Monday, April 28, 2014

Summer on the Short Bus

Lucky me recently got the opportunity to read Bethany Crandell's debut novel, Summer on the Short Bus in exchange for a review. Now, being a writer and all, I understand the hard work that goes into writing a book. The pages are like your children...or your pet if you don't have children...and you want others to love and accept them as much as you do. Because of that, when I review a book I don't like to trash it even if it isn't my favorite. I can always find something in a book that I enjoy. And anyone can tear down a book if they try, right? We see it happen all the time.

Given that, finding praise for Summer on a Short Bus was not a problem in the least. If I was starring this baby, I'd easily give it five!

Here's a little bit about the book:

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

My thoughts:
From beginning to end, this book is the kind of read that had me squirming in my chair, not because it's bad, but because it digs deep, beyond the surface insecurities of a person and gets to what scares us all to the core....what we don't understand. Bethany is able to put it all out on the table, the good and the bad of being different and through it all, find the common ground that makes us all the same. The book touched my heart (yes, I did shed tears), and it hit my funny bone in a laugh out loud kind of way. This book is some kind of special. I highly suggest it, and thank Bethany for writing it in the process!

Want to find out more about Bethany and where to buy Summer on the Short Bus? Go HERE

Have you read, Summer on the Short Bus? If so, what did you think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I Learned During My LOOOOOOOONG Break

It's terribly hard to come back to this blog. I feel many things. Shame for staying away so long, excitement to get in touch with my old writing buddies. I've missed you! And eager to connect with those new writers starting out who are in the same place I was years ago, anxiously searching the web for advice on the next step to take on their writing journey.

I wish I had some major words of wisdom that I was able to pick up while I was on hiatus, but the truth is, I'm still the same person, struggling to learn more about myself, my writing and the industry.

I did, however, learn what works the best for me while revising that I'd love to share with you just in case you didn't already know.


1) Don't move to a different state two times in a year while under a revising deadline. Ever. I'm not kidding.

2) A- Learn to say no. You're a writer so it's okay to turn off the phone and sit on your butt to write. You're not being lazy. You're working.
    B- Don't listen to others when they tell you that writing isn't a job. It's simple. If you're serious about it, it is! If you listen to the naysayers and in so doing disobey rule 2A out of self-inflicted guilt, it won't be.

3) Don't be scared of the delete button. If you're afraid of writing crap, don't save it. Later, if you find it really is as horrible as you thought it might be, use the undo button. That button became my best friend.

4) If you're doing a major scene change it's okay to just get the idea out. Just pound that sucker out on the keyboard. You can always go back and polish it you did after your first draft.

5) If you're not super pumped to revise because you aren't sure the direction you want to go, just start. Those writing juices will kick in and before you know it, you won't want to stop.

6) If you find you're stuck on a paragraph for 4 hours....MOVE ON. You can always go back.

7) Don't crawl into a writing cave for so long that you're scared to come back into the light. Taking time away from social media while revising can be cathartic on many levels. But too long and you miss out on loads of wisdom (not to mention, cheering your writing buddies on in their successes). The writing world is always changing and ever evolving. When you finally decide to come back into the light, you may have to sprint to catch up, and I don't know about you, but I hate running.

Aside from my #1 are you sensing a theme here?


If you're revising, it's for a reason. You're manuscript needs tweaking. Meaning it's not perfect in the state it's in and you are allowed to change things up a bit. Don't be afraid, but always save the original version just in case you're so hopped up on caffeine one night while revising until 4 AM that you end up with pure gibberish. Yes that did happen to me more than once.

That's it folks. Wonderful wisdom imparted...of which I'm sure many of you already know and may have experienced yourself. So tell me about it. What have you had to learn the hard way about revising?