Saturday, August 29, 2009

No! No! No!

I will say no. I will say no. I will say no.

Yes, it's true, I'm dying to write another book. I have all these ideas and the character is chatting away in my head. I love her already!

Shhh! Don't tell my hubby because he made me promise I'd finish revisions and query these other two books I've written before I write another one.

It's true, I have a problem. I adore writing. But sometimes I get so caught up in making my drafts perfect and then I get the feeling I will never finish the book.

So no. I will not start another book. Yet.

In fact, I'm going to put my computer away right now and read through my last 40 pages. I've sat down these last few days and read my book. Caught some naughty spelling errors and tossed in a few commas too! Oh, aren't you proud of me?

How about you? Is there anything that you have to tell yourself NO! before you do what you want to do? (Like scrub the toilet as opposed to watching TV?)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Yep, that's right. Our school has closed for the H1N1 Virus. We had three cases show up on Friday in our British School so that division was closed. But by Tuesday, more cases popped up so the Korean government has closed us down.

Just a few cases doesn't seem like much, but with a close expat community, a virus could spread fast. Besides, South Korea may not be an island, but with North Korea blocking us off from Asia, it basically is.

Last night we got the email from our head of school. It was a long list of things we could do or couldn't. One of the weird things is no one is allowed on our school campus unless they have to be (all our teachers live on school property). We had until 11 AM this morning to go into our classrooms and get what we needed. I was in my office still at 11 printing stuff out and gathering my folders that I'd need while the announcement kept coming on "You need to leave now!"

I have no idea why we aren't allowed in our classrooms, or in my case, my office. But we'll go along with it.

Still, we have off from school until next Wednesday (as of right now). Currently, all the teachers are having on-line school. With the technology of today, it really is doable. And I'm planning on hitting my novel HARD this week. My deadline to be finished with edits is Sept. 1st. Can I do it?

Regardless, it's all very exciting to live in a community that is quarantined. Maybe I'll have to write a book about that!

But on a more serious note, please keep all the people around the world who are sick in your prayers and hope this virus can get contained.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Are You a Writer in Korea?

It's amazing how many writers living or have visited Korea that I've met since having this blog. So I thought I'd make a blog post to all those who are near or coming to Seoul.
We have an SCBWI chapter here in Korea that is still new and forming, but with some awesome people. Here's the link or check us out here on Facebook. We usually meet once a month. Whether you are a member of SCBWI or not, come join us!

Also, at my school, Seoul Foreign School, we have a writing group called Inkwells. It's for all genres and I get a lot out of it. We'll be having our first meeting in September.

Email me if you're interested in coming or interested in SCBWI. farley dot christina L at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Character Motivation

This is a photo of us climbing the last series of steps before reaching the peak of Diamond Head Crater in Hawaii. It was a tough hike for little Luke, but we kept telling him it was worth it.

"The view, Luke! Wait until you see the view!"

Writing is a little like that, isn't it? Hard work. Exhausting, actually, but totally exhilarating once you get to THE END!

I'm getting closer to my THE END with another revision after getting back my brilliant notes from my two Beta readers, my hubby and Brilliant Beth- yes, Beth, you've a new nickname now. (See my blog post on the process)

Today I worked hard on my characters' motivations. What makes them tick? Why do they love, kill and sacrifice their lives for a cause? And most importantly, how do my characters' decisions effect and steer the plot?

I'm a very goal-orientated person. I decide I want something and do it whether it kills me. (Yes, this is how I finish books but it can be a very bad thing as in no sleep or frustration)

I guess my characters tend to be goal oriented too, but they need to fail. And not just the main character, my other key characters too. That's the hard part. Because I want them to have the happily ever after. Still, we can't always get everything we want!
So in this draft, I'm highlighting my characters' inner strength and motivation to get them to their goal, despite their failures and insecurities.
Have you ever accomplished something really difficult, and despite setbacks, succeeded? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Back in Korea
It sure is good to be home. Weird isn’t it to think of Korea as home? But it is in many ways. I’ve now lived in our building (F Dong we call it) longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life. Wow. That is wild.
Each time I come back, I have all kinds of issues. Emotional stuff.
-Sigh. My own place. My own bed.
-Don’t tell me we just spent nearly 90,000 won (close to $85) on a tank of gas! (we have a tiny car too)
-I miss my family! Sniffles.
-Ah, the fresh kimchi breeze of Seoul. Honest, the air smells like kimchi. Good thing I like to eat kimchi.
- Friends! Hugs and get togethers.
- Air sirens. Today was the training day for the air raids. We don’t do anything at our school but in the city it’s a drill of some sort. Those sirens are loud too! I have to admit it freaks me out every time even though I know it’s safe here.
- Cool military stuff- When the fighter jets flew over today, Luke thought all that noise was thunder. Then he wanted to know if they were the good guys or the bad guys. I just shook my head and thought BOYS!
-Koreans- I love the Korean people!
-Do I really need to recycle EVERYTHING? Okay, so it’s good for the environment. Every time I go back to the States, I cringe at how much waste there is. My only stipulation is that Doug has to do the food recycling. I don’t even want to know what grows and lives in those bins.
-The food is so expensive it forces you to go on a diet. Seriously. It’s bad when we visit Hawaii and are shocked at how cheap the food is there.
-Korean food- yum! And Korean rice too. Missed that.

How about you? What do you miss the most after you go away on a long trip?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We’re back in Korea safe and sound. We survived the 14 hour flight and all the driving in between, only losing 1 out of 11 bags (don’t worry, we just forgot it on the conveyer belt and had to pay the fine to have it delivered to our apartment). This is what happens when you become travel weary. Counting is relative.

Our new apartment is super nice and much bigger than our last one. (Yeah!) Of course, all the boxes of our junk were a little overwhelming.
The positive of being jetlagged and waking up at 2 AM is that we’ve gotten tons of unpacking done. My husband and I were on the unpacking race. How much can we get done before we have to go back to work on Tuesday?

Need 2 AM activities that antsy boys might like? Check these out:
1. Night Walks- take along a flashlight and you will discover a whole new world at this time of the night.
2. 24 hour stores- no lines!
3. Fresh Donuts- head to the grocery stores as soon as they open and get a dozen of melt-in-your-mouth donuts.
4. Star Gazing- jump into the car to a mountain top for some great star gazing (although I must say, you won’t see much if you live in one of the most populous cities in the world)
5. Call all your friends who live on the other side of the world ‘cause for once they will be awake when you are.
6. Eat breakfast twice and never eat dinner. (Thankfully, breakfast is my favorite meal)
7. Quiet activities- If you live in an apartment building and don’t want to wake your neighbors (like when you’re sword fighting, wrestling or jumping on the bed like I know you secretly do behind closed doors) then stack up on paints, playdough, and board games.
8. Sparklers- use up those leftover sparklers from 4th of July. They're fun anytime of the year.
9. Library- My family’s favorite place to visit. We stack up on books and then we have some new nighttime reading.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Packing Up and Heading Back to Korea

Has the summer already ended? NOOOOOOOOOO!

Me: (Sigh and pouting face)

But I must say I had a really relaxing summer. I read like 15 MG and YA books (Heaven!) and got all caught up chatting with family. Disney was fabulous, as always. Micky Mouse says hi BTW.

And to top it all off, it looks like we sold our house (still waiting for that signature and check in hand to actually believe it) and we bought a new house (or a slice of grass at least) that is being built.

Only bad news is I didn't get another full revision done. I know. Very naughty. But fear not, I'll be burning the midnight oil (actually I prefer blueberry scented candles) soon enough.

While playing around on the Internet, I found another great blog. If you're a writer, it's a must to check out. Great stuff there. She's even having a contest that I have to tell you about (only because she's making me to enter). If I had my way, I wouldn't tell you so I'd win, win, win!

Guess what she's giving away? FIRE by Kristin Cashore!