In which I say many things very quickly

I feel like this post would be best as a list-y/C.J. Redwine sort of post.  So here goes...

1. I am planning on continuing my line edit series, and hope to put one up on Wednesday. The longer posts might be a bit sporadic though because...

2. My husband is in dead week, preparing for finals (of which he has five) and graduation. To do this, he's appropriated my laptop pretty much full time.

3. I can blog on the ipad, but it takes more time, so you'll probably get a lot of shorter posts interspersed with my editing ones.

4. The time crunch is also because I am working my last two weeks at the coffee shop. My last day is May 10th, and I am FREAKING OUT.

5. I am quitting. Entirely. From a company I've worked for for almost a decade. It's a bit terrifying, but also exciting.

6. The excitement part comes from my NEW job. We're moving down to Boise and I'm going to start working at the Rediscovered Bookshop! *happy dance* Which means my life gets to be about ALL BOOKS ALL THE TIME.

7. It almost makes up for the fact that I hate moving.

8. I really, really hate moving.

9. Like a LOT.

So that's me right now. How's your summer shaping up?

Weekend sleeps and an editing question

I have another editing post I want to write, but it's been a series of very long days at the dayjob, and I keep nodding off at my computer. Plus there are sunbeams...

So in the interest of keeping the conversation going, I have a question. What is the hardest thing for you to fix when you edit? A stubborn character? A plot worn full of holes? A descriptive tic you can't stop making? (Like my main character WOULD NOT STOP SHIVERING EVER AHHHH!)

 What makes you bang your head against the keyboard?

Adventures in line edits, part 1: The story so far...

It's that time again! Time for me to blabber on and on and on about editing until someone tells me to shut-the-heck-up-already.

(I can tell you're excited.)

It's been a while since I've done an editing post and so I thought I'd start with a quick recap of where we left off.

When we last left our heroine, she had spent months in the trenches of her first big-picture edit. She had rewritten the ending, cut out characters, tightened the plot and basically worked herself into a puddle.

But it was done. She hit send.  And waited.


found at

*cue DU-DU-DUUUM music* 

(Also, for those of you who are fuzzy on the different stages of editing, I've made you a handy guide here.)

The line edits were actually two rounds of edits. The first one dealt with minor plot points and character issues that still needed to be worked out, kind of like a concept edit, except I didn't have to tear apart the book again. (Mostly)

The second one was very much a line-by-line edit, where we looked at smoothing out the paragraphs, making sure the language flowed and made any other last minute tweaks we thought were necessary.

Both those stages were hard for me for different reasons, which I'll talk about later. But in the meantime... do you guys have any specific questions about editing?  Anything you want me to be sure and talk about in the next few posts?

Ask away!

EDIT:  Thanks so much for the good luck wishes, but I'm actually all the way done with copyedits now! But if you want to wish me good luck on writing the sequel, I will take all the positive vibes I can get. *grin*

In which I wear the cone of shame

Some of you might have noticed there was no weekend post this week.  That's because I was a bad blogger and didn't pre-schedule one. Then I went to a writer's conference and didn't end up bringing my laptop and a whole host of other inconvenient things happened.


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But hey, it's a good lesson. When planning to be out of town, make sure you have a post scheduled already and don't count on being able to blog while you're gone. *makes note*

I did have an excellent time though. And I continued my gathering of cool-things-for-future-contest. *cackles evilly* One thing I didn't have much of though, was Internet. So if there was any craziness or drama in the writing community this weekend, I missed it. 

So loop me in, odd ones.* What did I miss?

*ten points for anyone who knows where that line came from.

The difference between edits and copyedits

It was pointed out to me on my post about writing and the creative brain that I haven't really defined the difference between edits and copyedits. I do intend to have another series on editing, but to tide you over, let me give you a few key differences.

Different kinds of edits:

1. First round edits

This is the edit that I've talked about the most. It's also called a concept edit or a big picture edit. This is where most of  the large changes happen, like cutting out characters, changing the ending, etc. This is where you tear the book apart and stitch it back together. You can do one round of concept edits or several. For me, this process took a little over ten weeks. 

2. Line edits

Line edits come after concept edits and can also take one or more rounds to finish. These are more detailed changes, word choice, paragraph order, small inconsistencies.  This also is where you hammer out any lingering problems that remain after the big edits are done. (For instance, I had a character that still needed tweaking.)  You also smooth out any rough spots in the writing. 

Once you get these changes done, you turn the manuscript in for copyedits.

3. Copyedits

Up until now, it's just been you and your editor figuring this stuff out. But copyedits are a totally different animal, for a lot of reasons. The main one is that they send it to a copyeditor (often a freelancer) who looks at things like grammer, timelines and fact-checking. 

In my case there was a production editor as well, who looked it over before the copyeditor got it. Then they make a whole passel of notes and changes, sent the manuscript to MY editor, who made her own comments on the copyedit notes and then they sent it to me. (The other main difference between copyedits and edits is that copyedits are done entirely on hardcopy, but that's a whole other post.)

So there they are, the three different types of edits I went through with City of a Thousand Dolls.  Any questions? 

(Anyone who's been through edits as well is welcome to chime in in the comments section.)

Monday cute and an epic weekend

Sorry for the super late post tonight, awesome bloggy-friends. I've been off line all day while traveling home and recovering from my epic weekend.

What did I do? I'm so glad you asked.

On Saturday night I rode with some fellow writer friends to see Lois Lowry in Spokane. The evening was FULL OF WIN.

First she was introduced by Chris Crutcher, (win) and then she read from her new book that's out in October (major win) and then there was an hour-long dramatic presentation of The Giver by the American Place Theatre, which pretty much made the night perfect.

AND I got a signed copy of The Giver, which is my favorite book in the whole world.  *does super happy dance*

(I also might have picked up something to put in my cover reveal contest. Maybe.)

After the event, my family, who lives near Spokane, came and picked me up and I spent the weekend with them, bemoaning politics with my dad, going to lunch with my mom and sisters and wrestling with the kids.

Also, my brother-in-law and I went to see The Hunger Games, which was--in my humble opinion--awesome. A very solid and well done adaptation. Especially for a movie that wasn't millions of hours long. *cough* Lord of the Rings *cough*

Rue was, of course, my favorite.

So that was me this weekend. I'll try to catch up on blog comments and things in the next couple of days. Until then, please enjoy this baby manatee.

found at
Anyone else do anything fun this weekend?

On anxiety and blanket forts

There's a lot going on in our little corner of the universe right now. In less than a month, I'm quitting my job--the one I've had for almost a decade. Husband is graduating and we're moving back to Boise at the end of June where we will both have new careers. 

And as if a new apartment and a new job wasn't enough, I'm trying to write this new Scary Project. And working on the cover reveal for City of a Thousand Dolls.  AND coming to terms with the idea that in a few months there will be ARCs and people I DON'T KNOW will be reading my book and maybe hating it, AAAAAHHHHH!

So yeah. A little anxious over here.  

Husband is also stressed about the move, his last semester and getting a new job. And when two strange, off-beat people get overloaded with anxiety, strange and off-beat things tend to happen. Like this, for example:

Yep. That's a blanket fort in our living room. We built it around our futon one night, when we were both feeling overwhelmed and anti-everything. Then we filled it with blankets and pillows and a little heater I own that looks like a fireplace.

It was like camping! Only with Netflix.

The cat was super-fascinated by the whole thing. And more than slightly obsessed with the mike stand we used as a tent pole.

We took everything down the next day, but I think we both felt a little better. Life can be scary, and as I've stated before, I'm not particularly brave.

And sometimes, you just need to build a blanket fort.

So if you need an escape, come on in. My tent flap is always open.

What do you do when you're anxious? 

Winner of Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

Okay, the last winner for my last contest* (at least for a while) is....

Email me your address, Charley, and I shall send that right to you!

Thanks everyone for participating and be sure and leave an opinion on this post about cover reveal contests.

*Now I can get back to blogging about editing, blanket forts and Supernatural!  

Hypotheticals and swag questions

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So...this girl I know, she has this book coming out and the cover is super awesome and kick-ass and she wants to do a great contest with the reveal which may or may not be sometime in May and she needs some opinions.

Hypothetically speaking.


So if you all could take a little time and weigh in, I...I mean, MY FRIEND... would appreciate it.

Which of these things would you be excited about winning? (pick all that apply)

1. Gift card 
2. Tote bag with a cool picture of the new cover on it. 
3. Mug with a cool picture of the new cover on it. 
4. Journal with a cool picture of the new cover on it. 
5. An awesome book of some sort. 
6. None of the above. 
7. Actually, I'd like to win _______  instead.

In return for your help, I would like you to have this completely adorable video of puppies wearing bunny ears.

Thanks for your help!

And the winner of SHATTER ME is...

Becky, please email me your address and I'll get that out to you!

And don't forget there's one more contest to enter! Daughter of Smoke and Bone! 

Thoughts on work and the creative brain.

Sorry for the late blog post all. My husband's deep in end-of-semester crunch and he has been stealing my laptop away to help him study.

(Also, I've discovered Supernatural, but that's a blog post in itself.)


I've begun to notice that I have a distinct gear-shift issue when it comes to my day job--customer service at a corporate coffee shop--and my PRIMARY job of professional novelist.

*brief pause while I do a happy dance at being able to type the words "professional novelist"*

See, I've been in customer service for almost a decade, most of that in some form of food service. And anyone who's in that kind of job will tell you, there are very defined goals.  Serve the customer. Keep busy and keep things clean. Maintain a happy and professional demeanor.  Don't complain. And if you're having a bad day or you don't feel well, then power through it.

Showing up is your job.

Meeting the expectations is your job.

Putting aside your own feelings to serve the customer is your job.

And all of this is great training, honestly. There's something to be said for being self-motivated and able to do your job under any circumstances. And developing a habit of politeness is not a bad thing either.

So what's the problem?

Well, it turns out that all that powering through and pushing yourself to meet expectations under any circumstances... is not a super good strategy for writing. Not being open about your stresses and asking for help and encouragement (a problem for me in any case) is not a good strategy for writing.  Taking care of others instead of yourself is not a good strategy for writing. 

And if it's not a good strategy for writing, then you can imagine what a horrible strategy it is when you're faced with a huge pile of copyedits.  Basically....

Things are better now, and I've made a lot of mental notes in my "things I'll do differently next time" file. But I'm beginning to realize that the way I do work--the way I've been trained to do work over the years--isn't gentle on the creative brain.

I'm not used to having to take care of my creative brain, so this is a new journey for me. And I just wondered...

Does anyone else have this problem?

Enter to win a copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor!!

I thought I'd wrap up my book-flinging extravaganza with one more giveaway. And this is an awesome one.

From the Goodreads page:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

With Laini Taylor's fluid and magical writing style (she was one of the examples I used in my voice series last year) and a haunting premise, it's no surprise this book is amazing. And you can win it!

1. Follow the blog

2. Leave a comment on my blog, OR on my Facebook page

You can earn extra points by facebooking or twittering or blogging about the contest. And if you haven't won a contest here before, let me know that too and you'll get an extra entry. The contest is international and ends at midnight, PST on the thirty-first of March  (Sorry, the ninth of April)

Have a good Monday! 
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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.