July 2011 Archive

A Long Happy Marriage

You guys are all so wonderful. I have the best readers! I’m in the process of going through my blogs, but rest assured every single one of you who commented will be in my favorites folder. :)

So, here’s a little happy because you all make me so happy. Enjoy!

Happy Marriage

Follow Follow Follow Follow…

Yes, I’m singing the Wizard of Oz song. :)

I feel terrible I haven’t been posting regularly. I’ve done a ridiculous amount of traveling this past month and feel as if I haven’t slowed down once to concentrate on my writing and blogging, and especially with keeping up with all of your blogs!

Speaking of your blogs, I looked at all of the blogs I’m subscribed to on Google Reader and realized just how many I follow. Honestly guys, I try to get to all of them but sometimes it’s quite difficult.

My question to you: are you a follower and reader? If you are, comment below and I’ll be sure to stick you in my ‘favorites’ folder (this is the folder I always make sure to read and comment on).

Here are some things coming up in the next months that you just might want to stick around for. ;)

  1. Some awesome book give-aways
  2. An even awesomer blogfest with (as of right now) three great prizes to be won!
  3. And following me on my move to Nashville. Yay!

So, do you want to be in my favorites folder?? I know you do! (Make sure your name links to your blog or else stick it in your comment. :)

The Often Forgotten Sense of Smell

Of the five senses, I often find myself completely forgetting about smell. Isn’t it said that smell is very important in unlocking memories? How awesome is that – it’s a perfect way to lead into memories in your WIP.

The smell of lemon drops will forever remind me of my Grandmother (or is that Dumbledoor?? haha) and the smell of a new shampoo will always make me think of my sister. What smells conjure memories for you and how do you add this into your writing?

My MC has a very strong sense of smell. After getting my first pages back from my crit partners I realized I used the word smell, scent, sniff wayyy too many times and needed to figure out new ways to describe scent. So, without further ado, here are some tips for writing about the sense of smell. (Most of these are pared down from http://www.wikihow.com/Describe-a-Smell.)

  1. Are there images or memories associated with the smell? What is your gut reaction when you think of the smell? Feelings or emotions?
  2. Use adjectives- wispy, rancid, airy, musty, stale. Adjectives will describe the effect of the smell.
  3. Use nouns and be specific – is the smell of chocolate milk or dark, or is it the smell of hot fudge to be poured over ice cream? Or is it chocolate with a hint of raspberry? All of these scents will elicit different emotions from your reader and your MC.
  4. Use verbs – waft, distract, hint, permeate, suggest, confuse. Suggest the source: are you baking or frying? Sweating from a hard run or desire? Visualize what it does – creep into the nose, wrap around, follow, bombard.
  5. Borrow words from other senses: sight – bright, dark, clear, hazy; sound – dissonant, harmonious, loud, quiet; touch – sharp, dull, rough, smooth; taste – sweet, salty, bitter.
  6. What is the reaction to the smell? Do you relax, stiffen, pucker. Is it startling, jarring, soothing or comforting?
  7. And of course, the good old metaphor. The smell of hot dogs hit me like a tornado.

Are there any other tricks you like to use when writing about the sense of smell? What other senses do you find yourself forgetting to write about?

I Am Not J.K. Rowling

This is a conversation I had with Cale after we saw the last HP movie this afternoon. I hope it makes you guys feel better, like it did me.

Juliana: I feel a bit melancholy now that Harry Potter is over.

Cale: So do I.

Juliana: Is it bad if I’m a little depressed to know that I’ll probably never write a book like Harry Potter.

Cale: No, I knew that I’d never play like Zinadine Zidane but I could play like Roy Keane. I could be a grinder and work my ass off. I could play with passion and get stuck in. You may not be JK Rowling but you can still be a great author who writes great books.

Juliana: :)

Zidane is one of the best players to play the beautiful game and J.K. Rowling is one of the best writers to come along, but there have to be other players and writers who make up the rest of the field, and honestly, I’m okay with being one of those other writers. I’m thankful I live in a time when I am able to read Rowling’s genius and even more thankful that I can write the stories that I have in me. I hope you all are too!

* As a note, Cale played soccer in college and the PDL (semi-pro) but was forced out due to injuries, so he does know what he’s talking about. He is a constant source of support as I try to get into the writing business since he can relate with his soccer experiences.

Query

My thought on queries: yuck. They make me all sorts of unhappy. It’s a good thing this is part of Deana’s blogfest – I need all the help I can get on this, guys! So have at it, hack away, give me the best advice  you can. :)

Dear So-and-So,

Twins, Farrah and Felix, are born into an existence of servitude.  They are Bonded with the king’s sons for the sole purpose of protecting the boys; if they fail, they will be put to a painful death.

Farrah protects Alec, but all she desires is to not be chained to a man she can’t stand.  But the only way to escape her imprisonment is to end her life.  What makes matters worse, is that Farrah begins to fall for Alec and realizes she must make the most difficult choice of all: freedom or love, for she cannot have both.

Felix can’t deny his intense curiosity.  He willingly protects his Charge, Gabe, because it means he has free access to the secret tunnels of the House they live in.  As he searches further into the history of his world, he uncovers secrets that will put both his and Farrah’s lives in danger.

After death threats against Alec puts Farrah life on the line, and the other slaves in the House rise up in rebellion against their captivity, Farrah and Felix escape with Alec and Gabe to try to find answers to three questions: Who wants Alec dead?  Would Farrah and Felix keep Alec and Gabe safe if they weren’t Bonded to them?  And, if they return to their House, will they all be killed?

GUARDIANS is a finished at 72k.  It is a stand-alone YA-fantasy but has strong series potential.

*personal stuff here??

Sincerely,

Juliana Brandt

(I’m not a fan of the questions at the end but can’t figure out how else to end it.)