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Elizabeth Scott

Thursday, August 31, 2006

My editor is amazing! I'm so glad I got to meet her yesterday because she's smart and funny and we had a great conversation about my book and books in general, the kind of conversation where time just flies by. bloom now seems real to me in a way it hasn't before* and the notion that next June, I'll be able to walk into a bookstore and see something I've written on the shelves...wow.

And, as always, it was great to go to New York. If I could afford to live there, I'd move in a second. The only downside of the whole visit was leaving, and that's because I didn't realize how late it had gotten and ended up with only fifteen minutes to scamper twenty blocks to my train, which left me no time for my usual bookstore visit. That was hard because New York has some truly fabulous bookstores.

Totally unrelated, but something you should really read: Maureen Johnson's hilarious entry (complete with illustrations!) on writing realities and fictions.

*You know what finally made me realize that yes, bloom really is going to be out there? Talking about the cover! I know it sounds strange, but for some reason, hearing about the ideas for it made the book seem real in a way it hasn't before. Probably because, up until now, whenever I thought about it, I couldn't quite make the leap from 'file that sits on my computer and has been sent to various people' to book. But hearing about the changes that are turning it into a book made me realize 'hey, it's going to be a book!' Which is a pretty amazing feeling.

there were salads?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This past weekend I saw my friend X, who happened to be in town. I've known X for ages, and she's one of the sweetest people in the world, but I am SO jealous of her job. If you ask her what she does, X is all self-effacing and "oh, nothing really," but the truth is she spends a lot of time working with famous people, sometimes in a three degrees of separation kind of way, but lately in a "Hey, I'm going to be with CELEBRITY all day tomorrow" way.(She also works insanely hard but obviously I'm not jealous of that, as I am lazy)

Anyway, back to the important stuff, which is that I want X's job! Or at least the hanging out with celebrities part of it. I mean, when I saw her, she told me how she'd just spent the entire day working with someone I can't name because X would kill me if I did. But we're talking FAMOUS! And she was so cool about it, all, "Yeah, famous person did this, and while we were waiting, we had salads. And the salads were AMAZING!"

Whereas I would have been "OMG FAMOUS PERSON!" and not even noticed the salads.

In other news: tomorrow I meet my editor for the first time. (!!)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Yesterday Bennett Madison, author of the Lulu Dark books, as well as one of the funniest blogs around, posted an entry pointing to a truly scary article in Forbes*.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the opening line -- the article can now be seen here as Forbes pulled it soon after it appeared:

Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.

Apparently, there was also a slideshow, and though that was yanked as well, another fabulously quick-thinking blogger saved it, and you can view the text of the horrifyingly titled "Nine Reasons to Steer Clear of Career Women: Slideshow" here.

I don't think I need to go into the EXTREME wrongness of this, but I will point you here again in case you'd like to email/write/call Forbes and ask them what in the world they were thinking. Because really, what were they?

*Forbes has since "updated" the article. I personally think it's way too little, too late.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reasons why last week was less than fun: hives

I *hate* getting hives. Not just because they itch and I hate how they just suddenly appear and then spread within seconds, but because I look like a freak when I get them.

See, I'm sort of pale (read: when I was little, people used to ask my parents if I was an albino) and when I get them, I look...well, I look like a very pale person spotted with enormous red lumps, and it's not a good look. At all. Last year, I got them so bad I had to go to the emergency room, and the doctor who came in to see me was all, "Well, you look a little pale here, except for those hives. Hey, I think this one is as big as my fist!" It was sort of hard to work up to her level of excitement, being as how I was the person lying there all pasty-skinned with fist-sized bright red lumps all over.

Anyway, so last week was me and my hives, but there was a bright side, and that was that I got to watch some fabulous television. I saw Shakespeare Retold, which is currently airing on BBC America. There are four adaptations: Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Taming of the Shrew. They're all good but Taming of the Shrew, which airs this coming Sunday, is watch-more-than-once-amazing. It's funny and sharp and even if you loathe Shakespeare, you should give it a try. I promise you won't regret it!

Also! Congratulations to Katharine Beutner, who just sold her first short story to Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. I know that one day soon Kate is going be famous and when that happens, I'll be able to tell everyone "I know her!" (And I will!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

This weekend, I *finally* saw Brick, and it was just as good as I'd hoped it would be. (Follow the link and watch the trailer--see for yourself how amazing the movie is!)

Brick is an old-fashioned noir film set in a present-day high school, and though it's beautifully filmed, the best part is the dialogue, which is to die for. (The end of that sentence is clearly missing a rimshot, isn't it?)

Anyway, back to the dialogue. It's very stylized, very rhythmic, and very catchy. I mean, how can you not love a movie that features lines like:

I've got all five senses and I slept last night, so that puts me six up on the lot of you.

and my favorite, between the lead character, Brendan, and Laura, the movie's femme fatale:

Laura: Do you trust me now?
Brendan: Less than when I didn't trust you before.

There are a lot of other great lines, but if I start putting in more I'll be here all day. And besides, I want to toss out a few more links:

Today I'm going to link to three agent blogs. There are a surprisingly large number of agent blogs out there, but these three feature agents who post fairly often, talk openly about what an agent does, and offer lots of information about how publishing works.

Jennifer Jackson -- An agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Kristin Nelson -- Agent/Owner of the Nelson Agency.

Rachel Vater -- An agent at the Lowenstein-Yost Agency.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Last night, I finished Alexandra Robbins' The Overachivers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids and wow, is it a great read. Robbins writes mostly about a group of high school student who attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, and how fierce the pressure was for them to succeed: to get the best grades, get the highest possible SAT scores, do the most extracurricular activities, and get into the 'best' colleges. Reading about these students, who almost all seemed to survive on a combination of practically no sleep and extreme stress, and who all also seemed to suffer from a profound fear that whatever they did wouldn't be enough, was like watching a really gripping (and depressing as well because seriously, the stress teenagers are under these days is insane) movie. I know that probably seems like a weird thing to say about a non-fiction book, but the students' stories were just so compelling that I got completely sucked into the book and even visited Robbins' website afterwards to see how they were all doing.

And, continuing to share writing links I've found helpful...

Manuscript Formatting for Beginners -- Just what it says and, in my case, something I had to read a lot. Because I knew nothing (and I mean NOTHING) about how to properly format a manuscript.

An Author Talks About Her Writing -- From the now-defunct blog, BookAngst 101, Lynn Viehl, who has a popular blog called Paperback Writer, talks very candidly about how she writes, how much money she makes, and how she promotes her books. Viehl is well-known for her frankness, and the interview is very much worth reading.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Car update: fixed!

I suppose everyone has heard the latest on Floyd Landis. I'll admit that even though I figured the second test would come back positive, part of me hoped it wouldn't. I saw the comeback stage that resulted in the positive drug test live, and thought it was amazing, a real testament to Landis' willpower and to the astonishing feats athletes can achieve. Now I look back on it and feel...not cheated, but sad. Sad that what I thought was something done through skill and willpower looks like it wasn't.

In other news, I got a really nice email over the weekend asking why I don't discuss what I'm writing now here. It's a great question, especially because so many writers talk about their writing openly (one of the most interesting writing-centric journals out there is Elizabeth Bear's--she not only lists her (usually) daily word count, but discusses problems she runs into along the way and talks about her writing process extensively.)

As for me, I don't talk about my current writing projects because I'm really superstitious about them, to the point where I can't even tell friends what I'm working on until I've written most of a draft. However, when I have news about cover art, release dates, or anything else, I'll be sure to mention that! Plus I can definitely pass on some of my favorite writing links.

Here are four links I often turned to when I first started really thinking about writing in terms of publication:

Holly Black's Writing Resources Page -- I wish I could remember who first led me to this site, because I owe them a huge thank you! It's full of fabulous information that covers just about everything you'd ever want to know about writing. Plus the page itself is beautifully laid out and fast-loading. (I don't know about you, but waiting forever for a page to load? Not my thing.)

Melisa Michaels' Stalled Careers, Writer's Block, and Monsters Under the Bed -- In this case, I know exactly where I got this link from, and it was Holly Black's Writing Resources page. (Told you it was fabulous!) This essay deals with an aspect of writing that doesn't get discussed very often--what happens when you get published and your books don't sell? Melisa Michaels writes with candor and grace, and I think this essay should be a must-read for all writers.

John Scalzi's Even More Long-Winded (But Practical) Writing Advice -- From Scalzi's blog, Whatever, this entry is blunt, and, as the title says, very practical, though it's less about the act of writing and more about being a writer. I first read this about a month before I started writing BLOOM, and though there are some commenters who quibble with his advice, I personally found it very helpful, and reread the entry several times as I wrote the book.

Top Ten Quik-Hints -- I admit I'm not a huge fan of the title (So 'quik' it forgot the 'c'???) but this very wonderfully concise list contains great advice about writing.

I actually have the Hint list, Scalzi's blog entry, and Michaels' essay printed out, and they are probably the three pieces of writing about writing that I read most often.

dead batteries

Friday, August 04, 2006

I just discovered my car won't start because the battery is dead. This is annoying for several reasons.

1. The obvious.

2. The "I'm denied, so now I want!" factor. See, before I went out to the car and discovered it wouldn't start, I didn't even want to go out. It's still disgustingly hot, and I'm in the middle of reading Meg Cabot's new book How to Be Popular, and so I felt very resentful of the errands I had to run. ("But I want to stay home! And read my book!" etc. etc.) But now, of course, I've been seized with an intense desire to run those errands, and feel deprived that I can't be at the bank waiting in line RIGHT NOW!

Sometimes it's very vexing to be me.

heat wave

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I know everyone who lives on the East Coast has already complained about the heat but honestly, it's just brutal. I went outside to get the paper a few minutes ago(it's a little after seven in the morning) and it was like getting hit in the face with a big thick sweaty blanket. Ick!

It's basically too hot to go anywhere or do anything, so it's just as well that my husband and I have recently gotten hooked on Life on Mars. However, I *really* wish that BBC America wouldn't cut out part of each episode to make way for commercials. A&E does that with MI-5 (known as Spooks in the UK) and when I watched the first season of that show, certain storylines *really* got shortchanged, to the point where when I finally saw the full episodes on dvd, I was all, "OH! Now I get why that happened!" Hopefully the cuts made to Life on Mars won't be that drastic.