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My split personality

21 Mar

So, every once in a while I’ll blog here about writing or even post a snippet of my stuff. Well, not anymore. No, I’m still a writer, but I decided since I’m on the verge of querying my first book that it was high time I had a different blog that was all about me, the writer. So this blog shall be all about me, the reader. The two may overlap from time to time but for the post part I’ll be keeping them separate.

If you’d like to pop into the new blog and see what I’m up to in my writing career, I can be found at http://colleenmkie.wordpress.com/

Getting back on track

10 Jan

So, sometimes life kinda kicks you in the ass when you least expect it. I got back into the blogging groove last week and then went and crashed my car. Neither the hubs nor I were seriously injured, but I did hurt my wrists and hands. Flipping a car twice while having a death grip on the steering wheel will do that. So I ended up taking most of last week off to let myself heal. Well, I’m back. Kinda.

I’m going to do a few posts this week, depending on how my wrists and hands feel. But I wanted to let you all know that I’m still here and I have some AMAZING giveaways coming up, including a much sought after ARC of an upcoming YA novel and some signed swag.  I’ll also be weighing in on the Canada Reads debate and choosing which book I think should win.

So stay tuned. There’ll be lots of fun stuff coming up. Oh, and I’ll review some books, too. :)

Negative reviews: the flip side

25 Nov

This post may be a bit rambling and even a tad ranty, but it’s stuff that’s been on my mind a lot lately and it’s put me into a serious funk. I’m probably going to lose followers and friends with this post and I anticipate some backlash in the comment section, but so be it. Everyone is entitled to their say, which is kind of what this post is about.

I’m pretty active on Twitter. I like chatting with friends, updating people on humorous things in my life and keeping up on the book community. But the last little while I’ve been backing away from Twittter, and the book blogging community in general. I guess you could say that I’m growing disillusioned with both.

There’s been some chatter lately about negative reviews and how they should be written. And there has been serious backlash against bloggers who have posted “mean” and “nasty” reviews. Other bloggers have taken it upon themselves to write posts about how negative reviews should be done. Authors are weighing in on the topic of nasty reviews, going as far as saying that aspiring authors who book blog should watch their words, because it could come back to bite them in the ass when trying to get published.

I’ve stayed out of the Twitter debates and talks about this for the most part, but it all leaves a really bad taste in my mouth and an icky feeling in my stomach. To the point that I am pretty sure once I start querying SUPERNORMAL I’m going to stop reviewing books on this blog.

And you know what? That makes me sad. And pisses  me off. My review style for the most part is off the cuff and informal. And the few negative reviews I’ve done? They haven’t been nice. No, I don’t personally attack the author, but yeah, I don’t sugar coat the fact that I didn’t like the book. And I’m snarky about it. After all, it’s my opinion, right? And this is my blog, right? So I should get to express my feelings and opinions over the books I read the way I want to. But it seems that maybe, just maybe, this isn’t the case.

Now, none of the comments about mean reviews have been directed at me (at least not that I know of), but I just don’t like the idea of others thinking that they can dictate how someone should run and write their blog. I don’t like the idea of being policed or censored. It makes my skin itch. And I don’t like the idea that my writing career could be in jeopardy because I didn’t like an author’s book and I expressed my dislike in a way that was seen as being mean.

When I get published (oh, and I will) if someone reviews SUPERNORMAL and says that they got halfway through and then wiped their ass with the rest of it, am I going to be upset? Probably. But you know what? It’s their right to express themselves how they want. I know, I know, it’s easy for me to sit here and say that, right? But it’s how it’s going to be. And if I need to vent and rant? That’s what the hubs, my friends and my writing group are for.

I almost didn’t write this post, because I figure that I’m probably shooting myself in the foot and if any authors read it, my name may go in the little black book of “aspiring authors that write mean reviews”. But this all makes me so sad that I couldn’t stay quiet anymore.

NaNoWha?

21 Nov

Hey, remember back at the beginning of November I was all gun-ho and uber excited for NaNowWriMo?  How I was going to kick its butt? Yeah, so that plan went to Hell pretty fast and I haven’t written a damn thing since November 2nd. Normally this would make me all grouchy and depressed, but I thought I’d take a different approach to my kinda failure and try to figure out the why.

I realized something about myself this month: I am not a multi-tasker when it comes to my writing. See, I was in the middle of editing SUPERNORMAL one last time when I stopped to try to do NaNoWriMo. Actually, I was going to try to do both at the same time. But looks like my brain doesn’t work that way. But I still thought I should be able to do both, so I ended up doing neither. Not good.

I’m chalking this November up to a lesson learned rather than a complete failure and waste of time. I was also sick for most of the month and am still dealing with a bit of a cold and sore back, but I think even if I had been well, my book wouldn’t have gotten written this month. My brain really wants to finish the final edit on SUPERNORMAL before it moves on to anything else. So I’m going to let it have it’s way.

The month of December shall be about friends, family, chocolate, snow, presents and SUPERNORMAL.

It’s going to be a good month, my friends.

November, I hate you

19 Nov

Ah, November, how you have excelled in the suckage department.  A miserable three week cold that’s still hanging on, a pinched nerve in the back and weather that truly shows your multiple personality disorder.

There has been no writing, very little reading and if if wasn’t for The Gilmore Girls I’m sure I would be insane or severely depressed by now.

Thankfully you’re only around for another 11 days. I will try to make the best of it, but I am so looking forward to December.

To all that may have noticed I’ve been AWOL for most of the month, both here and on Twitter, I am still alive and kinda well. I’m taking the weekend to regroup and will be back to regular scheduled programming Monday.

A slight change in plans

4 Oct

So a couple of days ago I mentioned that I had decided to go ahead and sign up for next month’s NaNoWriMo  and that I had a book idea that’s been percolating for a bit and that I was going to go ahead and finally get it down on paper. Well, part of that is true. I am going to do NaNoWriMo. But I’m going to be writing WEIRDO.

I know, I know, I’ve already started writing it and the plan was to get it done this month. But as tends to happen, I’m changing my mind. This month will be all about polishing up SUPERNORMAL. I’ll be doing my final edit and then getting those query letters out. It just makes more sense since it’s almost ready now. That way, I can query SUPERNORMAL while I’m writing WEIRDO.

Look at me being all organized and such.

TBR month wrap-up

2 Oct

Last month a bunch of us got together for TBR month. Basically it was a supportive way of doing a book buying ban. I did pretty darn well until I bought my Kobo – then all bets were off. I bought three ebooks and that was the beginning of my downward spiral. I then went and bought 4 books at our local second hand book store (using a credit I already head). I also had a slew of review books come in that I had requested before September.

I don’t see my massive book purchases at WotS as failure, because from the get-go I said I was only doing it until the 26th.

I also didn’t make it through my last attempt at a book buying ban either. But, I successfully completed a 3 freaking month book buying ban in the past, so I know it can be done.

Between now and January 1st, I’m not going to stress about my huge TBR pile too much. But I see big changes coming in 2011 for sure.

WotS – it’s all about the friends

29 Sep

I’m on Twitter, well,  ALL the time. Not only is it a great way to procrastinate, but I’ve met some really, really nicce people through Twitter. In fact, Amy from Amy Reads ( who I met on Twitter) was one of the gals that headed over to Word on the Street with me.

Before I went I put out a general tweet asking if anyone else was going to be there. I knew I chatted regularly with some folks in the Halifax area and thought it would be fun to meet face to face.  As a result I got to meet 4 of my favorite tweeps.

I’ve met people in real life from online before (Hell, I married one) and it’s always a bit nerve-wracking because you never know if you’re going to hit it off once you actually meet. When we all met up there was some general nervousness at the beginning, but from there it was just like a group of friends hanging out.

It was a super cool experience. Honestly there wasn’t anything weird about it at all. We laughed, we talked, we ate, we drooled over books. We all parted with hugs and promises to try and visit again.

I’m a major introvert – no really, I am – and I don’t often do the group thing. I usually prefer to hand out with one person at a time, and that’s usually the hubs. But my total WotS experience wouldn’t have been half as fun if I had been by myself or with the hubs.

So I say “Yay!” for online friends. You guys rock in a big way.

WotS Pitch the Publisher

27 Sep

Any of you who follow this blog or my Twitter account will know that yesterday I went to Word on the Street in Halifax to pitch a book.  I had never done a pitch before so I was pretty freaking nervous. We left at a ridiculously early hour (5:30) and got there in plenty of times for my nerves to kick in full force. We had about an hour before the pitch started so we decided to grab coffee and head over to the Public Gardens. I grabbed a muffin which was stupid because there was no way in Hell I could eat anything. I had entered that teeth chattering, shivering, panicky nervousness where I was pretty sure I was going to either puke or pass out.

But the world works in mysteriously weird ways and apparently the world realized exactly what I needed at that moment. Ducks.

That’s right, ducks. They were everywhere in the gardens. And there is pretty much nothing that makes me happier or more relaxed than feeding ducks. 20 minutes of illegally feeding the Public Garden ducks and I regained a bit of perspective and wasn’t flat out panicked anymore. I was ready to pitch.

And pitch I did.  I pitched my little dorky heart out. And – they liked it! All three panelists LIKED it.

I was floored. My hope going into the pitch was that one of the three panelists would be like, “Yeah, sounds like you’re on the right track. Keep at it!” But I got so much more than that.

Kristin from Formac Publishing said that it sounded like a great YA book and she saw how she could tie it into what they publish. She loved that it was humourous and edgy. She also loved the tentative title WEIRDO (which I came up with 10 seconds before the pitch.)

Patrick from Nimbus Publishing said it was a marketable idea and that I had obviously research the kind of books the publishers were looking for. He also said it was clear I know the genre and the market and it was the type of YA that they would consider publishing.

Donna from Creative Books Publishing – OMG, Donna wants to read some! I mean, she actually said she’d like to read some of it because it sounded like it fit in perfectly with what they publish. We exchanged business cards after the pitch. I even managed to sound professional and keep the happy giggles to a minimum.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer but was never sure if it was really what I was meant to do. During that pitch, listening to the feedback it dawned on me: this writing thing, here? It’s gonna work.

Banned Book Week guest post

25 Sep

When Cait over at Escape through the Pages asked me to do a guest post for Banned Book Week I was totally into it. I was going to do a Very Serious Post but then realized that wasn’t really my shtick. So, in typical Colleen form, my post is very much tongue-in-check. Pop over to her blog and give it a read.

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