Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Egyptian Revolution--A View From the Inside


I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Ahmed, a writer from Cairo, Egypt, who has lived through this amazing revolution.

Ahmed, can you give us a feel for who you are?

My name is Ahmed Nader Al-Gretly, I’m twenty years old and I’m a Civil Engineering Student in the British University in Egypt, however, my real passion is to be a writer. I was born in Alexandria –the second largest city in Egypt, and then moved with my family to Cairo when I was four or five years old. I’m currently unemployed but planning to train in few construction companies next summer.

How did living under the previous government affect you personally?

The previous government lasted for thirty years; I was unlucky enough to have been among the living for twenty years of this period. It’s been said that those years witnessed the worst of this government. The lack of freedom—of democracy was the main aspect that affected me. The feeling that I did not have the freedom to say what’s on my mind, that I could be arrested if I questioned the methods of the previous government and the fact that the government controlled everything, even the media. Another thing is that they robbed us, and we knew about it.

They stole huge sums of money that could’ve been used to make this country a better place. The increasing levels of bribery and sexual harassments, murder and rape, and the hypocrisy of false-democracy. I hated it, I seriously wanted to just get out and leave this ghastly place behind. It was dirty, over populated, heavily polluted, but at the same time, to me it was beautiful. It’s my home. The simple fact that I felt like I could not do anything about it hurt me the most.

What do you think made January 25th different than any other day in the minds of the Egyptian people?

This country was a time-bomb bound to explode at any moment, the series of events in the last year paved the way leading to this revolution. From the torture at police stations, the forging of the parliament elections and the bombing of the Saint’s Church in Alexandria—every little detail built up the resentment, which led to the uproar. It’s a symphony you see, a symphony that took thirty years to be composed, and on the 25th of January, the world witnessed its grand opening.

A new section of Ahmed's interview will post everyday this week. Tomorrow's question: Why didn't people back down this time?
You can follow Ahmed on Twitter @ANaderGretly

Friday, February 25, 2011

Come to Storymakers 2011 Writer's Conference with me!

Storymakers 2011 conference is coming May 6-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah!

Last year was my first year attending, and it was wonderful! I had dinner with Jessica Day George, James Dashner, and David Farland to name a few. I learned so much about how to be a better writer and what’s more, I made friends that are a big part of my life now.

The other day, my daughter and I were looking at books in a store and I pointed to eight different authors who I knew. It is so cool to know that those great stories were written by people who are nice and fun to visit with.

So, here’s the info if you’d like to check it out.

Storymaker's Conference

Storymakers Website

Storymakers Facebook Page

Storymaker’s Blog

It would be more fun to see you there in person, but if you can’t make it, I’ll still report back on the highlights and tips I find there.

BTW, If you register and blog/tweet about it, you can win a seat at the dinner table with Larry Brooks, agent Sarah Crowe, senior editor Marcia Markland, James Dashner, and Becca Stumpf. Details are  here  at the Show Your Love Contest.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Here's the good news I told you about

Here’s the good news I told you about.

I participated in a flash fiction challenge for the Canadian emagazine, Open Book, and won! The rules stated that the story had to be 500 words or less, 3rd person limited, and funny. The winner would be published in the next month’s issue.

My flash fiction, Stroke, might feel a little risqué, but stick with it, and I hope it makes you smile.

You can go directly to Stroke here.

Or you can check out the emagazine, Open Book, here and scroll down to see the January Flash Fiction Challenge Winner.

I find writing comedy to be hard. It seems like it should be easy, but I don't think it is. I'm never quite sure if what I think is funny will tickle other people's funny bone or not. Do you have the same issue or is comedy easy for you?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Good News is Coming!

I received some pretty cool news today. A short story of mine will be published in a magazine! I'll spill the details Monday so be sure to check back.

Quote for the day:
"It is better to shoot for the stars and fall short, than to aim for the manure pile and hit."


Believe in yourself and keep working toward your dreams. You are worth it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Come, young grasshopper, let's be Ninjas!

Editing? You are not alone. My friend, Ali Cross, has declared this month to be Ninja Novel Revising Month.

Many of us bust our butts during NaNoWriMo and enjoy the friendly competition and encouragement…but then what?

First off, congratulate yourself for having written something because "You can't edit a blank page." — Jodi Picoult

I can hear the whining already, I hate editing, wa wa wa. No. Stop it. Editing is the refiner’s fire where you sift impurities and plain old crap out of your writing.

I struggled with editing until my good friend, Renee Miller took the time to go through my first novel with me. A light bulb went off in my brain and I realized that while editing is hard, and sometimes painful, it’s doable and even—dare I say it—fun!

If you don’t know how to edit, spend a few days and research. Highlight all the ly’s, that’s, and just’s in your WIP and stand back as the screen explodes with a case of the unnecessary-word-pox. Watch for was, were, could and all those other sneaky passives.

Most of the time you can find a more active way of saying what needs said. And all that pretty prose, you favorite bits that are beautiful but add nothing to the plot? Put them straight in the crosshairs of your delete button and pull the trigger. Like Stephen King says, sometimes you have to “kill your darlings” to make the book worth reading.

My goal is to finish COLORLESS by the end of March and have it ready for readers.

What’s your goal? Want to be a Ninja too? You can. Check out these other Ninjas.