Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I wanna have fun.

I decided to make this Wednesday post a fun one. The hubs gets in tonight at midnight and I want to start celebrating early.

Punctuation Update: I am now reading Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (It's a really fun book, I'll tell you about it later.)

Last year I won 2 Miranda Dickinson Books from Kath Eastman's blog. I also won her a copy of her cd, because yes she is a talented singer as well. The funny thing is I have to play it every day because grabby toddler likes to dance to it. The first time I played it, he was ill but he still got up to dance. Every day he adds a new routine to his dance, so we are pretty much a Miranda Dickinson dancing family now.

Now let's talk about The Proposal. It is not a new movie, but it's one every romantic writer should watch. If nothing else it's got La Reynolds being vulnerable *le sigh*. It is also about an editor (Sandra Bullock), and that is my excuse for having watched it more than 20 times till date. It's got great romance, chemistry and it is about the publishing world (sort of). The chemistry between the two of them is what I look for in my characters. I just can't describe it, but it was strong yet understated, and I always cry at the end.

Now let's move on to Angus, thongs and perfect snogging. If you have not seen this movie, you should, it is so funny and will take you back to those days. Remember when you were fifteen and the most important thing was getting that guy to notice you? Well that is what it's about and it does not hurt that the sex-god (Aaron Johnson) really is a sex god(evil blogger is not letting me do pictures).
Love at that age seemed so all encompassing – we definitely had no check list or sensible signals to watch out for. I'll tell you about my obsession with Gurindher Chadha movies another day.

The best thing is; I tell myself I watch these movies over and over again for book research. I love my job.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Comma Splice? Me? No… yes? Oh bumpers

Okay, how many of you know what a comma splice is? This is another day in my quest for punctuation perfection. So, lucky duck that I am, after stumbling about in bloggy land I got to Missed Periods blog (anyway you want to cut it – that is a funny name). She is an English professor and her blog basically deals with the nuances of the English Language. I honestly don't remember how we met but she never fails to crack me up while teaching me something new.

So back to my story, my first day back in the saddle I was on her blog and guess what I saw? She is starting a Proof reading/editing business and she is (maybe was) giving out free samples of her work. Since nothing in my life ever happens in small measures I emailed her begging for a freebie. At the same time she saw my help! I suck at punctuation blog post, et voila! I got 20 pages out of my manuscript done for free in one weekend (you should see the red marks. She was thorough but pleasant about it.)

She told me I have a comma splice. Do you know what a comma splice is? Neither did I. So I looked it up and it basically means I put commas in places I should have full stops (periods) or semi colons. For more info on that see her here.

The good thing is I am one step closer to my dream. I am learning from her edits and she even does plot stuff too. So while I go off to get head shots (lame joke) I leave you with Missed Periods, even if all you do is read her blog you would have learnt something new today.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Long and Winded Writer.

Remember how I said I will be going through my punctuation flubbles with you? Well let me lay one on you.

Has anyone ever seen or heard Miley Cyrus(Hannah Montana)talk? No?

Okay let me describe it for you, she basically talks and talks till she runs out of breath, then she continues again. Now you realize she is a talented* singer, and is trained to hold her breath longer than the average human. So yes she does talk in very long, rambling sentences.

Is today bash an 18yr old Millionaire day? No, it's my first step in becoming a punctuation guru (I can do it).

I write like Miley Cyrus talks. I can write a paragraph or a conversation of ten lines or even more without a comma. When my computer green lines me then I put a comma or a semi colon.

Why do I do this? When I'm writing I get so excited the words rush to my mind and I become a rambling thinker. Periods only show up at the end of my chapters or scene changes. I tell myself I'll fix this during edits.

Then comes the time to edit and I get so excited I have finished a project, I can't wait to send it out. Those are my lame excuses.

The truth is I distinctly remember being bored to tears when someone taught punctuation, so this is really my fault.

Remedy 1

The Period is your friend. Having periods does not mean the sentences will sound stilted. Independent phrases can have their own periods and next blog post we'll talk about commas or maybe something fun like my recent addiction to Degrassi (someone help me! I can't be addicted to Degrassi).


Xoxo and TGIF


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Embrace, How I love thee

Notice how I am skipping all of the sorry I've been away, thank you all for checking up on me, and am glad to be back? It's because I am so ecstatic about Embrace Books or Jane Holland to be specific. Most of you know I have been away for health reasons but the one thing I promised not to give up was my writing.

A couple of weeks ago I finished a baby I worked really hard on (I plotted). After two bouts of critiquing and heavy rehauling, I sent my top aces baby to Embrace Books.

Now here comes the good part I got feedback in an hour, actually it was 52 minutes – it took me 8 minutes to face my fear of rejection and open it.

I wish I could paste the email for you all to see. The editor – Jane Holland read it and liked, she thinks my writing is edgy, ME!

If you really want to know why I am so overwhelmed, go to her website and read her resume, she is all that and then some more.

Anyways she did point out something I knew I sucked at – Punctuation and Sentence Structure. When I saw that, I did a face-palm because I knew that was my weakness and I worked really hard on it.

Now this is how amazing she is, she went ahead to give me examples of what I did wrong and how I could fix them. I was really humbled by her email.

So guess what I am doing now? I have bought three no, four books The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Eats, Leaves and Shoots by Lynne Truss, Woe is I by Cant remember the author's name and What a Westmoreland wants by Brenda Jackson.

I am hoping to learn from these books; Jane said I could study how other authors did it too so I am just going to be soaking up stuff. My amazing CP is reading Strunk and White with me. She is too amazing for words and is explaining stuff to me. Some awesome people from our blogging community have also offered to do some punctuation and sentence structure crits for me. I am so close to realizing my dream that I am taking all and any help I can get.

I also will share what I learn in my books in my blog posts in case there is someone out there who can learn something through me.

What have I learned from all of this? It is not enough to have talent or book ideas. You also have to work hard to hone your craft if you intend to make a career out of this. Watch out for the part two of my story, I am determined to get "the call" this year.