You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2012.
Today, I thought I’d reblog something from 2010 back when I was fumbling with The Six Train to Wisconsin first draft.
Working on the end of my third book this week, I swore this was the only book where I didn’t quite know what I was doing. Glad I reread this post and realized that’s actually the norm.
“…When I have a headache, inspiration has fled the house. I look at my outline and gulp. I have to figure out the scenes needed to get from point A to point B. And shit, I didn’t work out how certain things feel/work. Holy Hell. This is gonna suck…”
You can read the entire post here:
Dallas has returned to TV on TNT. You may not know this, but I grew up watching the original show. Now, I have every season on dvd.
It was classic delicious American drama. Or melodrama. Either works. And it was addictive.
Back in 2010, I started collecting the dvds and rewatching. I made it to season 11, when I got Dallas fatigue. I plan to get back to it this summer.
So I was delighted to tune in for the new version which focuses on J.R. and Bobby’s now-grown-up sons, John Ross and Christopher. It harkens back to the first season of Dallas where they focused on Bobby and J.R. and their wives and Mama and Jock.
I must confess, J.R. was a favorite of mine. I loved to hate him. Larry Hagman is back, reprising his best role ever.
The show is full of what made the original Dallas great–money, power, and rivalry all embedded in the backdrop of family. It’s on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on TNT. I’m really excited to see where it goes this season.
I still remember when I was in elementary school, I complained about feeling tired and the school nurse asked, “What time did you go to sleep last night?”
I said, “Sometime after Dynasty.”
That was my second favorite show as a kid.
Andrea Cremer is a terrific writer. She’s mastered setting the scene without getting bogged down in setting. She knows just where to add a pretty literary phrase. Her world building and plotting–I’m in awe.
This book was a superfast read and I never wanted to put it down.
One of my pet peeves is when readers disagree with author’s ending and want to rewrite them. To me, it’s the author’s world, and I just get to walk through it.
But the ending to this book didn’t leave me completely satisfied. I think the problem for me was that I wanted the character to struggle with the hard choice and actually be forced to make the decision. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone else, so I won’t say anymore.
I’m sure in a few days, I’ll understand why this ending was chosen. Because at the end of the day, I do trust the author and I do believe she made the best decision she could for her characters.
I’m glad I invested the time to read this trilogy and I’ll definitely read Ms. Cremer’s other books.
My website, kourtneyheintz.com, was recently redesigned by the amazing Jian Chan. I was lucky enough to have my cousin James refer me to Jian. James spoke so highly of Jian, I was 95% certain he was the web designer for my site before I met him.
Jian and I exchanged a couple e-mails, where we talked about my budget and my timeline. We decided to meet to discuss the redesign of my website. I honestly think the meeting was the most important part because the website of an unpublished author isn’t about their books, it’s about their personality translating into their website.
Before we met, I looked at a couple dozen writer websites and took notes on what I liked and what I didn’t like. I also thought about what was and wasn’t working with my current website.
We talked for a couple of hours during which Jian asked some really insightful questions and made me think about my website in a new way. He focused me on what I needed the website do and how to accomplish it.
I left that meeting 100% certain that Jian was the only web designer for my site.
I also had some homework to do. I had to write and rewrite everything that was going up on my website.
Several times, I deferred to his expertise in making decisions about the site. I appreciated how invested he was in the project and how he explained his choices to me.
Jian kept in touch with me while he worked on the redesign. He passed several options by me and implemented my suggestions. Sometimes even anticipated how I would like things before I even articulated it.
He created a test site so I could see what my site would look like before it went live. The day it went live, he was available all day to tweak things.
He stayed within budget, met every deadline, and kept in touch throughout the process. He also put up with tons of questions from me about the most basic web designing things. And he always answered them politely and kindly. I can’t imagine a better experience with a web designer.
I sat in a lounge chair, watching the ocean slip away from the shore and I thought, “This is heaven. This is happiness.”
And I realized that I wanted this. To feel this calm and content.
I didn’t need anything else. In that moment, I was certain I could give up my writing. That I could be complete without it. That traveling could be my new passion.
I didn’t say a word to my friend. I just let that moment happen. It wasn’t a decision I made, but a decision I contemplated.
An option that never existed before in my mind.
So I let it linger there as I traveled.
And the traveling began to wear on me.
Getting pick-pocketed really rocked my center of gravity.
And the one thing that helped me make sense of it?
So those giving up moments–embrace them. They remind us that writing is a choice. An option. And deep down, a necessity.
Andrea Cremer is one of those writers that truly inspires me. I devoured this book in 3 days. Her pacing sets my pulse racing. Her action sequences are to-die-for crisp and clear. Her characters are all three-dimensional. She had created a world so rich and so real, I swear I’ve been there as I’m reading one of her books. As soon as I shut the book, I’m anxious to get back there.
Originally, I planned to do a book review of book 2 and 3 together, but I can’t. They are too good to group together.
My biggest fear in a trilogy is the loss of momentum. The first book in the Nightshade trilogy was AMAZING. Fast paced, clever writing, perfect balance of dialogue, description, and inner thoughts.
But the second book, Wolfsbane, is *gasp* even faster paced. The characters are developed more. The world building delves deeper. And the choice between her old life and her new one are even more painful.
Andrea Cremer is a masterful writer. She had this line that I reread four times because it was such simple and gorgeous imagery:
“No,” Bryn said, her voice plowing through my flurry of thoughts.
I <3 Andrea Cremer! I can’t wait to crack open book 3 of this trilogy! She is one of the best YA authors I’ve read this year.
Starting next week, I am going to decrease my blog posts to 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
It’s summertime and we all should get outside more.
I need to decrease my time online until my neck gets better.
Emerson has asked for more time playing and walking around.
I’ll try to keep the posts interesting but short throughout the summer. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about, please let me know.