Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rescue Prince Charming

Somebody needs to rescue Prince Charming.

Well here I come, Charming, armed with words and my righteous indignation.

My husband and I just returned from watching "Maleficent," and while there is an entire post I could devote to the giant missed opportunity that was this film, that's not what I'm here to rant about. I'm taking on a larger issue, here. The problem is that I saw Prince Charming's death coming from a mile away, and as soon as I realized what they were going to do with his true love's kiss, I nearly chucked my box of Raisinettes at the projector. 

Let me clarify: Prince Phillip did not die in this movie. But his importance did.

And his true love's kiss has not been the only one to be pushed aside for more politically correct, palatable types of love. Frozen just did it. Brave did it. The Princess and the Frog did it. And that's just recent Disney. Lots of other books and movies seem to be in love with this idea that its weak for a woman to depend on the love she has for a man. Eat, Pray, Love told women that you should love yourself entirely and completely before you let a man love you. The prevailing message in many books and romantic movies even, is that women shouldn't rely on the love of a man to love themselves. That they don't need a man to feel whole.

But what if you do?

What in the world is wrong with a woman feeling more complete with a man?

I feel like Hollywood and media in general have suddenly become afraid to portray a scenario where a woman is a better person because of her love for a man. It's like they fear if they show that a princess really did need the prince to come and kiss her that they are belittling the princess.

But can't they both need each other equally desperately?

In High School, I had very little self esteem. Don't ask me why, because honest to goodness, I was a cute little thing, and it didn't make a whole lot of sense. But I thought my curves were "fat," and my nose was big, and my eyebrows were ugly...blah blah blah the list goes on. My mother told me every day how beautiful I was. My daddy adored me. I was surrounded by love in great heaps from all kinds of places, but it didn't seem to touch my self esteem--or lack thereof.

Enter Dan.

He waltzed into the lunch room as a transfer student, and the minute I saw that cool swagger he had, I fell head over heels. We were friends at first, and then at the ages of 16 and 17, we fell in love. And I suddenly had all the confidence in the world. This hot guy thought I was pretty? Thought I was smart? Thought I was precious?

It made me feel on top of the world.

Did I need his love to make me a better, happier person?


A thousand times yes! And I still do, many years, a marriage, and three kids later. I need my man. And I'm not afraid to say it. He is a good man who treasures me, and reminds me every single day how beautiful I am inside and out. And you know what? I'm willing to bet there are millions of women and girls who are a lot like me.

I think the problem we have in our world is that bad men lie to good women. They use their woman's need for love and abuse it. They abuse those beautiful women, and we look at that and say, "Why did you rely on him? You're so lovely. You don't need that bad man to tell you that."

I've seen enough abuse first hand to realize how heart-rending it is. I can see why a woman in that situation would need to run away and find herself without someone else telling her how incredible she is. I wouldn't blame them a bit. I would hug them and tell them that indeed, they are so precious and loved, and they do NOT need that man to tell her that for her to know it.

But not every love is like that. Sometimes it really is a fairy tale. Sometimes those people really do make each other better, happier, more confident. Sometimes leaning on a man is a beautiful thing, and because of the ugliness that frightens us so much, we shy away from admitting that relying on a man could be a good thing.

And isn't that what a fairy tale is? A fairy tale is a story about the good love. It's a story about how
magnificent love can be when a woman sees her beauty looking back at her in the glimmer of a man's adoration. It's a story about how he feels fulfilled, confident, and at home in the embrace of the one woman made just for him.

Hollywood--it's okay to write stories about that. Disney--it's okay if the princess really does get saved by Prince Charming. It's okay if his love saves her.

It's nice to see movies about different kinds of love, and I had all the warm fuzzy feels after watching Frozen. The love I have for my sister is something I hold very dear. But I wanted it to be said that fairy tale love isn't going to get old. And maybe some will scoff at it and scorn it, but in the hearts of young girls everywhere, I think we're always going to wish for a love that makes us happy. I don't think that's a bad thing.

Bad men do bad things. But that doesn't mean that love is to blame.

Let Prince Charming give her love's true kiss! Let him be her other half.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Bad News is Good News

But wait. Before we get to the news, I have to show you this thing.

First, we need to give Adam Haviaras a round of cyber applause because he found this for me. He's my History writing buddy, so I guess I'm not totally surprised he came across it. Look at THIS:

I realize this probably looks like the foil from the top of my yogurt cup, but I assure you, it is far cooler. See, the necklace in my book, the lunula, was based off an ancient Greek necklace that was often worn by young women. THIS, right here, is an actual lunula. It was recently found by this guy:

David Spohr. Adam brought this to my attention, and I had to geek out over it. Lunulas are very rare! Especially the magical variety that could end the world. Just saying.

Okay, so now that we've had a moment to geek out together, here's the bad good news for me, personally. I'm leaving Idaho two months early and flying out to Pennsylvania with my kids and my mom. Turns out, our insurance company is terribly stingy, and if I want to treat my persnickity spine, then I've got to do it out there. Which is cool, because I miss Pennsylvania, and I'll enjoy being there.

It's bad because I've got to leave this guy behind:
Just look at that face. I have to be away from that manly guy for 2 months while he finishes school. I'm not going to lie. I'm really bummed out about it. But we don't really have a choice, either, since staying on happy pills--while hilarious and definitely entertaining--isn't a healthy option. I've only got so many brain cells to spare, here.

The reason I mention it at all is to explain any possible absence from my blog for a little bit. I'm not saying I won't post, because I might, but if I don't, then try not to hold it against me. It all depends on the magnitude of chaos. So for now...


Or, you know...physical therapy. It's all the same.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tips for Co-Authoring a Book

While my back heals (or rather, while we wait to see if things have gone Lord of the Flies, and I'll need to introduce utter chaos to my family with back surgery), my mom has taken over all my inglorious mothering tasks to keep my three offspring alive. Fortunately, when she was here last year for the very same reason, we wrote a book together. Ta da! Aren't we crafty? 

In case you are wondering how all that went down, we talked about our experience here. But I also wanted to give some general tips if you had considered doing it yourself. Because really, how hard could it be? Allow me to illuminate:

1.) Use the appropriate writing tool--What we mean here is pick a program that allows you both to write the document without the need to email back and forth all the time. We used Google Documents, and it was perfect. Google Docs lets you edit the same document together in real time. You can make comments, and the person you shared the document with will get email updates when you do, so they know where to find it. This was invaluable for us because sometimes we needed to write together. Or we would go through and edit together on the phone, making changes as needed. I'm not sure what else is out there, but this is free, and its a heck of a lot better than emailing and downloading who knows how many versions of the book in the process of writing it together.

2.) Plan meticulously--My mom is a pantser. If you don't know what that is, it means she likes to write "by the seat of her pants" instead of planning the details. I'm the opposite, and I like to map things out before I go anywhere. We butted heads on that a little bit, but in the end we both realized that detailed planning is essential when you are writing a book with someone else. You have to write down all that back story, the lore, the nefarious reasons for evil deeds, etc. Sometimes when we writers are hammering out a piece, we'll have all these things floating around somewhere in our heads, and they'll come forward when needed. But when you're writing with someone else, all that floating matter needs to be nailed down in a document so your partner knows what's up. Whatever method you use for planning, find it and use it! Use it a lot.

3.) Man up--Yeah, I said it. You gotta grow a pair. Your writing partner will see your work in all its stages, and that includes the parts so bad, you'd have to scrape them off of the bottom of your shoe before disposing of them. And when said partner points out your string of turd words, you're going to have to man up and not get offended. That takes a lot of practice. Or oblivious optimism. Whichever works best for you. Either way, you have to toughen up and take criticisms for the team, because without them, you'll just tell each other how lovely your dog poo is, and then hurl your feces into the face of agents, feelings in tact but writing reputations in doggy bags. That was a lot of poop metaphors. What I'm trying to say is clean up your crap, and don't get churlish about it. Honesty is what will take your work from fun writing exercise to serious novel.

4.) Read it out loud--Even though writing with someone else means you have two sets of eyes, there will still be things you both miss while going through the editing phases. What we found best was the long, and sometime grueling method of reading each chapter out loud over the phone. I would read her chapters, and she would read mine, and we were both able to catch a lot of errors that way. You have to mentally pull up your britches for this part, because it really does suck hearing your work read out loud for the purpose of being nitpicked. But painful as it is, it was necessary and super helpful. Take the time to do that before sending it to beta readers.

5.) Be respectful--I know I just did a whole speech about putting your big girl panties on when it
comes to honesty, but its also important to remember that this is your co-author's soul on paper, too, so try to be kind while you're shoveling the poop. Even though she's my mom and I'm her daughter, I sometimes had a hard time delivering my thoughts kindly, I think. I get that from my Dad. A spoonful of sugar and all that, people.

6.) Compromise--There will be times when your ideas don't jive. You'll want to take it one direction, and your partner will want to go another way. This is where things get really dicey, so I think your choice of writing partner is going to matter the most here. You need to choose someone who has similar (if not identical, preferably) tastes, and can think along the same lines. I know that diversity brings new ideas and all that, but at the same time, you need to come up with a cohesive plot that feels like it was written by one person. My mom and I are quite different, but we still like the same things, generally. So if she came up with an idea I didn't like, I would just try to take that element and tweak it. Same with her. Or I guess sometimes I would just flat out say, "That's interesting, but I'm not sure that's where I want this to go." It's hard, but that's where trust in one's partner comes into play. I don't suggest doing this with a friend, because friends can be offended. It's got to be someone where honesty won't hurt.

7.) Set aside specific times--I'm a busy mom, and my mother had a job, AND we lived in different time zones. So finding the right time was hard, but generally we would set aside 3:00 as writing times, and then if we needed more time that day, we would set aside a time after my kids were in bed. The important thing is that we carved time out to plot and write and edit. It would be even better if I had the luxury of considering this a job, and we professionally sat down somewhere every day to keep it productive and business-like. If you can swing that, totally do it! It will make things go much faster.

8.) Organize--We didn't do this originally, and we kept forgetting important plot points and stuff. Use spreadsheets and documents, make up character profiles with pictures (you'd be amazed how many times we forgot the physical characteristics of people), and even Pinterest. We used Pinterest for research and as a place to gather pictures and materials. I have a little tutorial on using Pinterest as a writer here. However you do it, write everything down, and make it easily accessible between the two of you so you can both get to the information whenever you need it. There's nothing more awkward than writing about a red-headed, green-eyed, gangly youth when he's supposed to be a burly brunette, and getting called out by your partner for total negligence.

9.) If you don't enjoy it, don't do it. If it turns out that this process is agonizing for you or your co-author, please do yourselves a favor. Don't do it! It's supposed to be fun, and fairly smooth as a process. If you're struggling to make it through a plot you don't like, or if you aren't getting along with your partner, it's going to show in the writing. So even if you start and it doesn't work out, that's okay! Nothing ventured nothing gained, you know. But it's a waste of both your time if you keep going with something that you aren't pumped up about.

10.) Symmetry--I needed a tenth something. So here it is. Because ten.

I hope that was a little helpful to you if you are thinking about writing a book with someone else. It's certainly a challenge, but it's dang fun, too!

And hey. You only have to do half the work. What's not to love? If you want to know more about our project Plane Walker, check out our initial introduction of it here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


There's this little saying I heard growing up as a kid: "Don't step on a crack or you'll break your mother's back."

Well, I'm just going to put this out there, but my kids need to lay off the crack. My back is totally busted again. On a trip to the library with my kids, ye olde back decided to crap out, stranding me in the parking lot and forcing my husband to run over a mile to get to us and drive us all home.


So as I lay here waiting for my mother to fly 2000 miles to rescue me again (you can bet we'll be writing another book while she's here), I decided I would share some Auchward writer happenings with you. I don't have anything else to do, except maybe watch kdramas.

First of all, let me tell you a story about me on heavy painkillers. If you think I'm a little nerdy, a little
predictable, and almost painfully average as a stay at home mom, you'd be right. But when I'm on the giggle pills? No, no. I'm Fun Alyssa. Fun Alyssa does things like curse (I don't use curse words normally because I'm Mormon), and talk almost exclusively in puns, and come up with semi-brilliant but still a little on the coo coo side ideas. I send "drunk" messages to people on Facebook, and lot of them are inappropriate jokes I found on the internet while "drunk" surfing.

There was one time when I decided to train for a 5K, and only after my back seized up and nearly killed me as I flew off the treadmill did I realize that people with squishy discs can't run three miles every other day. So that night I needed a giggle pill while I healed. According to my husband, I popped up out of a dead sleep, staggered over to the coat rack, grabbed the keys, and was about to walk out the door barefoot and in my underwear. When he asked me where I was going I said, "I'm going to a hotel because it's loud in here."

I'm not exaggerating when I say that he pushed three different types of furniture and a few heavy books up against the front door to keep me from sneaking off.

Besides all that, I also do this other thing when I'm Fun Alyssa. I go shopping. That's right, I go shopping when I am, essentially, high. One time I bought $70 worth of kids clothing, and didn't remember a bit of it until I got the confirmation email the next day.

Also, I bought these:

 Nerd glasses. Why? I have no idea. I just did. I felt like I needed them to complete ne sais quoi. They cost 10 dollars, and my husband couldn't lift his head from the table for a full two minutes when he saw the billing statement.

There are nerd glasses on my blog, so clearly I needed to own a pair even though my eyesight is perfect. I'll wear them when I write blog posts to channel Fun Alyssa.

Besides my baked purchases, I actually made a very sane purchase not too long ago, and it finally arrived this week. Whenever people find out that I have books published, they always ask at least one (sometimes all) of these three questions:
What kind of book?
What's it about?
Where can I buy it?

Because of that, I decided that I would skip the awkward "elevator pitch" that always sounded like I was selling my own work to my friends, and I would get some business cards made up. Here they are!
 They have a really shortened version of my blurb, my contact info, and where to buy them. It's perfect! I chose to just do Lunula instead of both books because I thought it would be more simple. Besides, odds are if they like Lunula, they'll know there is a sequel and search for Inito anyway.

I haven't gotten the chance to actually hand them out anywhere (see entire above post), but I imagine these will really come in handy. I think I'll ask to leave a few at the library, and maybe have friends and family carry them around for me. Who knows? Maybe it'll help with sales!

Any other authors out there use business cards? Do you have any experience with them? I'm curious to see if they help.

Also, send me a message any time, because I love to talk to other readers/writers/authors. I'll be here. On the couch. And subsequently the computer. For a while...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Personal Post

I feel like, since this is my blog after all, I ought to put up a few personal things. Just so you all don't think I'm some random writing chick with nothing else going on. Being a writer is but a very small part of my very busy life!

First of all, I'm a mom. Take a look at these kids:

Aren't they cute? They take up most of my time. Lilianna is four, Rowan is three, and Rosalie is 19 months. I homeschool the oldest two, and I actually plan on homeschooling them all permanently. I've got a Bachelor's, but I don't work, so I might as well put to to good use giving them a rockin' education.

Also, I'm madly in love with my husband, who was my high school sweetheart. I call him the world's best husband. Don't believe me? He had a day off today, and he woke up early with the kids and let me sleep in, and then while I went grocery shopping he cleaned the house. Then after the kids were in bed he announced that it was "date night" and we watched Korean dramas and ate chex mix. And he does this all the time, people. He's a freaking knight in shining armor, and I don't know how I got so lucky.

Dan will be graduating from school (finally! Huzzah!) in July, and I couldn't be happier. I feel like we've been poor students forever. Oh, wait. We have been.

The best part is that he'll be doing his internship in Oberammergau, Germany. DUDE! It's the coolest thing ever. The not cool thing is that I might not be able to go with him. Flying 3 kids and a wife out there is expensive, and not to mention stressful with finding living accommodations. We're still figuring it out, but either way, my hubby will be chillin out in THIS place:

Lucky dog.

In addition to writing, I also like to do wifely things like crocheting, and sewing, and general crafting. I wasn't into that stuff before I had kids, but since I'm cheap, I discovered that if I just learn how to do something myself, I can save money. Yay for cheap housewifery! (I really made these dolls...created the pattern and everything. I'm flippin amazing.)

 Um, but I hate cooking. It's not that I'm bad at it...I just don't enjoy it. Odd, because I love food.

OH and I have a cat. His name is appropriately nerdy. The only video game I have ever played all the way through, and obsessively love in all its versions is Zelda. So his name is Link.

So there you go. Stuff about me! Like every other human being on the planet, I have a lot of different sides that I don't always get to show off. I thought I'd show you the "mom and wife" side, because honestly, I rather love that part about me. I make cute babies! And I enjoy raising them.

I hope you have a fun weekend, and please remember to comment and share your blogs, too! I love connecting with other bloggers. If you comment or leave your blog, I will definitely go see what you're all about. People are fun.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Talk Nerdy to Me--Nerdy Characters are Hot

Let's talk nerds for a minute.

Hot nerds.

I'm going to take the liberty of making an observation about books, movies, and TV because I feel like it needs to be pointed out. Nerds are totally hot right now.

Don't believe me? I'm serious. I think we're moving away from jock vampires, pretty elves, and prince charmings, and heading right into intellectual smolders and hipster glasses. I think women, at least, are starting to prefer brains over brawn in their characters (or maybe we always have, but it's trending more than usual right now), and men want women who can hold a logical conversation for more than two minutes. 

Let me lay down a few qualifiers here. Now, by nerds I do not mean this:

In case you were confused, that's a porn star dressed LIKE  nerd. 

And I don't mean this, either:

That's prepubescent awkward nerd. No, no, I'm talking about this:

And this:

And this:

These nerds are capable, extraordinary, and most importantly and admittedly shallow, they look good. The sexy nerd (snerd?) can calculate a woman's dress size just by looking at her. He can solve a crime in his sleep, or analyze a dangerous situation with those smoldering eyes of his. And she can save the hero's life by magnetizing his web to repel electrical supervillain attacks. (Holla at ya Gwen Stacy).

I might go so far as to say that a hot nerd might not even need to look like a hunk or a babe. They can even look kind of ordinary and still be molten lava HOT. As an example, take a look at this guy:

He's not bad looking, but he's definitely more ordinary than your typical hero. But I can promise you, this guy is unbearably sexy in "Queen In-Hyun's Man." And it's because he's smart. And calm. And loyal. And it probably doesn't hurt that he can whip out a sword if he really needs to. 

Okay, okay, so you're still a little skeptical. Most of the nerds I have listed so far can also fight like jocks. But I still contend that nerds are sizzling right now, whether they can fight or not. Allow me to convince you.

Bones is brainy and cold (with no ability to fight), and her confidence is incredibly attractive.

Don't try to pretend like you weren't attracted to Hermione Granger. I don't care if you're male or female. She's hot.

You know this guy makes your insides writhe.

Shawn is smart and goofy, but I still melt a little every time he smiles.

It's pretty common in anime, I think. "L" from Deathnote:

 Q from Skyfall was adorably geeky.

Even the superheroes are going geek in their spare time. I already listed Peter Parker. How about these stone cold foxes?


 Clark Kent has always been nerdy, though.

And how about guys from books? Artemis Fowl. I grew up reading those books, and there was something about him that I always found attractive. I'm guessing it was something most women look for--competency.

Mr. Darcy has been around a while, but I think books like Austenland are not only keeping his type well and alive, it's bringing renewed interest while we head further into the trend that smart is sexy.

See what I'm saying? It's trending. And I think we'll keep seeing more and more heroes and heroines who are loved for their brains just as much as they are loved for their other traits. And I'm totally okay with that. I love me a gorgeous cortex.

What do you think?

Are nerds and geeks in the spotlight more often now? Are we glamorizing the brains over brawn? Or do you think that the Herculean hero is still well and alive? I want your thoughts! And if you think of any other character (because I know I didn't get them all) tell me in the comments!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Geeky Monday Moment With Frozen

Good Monday to you!

So here's the deal. I'm sure you have all heard me mention it more than once, but I have kids. Three of them. Their ages are 4, 3, and 1, and so it probably comes as no surprise to you that we've watched Frozen in our home.

A lot.

But it might be a surprise that like 60% of the time I'M the one who chooses the movie. This is because I totally geek out over this movie! I love it. I mean, I love all things Disney princess (don't give me those judgey eyes), but Frozen has awesome songs AND a fun plot. It's a winner.

So in honor of that little geek thing of mine, Frozen is hosting our Geeky Monday Moment. Specifically, it's a picture of white might have happened after the movie. And I live for stuff like this. I guess it falls under the realm of fan fiction, even though I haven't actually ever read a fan fiction (if you have any fan fics to suggest, please do! My trepidation in reading fan fics stems from my obnoxious inability to read anything that isn't professional and very well-written). Little fan fiction pictures like this just make my day though.

What stories in the Geekiverse do you like seeing "after stories" of? Any to suggest for me to look at?

For now, here's Frozen:

Adorable, right?? I'm a sucker for the romance of it all.

Have a very geeky week my friends!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Co-Authoring a Book--Our Experience

Hey there Auchward readers! Today I have a really unique blog post for you on the topic of co-authoring a novel. My co-author (and mother) and I have finished and are currently putting the finishing touches on a Young Adult Supernatural novel. And as much as I want to talk about how this book is going to give you more feels than a Pinterest board filled with pictures of Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch, today I present to you this:

My mom. Also my co-author, and the crafty human who gave me the writing genes. She and I decided that it would be a shame NOT to write a book together, what with our combined literary prowess and DNA-bolstered synergy. We decided the best way to give you a good idea of our experience would be to kind of just...interview ourselves. It's appropriately awkward. Enjoy!

I am in blue.
Mom is in gray.

Planewalker Interview Screenshot.png

So the above conversation pretty much sums up how we worked together as writers. We instant messaged a lot while we collaborated, and the little bit of lag time in an instant message is just enough to highlight how weirdly in sync our minds could be.

Initially when we decided to write a book together we had the luxury of an unfortunate back surgery to assist us.

Yes, you’re welcome. I broke my back, and my mother had to fly out to Idaho to take care of my children and me.

She’s a method writer. She likes to really FEEL the pain of a story. So anyway, her disc exploded and I flew out to make sure no one died while she scheduled surgery and recuperated. No one died. I was successful. And we also got to hash out the details.

You can’t squander a writing opportunity. And initially, Mom came up with this idea. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t 100% on board at first. I was excited by the idea of writing with her, but paranormal is not a genre I would have picked on my own. Fortunately, we’re awesome, and we picked it up pretty quickly.

I would like to point out how excruciating I made the whole planning process. But Alyssa knew that for this collaboration to work we couldn’t just do a chapter-by-chapter approach. So she tortured me with poster board, a whiteboard in the BYU library, and other stuff. There were scraps of paper and crayons. I think our next step was playdough. So I could feel creative.

I still have those poster boards.

We’re actually very different writers, and I think that is what made this work. I like to plan things out, and she likes to go by feel. So if I forced her to lay out a framework, she was able to fill it in with her genius. And she came up with the whole idea of the book to begin with.

She keeps saying that but it was an equal collaboration. Her voice is truly so much fun to read and it’s so fresh. I loved reading her chapters.

Perk of writing with your mother. You get showered with compliments every time you fart (haha! I should correct you but I’m laughing.) out a few words. It’s brilliant. So okay, there were positives because we like each other. What was hard about co-writing a book?

Well, the planning. I’ll just keep repeating that. Finding our way through the story. Actually, it was incredibly easy to write off each other. I especially loved the scenes where you would write Morgan and I would write Jack. I loved not having to figure out what she would say. Because I could never voice her the way you did.

That was really cool. If we had time to write together, the scenes always felt more authentic. Although I will say it took a lot of getting used to because I never had anyone WATCH me write things. That’ll put hair on your writer chest.

That is SO true. There was no comfort zone, really. We’ve seen each other’s work in all the stages, from raw to polished to corny to flat to cheesy to anything in-between. Oh, and don’t forget the dreaded “unintentionally humorous.”

So embarrassing! It definitely toughened me up a little bit. And we wrote in Google+ Documents so that we could both have access to the same document at all times. Thank goodness for that.

We would read each other’s chapters out loud so we could ferret out all the stuff that needed work.

Oh, it was so painful sometimes. Like I’d have to brace myself sometimes before we started reading a chapter out loud. “Please be good, please don’t have something stupid in there…” And this is with my mom, the woman who thinks everything I do should win the Pulitzer. I can’t imagine doing it with someone even more harsh than that. Not that she went easy on me...

There is something about hearing your written prose coming out of someone else’s mouth that is terrifying. For some reason we would always start out with a silly conversation and then put on our serious writer’s hats and jump in. Late Night Alyssa is always the best (Oh Late Night Alyssa is not at all productive. But she is fun). After a bunch of LOL-ing we would start a sentence like, “The night deepened as her grief set in.” Or whatever. That’s not a real sentence, but you get the picture. We wouldn’t even be in the mood, just going in cold. Scary.

I was more harsh, I think. COMMA POLICE. But for real, if you want to measure the readability of your work, have someone else read it out loud.

Speaking of commas, <cough> we definitely complimented each other’s strengths and weakesses. She’s got this great, young, descriptive voice.

In other words, I’m very wordy, and she’s more succinct. So she pared me down a lot, which was very useful. And I helped with her comma phobia. (What is it you have against those little guys anyway?)

We have to use them sparingly. We might run out. So I’m like the exploding action flick and she’s the rom-com. It turned out to be a great combination.

Because both are good in a Young Adult novel, I think. And as well as we seem to get along NO YOU DID NOT just start writing the same thing I was going to.

And there were times when we had heated arguments.


We can’t even put this in order because we wrote it simultaneously, but we both came up with the next line of thought at the same time. We’re not making this up.

We’re really not. So as WE were saying, as well as we get along, there were still lots of arguments. This woman. People, if ever there was one writer obsessed with constantly rewriting things, it is my mother. She was constantly calling or sending me messages like, “I came up with a totally different but still awesome plot!! We need to rewrite EVERYTHING!”

And she would always get really excited and offer to make them immediately (har har!). I just like options. I want to make sure that out of the hundred different paths, we’re on the most epic, awesome one possible. But she would get all angsty, like I had just asked her to clean her room when she wanted to go hang out with her friends or something.

DUDE it was like every other day you wanted to change the integrity of the novel we had already written. It may have, if I’m being honest, been laziness that kept me from accepting every plot change she came up with. But still. We had a few disagreements on that issue, but we worked through it in the end.

I mean, she may not love me enough to clean my dentures when I’m in a nursing home but we made it through. We’re both really stubborn and I’m a little crazy...there must be a better word...I’m uh...a free thinker, fearless, and unafraid of...changing stuff.

You’re crazy.

Fair enough.

So I think this is where we come up with a conclusion to this experience. Go ahead Mom. What’s your conclusion on writing a book with another author?

I would never write a book with another author unless it was my daughter. We’re bizarrely inside each other’s thoughts at times and then completely at odds but at the core of it all is this squishy love that keeps it all together. And it was incredibly fun and rewarding. It’s been one of my favorite life journeys so far!

Go ahead. Top that.

That’s not even fair. I should have gone first. I have to agree that I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else...even my husband. We have a brainwave going on that allowed us to collaborate the way we needed to. I can’t imagine how other co-authors do it, but for us, it was all about having similar taste, but different styles. And that came together even better than I thought it would. Plus all the squishy love stuff too.

Ooh. Well said. You win.

So because this is a blog post, we would be happy to take any questions on what it was like to co-author a book. It was a really rewarding, slightly insane endeavor, but in the end it was completely worth it. Because Plane Walker is legit. Seriously.

Really, that is the best way to describe it. Throw away your useless thesaurus. It’s legit. Good job, honey. You rock.

No, Mom. YOU rock. And I hope that this gave you Auchward readers a glimpse into the experience of co-authoring a book. I'll be doing a part two to this topic, which will be Tips for Co-Authoring a Book. In case you decided you were as nutty as we are and wanted to jump on the dual author train. 

Happy writing!


Geeky Monday Moment--With Some Koreans

I hope you had a relaxing weekend my friends! We had our family vacation this weekend, so I certainly did. There's nothing like Yellowstone National Park to make you chill out and breathe in deeply before getting back to the usual grind. Good stuff.

As for the Geeky Monday Moment, I am now introducing you to another facet of my absolute geekiness. Most nerds/geeks will gladly admit to loving things like Star Wars, Sherlock, Star Trek, LOTR, etc. But here's one I'm betting you the reader probably has not delved into yet. In other words, I've reached a new level of geekdom, I think.

Korean Dramas.

That particular one is Secret Garden, which is my favorite. But there are hundreds (thousands?) of Korean Dramas at my fingertips, and I can't be stopped now. These things are amazing.

First of all, Korean Dramas aren't afraid to be corny. I don't know if its because its in another language and I'm just reading it in subtitles or what, but lines like, "My heart can't beat without you," seem totally normal. And I like it, dang it. They're funny, and touching, and the culture makes it a totally new experience.

Secondly, even though I don't drink, I'd imagine these are like a shot of tequila where American shows are more like drinking several cases of beer over a long period of time. These dramas are only 15-20ish episodes long, and then that's it. One story line, one time, and then its done. It's the experience of reading a book but on the TV.

Third, love doesn't mean sex. THANK YOU DEAR LORD. I get so tired of watching and reading things where the sum total of a couple's love is them having sex. Ya don't HAVE to have sex for us to know you're in love. It's not that kdrama characters don't ever do the deed, but it's not the center of the love story, either. LOVE is the center of the love story. Duh. I appreciate that.

Fourth, Korean Dramas have awesome plot lines that just suck you right in. 

Okay, okay, so fourth and a half...those Korean men are gorgeous. I melt a little every time I see Lee Min Ho.

So now that you've seen me rave like a fan girl, don't judge me too harshly. This is who I am now. I crave ramen and have little Korean phrases floating through my head. It's all part of being a geek.

If you have time, and aren't adverse to becoming addicted to something, Hulu has a ton of them, and Netflix has some as well. And with that, I bid you a good week! May you embrace all your geeky obsessions, and feed your nerdy soul.