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2014 DFW Teen Writers’ Workshop

Rosemary Clement-Moore:

Teen writers in the DFW area. Starts soon! Totally free! Great teachers. Whoo!

Originally posted on DFW Writers Workshop:

DFW Writers’ Workshop is very proud to announce the schedule for the 2014 Teen Writer’s Summer Workshop!  The best part of this announcement is….the workshop is completely FREE.

The scheduled events will take place at The Egg & I on Hwy. 26, from 12:30 to 2:30. Below are the dates and the list of speakers, who are all DFWWW members and traditionally published authors.  The sessions will include instruction and critique time.

t-shirt-2

Adult sizes small, medium, large and extra large are $10 each. XXL and XXXL are $12 each

With registration, teens will get a binder full of helpful advice. At the end of the workshop, an anthology will be created with their work. It will include a short story, excerpt, or poem that is polished during the six-week session. Each student will get a printed copy and may purchase as many additional copies as they’d like.  AND there’s…

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A post about women science fiction writers… eventually.

Mary Shelley, arguably the first Science Fiction Writer. (This is relevant to this post.)

Mary Shelley, arguably the first Science Fiction Writer. (This is relevant to this post.)

I love when the premium channels like HBO and Showtime run free preview weekends, because it reassures me that I’m not missing much not subscribing to them. Even if it does mean I have to wait until the DVDs come out to catch up on Game of Thrones. Or read the series of books full of spoilers that bearded guy is writing. Whatever—

Cue record scratch thought derailment sound effect. That (above) was the start of  a Movie Monday post, because my mother has started reading blogs, which is a blog post in itself, and she has been nagging encouraging me to blog more often. It goes like this: “That other blog has a theme for every day of the week. Why don’t you do that? You’re so smart and funny, you should write that in your blog. You would have a lot more followers if you posted more often. This guy has way more followers than you, and he’s a monk.” (I am not even making that up.)

So I sit down to write a Movie Monday post. I’ll write about Ender’s Game, which I watched during the HBO free preview this weekend. Only I went looking for that faux article about George RR Martin writing spoilers for the GOT TV show, and then I found the picture below.

DirewolfandUnicorn

Photo taken (and tweeted) by the amazing artist/photographer Sarah Allegra (@sallegra). It is only tangentially related to this post.

Here follows my exact thought process from that moment until this:

1. Aw, that’s cute! GRRM has a little stuffed dire wolf.  Oh hey, that other guy has a little stuffed unicorn. Oh HEY, that’s Peter S. Beagle author of The Last Unicorn which is an amazing book (and an animated movie, so I guess this is still Movie Monday.) OMG The animals from their books are totally kissing noses! That’s so adorable!

2. Why is that funny? Two venerable old guys being dorks with toys from their books. That sort of makes them cooler. Authors! They’re just like us! Then I’m like, oh yeah, Ender’s Game.

3. Ender’s Game is kind of a venerable book itself, a military science fiction novel that explores the psychology of war and society, pretty much just like Starship Troopers (the novel) did, which also had giant bug-like aliens. I wonder why that is? Is it because the insectoid shape makes them seem true alien and icky, where a more mammalian thing might look like you could have it for a pet?

4. But Starship Troopers (the movie) was more action-y. It also had a lot more decapitations and impalements and also some brain sucking, if you like that sort of thing. Much more than the book.

5. This whole blog has become about venerable white guys who write science fiction and fantasy.  That’s just not right. I need to talk about some women science fiction writers.

6. Which women science fiction writers should I recommend? There’s Anne McCaffrey and Madeline L’Engle of course. Ursula L’Guin and Connie Willis. Would my blog readers be interested in them? I should go look up who are recent women science fiction writers (other than Suzanne Collins).

Literally the first line of A Wrinkle in Time. (This is the book that made me want to write books.)

Literally the first line of A Wrinkle in Time. (This is the book that made me want to write books.)

7. This first Google hit is a list of science fiction FOR girls, which is not the same thing, especially since half these books are by men.

8. THIS list starts with The Handmaiden’s Tale?  Ugh.  Well, there’s Willis and L’Guin. Oh yeah! Octavia Butler. A woman AND an African American. Yes, there’s Andre Norton, C.J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold. Also Elizabeth Moon. Well, there’s Kristine Kathryn Rusch, those are a little less dusty, more space opera-y. Tanya Huff!  I love her books.

9. These are great books, but kind of… old fashioned. Well, not all of them. I should still recommend them. They’re awesome, and my readers aren’t intimidated by big books.

10. But, still, I should look at YA science fiction and find some contemporary things to talk about, too. Oh, here’s Kirkus’s list of the Best Teen SFF books of 2013. Excellent!

11. Wow, these sound really good. I should put this on my Goodreads list so I remember them.

12. And maybe read a sample chapter…

13: Or two.

14. THREE HOURS LATER, I still haven’t written anything about Ender’s Game.

15. And it’s not even Monday any more.

For Writers Who Want Readers

I am really good at four things:

  1. Writing.
  2. Teaching.
  3. Being humble.
  4. Teaching about writing.

I’ve wanted to teach more online classes for awhile now, but first I had to beta test and tinker, and eventually announcing the classes became like sending a novel out on submission. I had to, like the ads say, Just Do It.

Which leads me nicely to the subject of my inaugural class:

Make Your Book a Must Read:
The Foundations of creating a stand-out pitch for your project. 

 

Click that title to go straight to the class description page. The first class is soon.

Don’t worry, loyal readers! I’m not quitting my day job. I wouldn’t mention it on the blog except I figured you might be curious what I’ve been doing with my time besides eating ice cream for breakfast and taking pictures of my dog. (Skip down if you’re not interested.)

What it is:

The class is about coming up with a description of your book that will make people want to read it right away. A “pitch” generally means ‘pitching’ the idea to a literary agent or editor to see if he or she might be interested in your book. (When you send a letter (or email, these days) it’s called a query letter.)

Who should take it:

  • You have finished your first draft and you’re getting ready to start the revisions. It will make your revisions easier, I swear.
  • You have polished your manuscript to be as awesome as can be and you’re ready to start trying to sell it to a publisher.
  • You plan to independently publish your work and you want a description that will make reader click, “Buy Now.”

And one more:

  • You’ve started a book, or you’ve started a lot of them, and you can’t seem to find any traction. What makes a good pitch makes a good story. This class is about finding the strongest elements of your story–the pillars that hold it up–which will help you write finish your novel.

Besides, the introductory price is crazy economical for this kind of class, so it’s low risk/high yield. You don’t have to travel to a conference, you don’t have to download any software, and you can see me but I can’t see you, so you can take the class in your pajamas

So, writers, what are you waiting for? Click through here to go to web class page, which has all the information. You can also get there from the “For Writers” menu at the top right of the header.

Now, readers (and writers who are readers): I have been busy.  A lot of you have asked: am I working on a new book, is there going to be a sequel to The Splendor Falls/the Goodnight books, am I ever going to leave my house and do an event again…?  The answers are yes, don’t worry be happy, and pretty soon, actually.

I will be moderating a panel of spooky awesome authors at the Valley Ranch Public Library on June 19th at 7pm. (Valley Ranch is kind of sort of part of Irving, TX. Ish.)

Also, I’m working on a new book that is going to make you happy if you enjoyed The Splendor Falls. (It’s not a sequel, sorry, but it’s mysterious and romantic and full of atmosphere. Also, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to connect my books, even when they’re not sequels. It’s just not always obvious.)

Other than that… you know I’m superstitious about talking about works in progress, right? That’s the problem. Everything I’m working on is in progress!

 

What about you guys? Do you have projects in the works?  What are you working on right now?

 

A funny thing happened on the way to this post

So, I’m driving home from my grandmother’s house on Saturday, which is important only because in a city not exactly known for colorful characters, unless you count the Cowboys. I see flashing lights at an intersection ahead and think, oh, dear, there’s been an accident.

But no. On the corner of a business/industrial thoroughfare, a police officer is interviewing a youngish man. I figure, he got pulled over, only I see no car. Also, I see no pants.

No, really. WHY?

No, really. WHY?

Me, to Mom: Is it just me, or is that guy not wearing pants?

Mom: No, that definitely looks like underwear.

Me: How am I going to live without knowing what’s going on here?

I have to say that, as guys in underwear go, it could have been a lot worse. I’m no connoisseur of underwear, but they, I guess, on the nicer end. So to speak. They were opaque, for one thing, and if this had been a magazine ad versus… whatever was going on there, it would only have been weird because he was wearing street clothes from the waist up.

As it was, it looked liked he hadn’t finished dressing, or possibly he’d lost his pants in some Mother’s Day Brunch incident, possibly mimosa related. (Thanks, @sarataylorwoods for the mimosa contribution.)

Red lights are only so long, so I take in as many details as I can: There are a couple of boxes on the corner. There’s a second cop, a motorcycle cop, interviewing someone else about 30 feet away, a tall, thin man with long, thin white hair and beard who looks like he smokes two packs of cigarettes and day and runs a pawn shop or possibly one of those electronics stores with the bars on the windows and doors.

What is going on here? Did this guy just take No Pants Day to the street? Was he hawking something (something other than the obvious assumption) without a license?  Maybe Underwear Guy’s girlfriend threw him out, pantsless, and he was trying to buy something shiny to get back in her good graces? And when he went into The Diamond Exchange, Two-Pack-A-Day was like, Dude. And Underwear-Guy is like, I have a shirt, give me some service, and Two-Pack is like, No Trousers, No Trade, and Underwear is like, Take all the stuff my GF tossed out along with my well-toned tush! Whatever! Just give me something to win her back, and Two-Pack is all 911 on his cotton-clad ass.

Some stories write themselves.

Actually, that’s not true. Developing a piece from idea to draft to story is a lot like growing a rosebush. It has to be fed and shaped and nurtured, occasionally pruned to let the best blooms show, all while keeping it looking like that happened naturally.

But then, yeah. There are also the weird scene on a street corner moments that aren’t going to go anywhere by themselves. Not every idea has roots, and that’s okay. To overextend the metaphor, those are the kinds of things that you press and keep safe until you find the perfect place for it.

So if you ever read in one of my books were a pants less guy is trying to get his hands on a diamond from a pawn-store-looking-guy who calls the cops on him?  You’ll know where it came from.

Spring Spring Spring

In the spring I always get the urge to: 

  • Redecorate my house. 
  • Redesign my blog. 
  • Plant flowers. 
  • Ride a bike everywhere. (After I buy one.) 
  • Go to a farmer’s market.
  • Cook all organic fresh meals. (After I spend all my money on the bike and farmer’s market.)
  • Train my dog.
  • Dye my hair.
  • Sew adorable, quirky clothes that look I share a closet with Zooey Deschanel. (Because I certainly can’t afford to buy them. It’s expensive to look like you shop in a thrift store.)
  •  Learn the guitar.
  • Run around like Rapunzel after she gets out of the tower.

Which is weird, because I live where we don’t have an especially long or cold winter. Our winter weather is kind of on-again, off-again, so it’s not like I’ve been cooped up behind snowdrifts or anything. But real spring just feels different. I think it’s the daffodils and the tulips. 

Flowers and Bike

That’s why March is my favorite month, besides October. (October has the edge because its not a precursor to the summer heat.)  Despite the fact that weather is a roulette wheel. Despite the fact that it’s tornado season. Despite the fact that my roof is leaking again. 

ANyway. The only thing on that list I’ve done is change my color scheme. I never thought I’d get tired of pink and green, but I did. It wasn’t terribly gothic for a ghost story writer anyway. 

What do YOU like to do in the spring?  Tell me in the comments.  You can weigh in on whether I should keep the polka dots or get rid of them, too. 

An accidental romance novella

PassionatePersuasionSo hey!  I have a new release today.  It is a non-YA romance novella about a pair of college ex-sweethearts who are set up on a blind date by a well meaning friend. The problem is, he broke her heart back then, and he’s kind of making a mess of winning her back now.  It’s PG-13, lots of banter and lots of making out.  So if that’s your thing, it’s only 99 cents on all the normal e-book retailers.   (Novella means it’s short, and it’s available in e-book only.)

Here’s the novella on Goodreads.

You can buy it here:  Barnes and Noble — Amazon — Kobo 

Here’s the opening:

Eight years ago, Alex Drake broke Kiara Fredericks’ heart. Now here he was, walking into the Regis Pub like he owned it.

The pub, not her heart.

Though there was that, too. She hadn’t realized he still had a lien on even a small bit of cardiac real estate until she saw him across the crowded bar and felt the peculiar, particular pinch and twist under her left collarbone, the specter of young love rattling the chains of her heart.

This was not a promising start to the evening. For a lot of reasons, not least of which was the fact that Kiara was there to meet someone else.

Comment below to win a copy from the e-book retailer of your choice!  (Questions count as comments, so ask away.)

This is post is a bad idea…

I started to title this post “still writing” and then realized that, as a, you know, writer, the fact that I’m, you know, writing should be taken as read.  Then I realized how much I tweet and blog about watching TV and/or movies or going to Target or drinking coffee and eating pie, or my dog’s latest antics or my Mom’s latest adventures… So maybe that’s not as self-evident as I would hope.

The funny thing about writing (or maybe frustrating, I don’t know) is that it doesn’t always look like writing, except when it does. But that phase of writing is really boring to Tweet and/or blog about. If I Tweeted about the actual writing part of my writing, it would be nothing but “I need more coffee” and “My butt is numb.”  These things may be fascinating insights into the writer life, but (butt?) it would get redundant if I didn’t skip to the part where I take a break to go to Target and buy a bunch of stuff I didn’t plan on because… Target. 

I had a point when I started this, but I’ve been sitting here for ten minutes trying to remember what it was. SEE?  This is what happens.  I need more coffee. My butt is numb. 

Anyway. Here’s are a few news items:

MARCH 4th – I have an essay in a non-fiction companion book to DIVERGENT, just in time for the movie.  I talked about this book a few posts down–lots of smart articles that put this ultra-popular dystopian series into a real world context. (There’s a preview of my essay at that link.)

MARCH 10th – I will be speaking at the Euless (Texas) Public Library from 6 – 7pm. The subject is books and publishing and writing (I promise to talk about more interesting facets of writing than this blog post suggests.)

MARCH 10th – I have a romance novella released this day.  I know. Totally under the radar, right?  This novella, Passionate Persuasion, was part of an anthology that came out last year, and I’m excited that it’s being released on its own. It’s full of romance and fun and snappy repartee.  You can pre-order it now, but I will remind you all with a big deal and fanfare and stuff on the release day.  (It’s “adult” in the sense that the characters are in their twenties, but it’s not graphic as far as content.)

The Splendor Falls German Edition

The Splendor Falls German Edition

Oh, hey!  Look what I found on Amazon!  In August, The Splendor Falls is coming out in German!  (Anyone here read German? I don’t even know if the title is the same.)

Fun and Games

Things happening in the last two weeks:

* Total immersion in The Book That Is Still Not named. I love this part. I wish I could bottle this feeling of living huge book so that I could open it up earlier in the process. But then it wouldn’t be a process. Or at least not MY process.

* Stomach Virus That Was Not The Flu. I’m not a literalist about most things, except medical stuff. “Stomach Flu” is not a thing, because it’s not caused by the same virus. But now I get it. There’s those times when you spend 24-48 hours a feeling like an alien baby is going to burst out of your stomach, AND two more days with fever and headache, AND you can’t even focus your eyes on a book or the TV, “Stomach Bug” just doesn’t convey the same level of “My body is trying to kill me… For a week.”

What has not been happening the last two weeks:

Email. In the middle of all the above, I didn’t notice that I haven’t been getting mail from my readrosemary.com address. I’m working on it, but if you’ve been trying to get in touch with me, I haven’t left the Internet or anything. Leave a message here, @ me on Twitter (yes, I just used a symbol as a word), or message me on the Facebook Page.

TTYL!