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Lisa Jensen's Blog

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Runaways: Frontispiece
Time is one of the most potent of human concepts. Think of all the axioms we've devised to groom and shape the unruly thing into something we can grasp: it flies, it crawls, it marches on. It heals all wounds but waits for no man. It's on our side, it's on our hands, it's of the essence, but where...
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California winter white
    What's with this white Christmas we're all supposed to be dreaming of? The last turkey leg has barely been wrapped in foil and stashed in the fridge before we're bombarded from every radio, TV, and mall loudspeaker with the annual propoganda-winter wonderland, frosty snowmen, sleigh bells and...
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I'd love to hear from the collective Red Room brain trust on this one. As I've recently discovered, a "blook" is a book posted online in serial chapters, like a blog. The idea appeals to me, harking back as it does to the grand old tradition of Dickens and Thackeray, who serialized their...
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During my formative years, way before TiVo or Netflix, we poor, media-starved cave dwellers had to depend on what the television networks dished out for our in-home entertainment. So the once-a-year broadcast of the 1939 classic movie, The Wizard Of Oz, was a colossal family event. By the time I...
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Wow. My little novel just got the review of a lifetime from the fabulous Reading Rocks YA book review site. Here's how it starts: "I am in love with this book." If that were the entire review, I'd still be turning cartwheels (what author wouldn't?), but the reviewer actually goes into...
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Neatly-trimmed pirates of the Caribbean
It can be the best of times or the worst of times for an author- getting a load of your book cover for the first time. Not to get all goopy about it, but it's kind of like waiting to see your new baby's face. You know the child (your book) is healthy, and the delivery is a success; you just pray...
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These days, school administrators despair over the trampy state of girls' fashion—belly-baring, butt-revealing form-hugging jeans, skimpy or see-through tops, provocative piercings in formerly private places. Back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, we were embroiled in a similar...
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    A journalist friend of mine, making the leap into fiction, got some conflicting advice about "voice" in a novel. She asked me what the formula was. If only there was one! In my experience, finding a novel's narrative voice is a mysterious process of intuition, alchemy, trial and error...
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Happy moviegoers
    As a film critic, I believe in the joys of viewing a movie as God intended: on a great big screen, in the dark.     But you wouldn't believe how often I'm corralled by people complaining about bad manners at the movies. The dealbreaker for most people between going out for the community...
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      It's like saying goodbye to an illicit lover. You knew going in that it couldn't last forever, knew you'd have exactly so much time together, and no more. You try to draw it out, postpone the inevitable, but sooner or later, you need that climax more than anything, and then it's all over....
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    It's been nearly six weeks since my ms went winging off to the agent, fueled by a combustible mix of hope, dread, and relief, and slightly more than a month since I started blogging here to take my mind off the inevitable fretting. The old map trick mentioned in a previous blog, shamelessly...
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    A lot of writers here blog about the difficulty of trying to fit their work into a convenient niche. I didn't get the concept of niche marketing at all when I wrote my first novel; I just wrote a book I wanted to read. When prospective agents asked who my target market was, I would say, "...
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"Sex panelists" R Us, HNS Con, 2007
I've been corresponding with a couple of other writers on the art of public speaking. They're both really good at it. Me, not so much. Q & A is not a problem for me. Nor am I daunted by sitting on a panel, trading bon mots (we hope) with other authors. It's those solo flights that get me. The...
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What's the most productive way to behave while waiting to hear back from the agent (or editor) reading your ms?     Call his or her office every day and whine.    Send daily emails asking, "Did you read it yet?"    Fire off a huffy note about all the really important editors (or agents)...
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Writing begets writing, as I wrote in one of my earlier posts. So far, that's kind of worked out for me: I spent a couple of days last week working up a newspaper column from the material in one of my blogs. Then the new Harry Potter movie opened up, and the rest of the week went by in a blur....
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