Archive for the 'Writing' Category

Another First: Blogging about Books, Publishing, Writing, Etc.

Just put up my first post at my new Cynthia Hughes Literary Consulting blog. Check it out!

Hint: I’m heading to Houston on March 3 for another publishing workshop!

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Back to the Firsts!

Okay, it’s time to get back to the Fab Firsts blog and ramp this up again. The little martinet in me is harping at me to write a huge post recapping everything that’s happened since June. But that’s too much. So in an effort to fake my way back into it, I have a cunning plan: I’ll start writing about my favorite things from 2011!

But first, a quick first: In August, I switched jobs. I’m now the Special Events Manager for Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region in Austin. What’s so firsty about that, you might ask? Well, this is the first job in my adult life that isn’t focused on writing or editing! So far, so good — my first big event was our annual Choice for Generations Dinner with author Anna Quindlen in November. In this crazy year as far as funding goes (the State of Texas cut $474,000 in federal funding for us), the event ended up being the most successful ever, largely because of the amazing fundraising team and event chairs.

Another HUGE first for me is that I have a literary agent for my super-secret humor book project. That’s all I want to say about it for now, other than I’m so excited about the possibilities!

Oh, and I did I mention that those rascally Cavalieristas Consuelo and Violet now have their own blog and Facebook page? Check it out! (On Facebook, search for “Cavalieristas” — they’d LOVE to get a few more wags, er, likes!

Favorites will start up this weekend!

Literary Amuse-Bouche, May 12 Edition

This one speaks for itself, my literary lambs. And I would have MUCH preferred to post a link to the Dallas Morning News, but that story is snagged in subscription-only land. Thus, I revert to The Oregonian:

Faye Kesey, the widow of Oregon author Ken Kesey, married another well-known writer, Larry McMurtry, in McMurtry’s hometown of Archer City, Texas, on April 29, the day of the royal wedding. Faye Kesey is 76. McMurtry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Lonesome Dove” and many other novels, is 74.

Read the full story here.

Literary Amuse-Bouche

My favorite literary tidbits of the day:

  • Virginia Woolf spent seven years on her first novel, The Voyage Out: “By 1912, she had written five drafts of the novel, including two different versions that she worked on simultaneously. Between December 1912 and March 1913, she rewrote the entire novel one more time, almost from scratch, typing 600 pages in two months.” Courtesy of Garrison Keillor’s wonderful Writer’s Almanac.
  • Agatha Christie helped her husband excavate the Nimrud ivories in Iraq — and even cleaned them with her face cream!
  • And finally, let’s finish it off with this masterpiece from The Onion:

NaNoWriMo & Some Unfortunate Advice From Lemony Snicket

Okay, so I hit only 25,000 words during National Novel Writing Month. But at least I’m further along than I was on Oct. 31! Here’s my post at the Writers’ League’s Scribe blog, featuring the distinctively unmotivational pep talk from one Lemony Snicket.

Among the highlights:

“Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well….. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.”

There’s so much more!

#21: NaNoWriMo!

I did it, for the first time ever: I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo)! The idea is to write 50,000 words in the month of November — or 1,677 words per day. My personal goal is to finish the first draft of The Blue Tattoo, my YA fantasy novel. For some reason, I think that sounds about right (or “write,” should I say?!).

I know I can hit that if I count all of my work writing and the Cavalieristas blogging, but can I hit it with my novel? YES, I CAN! And what better way to recover from the mid-term elections than by immersing myself in my own fantasy world for the rest of November!

What’s even more fun is the my niece Sofia has signed up for NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers program! So we’ll be writing together through November. Can’t wait to see what book she’s working on!

My Writing Superhero List

This American Life just reaired a 2001 segment called “Wonder Woman,” about Zora, the girl who wanted to be a real-life superhero. That started me to thinking: What would a writing superhero look like?

Starting at the tender age of 13, Zora started keeping a list of everything she needed to do to become a human superhero by 23. Among the highlights:

  • Martial arts
  • Chemistry
  • Hang Gliding
  • Helicopter and airplane piloting
  • Wilderness survival
  • Evasive driving
  • Demolitions
  • Knife throwing.

Zora lived and breathed by that list for years, and finally completed it right at 23. Then she had to figure out how to incorporate her superhero skills into a career, since there’s not exactly a job for superheroes in the real world (yet). That led Zora to the CIA, which ultimately turned her down, but she settled for the next-best thing: working as a private investigator. (You can listen to the full clip here.)

That little spark has inspired me to draft my list for becoming a writing superhero. And so what if I’ll be a few years beyond 23 when I’m done? It’s never to late to start! I’m starting on my list: Item #1: Sit down and WRITE!!!

Meanwhile, I invite you, dear readers, to  join in the fun and share highlights from your own list



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