Friday, August 26, 2011

That do writers do on Friday night? The same thing they do every night….

Procrastinate

I’m told even Ninjas procrastinate, but I don’t believe it.

Angela WRITE Now is not a procrastinator by nature, putting things off gives her anxiety, anxiety gives her heart burn, and it’s never worth it. But sometimes I enjoy working at a less frantic pace, and usually it looks like this:

twitter

I don’t believe that twitter= procrastination. I tweeted my way trough the 3 day novel contest and not only finished, but had the desire to do it all over again this year. I understand some of you don’t know when it call it quits though, and this blog is for you.

Every writer knows what they do while they blow something else off. Be it Twitter, Bejeweled, or organizing their twenty-seven different colors of post-its.(Yes I did count thanks) The key to cutting yourself off is in your attitude as a writer. See this post to get your attitude adjustment.

Self control is your number one tool as writer. With out it, you have nothing but a desire you can’t act on as you lack the ability to make yourself write. As I have stated before though, you can control this by learning routine. It takes just two weeks to make something habit. Small changes can make a big impact on the product you turn out.

2weeks

Think about something you would like to take two weeks to change about yourself, or who you are as a writer. Post here what that is, and if you achieve your goals I will enter you to win a prize. (Here is a hint, it involves books) One winner for my two week challenge. I will give everyone until the 14th of September to let us know what you achieved, and on the 15th I will post the winner along with a big announcement!

Put this button on your blog so we know who is taking 2 weeks to be strong!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I’m a CAMPAIGNER (only not that sort)

campaigner

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Angela you don’t believe in “Platforms” in the same way other writers do. The in crowd knows this; because they remember this blog:

WHY DO I NEED A PLATFORM? THIS SOAPBOX WORKS FINE

“If you are a politician, and you campaign on health care reform, that is called your platform. If you are a nonfiction writer you would need something that would make you an expert in your field, or qualified to write about your subject. Do you have a cooking blog that reaches 100k? That would be your platform. Are you a show dog judge with years of having your name out there? That would be your platform.

So how does any of this relate to the fiction writer?

It’s not like Amanda Hocking is qualified to write young adult vampire novels because she is a young adult vampire. I mean she could be, but I don’t know her business.

The more information I see on platforms for fiction writers, the more I realize they are using platform in the place of something else. A combination of audience, fan base, and followers. I see some people ask “What is your platform?” But what I hear is, “Who is going to buy your book?” Who, not what is the important part…”

While I still believe that, Rachael Harrie is an awesome writer type who likes to help other writers. Since I dig the cause, and love the opportunity I won’t be arguing about the verbiage. (I don’t really like campaigns either, I mean seedy politicians? No thanks Winking smile )

See the deets on where you can get in on the awesomeness here:

http://bit.ly/mWdhUn

What is the Campaign?
Basically, the Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Campaigners are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mike Mullin Guest Blogs "How to Get 100 Monkeys to Write Your Novel"




Today on Angela WRITE Now, Mike Mullin is visiting. If you haven't heard of him, you--are rock dweller, and the rest of you know how I feel about those! Mike is a fab friend and a fab writer, read the deets bellow then comment on the AWESOMENESS.



Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there,
things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in
earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the
cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the
resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop,
sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally
tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really hoping this writing thing works out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats.
ASHFALL is his first novel.


About ASHFALL

Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying
geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million
years, and it will erupt again, changing the Earth forever.

Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents
and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.

Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster
brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped
convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he
finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.


The first two chapters are available on his website: www.mikemullinauthor.com. You may reprint the
first two chapters in whole or in part on your website so long as you do not charge anyone anything to
access them.

How to Get 100 Monkeys to Write Your Novel

Step 1:

Buy beer. This is actually a generic step 1. Assembling a grill? Buy beer. Cooking a cake? You guessed it, buy beer.

The type of beer matters. You want a classy brand, like Budweiser. It’s the King of Beers. There’s nothing classier than that. You’re not going to lure any monkeys to your writing cave with that Natural Light crap.

Also, if this plan fails horribly, at least you have beer.

Step 2:

Use beer to lure monkeys out of zoo. Bring extra for Zoo Security.

Step 3:

Share smuggled beer with Bubba, your new cellmate. Offering Bubba Natural
Light is even worse than offering it to a bunch of monkeys. You’ll be glad you
bought Bud.

Step 4:

Buy 100 Mac Air laptops for your monkeys. Émile Borel’s monkeys may have
been content with typewriters, but modern monkeys don’t work on that crappy
outdated equipment.

Step 5:

Buy a snowshovel. Yes, even if you live in Las Vegas. It’s for cleaning flung monkey
poo off your walls, not fluffy white stuff off your driveway.

Step 6:

Dig a basement. Or lure 100 gorillas away from the zoo to do it for you.

Step 7:

Give up, drink the beer yourself, and hire Angela Kulig to ghostwrite. She cranks
out 10,000 words a day. What do you need monkeys for anyway?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Angela & The Weekend of Overwhelm

This weekend seems never ending, and it only just stared. If you know me, you know I view success in the form of completion of my goals and piles of checked off to do lists. If you were paying attention, you would notice that I was absent for most of the week.

The first thing that went wrong was, Heroes & Vallenez mysteriously got unformatted. I opened it a few days prior to copy and paste the first 3 chapters of it for an agency that requested it. When they then requested the full I opened it again and everything was wrong! There was no paragraphs, the line spacing was right in some places and insane in others, there was random indention through out. IT WAS AWFUL.

I cried.

Well the stress may have tanked my immune system, because right after that I got sick. The kind of sick that knocks you out, and then drags you back to its cave of disease until you are strong enough to fight it off.

So I am better now, and I still have a manuscript to reformat so I can submit. Lucky the fantastic lady who requested it is very understanding and told me not to rush. I also have a guest blog post due for early next week, a anthology piece that needs to be edited, all that writing I didn’t get done this week, and OH the outline for my 3 Day Novel Contest entry.

Really hardly anything at all. {Chokes, gags, faints.}

If you were wondering where the last installment of HOW TO BE A BETTER WRITER was last Sunday, you should know Windows Live Writer—my usual blog editor of choice—would absolutely not work all week. It basically ate my soul, and being sick and over worked did not lend it’s self to finding a replacement. Don’t worry, it will be up tomorrow—or maybe even later tonight.

OH and I just remembered, I have to read a book and write a review… oh boy. See you later, Angela needs more coffee WRITE now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Angela WRITE Now Picks a Fight on the Internets

I once said I’d use this song if I ever had to go back in time to kick someone's butt. Well, why put off until tomorrow what I can use in a metaphorical sense today!

Tell That Mick That He Just Made My List of Things to do Today:

I wouldn’t piss to put you out…

It’s not that I am a violent person. I’m not. But I believe in things, and I even believe in some people. If you are unfortunate enough to try and tear down something I stand for, or attack someone I have personal faith in, I will not just turn my back. Even if it is just some ignorant troll on the internet.

I refuse to just ignore zealots who attack things or people that are important to me. I just wont do it. I am sorry if you think this makes me a bad person.

In specific regards to writing; I spend a lot of time on my blog and in my writing chats I run disproving inaccurate things people have said about publishing. I also spend a lot of time showing people where they can find the information they need from creditable sources. Does that make me an expert? The world may never know, but I do understand a fair amount about the process. I’d say 95% of what ends up on this blog is about writing and publishing. So it’s offensive to me when people spew out that I am ignorant to whole thing. When they attempt to discredit me behind a smoke screen.

Tell me I am wrong and call me an idiot, but do it to my face.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I’m Taking Over the World with Ali Cross. The GOOD NEWS Is You’re Invited.

I’ve told you about living under rocks.

pirateplusninja

 

NiNoCon DETAILS!

When: Saturday, February 4th (with kick-off Friday night)

Where: my brand new fancy-dancy website: NinjasWrite!

What: Ninja Novel Con (NiNoCon) a writer's conference that blows the lid off the box

Take the rest of August to put your own mark on this first annual conference by playing our #ninjatag contest!

Come up with the best tagline for our new conference and YOU could win a $50 Amazon gift card

and, even better, bragging rights!

To enter, just tweet your tagline using the hashtag #ninjatag.

You can enter as many times as you like between now and September 1st!

ninocontaglinecona

ALSO I need to talk about this:

haunted

My friend @ponies_studios is designing the real cover, until then this is a rather sad display of my limited skills that will serve as a placeholder when I talk about it.

What is Haunted Souls for Haunted Souls? It’s an Anthology of ghost stories that are Christmas/ Holiday/ Winter related. All proceeds will be going to Operation Homefront.

How can you be a part of this awesomeness? It’s easy, write a story and then submit to me at my email address you have on file or tell me on twitter and I can send you my address. When you send it to me, I will forward it to a panel of readers that will decide if you make the cut. Stories must be received by October 3rd.

Story Details: As previously stated they must all be ghost stories that are Christmas/ Holiday/ Winter related. They must also be between 3k-6k words in length, and as free of mistakes as you can get it yourself. I will have people who will help in the editing the final version, but since you are competing against others you wont be putting forth your best product if you don’t absolutely try to make it perfect.

What is a free pass, and how can I get one? If you have previously worked with me in other anthologies/ or in a different professional setting, and would like to be a part of Haunted Souls just let me know and I will keep a spot warm for you. Since I know we have other deadlines, since you do not have to be prescreened you may have until October 15th to complete your work.

BREAK! Now comment on NiNoCon and Haunted Souls below!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Be a Better Writer THIS WEEK

This is the second installment of how to be a better writer. Last week we focused on how to be a better writer TODAY and you can find that here:

How to Be a Better Writer TODAY

Now, on to how to be a better writer this week.

HOWTOBETTERWRITER

Step #1 Sit down.

Step #2: Acquire the tools needed to make your weekly schedule, and then do it. Angela WRITE Now has mad OCD like you would not believe. She is the queen of the scheduled chaos but she does understands that not everyone can live this way so remember the key points.

Write down all your commitments that have to be done at a certain time. Like when you are at work and when you have to not forget to pick up the kids. Figure out when you have time to write (edit, revise, etc.) write those times in your schedule. Best not to get a little carried away with your first time. Looking for the perfect time slot? Try #writingatgunpoint Monday-Thursday on twitter at 6:30 PDT and the most important part; write when you say you will.

Step #3: Pick one day a week (at least) and commit to improving yourself as a writer. I think as artists, we know what we need to improve on even if we don’t want to hear it.Take this time to make yourself better. You can read up on how to write a killer query letter or review comma usage. You can do what you need to do, and no one else need know about it.

Step #4: Agree to help a friend. Preferably with their writing. Offer to read something for them, critique something for them, tweet some helpful links, or… I don’t know, start an online writing conference with an arch rival and then get some KILLER names to sign up to teach classes at it. Any little thing helps.

Step #5: Remember everything you needed to do to make yourself a better writer TODAY.

BIG announcements coming your way soon, but I maybe just let one slip. The rest of them involve all my releases happening at the back half of the year, and how you can be a part of a very important one. Details coming soon!

WHAT? I can’t say anything!

That doesn’t mean I can’t be sneaky and post a link to the thing I can’t mention on my blog. Look for something to your right that kicks butt.

Need more of a clue?

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Call 4 Action, and the Top 10 Most Motivational Songs 4 Writers (at least the ones I could think of last night)

Do you know Mike Mullin? He is author of YA book Ashfall out via Tanglewood  this October and I am absolutely in love with him. (As a writer and friend,not that other way which would get us both on trouble.)

Incase you haven’t been paying attention, recently Mike announced that Ashfall had been chosen by the American Booksellers for Children's 2011 New Voices project. Like ten books win that award, so way to go Mike!

Anyway I told you that, to tell you this: Barnes & Noble is not currently planning on carrying Ashfall. I know, it’s a travesty. So since the book is currently available to preorder on their website, we are trying to amass a large enough order to make them change their mind.

Help the cause, preorder here:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ashfall-mike-mullin/1101373486?ean=9781933718552&itm=1&usri=ashfall

Then let me know if the comments if you did. You never know, I might enter the people who do into a little contest of my ownWinking smile

Now on to something not quite as cavity inducing.

The TOP 10 Most MOTIVATION songs 4 Writers
(In no particular order.)


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

1. Coffee’s for Closers by Fall Out Boy. FOB is one of my favorite bands of all time, and that’s because their lyrics are AWESOME.

Reasons I think this song is motivational:
The title- You guys might not know this but I majored in Drama in college and was highly involved in theatre from the age of 11. A whole year before I wrote my first book. Coffee’s for Closers is an often done monologue. But that’s why it’s motivational for me. The lyrics are what I think should help you.

“I will never believe in anything again.” I can’t count the number of times I have been disillusioned as a writer. How many times I lost my belief in the process, myself, anything. I have felt that I would never believe in anything again, I have been so wounded, so crushed, so lost. But making sure you do is really the only way you can succeed. “I want everything.” What’s the matter? Don’t you?“Preach electric to a microphone stand.” They are making a reference to what they do in their band, but I think about what it’s like being a writer in the world of social networking. Can I get a hallelujah? Oh wait… that’s another FOB song.  “I’m a mascot for what you’ve become and oh oh I love the mayhem more than the love.” I feel like the internet is changing me into someone else… I don’t think I can stop it, and I am not sure I would even if I could. Sometime love the insanity that comes from being the hopeless artistic type more than anything else.

2. Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. Because doesn’t that what it feel like being a writer to you?

“Cause it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.” Because it doesn’t, if you are a writer you are a writer. No matter what anyone else tells you it is who you are, it is what you feel and no one else can take that away. “For love, we’ll give it a shot.” Every single day of our lives. “You live for the fight when that is all that you got.” Sometimes I think if I let the world stop me for just a minute. I would never pick myself back up. So I keep fighting for Angela the writer and hope it pays off, because with out that I have NOTHING.

3. The Hook by Blues Traveler I hear that word WAY to often in the world of writing, so it’s all too appropriate.

“It doesn’t matter what I say so long as I sing it with inflection. That makes you feel what I’ll convey, some inner trust of vast reflection.” How many times have you heard it’s the VOICE that really matters? (On a unrelated note I got a rejection today from an agent that said she loved the voice but that it was too similar to something else on her list) “Because the hook brings you back.” It sure does. Actually those whole SONG has a lot to do about writing. I mean “suck it in suck it in if your rin tin tin or Anne Boleyn.” REALLY

4.Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and I am not really going to explain that one, I think you already know why. But I will say that KAREN got that song stuck in my head for like six months.

5. Born for This by Paramore

“Oh, I just keep on falling, back to the same old. Where’s hope when misery comes crawling.” This it what I feel like every time I have a set back. “With your faith, you’ll trigger a land slide. (Victory)” I can always hope so. “Tell me, do you feel the pressure now?” YEP  “We were born for this”

6. White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons I know this song is about love, but what I think about when I hear white blank page is what I feel when I have a new project “Her white blank page & a swelling rage, rage
You did not think when you sent me to the brink, the brink
You desired my attention but denied my affections, affections”
Doesn’t your muse feel that way to you?

7.Man of la Mancha by Linda Elder

Few books will ever have such characters as Don Quixote. If you get a chance google all the lyrics, but a man that fights wind mills? That is motivational. “Onward to glory I go!”

8.Let’s Kill Tonight or Tonight Tonight by Panic! At the Disco who BTW is my favorite band of all time. I start every night/evening writing session with this song these days.

“If I retreat. Words, wars, and symphonies.” “Let’s kill tonight! Kill tonight! Show them all you’re not the ordinary type!” Who among us wants to be ordinary? Knock em dead kids.

Anyway there were two songs that vanished off my playlist this morning and are now unavailable so here are youtube videos of them in their place.

They are C’mon by Panic! At the Disco & FUN.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST VAMPIRE MONEY

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And You Thought You Were Done With Standardized Tests

I often make this comparison out loud, but I never have blogged about it. Query letters are standardized tests for writers.

I’m from Texas y’all—and even though I’ve lived from sea to shining sea there are some things you never forget.

taksLogo

Do you remember standardized tests for writing? Follow the same drab five paragraph format or lest you be FAILED. You must include these EXACT things in each paragraph or lest you be FAILED TWICE. You had a page and a half in which to do this, girlie hand writing be damned. Artistic flare? I don’t even think so.

That’s how I feel about query letters. I feel like no matter how good your content is, you’re sunk if you don’t follow their rules. Only for the standardized test people are forced to teach you how to take it, for query letters it’s more of a crap shoot, because not every agent is dealing with the same set of rules.

Sure, there are some things you absolutely must do—but how? Execution is everything, and when not everyone is looking for the same important bits and you are forced to shove complex story lines and many many words into only a handful of paragraphs you have to use a combination of generalized plot points and exciting pieces.

And yes, there are some experts out there that can teach you how to play the game. What to say and when, and that may improve your odds.But these kings and queens of the query letter often disagree about the best way to do things, or what exactly is the query crux.

Don’t forget your #2 pencil.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Personalities or Pigeon Holes

Ever notice how successful writers tend to write the same ‘types’ of books? I can think of exceptions, but for the most part authors tend to stick within closely related genres.

The doe eyed side of me wants to believe that’s because they want to write that kind of book. It is not a stretch to believe an author would prefer a specific genre, or feel more comfortable with one. BUT, the cynical side of me, the side that reads about the world of publishing every. single. day. knows it’s probably because they have been pigeonholed into whatever they were first successful in. 

I worry about this, almost obsessively.

But why Angela? Don’t you only write Paranormal Romance books?

HA HA nope.

Last year, I wrote at least one book for four different “Smart” boy book series. Barneby Knotts—which you can see the many first pages of here:

http://bit.ly/ro2ArM

The Notorious Dogoodes: In a world where super heroes exist, Teddy DoGoode is not one of them.

Red Zeppelin and the Books of Tomorrow: Ottie and Everett quest to save the real books of the outer lands before they are recycled. Alt: 2 kids fight book banning and the e-books of the future.

Heroes & Vallenez: Vic Vallenez is not a Villain, but he’s not a saint either. When you sell information to the highest bidder, certain hazards come with the job.

Then this year, so far all I have written is young adult novels.

Pigments of My Imagination which is a paranormal romance, smart boy boy hybrid. It’s got the eternal romance with enough plot twist to make it another Da Vinci Code prequel. But I digress, it is not a paranormal romance, and neither is the book I am writing for the 3 Day Novel Contest working title: SCORNED

Here are some upcoming and current YA novels that are not para/supernatural.

Cloakers: Ancient Mayans believed some animals had the power to cloak themselves as human, and they should know, they created them.

Those Damned DeLeons: 3 brothers sell the temporary possession of their souls to the king of the underworld to repay their father’s debt. It does not end well.

Now since I know you were wondering, here are the true paranormal romance titles:

Skeleton Lake: Skeletons do regret. Drowning was the easy part. The beautiful but ghastly bones of broken boys & false flesh are now Marlow's whole world.

Place Holder Title: “Vampire Money” which I will talk about in an upcoming vlog/blog

Desdemona: A book that will effectively have taken me 10 years to write when it’s done, and I am still not good enough for it.

To see where everything falls on the Angela WRITE Now spectrum I have created a handy chart:

graph

I am banking on some of you guys being Percy Jackson fans, if you read that genre you will definitely like my middle grade books. If not, well I worry they might never see the light of day. Wouldn’t that be depressing?

Anyway I want you to think about the kinds of books you write. Are they the “same” kind of book? Totally different? Now I want you to think if that is a good or bad thing and let me know.

Now I know what you’re thinking… Ang middle grade and young adult books are similar. Well sure, some are, but comparing Heroes & Vallenez to Skeleton Lake is like comparing Artemis Fowl to Twilight. There are huge gaping holes where the audience does not over lap. Yes, I know many of you enjoy both of these kinds of books, but if you are reading my blog, lets be honest, you’re a book person. Book people are freaks.