Monday, October 18, 2010

Lessons From the Weekend

On Saturday, I went to a wedding.  It was a lovely affair, peopled by friends from college.  Lots of fun had by all.

In the course of the evening, I talked to a friend who, when I asked what he was doing now, replied, "Writing, teaching and traveling."  I was struck by his priorities, but first asked about his teaching.  Then, I bucked up and asked about his writing.  He is a screenwriter in L.A. who has an agent, and is currently making the rounds at studios, trying to sell one of his projects.

I decided to take his example and be bold.  I told him about my own writing, my search for an agent, and the poor market for my kind of stories right now.  We talked shop for a while, discussing crit partners and sharing your work and the fact that "writing is rewriting."

He told me in L.A. lots of people say they are writers just because they have an idea.  They've never put a word on paper.  I've heard a lot about this on the Interwebz--that the distinguishing feature of writers is that they write.  But this was the first time I ran into someone who had experience with it firsthand.

I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by such an active community of writers, on Twitter, on my blog and in my critique group.  And I wanted to give all of you props for getting out that and doing it everyday.  Writers write, my friends, and you guys do that.

Write on.

- Liz

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It's been a while, so I thought I'd give you all a round-up of some of the great stuff I've stumbled onto through Twitter and my own procrastinating. Them interwebs is the greatest thing to EVAH happen to procrastination.

Blogs to read:

Ten Commandments for Working with Your Agent from Steven Laub's blog.

250 Chances from the Storyflip blog. A fine piece on the importance of the first 250 words of your story, and how to screw it up.

No Exceptions from the Aspiring Mama blog, in which Pauline Campos reminds us to keep going even after our delicate little egos have been given the reality smackdown.

Soulless Turns One in which Gail Carriger gives you the blow-by-blow of real life after you make a sale. Fascinating, detailed and invaluable for those of us who obsess about what happens next.

Websites to check out:

BookSwim turns out to be the Netflix of reading, and I don't know how I'm just learning about it's existence. For a very reasonable rate, you can get all kinds of booky goodness delivered to your door, read at your leisure, and return books in pre-paid envelopes. Sounds like a great Christmas gift for the book nerds in your life.

In related news, I also just learned you can enter to win free ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of books from GoodReads. Like, for free. All you have to do is be a member, and if you're not a member, you should be. No easier way to store the ol' To-Read list. And now that they have an iPhone app, you'll never get to the library or bookstore without your list again.

Video Goodness:

The Dictionary of Jack: Literally in which Jack discusses the abuses of the word literally in the English language.

And speaking of abusing language--here's Hank Green's STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELF on the vlogbrother's vlog. If you haven't already discovered the wonder of the vlogbrothers, now would be a great time to start!

And then, for a dose of fun: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake do A History of Rap backed up by The Roots and just plain tickle the hell out of me. Go enjoy! (You'll want speakers)

Find anything good lately? Share it in the comments!

- Liz

Monday, October 4, 2010

More About Me Monday - Stupid Human Tricks Edition

I found an article about things that most people can't do, no matter how hard they try.  (This is the article, if you're interested.)  I've heard these called Stupid Human Tricks, and I think it's because people look so stupid trying to do the things they can't.  Those who can only look marginally stupid.  Or really cool, in the case of my number one stupid human trick.

So here's my list of Stupid Tricks:

1. Raise one eyebrow.  Only the left, but I'm darn good at it.

2. Licking my own elbow.  I practically get a tongue cramp doing it, but I can do it.

3.  Rolling my tongue.  Much to my non-rolling husband's dismay.

4.  Sneeze with my eyes open.  I've only done it while driving and it's not pleasant.

5.  Tickle myself.  On occasion, only along my ribs.  Very embarrassing if done in front of someone else.

6.  Touch my elbow to my opposite shoulder.

7.  While lying on my back, rest on my knees on my shoulders.   I can actually put them on the bed beside me, under my arms.

8.  Pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time.  And the reverse, actually.

What's your stupid human trick?

- Liz

Friday, October 1, 2010

And the Winners Are...

Thanks to everyone who participated in my contest.  Since everyone had a great idea about a way to share these challenged books with at least one other person, everyone who entered had a chance to win.

I assigned everyone a number and used a randomizer to choose my three winners.  They are:

1st prize: Crystal

2nd prize: Stephanie S. Kuehn

3rd prize: Kristan

Congratulations, ladies!

I'll be contacting each winner by e-mail (hopefully I can reach you all!).  Crystal gets first choice of the three books, then Stephanie, and Kristan gets whatever is left.

Hope you all enjoyed this contest!  At the end of the year, I may hold another one to give away some of the great books I've read this year.  Stay tuned!

- Liz