Monday, April 28, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter X + A Special Hop I Almost Forgot



The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 
2013 A to Z Challenge 


WINNER WEEK FOUR
TA DA

 THE CAPTAIN WINS THIS ROUND. ALEX GUESSED EVERY ONE OF THE MYSTERY BLOGGERS THIS WEEK, AND, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE DAY, DID IT FIRST. NINJAS ARE NOT ONLY STEALTHY, THEY NEVER  SLEEP.

email me and the ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas  is yours.
http://www.cleemckenziebooks.com/contact.html
Week Four Answers: 
U: Mooderino 

All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

Week 4) a signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas 

(If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!) 

BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 

TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.

I loved this motivating post last year. Hope you love it in this deja vu 2014.

Mystery Blogger X’s 2013 theme: "Promo and other tips for writers"

X is for Xtra Mile



(Yes, extra begins with an E - just go with me on this one!)

What is the xtra mile?

It’s doing more than what’s required.

It’s going out of your way.

It’s taking the initiative.

It’s stepping past the masses.

It’s being your best toward others.

It’s doing what others are not willing to do to succeed!

Are you going the xtra mile to fulfill your writing dreams? 

Hint: This blogger is always full of spunk.


Who is it?

SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post


Pardon My Process


My Writing Process. 

Look out! It's another HOP.




I was tagged by BETH FEHLBAUM for this post, so here 'tis. 

1) What am I working on? 

I can’t believe it, but I’ve just wrapped up a sequel to my middle grade book, Alligators Overhead. And I was sure I didn’t have a sequel in me. I’m calling this second book The Great Time Lock Disaster. 

I just wrote The End to two young adult stories and am starting to think how I’ll get them out into the world. Double Negative and Secrets have been in the works for a couple of years, so I’m glad to see them done.

So I guess the answer to this question is almost nothing right now, but I’m kind of glad. I need a short break after managing three projects at the same time. 


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

While my protagonists are the usual age (sixteen or seventeen) I always love to include an older character who acts as someone for my teen to oppose or bounce off of. 

  • In Sliding on the Edge, the grandmother takes this role and I let the reader see that while teens struggle to find their own path, so do adults. Adults have made mistake. They’ve often lost their direction and need help, too. 
  • With The Princess of Las Pulgas, Carlie’s mom has as many problems adjusting to her new lifestyle as Carlie does. I wanted readers to see the two women searching for ways to heal and start a new life. Each do things differently, but both have a difficult time of it. 
  • Double Negative has a teenaged boy who is headed for disaster unless he grabs the lifeline a retired school teacher tosses him. But as this teacher tries to save Hutch, she slowly loses her battle with Alzheimers. The question becomes who will need more help? 
  • Secrets is a story about a young girl who is supposed to keep her baby sister safe and doesn’t. When the child dies, Cleo can’t forgive herself. The older character in this story is Beleza, a high fashion model from the sixties whose secret has driven her into seclusion. When these two come together, they change each others lives dramatically.
3) Why do I write what I do? 

I write contemporary, realistic YA because I used to look for characters in books that I could relate to, someone who floundered around, trying to sort out who they were and where they were going. I went to adult books because when I was a teen there were few books with teen characters as protagonists. Those that did have teens as lead roles, were outdated, and those kids didn’t deal with the same issues I was dealing with. As for writing middle grade, I love to write fantasy adventure stories for that age. And these give me a break from my young adult topics of suicide, loss and abuse. I treat my middle grade stories as my sorbet.


4) How does my writing process work? 
I get ideas from music, or a news article or a conversation. I often tuck these at the back of my head until I hear a character. They pretty much come full born, kind of like Venus from the froth. I see them, their voice is clear and they can be downright bossy unless I start writing their story. The most I do as far as planning is concerned is to write a sentence summary—never more than two sentences. That summary I put in the header, so it appears on each page. I tweak it as I go or I tweak the story so it stays true to that summary. Then I write as long as the words come. When they stop, I take a break or print out and go outside to read what I’ve put down. I don’t always do that right away. I often let the day’s work alone until the next day.  
One thing I’ve found helpful for starting again is to write a sentence or two that describes where I think the story should go next. Sometimes I even list things I want in the next scene. When I come back to the story, I have a place to start.

I’ve tagged DONNA MCDINE to post on May 1. Donna is an award winning author of so many great books for young reader. You must check her out.

42 comments:

  1. Ninja score! Thanks, Lee.
    I went straight to adult books when I was young as well. There wasn't a young adult category back then.
    And today's answer is Diane Wolfe!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I knew this one was Diane. Strangely I had a dream that woke me up telling me that the blogger today would be Diane. This is getting creepy--now I'm dreaming this. Am I really awake now? Am I answering this in a dream?

    New tried writing YA. I started writing a children's book but never finished. Yes, that's the unfinished story of my life--lot's of projects on the shelf.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good! I love dreams that predict. I'd like to finish up a few more projects that are collecting dust, too!

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  3. Love the image! "Pardon my process..." *snort*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That guy pretty much summed up how I go at writing.

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  4. Congrats to Alex!

    I'm so excited to hear of The Great Time Lock Disaster. I bet it's great! I can't imagine working on more than one project at a time. I'm amazed you worked on three. Secrets sounds touching and mysterious. I hope you get an agent or publisher out of these! :)

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes. That next step. I'd almost forgotten that just because I'm done writing, I'm not done at all. :-)

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  5. Diane Wolfe is the spunky blogger of the day. I love that you use your Middle Grade as your sorbet, cute. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I do get tired of angst and middle grade has none of it.

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  6. I write middle grade for the same reason (even though, as of now, I don't write YA). :-)

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    1. I love this comment. It's very much like a writer. :-)

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  7. I love hearing about others' writing processes. And I definitely agree about not reading YA as a young adult. It's definitely improved, but I think there is still so much room for growth in this genre. It's such an important age for readers!

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    Replies
    1. I really agree with you, Mere! I think we've only begun to explore writing for this age group.

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  8. I feel like I've walked 1,000 miles to achieve my writing dreams! Congrats to Alex on getting every mystery blogger correct last week. That's amazing.

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    Replies
    1. I know. It's such a long trip. I'm not sure I would have started if I'd known just how long it would be.

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  9. Way to go Alex! And I'm pretty sure you're talking about L. Diane Wolfe.

    Interesting insight into your writing process. I love YA too, grew up on it and used it in the classroom to hook my students. Robert Cormier is my hero, actually. I got to talk to him on the phone a year before he died.

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    Replies
    1. I would have stuttered if I'd been talking to Cormier. He was a brilliant writer!

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  10. LOL - I guess I'm not allowed to guess, am I? Thank you, Lee.

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    Replies
    1. That's the downside of this contest. The honoree can't vote. :-)

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  11. It's Diane! She definitely goes the "Xtra" mile with her tips. :)

    I think it's great to include older characters for your teens to bounce off and show another side to the story. When you're a kid, you think adults have got life sorted, but that's far from the case!

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    Replies
    1. I know. I always thought I'd have it all together when I grew up. Still laughing about that!

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  12. Congrats to Alex! Not surprised he could guess them all.

    And wow! You've been really productive. Awesome you finished the sequel.

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    Replies
    1. The projects kept me busy and I really need to be busy. Let's hope some of that pays off!

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  13. Hey! I knew the blogger. Diane!

    I'm excited to hear you have all those projects brewing, and that you now have a bit of a breather. Lots of fun things happening.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lynda. Great to read your comment.

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  14. Congrats to Alex!

    Great for you for tackling those three projects! Good for you, Lee! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, S.K. Now no projects for a bit.

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  15. L. Diane Wolf! I like the name of your new book. I bet it will be great!

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  16. Go Alex!
    Congrats on finishing the Alligators Overhead sequel!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly. You're doing a bit of writing yourself. Great for you.

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  17. Yay! I finally know one. "Spunk" is the giveaway. L. Diane Wolf.
    And I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to Alligators Overhead because I loved that story. Your writing process is interesting, too. Thanks for giving us a look.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beverly. We just keep plugging along, right?

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  18. I too am looking forward to reading the sequel to Alligators Overhead. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for tagging me!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Donna,

      Great to have your here. Your books are so wonderful.

      Delete
  19. Hey Lee,

    My nightmare is now complete. First comment from the Ninja dude followed by Mr. Alphabet Dude. HELP!!

    Congrats to Alex, I state through gritted teeth.

    The Great Time Lock Disaster. That sounds intriguing. I'm in a Time Lock Disaster. A Time Zone Lock Disaster. Why can't I be in my own Time Zone? Why do I end up eight hours behind myself? Why do I ask so many questions? Why am I so glib? Why is why spelt with a "W" and not a "Y"? Y O Y?

    Spunk on a Stick. I promise to avoid any innuendo with that name.

    Great to see you were "tagged." The blogger authorities do need to keep track of you and make sure you stay within your curfew.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting from the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

    Gary, the cordial co-host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014! and yep, your starstruckest fan with some of the longest darned comments y'all ever did see.

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  20. Love your process, Lee. And can't wait to see those stories in print.

    Yvonne

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    Replies
    1. You've already read them in process. Poor crit partner.

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  21. I love that you get ideas from music. It's often been a launchpad for me as well. I think it opens up our right brains and let's the games begin.

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  22. I love YA contemporary and I like to include an older character who the teen MC bounces off of.

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  23. Hi Lee - yes - when does Alex sleep .. anyone know?!

    Re your books and works - so pleased all are progressing ...

    I think I might even guess X .. she is spunky that's for sure and so full of good info ... Diane sure has some great ideas and thoughts for us all ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  24. Even though I'm late, I know this is L.Diane... filled with spunk!

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