Monday, November 7, 2011

Retirement

This blog was an experiment, of sorts, to see if I had the sticktoitiveness to blog regularly and to see if anyone would care about what I have to say. Apparently I can and people do. So I bought a URL and I'm working on focusing my content. My writing-related posts were the most popular, anyway, and as I'm a writer, I think that's a good thing to focus on.

My new site features posts related to publishing, writing, roleplaying, book reviews, short fiction, and ereaders. I have pages for my work as an author, an educator (English, LA), a publisher, and a derby girl.

I have 2 more scheduled posts for this blog-- but after those (November 3rd and the week of Thanksgiving) this blog will be retired. You can find many of my old writing-related posts and all of my forth-coming posts over at my new site, amyleighstrickland.com (no .blogspot there)


and don't forget to bookmark it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dear Jack

On this date 2 years ago, the cancer documentary Dear Jack was released. I had the opportunity to see it last year through Netflix and I'm recommending it to everyone now. Cancer is a depressing subject, but Andrew MacMahon's story of his struggle and survival makes Dear Jack one you shouldn't miss.

Netflix: Dear Jack

During my 2004/2005 school year, as a freshman at SCAD, I was excited to hear that the front man of one of my favorite bands was going solo. Weeks before the album's debut, however, Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin, formerly of Something Corporate, was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

As a movie it has everything-- struggle, romance, an uplifting outcome. Andrew's profession gives the story a poignant soundtrack. As a documentary it is honest and focused. It's only 60 minutes of your life and it's worth the time to give you a better appreciation for Andrew's music and the gift that is your own life and health.

I won't ramble on behind a cut for this one. Watch the trailer below and find it on Netflix or Amazon. It's a beautiful story.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Expert Advice on Cosplay from Expert Cosplayers

My panel of experts:

Shawn Tuffy (2011 AWA Costume Contest Winner)

Anna Heim (2011 AWA Costume Contest Winner)

Courtney O'Donnell

Amie Peacher

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Finished Draft

Tonight, I finished the odes for Olympia Heights: The Weight of the World (Book 2 in the Olympia Heights series). I did an edit as I wrote the odes (the poems in between the chapters) of the 1st draft of the episodes (the chapters), and so draft 1 1/2 is complete.

From there it goes to my primary editor who tells me what works, what doesn't, and makes me cry, suck it up, and fix a lot of things. He also buys me chocolate. Then I make the adjustments and send it on to three more sets of eyes for grammar and punctuation before it comes to the reader!

Pro Tip: Get a tough editor, not someone who will just make you feel good about your writing. Your work will be better if your editor is a hard-@$$

I'm really excited for this book. The cover, featuring Tiffany Britton-Rell was revealed a few weeks back. After Weight of the World is in my editor's hands I will focus on NaNoWriMo! I will not be writing the third Olympia Heights novel for WriMo, but instead working on a separate, one-book novel.

Here are some teasers for Book 2:

  • Fights!
  • Love scenes
  • MORE FIGHTS!
  • Less fire
  • BEARS!!!!!!!!
If you haven't read Book 1 yet, you can get it for 99¢ until November first on Kindle, Nook, or Kindle Application. BUY IT NOW! Offer Ends Nov 1, 2011

Halloween Sale



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Focus

Hey guys! Over the past few months I've had a lot of fun writing this blog. I started off writing about just about everything because I didn't know what to write about, but I wanted to keep my writing skills sharp. Now it's time to find some focus.

Of course I wasn't able to narrow it down to one singular topic because my life has so many focuses. I'm a teacher, a grad student, a writer, a marketer, a derby girl, a dog lover... it goes on. I do have Nerducation, which is my start-up teaching blog, and that is where the teacher/grad student will live.

This blog was started to work on my writing/marketing and that is where the focus will lay. From now on this short bullet list of vague topics will be the umbrella for all most of my content:

  • Books
  • Writing
  • Publishing
  • Acting
Of course, in staring at this list, I realize that these all have one element in common-- story telling. From time to time a book-movie or comic book-movie adaptation with creep in. Also expect off-topic blogs on November 3 and the week of Thanksgiving, as I've got two blog posts saved in the cue for those dates.

I hope that this new focus will give you something a bit more consistent to follow. I'm entering NaNoWriMo now, which is a good time to make this small shift as my blogging time will take priority behind 1,667 words a day.

And speaking of NaNoWriMo, thanks to all who have read my (last) blog in the past 24 hours. It has received a HUGE response. Very encouraging!

Happy writing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

8 Things to Do BEFORE NaNoWrimo Begins

November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and around the world, writers will be racing their page-a-day calendars to crank out a 50,000 word book by the 30th of November. The goal is to write, write, and write just to get it down on paper. Don't stop. Don't edit. Don't give yourself time for a crisis. You can edit and cut all you want later-- you should have 50,000 words to chop down into whatever genre standards you require.

I will be doing NaNoWriMo (so don't expect 3 blog posts a week!) and my husband will, as well. Here are the 8 steps I will be taking before October is out to ensure that I have 50,000 words and can be declared a winner at the end of November.

PHASE 1: Setting Up Your Story


Nail down the basics as soon as possible. Writing completely stream of consciousness with no plan will only lead you stuck at 300 words and screaming at your computer screen. Do you have a premise you've always thought about doing? A 50,000 word goal is no place to start a free writing exercise where you start at a cafe and see where your character ends up.

Come up with a premise, a basic plot, and your characters before you go any further. They can be shells to start-- "his best friend who is gay" or "the heroine, who gets accused of murder," but the key roles in your story should be figured out.