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Elizabeth Scott

Monday, July 30, 2007

I've spent the past little while working on page proofs and copyedits, but I dropped two packages off at the UPS store this morning--WHEE!!! I am going to celebrate by not reading anything with a pen or pencil in hand! Double WHEE!!!

I would share a tidbit about my fascinating (ha!) life, but lately I've been so boring that my dreams? In them, I sit reading over pages with pen/pencil in hand. (!)

So let's just move on to the links....

Diana Peterfreund on what to do when you hit a writing wall

Three must-read posts about how books end up in bookstores, how a bookstore decides how many copies of a title to carry, and self-promotion

Editorial Anonymous on the ins and outs of option clauses and query letters

And finally, a bit of Bloom is the quote of the month over at The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. (pardon me, but YAY!!! And a big thank you to them as well.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So last night I'm having lots of trouble falling asleep. (Which I hate, btw, because if I don't get eight hours I'm a zombie--I once was so tired after not sleeping well that I wore two different black shoes to work. And didn't notice until after I'd gotten there and it was too late to go home to change!)

But, worse than having problems falling asleep was that when I finally did fall asleep, I dreamt that I was *awake.* And when I woke up, after a whole three hours of sleep, I was totally confused because I'd just been dreaming that I was lying in bed wishing I was asleep. Ack!

Needless to say, today has been *that* kind of day. So far I've:

-- forgotten where I put the phone (it turned out I'd made it into the bed (!))

-- gone up to my bookcases in the hall to look for a book, only to forget which book I was looking for. Not once, not twice, but THREE times.

I've had to given up watching my beloved Tour (sob!) because I've got deadlines I must meet, but I've been following as best I can by checking the website a couple of times a day and having my husband call me any time anything interesting happens. (He checks the website more than I do--when I was able to watch, sometimes he knew what was going on before I did!) It's a real shame that Vinokourov failed blood doping tests, and how freaky is it that bombs exploded along the Tour route? (This article briefly summarizes both events).

One link before I lurch off through the rest of the day:

The YA YA YAs ask about YA romance for older teens

Monday, July 23, 2007

Do you know of any good vegetarian cookbooks? I use Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures quite a lot (my husband is a vegetarian), but I haven't found many others that are as good (including Lemlin's other books). The problem thing is, my husband doesn't like grains like couscous, bulgur, barley and etc. (he's a pasta guy) and he hates eggplant and portabello/portabella mushrooms, all of which seem to be a staple in vegetarian cooking--and the resulting cookbooks.

Links:

The Disco Mermaids blog interviews several teenagers about what they like to read, what they don't, and how they choose books.

Justine Musk offers up another fabulous essay, this time on perspective.

Some straight-forward and practical thoughts on writing

Tess Gerritsen discusses names, and why writers sometimes use--or need--pen names

Friday, July 20, 2007

Look! It's a future Harry Potter fan!



(Okay, it's an obvious excuse to post a picture of my nephew, but can you blame me? He's such a cutie!)

As for the last Harry Potter book, I'm starting to feel really sorry for those who are trying to remain unspoiled. I mean, is the concept that someone might not want to know what happens in the book before they read it such a wacky one? I don't think so.

So, in the interest of supporting all the Harry Potter fans out there who don't want to read any more about the book until they've actually read it, I present a whole bunch of links with no Harry Potter mentions at all.

Want to see exactly how far magazine are willing to go when it comes to airbrushing covers? Check this out (scroll down until you get to the animated picture--trust me, you can't miss it)

Tess Gerritsen has two very interesting posts on making a bestseller list. The first is on how many copies a book needs to sell before it hits a bestseller list, and the second talks about what sorts of sales are required for a book to make a bestseller list. (In other words, yes, people really do have to buy a book for it to make the bestseller list, even if the publisher has ordered an enormous initial print run. Anyone remember the book that was supposed to hit really huge a few years ago? I can't remember the title, but the big selling point about the author was that he lived "off the grid.")

Finally, I meant to post this with the other essential writing links I put up the other day, though it seems oddly appropriate that I'm putting it up today: Jenny Crusie's excellent (and amusing) essay on professional jealousy.

My favorite lines: "Do not let other people spoil your joy. Then double check to make sure you're not doing the same thing to somebody yourself."

Amen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just want to say "Hi!" to everyone who came out to the Prince William County Library yesterday--I had so much fun, and thank you all for laughing at my terrible jokes!

I've shared some of these writing links before, but I thought it might be nice to put a list of what I've found to be really helpful/interesting sites/advice/etc. in one place. (I'll try and remember to add it to the blog sidebar as well)

Sherwood Smith has an excellent series of articles about writing novels here

Holly Black has great advice about writing novels, and writing in general here

Please check out John Scalzi's Even More Long-Winded (But Practical) Writing Advice -- This was something I kept in mind as I first started writing Bloom, and it's stayed with me ever since.

Short, sweet, and to the point (though I still wish the c was in 'quick') -- Top Ten Quik-Hints

Another list of ten, this time from Elmore Leonard

Stalled Careers, Writer's Block, and Monsters Under the Bed by Melisa Michaels -- I've said it before, but it bears repeating: 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.

What would you add to this list?

Monday, July 16, 2007

I got the first pass pages of Perfect You last week, and it's so surreal seeing what I wrote neatly typeset and all pretty looking. (As soon as the cover is finalized, I'll share it)

Before I go back to looking over Perfect You, I've got a bunch of links to share:

Elizabeth Bear offers some excellent writing advice

Notes from a Readercon panel on writing the middle of a book

netcurmudgeon shares some thoughts on the most permanent ways to preserve documents

The Rejecter has a must-read post on the publishing industry (Be sure to check out the fascinating post about the difficulties of being a book buyer as well)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sometimes I am the stupidest person EVER. I paused the Tour this morning, when there was less than five miles to go, because I was hungry and wanted to get something to eat. And then I got distracted, and somehow ended up reading the paper for a little bit, all the while thinking 'la la la, I can watch the rest anytime I want! I love being able to pause tv!"

Naturally, when I went back to finish watching the race, I sat down, went to hit play to start the race--and instead changed the channel. Which meant that all the race footage that I had left to watch went poof!

ARGH! (Luckily, each stage gets shown about another three times each day and I have seen what happened. But still! You'd think I'd have gotten the hang of working the remote control by now, but noooooo. Sad. It's just sad!)

However, balancing all that out is this super kind review of Bloom by the Charleston County Public Library's Teen Underground and the *amazingly* fabulous Chillicothe Public Library, which just named Bloom their young adult book of the month!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One of the things I love about the Tour is that France is so pretty. I'm sure all the areas that the tour passes through spruce everything up, but I never get tired of how *organized* the French countryside looks. It's like all the fields have been neatly sectioned off with a ruler, and you'll have huge area of sunflowers right next to a field--but the sunflowers stay in their area. Not one sunflower seed has drifted over to the field and sprouted. How does that happen?

Also, today's stage was pretty impressive. The pure chaos of a sprint is mind-blowing. Just watching makes me nervous. I can't imagine what actually being in one is like. And pretty soon we'll start to get into the mountains, which is my favorite part.

Anyway, I swore I wouldn't talk about the Tour constantly, so I'll answer a question Ann emailed me a few days ago instead. She wanted me to blog about what I like to read and what I'm reading now. (Thanks for asking, Ann!)

I'll read just about anything, although I don't think I've ever read a Western. And as for what I'm reading now, I just finished Peter Hessler's The Oracle Bones, which was outstanding, and I've started Helen Dunmore's House of Orphans (sadly, this isn't out in the US yet, but her earlier novels are, and they're all excellent. My faves--at least as of today--are With Your Crooked Heart and The Siege)

One last thing: here's a great interview with Meg Cabot

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ah, July. I loathe the weather you bring, but I love you for bringing me the Tour de France. Did anyone else see today's stage? I thought there was no way McEwen could win--I mean, he was actually out of the peloton at one point--but he did. Amazing! I know cycling has gotten tossed about a bit especially in the last year, but I'm still in awe of anyone who is willing to ride a bike for three weeks. THREE WEEKS! (Not to mention all the mountain stages--I don't think I'd want to walk up any of them, much less ride through them after being on a bike for days already)

I'm going to New York tomorrow, and I'm really excited about it...BUT I'm going to miss a stage of the Tour. Waaah! I'm tivoing it--I like the morning coverage so much better than what's on in the evening--but still. It's not the same as watching it live. And yes, I know, bike racing? But I'm telling you, read this, and then check out this (it's not the greatest picture quality, but you get a very clear idea of what a comeback McEwen made from the commentators)

Unrelated, but other things that are making me happy: Bloom got a five-star (!!) review over at hiplibrariansbookblog and was mentioned on Avenging Sybil. Pardon me, but SQUEE!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My dog may be scared of the vacuum cleaner, boxes, and the vet's office, but the one thing that doesn't seem to bother her are fireworks. (Or storms, for that matter. Bring in a tiny box from Amazon, and she runs away. But have lightening striking all around and hail battering the house, and what does she do? Snore through it all.)

Anyway, last night we had quite a celebration in our neighborhood, and I'm a bit groggy today. The dog however, is quite refreshed and, as I type this, continues to bring me her favorite toy in the hopes I'll fling it down the hall for her to chase. I'm doing so, but I have to confess, I'm hoping she'll get tired soon. Because even if she couldn't use a nap, I could. Or at least a good hour or so vegetating in front of the tv watching Seinfeld season 8. (I know everyone likes the earlier seasons better, but I like the last two seasons the best. There, I've finally admitted it.)

Before I head off to watch one of my favorite episodes, "The Little Kicks," here are some links:

A report on middle schoolers--what they think the biggest problems in their school are and their thoughts about high school (note: pdf file)

Maureen McHugh's hilarious--and honest--chart about writing a novel

In my opinion, Justine Musk writes some of the best essays about writing around. Check out her thoughts on writer's traits and outlining

Monday, July 02, 2007

Congrats to the winners of the BLOOM contest -- and *thank you* to everyone who entered!!!

First prize: Emily
Second prize: Megan and Rachel
Third prize: Audrey, Kristin, and Ly
Fourth prize: Allison, Nikki, Caitlin, and Bria

Also, I want to say "Hi!" to everyone who came to my workshop at the Fairfax County Public Library on Saturday--it was fantastic to meet all of you, and thanks for asking so many great questions.