Friday, August 31, 2012

GUTGAA Meet and Greet Questions!

This is my official first GUTGAA Post!  Woo!

Before I get to the ever-important meet-and-greet questions, here are a few random things about me (that are not in the "Who am I?" section):

  • Although I'm currently a grad student at the University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech is my true home (and undergraduate institution)!  I will always and forever be a Hokie!
  • My favorite color is blue
  • I might have seen "The Avengers" at least five times in theaters this summer.
  • I once played R2-D2 in an English class skit.  We were re-enacting "Romeo and Juliet," and when it was my turn to enter a scene (R2 was The Nurse), I glided into the classroom on roller-blades.  
  • I used the theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" to explore different theories/facets of young adult development for a paper in a senior seminar class in college.  It is, by far, the best paper I've ever written :)
Now, for the official GUTGAA questions:

Where do you write?

Right now I'm writing at the dining room table in our apartment (which doubles as a card table - yay grad school!).  Over the summer I wrote a lot in the little cafe area of Barnes and Noble.

Quick, go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left.  What is the first thing you see?

A bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios, because it is breakfast time :)  If I were back in Barnes and Noble, there would probably be a Frappuccinno to my left!

Favorite time to write?

I'd say late afternoon/early evening - that way I've had most of the day to think about what I want to say (although sometimes random ideas end up getting typed out even if I've spent all day thinking).  I've also found that writing is a good way to de-stress from work, so writing that late in the day helps!

Drink of choice while writing?

Hmm definitely any kind of Frappuccino/Starbucks beverage, because I have a coffee problem.  Water is also usually around me at any given time - hydration is a must!

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

I've always loved Sci-fi, and one day I started to think about the show FRINGE (which is a fantastic show, so go watch it!), and played around with some of the concepts they explored.  Fringe science has always been this cool idea because it mixes the paranormal (which I love) with science (which I also love), so I thought it would be neat to explore that a little more.  I also love how the show is very much a family drama, and wanted to bring that same spirit to my story - both to keep it a little grounded, and to honor one of my favorite "little-shows-that-could."  

What's your most valuable writing tip?

I feel like all of the important/sagey sounding tips are already out there on the interwebs, so it's kind of weird to try and throw my two cents in.

Instead, I'll throw in Winston Churchill's two cents (sorry Winston, I'll pay you back one day!).

"Never, never, never give up."

Thursday, August 30, 2012


So, after a few days of trying to figure out how to get that GUTGAA badge to pop up on the side of my blog, I FINALLY figured it out.  You think I'd have mastered this technology thing by now, but sadly, my little brother got the "computer genius" gene.

Anyways, the badge is up, I feel legit, and I'm super excited for the questionnaire-filling-out/blogfest that will start tomorrow!  Here's a link to the festivities, in case you don't want to click on the badge that I just put on the side of my blog (seriously, though, please click on that badge.  You don't know what I just went through to get it there...).

I swear, I'll figure this blog thing out, y'all.  One day I'll be the best blogger ever.  Just wait.

Other life updates: grad school is crazy, my law class taught me that I do not ever want to be a lawyer, I'm still furiously (not angry furious, just determined furious) writing my 2nd WIP, and I've been to Starbucks wayyyyyyyyy too many times this week.


Be on the lookout for my first GUTGAA post tomorrow!  Yay!

Until then, I'm going to figure out how to link my twitter to this thing.  It's my next step in technology domination...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My 2nd WIP

Hello again!

It has been an eventful Tuesday - both in class and at my assitantship - and I finally think that I can post a little bit about my second work in progress! The project that I started as a distraction while querying is turning out to be pretty awesome!

I'm experimenting with multiple POVs, and I think the change of pace is just what I needed!  It's also a sci-fi story, which is a little different to write from my previous fairy-tale fantasy, but I think that keeping it somewhat grounded in the "real world" helps.

So, yeah, we'll see how this goes!  Hopefully I'll have a cooler update soon - so stay tuned!

And get ready for my GUTGAA post on Friday!  Can't wait for it to start up!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gearing up to get an Agent!

Hello again friends!  It's been a crazy first week of school, but I'm finally finding time to blog!

And I am happy to announce that I will be participating in a Blog Hop!  It's called Gearing up to get an Agent, and it looks like it will be a pretty awesome event!

I'll be posting about that once it starts up in September, and hopefully figuring out how to make that badge thing work...

Hopefully I'll have more interesting updates soon :)  Until then, I'm going to test this badge thing out...

Right here...

Deana Barnhart

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Random "time flies" post

Siriusly, y'all, this summer has flown by!  I've been back in Tennessee for almost a month now, and can't believe that classes are going to start again this Wednesday!

On one hand, I'm freaking out (and maybe ready to cry in a corner) because this is my last year of school.


Well, ok, not EVER.  Maybe for like 5-10 years - then I'll probably go back and do that Ph.D. thing.

But for now, I'm about to wrap up my Master's program!  Which means that I'll be jumping on the job-search express soon.  This notion frightens me and makes me want to jump around my apartment - but I'll refrain from that, 'cause I feel like my roommates wouldn't really appreciate it.

And we might lose our security deposit.

So, yeah.

Anyways, just thought I would pop in and record how excited I am for grad school to start again - 'cause I might need to read this post again in October...

If classes/teaching/whatever are about to happen to you, or if you're just super stoked for September (because then we are closer to Fall, and by Fall I mean PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES!!!!) then join me in being excited!

Hope you enjoy the week :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Various WIPs...

As I play the slush pile query game I'm finding interesting ways to cope with the long pauses between responses...

Besides the whole grad school thing (which is most definitely still a big deal - classes start in a week!  AH!), I've been working on a few more stories!

I've already alluded to a new sci-fi story, and I am very excited about it because I'm writing it from two different POVs!  I thought it would be a good challenge, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the process so far!

Also in the pipeline is a ghost story that I'm hoping will be quite frightening - and I think I've found an interesting way to approach it (I've apparently also taken a class in vagueness...).

And, last but not least, there is the sequel to the book that I'm querying.  It's been a lot of fun to visit different worlds with my new stories, but I really am super excited to get back to the fantasy fairy tale world that I've lived in for so long!

More updates to come :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

*flails around uncontrollably*

Ok, so I'm flailing for a few reasons.

Firstly, I've just acquired "The Kill Order" and I am very very very excited to read this prequel!  I also bought the third season of "Community" today and will marathon that in the near future.

But the biggest reason that I'm flailing?


Let me repeat this.



I feel a little behind on the times for not knowing this, but, dudes and dudettes, I'm so excited! Although I'm currently sitting down and typing this, on the inside I'm doing flips like Gabby Douglas at the Olympics!

If you haven't read UNWIND you NEED to go out and buy it ASAP.  You really won't regret it - I promise!

And if you HAVE read UNWIND then welcome to the flailing uncontrollably club.  We have cookies - for when you're done flailing uncontrollably!

So, yeah, that's where I'm at.  I'll hopefully have another post tomorrow, once I've calmed down.

For the moment I'm going to enjoy being overwhelmed (but in a good way!)!

Happy reading (and/or flailing)!!!

UPDATE: I have UNWHOLLY in my possession and will be reading it this weekend.  I am determined to knock it out in a day.

And yes, I am still freaking out :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

As I watch the Olympics and eat a cookie...

...I feel just like an Olympian.

Ok.  Just kidding - I'm not being Sirius or anything.

BUT I do enjoy watching the Olympics and all of the crazy-cool things that these athletes can do (feats that I will certainly never be able to perform, like flips, running 100 meters in like 10 seconds, swimming better than a get the point).

And it's certainly good writing inspiration - if not for the athleticism, then for the people watching and the stories behind some of these athletes.  Every time P&G plays their "Mom" ads or NBC launches into some pre-taped package about Gabby Douglas, my eyes get all watery (and if I'm wearing my glasses, the act of crying is a dangerous, dangerous thing).

So, I would like to officially thank the Olympics for restoring my faith in humanity a little bit at a time.  It's so wonderful to see people of different nationalities come together and compete against each other in a friendly way.  As much as I love to see the US dominate the medal count, it's still awesome to hear about countries getting their first medals *ever* during these Olympics.

I just wish we could hold on to this friendly, competitive spirit all the time, instead of once every couple of years.  I feel like we need more positive things and less of the negative - but, alas, I am not a philosopher or an international affairs expert.

I am merely a grad student with a dream...or two...or three...

I guess I'll just settle for the Olympics until we can figure out that whole world-peace thing.

So you go, world!  Get medals, share your stories, and make me cry.  You've only got a few more days to do this.

Here's a parting question - Did anyone out there know that BMX was an Olympic sport?  I had no idea until about two minutes ago...


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Once More, with Feeling

I've recently gotten a new grad-school friend hooked on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (and soon every other Joss Whedon show out there...bwahaha) and decided that I would watch my all-time favorite Buffy episode tonight, while the Olympics played on in the background.

I've gotta say, it was a pretty stellar choice.  I'd forgotten how much I loved this show.  Like, seriously, y'all.  I'm a Scooby, and I wouldn't want to be anything else (except maybeeeee a Browncoat!).

Watching that episode inspired me to keep working on my new sci-fi story (albeit indirectly since Buffy doesn't delve too far into the sci-fi realm) - and reminded me that if I ever need a little creativity boost, all I have to do is turn to one of my favorite TV shows.  That's the push that I needed tonight, and I'm very grateful that all my favorite Scoobies can keep me company if I ever have a down writing day.

And that, my friends, is something to sing about.

Too legit to quit!

So, exciting times are ahead because I've just joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators!


And I am probably going to the regional conference in mid-September!  It looks like a really fun way to meet fellow writers and learn more about the publishing industry in general, so I'm totally stoked!  I really wish I could be more articulate right now (and sound less like a newbie), but this whole process is just so cool because I really never thought I'd be doing this.

I have a real profile on the SCBWI website and everything.  Time to put my membership to good use :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Singing in the parking garage...

As I was leaving campus today I came to one singularly awesome realization while I was in a parking garage: I was alone.  And this realization led to the most epic thing that I've done for a while: I broke out into song.

Which song?

That would be "Let the Rain," by Sara Bareilles.  I have no idea why that particular song was picked for my parking garage serenade, but I can  tell you that I loved every minute of it.  Between waiting on query responses, getting things ready for the school year, and pondering my impending job search it was really nice to do something so spontaneous.

So this is a post advocating for doing one slightly silly thing every now and then - especially if things seem overwhelming - because, sometimes, it's totally ok to get lost in the moment.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Harry Potter land (or why I'm excited for Spring 2013)

This has nothing to do with writing.  Like, at all.  But as I sit here and watch the Olympics with my roommates, innocently multi-tasking by leafing through CNN articles, an advert for Harry Potter land totally accomplished it's life-long goal of distracting me.

You see, Blog-readers, I have a problem - or maybe it's a fever.

And the only thing that can stop it isn't a cow bell.

It's Universal Studios and their darn Islands of Adventure theme park.

I was there a few years ago, which was regrettably before Harry Potter land opened.  But next March I'm definitely going to right that wrong because I'll get to go to Orlando for a giant Student Affairs job search and conference!

So, until then, I will continue to explore Pottermore, occasionally coordinate my work outfits so that I can properly represent Hufflepuff (who are excellent finders), and practice my British accent.

Harry Potter land won't know what hit it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

100 pageviews! Yay!

So I'm not really sure how the whole "100 page views" thing happened since I don't really walk around with a sign or anything that's like, "Hey you!  Yeah, you with the face!  Check out my blog!"  Mostly because, with my luck, I would shout that at some faceless person, and they would just look in my direction (but not really looking, since they wouldn't have eyes) and then I would probably realize that I was in a nightmare.

Wow.  Apparently I have some deep-hidden anxiety about face-less people.

Anyways, back to celebrating!  I think 100 is quite a respectable number, and I hope that these visitors (which kind of makes them sound like aliens...sorry, y'all) have been somewhat amused by my ramblings.

If you are a visitor (the earth kind, not the ET kind) then welcome!  I do hope you stick around, as I shall attempt to update this blog on a more regular basis!

And now it is time for my novel update :)


In the past two days I've gotten two rejections!  And yes, as you can see by my exclamation point, I'm pretty excited about it!  I'm going to take the weekend to revise my Query Letter and send a few more out early next week!

Limbs crossed that this all works out somehow :)