WIN a $100 giftcard for the bookstore of your choice!
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Paste the URL for your post in the comments below.
Winner will be chosen by random draw on January 31st, 2013.
Every share counts as an entry!
DEADLINE: Comment must be posted by Midnight January 30th, 2013.
Upcoming: Look for a big contest update soon. I'm still hammering out the small details, but I want the prizes to be excellent (suggestions ;)) The contest will be sponsored by the Elder Corporation, your one source to live radiation free.
Beautiful art of Piper and Asher by my amazing and talented friend Sammy.
Sneak peeks, bookmarks/postcards, character sketches, and whatever else I can think of!
I'm looking forward to having lots of fun with this release, so I hope you'll join in. :)
I just want to post something that I think is really great. A writer I know is giving away all of his proceeds from his erasure poetry book "The Metre Erasure Project", to a iHuman, a not-for-profit that helps out youth-at-risk using the arts. It's a great cause and I'd really like to see his book get the exposure it deserves, and of course, 50% proceeds toward iHuman.
Help spread the word for a great cause!
E-book available on smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/16
And Kindle here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/16
<3 you all and see you soon!
The Weiland Comparison
Just who is Mary Forsberg? Hardcore grunge fans might be able to answer this question: Well, she was married to Scott Weiland, the musician. STP. Velvet Revolver. Junkie. But that doesn’t answer the question now, does it? In Weiland’s memoir Not Dead and Not for Sale, there is a photo of the two in plain Tees—Scott’s reads Rock Star, while Mary’s states Ornament. What may have seemed like an ironic joke to them at the time rings out as nothing but truth. Everybody has a tee-shirt to fill, right?
I picked up Mary Forsberg Weiland’s book Fall to Pieces in a discount bin at HMV. I knew a little about Scott; I knew nothing about Mary. But when I flipped open those first few pages I discovered what read like a mildly censored diary of a girl more sick than willing to admit. Her tale is an often humorous traipse through early ‘90s celebrity, chronicling her young modelling career with anecdotes featuring her many yet-to-be famous friends; people like Anthony Kiedis and Charlize Theron.
Life as a teenage model emancipated from her parents should have contained enough material to entertain a reader for hours, but shortly after her modeling career starts, Mary’s story ends, and Scott’s story begins. Who would have thought the young man who was paid to drive her to jobs would one day become a famous rocker, her husband, and partner in drug-induced crime?
I was nearing the end of Fall to Pieces, the drama and divorce insanity of her marriage still fresh in my mind, when I came across Scott Weiland’s own memoir Not Dead and Not for Sale. All I could think was I would love to read his side of the story. It was just like when you’re friends with both ends of a squabble, and you end up being privy to two different stories describing the same thing. I just had to know.
One thing the two books have in common is paramount; Mary’s book is about Scott, and Scott’s book is about Scott. Not Dead and Not for Sale is a scrapbook of Weiland’s life told with photos and song lyrics. Where Mary tells a story, Scott writes a poem. Where Mary is funny, Scott is introspective and isolating, and despite seeing both sides of their time addicted to heroin, only a few tales are really recounted—the rest seem to be lost in the haze of the drug.
What I was looking for—this he said, she said idea, I found toward the end of both works. I learned about Mary through Scott and vice versa. When Scott was high he complained he needed help Mary wasn’t offering, while Mary complained of his slips with drugs during which she was trying to raise their children in a healthy environment. Mary is crazy. Scott’s an addict. I quickly felt like their child relaying messages to and from.
But there was something intriguing in their portrayal of each other, and that was a type of competition of who loved who more. Weiland claims never-ending, obsessive love in the same paragraph as inadvertently calling his wife a gold-digger. He consistently diverts blame to anything he can, be it Mary or heroin or society. Conversely, Mary’s story is so focussed on Scott that it’s only in the last few chapters that she works on accepting herself as an addict and bipolar sufferer and on her will to recover and help others do the same.
Then again, according to her husband, her motto is lie, lie, lie. So who do you trust? Did Scott write his book as a labour of love, or did he do it simply to get in a few stabs at Mary that he couldn’t through his music? For someone claiming to hate media slander, he seems to do enough of it himself.
In conclusion, Scott Weiland is a walking contradiction. Even through his suffering he retains the image of pretentious, ego-boosted artist who sees himself and others only through his eyes. As for Mary, her new life seems to be just beginning as she lets go of Scott as her Svengali and shreds off her Ornament Tee, slipping into a new blank canvas free to paint on her own. Then again, coming clean is a process. Only time will really tell.
-Lindsay Leggett- www.burningtree.ca
Get it at Indiebound
Get it at Indiebound
Here's what I resolved for 2011:
Goals for 2011:
1. Finish Flight and submit (again)
Done! Flight might have gone through a weird blip in my imagined schedule, but the draft sits at a very satisfied place right now. It's still on submission, but I'm hoping to find someone to take me on in the New Year!
2. Work on something new
I've written over 45,000 words on new projects this year, and have a solid foundation for about four novels.
3. Drink more water! (and subsequently less coffee ;))
Less coffee didn't happen, but more water did! I love settng attainable goals.
4. LAUGH, LIVE and LOVE. Keys to a good year!
I made some beautiful frienships over the last year that I don't know how I ever lived without.
Goal time for 2012.
1. Lose 15 of the 25 lbs I packed on this year.
2. Find (and stick to) an exercise regime that doesn't flare up my pain too much.
3. Finish writing one book.
4. Do more. This means everything. Get out more, go to more events, find more time for the people I love. Period.
Good luck to everyone in the New Year, and hope you reach your goals, whatever they may be!
I haven't posted much this year. It's been a bit crazy, a bit exciting, a bit disappointing, and a bit wild.
Brief update: Flight is looking for a new home. (If you know anyone looking for a mature YA with lots of action and a bit of impossible romance, pimp me out ;) ) Ultimately it came down to the fact that I want people to be able to read it without spending a small fortune, so I'm hopeful that one day it will happen.
Right now I'm working full-time at a new job that is both lovely and frustrating, and fitting in as much writing as humanly possible during my 5 hours of free time a day.
If I'm not here much, it's because I'm stuck at my twitter or Tumblr homes.
Hope you're all having a fantastic Holiday Season!
P.S. I'm done Christmas. Success!
October is here! Most of you are probably cursing this damned cold weather (in Canada anyway), but I am super pumped for a month of horror! I'm starting early with some B movies and thoughts on what makes things scary. So share with me! What scares you?
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
I do a lot of reading and critiquing of others' work, and I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is to read the same story over and over. We even see it today on the bookshelves. Publishers obviously love what's hot, but who can't notice that as soon as one thing is popular, suddenly there is an influx of it available. The newest trend I've noticed is the growing amount of pseudo-feminist dystopias shooting up on the shelves.
Now, I have always been one to believe that writers and artists in general have a sort of collective unconscious, where similar ideas spring up at the same times (how many times have you seen this yourself?), but I really, desperately, want to see some cutting-edge original fiction out there!
Of course, to come up with something original we need to have some kind of knowledge in what has already been done, which is pretty much everything. Some may get down-trodden by this, but I think it's even more of a greater challenge. Even if the plot we've been nursing along isn't exactly the most unique, the presentation of said plot is where we can adjust that. Setting, characters, dialogue, there is just so much to work with at the end of the day to make that book unique and phenomenal.
Characters can be tough, as there seems to have developed this standard of female MC who is average looking, of average popularity, and of humble, average background, but is discoverd to have something surpremely non-average about them. This character is without a doubt easier to read than "Special Mary-Sue", but I can say that this "Plain Jane" I've been seeing around is growing a little... plain. When I think of characters, I want to see real people with real relationships. I think it takes years of people-watching to gain the skill it takes to create these pyramids of people.
I love the gritty bits of characters, groups, and families. Just stop and take a look at the people you know. Think of some "I Loves" and "I Hates". Obviously with everyone you know you're going to come up with more than a few bits to put under each heading. So is the way of a character. Everyone is good at something (usually more than one thing), everyone has their glorious high points, as well as their low points. EVERYONE has those embarrassing moments in their lives that they never forget but which changed their lives forever. (Remember yours? haha). There's also an interesting element in groups that I've noticed both in my personal and workplace life. The younger set has clique drama, back talking, pranks, purposeful alienation, etc, but all of those bits of group life don't necessarily disappear when we become adults. (Try telling a teenager this, though. I swear some of the girls I mentor are convinced that adults should know the right answer to everything in life). What about the office? I was doing some training a few weeks ago where there was some definite visual tension between the senior workers of the company, and for that tension to be palpable, I can't even imagine what was going on.
I've been working on this bit in Pirouettes where the MC Aries starts to realize how other people see her, and is very upset by it. It's been an interesting process in my character development, very much like the first time I ever realized that people were talking behind my back. Such a powerful moment of adolescence that often gets missed by coming-of-age stories for bigger issues. But really, it's the small bits that make a story unique and powerful. It's the ability to convey a situation that the reader can relate with, those deep down situations that everyone has been through in the process of life.
What are some of your favourite books that hold this ability?
Right now I'm reading A Game of Thrones in preperation for the TV show *No Spoilers!* and I love how the cliches of the fantasy genre are overtaken by the personal relationships we get to build with each character. It's here where my love for reading began, and where the love of writing really starts to flourish.
I do a lot of reading on those writerly social networking sites. Most of the time it's an opportunity to share what I know and help others, but sometimes genius strikes while I'm reading.
I've been thinking a lot about characterization: what makes a character tick, what makes them interesting, and most imporantly, what makes them seem real.
A lot of the characters we see today in books are, how shall I say this, special in some way. Maybe they swim in the opposite direction of the flow, have unique features, or have some other way of standing out. Some of this can be good, but a lot of the time as a reader I'm left feeling unsatisfied. Why is the character so special or different? Obviously your main character has to have some kind of unique quality, but does it always have to be related to them?
This got me thinking. My WIP list carries four novels right now, each with massively different characters and styles. Two are YA, one is "literary" fiction, and one is experimental. Making my characters tick in these different worlds has been my focus, and regarding their personalities, most of my characters are startlingly average. So what makes a charcter real?
I read once that there are three ways you can show off your character: what they say (or appear as), what others say about them, and what they Do. I think this is the first step in creating that really awesome character. Most people in the real world are fairly average, so why are the protagonists in books (mostly YA) so special? Do they have to be? The short answer is no. Take, for a vague example a character in my book So Here We Are. Tess is a middle aged mother who's recently lost a teenage daughter. By all accounts she goes through a standard grieving process, however behind the scenes she has another coping strategy for dealing with her grief, which comes in the form of a relationship with one of her daughter's friends.
In the YA world specialness abounds. But there's an easy way to change it up and make them seem unique in other ways, specifically dealing with outside forces. Maybe Jane doesn't follow the popular kids in school. This alone is vague and leaves the reader wondering "Why?". But no follow-up can leave us with an undeveloped character. You could take the road most travelled and put into account her relationship with said clique in the past, but come on, how much thought did that take? Maybe Jane's mother had problems in her past with cliques and enforces upon her daughter a disdain for those people, and one day Jane befriends one and learns that people are people. Maybe Jane's older sister was bullied profusely and Jane wants to protect herself from going down the same road. Maybe Jane is afraid of getting to close to anyone due to a variety of reasons.
Taking the road less travelled can develop your characters in ways other than physical appearance or an attitude "outside the norm". The most important aspect of developing characters is to pay attention to the world and people around you. Watch the interactions between people, cliques, families, clubs, etc. The smallest details are what makes each person unique. Tap into them and watch your character grow into their own.
Originally Posted at: Streaming Unconscious