Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Body Institute Cover Reveal

Today is a very special day. Today is the cover reveal for one of my much loved critique partners. We've been reading each other's work for years, been through all the highs and lows together, and now I'm super excited for her fabulous success. I love the cover. And between you and me, the book is even better!
The Body Institute by Carol Riggs
Release Date: 1st September 2015
Entangled Teen

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

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About the Author
I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel THE BODY INSTITUTE explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member.

You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading--mostly young adult novels--as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tenacity and the Writing Career #IWSG

Just up the street from where I live there’s an old drain in the gutter. It’s an inhospitable environment for a delicate flower, yet a small clump has survived, seeded from a bush across the road. Each time I pass the flowers on my morning walk, I can’t help but compare them to making a career from writing.

To break into the traditional publishing world can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. There are so many factors against us—I can’t even begin listing them all here. When the rejections start piling up, the struggle can become…draining*.
This is when we need to remember the flowers. With a little tenacity mixed with a dash of passion for our writing, our goals can be achieved. It is possible to shine in a seemingly unwelcoming environment. It’s even possible to land that coveted contract. But it won’t happen if we stop trying.

It might not happen on your first attempt, or even your one hundred and first attempt. If this is your dream, then keep writing, keep improving your skills, and keep sending out those queries.

How do you find the tenacity to keep going?

*I couldn’t resist the pun. Forgive me?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dusting Off Old Manuscripts

Today I'm over at the IWSG website talking about the all important question of whether or not to resurrect an old manuscript. And you guessed it--it's not a simple yes/no answer. I'd love to see you over there.

After today, I'll be going back to my writing and game development work. Puff, puff, puff. My next post will be on March Fourth and I'll be going back to my monthly posting. In the meanwhile, please enjoy the image below:

Mostly I enjoy taking photos of the natural world, but occasionally I find beauty in the industrial world as well.

Don't forget to pop on over to the IWSG website!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Interview with Lynda R Young

Today I'm being interviewed by the lovely Maggie at Just Get it Written. Please join us over there. I'd love to see you.

I'd also like to thank C Lee McKenzie for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thanks so much for the award. I must admit, having decided to spend less time blogging in favour of game development and writing, I thought I might disappear from people's thoughts across the blogsphere, so the award came as a wonderful surprise. Thank you, Lee!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Some Necessary Truths about Creativity #IWSG

As many of you know, I’ve been working on game design and I’ve discovered—much to my delight and distress—that it’s very similar to writing. Because of this, I’ve learned a few unexpected truths about creativity I’d like to share with you today.

Game design, along with writing, can be frustrating. This may not come as a surprise to many of you, but I think it’s a truth we live with on a surface level until we’re sunk in the thick of it. When we’re not feeling the frustration, we can brush it away, shrug, and say, “Sure, frustration comes with anything creative. It’s part of the deal.” It’s harder to say that when we’re experiencing the angst of something not working the way we want/need.

Frustration is the doorway through which doubt can creep. Resentment for the project can rise, a sense of failure can take hold. The extremes don’t happen every time, but the frustration is the seed from which all those nasties can bloom. It's important, even crucial, to understand the truth that yes, setbacks can happen when we’re creating something from the heart, and it’s okay. It doesn’t make us failure if a solution doesn’t come to us right away. It doesn’t mean that’s the end of our writing/game design/[insert creative outlet] career.

Game design, along with writing, is slow. Writing an outline for a new manuscript can take me a month or more. Then writing the first draft can take another month or three or four or five... Then there’s all the rewriting, editing, and tweaking. The same goes for game design. Planning what I want for the game takes forever. Then designing the pieces, building them, thinking up puzzles and interesting levels, then implementing them in a way that actually works in the environment and on the platform… takes an eternity.

I’ve learned testing is crucial. Test often. If I spend the time making everything look pretty before I’ve tested it, then I’ve potentially wasted a lot of time if at the end I discover it has to be redone from scratch. The same goes for manuscript writing. If I spend days, weeks even, prettying up a scene without checking to see how that scene works in the story, then I could be wasting time. And once it’s pretty, it’s even harder to throw away if it doesn’t work.

Because anything creative takes time to get right, because it can be frustrating, it’s important to remind yourself why you started in the first place. It’s important to celebrate the little victories—I actually got a mini puzzle working in my game. I was so excited to see it working that I celebrated the event even though in the big picture it was such a little thing. It helped me focus on the win rather than on the mountain of work I’ve yet to accomplish. And it’s important to remember your love for the project. That love will get you through fire.

What are some truths about creativity you’ve learned? How do you bolster yourself up when the project is dragging its feet?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.