Friday, April 30, 2010
A Friday Funny
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Rockin out, yo
What are you listening to right now? Let's get a good list of music going here!
Monday, April 26, 2010
at the movies
I'm really looking forward to the following movies:
You know I'm a huge fan of the SNL skit...and I've heard from a good authority (someone who's already seen a sneak preview) that this movie is AWESOME. So on May 21...I'll be enjoying the awesome with other like minded individuals...
KILLERS: Movie Trailer - Watch more top selected videos about: Movie_Trailers, Killers_(2010_film), Catherine_O'Hara, Tom_Selleck, Katherine_Heigl, Ashton_Kutcher, Katheryn_Winnick, Rob_Riggle, KILLERS, Robert_Luketic
Ashton Kutcher (looking yummy and ripped)and Katherine Heigel. This has the potential of being LOL funny. I hope it's not disappointing.
THE EXPENDABLES: Movie Trailer - Watch more top selected videos about: The_Expendables_(2010_film), Jason_Statham, Sylvester_Stallone, Jet_Li, Arnold_Schwarzenegger, Bruce_Willis, Danny_Trejo, Dolph_Lundgren, The_Expendables
Holy cow! With this cast this movie is either going to be made of awesome, or a train wreck that you can't look away from. Either way, I'm there!
What movies are you looking forward to?
Friday, April 23, 2010
So, as a reader--do you ever look for book trailers? I confess, I never have. I've seen some really bad ones though, and they turned me off. I'm going to start checking youtube for more now--if nothing else than to give me ideas.
As a writer--have you ever made book trailers and what was your experience with them?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Whereas Jerry checking out "Tropic of Cancer" in 1971 and failing to return it was actually just a plot of a classic episode, it appears that our nation's first president actually did check out two library books on October 5, 1789 and fail to return them on November 2.
According to the New York Society Library's informal estimate, President Washington owes approximately $4,577 for the lost copies of "Law of Nations" and the 12th volume of "Common Debates." The fine at the time was 2 pence per day, but now it's fifteen cents.
Anyone else intrigued by how little the overdue fine has gone up in 221 years? I know the fine for overdue books at my local library is quite a bit steeper, at $1 per day. It give you a lot more incentive to return the book on time that way.
Anyway, I don't think the NYSL is going to get their $4577 anytime soon. A better question is whatever happened to those two books?
Have you ever gotten a really big library fine? Do you always return your books on time?
Monday, April 19, 2010
Patriots, Running Men, and Hitler
Today is a day off in Massachusetts. It's Patriot's Day, which actually has nothing to do with football, but around here I don't think anyone would be surprised. Boston is known for fake holidays. About ten years ago they started getting a little stricter about it, but yeah-- we'll take a day off for a wind change.
When people who aren't from around here ask, I always tell the tale of a brash young Minute-Man who was chased from Hopkinton all the way to Copley Square, and captured by RedCoats at the Boston Public Library's location on Boylston street, where he was boiled alive, and thus was the street named.
Which is a pretty cool lie, I like to think. Actually that's the route of the Marathon, which is the real reason for the holiday, even though nobody ever wants to admit it. Maine, our big brother to the north, also celebrates the day, while everyone else is scratching their heads wondering what the heck is going on. Look... we made up Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day, too. It's not our fault you guys can't get together and lie to your governors.
So what was the line we gave to get the day off? The first battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought on April 19, 1775. So we celebrate the Monday closest to that day by getting drunk, watching people run, and wandering around Fenway because there's always a game. Plus, tomorrow is Hitler's birthday... we could always lift a pint to celebrate him being dead.
Evacuation Day may be my favorite local holiday. It celebrates the leaving of troops from our shores, only it doesn't. It's just a made up holiday so we can have a Saint Patrick's Day parade. Once again, traditions involve drinking. I don't drink, really, but I love watching other idiots do it.
So yeah, anyway... gotta run. It's Patriot's Day. Plus it's an extra long weekend, too, and I have to get ready for Dead Hitler Day tomorrow. I was happy to blog on a holiday... cuz I lurves ya!
Friday, April 16, 2010
You complete me
Now the real fun begins.
See, I'm not one of those writers who loves the blank page, the fresh creation, the discovery of the characters. I'm the type who loves to take what's been created and mold it and shape it into something better.
And the feeling when that editing and polishing is done? Nothing like it, baby!
When's the last time you finished something? What was it?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I think that because both of these are issues with me in my life, it's good to see how people overcome them, even if in a fictional setting. Real life doesn't always get resolved as nicely, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to keep improving ourselves and getting past our road blocks.
What about you? What book themes do you find yourself particularly drawn to, and why?
Monday, April 12, 2010
very very literary
The program said we were to talk about undead lore that we discovered during our research, but we let the crowd dictate the topic of conversation.
It was fun, relaxed and varied of opinion. And I enjoyed it very much.
I have pictures, but since I'm in the middle of a move, the camera is with me and the camera cable is at the new place... so photos will have to wait.
Since I've started doing these panels, I've noticed one of the big questions has been a variation of "What is your writing process?" And yesterday, each of us had very different answers. Deborah is the "write 16 hours a day just to get the story on the page" type. Stacey has little kids so she's the very disciplined "must write X words a day while the kids are asleep" type. I'm the more laissez-faire of the group, "write when I can or if I'm in the mood unless I'm on deadline" type.
Now, the problem with taking such a laid back approach is that it can take a while to write a book. And it's difficult to get back into a story if you don't actually write on it everyday. So when I'm writing, I do open the manuscript daily and add to it...even if it's only a sentence.
I'm going to try to adopt a more disciplined approach. I'm not like Stacey who writes
Once I'm officially in the new house, I think I'll make a plan!
Friday, April 09, 2010
I just love this video. It makes me happy, like the Susan Boyle video. I wish I could sing. Really, I can't--ask anyone. But I wish I could.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Q&A with Elizabeth Scott at Romance Divas!
Elizabeth's newest novel, "The Unwritten Rule" was released last month. I just bought it and can't wait to dive right in, because I'm a huge Elizabeth Scott fangirl!
If you've never checked out any of her books, be warned that "Living Dead Girl" (and her upcoming "Grace", which will be out this fall) are VERY different from her sweet teen romances, like "Bloom" or "Something, Maybe." But anything she writes is fabulous.
Go check out the Q&A and ask your questions!!
Monday, April 05, 2010
Interview with Matthew Quick
F: Hi, Matthew, and welcome to Fictionistas. Your young adult novel, Sorta Like a Rock Star, is coming out in May. Congratulations!
F: Your friends call you "Q." Are you a Trek nerd like me, or is that just some crazy-cool top secret?
Q: My students began calling me Q ten years ago. I believe I was christened ‘Q’ by the first freshman girls soccer team I coached. I wasn’t sure about Q at first, but one doesn’t get to choose one’s own nickname. Over the years I began to feel as though I grew into the moniker—and that Q was like my super teacher name. Mr. Quick was the person students met on the first day of school and Q was the person they knew when they officially passed my class. Somehow the nickname found its way into my personal life and now even my agent and editors in NYC call me Q.
F: You took a really big, scary step when you decided to quit your job, sell your house, and write full time. Regrets?
Q: Giving up tenure at one of the best high schools in South Jersey—let alone health insurance and a pension—to write full-time didn’t initially win me many fans. Most people thought I had gone insane. Some told me so. But there was something deep inside of me that knew I was doing what I had to do. I have absolutely no regrets. But I will say that when you move in a certain direction, you move away from things and people too. Pursuing my dream was often lonely, and sometimes I still feel lonely. While most of my friends were advancing in their careers, having children, and buying bigger houses, I was in my in-laws’ basement working on a manuscript in which few people believed. Even now, I’m often surprised by who supports me and who doesn’t.
F: Cautionary tales? Best move you ever made?
Q: Cautionary tale: If you write about something personal, something that has the potential to upset friends or family members, be prepared for the consequences.
Q: Best move made: When my in-laws offered us free room and board so that Alicia and I could pursue our dream of becoming full-time fiction writers, my pride almost kept me from accepting. I talked to my Uncle Pete about it and he told me this: you have to take advantage of whatever comes your way. Humbly living with my in-laws while I completed my MFA in Creative Writing and wrote The Silver Linings Playbook was definitely my best move, and I almost didn’t make it. So take what comes your way. I’ve also heard people say, go where you are wanted, or, shake the hand that is extended. Not every opportunity is wrapped in a pretty bow. (Although living with my in-laws turned out to be a sweet experience.)
F: Your wife is a writer, as well. Any tips on living with another writer that don't involve homicide?
Q: Sleep with one eye open! Just kidding. Alicia and I have a very healthy relationship. We both understand that success for one of us can definitely help the other. It’s good to have two sets of contacts in the writing world, and it can be great fun to share the same passion. Alicia is my first reader always because she is the only person able to answer these two questions: Is this (meaning my latest manuscript) me? And should I put it into the world? Alicia knows me better than anyone else. She knows all of my most intimate truths. And I trust her to be both nurturing and honest with me. Having Alicia in the next room at all times is a beautiful thing.
F: What prompted the switch to young adult?
Q: Publishing is really slow. More than a year before The Silver Linings Playbook was released, I had already finished my follow-up. Sarah Crichton, my adult-market editor, was swamped and therefore couldn’t read it right away. During this period, I asked my agent what I should write while we waited. He said YA, especially since I had taught high school English. I hadn’t read much current YA. (I’ve read a lot since.) When I expressed reluctance, Doug said, “Just do exactly what you do, but this time write from the point of view of a teenager.” I thought, I can do that. And I did.
F: Tell us about Sorta Like A Rock Star.
Q: SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR is about a teenager named Amber Appleton. She’s been kicked in the teeth by life again and again, but she tries to stay hopeful. Amber spends most of her time doing very interesting (and often hilarious) community service projects, even though she is homeless and therefore needs help herself. When a fatal tragedy strikes, Amber falls into a depression and must learn to accept help as her community rallies in a beautiful and life-altering way. I’ll also say that if I had a daughter, I’d want her to be just like Amber Appleton. She’s the best of my friends and family, the best of all my former students, and the best of all I have experienced thus far.
F: Your protagonist, Amber, deals with some very heavy issues. Is the tone dark?
Q: The book does deal with some weighty issues, but, ironically, the tone is mostly upbeat. It’s first person and extremely voice-driven. Since Amber is such a quirky and hopeful character, she manages to buoy the reader. Fellow YA writer Dana Reinhardt describes Amber Appleton as “a teen heroine who makes you laugh when you want to cry and cry when you want to laugh.” Justina Chen said, “Amber Appleton … is the ambassador of sassy optimism. This is a must-read, must-quote, must-hug kind of book, the best kind of book there is.” Sara Zarr called Amber her “hero.” Early readers have told me that they laughed and cried all the way through Sorta Like A Rock Star. So I’d say, it’s sort of a simultaneously light and heavy read.
F: How was writing YA different for you? Or was it?
Q: My first published novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, was written from the point of view of a man who has suffered brain trauma. At the end of the book he wonders if the blow knocked him back into the mindset of a teenager. Throughout the novel he reads the books on his English-teacher ex-wife’s syllabus—novels all teenagers read in high school—and Pat writes hilarious reviews bemoaning the fact that American literature is so depressing. Pat Peoples’ voice is unfiltered, honest, and therefore teen-like. So finding Amber’s voice wasn’t such a stretch for me.
F: You taught high school English after college, and I also noted on your website that one of your first mentors was a teacher. We have a few English teachers here at Fictionistas, too! How do you think the job informed your work?
Q: First, teachers are some of the hardest working people on the planet. And the good ones are worth ten times what they are paid. Whenever I speak to high school students I always tell them that they have no idea how hard their teachers are working. Only after I had taught a full school year did I realize what saints my best teachers were and are. I love teachers. They are my sort of people.
Q: Of course, having worked closely with teenagers for many years informs my work. Also, as an English teacher, I listened endlessly to teenagers complain about the books they didn’t like. I remember their complaints and those inform my writing. I will always remain true to my stories and my vision, but I definitely want teenagers to read and love my books. I’m not afraid to entertain my readers.
F: OK, this is the scary bit... a few standard questions... it shouldn't hurt a bit.
We ask all our guests to provide us with a prom picture from their high school days. Feel free to attach. No really, I'm serious. If you don't have one, that's fine, but if you do... fork it over.
Q: Delivering my senior photo required a trip to my mother’s. (She thanks you!) As you can see, I used to have a lot more hair. Why am I wearing a tuxedo? I do not know. We did not wear tuxedos to school in 1992.
F: If you went back in time to visit your teen self, what random piece of advice would you give to that young Q?
Q: I’d tell the eighteen-year-old Q this: You know in your heart that you want to be a writer and that bit of beating info will be your one constant truth. But you will have to grow up and do a bunch of other stuff before you will be able to write anything good. These things take time. If you keep working hard and moving toward your goal, you will be okay. But, in the meantime, try to enjoy the ride.
F: What's always in your pockets/wallet/book-bag?
Q: Droid phone. Swanky money clip slash credit card holder. Keys.
F: If you were stranded on a deserted island and your iPod had only three songs on it, which would you hope they were?
This is an extremely hard question. Today I will say: Stretch Out And Wait by The Smiths, If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens, and Us by Regina Spektor. Tomorrow could be a different story. (Tomorrow by Morrissey is also a good song.)
Thanks for interviewing me.
Thanks for reading along.
Please visit me @ www.matthewquickwriter.com.
Matthew's head-shot was provided by Dave Tavani. Learn morea bout Dave @ www.davetavani.com.
Friday, April 02, 2010
It's Good Friday!
For me to list all the good things in my life would take forever. I live a very blessed life - I have great friends, like the girls here on Fictionistas. I have an incredible husband, wonderful parents, a kid brother I actually get along with (and love), an editor who occasionally compares me to Anne Rice, an agent that rocks and of course, there are my furry babies - my kittens!
Those are just a few of the good things in my life. What are yours?