Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Confesses

1. I'm in love with a book...a MG called A Tale So Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz! Check it out! You won't be disappointed!

2. Come join me for JuNoWriMo, where you choose your own writing goals (word count goals, revision goals, etc.) for the month of June, starting tomorrow!

3. My new favorite show on T.V. is Mercy, it's addicting! Check it out on Netflix!

4. I think I've finally discovered a method that will help me make first drafting fun and structured at the same time: The Outline-Pantser Hybrid Method!

5. I'm in awe of Nova Ren Suma (author of Imaginary Girls) and her amazing path to publication! Check out her bio and the links within it to learn more about her inspiring journey!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Love Hate Relationship

Fortunately, time management is something I’m very good at. I’m very good at planning things out. I enjoy drawing up schedules, and when I make a schedule I stick to it. The major decorations in my room are schedules, calendars, and day planners, and every aspect of every day is written on every last one of them.

This is the schedule of a typical week for me, and you can find it in various forms in about five places around my room.

However, as you may have noticed my schedule only has four colors on it: school, work, family, and everything else. I have managed to manage myself straight out of a personal life. I may get everything done that I need to get done, but that’s about it.

I’ll make the schedule. I’ll follow it to the letter, but just because I like having a schedule and am good at making them doesn’t mean I like its contents. May be one day my writing time won’t be in the same boxes as breakfast and dinner and I won’t have to schedule family dinners just so I don’t forget my brother exists. But for now I do, and that’s what I hate about effective time management.

- Aaron

Me+Time Management=FAIL!

I have 3 words for you: Me+time management=Big. Fat. FAIL!

Take my blog posts, for example: My post day for this blog is every Tuesday. Do I ever post on time?


Like this afternoon, I knew I had to do a post today and I almost took advantage of the fact that it was still early in the day and wrote my post so that I would get it done on time, but did that end up happening? Obviously not, because, like what usually happens, is I think about completing the task for a second, but then immediately after that I get sidetracked by something else, like blog surfing, lol.

So, since I get easily sidetracked and distracted, things that I know I should be doing get put on the back burner for things that I would rather be doing. It's a vicious cycle and affects every aspect of my life, like exercising, homework, and, of course, writing.

I know writing should be categorized in the Things I'd Rather Be Doing category, but for months now its felt like such a chore, an obligation, and I hate that. Lately, I've been trying to make it more of a priority by starting word wars, making schedules and even forcing myself to get out of the house and go to my favorite coffee shop to write, but even that was difficult.

So I think, where writing is concerned, I can't make it a priority until I learn to love it again, or else every time I make time to write and manage my time correctly, it'll still feel like pulling teeth and that's the last thing I want to have happen. As for figuring out how to manage my time for everything else...wish me luck! :P

How about you? Are you good at time management and balancing writing with life's other demands? Any tips? Lemme know in the comments!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Covers

I have most definitely bought books and passed them up based on what their cover looked like. On a few occasions I’ve put back an interesting book because its cover didn’t catch my eye, but then several years later when it was reprinted with a different cover I suddenly remembered how much I had wanted to read that book.

For example…

I walked right by this cover because it looked busy and confusing,

but when felt the raised bullet holes on this cover I couldn't resist.

If I had seen this cover first I definitely would have bought the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder of my own accord.

However, the cover on my copy looks like this, but it was a gift so the cover attractiveness factor is irrelevant since I didn't pick it out myself.

Both of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax covers are equally intriguing to me given their unusual centerpieces.

Then again when I first read this book it was part of a Reader's Digest big book, so by the time I went to get a stand alone copy I would have bought it regardless of the cover.

As I hope this illustrates I'm such a fickle cover girl that the only time I don't pay attention to the cover is if a) I've already read the book, or b) I didn't buy the book myself. Otherwise if it doesn't have an intriguing cover chances are I won't be buying it.

I feel so petty :(
- Aaron

Cover Love!

There are sooo many amazing book covers to choose from these days, and as hard as it is to decide on a favorite, here are my top 6 (in no particular order):

Clearly, these lucky authors have struck gold and won the cover lottery! I can only hope that the cover for my future published book will be half as amazing as these ones! What are some of your fav book covers? :)


Friday, May 13, 2011

imprint on a page

Here's the deal, I believe--whether it is a conscious action or not--every writer pens themselves into their work. And not just themselves, their environment, friends, families, enemies etc.

I favor my environment, there are a few places in my world that I love--small little towns I retreat to when I have the chance, high up in the mountains on the edges of the East Coast. I love writing about the places I feel comfortable in, and therefore I favor placing my characters into those kinds of places, quaint towns full of vibrant color, granted they aren't always filled with the nicest people (not my experience btw, just how it works out not every town is filled with all nice people) but they are just like the places I consider to be my other homes.

I write myself into my characters in different ways. I want tattoos and piercings. But I don't have them, something that permanent terrifies me and I will not tattoo my body unless my tattoo will mean something, something that will stay with me and mean something forever. So all those of the cuff whim tattoos I'd like well they get bestowed upon my characters, and all those pieceings that a to-be teacher can't have, well those are the piercings that end up all over the bodies of my characters.

But physical aspects aren't just how I incorperate myself into my characters. I am not perfect, far far far far far far far from it, and I write my flaws into my characters, my horrible streak of not knowing when to shut the hell up, rash decisions, nasty hateful thoughts, even sometimes violent urges (which for the record I do NOT act upon, but sometimes people are bitchy and you just want to punch them in the face. I cannot be the only person on the face of the planet who feels this way sometimes.) And the good, or at least the pieces of my personality that I think are positive.

My characters also have a lot more freedom than I do, or if they don't they make it for themselves. not that I don't have a lot of freedom in general just I can't take off whenever I want, or do shit on a whim, I have a job, friends, a family, and even though I'm tempted to--I cannot just take off and do whatever. They also have the courage to do things that sometimes make me feel nervous or things that I'm too afraid to do myself.

I also write other people into my stories, people I people watch, people I actually know, not like verbatim but I take things about them that I like and add it in, or things that I don't like. So please do not walk away from this post with the idea that I write actually live people into my stories. Every character I write is purely FICTIONAL, however I steal aspects of personalities from real live people I know/encounter.

People watching is fun, and leaves room for a shitload of inspiration, just saying.

Uh I think I've covered all my bases about writing reality into fiction. Or at least I hope I have.

Sorry this is a day late, Blogger wouldn't let me on yesterday. Have a nice weekend peoples!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Part of Me

My chosen profession is somewhat… restrictive in terms of self expression. Not presenting yourself in a certain way can result in not having a job, and for the most part I’m fine with that. However, there’s a part of me that will never be alright with having to dress and act a certain way, and that’s the part of me that I write into my work.

Basically, my main characters are the person I wish I could be. They…

  • have a funky sense of humor.
  • voice unique opinions on just about everything.
  • live unconventional lives.
  • express themselves through their clothing.
  • do not have a typical hair color/style.
  • are pierced and/or tattooed.
  • aren’t afraid to stand out.

- Aaron

Making My Hopes and Dreams My Characters' Realities

I think I write myself into my work by making my hopes and dreams into my characters' realities. For example, there are many things I wish I was and had, such as:

1. I want to be skinny
2. I want to have my first kiss
3, Go on my first date
4. Be athletic
5. Be musical
6. Live in a farmhouse
7. Have awesome paranormal abilities :)

So when I'm trying to come up with a new story idea or plot or character, I just choose from my long list of of hopes and dreams and wants and add one or many to my story and then go from there, because if I'm writing about something that I long for personally, then I'm much more willing to keep writing (and living vicariously through my work)! :)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Best book in April....

goes to: Welding Technology Fundementals
(I would have given them bonus points if they changed it to Funde'metals', ha ha.) <--please excuse me, it's finals week.

Anywho, this may seem like an off the wall selection, but not as off as you might think.

Ever heard the expression, write what you know? I have about a million times. What happens though if you have the perfect solution to your plot problem but it means 'Mike' who used to work at a desk job, actually has to work in a motocycle shop for everything to work out? Give up? NEVER! Your solution is to buy a textbook.

Text books can come in every variety but there's one thing that makes them different than any random information you could dig up on mororcyle shops on the internet:
It's guarenteed to be correct. That, my friends is worth the expense.

I'm the first to complain about a teacher who insists on the newest version because on page 88 they changed "a" to "the." It's a pain for poor college students like me, but it means great news for writers like you. It floods the book markets with college textbooks just a year or so old and sells them cheap. (We're talking 20 bucks a pop or less on some) Most of the time they just change a couple pictures or a phrase here or there. 99% of the time the information is the same.*

*this is a completely made up statistic. Made up, but with strong personal opinoin backing it from a college student in the know.

So, what do you think? Ready to invest in some textbooks? If you are there's of course amazon.com. There's also half.com and a sleu of others with a simple google search.