Fantabulous news!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yes, I spend way too much time and money entering writing contests, but I can't help myself. And this one I entered last year. You know, before I promised myself I wouldn't enter any more until the current WIP was done. And before I caved and entered another contest. Or two. ;)

Here's the scoop:

CTRWA would like the announce the finalists in The Write Stuff Contest!


Megan Delaney: Mystic Misfit by Bonnie Staring
Diary of a Teenage Superhero by Sharron Houdek
The Pact by Constance Gillam

SQUEE! News like this always seems to arrive right when it's needed the most. And I really appreciate it. I've been lucky to have contest judges who "get" my voice, and I've also been lucky enough to have some contest judges who totally Simon Cowelled my work (in other contests).

That's what getting feedback is all about. Sometimes they love it, sometimes they truly don't. And that's okay. As Nora Roberts says, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they're wrong."

Now if only I can keep my eyes, fingers and toes crossed until the winners are announced in mid-to-late April...

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:34 AM 10 comments

Practice makes it easier

Sunday, February 21, 2010

There is something to be said about doing something on a consistent basis. Whether it's working out, writing a novel, or eating Golden Oreos, somehow it gets easier do to, day after day.

But heaven help you if you do things the exact same way all the time. That's when things get, well, really dull. And that sense of sameness settles in like a dull ache behind your left kidney.

Perhaps that's why I never took up music; just the thought of doing scales over and over again made me rush to a blank canvas or notebook to sketch, write or send secret love notes to the boys who never knew I existed. Probably because I always signed those notes with "your secret admirer."

So instead of checking out more websites, classes and info on writing a novel (which I tend to do in times of stress), I took a breather and read some books. One I didn't get through; another in which the lead character bugged me so much I wanted to stop reading, but I couldn't put it down because the story was so darn good; and another that made me feel like I was 16 again.

I'd forgotten how much fun it is to read a book for the love of reading instead of studying it as a lesson to be learned. This is something I'll have to do more often.

And while I've been good about getting words on the page every day for my current WIP, I reached a point where I needed to take a step back and give it the stink eye. Some parts were, I hate to say it, skimmable. Trouble is, if the writer feels like skimming over a paragraph or two, how dare I expect a reader to be captivated?

Yeah, I went to the ugly place again. And picked up some postcards and a banana-shaped harmonica. Because everyone needs a harmonica once they've been to the ugly place.

But sometimes we all need to go to the ugly place -- especially after eating all those Golden Oreos. It's what helps us realize that things can be done in a different way (one cookie a day instead of an entire bag) or approached from a different angle (writing longhand instead of on the computer) to make the journey more interesting.

That's my two cents.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:36 PM 2 comments

Ask and you shall receive

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yeah, yeah, you've heard it before and so have I. But sometimes, when it's Groundhog Day or the stars are in alignment, things just happen.

Yesterday when a co-worker offered to take me out for a beer after committing a project-related faux pas (I'm working on site this week), I told him no. I said I couldn't be won over by a beer -- I wanted a chocolate fountain. One for my desk.

You might say I was a tad cranky about the incident. ;)

So this morning, what do I find on my desk? A mock-up of a desk-sized chocolate fountain!

Seriously. I'll have to take a picture of it to show you how cool it looks. And it's so much better than having a real one on my desk. Things might get messy, especially the proof reading. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:45 PM 1 comments