Friday, July 31, 2009

The Final Revision Report

What wherplashing ride it's been, friends!

It's our final report. Now, we know that July has been a bit less-focused version of the Summer Revision Smackdown, but that doesn't mean Holly and I have been any less impressed. Heck...she and I both completed our revision projects this month. And, from what you've told us, many of you have, too! (Or met your goals. Or did more this summer than you anticpiated.)


So, just because the smackdown is over, doesn't mean you should stop visiting. We would miss you. And here's the good news: Holly and I have loved this so much that we think it MUST happen again. A yearly event. Summer Revision Smackdown will live on and back again in full force June 2010! Smack dat!

Will you put us on your calendar? But don't forget to report in comments first!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SRS Wednesday Whip Tip

How cool of the lovely Mrs. Cupala to bring us yet another wonderful tip. This was from her Secret Agent Man!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Continued Thoughts on Yesterday's Monday Moment

Because I promised! Right?

So, if you didn't read yesterday's Monday Moment then do that first.

All right, now I'm feeling that maybe I don't have as much to say as I thought I did yesterday. But, here goes...

As I wrote out that Monday Moment, not only was I thinking about the moment and how it could relate to our characters, but also about dialogue.

That it's-a-small-world experience came from dialogue, as most would. But so much does. Dialogue can take a character anywhere. It can turn a scene on it's heel. It can reveal amazing surprises. It can seep with emotion. And dialogue is typically what readers enjoy reading most!

So, in your revision work today, or in your draft work today, what does dialogue reveal in your story?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Moment #29

So, a couple of days ago I got my hair cut. You know, you sit in the chair and blah-de-blah-de-blah with the person cutting and styling. Sometimes small talk, sometimes more personal. But you never know what you'll really get to talking about during that particular visit.

I started in the salon with Kai (the girl who puts pretty streaks of color in my hair). As we were chatting it up, she mentioned to me that Lauren (the girl who would be cutting my hair) was getting married soon. Naturally, that conversation came up when I got into Lauren's chair. Where that conversation would take me took me completely by surprise. I simply asked if she was getting married in the area or somewhere else. And her response was that they were but it was hard to decide to do that or get married in Montana where she grew up.

Well, many of you have gotten to know me and know I, too, grew up in Montana. So, of course, my eyebrows and voice octave raised as I said, "I did,too."

"Where at?" she asked.

"Livingston," I said thinking she would probably know it.

But her reaction was, "No way!"

Then we experienced an awkward moment of looking at one another, sizing up each other's ages, wondering if maybe we could have gone to school together. She mentioned she thought I looked familiar when we first met. But, I am most certainly older than her. However, we know many of the same places and same people and she went to school with a whole load of my cousins. Not only that, but Livingston is a place we each return every Fourth of July (almost!).

A fun surprise. A fun coincidence. A fun it's-a-small-world experience. We all have them, and so can our characters. The tricky not to make it feel contrived.

Does your character experience a surprise or it's-a-small world experience?
P.S. Tomorrow's post will be related. (I guess now I'm on the hook and I'd better write it, huh?)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Revision Heroics

It's reporting day! Hip...hip! Head over to Holly's and let everyone know how this week has gone for you.

I think I wrote somewhere (at some time) that I finished my revision. I FINISHED MY REVISION. Wheee! And now that I've passed it on to trusted readers, I'm already thinking of other things that I need to do.

But I cracked the whip. I accomplished my goal. And that makes me feel I have super natural whip crackin' power. Oh yeah!

The Strange Supersonic Whip Lash!

How appropriate. And hubby just said, "Hey, that does look like you." But I had to remind him that my tummy will never look that tight know, having our two babies and all. But I do hope I cracked the whip with firm yet angelic care.

There's lots and lots of these cool super heroes out there, courtesy of The Hero Factory. Check out Holly's, I think we make quite a heroic revision team.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SRS: Wednesday Whip Tip: Janet Lee Carey

Jump over to Holly's for a fantastic revision tip from the amazing Janet Lee Carey!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One More Reason YOU Must Go

Need yet another reason to be jazzed you're going to the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference?

Are you still on the fence?

Lee Wind has a fab interview with keynoter Holly Black. Check it out.

And now Lee is tweeting. Go follow him. All of Team Blog will be tweeting throughout the conference. Whee! Find me HERE!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Be More (like) Holly

I'm ready to Be More like Holly: to Be More Chill!
I'm this close to finishing my revision. I have some things to add. Some things to tweak. And I sure would like to nail the ending. Since my hubby was away last night...and I don't like to sleep alone...I slept with my manuscript. I know, I'm a total dork, but I hoped maybe something wonderful would seep in during the night. Perhaps!
But I'm ready to move onto some other things this summer: like a my WIP; playing with the girlies; a family trip; company; and the SCBWI Conference!
So my SRS goals for this week are slightly different. 1) The main goal will be to CHILL (while my critique group peeps read the whole manuscript). 2) And get moving again on my WIP (I miss that kid).
What are your goals this week?

Monday Moment #28

First...I've been dubbed! Thanks, Ben.

As I write this, I'm home alone. Well, the girlies are here with me, but I'm the only grown up. Okay, I'll admit it, I don't like to be home alone...especially when it gets dark. I just don't. I know it's no different than any other night, but when I'm alone, I can freak myself out.


Maybe it's just something you never grow out of, the silly things were afraid of. I still remember a night when I was a kid (alone in my room) and I heard a noise coming from the ceiling. To me, that scratching sound was so loud and threatening, I was certain a bad guy was digging through my roof with a pick. You can probably guess what it itty-bitty mouse.

What is a silly fear your character has? And, what crazy things do they make up in their head that make it worse? how about you. Do you want to share your own silly fear? (You know, just to make me feel better.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

SRS Revision Report

Holly and I are so impressed with the productivity that is happening! Woo-wee! Really, it's impressive during this time of vacations...and family visiting...and (what's that?)...SUNSHINE.

Okay, this whole sunshiny-ness may not be a big deal to some of you (in fact many of you may get it all year long) but for us here in the Northwest, we are having a summer like never before. It's so very lovely. Like, I need my sunglasses on a daily basis. See, typically, summer doesn't start for us until after July 4th and then it's spotty, at best. We so deserve this summer. So for those of you in the PNW...way to go on meeting your writing goals (or producing at all). If you are at all like me, it's been a challenge to not be out under that golden warmth all day long.

But now, it's accountability time! How are you doing with your July goals? Tell us how you did this week. Share it all...the sunny, the cloudy, and even the gloomy reports.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cool Stuff...or at least I think so

YOU! Yes, you. All those of you who read as a Follower, through GoogleReader, from a bookmark...all of you. Thank you for making blogging so much dang fun.

Holly's SRS Candy Buzz! Yes, Holly has a whole list of Smackdown goodness to check out. Go, go, go...I mean, once you've finished looking at cool stuff here (there's pictures at the end)!

An almost finished revision. Whee! Yay for Summer Revision Smackdown pushing me through. End of the week--done. You heard it here, now hold me to it!

SCBWI Conference in LA! Will you be there? It's right around the corner and there's still time. So, so, so excited about being part of SCBWI Team Blog. Alice Pope posted about the conference and conference blog--including how to find each of us on Twitter so you don't miss a thing. Lee Wind is counting down, too!

My pup! Because Ben said I should post pics of my pup. The funny things is, I've just realized that she ALWAYS blinks. I can't get a good picture of her. So, my pup isn't always cool, she's a 7 month old puppy and does puppy things that make me crazy. But one thing that is cool, this dog has the LONGEST eyelashes you have ever seen! I wish I could capture them in a photo, but so far, impossible. They have to be well over an inch long. Crazy.

My garden! It's been so pretty this year. Here are some of the pretties right now.
Astilbes...such a cool color and so different.

Lavender and Lilly lovin'!

Crocomia in front of a Butterfly Bush. I love the purple and the red.

The hummingbirds are very happy. Oh are the weeds.

Better get to work on that revision (or the weeding)!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Moment #27


This one’s personal.

Don’t laugh.


I’m sensitive.

I think myself a confident person, that said, I’m super self-conscious and can be insecure about many things. It often makes me think, if I wasn’t confident, then how would I feel? I’d be like a total paranoid nutball!

But really, I think it’s part of human nature. You know, when you find yourself thinking, Does that person really like me? Maybe they’re just being nice or putting up with me.

So, here’s something I’ve been dealing with: to add or not add my followers on my blog. Want to know why I haven’t added them? Because, if I only have a handful, then I might look like a very sad, little blogger. But then I think, if I did add them, maybe more people would declare their love of Cuppa Jolie. Would you? Would you help me with my total lack of confidence about this issue?

But, a BIG shout-out and thank you to all of you who already follow. Kisses!

After I got to thinking about that, I had another situation bring about my flattened confidence (actually I think it’s a bit more about fear). A really awesome writer-friend asked me to swap books as we’re both at the “finish-line” point of our revision. GULP! Doulbe-gulp! But I can’t say no, because it’s too cool and I’d LOVE-LOVE-LOVE this person’s feedback.

You know, the world is a big, scary place, especially the people who walk about it—particularly the ones we like and want to like us. (You like me, right? very pathetic!)

All right, all right. Since I’m admitting all this right now, I will now expose my followers and hope they grow in size. I think sometimes you have to pretend you have bigger bazoongahs than really do…guess that’s what I’m doing.

How about your main character? Tell of time they struggle with confidence or the feeling of insecurity.

Friday, July 10, 2009

SRS July Revision Report #1

I know! It's already Friday. How'd that happen? No, really! I want to know.

Time to CHECK IN! Head over to Holly's and tell us how you did this week!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

SRS Wednesday Whip Tip: Holly has a Big Round-Up

"You mean there are other writing and illustrating events happening around the kidlitosphere?"

Well, of course...and Holly has a whole, big round-up of goodies at her blog. GO CHECK IT OUT.

Monday, July 6, 2009

SRS Candy Buzz: Cheryl Klein and SCBWI WWA Retreat

Cheryl Klein had a great post on her Brooklyn Arden blog yesterday. Take a read HERE. It seems very appropriate and timely for those of you busy with your July SRS goals.

And speaking of Cheryl Klein, have you ever wanted to attend a small, intimate retreat where she is a featured speaker? We're talking a limited group of writers, in a picturesque setting, with two fantastic editors. Here's the deets:

SCBWI Western Washington invites you to apply for its Fall 2009 Retreat for Writers and Writer-Illustrators of Children’s Books, WEEKEND ON THE WATER, taking place Friday, November 6, to Sunday, November 8, 2009, at the luxurious Alderboork Resort & Spa, nestled on the scenic shores of Hood Canal less than two hours west of Seattle.

In an intimate, craft-focused retreat, Cheryl Klein, senior editor with Arthur A. Levine Books at Scholastic, and Ruta Rimas, assistant editor with Balzer + Bray at HarperCollins, will bring their considerable editorial and teaching experience to bear on the challenges of “Going Deeper,” including the interactions between character development, plot development, and theme.

Rockin', huh? Go HERE for full details and to apply!'d get to see me. I'll be the one wearing the hat that says "Retreat Director" or maybe I should just get a mug made with that on it...hmmmm!

And the Whip Goes On...

Ah...look at the purdy new colors for July's SRS (ala Cupala!). Doesn't it make you just want to get crackin'? Oh yes, SRS lives on. Because we all know, if it was tough to get work done in June, July is the hardest month of all (oh yeah, then there's August!).
Let's keep it going. State your July goals HERE. Join the Facebook group. Also, don't miss the series of revision post from June. You can get mine HERE and Holly's HERE.
Now that the Fourth has come and gone, it's time to crack that whip! Wherplash.

Monday Moment #26

I hope everyone had a happy and save 4th!

Mine, so. The funnest part was not even Fourth of July like: we launched a new Bodypump. I love launches. They're high energy and lots of fun. This time around I took Bodystep. Then taught Bodypump (the hardest one yet). Then took Bodyflow. Loved it! From then on, the rest of the day was quiet--except for all the loud bangs and booms later in the evening. My fam decided to just stay put. This was Luna's (our puppy) first 4th and we don't want issues for future Fourths to come, so home movie night for us.

But truly, even though I love a good launch and movie night with the fam, I really wanted to be in Montana. It's a been a very long time since I haven't spent the 4th in Livingston, and I really missed it this year. The Big Sky. My family. The park. The Yellowstone. The parade. The mountains. The rodeo. The fireworks I've watched since I was a kid (on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th). I really longed to be there and felt sad that I wasn't. Even today, I still have that I-can't-believe-I-missed-it feeling.

Does your character feel like they're missing out on something or long to be some place they can't be?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Revision Smackdown: THE WHIPLASH AWARD!

The time has come, Smackdowners. This was no easy task, believe Holly and me. We wanted to give an award to every single one of you (stay tuned for that...).

But first, I think we need a theme song to get us in the mood:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

One month, one book, one moment...

Are you in the mood now, Smackdowners?? Because we have some whip-lashin' awarding to do!

First, we have the Honorable Mentions:

For her sheer force of revision output, we dub Helen Landalf our first honorable mention. Helen completed a major revision of her YA novel, and with the guidance of her agent, has embarked on her final polish. Yay, Helen!

For revising both writing and illustrating and learning much through the process, we dub Realm Lovejoy our second honorable mention. Realm completed a graphic novel revision, wrote 80 pages of a new WIP, and completed six illustrations. Rock on, Realm!

For balancing illustration revisions with a mentor program, we dub Kjersten Anna Hayes our third honorable mention. Kjersten completed nine illustration spreads as well as the first phase of her mentor project. Woot, Kjersten!

And finally...the name you've been waiting for...our WHIPLASH AWARD recipient, who will be showered with our praise not only for her own considerable writing accomplishments this month (which she humbly did not deem award-worthy), but also for her encouragement to several other Smackdowners (you know who you are!) as well as flying across the planet for a family emergency to save the day....

Martha Brockenbrough! We hereby bestow THE WHIPLASH AWARD!

Congratulations, Martha!!!!!!!!!!!! We won't offer you crackers for dessert...instead, we offer coffee and licorice love, courtesy of Jolie and Holly.

Now, for all of you Smackdowners, we offer a badge of your licorice-lashing honor to commemorate the impressive work you have done here:

Or, if you prefer to put it in your sidebar:

Now give yourselves a big cheer, Smackdowners, and go on over to Holly's blog to sign up for the continuing saga of the Summer Revision Smackdown!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SRS Whiplash Award

It's July 1st. Unbelievable. Doesn't it feel like we just started the Smackdown?
What a sweet treat this month has been. Holly and I thank you for cracking the whip with us. You've helped us get farther than we thought we could with our own revisions.

And whip you did--whipped those manuscripts and illustrations into shape. The licorice has been flying and so have your fingers. They must be the color of Red Vines by now, you've all been working so hard. And we know it's true, because you've been keeping us in the know about your weekly progress.

So now...spill it! Give us the sweetness that is your Revision Report for the entire month of June. Did you meet your original goal? Exceed it? Go on...Toot your horn. Twirl your licorice whip. Smack it down. Tell us how great you did.

Report here at Cuppa Jolie today and tomorrow. And tomorrow, head to Holly's to get the scoop on SRS plans for July. On Friday, Holly and I will announce the reviser who will be taking home the coveted Whiplash Award (don't forget the honor comes with goodies). Personally, I think we are going to have a very difficult job.