Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Work-In-Progress Wednesday

Thought I'd catch the tail end of W-I-P Wednesday with this short passage from my work-in-progress, TRAIN WATCH:

Scene Setup: Grandpa Lum has just brought Cleo (the 11-year-old main character) and Otis' mother, Sarah, home from the train station. Cleo learns her mother and grandfather were fussing during the whole ride back.

Okay, *taking a deep breath*, here it is:

"Cleo, baby," Mama cried, as they hugged.

"Mmm." Cleo sighed, inhaling the floral scent of her mama’s perfume, her arms wrapped tightly around her mama’s waist. "Mama, you smell so good."

"Thanks, honey." She shrugged off her fur-collared coat, then set her shiny black handbag down on one end of the sofa. "The lady who lives next door to me is a representative for this beauty company called Avon. She showed me a little booklet filled with all kinds of perfumes, powders, and lipsticks, then let me try a sample of this fragrance. Isn’t it heavenly?"

"It sure is, Mama. What did Grandpa say?"

"Oh, what didn’t he say? First, he said I smelled like I’d taken a bath in a pot of simmerin’ flowers. Then I said, ‘Well, Daddy, I got a gentleman friend who likes it very much.’ Then he said, ‘if you spendin’ your time with a fella, I ’spect you won’t have much time for your children. So’s they might as well stay with me and your ma.’"

"Oh, Mama, no."

"Oh, yes, he did. So I lit into him like a match to wood."

Taking one look at her mama’s face, Cleo knew she and Grandpa Lum must have been arguing something terrible during the ride back from Winston-Salem. Her mama was piping-hot mad but, boy oh boy, did she look dignified! She wore a silk-like emerald green suit that enhanced her caramel complexion to a T, topped off with a matching hat tilted to the side, Greta Garbo style. And with those satiny-smooth white gloves, black high-heeled patent-leather pumps, and newly-pressed pageboy bob hair-do, she looked like she was going to a church revival! Cleo beamed, proud that her mama was doing good in New York, despite what Grandpa Lum said about her leaving the South.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Specials

Hi Everyone!
I know, I know, where have I been? Well, I was going to post a few days ago, then my oldest daughter came down with a bad head cold, and then yesterday (probably because they share a room) my youngest daughter came down with a cold an a fever. So, since about Thursday on, I’ve been doing the Dr. Mom thing.

Although I have been roaming the blogosphere (it’s so addictive!), I have really missed the act of blogging itself. Oh, and also, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been on a special project at work that really demands mucho concentration, and when I get home I think about blogging, but my hands just don’t reach the keyboard (I’m on a computer at work all day, everyday, btw). This is why I guess I unconsciously saved blogging till the weekend.

So without further ado, here are some things I found that might interest you:

1) Aspiring author Casey L. McCormick shines the spotlight on Agent Jennifer Rofe of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Also, check out her current line-up of agents for the next few weeks. Thanks, Casey, for all your research! I know doing all this research must take an enormous amount of time from your writing. Just wanted to let you know it’s greatly appreciated!

2) Literary agent Rachelle Gardner wants to know if you have any advice for literary agents. If you do, she says feel free to leave your questions/comments for literary agents in her comment section. So far she’s got over 60 very interesting comments!

3) Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic senior editor Cheryl Klein offers her definition/theory of YA literature. Check it out here! I check Cheryl’s blog periodically because she provides awesome in-depth analyses of topics such as voice and plot, as well as thought-provoking discussions of the various titles she’s recently edited.

4) If you’re interested in historical fiction, Melinda Meister at The Paper Wait chats about the challenge of getting readers to identify with the problems of characters at that specific time in history. As we can see, setting matters very, very much in historical fiction. Personally, I think I struggle more with this than anything in writing historical fiction, i.e. recreating the world as it was "back then" and enveloping the reader in such authenticity that he/she will be able to envision his/her self in the story.

5) Over at Cynsations, Cynthia Leitich Smith posted this fantastic interview with literary agent assistant Tracy Marchini of the esteemed Curtis Brown Ltd. Thanks Cynthia (and Tracy)!

6) ICL (Institute of Children’s Literature) instructor Kristi Holl of the Writers First Aid blog has this timely (well, at least for me!) post on the five stages of procrastination. I confess I’m guilty of number 5. Okay, maybe a few more, but I’m not telling. I’ll just say I’m workin’ on ’em. Seriously, I am! J And I’m getting that book she recommends, too!

7) Lastly, but not least, Pen To Page blogger Tee Brown shares this wonderfully inspiring quote from an excerpt from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Thanks, Tee, I’m keeping this nearby as I revise my work-in-progress! Also, CONGRATS AGAIN on your feature in AuthorsNow!

Happy Reading . . . and Writing!
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!