Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Year, Time for Reminders

Hello! If you are here, that means one of four things:

1) You are a friend/follower and clicked the link.

2) You came here through a random search.

3) You arrived here by magic.

4) You've always been here. You're trapped in the blog. You can't escape.

If 1), then this post is mostly for you. Keep reading and I'll get to the point in a moment.

If 2), welcome! If you have no idea who I am, my name is Audrey Lockwood, I'm represented by Marlene Stringer, and I write young adult fantasy. Interested? Poke around a bit, and if you like what you see here, connect with me through one of the sites below.

If 3), please can you teach me some magic, please please pretty please!

If 4), my apologies. The prison blog wardens revolted and have been taking hostages. We're very sorry you got caught up in it all, and we're doing everything we can to fix the problem. In the meantime, why don't you go hang out at this post. It's one of the more entertaining ones.

So! To the point.

In addition to writing books, I do things online. Here are some of the main sites I upkeep:

This blog. Add me to your RSS reader of choice if you would like to keep up with all my posts.

Twitter: @write_lock - This is where I chat books and writing. Facebook friends--I usually post to Twitter most weekdays, so if you want more chatter from me, this is the place to be.

Facebook: - This is my personal page. Twitter followers--want more silliness and photos? Friend me!

Goodreads: - Want to stalk what I'm reading? Find me here.

There will hopefully be more connection opportunities coming this year. In the meantime, I look forward to connecting to new people on my current sites.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ObliviousGirl Strikes Again!

ObliviousGirl. That was one of my family's nicknames for me growing up. Every time I put a tub full of butter in the sink instead of the fridge or went up and down the toiletries aisle of the store looking for toothpaste and never seeing it right in front of my face the same phrase would ring out:

"ObliviousGirl strikes again!"

I simply don't notice things. The other day I put an empty roll of toilet paper next to my bathroom sink to remind me that I needed to pick up more. Several days later I realized I had been going through my morning and evening routine without even noticing the empty roll was there. Like everything else that isn't of immediate importance, it faded to the background.

I can look at a room in my house and not be able to tell if it's dirty or clean, even if I'm trying, because my brain automatically glosses over all the details.

That's me--ObliviousGirl.

Sometimes, though, I manage to notice things that apply to my son. I notice when he's been quiet for a second too long--the telltale second that informs me he's getting into something. I notice when he's got his little fist wrapped around something that he probably shouldn't have.

But other times I don't notice. Like this morning. He was playing in the kitchen where I was making breakfast, drawing with a pen on a little piece of paper we've given him. I let my ears tune out, and I didn't notice the scratch, scratch, scratch that would have told me he had taken to drawing on the chair instead.

ObliviousGirl struck again.

[One day he's going to be just like me. Sometimes he'll get this far-off look on his face, and I know where's he gone, because I go there too all the time. One day we'll be saying, "ObliviousBoy strikes again!"]

Often it's inconvenient being so absent from the details of the world. I hated learning to drive. Details are rather important when one gets behind the wheel of a car. Details like, for example, the red lights of the car ahead signalling it's about to slow down. I had to teach my brain that some details can't be tuned out, no matter how much it protested.

But then, if I weren't so oblivious, I don't think I'd ever have become a writer. If my brain wasn't so good at ignoring the world, it would never have space for imagination. I live right on the edge between the Land of Reality and the Sea of Dreams, and sometimes I wade out a little too far and begin to lose touch with the shore. The very best stories are deeper in the waves, after all.

So I'll keep my obliviousness. But if I leave your butter in the sink, please pardon me--I really don't do it on purpose.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Reso--Who Cares? Let's Eat Ice Cream

[Insert comment about resolutions rarely ever amounting to anything.]

[Insert comment about doing them anyway.]

Now that we've got all that out of the way...

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve to eat ice cream every day of the year.

Oh wait. Oops. I've already failed that one. But only by, like, a day. And only because I'd already brushed my teeth that night and didn't want to brush them again.

So I suppose I need a new resolution. Maybe I should resolve to dye my hair or paint the bathroom. Except that would mean actually doing something, and it's much easier to keep a resolution that one is already accomplishing quite handily.

Very well, then. Instead I will resolve not to use the word "edgy" in any sense other than to mean a) "nervous" or b) "sharp-edged."

This is mostly (fine, entirely) because "edgy" was my least favorite word of 2014. Everyone kept talking about wanting "edgy" books with "edgy" characters... which as far as I could tell meant either "dark" or "sardonic."

And why exactly can't rainbows and butterflies be edgy? I mean, aside from the obvious fact that they have no sharp edges at all...

Well, even if I don't have any good resolutions for this year, I do have some solid goals. I'm going to start a new book. I'll attend a conference (or two). And I'll hopefully be launching some new side projects if all goes well.

Anyone else have any goals or not-so-serious resolutions for the year?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This post has no theme except: hey! time is passing.

A couple days ago I wrote this post about all the stuff I was going to do in November. Only it wasn't a couple days ago, it was a whole month, and now November has gone and done a disappearing act.

NaNoREADMo count: 1.5 books. Pathetic really.

Research: more productive. Except now the book in question has decided it's something else entirely. Typical.

Thanksgiving roundup

Miles driven: ~220
People seen: >40
Food consumed: lots, and then more lots (including an entire meal of desserts)
Illnesses acquired: 2 (one for me and one for the boy)
Fun: had

Also there was a very minor car accident (but don't worry, mom! it doesn't even count as a fender bender, and it was in no way whatsoever my fault).

Now we're home and diving straight into December and chaos and "tis the season." (A rather frigid dive, if you ask me. Too much rain.) Tis also the season, apparently, for teething. All four of my son's molars are coming in at once, and they are as brutal as everyone says. All those people who told me sleep gets better after the first year? A bunch of lying liars who lie, I'll tell you what.

But despite the absolute mess I have become after several nights of being awake from 3:30 to 5:30, or rather because of it, we get such comedic gems as this one last night:

My husband: Where's the baby monitor?

Me: *Heads to desk to fetch it. Sees phone.* Oh! Almost forgot to charge my phone. I've been forgetting everything today. Left my purse in the car when I went to CVS. Luckily there was nobody behind me in line so I could run and grab it. *Returns to husband.*

Him, with barely-contained exasperation: Um... the monitor?

Sooooo that's how things stand in the Lockwood house. Happy December, and if you're looking for a quick, humorous read, check out my agency sister's post from Monday. It was right up my alley.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Confessions of a Collector

So here I am, sitting at my keyboard, having a debate with myself. It goes a little like this:

Me; Do I really want to tell people that I, um... do that thing?

Myself: Sounds like time for a true confession.

Me: Now that's just silly. All sorts of people do it! That's like "confessing" to having a piece of chocolate after dinner.

The thing in question is World of Warcraft. Yes, I play. And yes, it is a tad embarrassing if only because it's the big behemoth of MMOs. While I loudly proclaim my love of gaming, I tend to keep a lid on my enthusiasm for WoW. It's not like one of those Korean games that you play "for the artwork" or whatever. It's a guilty pleasure--the sort people can get addicted to. As a friend of mine put it: "it's that awful ex you keep going back to."

Nevertheless, I play, and I have to admit I kind of love it, particularly right now. The latest expansion came out last week, and it's the most fun I've had playing the game since I started years ago. (With several long breaks between then and now (she hastily added).) What makes it so good?

Well, a lot of things, but in particular, for me, it's the collection aspect. World of Warcraft capitalizes on the human instinct to collect, in the past through pets, gear and achievements, and now through a new feature that allows the collection of "followers"--non-player characters who assist your character.

Though I wouldn't say I'm a hoarder, I do like to collect things, and sometimes those things are a bit strange. Books, ink stamps, key chains, crocheting yarn--those are all pretty normal. Toothbrushes, not so much. (Ostensibly they are for cleaning, but I'm not exactly the most meticulous of housekeepers, so really, there isn't much point to them.)

Anyway, in musing on these things, I got to thinking: can I tap into that instinct to collect in my writing?

Books delve into so many other human desires. We love to fall in love, thus Romance. We love self-description, thus the appeal of the Hogwarts Houses in Harry Potter or the magical Ajahs in Wheel of Time.

Surely there are books that resonate with our passion for collecting. Isn't that a staple of fantasy, to go on a journey searching for various items to complete a quest? The signs in The Dark is Rising come to mind.

And yet, I can't think of any books that give me the satisfaction of collecting vicariously through the characters. I'm wondering why that is. Have I not been reading the right books? Or is that feeling just too difficult to get across on the page?

What do you think?