Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm back!

I have been a terrible blogger!!  Has it really been ten months since my last post?  Yikes!  I see cobwebs everywhere!  Just kidding ...  Anyway, since it's my day off and the rain is coming down in buckets, I thought I'd post (finally!) something. :)

Well, it has been a busy year of writing, SCBWI conferences, and Japanese rock concerts (yah!).  The first bit I'd like to share is the publication of my first short story!  It appeared in this anthology by Shadowline Comics ...

The story is called, The Secret Princess Society.  It's a retelling of a fairytale.  Can anyone guess which one?  :) I collaborated with comic book phenom Whilce Portacio, who illustrated the story.  Here is a little taste ...

It was great fun working with Whilce.  Challenging too, because even though I had creative freedom with the story structure, etc., I had to make sure Whilce's creative vision came through as well.

So what have I been up to since my last post?  Well, I've been working on drafting my second novel.  It's been a slow process for me because I was having a hard time envisioning the entire story.  I'm not a "pantser" (means writes off the seat of his/her pants) so I need to have an outline, even a rough one, to have a general idea of where my story is going.  Sometimes, well, I should say, most of the time, the actual writing takes the story to unexpected places.  I find this fun and exciting but I still need to have something down on paper as a guide.  So after a couple of months of brainstorming and note-taking, I knew my character well enough to know how the story was going to play out.  My goal was to write twenty-five chapters for this first draft and I'm currently at chapter 17, building up to what I hope will be a blood chilling climax.  Once I'm done with this first draft, I'll put the draft aside and work on a couple of short story ideas before I start with the real work, revising the new novel.  Believe it or not, I can't wait! 

I've also spent the past ten months subbing my first novel, Nora's Grave.  I've had a couple of encouraging nibbles from certain agents and an editor.  When I have news, I will definitely share it here. :)

2010 has been my year for Japanese rock!  I've been to four concerts in all, all of them, here in LA.  In June, my daughter and I went to see MIYAVI at the Club Nokia, a totally bad ass guitarist.  His guitar skills are unique and electrifying and he did most of the show with only a drummer!

At the Anime Expo, I got to see SOHPIA in concert at the Nokia Theater.  I had never heard of them until we saw them at the Expo but they did not disappoint!  They're a popular rock band in Japan whose lead singer is also an actor in movies, television and theater.  We actually had the opportunity to see him act in a play at the Expo as well.

Then in September, I saw XJAPAN at the Wiltern with my brother-in-law, my daughter and her friend.  They are a legendary glam-metal band that started the now popular Visual Kei style in Japan.  The crowd was unbelievable!  There were fans from Japan and all over the USA at the concert.  The drummer, Yoshiki, is my daughter's particular favorite.

This month I saw my new favorite band, LUNA SEA.  Talk about icing-on-the-cake!  Not only did I go to the concert (this time with my hubby) but I also had the exciting chance to go to the band's pre-concert Meet-and-Greet!  It was fabulous!  I got to meet the band members, get their autographs and shake hands with them.  I tell you, I was giddy for DAYS!  Anyway, they are also considered a legendary band in Japan and a great influence on many bands that followed.  Their rock is more my speed, more eighties punk/grunge style rock.  My particular favorite member is Sugizo, the lead guitarist.  He is also an accomplished violinist and his solo work is absolutely wonderful.

I've also been knitting a whole lot!  I've made a couple of beanies (yes, more hats).  Below is a picture of my young nephew modeling one I made for him.

Fingerless gloves are my present passion.  I made a pair for each of my critique friends (for warm writing hands!). I learned how to make them on two circular needles instead of using double points (I apologize to all nonknitters out there who have no clue of what these tools are) and found that I can complete a pair much faster that way.  I also found that I can now use up the odds and ends of my stash because it doesn't require much yarn.  I'll have to post a picture next time since I plan to make a pair for each of my nieces. :)

Well, that's all for now folks.  Till next time ...

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