Two things today-- and update (Ooo! Also a U word!) and something useful.
Have you guys heard of Wordle before? It's pretty cool. You paste some words into the website, and it makes an awesome little word cloud of those words. Then you can use it for your plethora of world cloud needs.
But wait! It has a totally USEFUL and UNDERRATED purpose as well! Ohmygosh. This is so cool, I can hardly stand it. Okay. That little box where you paste in text to create your word cloud? YOU CAN PASTE IN ANY AMOUNT OF TEXT. Including--- yep, you've got it--- your entire book.
So why is this so cool? Well, because it takes out the common words (like the, a, and), and then chooses the most common words in your book to make the word cloud out of. The more common the word, the bigger it is in the cloud.
Sooooooo, you can see which words you overuse! In a fun way! Here's mine for THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH:
It kind of makes me giddy to see those words that are specific to my book in a form like this. Of course, some of the biggest ones are my main characters. (Although, funnily enough, not my MC, Hope, since it's first person.) It's pretty expected to have those be the largest / most frequently used. But I can see that wow. I use just, looked, like and back a lot. Then I can go through my ms, do a search for those words, and look at each one to see if they really should be there, or if I truly am over-using them.
See? Totally useful! Check it out. Go to Wordle.net and click on create. Then play and have fun! (Because really-- it's totally fun. AND productive. :))
On to the update!
I finished first round edits! There is much joy and celebration and lifting of weights off shoulders going on here. Whew! It was tough. My editor is brilliant, and pushed me in ways I didn't even know I could go. I am so excited with the changes I made! It occurred to me before I sent it off to her on Sunday that she's probably just as nervous to get them as I was to send them. I mean there are a million ways an author can mess up edits! It's kind of a comforting thought, though, to know that you're both working toward the same goal, and you're both nervous. Makes it easier to click send.
And, in case you were wondering about general process stuff, and where things fit in a year-and-ten-month process like mine, they chose a cover artist! I'm not going to tell you who it is, because things can always go wrong, and there's always a small possibility that they'll have to change artists part way in. But I will say that all the members of the cover team, as well as marketing and sales, all were unanimous in their choice. (Which almost never happens.) You know, not having control over your cover is a scary thing. When my editor sent me his name and links, I can't tell you how relieved I was! I screamed, cried tears of joy and relief, and danced all at the same time. I have no doubt that whatever he does will be genius.
Now I'm going to stop thinking about that, because seeing a cover is still months away, and thinking about it makes it hard to wait. And now that I've rambled on and made you forget all about Wordle, here's your reminder to go check it out! (Make sure you play with the fonts. Because: fun!)
Hi! I am a MG writer, represented by the fabulous Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger Inc. My debut, SKY JUMPERS, will be published by Random House Children's Books September 24, 2013. I love happy kids even more than I love cookies, I make lists as often as I eat lunch, and I love having every light in the house on almost as much as I love writing.