Friday, April 30, 2010


This picture has nothing to do with my post, I just thought it was cute. Painting by Kaitlyn McCane.

Just a reminder --Tomorrow is the Last line blogfest hosted by the lovely Lilah. Go here for details.

I'm not sure how great my line will be but I'll post one. So forgive me if it is not perfect or too cliche.

Another blogfest to jump to is at Fiction Groupie the Let's Talk Blogfest May 18th.

I know there are more blogfests out there, please let me know in the comments.

I also want to give a great big thank you to Anne (Piedmont Writer). She had given an award at the beginning of April and I just remembered that she did.  Sorry Anne for forgetting.

I give this award to:

Sandy Shin

Shannon O' Donnell

Nicole Ducleroir~


E. Elle

Crystal Cook



Kimberly Franklin

Short and sweet today. Have a good one!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Museum of Art.

Cover art. It's job is to draw you in just like the title.  Both of these items are very important when writing a book. I have never thought of what mine would look like.  I don't have a clue where to even begin.  My first priority is to finish my manuscript, but I can say the thought has crossed my mind.

Most of the books that I have read, I read out of recommendation so the cover art was not the main reason for me picking it up.

But I have to say good cover art doesn't hurt either.

For example: hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Yes, I talk about this book a lot because I like it. The book was recommended to me but the cover art, well, that would have sold me too.
Really, just the cover would have sold me. I know shallow.

Now, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I picked this book up on a recommendation because to be quite honest the cover art didn't sell me-- the story did. So far the book is awesome and I'm sure I will not be disappointed.

Questions of the day.
What books sold you on just the cover art?
Have you been sold by the cover art of a book and were disappointed with the story in the end?

Other books to check out!!!

Get on over to Alex J. Cavanugh's blog to congratulate him on his new cover art for his new book release, Cassastar (to be released this fall).  I can't wait to read this. Cover looks great, Alex.

Check out Jody Hedlund's book, The Preacher's Bride, to be released October 1, 2010.  Great cover, Jody and I can't wait to read it!

Check out Michelle Gregory's book, Eldala. I'm reading this one right now and it's great!!! Please keep a watch on my blog, I will be interviewing Michelle real soon.

Check out Amy Holder's book, Lipstick Laws.  To be released 2011.  She is also having a contest.

Check out Stephan Tremp's book, Breakthrough.  It's out now...go and check it out. 

Check out Lisa and Laura's book, Liar Society. To be released Spring 2011. You know it will be good.

Check out Kristi Chestnutt's book, The Wolf Within.  You know I'm getting it. Out now.

Check out Karen G's books, Farm Girl (out now) and Uncut Diamonds (out now).  Yes, I will get them.

Check out Michelle Scott's book, The Dragons of Hazlett (out now). Yes, I'm getting this one too.

If I missed anyone, I'm sorry.  My kids are jumping up and down trying to get my attention. If you have a book out or one soon to be released, please highlight it in the comments below.  I don't mean not to include you.

Fantastic news!!!
***Get over to Talli Roland's blog and congratulate her--she is going to be published!!!!!

O.k. I have to go get Edward to change me into a vampire because I'm going to need more time in my day and as you know Edward doesn't sleep. I have a lot of books to read. 

I have to get to my kids and revisions.  Go to Beta Club today --open critique. I also can't remember if I said thanks to Roni for the Sugar Doll Award she gave me a month ago.  Thanks Roni!

Whew! Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where will you be?

I was tagged by the uber fabulous Kimberly Franklin to par-take in a fun little question and answer bit. I believe Kimberly and I are somehow related because many of my answers are very similar.  In fact, I didn't change a whole lot of her answers. We're also born on the same day (different years though) which probably would explain a lot.

Question 1: Where were you five years ago? (We were born many years apart so this part is way different).
1. I was pregnant with my first born.

2. Preparing my house with my hubby for our new little baby.

3. Working full time as a designer.

4. Wishing I could go out and party.

5. Scared out of my mind with the fact that I was having a child.  (Obviously, I was preoccupied by my pregnancy.

Question 2: Where would you like to be five years from now? (I did not change one answer that Kimberly had because--well--l I felt the same way).
1. Agented.

2. Published.

3. Writing full time.

4. On the NYC Bestsellers list.

5. Casting hot boys as my MCs for my novel's big screen adaptation!!!

Question 3: What is (was) on your to-do list today?
1. Revise.

2. Revise.

3. Do not drink a cherry coke.

4. Exercise (Hahahahahaha!!!).

5. Play with my kids.

Question 4: What five snacks do you enjoy?
1. Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.

2. Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips.

3. Tastykake Candy kakes (I forgot how awesome these were until my kids wanted them).

4. Chocolate! Duh!

5. Soft Pretzel.

Question 5: What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
1. Buy a new house! A big one!

2.  Write full time.

3. Travel. Everywhere.

4. Buy lots of shoes and clothes!

5. I have way too many cars that I would want. BMW M3 would top the list, Audi S5, Aston Martin (any one of them), Mini Cooper S (they are way too cute not to have one).

I have to tag five people:

Crystal Cook

Amie McCracken

Nicole Ducleroir


E. Elle

There you have it. This was fun.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Awards and Contests!

First of all I'm sad.  I lost a fellow blogger buddy.  I don't know where they went or why.  I don't know what I did.  So, sorry if I offended you. I'm also sorry if I haven't visited your blog lately.  I have a lot on my plate and some things must be put on the back burner. I have not commented as much as I would like but with revisions and critiques---well they come first.  It's not that I don't love you guys, I have goals that I must meet. I will be visiting as many blogs as I can soon with comments.  So that said-- on with a fun post.

 I have gotten some lovely awards from some sweet bloggers. I'm trying to figure out a filmstrip type display to show these awards but I haven't sat down and figured it out yet.  If you have any pointers let me know. I would love to give these awards to all of you but I had to pick some people. :)

The first award is from E. Elle.  The Sweet Blog award.  Please go check out her blog.  She is so honest and well just awesome. I love her new blog look too.

The lovely Susan Fields passed on the A is for Awesome award.  She is awesome so go check out her blog.

Contests You must check out!!!!
Carol's Prints--The lovely Carolina is having a contest ending May 26th

SarahJayne--Writing in the Wilderness --TGIF Contest ending April 30th

Simon From Constant Revision-- Pretty epic and you must write a flash fiction piece. Ends May 8th

Well that is all for today. Have a great day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shhh...Did she tell you her secret?

I don't know about you but I sometimes cringe when someone asks me---"What do you do for a living?" It's a common question especially when you just meet a person but I tend to downplay my answer. 

What? Why, you ask?

The reaction.

I'm an interior designer is my answer first.  The reaction I usually get is --that is great, how fun that must be, wow, you must work with great people, or you must be very creative.  Where all of these are positive and I sort of blush when I receive them I sort of downplay it.  I don't know why-I should be proud but to me it is just a job. To me it is something I just do.

Now when I follow it up with --I'm also a writer--the reaction is not always the same. First, I usually get --oh do you write for a design magazine? No, is my response. 
"Then what do you write?"
"Well, right now I'm writing a young adult/sci fi romance novel." This is when my eyes squint because I can see that it is processing in their head because their eyes have glazed over.
Now once the haze disappears there are many different responses that can occur.

1. The supporter---will usually ask how long I have been doing this to which I respond for years.  I just gained the confidence to pursue it so I'm taking a leap of faith and going for it.  It's my passion. 
The supporter will gush and smile possibly giving me a hug stating it is great that I'm doing this and good luck!

2. The confused--will ask what young adult, sci fi, romance is.  I'll explain and then they will sort of be supportive.  Usually a money question will come into play but is not emphasized. The conversation would just continue onto another subject--meanwhile I'm ready to explode with details of my journey so far but I let it go.

3. The blow off--will ask what the confused asked then tell me that it is a difficult field and doesn't luck play into it. They will proceed to tell me there is no money involved totally disregarding that I said it was my passion. They may even throw in that it is nice that I have a hobby.  My face turns red in response to the hobby comment. 

This is why it took me so long to tell people --confidently--that I write and I'm writing a book.  I'm getting better at in fact I sometimes corner people when I talk about it because I'm so excited. I'm sorry if I have done this to you.

It took me a while to get to put on my tough skin but I'm at the point that I just don't care. I'm happy.  I  know writing comes from deep down in my heart and if people don't like it.  Oh well! I have come too far to worry about it. I must use the comments from the neigh sayers to fuel the passion and to prove to them that I just might be able to do this and if I don't then I can at least say I tried. So go for it people don't hide what you love to do.  You must take that chance.  Learn all you can and write, write, write. You never know what can happen tomorrow.

How long did it take you to tell people that you are a writer and that it was more than just a "hobby"?

How would you react to the (3) types of responses above?

Don't forget tomorrow is Beta Club at Fiction Groupie.  Have a great day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Food for Thought.

Lately, my WiP has been wanting a hearty meal. It's understandable it's growing. Each chapter seems to be a different recipe for a meal that will fill  my baby up. Plus, my muse is constantly pointing the needs of these chapters out to me--whispering in my ear to get crack-- a --lackin.

Chapter 1 has been driving me crazy.  I know,I know here she goes again about her revisions. So sorry if I'm repetitive. I had to change my original version because --well-- it had something every other YA book probably had--a car crash. So I changed it but my heart was not fully in it when I originally wrote it and it  seems flat.  My decision to feed chapter 1 anymore has ceased. I decided to cut up the meat and let it marinate. It needs to sit and brew for a while.

Chapter 2 is different.  I tore all the ingredients apart and started over.  Now all it needs are the spices to make the flavor pop. It's a new and improved recipe that I'm experimenting with and I think it tastes pretty good it just needs a little spice.

Chapter 3 --oh --chapter 3 you just need some sprinkles because you are sweet ---for now.

Chapter 4 is just like chapter 2 but I still need to get to the store to buy the ingredients. The list is in my head and all I have to do is buy the stuff and mix it together with a little TLC.

Once each of these chapters are finished, I will be an excited little cook-- I mean writer. Then I can move onto the other hungry chapters because my baby wants to feel full.  Plus, my muse needs to be satisfied. He  keeps bugging me not only to work on my WiP but to get on with the other work I have to do.

 Who is my muse you ask? Well, the main one who bugs me most is my MC Ian but check my boyfriend book because some of the others (ie. Edward) on that list come to bug me too.  All of them are hungry, so I must go make them a snack.

How do you satisfy your WiP? and your muse?

What chapters/revisions are bugging you? or have left you with delight?

Also, I apologize if you are vegan or vegetarian--please substitude the meat with something you would prefer to marinate.  I'll be posting next week on some awards that I received this week. Thanks guys!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Other ideas.

When I did Writing the Next Line I thought of an on going story but some of you did your own versions which is perfectly fine too.  So I thought I would post those as well.  Great job guys!  It is so neat to see the different versions along with the group story I posted yesterday (please click here to read it).  Bravo all around!  Thanks to all of you who participated.  ***To Elliot go ahead and send it. ;)

***Here is one by B. Miller:
I continued scrubbing the dried ice cream from the table top as the door chimed.
Don't these people know we are closing. I have homework to do. Gary, will take care of it.
I tried to make it look like I was busy as I eavesdropped. The customer's voice was low so it was hard to make out what he was saying.

"Claire, this man wants to speak to you," Gary yelled from across the room.

Me? What did this guy want from me?

His tall, slender frame slowly made its way over to me.

"Can I help you?" I asked.

He held out his hand and inbetween his fingers was a photo. "Do you know where this person is?"

I frowned at the picture, then looked back up at the man. "Is this a joke?" I asked.
"Not at all," he said. His face remained blank.
I looked back down at the picture again, my flesh creeping with uneasiness. What could this mean? I thought.

The girl in the photo was eight or nine, hair pulled back into identical pigtail braids tied off with purple bows. Her smile was sunny and wide, showing off the gap where her top front teeth were missing. She wore a green t-shirt with a smiling frog printed across the front.

My lucky frog shirt, I thought, dazed. I hadn't seen it since I was twelve.

Three years older than I was in the picture.

***By Roxy:
I continued scrubbing the dried ice cream from the table top as the door chimed.
Don't these people know we are closing. I have homework to do. Gary, will take care of it.

I tried to make it look like I was busy as I eavesdropped. The customer's voice was low so it was hard to make out what he was saying.

"Claire, this man wants to speak to you," Gary yelled from across the room.

Me? What did this guy want from me?

His tall, slender frame slowly made its way over to me.

"Can I help you?" I asked.

He held out his hand and inbetween his fingers was a photo. "Do you know where this person is?"

It was the ice cream man. I'd seen him around before, and I didn't like his looks much. I did, however, more than like his pecan praline.
"Why are you looking for that guy?" I ask the stranger.
"Because he's a spy."
I wrinkle my nose, worried that my favorite soft serve is in danger of becoming extinct. "A spy? Really? He hardly seems the type."
"You'd be surprised, Ma'am. It takes all kinds to run a intelligence-smuggling operation. Do you have any of the ice cream here that he sold you?"
"Why, yes," I reply and open the freezer, handing him my last quart.
The mysterious man reached inside the frozen dessert, extracting a plastic bag with a tiny micro chip inside a moment later.
He nodded to me. "You've been very helpful. Your country appreciates your cooperation."
The man left immediately, and I sighed with relief. I walked to the window after composing myself. The street outside was empty until the ice cream man unexpectedly pulled into view.
Gary appeared out of nowhere and whispered something to the man in the yellow and red truck. Just as I was wondering why Gary would be having a conversation with a suspected spy, I saw the ice cream man hand him a nutty buddy bar and a loaded Smith and Wesson.

****By Jackee:
I continued scrubbing the dried ice cream from the table top as the door chimed.
Don't these people know we are closing. I have homework to do. Gary, will take care of it.
I tried to make it look like I was busy as I eavesdropped. The customer's voice was low so it was hard to make out what he was saying.
"Claire, this man wants to speak to you," Gary yelled from across the room.
Me? What did this guy want from me?
His tall, slender frame slowly made its way over to me.
"Can I help you?" I asked.

He held out his hand and inbetween his fingers was a photo. "Do you know where this person is?"

The photo was old, curling in the corners from where the parchment backing was beginning to come unglued.
A black and white smile flashed from the face of the lone girl in the photograph as she leaned against the Model T. It was a smile I recognized because it was my own. The face was my very own.
What was this guy playing at? How did he get my face into a picture nearly a hundred years old?

So what did you think of these? I'll be doing this once a month. 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Group Story!

I'm behind this week.  Sorry for the late post and I'm trying to comment but that may not be until tomorrow.  I have company from out of town along with my son still recovering.

So here is the story all of you wrote. Really great stuff guys! We did get a little mix up in the middle so I'll post those versions tomorrow.  Some of you wrote your own versions. No worries.  I posted the beginning again along with the additions from you guys.  I hope to do this again next month.

Any title ideas?
By: ~Nicole Ducleroir~,Piedmont Writer,Amie McCracken,Jen,Crystal Cook,Falen, Summer, Bossy Betty,Charity Bradford,Bethany Mattingly,Ann,Elliot Grace,Talli Roland,Shelley Sly,SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T.,Theresa Milstein,Carolina Valdez Miller

I continued scrubbing the dried ice cream from the table top as the door chimed.Don't these people know we are closing. I have homework to do. Gary, will take care of it
I tried to make it look like I was busy as I eavesdropped. The customer's voice was low so it was hard to make out what he was saying.
"Claire, this man wants to speak to you," Gary yelled from across the room.
Me? What did this guy want from me?
His tall, slender frame slowly made its way over to me.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
He held out his hand and inbetween his fingers was a photo. "Do you know where this person is?"

The man's eyes were sleepy, drooping down at the corners, but insistent. I pulled my gaze from them and looked down at the photo. A gasp escaped my lips as the blood froze in the veins.

It was Tommy, all broken and bruised with a large open cut running along his hair line. I looked back at the man in the bad suit

"I have no idea who he is." I set down the rag and reached for the photo. He handed it to me and I looked closer. "Nope, sorry.

I couldn't tell what this man wanted he looked like he'd been run through the ringer but was it because he was after Tommy or because he actually cared I wasn't planning on taking my chances either way I didn't know where Tommy was but I knew I needed to find out.

"Sorry I can't help you is there anything else?"

The man was silent, his black eyes studied every part of my face, searching for a lie. I smiled hoping that would convince him, it probably would have if I had been one of the pretty girls who worked here.
 "You're sure you've never seen this man?" he asked.
I shrugged. "Don't know what to tell you."

He stared at me for a long moment, judgment heavy in those drooping eyes. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a slim black wallet, and when he flipped it open, I recognized the three bold letters printed inside.
 AAA. "Triple A, ma'am. I think you know why we are here.

My brow nit. Triple A? Why would they be looking for Tommy?

"Uh, not really. How did you get a picture of this guy?" I looked back at the table and played with the cloth in my hand.

"Let's just say he was on our "get to know" list." The man grouched as he scratched his scraggly chin.

I chuckled uneasily, swirling the wet cleaning cloth over a table. "Looks like you missed out on that opportunity."

"Poor guy, looks like he's seen better days." She wanted the Triple A man to leave. Her hand on the door she asked, "Anything else?"

He grinned, revealing a sharp set of incisors, gleaming under the overhead lighting. "That's all for now, Sweetheart. But just so you know, lying isn't your forte."

He turned and walked out the door. I slumped into a heap on the sticky floor.

'Claire!' Gary rushed over to me. 'Are you OK?'

I raised my head. 'No. I'm not.'

I would never be OK again.

It was the first time I'd seen Tommy, or at least an image of him, since that night at Lina's apartment.

It made sense that AAA would be after him. The Tommy I remembered had an attraction to cars - stealing, joy riding, and wrecking every single one he touched.

I had no doubt that Tommy wrecked one too many cars, which got AAA on his case and probably explained why Tommy was banged up in that photo.That was the night that everything, and I do mean everything, had gone wrong. The night my suspicions had been confirmed. The night my nightmares had begun. I had hoped never to see Tommy again.

If something happened to him, it would be my fault.
How could I have let Tommy get so drunk? He'd stumbled around Lina's living room with a bottle of Jack, crying out, "I don't want to go!" over and over. Finally Lina slapped him hard across the face and told him to shut up and, "Go anyway!" I was furious with Tommy for embarrassing me in front of my friends, so I let him leave. Just like that.

When he didn't show up at our apartment the next morning, I should've known something was wrong. I think a part of me did.

So what do you think? Great job guys! Tomorrow I will post the other stories and Friday will be an awards post. I'm delayed this week so sorry.  I'll be visiting your blogs soon. :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So I was tagged.

Contest: Stina and Steena --OMG contest ends 5/3 Go check it out!

Also, Susan Fields passed the lovely A is for Awesome award.  I will post about this later this week.  Thanks Susan

About a month ago, Jen from unedited tagged me to make a boyfriend book.  Now I am married and to be perfectly clear this boyfriend I'm putting together would only exist if my hubby did not.  That's right my hubby is the perfect guy for me so if he didn't exist --at all in this world or other worlds --I would have to make my own boyfriend. I do like pretty boys so if you don't like it don't go any further. So here it goes.

Hair color and style : messy and longer on top, shorter on the sides.  Curls preferred.

Photo removed
Eye color and facial features: Lately it doesn't matter as long as it is pleasing to me.

Photo removed

Height and body type: About my height or taller.  Not too muscular just a little definition.

Photo removed.

Visible age: I would like to say my age --definately above 20.

Photo removed

Human or other: AHHH! Human yes --vampire? yes please!

Photo removed
Paranormal skills: super strength without looking super strengthy.

Photo removed

Interests: Must love the favorite place. Oh and fast cars.

Photo removed
Habitat: Earthlike is good.

Photo removed.
Special skills: Not sure how this differs much from paranormal.  Maybe the ability to cook, and I always was fascinated with mind reading.

I don't like facial hair so the boys above would have to shave. 

So there you have it. I hope this does not qualify me as a cougar. All of you are tagged guys and girls--make a boyfriend or girlfriend book.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Title attraction.

I'm back...did anyone miss me?

My son is doing well after his surgery except for the sleep factor but we are working on that.

Thanks to everyone who took part in Writing the Next Line.  I may try it again next month. The story looks great and I'll post it later this week. Great job guys!

Also, thanks to all of you who gave me feedback on my old version of chapter 1.  It was put up on the Beta Club for open critique this past Thursday. All of your feedback was very helpful and Roni is awesome.  I hope to put something else on there soon.  Thanks Roni!

Here is something I've been thinking about. Titles. That's right, titles. The title of your book is very important just like the cover art (which is a whole other topic). The title catches the readers eye to draw them into picking up your book, opening it up and at least forcing them to read the inside jacket.

Lately, I have been thinking about the title of my WiP. Currently, it's a working title but I'm not sold on it. I think it's a little generic and there are many other books that have the same name but I'm going to wait until my manuscript is complete to rename it.

I do look to other books to see what pulled me in, what made me want to read them. Some books have a name that is obvious. Names that pretty much tell you what the book is about.

Dracula by Bram Stoker--about Dracula told from Jonathan Harker's POV.

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice--About an interview with --you guessed it-- a vampire.

Both of these books are classics in my mind but both with simple and self explanatory titles.

Then there are titles that maybe hint at something in the book but it's not the dominate theme or plot. These intrigue me because I wonder how the author decided on them. They really make me want to know what is this book about.

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater- Sure Sam shivers in this book along with making me shiver due to the temperature reminder at the beginning of each chapter.

hush,hush by Becca Fitzpatrick-- I'm still figuring this out maybe it went over my head--that happens. I think I remember a line in the book including these two words.  It doesn't matter-- I love the book.  The cover art didn't hurt on this one either.

Then there is the series.  If my book was ever published (and that's a big 'if') I do have a second book in mind.  So when I finally decide on a title I will have to keep in mind a title for the next book (it's plotted out in my head). Series titles are interesting too.

Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer-- I know some of you don't like this series but you have to admit it is clever. The titles--Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.  See the theme?

The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlene Harris--Every title has the word dead in it. Dead after Dark, Club Dead, Dead to the get the idea. There are about 10 books in the series and I'm not naming every one.

Not every series has titles that relate which is fine too.  It gives each book it own personality seperate from it's brothers and sisters.

Back to Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice--That series contains Interview with a Vampire, Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned and Tale of the Body Thief. Sure there is sort of a theme but it wouldn't surprise you if they were not.

See the books go together but look like they don't have to be.

So this gives me a lot to think about when naming my baby. What are your thoughts on the subject?

How do you go about naming your manuscript?

Do you name it at the start of writing, the middle or when you are finished?

What are your favorite titles?

How important is a title to you?

Don't forget to sign up for the last line blogfest Mat 1st at Lilah Pierce's blog.  Should be fun!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I'm so happy to be back.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Writing the Next Line

Welcome to Writing the Next Line.  If you like it maybe we'll do this once a month. This is not a new activity by any means so I can't take credit for it.  The Rules: In your comment you must continue the story so whoever is first must continue from where I left off and the next person to comment must pick up from where the last comment left off and so on.  Please keep each comment 1-2 lines but come back as often as you like. This post will be up for a couple of days so keep the story going.  When I return I will put the whole thing together and post it. Should be fun! The story starts below:

I continued scrubbing the dried ice cream from the table top as the door chimed.

Don't these people know we are closing.  I have homework to do. Gary, will take care of it.

I tried to make it look like I was busy as I eavesdropped. The customer's voice was low so it was hard to make out what he was saying. 

"Claire, this man wants to speak to you," Gary yelled from across the room.

Me? What did this guy want from me?

His tall, slender frame slowly made its way over to me.

 "Can I help you?" I asked.

He held out his hand and inbetween his fingers was a photo. "Do you know where this person is?"

There you have it. If you don't like it well I don't know what to tell you. I would love for everyone to participate so have fun. This will be up for a couple of days because my son is having surgery tomorrow so I should be able to check up on this over the weekend.

Check out The Beta Club tomorrow (4/15).  I think some of my first chapter will be up for open critique *cringing, holding my breath.* Please note: this is an older version of my first chapter-- go easy on me.  Your feedback is always helpful so let me know what you think.  I hope to read it all your wonderful comments over the weekend.

I also wanted to give a big, big, big thank you to all of you who commented yesterday.  We all have bad days and your comments made me smile and feel better.  I promise to stop whining and get to work.

Have a great weekend! Don't forget about me. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ho hum day

Today is another random post.  I'm sort of down but I'll get through it. I'm feeling a little amateurish (a new word I made up).  I can't keep up with the big boys. I just feel that I may never be able to compete. I feel that I need to enter a few contests to see if I'm worthy.  Even if I don't win at least I know I've given it a chance to see if I'm good enough.

So it is short today. 

Have you entered any writing contests?

How many have you entered at a time?

Does anyone know of any writing contests going on?

Here is a contest you should check out --Charmaine Clancy --Wagging Tales-- book giveaway ends 4/20.

*****Don't forget--Tomorrow come back to my blog for some fun.  Writing the Next Line.  Tell your friends!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fun day!

Good Morning!

Thanks for all your helpful advice on revising. It really helped. Believe it or not I had a 'A-ha' moment this weekend for my chapter 2.  I'm super excited about it and started to write it.  Yes, I actually got a moment to write. I also think I figured out my characters story worthy problem so that helps out a ton.

This week will be fun week for my posts. I'm trying to keep things light.

Don't forget on Wednesday, I'm hosting --I guess you would call it hosting-- Writing the Next Line. I will give a line or a paragraph and you guys will write a line in your comment continuing the story.  Put this in your sidebar, tell your friends--it should be fun. It will be up for a few days so it should end up a great story.  I'll post it when I return.  So, April 14th --Writing the Next Line--here.

Here are a couple of questions to ponder.

If you had one day to be your favorite character --who would it be and why?

If you were stuck on an island--who would you want to be with you?

What movie are you looking forward to seeing this summer?

What is your favorite summer activity?

 Can you tell what my favorite summer activity is? ;)

Ahhh!-- I so want to be there.

Get over to Sarah Wylie's blog--Sarah with a Chance and enter her totally awesome contest ends 4/26.  I can't even begin to tell you how awesome these prizes are.

See random and fun!  Have a great day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Changes and stages.

I'm sure you noticed, I changed my background. I'm sorry if you loved the other one. Since I'm an interior designer these things happen. I wanted to calm it down a little. I need that now. Calm.

Yesterday, I was thinking about something fun for next week.  Here's the deal.  I think Jen from unedited did this along with some of you other bloggers but I thought it would be fun. On Wednesday, I will post a line or a paragraph. You, my blogging friends, must continue the story in your comments (each comment is another line in the story). Get it? This will not be an official thing but please advertise it. The more the merrier. Wednesday April 14th starts...Writing the Next Line. 

This will be up for several days because my son will be getting surgery on the 15th so I will be M.I.A. I may come on to post or comment but if I don't-- just don't forget me. When I return I may post the whole story.

Lately things have been thrown at me in stages. Really this has been happening my whole life--it happens to all of us. You really like something one minute then it loses it's luster the next.

My kids have been going through a ton of stages. They loved carrots yesterday but today it's like I'm forcing them to eat chalk. Today, my son can't get enough of a certain truck video but tomorrow he'll totally ignore it and wind up climbing on the TV stand trying to spread their fingers on the screen to shut it off. Yes, that really happened.

Writing is no different. I love it, I know I do.  It makes me happy but lately my revisions are leaving me with a sour taste. This is all part of the writing and I want to make my WiP the best it can be-- I'm just having a hard time focusing on it. I want to feel my MC's talk to me and make me feel what they are feeling. Most of the time they do this when I'm in the shower and the moment is lost once I sit down at the computer.  I try to relive that moment the best I can but I feel like I come up short. They really just run away without a trace.

So far my chapter 2 and chapter 4 are really bothering me. Both have had to be completely re-written which is fine it is part of the process-- I understand that.  I also undestand that I will probably go through at least 20 revisions of the whole document before it may be considered-- okay. The whole WiP needs revising and I'm only in the early stages so I'm looking to you guys for your methods/advice. Sorry if I sound like I'm whining, I'm trying not to come across that way.

So what is your process of revising?

Any advice on revising?

Do you have memory loss when you sit down to type? (that awesome idea just blows away with the wind).

On another note, I opened a Twitter account.  Yes, I heard you (she is insane). I have no idea how to use it but I have one.  If you would like to stop by my account it is @mywritingjourne
I'm not even sure if that is how I'm supposed to present it. You can thank Simon from Constant Revision for making me consider this venture. All this week he posted on the ins and outs of Twitter.  I think I'll bookmark some to refer to.  I have not done much with it yet and may not do too much over the next few weeks. Consider it a learning curve. If you are in the Twitter neighborhood look me up.

Check out the agent signing contest by Shannnon Whitney.  Congrats to Shannon on signing with an agent.  Lots of cool books that are signed by the author.  Ends 4/10.

Also, Aching Hope is having a contest check it out.

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And the winner is...(drumroll)

That's right folks I have a winner of my 100 followers contest.  Thank you all for entering and reading what I have to say.  Maybe in a few months I'll hold another contest for fun. Welcome to the new folks, I can't wait to visit your blogs soon.

Before I annouce the winner, tune in next week for something fun.  I'm not going to tell you-- you will have to come back and see. Oh and tell your friends too. 

and the winner is...

Did I mention to go over to Roni at the Beta Club for an open critique today?

and the winner is...

If anyone has any contests they want me to mention just write a comment to me.

and the winner is...

I'm getting annoying, right?

and the winner is...

Get on over to her blog and give her a big wahoo.

Karen please email me at christine(dot)danek(at)verizon(dot)net
Let me know your selections and address.

Again, thanks to all of you for entering and being my blogger buddies (that's what I'm calling you).  You guys rock!

I must get to work (my other job) and work on my revisions. Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010



A pesky little word that holds a lot of negative power. It can create breakups, hate, fear, anger, depression, crush families and possibly drive one insane. It can suck the energy from you and cause a distraction from you achieving your goal. 

It makes you question--Why do they have a bigger house? Better car? Why is she prettier? How come I can't write like that? Why didn't I think of that idea? How can she handle her demands of being a wife, and mother and still meet her goals?You get the the picture. The grass is always greener on the other side.

This word has poked it's way into my subconscious now and again.  Really, name one person who has not felt this. It hurts you deep down and your face burns as it grows but how you release it is key. As I have gotten older, I have learned how to channel this negativity.  Sure growing up I have totally disliked some folks because they seem so perfect but are they? Everyone has faults--you may not see them.

I have learned to not put hate towards whatever I'm jealous at but to turn it into something more powerful--motivation. Writing has opened its doors for me to do this. I know I'm not the best writer out there (I'm learning) but turing the power of jealousy into motivation can be --well --powerful. It drives you to not only prove to yourself but to others that you can do this--watch me.  You will fall and doubt will try and drive you away from doing what you love but others will remind you that you need to continue and that power you store inside will take over.

My favorite way to release jealousy--write it into my story.  I love, love-- should I say it again-- love putting my MCs through conflict and torture.  Just to see how much pain they can endure.  Jealousy can help that.  Just as in real life it produces great love triangles, family quarrels, friendships severing, need I go on. You need conflict in a great story so go and write some.

So I ask you--

How do you handle jealousy?

Do you love putting your MC's thorough conflict?

What motivates you to write conflict?

Have you had a bad experience from being jealous?

Thought I would put a rise in you.

I'm trying to visit all of my new followers so please be patient.  The next couple of weeks will be hectic for me.  I have a goal to finish some revisions, critiques need to be done and my son's surgery is next week. Oh yeah and I have to work (at my other job). So keep checking on me I will not let you down.  I need to learn how to stay up all night and not get tired.  Wait --Edward dear, I need your help. :)

***Last reminder sign up for my contest***  The winner will be announced tomorrow.  Good Luck!
 Click here to enter and see the prizes.

Get over to Lisa and Laura's blog--500 follower contest--You know it's good.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For your information.

Hello and welcome to my new followers.  I'm sorry if I haven't visited your blog yet.  I'll get there.  Things are a little hectic here.  I promise I'll visit soon.  I thought a pretty orchid picture will set the mood for today.

Just a quick post today.

Some contests to check out:

Talli Roland-112 follower contest

Susan Fields- 100 follower contest ends 4/26

Jackee from Winded Words --Won hundred contest ends 4/10

A blogfest To check out. I'll have to revise my last line for this one.

 Lilah Pierce is hosting the last line blogfest May 1st.  Go check it out.

Also, thanks to Roni at Fiction Groupie for the Sugar Doll Award.  She really derserved this because she's really sweet.  Thanks Roni! You're so thoughtful.

Get over to the Fiction Groupie to participate in the Beta Club open critique today.

I have revisions to do so have a great day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's your problem?

I hope everyone had a great weekend. The weather was beautiful here so we soaked it in.
Great job to Kelly for holding such an awesome blogfest.  I hope to take part in another one soon.
Thank all you guys for you kind comments and helpful feedback.  It's helping me become a stronger writer.

Last week, after my post on my 100 follower contest (click here to enter--ends 4/7) I saw a comment from the author Les Edgerton. I was so honored and excited. As you know, I am giving away his book, Hooked, as one of the prizes in my contest. Mr. Edgerton posts are extremely helpful.  Each post is a lesson that can help all of us.  He even provides exercises for you to try.

So on that note, I decided to briefly discuss something that I have learned from the book Hooked. All the information is from Mr. Edgerton's book--Hooked. I think I just said that twice but I want to make sure you know that this is where the information came from.

Writing my current WiP is a complete learning experience. I didn't make an outline before I started I just wrote it. I guess you would consider me a panster (I write by the seat of my pants). Some of you may do this, some of you may think I'm crazy but it seems comfortable to me. Reading the book Hooked has been very helpful though. It has helped me dive into the inter-workings of my MC. Below are a few things you may want to think about for your protagonist.  I'm not a teacher so I don't have a lot of examples.  If you have any questions on this either wait to see if you win this book on Thursday or go and buy it. You will not be dissappointed.

Think about this first before writing your next story--understanding your protagonist's story worthy problem.

 The story worthy problem relates more to the protagonist's inner psychology.  It's a problem that must change the protagonist's world which forces him on a journey of change. This problem must be hinted at in the first chapter and carry through the entire story until it is resolved in the end. 

This is different than surface problems.  Surface problems are just little bumps in the road that reflect the story worthy problem but don't have enough meat to sustain an entire story.

All of these items are put into motion by the inciting incident. This is a dramatic scene that pulls the reader in to understand and grasp the protagonist's emotion.  This is not to be confused with a melodramatic scene.  You must provide drama which equals to conflict. But don't confuse conflict with melodrama.  For example, many writers start their stories with a physical scene --like a car crash, fight, etc. This may develop into melodramatic scene. Drama is more the heart and soul of an individual --the psyche. Melodrama is more superficial and external.

Boy, do I need to pick through my MC's brain.

So have you thought about any of these topics for your protagonist?

Are you more of an organized writer or a panster?

See short and sweet.  It's Monday people cut me some slack.  Mr. Edgerton describes these topics much better than I do and he actually touched on this on his site over the weekend.  I just thought I would share.

Check out the awesome contest Roxy from a women's write is having. If you don't- her muse, Daniel Craig, may hunt you down with gun in hand. ends 4/16.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 2, 2010

First page blogfest

Today is the day of the First Page Blogfest thanks to Kelly at Kelly's Compositions.  My first blogfest. I'm a little scared and excited. **hands are cringing and trembling*** So here it is --my first page.

I took soft steps as I crossed the hardwood floor and something caught my eye. The moonlight created a glow through the large picture window illuminating the dark room and the ticking of the clock matched the beating of my heart as it raced due to my surprise. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as my eyes searched to find what I thought I saw.

“Did you see that?” I whispered.

“What?” Ivy’s hand grabbed my upper arm.

I stood frozen in middle of the room. “Something ran in front of the window. Maybe a shadow.”

“How big was it?” Bryn’s voice lightly came from the side. I could barely make out his silhouette as he approached.

“I don’t know. It was a blur.”

The floor creaked as we stepped closer to the window and I could hear Ivy holding her breath. The air was electrified causing the hairs on my neck to stand on end. Bryn crept closer to us from the other side of the room.

All three of us jumped as a growling screech traveled out from under the couch.

“It’s a stinking cat,” Bryn turned his flashlight on and shone it in the direction of the culprit. The calico’s eyes reflected red as it stared at us.

“We live in a town that is over a hundred years old so you would think we would find something. I swear we are never going to find anything,” Bryn exhaled. “I think we would have better luck searching for aliens.”

“We are not going to find aliens in West Chester,” Ivy flicked the light switch on.

Well there you have it. I'm going to go and take a bottle of Tums.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Awards and news.

Sorry for the delay on this.  I have some awards to acknowledge and sorry if some of you have these already. I think I need to find one of those filmstrip things to display the awards in my sidebar.  If anyone knows how to do this please fill me in.  Everyone deserves these wonderful awards because you all are awesome but I had to narrow it down.

Thanks to Crystal Cook for the Superior Scribbler award.

The award goes to:

Thanks to Kimberly Franklin for the Blogger Buddie award.
The award goes to:

Thank you to Nicole Ducleroir, Lindsey from Dangerous with a Pen and Jen at unedited gave me this interesting award. All of them are really awesome and very talented writers.  This award was created by Christi Goddard and the rules:
The rules:
1. Choose five followers/commenters that 'get' you

2. Write something fake (preferably not too mean) about them

3. Link to them, and link back to this post to comment your receipt of the award

Here they are:
1. Roxy from a Woman's Write-She is a stunt motorcycle driver who races on the side.  You may see her many talents in a variety of James Bond movies. How else would she know Daniel Craig?

2. Kelly at Kelly's Compositions- Kelly is really has an amazing super power.  She can truly focus on five different projects at the same time and they all turn out brilliantly.

3. Crystal at write because you must-Crystal is a innocent housewife by day and a secret spy at night. She travels the world with her muse defeating evil in the dark shadows.

4. Jen at unedited-Is actually Princess Adelina from the underwater kingdom of Odessonia. Yes folks, she's a mermaid.

5. Kimberly Franklin-Kimberly is a famous interior designer.  What? You have  not heard of her? Please check out her site to see her amazing work. ;) Ohh and she is secretly trying to steal my best friend--you may know him as Edward.

How fun was this! A couple things to check out:

Roxy is posting a contest today.

Get over to the Beta Club at Fiction Groupie. Do some critiquing.

Don't forget First Page Blogfest tomorrow--Check out the details at Kelly's Compostitions.

A big Thank you to Karen G for her flattering post about me.  Thanks Karen. :)

Don't forget about my contest.  Click here for details.

Have a great day!