Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm in a video--yikes.

I had a whole other post ready to go and decided it was just dumb. Me talking about which manuscript to work on and focus. Blah. Blah. Blah. Plus, I have a head cold so nothing is functioning right in the brain.
I decided to make this post fun.

First, go to Frankie's blog. Yeah, the pictures and video are up. I can feel my cheeks turning red. Video of the event and I'm in it. Frankie has some wicked film making skills.

Second, the teaser trailer for The Hunger Games. I'm hoping this works. Okay, it didn't. I really am having issues with embedding. Anyway, go here to see it. Argh.

My focus today--to get better and hopefully focus on one manuscript.

How's your week coming?

Have a great day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Made it through and PAYA

Well, I made it through the hurricane. We lost power, but only for a short time. I did get a chance to attend PAYA right before the storm hit. What fun. An awesome festival celebrating Young adult books. Author signings, raffles, lots of fun. It's held in West Chester, Pa. Some authors couldn't make it due to the storm. I was bummed because Jeri Smith-Ready was one of them. :( I will meet her one day. I'd rather them be safe, though.
I also have to become more camera happy at these things. I feel like such a stalker. I did take a few of pics.

We had lots of laughs and writing talk. Frankie took video. I'm not sure when that's going to be posted. *cringes* I will keep you posted.

How was your weekend?

Any goals?

I'm just glad I'm starting to get a schedule in place. I hope to revise a lot this week.
Have a great day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prepping for a hurricane--writers view

Yes, Hurricane Irene is coming to the Philly area (hitting New Jersey). That means we will have crazy winds, rain and flooding. I've been through hurricanes before so I'm making the necessary preparations.
Batteries, non-perishable food, water, filling up the gas tank in the car, etc. After all of this is done, I have to prep for my writer self. Here are a few things I may need to do.

1. Unfortunately, my laptop battery is on it's way to battery graveyard. I'm lucky if it stays charged for an hour. Maybe the hubs will think about a generator for it. It would benefit the family too. :)

2. Plenty of pencils, highlighters, pens to mark up the multiple printouts of all my WIPs.

3. Chocolate. I don't think I need to comment on this.

4. Lots of books in case I get writers block.

5. MP3 player is charged for musical inspiration and to block out the wind howling outside.

6. Flashlight--this is already in the survival kit, but pack an extra one for reading and writing purposes.

7. All manuscripts are backed up on an external drive and put into a fireproof box. You never know what can happen. Doesn't everyone do this?

8. Have CPs on call in case I need an emergency brainstorming session or some sort of support. I'm thinking through Morse code of flashlights. 

9. Does anyone have anything to add? 

Have a great weekend! Stay safe!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Need some answers boys.

The piece I'm currently revising is from a female POV (first person, present tense). My other piece that I'm dying to get back to is in two POVs, one female and one male. I kind of like writing in a male POV, but I'm worried being--ahem--a lady, that it's not authentic. I think I can see some things from a guys perspective (I tend to feel more comfortable around the male species), but let's be real, I don't fully know what makes them tick.

Take love, for example. Some guys may get all starry eyed, with that warm feeling in their heart. They may float a little, possibly shed a tear of joy, who knows. Lots of movies and books do throw this gent out there, but is it accurate or just what we ladies wish for. I'm sure this guy is out there, but will all guys agree. It's not easy to figure out the opposite sex. I've tried. Not easy, but observe and you could learn something. I am married to one, so I can observe everyday. Plus, research is always key. Google anyone? So, here is what I found. Most of it is obvious and pretty stereotypical.

More action oriented.They do instead of thinking about it.
Hide emotion except anger
Think about sex--a lot. Skipping the small talk and getting more physical.
Like to be in charge
Less patient
More visual
Are problem solvers
Seem more confident --don't ask for directions

Now, all guys are not everything I listed. This is all general observations. Don't get mad, boys, we ladies are just trying to figure you out. So, how do we approach writing from a male POV? I go by what I've observed and read. I'm looking for feedback.

Here are some posts I've found that are awesome.

Roni Loren --Man Up Writing Male POV

L. Diane Wolfe- Writing from a Male POV

Here are the questions:
To the guys (and the ladies): Have you read any books written by a woman that is an accurate male POV?
Your thoughts on writing a male POV?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Campaign

Rachel Harrie is putting on another Writers' Platform-Building Campaign. I did this the last go around and it was loads of fun. Go here to sign up.
I'm signing up today. Thanks to Rachel for putting this together. This a great way to meet other writers and learn more about writing.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Hi folks. I'm back.

First, Thanks to the incredibly talented, awesome ladies who put on Write On Con. *applauding*

Second, I'm still revising. I thought if I took a few days off from blogging I would get a lot done, but I spent most of my time with my family. So the days were not wasted. I did attend Write On Con. I learned a lot and it made me think about a lot of things. It's like one of those moments when you think, wow. You sort get a view on life in general. See, I've been writing and revising at a rate that maybe a little crazy. I set a goal for myself and I'm trying to get there. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, in fact, it's good for me. What I realized is--not to be so hard on myself. I know, you're looking at me like really, you haven't figured this out already. Seriously? I guess in a way I need repeated beatings to get it into my skull.

A couple of the posts at Write On Con helped me see what my manuscript needs and what the next step is. It also made me realize that I need to step back, look at the big picture. My goal is to write great stories that will land me an agent and a book deal. Stories that I love. I've been doing that, but I've also been pushing myself to the point of thinking this is never going to happen,  I'm too slow, and the whole confidence issue. I'm not going to slow down, just take my time on how I approach it and not get so worked up when I don't reach my daily goal or my main one. This will take a lot of strength, but I can do this. I planned to query by October. Still a reachable goal, but one I realize I may not meet. If that's the case, I will just re-adjust my plan. I can't get so worked up over it.

With that being said, here are some links to some great posts from Write On Con.

Check this out on Revising your Way to Success by Author Carrie Ryan

Writing a Great Query Letter by Literary Agent Jim McCarthy

Moments that Matter by Author Matt Myklusch

So you Wanna be a Writer? by Author Amy Fellner Dominy

Critique Groups 101 with the YA Muses

Your Own Hero's Journey: Advice from and Editor and Life Coach for Writers by Editor Kendra Levin

Are you Ready to Query? by Agent Kate Schafer Testerman

Don't Give Up by Author Beth Revis This one is the one that really makes you think. It makes you see how long it takes.

Need a genre definition. I found this helpful post by Jennifer Laughran. The big Ol'Genre Glossary.

So there you have it. My goal is to keep revising this week. I did work out some problem areas in my MS, now I have to re-work some things to make it work.

Any goals this week?

If you attended Write On Con or any recent conference, what did you learn?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where did she go?

So, I'm taking a blogging vacation this week. Gasp! How? Well, Write On Con is going on so I'm popping in there and I'm revising. **sinks in seat** **eye bugging out** I will be back next week. Hopefully. Check out Write On Con. Lots of awesome info and inspiration.

Enjoy the weekend!!
Artwork by Kaitlyn McCane

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why I'm not quitting.

Quitting is easy. It's not hard and an easy out. It's something that does cross my mind at certain moments, but I can never do it. Why? When you love something so much you can't give it up (Wouldn't give up on your child, right?) No matter how much it beats you down, makes you crazy, tests your patience and question friendships. I can't let it go. I have to do this no matter what. I will keep trying and pushing myself to the limit.

I have to dismiss certain feelings I may have that are ridiculously petty to move forward. Dwelling on anything sets you back. Trust me, I know. Been there earlier this year. If I would've just gotten over certain things, I would've been querying by now. Instead, I dwelled on it, letting it harbor inside me, pulling me down, and leaving me behind. Please don't dwell. If you have something to say, say it, otherwise, swipe it from your memory because it will hold you prisoner.

I realized that only I can move myself forward, not sympathy or harsh feelings.  I have to because writing is a part of me. I love it. I've worked so hard to get to this point that quitting would be like removing a part me and letting the rest of me go numb. I feel alive when I write and I'm not going to stop. There will be a lot of rough times ahead, I know it, but writing anything, even a blog post, brightens all that turns dark.

I've also met too many people who are the best people on the planet. I've never felt more support.

How about you--what keeps you going?

This is a short one. I've got to get back to edits.

Have a great day!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's coming up!

I had an idea for a blog post, and it totally left my brain. So, I thought I would let you in on what will be happening on this blog over the next few months.

1. First a reminder-- Write on Con--Yeah, folks starts tomorrow. Go check out how awesome it will be. I did it last year and plan to do it again. August 16-18.

2. August 27th PAYA--If you are in the West Chester, PA. area you must check this out. I went last year and it was so much fun. Plus, lots of great prizes and authors.

3. I will be participating in the promotion/reviewing of String Bridge by Jessica Bell. Blog tour is November 1st-20th. Amazon rush November 11th.

4. I will also be reviewing/promoting Cracked by K.M. Walton. A contest may be with this one. So stay tuned. To be released January 3, 2012.

5. I will be having another contest that includes the works of Kaitlyn McCane. You know you love her stuff.

How was your weekend?

Are you participating in any blog tours, reviews or contests?

I'm working a lot this week so the little blog might be neglected. Only slightly. :)

Have a great day!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is optimism in your genes?

This is something I wonder. Are you born optimistic? I know depression can be genetic, at least I think so. I'm pretty sure it runs in my family. I naturally look at things in a negative light, and in my later years of high school, I was one depressed gal (I probably should've seeked counseling). I'm not proud of it. It really complicates a lot of things in my life and probably pushes people away from me. I wish I had that outlook of positive, positive, positive--naturally.

Whether it's genetic or not. I know optimism can be learned. I'm living proof. I have my moments (old habits die hard), plus if depression is genetic, I'm fighting against my minds natural tendency. But I'm learning it. When I started this journey, it was the first time I truly in my heart believed in myself and never felt better. Of course, this isn't an easy business. Your ego gets boosted and crushed at a fully dramatic level, but I know in my heart that I can't stop. I have to accept certain things and understand the level I'm at. I must understand that others will get ahead, and one day I may get there. As long as I practice the way of optimism, I know I will.

Are you naturally optimistic? Are you practicing optimism?

This is one of my pump me up songs and today I'm crankin' it. I need it.

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I may not post tomorrow so have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sugar coat it.

First, don't forget to vote for Zachary Moore for the YA Crush Tourney. Voting begins at 9 am EST here. Also, visit Jeri Smith-Ready's blog for what will happen if Zach wins. Go #TeamKilt!!

Music, as you know, is a huge inspiration for me. Certain songs create certain visuals, and if a song hits me the right way, an idea or scene will knock me over. I do listen to music for pleasure. Usually, a catchy beat gains my attention. After that, I listen to the lyrics. What's this song about? What's the artist trying to say?  You know, typical stuff. I really find it interesting when an artist takes a mind numbing catchy beat and puts some dark lyrics underneath. In a way, sugar coating it. Now, don't get me wrong, I like 'the tell it like it is.' I just find it interesting when this is done.

The Smiths did it. "Girlfriend in a Coma", "Unhappy Birthday"...They have very uplifting beats, but the subject matter not so much. I love the Smiths and Morrissey so clever and plain out awesome.

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There's a more recent song I can't get out of my head is by Foster the People. "Pumped up Kicks."

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If you watch this, please note they have a commercial before the video.
Now, I like this song a lot, and, well, the lyrics have a lot to say. From what I get it's about a boy who is bullied and he brings a gun to school to shoot those who bully him. Catchy tune and dark lyrics. Interesting. I like it, but some of you may not and that's okay. In a way, the music doesn't fit what the lyrics really are about, at least what we think the music should sound like to lyrics as dark as they are.

In books, I have not found this so much. I just read The Radleys by Matt Haig (adult). Me, being a huge vampire fan, I had to check it out. Yes, it's about vampires. See Blurb below.
This witty vampire novel from British author Haig (The Possession of Mr. Cave) provides what jaded fans of the Twilight series need, not True Blood exactly, but some fresh blood in the form of a true blue family. Dr. Peter Radley and his wife, Helen, have fled wild London for the village of Bishopthorpe, where they live an outwardly ordinary life. The Radleys, who follow the rules of The Abstainer's Handbook (e.g., "Be proud to act like a normal human being"), haven't told their 15-year-old vegan daughter, Clara, and 17-year-old son, Rowan, who's troubled by nightmares, that they're really vampires. A crisis occurs when a drunken classmate of Clara's, Stuart Harper, attacks her on her way home from a party and inadvertently awakens the girl's blood thirst. Peter's call for help to his brother, Will, a practicing vampire, leads to scary consequences. The likable Clara and Rowan will appeal to both adult and teen readers.

It's dark, but the wit that is written through it actually lightens the dark side of the whole vampire thing. Yes, there is killing, but, believe it or not, is less creepy. Weird I know. BTW--The dialogue is fantastic. I do recommend this book.  

So my point, I tend to be drawn to things that are dark, in fact, most of my writing is and I like it. I haven't figured out how to sugar coat it, and right now, in my writing, I don't want to, I want it out there, but sometimes it's interesting to read or hear it in a way you wouldn't normally expect.

Sorry long post, and hopefully it makes sense.

Do you have anything that you have read or heard that's seems sugar coated?

Have a great day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

That vs. Which--The info.

Which and that. Do you know how to use them? I will admit, I'm pretty sure I have misused. In fact, I guarantee it. I see my CPs smirking. :)

Let's start off with which--This word is usually surrounded by commas and you use it if a group of words adds information. If you took it out of the sentence, the sentence would still mean the same thing.

Example: The cat, which is black and white, jumped off the ledge.
I'm adding information to which cat it is. Simple right?

Now let's head over to that--This word is used when you are limiting the things you are talking about. If you got rid of it, the sentence would mean something different.

Example: Cars that are black retain heat.
 I'm specifying a specific type of car vs. all cars. If I took out that information the sentence would not have the same meaning.

Now, is this easy to see when you are writing? Not all the time. I could read a sentence over a million times and still miss it ( mainly because my eyes are crossed and my brain is fried). That's why we have crit partners, right?
 I think I made that lesson easy.

Here are some links for more information.
Better writing 

Grammar Girl

So, how is your usage of which and that? Any other tips?

Oh and if you are following the YA Crush Tourney --Zachary Moore won the next round. Go #TeamKilt. You know I love Jeri Smith Ready's books so I'm voting for Zach all the way. Next match up is on August 10th.
Yeah, I know this says August 5th, but it was the only button I could find at the moment. Next vote August 10th.
Have a great day!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Forever Contest

Note a contest: Kimberly Franklin (booKrushed, Kristin Rae and Kristi Chestnutt) are giving away a signed copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. Yes, you heard me.Ends August 29th.
Exciting, right? Go to one of the links I have above to enter.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't forget to take a snack break

Surprise, I've been revising, but you knew that already. Over the past two days, I've gone through and cut lots in my 200 pages. I have a problem realizing when I need to take a break. The other night, I revised for 3 hours, and by the end, well, let's just say, here are some pointers that you may need to take a breather.

1. A headache may form and spread from the center of your forehead to your temples. If you are lucky, it will spread around to the back of your skull.

2. Your eyes may hurt, ache if you will, and your sight might blur.

3. Your MCs stand in your family room looking at you then diappear like a ghost. Yeah, that's not fun. Hallucinating.

4. The sentence you just typed looks like this: I run towards the door  hjoihnleim kaiekmf.

5. You keep reading the same paragraph over and over. The meaning of it changes each time you read it.

 If any of the above happen to you. Don't be alarmed. It just means you need to step away from the screen. That's right, step away. Don't look at me like that. Get up, walk around, grab a drink or a snack and refresh.

Now, back to revising. :)

Any breaktime habits you would like to share?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


My brain is fully occupied with chopping and killing (just my darlings, folks. No need to call any authorities). So, that means when thinking of a blog post, all I get is blank. I thought maybe I would talk about movies. Yeah. No detail just ones I can't wait for. You probably know so sorry for the yawn.
You know I'm beyond excited for this.
Okay, this is Gale and Peeta from the Hunger Games (sorry guys, I know Katniss is the main character, but these two are sort of distracting). Yes, The Hunger Games. The one thing I have to say is it better be good.
To be released March 23, 2012. Can't wait.

Another movie I can't wait for--Breaking Dawn Part 1. I know you're probably yawning and saying, "Really?" But I can't wait. When I read this book I thought, How are they going to pull this one off in a movie. So, I'm really curious.
To be released November 18, 2011.

Okay, what are the movies you can't wait for?

Have a great day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Balancing the inner dialogue

I got back my MS from one of my CPs. All and all not as bad as I thought. No major plot holes, some little quirks, but the thing that will be the big fix is interior dialogue. I have a very bad habit to write a lot of it. I guess I feel I have to let the reader know what the character is thinking. Now, some is not bad, but beware that it doesn't infect your MS.

Interior Dialogue--What is it? It's that conversation you have in your head, basically with yourself, on your perception of what goes on around you. Your feelings expressed out loud in your head.

In writing, we express our characters feelings through motions (actions), dialogue with other characters, appearance, and inner dialogue. Your characters think, right? At some point they will wonder about something, and, well, will think about it, and that my friends, could wind up on the page. It helps with tension, may answer some questions for the reader, it helps contribute to the character's voice, and hopefully keep the reader reading.

My issue is keeping a nice balance of just enough. I tend to go overboard and what happens is it slows the scene down and/or confuses the reader.

So what's the fix? Good question. For me, my CP pointed it out. Now, I'm going through to see if inner dialogue is repeated (in my case, it makes the character whiny, lessens tension, and slows the reader down), is it contributing to the scene, does it have anything to do with the scene, etc.

Again, like with everything, balance is the key. There is no magic formula. So, I'm going back through and slashing where I can.

Do you have any pointers on balancing inner dialogue?
Links to some interesting posts on the subject:

The Blood Red Pencil--Inner Dialogue

Writing Fiction: Dialogue

Adding Meaning with Internal Dialogue

Stephen Tremp--Inner Dialogue

How was your weekend?

Any goals this week?

Have a great day!