Bridget Books

Fleet Week NYC 2009

Tonight I was sitting on the bench outside the local 24 hour Laundromat and chit-chatting on the phone with my best friend, Jenna. Maybe her photographic eye rubbed off on me, because I noticed a sailor standing with his sweetheart at the corner, very noticeably in love. He, in his crisp uniform, and she wearing a white satin Marilyn-esque dress, made a very striking couple. I usual pay more attention to the characters in my head than to my fellow city dwellers. However they were so adorable together, I walked over and asked if I could take their picture. I’m not shy, but even for me that’s a stretch. They were very obliging, and waited for me to take a second – less shaky -  shot with my cell phone. And, guess what? Today was their wedding day! Congratulations Melissa & Adam! How smoochie is that?  

Bridget Books

Read Across America

For Dr. Seuss's Birthday on Monday, March 2nd,  I'll be presenting a mini-writing workshop to about 50 middle grade students in New Jersey. I was asked to participate in this Read Across America event, and feel honored to have this opportunity.  Still...it's my first time and of course I'm nervous. I'm usually a pretty decent public speaker, but this is different.

I have lots of interactive exercises, lots of notes, etc. They also (at least according to their teacher ;) want me to read from my published short stories and even from my yet-to-be-published WIP YA novel. Yikes.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome...

:)
Bridget Books

Writing in 2009

There are a few areas in my writing life I'd like to focus on in the new year. I would like to let go of some of the over-thinking that trips me up in finishing my current draft. Every time I knock that critical little editor off my shoulder, he manages to crawl back up to point his bony finger at every trite phrase or tired metaphor I may have written. Of course there's a time for doing this close editorial work, but not until I've freely gotten the story down on the page. Here are a few things I will do to help myself achieve this:

1)     Show up to write each day no matter how I feel.

2)     Start doing morning pages again.

3)     Check in with my writer buddies more regularly (LJ helps!)

4)     Walking/Yoga/Meditation

5)     Reward myself with good books to read.

6)     Keep sense of humor :)

 

Bridget Books

Renovation Time

Last week, edithspage</lj> , missrodeo</lj> and scififanatic</lj>  posted pics and descriptions of their Desk Muses. I wanted join in and share a picture or two of my writing space. However, everything thing I own is stacked to the ceiling in my kitchen. After years of deliberation (okay, budgeting), I finally had some long-awaited home renovations done. I had all the carpets ripped up in my apartment, and had the old wood floors underneath stripped and restored.  A few days later, we had the whole place painted.  While everything is getting set up, here are a few shots of the work-in-progress:

Me and my new floors in the mirror:

 


Don't those shelves look lonely without their books?

240

I'll post pics of my desk once I find it!




Bridget Books

Quotes from The LA SCBWI in 2008

Quotes from The LA SCBWI in 2008

I was motivated by the quotes posted by dlanthomas (and of course all the great reviews posted by other dedicated LJ’rs such as edithspage, missrodeo, marivee, grizzlygirl1, and soniag – thank you, thank you:)

Here are some quotes that inspired me:

“Find joy in the process.” Bruce Coville

“Boil down the conflict, and let everything jump off from there.” Mark Teague

“Writing stopped being a hobby and became a mission.” Lisa Yee

“Think of how an adult would react to a situation and write the opposite.” [for YA]
Rachel Cohn

“Dialogue must be unique to each character. Does it make a difference if you switch lines?” Margaret Peterson Haddix

“The tone of the manuscript, the voice of character, need to be even more captivating than the problems presented.” Julie Strauss-Gabel, on first pages.
  • Current Mood
    touched touched
Bridget Books

I've been tagged!

RULES:
* 1. Post these rules.
* 2. Each tagged person must post 8 things about themself on their journal.
* 3. At the end, you have to choose and tag 3 people
* 4. Go to their pages and send a message saying you tagged them.
* 5. No tag-backs


1.  I LOVE playing "Crash all the Cars" (Uh...it's a made-up game)  on the kitchen floor with my 2&1/2 year old godson, Tristan.

2.  I can float in a pool for hours. Really.

3.  Throughout my writing career, my day jobs have included: delivering Christmas wreaths, working the desk at a tanning salon (I know, I know - SO bad), being a Holter Monitor technician at Mount Sinai Hospital, Legislative Aide in the NYS Assembly, Hotel Concierge, Personal Assistant to the late great Kevyn Aucoin, Translator for Argentine journalist on movie junket interviews, Hotel Desk Manager (and p/t beach bum) in Montauk, NY, Freelance Editor, and Receptionist at a Private Equity Investment Firm.  

4.  I make a delicious panna cotta dessert.

5.  My most embarrassing moment was turning too quickly one day and bumping into a woman in the very posh and subdued lobby of the hotel where I was working. She was wearing open-toe strappy sandals, I was wearing very high platform pumps. And...I knocked her big toenail OFF!  There was blood (hers), tears (both of us) and I still turn red when I think of it!

6.  I have a huge poster from the movie Amelie in my kitchen. It was the first movie my boyfriend Charlie and I ever saw together.  We held hands during the whole movie. 

7. As a teen, I loved staying up all night reading a great book and then crashing on the  beach the next morning.  And yes,  I ended up pretty toasty-frito some days!

8.  I'm having my floors re-finished and my apartment painted later this summer. This means I need to pack up all my worldly possessions (mostly, think books - lots of books) and live out of my suitcase for a week or so!   
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful
Bridget Books

Write-A-Thon 2008

Yesterday was a great day of writing for me. I (along with MissRodeo and bklynwritergirl) participated in the NY Writer’s Coalition 2008 Write-A-Thon. Aaron Zimmerman the NYWC Founder and Executive Director opened with some introductions and information on the organization. Among other creative projects, they provide free writing workshops for unheard New Yorkers, including the homeless, the elderly, and teens at high-risk of gang involvement.

Novelist Colson Whitehead spoke at lunch and was inspiring, charming and very, very funny. You need a good dose of humor to re-fuel for a full day devoted to dancing with the blank page.

There were prompt desks available for anyone who felt stuck during the day, and the opportunity to take a free workshop. I didn’t take part in any class, but was really happy with the progress I made on my little novel-to-be. I guess all that collective creative energy in the room was more than enough for the muse.

Bridget Books

Sarah Dessen Reading

Last night, I went to see Sarah Dessen at Barnes & Noble on 86th Street.  It was her very first NYC reading. What a treat for us New Yorkers!  First of all, there were lots of teens, tweens, writers and other assorted fans. Chairs were full by quarter of seven. By the time she came out to read from the podium, Dessen-ites sat crossed-legged all over the floor. Sarah looked adorable and pregnant.  She introduced her cousins (her "original readers”) who were sitting in the audience. Looking at the crowd, she humbly joked that she brought her relatives just in case no one showed up!

She first read from Just Listen (the seat belt and CD scene where Owen gives Annabel a ride home) - which was very fun.  Then we were given a sneak preview to her next (as yet unfinished) book, Lock & Key due out next year. It was only the second time Sarah read these beginning pages publicly. She apologized in advance that she probably wouldn't read this excerpt as smoothly.  No worries, we were all captivated.  Even when her mike went dead, the room was so silent you could hear her clearly.  Some great opening hooks and a strong narrator voice promise another Dessen winner in the coming year.

In the Q&A portion of the evening, Sarah discussed topics of interest to both readers and writers.  She mentioned how the reoccurring characters in her books started simply as a way to let some concerned readers know that characters from previous books were doing all right.  Then it just grew into a "thing" (a thing most readers seem to appreciate, I might add!)

She also shared some of the challenges with handling slang and technology in her books. It was helpful hearing that such a successful author also has to work at finding the balance between keeping YA books current, and avoiding making them dated too quickly.

Other questions prompted helpful comments about her writing process, (the up's and down's), her inspirations, research, and even the breaks she takes between writing her novels.

Overall, it was a great event - Sarah Dessen was gracious, generous and thoughtful in sharing herself and her work with us.

  • Current Mood
    bouncy bouncy
Bridget Books

Writing Simply

Ever since I was seven, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. My very first book was a pretty straight forward endeavor. Pre-neuroses, perfectionism,and other assorted grown-up emotional goodies, I proceeded full of confidence. I had a love story I needed to tell about Leo the Lion and Clara the Cow. I took my construction paper and folded it carefully into a booklet form, laying out each page of crayon-etched text with the appropriate accompanying illustration. My hand flying, within minutes I had the saga of these two smoochie mammals in front of me, up to and including, the the birth of their adorable half-cub, half-calf babies. What a sense of pure joy and satisfaction I had holding this little book I had created.

My goal today is to get a little closer to that kind of simplicity in my writing. I want to be able to tell a story without worrying about what the "neighbors" think, if I am making sense, or if people will like my book.

It is almost 32 years after that first book, and I would like to remind myself that what matters is that I am first satisfied with my work. The editing process is a separate task. It can only be helpful after I have set the wilder, creative side of my mind free on the page.