Friday, July 30, 2010

Meeting a blogger buddy--a blind date.

Hello folks. Blogging is by far the coolest thing. I would never have thought that I could be considered normal (we all talk to ourselves,right?) Anyway, I have connected with so many people I probably would have never met. Currently, I know maybe a handful of my blogger buddies (I've met them or know them in person). I would love to know all of you--maybe someday. :)

Yesterday, I got to meet blogger friend Amie--face to face. It was so funny because as Amie put it--"This is like a blind date." Since I was in Munich and Amie is not far, we set a date and time. We ate lunch, watched crazy street performers, went to a open market and I showed her that people do surf in Munich. I know it's crazy and the hubs being a crazy surfer-- bought a board too. They river surf here.

The Isar River runs through Munich and is channeled off throughout the city. It sometimes has a wicked current and the way the bottom of the channels are formed creates a standing wave. The main one is in the Englischer Garten (Eisbach)--I think it's the hardest one to surf too. There are other standing waves around the city as well where these crazy people surf (the hubs being one of them).

Amie took some fantastic pictures. Please go to her site and check them out.

We had such a great time and she is really cool. I hope to meet up with her again one day.

Have you met any of your blogger buddies?

Oh and Amie sorry about the whining German kids on the way home. :) Let me know how the books are.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The genre question--revisited.

So to answer your burning questions about Monday's post. I've decided to take the risk. I can always go back and change it. I have a lot of work ahead of me. Whew! I'm smiling about my decision though.

I've written about genre before and I found a couple of posts I want to share. I'm so baffled by the age group for YA (12-18). This amazes me because to me it is such a broad range. The maturity level of a 12 year old is way different than an 18 year old. It's up to the parent to make the decision on what their child should be reading. I have other reasons why this bothers me. My main concern is where does my story fall. Would it be considered YA? What agents represent a new adult novelist? I do write high school scenes but usually they are at a senior level and my MCs are usually 18 and up. Now, I'm taking a risk with my chapter 1 --will that throw me out of YA and make it hard to place?

One of my past posts is about genre and my questions regarding the new genre, New Adult. I have not seen this section in the bookstores yet unless I'm blind. This new genre is supposed to bridge the gap between YA and adult. For the novels that don't fit in either. Here are two articles I found quite interesting.
One by Jodi Meadows and the other by JJ.  These posts did answer some of my questions but now I have questions for you.

I'm curious if any of you have seen this new genre.

If so, have you read something that is New Adult or should be considered New Adult?

Have you seen any agents or publishers promoting this new genre?

Jen at unedited is hosting a blogfest on August 19th and 20th. Guess that character blogfest. Sounds like fun!

Hope you guys are having a Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do you take the risk?

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

First check out Jayne's contest. She sent her query out so now she can feed her cat. Ends August 8th.

Oh sweet progress-- why do you take your time? As you all know I'm a slow writer. I've discovered this over the past few weeks. There's nothing wrong with it-- I just have to deal with my impatience biting at my skull. I'm now trying to make the beginning of my WiP more concrete. I'm trying to stick to one thing but my mind gives my fingers way too many options to type. I know I told you I was going to put chapter 1 away for a while and come back  to it when I'm done the revisions but I keep coming back to it.

I have come up with two ways to write this. One way is safe in my mind--maybe typical but it's happier,comfortable. The other is a little darker, a little more, well, possibly controversial. I love the second one and think I may stick to it. The only problem is my pessimist side keeps poking me on the shoulder and whispering.

"This beginning may not help on your journey to getting this published. Heck an agent may not even look at it. It's too risky."

"But I like it. It sets it apart. Sure it may require more re-writes but why not try." My optimist side tries hard to push pessimist out of the way. "It is your story to tell it doesn't matter if it gets published--it is from your heart."

"Your writing is not that great, you can't pull this off. You will only get rejections." Pessy snarled.

"So what? Many authors get rejections. If it doesn't work, you can try again and go to the safe option."Opti folded her arms sticking up her nose.

"You'll never make it." Pessy yelled.

"Don't know till you try." Opti stuck her tongue out at Pessy.

"Mugjnweoir." Pessy angerily mumbles as he disappears from my shoulder.

So now you may think I'm nuts because my spilt personality is fighting with itself and I'm writing about it.
This is my dilemma. To take the risk or not. My gut is pulling me heavy in the direction of risk making it hard to ignore.

How do get over your pessy side while trying to follow your gut?

Do you write what you love ignoring the safe option and risk it?

Any good things happen this weekend?

Any goals for the week?

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Check this out!

In my route to catch up, I have been writing so it's a good thing. I also have been sucked into all these new contests though.

So I will give one last post of contests for the week. Sorry to bore you but I couldn't help but share.

To my dearest Alexandra--I would love to win one of the totally awesome books you are giving away. I need to escape my world of cartoons, sticky fingers, Barbie video games and high pitch whining voices. My mind needs to be cleared and allowed to go on vacation to a world that is not familiar, a world without (2) small monsters that for some reason call me "mom". :) Go check out this contest ends July 27th.

Carolina is also having a contest --she is giving away seven, that's right, seven ARCs ends August 9th. Tell her I sent you.

Sara McClung is also giving away ARCs so get over there. Ends August 6th --tell her I sent you.

Kathi at Kathi's Writing Nook is having a First Sightings Contest for the release of her new book The Stone Traveler. Check it out!

If you haven't seen this already--Alex J. Cavanaugh released his book trailer for Cassastar. Check it out!

There you go! I will give it a break now. :) Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Links and stuff.

So as you know I've been out of the loop. I think many of us have. It's summer so distractions are all around.
I caught a few links I wanted to share. Most of you may already know about these so forgive me.

First,I want to congratulate Kaitlyn McCane for getting this cute little number published in SCBWI Magazine.

I'm now a member so I can't wait to get my copy. So go congratulate her.

Speaking of SCBWI-- the Philly conference is on September 25th. Check out their site for details. Go to local chapters.

A cool little festival (if you are a PA resident). Bringing more YA to PA takes place August 21st. Check out the site here. It takes place in my town--yeah (near Philly). Also check out Dianne Salerni's site too.

Don't forget WriteOnCon August 10th-12th.

I got my eye on a number of contests. You guys most likely already know about these but I'll post them anyway.

Abby Annis is having a 200 follower giveaway ends July 31st.

Kimberly Franklin is giving away The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.

The fab blogger/writer Jen from unedited is giving away a copy of Linger by Maggie Steifvater. She is going to interview her too. What a lucky girl! I swear there are about 100 Jens because this girl is everywhere. Ends July 25th.

Candyland is hosting an amazing contest with amazing prizes ends July 31st. So cool!

So since I've been out of the loop please let me know of things I missed I will place in my sidebar.
 Hope you guys are having a great day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lessons learned.

Hello--Did anyone miss me? That's right I've been gone for a week. A whole week with no internet. Yes, I did go through withdraw--shakes, headaches, breaking out in cold sweats. It was a little rough but I made it through. I went away with the family and we went to a place where the internet wasn't so great.  The trip was loads of fun and I learned/discovered many things.

1. Italy has the best food and wine. Is that a surprise to you? My daughter ate pizza everyday and loved it.

2. Munich is one of my favorite cities--it almost feels like another home to me.  I do love it here.

3. The Alps--I believe is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The breathtaking scenery let me see more detail for one of my scenes in my WiP.

4. If you haven't noticed I'm on vacation--the hubs is in doing a little work in Germany and we are visiting. We drove from Munich to Italy for a beach vacation. Loads of fun. Yes, I have a 4 1/2 yr old and a 2 yr old at my side.  I'm doing the best I can with that. There were a few times where the 2 yr old was almost a permanent resident of Italy.

5. Kids --will figure out how to play with each other no matter what language they speak. They figure out how to get along and work through any barriers that stand in their way. I think adults should learn from this.

6. Taking time away from my WiP has helped me in so many ways. You don't need to travel far to clear your head just a walk or a even a quick cleaning of your house can help. The trick is to discover something new no matter where you are and the creativity will flow through the clog.

7. We have one life-- make it the best you can-- enjoy the little moments of discovery along with the big ones. Push away what holds you back and try to do the things that make you happy (even if its for five minutes).

I hope everyone is well. I miss ya and hope to get back to commenting soon. I'm trying to write as much as I can so my comments and posts will be random. Oh, I did get to read a book--The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Awesome. I really liked it. I couldn't put it down. You know how read some books and think How did this get published? Then you read some books and think I have a long way to go on my road to becoming an author. This is one of those books--It made me realized how far I have to go on my journey but I will keep going at my pace of slow. :)

How was your weekend?

Any goals for this week?

What did I miss when I was without the internet?

Have you learned anything new?

Have a great day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clearing your head.

Artwork by Kaitlyn McCane

It's amazing how you can clear your mind. When this happens strange things occur. Last night, I thought of my WiP. Okay that is nothing new--I think about it all the time. I have been having issues with my beginning and I think I figured how to set up the first five chapters. Yes, I came up with how to incorporate some ideas I have been thinking of with some existing chapters. Thank you CPs.

Now, I have another book planned for these lovely MCs and I've now thought of switching some ideas from  book two with ideas in book one and vice versa. I guess this is why I should have outlined before hand, right? This of course would require re-writes which I'm okay with. I'm coming to terms with me being a slow writer, and I must realize I'm learning these things will happen. As you know, I'm not good with patience but I'm getting there.

I'm going to try to outline (a loose one) in my WiP #3--we will see how that goes.

Has this happened to you?

Any solutions on how to go from here? Probably outline, right?

Any good plans this weekend?

Have a great weekend!! Sorry I'm behind on my comments, I will get there. To Lisa and Laura--I made it. Thanks for the force.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Summer. One of my favorite seasons. The hot sun beating down, thunderstorms striking at any moment, seagulls attacking a vacation goer for their french fries (note: do not get a huge tub of french fries and walk the boardwalk. It's never pretty). Summer for me is spending time at the beach. It's a place where I can relax, catch up on some reading, enjoy the waves crashing--well, lately it's not as completely as relaxing as it used to be. Kids. You have to watch them like a hawk. The majority of my time spent at the beach is watching them while the hubs surfs. I can't complain I'm at the beach.

I really do enjoy bringing them. It's like re-living my childhood all over again. Building sandcastles, riding on the amusement rides, eating ice cream, walking the boardwalk. All of it coming back in a flash, making me realize my age. It makes me smile though--seeing their smiles and their eyes light up as they discover something new. Our recent travel to the beach made me laugh so I had to share.

It's funny when we go now with all the stuff we bring.  My husband says we are beach contractors with all the neccessities I pack. After we set up camp, the hubs usually gets the board and hits the water. My daughter starts to build a sand castle while my son decides if he wants to eat the sand or roll in it. I sit under an umbrella with my SPF 100 checking out my pale skin--I really should be a vampire. I'm rivaling Edward on skin tone. Seriously Edward, put me out of my misery. I already have the pale skin.

Back to the beach.

I scan the area. Lifeguards in front, another family to the right side, cute young couple to the left. The young couple soo cute. Of course, they only had a beach blanket and a small bag compared to my set up.
I wish I had her body and that bathing suit. The guy has a perfect build, chiseled with some random tattooes. As the kids played, I thought of my life before the kiddos --Oh, how simple some things were.  Anyway, as I sit through my flipping thoughts, the guy raises from his face down tanning position and does about 10 push ups and turns over.

Push ups. What? Really was it necessary. Am I missing some tanning guideline? Or did his arms need a little toning? I guess he felt the need to get a quick exercise fix before he turned over to bake his other side.
 Am I too old to remember that this was fun? Random push ups. I almost burst out laughing. Hilarious.

Gotta love the beach--you get to see some of the most interesting people.

Over the next few weeks, I have bunches of family things so posts will be random. Don't go. I'll be around and back in full swing soon.

Do you have any funny vacation stories you would like to share?

Any great vacations planned?

Oh and  I saw Eclipse over the weekend. Oh yeah, good stuff. The best one yet---love it. I would have liked a little more biting though. :) I'm soooo team Edward (love him), team Jasper (love him), aww heck team vampire.  They so rocked. Are you surprised by this love?

Welcome to my new blogger buddies. I hope to visit you soon. Have a great day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Interesting article and awards.

First check out this article I found click here. I don't know if this lady is serious but the comments were entertaining. It mainly discussed the impact of the Twilight series and how she (the author of the article)doesn't know much about it and doesn't think think it should be glorified for teenagers (meaning the whole vampire thing--don't get me started on this). One of the comments said --I'm directly quoting meaning I cut and pasted it.--"The fact that this series has been so successful is just another example of how bad the rest of the writting is that is available"  Ouch! It's interesting to see other opinions and everyone has a right but comments like that--hurt and plant a little seed of anger.

Onto more positive things:
Thank you to Erica Mitchell Spickard for the Versatile Blogger Award. Erica is super sweet and a great beta. Go check out her site and Chimera Critiques. Go ahead check it out.
I have to list 7 things about myself.

1. Love my kiddos and love to watch them grow. This is also scary at the same time. Because not only are they getting older but I am too.
2. My favorite chocolate--who am I kidding I will eat a baking chocolate chip if I was desperate.  I do have favorites--Godiva, Milka, Hersheys, M & M's.
3. I like quiet mornings and evenings so I can write. I can never tell how my day is going to go with the kiddos so I long for these quiet moments.
4. In addition to wanting my peace and quiet--I would love to fit in exercising. Eating a lot of chocolate isn't the best for the figure. I'm still trying to fit it into my day.
5. I've banned Barney and some other kids music in my car. This has led to my kids loving Depeche Mode and Muse. My daughter can even recognize songs by The Police--when a song comes on she says that Stinger sings it.
6. Referring back to number 1--I'm scared of getting older. One of my many reasons for loving vampires ---immortality. The main reason is because they are just awesome.  That's right still team Edward!
7. I love that I'm writing because I feel complete. Plus, I have met the coolest people ever. I will say it again my CPs are the best!!!

I pass this to:

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for Your Blog Rocks Award! This is awesome because I say people rock a lot. Check out Alex's site along with his new book, Cassastar, to be released October 19, 2010. I will be checking this one out.
I pass this to:
Chimera Critiques (inlcudes Callie, Zellie and Prof Rutabaga)

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I know I said this yesterday but I mean it today not like I didn't mean it yesterday...I'm rambling.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Share your Darlings Blogfest.

***First check out this contest--The lovely Erica Mitchell Spickard is giving away some amazing prizes. Please tell her I sent you. Ends July 9th. Get over there and check out her site. If she gets up to 78 followers a special prize will be revealed.

Michelle Gregory is hosting the Share your Darlings Blogfest. Here is my really rough ending to my first chapter way back when. I wish I could share the whole thing but that would be super long. This is long enough. I really liked this but I have now started my story off a different way so buh bye to this scene.
The beginning is mainly Anna and her Dad talking, while dad maneuvers through a snow storm.

My dad shut the radio off as his eyes squinted trying to focus on the road. The truck filled with silence except for the scratching of the windshield wipers and the crunch of snow under the tires. We lived about five minutes from Ivy and so far the ride was taking twenty.

“Maybe you should have stayed at Ivy’s.” I could hear a little worry in his voice which is not normal for my dad. He always seemed pretty brave. I opened my mouth to answer when blinding  lights charged at us. 

A roar of a SUV engine came out of nowhere at a high rate of speed, blaring its horn. A dozen thoughts raced through my head—the only one that really stuck out was –I’m going to die. The SUV hit my dad’s side and hit so hard I banged my head on my door. The metal crunched and scraped. I heard glass shattering and became disoriented not knowing where I would wind up. My head pounded and throbbed as the truck pushed sideways down the street. As the truck started to slow, the deafening screech of the metal slowed.

When it stopped, the sound of steam whistling came from the engine. My vision blurred as my mind bounced in an out of consciousness and I began coughing trying to catch my breath. I tried looking over at my dad as a warm gush of fluid dripped down the side of my head. 

Must be blood. That can’t be good.

I tried to touch my head but my one arm was pinned somehow. My eyes kept closing as if heavy weights were pushing them down and sharp pains began to scatter in my chest and stomach. So this is how it ends for me.

“Dad?” I whispered.

It was hard to talk and I tried to reach him but a sharp pain ripped through my arm. I wanted to see him smile. He had to be okay. He was my rock. I realize this now. It’s funny how things become clearer in a moment of tragedy. Trying to focus, I saw him hunched over the steering wheel. His dark hair out of place and his body limp.

“Dad?” I tried again. “Wake up—please.” My body shivered.

There's no heat or am I loosing too much blood?

I heard sirens growing louder as I tried to release my arm that was stuck.

“Dad, help is coming I hear it. Hear it? They're coming for us. Hang on dad…please.” Tears started to rise to the surface of my eyes, a metallic smell filled the air and I realized it was blood. It made me queasy and I wondered if it mine or was my dad bleeding too.

The flashing lights cut through the darkness, I could hear doors slamming, people moving and talking outside. A sharp pain pierced the back of my head and my eyes squeezed shut in the hopes it would help relieve it.

 “Hello! Are you okay?” A male voice called.  I could his presence next to my window but I couldn’t lift or turn my head to see him. All I could do is moan in pain.

“We're going to get you out. Stay still,” He commanded. “What's your name?”

I tried to answer but nothing came out. I felt my door working its way free and opening.

“I’m Nate. What's your name?” His calming tone worked its way through my ears.

“Anna,” I whispered. Nate gently lifted each eyelid as he flashed a penlight in front of my eyes leaving me with red dots flashing in my sight.

“Okay Anna. Can you feel your arms or legs?” He tried to place a stethoscope by my heart, stopping for a second because the seatbelt blocked his path.

“I don’t know. My one arm is stuck and the other, I think, is broken.” I couldn't concentrate, I wanted to know how my dad was.

As Nate gently cut my seatbelt, he looked towards the driver side of the car his eyes sank for a second and placed them back to me. “I'm going to put a brace on your neck then we will get you into the ambulance, okay?”

“Okay,” I said as pain shot up into my chest. I remained still as Nate gently put the brace around my neck. My eyes started to close, I tried to keep them open but I couldn’t.

“Stay with me Anna.” Nate pushed some hair from my face.

I took a deep breath which really hurt and said “My dad.. get my dad out!” It took all my energy to say it and I blacked out.

Sorry for the length and the first draft stuff. Hope you guys have a great weekend! I'm going to see Eclipse tomorrow.  Wahoo! Team Edward! That's all I'm sayin'.