Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quick change

Something real quick.  I decided to make my music optional for my fellow bloggers to listen to.  I love the music I have posted but some of you may not want to listen to it.  So if you want to hear what music has inspired me to write my current novel just go on over to the sidebar and click play--it will shuffle by itself :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

What genre are you writing for?

So at 2 am while trying to put my son back to sleep, I started to think as I always do.  This is the time I come up with my best ideas and forget them by the time I can get to a pen and paper.  Besides thinking up some new things to write in WIP, I began to ponder about the genre YA. I started to ask myself --is your story too adult for "YA" and not adult enough for "Adult" --if so where does this leave me.  I have discussed this with my CP and she definately agrees that my WIP is YA and from what I understand YA is 12-18 year olds, right?

I have things in my WIP I think may be too adult and if I am lucky and it gets published I have material for book two which I think is more adult but not too adult.  So that leaves the area of 18 and up--I heard that this genre is up and coming but does anyone know the criteria that goes into it?

I personally think you should write what you believe in and for me I tend to love the late high school/ early college years.  So is that considered YA? From what I am reading--yes-- but I wonder if I would let my daughter read some of these books when she is twelve.  I am not naive and know twelve year olds know a heck of a lot more than I did when I was twelve but I am curious of what other writers think of this. I know it is up to the parents and what they want their child to be exposed to. I am not trying to put any book down --I love to read them --I just wonder where it leaves writers like me.  Will this be a strike against me if there is no named genre for my novel?

What genre do you tend to write for? Do you think YA (12-18) is too broad of an age group?

On a lighter note--if you are a Twilight fan (or if you are not) I found a funny little video on-- Jennifer J. Bennett's blog--check it out.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Here is a subject I have posted about before but I felt like expanding on it.
I met with my critique partner last night and realized how important it is to have someone really look at what you are writing.  I was not sure if having someone critique a first draft was a great idea because it is in no shape to be read but now I think it has helped me in more ways than one.  I have learned so much in the past few months that I already know what to change and how to change my WIP--yes Kelly I know finish it first :)
Having a critique partner(s) helps in more ways than just making sure your I's are dotted and your T's crossed.  I know this is CP's job --to make sure your WIP is the best it can be but I have learned that a CP helps in getting to the heart and soul of your story --

Does it make sense?

Is it consistant?

What do you want the reader to feel?

What is the family tree of your chracters?

and the list goes on (endless questions are discussed and answered)

Having a CP is great for getting feedback whether it is good or bad.  I believe this is helping me become better at what I am trying to achieve.  Accepting the good is easy and the bad --well--sometimes strikes the ego but I take it for all it is worth.  I find the negative feedback (not hurting someone's feeling here--more on the stuff that needs work) helps me really look at my WIP and really try to figure out how to make it better.  I am sure this is all common knowledge to someone who is more of an expert than I am but I thought I needed to share.

My tip--Get feedback no matter where you are in you WIP.

Another helpful tip I have learned is that having a CP is like having a therapist.  Writing is an emotional rollercoaster. Finishing your novel, trying to get an agent, and getting your baby published can break even the most strong hearted down to tears but having support and someone who can listen and understand where you are coming from is priceless. I have been dabbling in writing for over ten years and never had the guts to let anyone read anything I have written but here I am putting myself out there. My family supports me too and they are pretty critical but it is also nice to talk to others apart from my personal life who cheer me on and teach me how to be a better writer.  So thank you Kelly, and my loyal fellow bloggers. 

So that is it--my son is rising from his nap and my time is up.

What characteristics do you look for in a critique partner? How has your critique partner helped you? How has blogging helped you? And a question out of the blue--how have you gained more followers on your blog?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reviews and Thanks

First, I wanted to thank everyone for visiting my blog and leaving their inspirational comments yesterday.  I took all to heart so thanks for taking the time. By the way, Karen G --I thought of you as I made my kids lunch--so thanks.
Also, a big thank you to Carolina (Carol's Prints) for the lovely Silver Lining Award. I think I have to name some blogs that are uplifting. This is hard for me to do because all the blogs I follow are inspirational. I guess I will narrow it down.


I am still trying to figure out the how to link the blogs I mention so when someone clicks on your blog name it will go directly to your blog.  So if anyone has any pointers let me know :)

My post today is simple I decided to give some thoughts --well-- reviews of a couple of things.  Both are things I love --reading and music.  I am not an expert in either field but I thought I would share my opinion.

Book Review--- I finally finished the book Shiver by Maggie Steifvater. I liked it.  I thought some things could have been chopped because towards the middle of the book my mind seem to wander but by the end it started to pick up.  I really like how the author wrote from two perspectives.  Both main characters got to express their feelings and thoughts and the author wrote it smoothly so there was no confusion when she switched to each character.  She also described things beautifully-- her words made me envision what she was trying to convey (very clearly I might add). 
I could have used less of the food --there is a lot of meals being made in great detail and I thought there was too much time spent on this.  I really didn't think it was needed.
I also thought there could have been a little more conflict for the couple in love.  They needed some bumps in the road to hold their love true. I like conflict --you know--fight for their love.

So there you have it-- my opinion on the book Shiver.  The next book I am reading is --hush,hush by Becca Fitzpatrick stay tuned for that review.

Music review- I really like the band Vampire Weekend.  I have their self titled debut album and absolutely love it.  So I was a little nervous about their second album Contra.  I was nervous because sometimes when I love an album completely the next one has a lot to live up to.    So when I first bought this I was not sure of the outcome.  The result--I love this one too.  Each song has it's own feel and these guys have a knack for producing interesting mix of beats and melodies.  My kids even love the single "Cousins".  They dance around the room when they hear the first couple of chords.  Great to release energy :0

Does anyone have any favorite books or music they would like to share? What do you like to get out of a book or album? What inspires you to write?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I am not a very patient person. I try my hardest but most of the time deep down I am screaming to keep going --move on. A lot of people who do know me say I am a patient person but when I want to do something and something is blocking my way my eyes shoot fire and my throat lets out a growl.

So here I am learning to fight the impatience that tortures me. I am impatient right now because it feels like my first draft is taking an eternity to get out of my head. The three chapters I wrote last week have just sat there waiting --waiting for me to continue. I want to write the rest but then real life tends to block my hand as it approaches the keys. I am sitting here typing this with one hand so my son can sleep on the other. I have to soak in this moment though because I know one day when he is in his teens he will not want to have anything to do with me. I guess I fear that if there is a window of oppourtunity for me I may miss it.  I can't worry about this I know but it is always stuck back there in my mind.

That means time management and yes-- to be patient.

One day this novel may become something-- who knows --but I have to realize that this it is not a race. It is not how fast I can crank it out to ease my impatience but how well I can do it. I want to write something that is from me --the me who is patient.

Does anyone else get impatient or anxious? How do you deal with it?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you!

Sorry it has taken me so long to get to this. My son has decided that sleeping is an option so me functioning at a normal rate is not working out so well and it has been quite frustrating.

Thank you,thank you, thank you Kelly (Kelly's Compositions) for this Happy Award! This made my day! Your blog makes me happy too!

Now I will list 10 things that make me happy and send the award to blogs that make me smile.

1. My hubby, my daughter and my son who give me so much love and support. They also make everyday an adventure that always ends with a smile (well on most days) :)

2. My family because they give me so much support.

3. Hanging out with my friends because they also give me super support and can make me laugh.

4. Relaxing on the beach listening to the ocean.

5. Listening to my favorite music really loud in my car with the windows down.

6. Uninterrupted sleep and a shower. I have a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old so sleeping is sometimes an option. It can also make my morning showers difficult. I need both to function and since I don't drink coffee both of these tasks make me super happy for the day.

7. Being able to read a good book without interruption.

8. Chocolate (I don't think I need to tell you why)

9. Writing-yes- writing even though I may get headaches and develop a nervous twitch it really makes me smile when I finish a chapter.

10. Finding my passion and learning to believe in myself. This has made me feel like I have purpose and gives me the strength to continue on my journey.

I don't know the rules to this so I have come up with six blogs that make me happy. All of the blogs that I follow have put a smile on my face and all deserve this but I know many of you have gotten this more than once.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Kaitlyn McCane

2. Chronicles of a Novice Writer

3. Fiction Groupie

4. Constantly Risking Absurdity

5. Jade Hears Voices

6. Carol's Prints

I know only six but hey no sleep-- remember. Like I said before, I am happy when I look at all the blogs I follow.

Here is the real question and it is probably a dumb one--How do I create links so all the blogs I mention above can just be clicked on by a viewer?

Sorry for my lack of knowledge--I'm trying.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Moving along

Last week I managed to write three chapters-- when I say write them I mean they are not in completed form. It feels great to get it out of my head and down on paper so to speak. They need revising but as I have been told just finish and then revise. As hard as this is to do it is great advice.

The weekend was a time for me to relax with my family and re-group. This is another great piece of advice --back away from what you are writing to compose yourself. As much as I want to sit at my laptop and write--a break seems to help my mind formulate new ideas.

I am also stuck on a chapter and can't seem to come up with what and how I want to continue. I do know how the story continues after this point -- "writers block"-- so I decided to just skip and continue on. (Thanks Kelly for your advice on this.)

Any other ideas on how to cure writer's block?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I quickly did this because I felt my blog needed more.

In my previous post, I said I needed some borders or something. So as usual this is a work in progress just like my book. I will see if I like it tomorrow. I love the black background and may go back to it but we will see how this one works.

Let me know what you think?

Ah ha moments

Between yesterday and today I have had a few "Ah Ha" moments which I am very excited about.

1) I finally figured out how to resolve some plot issues in my story. There were some things that were not making sense or needed more description. Some of these issues are pretty crucial so I am excited to write them in. I am also toying with another plot twist--we will see. I guess I should finish writing it first.

2) I was having heaps amount of trouble trying to re-name a character in my story and finally I came up with one I think will stick. I think trying to name a character is hard enough let alone trying to re-name one.

3) I came up with an idea for my first chapter --I know do not revise yet--but it came to me and I have to re-write it. I know now what I want to do to make it better.

How do you stop yourself from trying to revise your manuscript before your finished?

4) I know I said a few but this moment was not so much a "ah ha" moment for my story more of a I really need to dress up this blog and I am trying to figure it out. I am an interior designer by day and it is killing me trying to figure out how to put on a really pretty border. As you can tell, I am not computer savvy.

So, If you have any pointers for point #4 let me know.

I am still adding things each day so keep checking back.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Catching up

I am finally getting back to the list of books that I have been wanting to read. I love to read but usually take my time especially when I am writing a story. In the past, I read many classics --many of which contain vampire themes (my favorite). Recently, I have been reading the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlene Harris. I am on book four and its seems to be moving a little slow. So I started the Immortal Series by Alyson Noel --Evermore and Blue Moon. I know there is a third book-- Shadowland-- which is on my list.

Then yesterday, I went to the book store and finally picked up something new--well--new for me. I picked up Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and started reading it last night. It was recommended by a friend and I really like it so far. I will let you know what I think when I finish it.

Does anyone have any favorite books they would recommend?

Have a great day and thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thankful for the little things

I have to thank my kids for going to bed and sleeping. Over the past two nights, I have been writing and not getting asleep until 12. For once both of them have gone to bed and stayed asleep. I know I have cursed myself stating this fact and I may not sleep for the next few days but I have been able to write which clears my head. My kids and my husband know all too well what happens when I do not get sleep or write--I am usually irritable causing my eyes to narrow and my lips to curl but writing and sleeping cures all.
So I finished these two chapters in three days this may not be a feat for some but for me it is. I am having a problem after finishing a chapter I tend to go back a re-read it over and over then I start to revise it. I even caught myself reading the first page of my manuscript and thinking about how to re-write it.
I should stop I know but I can't help myself.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I am getting obsessed with finishing this story but loving every minute of conflict and torture I am exposing my main characters too. Just to see if the guy gets the girl and can they make it out alive. Sorry no teasers :)

I tend to rush things when I am really passionate about them and I am working on taking my time.

I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clearing my head

I know from experience that you need to step back from something that you pour your heart into to keep things fresh--you need to clear your head.
Last week, I was drained and my mind was tired- for two weeks all I thought about was writing and I could not find a moment to sit and type. Between house guests, holiday festivities, taking care of the kids and my hubby it seemed sitting down to write was like trying to win the lottery. I also started to doubt what and why I was doing this. I frantically wrote some desperate emails to my aunt and my critique partner who --god bless both of them --basically put me back on track. I don't advise trying to write over a holiday or big event because every idea I kept coming up with had to be recycled in my mind over and over.
I tried to write some things down by hand but that would lead to more ideas. Normally this is great but I was entertaining a variety of guests so I would have to interrupt my thoughts and push them to the filing cabinet in my brain. I really can not function when ideas and scenes of my characters replay like movie that keeps rewinding and playing over and over --I walk around so distracted that I am basically in a daze.
Finally, I got lucky because some people noticed and by the end of the week I had babysitters that saved the day! I managed to get another chapter finished. Thanks guys!

Another positive venture was with my hubby and kids. We got together with some great friends. It was so much fun to reminisce about old times and the kids had a blast playing. This took me away from all the worries about my writing that have been building all week and helped me see the big picture.

Now on with my writing question of the day:
I have noticed on various sites that many writers are involved in many critique groups or have many critique partners. I currently have one critique partner who I trust and god bless her has suffered through reading my first draft to date.
Should I look into other groups along with the critique partner I have to review my manuscript when I have revised it?
How do I find groups that are trustworthy? I am very protective of my story as I am sure many of you are.
How do I protect my story when I allow others to critique it?

Lastly, here is a site to check out:
Please check out
She is a very talented illustrator and has so many cute characters.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Music sweet music

Oh happy day!
I am so happy that I was able to figure out how to post music. This is just a sample of what has influenced me. It seems if I like one song from an album then the whole album seems to belong with my idea. So enjoy! I may add more songs soon.

I met with my critique partner and things seem to be flowing in my story. So I will keep on writing. Thanks Kelly! I will be emailing you soon.

Does anyone suggest any books on self editing? I picked up one called Write Great Fiction: Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

That is all for now have a great day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm getting there

O.k. I am getting there with a playlist for you. Thanks Kelly for pointing me in the direction of I have the list ready I just have to post it. So hopefully I will get that up tomorrow.

I am sad to see the holidays go but really can't wait to get the house back in order and the kids back on schedules. Sleeping is not their forte so writing has not been easy.

I did get one chapter done but need to review it and revise. If you are reading my story so far this chapter is not in sequence with the others so you have to wait--sorry.

How does one split all their time?

Any pointers for how not to feel guilty if I don't get something done (ie cleaning,ironing,spending every waking moment with my kids)?

I love my kids to death but when I have a quick moment and they are quiet all I want to do is write. Does anyone else feel this way?

Sorry enough whining from me. Check back soon for more.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Resolutions a word I cringe at in the New Year. That means crash diet from all the food I ate over the holidays. Now I have a new resolution to complete a chapter a week so I can get this story on the road. I also vow to learn how to use this blog site. I am trying so desperately to post a lovely playlist so you all can hear what has inspired my idea. So if anyone knows how to do this please give me some tips. Music is how I see what I am to write so I hope it will inspire you.
Have a great day!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome! I can't believe I have started this. I hope you can share with me on my journey to becoming a published YA author. I have always loved to write and loved coming up with unique and interesting stories but never thought I was "good enough". Well now I have an idea and can't let it go. I do not want to say years down the line--I wish I should have. So here I am starting a YA sci fi romance novel--well --I almost completed my first draft. After that comes the task of revising, revising, revising then editing, spell check and grammar check. Then hoping someone out there will publish it. Please check back I will be adding more soon!