Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Time Running Out...

Only two more days to enter to win your free copy of Matthew Kirby's The Clockwork Three. Contest ends at midnight tomorrow. Check Monday for winner. See below for details.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky You: Matthew Kirby's Clockwork Three

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and Irish luck, I'm giving away a free book today that has nothing to do with Ireland:  my friend, Matthew Kirby's  The Clockwork Three.

If you haven't heard of Matt's debut novel, you're missing out on a fantastic middle-grade read. Released in October of last year, Clockwork is a wonderful adventure story with three main characters, three converging plots, an automaton that comes to life, boy-pleasing amounts of danger and - my favorite bit - a magical green violin. Kirby's book defies genre, but manages to weave elements of steampunk, historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery into one thoroughly satisfying, well-crafted book.

My eleven-year-old son's simple review: "One of the best books I ever read." You'll want to read it, too.

Check out the book trailer, if you like. I tried and failed to get the video to work on my blog (not too tech-savvy right here), so click on the purple/red link to watch on YouTube.

To enter to win The Clockwork Three:

1. Become a follower of my blog by clicking on the "follow me" icon to the right. If you already follow, good enough.

2. Leave a comment and let me know you follow and wish to enter the drawing.

3. Do the above by Sunday, March 20 (which also happens to be the Vernal Equinox. Happy spring!).

4. Check back Monday, March 21 for results.

Good luck! Wear green!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Novel Update: Triage Mostly Over

I think I'm finally finished with what Dave Farland calls the "triage" phase of my novel revisions.

You know, the part where you assess what drastic measures you need to save your story's life. The big stuff.

Adding, chopping, sewing things together.

Bloody. Painful. Satisfying.

Now, onto the "shotgun" phase, where I shoot it all to pieces again. Why are Dave's metaphors so messy? I wipe my hands on my pants, hope the casualties aren't too great, and move on.

Only six more phases to go.

Playing High and Dry with Sourdough

Lately I've been playing with dough. It's become a sort of a compulsion. Maybe because I'm tired of driving all the way to som...