Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Favorite Books

I read a lot. On average I'd say I read a book a week. For some that's nothing, for others that's too much. Doesn't matter which category you fall into as long as you're reading. Right? Right!

I updated my profile on the blog adding titles to "Favorite Books." I had to stop. I would have been there forever. I started thinking...scary, I know...What are my readers reading?

So, I ask you, dear reader. What are your favorite books? Tell me which authors get you to turn pages. Whose name do you look for on the new release list? I'm always on the look out for another great read. We could even have an online discussion about your favorite books.

To help you get started here a few of my favorite authors. (Authors I love and I've read more than one book of.)

Stephen King
Brad Meltzer
Jeffrey Deaver
Tess Gerritson
Lisa Scottoline
Suzanne Collins
Ted Dekker
M. Kate Quinn
Jonathon Maberry
Tami Hoag
Mary Higgins Clark
Daphne DeMaurier

I could keep going. Now it's up to you, dear reader. Who are your favorites?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Liberty State Fiction Writers Conference

This past weekend I attended the 2nd annual LSFW Create Something Magical Conference. What a fantastic experience! They held workshops by best selling authors like Mary Burton, Jonathon Maberry and Virginia Kantra. Plus tons of other workshops about the craft and business of writing. Want to learn about dialogue, point of view, and editing than this is your place. Not to mention the workshops about going pro, and everything you wanted to know about blogging.

If you can muster the courage, which I think everyone should, the conference gives you the opportunity to pitch your manuscript to some of the best editors and agents in the business.

It's a great opportunity to network, see old friends and make a few new ones. Which I was able to do! I can't thank the people at Liberty enough for all their hard work in creating a "magical" conference. See you next year!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Moments like this...

One of the things I love about being a writer is speaking to elementary and middle school students about writing. The Deal School invited me to participate in their Read Across America assembly.

I spent time with 4th through 6th grade students discussing the writing process and why editing is so important. We had a great time. The students wrote their own story, together on the board, and then we performed a group edit. They jumped out of their chairs, shouted out ideas, and reworked the story until we ran out of time and they were forced to leave.

My next group was filled with 7th and 8th grade boys. We discussed writing in the active voice. A much more subdued group and at first I wasn't sure if they were engaged or sleeping behind open eyes! They came to life when they wrote their own stories and read them to the group. Thank God, for that. I was worried it was me!

But the real treat came in the quiet of the night, from an email by the PTO president. Her son, a seventh grader, told her our discussion of active voice was the best assembly ever and when my book came out he definitely wanted to read it. Such humbling words! Thank you, for inviting me to your school and thank you for being excited about writing and reading.

It's moments like that one that reinforce the path I'm taking. I wouldn't change a thing. Well, except...maybe I'd like to have an agent. And a book deal. If the Universe doesn't think that's asking too much.

What moments happen in your life that inspire you to keep going?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Name That Tune

Every morning I wake up with music playing in my head. It never fails. It could be any song, from any time period in any genre. I always know the song, but I don't always like it and I've always wondered why a song I don't like is playing in my head. When I've told other people this or asked if they wake up to their own personal juke box pounding out tunes in their cranium they look at me like, "yeah right, crazy lady. Is it warm on your planet?"

I found out I'm not crazy (be careful some of you!) There's actually a term for what I have and other people hear music in their heads when they wake up too. What a relief. I'm not the only one on this music filled planet.

An article in The Atlantic Magazine quotes Josh Foer, author of Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything stating "There's an actual scientific term for lyrics getting lodged in your brain. Earworms." Why call it earworms? Because the harder you try to make the lyrics stop the further they burrow. He also quotes a study that showed earworms appear to be more annoying to women than men. Why doesn't this surprise me some how? Women - bugs go figure.

Now that I know I have earworms maybe it will explain why I might not be able to remember what I had for breakfast, but I can name almost any tune in under five seconds. The only thing filling the useless fact file in my brain is song lyrics. Sad, but true.

Tell us. What songs do you hear when the radio isn't playing?