Monday, April 20, 2015

Ramblings from a writer's conference...

     Here is a rambling post about the William Patterson University Spring Writers Conference that I attended on Saturday, April 18.
     Sometimes when I go to writing conferences I get wrapped up in taking notes, but this time I sat back and just absorbed myself in the day.

The keynote speaker, Porochista Khapour, author of The Last Illusion was inspiring, generous, and interesting. 

Here are some things I took away from the keynote speech…

- Social media while great, is an artificial pulse… Porchista advises us to slow down. 
- Encourages you to get out of the house.  Talk to people.
- Position yourself to be lucky…how do you do this? BY getting out of the house. By saying yes to things.
- Give yourself permission not to write everyday. But live life everyday. Read everyday.

Then I attended Porochista workshop on writing endings. We read endings of a couple of books and talked about different endings and well, okay – maybe I should have taken notes…

Then we broke for lunch.

Porochista gravitated with a group of us outside of the classroom and we ended up lunching together with my fellow writer friend Marianne Sciucco, workshop teacher/poet Soroya Shalforoosh, and two other lovely ladies.

The topics of discussion ranged from women writers supporting each other, to books, to life. I really could've spoke with these women all day.

After lunch I attended Finding and Writing Your Inner Teenager with Robin Wasserman, author of several YA novels, including the The Seven Deadly Sins series.

I took this workshop because I’m planning to write a Young Adult story over the summer.

Robin handed out several pieces of writing about teenagers and we had to guess if it was from adult fiction or from a YA novel. It was a great exercise.
I took these one-line notes…
-       nail the details of teenage life
-       flavor of way teenager talk
-       teenager have a small life but big dreams
-       it’s either a sunny day or doom and gloom
-       every emotion is operatic
-        teenagers weigh their choices differently than adults
-       lots of decisions aren’t up to them
-       try to emotionally connect to who we were as teens
-       ask what is the relevancy of family/adults to the story and if relevant do not make adults cookie cutter.

-       YA is a lot about 'firsts' .. first date…first kiss, etc.

I feel better prepared to write this YA! Thanks Robin!

It was a great day. So glad I 'got out of the house'. I picked up a copy of The Last Illusion, which I can't wait to delve into. I couldn't help though to take a peek at the opening line...

Exactly ONCE UPON A time in a small village in Northern Iran, a child of the wrong color was born.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Men Decoded

I been a bad, bad blogger, but I've been writing Summer Dreaming, which releases August 4, 2015! And then there is my day job as a mild-mannered accountant!

So today I'm bring back an old, but popular post about writing the male POV...

Even though my male Peruvian dance instructor reads/writes poetry, says that East of Eden reminds him of Thanksgiving and writes things on Facebook like, “When I’m with you, there is a million dances but not enough songs.” and “Fingerprints that you left in my soul.” he will then post as his Facebook status: 
Counting sheep is boring…. one Playmate, two Playmates….

As a female writing from the male point of view you need to remember that
men like sex. Men think about sex. All the time.

What else do you need to know? You need to decode what men say.

For instance below are the results from a Men’s Health magazine survey that asked men to list of The Top 5 Qualities Men Want in a Wife.

And as a public service to women writers I will decode this list – what these men are really thinking are in the parenthesis.

The Top 5 Qualities Men Want in a Wife Decoded:

1. Financial Savvy (will not spend more than $100 on a single item of clothing – including shoes and handbags)

2. Independent (has her own stuff going on so she won’t notice if I go out with the guys for a beer)

3. Intelligent (knows not to walk in front of the TV or talk during a game)

4. Loyal (will not disclosed embarrassing info about him to her girlfriends/family)

5. Sexually Adventurous (will have sex more than once a week)

So there you have it – men decoded.

Here’s a sample from Playing For Keeps - Fantasy Football Romance (Season 1)
     Once seated, Ryan did his best with small talk as dinner was served. Having Jake and Hannah act as chaperones helped. It kept him from jumping Samantha, who at the moment seemed to be interested in the intricacies of her place setting, leaving her dinner plate untouched.              
     “You’re not eating,” commented Ryan.
     “I’m supposed to tell you I’m not hungry, but I’d be lying. The truth is, my dress is ready to bust at the seams.”
     Bust. He couldn’t help it. Really, he couldn’t. His eyes dropped to the material straining against her full breasts. An amber necklace fell just above her cleavage like a sign saying ‘This Way’. Would he be a complete degenerate if he silently wished for the fabric to give way? No, he didn’t think so. He was being a man. That’s what men did, they wished, fantasized, and dreamt of sex. Statistics proved it. Who was he to fight Mother Nature?        
      Whoops, caught in the act. “Just admiring your necklace.” Taking a sip of water, he looked across the table at Jake.
     “By the look on your face you want to be my necklace.” 

     He choked on the water as a laugh threatened to burst out. If he wasn’t mistaken she was flirting with him and he responded in kind. “Or your dress.”