Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ROW80 Check In. Where am I?

ROW80 check-in. Star Date, July 27th, 2011.

We find ourself in a strange, non-writing place. The inhabitants are friendly and the climate temperate. Which only leads to our own inability to put words on much longer can we go on?

This strange place's name? Staycation.
All silliness aside, I had great plans for this staycation 2 weeks of no work and lots of writing time. Yeah, not so much so. As you can see Sunday, when I should have been writing a ROW80 check-in, I was at a Twins game with our youngest. Monday and Tuesday a bit of writing got done, mainly for a contest. Plus, another baseball game, little league semi-finals. They lost :( after rallying back from a 5 run deficit, they were ahead by 1...other team had last ups and they pulled it off.

Plus, I don't know what I was thinking: no work. Ha! No work, except for laundry and vacuuming and dusting and organising and cooking. Not to mention all the stuff that needs to be done, but not enough time like, re-paint porch and basement. Crap.

Enough with the whining.
Even more than new words on the page, I need to nail the outline for my YA steampunk/fantasy.
Brainstorm and notecard outline
Re-write query 
Post on Blog 2x a week not counting ROW80 check-ins

I'm not posting a goal for wordcount this go around. We'll see how I feel on Sunday.
How's everyone else doing?

Monday, July 25, 2011


For week 4 of Gearing up to Get an Agent we're posting the first 200 words of our manuscript...I have started this in so many places, I no longer know what makes sense. Here's the first 200 words of my YA steampunk romance:

I was alone in the attic bedroom. That wasn't entirely true, I had the skitterings of Aurora in the eaves to keep me company. My foster sisters were performing in the production tonight so they would not be along to for another few hours. I hadn't felt well earlier and was excused from my duties as second stage-hand. I didn't act or sing, my foster parents said acting was not my cup of tea -- what they meant was, I had no talent for it. It's not the life for you, they'd say.

It's alright, I didn't care for the theatre, I only cared for the corner of the Mississippi I could see with my distance goggles through my bedroom window. Every moment That could be spared I me eyes were on that bend. One day soon, I would see the AirPirate ship that carried the Captain who was responsible for my parents' death.

If only I knew what I would do after I spied the ship. It's not as if I could call him out for a duel. I might be able to tinker a bomb...but, that was no good, I only wanted vengeance on the Captain not the whole crew.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Okay, okayokayokay. A funny thing happened on my way to Sunday's check-in.

I got a rejection from an editor who had requested my first three chapters from a pitch on twitter-- and it was the second most exciting thing that had happened to me in the world of writing (the first being, the original request that came from the twitter pitch).

A rejection exciting? Yes. It was a long rejection letter telling me, not one, but two people reviewed it. They told me what they liked and why it didn't work for them...yet. They told me what I could do to make it better, and then they told me that although it wasn't right for them now, it didn't mean it never would be.

So, yay!

On to the check-in: feel as if I've been running in place, lots of writing, just not on anything I had planned out. Wrote a horrible query, got lots of lovely feedback from folks here:

Such good advice.

So, I guess I'll have to wait until Sunday to see how I succeeded this week.
Good Luck everyone.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Okay, here it is...I know it needs work -- lots o' work -- just wanted to get it up. Yikes!

Dear Dream Agent's Name,

In a time of gaslit streets how can a young woman hope to avenge her parents' death?

Finding out you're the descendant of Thor is a good start. Having the power to seek out the AirPirate responsible for their deaths is brilliant. Retrieving the legendary hammer from a Mad Genius might be daunting. And learning your almost boyfriend was instrumental in your parents' death might very well be debilitating.

Tess O'Dell has a wonderful opportunity to attend Miss Carmila's School for Exceptional Young People. At the school she copes with discovering her true identity, a best friend and a strong attraction to a mysterious boy; Sebastian St. Camael.

Sebastian has his own problems. Raised by pirates, yet born a true Angel he and his adoptive father are used in a cruel plot causing the deaths of Tess's parents. Unknown to each other by their twisted relationship, Tess and Sebastian meet at school.

Betwixt is a Young Adult Steampunk Romance, set in St. Paul, Minnesota on the Mississippi in 1869. This is my first Young Adult novel.

Thank you for time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Amy Kennedy

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Here's the part before mine

My part is weaving in backstory and my words are: kiss, delve, bruise. Here's to living up to those words! Skol!

I bent lower, and searching his face I kissed him on his bruised cheek. I would have done anything to stay with him, but I had to make it to the cave of the Larva. I stood and backed away from his helpless form.

"I'll not forget this Roddern," I sobbed and ran.

Larva. The name sent chills down my spine even as sweat dripped down my back.

Would the Larva help, or would it lead to more death and pain. Once again, I hated myself for finding the book -- finding it and openening the damn thing. And as if I held it in my hands the stench of eggs rotting filled my nostrils.

I wiped my forehead and looked once again at the map. I'd been running for what seemed like hours, the sun was lower in the sky, I hoped to reach the cave before sunset. What would the cave be like in total darkness. Chills again. A nagging thought, if you had the book, you could right the wrongs...maybe even your father's death. No. Those thoughts were not mine. And I would not delve into memories any longer. Yet there was a strange comfort to them.

And then, there it was. The cave. I could smell the Larva. It reminded me of the book.

For the next installment go to:

ROW80 Check In
So far so good. The weekly goals seem to be working. What is it in me that I almost hate to admit this -- as if the Universe will say, "Oh, look, she thinks it's working...bwahahaha! Let's wreck it!"

Idiotic, I do believe in positive thinking. I do, I do.

Words: 800 -- almost half way to my 7 pages
Edits/Revisions: 1.5 hours, not quite where I wanted to be, but not panic time either.

Feeling good. Gonna stay that way.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Well, it certainly would have been a better (and more harmonic) start to madcap Mondays if I had gotten the blog posted this a.m. But since it felt more like mayhem Monday, I couldn't quite get it done. Dang. So I'll combine my madcap Monday and Tuesday tunes post into one.

It's not what you think, actually I don't know what you think, so maybe it is what you think. My Harmony was an actual place and not a state of being. Although that played an important role as well. Let me begin:

When I was 11 my mom and I started taking yoga classes together, now this was the late 60s when practicing yoga was considered one step away from smoking pot, so for my mom to be so open minded about it and to take me with her was really cool.

The best part for me? Classes were at a place called Harmony, sounds like a commune in Arizona. In reality it was a mansion in Woodbury MN. This place was gorgeous: double front doors, a huge round fountain in the entryway, flagstone steps leading down into the main living room with a two story wall of windows. Two baby grands in one corner and a massive stone fireplace in the other. And that was just one room!

Yoga class was in the basement, and by basement, I mean lower level. There was a level lower than that, it held the volleyball court, of course. Did I tell you this place was awesome? So, yoga yoga yoga. We did the real yoga, the kind  with meditation. I soaked it in. I was 11!

The only thing better than going to class at Harmony, would be living at Harmony...D'oh!
I'll continue my "Harmony" posts on Mondays, but not every Monday, 'cuz, I might have other things to say.

So what about you? Any weird childhood experiences? Tell me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Okay. I've reassessed the situation and have determined I have a problem. Not a huge problem. Just a problem with daily goals.

When my oldest was a toddler and saying no to as many things as she could, her pediatrician told me not to worry about her daily intake of food, instead, look to her weekly consumption.
Oooh. Way less frustration and worry.

Full Circle:
My daily goals keep getting sabotaged, I'm not naming names...alright, by me mostly, still, that's beside the point. Sabotage, that's the point. No, that's not the point. Goals are the point. What can I get done in a week, not necessarily a day.

Daily goals are a good idea with a bad outcome.
Weekly goals are (might be) a better fit.

New Weekly Goals:
4 hours edits and revisions on GONE BLONDE
7 new pages written for BETWIXT


Thursday, July 7, 2011


My Critique Partner reminded me I shouldn't stop my positive thinking when it comes to my writing.

Of course I shouldn't. But I hadn't even realized I was doing it. It's the sneakliest kind of negative thinking -- the accidental negative thought.

You'd think I'd know better. I was served positive thoughts along with my Captain Crunch since I was 5 years old. My mom has been a speaker and writer of positive thinking for a gazillion (count 'em) years this is why it threw me for a proverbial loop that I was yucking up my thoughts with negativity.

I think I know why I was doing it though. It means too much to me. The writing. I was protecting my psyche...I wrote a character who voiced this: What if God had a wicked sense of humor, and only gave you a passion for something you had no talent for?

I actually don't believe God would do that, yet, sometimes, I live it.

So, now I'm going to start on purpose positive thinkingabout my writing -- intentional and specific.

I am a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Thank you.
I make more than enough money to support my family with my writing and I love it. Thank you.
Or maybe I should start with something like this:
I enjoy the whole writing process. Thank you...very much!

I'll update as needed.
So, what trips you up?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

ROW80 Checking In...Hello?

Okay, so, not an auspicious start.

GONE BLONDE: Looked at some things that I wanted to change...thought about changing things. Set it aside.

BETWIXT: Wrote (and by 'wrote' I mean hacked) almost a page.

See what I mean?

I do have a couple blogs written, long hand in notebook at home.

Hope everyone else did better. I have high hopes for this evening.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Round of Words in 80 days!

Hello Jules Verne. Alright, not quite. Yet, still exciting. I'm setting my goals for the next 80 days of writing, and you could too. Here's how: A Round of Words in 80 Days

A challenge that understands I have a life. Thank you!

So, my goals, and I do have them:
Revise GONE BLONDE one hour a day
Write BETWIXT one page a day
Write MY BLOG three days a week (cheating w/ music videos is alowed)

There they are...for now.
I'll post updates and first chapters soon!