Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
*The compositions herein are not to be copied, reproduced, printed, published, posted, displayed, incorporated, stored in or scanned into a retrieval system or database, transmitted, broadcast, bartered or sold, in whole or in part without the prior express written permissions of the sole author Tory Williams. Unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited and is an infringement of National and International Copyright Laws.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Humpday Reads Day!

Hi, everyone!

Given that today is the first Wednesday I've posted, I wanted to change things up a bit by declaring my Wednesday post title as Humpday Reads Day. Let me explain the idea!

Because I love to research and inform others (I'm weird like that), each Wednesday, I will list five young adult books that should be included on your library or bookstore wishlist.

Also, Mrs. Jessica Ross, the wonderfully talented and super cool library director for WCPL (their site is http://www.wcpls.org), will contribute which YA books are circulating well at the county library. (Thanks a million, Jess!)

Perhaps some of you are not big-readers, or find that YA books are not your cup of tea. That's okay, because I'd love to know which genre of books you and your family enjoy reading. Maybe you've just finished the "best-book-ever!" and would like to share what made it such a fascinating read. It's all game on here, no limits or boundaries, just books and reading!

Here are the titles for this weeks' Humpday Reads:
1.) The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks
The story of a teenage girl distraught over her parents' divorce. This novel has been adapted into a movie and is in theaters TODAY, with Miley Cyrus playing the leading young lady.
2.) Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
The highly-anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games is the kind of novel that has you pulling back to take a breath and go, "How did the author think of this?" (if you can stop turning the pages long enough to breathe)
3.) The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams
Taking a story “ripped from the headlines,” Williams looks inside a polygamist cult and the dangers it poses for one girl. Kyra and her father, three mothers, and 20 siblings live in an isolated community under the thumb of a prophet, who controls every aspect of his apostles’ lives.
4.) The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting
“First–time novelist Derting has written a suspenseful mystery and sensual love story that will captivate readers who enjoy authentic high–school settings, snappy dialogue, sweet romance, and heart–stopping drama. A real page–turner, this will have readers checking behind themselves and refusing to go anywhere alone.” (Booklist )
5. Siren, by Tricia Rayburn
This book has yet to hit the bookshelves, but you can preorder it at amazon.com.
Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Maybe something from the reading list will inspire you to stop by the local library or bookstore on your way home from school or work! I hope you have a great Humpday! Tory

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pre-School Story time!

Hey, guys!

I have a couple minutes before I crash for the day, so let me jump on in and say how much I enjoyed taking my kids to the Washington County Public Library for Pre-School Story time today! Mrs. Anita, the children's reading coordinator, did a fabulous job of keeping my youngsters' attention, and maybe next time I'll remember my camera so I can snap a few pics to share with everyone.

Also, I had the opportunity to speak with the library director, Mrs. Jessica Ross (or Jess as most of us locals know the professional, yet down-to-earth young woman). For some reason, I believe Jess sensed my desire for adult conversation, because seconds later I found myself sitting comfortably inside her quaint, glassed-in office, discussing everything from YA books to classic movies (my two favorite things!). Not only did she provide information about upcoming writers' events in our area, but also support and encouragement for what I'm hoping to accomplish with my novel.

Well, I think this highlights my eventfulness for the day (minus the 23 field-trip hats I painted, or the few trips I made to my mom's house in search of milk, spaghetti noodles, and an outfit for church on Sunday)...by all means, she's the best Mom a girl could ask for!

Nite, everyone! Tory

Monday, March 29, 2010

Answered Questions!

Today's post is dedicated to all the overworked, underappreciated, and stressed-out parent or caregiver who's doing their best to make a difference in the life of a child.

As I transported my kids to various places around our rural county (one went to school, one to preschool, one to dance, and the other for a check-up at the doctor's office), I seized the moment of Happy Feet entertaining them en route and thought about what I should write for today's post. Knowing the tranquil moment would only last a few minutes, my brain went in overdrive, conjuring up different topics for discussion. At first, I thought it would be informative to explain the infamous query letter (This is the one-page letter a writer sends to literary agents, summarizing their 400 page novel or other project into three flawless paragraphs.), yet after envisioning my precious query letter buried at the bottom of the slush pile in some renowned agents' office, I decided to stick with something pleasant and answer a few of my friend's questions instead.

1.) What's the title of your book? Just today, one of my dearest friends asked if Head in the Clouds was the title for my book. I was thrilled that she was interested (I'm sure she noticed by the huge grin on my face), yet something held me back; I just couldn't give away the title. Instead, I smiled sheepishly and explained, "No, I used this phrase for my blog title because my dad used to say when I was in grade school that I was too busy with my head in the clouds to notice where I was going." And looking back on my adolescent blunders, even breaking a thumb by running into a tree, I must admit I was very scatterbrained!

2.) What's the book about? This is the hardest question to avoid because for months I've dreamed of being able to share the plot of my book with those I'm closest. But for now, this is what I feel comfortable revealing: My story contains elements of young love, realism, mystery, and the magical bond that siblings share when faced with hardship and uncertainty.

3.) Who encouraged you to write the book? Easy answer: My husband, parents, and best friend, Dana Massey.

4.) How many query letters did you send out? Not enough! I hope to send out the next batch within the week.

5.) Do you plan to write more fiction? You betcha...I've already outlined the sequel for this project, but for now am focusing on acquiring an agent before absorbing myself any deeper.

And that's all I have for tonight. I hope you have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Worth Every Minute!


After attending an Easter Egg hunt with my children today near a beautiful pond in Cullomberg, Alabama (there were even real ducks floating around and a forty-foot rope-swing hanging from a mammoth Oak tree), an idea for my daily post came to mind: My precious little children that dug beneath mounds of pine cones and searched through clumps of sprouting daylilies in hopes of finding the golden egg, were the reason I wrote this book in the first place. They were the force that pushed me to the end, and inspired me to use my creativity like never before.

I love my children, of course, and I'd like to think that every mother out there feels the same way. But I don't love the idea of not being able to provide the things they need in order to live a safe, healthy, and happy life (I'm talking about healthcare, insurance, shelter, education, etc..., and NOT Nintendos, Wii games, and 4-wheelers, although I'm sure my bunch would be thrilled for the latter).

So, for them, I will ease out of the bed at 11:00 P.M. to finish the end of a chapter, or rise before daylight to begin a new one. You see, my rowdy, yet adorable munchkins are worth every minute!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Everyone Has a Story!

I'm sure you've all heard the cliche', "Everyone has a story to tell." Well, if you're like me and barely have time to concentrate on anything other than the safety for yourself, your kids, and the passengers in the vehicle as your speeding down the highway to get to the next appointment that you're already ten minutes late for, then you rarely take time to sit back and think about the person standing next to you.

This brings me to the point of today's blog post. Shortly after I completed the outline for my book, I began to look at people differently. I began to pay close attention to peoples' mannerisms, their choice of words, their attitudes when faced with adversity, and most importantly, their motivation to do something good in their own life and the life of those closest to them. Yes, this may be deep thinking, or summing someone up by their actions, but it's given me a perspective of what a dynamic character should be like in a story. Although my novel is fiction, or based on make believe characters, events, locations, etc..., the characters within my story are very realistic, and endure situations that truly exist in our society today. Therefore, over the course of four months, I used bits and pieces from what I observed on a day-to-day basis and tweaked them enough to create an interesting, yet believable young adult book.

Well, now that I've perked some of your interests, I hope you continue to follow along to learn more tidbits of how I created my story. Maybe this will inspire some of you to sit back and think of what kind of story the person standing next to you is trying to tell. You never know, one day it might come in handy! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 26, 2010

WOW!

First, let me say how much I appreciate those who posted on my first day of blogging. I must admit, I was extremely hesitant to put any of this on the web (yikes! what if an agent never calls, or the books is not as successful as I'd like for it to be). Well, after reading those first few comments, I was certain that I'd made the right decision. I continue to smile at the word, inspired, beneath my posts. After all, that was one of my goals in this endeavor: to inspire others to fulfil their dreams regardless of age, gender, education, etc...

Secondly, there was no greater joy than seeing my eldest daughter, Catie, scan over my blog (of course she was making sure I had not embarrassed her in any way at all), and look up with her coconut eyes and say, "Mom, I'm so proud of you! Now, can I tell my friends what you've been doing for all these months?"

And one last thing before I get to my motherly duties for the day (yes, mounds of laundry, dishes, and pulling out Spring clothes for the younger ones): this adventure may not become anything monetarily, and that's okay, because I have found something inside that has challenged me like never before. I have become a stronger person, and for that, I will cherish this experience always!

Many thanks to those again who checked out the blog and even left a comment. In the next few days, I hope to share links and other resources that guided me through this writing process. Who knows, you may even discover the writer within yourself!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How it all began!

In late September of 2009, I went out on a limb and created an outline for a story that had been brewing inside my head for weeks. I broke the story outline into three main parts: beginning, middle, and end. For a solid hour, I sat on the back porch of our family home, with the children's laughter in the background, and filled five pages of what would eventually become my 100,000 word manuscript. The plot of my young adult novel changed, however, as I dug deep into the main characters heads (yes, of course they are fraternal boy and girl twins). Midway into the book, I tousled with the narrative, pondering if I should use first-person point of view or omniscient third-person. After several phone calls to my mom and dad, who have proof-read and offered invaluable feedback, I realized the person whom told the story was Me. Therefore, I stuck with third-person narrative and continued writing the remaining fifteen chapters. Given that it took four months to complete the book (or better known as my fifth child), I have high hopes that before the end of 2010 a wonderful literary agent will come along and offer representation. So this brings me to today. After equerying a handful of well-researched and sought after literary agents, I pray that one day soon my email inbox will contain the offer I so long to see. I look forward to sharing more of my writing journey with you and best of luck to us all!

Getting my feet wet!

Today is the day that I am officially a blogger, and after several rounds with the profile tutorial, I seem to be getting the hang of it. My goal for this blog is not to bore everyone with tales from the Minus household (although I'm certain some of this will pop-up at times!), but to share my thoughts and opinions with my fellow writers. I can't wait to begin!