Monday, March 24, 2014

The Body Institute

Today I'm so excited to help writer friend Carol Riggs share about her pub deal for her debut novel The Body Institute! Her agent Kelly Sonnack navigated multiple bids for her light sci-fi novel, and Strange Chemistry ended up making the winning offer!


Read about her deal here. Carol is an amazing writer with crazy good editing skills (she's helped me more than once!), so I'm so stoked about this awesome news. Go say congrats!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Woman, Interrupted

It's been a while since I posted anything because I went through a pretty major life change. I got a divorce in early February, and moved to a new apartment with my son at the beginning of March. I had to pause on anything writing related and focus on regular life stuff. Getting utility accounts changed. Finding affordable internet and cell service. Buying new furniture and household stuff. Settling into my new life.


My new place is awesome, and two minutes from my son's school. At my old house I was way out in the country, so I'm back amongst society again, enjoying the luxuries of little things like running down to the CVS at the corner, and not having to stress about forgetting something at the grocery store since it's three blocks away. There are sad things, too. Not getting to see my stepdaughter on a regular basis. Not being able to look out my bedroom window and see my horse in the pasture (I moved him to a new farm and that's a whole other story). The loss of some peace and quiet (I can hear my neighbors talking downstairs and next to me sometimes). All in all there are vastly more pros than cons, but it's been a big change and I miss my old house, and I felt very out of place the first few days.


What has been especially odd is not writing every day for about six weeks. Usually I write or edit something almost every day. But I had so much to do I just had to let that go for a bit. In just the last two days I've jumped back into edits on my latest book. It's in the final edit stages before querying, just trying to polish, polish, polish. Taking so much time away actually gave me a nice, fresh perspective on it. It's just about there, and I may even send my first couple of queries next week. I was super close to querying in January, but definitely didn't want to jump into the query trenches with a divorce and the move right around the corner! I'm not that much of a masochist, even as a writer :)


Anyways, it feels great to get back to work on what I truly love, and I have next week off for my son's spring break, so plenty of time to rejuvenate and get back on track. I've got to get back to exercising too, which I've been pretty good about the last week. As the last of winter fades, the new me is blooming with the spring flowers. It'll still be a while until everything feels normal, but I'm on my way.


How about you guys? What have I missed during my hiatus?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Love List!

Recently while on Jaye Robin Brown's blog, she featured Love Lists, a list of things you love about your book to hone your focus during the ups and downs of the writing experience. Love Lists were originally created by Natalie Whipple (read more on her blog). I had heard about Love Lists a long time ago, and Jaye refreshed my memory, and I fell back in love with the concept. Anyways, I thought it'd be fun to share mine for my latest WiP. Share some of yours in the comments below, or do your own post and let me know! Hope everyone's having a kick-ass weekend so far!

  • White stag
  • Time travel
  • Golden bows
  • A kiss beneath a fall of stars
  • Computer hacker/finder of lost children
  • Astral hounds
  • Masquerade ball
  • Countless dimensions
  • Airships and flying cities
  • A dead tree and the daughters of Death
  • Horses with purple eyes
  • Lunar base
  • Dragon fire bond
  • Unexpected betrayals
  • Ever-changing sky
  • Harp music
  • Forest through the eyes of a silver fox
  • Clocks
  • The horned Ferryman
  • The Seeker and the Huntress

P.S. - If you love my love list, I'd love for someone(s) to read my first couple chapters and provide honest feedback. I'll swap crits with ya. So much love :)





Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Annual Shiny New Year's Post With Less Shininess

I'm not gonna lie, guys - 2013 has not been the best or most exciting year for me. It was a tough year for me as a writer. I really thought it was going to be the year I got an agent and my first pub deal, and it wasn't. But I'm not gonna whine about it beyond that - that's why writers have to be tough cookies. I'm just going to keep writing and it'll happen when it happens.

Here are some of the awesome highlights of 2013:

  • I was a Pitch Wars contestant and me and my mentor won the middle grade category with my book Everdream getting the most MG agent requests. I got lots of awesome feedback on the book, even though it ultimately didn't pan out with an offer of representation.
  • I did a ton of editing on two different books and wrote lots of shiny new words on some other projects.
  • I queried one of the books I did a lot of editing on and got some really great feedback (your writing is wonderful, but I have something too similar; the market's not right for it but send me your next project, etc.)
  • I got inspiration out of the blue (not from my existing idea list) and wrote my fourth novel in less than 6 weeks. It's an awesome concept which I love.
  • I'm still in the running with one of my urban fantasies for the Harper Voyager digital submissions contest, the pool having been whittled from over 4,500 entries to less than 300.
I guess 2013 was a year of lots of agent near-misses. And I know that means I'm getting close to finding the right agent and making my break into the pub industry. So, I'll just keep on writing my ass off! I hope to query my latest WIP in the next couple of months and we'll see what happens from there. In my non-writing life, 2014 will be a year of lots of transition because I'm sad to say I'm getting a divorce. It's definitely for the best, but it's hard nonetheless. We need to sell our house, and my son and I will be moving into town and finding a place to board my horse. Lots of change on that front!

So, writer friends, what's your year been like? And what do you want to accomplish in 2014? I certainly am glad I have the support of such an awesome community of writers!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gratitude and Other Random Introspection As the Year Draws to a Close

I've just finished probably my fifth plate over the last two days of Thanksgiving food. I LOVE TG food, especially my dear Tofurkey. It makes this vegetarian a happy girl :) Anyways, I've been remiss in blogging lately so I thought I would post some random notes/thoughts on what I've been up to and what I'm planning as the year winds down.

  • The first being, how IS the year already almost over? How did it happen? Last night I saw the first Christmas lights and it was shocking, even though I know it's almost December. Time is flying.
  • I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. While I'm going through a big transition in my personal life right now, there are so many things I'm grateful for. I won't bore you with them, except for one: I love my writer friends SO much. Fellow bloggers and Twitter friends, I am always astounded at your awesomeness and I've known some of you for years now, and it makes me happy.
  • Speaking of bloggers, I rarely blog anymore, but am on Twitter almost daily. So, if you're one of my blog peeps that I am not following on Twitter, please send me a message and I'll add you to my daily list. My handle is @aachamberlynn (or just click to find me!).
  • I am currently editing the book I got sudden and crazy inspiration for and wrote in 6 weeks. It's pretty rough. I've got a big edit to-do list. But I've been working hard and I'm hoping to have it query ready by January.
  • I'm also going to submit a short story I wrote earlier in the year to some lit magazines and hope I can find a home for that. I might do that this weekend.
  • I have a busy schedule of fun concerts, art shows and parties to attend in December, which is unusual for me, so I'm excited to branch out and be a butterfly for the month!
So, as the year wraps up, what are you aiming to finish up? What makes you happy and grateful? Do you find yourself gravitating more to Twitter than the blogosphere? Whatever you're up to, I hope it's awesome and makes you sparkle inside and out. TTFN, writer friends!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Soup Swap!

So, this is a random detour from my usual posts about writing, but a few days ago I got into a fun conversation on Twitter with Elizabeth Flora Ross and Jessica Sinsheimer about soup! Jessica tweeted about having a soup swap in Brooklyn, I lamented about not living in Brooklyn, and thus the conversation began. Jessica kindly offered to let us steal her idea and do an internet soup swap instead. Go visit Elizabeth's blog if you want to join in on the swapping fun!

Here is my recipe for Vegan Lentil Soup, from http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/, and adapted from Alicia Silverstone's vegetarian cookbook. This is one of the most delicious soups I have ever tasted! I am not vegan, just vegetarian, but I still love it. The seasoning is amazing.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp safflower oil (I use olive oil)
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (I use dry ginger and it's fine)
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils
1 cup baby spinach or kale

Instructions:

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and saute onion for about 2 minutes, until soft. Stir in tomatoes and ginger, cooking an addition 3 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and cook for 2 minutes, tasting to make sure its to your liking. Next add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 30 minutes. Then add spinach (or kale) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend! Eat some good soup and stay warm!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm in Love! Plus, a Redonkulous Development

Hi, writer friends! I've been in the glorious raptures of writing the first draft of an awesome shiny new idea after a month trying to figure out what project I wanted to work on. After playing with several of the ideas in my idea folder, I had sudden inspiration one day for a totally new idea, and it stole me away from the others.

The project is new adult fantasy, and it's a really fun, unique idea that I think is pretty rad! I'm already about a third of the way through my first draft, and I've challenged myself to write 2k words a day so I can finish the draft by 11/1. I usually aim for 1k a day, since I work full time, but I wanted to challenge myself a bit. We'll see how it goes :) Since I then would have done the equivalent of NaNoWriMo, I think I might try to do an intense editing version of NaNo in November while everyone else is drafting.

Anyways, in other news, I have a new ass. A mini ass!



 
 
I am pleased to welcome Islington the mini donkey to the family! He will keep my horse Max company. He's super cute and sweet. I named him after the angel in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
 
So, that's what I've been up to lately. How about you? Are you doing any form of NaNo?