Contest!, Book Reviews, ROW80 and Insecure Writers


What better way to celebrate the Insecure Writer's Support Group than by running a writers' contest?

It all started with my new schedule. Everything's going swimmingly, especially the Monday and Wednesday editing nights. Observe!:

That last shot is mainly because I felt badly for Frodo, since all the other photos featured Sam (and yes, that's the cap off a beer bottle on his head).

So that's me editing. Meanwhile, though, I keep having all these shiny new ideas. What to do? If I don't start exploring them right away, they'll disappear or become less sparkly; if I take notes and try to come to them later on, that would make me *gasp* a plotter.

Which is why I've added to the schedule, a la ROW80 (change your goals each week to suit you!): I normally read on the train to and from work, but I'm so excited by this latest shiny new idea (a little tweak on the old beauty and the beast story, involving Druids, a minotaur's labyrinth, an archaeological dig - and romance, of course) that I've got to start drafting.

I promised I'd do at least 250 words each morning, and you know what? It's hard to tear myself away from the notebook once the train ride is over!

In honour of all this steady work, I'm hosting a Show me the Words! contest from now until 31 July.

Are you editing? writing? plotting? Share photos of your progress on your blog, website, Twitter feed, wherever, and post the link here in the comments.

There are prizes!
International: 20$ Amazon gift card (whichever Amazon you prefer)
residents of the United States and Canada: you can choose either the gift card
or one of these two awesome books:

Hélène Boudreau's Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath

"Jade begins her summer confused. Yes, there's that whole "will this be a leg-day or a tail-day" kind of confusion, but Jade's got even bigger problems:

It's been three weeks since Mom returned to the ocean with no news of her whereabouts. Plus, it's been twenty-one days since Jade first kissed her mer-boy Luke and now - nothing.

Will Mom find the enchanted tidal pool that will allow her to become human?
And why is Luke acting so weird?"

The second part of the mermaid series - Jade's summer is heating up! I read this book in a day, I was that excited by Jade's adventures.
Her voice (first person pov!) is fresh and endearing; Jade and her best friend Cori are just the sorts of characters you wish you lived next door to.

Kristen Callihan's Firelight
"London, 1881

Once the flames are ignited...
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity...
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied.

Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask."

I could go on and on about this book - the Victoriana, the paranormal aspects, how real each and every character is, right down the shortest scenes. But the best part? Well...

You know that scene in a romance where the hero and heroine are finally beginning to admit their feelings for each other, and come that bit closer, and feel their skin tingle, and their fingers briefly touch and they might be about to kiss... Yea, that moment. Callihan's an expert at it. I love rereading those scenes!

Spread the word!

And if you need prompts, Malcolm's got Writing Prompts for the Bold, Insane and Desperate.

Or you can follow Hemingway's advice to Fitzgerald: "That's what dries a writer up... not listening. That is where it all comes from. Seeing, listening. ... write and don't worry about what the boys will say nor whether it will be a masterpiece nor what. I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket. ... Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to hurt like hell before you can write seriously."

One last thing, for those of you trying to get children to read, here's a tip from Judy Blume: "First, invest in one with a new cover. Even if you like the old, original covers. Second, don't give it to them. Just leave the books strategically placed around the house and then occasionally say: 'Oh no, you're not reading that – you're not ready for it yet.'"

Oh, and if you need musical inspiration, the Whisky Trench Riders are now on Twitter!


Nadja Notariani said…
Nice features.

Love the kitties! I'm severely allergic, so I cannot even touch one anymore for fear I'll end up in the ER again. Yeah. That bad.
But my Shepherd, Zutchka, fulfills the role of cozy companion - er, doofey - he's topped 100lbs but still thinks he can 'fit-in-my-chair-with-me'. Ha! Plus, he breathes on me....and he definitely does not have delicious puppy breath anymore. Oy! But he's such a doll. :}
Chris Fries said…
Awww... Editing always goes better when you have a cat's help. ;^)
Siobhan said…
Hi there. Popping by from ISWG. Contest sounds interesting!
Talli Roland said…
Sorry, I'm distracted by the CUTE KITTIES! Oh how I want one.
Cherie Reich said…
Aww! I'm not sure how you get any editing done with the cute kitties around.

Shiny new ideas are so much fun! That's great you revised your goals and are working on the new one. :)
S.P. Bowers said…
Not a plotter! Nooooooo!

Sounds awesome. What if you're passed out on the floor recovering from horrible edits and having just sent out your first query. (Not yet, but that's where I plan to be in a week)should I post pictures of that?
Jamie Burch said…
Love the kitties! This sounds like a fun contest! I'll have to stop back. :)
Great post! I'd enter the contest except most of my pictures have my thumb in them. But it'll be fun to see pictures of other people's progress. I liked your pictures; it looked like your cat was actually turning the pages.
I also liked how you quoted Hemingway's advice about not listening. I think that it's important for all writers to listen (and watch) to what's going on around them, because they might find the seeds of a story in what they hear.
Anonymous said…
You know, after you mentioned it in a comment yesterday, I was expecting pics of Montreal. Just saying. ;o)
Claudia Lefeve said…
What great photos! Don't you love it when you're "kids" want to help you work?
Lara said…
I tend to have a lot of 'help' like that too... [g]
Jeremy Bates said…
Hey, it's "Bookmark Cat!" I thought the beer cap was really a small derby but what do I know, right?

My cat watches videos but he does like to place his paw on a page when the fan is blowing, which helps.
Awesome that you'd kick it off with a contest. Welcome to the IWSG.
And your cat looks good in beer cap hats.
randi lee said…
Stopping by from IWSG to say hello. What adorable kitties you have! Great post :)
Chemist Ken said…
How can you be an Insecure Writer when you have two cats around? Of course, I also have two cats and I've been in IWSG for a while now. :)

I'm looking forward to reading "The Face of a Lion" when it comes out.
Andrea Teagan said…
Love those cutie pies !!

Also, I am a big fan of the beauty and the beast mythos so I am very eager to hear more about this story of yours!!

Thanks for posting a contest :)

Deniz Bevan said…
So wonderful to have pets, isn't it, Nadja?

Thanks for coming by Chris and Siobhan and Talli!

I'd love to see that photo, Spesh. I might just pass out myself...

Thanks Jamie!

Thumbs are acceptable, Neurotic :-)

Coming tomorrow, Joshua!

I do, Claudia!

They're hard to resist, aren't they, Lara? [g]

He didn't seem to mind, Jeremy, just sat there with his cap on!

Thanks, Alex! I've post for IWSG before but always forgot to link myself!!

Thanks, randi.

Thanks so much, Ken and Andrea! - I'm going to try a couple more agents this week...
alberta ross said…
Older cat likes to put paw over keyboard whilst lying heavily on my arm - purrs very prettily whist doing so:) and Younger cat sis upright next to machine watching every move as if she's overseeing - really shes sitting in the warm air being pushed out by machine - daft cats I don't think so - not much help in the editing but great comapny:)
What a cute bunch of pictures! My photos of my laptop would be pretty boring in comparison!
Beverly Diehl said…
Deniz, love this. Love your beautiful pussies (please don't take this the wrong way), and the idea of ideas exploding all over the place, like fireworks.

For my ownself, I always take a moment to scribble them down. Even if later I am re-reading them and asking myself, "What was I thinking/drinking?" they generally lead to place I *think* I will want to pursue, when time permits.
Deniz Bevan said…
I agree alberta, they're great company.

No stickers or anything, Theresa? :-)

Aww, thanks so much Beverly! Drinking, yes... I wonder what I was doing sometimes when I go back to read old drafts!
Eden Mabee said…
I had to comment when I saw your Judy Blume quote (mostly because I was enjoying the lovely distractions of the links you'd posted--the Neil Gaiman one had me grinning from ear to ear almost literally).

Was Ms. Blume my mother in disguise? That's exactly how I learned to move past the Dr. Suess stage. =)

Congrats on the super word days! =)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much Eden!

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