Monday, May 31, 2010

Show n Tell. Oh, contests and blogfest.

Show vs. Tell. I thought about this yesterday because my daughter had show n tell at her school this past week.
A few of you have posted on this recently too. I'm learning how to show vs. tell. I think I'm getting there--my CPs say so. I write in first person so this is crucial to my writing. It definately makes a difference. Drawing the reader in, making your characters real.

I tried to remember that lovely classroom lesson of show n tell.

You show what you will tell about.

You stand up in front of the class.

Shaking slightly.

A cough comes from the back row.

Your heart thumps in your ear as dozens of sparkling eyes lay upon you.


You hold up the floppy stuffed animal like a trophy.

Then after the kids eww and ahh about it tell. This is my dog spot. He has white and black fuzzy fur. He can bark. He also needs a bath because he smells funny. My brother tries to eat him and says he tastes like plastic. I love my dog, he's my best friend.

What happens when you show it? You the owner hold it up to the class letting them see the object (let's say the stuffed dog). The class will observe- noting the texture (touch), color, sound (if it barks in which it would require batteries), taste (some kids do this--just sayin') and smell. That's right the five senses. So how would you write this? 

A deep musty smell traveled up my nostrils as I rolled over. I pulled my best friend from under me.
"Good morning, Spot."
Squeezing my little companion, a plastic taste filled my mouth as a bunch of fur blanketed my tongue.
Wiping the hair from my tongue, I cringed. "Yuck. blah."
"You bad dog you." Spot stared back leaving no expression but let out a light bark.
"Oh no. Mom needs to change your batteries." I scratched the scruffy fur behind his ear.
"Mom! I need new batteries for Spot," I yelled.
My mom opened my door. "You don't have to yell, sweetie. I'll check and see if we have any." She gently picked up the fuzzy beast. "I'll also have to throw Spot in the laundry. His white fur almost matches his black spots."

I'm sure this isn't the best example. Probably pretty crude and my little kid sounds a little more adult. I guess that's why I write YA. Forgive me if I made a mistake.  I also put it in a different setting--again I'm not a certified teacher but I hope you get the idea.

Please check out these posts on showing and telling as well as dealing with writing senses.

 Erica Mitchell Spickard -about writing about the senses.

This fantastic post by the lovely Lola Sharp. I think she explains this much better than I did. Please check it out!!

 Karen G is having a contest. Ends June 1st. Pay it Forward contest. Really cool.

B. Miller is having a Pay it Forward contest ending June 1st. Actually, she started it.  Go check it out--it's awesome.

Christi Goddard-106 followers contest. Write a 500 word story and you can win an awesome prize. Ends June 15th.

Frankie at Frankie Writes-Having a 500 follower contest. Lots of signed books. If you go there tell her I sent you. Ends June 6th.

Michelle Gregory is holding a blogfest July 1st. The Share your Darlings Blogfest. Check it out!
Have a great day! Have a great Memorial Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I'm posting a warrant for the following words.  If you see any of these words in my manuscript please contact me right away. They're quite dangerous and can severly damage your baby.




These words have taken over my brain when writing and made my fingers type their sexy little letters. They seduce by buying you a drink, sweet talking in your ear and then they go in for the kill.

My CPs have had enough of you so get out of my WiP.


My one CP caught 'was' invading a sentance three times.

Oh and don't send 'just' over to try and talk to me. 

I have to go and quickly eat my breakfast because my brain is slowly going back to sleep. I was going to write. I just need to get some sleep. ARGGH! Blasted words.

If you didn't catch yesterday's post go here. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blogs provide crazy motivation.

My blog. I have said this before--I never realized what I was getting myself into. I really thought it would help me with 'getting my name out there.' Not that I'm some amazing writer that will be published tomorrow (I can dream). I thought it was something to just get recognized. I also didn't know how much I could contribute. I'm by no means an expert but I gave it a shot.

I didn't realize the amazing people I would meet --along with how much I would learn (I'm still learning). It has been an incredible journey to date. The feedback I get for what I write is priceless, good and bad. The support is something I could have never imagined.

The blog is all of these things as well as addicting. It's a time sucker but worth it in the long run.  It's finding the balance between the blog (and other addictions via internet) and writing that can be the most difficult. I think I'm finally getting there.

So why is she babbling like she always does? About nothing? She just rambles on and on about the same thing. I hope tomorrow to have something new but I have received an award I have not seen. Maybe you have but I have not.

The Journey Support Award.  I received this from Erica Mitchell Spickard. Thanks Erica, you are super sweet and this means a lot. (Oh and go VOTE for me in her contest). ;)
I think we all need support on our crazy writing paths. I never knew how emotional this journey could be and there will only be more emotion. It never ends--I know.
***So, I would love to give this to all of you. You have supported me this far and I will keep supporting you. Give it to someone who has given you super support on your journey. 

I do want to mention some people who have meant a lot to me on my journey so far.

Sorry for the long list which made this post super long. It's also a lot of links. I really want to list all of you. You all have been an inspiration and have motivated me to press on. Thanks to all of you who keep me going. I hope I provide the same support.

Update--Yesterday I did make some progress on my revisions--yeah. I only got one chapter done but hey it's progress. I skipped my chapter 5 moved on to chapter 6 and wa la chapter 6 is finished ---for now.
Whew! with that said --Have a great day and Happy writing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Awards and a contest.

I recevied some lovely awards over the past few days.
Stina gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you Stina you are so sweet.

I will pass this on to:

Thanks to the amazing Nicole for the Blogger Buddy Award. She just rocks.

I would like to pass this on to:

Contest : Go to the fabulous Kimberly Franklin's blog for an awesome contest.  Ends May 30th.

There you have it. It's a short one today. I have to get to revisions. They are killing me.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Which road will you take?

Most of my life I have been a quiet, shy girl. I never wondered why things happen they just did and I thought I would grow up, get married, have a couple of kids, maybe work a little and live life--like my mom. Not that there is anything wrong with my mom's life. I thought --"that's what I should do." I went to college for something I thought I loved but really I just like it and it gets me by.

 But why did I think this? I realize now that it's not me.

My best friend stresses that everything happens for a reason. Whether good or bad--it happens and you may or may not know right away-- why.

I sort of believed her but it wasn't until recently that I really believed her.

Last year, I started my current WiP. Why did I start it then? Why not 11 years ago when I started doodling ideas down on paper just to get them out of my head?

Beacuse I wasn't ready.

It took me 11 years to gain confidence, take criticism, and be the person I am now. There are some days, I wish I figured out how much I loved writing and went to college for something writing related. Would I be farther than I am now? I don't know.

I feel like my age (o.k. I'll tell ya 36) is part of it. Approaching 40 makes me feel sick at times --I have a fear of getting old. Yes, I know weird--right? Don't we all have this feeling? :) It made me look back and think of how stupid I was but showed me why my life took the path it did. I had many opportunites that would have sent me on a detour--on a different path but I refused to take them. Why? Sometimes I wonder where I would be today if I did. Would I be in a better position in the writing world? Instead of trying to gain the respect of other writers and working extra hard to make my writing better--would I already be there? Would I already be published?

Then I looked hard and really looked at certain pieces of my life--- I see why things happened.  I went college for interior design so I could gain confidence in myself, to be more outgoing and learn how to market myself.

Having kids has made me a little more patient--just a little. They provide me with love and the motivation to write. I want to show them that no matter what-- you can try to accomplish any goal no matter what age.

I married my hubby because he is a wonderful man and does push me to do what I believe in.

I also realize I don't want to live my life with regret. Like I have said before, I have a few but I must hurdle over them and move ahead. Regrets only slow you down.

I know that I'll write till the creativity that runs in my veins is drained. Till there is nothing left. (that's not including when Edward changes me into a vampire). :) Sorry I always have vampires on the brain. 

Ahem! I'll continue...and whether or not I get published (although I really, really want to one day. Who doesn't, right?)

There are many roads for our journey and you must be able to read the signs that are right for you. The signs that lead you to happiness.

Where is your road leading you?

Do you believe things happen for a reason?

How do you get over regrets?

What has made you realize that writing is your passion?

I don't have the secret formula on figuring this out. Hey, it has taken me 36 years to figure out this much.

Happy writing and have a great day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Writing the Next Line recap.

I want to give a big congrats to Elana Johnson for getting a book deal. She is so awesome and sweet. So go over and give her a big congrats. **popping cork on champagne** Oh and eating chocolate. :)

Thanks to all of you who participated in this months Writing the Next Line. Great job guys! I will do it again next month. Check out how it turned out below. I will call this Broken Glass by Theresa Milstein, Piedmont Writer,Melissa J. Cunningham,  Jen, Tina Lynn, Bossy Betty,Alexandra Crocodile, Susan Fields,  The Alliterative AllomorphAlesa Warcan.

Slamming the car door, I ran up the stairs two by two.

God! He's such a jerk!

"Lexi! Wait!" Jeff yelled.

"Why should I?" My angry words echoed.

I stopped on the top step fumbling through my bag, searching for my keys.

"What did you want me to say?"

"It's not what you said, it's what you didn't say," I hissed.

He slowly approached, taking one step at a time. "Lexi, come on. What I didn't say? What's that supposed to mean?!"

"You know what it means. Why do you have to act like a--"

"Like a what. Go ahead say it," he said squinting furiously.

"Like a ..."

The sound of breaking glass came from inside the house, cutting our argument short. My breathing ceased as I looked at my keys then to the door.

It was cracked open.
"Stay here," Jeff commanded.

I grabbed his arm before he left. "You're not going alone. You don't know who's in there or what you'll be facing."

Most of all, he didn't know my secret power.

"Here," I reached over and grabbed the clay pot of geraniums on the porch and dumped it out, "Take this."

He looked at me and rolled his eyes.

"What am I going to do with this?" He hissed.

"I don't know but it's all I've got." For now, I thought.

I unlock the door and Jeff sneaks through the opening. I follow, my hands on the small of his back, pushing him forward.

My heart races, filling with dread. I know what awaits but how do I tell Jeff? How can I share this dark secret?

The fear sets in but I remain quiet I don't want to be the one to tell Jeff but I also don't want him to see if for himself.

A low growl rumbles from behind the door leading to the kitchen. My heart drops to my feet, then crashes through the floor.

There I see it. I thought I would never see it again. Hadn't I dealt with this all before? Hadn't I buried it deep so I would never have to see it again? I walked over to it, there are on the kitchen floor. It was the...

... body. I was reminded of that silly scene in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" where the body ends up in Harry's hotel room, and he calls the detective and says "they gave her back". That's just what they'd done to me now. They'd given her back.

"What the...?" Jeff asked.

"Cara," I whispered.

Jeff turned to me, eyes wide. "You know this person?"

"I'm afraid I do," I said to Jeff. "She's my sister."

"Your sister? I never knew you had a sister" Jeff looked bewildered.

"We haven't really had that much contact. She's been in isolation in the Sheffield lunatic asylum for years - with no visitors allowed."

"But... why is she dead? And why is she here?" Jeff asked.

"Um", I said, scratching an itch in my right ear. "I didn't think it'd come to this, Jeff. I really didn't. I'm so sorry."

"But what the heck is going on? You knew something like this was going to happen?"

"Er ... I ..."

"And what the hell am I doing still holding this clay pot of geraniums? Have you lost it?"

"Oh shush Jeff... Put the pot and look at this. I have a secret power I've never shown anyone."

I knelt by Cara and touched her forehead. "Fifteen minutes backwards ought to be enough."

Well there you go. What did you think?  Great job guys!
 I will do an awards post on Wednesday. Thanks to Stina and Nicole.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thanks Chimera!

Have you tried Chimera Critiques?

What is Chimera Critiques you ask? It is an amazing site where three incredibly talented, and experienced writers will critique a chapter of yours--for free.

Who are these lovely critiquers? Callie Forester, Zellie Blake, and Erica Spickard.  Did I mention they are awesome?

Here's how it works. This is a directly from their blog--"Every month, we accept two submissions from our slush pile for these free critiques. While we each have preferences, you are welcome to submit work from any genre."

So I submitted and they critiqued my first chapter. I received their critiques in about two weeks. Each one provided me with such helpful feedback. Yes, I was nervous as I always am when submitting for a critique but these gals made me feel quite comfortable and tension free. They are all very sweet.

Not only is this site for critiques but there are many helpful writing tips,interviews, forums with an array of topics, and fun stuff like writing exercises and contests.  They are having a contest right now!!!

The contest is giving a name to this little guy! Make sure you call him a guy. The Chimera is not feminine. Sorry Chimera, I was wrong.

I would highly recommend Chimera Critiques. Go check them out. I will be submitting another chapter soon.

Callie, Zellie and Erica thank you so much!

Monday, I will post the Writing the Next Line recap. So If you still want in on the action go here.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catching up and update.

So I decided to post this evening because I will be with my kids tomorrow. I've been sort of slacking in my blogging. I'm trying to keep up and it's sort of getting me down. This weekend I was on a doubt trail but I need to be positive. I'm working hard and learning a lot.  These things take time and practice.

 I'm also trying to catch up with my reading.  I'm a slow reader so reading a book takes me a while. I have so many on my list it is driving me crazy.

Thanks so much for all your generous comments from the past two blogfests I participated in. I know I say thank you a lot but hey I'm thankful.

**Check out this-- way to cool contest (to die for contest--I didn't mean that as a pun but funny, huh?). If you are a vampire fan in any way --get to Sara McCLung's blog--right now and you better tell her I sent you. If you have read my blog in the past you know I LOVE vampires (blame it on Bram Stoker--it really is his fault). I can't even begin to tell you how truely awesome the prizes are. So when you finished reading my blog and comment go over there. :) Ends June 2nd.

**Go to Erica Spickard's blog and vote for a me. :) She needed a name for a character in her book and I'm a finalist. It will be up for a week.

Stay tuned for these upcoming posts on my blog:

--Post on my experience with Chimera Critiques. They are having a contest too!

--Writing the Next Line recap.

Update--My revisions are going well --I think. **my doubt is toying with me** My CPs are so awesome in helping with my WiP so I'm so thankful for that. Thanks gals. :) My current challenge is I tend to switch tenses so I'm working really hard on making sure I don't. Tenses are my new enemy. **eyes narrow** Oh and don't forget those pesky adverbs.  **lips tensely press together** We all have our weaknesses currently these are mine.

What are your current roadblocks?

How have you resolved your weaknesses?

My post is random but needed to catch up on some things. Short and sweet. Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's Talk Blogfest.

Thanks for all your generous comments on the Flirty Blogfest.  You guys are too kind. Thanks to Critique this WiP for hosting it. Great job everyone!

Here is my entry for the Let's Talk Blogfest hosted by the amazing and lovely Roni from Fiction Groupie. You must --I repeat-- must check out her site and participate in the Beta Club.  I had a whole other entry but in the end it didn't sound right so here is another from my WiP. I hope this one counts. To keep it short, I threw you into the scene. Anna's friend Bryn just got finished telling her about a new student. That's all I'm saying.

“What?” I looked over at Ivy. She was staring at the locker next to mine. I turned to see what they were looking at. It was the new guy turning his lock.

He looked at me and his eyes locked onto mine. They were so enticing, ice blue and piercing through me. I have one rule until I get to know someone—I never look at them in the eyes. I thought it was the window to the soul and I always felt vulnerable. Superstitious I guess but it's a rule of mine and here I was staring right back at him.

“Hi,” he said softly as one of his blonde locks fell over his forehead. His cologne tickled my nose leaving a light, sweet scent.

I stood there frozen not knowing what to do next. A pit began forming in my stomach and tingles ran down my spine. I hugged my books, bending the pages in my nervous stupor. My heart pounded as my face heated up.

“Stare much?” Veronica said, squinting at me. I didn’t see her slither up next to him. I guess she claimed him already as part of her royal court.

 “Don’t worry, Ian, they’re just the freaks. Just ignore them.”

“That’s not what you said when we were together under the bleachers.” Bryn piped in.

“Really, you're still holding on to that? That was like umpteen years ago. Get over it Bryn.”

Bryn crossed his arms. “I hope Cord knows you're looking for replacements.”

“I was welcoming our new student, who for your information, was introduced to Cord in the parking lot before school,” she said putting her hand on her hip.

“Whatever,” Bryn rebutted.

The second bell rang and Ian shut his locker.

“Ian, Let’s get you to class.” Veronica eyes laid their grasp back onto me.

They slowly walked away and Ian did something that seemed odd. He rolled his eyes at her. Obviously, he didn’t know the power of her royal highness. She didn’t catch it because she was too busy flaunting her pearly whites and flinging her long sandy blonde hair.

“I’ll see you guys in history,” Bryn mumbled and ran off down the hall.

“Wow. What a hottie, huh?” Ivy said. “I think he likes you.”

“What? How did you get that from the two seconds we were together?”

“Anna, that boy looked at you with warm, bedroom eyes. He likes you.”

My eyes bulged at her absurd comment. “No, he doesn’t. I don’t even know him.”

“How did you feel when you two were having a staring contest? Warm and tingly?”

My face turned bright red. She was right but how and why? I don’t know him.

“Do you read minds now?” I squinted.

“No, I know you too well.”

I held my breath watching Veronica and Ian make their way down the hall.

She tilted her head towards my ear. “Fine, don’t believe me but when they turn the corner…if he looks at you… that means he likes you or at least interested.”

We stood there watching and waiting to see as the masses scattered to find their class room. My heart beat harder waiting for the answer. Why was I even concerned about this? Ivy’s out of her mind.

They rounded the corner and as they did his eyes caught mine and a smile snuck up his cheek.

I felt like having a heart attack on the spot.

Ivy lightly punched my arm. “I told you so.”

“That means nothing. We need to get to class.” I started walking. “Do I look fat? I think I gained a few pounds.” I tried to check my butt in the reflection of the trophy case.

“Don’t change the subject. Just face the fact that a guy likes you other than Bryn. It’s a good thing.”

“I don’t need a relationship right now.” I rolled my eyes at her.


“Have you been witnessing my life over the past year? It’s not the healthiest.”

“Then that’s why you need something more normal,” She smiled.

It was true, I did need something more normal but was this ‘the normal’ I was seeking.

I apologize for the roughness of it. I'm still revising. Maybe that was longer than I thought --sorry.

Quick blurb --get over to Chimera Critiques. They are having a contest ending May 31st. Really, get over there. :)

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flirty Blogfest

Good morning! Did anyone miss me? I sure missed you.  I hope you are having a great weekend.

Thanks to all of you who participated in Writing the Next Line. You guys did a great job! If you missed it go here and add a line. I will not post the full story until later in the week.

I'm not sure if this is flirty or not. I just thought it was cute. Thanks to Critique This WiP for hosting the Flirty Blogfest. Go check out this blog for some great info and posts.

He insisted on buying the ice cream and we trekked out onto the sidewalk heading into town. I licked my cone down to a manageable level so I could talk.

“Thanks for the ice cream,” I said, slightly smiling.

“No problem.” He slowed his pace.

Eating and walking plus looking at a hottie is not a good combo for me. My feet crossed each other and I tripped then caught myself. Ian grabbed my arm to help hold me up. My breathing ceased at his touch.

"I think we should sit." Ian pointed to a small green bench.

I nodded and followed his lead.

“So why didn’t you go on the ghost hunt tonight?” Ian managed to talk and eat without being gross.

“Well, I wanted to catch up on a few things and… Ivy's out of town so I'd be alone.”

His face formed a confused look. “I thought they're your friends?”

“They are… I guess I just needed a break.” My eyes instinctively closed as the stupid words left my mouth.

“A break? Is there something I should know about them?” His eyes squinted.

“No. They're great people. It's just this year got off on a bad note with Bryn and Dehlia. I just like to have others around me when I'm with them.”  My stomach churned at the route this conversation was taking. What was I saying? I finished my ice cream and cleaned my hands with a napkin.

“Yea ..sorry about that first day.” Ian looked at the ground.

“It's so not your fault. Bryn can be jumpy and Dehlia –I barely know her. She seemed nice to me when I met her. I guess since she seems to be attached to Bryn, she feels obligated to side with him." I swallowed the lump that had been growing in my throat.  I wasn't sure what he was going to ask next which left me uneasy.

“What about Lucy and Alan?” Ian confused melodic voice sang to me.

"You haven’t noticed? They're dating. As cute as it is, I just need to be away from their... cuteness.” I was now getting confused where I was going with this.

Ian smiled in a way that he understood what I was saying but thought it was –dare I say it –cute.

 “So you and Alan had a thing.” He smirked. Even his smirk was flattering on him.

“What?” His statement made my mind go blank. How did he figure that one out?

“You and Alan. Did you date him? Because I'm guessing that's why you don’t want to be around him and Lucy.” Ian proudly smiled.

“No. We didn’t date.”I drew my eyes to the patterns in the brick sidewalk trying to buy me some time to think about what I would say next. Do I really need to tell him this? I could feel his hypnotizing stare lay upon the side of my face. If I looked at him I may never find the words to speak. 


Keep eyes down.

My nervous blabbering mouth took over. “We just had a…moment... of something more.”

“A moment…meaning--.”

“Meaning….we kissed at a party. We thought we liked each other more but we decided we would be better as friends.” I exhaled and leaned back on the bench. Ian had just turned our conversation from boring to very personal.  I was hoping I would get a turn to ask him a few questions of my own.

“Oh... I it's hard to see him with someone else?” He leaned back too still trying to gain my eyes attention.

“Not really...I guess seeing them is a reminder that I don’t have a relationship like theirs.” I picked at my nails to concentrate, hoping it helped me say something intelligent.

“So then you had a moment with Bryn too. That's why he's on the defense around me.” His eyes squinted again. “Except he likes you more than friends.”

 “No... we never had a moment. I’m not attracted to him that way. I only see him as a friend. I think he has other thoughts which are obvious.” My nervousness was now sprinkled with pieces of embarrassment.

“So you're not dating anyone.” He raised a smile.

Nothing like getting to the point. Was he really asking this—really wanting to know? The lump I swallowed before was now back in my throat blocking the air flow to my lungs forcing a light cough to release. 

I smiled then bit my lip. “You see me everyday and you haven't noticed that I'm not seeing anyone?”

He knew the answer. I could see it in his face-- he just wanted to torture me---how cute.

“Just checking.” His smile grew wider. “Do you want to walk a bit?”

I caught his eyes that paralyzed me. I couldn't move. Was this really happening? I put myself on auto pilot and blurted out the first thing that came from my inner thought process. “Sure.”

As we walked, the buildings towered above us and the streetlights gleamed.  Now, I wanted to ask the questions to see how many he would answer.

I put my hands in my pockets, took a deep breath and with every ounce of courage I had, said. “Now it's my turn.” I gave a flirty smile to hide the nerves that kept my stomach turning.

“Okay. Fire away.” He scratched the side of his head.

What do I ask? What I really want to know? My courage lingered as my famous nervous blabbering returned.

“What about you.. .any girlfriends?” I felt like kicking myself after these words left my lips. I wanted to know his status but it came out my mouth awkward. Hopefully, I didn't sound stupid.

“You see me everyday and you haven't noticed that I'm not seeing anyone?” He chuckled.

A sense of humor too. He is an amazing package.

 I smiled back. “Hey, you may have some girl in California.”

He laughed. Warm tingles made their way around my body at his melody, hoping he was just as nervous as I was.

Well, there you go. I have nerves now creeping in my tummy.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Writing the Next Line.

So I'm jumping the gun on this. I was going to post it later but I have a ton of things to do and posting it tomorrow morning might not happen due to this conference I'm attending (its causing problems).  So sorry for the mislead of days.

Welcome to Writing the Next Line. I tried this last month and everyone seemed to like it. So I'm trying it again.

The Rules: In your comment continue the story.  Try and keep your piece 2-3 lines but visit as often as you like. For example: if you are the first person to comment write 2-3 lines continuing the story I posted.  If you are the second person to comment you must read what I wrote and what the first commenter wrote and continue the story from where the previous comment left off. And so on.  Check here to see how it works.

Here we go --have fun!

Slamming the car door, I ran up the stairs two by two.

God! He's such a jerk! 

"Lexi! Wait!" Jeff yelled.

"Why should I?" My angry words echoed.

I stopped on the top step fumbling through my bag searching for my keys. 

"What did you want me to say?"

"It's not what you said, it's what you didn't say,"  I hissed.

He slowly approached, taking one step at a time. "Lexi, come on. What I didn't say? What's that supposed to mean?!"

"You know what it means. Why do you have to act like a--"

"Like a what. Go ahead say it," he said squinting furiously.

"Like a ..."

The sound of breaking glass came from inside the house, cutting our argument short. My breathing ceased as I looked at my keys then to the door.

It was cracked open.

There you have it.  This will be up for a couple of days so come back as often as you like. I will post the whole story when I return.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Setting the scene.

The setting.

Obviously, it's important to any story. How does one come up with one? Most of the time it is a place we know or at least somewhere we could visit and experience the taste, feel, and smells of the place we want to create. But what about those places we don't know of. Those places we create out of nowhere that may or may not be light years away. What then? Imagination. We all have it, we use it always.

(Pictures from my town..isn't it cute.)

In current WiP, my setting is familiar (the town I live) and it also contains an imaginary one. Writing a mix of the two is frustrating and fun. With the town I live in, I can just walk outside and see it but with the other world I turn to my brain trying to show me. When writing them, I need to keep in mind the balance of explaining it vividly without over explaining it. This is another thing I'm working on because I can explain the death out of something. You do have to set it up for the reader so finding the right balance is important.

I also have been having a hard time coming up with names for the imaginary world.  Currently, the names are on the back burner until the revisions are done or until I have an 'a-ha' moment.

So, I'm making it short and sweet today.

How do you come up with your settings (scenery)?

How do you come up with names of imaginary settings (scenery)?

Hope you guys had a great weekend! Have a great day!

***Don't forget Writing the Next Line starts on Wednesday (May 12th).  I may post it early (Tuesday evening). This will be up for a few days so feel free to come as often as you like and tell your friends.

Friday, May 7, 2010



I'm asked this question about 60 gazillion times a day by my 4 year old daughter.  This does not include the 100 times I ask myself this question about other things that go on in my head.

The answer to her repeated question is usually --because that's the way it is.  This usually will give me about 10-15 minutes before she asks why again.

My daughter is curious--why do cat's wash themselves? why is the tree trunk brown? why can't I have a toy? why do I have to drink milk? why do I take a vitamin? You get the picture.  I could answer these with the actual truth but I know once I start to explain another why question is brewing.

So I got to thinking--why am I so obsessed with writing? Easy answer--because I love it and well it makes me happy.  You already knew that.

I started to use the why question for other areas of my writing adventure--one I already posted about this week. Why suffer (put myself through the anguish of questioning my writing ability) through critiques? Another easy answer because they will only make my WiP better and I should get used to people giving me their opinion because this is only the beginning.

Then I applied it to a chapter of my WiP.  Why is this chapter necessary? and it developed into more questions. Does it make sense? Does it flow? How does it fit with the plot? Why is that character chewing gum? Is that necessary?

O.k. maybe I started to go overboard but it made me realize why my daughter asks so many questions. She wants to know and understand. Just like someone who might read my precious story. They too would want to know every detail and why a certain character or chapter or anything is relevant to the rest of the story.

I'm not trying to stress you out even more so please don't take it that way. I sometimes get overwhelmed by thought of certain pieces of my WiP. Mainly because I have a long way to go and there are parts to my WiP that need major reworking. When I question-- why-- it sometimes helps. The --why--question is also helping me cut the fat so to speak. Things that may have slowed the pace down are now being cut. It was great to write these pieces because it helped me understand the story but they need to go.

Here are questions for you:

Do you ask the --why--question?

Does this help you in your revisions?

Does it seem you have to trim or cut a lot more than you thought?

*****Breaking News****Get over to First Novels Club or Frankie Writes.  Frankie has an agent!!! Go congratulate her!!! So excited for her!!!

Go check out a new blog by Chimera Critiques Erica Spickard-- She is also having a contest.Ends May 27th.

I also wanted to tell everyone that I do appreciate all of your comments.  I hope you don't get annoyed that I don't respond to them. I want to, I really do but lately I have had time constraints and I'm teaching my son how to sleep on his own again (after his surgery it has been murder.) I'm usually working on 3-4 hours of sleep a night so please forgive me. I do read all your comments and take all of them to heart. So keep commenting. I'm trying my best to return your kindness.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where do you want to go?

So today is a wacky Wednesday. Why, you ask? My mind drew a blank with no idea for a post. I began to search the brain which is working on Chapter 5 and a whole lot of nothin' came out. It's tired and well it's thinking of somewhere to go.

Where would the brain like to be?

I see a vision forming. See it. Right there. Oh wait! there are a few places it wants to go.

First stop: London, England. Many years ago, I stopped here on a trip to Hamburg, Germany. Loved it! I want to go back. My brain wants to just walk the streets of Piccadilly Circus and then walk on over to a cozy pub and have a beer.

Second stop: Munich, Germany. I have been here twice and will be going again this summer. I really love Munich. I'm smiling thinking about it. I'm walking through the Englischer Garten.  Through the stone paths listening to the swift current of the river runnning through it. I stop and sit at Augustiner Bier Garten (my favorite beer) and watch the beautiful cars drive by (BMW is headquartered here and Audi is close, so is Porsche and Mercedes). I'm not a snob. I just like cars.

Last on my travels today is somewhere unknown. I may or may not have been. I want to be laying on a lounge chair with a warm breeze caressing my face, soft sand rubbing between my toes, and a fruity drink, preferrably alcoholic, in my hand. A palm tree's arms covering me in its shade. The crash of the bright blue waves providing a lullaby as I fall asleep.

Hope you enjoyed a little traveling. I needed a getaway.

Where do you want to go today?

Where is your favorite place to travel?

I'm taking tomorrow off to get work done. I most likely will be commenting as I can't seem to leave my laptop for a minute.

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bad critiques and Writing the Next Line.

Well, today is quick and easy.  I want to thank Crystal for the Sweet Blogger award.  She is the sweetest--go check out her blog. 

Mark your calenders--I will host another Writing the Next Line on May 12th. I have work related duties and will be M.I.A. for a few days. When I return, I will post the story in full.

Flirt Blogfest hosted by Critique This on May 16th.

I also wanted to answer a question that was asked by Alexandra Shostak in yesterday's comments.
Go and check out her blog after you read this one. ;)

She asked, "Have you ever had a really BAD critique?" If you mean BAD as in curl  myself into a ball in a dark room and cry my eyes out, YES.

I don't want to sound like I'm some super woman who doesn't react. I do. Everytime I post something that I have written or send my WiP to anyone to critique (including CPs) my stomach gets all knotty and sick. My mind usually gives me the lecture on doubt. You know the one where it tells you that you are not a good writer, you're never going to get anywhere, what are you thinking, etc.  I have to get over it though. My design experience has helped me with this--criticism. It has toughen me a little.

That's not to say that I don't get a stinging feeling in my gut when there is a bunch of red on the page. Tears do well up and sometimes fall and I go curl up on the couch eating a bunch of chocolate along with ice cream. I feel that I have to chalk it up to learning and making my WiP the best it can be. I also turn it into motivation to prove that I can. My life has some regret and I don't want anymore of it especially if I love to do it. It makes me happy when I can create something from my heart.

The other thing is I don't have a lot of time to focus on the negative. If I do, my family will suffer. I have two young ones at home and it's hard enough to keep up with them.  If I'm depressed they are super bad. Again, this does happen now and again but not as much as it used to. I'm a natural pessimist so I can fall into the depression trap real easy. I need to try and focus on all the happy I can.

I have my moments of utter doubt and I vent on the negativity that comes my way.  I'll post about it and you wonderful folks will make me feel better. So thanks for that!

You may want to ask me this question again when I start to query because patience is not my strengh.  He He. ;)

So, have you had a BAD critique?

How do you handle criticism?

Have a great day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Don't be is good.

Thanks again Lilah for hosting the last line blogfest. Great job everyone!

I love feedback.  If you have been reading my posts you know this. I'm now able to really accept criticism (both postive and negitive) pretty well.  I look at it as a learning tool.  You giving a critique helps as well.  Looking at someone else's work can help you strengthen your craft. It helps you recognize what works and what doesn't.  This obviously helps in any stage of your project.

When I first decided to begin this journey, I was scared to death on letting anyone read what I wrote with the thought that they would laugh at me. I got over it and I'm glad I did.  I'm following my passion and I have the most helpful people who are supporting and teaching me as I go. I thought I would share my experience so far on how I get feedback.

I first turn to my family and friends. They mainly provide support but they do give some good feedback too. Love you guys!

Second, I found some critique partners. You can find them anywhere--writers conferences, blogs, etc.
My critique partners rock! (Kelly, Crystal, Summer, Jen and Jon). I couldn't of ask for more. If you can find great critique partners, your life becomes easier.  I know your thinking well doesn't it become harder too because just when you think you have your WiP right they will pick something out that you need to fix.  Yes, but it's a good thing.  It makes you a better writer and your story will love you for it. To my CPs, thanks you're awesome. Keep up the good work. I hope I'm helping you just as much as you're helping me.

Other people who help me--blogger buddies.  That's right --you guys.  You support, critique, encourage, etc. When I whine you listen, when I'm happy you pop the cork on the champagne.   So thanks and I hope I provide the same feelings.

If you just want to start with something small, here are some other places I've found helpful:

1. The Beta Club (Fiction Groupie)-I love this one and it's extremely easy. Just email Roni.  She is great at critiquing and once she's done she posts her critique of your work for other bloggers to see.  They can comment and tell you what they think too.  If you don't want anyone to know it's yours then tell Roni not to post your name.

2. Teen Fire-For YA writers.  You can post 1000 words and get feedback from the members. You may get a visit from someone at Sourcebooks or the fabulous Lisa and Laura.

3. YALitChat-Another source for YA writers. You can post your first five pages and the members will critique it.

4. Authonomy-I have not tried this yet so I'm not sure how it works but it's developed by the book editors at HarperCollins. You can upload 10,000 words or your full manuscript for review. Editors do browse this site.

5. Chimera Critiques--I love this website.  I just got feedback from (3) lovely authors (Callie Forester, Zellie Blake and Erica Spickard).  It's very private, free and extremely helpful.  They are very experienced and super nice. If you have not visited them please do.  They will be having a contest soon, too.

6. Blogfests- It's a great way to get feedback quickly on something you wrote.

Well, there you have it.  My take on getting feedback. 

Where have you gotten feedback from?

What works best for you?

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Line Blogfest

The lovely Lilah has been so gracious to host the Last Line Blogfest.  Please check out her blog --you will not be disappointed. 

My last line may be a little cliche or dull so please excuse the roughness of it.  I'm still revising my first draft and I'm only on chapter 4 in my revisions (this is from chapter 33). The flower picture really has no purpose.

“So what do we do now?” I said, wrapping my arms around him.

“We go out into the real world and live. Do whatever we want. Well,we have to behave." He flashed me a playful smirk. "We have to check back in here once a month but that is a small price to pay to be together. Don’t you think?”

His fingers swirled on my back as he pulled me closer to him. “You did it, Anna. I told you, you could.”

I smiled as he leaned in to kiss me.

Danger still lurked for me in every shadow and how I would be able to live in the real world with my new life was still in question but I had him to guide me through it.

Yikes. There you go. Have a great weekend!