Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sh*t Writers Say

Here I am, the WiP well in hand. Or so I keep saying.

Do you know the single utterance I’ve uttered the most in the last six weeks?

“I’m almost done.”

Lately when people ask me how the writing’s going—and generally they don’t, that was more for rhetorical purposes right there—what I hear myself claim over and over again is that I’m just about finished with my latest manuscript. And the thing is, I truly believe it.  I say it with a straight face every time.

"Yup. Just about there. Only a few more days. Maybe some tweaking here or there, but really, I’m all but done."

What is up with that?

Granted I fully admit to being the type to underestimate how long things will take and how much work they’ll be. But as I say so often, if I didn’t routinely underestimate things, I wouldn’t undertake anything at all. Self-deception is but one of the many important tools in your average writer’s handbag. It’s right next to proper grammar and usage, a level of obsessive devotion that would put Edward Cullen to shame, and the wee little package of Kleenex for periodically weeping your eyes out (see: soul crushing disappointment, December 2011, as but one example).

But really, this is getting silly. It seems to take as long to do the last 2 percent as it takes to do the first 98 percent. I’ve been teetering on the brink of doneness for the better part of a month, and yet I seem to draw no closer to the end. The End just beckons me through a hazy heat wave, like an obnoxious mirage. Yoo-hoo! Come and get me! Yes, that’s what it says as it waves its hanky at me. Then it moons me.

Please tell me that it’s not just me who does this. Please tell me that you also make grandiose claims and optimistic projections about when your manuscript will be ready for consumption, only to recant, backtrack, and otherwise flip-flop like an election-year politician.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

'Catch & Release' Giveaway Winner!

I know there’s going to be some embittered muttering at the back of the room when I announce the winner of the book giveaway contest. One of you will win Blythe Woolston’s Catch & Release, and the rest of you will just have to console yourselves at the bar with your conspiracy theories about how the whole thing was rigged from the get-go.

But, alas, there can be only one.

No, not the Highlander. (I wonder what Adrian Paul is up these days…)

OK, so without further ado. 

The winner, as selected by the Random Number Generator, is:

ElyssaJK !!!!

Elyssa, I shall send you the book just as soon as you send your mailing address to kalmdown (at) Verizon dot net. 

Now everyone else make nice and congratulate her. And don't put your hand out to shake like you're going to be a good sport and then at the last minute pull your hand back and say "Psych!" 

Just say, "good game," and move along. Then go out and buy Blythe's book to carry around with you so everyone knows you have good taste.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Catch & Release Release Giveaway!

No, that isn’t a typo even if spellchecker thinks it is. Sometimes you gotta just tell spellchecker to take its know-it-all algorithms and bugger off. 

So here it is, February 1, 2012, and that can only mean two things: the usual, raucous Groundhog’s Day Eve parties AND the release of Blythe Woolston’s latest book, Catch & Release!

Blythe is a super talented, Morris Award-winning, smarty pants YA writer, who, as we’ve learned on previous occasions at this very blog, does not live in a missile silo, does not write her books with her feet, and does not like bears. (Dear God, there are so many inside jokes in that sentence, even I don’t know what I’m talking about.)

Let’s have a taste of the yummy chocolate coating on this new novel (aka the jacket flap copy­):

Polly Furnas had The Plan for the future. Get married to Bridger Morgan, for one. College, career, babies. Etc. All the important choices were made. It was all happily-ever-after as a diamond-ring commercial. 
But The Plan did not include a lethal drug-resistant infection. It did not include 'some more reconstruction and scar revision in the future.' And it certainly did not include Odd Estes, a trip to Portland in an ancient Cadillac to 'tear Bridger a new one,' fly fishing, marshmallows, Crisco, or a loaded gun.

I know, I know. That sounds awesome, and you totally and utterly want it. *shakes grasping reader off pant leg* 

So let’s get to this book giveaway then.

"A coelacanth?! You shouldn't have!"
Leave a comment below for your chance to win. Simply write the name of your favorite fish, either to eat or watch swim around.  (Mine? The coelacanth.) Or you can simply state your desire for Blythe’s new book in any effective, slavish way you wish: “WANT BOOK GIVE NOW” would work perfectly well, for example.

Make sure you leave some kind of contact info, either your blog address or your email. I’ll pick a winner at random and announce it in a few days.

Just think, if you win, years from now when you’re sitting in your room at the cut-rate nursing home--because you’re probably a writer and God knows you don’t have a decent pension or any pension at all, really--and some relatives come to visit you on your birthday, because, you know, they felt they had to, purely out of a begrudging sense of guilt, and they dragged one of their teenagers along who is so, so beyond not into being there, but that teenager gets bored and starts pawing through your belongings so as to avoid having to talk to you, and then exclaims, “Why, Aunt Fezziwig, I never knew you had a first-edition copy of Blythe Woolston’s Catch & Release! That’s a classic! And do you know how much that thing is worth? Yay! The hydroponic farm is saved!”--why, you're going to be the hero of the day.

Don’t you owe it to your future self, friends, and family to enter? I think you do.

Remember to click on the post title to get the comment box to come up. Commence contest entry in 3-2-1….GO!