Monday, March 30, 2009

The End is Near!

Well, I'm back . . . but not for long. My blog is probably going to stay in it's dull, stagnant state for the next month or so. But, there is a good reason why.

I'm almost done with my WiP!!! *Does an enthusiastic Macarena*

It's a special feeling to be near the end. Special, and terrifying. We all know how important a kick-butt ending is. It's HUGE! Arguably the most important part of the story. (Top two, at least)

So, I need some tips from all you brilliant writers out there. Any advice on how to write a slammin' ending? Or just share your opinion on what makes a good ending. I'm all ears. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm so cliche

Here you were, probably expecting one of my patented Photoshop Fridays, and what do you get instead?

One of those really short posts that says, "I'm going out of town! See you all later!" And you'll feel obligated to go into the comment section and say something like, "Have fun on your trip!! smiley face"

Here, let me try and make this less cliche. I want all of you to go into the comment section and write me a progressive story! No need to add more than a line or two, unless you want. Anything goes!

Come on in, it'll be fun! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Luck O' the Irish (which, I don't have)

I've learned a little something about myself. I don't win contests. A minuscule complaint in the face of recession, world hunger, and war? Perhaps. But it still makes me glum from time to time. I'm just not a winner. (Cue sad piano music)

Don't be fooled by my last name. I don't have a drop of Irish blood in my veins. And maybe that's what's missing! No luck of the Irish for me. (Janey, you lucky woman, you. :))

At any rate, on this St. Patrick's Day, I'll be getting buzzed on Dr. Pepper. And plenty of it. But, believe me when I say, that I drink this one for you!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photoshop Friday

Getting in touch with your Inner Superhero (and Supervillain!)

We always hear that every writer is different. That every writer has strengths and weaknesses that make their experience different. I pondered on this the other day. I was analyzing my own strengths and weaknesses (well, mostly my weaknesses, but still.) In my mind, I kept seeing them as superpowers, and myself as a Writing Superhero! What kind of superhero? I'll tell you

I am Super Realistic Assessment of My Own Writing Girl! Smashing through the barrier of self doubt and the false precipice of self delusion, SRAMOW has a pretty good understanding of her own writing level. This keeps her strong when things get tough and grounded, even when she's super excited about her WiP.(This is a lame super power, you say? I agree, but it's really hard to do the hero/strengths part without sounding like you're bragging. So, lets move on.)

I am also a writing Supervillain. Yes, here she is. Adjectivica! The ruthless villain who has a burning hatred for English Grammar. Her powers of prose range from a delicate lilac hue to the deadly purple! Adjectivica also loves to slaughter innocent sentences, leaving them in fragments all over the place. Her weapons of choice are adjectives, but she has apenchant for lethal gerunds. Look at all the good, faithful defenders of Grammar that fall dead at her feet! Beware Adjectivica!

And lastly, I have a picture of She-Ra, Princess of Power. Not because I dare to compare myself to her, but, well look at her, she's awesome!

So, what do you think? What is your writing super power? Do you have a fatal flaw? What kind of hero are you? Give yourself a character and introduce yourself in the comment section! Or, better yet, if you want to photoshop a picture of your Superhero, sent it to me and I'll post it here on my blog!

Up, up, and AWAY!!!!!!!

Here are a few fearless heroes who have joined my super awesome writing squad!

(In her own words) Candice is: Lady Hindenburg. "Because I think big, make great plans, takeoff really well, cruise along at high altitude, then I get to the end, loose steam and crash and burn in a blaze of glory. In other words, I'm great at beginning, not so much at endings. **Notice the look of fearless determination on my face as I prepare to meet impending doom."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blogs. (Blogs!) What are they good for?

Absolutely nothing.

kidding, kidding. Actually, I've been pondering the subject of blogs lately. Particularly my blog. And, I've started to wonder what my blog is good for. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've made lots of WONDERFUL writer friends. And, I truly love you all like sisters (and brothers, for the occasional male reader.)

All in all though, I feel like I've reached a rocky place with my blog. I very rarely have the motivation to post. (Except for Photoshop Fridays.) And I feel like I have nothing all that original to add to the vast, vast number of writer blogs out there. So, I've really started to push the question to myself, "What is the point?

What do you think? Are writer blogs important to an unpublished, unagented writer? Or do they become important only when you actually have a book deal in your hot little hands?

(Note: I'm not fishing for compliments on my blog. I actually really want to know what you think about writer blogs in general.)

Anyway . . . In other news, look for a Photoshop Friday tomorrow featuring my new webcam. (Ooo, aaah) Here's a teaser! (We were having a lot of fun. Can you tell?)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photoshop Friday

3 Reasons Why I am Slow

So, some of you may have noticed (actually, i hope no one has noticed) that on this blog I have made several "ballpark" estimations of when I would be finishing PAMR, my work in progress. Some of you may have watched those estimated completion dates creep by, like the thief in the night. Fact of the matter is, this novel is taking a bit longer than I expected.

Here are three reasons why.

Don't be alarmed! Those are not invaders from another planet! Those are kids. My kids. And in case you didn't know, kids kinda take a lot of time. There's this whole feeding thing, and bathing, and cleaning up after them, and, you know, talking to them and stuff. Yeah, it takes a bit of my time. Just a bit.

MOVING! If I were to write a memoir about this year in my life, that would be the name of it. From Fall of '08 to Fall of '09, I will have moved roughly five times. I'm moving again this Saturday. YAY!!!! I wish you could all see my huge grin right now! *Squinty smile*

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, my Inner Editor is a harsh task master. ESPECIALLY for this book. I mean, just look at her! Here's an example: February 12, 2009 (entry date in my writer's notebook,) I was going along swimmingly in my writing. In fact, I had nearly reached the big climax in the story. Well, then Inner Editor decides that there are TWO HUGE plot arcs that need to be fixed. And fixed before we go a step further in the story. *sigh* It's meant a lot of work, and a lot of time. Don't get me wrong, the story, and the climax for that matter, will be so much stronger. But still. Time.

So there you go. Make of it what you will. If you speedy writers, who write a book in a month/two weeks wonder what in the heck is taking me so long, now you know.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Philosophy 101

My husband was a philosophy major in college. (I know, useful, right? Alas, the market for philosophers just isn't what it used to be.) However, he has used his degree to come up with a few amusing insights. This one reminded me of all us aspiring authors out there.

"I think, therefore I am. . . . If only it were that easy."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One Year: A Contemplative, Restrospective Extravaganza

Yes folks, one year ago this day (er . . . not really, but close enough. Go with me on this.) Renee Collins, a very eager, very green aspiring writer decided that she had better start her blog soon, for when the fans came pouring in, she would need a website to address them all.

*laughs, wipes a tear* I kid (kinda.)In truth, I started this blog in the hopes of networking with other writers, and hopefully making some friends. I have been lucky enough to do both. So, right off the bat, I want to thank all of you. Thanks!! I have loved getting to know you all.

At any rate, call it cliche, but reaching an anniversary always makes me reflect on the year that passed. So, I've decided to give you a brief photo essay to highlight some of the my writing journey thus far.


When I started writing my first book, I felt as if I were beginning a huge journey. The goal was clear to me, but the path was a whole different story. Honestly, part of me wondered if I actually had the stamina to write a whole novel.

Well, I did! The result was my lovely first novel. I refer to it as Tristan, but it never really had a title. Celebrating my completion of Tristan were some of the first posts on this blog. Poor Tristan was fun, but flawed. You can see where he has ended up now, but I maintain to this day that I love that book because it showed me that I CAN actually finish a novel.

About this point, I met my two writer BFFs, Kiersten and Natalie. We call ourselves the MoMo Writers. And we rock. Here we all are! And yes, I had blonde hair once. :)

Shortly after gently laying Tristan to rest, I started work on my second novel, Miss Midas. It's a fun YA love story that has a bit of a magical twist. I have to say, I love this book. Like Tristan, it has taught me SO much. This is the book that showed me that I can not only finish, but actually put my work out there in the big, scary world of agents and editors.

Well, querying is hard. Really hard. Sometimes the trenches were a bit too much to handle, but I have all of you to thank for getting me out of my blue period.

Because I have something SO much more exciting to put my energy into now! My WiP! PAMR! (better title coming soon) Honestly, what could lift the spirits more than a story of betrayal, violence, darkness, and death, in a world ravaged by massive war?! I say, nothing!!! (P.S. I know I sound sarcastic, but this book truly brings me joy.)

So, I journey on. Through ups and downs, I'll keep blogging and I hope you all keep reading. I'm glad to have so many friends going through it all with me. :) Some days, we may feel a bit like this. (I sure as heck know I do) But, hopefully, one day soon we will all be seeing this.

That's my parting wish. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Did I say Monday?

I meant Tuesday. . .

yeah. Look for my Special Occasion Photoshop Friday/Bloggiversary post tomorrow.

Oh, and remember how I promised you a laugh? Better not count on that either. I now promise that it will be only remotely amusing.