14 March 2009

Mini-Blog: Embracing Thanks

To everyone who made SEFEVWI a fabulous success, THANK YOU!

It was great to hang out with other writers and feel the metaphorical burn on my long-neglected writers' muscles. You guys are a great group, and I'm glad to get to know you all.

I got over 3,000 words written on my new WIP, AFTERLIFE OF THE UNDEAD. And I couldn't have done it without all of the encouragement and peer pressure. I hope you all feel as accomplished and motivated as I do.

I will definitely be doing this again. So stay tuned!

Until then...

Embracing Sam Elliott's First-Ever Virtual Write-In!!

Goooooood morning, writers! It's a great day to get some serious writing done.

If you are writing today and want some camaraderie, come join us!

We'll be here from now until late tonight/early tomorrow (depending how well it goes):


Just remember that if you are going to participate in the madness, manners and kindness are a must! I'm not afraid to use my administrative powers for good.

See you on the other side of several thousand words.

...now if only my roommate would wake up and volunteer to go on a Starbucks run...

13 March 2009

Embracing Tomorrow and the Who's Who of SEFEVWI

[Insert Annie-wannabe singing "Tomorrow, Tomorrow" at the top of her lungs here]

That's right, folks, Sam Elliott's First-Ever Virtual Write-In is almost upon us.

If you're joining in late, details concerning that the heck I'm talking about can be found here and here. Or, if you're a rebel, you can just scroll down and read my posts from a couple of days ago.

Also, after some fiddling around on the Interwebs, I've decided that instead of Meebo, we will be using Chatzy. It seems like much more like what we need for this to go smoothly.

First thing tomorrow morning I will post a link to a private chatroom here on Wuthering Life. Feel free to direct your friends here to have them join us. Come one, come all, right?


If you are thinking of joining me tomorrow, don't forget to stop by Wednesday's post and give us a little taste of what you're working on, or simply drop a comment on this post saying you're in.

Until then...I have to go figure out the setting to AFTERLIFE OF THE UNDEAD. =/

11 March 2009

Embracing Whose What of SEFEVWI

Okay, VWI participants (or those who might be participating), now's the time to come forward and share a bit about your What (or work in progress, aka WIP) and, if you'd like, yourself.

Since I've heard that you should never ask others to do what you are unwilling to do yourself, I'll go first.

Oh, and if you missed it, don't forget to read yesterday's post on What's What with the VWI.

(A.N. I came up with the concept for this WIP, with the help of my amazing co-plotter, yesterday. I haven't written a word and haven't worked out all, or most, of the details yet.)

Name: Sam


Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Alice is one of the Undead--clones whose originals have "returned from the dead" (aka awakened from their comas, been found after they've gone missing, returned from war after being listed KIA, or in Alice's original's case, been reunited with her parents after surviving two years of captivity). 

With her identity repo'd, Alice is taken in by Mr. Xavier (Mr. X to her), a man working for the company that manages the cloning process and the few Undead in existence. Given that she really has no other interests or identity, Alice decides to follow in her adoptive father's footsteps and become a Handler--one who manages the Disenfranchised Clones, as they are officially known. 

Her first assignment: Heathcliff Heathcliff, an Undead whose reported threat level is Alpha, which basically means that he wouldn't hurt a puppy. But, when (plot elements needed) start happening, Alice worries the company's shrinks may have miscalculated, that Heathcliff may be the greatest threat the company's ever seen.

Problems/Areas In Need of Elaboration and Further Thought:
  • The setting: Near-future? Alternate universe? Contained to Earth (or Earth-like world)? Inter-galactic?
  • The company's name
  • What is happening at the company/to the company? What causes Alice to suspect Heathcliff is behind those things?
Etc.: [Insert whatever other information you feel like sharing, pertinent or not, here]

10 March 2009

Embracing What's What of SEFEVWI

Welcome to the What's What of Sam Elliott's First-Ever Virtual Write-In!

I'm going to answer a few What questions regarding the VWI. Hopefully, I'll cover everything, but if you have a What question of your own, just leave it in the comments. I'll make up an answer as soon as possible.

Without further ado...

What's a VWI?
  • VWI stands for Virtual Write-In. It is a virtual writers' retreat for writers unable to get away from it all physically. 
  • Any writer interested in participating will find a link to the private chatroom I will create by 9am on Saturday, March 14 via Meebo here on Wuthering Life that morning.
What's Meebo?
  • Meebo.com is a Web site that allows people to sign in to whatever instant messenger platform they use and communicate with users on other platforms. If you're participating, you might want to check out the site beforehand to avoid technical difficulties (as I just found the site last week and won't be able to offer any advice or know-how). But, it seems simple enough.
What's the point?
  • The point of participating in the VWI can really be whatever you want. Although I can be a bit dictatorial at times, this will not be one of them. However, there are a few reasons that I'm doing it. Feel free to borrow them if you'd like.
  1. I've been stuck in the ruttiest of ruts for the past...many months, and I need something different and extreme to jump start my WIP (work in progress).
  2. I find that writing with other writers present (if only via Internet magic) activates the competitive and prideful areas of my brain, which prevents me from procrastinating or losing focus.
  3. I like making new friends.
  4. I don't have the money/time to go write in a castle in Ireland like some YA authors I could name.
  5. I need to distract myself from the fact that I'll be finding out if I made the ABNA quarterfinals on Monday.
What do participants have to do?
  • Write. If you choose to participate that's really the only requirement--that you give up a Saturday to put your nose to the grindstone and write for a (mostly) uninterrupted 12-hour period.
  • However, if you want, you can encourage, challenge, and support fellow participants by answering questions, offering suggestions, and seriously abusing emoticons and exclamation points. I mean! :D
What do participants get out of it?
  • Um, quality time with yours truly? Sadly, I don't even have the design prowess to create cute little widget/icon that you can post on your blogs and Web pages. BUT, that doesn't mean that the VWI isn't worth your time or that you won't be getting anything out of it. It just means that what you're getting won't be...material. Here are a few things that you could get, though:
  1. A novel - If you write 10,000 words per hour for the whole 12 hours, then it's absolutely possible.
  2. A soul mate - Hey, you never know who might be joining us!
  3. A cookie - Just send me a request with your preferred type of cookie along with an SASE...
  • All joking aside, you'll be getting to have the minds of however many writers join us at your disposal (temporarily, of course). If you get stuck on a new character name and need a suggestion, we'll be there. Not sure if a description will give readers the correct impression? We'll be there. Work well under tight deadlines and need a push? My word sprints will be there. As I've said before, this VWI will be what we make it.
What happens if a participant invites some friends over to join him/her in person as well as online?
  • I'll send my hitman after you. 
  • OR I'll send you an extra cookie per friend you bring aboard, provided you send me the extra SASEs of course. ;)
  • Seriously, I can't say this enough: SEFEVWI is open to one and all. Tell as many of your writing buddies as you'd like, and feel free to meet up with them in person if that works for you. Just don't let them distract you!
I think that's about all the Whats I can think of. Feel free to bury me in questions.

Tomorrow, or (as is more likely) Thursday, I will post the Whose What of SEFEVWI --a chance for participants to introduce each other to their WIPs so that we can dive right in on Saturday morning.

Until then...

Mini-Blog: Embracing the Accomplishments of Others

Happy Release Day, Carrie!!!

Don't forget to pick up your copy of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH today! Borders will definitely be my first stop after work. Click the book cover to buy it from Amazon.com.

Critics are saying...

"...reminiscent of the paragon of the genre, George Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead...Ryan's vision is bleak but not overly gory; her entry in the zombie canon stands out for how well she integrates romance with flesh-eating."

"Mary's observant, careful narration pulls readers into a bleak but gripping story of survival and the endless capacity of humanity to persevere...Fresh and riveting."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"A post-apocalypse romance of the first order, elegantly written from title to last line."
Scott Westerfeld, author of Extras and Leviathan

"Intelligent, dark and bewitching, The Forest of Hands and Teeth transitions effortlessly between horror and beauty. Mary's world is one that readers will not soon forget."
Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments trilogy

"Opening The Forest of Hands and Teeth is like cracking Pandora's box; a blur of darkness and a precious bit of hope pour out. This is a beautifully crafted, page-turning, powerful novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it!"
Melissa Marr, bestselling author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange

"Dark and sexy and scary. Only one of the Unconsecrated could put this book down."
Justine Larbalestier, author of How to Ditch Your Fairy

09 March 2009

Mini-Blog: Embracing Decision-Making

Happy Monday, my peeps! (<--No good, you say? Being addressed like that makes you feel like a pastel marshmallowy treat? Okay, I'll try again...)

Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm interrupting this regularly scheduled work-day to bring you a quick VWI update.

Sam Elliott's First-Ever Virtual Write-In is on!

I've decided that I'm going to hold it this Saturday, March 14, beginning at 9am EST, and if it works out, I will hold another later in the month or in early April. I'm a dedicated enough author to give up more than one Saturday, right? Right!

I will post more details here on Wuthering Life as I make them up...I mean, as I...no, I meant make them up. Tomorrow you can expect a What's What post on the VWI, and Wednesday or Thursday you can expect a Whose What post (and feel free to pester me if they don't appear!). There might be a Who's Who post on Friday, but only if you all seem interested. Some of you might prefer to remain semi-anonymous, which is totally fine by me. 

Just remember a few things:
  • The VWI is meant to be a time for productivity, fun, and camaraderie.
  • The VWI is open to anyone--BYOWF, remember?
  • The VWI is like a toddler just finding her legs. Be prepared to catch her if she stumbles.
Until tomorrow...

06 March 2009

Mini-Blog: Embracing Friday

I don't want to jinx myself, but today's looking pretty good. I thought I'd share a few of the reasons why my mood is ridiculously good right now.
  1. Free Bagel Friday at Einstein Brothers Bagels
  2. No need to wear a scarf, gloves, or a hat for my morning commute
  3. A place for me to sit on the bus
  4. Casual Friday at work
  5. It's FRIDAY!
Thank you, that is all.

05 March 2009

Embracing Virtual Write-In Logistics

I just learned that Carrie Ryan, Ally Carter, and 8 other YA authors are going on a writers' retreat, to Ireland, to a castle, for a week.


In addition to the intense feelings of utter jealousy this information causes, I feel a renewed drive to make the Virtual Write-In happen. My apartment's den may not be as scenic as an Irish castle, but it's not as drafty or as dusty either. :P

Anyway, my resolve has led me to make a few executive decisions.
  1. Because I'm an "early-bird", SEFEVWI will last from 9 a.m. EST until the last participant crashes on an upcoming Saturday/Sunday, date to-be-determined. (See the poll to the right.) Participants are welcome to join when they are able and leave as-needed, though the idea is to spend the day writing.
  2. I'll create a private (password protected) chat room on Meebo.com, which allows for people to sign in and join rooms using AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, gtalk, Myspace, and Facebook instant messengers. Hopefully everyone interesting in joining us has at least one of those, if not more *coughlikesixoutofsevencough*. If not, it takes about 5 minutes to create an account on AIM. Suck it up, people.
  3. A few days before The Big Day, I'll post a blog entry listing the pertinent details about the WIP (work-in-progress) that I'll be working on during the VWI. You all can then share yours via comments, and then we'll all be on the same page the day of and not have to waste time explaining the details. (Thanks for the great idea, Kage!)
  4. Sometime soon, I'll post an entry about the VWI's etiquette and "rules", which you all should feel free to contribute to. But, to ease your minds, I don't think that this thing is going to need to be moderated as much as it will need some direction.
  5. This VWI is BYOWF (Bring Your Own Writer Friends). The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned.
I think that's it for now. Thoughts?

04 March 2009

Embracing a Virtual Write-In

I have an idea, prompted by this blog post by my new friend E. Van Lowe, and it's an idea that requires audience participation--specifically writers-in-my-audience participation.

E. was discussing social media and its negative affects on his word counts. Over at the ABNA forums, besides imploding (or perhaps because of it), people have begun discussing ways to pass the time until we get the first round of results.

Now, I don't know if its just me, but I have been having the hardest time trying to close the world off long enough to get to it already with my next novel. So I started thinking that maybe that's exactly what I need--to get away from it all. But maybe I don't have to get away from it all by myself. Maybe some of you feel the same?

What I'm proposing is this: Sam Elliott's First-Ever Virtual Write-In.

The SEFEVWI would consist of anyone (and everyone) interested in joining equally desperate and dedicated writers to put in a solid day's worth of serious writing. Starting bright and early, say 9 a.m., on an upcoming Saturday or Sunday, we would all "unplug" (except from each other via some instant messaging tool--I'm accepting ideas) for 12 hours (coming and going as necessary of course) and offer each other support, and maybe a little peer pressure, to write as much as possible. We could also share word counts and/or excerpts, bounce ideas off each other, call for prompts, whatever we want and/or need.

Basically, I'm envisioning a writer's workshop and lock-in combined and hosted on the interwebs. If you (and any of your writing partners, critique partners, grandmothers) are interested, leave me a comment/e-mail me to let me know which weekend(s) you'd be available and which IM platforms you use. (I'm thinking that'll be the best way to communicate with each other, but again, I'm open to other ideas! But, please don't say web cams...they freak me out.)

This idea is very rough and came to me today. Please don't be shy about offering up suggestions/insights/etc. I just think it'd be great to get together with other writers (some new faces, and some old) and use our collective voices to call forth the muses and "get 'er done," as Larry the Cable Guy would say.

What do you think?

03 March 2009

Mini-Blog: Embracing...Holy Moly, is it Wednesday already?

I was thinking that it was about time to update my blog (Thanks again for joining us, Carrie!!). And then I realized that it's been almost a week. What happened to the last five days of my life?

I feel as though I've been in a fog or something for the past few days, going through the motions and not really registering anything. The strangest thing is, there was no catalyst. I just went on autopilot last week and didn't even realize it. 

Très bizarre.

I think all of this interacting with zombie authors (authors who write about zombies, not authors who are zombies...then again...) is starting to rub off on me.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm back among the living and should return to my regularly scheduled madness soon.