Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Okay, we're pretty sure you're all doing the same thing we're doing right now--stuffing your face with turkey and listening to the same story of that one cute thing you did when you were a kid (if you're like me, you've heard this story about a ZILLION times). However, I don't want us to lose sight of the purpose of Thanksgiving. That's right, break the word down and it basically means "to give thanks."
So, without further ado, we would like to share our lists of things that we've been very thankful for over the years:
1. Family: Well duh. They're the only ones that will tolerate my epic mood swings.
2. Leo DiCaprio: From Romeo to Jack Dawson to Dom Cobb, my heart will always go on for this man. Yes, I had to go there.
3. Crumbs Cupcakes: Umm, because they're CRUMBS CUPCAKES!!
4. Risk-Taking Authors: Ellen Hopkins, Elizabeth Scott, Courtney Summers--you are why I write. And you make reading worthwhile again.
5. The Writing Community: I have met so many wonderful writers through blogs, Twitter, forums, and beyond. No matter if we're published or still struggling toward that goal, we're all amazing cheerleaders for each other. Nothing makes me happier than reading that someone has gotten an agent or a terrific book deal--well, besides those things happening to me, but that's besides the point... :)
1.) The Health of my Family: Both my sister and cuz (yes, Pam) got in car accidents this month. I'm thankful that they both came out pretty much unscathed. WHEW! Also, after losing one parent two years ago, I'm glad that the rest of my immediate family is still here for me.
2.) Good Music: I don't know what I would do without it. Any chance I get, I'm rocking to my music- while writing, while grading papers, and while eating lunch at my desk all by my lonesome :(
3.) Food: Because me loves to eat- hence the fluctuating waistline. And I truly don't discriminate- cupcakes? YES! Pizza? YES! General Tso Chicken? YESSS!
4.) YA Books: I'm soooo thankful my cuz turned me on to YA books. They are some of the best I have read in my entire life.
5.) Colored Pens and Post-Its: Because I would be LOST without them.
6.) The parents of the following men for creating such GORGEOUS offspring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ashton Kutcher, Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robert Pattinson
7.) Ditto to Pam's # 5: we heart the writing community :)))
Obviously, we have TONS more that we're grateful for, but we figure you're all in turkey-induced comas by now. Tell us, what are some things you're grateful for??
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Matched by Ally Condie (will be published November 30th, 2010) Goodreads summary: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Click here for more info!
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (will be published February 2nd, 2011)
Divirgent by Veronica Roth (will be published May 3rd, 2011)
One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever. Or, one choice can transform you. Click here for more info!
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard (will be published May 5th, 2011)
There is one more book Pam is looking forward to (will be published December 21st, 2010) and that is...
Fall forAnything by Courtney Summers
There is one book Quita is looking forward to (will be published February 15th, 2010) and that is...
Don't even try & lie...you know these books look good!!!
Please, do share...what books (not yet published) are you looking forward to reading?
Friday, November 19, 2010
Once upon a time two girls tried to run a contest for their NaNoWriMo novels. Now, these girls are writers...but they suck royally at picking out titles. They sent out a notice for their writing buddies to lend a hand. While some of them tried and came up with some really GREAT titles (thanks ladies!) none of them seemed to be the right fit for the two girls and their nameless WIPs.
Okay, cutting to the chase. Even though we extended the contest in hopes of more entries...we received four submissions to our contest. Four really unique, interesting, and talented novel titles that are just not right for us. However, we didn't want Alex Mullarky, KO, Abby Stevens, and Holly Dodson to go away empty handed (you RAWK so much ladies!!!). Therefore, we are offering a $5.00 Borders gift card to each of you.
Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, home address and your e-mail address. I will try and send the gift cards electronicaly and if that doesn' t work I will use your mailing addresses to send the gift card to your home.
Thanks again for entering ladies and we hope the gift card helps you buy a book you've been looking forward to reading!
***BTW- this means we still have TWO novels to give away at some point in the future...stay tuned!***
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
In the spirit of NaNoWriMo (which Pam and I are KILLING right now--both of our word count stands at a little over 31K) we wanted to share some tips from the most recent Writer magazine. You know how you always have so much stuff to do? Like, I don't know... live a life and work a 9-5.
It's one of the age old questions that you see on a lot of writing blogs, we hope to offer something that you will make you go, "Aha! That's the advice I've been looking for!" From the article written by Cheryl Bolen (author of 9 historical novels) here are few tips on how to make time to write:
Write every day: Easier said than done...I know. But since we started doing NaNo we realized that it's not that hard to write a few words each day. If you can't get to a laptop, then carry around a journal or a small pad and jot down your thoughts.
Set daily and weekly goals: Write down a word count goal or even a page count goal for each day or each week. This way you give yourself something to work toward.
Decide how badly you want it, and lose the time wasters: If you WANT to write or if your goal is to be a writer then you NEED to set aside the time to successfuly do so.
Declutter your life: Eliminate things that compete with your writing (this inclues watching TV- CURSES!!)
Use writing time wisely: Don't use writing time as editing or revision time. If you are the type of writer that needs/uses outlines-- try to finish the entire outline before writing the novel. Even if it changes as you go, at least you have a blueprint.
And finally, if you are writing any kind of research heavy project- don't waste writing time on the research: Just go with the flow and research when it's time for revisions.
Now you have our two cents on the topic. Besides what's mentioned here-- what else do you do to make time for writing?**BTW- don't forget about our NaNo titling contest. You have until Wednesday at midnight to enter!**
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Reading Song of the Day: "3" by Britney Spears (check it out on the Rock With Us tab)
Raise your hand if you have read The Hunger Games trilogy? The Twilight series? Okay, so we can't really see your hands...but you get the point. These two series are where our expertise ends. We've started others (Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Fallen by Lauren Kate) but we know there are so many others out there that we haven't been able to read/find yet.
For our next writing adventures we are taking the plunge into this territory hard core. We are not only composing (ideas for) trilogies for our NaNoWriMo projects--Pam's is based on fairies, mine on djinns or genies--but we are also co-writing one (more of a dystopian) and we needs our peeps to help us out! We get the basics, all novels need a beginning, a middle, and an end. And we get that each book in a trilogy (should) stand alone. But what about paranormal novels? How much do you expose in the beginning to get the reader hooked? Are prologues neccessary?
I think it's pretty clear that we can use your guidance. What other paranormal, dystopian, supernatural YA trilogies/series can you all think of that we need to read in order to get some good research done? OR if you are creating your own trilogy please share a tip or two about your process.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Reading Song of the Day: 'Threesome" by Fenix TX (check it out on our Rock With Us Tab)
It's Wednesday, and the girls at YA Highway found a way to make "hump day" less annoying. It took us a second to come up with an answer to this week's question. When we saw literary cliches + favorite we automatically thought-- that's impossible! But we did manage to come up with one. So, our fave literary cliche is, drum roll please...
The always hated, always frustrating, but absolutely neccessary love triangle.
Yes, we went there. We both have our "teams" and we actually get in heated debates about why our guy is better than the other. It may be a cliche to have the girl who has to choose between two boys who are in love with her but come on, what girl DOESN'T want two people to be in love with her???
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
My guest post is up NOW over at one of my fave YA author's blog, Elizabeth Scott! I am so honored to be featured on her site, as she is definitely one of my heroes (or is it heroines?). I talk about the landscape of LBGTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgendered, and Questioning) YA; this is a topic very near and dear to my heart and I will dedicate a post on it on this blog as well. If you don't mind, please swing by and check it out. :)
Also, don't forget about our NaNoWriMo Titling Contest! Quita and I still need your ideas and we're willing to "pay" you for it. Contest ends this Wednesday at midnight, EST.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
It's time to go on another Road Trip with the lovely ladies of YA Highway. This week they ask: If you were made supreme ruler of of the publishing world, what would be your first ruling?
Quita and I had to do a lot of soul-searching for this question. In fact, the only power I'm used to is having control over the remote (yes, I do make Quita watch E! News Daily and other forms of celebrity gossip).
After a much heated debate that may or may not have included thumb wrestling, we finally decided our first ruling would be:
Monday, November 1, 2010
Yes, Pam and I are delving into the scary world of NaNoWriMo this year- and we are most definitely going to finish this time. We've been reading blogs, looking into our local NaNo events, and we even set a reward for ourselves when we make it to 50,000 words by November 30th.
Feast your eyes on this...
Anyway, we wanted to do a kick-off blog post about NaNoWriMo for all other participants (and others who just enjoy stalking our lives) interested in our method for completion, and what we are working on.
First, let's discuss our novel ideas. After visiting Nathan Bransford's blog and reading up on all of his advice for NaNo, Pam and I did a lot of soul searching about what exactly we wanted to write. We both kind of pride ourselves on realistic fiction, so we decided to do the exact opposite of this and go head first into the world of-dun, dun, dun... SUPERNATURAL/PARANORMAL YA!!!
Tara has to say goodbye to her life in California when her family decides to move to the Pork Capitol of America, Newfield, Virginia. Her older sister, Michaela, has been terribly sick since she was a baby, and her parents have found a specialist who can treat her. But Michaela also feels as if she’s been to Newfield before…and many of the locals sure seem to recognize her. Tara’s used to her sister being a little “off,” but now she’s wandering off in the middle of the night, screaming before people die, and developing a strong fear of iron.
Tara shares these discoveries with her new friends, “twins” Malik and Justine, and they lead Tara to believe that Michaela could only be one thing…a changeling. Or the child of a fairy that was swapped with Tara’s real sister.
Which means Michaela isn’t human. Which means Tara’s “real” sister could still be out there. Which means Tara and the Twins have to get to the bottom of everything before some not-so-friendly locals put an end to Michaela, whatever the hell she is. This is me paying homage to Lost Boys…only with fairies.
Become her writing buddy at: pharris81Quita's WIP:
Avery Grey's always wished that he could have a life other than the one he was granted. At 16 years old, awkwardly clever Avery is still constantly moving from foster home to foster home. Every family that’s taken him in just tends to give up. As soon as Avery has resigned to living the rest of his teen life in his urban group home for boys (including creepy follower Gustav) , an elderly couple from a small suburban North Carolina town set their sights on Avery.
Just like that, Avery’s wish comes true and when the seemingly normal couple takes Avery home, he embarks on his last chance. He wants to be on his best behavior…after all, he doesn't have that much longer until he’s free to be on his own. At first, things almost seem too easy. Avery makes new friends that are much better behaved than his group home co-habitants. Amongst them is Tierra, the school’s most exotic beauty that every boy has tried to woo and Avery, out of everyone, has caught her attention. This makes Avery a few enemies, especially mean spirited Lincoln who loves playing with fire and has severe allergies to iron and salt. Lincoln and his followers will go to great lengths to get rid of Avery before he gets too close to Tierra and finds out more than he should know.
Avery soon finds that some wishes are better left un-granted.
Become my writing buddy at: mhockadaySo, now that we have the ideas- when the hizell are we gonna find time to write? Not only are we full time educators, but Pam is starting to teach part-time classes online and I am taking graduate history courses online (did we mention that we are also working on our MFA?). It seems like we want to torture ourselves, but really we just want to finish another manuscript- and this is the perfect opportunity. Okay, enough blabbering- you want to know how we plan on being superwomen, don'tcha?
- Write 7-8 pages a day- at lunch time, while students take tests, while students complain about life, while teachers attempt to whine about students, while we are supposed to be listening to our moms on the phone...you get the point
- Double up on the weekends if we missed our page count during the week
- Complete blog posts for the week on Sunday
- Get work for MFA done during the weekdays (sometimes at work, sorry children- after November you will have our undivided attention again)
- Finish all MFA assignments on Friday
- Cook meals that will last at least two nights
- Take minimal bathroom breaks
- Limit stalking time of Hollywood actors and random musicians (We luv you Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Pattinson but...Must. Finish. Novel!)
- Limit TV time (not sure if this will ACTUALLY happen- but we shall see)
- Finally, attempt to not check Twitter and e-mail every five minutes
***BTW- We LOVE our students and we love our jobs. We plan to be fully attentive to our day jobs and the kids. Just jokes!***
Got any other tips for us? What about you all--how are you going to complete your novel? And don't forget to "buddy" us at NaNoWriMo-we luvs the buddies.