Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Last Dose of Halloween Horror

There's only about 15 minutes left in one of my favorite holidays of the year. A lot of people didn't really get to celebrate Halloween this year due to Frankenstorm's vigorous assault, either because they were in its path or were absorbed in the wake of news it left behind. To everyone personally affected by the storm, I am deeply sorry.

Real horrors like Frankenstorm we hope will only come around once in a blue moon, and with minimal impact. But there's fictional horror all year long, and for a holiday like Halloween, being festive means celebrating, or at least appreciating, the macabre. So when life goes back to normal, celebrate your own belated Halloween by enjoying a few tales of woe (hopefully) deeper than your own. (To enjoy a few juicy tidbits, check out's "Tales to Make Your Skin Crawl", a compilation from several different writers in different magazines across the past few years.)

Halloween is a special holiday for me. I've always loved horror films and stories, but these days, there's something even better. For me (especially since having kids), Halloween has become a sort of mini-Thanksgiving. Stay up late to watch a creepy movie I know will keep me up at night? That's okay, because it also gives me a reason to be thankful--my life is not that movie, and likely never will be. Luckily, our lives are generally filled not with weapon-wielding madmen, but with holiday realities--chubby toddlers in nylon costumes, five extra pounds of candy-induced fat, and lots of big orange pumpkins. It's why we enjoy Halloween in the first place; we get to be someone else for a day, live vicariously through someone else's eyes in a story or film, flirt with the dark side without consequence.

So enjoy those spoils of Halloween all year round if you can, and be thankful that life is not fiction!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Once Upon a Time (Again)...

Did you ever wonder what happened to E.T. after he took the spaceship back home? Or if Scarlett and Rhett ever got back together? You might be surprised to hear that these questions actually have answers. M. Asher Cantrell of mental_floss compiled a list of little-known book sequels to famous books and movies called "11 Book Sequels You Probably Didn't Know Existed."He includes sequels to such literary classics as Lois Lowry's The Giver and Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, as well as some Disney-snuffed classics like 101 Dalmations and The Jungle Book (and yes, I know that there may be film versions, but they don't follow the true sequels).

I didn't know most of these sequels existed. I say most, because I've actually read Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett, the authorized sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. I went through a (very) brief romance phase in late high school, which is when this book made my list. Spoiler alert: all true romances have happy endings, right?

On the book front, I am finishing up the final edits today and aim to start querying agents by this coming Monday. The time is finally nigh! Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Monday, October 15, 2012

And I'm Back!

So I've been absent again. But there's a really good reason this time. Remember how I rushed through the end of my novel early in the summer and tracked my daily word count? I did that because I'd just found out I was pregnant, and I knew the morning sickness would kick in around 6 weeks, which would hit a couple days after the end date for my writing goal. As expected, the sickness (which is really all-day, "morning sickness" is really a misnomer) hit right on time. Which means I didn't have the energy to write pretty much all summer, even on the blog.

But now I'm back! I'm about to be 21 weeks pregnant (with a little girl named Charlotte Blain) and am now staying home full-time, so I am officially a fulltime freelance writer and photographer. I've been letting my book sit all summer on purpose, so that I can return to it fresh, ready to edit it for submission this fall. Which I'm starting on Wednesday (yay!) with a dedicated, all-day read-through. By the end of this month, my goal is to have submitted it to 10 agents. That's a tall order, considering I also have to prep 10 separate query letters and 2 different types of synopses, on top of having the manuscript in a submission-ready state, but now I have more time to make it happen. If I could write 1500+ words/day while holding a full-time job, surely I can do it as a stay-at-home mom! Well, as long as my darling toddler son cooperates, that is. :)

My plan is to write here weekly, giving updates on my progress, as well as what will hopefully be interesting fiction-related tidbits. At least until around February 26, when I'll likely disappear for a while again while I get used to having a newborn addition to the family.

Thanks for everyone's support along the way, I look forward to getting back on track!