Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I've been waiting months for this, and it's finally here!

My dear friend Hélène Boudreau has a lovely new book coming out tomorrow (YAY!), titled Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings. Isn't that the best title ever?!

Anyway, in honor of the launch, she is giving away almost a dozen copies of the book in an awesome contest. And she has kindly asked me to judge her contest along with her agent (Lauren MacLeod), Authoress of Miss Snark's First Victim fame, Jodi Meadows, and Kathleen Peacock. This should be fun!

You can visit Hélène's blog for the complete post, but I've also added the contest info below:


Tweet using the hashtag #realmermaids for a chance to win one of the FIVE twitter copies. For example:

#realmermaids don’t wear toe rings (but that one’s taken ) or I brake for #realmermaids

Funniest tweets win! Winners are totally up to the discretion of the judges @bostonbookgirl, @authoressanon, @jodimeadows, @kathleenpeacock and @elissacruz.

Please keep it PG, though, people! Think of the children!!


Just go ahead and LIKE Hélène's page on Facebook and post in the contest thread for a chance to win one of FIVE Facebook copies. Unlike Twitter, this contest is not limited to 140 characters. You can play with the #realmermaids twitter concept or tell her a joke, or write her a poem, the sky is the limit. Just make her LAUGH! Again, the five funniest WIN!


Post a comment with your funny here for a chance to win one blog copy. That's it. No joke! (But you still have to make Hélène laugh.)

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Now go! Quick! Before someone else takes your best line!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Waiting

It's official. I am now the World's Foremost Authority on Waiting. (According to me, anyway.)

It's true.

I've been waiting for news for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can't recall my BW life (Before Waiting), since it was so long ago and the waiting has somewhat dulled my brain. (At least, that's my theory, anyway.)

But something has happened recently that's made me rethink (start to think?) about waiting.

And that thing is a new kind of waiting.

Recently my husband and I started looking into buying a home. We've been renting since the dawn of time, with two forays into the purchasing a home scenario (all which ended badly, so we tend to pretend they never happened), but recently we've decided to give home ownership a try (third time's the charm, right?). We filled out a loan application and received our lovely pre-approval letter on the same day we started looking at houses.

And, to make a long story, short, we are currently under contract.

Now, as the World's Foremost Authority on Waiting, you'd think that I'd be ready for the waiting that comes when you are purchasing a home, right?


Because this kind of wait, the intense "something's about to happen that will change my life forever" wait, is so different than the long, drawn out, vague "maybe someday something might happen that could change my life forever" type of wait I've been experiencing the last, oh, million years or so. This new kind of waiting is more stressful, I think, than the long, drawn out kind of waiting I've been dealing with, because it compresses so much more emotion into a short time frame. You're more nervous and excited and concerned and overjoyed and stressed out, and suddenly everything seems more...real, I suppose.

As I was pondering this idea of a new kind of waiting, I suddenly realized that these two different types of waiting can be found in this writing business, too. (See, I knew you were trying to figure out how I was going to tie all that personal info into something about writing. Just stick with me long enough and it's bound to happen, I say.) I am really only the World's Foremost Authority on Long, Abstract Waiting. I have yet to really experience the Short, Concrete Waiting that comes when a contract is eminent or an editor has mentioned acquisitions or the next step or given me any indication that my book is being considered in any way. (Yeah, they've spared me that pain and told me all about it AFTER it's been through most of those steps but hasn't made it all the way. Those are fun rejections, let me tell you.)

In this biz, you need to be prepared for both kinds of waiting. The LAW is what you will experience 99% of the time, but that last 1% is the SCW that will sneak up on you when you least expect it. And it's stressful.

Really stressful.

I don't have any really practical suggestions for dealing with it either. But I think knowing about it is the first step. Maybe. I guess.

Though I suppose it could be completely meaningless information. That's possible, I suppose. After all, my brain is a bit muddled after all the waiting it's endured.

Now, what were we talking about, again?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ElNoWriWe 2010: Day 5 (aka THE END!)


I didn't type much--about 630 words got me to the end--but I can proudly say that ElNoWriWe was a complete success. In just 5 days I wrote an entire first draft of my middle-grade manuscript (well, all but the first 6,000 words, which I had finished before I started ElNoWriWe). Official word count for the 5 days was:


I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but at least I now have something to work with.

But I think I'll take the rest of the week off as a reward for completing ElNoWriWe. Plus I need to play catch-up on some things I let slide a little during the week.

Okay. I also want to do a little of this:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and pry the remote out of my husband's hands...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ElNoWriWe 2010: Day 4

Yes, I was suppose to start back up yesterday, but a bunch of things came up that took the entire day away from me (things that couldn't wait, like a broken window that had to be replaced, a snowy commute that took a lot longer to navigate, among other things). And today wasn't much better, but I vowed to keep going until I had written my 5,000 words.

And with 30 minutes to spare...

Today's word count:

And the total is:

But the best part is that I just finished the climax tonight! WOOHOO! Tomorrow I will wrap up this story and be done with the entire draft (and probably long before I reach 5K).

Whew. What a ride.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ElNoWriWe 2010: Day 3

Yes, it's only Day 3 of ElNoWriWe, even though it's Day 4 of NaNoWriMo. I had to take yesterday off to finish a bunch of non-writing projects that had to be done that day.


I noticed it was much harder to get back into the swing of things today. It took longer to find my momentum, and it was harder to sustain it over the entire day (because, after all, it does take a few hours to write 5,000 words).

In case anyone is curious, my days have been going something like this:

Morning: write for 3 hours (as I also attempt to help my homeschooled son with his schoolwork)

Take a break for lunch/school carpool duties/etc..

Afternoon: write for 1-2 hours (as I also attempt to put the toddler down for a nap)

Take a break for school carpool duties/stretch my legs/etc.

Late Afternoon: write for 1 hour (as I also attempt to get my kids started on their homework)

Since my addition math skills are getting a lot of use these days as I correct my kids' math homework, I am fairly certain that adds up to 5 to 6 solid hours of writing each day. That means I can crank out about 1000 words an hour. That's *gets out calculator for this arithmetic problem* almost 17 words a minute. That's...well, honestly, I don't know what that means. I may be able to do math, but that doesn't mean I have figured out what all those numbers are good for. I know I can certainly type much faster than that, though, so I guess that means my brain can create almost 17 words a minute.

I still have no idea what good that does me, though...


Today's word count:

This week's word count:

I'm halfway there! WOOT!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ElNoWriWe 2010: Day 2

These two images should say it all:


This week:

( I would like to point out that that little bean man who is supposed to be me is drinking root beer. I don't actually drink alcoholic beverages myself, which may or may not come as a surprise to many of you. I would also like to point out that my head is not that big, nor that bald.)

Onward to the end of this first draft!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 1 (aka ElNoWriWe 2010: Day 1)

I am officially unofficially participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Yes, go ahead and reread that. It takes a few read-throughs to wrap that idea around the brain, I know. (BTW, NaNoWriMo=National Novel Writing Month, for the two or three people on the planet who haven't heard of it yet.)

Got it? Good.

The reason for this is because, for the last month or two, I've been attempting to write a new WIP (WIP=Work-in-Progress, for you non-writerly folk out there who keep asking if I write in English anymore). I've been stuck at about 5,000 words of a 30,000-word middle-grade novel. And so I needed to kick-start this WIP.

But, you see, NaNoWriMo is all about writing a BRAND NEW 50,000-word novel in one month. And since I didn't want to start a new book--I wanted to kick-start an old(ish) book--I decided to unofficially participate.

However, I'm not really concerned about writing 50,000 words. I'm concerned about getting this stinkin' first draft finished.

Enter ElNoWriWe.

ElNoWriWe is my attempt at finishing this stinkin' first draft. ElNoWriWe=Elissa's Novel Writing Week, where I will attempt to finish an entire middle-grade novel in 5-6 days.

Yes, go ahead and reread that, too. I assure you you probably read it right the first time, but maybe your brain didn't think so.

You caught up with me now? Good.

The goal: write 5K words a day (that's 5,000 for those who...well, quite honestly everyone should know what K stands for) for 5-6 days until the first draft is finished. I'm figuring this draft will be about 30,000 words, give or take.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find 5-6 consecutive days with enough writing time left over after everything else I need to accomplish, so I'm shooting for 5K today, tomorrow, and Thursday this week, then Monday-Wednesday next week (if all goes well).

Now, I know you think there's no way I can do this. Go ahead and laugh at my idiocy. It's okay. It wouldn't be the first time someone's laughed in my face.

And while you laugh, I will calmly point out that I wrote the first draft of my first novel--the novel that I got an agent with and the one that is currently on submission--in three days. Yes. You can reread that, too.

Now that you're not laughing, I'll also calmly point you to my word count for today:

Make your own progress meter at http://www.writertopia.com/toolbox/meters

Rock on, dude.