Showing posts from November, 2011

Where's Alicia?

My apologies for the radio silence this week. I'm taking a temporary blog writing and reading hiatus until mid-next week. The White One had surgery Monday, which equals a lot of stress at Chez Gregoire. I encourage you to poke around the archives while Hubs and I get our life back on track. Hopefully the hiatus will jump start my brain and I'll be able to give you all in The Lurkdom some fantastic posts full of (deep) thoughts.

The Flippant Girl’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Disclaimer: Just like the previous Flippant Girl’s Guide, this one is also written days in advance, during the NaNoBoston 24 hour write in. Thanksgiving (and holidays in general) can be a stressful day filled with cooking disasters and logistical nightmares*. Some people would prefer pajamas and cribbage all day and yours truly is no exception. What people like us need is a no-frills, pain-free way to celebrate Thanksgiving that doesn’t have you contemplating suicide for the day. Lucky for you, I’ve thought about this. A lot. If you’re anti-dinner planning and entertaining, you will love the dinner and a movie option. Take your Thanksgiving guests to your closest all-you-can-eat buffet. For about ten bucks per person, you can eat all the turkey and fixings you want without the prep or clean up. Then instead of working off your turkey coma by watching hours of football, go watch a movie. This year I’m voting for The Muppets, though if you’re in a heckling mood, may I suggest the

Moral Choices with Zombies

Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Happy Thursday to you all! Currently I'm on break at work, and have been pondering a zombie topic all day since catching up on the last episode of The Walking Dead . I'm not going to go into any specifics, but consider this post to have possibly Level One spoilers for the show, especially the current season. Again, I won't give any character names, but if you don't even want to know any situations going on, it might be best to stop reading. I'm really interested in hearing what you all think... sort of an "open dialogue" per se about different moral situations and what you would do or what you feel would be best for a group of survivors. I've talked in the past about how you might handle killing a family member or friend who had made the full transition into a zombie. I personally think it would be difficult, but completely necessary. At that poi

Turkey in the Blog

Instead of blogging, I'm busy completing my WIP. While I do that, please enjoy a photo of Yours Truly being attacked by turkeys. Image courtesy of Bestie Danielle Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you prepared?

In Which Cats Stare at Each Other

It's Tuesday, Lurkdom! Last night I completely made 50,000 words on my WIP and I'm hoping that by Wednesday, I'll be 100% done. To celebrate this milestone and to further my sleep dep*, I decided to play with Windows Live Movie Maker. What better way to try a new piece of software than to use  your cats as guinea pigs. Cats, while they don't "amuse" me per se, they do fascinate me. Their colorings and patterns, the way the pounce bottle caps, their communication. Their stares**. Disclaimer: I am not cinematographically inclined. What this means to you: there are no smooth transitions. As you can see, the cats provide me with tons of entertainment. Both videos were taken when I should have been doing something else. The combined video? Again when I should have been doing something else. Tell me, what do you find yourself doing when you should be doing something else? * This will explain any ramble-like qualities of this post. Seriously. ** Not

Pitch Writing Tips from the Pros

Last Thursday, my local Indie, Porter Square Books , hosted The Book Doctors and the touring PItchapalooza. The gist of a Pitchapalooza is you get one minute to pitch your book to The Book Doctors and then they will give  you feedback. Awesome, right? You also have to buy their book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published for a chance to pitch,* and you weren’t guaranteed actual pitch time, but regardless you did walk away with a free 20-minute phone consultation with them. While not everyone will have a chance to attend one of these, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the tips I heard on crafting your pitch. Take your time crafting it. It took The Book Doctors six months to craft their one-minute pitch for their book. At the end of the pitch, there should be a feeling of “what happens next.” Comp titles. If it’s not clear where on the shelves your book belongs, you have to include some comps, but you don’t need to pull just from other books in your genre

Mandatory Writing Things

Today's post is super-late and I'm sorry about that. Lots of exciting things have been happening to Yours Truly as of late and since I don't want to jinx anything, that's as much as I can write.   The materials I need when I sit down to write vary depending on project, so this topic is challenging. Since it's November and I completed my NaNo novel this week, I'll talk about what I needed for drafting Scenes From Last Night. Zero distractions. With both Hubby unemployed, he's always home so I decided I wouldn't be. Thankfully my dad hooked me up with a temporary office where I holed myself up for eight hours a day over the last two weeks.  Caffeine. I'd be lying if this doesn't show up as needed for every project, but when my brain goes "mumble mumble," the caffeine is super important. The caffeine of choice is usually Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Music. Another item that shows up all the time, I constantly listen to music whi

The Flippant Girl's Guide to Completing Your WIP

I write today's Friday Fives prompt several days in advance from the discomfort of the veterinary emergency room where The White One has caused me and Hubby too much stress in a small amount of time*.  With all this kitty (not to mention Alicia) drama, I am painfully behind my NaNoWriMo word count and each setback like this one is enough for me to tear out all my hair. Right now I just want to get it done and retire into an afghan-making frenzy**. If only there were a way to get this done in an efficiently painless way. There is.

Pandemics and Zombies

Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Hello, zombie fans! During Halloween week, there were a lot of great shows on television that would never be played throughout the year otherwise. It's cool that channels like the History Channel and Discovery will air shows about zombies and witches, etc. during October, but kind of sad that they won't air anything like that the other eleven months out of the year. I happened to watch one really cool show about zombies! Even though the show had a lot of repetition and not a ton of new information, it did bring up some very interesting points. One of the main things I took away was a comparison to other viral plagues that have crippled the planet throughout history. I had never thought of zombies in this way. While perhaps a zombie apocalypse may not happen in the foreseeable future, there is the potential for a viral outbreak to occur that could completely destroy society

If I Was a Literary Super Heroine…

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday. Today's topic: What are your writing/publishing superpowers (drafting? plotting? writing queries?) – and what’s your kryptonite? Today’s answer is going to be wicked fast because it’s been a loooong week for yours truly and I have this mammoth word count I need to play catch up on. If I was a literary super heroine, like Wonder Woman, I would totally rock a fantastic no-gym-necessary body and spandex would love me. There would be comic books with variant covers and movie options showering upon my creative genius. If I was a literary super heroine, I would have my own batch of super friends (you) and we would have our own version of the JLA and call it Young Adult Literati Legacy, or YALL for short. If I was a super heroine, my super strength would be dialogue. With it, I wo

Your Novel's Soundtrack

Soundtracks. We know about them. All movies and TV shows have. Yours truly owns a stupid amount of them. I have playlists for the gym, editing, and for various projects. I'm sure you have these as well. As I was getting ready for NaNoWriMo this year, I worked on coming up with a soundtrack for SFLN. Which is harder than you would think when you're doing it consciously. How do you manage to go beyond your "go-to" music to get the feel right for your story? It's a good question. Below I've listed a few tips that will help you go past the norm and beef up that soundtrack. Broaden your musical horizons. This should go without saying. If you listen to music beyond what's in your iPod, you might hear something that will blow your mind. is a good place to start as you can listen to music based off of genre, similar artist, or other users. Go by song title. Sounds lame, but sometimes a song title will give you some insight about what the

Guilty Pleasure Alert: Dirty Soap

Those in the Lurkdom that know me IRL know I have a love of daytime television. Bestie Danielle likes to make fun of me because of this. I'm devoted to One Life to Live so much I went into a mini depression when it was announced that it's coming to an end. I could write several blog posts about soap operas and how they apply to writing. Don't worry, that's not what today is about. Nor is about my other love, reality television. I'm not talking about the trashy reality TV, like Jersey Shore, but something a little "classier" where the focus is more on actual life and not just hookups. Source: via Amira on Pinterest In September, E aired Dirty Soap , which is reality television about soap opera stars. Best reality show ever? Hells yes. Dirty Soap focuses on the lives of eight people involved in soaps. Each star is at a different stage of their professional and personal careers. There's rivalry, family drama, and baby d

What Would They Do?

Happy Friday, Lurkdom! Today marks the first weekend of NaNoWriMo, which means I have no excuse not to rock my word count. While I'm doing that, instead of pondering WWJD, I should think about authors I love and what they would do if stuck with a difficult plot. Or a bout of "I can't take it anymore" itis*. Stephen King. Not that I write horror or even long-ass descriptions, but I admire Stephen King for his tenacity and belief in a project. This is something I have talked about before on The Pie, but it definitely bears repeating. SK had such faith in Roland's story that no matter how many times he put it down, he would pick it up the pen again and continue on. Whenever I begin to doubt my own pet project, I think about The Dark Tower. Personal SK Pick: The Dark Tower series ( Hm... This is more difficult than I originally thought. Maybe it's because a lot of the writers that inspire me aren't actually visible in my writing? ) Madeleine

Grab that Whistle

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday. Today's topic: Per Sarah's August post ( ), what kind of writing coach do you need? What kind are you? I think about this from time-to-time because who doesn't want somebody cheering you on while you work and making sure you don't quit? Despite my self-esteem issues and my total bouts of "I suck," I don't want you to kiss my ass. That's not going to make me a stronger writer. I want someone who will tell me what's wrong when they crit me, but also let me know what's working. If I'm stuck, I want someone who is there to help me brainstorm my way through the problem. Basically, I want a Danielle*. As for myself, if I was a writing coach, I'm not sure what kind I am. My mood dictates a lot about my coach

Writers and Social Media Fatigue

Over the last few weeks, I've been finding it difficult to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, email, and even blogging. No matter how hard I try, I end up missing something and then feel guilty. Let's not even get into the fact that with my phone, I'm plugged in to social networking 24/7. After over seven years, I've finally got social media fatigue. What Is Social Media Fatigue? According to Technopedia , social media fatigue is when people grow overwhelmed with the time and energy spent maintaining and initiating all of these connections. (Yes, this can include people you know IRL that you only now communicate with through Facebook.) Writers are more prone to suffer this than the average bear. We constantly hear that we need to build our platform, interact with our writing community, and make ourselves visible. (That's on top of constantly honing our craft, reading, researching, and the million other things that make writers awesome.) Many of us are online late