Friday, May 27, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

1. Whoever develops a bug killing spray for stinkbugs should get the nobel peace prize.

2. My daughter wants to know why god made stink bugs--good question.

3. Can you tell stinkbugs have invaded my house? Yes, disgusting.

4. The internet is amazing. When blogger ticked me off by not letting me comment on certain blogs, I turned to Twitter. I tweeted my issue and the fantastic Christina Lee and Stina helped me. Uncheck the keep me signed in button where you sign in. So far it's worked. I've got so many comments to catch up on. Thanks guys.

5. I'm praying for the people who have been hit hard by the tornados.

6. I slammed my thumb in a door and I'm afraid an ugly bruise might surface. Oh and my daughters power wheel jeep ran over my foot. I didn't realize how heavy those things are. Bruise number 2. I sound like such a wimp.

7. I'm reading an awesome MS right now from a CP who is awesome. Yes, too many awesomes, but this person is. I'm so scared to show her my WiP.

8.Not happy with my progress this week on my WIP. Hopefully, next week will be better. I'm trying to focus on it, but my gut keeps telling me to slow down on it. If I don't, I will have so much to change, plus I'm not sure where it's going. #totallylosinginterestinit. #notlikingwhereitsgoing

9. Check out Kathi Oram Peterson's blog. Her new book, River Whispers, has been released. Check it out.

10. I'm still trying to figure out why there is a show for Extreme Couponing. I really don't get it. They are basically buying stuff just for the high of saving money. Who needs 35 bottles of Mallox? Seriously? Then they show  you their stockpile in the basement. I guess that's why Buried Alive : Hoarders is right after it.

11. Can't wait to meet up with long time friends this weekend. We're checking out some German inspired beer haus's (Yes, I mixed German and English. Some of my German friends call it Germish and I don't think that's proper grammar). Philly people have you checked any of these places out-- Frankford Hall and Brauhaus Schmitz?
What are your plans for the weekend?

Did you reach your goals?
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Those of you having trouble with blogger comments

Quick blurb by me. I know another two posts in one day. I've been having trouble with commenting on some blogs and was getting completely frustrated.

So, I tweeted about it and thanks to Stina and Christina Lee during a quick twitter conversation, the problem has been answered. When you sign in to blogger you must unclick the "keep me signed in" button that is below the login info.

It worked for me and now I can finally comment on some blogs that blogger was giving me trouble with.

Contests, book release, and that tempting dangling participle.

First, check out these contests:
Afteglow Book Reviews is having a Summer Giveaway Ends June 10th. Lots of great books.

Get over to Laurel's Leaves. 333 contest is awesome!! Ends May 31st. She knows her stuff.

Frankie from Frankie Writes will be helping out All 4 Alabama Relief. You must go and bid on her and you have a chance at winning a Query + 30 page MS critique by Frankie. Trust me, she's good. The bidding started on Monday and will be active for five days.

Book release: South of Charm by Elliot Grace. If you have not been to Elliot's blog, go and check it out. I mean it. It is amazing and I'm sure his book will not disappoint. You can purchase South of Charm here.

Now onto the dangling participle, my quick grammar lesson, if you will. I sometimes blush when I say these two words, yes, blush. It's either the 14 year old in me or I've been conversing with Simon too much. Hypothetically (sorry, inside joke). Anyway, this sort of goes along with my -ing post I did a while back.

So let's start with a definition--Per wikipedia.
A dangling modifier, a specific case of which is the dangling participle,[1] is an error in sentence structure whereby a grammatical modifier is associated with a word other than the one intended, or with no particular word at all. For example, a writer may have meant to modify the subject, but word order makes the modifier seem to modify an object instead. Such ambiguities can lead to unintentional humor or difficulty in understanding a sentence.

For example: Running down the street, the houses looked the same.

Now, the houses are not running so obviously we're missing something. I think it would sound better this way--Running down the street, I noticed the houses looked the same.

Another one--Sliding into second, the crowd  cheered.

I think this one needs a little work. As I slid into second, the crowd cheered.

These little things tend to tempt our WiPs, allowing them to sneak in without being noticed. So, when you revise keep an eye out for these buggers. They may sweet talk you, or tempt you, but you know better than to let them seduce your WiP.

What do you think? Are these dangling participles tempting your story? (yes, I blushed and maybe giggled.)

Please feel free to add anything in the comments, or if you would like me to elaborate more on this topic, I can in a future post.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Mumbles

Just saw this and had to draw it to your attention. You can win a query + 30 page MS critique by the lovely Frankie (Frankie Writes). You know you want to, so go and bid on her. The money goes to a great cause--All 4 Alabama. Get over there. The bidding started at 11 and will go on for five days. Go, after you read my post, or go now, and come back. :) I give you options.

On with my post--This was another crazy weekend for me and I made it through. I did get a little writing done last week and it felt so good. The weekend, like I said, was crazy. My dad, my brother and I threw a surprise birthday party for my mom. We've been planning this since March so it's been on my mind. It basically broke down like this.

1. Thursday night --brother comes into town. He lives 3000 miles away so we don't get to see him much. Kids go crazy wanting to play, and they play past their bedtime, making them super hyper giggly.

2. Friday run errands for last minute things.

3. Friday night--totally bummed I couldn't go to Jeri Smith Ready's booksigning in Delaware. Frustrated--yes. I just got Shift and I wanted her to sign it since I have a signed copy of Shade (I love that book.:)). I'm hoping she comes back into town. Hint, hint. Seriously hoping she comes back to my area. Hint, hint.

4. Saturday-recover from not going to the booksigning and focus on the party. Finish making a collage and make sure everything is ready.

5. Since brother is an awesome cook, he makes a spectacular dinner.

6. Wish I could party like my brother can. (He has no kids.)

7.Sunday--Since my dad's birthday is close to my mom's and he told me not in any way, shape or form to surprise him too. I, not listening as usual, purchase a surprise cake for him. I wait, okay, I pace back and forth waiting for his cake to arrive at my house.

8. Surprise cake arrives and my brother and I pack up, go to venue, set up, and greet the guests. Nervous twitches pinch my stomach hoping everything will work out.

9. Brother hides in the bar of the venue as an extra surprise for my mom. My mind switches to writer mode, and I think on how to describe the whole event in story form.

10. Surprise. My mom cries, and we swiftly escort her to the bar where she breaks down in heavy tears, emotionally moving everyone who attended.

11. I realize that even though I complain, and sometimes envy those who don't have kids, I'm happy to have my buggers. The whole party, that was extremely emotional, shed light on what's important--family, friends, and living. It showed me how important family can be. Sure I have my moments, and yeah, I have those jealous times of I want to do what I want, when I want, but when my mom saw all of us and then my brother, it not only hinted at how important we are to her, but how important she is to us. I looked at my kids, with some blurry tears, hugged them tight, and realized how important they are to me.

Have you had any moments of a reality check?

Do you take moments and begin to put them in story form? Writer trait, no?

But I still love my writing too, and yes, determination is still burning hot, which leads me to goals.
1. Read an MS for a CP.
2. Read a chapter for another CP.
3. Write, write, write. I'm starting to get the itch to go back to WiP one and revise, but I know I have to finish WiP two.

How was your weekend?

What are your goals for the week?

Have a great day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Writing the Next Line--Recap

A couple of weeks ago, I think it's been a couple of weeks, I posted a Writing the Next Line session. Two very talented gals participated, who are very nice as well. So, here's the recap. I started the story and these fine ladies added on. I have to say it went in a completely different direction than I had planned out in my head, which is really cool to see how different people think.

The Red Orb by Anne Gallagher and Jen Daiker. Oh and me. :)

My heart thumped in my chest and sweat stung my eyes. Footsteps pounded the pavement above, scrambling. I gasped for air. They couldn't find me. If they did, I would be dead. I not a thief, I'm saving someone. Someone I love. I lifted the lid to the sachel, the orb glowed red. It would save him, I know it would.
"Over here." A voice yelled from above. I flung the bag over my shoulder and inched into the long, brick tunnel, dragging my fingers over the gritty brick. The two pillars came into view. I ran my finger along a grout joint till it bumped. After pushing it in, the hidden door opened. I pulled it open and stepped in. It slammed shut, grazing the side of my foot. I turned around.

Crystal blue eyes, high cheek bones, and tempting lips stopped me, leaving a slight tingle. "Aria Ray. You need to come with me." The red hat completely sizzled the fire that enflamed my lower belly. "You're under arrest."
I couldn't let them take me. I had to get the orb to my father.
I looked around in the small chamber for something to use as a weapon. There, in the corner, a left-over disc from the middle wars.
"Look," I said, "can't we talk about this like two rational people." I inched my way to the corner.
"Stop where you are, Aria Ray. You're wanted on suspicion of murder. There is nothing rational about that. You're coming with me."
He lunged for me, and I sprang to the corner, grabbed the disc and flung it in a wide arc. It slashed his neck and when I saw the blood, I ran past him and out through the tunnel.
I glanced back once. He didn't follow. If he died, I would be wanted for murder for sure. I didn't care. I needed to get the orb to my father. He would make everything right.
Not exactly the morning I had expected. Myles was supposed to meet me inside, he said he had something for me.
With those blue eyes piercing through me I had thought it was him, how foolish. Now not only am I wanted for a murder I didn't commit but I injured the one person who was definitely accussing me of it.
Now I have an orb to deliver to my father, I'm accused of murder, and I still don't know where Myles is or what he wanted me to have. Something tells me he was up to no good and now my name is attached.

To see who wrote what go here. Great job girls! It turned out awesome. Thanks for participating.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Check this out!

Okay, so two posts in one day. Yes, I'm a little crazy, but for good reason. I'm so happy for this gal, I did a happy dance this morning, and no, I did not record it (scared it will go onto Utube).

Go and congratulate Kate (KM Walton) on Mr. Cover (see below) and the release date of her book Cracked. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Sounds soooo good and it's by Kate, who's cool and talented. So go now. Boy, I'm demanding this morning.
Yeah, cool huh? I can't tell you how excited I am for her. Can you tell? Go give her some blog love. There is a contest involved too. :)

The book has a release date of March 6, 2012. I will shut up now.
Have a great day.

Query questions

I will admit, I don't have much today. In fact, I haven't had much to talk about in weeks. Okay, little things here or there, but that's about it. There will be those moments where I come up with something awesome that requires a little research and then life takes over. I've been writing when I can over the blog, as you know. I really want to query this story by the fall, and then revise my first one in the hopes to query that one day too.

Now on to my stupid questions:

Have you queried two stories at once?

Not that I am. I'm just curious. Both of these will not be ready at the same time,  so if I did query both, one would come later. I know it can and has been done, but the thought of it makes my head dizzy. I'll be lucky to query one this year.

I'm probably getting ahead of myself with these questions, but I'm a curious bugger.

How do you list the agents you want to query?

Do you query your top choices last?

Any other query tidbits you would like to share?

On another note--go over to Ann Best's blog. It is launch day for her book, In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets. Go check it out.

Have a great day! I'm keepin' it short.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Okay, so blogger being down last week totally messed me up with my posts. That means today's post-- not what I was planning.

This weekend I was a busy gal. Between a bridal shower and my goddaughters birthday party, I managed to go to Philly lit night. It was a blast as usual. Yes, we talked about writing, but of course, the conversation can sway with hypothetical stories and descriptions of wine vacuums. *coughs* No, I'm not going there. Thanks Simon and Frankie! Can't wait till the next meeting. We did get a group shot of all the cool folks, but I haven't seen it yet.

I also managed to get out of my slump. I think. I'm visualizing what I have to do to fill in some parts, and just to be clear with my CP, Kelly, I have not written them. I only put the ideas in my journal. :) I also figured out how I want to proceed. That means I need to get my butt in gear and write.

I even managed to set up a gmail account for my writing stuff. Ahh yes, in preparation for the ton of rejections I will be receiving, I set up a seperate email for my writing. I tried several versions of my name, but they were all taken, which is a little scary.

Where does that lead this post--my goals for the week-- to fit in writing between cleaning. Yeah, that's it.

How was your weekend?

What are your goals?

OMG, I totally forgot--see blogger being down totally screwed me up. The amazing and lovely Stina Lindenblatt is having a contest for reaching 500 followers! Totally amazing, and since she is so awesome, you must go over and congratulate her. You know you love her cool links Fridays. Now go, people! Ends May 29th.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Critiquing. I see some of you wince. Okay, I don't see you, but I'm sure some of you are. This word can make us shiver with joy or pain. Trust me, I've had many eyes read my work and it doesn't get easier, you just need to develop that thick skin.

I never knew how to critique until I started to critique, and to be quite honest, I'm still learning. I like to think that I'm better at it than I used to be, but I know there is room for improvement. There are many methods, but I like to use the positive approach. I point out what may need improvement or what I thought didn't work, along with what I liked. I know it helps me when this method is used mainly because I know what works and what doesn't. Of course, in the end it is up to the author, right?

So, how do we become better critiquers?

One way--practice. Just like our writing skills, practice makes perfect. That means find a fellow writer to swap with, preferably in the genre you write. Those are the folks who know what works.

Another way--advice from others who are more experienced. Definitely, those who are wiser can give tips and pointers on an effective critique. You can find some on Teen Fire, YALitChat. These are only a couple resources off the top of my head.

Self help books--I have to say I'm not a great one with self help books. I try, I really do, but I tend to get distracted with them. Some do not hold my interest and I find my mind wandering. There have only been only a few self help books that have held my interest.

I found this book. The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine.

I have not read this, but it sounds interesting. Has anyone used this? I'm curious.

 I did do a blog post on getting critiques and ways to find critiques way back when. You can read it here.

What are your methods?

Do you have any advice on giving a great critique?

Keeping it short today. Lots to do. Have a great day! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

That's right, I'm back

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. Belated. :)

I'm back. Did you miss me? That's right, last week I was on vacation. A little R & R, if you will. I went to California with the family to visit family and friends. It was nice to get away. At first I thought, I have too much going on to do this, but what I didn't realize is how much I needed it.

It slowed my mind down and put things in perspective. It helped me see what I have to do, and how to put things in motion. No writing got done. Gasp. That doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about it. It's funny how those darn characters never leave you alone, even on vacation. It's hard for me to stop working. I always feel like I have to do something productive, but when you let it go a little, it's amazing what filters in.

I thought a lot about my new WiP. I keep thinking that I know what the heart is, but then I tend to think I don't. Obviously, something I need to work on. What I did figure out are some new scenes and things that will help my story move further. I hope what I add will make sense, but that will be up to the CPs to tell me.

We took a day trip to Mount Palomar. Really cool, but what got me was the scenery. I started twisting words on how to describe the trees (I'm talking crazy looking bark), huge pine cones, and dirt. The breathtaking views of the mountains and how they transition to desert. Can you hear the gears turning? Needless to say, I'm excited to get working again.  I can't wait to dive in and see where this will go.

So, here is my goal. I'm going to finish the first draft by June 30th. Focus, right? I must get this done and out of my head. Then--**fingers crossed** I hope to query by the fall. It's good to have goals.

What did I miss?

How was your weekend?

Goals for the week?

Oh and an awesome CP of mine sent me this to drool over:
Can't wait for that! Why does Becca Fitzpatrick have such awesome covers?

Thanks to Anne and Jen for participating in Writing the Next Line. I will post it next week.

I missed everyone. Have a great day!