Monday, March 24, 2014

My First Ebook

In general, I'm pro-reading so if you choose to do it on an ereader rather than with a traditional paper and ink book in your hands, that's your call.
In my own reading, I'm very pro-physical books. I love everything about them, the feel of the paper, the sound of pages, the shift in weight distribution as you pass the half way point. And, yes, the smell. I worked in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library in college and my honors thesis was a descriptive bibliography of Early Modern witchcraft books. It's pretty safe to say that I'm hardcore in love with tangible books and all their splendor.
I had never found my predisposition toward physical books to be a problem until December when my nook-aholic friend Jenny told me that I simply had to read The Art of Falling by Jenny Kaczorowski. Her text said something like: "There is purple hair and Buffy!"
(For those of you who don't know, I'm a rabid Buffy enthusiast and the same Jenny put a streak of purple in my hair back in October.)
Anyway, I was stoked to read this book and flew to Amazon to order it where I realized it was an ebook. I was crushed. I was all hopped up about the story with no way to read it.
I spent a few months following @jennykacz on Twitter and realizing that I really really needed to read this book. So, I downloaded the free Kindle app for my phone, followed swiftly by The Art of Falling.
I devoured the book in a day. It was more than I could have hoped for. I could relate to it on a deep personal level. It had a sweet romance and rock solid friendships. I loved it.
What I did not love was reading it on my phone. I wanted to hold it in my hands. I wanted to slip my finger under the page as I got close to the bottom. I wanted to flip it over on the end table when I got up to get something. I want to have it on my shelf at home. I mean, it wasn't a traumatic experience, and the story was well worth the inconvenience, but I still wish I could have read it as a physical book.
I don't anticipate reading another ebook soon which is a bummer because I'm sure I'm missing out on some great books but I just didn't enjoy the digital reading experience. It makes me wonder what kind of divide society is creating between digital and physical readers when the same selection of books isn't offered to both them. More than how they read, what they read is different.
Anyway, the book was awesome so I consider the whole thing a success. Happy reading!
L.S. Mooney

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I'm so mad that I missed What's Up Wednesday this week, but I'm excusing myself because we had a blizzard/snow day and I totally forgot what day it was.
Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about some recent posts by editors that I've seen around the web. Mostly they've said a lot the same thing, strong, captivating characters and voice. I obsess about choice anyway so I'm not really surprised on that one. And good characters? Duh.
But among "all the same thing" I found a kernel of incredibly helpful, if also obvious, advice. I can't find the post now (curse you internet!), but the basic gist was consistent quality. Beginnings are good because they get workshopped and obsessed over. Endings, mostly the same thing. The stuff in the middle? Not so much. The unique qualities of voice disappear, characters lose their sparkle, and plot gets lost in the convoluted details.
Basically, middles suck. And if your middle sucks it could turn off potential agents and publishers.
Since I'm struggling so much with the middle of G4, this post hit home. Now I'm just more neurotic about it....
What's your favorite part of the story to write?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday #1

A few writerly people I know have started doing WUW so I thought I'd give it a try. Here goes.

WHAT I'M READING: I just finished Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It is a YA Contemp about three very different girls who become even more unlikely friends while spending the summer working in a peach orchard in Georgia. The best part of it for me was the way the friendship just happened between the girls. Anderson nails the uncertain feeling of new friendship.

WHAT I'M WRITING: I'm still working on Draft 1 of Goodbye Good-Goody Girl, aka the musical YA contemp I talk about all the time. I finally have the last two chapters and the very end looking like real words. Don't get excited, I'm missing around 10 chapters in the middle. However, the scenes I have been working on make me happy.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW: I am incredibly inspired right now by the musical cast members I am working with at an inner city arts high school where my sister teaches. The energy and uniqueness that they bring into rehearsal everyday is impressive on many levels. They make me think about creativity and passion. They've also made me really want to write a story that has been bouncing around in my head for years.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: I've been a little crazy. This is Hell Week for my first musical of the season. We've had evening runs all week and we open tomorrow. I'm sleep deprived and a little slap-happy but I am also excited to see them performing on stage. It has been a rough season with lots of snow days and missed rehearsals but the kids are working hard so I have moderate hopes of success.

What's up with you this Wednesday?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Make it Spring!!

It is supposed to be -5 degrees tonight and all I have to say is how incredibly done I am with winter. I've spent the vast majority of this winter in Buffalo, NY where the current snowfall total is 106 inches. Don't get me wrong, I love winter, I love snow, but ughhhh I am so ready to be able to feel my face when I walk outside!

This bone-chilling winter has taken its toll on me. Not only have I been busy with musical day jobs but I have been so cold and tired that I would barely make it home to bundle up in blankets and vegetate on the couch or in bed. I left friendships get buried in the snow and writing was all but forgotten. I wasn't even reading very much. I had bursts of motivation and creativity but overall I was pretty sad and blah. Oh, and cold. Very cold.

With no end in sight to this frigid winter, I finally made the decision to stop being so blah and sad. I grabbed my proverbial shovel and dug my friendships out of the snow and started the thawing process. I picked up my notebook and wrote. I turned the page and read. It wasn't easy but I forced myself to do it and a week later I am incredibly happy that I did.

Now to maintain it.

To reread or not to reread? That is the question.

I don't reread books that often. Sure, I've read the entire Harry Potter series too many times to count and a few others have snuck ...