Time Flies And All That Jazz

IMG_20191113_135133422As I’m writing this, Libs (The Tiny Terror) is shivering in her…er, paws. Oh, she’ll throw out a little bark every once in a while, but mostly, she’s just cowering behind me. Because the Carpet Cleaner Guy is at the house!!!

Yeah, the Carpet Cleaner Guy. When I called him, I asked, “When did I get the carpets cleaned? Last November? Or was it September?” And there was this awkward little pause.

“Mrs. Hall,” he said. “It was three years ago.”

Which just goes to show that one minute, you’re thinking how nice and clean your house smells, and the next minute, it’s November (and you’re wondering why your house smells). Such is time flying and all that jazz. And that brings us to my blog post over at the Muffin today: NaNoWriMo: Are We Done Yet?

Because for cryin’ out loud, y’all, can it possibly be nearly the middle of November? If you’re toiling away at the National Novel Writing Month writing challenge–and lagging behind–then you’re going to want to read that post. But if you’re like me, skipping NaNoWriMo but just getting around to getting carpets cleaned after three years, then you might want to check your fridge.

Me and Libs both are scared of that.

 

The October WOOooOooo Wrap-up!

10626620_10204178615537318_786430566163493947_nOctober is a favorite month for me and not just because I happened to have been born on one of its spooktacular days. (But I’m not saying which because honestly, I pretty much celebrate the entire month. And Oldest Junior Hall is taking me to see Wicked this weekend as a birthday /Christmas gift–I suspect he’ll be using this adventure for the next couple years to cover everything–so the party’s not over until I sing so much that Oldest Junior Hall tells me to stop. And P.S. I won’t. Because yeah…it’s my birthday.)

The point is, lots going on in October and now it’s time to catch up:

Remember the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy over at Kaitlynn Leann Sanchez’ blog, Math is Everywhere? I wrote Worms Crawl In for this fun contest and boo-yah! I was a winner! I love when writers join together in community to support each other, and when there are prizes, too? Well, that’s just about the best in my book.

Of course, now that I’ve won a creep-tastic critique, I suppose I’ll have to write up something. I’ve got an idea for a sort of nonfiction, sort of funny picture book that I might work on in November during NaNoWriMo.

I’ve also got lots of opinions about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so if you’re on the fence about whether to participate in this November writing challenge, you might want to give a read to “The Rights and Wrongs of NaNoWriMo” over at The Muffin.

And yes, I know that a picture book is not a novel, even if it’s a long non-fiction one. But I’ve been working on a revision of a middle grade paranormal all month and I’m this close to being stick-a-fork-in-it, I-really-mean-it-this-time done. So I’m kinda novel-ed out right now.

I’m not done with all my research, though. I’ve been binge-watching every ghost hunter show this October–who knew there were so many?–partly to pick up a pointer here and there, but also to get me in the paranormal mood. I even went to a presentation at my local library where a paranormal investigation crew played EVPs and answered questions and showed us ghostly, ghastly photos and videos.

It was all a bit oooOOOOooooo. Until I asked one of the investigators my burning question: Why do ghost hunters always hunt for spirits and such at night? I mean, time doesn’t mean anything to a ghost, right?

No photo description available.But it’s October, y’all, and hunting ghosts and telling spooky stories and getting ready for NaNoWriMo is what you do. Unless you got something different? Spill your guts, please, ’cause yeah…it’s still October for a day or two.

November ALREADY?And New York!

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Yep, that’s me at the Top of the Rock!

So if you’re friends with me on Facebook–and if we’re not, I hope we’ll soon be!–you might’ve seen the pictures that Juniorette Hall posted about our recent birthday trip to New York City.

And if you’re a follower that keeps up with my blogging–here or over at the Muffin–then you know I love talking about my life experiences and somehow connecting them with a writing point.

I did not realize how often I do that until just recently. But I have to come up with stuff to say and so far, my family and friends haven’t minded being the source of inspiration and/ or tall tales.

Which could be because my friends and family don’t read my posts and/or tall tales.

Hmmm…I’m going to pretend I didn’t just have that particular thought. I did, however, have a couple of thoughts on New York and National Novel Writing Month in “New York and NaNo” over at the Muffin today. If you don’t want to read it, just keep that thought to yourself, okay?

It Really Is About The Revision

2014-10-21 09.46.15When I signed up for the workshop sessions I wanted to attend at the SCBWI WIK’14 conference, the first one I pounced on was “Revision Strategies For Your Rough Draft.”

Granted, I noticed that Courtney Miller-Callihan was leading that session and as agents go, she was one I’d been wanting to meet. BUT that was just an added bonus. Because I am always on the lookout for revision tips and strategies. Mostly because I am always in the throes of one revision or another.

I don’t think I’m that unusual, as writers go. I churn out words pretty quickly, whether it’s a blog post, an article, a story, or even a novel. (Okay, okay. The novels take a bit longer, but comparatively speaking, I get ‘er done in a mostly timely manner.) But the rewrites? The revisions?

It’s a lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng process. (Well, maybe not the blog posts…)

Anyway, for me, writing is really about the rewriting. So any technique I can find that might help in that department is golden in my book. And I heard one from Courtney that was quite sparkly so I shared it in my Muffin post today: Revision Strategies (You’ll Thank Me Later).

If you’re doing NaNo, you’re going to need revision.

Or maybe you’re still revising a NaNo manuscript from *cough, cough*.

The point is, you can never have enough great revision strategies. So if you have one, how about sharing?

The Perfect Class for the NaNo Novelist

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbI hate to be pushy–though the Beneficent Mr. Hall would probably argue with that–but I’m going to shove you over to this NaNo prep class with my friend and agent Sally Apokedak. I shared all the particulars for NaNo Prep: Planning the High Concept Novel over at The Muffin so I’ll wait a second while you read the details.

…(humming, humming, humming….)….

Back? Okay, now, obviously, there’s a ton of wonderful writing stuff about this class–and you cannot beat the price, right? But I think the most wonderful thing of all is that, no matter what kind of novel you write, from chapter book to adult fiction, you’re going to get feedback on your idea and figure out what a high concept novel is.

That is no small feat. You can write–and write well–until the cows come home. But if you’re stuck in a “been there, done that before” scenario, you’re never going to break out.

It’s been my experience that most people (and I’m including myself here) don’t realize they’re writing about the same old, same old. They think they have a fresh new idea. They think they have a high concept. They think their premise is THE one that’s going to knock off the socks of an editor or agent.

Until it doesn’t. And then it’s back to the drawing board (or Precious the Laptop).

Here’s a short class at a great price by a wonderful writer and agent who gets it. And you’ll get it, too, if you take the class. So shove off, already.