Month: September 2010

Blah, blah, blah

Hey, I’m dedicating this post to Barb.   She just tore a strip off me at book club for not posting this week.  (Fine, she just asked me why I hadn’t posted—nobody’s crying themselves to sleep over my blog slacking.)  My lame excuse was that I’ve been busy with my WIP, but the truth is I just haven’t had a single funny thought in days.  Not that this has to be Jessica’s comedy hour, but nobody wants to read blah blah blah.  What can I say—my husband’s been out of town and my sense of humor has been dampened by only communicating with people who think the word “bum-bum” is the most HILARIOUS thing in the world. 
So here’s a rundown of my somewhat humorless week.  Brace yourselves:
  • I finished my edits and sent them to my editor.   I’ve been  refreshing my inbox every ten seconds since then.  It’s crazy addictive.  I don’t recommend it.
  • I got a very unfortunate haircut.  Luckily, I don’t like my hair enough in the first place to be all that sad.  I fixed it up myself with some dull kitchen scissors, and it looks much better now.  Two months and I should be back to socially acceptable.
  • I celebrated Banned Books Week by hosting a book burning.  Just kidding.  I went to book club and talked about whether, when, and why violence is appropriate in YA, among other things.  Hooray for Hunger Games!  Definitely a bright spot in the week.
  • Last but not least, I, um, got paid.  For writing my book.  It was surreal, and not at all ho-hum—the whole thing is still so unbelievable (I’m not just doing this for fun?)—but I celebrated by taking the aforementioned comedians for FroYo and the word “bum-bum” was said at least five times, just for laughs.  Clearly I need some tips on celebrating.  

What Would Carmen Wear?

Carmen is the main character in my upcoming novel VIRTUOSITY.  She’s a 17-year-old concert violinist, which means she gets to wear fabulous gowns like the ones you see on the red carpet.
So what would Carmen wear?
image

Not Exhibit A, B, or C.  That’s a guarantee.  And not anything Lady Gaga has ever worn or will ever wear.  Definitely not the meat dress.
And why am I wondering this now?  Because my editor sent me an email this last week full of gowns they were considering for the cover of VIRTUOSITY!  Imagine my joy, my glee, my freak out dance!
Thus far, being a writer has not been super glamorous.  (Unless you think writing bleary-eyed at 4:30 a.m. in footy-pajamas is super glamorous, and if so, try it and get back to me.)   So to be looking at pictures of real dresses that an actual live model was going to wear at a photo shoot was mind blowing.  
By the way, my editor, Anica Rissi, rules for letting me weigh in on this.  I’d heard not to expect to have input in my cover—most authors don’t—and I was okay with that.  Leaving things to the experts is smart.  My partially-functioning sprinkler system and dead dead lawn are evidence of that (sorry honey, you have other gifts).  I used to play chamber music for weddings, and I don’t know how many times I had a bride nearly ruin her nuptials by choreographing details she had no business messing with.  (And while my fifth bridesmaid is walking in I want you to play Ode to Joy, but then go back to Pachelbel’s Canon for the next two bridesmaids, and then when you see me, start playing Send in the Clowns, because it’s my dad’s favorite song. )  Think I’m joking about that last part?  Wrong.  I ACTUALLY HAD TO PLAY SEND IN THE CLOWNS WHILE A BRIDE WALKED DOWN THE AISLE.  Ask my mom, she was there, playing with me.  I lost a little bit of my soul that day.  Mom, if you’re reading this, back me up here because people never believe me when I tell that story.
Anyway, I was cool with leaving the cover art to the cover artists.
But then they went and asked my opinion, and the power totally went to my head.  How did I forget that I’m the girl who can’t shop for clothes without her sister there telling her what to buy?!   I wrote back with a lengthy explanation of why I loved my favorites.   I don’t know how much my opinion meant, but it probably meant considerably less an hour later when I sent a second email, in which I changed my least favorite dress to my most favorite dress.  Oh, credibility, where are you now?
Doesn’t matter.  I trust the people at Simon Pulse—they make gorgeous covers.  And I’ve decided that if I ever have the need for a red-carpet gown, I’ll go straight to Lady Gaga for her raw meat dress.  She clearly knows her fashion.  Classy.

2 Lists

I’m still in my editing cave, the grass needs cutting, the other novel needs writing, and the kids are starting to smell weird.  And yet, I’m blogging.  Don’t worry, I’ll be brief.

Dumb Writing Habits I Should Do Something About

  1. Eating while I write.  On the one hand, it makes writing WAY more fun, but now I need an exercise bike with a ledge for my laptop just to balance things out. 
  2. Feeling guilty if I’m writing while my kids are awake, and feeling guilty if I’m not writing while they’re asleep.  It’s an exhausting amount of guilt, really.  I don’t recommend it.
  3. Not having my head in the PR game.  When people find out I’m a writer they expect me to have something intelligent to say.  I usually set them straight with comments like, “Did anyone see the Bachelor Pad last night?  Yeah, that ruled.”   And then I realize I should maybe try to say something smart so people want to buy my book, but by then it’s too late.
  4. Worrying about disappointing my family and friends with my writing.  You’d think I’d be over it at the ripe old age of 31, but I’m not.  I start worrying and then I see the delete button and then….
  5. The internet.  Oh, you tempting she-devil, you. 
My Blog Posting Formula
1.       Write something
2.       Ask my husband to read it and give me his opinion
3.       Listen to his opinion
4.       Yell at him
5.       Begrudgingly implement his suggestions, because they’re pretty good
6.       Apologize for yelling at him 
*Note: #6 is optional, as in, sometimes I just think I should really apologize and that seems to work well enough.

**Another Note: I didn’t follow this formula today.  He would’ve said something like, “Maybe you should just wait to post until you have time to write something good…”