I am copying this link and Chuck’s info becaus eit’s all him and I’m just laughing. Here’s to the writer’s life!
I’m breaking out my Scene Synopsis cards and using them as I revise my chapters. They’re a great tool to keep pace and tension high in a MS.
In honor of #TBT I’m celebrating the reprinting of Anne K. Ream and Patricia Evans book Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence and Survivors.
more about the book from Random House:
In these pages you’ll meet a community of rape and sexual violence survivors who have been shaped, but refuse to be defined, by their histories of violence. They are brave, and they are outspoken—but, mostly, they are hopeful.
I was interviewed by Anne and photographed by Patricia years ago near the Santa Monica beach. Although my story of rape is tragic because I kept it a secret for 13 years, it never defined my spirit. As a matter of fact they repeatedly asked me to stop smiling as they photographed me because a smiling woman doesn’t convey the pain and seriousness of the issue.
My stuggle with the aftermath of my rape included promiscuity. It’s ironic and confusing to explain that victims go out and reinact their shame. In nearly all of my sexual interactions I recreated my attack (mostly by demeaning myself) in various ways and with many partners as a way of trying to retake control for the fifteen-year-old girl who had it snatched from her. My efforts always failed. It took a therapist to tell the twenty-eight-year-old me, “You were raped and it’s not your fault,” for me to even understand that I was raped. And she had to do it and say it for a long time before I believed her. Then I had to understand it and accept it.
And there’s my point. Rape comes in many forms. All are gruesome. Let’s take a moment to educate ourselves and our children. Please take a look at the book and the Voices and Faces Website. The website has lots of information and places to get support.
Here is my story. I wrote it in verse.
by Holly Raychelle Hughes
15 years old.
On my parents bed.
While I lay still and thinking
“This is it? This is sex?”
Staring at the blue fern patterned wallpaper
Bleeding in the middle of the bed.
How do I keep this secret?
What did I do to cause this?
How old is he, 20?
My voice, white noise from a transistor
radio across the room, saying “stop”
My parents aren’t home.
My friend (?) Tina playing pool downstairs
in the living room with this guy’s friends.
15 years old and confused,
He gets up . He’s wearing a condom, where did it
come from? When did he put it on?
He walks away and down the stairs.
Raped and sitting in my blood.
Raped and standing next to my parents bed,
looking at the bright red blood in the middle of the bed.
In the afternoon.
and cleaning up the mess on my parent’s bed.
The dog jumps up and begins licking the bloody sheets.
and not understanding sex or why
he wanted to have sex with me.
15 years old
I stand at the top of the stairs leaning over the black banister
and call him back upstairs.
Everyone in the pool room cheers.
He walks upstairs and I lead him to my bedroom.
Four purple walls covered in Duran Duran posters.
Stuffed animals bear witness to my platform bed.
I lay down again,
there’s another condom.
I try to learn what he is doing.
I try to pretend it’s my choice.
It’s over again.
He goes back downstairs,
I clean myself off.
I put all the sheets in the wash.
I bleed for one week from the wound.
He said he couldn’t believe it was my first time
I attended the LA SCBWI 2014 conference last week and it was inspirational and informational. And those two things don’t suck. It’s impossible to explain my thrill of being in the same room as Judy Blume and hear her speak. To listen to Meg Rosoff‘s funny accent and be inspired. How I’m 100% sure Lin Oliver is the coolest woman in the US. It was crazy-fabulous to be in a room with Stephen Chbosky and Jay Asher as they presented Mystery and Grit how to Write a True Page Turner. How I got to practice my pitch with Linda Pratt and Sarah Davies and see their eyes sparkle as they get what I was saying and were curious about my book. There was Lisa Yee and Peepy and how they captivated a room and got Jay Asher to walk down the center of said room, pretending to cry and stand in a corner. Not to mention that I got to see old friends make new ones and party with Ellen Hopkins! I’m going to end this part by saying it was overwhelming and worth every second. I can’t possibly name drop every author I met or heard, it’s up to you to attend next year.
Here’s a practical bit.
On Monday, August 4, 2014 I attended Emma Dryden’s Robust Revision intensive. I took an editing workshop with her in the past, so I knew I was in for the goods. Only this time, I was three drafts into my novel instead of one and I had the opportunity to hear her with new ears and insights.
My favorite exercise by far was this one. Ready?…
If you’re feeling stuck in a scene and need a fresh perspective rewrite the scene from a sleazy tabloid reporter’s perspective. I did this with my first chapter and it was so much fun.
Here is my spontaneous tabloid reporter, flaws and all, that I wrote in the room:
Here at 53 Shepard Drive the mother of Mary Reynolds, the 18-year-old killed last night in an alleged accident, requests vodka and privacy.
Anjulie, Mary’s little sister, started a shrine with a picture she drew of the two of them and her stuffed otter- a gift and nickname given to her by the deceased.
Investigators are looking into how the 18-year-old got her fake ID and if alcohol played a role in her death. An autopsy was ordered by the courts and the 17-year-old girl who allegedly killed Mary is under observation in a mental facility.
What will become of Club X is still unknown but serving minors is illegal and I’m sure the Reynold’s family ought to sue them for all they can get.
This exercise was so fun and freeing. Emma’s tip after hearing what a few of us wrote- the excitement and energy that we felt in doing the exercise should exist in the chapter itself.
T minus 9 days until I attend the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles. I booked the conference during a time I was seriously depressed hoping that I’d get excited and enjoy the experience. True to my optimism I’m excited and can’t wait to see some new and old friends and soak in all the wonders a conference like this will have for me.
One of the splendors will be Emma Dryden of drydenbks. I’ve signed up for her ROBUST REVISION craft intensive.
In case you can’t attend the SCBWI conference and therefore will miss Emma’s insights click here to listen in to her interview on World of Ink blog talk radio. She covers craft, impatience, publishing options, SCBWI, and more. Listen, Enjoy, and Please Share! http://ow.ly/zqkqR
BOOMERANG is out.
And I’m having a contest celebrating the launch! It’s super easy to enter. Just take a photo of your favorite pet reading and post it to my twitter account @hgrilla. (one photo per person please)
Prizes include: a signed copy of Boomerang, a query and first five-page critique and maybe a surprise for your pet–Query and critique by one of the two authors who are Noelle August, Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi.
Noelle August (aka Lorin and Veronica) will select a favorite photo and I will announce the winner here on Monday, July 21st.
Deadline for the photos is Sunday, July, 20th at 9PM Eastern. Please tell two friends.
Do you know about Veronica’s other projects?
We’re celebrating the launch of Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi’s novel, BOOMERANG by offering a weekend long EVENT! It’s part book-signing, part fundraiser for an AWESOME organization, and 150% fun. (Yes, we checked that math!)
Extravaganza, Part One:
Join us at Inkwood Books on Saturday, July 12 from 4-7 for a book-signing and to help launch Lorin and Veronica’s awesome new book into the world.
The first 80 people who PRE-ORDER the signed book through this page are also eligible to attend the super secret after-party from 7-9 (or later), where there will be FREE food, drinks, and MORE fun. Location to be sent upon registration.
In addition, we’ll donate $2 for every book sold through this page to an amazing organization called Bess the Book Bus (bessthebookbus.org), which travels around the entire US, bringing FREE books to kids in need.
AND THIS JUST IN: The awesome Generation Give will MATCH those funds! Woot!
That’s kind of an unbeatable deal, right? For the price of a trade paperback, you can come support some awesome authors, enjoy a strictly invite-only after-party, help support a fabulous independent bookstore, AND give the gift of books and reading to kids.
Extravaganza, Part Two:
In FURTHER support of the awesome Bess the Book Bus organization, writers are invited to attend a completely donation-based writing workshop on Sunday, July 13 from 9:30-12:30 PM. We’re still firming up the speakers and the venue, but we’ll have a humor writing class, led by memoirist and Certified Laughter Coach, Christina Crall-Reed; a class on world-building, led by editor and award-winning author, Brenda Windberg; a class on deep scene structure with author and editor Lorin Oberweger, and more! (Curriculum may vary.)
Please note that 100% of the proceeds from this class will go to support the Bess the Book Bus organization, so dig deep and know we’ll give you a challenging, fun learning experience, and your registrations will help put books into kids’ hands around the country!
Light food and beverage will be provided.
See the EventBrite page to pre-order!
Condensed version of my nightmare from last night:
An evil spirit enters the body of a friend and slowly contaminates my home with negative energy and people until they don’t allow me enter my own home.
I watch them destroying my home through a large window from the front yard. Many more negative entities fill the space until the air around the house turns red.
My book is trapped inside the demon filled house. I try breaking in through the back door where there is a pool but the seven deadly sins are being acted out by those souls who foolishly entered the house.
I’m overwhelmed emotionally and physically disturbed by what I see. A man approaches me, trying to entice me. All I want is the printed copy of my book in the library. He puts his arm around me and I feel the evil ooze over my skin like the mucus of a slug. I turn and say, “I believe in God!”
The man morphs into a seven foot demon with putrid skin and horns simultaneously all the people turn into beasts and attack me. I repeat, “I believe in God!”
They steal my voice. It disappears as they asphyxiate me. I repeat, “I believe in God!” over and over. I pray for help.
A seraph appears and gets me to the library. But my book is not there. The demons catch up to me and surround me. The angel doesn’t help me defeat the monsters attacking me or lead me to my book.
I ask the angel why he has come if he won’t help and he said, “In a little more time.” I think ASSHOLE HELP ME!!!! In real time my leg cramps and I have a muscle spasm in my left leg causing me so much pain I wake up.
Yes, this is my imagination at work. And yes I will use it for a story. And yes, I woke up and searched for my book, which I’m happy to report is printed out and sitting on my desk, an electronic copy is on my desktop and backed up to a hard drive. FU devil!
Goodness I’ve been quiet here for a while. Sorry about that. I’ve been dedicating all my time and effort to my second Young Adult Novel Dear Dead Drunk Girl. The writing of it requires all my brain power.
However, I can recommend books that are already in the world. And it’s nearly summer so instead of worrying about what you may look like in a swimsuit or who’s going to win The Voice, I think you should pick up Noelle August’s Boomerang. It’s the first in a New Adult Trilogy by Noelle August.
I had the great pleasure of reading an advance copy. If you follow @noelle_august on twitter you may win free stuff, including chapters and an ARC. (Advanced Reading Copy) and you can get goodies including chapters 1-19 for free and chapters 20-38 for .99 if you click on the link to Amazon here and above! BOOMERANG
Let me say it was a super fun read and the characters have goals and personalities and it’s set in Los Angeles, my stomping grounds for 18 years. I read it in 2 days because well, I couldn’t put it down.
Here’s what it’s about:
Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up.
Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.
Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.
What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.
As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?
Now go get yourself a copy.
Want to pitch or practice pitching? Check out the Guide to Literary Agents Lucky Agent contest.
Some basic info:
The 15th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing young adult fiction, this 15th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, Wednesday, April 9, 2014.) See the sight for the details and fine print. See you there!