Out of all the ramblings you’ll find here, these are my favorite of the bunch.
Next Tuesday marks a pretty big day. On November 17, there will be a book in book stores with my name on it. That I wrote! Funny how that works.
For the last year and a half, I’ve worked on Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide, a book brought to you by Dey Street Books (a division of THE Harper Collins) and Rooster Teeth.
I’ve met tight deadlines, watched enough Red vs. Blue to question my sanity, dealt with tons of art to organize, missing assets, deleted Dropbox folders and notes (and more notes) from a variety of sources. But it’s done, and people are finally going to get to read it next week, which has me completely Freaked the Eff Out.
Some of you may not even know what Red vs. Blue is, who Rooster Teeth is, and what the heck this book even is. I get asked about all 3 of those, particularly from friends, family and co-workers. In certain (and quite large) corners of the internet, these questions don’t even need to be asked. Continue reading →
A few months ago I put an excerpt of NAT, THE LOST GIRL, in my writing portfolio. It’s a work-in-progress that I hope to get revised by end of year. It’s the first bit of the first chapter, which is more than likely going to change, but I still wanted to have it here because it’s a concept I’m totally in love with.
It’s a tricky one to sum up, but it was born from the idea that if I ever lost my daughter, I’d like to think she would continue to have adventures somewhere without me. In it, a dead girl decides she’s going to see her parents one last time.
In terms of sheer word output, 2013 was the most productive year I’ve ever had. After spending the previous two years working a discombobulated, utterly confused (and confusing) novel down to the bone, I decided I needed a different approach to writing novels. (Side note: this mess of a book turned into a soon-to-be-published short story. Hooray!)
The downfall with devoting all my time and energy to one single project was two-fold: for one, it becomes impossible to see the forest for the trees when your mind is singularly focused on one creative work. Every problem feels magnified, and every solution proves insufficient, tethered to a busted framework that had no business propping up a story to begin with.
Secondly, it’s good to step away and flex different creative muscles. Marathon trainers work on split times, long distance runs and sprint intervals to vary their training. Shouldn’t writers also work different areas? I wondered if maybe the best thing for my brain was to move from project to project, stepping away so that my story had space to breathe, and so I could gain some distance, perspective and ideally, new skills, all honed by time spent writing new stories.
I set a rather audacious goal. I wanted to write 3 novels in 2013. Continue reading →
There are quite a few ways that video games are better than real life. For one, there are very few consequences for your actions. Want to eat mushrooms? Snack away, Mr. Plumber. Want to try to defeat the world’s most evil wizard with a bunch of Deku nuts? Have at it, Hero of Time! Pretty much anything goes.
But one of the things I really love about video games happens to come from role-playing games in particular — the idea of leveling up. Continue reading →
If you’ll notice the tumbleweeds around these parts, that’s because I’ve spent the last few weeks immersed in The Jimmy Project, my alternate history superhero story about a boy and his feelings. And saving the U.S of A., I guess.
I finished The Jimmy Project last weekend, and now I’m in a bit of the afterglow that accompanies the end of a first draft. Leaning back and knowing you’re done with that challenging draft is one of the most rewarding things you can imagine. It’s not just that you had an idea, because ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s that you took that one idea persevered when you worried that it might be a bad one. That you kept pushing even when it seemed foolish to do it. And somewhere along the line, you wrote a book. Oops. Continue reading →
I always hated math. Locking two numbers together in Gladiator-style mortal combat made no sense to me. Who cares about the victor of that bloody conflict, when there are so many cool things that could be happening in outer space, and slightly less cool things (but just as bloody as number Hunger Games) that have already happened on this world? Other subjects were far more interesting to me.
But the one small bit of math that I did enjoy happened to be applied mathematics. You know, making numbers do things that matter in the real world. Two trains leaving different stations and careening toward one another at a breakneck speed was fun, get your popcorn ready type stuff waiting to happen. Continue reading →
Sometimes I’m a fat princess. No, I’m not having an identity crisis, I’m just identifying with the excellently realized character in THE GIRL OF FIRE and THORNS by Rae Carson, one of the most recent books I’ve read. The book follows the exploits of Elisa, a powerless, overweight, self-conscious princess that happens to have been identified as God’s Chosen One at birth — and never quite feels like she matches up to the mark of the Godstone that rests in her navel. Continue reading →
The most interesting part of writing The Jimmy Project, my current novel about a superkid raised by the U.S. government, is that it takes place in an alternate Earth, with a history different from our own. For other things I’ve written, I’ve only had to do a modicum of research, just some brief Wikipedia browsing to make sure I wasn’t completely off my rocker before tackling a few sections. TJP has been wildly different in that I’m writing about a time period I have zero firsthand knowledge of (the 1930s-1950s), besides a few World War II movies. Continue reading →
First drafts are hard.
No, seriously. We pay lip-service to the idea of writing being a finicky, petty and blood-sucking monster, but for real, it can be a killer to try to start a new book. No matter how confident you feel about where you are as a writer, or as an anything, first attempts tend to rough us up, WWE style, with about as many theatrics to boot.
As much as I tell myself that it’s fine to let a first draft be crappy, and as much as I tell myself that I need to wait to revise, the urge to tweak is so strong I send myself into obsessive fits.
I doubt I’m the only one. Continue reading →
As of this weekend, I’m the proud owner of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes Collection. something that fills me with an embarrassing amount of joy. Don’t get me wrong: I probably have the majority of these books in separate places between my house and my old bedroom at home, but they’ve become so worn down from years of re-reading that I thought it would be nice to own them again, on the real.
Part of the reason I wanted to own the collection (besides the fact that I want to read every strip again), is that I want my daughter to grow up with Calvin and Hobbes the way I did. Continue reading →