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« December 2013 | Main | February 2014 »

4 posts from January 2014

Who Cares?January 28, 2014

I just realized something big about my writing process. 

This is why I hate a first draft: It's the Who Cares? draft. 

When I'm about 50,000 words into a 100,000 novel, you know what I start hearing in my head? WHO CARES? Who cares about these people? Do I? Not really, not that much. I've invested enough in them now (because by this point I've written 80k and thrown out 30k) that I do care a little. But I don't know the end of their story yet. That's the whole problem. 

Until I know what breaks--and then fixes--my characters, I can't care all the way. They aren't totally alive. At the midpoint of a first draft, each and every one of the characters could turn around on the page, flip me off, and walk out of the book and my life. 

When I write The End, though, I care so much it hurts. That's why, to me, revision is divine. I get to go in and play God, moving parts around and upping the stakes so that they really matter. So that the reader really cares. When I make myself cry at the computer (never during a first draft!) I know I'm getting closer. 

It strikes me that maybe that's why it took me so long to actually finish a whole novel. I had three incomplete novels under the bed that I gave up on when I couldn't silence the Who Cares? I had no idea that was normal for me.

Maybe it's normal for you. Keep pushing, keep writing your way all the way through it, even if, for a large part of that time, you just don't care. 

I bet you will. 

Winners and a Recipe! January 21, 2014

Because who doesn't love a crock pot recipe? If you don't have a slow cooker, you should get one because there is nothing better than coming home after a long day and the house smells like it's been cooking for you while you've been gone. AMAZEBALLS. Also, they're like fifteen bucks if you catch a sale. And they don't heat up the kitchen. But you knew that already, probably. 

But first: the lucky winners of the PACK UP THE MOON advanced reader's copy have been emailed and they are...

Pat L and Snow! <--- from comments

K. Barry, D. Hunt, and Shelda! <---- from my subscription list

Thanks for entering, y'all, and don't forget, you can still enter to win one of twenty-five copies over at Goodreads

Speaking of Lucky-AKA-Greg, that wee chihuahua from two posts ago? He's doing really well in his hopefully-forever home. He's such a cuddlebug. 

Much like Clementine and Clara are world-champion cuddlers: 

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Yes, though Clementine is the cuddliest dog in the world, she often looks  that worried. You know what she's worried about? She's worried we won't give her roast beef in the next five minutes, because that's what she believes should happen. Cooked crab would do, too. Or prime rib! Shrimp! Or pineapple pork al pastor! 

Oh, that last? THAT IS THE MOST AMAZING AND EASY PORK IN THE WORLD

Pineapple Pork al Pastor for Taco Night!

(A friend modified a recipe which I then threw around the kitchen, and I honestly have no idea where it originated, forgive me. But now it's yours. Don't let the pineapple throw you off -- the dish isn't overly sweet or tangy -- the pineapple containes bromelain which breaks down the pork and makes it soft and juicy. It's also fun to say. Bromelain. Try it.) 

Ingredients:

3-4 lbs pork shoulder, bone removed

One half to a whole pineapple, diced (it's not hard) or use a can or two if you don't have fresh (I use the whole pineapple)

1 jalapeño, diced

couple of cloves of garlic, chopped

1 white onion, diced

healthy dash of chili powder

4 tbs of cumin 

salt to taste

some canned chipotle peppers, mashed, with their sauce (I use about half the can)

1/2 cup water 

1/4 cup OJ or white vinegar

Throw it all in the crock pot before you leave the house! Turn it on low all day! Come home and warm some corn tortillas (or just put your fillings on a plate because you can't be bothered with the tortilla, that works too). Fill your soft tacos with this heavenly pork, avocado, a little chopped red cabbage, a bit of sriracha mayo or cheese or both, and DIE of bliss. Okay, don't die. But enjoy. 

ARC Giveaway!January 15, 2014

Penultimate is one of my favorite words, mostly because the only reason it exists is because someone like me said, "You know what I love? Not just the thing itself, but I love the thing right before that last part." 

I love the wedding rehearsal. That's when I cry. I love dress rehearsal, too, for the insane jitters and excitement. I loved my practice marathon even more than the real thing, even though both were 26.2 miles. 

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And I love getting the advanced readers copies of my new books in the mail. It's even more exciting that the actual real copies themselves. (If you have any interest in watching how freaking crazy I freaked right the freak out when I saw my first ARCs, you can click here.) 

ARCs are Not For Sale. They are often not pretty, being wrapped in plain paper. They have typos, sometimes brand new ones! But they are you, when you wake up in the morning, unshowered, no makeup, really YOU, so incredibly gorgeous with those flaws in that fragile human body.

I feel so tenderly toward my ARCs, especially this one, the book of my heart. I'm sending Kate, such a flawed mother, out into the world. Nolan, sweet, broken Nolan, will be seen by the public. And their daughter Pree . . . *falls to the ground wailing*  My babies!  *clutches books to breast*

I'm giving my last five away, randomly drawn in seven days on Tuesday the 21st. Two will go to people who comment on this post and three will go to people drawn from my mailing list. Take care of them if you get them, would you? For me? 

RestJanuary 10, 2014

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY!

My publisher is giving away 25 copies of Pack Up the Moon! Make sure you're entered! WOOOO! 

In other news: 

Holy crap, y'all. My new word REST? Is working so well. I mean, I'm jumping the gun and all since it's only ten days into the new year, but consciously thinking "I have to rest today" means I'm kind of getting it done, even though I've been insanely productive, also. I've taken to flopping. I flop onto the couch, the floor, onto my back on the bed. Then I just lie there for a while. It's REALLY nice. Who knew? (Oh, well, I should have listened to you. Story of my life.) 

Anyway, welcome to the newly designed Yarnagogo digs. I wanted a static home page with my newest book on it, so that's where you might have landed first. For the seven of you left reading RSS feeds, you might have to redirect your pointer here. I still use a reader, too, but I swear I forget it exists for months at a time (thanks for NOTHIN', Google Reader. RIP). The blog is not dead! It might be on life-support, though. I still love my blog a LOT, though. *pats blog*

Right now, I'm listening to Passenger's "Let Her Go" while the dogs bark at the workers outside. We're getting a new gate! And our fence reinforced! We have new neighbors, very nice ones, who have ENORMOUS dogs and Clementine would love nothing more than to get under our fence at them. Can't let that happen! 

I just got home from the 911 job, and now I'm going to get some writing done before my darling friend Stacey Jay comes over to take home a wee chihuahua I found hit by two cars earlier this week. Story HERE.

Proxy

He's such a darling cuddly boy, and I wish I could keep him, but we can't. Three dogs is enough. And Stacey's been wanting a chihuahua! Her husband said, though, that she could only have one if she, like, found one that had been hit by car or something. Ha! Take that, universe! I knew once he started throwing names out there, they were SUNK. Hopefully he'll get along well with kids (the chihuahua, not her husband) but we won't know that till she takes him home. Otherwise, I'll take the little dude back and foster him till we find a home.

Back at the words. And maybe a satsuma! And later, rest!

UPDATED TO ADD: 

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Meeting Stacey. He loved her immediately. 

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*fingers crossed!*