Saturday, August 16, 2014

crazy names

Hello, my name is RuthAnne, and I am addicted to giving my characters crazy names.

Many people have talked to me about this, over the years. My sister. My friend Diego. Mostly just those two, actually. If other people were concerned, they kept their thoughts to themselves.

And now that Diego is offering his thoughts on my manuscript before Pitch Wars, the topic has come up again.

(To be honest, I think my list of crazy names is sort of whimsically perfect, particularly given it's set in Utah. I mean, you've heard some of our names, right? But I might end up changing a few of them, just to be on the safe side.)

What is the craziest name you have ever read in a book? Is there ever a moment where you think, ", this is not working for me"?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I don't know about you all, but normally celebrity deaths don't really upset me. I mean, it's sad, but I didn't know them, right?

For some reason, Robin Williams' death feels really different.

Maybe it's because his movies were such a cultural touchstone within my childhood. Maybe it's because we have this cultural belief that funny people must also be happy people.

I don't know what I want to blog about, other than to say what we already know -- depression is no joke, people. There's no reason why it hits some people and not others and it always needs to be taken seriously.

If you know someone who is depressed, don't try to "cheer them up."

If you suffer with depression, tell somebody. And if that person doesn't take it seriously, tell another person. Keep going until you get the help you need, because it's out there.


Here's a fun video for everyone. We could all use a smile.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pitch Wars Application Bio: Or, The Day I Learned How To Use GIFs

Recently, some Pitch Wars hopefuls started posting "mentee bios." A few other Pitch Wars hopefuls pointed out that, as none of us are mentees yet, that seems a little jinxy.

Here's the thing about Pitch Wars: Most of us ain't getting picked. The statistical reality is that, despite the confidence I have in my story, I will not make it into Pitch Wars. And that's ok, since I will be doing the regular-old querying thing this fall if I don't make it in. Pitch Wars is a great opportunity and I hope I get to take advantage of it, but if not, I will live.

So I am not making a mentee bio.

But here's the OTHER thing: I just learned to use GIFs. So ... obviously I still wanted to do a getting-to-know-me post.

(I mean, seriously, if someone had told me a long time ago that GIFs were this easy to use ... I would have been blogging with GIFs a long time ago.)


So if you've never met me before, welcome to the blog! This is me:

Yes, I put a filter on this. I had to cover my hag lines somehow.
I'm a lawyer and a writer and there are cowboys in my office. (There is a good reason for the cowboys.) When I am at the day job, I usually do my best to have a neutral-to-inquisitive expression on my face. This can be difficult, as I was born with a severe case of RBF. Symptoms of RBF include being frequently misunderstood and an inability to make friends in group settings. If you too were born with RBF, know that you're not alone.

This is my ethos. Most of it came from TV, and I don't feel at all bad about that, because I love TV.

1. If you want to inspire someone, quote Coach Taylor.

It's very simple, always start out with, "Listen to me, son. I'm gonna need you to listen."

2. When you want to burn someone, channel Don Draper's contempt.

3. And when it comes to succeeding at work, lean in like Liz Lemon.

4. When you have to admit you've blown it:

5. And when you want to blow someone's mind with your concept, and then totally fail to deliver in the long-term, just distract everyone with an attractive pirate:

(Spoiler alert: There are no funny Once Upon a Time gifs.)

6. If you find a partner-in-crime, treat them right. Like this:

Don't let it get weird.

Or criminal.

7. And when it comes to telling stories, I think it's always better to err on the side of ...

... than end up with ...

I take my storytelling very seriously.

(Of course, as an attorney, there is no one who makes the bile rise in my throat QUITE like Nancy Grace. But that's neither here nor there.)

8. And if you can't remember anything else about me, just remember this:

Best GIF ever.

August 16th edit: Now that I've officially entered Pitch Wars, I've joined the bloghop. To check out other Pitch Wars hopefuls, check out Dannie Morin's blog here.

First lines

Awhile back, all my Facebook writerly friends were posting the first lines from the first three chapters of their current works-in-progress. Since I am a big-ole-lemming, I am going to do the same--except cheat and do the first line, first two lines, and first three lines.

(Brief foreword: this book is written in multiple POV, which is a decision I really love. Various readers that I all respect have had different opinions on this decision, so I am currently rolling the dice and sticking with it. I guess we will find out if that was an awful idea or not come #PitchWars, amiright?)

First chapter (Jenna)

              I love Elin Angstrom to death, but it pisses me the hell off that she tried to kill herself.

 Second chapter (Ket)

             Not for the first time, I wished that we could just tell Teddy about Elin’s Incident.
             Partly because as one of her oldest friends, he deserved to know. 

Third chapter (Rosie)

The last thing I wanted to do was put on the prom dress hanging on my closet door. But if I didn’t get up and change soon, my step-dad Will was going to pop his head into my room and try to talk about my feelings.
And neither one of us was that great at talking about feelings.

I tag all the other writer folks to do the same -- put the link to your blog post in the comments so I can go check you out!