Thursday, June 23, 2011

Freaking out...

I am seriously trying not to freak out right now.  My writing is just starting to work itself out.   I'm down to the last two chapters in editing, and then I read Nathan Bransford's post about Five Openings to Avoid. 

And what happens to be the number one thing to avoid on his list - A character waking up: Sure, there's probably a good reason the character is getting woken up. Maybe their house is on fire/they're late for school/they just realized their insides are being sucked out by a sea monster. But not only is waking up overdone, what exactly is gained by showing a character wake up? Why not just cut to the insides-getting-sucked-out chase?

Technically my WIP starts with a nightmare that my POV has been tormented with for the last three years since her uncle's disappearance. It's a haunting glimpse into the happenings of that day, including clues to the reason of his disappearance.  My POV has kept these nightmares between herself and her best friend, afraid to confide in her family in case these actual events happened to be based on truth.  It also briefly introduces the main love interest.  This then rolls into the first chapter, that just happens to have her waking up.

Honestly, I have reworked this beginning over and over.  This is the first opening that I have actually felt a kinship for, that I loved.  And now there is the distinct possibility that some agents will pass over my WIP because of it?  Hence the freaking out!  I don't know what actions to take.  Do I leave it as it is, or go back and reedit the opening? Ahhhh....What am I saying?  If I have to rework the opening again, I am literally going to DIE!!!!!!!!! 

I did know that it was risky to start a book with a dream sequence, but for me it was what worked.  My sister said she absolutely loves it, but she is not an agent or even a fellow writer.  I know what I need is a good Critique Partner, but I just don't know the correct avenues in which to pursue one.  In the end, I don't want to appear as some strange stalker, or end up trusting the wrong person.

Please someone help me, I am so freaking out!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Recent Email...

So as a total lark, I requested the reunion scene from The Princess Bride online.  Yes, I am blogging about TPB again.  Can't help it.  Anyway, I received a hilarious letter from William Goldman regaling the legal problems with releasing said reunion scenes.  Below you will find the email.

Dear Reader,
Thank you for sending in and no, this is not the reunion scene, because of a certain roadblock named Kermit Shog.
As soon as bound books were ready, I got a call from my lawyer, Charley--(you may not remember, but Charley's the one I called from California to go down in the blizzard and buy _The Princess Bride_ from the used-book dealer). Anyway, he usually begins with Talmudic humor, wisdom jokes, only this time he just says "Bill, I think you better get down here," and before I'm even allowed to say a 'why?' he adds, "Right away if you can."
Panicked, I zoom down, wondering who could have died, did I flunk my tax audit, what? His secretary lets me into his office and Charley says, "This is Mr. Shog, Bill."
And there he is, sitting in the corner, hands on his briefcase, looking exactly like an oily version of Peter Lorre. I really expected him to say, "Give me the Falcon, you must, or I'll be forced to keeel you."
"Mr. Shog is a lawyer," Charley goes on. And this next was said underlined: _"He represents the Morgenstern estate."_
Who knew? Who could have dreamed such a thing existed, an estate of a man dead at least a million years that no one ever heard of over here anyway? "Perhaps you will give me the Falcon now," Mr. Shog said. That's not true. What he said was, "Perhaps you will like a few words with your client alone now," and Charley nodded and out he went and once he was gone I said, "Charley, my God, I never figured--" and he said, "Did Harcourt?" and I said, "Not that they ever mentioned" and he said, "Ooch," the grunting sound lawyers make when they know they've backed a loser. "What does he want?" I said. "A meeting with Mr. Jovanovich," Charley answered.
Now, William Jovanovich is a pretty busy fella, but it's amazing when you're confronted with a potential multibillion-dollar lawsuit how fast you can wedge in a meeting. We trooped over.
All the Harcourt Brass was there, I'm there, Charley; Mr. Shog, who would sweat in an igloo he's so swarthy, is streaming. Harcourt's lawyer started things: "We're terribly terribly sorry, Mr. Shog. It's an unforgivable oversight, and please accept our sincerest apologies." Mr. Shog said, "That's a beginning, since all you did was defame and ridicule the greatest modern master of Florinese prose who also happened to be for many years a friend of my family."  Then the business head of Harcourt said, "All right, how much do you want?"
Biiiig mistake. _"Money?"_ Mr. Shog cried. "You think this is petty blackmail that brings us together? _Resurrection_ is the issue, sir. Morgenstern must be undefiled. You will publish the original version." And now a look at me. "In the _unabridged_ form."
I said, "I'm done with it, I swear. True, there's just the reunion scene business we printed up, but there's not liable to be a rush on that, so it's all past as far as I'm concerned." But Mr. Shog wasn't done with me: "_You,_ who _dared_ to _defame_ a master's characters are now going to put your words in their mouths? Nossir. No, I say." "It's just a little thing," I tried; "a couple pages only."
Then Mr. Jovanovich started talking softly. "Bill, I think we might skip sending out the reunion scene just now, don't you think?" I made a nod. Then he turned to Mr. Shog. "We'll print the unabridged. You're a man who is interested in immortality for his client, and there aren't as many of you around in publishing as there used to be. You're a gentleman, sir."  "Thank you," from Mr. Shog; "I like to think I am, at least on occasion." For the first time, he smiled. We all smiled. Very buddy-buddy now. Then, an addendum from Mr. Shog: "Oh, yes. Your first printing of the unabridged will be 100,000 copies."
* * * *
So far, there are thirteen lawsuits, only eleven involving me directly. Charley promises nothing will come to court and that eventually Harcourt will publish the unabridged. But legal maneuvering takes time. The copyright on Morgenstern runs out in early '78, and all of you who wrote in are having your names put alphabetically on computer, so whichever happens first, the settlement or the year, you'll get your copy.
The last I was told, Kermit Shog was willing to come down on his first printing provided Harcourt agreed to publish the sequel to _The Princess Bride,_ which hasn't been translated into English yet, much less published here. The title of the sequel is: _Buttercup's Baby: S. Morgenstern's Glorious Examination of Courage Matched Against the Death of the Heart._
I'd never heard of it, naturally, but there's a Ph.D. candidate in Florinese Lit up at Columbia who's going through it now. I'm kind of interested in what he has to say.
--William Goldman
I'm really sorry about this, but you know the story that ends, "disregard previous wire, letter follows?" Well, you've got to disregard the business about the Morgenstern copyright running out in '78. That was a definite boo-boo but Mr. Shog, being Florinese, has trouble, naturally, with our numbering system. The copyright runs out in '87, not '78.
Worse, he died. Mr. Shog I mean. (Don't ask how could you tell. It was easy. One morning he just stopped sweating, so there it was.) What makes it worse is that the whole affair is now in the hands of his kid, named--wait for it--Mandrake Shog. Mandrake moves with all the verve and speed of a lizard flaked out on a riverbank.
The only good thing that's happened in this whole mess is I finally got a shot at reading _Buttercup's Baby._ Up at Columbia they feel it's definitely superior to _The Princess Bride_ in satirical content. Personally, I don't have the emotional attachment to it, but it's a helluva story, no question.
Give it a look-see when you have a chance.
--August, 1978
This is getting humiliating. Have you been reading in the papers about the trade problems America is having with Japan? Well, maddening as this may be, since it reflects on the reunion scene, we're also having trade problems with Florin, which, it turns out, is our leading supplier of Cadminium, which, it also turns out, NASA is panting for.
So all Florinese-American litigation, which includes the thirteen law suits, has officially been put on hold.
What this means is that the reunion scene, for now, is caught between our need for Cadminium and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
But at least the movie got made. Mandrake Shog was shown it, and word reached me he even smiled once or twice. Hope springs eternal.
--May, 1987
* * * *
Use of this excerpt from _The Princess Bride_ by William Goldman may be made only for purposes of promoting the book, with no changes, editing or additions whatsoever and must be accompanied by the following copyright notice: Copyright © 1973, 1998, 2003 by William Goldman. All Rights Reserved.

Honestly, this man is a  GENIUS!!!  Where does he even come up with this?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hilariously Embarrassing...

I was up late last night, writing, as usual.  I was also spending an exorbitant amount of time on Twitter procrastinating. 

It was during this time of "necessary" procrastinating that I came upon Gennifer Albin's (new author of Crewel) harmless tweet.  It is as follows:

 five _ for the apocalypse

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm Famous...

...well almost...ok not really. 

The other night Manda interviewed me for a documentary she is making for her summer project.  I have to say that I was super impressed by her thoughtful and intelligent questions.  She even remained calm in light of my irrepressible giggle fits every time she pressed record.  Seriously, I don't know what happened to me!  I was a little relieved when she informed me that my brother Jordan had the same reaction.  I guess birds of a feather, do actually stick together.

But one of her questions really hit a chord with me and when I got home, Todd (aka Hubby) and I discussed it again.  Yes, she interviewed him too.  (I'm really not that special)

Her question, "What makes life enjoyable to you?"   And then when I stared at her blankly, she sighed and stated.  "Come on Amber, give me some examples of what makes you happy."

 In actuality it wasn't the question that stumped me, but how simple and fast the answer came to me.  It was my family.  My husband.  My children. My parents.  My sister, my brothers and my sister-in-laws. My nephew.  My best friends.

You might say, "Well that's the most generic answer I've ever heard," and you'd be right.  It's exactly the reaction I experienced.  I was shocked by how generic, simple, and completely fitting the answer actually seemed.

For me, my family is my rock.  They are the people who link me to my  past (and all the crazy things we used to get up to) my present, and my future.  And having that link, I already know that they are going to "get" me, that I don't have to explain myself or my neurosis, and regardless they are always going to have my back (despite the fact that 5 minutes ago they could have been totally pissed off at me) 

That is what I consider priceless.  They are what make my life enjoyable.  Because who else knows you, sees your flaws, and says "Hey I love you anyway."  Because that is what I think life is really about, love. 

Ok, ok.  I know how cheesy I just sounded there.  So I'm going to validate myself by adding that I also told her, "And my writing.  Even when it drives me crazy!"  I think I totally tricked her into thinking I'm not sappy.  Oh wait, she's my sister.  She already knows I'm sappy.

Feel free to comment about what makes life enjoyable to you.  Till later....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Breaking Dawn...

I know I haven't written in a while, but the hubby has been really sick for the past week and a half, so my writing took a break.  However, the new trailer for Breaking Dawn was released after the MTV Awards, and I am having a total fan girl squee moment.  The link is below.

I just want to send a quick thank you out to Stephenie Meyers for introducing me to the wonderful world of YA.  And for planting the notion that I might be able to write YA too.  Here's hoping I can aspire to write something equal to its greatness.   Also, a quick thanks to my sister Manda for forcing me to read the books in the first place!

So excited!!!