Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wait for It


Currently, I’m in a state of expectation. I’m waiting for a whole bunch of things. Maybe because it’s spring— trees are budding and grass is greening after a long winter or maybe waiting is just what people do, part of our daily lives.  We wait for: vacations, holidays, buses, planes, letters, emails, tweets, movies, classes, appointments, work, family and friends, rain or sunshine—almost everything.

 Here are thirteen things I looked forward to happening yesterday.




  1. Waking up. (Me and my family)
  2. The Keurig brewing a first cup. Tea for me. Coffee for my husband.
  3. The weather person’s forecast.
  4. The daffodils outside my front door to open—they’re close.
    They're opening. :)
  5. The book I requested to come in at the library.
  6. My fitness center to unlock.
  7. The stop light to change from read to green.
  8. My students to arrive for class, lessons to begin, and each activity to take place and finish. Lunch with my colleagues.
  9. The check out line at the grocery store to move.
  10.  Dinner to cook.
  11. My family to return home and tell me about their day.
  12. My friends meeting me. My turn to buy a movie ticket.
  13. The movie we decided to see starting.


What are you are you looking forward to? Drop me a line. I’m waiting to hear.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Racing to the Finish


By Eilis Flynn

There’s nothing as surprising, exciting, shocking, or nerve-wracking…as getting to the end of one’s latest work in progress. I’m at that point where I can see all the points that have to be addressed, all the details that have to covered, all the motivation that has to be spelled out somewhere along the way…most likely in the rewrite, but that’s another day. All I can see is finishing the first draft, and that’s going to be in the next few weeks. I never thought I’d see it end.

I started this particular book about 2002, not long after finishing my urban fantasy/coming of age of a super-heroine story, Introducing Sonika. I wanted this story to take place in the same universe, in the same urban region, and in some cases, even across the street. And I wanted to use an idea I had longer ago than that, based on a comic book heroine who was introduced without an origin, only a story without an inciting incident. Theories ran thick and fast about who she was, how she could do what she could do, and what her motivation was (the usual—good? Bad? Mixed? Forgotten?).

Of course, I had my own theories about who she was, and how she did it. None of my theories bore fruit, as it turned out, but by the time I found that out, I knew I wanted to flesh out my version of this mysterious super-heroine. What she could do, I decided, had nothing to do with science or technology or even physiology, except in the vaguest of ways. And with that, I wanted to weave a story.

Not a lot to work on, but it was enough. So for the next twelve—12!—years, in bits and pieces, after the day job and before, after the freelance gigs and when there wasn’t any, I took all the scribbled notes and partly fleshed-out bits of scenes and even the final scene, written out without knowing anything about what had gone on before that made that scene significant, and started to build.

The construction took time. While I was writing that story over the years, I managed to write and finish five novels, one graphic novella (the script, not the art, before you ask) and one novella, two articles, and other writings. That may not seem like much to you, but the day job took up a lot of time, as you might imagine. And I kept coming back to this one particular story. And now, I am so close to finishing it. And you betcha it feels good.

There is no moral to this story, except to say that you can’t ever finish that book if you don’t keep plugging at it; and you can’t write that book if you don’t keep thinking about it. I’ve thought about this one for more than twelve (12) years, and the day I’m done not only with the first draft but the final one, I will dance a jig. And since I’m lousy at dancing jigs, it will be done in the privacy of my office, but dance it I will.

Eilis Flynn can be found to argue with at Facebook, Twitter, or at her website at www.eilisflynn.com or www.emsflynn.com, if you’re looking for an editor. She was laid off last year, which is why she finally had time to finish that book.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Celebration of ASK AGAIN LATER

You've written a kick-butt great novel that a major New York publisher picks up. What do you do on the month that story hits the book stores?

Simple, you invite friends, readers and family to book launch. That’s exactly what my talented author friend Liz Czukas did when her book ASK AGAIN LATER came out.



I was fortunate enough to get an invitation and here are thirteen of the photos I snapped.

1. 
Liz signing my copy.

2.
 3.

Grin. This guy really liked the books.
4.
Lot of people bought books.

5.
Good times, good friends and a good read

6.
Liz's book is about a prom and her launch was a little like a prom.
7.

We had fun.
8.
We all wanted our own copy.
9.
One of the awesome things Liz did, was to hook up with the Cinderella Project, a nonprofit group that collects prom dresses for girls who can't afford them.
10. 
Many people brought dresses.
11.
Isn't this pretty? 
12
These look fun to wear!
13.
Liz's many friends wish her well.

 
 
Want to know what Liz’s book ASK AGAIN LATER is about? Here’s the blurb I copied from her website.

Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all.


I’m looking forward to reading my copy over spring break, and if you’d like to join me in reading ASK AGAIN LATER, I’m sure you can find it on the Amazon or Barnes and Noble sites and at most major bookstores. 

As always I appreciate you stopping by my blog and I love hearing from you. Thanks.
 
ja