Mar 28 2014

Life as a Crab

Well, hello everybody.  I know, I know, shocking, Bethany is actually on her blog.

I don’t know why I hide from the internet so much.  (Well, not from tumblr.  I would never hide from tumblr.)  I think partly it’s a combination of day-jobbing and writing, which means that if I’m not a desk jockey, I’m writing, and when I am writing, my brain shies away from talking to people–real and digital.  And part of it is having kidlets, I suppose.  Apparently they like it when you feed them and stuff.

But I think a lot of it is that I’m naturally a creepy recluse, and I prefer to be a creepy recluse on the internet as well.

I’m a Cancer, so this makes sense.  *snaps crab claws together*

Anyway, update time!  Landry Park II: the Taffeta Reckoning is finally in the editorial stages! Yes! Yay! This calls for drinks!  The drafting process was…how can I put this?  Like climbing a mountain wearing shoes made of broken glass all while being taunted by a certain petulant boy pop star and sucking on a Vegemite-flavored sucker, and there’s nothing in the water bottle except flat seventeen-year-old Surge and the only companions (besides the petulant pop star and his illegal pet monkey) are self-doubt and self-loathing and the knowledge that once you get to the top, there’s a second, even bigger mountain waiting to be climbed and guess what–there are shoes filled with even more broken glass waiting for you there and they are just the right size!

God, I love writing.  I am not even being sarcastic right now.

So I don’t really have a timeframe for when the sequel will emerge bloody and howling into the world, but it will be sometime in 2015, and hopefully it won’t be as terrible as it is now, but even if it is, I will still win the award for Most Hours Spent Laying on the Floor Hating Life while I worked on it, and that is a fairly coveted prize in the writing community.

As for those who have been asking about movie stuff, I can’t say much yet, except that yes, that is a thing that happens sometimes with books, but also that it’s a long journey with lots of gateways and that most of those gates are locked, so while making it through one gate is exciting, it’s not a guarantee that any other gate will be opened–much like selling a book.  Barry Lyga has an excellent post about that very thing.  I will tell the world about any Developments as soon as any Developments are made official…

In the meantime, I would also like to extend an invitation for you to follow me on tumblr since I’m so rarely here or on Twitter.  Apologies in advance for swear words, nerdy crap, politics and gifs of thirtysomething British actors.

Apr 22 2013

Revising, a Tale of Two Drafts

Right now, I just want to crawl into bed and take a nap, but I can’t because I have to revise Book Two.  As soon as I open up the Scrivener document, Ill embark on a long journey of editing, rewriting, deleting and polishing, one that starts with this first emailed critique from my (marvelous) CP, and then will continue on with my agent and with my editor and with my copyeditor, until at some point several months from now, Book Two will be a book shaped thing with a title and a satisfying plot and I won’t ever have to think about it again.

Whenever I draft, I would rather edit, and whenever I edit, I’d rather draft.  I don’t know why my head is broken this way, so that whatever work I’m doing is so agonizing, and then I don’t know why when things aren’t agonizing, I feel guilty, as if something being a miserable experience makes it a thing of quality.


Here’s how it’s going to go down:

Suffering Bethany’s Suffering Spiral of Suffering

1. Read CPs’ insights.  They are all geniuses and right about everything, and have solutions for me THANK GOD.

2. Open document.

3. Decide to jump right into revisions.

—Delay looking at book by looking at Community GIFs on Tumblr.

—Read Prologue.  Vomit and die.

—Open email to reread CP’s email again.  Find an email from mortgage lender instead.  Spend thirty minutes looking up refinancing options on Internet.

4.  Okay, jumping into revisions was a bad idea.  I should make A Plan of Attack.  Yes.


—Okay, Scrivener makes this easy.  Start inputting notes into relevant chapters.  Do this for fifteen minutes.  I AM A PRODUCTIVITY GOD.

—More Facebook, more Tumblr, a text to husband about how hard life is.

5.  Give up on Plan of Attack—I should just start making changes now.  I pick one thread that needs working on and follow it all the way through the novel.

—Except, wait, that thread connects to this other one in this scene, so I’ll just go ahead and change it while I’m here, and that actually leads me right into this other problem that needs fixed…

—End up revising slowly and chronologically, just like I always do.

6.  Repeat Step 5 every day for four week to eight weeks.

7.  Send to Agent Lady.

8.  New edit letter–repeat Steps 1 through 6.

7.  Send to Agent Lady again.  (If thumbs up, proceed to Step 8.  If thumbs down, repeat Steps 1 through 6.)

8.  New edit letter from Editor Lady.  (Repeat Steps 1 through 6 once for major revisions, once for smaller scale revisions, and once for line edits.)

9.  Copyedits.

10.  First Pass Pages.

11.  ARC review.

Listen, I’m not complaining in the traditional sense (well, maybe I am.)  I love that I get to make my books better.  I love that my books are going to be actual books on actual shelves and that one day, actual people will read them.  But it’s hard.  It’s all hard, but this is the part where you are continually confronted with all of the problems, all of the glitches and plot holes and typos that remind you that you are not a master of your craft, but only a hapless beginner.  And you know?  That’s probably a good thing.  I don’t like it when my karate instructor, perpetual coffee cup in hand, watches me do katas, but his corrections make my katas better.  Hell, even just the scrutiny makes me better; I lower my stances, strike harder, and focus on my hand forms when someone is watching.  As with karate, so with life and art and all that.  The corrections strengthen me.  The scrutiny pushes me further than I would have ever pushed myself.

But I’d be lying if I said that part was easy.  It’s not.  It’s so hard.

So how to get started?

I remind myself that this is a first draft.  (A first draft that took me five months to write.)

I remind myself that my ego does not need to be stroked.  My ego needs to shut up and chill out.

I remind myself that this is just a stage in the process.  Because the process includes its rewards too: moments of pure inspiration, books of the heart, meeting fellow artists, and seeing your book in public.  That stuff is tight.  That stuff is cool.

I had to legitimize my Tumblr addiction somehow.






Mar 22 2013

Bees? Yes, Bees.

I’m over at the YA Valentines professing my love for bees!

Also, I’m just now recovering from my delicious writing retreat in Texas!  It was five days of writing, talking, gin and jumping into a freezing-cold river.  I didn’t take any pictures because I’m lazy and also because I was either drinking or writing or both and forgot to think about it, but Michelle Krys has some great ones, including one of Anna Carey’s Daring Wasp Removal.  Anyway, it was a wonderful time, and I hope I get to do it again next year.

Oh, and I finished the first draft of Book Two.


Mar 4 2013


So lately it’s been a lot of waiting.  If you thought that the query stage was a trial of patience, brace yourself.  Publishing is all about waiting.  Waiting for an editorial letter, waiting for a marketing plan, waiting for a cover, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Right now, I’m in the waiting for a cover phase and it’s a fantastic mix of excitement and anticipation and genuine impatience.  A cover is something that everyone from the editor to the sales department weighs in on, and they take into account all sorts of practical variables that I would never think of, plus still find a way for it to be true to the book.  And I am super duper lucky that I’ve been invited to chime in with any thoughts or ideas I may have–not many authors can say that!  So, with so much expert input, these things can take time.

But, while I know all this with my brain, I am still impatient.  Waiting is hard.

I’m keeping myself busy, though.  Book Two is well underway–probably only 10,000 or 20,000 words away from being a real first draft that I can then rip apart and stitch back together (like Frankenstein’s monster.)  I won’t lie, Book Two is been a PITA, and this is only the drafting part–the easy part.  God help me when it comes to revision time.

Nov 28 2012

Young Adult Author Panel!

Gennifer, myself (plus an extra chin) and Lenore!


Well, despite me randomly having an extra chin in this picture, the panel went great!  Lenore and Gennifer answered a whole host of my diabolical (not really) questions and gave informed and educated answers, and then we all read from our books (there was a sneak peek of Landry Park in there.)

Now off to drafting Book Two once more.  I’ve sent the boys off to war, so there’s no making out right now.  Maybe some wandering in gardens?