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I've Moved!


In case you've been wondering why I've been absent here lately, it's because I've been working closely with a writer friend to get my new blog up.

To recap: I've moved here: http://lisa-basso.blogspot.com/

Fear the Stack


ASSASSIN'S BLADE my current WIP is off to my #1 fan and crit partners. Actually it went out a few days ago. And I've been wondering around, lost. Normally when I finish an edit, getting the story as good as I feel I can and send it off, either to get critiqued or to query, I feel wonderfully drained. And while I'm still satisfied, I'm feeling listless without work on my desk.

I tried my hand at several things, testing the waters of a few different projects. Like spending a whole day plotting about the first quarter of a new project. I tried reading--and I finished a few books, which is great--but I can't seem to sit still long enough to let myself fall into more stories. After opening a few older ideas that were so bare they were practically nonexistent, I stopped at a very thick stack of papers in my file cabinet. LOST IN THE SHADOWS.

That's right. All 115k (or so) of Angel and her friends. I got so nostalgic I daydreamed about some of my favorite scenes. And I just knew. While I may feel crazy, the boyfriend called it ambitious. So I've decided me tackling this project (which has been through more edits than I can count) puts me somewhere in between. Crazbitious? Ambitrazy? Um. Maybe neither of those work, but you get the idea. :)


Captain Sparrow says: "Fear the stack, ar."

I've already cut the first five chapters *EEK!* So I must keep going.

Pay it Forward (or I Heart my Crit Partner)


This post is all about the one person who has single-handedly helped me improve my writing, my critique partner. You know who you are ;)

She's been with me from the beginning. By the beginning I mean to crit my first completed manuscript. I've written a lot since then. She's critiqued a lot since then too. And her insight never fails to amaze me. She forces me out of my comfort zone and never lets me slack on facts or word choice or the characters' decision making. She tells me exactly what's on her mind and pulls no punches. Just the way I it.

To those of you with fabulous crit partners, you know what I'm talking about, that butt-kicking you need to step it up a few notches. Or that second pair of eyes that spots something you've missed. And for those of you without crit partners, if you've never tried it before, I highly recommend taking a deep breath and putting your work (an to an extent yourself) out there. Who knows, you might learn something about yourself while you critique another person's manuscript. While it's not easy reading someone else's honest opinion of your work, it is not personal. I repeat: A critique of your work is not intended to hurt you. Crits are a great way to make your writing--and your book--better. And in the end, aren't you worth it?

A-Z Reading Challenge January Update


As you may (or may not) know I'm participating in an alphabet reading challenge hosted by Steph @ Thoughts of a Book Junkie. And I wanted to share my first month's progress.

A - Assassin Study by Maria V. Snyder
B - (Either: The Body Finder by Kimberly Dertling or Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris)
C - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
D - (Between: Devoured by Amanda Marrone and The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine)
E - The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
F - Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
G - Going All In by Jess Dee
H - Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
I - (Either: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa or The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney)
J - Jonas (Beautiful Dead #1) by Eden Maguire
K - Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf
L - Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
M - Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
N - Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
O - Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
P - Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Q - Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan
R - A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix
S - Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
T - This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
U - Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
V - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
W - Wither by Lauren DeStefano
X - XVI by Julia Karr
Y - (Still searching)
Z - (Still searching)

5 down, 21 to go. My favorite? Linger. It was fantastic!

Currently Reading:
K - Kiss Me Deadly
H - Hearts at Stake
M - Magic Study
and
R - A Rush of Wings

So, what are you reading?

From The Revision Cave...


Where am I?

That's right, deep in the revision cave. Only, it's not hell.

[Word=]Revision Hell. [Definition=]Something most writers have experienced.

Yes, Revision Hell is exactly where I should be--at 38% into the most recent edit of ASSASSIN'S BLADE. But I'm somewhere much scarier. Revision Heaven.

Why is this scarier, you may be asking? Because I'm having problems finding fault with this manuscript and it makes me wonder if I'm love blind to its faults.



Scared? Yes. Happy about it? Yeah, so far.

In the end, it all depends on how the crit partners feel about it.

...so...guess I'll head back to the revision cave. Can't wait to get this one out! :)


P.S.
I'll be posting an update on my A-Z Reading Challenge at the end of the month. <3!

Mid-Month Check In


If you're anything like me and don't own enough 2011 calenders yet, I'm here to remind you that today is January 15th. That's right, the halfway point of the first month of the new year. How's it going for everyone?

For me, 2011 is consisting of a lot of reading already. I've read 4 books and am working my way through (currently at 21% complete) another revision of Assassin's Blade. Words can't describe how much I love this book and this world.

Also, new ideas are creeping in. New ideas for the Dystopian YA novel I made notes on sometime last year. You might be asking, "Is this the best time to start working on a new project?" And to that I say, "No, of course not." But I'm going for it anyway. I'm letting the tiny new ideas stew and grow and I suspect in a few days I'll be glued to a fresh new notebook scribbling down everything I can think of pertaining to this new world.

Yeah, things are good.

In more personal news, today is my dad's birthday! Don't tell him, but I'm making red velvet cupcakes for the occasion. Seriously. They smell fantastic. I'll post pics when they're finished. And we're going out to dinner tonight. So, back to work for me, and pictures of cupcakes for you!

A-Z Reading Challenge


While I don't do New Year's Resolutions, I do like to try new things. Especially when things I love are involved. So this year I'm participating in an alphabet reading challenge hosted by Steph @ Thoughts of a Book Junkie. Now I don't have all my books picked out yet, I'm making a list as I go.

A - Assassin Study by Maria V. Snyder
B - (Either: The Body Finder by Kimberly Dertling or Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris)
C - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
D - (Between: Devoured by Amanda Marrone and The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine)
E - The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
F - Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
G - Going All In by Jess Dee
H - Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
I - (Either: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa or The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney)
J - Jonas (Beautiful Dead #1) by Eden Maguire
K - Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf
L - Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
M - Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
N - Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
O - Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
P - Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Q - (Still searching for a Q)
R - Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
S - Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
T - This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
U - Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
V - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
W - Wither by Lauren DeStefano
X - XVI by Julia Karr
Y - (Still searching)
Z - (Still searching)

1 down (W - Wither), 25 to go.

Currently Reading:
G - Going All In
K - Kiss Me Deadly
L - Linger
and
P - Poison Study

So I'm off to read. And edit. Hoping to have Assassin's Blade ready for critique by the end of the month. *crosses fingers*

Any other book recommendations? I could use some help with Q, Y, and Z.

I'm Back


That's right, back to real life and back to work after a great holiday season and new year. Hope everyone had a great time. Did you miss me?

I missed you guys too!

Over the necessary break, among many other things, I managed to read like it was going out of style and I desperately wanted to keep the fashion alive. Doing so much reading reminded me how much I needed to get back to work. So here I am, beginning my third round of edits on TCG, and breaking for this short blog post.

Also, Thanks to jmeadows and her fabulous (and oh so helpful) Saturday Query Project posts, I have revamped my Shimmering Angels query and have sent the first few out. Keeping my fingers crossed. Again. And keeping busy.

My last post-holiday announcement is, TCG, my current WIP, formerly titled The Council Girl has a new title. Curious? Ok, I'll spill. Ready for it?

Assassin's Blade.

Like? I think I'm in love :)

Dare To Hope


Hope springs eternal. We've all heard the saying. But it's never been more true than if you're a writer. When rejection comes our way, and it does, frequently, we have a choice. Do we quit? Give up? Or do we persevere? Do we dare to hope?

Do you dare to hope?

Daring implies taking risks. Very few people in very few career fields require the type of succeed/fail results writers have. Success, for most of us is publishing our Great Novel. Failure is what we've all experienced at on time or another, hearing the word no. No, we're not interested in representing your work, no we're not interested in publishing your manuscript, no, no, no, no, no.

And if you haven't been through it, then let me tell you, yes, it hurts. It stomps on your pride, crushes your optimism, and squashes the very idea of hope.

But after a few minutes, or hours, or days, and several bars of chocolate, you reach that point, the one where it becomes time to decide. Do I want to keep trying? Do I still have faith in my manuscript? Do I still have faith in my writing? Myself?

After my fair share of rejection, I think it's safe to say I'm keeping the hope alive. I'm a writer, a storyteller, and no amount of no could break that. For the love of it and for the love of my stories and characters, I'm keeping the hope alive and I hope all of you are too.

Finito, Finished, and Done!


I've had a busy few days...good but busy. If you've been following me on twitter, you probably already know that I've done it. Again. Graceful Death is finished!



And as far as first drafts go, I'm guessing it isn't great. Oh there are some gems in there, but overall it's going to need a major overhaul. Which I'm looking forward to. Just not yet.

I'm over-Christmas'ed--yes, I'm aware I like to make up words--but I've been sneaking in time here and there to jump back into TCG edits. I don't want to say too much about TCG except that one: it kicks ass and two: it needs a new title. Super excited to be back at it though. Really love this story. Really, really, really :)

But I've had to sneak in these few minutes for a blog post and now it's back to the grind. Today Parental Unit #2 (AKA Dad) and I are making our very special, very secret family recipe carrot cakes. It may not sound like much, but man are they good.


Happy eating!