Friday, July 16, 2010

A Butterfly, a Job, and an Outline...

First off, look at this butterfly I saw in my front yard! I took this picture on my cell phone and I was pretty impressed with the quality... not going to lie. :-)

I live way, way, way in the boonies of my city in Massachusetts where we don't have cell phone service AT ALL. We're in the middle of the forest, so I come outside often to the chirping of birds and butterflies (and moths, and beetles, and ugly little fly things). So that's why I snapped this!

So, in other news, I finally found a job! My aunt hooked me up with the company she works for and I'll be starting as a temp (just doing filing and what not) sometime next week!

On one hand, I'm excited because I need the money hard core, but on the other hand, I'm kind of worried about "Catching Up to You". I was hoping I could get most of it, if not all of it, done this summer so that I could just worry about editing/revising while at school next semester. But I'll be working from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM... Yeah.

So, I thought I'd finally give in and create an outline for my story. It's something I've never done before, but I figured it would help me keep track of where I want my story to go and ultimately help me get it done faster. I used this method by Rachel Vincent that I found through Ellen Faith. It's super fun and easy and I like the look of it hanging on my wall!

So, there ya have it! I wrote a little over a thousand words yesterday and I'm hoping to get a little bit more than that cranked out today (maybe 2000?) now that I have a clear idea of where I'm going with it. I also hope to finish up my swaps on Inkpop today. So... wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Just posting my first teaser for Teaser Tuesday!

This is a scene from "Catching Up to You" (synopsis in the left sidebar). Here's a quick overview of what happened right before for context: This is a flashback in which Kendall is five and Colt is nine. Colt is convinced you can only prove you're best friends with somebody if you throw one shoe each tied together over  a phone line. He makes Kendall sacrifice a shoe and the following ensues:

     I watched as he made his way up the tree again. He seemed super human, climbing swiftly, barely making a sound. I was less graceful, taking an alternate route, scared that if I touched the same branches as him they’d fall from the weight. I felt a rush run through me as a gush of wind sent the leaves around us flying into the air and fluttering to the ground. Colt was right, the wind was stronger up here. My hair whipped around my face with the breeze.
     “Here’s good,” Colt finally said. He patted the branch he was sitting on, signaling me to come and join him.
     I carefully moved over and straddled the branch. When I was safely perched, I exhaled, not having realized I’d been holding my breath.
     “You’re fine,” he said.
     “I know.” I looked around. It was cool up here. I could see our houses. They looked even closer together from here than they did from up close. I could see beyond our houses too, into the street. Cars zoomed by, unaware of the two kids in the tree.
     I looked over at Colt. Behind his head, our shoes swayed on the phone line slowly.
     “So now we’re really best friends,” Colt said, turning his head to look at the shoes.
     “We weren’t before?” I asked.
     “Well, yeah. But now everyone knows.”
     “No one but us goes in these woods.”
     He shrugged. “Well, now we won’t forget.”
     I wish I could say this was the moment I fell in love with Colt because those words, now that I look back on them, were true to this day. But honestly, I was five, and the weight of those words didn’t really hit me until years later when we’d visit our spot again and again.
Let me know what you think! Any suggestions?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Slow Burn

The one thing that I've always loved about romance when it comes to television is what I like to call the slow burn. The slow burn is when you know that there's a fire but it takes a long time for you to actually see the flames. You see the smoke, and you can smell the burning, but you can't see the flames. And when you apply this to television, you get a winning formula.

I personally love stories where I know that two people are going to end up together but the story focuses on how they get to the point where they finally are together. Those shows that have all the big moments and the little ones as well. The first meeting, the first kiss, the first argument and a whole bunch more firsts. And each one got it's own episode.The Nanny, Boy Meets World, ER, The Office. All shows that utilized the slow burn to their advantage.

The slow burn on television is hard to come by these days. Today, the first kiss is more than often handled in the first couple episodes and then from then on things get pretty stale. At least that's the way I see it. Because who wants to see that? What happened to the Nanny Fine and Maxwell Sheffeilds or the Cory and Topangas? The stories where the two romantic interests didn't fall for each other at first glance. Where they had a good couple seasons of development before they actually went there.

These days, we're bombarded with shows like Gossip Girl, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and Pretty Little Liars. They're all very popular shows and good ones if fast paced is what you're looking for, but I personally can't watch them. A slow burning romance or just a well paced story line is what keeps me coming back for more on a television show. With shows like Gossip Girl (where couples are likely to break up as quickly as they got together), Secret Life (where love at first sight is an incessant plot pusher), and Pretty Little Liars (where good story lines are wasted by being squeezed into one episode), I can't get invested. When everything happens quickly, there's nothing to keep me coming back to see where the characters are going because they're already there by the time an episode ends. That's no fun.

But I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open for the slow burning stories. There is still slow burning television out there, regardless of my rant. There's Bones, The Mentalist, Parks and Recreation, Community, and the likes.

So, what do you think? Do you think that stories are moving too fast these days? Or do you think that's what we need? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catching Up to You

Catching Up to You is the reason I'm starting up this blog. It's the first novel I've ever felt confident enough in to begin the process of trying to get published. Here's a quick synopsis of the book!

The greatest love stories are long and historic.

Next-door neighbors Kendall Marks and Colt Benson have been friends forever and for Colt, being four years Kendall's senior, this has always been good enough.

But Colt is having a bad year. He finds out there may have been something more behind his father leaving his mom than needing some space. He gets arrested and his acceptance to Berklee is revoked as a result. And to make everything worse he finds out his girlfriend, Stacy, is pregnant.

Kendall's life, on the other hand, is peachy. She's chosen to be one of the first test students in the high school's accelerated academics program and boys are actually giving her the time of day for a change.

So when Colt unexpectedly ends up attending the local community college instead of going off to Berklee, he and Kendall become closer than ever. As Colt begins to suspect that Stacy's baby isn't his and his mother may have been misleading him for years, Kendall begins to seem like the only stable force in his life.

Will Colt start to see Kendall as more than a little sister just as Kendall is overcoming her childhood crush?

What do you guys think? Does it sound like a page turner to you? If so, feel free to go and check out the first batch of chapters! I've posted it on a YA site for aspiring writers called Inkpop! Click HERE to read them and be sure to let me know what you think!

A New Author's Home

So, what great author today doesn't have a blog where they lay down their life story and the random musings of each day? None. Except me before today (yes, I like to refer to myself as a great author... hopefully one day others will feel the same way).

I thought it was about time I joined the author's blogosphere. Who knows? I may have some fans out there... and we all know blogging is a great way to keep everyone updated on the latest that's going on in an author's life and how their writing is going!

So I'm doing it! Welcome to Aspirations in Writing, my blog dedicated to chronicling my journey to publication (hopefully). My name is Noelle and I'm an eighteen year old college student currently majoring in who-knows-what. I've wanted to be a writer ever since I read the amazing book "The Truth About Forever" by Sarah Dessen a few years back. That book really showed me how powerful YA writing could be and that I wanted to write YA fiction following in those footsteps!

I hope to emulate, but never overshadow, the likes of Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti and Jenny Han; three amazing YA fictional romance writers. And maybe one day I'll see my books sitting on bookshelves right next to theirs!