End of the Year: Wins and Fails

Let's pretend I functionally kept this blog going after taking a non-desk job this year and editing and revising ALL THE STORIES.


Some of that was sheer laziness, I'll admit to that. Anyone who follows me on Twitter laughed their adorable animal print socks off when I was like "I don't want to waste words on blogs! I want my words to count!". That is to say, I tweet a lot. About potentially inane things. But hey, Twitter. 

Some of it was because I often had a lot of blog ideas but not enough coherent brain power dedicated to academic like thought that I wanted to put here. So forthcoming: thoughts on women and forgiveness in contemporary romance (all cateogries); playlists; revising; planning versus plotting; organizing a writing retreat; NaNoWriMo; querying. 

No, really. When I said forthcoming, I meant some of this is now.

  1. I am a little concerned about the theme in contemporary romance/erotica where the girl is the one who commits the Final Faux Pas that separates Hero from Heroine and she is always the one to apologize and ask forgiveness. I can name ten books off the top of my head that I read this year that follow this. I think we need to be careful about how we frame women in relationships. That being said! I have LOVED some of the relationships I've seen in contemporary romance this year where women are smart, sexy, powerful, confident, and in charge of their own role in relationships. In particular, Hanna in BEAUTIFUL PLAYER by Christina Lauren is a great example of that. Hanna's a nerd (she uses a chemistry metaphor to say someone looks better from the back ;)) and not super experienced in any part of a relationship. But she draws lines for Will, which he not only respects, but works with happily. And she's confident enough, and he's trustworthy enough, for her to say she likes when he's pushy in the bedroom. He can be that alpha male with her without ever compromising her safety, integrity, or sense of self. That's what I like to read. 
  2. Playlists are awesome. I wish there was a better way to share what I'm writing to at any given moment. Leave suggestions in comments if you read this!
  3. Revising: I LOVE revising some stories. I HATE revising others. I LOVE magicballoonbook. I HATE revising magicballoonbook. It feels like the book that never ends at this point. I'm adding another POV this time around and it's better, and worse, in the same fell swoop. It's exhausting. And then other books, like my first NA romance, are easy to revise and fun to revise. I still marvel at all of that. The difference between each book when I'm writing it and revising it.
  4. I plotted the crap out of my NaNoWriMo book and I am NOT typically a plotter. It worked fantastically. I had a 12 page outline with tons of details and I finished NaNoWriMo in 6 days. It's my first time finishing it. I was quite pleased. Every time that I ended a scene, I never had to think about where to go next. The outline told me not only what was happening, who did what, but I also included details about setting that I needed to emphasis, the tone I wanted to pull through, and the changes in relationships as necessary. ENORMOUSLY helpful.
  5. 3 of my 6 online #BAMFWordBattle crit partners joined me in the Adirondacks at my parents' house in early November for a long weekend writing retreat and to kick off NaNoWriMo. All our words together that weekend added together were something around 80k! And we managed to watch two movies, go for a walk, and have a ton of fun. It was REALLY awesome, and I'm glad we were able to get work done and get along all in the same house.
  6. I'm starting to query a book I haven't talked about here before called THE KILLING MISTS. It's set in an invented city in Iceland (though that's never EXPLICTLY said, it has glaciers, wild ponies, and Icelandic names) and is a very light fantasy novel. It has mists that kill people out from sundown to sunup, a quiet secretive boy, a fierce and introspective girl, her wonderful sad sister, a red herring myth about the killing mists, and magical immortal horses. It's lovely, I think, though I might be biased. It's the only book I've never hated at any point in the process. I pitched it in #Pitchmas, and it was favorited by two agents and three small presses. So I suppose it's officially out in the world. I'll query it beyond this after the New Year when agents are back in the office.
  7. I knew querying was going to be insane, but really. Honestly. How do you guys take the anxiety of waiting? :p
  8. I should have a year end list about books up once I catch up on my Reading List. I do have a couple picked out already but I'll do that as separate post!

Happy Holidays to all and be safe!