Blog Archives

Kip Wilson Rechea: Non-dusty Historicals

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/non-dusty-historicals/
October 18, 2012 at 06:00AM

While I personally love all kinds of historical fiction, I also adore the trend people have recently coined “non-dusty historical fiction.” Sounds exciting, right? Thrilling, even!

But what exactly does “non-dusty historical” mean?

A few examples I think fit this term:

  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (YA, WWII, narrated by Death, possibly my favorite book ever. Read it, read it, read it! Oh, and yeah, here’s what the author signed in my copy when I met him at an SCBWI event in Munich.)

  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (YA, medieval French nuns who are also assassins. Um, hello?)
  • Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen (YA, retelling of Robin Hood by a female member of his gang with one amaaaazing voice.)
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (Adult, Fitzgerald-esque portrayal of a twenty-something girl on the rise in New York with some of the most beautiful writing I’ve read this year)

These books are historical but don’t read like traditional historical. In each of these books, the fiction–the story itself–is what draws the readers in, with its voice, characters, or the thrill of an exciting plot that happens to be set in the past because that’s when it would have happened.

If you’re not convinced that there are historicals out there that offer as much of a thrill ride as some of the exciting sci-fi and dystopian stories out there, read this great post by J. Anderson Coats over on the Corsets and Cutlasses blog–btw a great new blog for historical fiction fans: http://corsetsandcutlasses.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/notonthequiz/

I think you’ll agree that “non-dusty historical” is definitely a thing, and a thing worth reading. Bonus points for suggesting other must read examples.!

Kip Wilson Rechea: Reader Appreciation!

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/reader-appreciation/
September 26, 2012 at 07:06AM

Woot! I’m thrilled that my new writing buddy Kristina Perez passed the Reader Appreciation Award to me for my blog!

Kristina and I met during WriteOnCon, a fabulous (and free!) online conference for writers, and she’s already given me great feedback on my ms and shared the beginning of one of her intriguing mss with me. Maybe even cooler, I loved the fact that she’s jumped out of a plane! (one of the Things on her Seven Things About Me list)

On that note, Seven Not-Previously-Shared Things About Kip:

  1. I haven’t jumped out of a plane, but I took flying lessons for a while. My favorite skill was the touch-and-go, where you come in for a landing and then take off again right away. So fun!
  2. I’ve also driven a tank, flown in a helicopter, and fired some interesting weapons. ***
  3. My parents didn’t allow me to have Barbie dolls. Instead, I had the “Sunshine Family,” complete with hippie van.
  4. My idea of a fun night is to make a meal from a book, like the pommes à l’huile with fresh bread and a tall, cold beer from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and read the scene out loud to unsuspecting diners. 
  5. I would feel very uncomfortable living anywhere that required a car. I have a car, but I like to be able to get around without it.
  6. I didn’t learn to swim or speak Spanish until I was a grown-up, but I do both quite well now.
  7. ***I was in the Army! For reals. It feels like another life, though.

As outlined in the rules for this blog award, I’m now passing it on to 5 other writers whose blogs I adore.

Michelle Mason

Elodie aka @commutinggirl

Angelina Hansen

Shari Green

Bethany Smith

The full Rules of the Game (for those I’ve nominated):

1. Identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you.
2. You must add the reward logo to your blog.
3. Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.
4. You must nominate 5-10 of your favourite bloggers for this award.
5. Inform you nominees that you nominated them.

It’s a cinch, right?

Kip Wilson Rechea: September #Wipmadness Week 4!

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/september-wipmadness-week-4/
September 24, 2012 at 06:52AM

It’s hard to believe we began last week with the midpoint of the month and we’ll close this week with the month’s end. This whole month flew by for me, but I ended up hitting my15K new words goal this past weekend! Since I’m on a roll, I’m going for 6K more this week so I can finish up the month with a nice, even 50K total. How are you all doing on your goals?

No mater how you did, I hope you’re still trying. It’s so motivating for me to see your shining faces here each week. We’ve been discussing what inspires us to work on our WIPs this month, and this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about one more great source of inspiration: you all, my #wipmadness writing buddies.

I can’t tell you how much it means to me to share the joys and challenges of the writing life with you all. I’ve read many of your wonderful manuscripts, cheered for you when you got agents (OK, sometimes screamed for you when you got agents!), and gave or gotten virtual hugs at the bumps on the road. Writing may be very solitary, but I definitely need this support network to motivate me as much as I need my WIP to inspire me on its own. So a huge thank-you to all of you!

And on that note, this week’s prize goes to:

Angelina!

Congratulations! Just let me know which book you want: Circle 9 or The Breakup Bible.

Hope you continue to find all kinds of wonderful inspiration–and writing friends–all around you. And best of luck racing to the finish line this last week of September!

Kip Wilson Rechea: Week 3 of #Wipmadness–Halfway There!

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/week-3-wipmadness-halfway/
September 17, 2012 at 07:06AM

Welcome to week 3 of September’s #wipmadness! First off, the #wipmadness prize from the lucky Sox cap last week goes to:

Alissa!

Just let me know which of the remaining books you want (The Forest for the Trees, Circle 9, or The Breakup Bible), and I’ll get it off to you this week.

Who else is surprised that we’re starting week 3 already? I personally can’t believe how fast the days go by when I’m drafting. I managed to hit 10K new words on the WIP this month so far, and should be hitting 40K total on the WIP any day now. Even so, my head’s spinning a little at the thought that we’ve just hit the halfway point of the month. Craziness!

Like a manuscript, the middle point of a writing month can potentially get a little droopy–when you’re well past the inspiration of the beginning and far from the other end of the tunnel. At this auspicious point in the month, I thought I’d share something else that keeps me motivated while drafting: WIP-music.

I’m probably one of the only people I know without an iPod! Am I right? Do you all have one? I haven’t felt the need because we have a cool system set up at home. I buy CDs and then my husband rips and compress them into an OGG-Vorbis fomat, which compresses audio files much smaller than the typical .mp3 or .aiff formats, and then he loads them up on our “Squeeze Box” music server that holds our whole collection.

I treated myself earlier this month to the latest CD by Sigur Rós (Valtari), one of my favorite Icelandic bands.

Part of the reason I’ve loved the Icelandic setting of my WIP so much is because of the music that goes along with it. Sigur Rós and múm are two of my favorite bands, and I’ve been playing their albums pretty much every day for a little extra inspiration. I know some people need silence to write, but I often have to work with other people around me (my teeny desk is in our living room), so I’ve found the extra creativity surge from related music to be just the thing I need to help pull me into the WIP.

Anyone other wipsters find inspiration in WIP-related music? What’s on your playlist for your current WIP?

In the meantime, hope you all made some progress last week and that the coming week treats you well, too!

Kip Wilson Rechea: Twofer Tuesday: Novels With Beautiful, Beautiful Writing

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/twofer-tuesday-beautiful/
September 11, 2012 at 12:25PM

I read a lot, and what makes me love a book more than anything else is beautiful writing. I’d be the type of agent (if I were ever an agent, which I wouldn’t be) who’s ask for literary, lyrical novels. The kind of novel that knocks me over with that type of prose is rare, and when I find one, I just want to hold it and savor each delicious word.

Unbelievably, I came across not one but two such novels (both debuts) in the past few weeks and I feel compelled to recommend them: RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles and THE GIRL WITH BORROWED WINGS by Rinsai Rossetti.

RULES OF CIVILITY is a novel for adults, which means that just picking it up was a surprise for me, as I normally don’t even bother with books for adults since there are so many great YA novels on my TBR list. This is only the second book for adults I’ve read this entire year. Yet the first pages pulled me in with its atmospheric details and the writing made me weep with its beauty. There were so many zingers in this book I couldn’t possibly note them all, but I have to share one that sums up the tone of this gorgeous book:

For what was civilization but the intellect’s ascendancy out of the doldrums of necessity (shelter, sustenance and survival) into the ether or the finely superfluous (poetry, handbags and haute cuisine)?

The entire book is this beautiful. The. Entire. Book.

THE GIRL WITH BORROWED WINGS is a likewise gorgeously-written flight that had me sobbing by the end, and again, not so much by the engaging plot and complex characters, but by the beautiful prose. This might be the best-written romantic tension I have ever read, and it goes on and on in the most wonderful and perfectly believable tease. With that in mind, a teaser for you:

But having him beside me, with my father’s itch clawing into my back, my fingers shaky because of what I had just put them through, and things beating to and fro, in one direction then another, inside of me, was already more than I could stand.

Can you even stand waiting for more? I devoured this book in one sitting.

I’m already looking forward to more books from both of these authors and in the meantime, these books have edged their way into my short list of favorite books of all time. It’s been a pretty good month to be a reader. :-) Hope you enjoy them, too!

 

Kip Wilson Rechea: Yippee for Week 2 of September #Wipmadness!

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/week-2-september-wipmadness/
September 10, 2012 at 06:04AM

Big cheers for everyone who made it to Week 2 of September #wipmadness and hello to anyone joining us! I hope you’re all feeling proud of the progress you made in Week 1–large or small. To celebrate, I tossed your names in my trusty Sox cap and picked a winner for last week’s book:

Deb Marshall step right up!

Just let me know your address and which book you’d like (Circle Nine, League of Strays, The Breakup Bible, or The Forest for the Trees) and I’ll send it off to you. Everyone else, be sure to comment for your chance to win this week!

Continuing with this month’s theme of WIP love, I thought I’d dive into the world of visual inspiration and tempt you all with some photos from my trip to Iceland that have been inspiring me while drafting my current WIP.

Viking ship replica

Blue Lagoon

Reykjavík

Heading to Laugardalslaug

Geothermal greenhouses

Although I didn’t get to spend as much time in Iceland as I’d like (which means a return trip must be in my future), I love going there in my imagination every day, and images like this help remind me what a haunting place it is.

What kind of visuals motivate you in your current WIP? I’d love to take a look at any links to pinterest boards, artwork, photos, colors, or textures that have been an inspiration! While you’re at it, feel free to share how you’re doing on your #wipmadness goal for the month!

Kip Wilson Rechea: The Next Big Thing

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/the-next-big-thing/
September 08, 2012 at 08:58AM

The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Jaye Robin Brown for tagging me in this fun post! It gives me the chance to talk about the manuscript I’m working on and share that love with some friends. I’m tagging #wipmadness buddies Patrice, JennaWren, and GirlParker!

1. What is the working title of your book? 

Brightest Midnight

2. Where did the idea come from the book?

Ever since visiting Iceland, I’ve wanted to set a book there, so the setting came first. The landscape there is so haunting and natural phenomena so beautiful that I knew what I saw would affect my characters the same way. Plus, I wanted to get them up into the huge sky, complete with its Northern Lights and Midnight Sun.

3. What genre is your book? 

YA futuristic thriller

4. Which actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie? 

Native Icelanders would make the most sense, so probably no one famous. ;-)

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book? 

Seventeen-year-old Lilja joins the Icelandic Sky Patrol Corporation’s internship program to fly the big skyships, but when she discovers their plans to harness Iceland’s geothermal energy as a powerful weapon, she’s not sure whose help to enlist in stopping them—her old boyfriend on land or her new best friend on the ship.

6. Will your book be self-published or repped by an agency? 

I’m currently seeking rep for my completed ms, and I’m looking for someone to rep all my work.

7. How long did it take you to finish your first draft? 

Still going!

8. What other books would you compare yours to in this genre? 

STARTERS by Lissa Price and the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series by Beth Revis (though mine takes place in the stratosphere rather than outer space).

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

See my answer to Question 2 above.

10. What else about your book my pique a reader’s interest?

See my manuscript Love List here!

 

Kip Wilson Rechea: Welcome to Week 1 of September #Wipmadness!

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/welcome-to-sept-wipmadness/
September 03, 2012 at 06:11AM

First off, a quick introduction to any of you in the interwebs not familiar with the glory of #wipmadness. In March of 2011, Denise Jaden kicked off a “March Madness” writing challenge filled with blog hops every day of the month to motivate fellow writers to work on their goals: writing, revising, and even reading. Over on twitter, there was this strange basketball thing going on at the same time, so we had to hunt for a unique hashtag and thus #wipmadness was born.

#Wipmadness was so majorly awesome that other writers started volunteering to host a month-long weekly check-in on their blogs so that the madness could continue. The best part is that it’s never too late to join in. If you’re working on a WIP and could use a little motivation, you have come to the right group!

Like many of the hosts before me, I’m also going to be offering up PRIZES for lucky commenters on the blog this month. I’ve got four awesome books to share (three YA novels and one on craft) and will send one out each week.

If that’s not enough, we’ll be chatting here this month about the things that make us love our projects! *hugs project* Last week, YA Highway asked about our project’s Love List, and I thoroughly enjoyed coming up with my own list and reading the cool lists that other contributors posted. I’m going to be continuing my draft on that project this month with a goal of 15K new words, and I couldn’t be happier. Who wouldn’t want to spend a month in virtual Iceland?

What about you, Wipsters? Care to share an item or two from your own WIP Love List? Anyone else have specific goals for the month? I’d love to hear them!

 

Kip Wilson Rechea: What I Love About My WIP

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/what-i-love-about-my-wip/
August 22, 2012 at 10:40AM

YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesday this week asked the question: What is your WIP’s Love List?

The idea for this trip came from Stephanie Perkins, who writes down what she loves about a project when she starts. Check out her list for ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.

I absolutely love this idea. It’s easy to forget about the initial love for a project when caught up in the challenge of completing a first draft or slogging through endless revisions. I’m personally still in love with my WIP, a futuristic thriller set in Iceland, so coming up with my list was pretty easy. I’m hugging it close now for that day down the road when our trip together gets tougher.

  • Iceland
  • A tough, sassy heroine with super-short hair
  • Northern Lights and huge, gray sky
  • Sigur Rós, Björk, and múm
  • Very cool character names
  • Betrayal and trust
  • Kisses and almost-kisses
  • Skyships and scoot-racers

I hope I’ll have a lot more cool things to add to my love list as I continue drafting. Can’t wait to see all the other love lists out there!

Kip Wilson Rechea: Twofer Tuesday: MG Novels with a Side of Tissues

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/twofer-tuesday-mg-novels/
August 21, 2012 at 07:50AM

For anyone who missed my last Twofer Tuesday on two great Tudor YA novels, I’ve started up a Twofer Tuesday blog series on two books I’ve read and can’t wait to recommend. Up this week: two Middle Grade novels that had me in tears by the end. Trust me–this is a good thing. I adore a book that makes me cry.

While the vast majority of books I read are YA, I read a good share of MG novels this summer. Without a doubt, my two favorites were FLYING THE DRAGON by Natalie Dias Lorenzi and ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Both of these novels are about the characters fitting in when they find themselves in almost unimaginably difficult situations, and both authors did a remarkable job making us care so much about them that their pain becomes our pain.

In FLYING THE DRAGON, Hiroshi must leave his native Japan behind to move to America with his parents and grandfather, who needs treatment for cancer not available in Japan. But Hiroshi isn’t the only one who has to make sacrifices. His cousin Skye must serve as his interpreter in school and spend her Saturdays in Japanese school instead of soccer practice as she tries to get to know the grandfather Hiroshi’s known his whole life–before it’s too late.

Carley in ONE FOR THE MURPHYS also must leave her home behind after an incident sends her to a hospital and then a foster home–while her mom still recovers in the hospital. As Carley struggles to fit in with her new family and new best friend, she comes to realize how much she loves her new life. At the same time, she must acknowledge her feelings about her less-than-perfect mom–which get all the more complicated as her memories of the incident return.

I’d love to hear about more recommendations for other tissue-worthy MG reads. In the meantime, hope you love these books as much as I did. But keep the tissues handy when you read them!

Kip Wilson Rechea: Twofer Tuesday: Tudor YA Novels

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/twofer-tuesday-tudor-ya-novels/
August 07, 2012 at 11:53AM

Welcome to my new blog series! I’m starting this to introduce some great sets of twofers: two books I’ve read and want to recommend.

I got the idea for this series when I recently finished two great Tudor-themed YA novels: GILT by Katherine Longshore and TRANSCENDENCE by C.J. Omololu. On the one hand, these books couldn’t be more different (details below), but I loved them both for different reasons, so anyone else fascinated with that time period will probably love them, too!

GILT is historical fiction at its best. From the first page, I was pulled into the head of Kitty Tylney, best friend to Catherine Howard, the fifth of the infamous Henry VIII’s wives. The details of life at this time and place, the intrigue of the situation in which she finds herself, the conflicted loyalty she feels–WOW! I had to restrain myself from looking up the facts that formed the basis for this story in Alison Weir’s THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VII until I finished.

TRANSCENDENCE is a great contemporary YA that pulls us into different times and places with likewise vivid details, including recurring visits to the Tower of London in Tudor England. Main character Cole’s swoon-worthy romance with Griffon that spans lifetimes makes this book worthy of a read in itself, but when combined with the intriguing mystery Cole uncovers of a cello rival in her past–and present–I couldn’t pass the pages quickly enough.

Any other great Tudor YA reads out there? I’d love to see some more recommendations to add to my TBR pile!

Kip Wilson Rechea: TIMELESS Giveaway and Interview with D.E. Atwood

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/timeless-giveaway/
July 30, 2012 at 07:49AM

Today I’m interviewing D.E. Atwood, fellow author in the TIMELESS anthology of young adult love stories by Pugalicious Press. Just enter a comment below for a chance to win your own copy!

Q: Congratulations on the publication of your story “In This Moment” in the TIMELESS YA anthology by Pugalicious Press! As a fellow author in the anthology, I know I began to brainstorm ideas as soon as I saw the call for submissions. Did you do the same, or had you already begun working on your story?

A: A friend passed along the call for submissions because she knows I write YA, and she wasn’t sure I had anything already written that might work for it. The answer was, I didn’t, but I really wanted to write for it. “In This Moment” isn’t actually the story I originally intended to write! I knew I wanted to write something crossing fantasy with a GLTBQ love story, and I had actually planned out something entirely different.

The first story I started to write was about a girl growing up on an army base in the 1960s who meets a water nymph in the lake behind the base. But the story, even though I could see it all in my head, wouldn’t flow. Then I woke up with the original first line for Roland’s story ringing in my head: The first time he escapes, he doesn’t know how it happens. And just like that, I had a story with fully formed characters in my head ready to burst onto the page and be written.

Q: No dates are mentioned in your story, but the details–including the doctor from Vienna and his practices–placed the story at the turn of the 20th century to me. I love this time period, and I assume you do, too. Care to share what inspired this particular setting for you?

A: Clockwork automata. The story grew entirely around Roland, I have to admit. I didn’t set out to write steampunk, but I quickly realized that Roland was a boy caught between two things in his life that hid him away from the rest of the world, and I wanted to give him hope on both fronts. I loved the idea of using both magic and steampunk technology to help draw him from his shell. The image of a future Roland, what he might be after the end of the story, was what drove me as I wrote it and helped formulate the world for me.

Q: I love how you threw us right into Roland’s POV and kept the reader turning the pages with all the mysterious aspects of the story. What had happened to him? Would he get well? Would he ever find real love? Did you outline these plot points, or did they develop more organically while writing?

A: I have to admit that outlining is the bane of my existence! I am an organic plotter, and I am a completely character-based writer. My plots are drawn from my characters needs and desires and goals, so making sure I knew exactly who Roland and Will were was the most important thing for me. Once I could put myself into their heads, the story grew from there. I knew what Roland was seeking from the start, but I didn’t know exactly where he had come from, or how he had arrived where he was. It was his conversations with Will that drew that out, so yes, definitely organic development there.

Q: Many books and stories alternate POV, but I found the way you used alternating past/present tense in your story to be an interesting and less-used technique. Did you find that this allowed you more freedom than if you had kept one tense throughout?

A: The tense shift was critical for me. I wanted it to serve multiple purposes. First, it’s a signal to the reader that the world is shifting between the reality (past tense) and Roland’s dreams (present tense). But it’s also about Roland’s point of view, where the dreams are immediate and very real to him, and very in the moment, but his reality is slow and more plodding. I wanted to show that shift in how life feels by changing tenses, so the world slowed down every time it shifted back to reality. I also wanted the distancing effect that seems to come with past tense. One reason present tense is so popular in YA fiction is because it places the reader right there with the character, while past tense sets a barrier of time between the reader and the character’s experience.

Q: Tell us a little more about your writing career. Any other works-in-progress you’re currently writing or revising?

A: In the past I’ve written, and had published, stories for adults under another name, but “In This Moment” is my first YA publication. But YA is where I want to work, writing novels and stories that mix fantasy and GLBTQ characters. I have one novel that needs to be revised, and one for which I’m currently seeking representation. I also have two more that I’m working on outlining. I’m hoping to have the first draft of one of those completed and ready for critique by the end of the year.

Q: What are your favorite YA books of all time?

A: I recently wrote a post about the top three novels that affected me as a teen! The full version is here: http://deatwood.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/the-top-three/. But in list form, the top three are:

RITE OF PASSAGE by Alexei Panshin
CHILDREN OF THE ATOM by Wilmar Shiras
THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER DID RUN SMOOTH by Marilyn Singer

Q: A last question for a Timeless author: if you could time-travel to visit any time and place ever, where and when would you pick?

A: Hah, that’s a loaded question! I love historical time periods for fiction, but I have to admit, much of what I love is the romanticization of those time periods that happens when stories are told. The reality of history is darker and more difficult, and I’m not sure I’d actually be happy in most true historical locations.

But out of them all, my favorite era is probably Elizabethan, if only for Shakespeare. On the other hand, I’d want those story elements of Shakespearean fairy magic as well, unrealistic as that is. I want my history to have some fantasy in it, and if going back in time would get me that, I would love to do so.

Find D.E. Atwood on twitter and her blog.

Timeless is now available as an ebook through amazon and  Barnes & Noble. Love stories that transcend time. From a thousand years ago to the unknown future, Timeless will show how love is timeless. This anthology of love stories contains “The Storyteller’s Daughter” by Gayle C. Krause, “And The Nightingale Sang” by Kip Wilson, “A Light Of Victory” by Jennifer Carson, “The Angel Of The Bastille” by J.R. Sparlin, “Stella’s Hero” by Kristine Carlson Asselin & Ansha Kotyk, “In This Moment” by D. E. Atwood, and “It Lies Beneath” by Magda Knight. Hope you enjoy it!

Interviews with other TIMELESS authors:

http://krisasselin.blogspot.com/2012/07/timeless-interview-with-kip-wilson.html

http://www.anshakotyk.com/blog/2012/07/23/timeless-anthology-kip-wilson-and-the-influence-of-a-poem/

Kip Wilson Rechea: Write Your Passion

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/write-your-passion/
July 02, 2012 at 06:58AM

I recently answered interview questions for an upcoming issue of the NESCBWI newsletter as the Ruth Landers Glass scholarship recipient this year, and I still can’t stop thinking about one of the questions.

I was asked about breaking into the magazine and anthology market, and my response was that targeting submissions–and continuing to submit in spite of the inevitable rejections–helped get my work published.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how true this is.

Magazines

When I first began submitting queries, my acceptance rate was pretty dismal. I really, really, really wanted my work to be published, so I tried many magazines, whenever I thought their submission calls or assigned themes seemed interesting.

Without realizing it consciously, I changed tactics in recent years, submitting queries almost exclusively in my field of expertise (languages). In my mind, I was taking the easy route. These articles would be easier to write, since I have an advanced degree and shelves of reference books in my own house. Having worked in the language software field for years, I’ve dabbled quite a bit in languages I don’t even speak, so I already have some understanding of the difficulties in learning them.

Yet every time I get an acceptance for one of these articles, I do a little jump for joy. Why? I realize now that it’s more than getting them published–it’s because they’re so much fun for me to write. In the end, it’s all about the passion. As an added bonus, my acceptance rate has improved with this change in tactics.

Anthologies

Anthologies are different from magazines because you generally need to write and polish the entire story before submitting it. For me, passion for a piece plays an even larger role with this type of writing.

My first published piece was a story called “First, un Bocata de Calamares” in the SPAIN FROM A BACKPACK anthology. I adore Spain; I love backpacking; I am currently drooling over the thought of a good bocata de calamares. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my piece was accepted and published!

My second piece is about to be published as part of the TIMELESS anthology of YA romance. As soon as I saw the call for submissions for historical YA stories, I knew it was completely up my alley and I threw myself into brainstorming ideas for a piece. In the end, the idea that formed in my head  drew on my passion for German Literature. My story, “And the Nightingale Sang,” is based on a poem by Walther von der Vogelweide, a German troubadour who lived from 1170-1230.

My main character, Elisabeth, is the fictional love interest who inspired “Under der Linden,” a poem von der Vogelweide wrote from a peasant girl’s perspective. As I worked on the story, I spent my free time re-reading his poems and listening to the medieval songs of Hildegard von Bingen to get in the mood of the story. Bliss!

I hope readers of my story will be able to see how much fun it was to write! Writers, do you have any similar stories about writing about your passions? I’d love to hear about them!

Kip Wilson Rechea: Writing or Querying? Try Road-tripping.

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/writing-or-querying-try-road-tripping/

We all know that it’s a good idea to step away from the computer sometimes. But it’s so tempting when it’s right there, isn’t it? Especially when you’ve gotten in the habit of writing or revising every day, or when an agent might be tweeting something relevant. *coughs*

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed to physically step away (farther than across the room from my dear, darling laptop). Luckily for me, the timing was perfect to drive out to Wisconsin with my four-year-old twins to visit family, so we got the little Scion xA all gassed up and ready to go.

One of the best things about a road trip? Road trip food that’s different from what we get at home:

The trip couldn’t have been better. Not just the visit with family, which is always fun and doesn’t happen often enough, but the open road, the freedom, the time to think. (Yes, one can even think with two preschoolers in the back of a Very Small Car, having provided them with books, favorite stuffed animals, and the music of their choice.)

Of course I brought my laptop along (duh), but I used it sparingly. Instead, I read books (when not driving), scribbled outline notes on my next WIP in my notebook, and listened to my own music when it was my turn: Beethoven, Sigur Rós, Utada Hiraku. So peaceful, so free!

Now that I’m back, I’m digging back into drafting, but it sure seems like fun again after stepping away. Highly recommended!

Kip Wilson Rechea: What Book Brings Back Memories?

From: Kip Wilson Rechea
http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/what-book-brings-back-memories/
May 16, 2012 at 08:10AM

From YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday #130:

It takes about 12 hours to read a book, but the book spends a lot more time than that in the home, as a doorstop, a place to hide jewelry, even an old-fashioned petal press.  Is there anything you do with books before/after you’ve read them?

I love the Road Trip question this week, because I’m a chronic book re-reader, so I keep the books I love very close.

But when I really, really love a book, I also buy a copy to give to the person who MUST read said book. So when my now-husband and I moved in together, we wound up with quite a few duplicates. Just one example is NORWEGIAN WOOD, the fantastic love story by one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami.

This book is full of memories of True Love to me, and I still pick it up and re-read the same scene I read back then to my then auditioning-to-be-boyfriend:

So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty-five days a year. 

The scene goes on to describe an act we began to call “strawberry-shortcaking,” whereby a boy brings a girl strawberry shortcake because she asks for it, but when she changes her mind when he arrives with it, and he’s OK with this because he’d do anything for her. The clincher is of course that it must be mutual for it to be True Love, and thus our theory of “mutual strawberry-shortcaking” was born.

And now we have two well-worn copies of Norwegian Wood on our shelf. Not bad, Mr. Murakami.

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