11/19/2012

TSS: The Sunday Salon

Holy Moly, Sunday came and went, and I forgot to show up at the Sunday Salon. Anyone miss me? Yeah, I thought a few of you might.

It wasn't a heavy reading week for me.

I read one-third of Patricia Davids's Hope Springs Christmas, an Amish Inspirational Romance and a review copy via NetGalley. The writing quality was kinda bumpy at first--I think Ms. Davids rushed through it, probably due to writing deadlines. The material simply wasn't well-integrated enough. But once I got through the clotted beginning, I'm rolling with it.

I liked straight off that the hero is extremely withdrawn. I know romances are sometimes written with heroes like that, however I've seldom read any of them. The last one I recall was a Pamela Morsi romance, a dozen years ago. They're not my favorite kind of hero, which makes me interested to see what Ms. Davids does with him, and how the h/h grow to love each other.

I also read 60% of Elizabeth Eulberg's YA romance, Take a Bow. I bought the book on Saturday, along with nine other YA romances. I wanted to see what viewpoint style YA romance takes. Nine out of ten are written in first person, single viewpoint. Ms. Eulberg's is first person, four viewpoints, about a group of teens in their senior year at a prestigious (fictional) performing arts high school.

This high school is where the characters in my book might be found in their senior year.

That's all the reading I did.

It was an intense work week for me. I finally, on Tuesday, after working on it for a week or two, had fully reorganized my thousands of computer files, and assembled To-Do lists for various categories of work. I now have a map for how I intend(ed) to spend my workdays until the new year. Different tasks, depending on the day.

But then, on Wednesday night, I met with my FABULOUS critique group. These excellent readers and critiquers read the revision of my YA WIP that they had read last January. In January, it was not written as a YA romance, but YA with a romance element. I turned it inside out, on its head, or whatever. They missed the subplots that got squeezed out of it, and so I plan to judiciously tuck some portion of some of them back into it. Right now, it's lean to the bone, and needs more of that subplot meat to fill it out again. 

On Thursday, I signed up for RWA’s Golden Heart contest, which, if you win it, is the most prestigious writing award for unpublished writers in the writing industry. The rationale behind entering and winning, or even finaling, is that it opens doors with agents and editors. If they see “Contest Finalist” on the subject line of your query, they will want to read the manuscript. Winners and finalists often sign book contracts as a result of having entered the GH and other contests. It gets your name out there. 

Common wisdom would dictate that this is probably not the right one to start with, but then, what the hey. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I will also get to judge some contest entries, although not in my category (YA).

The critique group had some suggestions for revision. I started working through them, as well as through a thorough line edit by one of the members, on Saturday. By Sunday at 3:00 PM, I’d worked through all line editing suggestions, and am now set to re-insert subplot scenes removed from the earlier draft, to fill out the story.

There are six weeks until I need to submit the full manuscript to the Golden Heart. I’m also planning to change the viewpoint to dual viewpoint, first person present, which means I will change every single sentence in the manuscript. I’m not sure if I can do that in the next six weeks, but I'll give it a try. If I can’t complete the viewpoint and verb tense conversion, I’ll send the existing revised manuscript (dual viewpoint, third person, past tense) to the contest.

Friday evening, we went to an annual Holiday Dinner put on by one of our local farm co-ops. My husband was on the board of that co-op for nine years, and we have fond memories of annual business trips to Portland, taken with other board members. As well, it was fun to talk with ranchers/neighbors who we see only once a year at these dinners.

Sunday, I met with some friends to see the new Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part 2. I confess that I never read Stephenie Myers’s Twilight series, however I’ve seen the movies with my friends. The movies have virtually no depth, but my friends assure me that there is depth in each of the very long books. 

I enjoy the movies for glimpses of Taylor Lautner. The more screen time he's given, the happier I am. At least once in every film, he smiles as he strips off his shirt to show his amazing body. They tantalized us in this movie by taking it a step farther, to reveal his glistening white underwear—very bright against his beautifully tanned skin.This guy is too handsome and perfect to be true! 

Next to his glowing white teeth, everyone else’s teeth looked rather dingy and yellow. 

My favorite scene in all of the movies was when Bella was on a mountaintop, freezing to death, and Edward, her cold-blooded vampire boyfriend, couldn't keep her warm. He hated doing it, but they called in Jacob, the hot-blooded, shape shifter wolf, to warm her. SO CAMPY. SO FUN. SUCH A RIOT! 

I also love those huge, furry wolves in the movies.   

That was my week. How was yours, reading, writing or otherwise?

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