Cat's Musings

Homeward Bound

June 4, 2010
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Ever seen that movie? You know where two, or is it three dogs, and a cat get lost and have to make their way home through crzay forests, dangerous wilderness, and scary animals like the porcupine.
   It’s very much like what a writer has to do. We need to find our way back home with our characters, or maybe just do some really good convincing to the protagonist/ antagonist to go where we want them to go.
  The hero/ine might have been lost in space for decades and wants to go home; a girl who recently had her world turned upside down just wnats to be normal again; a boy wants his crappy life to end.
  They all in some ways want to go home – which may not always be a physical place. They want to go where they feel safe – whether that is perceived normalcy, or suicide, it’s what they want.

 It’s hard to write, sometimes, most of the time.
 I’m one of those writers that does not plot.  Meaning, I sit at my computer/laptop and write for a couple of hours. I don’t necessarily worry about what Im writing, and I don’t get mad at myself if it is utter crappola. I know I can fix it in revising the first draft if it needs to be changed.
  I write, and write, and write.
  I don’t even review what I did the previous day, as well. I just keep on writing, content that the words are flowing and I’m getting pages and pages of work done. I’m freaking ectstatic when the words are coming out. This happens most of the time, and I find I don’t struggle with the story unless it’s really not working (like Dead Man Hiding was).
  And I’ve also started another ‘work in progress’ (abbreviated WIP), because I couldn’t get a particular scene out of my head unless I wrote it down.
But in the end, that’s what it all comes down to: The writer is trying to get his/her characters back home, to where they feel safe and sound, until the author decides to throw something at them again… maybe in the sequel.


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The vortex of Despair

June 3, 2010
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Yes, we all know what I am going to talk about today – that horrible, dark, swirling vortex of despair that doesn’t just happen to writers only, but almost everyone who has a four-chambered heart — and if you don’t have one I want to see scans please.
For writers, especially the ones who are pining for an agent, contract and/or both know what this vortex of despair is. Hell, I know what it is.

You start out all optimistic, right? You’ve finished your novel… a sense of accomplishment… hells no! Now you have to polish that sucker up, read it over and over until your eyes bleed, and you’re *finally* happy with it. Some of us never actually get to this point.

Then, you send it off… either through e-mail or snail mail, but your precious work is OUT THERE to be seen and judged, and potentially mistreated as you get rejection after rejection after rejection.

Don’t sweat it. Most of the time, it could be that the agent isn’t a good fit for your project… and you don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t like your work, now do you?  So you wait… send out more queries until your eyes bleed.

And you wait. And wait some more. Wait, wait, wait…
You try to remember that patience is a virtue (whoever said that was clearly not in his/her right mind)
Try to distract yourself with chocolate, maybe even a good movie that will make you laugh and put the fear at bay that you won’t find that special someone,  ANYONE who decides to take a chance on you and shop around for a publisher, your manuscript in their valiant hands.

Please, God, let that be soon.

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What it feels like to be a writer…

June 2, 2010

So, this is my self-proclaimed topic for the night.

Here we go!

1. A writer is a writer is a writer.
You don’t just come up with it one day and be like “Well,  med school/other school-oriented career didn’t work out, so hey, maybe I can WRITE A BOOK?!”

I’m not saying that some people can’t write books out of thin air like that, and I mean, that’s what I do anyway, but it’s different for writers. We’ve always known we could create stories, have full-blown conversations with our characters in our heads while walking to class, and have filled pages and pages of notes on who did what and who knows what about who.
      I’ve always known that I’ve been a storyteller – very much like Wendy Darling from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

  I could just think of  a person, male or female, animal, or human.. maybe even something else, and just KNOW their whole story, where they were going, what they had done and the why.
 And so,  I wrote.
 I usually never got very far, inspiration from movies hardly ever seemed to pan out into a full-length novel, and I gave up.
  Until I read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – and when I heard she got published at sixteen? I was all: “Hello! This is what I’m meant to do!”
 I wrote… really crappy stuff for a long while, trying to copy her POV, the gang persona and its psychological bonds but just couldn’t do it. It seemed so wrong to me, because I was ruining her masterpiece. Sure, I changed names, dates, and the time in which it took place, the setting, too, but it was just sooooo wrong.

 I gave up on writing for a long while, trying to find my voice, and to find out what I really cared enough about to even consider sitting down and penning out a story.

 Like Neverland was my very first novel – all done up, hand-written when I was in the tenth grade. I wrote about a teenage girl, who just so happened to look like me, by coincidence I tell you, who felt completely caged in by her life. Which is exactly the way I felt.
 I was a huge Peter Pan fan when I was a kid, hell, I still am, and I was aso deathly afraid to grow up. The story is how that girl decided that growing was for the best, and in the end, how it would make her a better person.

I guess the moral of the story is… write what you feel strongly about, not necessarily what you know. And never give up, either.

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School is done, done, done!!!

June 1, 2010
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Yesterday was convocation, meaning I had to parade myself on a stage, while some guy in old school scholar’s clothes said my name and I got tappen on the head, as well as running off to grab my diploma.
 A nice, thick piece of paper that said I got my B.Sc. Woohoo.

This totally means that I now have more important things to do… like, maybe, WRITE all the freaking time? Yes!!!!

as of right now, what am I working on?
I’m steadily working on DMW, and revising RK which needs to be trimmed and in tip-top shape before I can query with it.

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Red Bull is the name, Studying is the game…

March 3, 2010
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It was hard editing Dead Man Stalking while in my Fall semester of my last year at McGill. Yeah, it was hard, but worth it. I fell in love with my characters all over again. I still smile every time I think of Saber, who is a mixture of two of my best buddies.
It was hard letting it go to study for midterms and finals. All I wanted to do was send the thing out, get published, and have school be OVER. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I had hard time staying motivated.
I had FINALLY found something I was passionate about: writing stories.
I’ve always written. I can remember back in the second grade that I would have these crazy adventures inside my head. I actually now have a hard time distinguishing my imagined mishaps with the real ones.
As I grew older, I forgot about writing, and my dream.
I hit puberty and the can of worms that follows with that; I was an emotional mess. Geez, they tell you you can’t be innocent anymore, because you start feelings these, well.. feelings, and you don’t know what to do with them, or where to put them in your rapidly maturing body. At least, it was that way for me.
I went to high school, went to cegep (which if you’re from out of town, which most of you are, as I am delighted to see! – is a prelude to University, two years of transition between the breeze of high school to the turbulent storm University will be), went to University in Anatomy and Cell Biology, and I loved my program. I thought I wanted to become a doctor, I was just so fascinated by the human body, much like someone else we know, huh?
Throughout cegep, I had an English professor, Harold Hoefle, and I hope he somehow stumbles across this blog, because I want to thank him for instilling in me the hope that I could do this. He actually had a book out last year, I remember him telling us about his adventures in different places. I’ve read it, and recommend it.
I hit University – my life became my studying. It was like all those years of hard work in high school and college were for nothing, and I found myself too busy to write.
Until the past summer, where I sat down and wrote Dead Man Stalking in two and a half months, revised it for three more after that.
I had issues with it- I found Alexa too whiny at some points, wanted her to just shut up and ‘deal with it’, as Jason would say. There were some parts where I didn’t like Hunter at all, until Lyko shined through. I went through ups and downs and ended up calling my real –life Saber, my buddy, Sam. So here’s a thank  you nod to her, because I probably did stress her out too. I tend to do that.

Anyways, that’s all there is about me for now, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the books.
There will be more, I promise!
Dead Man Hiding is my sequel to see what Alexa is going to cook up next.
Dead Man Watching is Jason’s story – it’s one I’ve been wanting to write for three years. I believe in ghosts always have, and this story came out of that incident so long ago.
And I have another one in my head, somewhat of a Paladin story if you will.  Will see how that turns out. Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

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Coolest Cat in Town

March 1, 2010
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I write novels…. It’s what I do, not necessarily what I’m good at. I mean… I think I’m pretty good, but that probably not the case for everyone who will read my stories.  Sucks for them.

A good writer reads a lot, and I do. A lot. Sometimes I have to hide books during midterms and finals so I spend more time studying than reading. As if Neuroendocrinology is more important than John Matthew, or Rose Hathaway, or even the dark ramblings of Dexter Morgan? Please…

So I decided to write out some of the books I’ve really enjoyed, paying it forward to my favourite authors in the hopes that some of you will buy their books, and in turn buy mine when they come out — because they will… eventually.

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments (now, doesn’t that just sound cool?)
Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series
Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series (starts with Stray)
J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series (there are seven as of now), and her Fallen Angel series
Anything by Lilith Saintcrow — although if you don’t like kickass female protagonists, and darker novels these are NOT for you
For historical fiction: David Gemmell and Stephen Pressfield (they focus on Ancient Greece)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I’ll add more, sooner or later. But for now, stupid Latin calls. Why did I take this class again?

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Student by day... Super reader and writer by night...