Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Love letter to my literary crush.

So here is my quick entry for Frankie's Love Letter to your Literary Crush. It's short and sweet but I wanted to tell my literary crush to come back.

Dearest Patch,

I'm so sorry about our argument. Please come back. I only was going to see Edward to talk--nothing more. I swear. I don't get nearly this upset when you go to see Nora. Seriously.

If you come back, I can explain everything. Even the neighbors called to see what happened. That could be because of your motorcycle taking off at 2am but just ignore them. At least they didn't call the cops.
I can't forget the amazing taco dinner we made in the kitchen. I sat on the counter while you worked your chef magic slipping me kisses inbetween stirring the meat. You looked so adorable with taco sauce on your cheek.

You having wings doesn't bother me at all, in fact, it explains a lot. I should have known when I saw the cover you did for that author.

I need to see your angelic face again to stop my heart from sinking into the dark abyss of sorrow. I miss you, please come back.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Writer's Clog.

Over the next few weeks things on my blog will be a little crazy. Summer has moved in and family things will be occurring so if I miss a few days--I did not leave. Welcome to my new blogger buddies can't wait to see your site.

Tomorrow Frankie will be hosting a Blogfest. You must write a love letter to your fav YA character. I hope to participate but my mind has been mushy so I'm not sure how creative I am at this moment. I definately want to check out the entries.

Thursday, July 1st--Michelle Gregory is hosting Share your Darlings Blogfest. You share a scene you love but had to delete from your WiP.

We all know what writer's block is, right? Nothing comes from that part in your brain that is supposed to be creative. Sometimes things dry up and nothing comes out. A black hole forms and your voice echoes as you ask--Is anybody in there? Yes, I've had this but recently I've had something different. Something I'm referring to as writer's clog.

Let me explain. I have been working my butt off (I wish this was actually true because I would like to lose a few pounds in that area--whole other issue) on WiP #1. Since it is the first novel I've finished, I've a lot of learning going on so I understand the slow process and constant revision. I'm going through my first revisions on it and can not get away from the beginning. I kept saying move on and come back, write down your ideas and return but the brain is not listening. So after 10 revisions of my first chapter, I came up with another idea for chapter 1.

I emailed my CPs a horrible version of my idea and waited for them to give me feedback. Their comments turned out pretty positive. Then I met with one of my CPs and she helped me brainstorm even more interesting ways to start my baby. (Thanks Kelly!)

I'm trying to let it simmer put it all together and hopefully have a kick butt writing session. The problem is all of the ideas are stuck. They are all blocking the filter that lets ideas flow smoothly. Everything is sitting there and my mind can't decide where to start. It doesn't help that WiP #3 keeps throwing visuals my way. Thank god WiP #2 is quietly entertaining itself on the otherside of my brain.

What kind of Draino do I need to clear this up?

I want to move on with the first round of revisions (because I have a lot crap to get rid of) and come back to this but I want to write it while it is fresh.
See --I have the ideas they are just clogging the drain. This, my friends, is not allowing the creative water to flow.

Has this happened to you?

What is your remedy?

Have a great day!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Author interview --Michelle Gregory

This is my first author interview. I first got to know Michelle Gregory through the blogosphere and she was kind enough to follow me way back when. I was lucky enough to win a copy of her book from her website.  Her book Eldala is a wonderful read. You can read my review here. On with my questions.

1. How long have you been writing?
-- I wrote stories when I was in junior high and high school (that was back in the late 70’s and early 80’s). When I attended college and had to come up with essays and answers for essay tests, I lost my love of writing. I didn’t find it again until I did some research about homeschool writing programs for my kids. One of them recommended modeling writing so that the kids would write. That was back in 2005, and it led me to National Novel Writing Month, which led me to writing Eldala, which opened the floodgates of my brain and now I can’t seem to stop the flood of stories in my head.

2. What inspired you to write Eldala?

-- I wanted to write a story about a man who starts his life one way and finds out he has to save the world. I thought it would be a story my boys would like to read, and I put in elements of stories that I like to read. It turned into a romance by accident.

3. You developed a language as well as another world for this book. Was it hard to come up with a new language? Any pointers for coming up with a language or other worldly names?

-- Honestly, the way I came up with a new language was to say some nonsense words out loud and write them down. I figured out exactly what they meant in a 2nd or 3rd draft. I added to them as I needed new phrases. Now having to come up with a different language in the sequel, I’m doing the same thing, but trying to make it sound different from the previous language.

My advice would be just be as creative as possible, but don’t be so “out there” that people can’t figure out how to pronounce the language.

As far as names for people, I use baby name lists. I never intended for all the men in my book (save one or two) to have names ending in N, nor for the ladies to all have names ending in A. It just kind of happened. Names for places came from my kids and from looking at a world atlas. (Indonesia has all kinds of cool places to draw from.)

4. How long did it take to write Eldala from start to finish (the final copy)?

-- I started in November 2005, stopped, completely started over, revised, etc, and had the final copy in my hands in August 2007, so almost two years.

5. I love what Eldala stands for and love it for the title of the book—Has this been the title throughout your whole process?

-- I first called it Kiran (yes, I changed the way his name is spelled), but that was before I came up with the concept of Eldala and what it stands for.

6. What is your process-- are you more structured or a panster (writing by the seat of your pants)?

-- I’m a little bit of both. I have a general idea of what I want to have happen, but as I write, that changes and evolves. By the final draft, the story has gone in directions I never imagined it would go. Eldala certainly became something larger and more complex than I’d originally planned.

7. What made you to decide to self publish?

-- Originally, I wasn’t going to publish at all. I was just writing a story for me and my kids, to see if I could do it. My husband mentioned self-publishing and I agreed, but only so I could have ONE copy to show my accomplishment. Over time, I told friends and family I was writing a novel and so I reluctantly decided to purchase an ISBN so that I could sell it on Amazon. I never imagined I would sell or give away over 100 copies.
8. Any advice for anyone who is considering self publishing?

-- Do some research about self-publishing companies. There are so many out there (good and bad) that it’s hard to choose. A great book called The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine.  helped me find the company I wanted to use.

-- Do some research about the process of self-publishing. I’ve learned that, technically, I’m not a self-publisher because I go through a company that charges for book sales, so I’m really a publish-on-demand author. If I were truly a “self-publisher”, I would have found a company that prints the book and then I would work on the distribution. That’s more work than I want to do right now.

-- Be prepared for some prejudice in the writing community. Self-publishing has gotten a bad name because there are a lot of poorly written and poorly edited self-published books out there. The cover art isn’t always the best. Self-published is equivalent to “you couldn’t make it in the real publishing world, so you did it yourself.” I could go into all the arguments about why that isn’t always true, but that would take an entire blog post and it’s time for me to get off my soap box now.

9. What can we expect from Blackheart (the sequel to Eldala)?

-- Blackheart takes place several years after the end of Eldala. The story will be more about Tiana and Arathor, but I’ll still have Kieran and Jessa’s points of view. Things have been fine in Teleria, but now there’s a disturbance. The Esgharites are causing trouble. The blessing is failing for some reason. There will be more battle, a new villain, and you’ll meet Kieran and Jessa’s eldest daughter Lydia.

10. Any advice for aspiring authors?

-- Learn all you can about writing, but don’t spend so much time learning that it keeps you from actually writing. The only way to learn is to jump in and do it.

-- Learn to write for yourself. You don’t know how long it will take for your stories to be picked up by a publisher, so in the meantime, enjoy the process and don’t worry about what will happen to your stories.

Quick answer questions:

11. Do you have a favorite snack food while writing?
-- The problem is, I don’t eat at all while I write and then I wonder (hours later), “Why don’t I feel so well?”

12. Who is your favorite author?
-- Mary Connealy – She writes what I call hysterical historicals, but she calls them romantic comedy with cowboys.

13. What is your favorite book?
-- That’s like asking me to pick my favorite food. Impossible. My favorite genre is historical romance (be it Christian or not), and contemporary romance comes in second. Oddly enough, I don’t really enjoy fantasy because I haven’t found that many good fantasy books out there.
Thank you for this chance to share more of myself with your blog readers and my novel readers.

Thank you so much Michelle. You can check out Michelle's website her blog
She is also hosting a blogfest on Thursday July 1st. The Kill Share Your Darlings Blogfest. Be sure to get in on the action. It will be fun.
I had a lot of questions. Have a great day!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Writing the Next Line Recap part 2

Here is the rest of Writing the Next Line. Like I said, you guys did awesome. To catch the first half go here.

The Dead Sea by Alesa Warcan, Piedmont Writer, Matthew Rush,Amie McCracken, Erica Mitchell-Spickard, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Tahereh, Shannon O'Donnell, Talli Roland, Carolina Valdez Miller, and Jen.

Before he could reach me, the coffer pulled me over the edge of the boat and into the water.

I tried to scream and failed.

The black cold of the waves engulfed me, silencing my screams, but not the stark terror ringing in my ears.

The salty sea water burned as it smacked into my open mouth. I tried to cough but the liquid caught in my throat.

I felt my consciousness slipping... My last memory was of Seth suddenly saving me by spearing the creature with a boat hook. When I awoke, my eyes stung, and my throat ached... I cracked open an eye to spy Seth discussing fluently with what seemed to be three 15th century Spanish pirates.

I tried to sit up, but a wave of nausea forced me back down. There was nothing to do but wait for it to pass, so I pressed my cheek to the cold, wet...ground? What. Just. Happened? And why am I...naked?

The boat had been pulled up to shore, seth and the pirates still looked like they were in a heated discussion and after a few moments of trying to gather my thoughts on what had happened I saw one of the three pirates with my clothes in their hands.
Outraged I wanted to stomp my way over and rip them from his grip but seeing as I was in fact naked the urge had dwindled and I quickly tried to sort out a plan.

Great job guys!! On Monday I will post my first Author interview--Michelle Gregory. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Writing the Next Line Recap Part 1.

Welcome to the new blogger buddies. I hope to visit your blog soon. Here is the Writing the Next Line recap part 1. This one turned out awesome!!!You guys did great! I split it up into 2 parts so it would not be a super long post. So you can catch the second part tomorrow.

The Dead Sea by Alesa Warcan, Piedmont Writer, Matthew Rush,Amie McCracken,  Erica Mitchell-Spickard,  Alex J. Cavanaugh,   Tahereh,  Shannon O'DonnellTalli Roland,  Carolina Valdez Miller, and Jen.

I stared at the horizon. The thin amber light faded as the sun disappeared and the wind flowed thorough my hair as the boat sped through the water.

"Are we lost?" I yelled over the engine noise.

"I don't think so. There should be a channel marker right up here." Seth squinted trying to see in the dim light. I could just make out his high cheekbones and messy brown hair as the sun set. His T-shirt flapped as he pushed the throttle to speed up.

A loud clanging noise disrupted our travels. It came from behind us and the engine cut out.

I looked toward the back of the boat. "What was that?"

"Great. I don't know. I'll check it out," he said as he pulled a flashlight from the side compartment.

I crossed my arms,"I really think we're lost."

Seth aimed the light on the engine, taking off the cap."Stop it-- will ya," he said, annoyed.

The small waves lightly tapped the boat in a light rhythm and the water's brillant blue color now took on an eerie black as the darkness crept in. I put on my sweatshirt as the air chilled my skin.

I sat there waiting for his orders, my mind trying to calm my inner panic. My thoughts were interrupted by a loud thud hitting the front of the boat.

"I think we hit something," I said.

Seth flashed the beam around to me then made his crept along the side of the boat.

As he made his way to the front, I held my breath hoping it was nothing.

"Rachel, give me a hand will ya?" Seth said as he struggled to drag something bulky from the nose to the port bow.

I hurried to his side and helped maneuver the massive wooden coffer on board. It bore a tarnished brass plate bearing the name Mc. Guffin Esq.
The rusted lock was covered in barnacle, the wood swollen and slime covered.

"Should we open it?" I asked Seth.

"With what?" Seth looked around and all he had on board was the flashlight. He hit the lock with the butt of the light and surprisingly, it snapped open.
 Seth opened the lid. Inside was...

 a mummified body, wrapped in loose white linen and stinking of embalming fluid, the foetor assaulting our nostrils with nearly physical force.

We fell back covering our faces as the coffer began to slip back beneath the waves ...

 I reached out and grabbed onto the edge, holding it to the boat so it wouldn't fall. Seth just stared at me with his hand on his face. "Help please?" I begged.

A gutteral groan sent a wave of nausea throughout my body. Sticky wet fabric clung to my arms.

"Seth, it's grabbing my arm!"

***Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow. *** Hands clapping***You guys did a great job!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A review.

If you still want to get in on Writing the Next Line go here I will post the full story on Friday.

So, I know some of you don't like book reviews and some of you do. I like them so I thought I would review the new Stephanie Meyer novella. I'll try and make it short. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer.
Again, go to to see what is inside.
Synopsis: Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

My take: I didn't love it. Yes, you heard me. I love Twilight and all things vampire but I have to say I was a little disappointed. I think it is a great quick read but for me I wanted more. Is this because I'm honing my skills as a writer so I'm being picky? Maybe. I guess I shouldn't have looked at it so hard but I did. So if you are looking for some quick entertainment then I would say pick it up. Part of what you pay for the book goes to the American Red Cross. So a donation is nice. You can also read it for free on Stephanie Meyer's website --go here. Until July 5th.

I hold a high respect for Ms. Meyer as an author and absolutely love the Twilight series. She has a great knack for writing characters I want to read about and love. I just thought this was rushed and a possible marketing tactic to promote Eclipse (the movie). I want to read Midnight Sun--Edward's POV of Twilight. I read a little of it and to me it is almost better than Twilight. I have a feeling she is saving this until after the Breaking Dawn movies.

WARNING SOME SPOILERS--I think I wanted more characterization of Bree (who was she before this?). Maybe since I knew the ending that may have taken a little away from it. There were also some other things that bothered me but they are little details. Like the war--I wanted more from that (more ripping apart or something) and the way she addresses Edward (she does not know his name and she kept referring to him as the red head--this confused me. He's described in Twilight as having hair that's reddish brown. The only red head I kept thinking of is Victoria and I knew she was dead.) Like I said, I really took it apart and I feel bad that I did. I should have just read it and left it alone.

I did enjoy it but I felt like it needed more guts. I hope I'm not sounding harsh because I really liked the idea that it was an interesting take on a character we would have never really known. Sorry, if I offended anyone. Sometimes my opinion gets away from me. Stephanie Meyer just write Midnight Sun already!!!

Has anyone else read this book?

What are your thoughts?

Friday, I will post the recap of Writing the Next Line. Next week, I will be posting my first author interview--Michelle Gregory. So stay tuned.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Mind is Mush Monday.

Artwork by Kaitlyn McCane

First--Thank you to all of you who participated in Writing the Next Line.  You guys rocked it. I will post it later in the week.

Second--I had another post in mind for today but decided not to write it. Carolina from Carol's Prints posted this over the weekend--New Writer Smugness by Victoria Martin. You must read this. I feel quite embarrassed because I feel that I have done this. I'm taking a new outlook and trying to slow things down along with doing the best I can without complaining about it. Sure there will be those days but I need to sit back and digest before I open my mouth. 

Another post to check out--Janice Hardy (Another side of the Story) all about passive voice (passive-aggression). I have so much trouble with this and this post explained it quite clearly. It was extremely helpful and I have bookmarked this.

I do have a contest to check out. Summer Bash Giveaway from Kari (A Good Addiction) and Elani (La Femme Readers). Ends July 18th. Great books!

Thoughts on my blog--I have been wondering--Do you like having someone respond to your comments? I feel bad that I don't do this. I read them all but I don't always have the time to respond. I try to go to the blogs that do comment on mine. How do you like responses on the comments--would come back and check? or email? Just a thought. I personally don't mind it if a blogger responsds or not but that's just me.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I actually got some revisions done.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Writing the Next Line

Welcome to Writing the Next Line. I have been hosting these fun posts once a month. This is the 3rd writing the next line. Wahoo! Thanks to all of you who have participated before.
Here are the previous sessions --1st one --and the recap of session 1.
Session 2 and the recap.

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.  The story starts below:

I stared at the horizon. The thin amber light faded as the sun disappeared and the wind flowed thorough my hair as the boat sped through the water.
"Are we lost?" I yelled over the engine noise.
"I don't think so. There should be a channel marker right up here." Seth squinted trying to see in the dim light. I could just make out his high cheekbones and messy brown hair as the sun set. His T-shirt flapped as he pushed the throttle to speed up. 
A loud clanging noise disrupted our travels. It came from behind us and the engine cut out.
I looked toward the back of the boat. "What was that?"
"Great. I don't know. I'll check it out," he said as he pulled a flashlight from the side compartment.
I crossed my arms,"I really think we're lost."
Seth aimed the light on the engine, taking off the cap."Stop it-- will ya," he said, annoyed.
The small waves lightly tapped the boat in a light rhythm and the water's brillant blue color now took on an eerie black as the darkness crept in. I put on my sweatshirt as the air chilled my skin.
I sat there waiting for his orders, my mind trying to calm my inner panic. My thoughts were interrupted by a loud thud hitting the front of the boat.
"I think we hit something," I said.
Seth flashed the beam around to me then made his crept along the side of the boat.
As he made his way to the front, I held my breath hoping it was nothing.

There you go. It's your turn. Have fun! I wrote this super fast-- hope you enjoy it. I will post the whole thing with your continued comments next week.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fight Club --and super conference.

Fight scenes (fighting for love, life, honor)--when written well they can make a great climax or make you want to hit something (working you up because you are so into the scene.)

I'm comfortable writing love scenes, kissing scenes, confrontational dialogue, regular dialogue, the twisted sick villian, chase scenes, etc.  (I didn't say I wrote them well, I just like to write them.)

The fight scene is what makes me squirm. I like to read a great fight scene-- I don't feel like I know how to write one. I have a lot of fight scenes in my current WiP and in my first draft they are weak-- real weak--embarrassing weak.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to write them. How to write action. I know words like crunch, slice, punch, pressed, cut, stabbed, threw, etc. all help but me putting it all together is falling flat.
I know reading some great fight scenes help along with watching some great fight scenes. I'm not sure if it's enough. I'm looking for your help folks--any advice? (Don't say music because I do use it and it helps just a little)

How do you go about writing a fight scene?

Any recommendations on what I should do to prepare for one and what could help my fights scenes stronger?

****Conference information...Get over to  Free writers conference geared towards childrens and YA. So-- can't wait. Go give a big thanks to Elana Johnson, Casey McCormick, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Shannon Messenger, Jamie Harrington. and Jennifer Stayrook.

When is it you ask? August 10th-12th so mark your calenders.

Please click here to see the amazing participants.

I was having issues with the totally hilarious vlog for this so please go to the sites above to see it. We really do snack that much. I'm guilty. :)

***Don't forget Friday June 18th Writing the Next Line****

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Body Finder contest.

I'm not posting today remember. I just thought I would let you know of a contest.
Check out this awesome contest from the fab Kimberly Franklin. Below are the details directly from Kimberly's site. Also check out the interview with the author Kimberly Derting on Ms. Franklins site! How does she get these interviews--

Now, for The Body Finder Giveaway!! But this just isn't any ole book giveaway. Nope! Not at this blog, baby. I'm doing much better than that! I am actually giving you guys a chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of The Body Finder! How cool is that?!
The prize packs are as follows:
Grand Prize winner:
Personalized, autographed copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, some awesome The Body Finder swag, and a $5 Amazon giftcard. (Personally, I would use it to put towards the sequel to The Body Finder: Desires of the Dead. But that's just me! You can do as you wish.)
Runner up:
Personalized, autographed copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and chocolate (or candy of some sort). Because, after you read this book, in all its greatness, you will want the comfort of CANDY! I mean, that serial killer is one scary dude! Seriously!!

Sorry forgot to tell you how to get them--go to Kimberly's site and sign up. Click on her link at the top of this post. :) Tell her I sent you.

Have a good one! Oh and Lilah Pierce has a new blog please click here to get to it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Books, books, books.

Hello and welcome to the new blogger buddies. Take a look around and I will be visiting your blogs soon.

As you know I'm in a local book club. Since I pretty much read YA/Paranormal/Sci Fi --you know the whole sha bang--I wanted to expand my book reading and the book club forces me to read books I would never look at. Sure some are hard to read and make my slow reading even slower--but the one I'm reading now has suprised me.

I did a review way back on my first book for the book club The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

The second book was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Don't click to see what's inside --I'm borrowing the picture.  Go to for that.

Here is the synopsis:
All children should believe they are special. But the students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny. Kazuo Ishiguro's sixth novel, Never Let Me Go, is a masterpiece of indirection. Like the students of Hailsham, readers are "told but not told" what is going on and should be allowed to discover the secrets of Hailsham and the truth about these children on their own.
Offsetting the bizarreness of these revelations is the placid, measured voice of the narrator, Kathy H., a 31-year-old Hailsham alumna who, at the close of the 1990s, is consciously ending one phase of her life and beginning another. She is in a reflective mood, and recounts not only her childhood memories, but her quest in adulthood to find out more about Hailsham and the idealistic women who ran it. Although often poignant, Kathy's matter-of-fact narration blunts the sharper emotional effects you might expect in a novel that deals with illness, self-sacrifice, and the severe restriction of personal freedoms. As in Ishiguro's best-known work, The Remains of the Day, only after closing the book do you absorb the magnitude of what his characters endure. --Regina Marler

My take:
This was slow in the beginning. It took me awhile to get into it and understand what the heck was going on. The middle picked it up through to the end. I think the way it is written is what was hard for me. Since I write in first person I tend to gravitate towards books that are written that way and if they are not the book tends to drag for me. The story idea is brilliant but the way its told is odd. I had a hard time figuring out the time period. I thought it took place in the 50s or 60s and the summary says the 90s. Everyone in the book club pretty much agreed on that confusion. I thought some characters traits were odd and in some parts I thought it needed more. In the end --I did like it. Just not raving about it.

This is the book that is surprising me. A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White is great. I really like this book and I'm not done. I will give a full review later. It's not written in first person but it seems to hold my attention and the pace flows quickly. So far, I definately would recommend this one. Check out my review on this next week.

***The books I'm reading that are not part of the book club (purely for my interest):

I just finished Eldala by Michelle Gregory and really liked it. You should check out her site.

The synopsis:
Kieran's blood boils every time he hears about the abuse handed down by Teleria's nobility. But years of hiding in his father's smithy have taught him to avoid trouble. Content with being a blacksmith, the only disruptions in his well-ordered life are his disturbing dreams. It isn't until his twentieth birthday, when he receives a mysterious letter and sword from King Arathor - the man who claims to be his real father - that he wonders if his nightmares have become reality. If he believes Arathor, he will have a chance to end a twenty-year curse over Teleria, and free the people from King Rahnak's oppression. But it could also mean giving up his quest to find the mysterious woman with whom he shares an intimate heart connection.

My take:
I really liked this book. It was more up my alley. I am always in awe by authors who create worlds that are similar to ours but are different. This is like a medieval world with it's own language and cool magic. Kudos Michelle on making up a language. The names are great too. I've been having trouble in this area with my own WiP so I am inspired by this. It's a great love story and her descriptions are fantastic. The magical element added a nice touch. You know me love story, YA, and any sort of magical element--I get a mushy and smile. The pace is good and the writing fantastic. You should check this out.
Michelle is also hosting a blogfest on July 1st and will be giving away a prize during her blogfest. I will be interviewing Michelle and will post it the last week in June. So stay tuned.

So I'm trying to figure out what to read next. I said I would read Hunger Games but I may save that for later in the summer. I did take a peek at the first page and didn't want to put it down. We will see. I may read the novella by Stephanie Meyer. It's short and I could fly through it. Hopefully--remember slow reader here. I also have Candor by Pam Bachorz. I won this from the awesome Elana. I'll let you know. My list on is getting longer and I'm trying to keep up the Shelfari site too. I think I have too many sites going on along with too many books to read.

Do you have any good books to share? (I know I asked this last week but you guys read faster than me.) 

Any fellow blogger books you recommend?

***I will be hosting ***Writing the Next Line on Friday June 18th.****  So promote it and come back.

This is my 100th post how crazy is that. To my CPs --I'm off to critique.

Have a great day! Sorry for the long post.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Today's Forecast.

Today's Forecast: WiP#3 has some sunny skies as new ideas of setting shine through the clouds. There is a storm brewing on WiP #1, ideas are pouring in. The air became unsettled as changes for my MCs occur. The first chapters are changing with a possibility of a cold front moving in.

That's right many things are happening. I said revisions are going slow but ideas are swirling. It's amazing how a few days away from revising can really put things in perspective.

Yesterday, family day took us to the beach which set off lightening bolts in the idea part of my brain. Both WiPs thundering their thoughts.

Change of scenery can cause a new brainstorm. Yesterday proved that. I've been thinking of a certain setting for WiP#3 but now that may change. Everything started to fall into place as I sat on the beach watching the ocean and feeling the breeze. It looks like that's where it may take place.

Weather has an influence on my writing too. WiP #1 takes place in the winter. So, I think that's why revisions are going slow.  My CPs are keeping the ideas going though--the brainstorming sessions are priceless. After some feedback, stuff has been flying around in my head to the point of dizziness. Plus my MCs for WiP #1 are really vocal and will not stop repeating scenes in my head. (I'm not crazy, right?).

WiP #3 didn't have a specific season but as of yesterday summer could work very well. The characters really showed themselves to me and it looked good. I think I may try and outline this one. We will see how that works out because I'm a panster.

Does weather (seasons) influence your writing?

Do your surroundings (setting) effect your writing?

Have you tried to change your appraoch to starting a WiP? (ex.if you are a panster have you tried to outline?)

Another short one. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Things that are random.

So I'm late with my post. The hubs is off so a lot of family time is happening. We both think our son has a genetic mutation that allows him to posess the abilities of Spiderman. No webs from the wrists yet but this kid can climb on a narrow sill of a window and hold on where the lock is. The window is closed and he is doing this on the inside. He is smiling the whole time while I just aged 10 years. So he might be the next hero of the world or a professional rock climber. I guess a super hero is not so bad--I thought Wonder Woman parked her invisible jet in my backyard (when I was a kid--I thought this--not now :)

Nothing has been happening much in the way of WiP. Revisions are slow and you are probably sick of hearing me talk about them. Well, at least me writing about them.  I found a couple of posts regarding revisions. You should check these out.

Kelly over at Kelly's Compositions wrote an awesome post about this very thing.

Also, Guide to Literary Agents has a post on 6 Keys to Revising your Fiction.

I'm also working on trying to schedule my time. Writing time, kid time, cleaning time, reading time. It's getting there.  I'm trying to read some fabulous self editing and revision books but fitting it all in is tough. Slowing down for me is hard but I'm getting there.

I did finish a book Eldala by Michelle Gregory. I will be interviewing her later this month. I liked it. I will reveal more on my interview post. That means stay tuned. My next book to read is for my book club (A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White), then I hope to finally read The Hunger Games. Then on to the new Stephanie Meyer novella. Yes, I'm behind in my reading and I'm a slow reader. Whatda do?!

How do you schedule your time? What works best?

Are there any superheroes living in your house? :)

Has anyone read any good books?

It's a short one. Enjoy your day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

What would your soundtrack be?

I love music. Most of you know this. I took piano lessons when I was a kid but never stuck with it. I try to sing in the privacy of my own home and I can hear dogs howling miles away. So not really great at actually producing music just love listening to it. Anyone who is good at it --kudos --I highly respect you.  ***hands clapping***

Music can set a mood. Just watch a movie and listen to the background. If you took it away--it would probably be boring. Not that actors don't do a good job.  It's just adds something more to the scene. Another thing I'm so not good at--acting.  Tried that in high school too--it didn't turn out so well.

My brother is great at both --yea I'm jealous of him. jealous.

Anyway, music.

It is vital to my creative process. Everything I have written has a soundtrack. When I hear the songs that gave birth to the characters in my head--I can feel them, hear them, see them. It's almost scary. The soundtrack to my current WiP is listed over there ===> (on the sidebar). I would hope (I'm dreaming here) if my WiP was ever loved by an agent, and published that maybe if there was ever a movie deal (see told you-- dreaming here)-- that some of these songs better be on the soundtrack.

So, I thought I would point out the most important songs. The songs that still give me chills and let me see, feel and hear my characters vividly.

 1. Panic Switch--Silversun Pickups.  (song #12 on my playlist). This is the song that struck me with the whole idea. The rest of the album Swoon pretty much help write many chapters, along with Carnavas (another album of theirs). I'm in love with this band. I guess their recent album's name sums it up--Swoon. :)

2.Quiet in my Town and Letters from the Sky by Civil Twilight.  Another band I'm in love with. My CPs know my Chapter 3 and well Quiet in My Town is what played when I wrote it. Letters from the Sky just puts me in a zone (eyes glare over) because I can see my MC so clearly --it's scary. Two other songs are inspiring on this album. Human (#44 on the playlist) --which I'm writing a chapter to now and Next to Me (#38 on the playlist). The rest of the album is great too.  Quiet in my Town (#1 on my playlist) and Letters from the Sky (#11 on my playlist). The links I gave you --You may have to hit play or just go to their website

3. I will follow you into the dark--Death Cab for Cutie-- (song #28 on my playlist) This band in general has way too many songs to choose from for this WiP, but this song would describe my MCs to a "T". I don't want to say too much about this one. Gives too much away.

4. M79-Vampire Weekend. (song #11 on my playlist) O.k. I will admit part of my initial attraction to this band was their name. Now, I'm a full blown fan. Absolutely love them and this song helped a very cute chapter.

5.Knights of Cydonia-Muse. (song #21 on my playlist). This band is just awesome. This song sparked a huge scene which I can't say too much about. Many of their other songs do help too. Hysteria being one of them. (song #24 on the playlist).

So there are the major players. The other songs over there remind of my MCs and all the other characters that invade my brain. All of the songs set the mood for my current WiP. I put where they are at on my playlist if the links don't work.

On some of the links you may have to press play (not to buy the song-- just to listen) or you can find it on my playlist.

 Since I'm posting M/W/F this will be up for a couple of days. This week is also hectic cause I have family stuff so it may be up a little longer. ***I thought you guys can post any songs that you would love on your soundtrack (particularly for your story). Either post them in the comments below or post about it on your blog and leave the link in the comments below. I would love to check it out. I'm a music lover of all kinds of music so don't be shy. :)

Also, I missed out on Arlee Bird's many blogfests and blog hops. A lot of them about music. Sorry. I hope to join in on one soon. I think he may have one going on now. Check out his blog.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The blogosphere is amazing.

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments. I 've recovered and the critique is helping me. It was a great learning experience and I have become stronger from it. I've done a lot of thinking and have come up with a few things. Thanks to my CPs --when in doubt they know how to make me smile and bring me back to being me. I don't know where I would be without them. Probably a little on the crazy side, in therapy laying on some leather couch and talking to a doc with small glass who looks like he's listening but is probably thinking of something else.

I realize I have to make a few changes not only in my manuscript but my life. I know I've tried this before but I'm going to stick to a strict blog schedule. I will post M/W/F. Like a lot of you are doing. I will comment when I can.

My home life will change with certain days for certain things.

My WiP will continue. I love it too much. I love writing too much. I'm thinking of some changes but for now I will continue doing what I'm doing with it. Revisions. Also, those SNI (Sexy New Ideas--Thanks Frankie.) keep creeping in and out. All the voices in my head will not stop so I better listen or I may be put into a padded room.

You guys rock and when you need a shoulder I'll be here. The support all of my blogging buddies give me is priceless. You know this because I said it before.

I will still be doing Writing the Next Line once a month. I will be posting one in a couple of weeks.

My first author interview will be taking place the end of the month --right here. :)

I'm keeping it short today and will be commenting later.

I love this pic. Wish my kitties were still this small.

Oh and if you see Edward tell him I'm waiting. :)

This journey is full of ups and downs. It is great to have such great support. Thanks so much and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stress can make you react in weird ways.

Well folks, I'm not myself today. I'm sorry. I had a critique that threw me down. A while back I had an opportunity for a critique by someone in the business. I'm not giving names or details. I highly respect this person and to be honest the critique was very constructive --so today I'm taking it that way. It was extremely helpful but I have to make major changes. There was also a comparison to a book which I read after I wrote my story and at the time I read it I freaked out because the beginning scared the crap out of me. Some of the parts were frightenly ( I think I made up a word) similar. So I have an evil eye for this book and have been trying to change some of those similarites. I knew this might happen and totally hated the thought then and now.There are positive points to the critique so I'm sure why I reacted this way. I can take critiques and this one was not that bad.

At first, I did what I try not to do. I cried. Yes, I did and hard. I wanted to ball up and disappear never to be heard from again. I see now how stupid it was after my daughter said what's wrong. I think mainly because I've been stressed out. My house, my kids, my life--lately has been stressful. Again, I will not bore you with the details. The critique broke me. Like I said it wasn't bad, it just threw my brain into a tizzy and made me react in a really stupid way. Stress with real life sucks. It makes you react to things in weird ways.

I just kept thinking how flippin hard I've been working on this changing it a gazillion times and now I have to re evaluate my whole story. My whole idea. Most of the night, I tortured myself on how much I sucked and I don't know why I think I even have talent. How I put every flippin ounce of energy thinking about this story and how to change it to make it better. Taking every stinking moment I had alone and some I would sneak when the kids were quiet (unlike right now) to work on this. Why did I start this now? With small kids? Am I insane?

I'm also trying to catch up with all the books I want to read and can't. By the time I get the kids to bed, I want to write and that's at 9:30-10. I try and write for an hour but most of the time it's unproductive because I'm too damn tired.

Then I told myself I have no time for the negative-- this is a sign, right? A sign to make me work harder and prove that I can. Right?

I feel bad because I felt for a second that I was putting all this time into this and what if I fail? That's part of the whole thing-- failing can happen.

Doubt crept in pushing me to quit but I'm pushing that aside. For now.

I love this too much. I have too many characters speaking to me. Ian and Anna looked at me with tears as I tried to forget them.

I'm in too deep. I'm willing to put in the time and learn.

I know more of this will come.  Pain and torture. This is only the beginning but I really know what some of you mean. I know how it feels and I don't have an agent or editor yet. So I give all of you the biggest credit and hugs. This is hard --I've always known that. It's only going to get harder. Can I take it?

I think so.

Crying only sheds the pain--releases it. Determination builds the strength and helps shield the doubt.

It's a small bump and I can take it. (I hope). Here I was writing all these posts about self esteem and determination. Now I plop back down. Sorry. Human here unless Edward puts me out of my misery. Where is that boy? Needed a distraction.

Thanks for reading and if I don't post for a few days (which may be hard) I'm just trying to get back on track. Taking a breather.  Re evaluating my story and my idea. Because I'm not sure where its going to go. Can I continue it? Part of me hates not to finish the revisions but I don't want something that sucks either. I have other ideas-- should I start one of those? I don't know right now.

My CPs will slap me a little I'm sure. :)

This is only the beginning.  Please don't think I'm a whiner. I feel like every couple weeks I post something like this. Sorry. I'm putting a positive spin on it and trying to apply that to the rest of the stresses I have.

After the whole night, ideas did begain to surface on what I might be able to do. Changes that even though require some work will make this WiP better. There are signs from this and I'm thankful for the person who did this critique. It would have happened sooner or later but I'm glad it happened now.

This also made me smile. This is by Abby Annis. I hope she doesn't mind that I used it for my post.

Oh and please excuse any mistakes. My brain was not thinking clearly when I wrote this. Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contest Update

So a quick post today. I'm desperate to win any of the prizes offered at Sara's Very Vampire May Giveaway. I would even try and walk on hot coals for it. Like I said a gazillion times I LOVE Vampires.

Anne Rice, genius, come on --Lestat is one of my favorites.

Charlene Harris, brillant, Sookie and Bill.

Stephanie Meyer, do I really need to say anything, Ohhh Edward how I love thee.

 Christopher Moore, awesome and funny! Seriously.

Bram Stoker, beyond genius, the man who started it all for me, drove me into the vampire world that I love. I would bow down to him if he was still around. O.k. I'll do it anyway. Dracula-- oh-- Dracula --could get any better.
So the deadline has been extended to June 7th. Get over to Sara's blog right now and tell her I sent you.

Sara rocks!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What? You're right, that's the problem.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I think I ate too much but that's a whole other issue. Anyway, I did relax a little--getting to the beach (my favorite place) and letting my WiP sit.

Well, I can't let it sit. I thought  about it a lot. I can't help it--I think about it everyday. I did some work on it on Saturday--mainly because I have way too may things I want to do with it. You see, my chapter 1 has bothered the hell out of me--that's right I said hell. Sorry. I think I've been trying so hard at trying to make it right I'm missing the point and it's lacking flow. So here's what happened:

1. I've know for quite a while something is missing. What that was I had no idea and I don't like feeling that way. My Critique group (the lovely talented Jen, Summer and Crystal) helped in pointing some things out. So I did make changes but something wasn't right. My CP ( the amazingly talented and awesome Kelly) looked at and well I think she hit the nail on the head. I finally saw it. Yes, it took four people to basically slam it in my face but I got it. I hope. My story worthy problem was missing. I had everything else--inciting incident, initial surface problem but that story worthy problem was not there.  It's pretty important considering it pretty much sums up the whole reason your character is taking the reader on their journey. So I did write some things that should complete my chapter 1. I do need to add a little fluff but I'm happy with what I'm coming up with. For now. Ask me next week that may be a different story. BTW--I love my CPs--Thanks guys.

2. I was very excited to receive a comment from the author Les Edgerton.  If you missed it please read it here. Read in the comments. It's a great lesson on adjectives/adverbs. Once you finished reading that go to Les's blog and read this. All about the premise of your story. This made me think hard this weekend and I'm still trying to make sure what mine is. It discouraged me at first but I'm back on track. It's making me work harder. Oh and if you haven't bought Hooked by Les Edgerton, please do you self a favor and get it.  It's great.

3. WiP #3 is talking again and WiP #1 is not happy. They are literally fighting in my head. All the characters arguing back and forth. They're fighting for my attention like my kids. I feel like I have a litter. Yikes. Either that or another version of West Side Story is developing. WiP #2 is quiet mainly because it's just a continuation of WiP #1 (Yes, book 2). I shouldn't complain I'm glad that all the ideas are flooding my brain but I can't breathe. Wait. I'm back.

4. I also saw a minor detail that--well--is really dumb in WiP #1.  It makes me feel sort of stupid that I missed it but I'm sure it's not the first. I realized at a stop light. My MC breaks her arm in Chapter 2 but in chapter 3 she can amazingly (I seem to like this word today) use crutches. I really wonder how that would work. Oh well, back to figuring that out too.

Anything interesting happen to you over the weekend?

How do deal with fighitng WiPs?

How is your chapter 1 coming along?

Don't you love your CPs?

Do you think about your WiP everyday or am I the only one?

Have a great day!