Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eerily Familiar

I'm pretty sure we've all been here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Twin Talk Tuesday

Welcome, welcome to another triple T. Coming to you this week in solid black and white, for the viewing pleasure of our audience on Google Reader. (Ooo, ahhh)

Today, we're going to give you a piece of an actual conversation that took place between Diana and I. (Which we then shamelessly replicated for blogging purposes. We're busy girls. We use whatever material we can.)

After talking politics for about an hour (and MAN, don't you wish I'd post that?,) the topic turned to writing.

Renee: So, how are things coming with your novel?

Diana: Slowly. I am in the phase now where I daydream about the scenes I want to write, but am stuck because I need to set up the story.

Renee: Yeah, that's how I was when I was writing my first story. You remember . . .the one about twin princesses. (*deep shame*)

Diana: No shame, Ren! It was a good idea!

Renee: No . . . no, it wasn't.

Seriously though, I spent a solid year, probably closer to 15 months, writing out a detailed outline, and describing scenes I wanted to write. Trouble was, I wasn't excited about the beginning. So after starting it about five different times, and losing interest each time, I just gave up.

Diana: The beginning is so hard. How do you set up the story and tell the reader what they need to know without it being SO boring??

Renee: Honestly, that's my biggest struggle. With every book I've written, I've had to go back and rewrite the beginning. I think I had at least five different opening chapters with Searcher.

Sometimes I think that if you are going to have to rewrite the opening anyway, you might as well just skip to the good stuff, the stuff you are excited to write.

Diana: Like the passionate love scene where Roberto is wearing only bearskin loin cloth?

Renee: Oh, so you're working on your memoir now? ;)

Diana: Ha. Perhaps one day. When I feel the public is ready.

Renee: Wise.

Diana: Seriously though, it's hard, because I want to write, but I keep getting bogged down.

Renee: Every story has that moment where things really kick in. The hook, I guess. It's that point where the reader goes, "Ooo!" I don't think it necessarily has to be the opening chapter, but it needs to happen soon, for both the reader and the writer.

Diana: Exactly. I love my idea, but have not been able to gather the swirling images in my mind and make they come together into a story.

Renee: I'd say just write the scene that you are burning to write. You can add/perfect the exposition later.

Diana: You're right. I bet that as I write the scene things will come together.

Renee: I think they will. Or maybe you'll find you don't need those expository scenes at all. I remember reading somewhere that most new authors start their book in the wrong place. And if you think about it, the beginning is what will hook that agent. That publisher. Those impatient teen readers.

It's sooo important.

No pressure, though ;)

Diana: Piece of cake.

Seriously though, good advice, as always.
Ok, my checklist for today:
1. Write that scene I have acted out while doing the dishes
2. Throw out my current beginning
3. Eat an obscene amount of M&Ms :)

Renee: Perfect!! I'll expect an email later today. (*stern glance*)

So what do you think, illustrious reader? How do you get yourself kick-started into a book?

Monday, April 18, 2011


I remember being new to writing.

I remember the excitement of delving into that first book. The new and interesting struggles of trying to learn my craft. The untainted, maybe even ridiculous optimism and joy that came with dreams of publication.

I miss those days. To anyone still in that time, cherish it. Cherish being at the start of the path, looking up at all you still have to do. Trust me when I say that being on the path isn't always as amazing as it seems.

This post makes me sound a little jaded, and I guess I am. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to be where I am. And I'm grateful. But I do miss the days when the publishing world existed mostly in my very beautiful dreams.

Once you see it for real, you can't go back.

One of my best friends in the world is hurting right now. And part of me wishes we could both return to those giddy early days. But the other part knows that we haven't come this far for nothing.

I still believe.

So maybe I'm not as far from that new, bright-eyed writer as I thought I was. Maybe it's because hope is something we should never let go of, no matter how much we see. No matter what happens to us.

And in those times when hope seems too hard, we have our friends there to hold us up. So to that friend, to all of my friends who are struggling on this path, I say:

I still believe.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


*shabby metaphor alert!* (consider yourself warned . . .)

Some days, I feel a lot like this baby.

I can see that thing I crave. We all do. Stories of agent signings and book deals and landing on the NYT Bestseller list. We all know what we want, and it's tantalizingly close.

Believe me, if I could, I'd slide all the way down the proverbial publishing staircase. I think we all would.

Alas, in our world, it isn't that simple. There's no short cut, though it certainly seems like some people have found one. Trust me, they haven't. Everyone has a different staircase, of different lengths, with different kinds of steps. And the only way down in one step at a time. And the only way to not go absolutely insane on your descent is (wait for it . . .)


Do I have a magical trick to getting more? Nope.

Tips? Advice? Tricks I've learned over the years? Nada (well . . . other than avoiding Twitter . . .)

Really, the only thing to do is put one foot in front of the other and keep your eyes on the prize.

Yoga-chant with me now: Paaaaaaatience. Paaaaaatience.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Photoshop Friday

Hey all! Diana here taking a stab at my first Photoshop Friday! *gulp*

As you may (or may not) have noticed, it has been a while since we posted. Well, I am happy to report that there is a very good reason for this. In fact I have snapped a couple shots of what we have been up to lately.

What We Do When Not Blogging

It a well known fact that when I am not blogging or writing, I am cleaning my kitchen and making delicious goodies for my children and husband. Here is a totally candid shot of me in my kitchen:

What? Don't you guys dress like that when you cook?

After my daily cleaning of my home, I usually meet up with Renee and some of our old friends to discuss potential movie deals:

Steve is a big softie. He always wants a pic for his Facebook page.

The main reason why Renee is so busy is all those fan meetings. This is a recent shot of her with a group of lucky fans who got their hands on her latest manuscript:

So many fans, so little time...

Well, there you have it folks. As much as we love blogging, sometimes our mundane lives get it the way.

What do you do when you are not blogging or writing?