#YABbootcamp Final Check-In (#Winning)!

i survived yabbootcamp

The YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp is officially over & I’m a survivor (cue Destiny’s Child)!

As sad as I am about it being over, it was such as great sense of community these past three months, I’ve met so many new friends and made so much progress that all I can say is #Winning. LOL.

  • I got back on my reading horse during May after being completely burnt out thanks to finals (ew, yuck!)
  • I finished multiple drafts of my MS & revisions of my MS, THE DAUPHINE FILES. (It went from NA to YA and from 48,000 to 56,000 words all in 3 months!!!)

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YAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All in All YABbootcamp was such a success. A HUGE thank you the YA Buccaneers & Team Defiance (y’all rock!). Congratulations to everyone, we’re all winners and…

Come on…you knew it was coming 😉

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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#MyWritingProcess Blog Tour! (with help from Holmes & Watson…Elementary style)

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It’s true 🙂

Good Afternoon Readers 😀 It’s a Monday, yay!! (I’m only excited because I’m officially on Summer Brreeakkk!!!) Anyway, last Monday the wonderfully talented Jayme Woods tagged me to participate in this blog tour. Definitely check out her post as it’s hilarious & this one is a bit of a spin-off in that I use gifs too, for the first time! 1) What am I working on? I’m focused on a project I’ve been describing as The Dresden Files meets Veronica Mars. Yeah, you heard that right…it’s freaking awesome! Of course that means you likely have some high expectations just by hearing that…luckily, a CP of mine, before me even telling her said it reminded her of Veronica Mars with a supernatural twist…so I guess I’m on the right track, heh? 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? I’ve read a lot in my genre and out of it. The great thing with having such strong comp titles is that they provide lots of inspiration and links to other similar stories, e.g. Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Brick, Marlowe, Lost Girl, Anita Blake, etc… I don’t think, actually I’m pretty positive while there’s YA Urban Fantasy there’s not much YA Speculative Noir which is what my book sets out to be. I hope that fans of Adult Speculative Noir like Anita Blake & The Dresden Files & to some extent TV shows like Lost Girl and fans of YA books/TV shows/movies like Sarah Rees Breenan’s Unspoken (Veronica Mars was a sort of inspiration for her heroine), Brick, Holly Black’s White Cat, Libba Bray’s The Diviners, and, of course, Veronica Mars can find a second love in my story. Oh, and did I mention it’s set in New Orleans and has voodoo? (now that was a lot of research in and of itself) 3) Why do I write what I do? I really can’t live without writing. I’ve been writing for a long time, stopped for a while as high school took over, then started back up in college and I’m not willing to let it go again. I’ve found that when I don’t allow my creativity to flow as it does while writing I get crabby and I don’t work as hard on other things. I actually bribe myself with writing time in order to get me to finish assignments. I have such a large imaginative…I think everyone does at some point, we just learn to shut it down. I haven’t/won’t. My inner child is thriving and we work well together. I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. (Aside from reading & watching TV…I really like those.) 4) How does your writing process work? Well…I’ve called on my friends on the show Elementary for some assistance: At first I’m a bit like Holmes and Watson waiting for an idea…a clue, any hint of what lead to follow, what I’m to write next:

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‘Tis true…my current project is part murder mystery.

When I get that idea, I indulge it. I start researching everything related to that idea…my desk/room starts looking a bit like this:

elementary-premiere-johnny-lee-millerwho knows when the last time he showered was…

Of course, I need the mess because without it:

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I start to write and I continue to research…I’m a pantser all the way, much like Sherlock I drive right into the middle of a snowstorm, erm, the story…

original

I’m not much of a planner

Tea is a necessity.

Holmes-Elementary

…unfortunately I have no Watson so I have to get it myself. It’s okay, exercise is good for the creative mind.

I feel like this when I get to the middle of the story:

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But then, I have a breakthrough!

Heroine

I have solved it Watson! …now the race to find the killer, ahem, finish the novel 😉

I start feeling a bit like this:

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Yeah…about that modesty…

From there on out it’s all:

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that’s me to my finished draft

Then I send it out to my CPs and I’m back to:

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While I wait I tell myself:

elementary

And I do. Sometimes that leads to a Shiny New Idea that I, of course, ignore…

But then their comments come back and it’s not so bad after all ❤ I read them over then I let them sit while I figure out what to tackle first:

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Eventually I finish revisions and it’s all:

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I’m almost at this point, yay!

Until I’m back to this:

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Again.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my writing process through the lens of one of my favorite shows (Veronica Mars, Lost Girl, Gossip Girl, and GoT being the others). Luckily the fun doesn’t end here! You can check out #MyWritingProcess for more whimsical tales and next Monday, 5/26, you can check out these amazing writers who I’ve tagged next:

Lisa Aldin

aldin-11-e13983015583881Lisa is one of my amazing Spencer Hill Contemporary clients (they’re a talented group). She’s a YA & MG writer and the author of YA novel ONE OF THE GUYS (Spencer Hill Contemporary, Feb 2015). She currently lives in Indiana and she has a baby girl, Charlotte, who was born last Halloween. You can find her on Tumblr, her website, or Twitter! Also, her book has cute boys and monster so you’re definitely going to want to read about her writing process!   Julia Byers julia-byers (1)Julia is a twenty-year-old part time writer and full time dreamer. She’s also a junior at the University of Michigan, majoring in creative writing. Her work has appeared in Teen Ink magazine, the RC Review, the White Ash Literary Magazine, the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection, and the 17th Annual Café Shapiro Anthology. She won the Children’s/Young Adult category of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, a 2014 Hopwood Underclassmen Fiction Award, and the 2014 Arthur Miller Award, among other honors. She recently completed an internship with a literary agent, has attended numerous writing conferences around the country, and is working on her sixth novel. Her hobbies include Netflix and not going outside. In addition, she’s the founder of Chapter One Young Writers Conference, a Chicago based writing conference for young writers, where I will be speaking come June. You can find Julia at her blog, which has a collection of some of her amazing writing, or Twitter. Kaye M. vcaBUj3AKaye is a twenty-something Muslim girl who reads a lot of books, writes a lot more, and wears a lot of (figurative) hats. She is the creator of the hashtag #NotYourStockMuslim, a reporter for YA Interrobang and intern under agent Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron and Associates. In her spare time (read: when she has time to breathe), she is your typical overworked college student, avid YA reader and book blogger, and fantasy writer. You can find Kaye on Twitter or her blog.   Whimsically Yours, PnC

What’s Up Wednesday & #YABbootcamp Check-In

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Good Afternoon 🙂 It’s Wednesday and today I’m combining my weekly ‘What’s Up Wednesday’ post with my weekly YABbootcamp Check-in (yay efficiency)!

What I’m Reading

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 Last week I finished reading my ARC of The Summer I Wasn’t Me (which is now out). It was amazing!!! My review and an interview with the author is to come, but I have to say that Jessica Verdi knows how to tell a story. It’s my first book of hers I’ve read, but it won’t be my last. She had me crying one moment and cheering on the characters the next. It was very bittersweet and very hard to read but completely worth it 🙂aa-stormfront

This week I’ve been reading (and watching) a lot of Urban Fantasy more specifically books that fall into the Speculative Noir genre since that’s what I’d define my WIP as (more on that later). 38619I’m currently reading Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher and Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews (not really Speculative Noir but it’s a YA UF I’ve been meaning to read) and then I’m on to re-read an all time favorite of mine, Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton. book13It’s like part of my research in world & character building for my WIP and I’m loving them all so much!

What I’m Writing

I sent the first chapter of my WIP to one of my amazing CPs and just got it back yesterday! I have since then revised the chapter and I think I now have an opening I’m really proud of that sets up the story, protagonist, and world well.

The WIP is a YA Speculative Noir set in NOLA. I’d originally defined it as Urban Fantasy but for various reasons that didn’t capture what the book came off as, how I wanted it to be categorized, and the world and the MC’s viewpoint about the world well enough. Not to mention, though I can be a sucker for flowery language this book seemed to lean more towards a simplistic, simile laden writing style that reminded me so much of books I love like Guilty Pleasures and Storm Front. Interestingly enough it was an agent, Brooks Sherman, who defined my book for me. Read this and you’ll see what I mean. In it he talks about speculative noir and dark YA with noir elements like the TV show Veronica Mars. As soon as I read that I knew he was talking about books like my WIP which I consider to Veronica Mars meets The Dresden Files (book series) & Lost Girl (TV show). And, yes, (if I don’t get an agent from the MS I’m currently querying) I will be querying him once this WIP is nice and polished.

You can read an excerpt from the revised CHAPTER ONE, at my writer website, patricecaldwell.com!

What Else I’ve Been Doing

I’ve had a pretty busy weekend!!

easter brunchSunday was Easter and the society I’m in, Zeta Alpha, put on an Easter Brunch (it was potluck style and I made Texas-style breakfast burritos!).

<–my friends and I (aren’t we cute & so happy (thank you, sun!!))photo (7)

Oh, and then Sage the Gemini kicked off Spring Week (a week of concerts & other festivities) that evening!! He’s a rapper out of the Bay Area and though I only knew a couple of his songs it was really fun. Also, he was a great entertainer. He was hilarious and he took his shirt off 😉

Monday was the Boston Marathon!! My friends and I went out in full force to support the runners. Wellesley has a special tradition, the scream tunnel in which students line the road and try to get kisses from the runners. I got one once and it was really sweaty so although I no longer partake in that part of the tradition, it was still a very fun day!

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<–so cute & happy once again. It was a wonderful Marathon day that concluded with me doing my laundry (finally!) and watching TV with a friend 🙂

Oh, and my bookshelf got a new addition, #BostonStrong!! Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 3.51.16 PM

What Inspires Me Right Now

I’m inspired by a lot of things. The stories about the Marathon runner survivors from last year who were able to complete the race this year, my friends and classmates who are some of the smartest & busiest women I know and yet we still make time to hang out and support one another, my mother who is going back to school to complete her bachelors while working, my father who finally quite his day job to pursue his wellness company full time & become a full-blown Texas farmer (the baby chicks hatched during the Winter and they’re getting so big so fast), my fellow writers who find time to write amongst juggling day jobs, children, and an assortment of other things, and, of course, myself for, even if I forget sometimes/often, I have a lot to be proud of.

Also, there’s some amazing conversations about Diversity in Literature (specifically Children’s Lit) going on right now/the past couple weeks. I have links to a few in my Writer Resources section, but if you’ve ever wanted to join in the conversation or learn more, now is the perfect time 🙂

Happy Wednesday and I hope it’s not so rainy where you are 🙂 Have a great week!!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

#YABbootcamp Month Two Goals!!

YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014Month One (March) of the YA Bucaneers’ Spring Writing Bootcamp is over, yay!! Now that the sun’s finally out (I wore capris today around Boston!!), it’s time to let the words flow 🙂

During March I began a new story and was able to write over 20,000 words of it!! I had set out to write 10,000 words/week, but I fell short every week and then Spring Break came and all I did was bask in the Texas sun so, it’s time to set some more realistic goals.

April Goals

  • write 30 minutes- 1 hour every day (much more easy to track/meet than 10,000 words/week)
  • read 30 minutes-1 hour every day (so many amazing books, especially debuts, coming out…I have to keep up!)
  • do my class assignments/end of semester assignments ahead of time so that when the end of April/May comes aka Spring Week and all the other college spring shenanigans, I can have no worries.

Basically April 20th is the date by which I want to have my life back and order and my manuscript complete, woohoo!!!

Gosh, April is going to be crazy…I think it just hit me that I’m graduating in 2015. It’s almost time to pick where I want to live next year & the courses I want to take next semester and it all seems so very final. I can’t believe I’ve been in college for three going on four years. That being said, I wouldn’t go back, I’m excited for the future, but, for now, I really need to get writing & turn in an assignment I was supposed to complete before Spring Break…oops (it’s getting to that time in the year when you start not caring/I’m pretty much done with my major so senior year is going to be great)!

Good luck on your April goals everyone 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

 

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In!

YAY!!! It’s Monday 😀 (How many times do you hear that, LOL?)

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I’m excited because it’s my first Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In!

What’s Spring Writing Bootcamp? It’s an awesome accountability bootcamp for writers. To learn more visit our amazing hosts, the YABuccaneers!

Mkay, so what’s up…

Last Monday I shared with you the main writing project I’m going to be working on this Spring. And though I stated my only goal was have fun, finishing my WIP would be a bonus, I had a secret goal of my own.

  • To have the MS reach 10,000 words by the end of the week.

Did I succeed?

No.

However, I did make it to 8,726 words. And though I didn’t finish the “end goal scene” that would’ve made it 10,000, I did start it. And I left off at the most perfect place. My fingers are tingling, I can’t wait to start writing it!

According to the love of my life, Scrivener (haha), I’m well on my way to finishing this draft by April 20th, which is my end goal date as long as I write 1,458 words per day.

My goal for this week is also 10,000 words since that seems to be a pretty good motivator!

Here’s an excerpt from the first time Bria and Ty meet…it’s the original “first meet” scene I wrote however, I’m not sure this one is necessary so it might be cut, but for now, enjoy!:

I kneed the driver’s seat, and leaned as far as I could, trying to get a glimpse of my kidnapper. I yelled, not caring that whoever it was couldn’t hear me through the divider separating us. It was the same setup as Chels’s police cruiser.

Why would a cop kidnap me?

I clenched my jaw. This had better not be payback for earlier. I squinted as the sun began to glare though the windows. So much for beauty sleep.

I kneed the driver’s seat, again. “Let. Me. Go.” The car jerked to a stop at a red light. My kidnapper turned and slid open part of the divider. I stopped thrashing. It was a man who couldn’t have been much older than myself. His brown hair framed his face in waves that stopped at his shoulders, and his eyes twinkled as if something about this situation was funny. I pursed my lips. It wasn’t. He chuckled, shaking his head, and a curl fell across his face. He brushed it back and the corners of his brown eyes crinkled as his lips formed into a cocky smile.

My cheeks grew hot, and I looked away. He was kind of cute. I mentally slapped myself. Get your hormones together, Bria.  I took a deep breath. “Listen,” I said to him, but he’d already turned back around. “Whatever you’re doing, stop. Did Chelsea put you up to this?”

The guy snorted, and I furrowed my brow. Kidnappers weren’t supposed to snort.

I kicked the back of his seat, again. “Seriously.”

He chuckled to himself. “No one’s going to hurt you.” His voice was deep and rough like he was about to start laughing again.

“Well, let me go,” I said. What was this guy’s problem? This was not how you get the girl. Humpf. I slumped in the seat. Technically, I suppose it was. 

The houses changed from duplexes to gated mansions with wraparound porches and stately columns. From the building alone they screamed southern splendor, but from their rotting floorboards to their dusty chandeliers to the lawns that were more unkept than the bayou they were nothing but old. I’d grown up in such a house. Why were we in the Garden District? My kidnapper pulled the car over in front of a stop sign then opened the divider. In his right hand was the piece of tape that had covered my mouth. I turned my head from him and kicked his seat as he tried to put it on. “I’ll bite you, I swear.”

“I’m sure you will,” he said winking at me. He muttered a few words and my body grew rigid. My muscles locked and though I was screaming at my body to move, it wouldn’t. Couldn’t. Wizards. They never knew how to play fair. My heart was thudding, each heartbeat came faster than the other. Why had a wizard kidnapped me? Why was I in the back of a police cruiser? This was definitely not a prank.

The car stopped and we arrived, I supposed, at our destination. I took a whiff of the air and growled as I caught something utterly familiar. I should’ve known. He was always one for theatrics. I gritted my teeth.

My father was here.

The blurb (THE SUP FILES – NA UBRAN FANTASY):

When recent college grad Bria Thurman sets up shop as a freelance detective she figures, with her abilities, it’ll be easy money and will pay more than working at the local coffee shop–the only job she can get–would. Unfortunately, most of the cases she receives are requests from old ladies asking to her to find their cats. And old ladies don’t pay much, if at all.

But, when her best friend, a human cop, goes missing, while working on a set of grisly murders that’s got prominent New Orleanians showing up dead, Bria is the Supernatural, or Sup Council’s first go to gal because not only is she unaligned, meaning she’s free to go anywhere she pleases, she’s the best–well, technically, the only–clairvoyant in town. If she can get that nose of hers to work right.

To find her friend, and keep herself from having to take a job at her father’s hedge fund, a death sentence in itself, Bria must team up with Ty, a Sup cop and wizard who’s a little too Dark Fae for her liking. Together, it’ll be up to them to find the killer, before the case goes public. That is, of course, if the killer doesn’t find them first.

So much for easy money.

Have a great week! What are you working on?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC