Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Starting a New Project- Where to Begin?

Yep. I’ve started a new project. And I’m excited. No, actually, my fingers are tingling with anticipation to write it. In fact, I’m so excited all I can think is why in the world am I blogging when I could be writing IT!

Kidding, I love my blogging buddies. You guys keep me going.

So here’s the thing. It’s not an easy to choose what project you will write about. You’ve heard the stuff, like write what you love, pull it from the heart and all that. It’s true. Absolutely.

But (there’s a but)—

You also need to keep in mind the market, the books that have been recently published or are soon to be published when you are selecting what you’re going to write.

I had three book ideas I thought were pretty good. One that my sister loved, one that my husband loved and another that had been nagging in the back of my mind for 2 years but I couldn’t formulate a gripping enough plot (yeah, I like gripping).
Here’s the lowdown:
1. Idea #1- Great idea and I was pumped to write it. I wrote a synopsis, came up with my one line hook, and even webbed out my characters and started to get to know them. But then I researched the market on this idea. And just this year, a book, quite similar to my topic was released. Too similar, I decided. So I shelved it for later. When I’m famous. (giggle)

2. Idea #2- For this one, I decided to research it first. And there’s nothing on the market that I can find. It’s a cute idea but I wasn’t tingling, itching, biting at the bit to write it. (going back to needing to love it here). I shelved it.

3. Idea #3- This one has been haunting me for two years now, but I didn’t have a good enough plot. And then on one of my runs, it hit me. The perfect plot to go with my perfect characters and story. It won’t be easy to write. I’ll be pushed more than I’ve ever had to push myself, but the story needs to be written. Oh, and I did research this one too and it's good to go. Crossing fingers!

I’m not ready to spill the beans on the plot yet, but I can tell you it’s a multicultural paranormal.

Have you ever had a similar experience as this? Do tell!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Writer's Luck

I wrote on the MiG blog about how to make your writing presentation go smoothly. Check it out!

You see, yesterday, I presented at our Korea chapter's SCBWI meeting on using technology to help you network and promote yourself as a writer. We had such a great time sharing ideas.

But the most important thing I emphasized to the group is my old saying I like to tell my students:

Luck= preparation + opportunity.

In writer language, it means: go and write the most amazing, fantastic novel and then when you see an agent post on twitter or a blog that they are excepting submissions in the very genre that you write, you're ready to seize that opportunity.

So call luck, call it good fortune, call it whatever you like. But I like to call it Prepared for the Opportunity.

So if you had Writer's Luck, what would be your One Wish?

By the way, I thought the book above Just One Wish by Janette Rallison was fitting for this post. Excellent and halarious story dealing with tough issues. Recommended.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Critter is Coming to Korea!

Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Beth is sending the cute, the adorable, and the very famous Critter (created by Ian Sands) on an airplane to visit me and my boys here in Korea!

We are excited.

And now we must decide all the fun stuff we are going to do with Critter. The palace is a definite and he's got to try some kimchi, too. Anything you'd like to see Critter do? Anything in Korea you are terribly curious about?

And other fantastic news, PJ Hoover's The Navel World is released!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Writing Time

Remember when I said I had some ideas for a new project? And I was waiting to finish my revisions before I started it? I’ve been good. I finished (yeah!) and now I’ve given myself permission to write something new.

Party time!

So with two kids, a job, my gourmet meals (note sarcastic tone here), attempts at (semi) clean clothing and house, I have to find time to write.

And for me it’s usually early in the morning. Like really early. It has to be totally dark. I sit with my laptop on the couch and plug in my headphones. That’s when I can enter my world. You know, that place in your head where your characters live and try to survive.

Now for brainstorming and second drafts, I don’t have to have the dark and the no interruptions. But that first draft is special.

How about you? Can you write first drafts amidst flying Barbie dolls, fifty questions, laundry piles and phone calls?

I’m curious.

Photo by Denys Kurbato

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hiking Under a Chu-sok Moon

Happy Chu-sok! What is Chu-sok you ask? Basically, it’s a festival celebrating the harvest and a time for families to get together. Think of it like the Korean version of American Thanksgiving.

If you’re a Korean woman, you will be cooking for days to prepare for the feast. Foods include: grilled meat, fruit and nuts, kimchee, and of course songpyun! Songpyun is a special rice cake (dukk) that’s molded into the shape of a half moon. I actually attempted this using rice flour and stuffing it with brown sugar and honey. But the key ingredient is pine needles. You lay these across the steamer and then place the cakes on them. It gives off a unique scent and adds to the rice cake’s flavor.

But since I’m not Korean, I didn’t spend my whole weekend cooking. The boys and I decided to hike Ansan Mountain (we actually live on the side of it and just hiked to the top). It was an incredibly clear day and the view was spectacular of Namsam Tower.

The Han River and the 63 Building:

We ate a little snack:

And that’s when the moon rose over Seoul, plump like songpyun:

It was starting to get dark by the time we left, so we were very happy we had our flashlights and the full Chu-sok Moon to guide the way.

How about you? What did you do this harvest moon?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Target Your Agent

Looking for that perfect agent that's the right match for you? Check out my blog post here over at MiG Writers to start you off.