Monday, August 30, 2010

POV and Title Weekend.

Well, I had another post ready but it disappeared so you're stuck with this one. :0 Hello to my new blogger buddies. I hope to visit you soon. I'm sorry my commenting has been slacking off. I'm so deep in re writes and revisions along with my crazy home life, my computer time is limited.

Don't forget Writing the Next Line is Friday, September 3rd. If you have not participated before come see what the fun is about. Spread the news, please.

I tried something this weekend that wound up being quite fun. I wrote a chapter in my other MC's point of view. I write in first person and WiP #1 is written from my MC Anna's POV. My other MC, Ian, is her love interest and I wrote a chapter in his POV and learned a lot about him along with working out some key points in my story. He spoke to me and is a little bit of a bad boy. :) I'm sure many of you have done this. It was quick took about 20 minutes but the outcome was interesting.

Has anyone tried this?

Has it helped you?

Another thing I got to thinking about this weekend was the title of WiP #1. The working title has always been The Guardian to which there are endless books out there with that name. It kills me but I'm trying to figure out something else. I want it to stand out but still be related to what the story is about.

Any advice on what I should be thinking about when giving my baby a name?

How was your weekend?

I'm keeping it short today. The monsters were crazy this weekend so my butt is tired. I am also trying to figure out how to put tabs at the top of my page. I'm trying to clean up my blog. Any advice on this would be helpful.

Oh and keep an eye out I have a little contest coming to my blog. :)

Have a great day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

First, contests. Yes, there are more.

Dianne K. Salerni is having an awesome contest. Ends September 3rd.

Michelle Teacress is having 100 follower contest. Ends September 10th.

Writing the Next Line September 3rd right here. Spread the news on the fun.

So instead of Tell the Truth Tuesday or Thursday, I've come up with Fun Facts Friday. I will not be doing this every week just every so often. I basically just write some random things, mainly because I couldn't think of anything else to write. :)

1. I tried a McDonald's smoothie and liked it. Too bad summer is almost over. Maybe that's a good thing.

2. My daughter claims she will wash the dishes when she is 7 because she will be bigger. I should record her saying that.

3. She also claims that she will be a princess when she grows up and wants to know why we have to be something when we grow up. Good question.

4. Trying to write while tired is a bad idea. We all know this. Just don't let your cat fall asleep on you while her paw is on the keyboard. Don't ask.

5. I had a dream where I sat outside a room where random people kept walking in and out. I decided to go in and it opened to a wonderful paradise with a sandy beach and brilliant blue ocean. I then found myself sitting across from Stephanie Meyer (I don't know why) at an outdoor cafe overlooking the beach. All she said was, "They are coming." I just kept looking over my shoulder --I guess to see who they were. It all disappeared when my I heard my son yelling mom from his crib. I looked at the clock it was 6 am. Damn, time to start the day.

I'm still trying to figure this one out. I'm not sure why Stephanie Meyer was in my dream. I was hoping for Edward or Jasper. Wait. Maybe that's who they are. I need caffeine.

Any fun facts about you?

Other than a couple of tired nights, my schedule is still going well. I'm getting there. Since I'm slow, I feel like this WiP will take years but it probably should to get to where it should be. If that made any sense.

How are your writing projects coming along?

If I forget to add you to my contest bar--please forgive me. I'm not ignoring you. I have a lot going on in my head. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting to know your senses.

I didn't get a chance to write something for the Rainy Day Blogfest hosted by Christine H. Sorry but go and check out the entries. I will be.

Part of my new schedule is to learn something new and apply it to my writing. I remember a post by the lovely Erica Mitchell Spickard from Chapter by Chapter and Chimera Critiques. She posted about the senses. That's right-- sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. I know some of my chapters need more of this. In her post, she performed an interesting exercise.  She blindfolded herself for four hours while exploring her house to tap into her senses. Quite clever and interesting. Erica rocks. She is awesome at discussing this exercise.

Technically, I wouldn't need a blindfold. I could just remove my contacts and everything beyond eight inches in front of me becomes a blur.I'm also clumsy so blindfolding myself and walking around my house would be quite comical. My kids would be running around like they were just let out of a cage, I would wind up tripping over the cat then tripping over the other cat, walking into a wall, falling down the steps, you get the picture but I wanted to try this in some form.

So, here is what I did. When I think of it and I have even two minutes of silence, I shut my eyes and tap into my senses. For example, pumping gas into my car. I shut my eyes and tap into the sounds, the touch, the smell. There's not much to taste so I didn't get into that one. When I sit in the middle of the night while my son goes back to sleep. I listen, touch, smell, taste (my mouth is usually dry, so again not much else.) You can do this anywhere-- although I wouldn't recommend it driving or using some sort of equipment. Keep it safe people. The public may give you a few stares but --hey this is research.

If you can write down your findings with detail descriptions, do it. This has helped me tremendously. I could feel my MCs before and now when I write a scene I can really feel them. It is helping me open my mind and forcing me to not only write but to feel. I also approach writing a scene differently than I did before. I write the dialogue and set myself into the scene, thinking about what my MC's senses are going through.

Have you tried this exercise?

Has it helped you?

That's all I got today. The photo is there for you to think about what sights, sounds, smells, feelings, tastes you might experience in that setting. Okay, I had trouble uploading a photo. Have a great day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Weekend.

Well, Saturday was a fun day for me. My car battery was replaced, the hubs sent me flowers and I went to the PAYA festival in my town. It was way cool. I hope they plan to do this again next year. I didn't get a chance to make it to the critique sessions in the morning but I heard they were great.

I did buy books which I am now admitting to myself that I have a wicked book addiction, but it was for a good cause. I have to say, I was a little nervous to go. I did get the shakes and my hands got a little sweaty. I've never met a published author face to face before and I wasn't sure of the proper etiquette on getting a book signed. What do I say? How do I approach?But once I got there, everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming.

I got to meet these lovely ladies/fabulous authors--Dianne K. Salerni, Cyn Balog, Jennifer Murgia, and Shelena Shorts.Here is a list of who was there. PAYA website.

There were great prizes too. Yes, I bought chances and I won a book with all the goodies to go along with it.
Much fun was had and like I said I hope they do it again next year.

So, I must mention some more contests that are running. There are so many. Lots of goodies.

Carol from Carolina's Prints-- The gal who rocks and has an array of amazing ARCs,that may make my head explode. Ends September 6th. Tell her I sent you.

New Blogger buddy-- Amie Borst is having a contest. Some of the books she is giving away are by authors I was lucky enough to meet at PAYA. Ends August 31st.

I can't remember if I mentioned this before--Christine H is having a 100 follower contest. Ends August 27th and a Rainy Day Blogfest on August 25th. Go Christine.

I'm thinking of starting Writing the Next Line again. I plan to post it September 3rd. So be here. :)Thank you to everyone who commented on my entry for the fun blogfest last week.

My writing schedule is going well. I have been following it the best I can. It's funny, I'm a happier person when I can accomplish some good writing time.

How do you feel after some good writing time?

How was your weekend?

Have a great day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guess That Character Blogfest...Day Two...The Reveal.

Ohhh...the big reveal. I really enjoyed reading all of your guesses. I tried to read as many entries as I could. They were all excellent. Sorry if I didn't get to yours. Hi to my new blogger buddies. *waiving* Thank you Jen for hosting this. This was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it! If you missed yesterday here was my snippit.

So, I have to show you. Huh?

Livie-is an 18year old, shy gal that has been sheltered her whole life. Why? You ask?...I can't tell you that. So unexpected. I write YA paranormal/sci-fi, remember? :)
She is a petite thing but has developed in certain areas. She is trim but not runner fit and still seeking her beauty.
The face, eyes and hair--see below.

Photo removed

Bright blue eyes.
Dark, brown hair that sweeps her shoulders with bangs.
Pale skin and is pretty au natural (no makeup).
She is innocent, sweet, and a little naive.
These are pictures of the actress, Zooey Deschanel.

For those of you who wondered what Claire looks like:

Photo removed.

Oh, Auntie Claire. Ex- Pro Surfer who now owns a surf shop. Her wild, blonde locks show off her carefree ways. Look out Livie!
(pictures of actress Kate Hudson.)

I can't wait to see the other reveals. This was so much fun! Thanks Jen!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guess that Character Blogfest.--Day One.

Thanks to Jen at unedited for hosting this.

Since I posted a picture a while back on my WiP#1 MC, Anna, I decided to try and post something I just started working on. I'm still working on it so forgive me on the roughness of it and the length.

WiP#3 Tenative title --Wrapping Paper. MC to guess -- Livie. I don't want to say too much about it --lots of stuff still in the works. This is a conversation between Livie and her Aunt Claire. I did take out some descriptive stuff so you could guess. Good luck and I can't wait to read the others. Come back tomorrow to see the reveal.

A light knock disrupted my slathering of sunscreen.

 “Livie, are you ready?” Claire peeked around the door. Her collection of thin metal bracelets jingled when she pushed it open.

 I snapped the cap shut. “Yeah. Just finishing up.”

 She walked in my room, squinting. “You’re wearing that?” Her mouth puckered.


“That? “ Her finger fluttered up and down. “That…one piece suit?”

“This is the only suit I have.” I looked down satisfied with my choice of beach attire.

“Did you wear that yesterday to the beach?”

“Yes, I told you it’s the only suit I have.”

She scratched her head. “Boy, my mom and dad really kept you sheltered.”

“Why do you say that?Because this is the only suit I have?”

Claire sat down on the bed, lips pressed together, holding in a laugh. “Well, that’s part of it. Livie, we need to get you into something that’s more your age. Grams had good intentions but she really sheltered you.”

I stood staring at her perfect body that she revealed readily, trying to comprehend what she said. Sure I was homeschooled and rarely traveled off the farm but I wasn’t stupid. I knew what kids my age were into. Didn’t I?

“Wait here.” Claire hopped up and raced into her room.

A ping of dread ran through me with the thought of what she might put me in. I fiddled with the straps on my suit. Was this that bad? Did Grams keep me that out of touch? Seagulls called outside my window. They were laughing at me, too. The kids hanging at the beach yesterday did give me a second look. Swallowing the embarrassment that stuck in my throat, I glanced back at the mirror.

“Here try these on. I just got them in for the shop.” Claire threw pieces of brightly colored fabric in the air. After they landed on the bed, I picked up a purple and pink striped one.

“What are you waiting for? Try it on.”

“These are little pieces of fabric with string.”

“Livie, just try it on.” Her head tilted giving me attitude. I hesitated, looking back at her, twisting the end of one of the strings.

“Are you waiting for me to leave so you can change? God! Livie. We’re girls. It’s not like I haven’t seen what you have under that suit.” She turned her back towards me.

I quickly took off my sad one piece and slipped on the skimpy suit. It rode up my butt and the strings dug into my neck.

“Okay,” I whispered.

Claire faced me. Her face lit up and a little smile appeared. “Wow.”

“It’s bad. I…should…just…” I pulled one of the strings.

“Livie, stop. It’s fine, really. You have the perfect body for it.”

I picked at the leg of my suit bottom. “It’s riding up my butt.”

Claire let out a laugh. “That’s where it sits.” Her fingers adjusted one of the strings. “Now the guys will be looking at you for you, not at the one piece potato sack.”

That was probably way longer than necessary. Sorry. Can't wait to read the guesses and the other participant's entries. Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contests and blogfests

The contests are growing again. Holy cow! Anywho, I thought I would mention some that I have found.

Sara McClung--Yes, she is having another ARC contest. Seriously, where and how do you get all those wonderful goodies,Sara? Please tell her I sent you if you enter. Ends Sept. 8th.

Mary is having a contest. The book Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle is up for grabs. Ends August 21st.

Frankie  today ...well...check her blog. Nighshade ARC. Not sayin' anymore.

Being that I'm slow at everything I do--I didn't even see this until today. My buddy Karen G is having a Lettuce Write Contest. Really cool and I hope my first (three) chapters will be finished by this date. Ends August 21st. Yeah, I know I'm slow-- go ahead yell at me.

To prove that you should not let aliens tempt you into letting them borrow your memory-- I totally forgot about Jessica's (The Alliterative Allomorph) contest. It is really awesome. Ends September 13th. You really need to check it out. This contest is to help save The Writing Show. A great resource for writers everywhere. Please forgive me Jessica. :)

Don't forget the blogfest Jen at unedited is hosting. Guess that character blogfest. Takes place August 19th and 20th. Should be interesting. :)

That's all I got today. I'm taking part in the blogfest tomorrow. Oh and if you are in the Pennsylvania area on Saturday, August 21st--check out PAYA festival. Lots of cool stuff is happening. Sorry, no flashy pictures today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fresh start.

The start of a new week. I like the feeling of a fresh start. Thanks for all your recommendations for the book club. I will let you know what I pick.

Last week, I got tied up with WriteOnCon (yes, it was great) and my WiP. The schedule I have started seems to be working although last week I got a little carried away. I stayed up late and the kids are still not fully sleeping so Saturday night I took the night off. Drinking two beers (look out the party girl is breaking free),watching a little TV (which I don't watch much), trying to read a book and work on WiP #3. It's not that I made myself work on it, they just spoke to me.

I signed up for the Philly SCBWI conference in September. I'm going with Illustrator Kaitlyn McCane (that's her artwork over there) and my fab CP, Kelly. When I signed up, I decided not to have my first ten pages critiqued. I didn't feel ready and the pressure--let's just say I had an agent critique some pages this year which led me to change my whole beginning. Don't get me wrong it was a good thing. I thank god I had that opportunity.

After my return from vacation, I received an email from the local chapter saying that they still had spots open for the critique. Now, I'm sort of a believer in signs but still was sticking to my original plan of no critique. I wasn't going to do it. A couple emails back and forth to Kelly and now I'm signed up. So last week, I was working hard on my first ten pages along with a synopsis. I'm sending it out today. It's my new chapter so I would like to see what I can improve on. Nailbiting--yes-- but in the end a lesson to be learned.

I'm sure I will have to fight off Pessy (my pessimist side) with a taser and a nine iron because he is already telling me how much red will be on those pages. But I think Opti (my optimist side) will shine through, patting me on the back telling me to soak in all the advice I can. Thanks Kelly. :)

So I have some goals--
This week:
 Revise a chapter.
Write everyday.
If WiP #3 comes knocking, answer the door and let them tell their story.
Take one day a week to learn something new about the craft and apply it to my own writing.

Busy week.

What are your goals? How was your weekend?

A 200 follower contest maybe in my sights. After that who knows, I'm trying to take it one day at a time.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thanks to the chicks who rock and any advice?

Well, It's Friday the 13th. Ohhh scary. Anyone superstitious? Actually 13 is my favorite number. It always appears in some form or another for me.

A couple of links to check out. You may have already read these. I'm behind.
One on editing from QueryTracker

The other from Novel Journey I can't get the article to just come up so you will have to scroll down to August 6th. Sorry for the work but it's about juggling family life and writing.

WriteOnCon is done and please go give the fabulous ladies who organized it some love. What a great idea and so very helpful. The link should take you to the founders page where you can click onto each of these awesome ladies websites. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work. It was a success and extremely helpful (yes I said it was helpful twice). Also, thank you to the amazing authors, agents and editors who conducted such great workshops/vlogs/posts/live chats.This is where I've been for the past three days.

So I have a problem. You probably know that I'm in a book club. A friend of mine started it and since I'm in love with books I joined. I figured it would help me read books I would probably never look at. I was right all of the books I have read for it-- I would have never picked up on my own. They have opened my eyes to other styles of writing and all of them were very good. Now, at the next meeting I have to pick two books for the group to decide on to read for the meeting in November (which I'm hosting). I can tell you that pretty much all of  the members do not read YA. YA is my thing-- it's what I love  to read and write. Throw some paranormal/scifi stuff in there and I'm in heaven. My thing is-- I want to pick two books that may appeal to someone who does not normally read YA. Maybe I'm looking into this too much but let me list the books we have read so far.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White (this was my favorite out of the three)
I'm now reading --A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

So I'm looking to you guys on suggestions. What would your two picks be for a book club to read?(for a club that is not particularly YA).

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wow! it's Monday...

Yes, another contest has caught my eye. Since my kiddos are sleeping according to German time and well the focus on my WiP is swirling in a haze --I have been scanning blogs. Not commenting much though--so sorry. Anywho, I came across this contest.

Roni and Julie's Epic Summer contest--Lots of critiques to be given away. Since I like to torture myself, I have entered. Ends August 8th.Which is today.

Tuesday is writeoncon. If you have not signed up you better get over there. I have to say I'm a little nervous. I'm scared I'm going to screw something up, do something wrong or embarrass myself somehow. There are so many awesome and totally talented people that are involved in this which is so great. I'm mostly nervous because I hope to get a little of my baby critiqued. The new stuff. The risk chapter. We will see how that goes. ***heartbeating fast, pinching in my gut***

I've had blog block lately. Not much to say because I have so much junk pushing it's way around in my head. I'm not sure where to start. It's quite overwhelming. It's been happening a lot lately. I think I need a few good writing sessions to clean it out. The MCs are fighting again along with Pessy and Opti. So sorry if the blog posts are repetitive and boring. The weather is not helping either--humidity and heat--puh.

I thought I was catching up on my reading but --holy cow-- there is way too much out there. I started Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. I think I should have read it before I read the Hunger Games (I will say it again--LOVED IT). Guilty Pleasures is a little slow for me right now. I may stop reading and come back to it. I never do this --stop a book I started. I feel bad and have to finish it but this one might be my first. I picked up Linger and Vampire Academy which are staring me in the face with some sexy eyes. Not to mention--Candor and Hex Hall which are sitting right beside them throwing a cute smile. The books are as bad as my MCs tempting me in way too many directions. Whew!

I'm posting early cause a lot is going on tomorrow--plan to write and revise. :) How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Topic.

So I'm back in the states and way tired. Pretty overwhelmed too. The garden beds look like a jungle due to the wicked hot weather in PA. Yes, I miss Munich but I'm glad to be home too.

Check out this contest from Amie over at I Am Alive ends August 13th. The book covers are way cool. I want one.

Amie also started Three Things Thursday.  Rules--You list three things about yourself --following the topic of the day.

So today's topic--List three things about your childhood that made you who you are today.

Photo removed.

Ohhh tough one.

Let's see:

1. I grew up at the beach in the summer --this is where I fell in love with the ocean and everything beachy. It also made me prefer warmer weather. Although, I'm sure most of you like warmer weather.

2. I had a lot of imaginary friends (no comments from the audience--yes, I know I'm a little strange--I admit it). I think this has led me to be a very character driven writer--due to me talking to my characters. I know they're not real.

3. My parents exposed me to a variety of music throughout my life. This has led me to love a lot of different kinds of music. This also inspires a lot of what I write.

Well, there you go. I'm a little out of it today. I just got back from Munich last night so I'm messed up on the time. My kitties also needed to let me know how mad they were that we were gone--all night. That is probably why there are a lot of dashes in this post.

Hope everyone is well. I'm still messed up on what day it is too so just stick with me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Strength and weakness

Lately, Pessy (my pesimist side) and been beating up Opti (my optimist side). They have been fighting like cats and dogs. Opti was winning a few weeks ago, but Pessy must have been working out because the fight has gotten ugly. I decided to show Pessy that he can not beat me down so instead of curling into a ball and claiming I'm a horrible writer--that everything I write is crap-- I thought I should take a look at my strengths and weaknesses. A list of each may help me see not only what I need to improve on but what I may be good at.

First, I want to get a couple things out in the open.

I must realize that my journey is not like anyone else's. It is as distinct as my fingerprint and only I'm in control.

My ideas and stories are from my heart and I must follow my gut when writing them.

Now on with my list. I figure I will start with my weaknesses. These are the things I must improve on.

Making a schedule to write--I need to focus purely on writing for at least an hour a day. I need to figure out when I can fit this time in without interruption.

Frustration--I need to stop getting frustrated when I'm not able to write. This only leads to Pessy smiling.

Tenses-I don't like tenses. Currently, I'm having a hell of a time trying to spot this. I need to sit and have a classroom session on this. My CPs will be happy when I figure this one out.

Adverbs and "to be" verbs-- I think I do have "was" under control but those sneaky adverbs are still sneaking in.

Slowing down. I tend to rush things especially because my kids need something at every moment. I have been working on this but I know I still need work in this area. It usually leads to careless mistakes.

I know I'm not great at grammer. :)

With that being said, I will move onto my strengths. I'm not a big bragger so I feel funny even typing this. I decided to write down what I have been told of things I do well.

I have been told-- I can write dialogue well. I do like writing it.

I have been told --I'm great at descriptions.

I have been told--I can write a great cliffhanger.

I have been told--That I write with a pretty good voice and that in my current WiP-- people seem to like my characters. That they seem real and a reader can relate to them.

There you have it. I'm not sure how it has made me feel but I guess it was a good exercise to help me jump back into my WiP.

How have you been?

Have you ever tried to seperate your strengths and weaknesses?

Has this exercise helped you?

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I can't wait to get back into my routine. I will miss Germany but I miss my family, friends, cats, house and ---writing. I thought I would be able to write more here but there are a lot of distractions. To my CPs --sorry I've have not been critiquing as much as I thought. You can say it--I've been a bad CP. I promise to finish all my critiques when I get back. Oh and sorry if this post sounds like I just woke up--well --I did and decided to write it before the kiddos got up. :)

Have a great day!