love that I have the power to create and destroy as I please. At the moment, I'm at a stage in my novel where I'm about to break a character's hand. I don't know yet exactly how it will happen, but I have enough words at my disposal to create something that will fall on his hand and fracture his bones.
Don't worry. I have nothing against him. I'm actually doing it for him. When he realizes a few pages later why I did it, he'll actually thank me for it. See, I'm not that mean. I wouldn't hurt a beloved character just because it brings me pleasure. I'm a romance writer after all. I'm in the business of creating love, not pain.
What I'm trying to say here is that writing is an amazing thing and I thank God for giving me this gift. Sometimes I flip through my manuscript(s) and am still astonished that what had started as one word, is now a whole new world with people breathing, eating, drinking, laughing, and living in it. Really, can it get better than that?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The writer in me

It took several years and five manuscripts for me to realize that I am a writer. At the time I wrote for myself and never considered getting published. I thought I can only call myself a writer when I’m published. Now I know I’m a writer, because I do just that, I write.
I wrote my first novel—one hundred pages—when I was sixteen. Some writers started earlier, I did too, but instead of writing the stories down on paper, I wrote them in my head. One day I did it. I extracted those stories from my head and put them on paper. I could finally create the stories I loved to read. At eighteen, I wrote my first two hundred page romance novel. I wrote a few more after that. Now I’m ready to show others my work.

At the moment I’m busy editing a contemporary romance novel, which I hope gets published in the near future. I’m sending off some query letters in about two weeks.
On this blog, I’ll post reviews of some of my favorite novels as well as occasional moments from my life as a writer.

Let’s read, let’s write, let’s create moments.