Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring and Starting Over

One of the things I love about spring is that it's so happy and green that it makes you forget those long, cold, gray days of winter ever existed, because everything outside is blooming and singing and new. And since I'm all about relating everything to writing at the moment, I love that spring holds the promise of new beginnings. It's a great time to start something new, to move forward with hope, to let go of previous bad habits or self doubt.

On that note, I'm jumping back into the blog, picking up where we left off, with a WHOLE LOT of links for you to check out, and some newsy stuff as well.

First, some of the reasons I haven't been posting for a while:

My new MG series LIGHTS, CAMERA, CASSIDY made it's debut this month with the first two books - CELEBRITY and PAPARIZZI! You never think how much extra time launch activities will take until you're in the midst of them. Speaking of... if you're in Central Ohio, you're invited to come on by the book party at Cover to Cover bookstore Saturday from 1-2:30 pm and celebrate the release with me!

Spring break meant hanging with family in Arizona, where I visited Sedona for the first time. Seriously, I am in love. I need to spend a month there to feed my writer's soul, just staring at the mountains and drinking it in. Ooh... we should plan a writers' retreat there sometime. Hmmm...

My SIL introduced me to Pinterest. Like I needed another time suck when I get online... It's truly addicting, although at this point I spend more time looking at her pins than pinning anything of my own. : ) Anyone else use Pinterest? What do you like most/least about it?

I got to meet my nephew's baby girl for the first time as well. Love!!!

And! I went to the midnight premier of THE HUNGER GAMES with my son. Anyone else go for the midnight show? Have you gone since? What did you think?

Here's a sneak preview of where you can find me in April:

I'll be teaching a month-long online workshop with author Jennifer McAndrews for the RWA YA chapter (YARWA) - FROM HOMEROOM TO LAST BELL, THE HEROINE'S JOURNEY IN YA. (If you're interested, I believe you can still register here:

April 10th finds me in Cincinnati for the local SCBWI group, and in Columbus for a panel discussion for the COSCBWI group on the 18th.

On the 14th, I'll be at the Ohio Authors Book Fair in Hudson, Ohio. Details here:

And finally, if you're in Missouri, I'll be presenting a couple of workshops at the MWG Conference from the 20-22.

And finally... this week's linkpalooza:

Writer's Butt Wednesday (Ginger Calem) Grillin' and lungin'. : )

3 Things You Must Have in Your Novel's 1st Para (Live, Write, Thrive)

3 Ways to Find the Perfect Opening for Your Story (Jody Hedlund)

3 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Authors (Writer Unboxed)

4 Quick Ways to Improve Your Novel's Opening (MuseInks)

5 Uses for a Lull in Writing (Fiction Notes)

7 Habits of Successful Writers (Aliventures)

13 Stephen King Quotes on Writing (Writers' Digest)

Jack Gantos on Writing (NYT)

Suzanne Collins on Writing (The Daily Beast) Not Child's Play

Writing Lessons Learned from Heist Society (Julie Musil) Fun book. Great post.

When Your Backstory Becomes Your Story (Wordplay) Has that ever happened to you?

Creating Sympathetic Characters (Writing Fiction Right) Favorite: Don't create stupid characters.

Point of View (Magical Words) How to choose.

On Turning Points from YA Muses: (What they are) (Act 1 Turn)

Author's Bucket List on Plot Structure (The Kill Zone) 3 Act structure for Pantsers!

How I Became a Plotser: aka I Love Scrivener (YA Highway) More tools!

Revelations and Reveals (James Killick) How to surprise your readers

Story Setting: How to Make it Unique and Realistic (Writer's Alley)

Using the 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy to Create Tension in Your Story (Writers in the Storm)

Writing in the Digital Age of Publishing (Writer Warriors) New Breed of Writer

Characterizing Details (Kidlit) Action and interaction makes the character come alive.

When Are You Finished With Your Revision? (Fiction Notes)

Understanding the "Show, Don't Tell" Rule (Aliventures)

Endurance: Whatever Happens, Just Keep Writing (#amwriting)

How to Write Like You Can't Fail (W.I.P It)

What Makes a Character Unique (Jamie Gold)

Heightening the Suspense (Writer's Forensics Blog - Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Logic - without it, your story may have a serious neurological disorder (storytellers unplugged)

Writing Sentences with Rhythm (Magical Words)

Baby Got Backstory (The Other Side of the Story) How to deal with it.

What's My Motivation? (The Other Side of the Story) Illuminating Character Motivation

Story Structure - 3 or 4 Acts? (Edittorent)

The Midpoint - Where Your Story Gets Personal (Nail Your Novel)

Story Structure with a Hole in it (The Write Practice)

How to Start a Story the Stephen King Way (moodywriting)

Make me Like You (Magical Words) The importance of likeable characters.

Writing Lessons from A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (Julie Musil)

Imagery and Your Story (Karen Cioffi)

Downton Abbey - Lessons on Crafting Powerful Dialog (Between the Margins)

Do or Do Not. There is No Try (The Other Side of the Story) What are your characters are doing?

Fighting - how to make it more dramatic (Cowbell - You Need More of it)

The Pace is On! Understanding and Controlling your Pacing (The Other Side of the Story)

Too Quick to Tears - Emotional Timing is Everything (Writers in the Storm)

Conflicting Advice and What to Do With it (Adventures in Agentland)

Plots and Hooks - Think Symphony (Stina Lindenblatt)

Seth Godin on Libraries, Lit Agents & the Future of Publishing As We Know It (Digital Pub)

How to Think Like an Editor (Writer Unboxed)

Crafting Memorable Scenes (Adventures in YA and Children's Publishing)

The Contract Between Writer and Reader (Writer Unboxed)

Treat Readers like Fine Diners (Writer Unboxed)

Creating A Compelling Narrative Voice (Alan Rinzler - The Book Deal)

Your Brain on Fiction (NYT)

Believing We Have a Story to Tell (Writer Unboxed)

Narrative, Transitions, and Forward Momentum (Adventures in YA and Children's Publishing)

Creating Reality: The Pleasant Psychosis of Writing (Between the Margins)

Now go. Write!