Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday: OMG

I can't really think straight.  My novel, Never Eighteen just got released to pre-order.  See that, over there to your left.  That would be my book on Amazon.  My heart is pounding.  Due out January 16, 2012.

Yeah, I was going to write a post about jealousy and feeling inferior today.  But now I can't even think.

Also, my auction item is going up today at Write Hope.  It's going to be a signed ARC (as soon as I get them), a query critique, and your choice of a book trailer or Amazon gift card. If you want to see what I do with my book trailers, you can go to my Youtube page by clicking here.  Basically it would be a video made from stock photos, audio, and/or video 1 to 2 minutes long.  Look for it at noon Pacific time.

That's all.  Thanks to those of you who already ordered. 



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Writing Wednesday: FML or whatever I'm going to call this damn thing.

    Keep in mind, most this stuff I post is unedited.  A first run.  And it's Rated R.  Feel free to give me your thoughts.

As I exited the cafeteria I heard someone call, “Syd!”  I turned around and Zach was chasing me down.  Even though whatever he had to say was sure to be awkward, I waited.
     When he reached me, he said, “Syd, I’m not mad at you.”
     I continued walking toward my locker.  He followed.  “Good,” I said.  “But, Zach, I don’t want—”
     “No, I know, that was stupid of me to tell you how I felt, or even suggest it.”
      I touched his arm gently.  I wanted to show him it was okay without sending mixed signals.  “It’s fine.  Really.”
     “But, we can still be friends, right?  Hang out and stuff?”
     I looked up at him, “Yeah, sure.  I’d like that.”
    “You doing anything Friday night?”  It was starting to sound like he was asking me on a date.  Luckily, I already had plans.
     “I just made plans with Lacy,” I said.  “Maybe another time.”
     His head dropped, barely noticeable to a less discerning eye.  I got it.  This was him going to woo me and make me fall in love with him.  No thanks.  I knew what love did to people.  It made them stupid and weak.  I was not that girl anymore.  In fact, I didn’t want to be her at all.  It was time for a new Sydney to emerge.  A Sydney that was apathetic and aloof.  A dark and mysterious Sydney.  I would take care of it right after school.
     I didn’t get home until eight o’clock after a trip to the mall and the hair stylist.  I tried to sneak into the house without being seen.  I was afraid of the reaction I would get to my new hair, and frankly, I wasn’t in the mood.  No luck, as I  ran into Tammy just as I entered the hallway.
     “Oh my god!  What did you do?” she asked circling me to check out my new hairdo.  “Mom’s going to have a shit fit you know.” 
     Then Bryce came out of his room.  “What’s going o—holy shit!  Syd!”
     They were so frustrating. “Jesus, it’s just hair.  Leave me alone.”  I pushed past them to my room, slamming the door behind me.  I dropped my shopping bags and  immediately grabbed the the box from the top shelf of my closet, in which I kept my blade, and my bloody washcloth.  I sat down.  I pulled my shoes off.  I stripped my pants off and I cut.  And it hurt, but it felt so fucking good to release.  I watched as the blood dripped down my thigh and seeped into the washcloth.  Soon enough the entire cloth would be blood red.  I wiped the blade with a clean section, wiped the blood from my leg, then fell back on my bed.
     After a few minutes I stood up and went to my mirror. Staring at the face before me, I compared her to the old me.  My hair was once long, brown, with bouncing curls at the ends.  I’d had it cut short.  Really short.  The dark brown it used to be was now jet black with a purple streak.  It was so black it was almost blue, but the hairstylist said it would tame down after a few washings.  It made my face look pasty.  I cried.  Just a little.  The person in the mirror was a stranger to me, but I chose to be her, didn’t I?  I wanted to be someone else and now I was. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tooting the Horn Tuesday: Interview with Julia Karr

 I had the pleasure of interviewing Julia Karr, author of XVI and member of The Class of 2k11.  First, for those of you who haven't read it, here's what it's about.

"In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad."

Here's our intereview:

Dystopian novels are really hot right now.  Was it the market that inspired you to write dystopian, or did you have other reasons?

When I wrote XVI (in 2005), dystopian was not hot. (The Hunger Games came out in 2008.) XVI evolved into dystopia as I was writing it. 

Do you write in other genres as well?

I have books I am working on in other genres, namely, Contemporary, Mystery, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction. Whew! That sounds like a lot of writing. I'd better get on it! :)

What writers influence or inspire you?

I get inspired by pretty much every good book I read! As far as influence - I didn't read any dystopian fiction as I writing XVI and the sequel, because I didn't want to be influenced by another writer's style. 

With the way society is influenced by media, do you see the world in XVI as a foreseeable future?

I sure do. I honestly think if people don't wake up and see what's happening in the way young women and girls are portrayed in media, that women will have a hard time ever truly reaching "equal rights." As if the photo spread in the January issue of French Vogue wasn't enough to creep me out ( - just today I read an article about padded bikini bras for 8-yr-olds! Gah! What is wrong with people? Anyway… yes - unfortunately I do see a version of XVI as a possible future.

Of the characters in the novel, which one do you relate most to and why?
 Probably Nina, because I spent so much time with her!

Have you known people like Nina’s horrible step father in real life?  If so, how did you deal with that?
I have never known anybody that disgusting in real life - thank heavens. If I had, they would be in jail now! I have peripherally known some people who were overbearing jerks - and borderline abusive - but not anyone with Ed's sicko bent.

Was there any time in writing the book that Derek was going to be Nina’s love interest?
Nope. He wanted to be, but that was not going to happen - ever.

What’s the one book you wish you would have written?
Dickens' A Christmas Carol

What book are you currently reading?

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

Are you planning a sequel?  If not, what are you working on?
Yes. I'm working on the sequel. The title is TRUTH.

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

About Julia Karr:
Julia Karr was born in Indiana, and moved to Chicago when she was fifteen. After the initial culture shock of going from quiet, small town living to Carl Sandburg’s, “stormy, husky, brawling,” metropolis, she fell madly in love with the city. Her schooling in the art of writing came from reading, voraciously. While students were being forced to read the classics, Julia was busy going on author binges. As a young mother, reading books to, and eventually with, her daughters, she fell head-over-heels for children’s literature. Not a far stretch for someone who has loved reading since the age of three. While still working a nine-to-five job, after hours Julia can be found at home, sitting on the couch tapping out stories on her laptop, with one of several cats draped behind her and her dogs sleeping nearby.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Morning Blahg: Much Needed Rest

I'm enjoying my vacation to Scotsdale, AZ.  My mom, my girls, and I have been shopping, sunning, swimming, and that's it. (Well I have done a bit of writing too)  This was a much needed vacation.

My ARC's are supposed to come out today, so if you requested to be on my list, I hope you get one. (I cannot WAIT to see them)

The Write Hope Auction is still going on to raise money for Japan.  They are offering signed books, critiques, and they even have a mystery item up for bid today.  Check it out.  It's for a good cause.

I think that's all I have for today.  Not much to rant and rave about on vacation.  Have a good Monday all.


Friday, March 25, 2011

F³A: Recharging

Lately life has been confusing, busy, distressing.  Skies in my home town have been gray since September which makes, me tired, and sad.  I still haven't really found my balance between my day job, and writing, and blogging, and mothering, and marketing, and networking, etc etc.

The last couple days I melted down to mush.

I am now in Arizona.

My parent's house is gorgeous.  It's all marbled and big and open with high ceilings and windows that allow the sun to stream in through every room.

The sun is already warming the ground outside and the pool.

My kids woke up smiling.  So did I.

Everyone needs a recharge.  You may not be able to go to Arizona, but perhaps you could hole up in a cabin somewhere for the weekend.  Or take a trip to a mountain for a day hike.  Or sit at the beach and just watch people, and the birds, and the surf.  Or stay in your pajamas all day and do something you love whether it's writing, or listening to music, or watching 80's movies.

Take a break.  Recharge.  Breathe.  Your life will be there when you get back.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday: Angst

Angst. noun -  an acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety.  There is a reason I call myself the angsty writer.  It's mostly a joke, but it's also a very true statement about myself.  Couple that with being emotionally driven, and you have, at times, a force to be reckoned with.  This is not always a good thing.  This means that sometimes, even if I sleep on it, I will still (re)act on it.

The last couple days have been rough.  I'll try to explain best I can without spewing out my own vitriolic diatribe.  I felt wronged. I felt the need to defend myself.  And then I found myself in a corner, feeling attacked on many sides even though there were many in that corner with me.

Sometimes people open their mouths before they know the whole story, sometimes I think people just don't get the conflict, and sometimes people just disagree with you, or are defending the people in their own corner.

I felt on the ropes.  My writing was being attacked, and you know what? I'm a writer, it happens, I may bitch a little, I may get down, but I don't get sour grapes.  I know not everyone is going to like what I write.  But it wasn't just that my writing was disliked.  I also felt like I was mistreated, then, in my opinion, and others would say different, I feel like my character was attacked and my dedication to my craft was attacked.

This angsty, emotionally driven person has a hard time just letting it roll off her.  So she speaks her mind.  She tries to stop herself, but sometimes fails.  I don't feel bad for defending myself, because I feel like I was right in doing so and believed in what I was saying. I just don't like how far it went.

You may judge my writing, but you may not judge me or my  journeys if you don't know me. 

That is the last time I will speak of this.  Sorry if I sound like a lunatic.  I promise, I'll be more "normal" (normal for me anyway) tomorrow.

Hey, don't forget to check out the Write Hope auction, there are some really great donations to bid on, money going to Save the Children Emergency Fund.

Thanks for listening to my rant.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Deleted

I've deleted my WW post today for many reasons.  It's not because I didn't believe in what I said.  It's because I'm frustrated and it's causing me anxiety, which I cannot handle at the moment.  I appreciated EVERYONE's opinions on this, even if I didn't agree with them.

I have other things I need to concentrate on and I should not make this an issue any more.  I'm happy some of you praised my work.  I'm happy some of you agreed with my opinion.  And I'm happy some of you pointed out that maybe posting that blog wasn't the best idea I've ever had.

That said, I'm going to move forward from this headache and do something more productive like clip my toenails or look at rocks.

Thank you to my readers, it will not be often I delete a post, but sometimes it's just necessary.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tooting the Horn Tuesday: Auction for Japan

If you don't already know this, there are a group of YA writers who have been pulled together by Write Hope.  Write Hope was begun by kidlit writer who were devastated by the disaster in Japan.  There goal is to raise money for the Save the Children emergency relief fund by holding an auction, which is happening right now..

Many of us have donated signed books, swag, critiques, Skype chats, and more for their auction.  There is some great stuff there.  Please, check it out by clicking here.

I donated a query critique, I know Gae Polisner, Julia Karr, and Carrie Harris have donated, and I'm sure many of your favorite authors have.

Next, I want to wish good luck to those who have entered ABNA, as the next round of cuts take place today.  But for those who don't make the cuts, don't give up.  Be vigilant in your pursuit.  If throw in the towel, you'll never get there.

Then there's me.  After two not so raving reviews of Never Eighteen on Good reads (they weren't horrible, I guess), I was happy to see a four star.  It said, "...Such a wonderful, sad story that was full of hope... Megan Bostic nailed all the emotions...I feel wrung out, but in a good way"

I want to thank Pam for that because she lifted my spirits. :)
That's it for today.  Be sure to check out the auction.  There are new items posted a few times throughout the day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Morning Blahg: Procrastination = Missed Opportunities

Heeeeere's Megan
We finally had some nice (okay, decent) weather over the weekend.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing.  But guess what I was doing.  I was sitting in my living room working on my first pass pages.  Because I procrastinated and waited until the last minute. Sigh.  So I didn't get to finish this shoveling task I started, I didn't get my back patio cleaned up, or my planter boxes put in place.  I didn't get to go for a walk or a bike ride because literally from dawn til dusk (with a short Starbucks break) I was working. (All work and no play makes Megan a cranky butt)

Today it's raining again.

Friday, March 18, 2011

F³A: Teen drivers and near misses

I almost got hit by a car yesterday.  I was in the Safeway parking lot walking back to my car.  This teenager rips out of his parking spot (backing up) and come within less than a foot of knocking me over.  An older lady was in the car with him.  As I walked by glaring at him, I saw he was laughing.  Now I don't know if he and the older lady I assume to be his mother were having a fantastically funny conversation and he didn't see me, or if he was indeed laughing at the fact that he almost hit me.

My daughter starts driving next year, oh crap, no, this year, damn.  So anyway, I'm going to instill in her the importance of being a cautious driver, and reckless behavior gets people killed.  I have inside info of course working at a personal injury law firm.  I know accidents happen all the time for many reasons, but much of the time it's because people are driving recklessly or distractedly.

Teach your children to drive safely.  Make sure they know the people walking on the street or in the car next to them is someones mother, father, or child.  Ask them how they would feel if the person they hypothetically hurt or killed would be their sister or brother or parent.  Of what if they killed a child?

This is the talk I'm going to have with my kids, to ensure they know how important it is to be a safe driver.

Okay, on a totally different tangent, for all you review bloggers, librarians, etc.  My novel, Never Eighteen is now on NetGalley, so you can read it now, which is really cool in some ways, and makes me want to puke in others.

Now for the weekly nibbles:

Random Pandora Song (my iPod is not available): I'm on the One Republic station, the next song that popped up was Only Hope by Switchfoot

Movie/Netflix showing of the Week: Never Say Never.  Say what you want about the Bieber boy, but you can't say he's not talented.  Don't judge me. I only wish he'd change the hair.

Book of the Week:  Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans.  I've read parts of this book, and I know if you like sci-fi adventure, you'll like this.  Visit his website to find out more about the author and the book.

Quote of the Week:  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I offer some Irish toasts and curses.

May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

May you melt off the earth like snow off the ditch.
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

That is all from me today.  Have a grand weekend.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday: St. Patty's Day

Some interesting facts you may or may not know.

1. St. Patrick was not Irish.  He was born in Britain, kidnapped by pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland.  But he is the Patron Saint of the Irish.

2.  His real name was Maewyn Succat.

3. He did not run snakes out of Ireland.  The snakes are representative of the Druidic religions that disappeared as he converted the people of Ireland to Christianity.

4.  He used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

5. Celtic Druids threw him in prison many times because of his teaching Christianity.

6.  The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick's Day during the 19th century.

7. Green, in Irish legends, was actually an unlucky color, as fairies and immortals were said to steal people, especially children, who wore too much of the color.

8. St. Patrick is believed to be the first person to speak out against slavery.

9. He died March 17, 461

10. By law, pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick's Day, a national religious holiday, as recently as the 1970s.
11. The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in the U.S., not Ireland.

12.  There are more Irish in America, than in Ireland right now, the city of Boston claiming the most.

13.  The Irish do not celebrate the holiday with corned beef, that is strictly an American tradition.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writing Wednesday: FML

Okay, this is what I'm changing my title too if my agent will let me.  It more clearly explains what my protagonist Sydney is going through.

Couple things before I post, if anyone wants to guest post some writing on my Wednesday blog, please contact me.  I'm sure people get tired of seeing my crap here all the time.

Also, don't forget my Follower contest get someone to be my 200th follower and you and that person each get a $10 Amazon gift card.

Now, without further ado, an excerpt from FML (and it's an R rated excerpt again, you've been warned):

     “Listen, Syd, ever since you and David started going out I’ve had my-best-friends-girl syndrome.”
     “I don’t get—”
     “I’ve liked you, Syd.  I love how your hair curls just slightly at the ends.  And how your nose wrinkles up when you laugh.  I love the real you, the one who acts like nothing bothers her, but has these moments of quiet reflection when she  thinks no one is looking.  I love your music, your singing.  I love you Syd.”
     “Oh my god.”  I slid out of bed and put my clothes back on.  “I can’t do this Zach.”
     “Why not?”
     “Because, I just broke up with my boyfriend.  Because I still love him, no matter what he’s done.  You can’t just get over that in a day!”
     “I’m not asking you to.  We can take things slow.”
     “No.  We’re not taking things at all.  You need to go.”  I picked his clothes up off the floor, pushed them at him and left my room.  I paced the kitchen.  I wanted to cry, yell, collapse.  This was not supposed to happen.  A sympathy fuck between friends and done.
     Zach came out a few minutes later, disheveled and glossy eyed.  His head hung low as he said, “Bye Syd.  See you later.”
     “Yep.” It was all I could say without screaming.
     As soon as the door shut behind him, I went to my dad’s tool room, grabbed his box cutter and pulled the blade out.  I went to the bathroom and grabbed the hydrogen peroxide, a washcloth, a Dixie up, and a bandage, then proceeded to my room, closing the door behind me.  Placing the blade in the cup, I sat it down on my nightstand, poured peroxide over it, and watched it bubble and foam.  I pulled my pants down to my knees and sat on my bed.  When I thought the blade was thoroughly sterilized, I removed it from the cup.  With a steady hand, I sliced into my thigh, about an inch long, and deep enough for blood to flow. 
     Imagining all the poison, all the anger, all the guilt inside me rushing out, I caught it in the washcloth, so that it could be bleached away in the wash.  When I’d bled out to my satisfaction, I wiped the rest of the blood from my leg, bandaged it up, and it was like nothing ever happened.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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