Monday, January 31, 2011

Making adjustments

There's a movie that's got my attention. Did you see the trailer yet? I can't wait to see this:

It looks so intriguing. The story: In a nutshell, follow your heart or what your planned fate is. Matt Damon is confronted by The Adjustment Bureau after a chance meeting with the love of his life. The Adjustment Bureau is sent to keep him on his life's path (planned fate) so he does not stray from it. Yeah, sounds good. Of course, Matt Damon. Extremely talented actor with a smile that won't quit. That, of course, is not the only reason I'm wanting to see this. Only mostly. :)

The idea of fate makes my mind go in all crazy directions. If we chose a different path what would our lives be like now? Or do we keep following our gut, what we love the most, is that truely what we are meant to do? Good questions. Of course, I don't have the answers.

I know I have some regrets, what if I did this or that? Why didn't I start my road to publication sooner? blah blah blah. The more I think about it, the more I realize I wouldn't change a thing. Me being me needed to grow and to learn. Sometimes the hard way, but that is who I am. Sure, I'm slower than some others. Does this make me a little jealous? A tinge, but that's life. This is the path I chose and now, well, I'm extremely determined, confident, scared, but excited and happy. If things happened differently,I may have been happy, but would I be me? Not sure. Earlier in my life, I let fate guide me, not that it was bad, but when I followed my heart everything felt right. So is this fate guiding me or is it me choosing my heart? Good question.

So do you let fate decide for you or are you following your heart? 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Take a step back.

I wish I had more facts today, but sadly, I don't. My daughter was sick most of the week, and since I live in the Arctic now, snow has made us house bound. Hopefully, I will get out today. I thought I could get some writing in, but, yeah, the monsters attacked.

Okay, so I squeezed in a tiny bit of time. WiP #1 is stubborn right now. The revision process is still pretty much at a halt. I'm not sure if I'm just not liking this certain part of the story or I'm not focusing enough. I've had several other ideas hit me, teasing me to write them. I've written some scenes and jotted down notes, even started outlines. But WiP#1 is what I want to finish. One revision, at least. I'm trying to even skip over to other chapters just to feel the MCs again. Argh.

Another issue is my constant need to revise as I write. Yes, you heard me. I think I'm over-analyzing or over -thinking as I go through it, instead of feeling it, like I normally do. I'm re-writing sections of WiP#1 and I keep going over each sentence as I write it. It's kinda frustrating and makes the process feel like it's taking a lifetime. See, that's the impatience talking.

Probably if I just get the right conditions to write, that will help. I get all panicky when this happens. It's the whole impatience thing. Maybe my stubborn competitive spirit. Maybe my flippin' determination. Maybe my insecurity. I also think when I over-think it, well, it just makes my mind a little mushy.

So what's my point. I know you are really confused right now. I'm not only an overwriter, I'm an overthinker. What is the cure to this lovely condition? Not sure. I did do something that might help.

I stepped back. Just like an artist stepping back from a canvas to see the whole picture, I stepped back from the problem chapters to look at the whole story. This made an incredible difference. I planned out how the rest of the revisions/re-writes should go. Since my story is from two POVs, this method is helping me see which MC should speaking in which chapters. I surprised myself at how far I still have to go. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't wind up being a 500 page book. I also saw where I could go in a totally different direction to possibly make the whole thing shorter. I hear ya, stay on track finish this revision first. I know, I'm keeping my options open.

So, how do you get through problem chapters in revisions?

I wanted to mention a couple of posts I found interesting.

I get this newsletter from Holly Lisle. Here is the blurb on the class she is teaching which, funny enough, has to do with revisions and when you get stuck. The blurb gives you some great info.
This one on voice from Book Ends, LLC. It's short and to the point. Makes sense.

Two posts from Frankie- One on editing yourself, and a photo from Philly Lit Night.

This post from KM Walton --Great advice on what Kate wishes she knew before she queried.

For all the coolest links go to Stina. She's got them all.

This week, I'm trying to also cut down on my internet time. Facebook, twitter, blog. I need to focus. I will be posting just not commenting as much. Not that it's been much lately. So sorry. How this will work will be interesting.

Have a great weekend! Stay warm.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Philly Lit Night

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Writing the Next Line Blogfest. The entries were fantastic. Go here to see the participants. Thanks to all of you who commented. You're way too kind.

Anyway, Sunday I went to Philly Lit Night. So much fun. Thanks to Simon and Frankie for organizing it. My CP, Kelly, and I went together. Another big thank you to Kelly because she had an iphone, otherwise I would have been at B&N solo. When we got to B &N, the party moved to a different location so, yeah, I would've been at B & N looking... maybe for hours. :) Next time I should get someone's contact info or an iphone. I know you're laughing at my phone status.

Meeting other writers can make one feel so good. No dirty thoughts Simon.Normally when I talk to someone about writing, their eyes glaze over and crickets play in the background. So this was a wonderful change of pace. I can't wait till the next meeting. I know there will be a lot of hand gestures, hugging sugar, a drinking glass almost flying off the table and hitting a mirror, throwing salt and pepper everywhere. Okay the last bit was exaggerated, but we did talk about it. A couple of photos were taken, so I will let you know when they are posted. One is on Facebook posted by Frankie.

Anyone meet any blogger buddies lately?

Have a great day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Writing the Next Line Blogfest

So I'm so nervous when I post stuff or send it to someone. The bundle of knots in my stomach always pulls tight everytime I do this, but I continue to torture myself. Today is the Writing the Next Line Blogfest. To see the amazingly talented people who are taking part please go here.

I hope to have a Writing the Next Line page up at the top of my blog so you can see the past sessions. This was fun, and who knew I would plan to make this into a story. Yes,I  plan to develop this bugger. I'm taking a liking to the characters...okay so they showed me more scenes to write, but I must finish my revisions first. I can hear my CPs yelling. Finish the other one first. I will. :) Here it goes. I'm closing my eyes now.

3:00 am. Those numbers glowed green, staring at me, letting me know I wasn't sleeping. I couldn't. If I did, who knows what injury I would wake up with. Every night a dream would consume me, and when I woke, something on my body was cut, bruised, or almost broken. I started at the ceiling. The fan squeaked and wobbled, trying to produce air flow. It wasn't succeeding. I turned over, hugging my pillow. What was happening? Maybe I should see someone, but who? A doctor? Padded room for sure. Is there such a thing as a dream specialist?

A branch scratched the window. I turned over again. 5:00 am. Where did the last two hours go? Adrenaline pumped through my veins, accelerating my heart. My T-shirt was damp and clinging to my back. What happened? Did I dream, again?

Bang. Bang. Bang. I jumped up. Someone was at the front door.

Who could be here? My parents are out of town. As I crept down the steps, I grabbed a brass candlestick from the small glass table in the hall. How I would use it? I don’t know, but I felt I needed something. The shadows of the trees danced behind the sheers.

Bang. Bang. Bang. My heartbeat throbbed in my ears and the candlestick shook in my hands. With my back to the door, I took one deep breath, perched up on my toes, turned, and looked out the peephole. Black bangs with a small purple streak and pale flesh filled my view in a weird distorted peephole way. The tension in my chest lifted. I fumbled with the lock and swung the door open.

“Graham?” I held the candlestick behind my back. He had both his hands on each side of the door frame. His damp hair created points across his forehead and sweat trickled down the sides of his face. “Did you run here?”

His dark, brown eyes searched my face, then behind me. “Sadie? Are you okay?” He stood up straight, his shoulders raised and lowered as he caught his breath.

“Should I be hurt?” I set the candlestick on the bench in the foyer. He walked passed me.

He turned on his heel and faced me. His black T-shirt stuck to his chest, defining every muscle underneath. “You just called me. Frantic. You sounded like you were hurt.” He cupped his hand on the back of his neck.

“I was sleeping. So, I didn’t call you.”

“Yes, you did. I was watching a movie with…” He paused. He knew I would be pissed. “Avery, and you called me, crying, hysterically. Saying someone was in the house.”

I crossed my arms. “Avery?” Did he have to say her name? He certainly didn’t wait long to start dating after we broke up.

He cocked his head to the side and rolled his eyes. “Is that why you called me? So you could ruin my night.”

“No. I didn’t call you. You ruined your own night as well as mine.” I fiddled with the tie on my pajama bottoms. Nothing like scaring the crap out of me and rubbing the new girlfriend in my face.

“You did call me. Look.” He held up his cell. There was my name and number. “You called me at 4:30.”

“Why were you watching a movie at 4:30 in the morning?” Really, it was a great question. Who watches a movie at… unless…argh.

He let out an annoyed breath. “We didn’t…you know. I know you’re thinking that Avery and I were…”

I put my fingers in my ears. “Wait. I don’t want to know.”

He grabbed my wrists and tugged on them so I could hear again. “I haven’t and wouldn’t with her. Trust me.”

“Oh, so I was the excuse for you to send her home.” I yanked my arms from his grasp and put my hands on my hips.

“No. You called me and said you needed help. So I came. Why are you getting so defensive?”

I guess he still cares. I thought when he said he never wanted to see me again, meant, he never wanted to see me again. “Well, I don’t remember calling you. So…sorry…you can go back to your girlfriend.”

“Look Sadie. What happened with us was…well…maybe we went too quickly and things…”

Footsteps pitter pattered across the hardwood in the room above us. My room.

“Is someone here?” he crossed his arms. “I know your parents are out of town.” His eyebrows rose.

I let out a quivered breath. My stomach sank down to my feet and a thin layer of sweat formed on top of my skin. “No one is here but me.”

A loud crash vibrated the floor. Shards of glass broke though the ceiling above us. Graham grabbed me by the waist, yanking me out of the way and into the Living Room. As the dust settled, a large, black, furry figure rose on two bowed legs. A deep snarl came from its throat, drool dripped from the corners of its mouth. Its ink black snout twisted, sniffing the air. I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be.

“What the hell is that?” Graham whispered, and pulled me tighter to him.

I sucked in a breath and choked on the wet, dog smell. Flashes of memories, I don’t remember ever happening to me, bombarded my brain. “I think it’s the monster from my dream.”

My face is purple from holding my breath. Go check out the others because they are probably so much more awesome than mine. Go here to check them out. I will be checking out the other entries over the next few days.

I will also be posting about Philly Lit night on Wednesday. Simon and Frankie put together a fun night. It was so great to meet everyone. Can't wait till the next meeting.

Have a great day and thanks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

This week was one of those weeks. I'm not even going to recap the horrible of it. Just the fun parts.

1. I have the best blogging friends in the world. You guys are the best cheerleaders and you know how to kick me in the butt. Thanks guys. I really can't thank you enough.

2. After a CP session with the incredible, Crystal, I sat down and revised a chapter and re-wrote 1000 words. She rocks. Thanks dear lady.

3. Can't wait to meet more blogging buddies in person this weekend in Philly. Should be fun!

4. I'm reading the book Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready and love it. Oh yeah, isn't the cover oh so pretty. The insides are just as delicious. Can't wait till the sequel.

5. Don't forget Writing the Next Line Blogfest....Monday. I can't wait to read the entries. Let's just say, I may develop my entry into a story. Yeah, I know, finish those revisions first!

6. In the news-- I saw this lady walking in the mall texting and she fell in a fountain. Now, she wants to sue the mall. Really? Like you don't have better things to do. Don't get me goin' on this one.

Keepin' it short today.

Any weekend plans?

Any books you want to share?

Let me know how your writing is coming along.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Paying attention to the signs

You know I'm a sucker for things to guide me--whether it be optimism, inspiration, what to eat...yeah I'm always searching for some sort of guidance. This week has been a challenge. With the Kitchen renovation, writing time has been...pretty much minimal. This makes me cranky. I'm sure you all know this by now, plus there are some health things that have been bothering me, that are not life threatening, just annoying.

I also have been beating myself up with my writing. I did write one thing, a new idea, which I'm excited about (it's for my blogfest). I may turn it into a full blown story. The problem is, I want to finish a freakin' round of revisions for WiP#1. Can I least finish it? Jeez. Every other story I have written has been put aside unfinished. WiP#1 is my baby, my love, and I've gotten good feedback, but needs at least (or maybe more) another round of revisions before line edits. Really, could my brain just cooperate and let go to finish one round of revisions instead of wandering. I shouldn't complain, I know.

So, yeah, I'm looking for signs.

Since I've been down and out, I watched a movie (I've been reading like crazy and love the books, but it's sort of made me feel worse because it makes me feel so not worthy). I watched something that wasn't my norm, but intriguing.

The World's Fastest Indian starring Sir Anthony Hopkins. I think it was made about five years ago, but it is what I needed to see and it's based on a true story.

Here's the blurb:
The life story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle -- a bike which helped him set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.

Now, I know what you are thinking. What? She watched that? Yes, I did. It's just what I needed for a lift. It's not like I would ever stop writing, but I get into slumps of insecurity, beating me down to make me think that it may never be. This movie though really made me think about that. The character, Burt Munro, kept going no matter what, and at age 68 set a speed record that (I think) still holds today. Flippin' amazing. Trust me, that bike wasn't safe, but his optimism, his belief, that he could do it, got him to that goal.

So, thanks, Burt Munro, for the pick up. The sign I needed. A movie. Crazy.

Have you noticed any signs lately that have helped you?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's Your Writing Process Blogfest

Thanks to Shallee for hosting this blogfest. Go Here to check out the other participants.

Well, I'm not a super authority on the writing process. If you read my blog regularly, you know this. I'm always searching for new ways to make my process easier. What I've learned is that making it easier is not always right. It has to be right for me and fit me, like a comfortable shoe. So with that said, I will describe the process that I've done already, and that may be my fit, despite the hair pulling it's given me.

Most of my ideas are inspired by music. Yes, music. A song will play and I will get a scene popping into my head like a movie trailer. After that, the characters start to show themselves and more songs will start to fill in the other scenes and the story is born. Everything I've written has a soundtrack (the two pieces I'm working on have soundtracks on my music page above).

From there I do characterization, filling journals of each character describing them, with their age, likes, dislikes, and their part in the story. As I do this, I continue writing scenes usually starting with dialogue. It's how I see it in my head...characters talking, then action. After I write the dialogue, I go back and add the details. I don't write from the first chapter through the end. I tried this and for me it doesn't work, at least not now. If I need to, I do world building loosely. This helps me understand the rules of the world or race of the being.

With my first novel, I wrote it not doing anything, making it up as I went. This has made me frustrated though, because I'm now re-writing a lot. Patience is not my forte. I do like to free write, to clear my head, the problem with this is I need a certain atmosphere to write--No one around to bother me and I must be listening to my inspiration music. This is not the case at my house. Let's just say, I can't wait till both kids are in school.

So far, this seems like my fit. The novel just writes itself as I go, just some things have to be worked out before hand. If I think too much about it, all the creativity gets lost.  Oh and lots and lots of chocolate.

Can't wait to see the other processes.

Oh and please go vote for Illustrator, Kaitlyn McCane's windmill design. So cute. It's looks great as a T-shirt. Check it out here and vote.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

I decided to do a short review today. As you know, things have been a little hectic. Since I've been limited on writing time, I've been reading. I checked out this little nugget.
Yeah...look at that cover. The inside doesn't disappoint. The girl on the cover reminds me of Scarlett Johansson.

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 352

The Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Evie learns that she is not quite the person she thought she was in this creature-feature mash-up. Possessing the unique ability to recognize paranormals beneath their glamour, Evie has lived most of her life under the protection of the International Paranormal Containment Agreement (IPCA), an organization dedicated to the cataloging and neutralizing of paranormal creatures. After a mysterious entity begins killing paranormals around the world, Evie discovers some startling truths about her own identity.

My take:
I'm about to gush about this book. I loved it. It's fresh, fast paced, and the characters...what can I say. I'm speechless. They are wonderful and strong. I really admire Ms. White's ability to write characters I care about. The story itself was nice mix of twisting mystery, action, and humor. I loved Evie and her little comments. I found myself laughing outloud at some parts, and sitting on the edge of my seat at others. Lend, Evie's love interest, had me swooning too. This made paranormal seem normal.

The End:
I did enjoy the end. I think it was the perfect balance of letting it be a solo book, but some things could be fleshed out in a sequel. I'm keeping this short because I think you should go get it now. :)

There you go. I LOVED this book. It's so different from the norm. hehe.

I will be posting tomorrow as part of the What's your Writing Process Blogfest hosted by Shallee.

How was your weekend?

Any goals?

My goals are the same as last week. REVISE and WRITE before I'm taken away for being grumpy.

Have a great day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Like a Runner, Running after a Snowstorm

I didn't have many facts today. The only thing I could come up with is a few pointers.

-Don't do a Kitchen renovation in the winter, especially if you live in a cold climate. There's snow outside my window. Just to give you an idea.

-With small children. Yeah, not many places to go when it's cold. Plus, you know it's super cold when even the kids don't want to go outside.

-Don't do the first point and also decide that your 2 1/2 year old is ready for a big boy bed. I'm not going there.

So, yeah, it's el nutsy at my house. Writing/revising is slow with no quiet time. Yes, I'm frustrated.

What's with the title, you ask?

Well, on Wednesday, it snowed here, about 6 inches. As I was taking my daughter to school, a guy was running in full gear down the middle of the street (the sidewalks were not shoveled). I thought to myself, dang, what dedication. I thought this for many reasons--I know I would not be doing that. I dislike snow, cold, and running. Wait, let me clarify. I like running if it involves a Wii remote, in the comfort of my warm family room. I still highly dislike snow and cold.

It got me thinking. Dedication and passion. I know what that feels like. I get it. I feel this when I write. I always want to do it no matter how I feel or the weather for that matter. I want to keep doing it, pushing myself beyond my expectations. There will be times of doubt (snowstorms), but I must plow through it and not ignore the little burn in my heart that wants me to continue-- to keep going, writing everyday, aiming for that goal and pleasing my soul.

Are you ignoring the burn in your heart?

Any weekend plans?

Don't forget Writing the Next Line Blogfest, January 24th.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get organized and contest

Thanks for all your comments on Monday. They have helped me realize that I must choose what is comfortable for me. The hoopla has stunned the creativity a bit, so I must open my mind again and just let it flow.

On another note, I must get organized. I'm talking in every aspect of my life. Right now, my house is torn apart. The kitchen renovation is in full swing so my life is in complete upheaveal. It has made me clean things out--something I've been putting off for years. I used to be a super organized person, but with the whole kid thing, I let things go. It feels good though, almost clearing my head, making me see things differently.

I also need to organize my computer files, specifically the files for my WiP's. I do back them up on a seperate drive, but I have a lot of them. I'm looking for ways to consolidate these buggers.

I also need to keep better journals. Boy, are those babies a mess. No order on anything.

So, there something I need to do and I'm looking to you to see how you do it.

Any organizing tips for your files and journals?

Now, I thought since I've been blogging for a year a little contest is in order and since I've made you completely sleepy with the info above, I'll wake you up with this nugget of info. I'm going to giveaway a book. I'm sorry, I'm not super cool so don't get excited, I don't have any arcs. I know. I know, but I'm not the cool gal here. I will, however, give you something that may help.
Just ignore the look inside. I got the photo from I couldn't get the link to work.

So, yeah I will giveaway one of these books to one lucky winner. Hooked by Les Edgerton. It's one of the few self help books that has kept my interest and helped me. I did give a copy away last year, and, well, since it's the beginning of the year--this can help with the beginning of your novel. Get it?

Make sure you're a follower then just leave a comment and tell me your favorite part of the writing process. Easy right?

Of course, I would love for you to spread the word to which you will get extra points. Yes, this is open internationally.

Follow me on twitter +2
Tweet about it +2
Sidebar +4
Blog about it +5
Facebook promo +2
Total points +2
I had a hard time getting my form to work so please just leave your totals in the comments below.
Ends February 3rd. I will announce the winner February 4th.

Also, don't  forget about the Writing the Next Line Blogfest January 24th. This should be fun so don't miss out. :) **smiling**

Have a great day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do it in 9 steps.

One of my CPs emailed me this link about the 9 Step Method. It's interesting. It's plotting your novel in 9 steps. It supposed to help with revising as well. I'm actually trying it for WiP #3. So far I did step one, and I'm almost done step 2. It makes you really think things through, along with detailing your characters. I didn't outline WiP#1, I just wrote it. Now I'm re-writing it. So I thought for the next story, I would try it. It's seems to help, although my impatience itches like a mosquito bite.

I guess I'm still trying to figure out my method. I thought I was a total panster, because in my head I have most of the story worked out along with the characters, but I'm re-thinking that thought. I need to figure some things out before I write, mainly for sanity purposes, otherwise I'm trying to figure it all out as I write which is even more frustrating. This panster thing is fine to a point, due to the fact that most of the story is worked out in my head, but I guess, it's the little things that I would like to figure out before I go all keyboard typey crazy.

I'm also noticing that I can't write a story in succession (beginning to end). I'm having a hard time starting at chapter one and going straight through. Things (scenes really) are coming into my head at different sections of the story. The characters are only showing me bits and pieces (they're such a tease), leaving it up to me to figure it all out (god, they're so lazy or just stubborn like everyone else that lives in my house).

Have you tried this 9 step method?

Did it work for you?

If not, what methods do you use?

How was your weekend and what are your goals this week?

I hope to get a few more chapters revised in WiP#1, and finish step 3 in the 9 step method for WiP #3. I finally got my tabs up. I will be adding to them and adding more. So excited.

**News Flash** Check out this new blog. booKrushed. Run by the lovely Kimberly Franklin, Kristi Chestnutt and Kristin Rae. All about books. It's going to be awesome. Plus, they are running a wonderful contest. Yeah, I know you want to go there. Look how pretty their logo is.

Have a great day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

This week was interesting. I'm glad to try and get back into a routine. I also learned that holding a blogfest in the New Year was not the smartest idea. Oh well, we will have fun with it anyway. :) I also changed my background. I'll leave it up for a while. See if I like it. I hope to add tabs at the top soon, to clean up the junk on the sidebar. Any advice on that would be most appreciated. My New Year is all about cleaning things out (this includes my house). With that said, here are the facts:

1. I saw a commercial for light soup. It basically told me that it would help me lose weight if I ate it. Right after the soup commercial was a commercial for chocolate. So much for that diet. Nothing like rubbing temptation in your face.

2. Another commercial I saw was for Pajama Jeans. I really thought it was a joke. A Saturday Night Live spoof. No joke, it was real. You want to see. Check out the site. I had a hard time uploading the video.

3. I will never do a renovation project to my house right after the holiday. Not fun. You would think, being a designer, that I would be excited. So not fun when you're doing your own house.

4. I'm actually not sure what happened over the past two weeks. Christmas and New Year's, it really happened?

5. Looking forward to summer.

6. Not much writing happened over the holidays. I'm super excited to get started again. MCs, from more stories than I can count, are talking at once. Wow, my brain is dizzy.

7. Missed blogging.

8. Missed my CPs.

9. Looking forward to a New Year, so much to learn and to write. Can you tell I'm really excited? I know I'm a dork.

10. I realized I can get a great workout while playing Just Dance for Kids on the Wii. Stop laughing. It's true.
This is all I had this week.

How was your week?

Back to your routine?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Writing The Next Line Blogfest

I decided to start the year with a bang. A blogfest. I enjoyed hosting one in December so I thought I would chase away the winter blues with one in January. If you have participated in Writing the Next Line, you know how it works. If not, take a peek at one of the sessions here. I wish I could claim this genius idea, but it's not mine. I'm not sure who came up with it, but I've seen it around quite often. I decided to make it a monthly exercise to include you guys, my blogger buddies.

So this month, I decided to change it up, and make it a blogfest. Here's the deal--I will start it as I always do-- come up with an idea (which is posted below), you guys can cut and paste it to your post, and add on to it. So instead of adding one or two lines to what others have written, you get to make it your own.
I'm not good with setting word counts, but I think under 1000 words will do. Then on January 24th you post it. That gives everyone 2 weeks to come up with something. Sound good? Sign up with Mr. Linky below. I hope it works. *fingers crossed*Okay, here is the idea.

3:00 am. Those numbers glowed green, staring at me, letting me know I wasn't sleeping. I couldn't. If I did, who knows what injury I would wake up with. Every night a dream would consume me, and when I woke, something on my body was cut, bruised, or almost broken.

I started at the ceiling. The fan squeaked and wobbled, trying to produce air flow. It wasn't succeeding. I turned over, hugging my pillow. What's happening? Maybe I should see someone, but who? A doctor? Padded room for sure. Is there such a thing as a dream specialist?

A branch scratched the window. I turned over again. 5:00 am. Where did the last two hours go? Adrenaline pumped through my veins, accelerating my heart. My T-shirt was damp and clinging to my back. What happened? Did I dream, again?

Bang. Bang. Bang. I jumped up. Someone was at my door.

There you go. Have fun. Remember cut and paste to your post, and continue the story. Post it, January 24th. If you would like to participate sign up below.

Have fun! I can't wait to read the entries. It will probably take me a couple of days to read them all.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Year Blogoversary

Well, the holidays are over. I hope everyone had a great break. Whew! It was fun, but I'm ready to get crackin'. So, here it is, my first year as a blogger. That's right. One year ago, I started this crazy gig. I met my first CP, Kelly, at a SCBWI Conference. She has been the best. I had no idea what I was doing. Both of us were "just starting" all this novel stuff, and she has helped me a ton. Thanks so much Kelly!

She also told me to start blogging. I definitely didn't know what I was getting myself into or what to expect. Many things have happened and, well, I've learned a lot. I didn't think I was ever interesting so I'm quite flattered all you blogger buddies are reading what I write. I even got to meet some of you in person. So fun. I've found wonderful critique partners, and people that are just plain awesome. The support has been amazing.Thank you! Yeah, you keep me going.

When I started, I finished what I thought was a first draft. I guess now it's sort of like a really detailed outline. I've re-written most of my WiP#1, but I'm happy where it's going. Sure I'm about to rip my hair out at times, but that's part of this whole thing. This journey. I've decided to share my current stats:

WiP#1 --working title: Lingering Souls (first draft/loose outline 87,000 words), re-writes/revisions 60,000 words


WiP#3--working title: Wrapping Paper currently outlining, 2500 words written.

Six other ideas just waiting.

With all this. I've had to learn how to critique, and how to take a critique (still not easy). I've had an agent tear my work apart, and I've had a senior editor tell me my idea and synopsis were cool, interesting and intriguing. This basically made my year, and pushed me to keep going. For every hit that knocked me down, I searched for something to pick me up. Becoming more positive is something I've had to work hard at (I'm natually a pessimist), and I've had to learn patience. That has been the hardest.

I started this blog like a horse racing towards the finish line. I was everywhere, wanting to know more, thinking I would be finished WiP#1 and query it in about 6 months. For a seasoned author, sure, but for I'm learning, I admit it. Plus, I have two kids, a hubs, and a household to run. I'm not complaining, I'm just statin' the facts here folks. I was in a hurry to do so many things that I realized I really need to take my time at this, if I don't, stupid mistakes happen.

So I'm ending my freshman year, happy. Like most freshman, I thought I knew it all, tried to rush through it, and possibly partied too hard. The wake up call was learning what it takes, and if I can take it. The answer-- I can, and I can't wait to keep going. It took me this long to pursue this, and I'm going to die trying.

Now that the New Year is here, I have some--ahem--goals/resolutions for my sophomore year:
1. To finish WiP#1--it's been almost two years since I started it, and I want it done. Thanks to all my CPs who have suffered through this.
2. Query WiP#1 in the fall. Don't laugh.
3. Work on WiP#3.Would love to finish the first draft. **fingers crossed**
4. Learn more.
5. Learn even more.
6. Read more than I did last year.
7. Figure out a schedule that works best for my writing.
8. Fit into that schedule some sort of exercise because I ate way too many cookies.
9. Comment more and update this blog. It's been too long.
10. Spend time with the family. I do this now, but it doesn't hurt to try and fit more time in.

Well, there it is. Sure, most of it may be a little above and beyond, but, hey, it's worth a shot.

Let's hear from you:

What are your goals this year?

Was Santa good to you?

Any tips on how to create an awesome writing schedule with family duties? (I'm always looking for advice on this.)

I have some exciting things coming up. Contest--of course. To be announced this next week. Also, another blogfest. This time Writing the Next Line blogfest. I will announce on Wednesday.
Thanks again to Frankie for hosting that awesome No Kiss Blogfest yesterday. I hope to read more entries today!

Have a wonderful day and thank you, thank you, thank you! Here's to 2011! *toasting my glass* Prost!