Sunday, November 29, 2009

THE GREEN Chapter 1 teaser

Chapter One

College Resumé
Name: Ariceli Pisa
Age: 17
School: Cambridge High School / Journalism Academy, Cambridge, IL
GPA: 4.0
Extracurricular Activities: Cheerleader; Editor for the Cambridge Cutlass Newspaper; Class Council Treasurer; Member of Principal’s Advisory Council; National Honor Society; French Club
Work Experience: Drug Dealer (or maybe ‘Street Pharmacist’ would be more appropriate?)

So I suppose that really won’t go over very well if I plan on getting some good recommendations from my teachers. And I know what you’re thinking. Drug dealer? It’s so Tony Montana of me. But I promise you; the story is not nearly that exciting. I mean like no major shoot-outs at my big mansion on five acres.
But yes, that’s me. I’m an honor student and a drug dealer. Parents will probably wonder where my mom went wrong. How could she raise such a terrible daughter? But maybe once you read my story you will understand why I did what I did. Don’t be so quick to judge me, because I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if people like you weren’t trading the green for green. Because the bottom line is just that—all that matters in this world is the Green. If you don’t have it, it’s all you want. If you have it, you don’t realize how much it means to you until it’s gone. But I am here to tell you; money makes the world go round. And I was pretty much standing still.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo Winner and THE GREEN synopsis!

I made it!  I finished last night (well not finished but made it to 50,000 fabulous words)! My husband and daughter were there to give me a hug and a kiss, but that was about it for fanfare. The Green is finally that much closer to being done.  I figure now I'll take another couple days to write the ending and then it will be complete and ready for revisions, after a week off, of course.  Gotta give it some time to marinate!

I gotta give props to my cheering section which included family and friends at home and online.  You guys really kept me going!  I do have to give a special shout out to my cousin Ed who started the race with me and then had to bow out halfway due to a dislocated shoulder (not suffered from typing).  You'll finish it soon!

And now, I'm sure you're wondering what The Green is all about...Ariceli Pisa is a senior at prestigious Cambridge High School and has her sights set on Northwestern University.  She's a cheerleader, member of National Honors Society and secretly in love with her best friend's ex-boyfriend.  When her brother skips town, Ariceli is confronted with a desperate situation and finds herself dealing drugs in order to stay at Cambridge.  Now she's not sure if she should stay on the path she had planned or take the new and dangerous one, even if it might lead to disaster.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

oh...New Moon

Of course I've got to talk about New Moon today, which is the latest edition of the Twilight book series put to film.  I know a ton of you are fans out there, and I'm not really here to rip on it because frankly, it's made Stephenie Meyer a ton of cash and a ton of fans worldwide and that would simply make me a hater.  And that's not really my style.

I will say this, while the Twilight Saga is not and will never be my favorite, there are some things that Stephenie Meyer got right.  It says a lot that even though I'm not the biggest Twilight fan, I still purchased and read all four books.  Yes, there were many times I wanted to throw the book out the window, but the story and the characters (save for Bella, whom I can honestly say I do not like at all) kept me going through all four.  I DID want to know what happened to the other characters and I really hoped Bella died a painful death. (Spoiler alert - which at least she almost did, childbirth is close enought hehe!)

The other thing that I have to say about this Twilight 'phenomenon' is that it's really not all about Twilight.  It started with Harry Potter and Twilight is just picking up the torch.  What's fantastic is that we are seeing the emergence of a true Young Adult literature boom, where not only teens, but everyone from 8-80 is rediscovering the joy of reading, getting lost in characters and their lives and using their imaginations.  I am eager to see who picks up the torch next.  Maybe some of my awesome writer-friends.  Maybe me!  Maybe you!

I won't be waiting in line tonight to see New Moon, but for those of you that are, I'm excited that you are out there skipping work and school to celebrate books.  That, my friends, is true success.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's all down hill from here...

So I've passed the halfway point for NaNoWriMo.  I'm closing in on 30,000 words.  Writing is such an amazing artistic process.  I know it sounds all lame, but really...when I sit down to write I have an idea in mind of what I want to say, but once I get going sometimes the story changes and I come up with things I hadn't thought of before.  I knew I really liked to write, but during this month I am really learning how much I LOVE to write.  And I am so happy to have found something that I can pretty much do the rest of my life, regardless of broken feet and bad knees. 

And this book...I think those of you that know me well will be surprised.  It's not something I thought I would ever write.  But it's turning out just like it should. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Prairie Writers' Day Re-cap

Yesterday I headed out to Harper College for my first Prairie Writers' Day (SCBWI-IL annual conference).  I was really nervous, it was my first time mingling with people in the industry.  It was also cool to see some authors I've met before and to meet some for the first time. 

We listened to all of the editors (four of them from various publishing houses in NY) and one agent discuss just what the industry is looking for and how to put our best work out there.  One editor sang for us and one did a cartwheel and they were all pretty damn funny. 

In the break out sessions I learned about PR from Cynthea Liu, who is pretty awesome (Paris Pan Takes the Dare, The Great Call of China).  It made me feel like I've got a good start on the PR stuff...now if only I can get a manuscript published...

I also saw Michael Stearns from the Upstart Crow Literary Agency and made me wish and hope I get an agent as cool as him.  He already passed on Into the Shadows, but I'll give it a go again when I get the next one finished.

Lunch was really cool as we got to sit with the editor or agent of our choice.  I was able to snag a seat at Nick Eliopulos' table, YA editor from Random House.  He was so funny and easy to talk to.  It seriously must be a awesome job to be an editor.  *sigh*  If only I lived in New York!

It was a pretty fascinating day, but a lot to take in all at once.  I felt like I was drunk on information!  But it's back to work today.  I've got my 25,000 words for NaNoWriMo and I'm half way done, but it's still a long two weeks before I have a second finished (well, ready for revision) manuscript ready.  Maybe I'll post the first chapter tomorrow.  Just to give you guys a taste!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Valley High Movie??? OMG!

So I was reading in Entertainment Weekly (not my subscription, Grandma is nice enough to pass it along when she's done - thanks Grandma!) that Diablo Cody, Illinois native and screenwriter of Juno has met with Francine Pascal and is working on a Sweet Valley High movie script.  I am quite excited to see how it turns out and who picks it up.  I have heard that Sweet Valley High was being updated (to include computers, cell phones and iPods, etc).  I wonder if they'll still have the Spider convertible they had.  *Sigh*  They were so lovely.   Elizabeth was definitely my favorite.

As for YA books made into movies, New Moon is out next week, which you would have to be living under a rock not to know!  Being that I am not a huge fan of the books, I can't say I'm ready to run out and see it, especially after Twilight, the movie disaster.  I hope for the book's fans that it is a much better showing, considering they did get a bigger budget this time around.  I might wait until it comes out on video, though! 

One more day until my first Prairie Writers Day...I'll tell you all about it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo update

I see I have my first follower here!  Thanks follower! 

So this weekend is halfway through on National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) and I have made it to 17,221 words.  I am hoping to get to 20,000 today, after my unplanned trip to my favorite place on earth (that would be IKEA, to those who don't know me quite yet).  The characters are moving along very well and I am really pleased with how it's turning out so far.  I am really convinced that this might be the one. 

I was reading fellow blogger Hilary Wagner's post on only needing one YES from somebody in the industry (which she has gotten...upcoming book Nightshade City).   I agree with what she said, and many of my other friends and fellow writers have said.  I've been working for the last year to get that one YES, and so far I've probably racked up about 100 NOs.  For some reason (either I'm crazy or delusional), I just get more feisty and convinced that I will find the right person.  I've had my first YA novel, Into the Shadows, requested by agents and publishers, but in the end, it's always a NO.  Kind words on the picture book too, but still NO.  But my new YA, the Green, I think it's the real deal.  I am hoping that this will bring the love faster than Into the Shadows did.  So I keep moving forward.  I definitely haven't been discouraged, okay maybe for a day or something, but not for long.  It makes me want to work harder and faster and write better, because I know my chance will come.  And no one else is going to do it for me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My very first blog...here, anyways!

Ugh, trying to get your name out there is such a PITA!  My own website crashed when I tried to update it and now have been without one for a week or so.  I thought I would try this site, and *tried* to get it uploaded to my site, again with no luck!  And with Prairie Writers' Day this weekend, I really wanted to get something up and running, since it is on my business cards.  I just feel like it's going to be tacky to hand out cards and have no site come up.  Such a pain!  Anyways, I hope to have that worked out soon, my site was actually getting hits as well!

As for this week, I am very excited to be attending my first Prairie Writers' Day (the IL yearly writers' conference).  I am going to be seeing the lovely YA author Cynthea Liu and agent Michael Stearns, from Upstart Crow.  I just got a rejection letter from Upstart Crow last week for my first YA, called Into the Shadows.  But that's cool, no hard feelings.

As for NaNoWriMo, I'm doing good so far, over 14,000 words already and still going.  If only I hadn't wasted so much time on fiddling with web crap tonight I would have already put in 2,000 more.  I have really high hopes for this project.  I really feel like this is going to be the one to make it!  Or maybe I'm delusional after writing 4,000 words yesterday.  Whatever.  I think it rocks so far.  Well, back to work!