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Showing posts from April, 2010

Week in Short

And it's a beautifully sunny day here! It was 64 when I woke up this morning with a high of 80. Ahh Michigan. Gotta love it. The bad news is, it's supposed to rain in Louisville tomorrow. Now this wouldn't matter, except the Derby takes place in Louisville, Kentucky. And rain + Derby = not good.

Lots of awesome links this week, so let's get started!

Must Read:
Conference etiquette from Querytracker

Contests:
Steph Su's Big Spring Giveaway has some VERY awesome prizes! The contest ends May 7th so hurry over there!

BookEnds:
The internet and your career
Query tally
The why of query rejections

Got YA:
Querying blunders

Kathleen Ortiz:
Query tally [Seems to be a popular thing this week...]

Literary Rambles:
Agent spotlight: Natalie Fischer

Pimp My Novel:
Right of first refusal

Rachelle Gardner:
Why publishers don't do market research

Steph Su Reads:
What's missing in YA contemporary

Story Flip:
Onomatopoeia
Seven deadly sins of a first chapter

Writer Unboxed:
Pitch advic…

New Releases: Numbers, Voices of Dragons, Firespell

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Post positions for the Derby were drawn yesterday! *dances* I'm still trying to figure out who my money's going to be on, but it'll probably end up being Lookin' at Lucky, Devil May Care (this year's filly challenger), Dublin, and Backtalk.

Anyway...It occurred to me a few days ago that it's been a long time since I featured a few new releases here. So here we go... Also, my TBR list is 110 books long. I managed to take two off this morning...and add another. *sighs*
Numbers by Rachel Ward
Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line f…

RTW - Favorite Book in April

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Not only is today Road Trip Wednesday, it's also drawing day for the Derby and time for me to figure out who I'm favoring this year. =) Anyway before I go off on a tangent...

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic was:
What's the best book you've read this month?

I haven't been doing a very good job at keeping up with my reading this month, but my favorite book read this month hands down was...

At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago, everyone knows that the south siders and north siders aren't exactly compatible elements. So when head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, the results are bound to be explosive. But neither teen i…

Week in Short

I'm curled up in my chair trying to get some work done and get over this bug, whatever it is. I have a feeling it's a minor case of food poisoning and I'm hoping that I can fight it off soon so I can get some real work done over here. But in the meantime, we have WiS.

Must Read:
Hannah Moskowitz guest blogged about what to do when you get an offer for representation over at Kathleen Ortiz's blog.

Blood-Red Pencil:
Common dialogue mistakes

BookEnds:
Thoughts on memoirs

GLA:
How to collaborate with a co-writer
10 questions to ask before you sign with an agent.

Janet Reid:
Subject lines

Story Flip:
Revising dialogue

Writer Unboxed:
Posting work online
Writers' conference tips

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Not much news in the way of writing this week. It was another insanely busy week for me. Only one a half more months left in school...

Jump -- I'm slowly getting out of the checking inbox every few seconds phase and progressing to checking it once in a while.

Double-Crossed -- Has hit 2k. I have the next …

Avatar Review (Read: Fangirling)

Week in Short will be posted tomorrow. Promise this time. I'd do it tonight, but I'm gone most of the afternoon so I can't read blog posts.

In other news, I FINALLY got to see Avatar!!!!

And it. was. AWESOME. I'd review it, but I don't think I can. The beginning was a little predictable, but it was more than made up. I think I know why it got so much hype. It's not one of those movies that's hyped to the max and then doesn't follow through.

I'm SO buying it!

10/10 I think it might be my new favorite movie...

Perfect Chemistry Review

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Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago, everyone knows that the south siders and north siders aren't exactly compatible elements. So when head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, the results are bound to be explosive. But neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all -- love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart?

I've wanted to read this book and Rules of Attraction ever since I saw the book trailer for RoA. Since Rules of Attraction isn't out yet, I sprang for PC when my mom gave me the chance to order a book online. It arrived on Friday. I started it at midnight, stayed up from midnight to one reading it two nights in a row, and then finished it Sunday morning. Not once did I ever willingly put it down.

Perfect Chemistry did NOT disappoint. I'm extremely anxious to get m…

Interview with Eric Luper

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had an awesome weekend. :) We're back this week with a surprise: interview!

And everyone give our guest, Eric Luper, a big round of applause. *claps*

Can you tell us something about you and your books?

Wow, that’s a really broad question but I’ll give it a shot. I grew up a reluctant reader in Springfield, NJ. Only at Rutgers did I discover my love for writing where I got my degree in Creative Writing. Of course, I had a lot of reading to catch up on at that point so I spent the next few years devouring every book I could get my hands on (and I still do).I wrote in earnest for five years before I got my first book contract and somehow something clicked. Since then, I’ve had two books published (BIG SLICK and BUG BOY), have another coming out in June (SETH BAUMGARTNER’S LOVE MANIFESTO) and have a contract on my fourth (untitled), which is slated for release in 2011.

Why write young adult over other genres?

Since I was an undergraduate, my writing has…

Week in Short

Sorry guys, but WiS is going to be really short this week. Because I'm too wired to read 50 blog posts in the next couple hours. I'll make it up to you guys in the next couple weeks, promise. :) I have a nice surprise planned for either this week or next week depending on how the cards fall.

The reason why I'm five days behind on my blog reading? I had an insane week. My world has completely been thrown off kilter by Jump, two boys (one who likes me and one who seems to hate me), and the start of track season (which I don't actually do, I just go to the meets so I can hang out with my cousin).

In other exciting news, Perfect Chemistry arrived yesterday. Started it last night at midnight and ended up staying up until one. I wanted to stay up later, but I knew I probably shouldn't. I'm LOVIN' it so far.

Contests:
Sarah Wylie is throwing an awesome blog contest! The prizes are very cool and include lunch with Suzie Townsend and Janet Reid (assuming that you can ma…

No Post Today

Week in Short will be posted either tomorrow or Sunday. It's been a crazy week here in Rachael World and it didn't leave much time for blog reading.

Finding Overused Words and Phrases

Everyone has that one word or phrase that they use ALL the time.

Mine are 'within minutes' and 'so' among other things. Then there are those garbage words like 'just' and 'then' and 'very.' There are whole lists of words to go through your manuscript and look for. But who's going to read through the entire thing just looking for one word?

The other day I set out with my manuscript and a list of words that I needed to look for. After three words, I was about ready to give up.There had to be an easier way to find my overused words than going through the document with Find looking for each individual word.

So, I went to the twifties and Para gave me this tip that really helped. So I'm going to pass it on to you.

NOTE: This works for Word 2007. If you have an earlier version, then I'm sure there's a way to do it, I'm just not sure of the specifics.

Go to Find and Replace.

Type the word you're looking for into the Find and the Repla…

RTW - Best Writing Advice

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
Most of this advice has been said a hundred times before and will be send a hundred times again. But that's because it's the best advice anyone can think to give.

Read. A lot. Read every genre under the sun. If you think you don't like something, try it. If you don't like it, then it's not for you. For example, I don't like Stephen King. I acknowledge that he's an amazing writer and a lot of people love his work. I read half of Misery and decided it wasn't for me. But at least I tried it.

Concentrate on being well-read in your genre. Read what's popular, read what's hated, read what no one's ever he…

How to Train Your Dragon Review

I am not ashamed to say I went to see How to Train Your Dragon yesterday.

And it was awesome.

One of the best "kid's" movies I've ever seen. I seriously want a Night Fury. Toothless was so cute. :) And Astrid was so bad-a. It made me feel better after last week's rant about female characters in bad relationships.

The 3-D didn't really add anything most of the time, but there were parts where I did enjoy having that extra effect.

Overall: 8/10. I want to see it again and I'm definitely getting it on DVD. There's also a book. Which I might look for.

OHHH MY GOSH! They had a preview for Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Why wasn't I informed that they were going to make the book into a movie? If the movie is half as good as the book (and according to the trailer it will be that and more), it's going to be AMAZING.

Week in Short

So, I'm on cloud nine because I just watched Zenyatta (my favorite racehorse) win the Apple Blossom (a race) which brings her record up to 16 and 16 (incredibly impressive)!!!!!!

Anyway...

I never thought I would be sad to see a Friday come. But here I am...two days from going back to school. :( I can't believe break's almost over already!

This week's Must Read comes from the Intern. Her guest blogger divined some secrets of brick and mortar bookstores.

Contests:
MSFV's next Secret Agent contest begins Monday and will cover YA and MG!
Querytracker announced their contest winners judged by Jason Yarn!

Blood-Red Pencil talked about sharing your work.

GLA gave tips on writing a book series, and interviewed Elana Roth.

Janice Hardy discussed trimming down and bulking up [of manuscripts that is], and kicked off her 'How They Do It' series with Gini Koch.

Querytracker talked about agent requested revisions.

Rachelle Gardner critiqued a literary novel query.

YA Highwayintervi…

Rejection

I started querying yesterday! :D And so begins the long and painful process where I check my email every two minutes even though messenger tells me whenever I get emails.

I know that more than likely it's going to be a rejection. I accept this. I had a lot of rejections with Destiny and I'm sure Jump will have her fair share. Everyone has rejections. So how do you deal with them?

My five four-step process to deal with rejection:

1. Read the rejection. Remove it from your inbox. You can delete it. You can print it out and burn it if you want. Personally I just file all my rejections away in folders just in case something happens to my query list and I need to check to see who's responded.

2. Check that query off on your list.

3. Mourn it for a minute.

4. Eat chocolate. Or ice cream. Or chocolate and ice cream.

5. Send another query.

I subscribe to the revenge query system. No, it doesn't involve sending hate mail to every agent that rejects you. The revenge query syst…

RTW - Something Positive

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: Discuss something positive about the publishing industry.

This is an awesome topic, but on the other hand a little difficult.

1. The writing. Whether it's mine or someone else's, every book in publishing had to start somewhere.

2. The friends. I've met so many awesome people in my last couple years of meeting people online that share my love of writing. Before I always pictured authors as kind of stuffy, hiding out in their houses all day indulging their love of writing. Then I came to AW and that image was shattered by all the awesome writers I met there.

3. Harry Potter! Harry Potter came out of the publishing industry and for that I am forever thankful. :D

I had something else too, b…

Always Use More Than One Source

This lesson of the week was brought to you by my procrastination and the random ideas that pop into my head.

Lesson: When researching, always check more than one source. Especially when researching agents.

The other day, I was procrastinating by researching agents that I might want to query. According to Querytracker, Agent A (why is it always Agent X? Is it because X is so little used they feel bad for it?) does indeed rep YA. A check of Agentquery says the exact opposite: he doesn't accept YA at all.

Uh oh. What do we do?

We triple check. We go straight to Agent A's website and see what that says. According to the website, Agent A does rep YA.

Disaster averted.

[Does AQ have some sort of function where you can report discrepancies in their agent listings? Because I've caught quite a few of them lately.]

Morals

1. Always check more than one source. Don't take what any one site (except the agency site, of course) says for the truth.
2. The agency site is the ultimate law of the…

Week in Short

*drags self to computer*

*checks calender*

Crap, it's Saturday. Yes, I'm only two days into my Spring Break and I already don't know what day it is. I'm also on a large amount of sugar, not a lot of sleep, and freezing.

GAH. As soon as I finish writing this, I'm curling up in a chair with an electric blanket and playing video games.

So before we start, I'd like to share this link. ZOMG it's about the food at the Harry Potter theme park. It is now my mission in life to go there and find out what butterbeer and pumpkin juice taste like.

This week's Must Read comes from Querytracker where they talked about different methods of backing up your work.

Contests:
GLA is holding a "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest for middle grade and young adult with agent Regina Brooks!

Blood-Red Pencil discussed non-reaction in characters and bending grammar rules.

GLA interviewed Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary Agency.

Nathan Bransford talked about pitches.

YA Highwayinter…

Wintergirls Review

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Hope everyone had an awesome Easter! :)

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way -- thin, thinner, thinnest -- maybe she'll disappear altogether.

I LOVED this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it gave me goosebumps, and it made me open my eyes. Wintergirls is a powerful book. It's so beautiful and lyrical. The style is unusual, but it works for the story. It kind of reminds me of Before I Die in the way that both books have similar unusual styles, voices, and deal with tough subjects in similar ways.

The characters were amazing. Even minor characters are very 3-D. Elijah was one of the strangest guys I've ever read in a Y…

Alternate Views

We all have different views on subjects.

Some of us agree with health care. Some don't.

Some of us agree with drilling in Alaska. Some don't.

Horse slaughter.

Elections.

How to resolve the national debt.

Abortion.

We all have opinions. Some of us agree. Some don't. Some of us aren't sure what to think.

Respect that. Be open-minded. Listen to everyone, weigh their opinions, and then counter them if you can. Don't argue for the sake of arguing. Debate for the sake of convincing the person that they should join your side.

Don't flame people because they don't share your opinion.

In this society, there is a pack mentality. If you're not with the majority, you're automatically wrong. When people don't agree, the minority often feels obligated to keep quiet. Because they're afraid of being attacked for their differing opinions.

There's nothing wrong with being different. We are not all a pack of zombies that have nothing else on our minds except brains. …