Kip’s New Website!

The time has come. I’m thrilled to share that I’ve made the big move and switched over to a self-hosted website! Please update your bookmarks and blog subscriptions to my new site: Kip Wilson Writes. Or if you prefer to land directly on the blog, here is a link.

For the curious, the switchover was pretty painless, so I’d definitely recommend it if you’re considering such a move yourself. Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

And in the meantime, have a crêpe.

mothers_day_crepes

 

Full of Sunshine!

A huge thanks to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet for passing on the Sunshine Award to my blog! Rhiann and I met during writeoncon, and I was so glad we did. 🙂 It was wicked cool to recognize the other names of some of my favorite writerly pals on her nomination list, too. *high-fives all around*

On to the eight big questions that go with the award:

1. What is your Favorite Christmas/Festive movie?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I can’t help it. I love this move SO HARD, and I watch it several times a year, even in July or so when I’m missing it. “Let’s be independent together” is one of the best movie lines of all time, imo.

2. What is your Favorite Flower?
Daisies. Love how they are such friendly, unpretentious flowers.

3. What is your Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?
Café con leche. Mmmmmm.

4. What is your Passion?
Writing! With a little reading on the side.

5. What is your Favorite Time of Year?
Early summer, when you can first enjoy those full days outside without freezing. I LOVE having breakfast outside.

6. What is your Favorite Time of Day?
First thing in the morning when everything’s still quiet. I love getting up before the rest of the house.

7. What is your Favorite Physical Activity?
My two faves are swimming and yoga, not so much because of the physical workout, but because of the way they relax the mind, which I reaaaallly need.

8. What is your Favorite Vacation Spot?
As much as I love Spain and Austria from my close connections to both of those, I’d have to say Iceland since it’s so different as well as hauntingly beautiful.

I’m passing the award on to the following full-of-sunshine blogs! Feel free to pick it up after the craziness of NaNoWriMo if you’re NaNoing!

Amanda Foody 

Ansha Kotyk

Heidi Schulz

Jani Grey

Rachel Writes Things

Reader Appreciation!

Woot! I’m thrilled that my new writing buddy Kristina Perez passed the Reader Appreciation Award to me for my blog!

Kristina and I met during WriteOnCon, a fabulous (and free!) online conference for writers, and she’s already given me great feedback on my ms and shared the beginning of one of her intriguing mss with me. Maybe even cooler, I loved the fact that she’s jumped out of a plane! (one of the Things on her Seven Things About Me list)

On that note, Seven Not-Previously-Shared Things About Kip:

  1. I haven’t jumped out of a plane, but I took flying lessons for a while. My favorite skill was the touch-and-go, where you come in for a landing and then take off again right away. So fun!
  2. I’ve also driven a tank, flown in a helicopter, and fired some interesting weapons. ***
  3. My parents didn’t allow me to have Barbie dolls. Instead, I had the “Sunshine Family,” complete with hippie van.
  4. My idea of a fun night is to make a meal from a book, like the pommes à l’huile with fresh bread and a tall, cold beer from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and read the scene out loud to unsuspecting diners. 
  5. I would feel very uncomfortable living anywhere that required a car. I have a car, but I like to be able to get around without it.
  6. I didn’t learn to swim or speak Spanish until I was a grown-up, but I do both quite well now.
  7. ***I was in the Army! For reals. It feels like another life, though.

As outlined in the rules for this blog award, I’m now passing it on to 5 other writers whose blogs I adore.

Michelle Mason

Elodie aka @commutinggirl

Angelina Hansen

Shari Green

Bethany Smith

The full Rules of the Game (for those I’ve nominated):

1. Identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you.
2. You must add the reward logo to your blog.
3. Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.
4. You must nominate 5-10 of your favourite bloggers for this award.
5. Inform you nominees that you nominated them.

It’s a cinch, right?

Write Your Passion

I recently answered interview questions for an upcoming issue of the NESCBWI newsletter as the Ruth Landers Glass scholarship recipient this year, and I still can’t stop thinking about one of the questions.

I was asked about breaking into the magazine and anthology market, and my response was that targeting submissions–and continuing to submit in spite of the inevitable rejections–helped get my work published.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how true this is.

Magazines

When I first began submitting queries, my acceptance rate was pretty dismal. I really, really, really wanted my work to be published, so I tried many magazines, whenever I thought their submission calls or assigned themes seemed interesting.

Without realizing it consciously, I changed tactics in recent years, submitting queries almost exclusively in my field of expertise (languages). In my mind, I was taking the easy route. These articles would be easier to write, since I have an advanced degree and shelves of reference books in my own house. Having worked in the language software field for years, I’ve dabbled quite a bit in languages I don’t even speak, so I already have some understanding of the difficulties in learning them.

Yet every time I get an acceptance for one of these articles, I do a little jump for joy. Why? I realize now that it’s more than getting them published–it’s because they’re so much fun for me to write. In the end, it’s all about the passion. As an added bonus, my acceptance rate has improved with this change in tactics.

Anthologies

Anthologies are different from magazines because you generally need to write and polish the entire story before submitting it. For me, passion for a piece plays an even larger role with this type of writing.

My first published piece was a story called “First, un Bocata de Calamares” in the SPAIN FROM A BACKPACK anthology. I adore Spain; I love backpacking; I am currently drooling over the thought of a good bocata de calamares. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my piece was accepted and published!

My second piece is about to be published as part of the TIMELESS anthology of YA romance. As soon as I saw the call for submissions for historical YA stories, I knew it was completely up my alley and I threw myself into brainstorming ideas for a piece. In the end, the idea that formed in my head  drew on my passion for German Literature. My story, “And the Nightingale Sang,” is based on a poem by Walther von der Vogelweide, a German troubadour who lived from 1170-1230.

My main character, Elisabeth, is the fictional love interest who inspired “Under der Linden,” a poem von der Vogelweide wrote from a peasant girl’s perspective. As I worked on the story, I spent my free time re-reading his poems and listening to the medieval songs of Hildegard von Bingen to get in the mood of the story. Bliss!

I hope readers of my story will be able to see how much fun it was to write! Writers, do you have any similar stories about writing about your passions? I’d love to hear about them!

What Book Brings Back Memories?

From YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday #130:

It takes about 12 hours to read a book, but the book spends a lot more time than that in the home, as a doorstop, a place to hide jewelry, even an old-fashioned petal press.  Is there anything you do with books before/after you’ve read them?

I love the Road Trip question this week, because I’m a chronic book re-reader, so I keep the books I love very close.

But when I really, really love a book, I also buy a copy to give to the person who MUST read said book. So when my now-husband and I moved in together, we wound up with quite a few duplicates. Just one example is NORWEGIAN WOOD, the fantastic love story by one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami.

This book is full of memories of True Love to me, and I still pick it up and re-read the same scene I read back then to my then auditioning-to-be-boyfriend:

So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty-five days a year. 

The scene goes on to describe an act we began to call “strawberry-shortcaking,” whereby a boy brings a girl strawberry shortcake because she asks for it, but when she changes her mind when he arrives with it, and he’s OK with this because he’d do anything for her. The clincher is of course that it must be mutual for it to be True Love, and thus our theory of “mutual strawberry-shortcaking” was born.

And now we have two well-worn copies of Norwegian Wood on our shelf. Not bad, Mr. Murakami.

Tagged!

The fabulous Jaye Robin Brown tagged me and some of the #wipmadness crew with a new set of questions in the latest question-asking tag game passing through the interwebs: http://jayerobinbrown.blogspot.com/2012/02/tag-youre-it.html

Her five evil questions aren’t actually all that evil:

1. What is the  best meal you’ve ever eaten – what, when, and where.

Not evil, but wow, this is a hard question for a foodie! I’ve had delicious meals here in Boston (most recently a five-course tasting menu at Upstairs on the Square in Harvard Square, drool), in Austria (bone marrow soup! Wienerschnitzel!), and Iceland (is it bad that we tried whale?), among other places. But hands down, some of the best foods I’ve ever tried were in Spain, and so here’s a photo of one of my favorite dishes we had last year, arroz a banda, a rice cooked in seafood broth and then served with the fish and of course aioli.

2. What is your earliest memory?

I was about three years old, and I’d wandered out into the tall weeds behind the house–well above my head–and before I knew it I was alone. I’d never been lost, and had never been completely alone. It both thrilled and terrified me, and I remember tingling with excitement. After reveling in my independence for a few minutes, I turned around and went home, feeling like I’d been forever changed.

3. If given your choice of a secret rendezvous with any fictional hottie – who would you choose?

Don’t laugh. But the love interest in my current WIP is about my favorite ever. I’d pick him over any fictional hottie right now.

4. What is your favorite joke?

OK, this question is a little evil. I guess I’m a fan of the oldie-but-goodie about the three strings who walk into a bar and end up with a frayed knot.

5. Pick three words to describe yourself (one is just too hard!)

Persistent, energetic, and open-minded

So! For the next part of the tagging, I have to hit up three other friends with five more questions. I’d love to hear answers from:

Kerri Maniscalco: http://kerrimaniscalco.com/

Elodie: http://commutinggirl.wordpress.com/

Ruth L. Steven: http://ruthlaurensteven.blogspot.com/

Without further ado, my questions:

1. Keeping with the foodie theme, what’s your signature dish? Something you make that blows people away and that you luuuuurve.

2. If you could be any fictional character, whose story would you want to live?

3.  If you won a magical trip to any destination and had to use the setting in your next novel, where would you go?

4. Your favorite five authors. Go!

5. What music are you listening to while working on your current WIP?

Writing Retreat of Dreams!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic:

Describe your dream writing retreat. Where would you go? Who and what would you bring?

This topic is something I think about a LOT. Like many others, I squeeze writing into my daily life, and the idea of a writing retreat conjures up all kinds of images of productivity. Who wouldn’t want a a honeymoon with a WIP instead of a quickie?

Thus a dream retreat for me would really be anywhere that provided stretches of alone-time, plenty of tasty food and caffeinated beverages, and the opportunity for literary discussion, all in an inspiring setting.

The place that best fits the bill for me? Ronda, Spain:

Specifically, I’d choose the HOTEL REINA VICTORIA (http://www.hotelreinavictoria.es/es/hotel-ronda/main), a place that offered the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke the peace and inspiration he needed to write.

I’d bring my laptop of course, a stack of books, and a notebook and pencil for scribbling in the garden. I’d love to have a group of writerly friends along too, for those literary discussions after productive writing sessions. Anyone with me?