Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hot British Guys Volume 1

Well, I'm 99% done with the revisions on my YA. I still have one more chapter to rewrite, and then another read through before I sent it off to the two agents who want the full manuscript. And then I need to take a break from YA and work on the novella I want to submit to the Brava contest.

I've been reading other novellas just to get a sense of the format. I think no matter what happens, I'll have learned something from the experience. Convincing readers that two people are meant for each other in the space of 90 pages is a challenge that I'm actually looking forward to.

The chap on the left is Timothy Dalton, one of my first crushes. I first came upon Mr. Dalton while watching The Lion in Winter with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. If you haven't seen this film, rent it. It's brilliant, far superior to the remake with Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart. Timothy plays the young King of France. From my first sight of him, I was hooked, and I've been a fan ever since. I've some incredible crap just to see him, like the last film Mae West ever did which was one too many, Sextette. Oy! Don't ask.

Centennial, a miniseries where he played Joan Collins brother, and Scarlett where he was the only actor who could play Rhett Butler, if they couldn't dig Clark Gable up and reanimate him. He's my favorite Bond after Daniel Craig (sorry Sean). His were the first Bond films that I sat all the way through and could understand the plots. I was so jealous when I learned that Vanessa Redgrave was his girlfriend for a number of years. Sigh! Lucky bitch. He actually made me forget about Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff, and I adored his Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre.

And now he's in the new film Hot Fuzz! I had planned on seeing it anyway because it sounded like fun, but now I can go and bask in the still handsome features of Timothy Dalton. Dude looks fab for 61.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Real Estate Porn - the Friday Edition

I'm back! Well briefly. I still have two chapters to write and edit before I'm finished with the revisions on my YA. It seems like it's taken forever, but I'm really pleased with the way the book is turning out. The ending may need to be tightened up a little, but I'm clocking in at 75,000 words and 265 pages, which is ten pages less than my last YA. So I'm slowly learning to write tighter and tighter.

When I'm done, I'm sending the book off to my trusty readers and the manuscript critique service that I use to peruse the book before I send it off to the 2 agents that have requested the full. Yes, I did say two! I had another agent request this week, which sort off set the rejection that I got from another agent who was very complimentary and wants to work with my, but is not really interested in doing YA at this moment. She's looking more for women's fiction and romance, which I have. So I may just brush off one of my women's fiction hybrids at some point and shoot it off to her while I'm still doing the YA thang.

The goal of course is to have an agent who can do both. In the meantime, a writer that I know has said that I can use her name to query an editor at Hyperion books, so I'm definitely going to do that next week. Also, I want to go back and finish writing the novella that I hope to enter Kensington Brava's Novella line.

But back to the title of this post. I went to an opening of a brand new condominium development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For anyone who doesn't really know New York very well, Williamsburg is like the first stop on the L train. It's been an up and coming neighborhood for the past ten years, but now developers are really swooping and building new developments. Probably because they've been priced out of developing in Manhattan. The neighborhood used to be very blue collar Polish and Russian immigrants. Then came the artists and actors looking for cheap rents. And now the yuppies.

I have to give the developers credit so far, all the new buildings that I saw where relatively consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. No really tall buildings. I think the tallest one I saw had ten stories.

This development is called Ikon, and you would have thought that rock stars and movie stars were driving in, because they actually had a red carpet! We all had to sign a waiver before we could go up that we wouldn't sue the developers if we say, fell through a hole in the floor or the elevator crashed. Up on the top floor was where the party was, with a free open bar and a specialty drink, the Pomtini, which is still the rage here in New York.

Downstairs was the model apartment, a two bedroom, all the mod cons, priced at least $800,000. I thought it was very small, and I'm not fond of the open living/kitchen/dining room thing. Basically it was three rooms since the kitchen couldn't really count as a room. The bathrooms were nice, all brick exposed walls etc. You could also, for an added fee of course, get this video service whereby you could control the climate, the lights, the DVD player, order food etc. all from this video screen on the wall in the kitchen.

It was interesting, but I'm not sure it's for me. However, I did enjoy the free drinks and snacks before I went home to watch Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down

It's not just raining cats and dogs here, but elephants, kangaroos, polar bears. I mean it's seriously pouring outside and has been all day. Yesterday was beautiful, the sun was out, we had tons of people at our April meeting, and not just because we had the lovely Leslie Wainger as our speaker. Several guests, and some members who hadn't been seen in awhile showed up. Primarily because it turned out that we were expecting a N'oreaster, which made me think of George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in The Perfect Storm, and the Groton's fisherman who has forever been ruined by that awful Jennifer Love Hewitt film, I know What You Did Last Summer.

Afterward, a group of us went to a little tea place where we chatted for a little bit before I ran home to take a nap before my night job. Oh, and I also had a hissy fit in my accountants office when I realized that I was getting absolutely no money from the Federal Government and that I owed a huge amount to New York State because my old temp agency neglected to take out any city tax, and my night job apparently didn't take out enough state tax either. I'm so ticked off. Apparently, even though I made money as a writer, I had to say that I took a loss because my writing income was not on a 1099 but a W-2 form, even though my job title is freelance writer.
Also, I made too much money last year.

Then today while it was like Noah's Ark outside, I tried to watch the Christian Bale/Hugh Jackman film The Prestige, but it gave me a headache because it kept jumping back and forth in time etc. So I gave up about halfway through the film, which bothered me because usually I'll watch a film all the way through unless it's really awful, so I hated giving up on The Prestige.

On a lighter note, I set up a My Space page at so come on by and say hello!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bad, Bad, Blogger

I know I am a shameful blogger, but I have an excuse. I'm still busy editing the YA that the agent requested, so that I can email it to her assistant by next week, and it needs alot of work. Right now, I'm still working on the first 10 chapters, getting them so clean that you could eat off of them, or at least not spot the plot holes so much. I have a good feeling that I'm making the book stronger, and raising the stakes, but its going so sloooooooooooooooooooooow.

Plus, I opened the mailbox on Saturday to find one of those so-called 'good' rejection letters from an agent that chatted on one of the YA loops that I belong to. This one said that I had 'colorful characters' and that he enjoyed reading it and thought teens would really be interested in my take on the plot but didn't feel he was the right agent to represent it. All of which mystifies me. You liked the book, you think that teens will buy it, but you don't want to represent it. Okay.

I felt the way that Karina Smirnoff felt last night trying to teach Billy Ray Cyrus, the Paso Doble. She ended up crying in the bathroom, because he just wasn't getting it. That's kind of how I felt, my friends get the book, teens will like the book, but if I could only convince, a frickin agent of that.

Sigh! Well, I have more editing to do.


Friday, April 06, 2007


Thank god it's Friday, is all I have to say. Even though I'm here at work (until 11:30 because my boss is a dunderhead), at least I get to go home soon, and I have Saturday and Sunday off. Whoo-hoo.

Been doing lots of thinking about the YA that I need to revise. I need to do more with the columns that my two characters are writing for the newspaper, perhaps have them debate or something on local TV. Something to move the plot along. And more high school stuff. Like bowling! I also need to crunch the first three chapters into two but still get in all the information that I need to.

Was on yesterday and there are some groovy new YA books coming out soon, including the third book by Libba Bray, a fourth Jessica Darling book by Megan Mccafferty, a new E. Lockhart, the second Secret Society Girl book (which I may try and scarf at BEA), and two more Meg Cabot books, one of which is a Manga! Not to mention that I discovered a new YA author on line, who's books I need to try out.

Went to the theater last night, and saw an interesting new play by Bernard Weintraub, who used to write for the NYT called Accomplices about how the US basically did nothing while Jews were being slaughtered by the Nazi's. It had a documentary feel to it and it raised some interesting questions. There's a forum going on at Fordham in June dealing with the subject that I might go to. I also ran into a guy I went to college with, so that I was interesting, and I went with a new friend, so it was all good.

I'm totally into this show on the Sundance Channel called 'Ladette to Lady' which is where 10 girls who are totally girls gone wild, or tomboys with no social skills are sent to finishing school to learn to become ladies. This is not some exploitation show like the one on VH-1 where Monique tries to turn the heifers from Flava of Love into ladies. These girls seriously want to learn to better themselves, and since England still has a bit of a class system, it's really interesting to watch them struggle to try and change. For them, it's a chance at a better job, although it's going to be hard when they go back home to keep from slipping back into their old ways.

Hope everyone has a good weekend with great weather!


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Revisions Traumarama

Yikes, I just got an email from Important Agent's assistant asking for the full manuscript for my second YA, which is great, but I just re-read the thing, and I have a lot of work to do to whip it into shape before I can email it to her. The ending needs some work, I need to trim some other scenes, and totally rewrite others. All in about two weeks, because I don't want to let it go much longer than before I send it to her.

This is what happens when you finish the book, and start querying. I had gotten so many rejections on the partial, that I just stopped working on the revisions for awhile since no one seemed to want to read the full manuscript. Very poor choice on my part.

The good thing is that I totally know what needs to be done to hang the story together in such away as to have it make sense and move the story along. I love when that happens. Still it's going to mean that I can no longer take of weekends from writing.

But that's a good thing because I need to start working on my writing 7 days a week. It's too hard to take the weekend off, and then start again on Monday. It takes so long to get into the swing again. It's like when you don't exercise for a few days, and then you do a spurt of a few days in a row. Your body finally gets used to the feeling, and then you stop again. Writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised all the time. Even if it's just editing what I wrote during the weekend.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 02, 2007

NEC and Easter

Have you ever gazed at an Easter card with a cute little bunny on it? And do you ever wonder what bunnies, and eggs for that matter, have to do with Jesus rising from the dead after the crucifixion? It turns out that in the ancient world Eostre/Ostara, was a fertility goddess whose reign over the earth began in spring. Ostara came in the form of a beautiful maiden with a basket of coloured eggs and her magical companion, a rabbit. Eventually the celebration for the spring goddess was co-opted by the Christian one - hence Easter with its component parts of eggs, bunnies, and all things spring like. Enjoy! This is just one of the many ways that pagan rituals have been incorporated into Christianity.

So, I'm back from NEC. I totally recommend if you have never been to a writer's conference, that you attend one of the many regional conferences instead of heading straight to National. Not only will you make friends, that you can hang with at National, but it's entirely less stressful. I wish that I had had my first pitch at a regional conference instead of plunging in at National. It was great seeing my NEC friends and hanging out with my number one dream agent.

Of course, I did attend some workshops, in particular a great talk with Lisa Gardner. It was really interesting hearing this sweet young woman talking about all the dark stuff that she writes about. I only bought one book, Donna Kauffman's Great Scot since I'm in charge of our chapter basket for our monthly raffle, and I'm doing a Scottish theme this month. The costume party was so much fun, it was great to see how many people got into the spirt of dressing up. My costume was so successful, I now know what I'm going as for Halloween this year!

Also the food was so much better at this conference than at National. Plus we had three meals plus the chocolate party. FYI to National, you're not really helping us save money on the conference fee by cutting out the lunches, since we have to go find food elsewhere. When you've schlepped half way across the country, having to run out to find a meal sucks.

The only quibble I had was with the hotel shuttle service. Apparently it's first come, first served, which makes no sense. I had a very tight schedule, which I indicated to the desk clerk. I was taking the Acela back to New York which left at 11:15, which meant that I had to take the 10:05 commuter train back to Boston. So she told me to come back at 9:30 to arrange for the shuttle van which I did only to be told that the shuttle was gone and wouldn't be back in time for me to get to the train.

Well, I let them know that wasn't acceptable, so the other desk clerk drove me to the station. First come, first served is absolutely ridiculous. It takes no time at all to keep a list of people who need to take the shuttle at a certain time.

Other than, it was a great weekend. I'm just sad that I'm so tired after working last night on Amazing Race.

Thanks for reading,