Complementing my love of reading is my love of reading gadgets.
Most notably, bookmarks. I keep a ziploc baggie of them, and when I start a new book, sometimes it’s a real, time-consuming task to choose just the right bookmark to pair with it. Hey, people spend that kind of time on wine/cheese pairings. I think this is at least as legitimate.
Below are some of my favorites from Britain. L-R: the Bodleian Library, Oxford *swoon*; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Trinity College, Dublin (home of the Book of Kells).
I also have some bookmarks from other people’s travels. They’re presents that get used often but never worn out. They make me feel like I’ve traveled to Nicaragua, Honduras…and maybe even Middle-Earth.
Do you have a favorite bookmark? What does it look like? OR: locate the weirdest bookmark you can find on the Internet and link to it in the comments!
Well, good morning, 2013. I’ve been underground for a while. Nice to see you.
Time to get a new year of blogging up and running with a post about New Year’s Resolutions. Someone told me recently that they don’t bother with resolutions at New Year’s–if they see a need for change in their life, they’ll get on with changing it immediately. I respect that, and I don’t hold much stock in resolutions either, but last year I talked a bit about my philosophy about resolutions vs. goals. I do like the opportunity afforded by a new year to turn a page in life. If 2012 beat down your idealism and best efforts and dragged you through the mud, it’s okay. Wipe the slate clean. Cancel the debts. Start fresh. Tomorrow is another day.
I like to start by glancing over my shoulder at last year’s goals. It’s a bit encouraging, a bit dismal, and a bit amusing to remind myself of what I set out to do in the last year:
1. Get to know God better by reading the Bible through in chronological order
Status: in process (forever). I made it about halfway through the Bible before this year’s hurricanes got in the way. I’m hoping to pick up the other half and finish it this year.
2. Have the second draft of my novel completed and be ready to start looking at literary agents by June
Status: in process (hopefully not forever). The second (and third) drafts of my novel are done (yay!) but I’ve learned a lot about the process of publishing since last January. I decided to recruit a squad of test readers, primarily 9-14-year-olds, to read the manuscript and help me identify its weak spots. That process is now winding up, as the last few of these loyal secret agents send me their invaluable files of comments. Armed with these, I plan to troubleshoot the manuscript one last time and then apply to some literary agents. I’ve also learned more about the increasingly attractive and accessible process of self-publishing, which may be another possible route for my book.
3. Take a 2-month class on blogging and social media for authors
Status: done! One down! I learned so much from this class, taught by Kristin Lamb. We may not agree on every issue, but it definitely got me thinking about writing as a business, kicked me into gear on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google+ (yipes!), and most importantly, got me connected with a network of other writers who are working toward the same goals.
4. Buy a car
Status: also done! My sweet silver ride still makes me smile. Ever since we met back in July, it’s been love for Baby and me 🙂 Incidentally, I’ve also learned how to check PSI, buy a pair of windshield wipers, and refill wiper fluid in the engine (hint: you can use plain water :)).
5. Read Gone with the Wind, Othello, and The Kite Runner
Status: 2 out of 3. None of these are especially happy books, but The Kite Runner was just too intense for me by the time I thought about it in mid-August. Othello–forgive me, Shakespeare–was not my favorite play ever. The conflict felt contrived and the female lead was just downright wimpy. Othello wasn’t exactly a genius, either. I think the best role went to Iago’s wife, who told everybody what was what (before dying in the last scene, of course). Gone with the Wind was the best of the bunch–a soaring, operatic panorama in a style that reminded me of Les Miserables, but was much easier to read. The characters are fiery and unforgettable, and the portrait of the antebellum South was detailed and dramatic. A great book, if you’ve got time for a long one.
And now for some new goals. We’ll see how these fare in the year to come 🙂
1. Grow closer to God
2. See my novel accepted for publication or self-published
3. Work up to a monthly income I can live on
4. Learn the craft of bookbinding. Okay. How cool would THAT be??
What are your goals for 2013?
Ever wondered what a day in the life of a published author is like? Does the muse sing gracefully while fingers race on the keyboard to keep up? Or is it more like piles of coffee cups and shredded drafts? Do published authors have second jobs? What are their geeky secrets? And what do they think about e-books vs. paper?
|Free image courtesy of stock.xchng and nkzs|
3. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
|Angela’s latest book, Earth Tones, is the third in her Elemental Magic series.|
Thank you for your time and insights, Angela!
If Earth Tones captures your fancy, check it out on Amazon.
And watch the book trailer on Youtube (trailers aren’t just for movies anymore)! Authors nowadays–especially self-published–are Jacks and Jills of many trades, and Angela turned moviemaker to promote her new book. Check it out.
You can also read the book description:
Nita Young doesn’t know if she has a future with college sweetheart Keenan Donovan—two star-crossed lovers of opposing elements—but she invites him up to Alaska to see if Earth and Water can rekindle their old flame. When a series of wild animal attacks strike the inhabitants of Yakutat, Nita has to put her romantic plans on hold. Mangled bodies are turning up, and a mysterious black panther has been spotted in the woods. Fur, scales, and a venomous bite suggest the cat is supernatural in origin—and evidence indicates that someone not only summoned it, but is using it to target those Nita cares about. It’s the perfect murder weapon: no fingerprints, no evidence. And in a town this small, the killer is someone she knows. Nita’s strength will be put to the test as she faces losing her friends, her town, and the man she loves.
Angela Wallace loves gun-toting good boys and could have been a cop in another life except for the unfortunate condition of real blood making her queasy. Good thing writing gun and sword fights isn’t a problem. In her books you’ll find the power of love, magic, and redemption.
I hope you enjoyed this interview! If you leave a comment to this post, both Angela and I will be answering them today. Open Q&A time. Hint, hint 🙂
Aunt Josephine’s idea of a good time is an afternoon spent adjusting commas in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed., of course). She flinches at the improper use of their/there/they’re and goes into raptures over a sentence that diagrams correctly. Her ideal man is one who says, “Why…grammar is the number one, most important thing in this here world to me” (even if he turns out to be a sham fisherman).
How these two people co-exist inside my head is a mystery to me. They certainly don’t get along very well. Both are high-strung and occasionally fly into a temper when their opinion is contradicted. I’ve learned that the key to a happy mental life and successful writing sessions is to keep them apart. Do not cross this line. Do NOT cross this line.
When I’m writing, usually Cordelia gets to come out first, because Aunt Josephine isn’t actually very good at coming up with original sentences. Cordelia, by contrast, could gush out words until the moon turns blue. With over 500,000 English words to choose from and an innumerable number of life observations and human subjects to choose from, she can imagine herself into any world she chooses at any time of day. But eventually it’s time for her to come away from the keyboard and give someone else a chance.
Then Aunt Josephine comes out to play. While she may look like an ogre as she ruthlessly slashes away, cutting out whole words, sentences, and paragraphs, she actually has a huge respect for writing and language. She simply believes that language forfeits its full power if it is overused or improperly used. Brevity is the soul of wit, and good grammar doesn’t hurt either. Sometimes she bosses Cordelia into submission, but when the dust settles, they usually agree that the end manuscript is better for their joint efforts.
I saw a cartoon where a pencil point and its eraser were having dinner together. On the phone, the pencil point says, “Can I call you back? I’m having dinner with my editor.” Life in my brain is like that. As long as the two halves of the pencil work separately and respect each other’s abilities, they continue to co-exist safely and (sometimes) happily.
What do you think? How did you react to this film?
The adventurous and interesting Tami Clayton invited me to play a game of letters (my favorite kind). The rules: reveal 10 of your favorite things that begin with a certain letter of the alphabet.
My letter (in case the post title didn’t give it away): S!
Stories: Escape into magical worlds. Power to change the real world. What I want to spend my life writing and reading.
Spices: Cooking has never been so interesting!
Sliding ladders: Ohhh, I want one so much!! Or I could just move into a library that has them.
Shakespeare: The love of my literary life (minus the earring). The genius bard of the Western world. Themes as relevant today as they were in the 16th century. Need I say more?
Sunshine: Just one of the many great reasons to be living in California again!
Scotland: The windswept land of bagpipes and legends, monks and poets, caber tossing and lovely accents–my second-favorite place in the world (after home, of course).
Springtime: My favorite season of the year!
Singing: I like to shatter windows with the high notes. (Actually, I just like imitating Hayley Westenra in the shower, on my church praise team, and when I have the house to myself.)
Sincerity: One of the characteristics I value most in friends (and in literary characters).
Socks: These are not my feet. But I kind of wish they were. My favorite Tinker Bell pair got a hole in them, but I do have a pretty awesome pair of knee-high blue-and-green argyles.
What are your favorite S-things? If you have a blog and want to play the letter game, leave me a comment and I’ll send you a starting letter via Facebook or Twitter!
1. Post the rules.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Pass the questions on to eleven people by tagging and linking to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.
Definitely fiction (although nonfiction has its uses).
Do you read in noisy or quiet places?
Feel free to jump in: how would you answer these questions? What’s your weirdest book factoid?
It is Monday, and yes, I am posting.
One of my goals for the month of March is to blog not once, but twice a week! Monday posts will feature short, fun tidbits to be found around the internet (blog recommendations, photos, videos, etc.), for just a moment of inspiration, thought provocation, discussion, or a good laugh. Fridays will continue to be the article-style reflections to which you’ve become accustomed around here. I hope you’ll feel free to comment on those, too–even if it’s to play devil’s advocate or argue the other side!
Today I would like to send the bibliophile in you on a trip to the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world (click on the link to see the article).
This article gave me a terrible, wonderful case of the sighs and almost made me start hunting for international plane tickets.
As long as there are magical places like these, I don’t think e-books will ever entirely dominate the world.