bogwitch64: (Krohe)

Well...that was fun! Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] malkingrey!

Your result for The Remarkably Thorough Harry Potter Character Test...

Albus Dumbledore

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

You are Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts and one of the most powerful sorcerers of all time. Dumbledore is coy, a little odd, and very friendly. Although he has a benevolent and peaceful disposition, he is assumed to be dangerous because of his intelligence. The ones who fear him are the ones who misunderstand him, much like Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge. He could be compared to people like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.; while most honor and respect him, everyone else hates and ostracizes him. You are like Dumbledore in the sense that both of you are caring, open-minded, and always trying to put others before yourself. Dumbledore has his bad side, of course, what with his entanglement with Grindelwald, and so do you. You are not perfect, although you strive to be. You have a certain air of dignity about you, but you are not conceited or judgmental. Everyone seems to be drawn to your charm and whimsy, even if they’ve already decided that they dislike you. Keep doing what you're doing. It's working!

Your polar opposite is Narcissa Malfoy.

Take The Remarkably Thorough Harry Potter Character Test at HelloQuizzy

Well...

Dec. 26th, 2012 10:16 am
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
It is Wednesday, but I have no writerly words. I blame Christmas and sloth and the fact that GrandWilliam was here for two days and my brain is a bit baby-mushed with his cuteness. That kid just keeps getting more and more adorable, and he loves his Nonnie soooooooooo much! I got the drooly kisses to prove it.

I noticed something strange on LJ this morning, as I attempted to scan through the last few days. I'd already decided that I couldn't go back and read (like I do most Mondays) over what I missed, and that I'd start with whatever was dated the 26th...except the posts from the 25th and 26th are all mishmashed together! I scrolled down a bit more and, yup--this one the 25th, that one the 26th. It wasn't anything alphabetical or east coast west coast time difference. Just a bit strange. I figure there is some explanation I'm not grasping, but that baby-mushed with cuteness brain just doesn't feel like piecing it together.

Heading to the gym, because we're supposed to get slammed this afternoon when I'd normally go. I'll just work later into the afternoon today. I'd have a perfectly good excuse for skipping! But I already skipped Monday so it's not exactly perfect, eh? Off I go!

Build a Grimmer Story. If you didn't get to and would like to, go add five lines to the tale.
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
Karin has outdone herself on Heroines of Fantasy. No, not Krampus. The Brother's Grimm! Their "Märchen" is 200 years old this year. If you have a creative moment or two, come on over and help us build a Grimmer fairy tale

 

NUF

Dec. 21st, 2012 03:47 pm
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
Yes, an actual NUF! Huzzah!

I read through the draft of The Shadows One Walks, page 1 to page 103, took a few notes, got really excited, opened the folder to write and...and...and I WROTE!!!  Real words! My own words. Glitter Text Maker
It was only a few pages, but it felt soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.

Then--even MORE exciting--I got the last of my feedback for Beyond the Gate from amazing author and sister in Hadley Rille Books, Karin Gastreich. She pointed out several things that also concerned Kim (Vandervort, my official editor,) gave me some suggestions, and now, armed with notes from my editor and from my "definitely NOT an editor" (Karin's words, not mine!) I am ready and totally stoked to start in on my final (I hope) edits of BTG.

It means setting TSOW aside again, but that's ok. I got a little taste of creating story again--the sip that sustains! My goal is to have this edit done by the end of January and back to my editor for another read-through. The cover artist contacted me the other day (because I emailed him first and said, "Yo, dude! I'm still waiting here!" I can do that because he's a friend of my son-in-law's and I've known him since he was a kid I fed chicken cutlets and cookies to) and he said he'd have another set of sketches for me after New Year's. This process never gets old for me. I love every moment.

AND! I'm just reading the last chunk of the last edit on Mark Nelson's release for May--King's Gambit. I told him just this morning, I LOVE getting revisions from him, because they are always just right. He knows exactly what I mean by the copious notes I leave him, and adjusts perfectly. Ah, beautiful music of a different kind. I'm lucky to be his editor.

Artist Tom Vandenberg has also been sending us some amazing artwork for the cover--as long as he takes the dead horse out of the pic, we're almost ready to go! :)
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
When the children return to school, it will be to a different building. They have been out since the shooting. No one will go back to that school for a very long time. I have no idea what they are going to do with the school. Honestly, I wish they'd raze it. Or turn it into some sort of outreach mental health facility. Anyway...

The children will return to a winter wonderland--with your help. Make them a snowflake or two. You know the kind--folded paper, scissors, lots of snips, unfold it to a lacy artwork of joy. Then send it/them to:
Connecticut PTSA
60 Connelly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514


Send them by January 12, 2013

I am sure there will be photos when the time comes. I promise to post them. This outpouring of love--whatever your faith or lack thereof--has to send good out into the world. It has to help counter this terrible, terrible evil. And I have to believe that. I DO believe that. With all my heart.

Glitter Text Maker
Glitter Text Maker
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
A reader fan of an author friend of mine recently asked her what sort of education one needed to be an editor. She asked me to field that question, since she didn't have any answers. And while modesty is for suckers, I don't pretend to be an expert in any arena but my own small one. With that in mind, I gave the following advice. I thought I'd share it with you. 

Dear (Friend's Fan)
You don't have to be able to write to be a good editor, but the two usually go hand in hand. You need to have an eye for story and how it weaves through from page one to page THE END, another eye for grammar that is
ever in flux, and another eye for making both work together. Three eyes, yes. Imperative if you want to be an editor. I keep my third hidden under my hair. A hat will work in a pinch.

An editor can see a good story through horrendous writing skills, and the opposite holds true as well--great skills do not make a story great. An editor will not be fooled by purple prose. Mostly, an editor has to love both, because at one time or another, you'll inevitably work with both kinds of writers; the sort that hands in manuscripts needing only t's crossed
and i's dotted are few and far between. It will be YOUR job to make it shine, and for that shininess the author gets all the credit--unless, of course, you get the obligatory: "I want to thank my wonderful editor for making this book possible." You have NO idea what really lies behind those little words! And if the book sucks, the typical response is, "What editor is responsible for this mess!?"


This is all tongue in cheek, of course, but nonetheless true, at least in my experience. Like writing itself, you must love editing to be an editor, otherwise, it will lose its rosy glow quickly.

All that being said, I have no formal education. English, Creative Writing--if a degree is your goal, those would be good places to start. IMO, t
he absolute BEST education is experience. Editing is like writing--you can only TEACH so much. The innate skills need to be there, and they need to be practiced consistently. Learning and doing are two entirely different things.

bogwitch64: (Krohe)
Well, I'm not able to put the actual, supercool widget Karin Gastreich sent me, but this link takes you to it. We're celebrating the season with a really great ebook giveaway--four bundles of four HRB: The Poets of Pevana by Mark Nelson, Eolyn by Karin Gastreich, either Song and the Soceress or Northern Queen by Kim Vandervort, and either Finder or A Time Never Lived by yours truly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
I did not have a Heroines of Fantasy link for you yesterday. Our own Kim, a teacher in a school in California held in lockdown for six hours last week because of a gunman loose on campus; the next day, the horror in Newtown--it is no wonder there was no link yesterday. I imagine this post was as hard for her to write as it was to read without tearing up.

The Ashes and the Phoenix
bogwitch64: (Krohe)


If you've not seen these before--watch! You will thank me.

bogwitch64: (Krohe)
I did not keep up with LJ today. I did not edit. I wept. And wandered around, senseless. Two towns over. Fifteen minutes from my home. Babies. Dead. Twenty of them. Six adults. The shooter. All dead. I was on my way home from Danbury, saw my town police screaming the other way, and wondered.

No words. No fucking words.
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
Today is Santa Lucia Day! While in Scandanavian countries, it has to do with light over darkness, in darling Napoli, it's all about sailors, the sea, and Naples. My family, on all sides, are Napolitan' (prounounced Nab'leetan in my Jersey Italian family.) Though they all came from surrounding small towns, they considered themselves citizens of Naples. Maybe that's why we all came to this country and settled around NYC--it reminded us of home.

It's not a day I typically honor, but athenais post reminded me of the day, and I thought I'd share. Here's Pavaroti singing it: Here are the words in Italian, and English.

Sul mare luccica l’astro d’argento.
Placida è l’onda, prospero è il vento.
Sul mare luccica l’astro d’argento.
Placida è l’onda, prospero è il vento.
Venite all’agile barchetta mia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Venite all’agile barchetta mia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Con questo zeffiro, così soave,
Oh, com’è bello star sulla nave!
Con questo zeffiro, così soave,
Oh, com’è bello star sulla nave!
Su passegieri, venite via!
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Su passegieri, venite via!
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

In fra le tende, bandir la cena
In una sera così serena,
In fra le tende, bandir la cena
In una sera così serena,
Chi non dimanda, chi non desia.
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Chi non dimanda, chi non desia.
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Mare sì placida, vento sì caro,
Scordar fa i triboli al marinaro,
Mare sì placida, vento sì caro,
Scordar fa i triboli al marinaro,
E va gridando con allegria,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
E va gridando con allegria,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

O dolce Napoli, o suol beato,
Ove sorridere volle il creato,
O dolce Napoli, o suol beato,
Ove sorridere volle il creato,
Tu sei l'impero dell’armonia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Tu sei l'impero dell’armonia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Or che tardate? Bella è la sera.
Spira un’auretta fresca e leggiera.
Or che tardate? Bella è la sera.
Spira un’auretta fresca e leggiera.
Venite all’agile barchetta mia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Venite all’agile barchetta mia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

On the sea glitters the silver star
Gentle the waves, favorable the winds.
On the sea glitters the silver star
Gentle the waves, favorable the winds.
Come into my nimble little boat,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Come into my nimble little boat,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

With this breeze, so gentle,
Oh, how beautiful to be on the ship!
With this breeze, so gentle,
Oh, how beautiful to be on the ship!
Come aboard passengers, come on!
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Come aboard passengers, come on!
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

Inside the tents, putting aside supper
On such a quiet evening,
Inside the tents, putting aside supper
On such a quiet evening,
Who wouldn't demand, who wouldn't desire?
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Who wouldn't demand, who wouldn't desire?
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

Sea so calm, the wind so dear,
Forget what makes trouble for the sailor,
Sea so calm, the wind so dear,
Forget what makes trouble for the sailor,
And go shout with merriment,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
And go shout with merriment,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

O sweet Naples, O blessed soil,
Where to smile desired its creation,
O sweet Naples, upon blessed soil,
Where to smile desired its creation,
You are the kingdom of harmony,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
You are the kingdom of harmony,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

Now to linger? The evening is beautiful.
A little breeze blows fresh and light.
Now to linger? The evening is beautiful.
A little breeze blows fresh and light.
Come into my nimble little boat,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Come into my nimble little boat,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

bogwitch64: (Krohe)
More and more, I see the little notation down at the bottom of LJ posts that it was crossposted from Dreamwidth. I am truly hoping that it is the holiday season making Livejournal so quiet, but not a creature is stirring here--not even wee mice.

It used to take me hours to get through all the flist posts on my page--really! I'd have at least two pages worth (and I have 20 per page) every morning. Now? Maybe a page at most. Usually only five or six. The comments on my own page have gone from an average of 30 per post down to a couple. I feel like I've lost so many friends! But I will stick to my beloved LJ until the bitter end! However, I'm thinking of starting a Dreamwidth account, because other than Facebook, that's where all my flist seems to have fled. I'll post it up if I decide to crosspost. I have to figure out how to do that! For now, my question is:

Who reading this posts/reads through Dreamwidth?
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
Words on a Wednesday this week is devoted to Dave Matthews and his extraordinary bandmates. Musicians. Artists. THIS is what music is. If you have never heard the band in concert, you've never heard the band. I thought I was a devoted Dave fan all these years. Right now I will tell you, I had NO idea what I was talking about.

First and best, I got to see Julie Compton, author of Tell No Lies and Rescuing Olivia, and my sister from another mother. We met in Virginia Beach a few years ago--she a friend of a friend filling in an abandoned spot. It was love at first sight. The sameness between us was uncanny, right down to putting ice cubes in our milk. We only get to see one another once a year, so when she asked if I was interested in seeing Dave Matthews with her up at Mohegan Sun, I leapt!

Her husband, Rick, works for Scholastic, and had business to attend in NYC--hence the convenient trip to CT. We hung out at my place a bit, got to know Rick (the  man is a pisser that had us in stitches all night) and headed out for Mohegan Sun, Before we left, Julie had a surprise for me.

She got us floor tickets. FLOOR!!! I couldn't believe it. I'd never been on the floor for a concert before. I was so close to the stage, I could see Dave sweat! The music was insane. Those men can PLAY. Words cannot do justice in this instance. Hearing that violin burn, those horns scream, the guitars growl and those drumps blaze was like nothing I have ever heard, or will ever hear again. Though I've seen Dave Matthews Band in concert before, this was the FIRST floor experience, and there is never going to be anything to compare.

dave1dave2
dave3dave4


DM3
And this is the final number from the concert I attended--Mohegan Sun, December 8th, 2012. In-freaking-sane. It's a crappy cell-phone recording, but still...

Though it was a two-hour drive, Frank and I decided to go home. I hated saying good-bye to Julie and Rick, but I'll see Julie in May. I'm still riding the Dave high, several days later, and it has nothing to do with the copious amounts of second-hand pot smoke I inhaled.
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
No, I did not finish the edit. I tried, but--yeah. I knew eighty pages in a day was going to be more than I could do--but I dream big!

Dave Matthews Band was INSANE. First--naive me--I had no idea there would be THAT MUCH POT SMOKE hovering about. No, I did not get a second-hand-smoke high, but not for my fellow concert-goers lack of trying. The people in front of me, behind me, next to me on both sides--no one even attempted to be sly about it! Ha! My friends, husband and I were an island in a sea of tokers. It was pretty hilarious.

I will have pictures soon, and I'll do a full concert run-down then, but I will say this--Julie is a goddess! She got us all floor passes. I was close enough to Dave to see the sweat dripping off his face. Standing for three and a half hours was a bit grueling! But worth every foot-sore second. You've not heard the Dave Matthews Band unless you've heard them in concert. What you hear on the radio? Yeah, nothing like it. These are MUSICIANS. Just--wow. Gave me chills. Ending the show with Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower was like nothing you'll ever experience.

FREE BOOKS!  Mark Nelson is up on Heroines of Fantasy. This week--Winter, Reading, and Story. He has a few questions for you! And at the bottom of that post, read about our HoF giveaway. We're doing a four-ebook-bundle giveaway, and there are quite a few ways to win them. The more you enter, the more chances you get to win. So go on over and check it out. I'll put up a few reminders over the next month. The giveaway ends in January.

Last, but not least--a fun thing Eric did up this weekend. Seven years of HRB in two minutes! Might see a familiar face or two in there.
Enjoy! :)

Not-NUF

Dec. 7th, 2012 05:27 pm
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
I am nearly done with my edit. So close I can taste it!!! The whole thing is coming out really great--even better than I expected. Mark seems quite pleased with himself. He tells me he did a happy-dance in class today, much to his students' amusement, when he got my gushy text telling him how amazing his last round of  revisions turned out. :)

The Shadows One Walks sits on my counter--all eighty-something pages of it--waiting to be read over. At this point, I've been away from it so long that I'm going to need a refresher. It was time to do that anyway, and I'm really looking forward to reacquainting with the story, the characters, the places.

Saturday--DAVE MATTHEWS BAND!!! Woohooo! I am so stoked. Going with my sister-from-another-mother, Julie Compton. I usually only get to see her once a  year, so this is a double-treat. I'll let you know how the concert was on Monday.

Happy Weekending, All!
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
I am, as you know, in editor mode. Mark Nelson and I are nearing the end of the last big edit on his new novel, and, as it happened with his first novel for HRB, we're finally in our groove. It usually takes a draft or two before editor and writer feel their way around one another, no matter how many books they do together. When working with artists, it's key in a good relationship.

With NaNo just finished, I was thinking how many books are being handed to beta readers at this point. I've seen quite a few posts about this. Getting someone to read and critique your work is daunting--for you and for your reader! Because just as the writer is plagued with insecurity, so is the reader. I thought maybe sharing my editorly process with you might help both sides of that particular story, because it's essentially the same, if slightly less involved.

The process goes something like this; Mark will be my guinea pig:
First edit:
editor: Fantastic! I love this story. I love the characters. However...there are some problems we need to address. Let's get going on it.
(author gets back a manuscript with more red text than black, copious notes picking out every single flaw that makes author feel like there was nothing right in the whole damn book.)
author: Shit. I thought you loved it. My baby. My beautiful baby!

And then, a couple of weeks after the news has settled, author gets to work on notes, sees the editor's points, argues with editor on a few of them, and a second draft is born.

Second edit:
editor: Great work! You did a bang-up job. I'm really happy with it. Here are additional, finer notes for you to address.
(author gets back another manuscript with more red text than black.)
author: But you said...I thought...what the fu...What is all this red? Is it blood? Because it sure looks like blood. DAMMIT!

And then, a few days after the news has settled, author gets to work, sees the editor's points, argues on a bunch of them, and a third draft is born.

Third edit:
editor: You are still having a few problems with plot X. We need to get that under control or plot Y won't work right. This is what you need to do.
(author gets back manuscript with lots of changes, alterations, and equal amounts of red and black text.)
author: I know there is still a problem with plot X that affects plot Y; your solution isn't what I was going for. But I do see what you mean, and I'll fix it MY way.

And then, within a few hours, author has fixed the problems perfectly, sent editor the revisions, and the fourth, ready-to-be-copyedited-draft is born.

By the time we get to that third edit, Mark is comfortable coming back at me, and I'm happy for him to do so. By then, I know his manuscript almost as well as he does, I know his writing, and if I'm still reading it wrong, then there's a disconnect he's not addressing. If I try to "fix" things that turn out not to be what he was going for, it makes him think, it makes him come at it from a different angle. Arguing with me helps him to see it clearly; he can make it his point, done his way.

My philosophy as an editor is that the author always has final say. If I really, really don't like something, I'll keep fighting for the change--but if an author keeps fighting back, I concede--not because I don't want to argue it anymore, but because arguing these things always results in a compromise that inevitably works out better than either the original, or my suggestion. THAT is the whole point of editing--to create the best book possible.

There are three key things to take out of this process for anyone at any stage of writing. For authors, they are:
1.  Your manuscript is not perfect. It isn't in first draft or tenth. There is no such thing. Separate from it, or feel every cut and change in your core.
2. Constructive criticism is good! Don't be afraid of it. It makes your already fabulous story better, and tightens skills in ways you might not have anticipated.
3. Arguing is helpful if it gets you somewhere. Arguing because your ego has been cuffed in the chin is not.
For betas:
1. Be honest. Softening the blow for the writer often sends mixed signals, no matter how carefully you tread. If a writer has the story's best interests at heart, they will be able to process that you loved the story, even if there were plot/character problems.
2. Constructive criticism is good! Don't be afraid of it. Even if the writer doesn't agree, it WILL make them think--as long as egos don't get in the way! Leading to...
3. Be prepared to argue. The story belongs to the author, and their vision needs to come first. In the end, even if you don't agree, you will have made the author see something about their work that they hadn't before, even if the ego does get in the way.

Sometimes a book needs more than three edits. Sometimes it needs less. Right now, Mark and I are working on a 2.5 sort of thing because of time constraints--but we are in that groove. We work really well together because of mutual respect, a level of comfort maintained by genuine affection, and true love for the story at hand. You can't always get that with a random critiquer, but you should have that with your beta readers. You need opinions you can trust, from people with your best interests in mind. THAT is what will make your story the best it can be.
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
A friend posted this up on Facebook today. It is not only a great 'after Nano' article, but a great one to consult with any novel draft you might be questioning.
How to Tell if the First Draft is Worth Salvaging

Good stuff, there.

I'm up on Heroines of Fantasy this week with a look at Winter Traditions. A little break from the regular readerly/writerly fare over there, but it's a time of year traditions run deep for most of us. I'm still a curious oyster at heart. I'd love to know about yours.
bogwitch64: (Krohe)


The look of disbelief when faced with the empty juice cup is priceless.
bogwitch64: (Krohe)
LJ is being wonky again. It lets me move about a little, then cuts me off with error messages. Sorry, friends! I will try again later. I'm hoping this posts, in fact.

Nothing really to report. Driving the licenseless boy around, editing my ass off, generally going a little nuts, but not in a bad way. I'm just LONGING to WRITE!!! But I know me, and I can't re-settle into it with stuff riding on my shoulders. So it's get this edit done, then I can be writer-Terri again.

Going to see GrandWilliam tomorrow! Can't wait. Have a great weekend, all!

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