If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin
Come in...come in...
~Shel Silverstein

Friday, November 30, 2012

So...I'm re-reading Harry Potter. Again.

And I want to go to Harry Potter world! I am desperate to see Hogwarts and the talking portraits and go into Hogsmeade to get some butterbeer. I’ve been there twice, but it’s never enough. Haha. I’m especially excited that at the rumors that they’re expanding.

 Since my daughter first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the age of eight—she’s twenty-two now—and convinced me I had to read it as well, I’ve been captivated by the wizarding world. JK Rowling managed to accomplish something few other authors ever have. Her characters affected the world in ways that people wouldn’t have dreamt a book could. Who out there has heard of Wizard Rock? Can you imagine writing a book that inspired a whole genre of music?

And think about Harry Potter World! They built a theme park based around those books!

As writers, we all strive to create characters that will have an impact on the world, so when we find a book like Harry Potter, we have to ask ourselves--what is it about those characters that inspire such fervent loyalty?

Harry himself is the reluctant hero—at theme we have seen repeatedly in great stories. He is loyal and brave and—most importantly—just a regular guy who often makes mistakes, despite   his wizard status. He has his gifts, but they aren’t so over the top that we can’t believe in them. He muddles through a lot, sometimes by the skin of his teeth (anyone remember the lake challenge during the tri-wizard tournament?) He needs his friends to survive and his loyalty to them is his strongest quality.     

Hermione and Ron are the perfect sidekicks, one smart, one funny, and both as fiercely loyal as Harry. The romance between them further adds to the story. Who out there wasn't rooting for them to realize their true feelings and get together? Who wasn't crushed when Ron stupidly chose Lavender Brown? One of my favorite scenes in the books was their first kiss, in the middle of the search for the final horcrux, because Ron thought to free the house-elves. It was awesome!! (Then again, I am a girl. I was also a huge fan of Harry and Ginny--although the Ginny in my head was way better than the one in the movie version)

 Voldemort is an excellent villain who has a believable agenda. We have a smaller villain as well though, so the story isn’t overwhelmed by Voldemort. Malfoy is the perfect foil to Harry--and a character anyone who has ever attended school can relate to. Even the characters without as much page time, such as Fred and George, Lupin, Dobby, the horrible Dursleys— are all SO alive and layered.

The fantastic setting of the story plays a huge role as well. What child since hasn’t secretly hoped for his Hogwarts letter? Who among us Potterphiles has not wished for an invisibility cloak or longed to go have tea in Hagrid’s hut and see his latest monsters?

So, my challenge to everyone is this--Using the HP books or any other books you’ve loved-- pick out the traits that make a character impossible to walk away from.  Tell us about a world you are so immersed in that it becomes a real place to you.  Give us the aspects of a great story that draw you in and keep you reading. IE: Harry Potter--The underdog vs. the evil overlord and how he triumphs.
In other words, what are your favorite books –but, more importantly, why? 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday's Children

To participate in Thurdsays Children, just click this pic on my blog.
My inspiration for this weeks Thursdays Child post  is short and sweet.


Hope springs eternal and all of that. As long as I hang onto hope, it doesn't matter if I have bad days, or if getting published takes way longer than I want it to. I can always hope for a better day.

As long as I can hope, I believe my dream will come true.

How about you guys?  What inspires you?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday Again...

Wow. These weeks are just flying by! I can't believe it's almost Christmas!! As soon as I'm done my current book, (which is very dark) I need something LIGHT, romantic and Christmasy. If anyone has ANY recommendations--especially if they are YA--I'd really appreciate it!!

So, it's Teaser Tuesday again, hosted by SHOULD BE READING 

To play along, all you have to do is:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that
that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t 
want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants 
can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your tease

Last week, I said I was going to review my Teaser Tuesday books, but only if I'm done reading them. I'm only halfway through this one, so I can't say if I'm going to like it or not, but--so far--it's really good.

I worry. because he's little and he seems very fragile and because...because something in this hotel seems to want him. And it will go through us to get him if it has to. That's why we must get him out, Jack. I know that! I feel it! We must get him out!"

I know this is a really old book and a lot of people have already read it. It's funny, I'm a HUGE King fan, but I never picked this one up. Now I'm glad I did. The book is dark, but I love Danny and Wendy. The way Stephen King makes us feel sympathy for Jack, and then turns him into the villain is some of the best writing I've ever read. I hear he's writing a sequel to this one. Anyone know anything about that?

What about you guys? Reading anything good this week? Any recommendations?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Research, research, research...:)

I’ve always loved learning new things.  Years ago, when I first set out to write a book, I didn't know I’d be researching topics like: plot arc’s, pacing, platforms, etc…It's been very enlightening and mostly fun. :)

What has been even more fun though, is how many totally obscure things I’ve learned about. Here is a handful of things I’ve picked up in the course of writing:

Concept art of the Multiverse
Garden of Eden
What  the Multiverse is and why scientists believe in parallel worlds.

How to pickpocket someone.

Where the Garden of Eden is thought to be located.

As my characters go down different roads, so do I. I can’t travel those roads without knowing the landscape that surrounds me. That necessitates a lot of research—most of which will never be in the book-but will enrich it in subtle ways. Whether I want to write a fact that can be verified, or a description that's realistic, I’ve found research to be an inescapable part of writing.

I remember the time my characters decided that their escape route should be through the tunnels of New York.  A Google Image search of the tunnels turned up the book, “The Mole People—Life in the Tunnels beneath New York City.” It turns out that there are hundreds of people that live in the abandoned tunnels and subway stations under NY.  Not only was the book really interesting, but I could definitely see one of those people becoming a very cool character in one of my stories.

Then, while looking into Amazon reviews on The Mole People, I happened to see that the author had written another book: Orphans of the Living: The Story of America's Children in Foster Care. Since every story I’ve written somehow ends up including  a teenager who has grown up in foster care, that book immediately caught my eye. 

Although nothing from that book will ever make it into my novel, I ordered it anyway—as a way of knowing my characters on a deeper level and bringing more authenticity to them. 

I just love how many different paths writing takes me down, and how I end up learning about things that I never even thought about. 

So, how about you guys? Do you like to research? Hate it? What’s an exciting topic you discovered while writing your novel?  What was the most boring thing you were forced to look into? The most bizarre? The one that changed your book the most? Tell me about some of them...

Friday, November 23, 2012

You Got the Look...

Hi Guys!!

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!! Laura at My Baffling Brain tagged me in the You Got the Look meme on her blog a couple weeks ago. Sorry for taking so long with it, Laura. :)

So the rules are I have to go to my current WIP, find the word "look" and post the section which includes it, as well as the surrounding paragraphs. Then tag five other people to do the same.

 I'm currently pretty excited about my latest book, The Veil-Walker. I'm seriously RIGHT at the beginning of the book, just about eight thousand words in. But I'm really liking it.

Just to give you a little background, the Veil-Walker is about a boy--Fen-- who is able to walk through the Veil between life and death and enter Purgatory. Because he's a Veil-Walker, the veil is permanently thinned around him and death leaks through, gradually killing off everyone he loves. In this scene, he just found his Gramps dead (Gramps was the last member of his family still alive). When he touched his grandfather's body, he got yanked into Purgatory.

(Oh--and Fen generally has visions of Purgatory when he looks into mirrors but, in this scene, he's only ever actually been there once)


And it's like every mirror I've ever looked into--only worse. My stomach lurches into my rib-cage as my body is yanked forward and up and down all at the same time. Nausea rolls through me and I put out my hands to catch myself...
            “Easy, Fen.”
            I jerk, my head swinging around wildly to catch the source of the voice as my eyes pop open. I’m on my hands and knees and above me is a grey sky…a sky I’ve only ever seen in mirrors. Rain clouds waver and glitch, unsure what they’re supposed to do in this forsaken place. Everything feels drenched in despair.
            This time I recognize the voice. Gramps, the way he used to sound, before old age diluted him into a fuzzy Xerox of himself.  I can hear him, but I still don’t see him. All I see is the gossamer buildings of the grey city. They waver, vague and not-quite-there. Trying to focus on them makes my head hurt.
There’s a quick shock of fear as I realize I’m back in the alleyway the boy died in. It looks the same, but it’s not. Like the years changed Gramps, this place has changed the alley—turning it into nothing but a poorly made copy of the real one. This whole world is just a grey shadow of our own. How do I know that? I can’t. But I do. I know the rules here like I’ve spent years memorizing them.
 Everything is unstable and weak, built on the spirits trapped here, glued together only with their yearning for life. Blurred and murky cravings leak into the air, the buildings, the earth itself. It’s already draining me, making my bones ache. I stagger to my feet and shout,“Gramps? You here?”
The grey devours my words, turning them to dull whispers. I open my mouth to try again when I Gramps says, “Fen? Where are you? Come to me. Fen!” His voice is strong. Commanding.
I feel that pull again, right behind my navel.  A whoosh of air. And then I’m back in a counterfeit copy of my living room. It's as grey here as the rest of Purgatory, but the endless rain is blocked. I'm kneeling in front of my grandfather, who looks as insubstantial as everything else. At least until he rises, leaving his body to sag in the easy-chair.
 Despite the total weirdness of the situation, my mouth drops. In leaving his body behind, Gramps gained solidity and dropped twenty years. The man standing in front of me is no more than fifty. Strong. Vibrant. With a low sob, I throw myself into his arms like I’m five years old again. 

And tagged next is:
Talynn at Ink in the Book
Blair B. Burke at A Writer's Progression
Sherry Ellis at The Mama Diaries

If you haven't checked out these blogs, make sure to pop over and say hi. They're awesome. :) Did you guys all have a good Thanksgiving? Anyone else out there working on a brand new idea? Tell me something about it!! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Express Yourself Meme

Hi Guys, 

So, I haven't participated in EYM for awhile--time keeps getting away from me!! The weeks are going by much too fast, I cannot believe were in the holiday season again. I feel like Christmas just ended. haha. 

Anyway, I wanted to hop on board the Express Yourself Meme this week--hosted by Jackie at Bouquet of Books and Dani at Entertaining Interests. It's an awesome meme that's a lot of fun, if you haven't checked it out yet, make sure to pop over to their sites! 

This week's Meme asks: 

What are a few inspirational quotes you'd like to pass onto others? There are a million great quotes out there but here's a few of my favorites. 

P.S. My son came in and read this and, before you read any further, he insisted that I add this "inspirational" quote. 
                There is but one path. Kill them all. ~Spartacus. 

I was in Walmart earlier today, and I think he has a point. 

Hehe...and now for MY quotes:

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

To me, this will always be the real Dumbledore

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. ~Moulin Rouge

Best love story ever!! 

The moment you doubt that you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.~ J.M. Barrie/Peter Pan
Love this quote. So simple and true. Peter Pan is my hero.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably. ~Walt Disney
You guys all know by now that I LOVE anything Disney, so I had to include a quote from the master of making dreams a reality.

Be the Adventure You Dream. ~Zellie Blake

Zellie was the coolest person I ever knew and she truly embraced her motto. She will always be my inspiration.

How about you guys? Any favorite quotes? Share them here or leave me a link back to your blog!! :) 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Hi Guys!

So, it's Teaser Tuesday again--hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along all you have to do is:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that
that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t 
want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants 
can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This time, she wouldn't walk away. Wrapping my arms around her, I walked her backwards into the brick. "Tell me you chose me, Echo."

So, I decided that, when I do Teaser Tuesday, if I've finished the book I'm also going to do a small review. 

Pushing the Limits was one of those books that EVERYONE seemed to love. I was really excited to read it and I definitely liked it. For me, the best part of the book was that I got fully invested in the characters, especially Noah. I loved the bond he had to his brothers. Echo was a little harder for me to connect to, but I still enjoyed her parts.

On the downside, I thought the writing was a little over-the-top sometimes. Noah kept calling Echo things like his siren and his nymph. I have a teenage so,n so I spend a lot of time around teenage guys. I can't really picture any of them thinking those words with a straight face. haha. And Noah was supposed to be super tough and jaded--which really made that part a stretch for me. I also felt the love story developed much  too quickly.

On the positive side, the book tackled some tough issues and didn't shy away from portraying realistic teenage problems/behavior.  I loved the emphasis on family bonds. I have to admit that I was in tears more than once, especially during the parts with Noah and his little brothers. I'd give this three 1/2 stars out of five. It was definitely a fun, emotional read with a ton of romance.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest

Today I'm participating in the "Oh, How I Miss You" Blogfest--hosted by  Alex J Cavanaugh , Mathew McNish, and Andrew Leon. This blogfest features the bloggers we miss the most--and the ones we would miss, were they to ever stop blogging. I believe our three hosts need to be mentioned, because I know they would be greatly missed by many people if they were ever to leave the blogging world.

As for myself, the first person I thought of when I sat down to write this post was my friend and critique partner, Zellie Blake. I think most of the people participating in this blogfest will write about bloggers who have gotten too busy to blog. Maybe they got bored with it. Or maybe they moved on because of problems with rude comments or too much spam or it got too time-consuming. There could be a million reasons someone might decide to quit blogging. I wish Zellie was one of those people. I wish she was just off doing something else. I wish I could tell her I love her and want her to come back. But I can't, because Zelllie died two years ago.

I met Zellie through a local critique group. She was...amazing. She had this great blog--ZELLIE BLAKE.  On her blog she had the normal stuff all us writers have. Her books, her current projects. But she also had whole other sections. Pictures of her rock climbing, of her trip to New Zealand, of her rappelling down a cliff side  The words across her website banner were: Be the Adventure you Dream." Zell lived by those words.

I only knew Zellie for about a year and a half. She got sick about ten months in. Neither of us are the type to jump full-fledged into a friendship, so it took us most of that ten months to bond. By the time we really felt like friends, Zellie was already dying of lung cancer--although none of us knew it at the time. (As a side-note, Zell never smoked. She never drank. She never took a single drug. It was just a freak thing)

There are certain people that burn through life, lighting up everything around them. Zell was one of those people and I count myself really blessed that I was able to have her in my life for even the short amount of time that I did.

Zellie never gave up. She spent her final days pursuing her dream of seeing her work in print. She died within hours of self-publishing the book she'd poured her heart into, Lighting Spliced.

Lightning Spliced is the story of a young girl, Analee, who suffers from a horrible genetic disorder. When a cure is found for Analeee's condition, she's thrilled--until she finds out that her cure comes with a horrifying side-effect that turns her into a powerful weapon in a war between patients like her and the genetics corporation that betrayed them.

To quote a friend of hers who reviewed the book:

Zellie's book is more than just a means to help fight against cancer (as others have said, all proceeds go to the American Cancer Society), it is a great read with a lot to say about the systems that are supposed to be in place to help us and how oftentimes they do exactly the opposite; Her own medical story only underscoring the point.

This bloghop was a great opportunity for me to talk about Zellie. If you are looking for an inspirational story, or an awesome read, please check out Zellie's website, HERE or purchase her book, LIGHTING SPLICED. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

And...on a lighter note...the bloggers I would miss if they were to go...

Everyone!! I love all the blogs I follow. But, I will name just a few:

Literary Rambles I know I couldn't have put together my agent list without that site!! Cacey McCormick and her new partner, Natalie Aguirre, have put a huge amount of work into it and deserve serious props.

 Confessions of a Stuffed Olive is always great when I need a laugh.

Stina Lindenblatt  has awesome links every Friday.

Brenda Drake hosts a ton of amazing contests.

Deana Barnhart put together GUTGAA and is gearing up to do Pitch Wars.

  Alex Cavanaugh is the king of the blogfest and runs a seriously cool blog.

The Bookshelf Muse--without their help, I literally couldn't write.

I could go on all day, seriously. There are way too many to name and I'm just really glad to be a part of this community!! Thank you all and please...don't ever stop blogging!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Next Big Thing...

So Stacy Stokes, over at THINKING TO INKING  tagged me to participate in this blog hop. JOHN KRISSILAS  tagged me the same week. haha. So please check out their sites, cause they are both awesome. Since I had already participated in this once for my current manuscript, I decided to post about my first book.

What is the title of your book? 

Skipping Time.

Where did the idea for the book come from? 

 I had this crazy plan to write a book. I knew it HAD to be paranormal and, for some unknown reason, I liked the concept of someone painting and then being able to use that painting as some sort of portal. From there, came the story of a boy who has a gift/curse of painting pictures that can than be used to time-travel.

What genre does your book fall under?

YA light sci-fi romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? 

Always a fun question.  The main part of Jess would definitely be Steven McQueen, so I hope his schedule is free cause nobody else will cut it.

Cacee has, unfortunately, grown up too much to be in my movie. However, I wrote the book five years ago, and, in my head, Cacee looked a LOT like Rory from Gilmore Girls. So, I'd have to leave it up to the casting director to find someone similar. But, ideal/dream/imaginary casting? Definitely Alexis Bledel when she was younger.

The entire time I wrote Ray, Cacee's father, he was pictured in my head as this guy: 

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book? 

When Jess falls for Cacee he pretends he’s honest as a boy scout—but when they accidentally time-travel he discovers that, in order to survive, he must reveal the criminal past he's been so careful to hide.

Willl your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

Agency, I hope!!

 How long did it take to write your first draft? About three months for the first, horrible, insanely long, totally awful draft. Then three years to rewrite that into an actual book. haha 

What other books would you compare your story to in this genre? Honestly? No idea. That may have been part of the problem, but I've never seen anything like Skipping Time. I know I NEED to be able to compare it to something, but it's not happening. haha

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  Basically, I read the Twilight books and went...Hmmmm...so, all you need for a successful book is to write about two people who fall desperately in love but have some reason they can't be together. I can do that! And so, I did.

What else about the book might peak the readers interest? 

Well, even though it is a detriment when speaking to an agent, I'd have to say the fact that it's different from anything else makes it a very cool story to read. You won't find anything else with the same premise. It's this very huge, kinda epic love story--you know--the kind all amateur writers should take on. haha. But, all kidding aside, by the time I was done writing it, I was no longer an amateur. I still love the book and the characters and I truly hope someday it finds a place on a shelf somewhere.

Tagged for next week is Karen Denise at I am Always Write

And anyone of my other readers who would like to take part in the fun!! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Wildest Moment...

So, KRYSTAL WADE is hosting the Wildest Moments Blogfest to celebrate the release of her book, Wilde's Meadow. It's not to late to sign up and just by taking part you're entered to win a Kindle Fire!! All you have to do is tell us all about your wildest moments.

 Krystal is not only an awesome writer (I am loving Wilde's Fire--the first book in her trilogy), but she's also a really sweet girl. Be sure to pop over to her site, enter her blogfest, take a look at her books and tell her congrats!!

And...before I get started on my entry, I'd like to say that this post did not turn out the way it was supposed to. I meant to write some lighthearted fun story about some crazy thing I did as a kid. But then I started thinking about all those crazy times and this is what came out instead....

I have had many wild moments in my life, especially in my youth. In trying to decide what to write about my mind counted down a list of stuff.

The first time I ran away from home. I made it all the way from New Jersey to Maryland. I was a whopping fourteen years old.

The summer I spent in juvie I was fifteen (that was also the summer I met my husband in that same charming facility)

The summer I spent living in the laundry room of an apartment building? I was sixteen that year.

Or maybe I should tell about the time me and my best friend hitch-hiked all the way from New Jersey to Florida on a whim? That was a couple months after I turned seventeen.

Then there was the time I broke out of juvie....or spent two weeks sleeping in different hallways of various apartment buildings...when I hitched to New York...or that time I broke free from the cops...What to choose? What to choose?

All very wild times. Now it's like looking back on another lifetime. Thank GOD my kids are nothing like I was. Although, in my defense, my kids haven't had a reason to be the way I was. I was definitely a product of my upbringing. And my entire teenage years were crazy. I spent most of them bouncing around to different group homes, foster homes...the street. Here and there and everywhere.

At the time I had this crazy, drug-fueled, sad, wild, amazing, exhilarating, depressing, horrible, unbelievable life. I spent most of it hating myself.

And I never thought I'd overcome any of it. And it could have gone so many other ways. But it didn't. I  did overcome it. I married the guy I met in juvie and we rehabilitated each other. We raised four beautiful, amazing kids. We found something in each other that a lot of people spend their whole lives looking for. And we held onto it with both hands.

From the vantage point of adulthood, it all happened how it was supposed to. This was the life I was meant to live. Every story in me is shaped by that insane, crazy, wounded kid I used to be. I write stories about other worlds and magic and adventure and love--but in each one of those fantasies,  I leave pieces of the truth. Of myself. Of who I am and who I used to be.

When I write, I don't try to put a theme in...but, when the books are done, the themes are always the same. Love is worth any sacrifice. Perseverance will get you far. People are not always what they seem to be--you have to look past the surface.

 And one of my biggest dreams is that someday some kid...some screwed-up, wild, crazy kid will read something I wrote and some part of them will recognize a kindred spirit and believe that things can get better.

And if I could do that--if I could give a kid hope, or inspiration or the desire to keep trying for even one more day...if I could do any of that then-- in a lifetime of wild moments--that would be the wildest one of all.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


YALL Fest was AWESOME!! If you guys get the chance to go next year, I highly recommend it. The keynote speakers were Cassie Clare and Holly Black. They gave an awesome talk about literary friendships. They are both hilarious.

We also met Cassie when we went to get our books signed. I've told this story on the blog before, but not many people saw that post, so I'll tell it again really quickly. If you already saw this, feel free to skip past this next part. haha.

 In a nutshell, Cassie had a contest last year to win an ARC of Clockwork Prince. You had to do something creative having to do with Clockwork Angel. Draw a picture, write a poem, make a book trailer. ANYTHING. As long as it had to do with Clockwork Angel.

Chance made a video of himself holding the book in places he wasn't supposed to be. (A true teenage boy concept) Cassie ended up never seeing the video cause of a mix-up with the website hosting the contest entries. She named the winners and (since she hadn't even seen his) obviously Chance didn't get so much as an honorable mention. But I was looking at the time stamps and realized what had happened.

I ended up writing to Cassie, explaining the situation and asking if she could watch Chance's video. I told her I wasn't trying to complain and that I knew the mix-up wasn't her fault. It wasn't like I wanted her to re-vote on the contest or something. I just wanted Chance to know that his favorite author had seen the contest entry he'd worked so hard on. I sent her the link and got this email back from her ten minutes later. :

Dear Tammy,

You are absolutely right. It did look like the video came in after the cutoff date. 

And you are also right. It is a fantastic video. Chance clearly put a huge amount of effort into it and I'm glad you called my attention to it. It deserved a first prize and it should get one.

I've edited the post that states the winners to include Chance, and I will figure out *some way* to get him a copy of the new book if I have to print it out myself!

And don't worry, you don't sound complainy. Sometimes moms think the things their kids do are fantastic just because they are their moms. Sometimes they're right. :)


So, that's how Chance ended up winning first place in Cassandra Clare's contest. When we went to the book signing Chance introduced himself and Cassie immediately remembered him. She was SO nice. She got up and gave him a hug and thanked him for working so hard on his video. It was AWESOME--and since she is one of my idols, I made sure I got a hug too. haha. That ten minutes with her pretty much made my entire trip--especially since she also signed my canvas I made of the Infernal Devices book...It's SO much cooler now than it was. :)

And, the rest of YALL Fest was a lot of fun as  well.

The YA Smackdown at the end was hilarious. I have never seen a group of adult so utterly incapable of paying attention or following directions. My kids are always calling me oblivious, but apparently that's an inborn trait of everyone who writes YA. Every writer there was talking and joking and completely clueless that the host was trying to get them to line up and take a bow. It was so funny to watch them. And that was just the parts in between the actual skits they came up with--which i can't do justice here. There were effing elves, murderous mermaids, romancing snakes and, in the end, they threw pies.  Actual cream pies. You can't beat that, right?

AND--I got to see exclusive MTV clips of City of Bones!!! AND some super cool behind the scenes stuff about Beautiful Creatures. CAN'T WAIT FOR THOSE MOVIES!!!

So, all in all, we had an awesome time and I hope some of you guys make it up next year!! I'm posting Chance's video, just in case anyone wants to see it.

In other news, MINA LOBO actually chose me as one of her finalist in her RESURRECTION BLOGHOP. Here is where I'm supposed to pimp my entry but--having seen who I am up against--I can't even do it. haha. All the other entries are amazing and I'm just honored she chose to put me in with such illustrious company. I will however, ask you to take a minute to pop over to her site (which you should anyway, cause her site is awesome) Choose your favorite out of the seven finalist, scroll down to the poll at the end and vote. Please!! Thanks guys!! Hope you all had a great weekend!! 

And happy Veterans day. Thank you to all the amazing men and women serving our country!! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

YALL Fest!!!

Hi guys!

I'm so excited. I'm leaving Friday morning/early afternoon to drive to Charleston SC (about three and a half hours from me) to attend YALL FEST.

They have SO many amazing authors coming. It's going to be super hard to pick which events/signings to go to. And Cassandra Clare is the main speaker. Since she's one of my all time fave writers, I'm super psyched!!

Anyway, I promise to post pics/information upon my return BUT, in the meantime, are any of you going to be attending? I know it's last minute, but if you want to meet up with a fellow blogger/writer, leave a comment on this post!! I'm staying at the KOA campground and they have WIFI there, so I'll be able to check.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!! What are you guys planning to do?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday's Child and Kindle Fire

Hey Guys!

So, John Krissilas  turned me onto this Blog Hop--Thursday's Child-- that is all about sharing things that inspire you in your writing. Then I found out that it originated with Rhiann Wynn-Nolet at A Nest of Words and Kristina Perez. I can't paste their linky list work here for some reason, but you can pop over to either site real quick to sign up if you want.  It would be awesome to get to visit everyone's site's and see what inspires them!!

But, before I do my Thursday's Child Post, I wanted to let you guys know about a promotion to win a  Kindle Fire. All you have to do is sign up on the WILDEST MOMENTS BLOGFEST and talk about your wildest moments. Just for sharing, you're automatically entered in the drawing for a free Kindle Fire!!. The blogfest is being hosted by KRYSTAL WADE, author of Wilde's Fire, Wilde's Army and Wilde's Meadow. (I'm reading the first one, Wilde's Fire, and really enjoying it so far)

Krystal is also an editor over at Curiosity Quills. I won a query critique from her in a contest. She critiqued my query, told me to make the changes and send it back and that she'd critique it again and keep working with me until we got it perfect. I thought that was SO sweet--definitely above and beyond the call of duty. So, that's my little plug--if you have a minute to visit her site and sign up on the linky list, that'd be awesome.

As for my post today, I'm going to have to steal John's idea. Music inspires my writing. Sometimes a little, but sometimes a LOT. Skipping Time (my first book) was totally changed of music. I literally rewrote the  entire book because I heard a song that connected with me/the character so deeply that I knew I had to fit it in. And the changes I made because of that song made the book WAY better.

I actually really love writing to music, but it HAS to be the right song. If it's not, I kind of find it distracting. I wrote all of Skipping Time to a playlist that I painstakingly put together over the months. With Against the Falling Moons, I wrote ninety-five percent of the book in silence. (Well...that is--if talking kids, video games, two-year old chatter and UFC fights in the background is considered "silence") haha

So, I've done it both ways now. Getting ready to start on a new book (Plotted it all out today. Yay!)
 I've already decided this one has to be written to a playlist. It just makes it way more fun.

I was over on John's site and he had some great instrumentals up, which inspired me to want to try that. For me it's always been about the lyrics of the song, but when I listened to the stuff he had, I could see where a good soundtrack in the background could really make the scene/my writing come alive, so I'm excited about giving it a shot.

Anyway, that's it for me.

How about you guys? Does music inspire your writing? What are some songs you like? And are you more about the music or the lyrics--or do both have to fit?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Insecure Writers Group and Resurrection Blogfest

So, I've definitely had some major insecurity this month. Which is really pathetic, considering that I've only gotten four rejections. Four is nothing. Less than nothing. Four doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter that one of them was on a partial, not just your standard query/sample.

I know that, in my head. But the rest of me feels like shit.  I'm just not sure I can handle doing this again. 

The first book I wrote, Skipping Time, took me three and a half years to finish. During that time period, I rewrote the whole book three times. That book had my whole heart in it. And it was good--it isn't one of those things where I can look back now, a year and a half later, and cringe at how bad it is. True, it had some mistakes--ones that I see much more clearly now than I did then, but the characters themselves had so much heart that they carried the book-even with its flaws. 

Just so you guys know,  up until a month ago I was really self-deprecating about my writing. I was just never sure if I was any good. And then I entered a couple writing contests and won both.And it REALLY helped. So now I know I'm good at this and I don't have a problem saying that anymore. And, looking at it as objectively as I'm capable of-- I still say Skipping Time was good enough to get published. 

But it didn't. And there could have been a million reasons why or no reasons why and it doesn't matter. There was nothing I could do about it. After an embarrassing amount of rejections, I shelved it and decided to write something else. Something more commercial. Something easier to get an agent for. I threw myself into a new book and, a year and some months later, here I am. 

THIS is where it's supposed to be easier than it was the first time. Only I don't think it's gonna be. 

And I'm just realizing that I suck at rejection. It's too hard not to take it personally. I guess I never "dealt with" any of the rejections from Skipping Time. Three years of my life, a lot of them spent working ten to twelve hours a day--to hear it wasn't good enough.  How the hell do you "deal" with that? I know you've all been there, so I don't have to explain how shitty it feels. I just shrugged it off and moved on. 

 I never let myself feel any pain or loss or disillusionment. I wrote something else and poured all my hope into it. And now, every rejection I get on Against the Falling Moons hits me ten times as hard as the rejections on Skipping Time. Each rejection is like getting punched in the stomach. Each one throws me into a depression. And I don't know what to do about it. 

I think it's cause this was my second try book--but it's not technically my second book--technically, considering all the rewrites on Skipping Time, this book is my fifth book--which means, by now, I should be good enough to get published. Sooooo...what do I do if I can't find an agent for this one? Write a sixth book? Who's to say I'd have any better luck with that? What am I going to do if this never happens? 

These are questions that don't really have answers. But hey--it is the Insecure Writers Group. So this is me, being insecure. 

And--given how long that was, I really shouldn't suck up any more of your time--but I signed up for the Resurrection Blog Fest, which is kind of silly considering that I've only been blogging a few months. Not sure what I was thinking. BUT, I did have a few posts that were barely read--so I figured I could put up one of them. The problem is, the only ones I have are pretty long and I didn't want to post anything too long after my rant on writing. 

To that end, I'm just going to repost a story I wrote(which is still sorta long but at least its interesting) This is one of the ones that won me a contest--much to my HUGE surprise. The way I figure it, a lot of my followers have read this, so they can stop reading here and move on. But, anyone new stopping by from the blogfest will have something to read. So, here it is, hope you like it. 


My father is obsessed with where people go after death. He swears Heaven and Hell are legends of parallel worlds. He claims the energy released during death propels a soul into the world beyond this. He thinks if he traps that energy, he can travel worlds without the inconvenience of dying.  He experiments on the most vulnerable souls—ones with no shields. Ghosts.  

 “Morrigan-Persephone! I said get my voltage-amplifier!” 

I frown at my full name. Like naming me after the goddess of death wasn’t bad enough without tacking on Hades bride. Someday, when I’m free, I’ll only answer to the nickname he hates.  Mori.

At my desk in the corner of the cavernous lab, I deliberately knock my schoolwork to the floor. 

My father mutters, “Clumsy bitch.” 

I crouch, slowly gathering my things. My eyes flicker to the tiny plexiglass room in the lab’s center. White candles and salt encircle it. Ghost prison.

Behind the plexiglass walls, Jack watches me.  Contrary to beliefs, ghosts aren’t transparent. Except for radiating a soft luminescence, Jack is just a hot seventeen-year old guy.  Dark, perpetually-mussed hair and eyes the color of the torn jean-jacket he’s been wearing since his motorcycle skidded off the bridge.

His voice fills my mind. “Get him the amp.” I shake long blond hair over my bruised cheek, hiding what happens when I don’t obey my father. Jack bangs on the glass. “It won't hurt me.It's okay.Please, Mori." He can't be sure about that, but I reluctantly stand.

All ghosts sound different. The angry ones hurt, like knives carving my mind. The sad ones are like prickly burrs. The lost--icy water. But Jack…Jack’s all summer.  

“Godamn it, Morrigan!”

I hurry to hand my father his voltage-amplifier. He snatches it, glaring. His latest experiment involves slamming electricity through Jack.

 Returning to my desk, I glance at Jack's cell. Nobody else would see him huddled in the corner. They’d see an empty room.

My father loves bragging that his experiments on my mother during her pregnancy made me into his secret weapon. He doesn’t care that my mother died from his experiments. He cares that I’m “extraordinary.”

 I see ghosts. Hear them. I sense when someone’s dying. I find my father souls. Even knowing ghosts feel pain, knowing how many disintegrate after my father’s experiments, I’m too scared to refuse. I’m as bad as him.

My father stands. Thin and balding, he appears harmless--except for he’s holding something like electrified prongs. As he approaches the glass room, Jack shuts his eyes.

With every step my father takes, I remember.

Jack in the hospital, his charcoal hair sketched across the canvas of bandages. He melted my defenses, even then.  I tried to stop my father from taking him. I woke in the lab, bloody and bruised. Jack was already behind glass. Dead-- his essence imprisoned. He still asked, “Are you alright?”

I pretended I couldn’t see him.

 Jack wouldn’t give up.  

Mid-way through the first week he was yelling in my head. “I know you hear me. I can tell!” By the end of the second-- begging. “Please? Just look at me, Mori.”

That’s what won me. Not Morrigan. Mori.

I remember Jack’s grin when I finally looked into his eyes. “There. Was that so hard?”

His dimple deepening when I answered, “You’re a pain in the ass.”

Over the months, Jack became my first friend. I finally tried stealing my father’s key to release him. It took weeks to recover from the beating. And somewhere in all that, our friendship became…more.

My father approaches Jack and something in me snaps.

Then I’m running, skidding on the linoleum. As my father steps into Jacks room, I crash into him. He stumbles as Jack yells, “Mori! No!”

But sixteen years of fury is exploding. Kicking, screaming, I grab for the glowing prongs.Everything happens so fast…

 My father jabs wildly with his weapon.

 Jack dives in front of me.

 The electrified-prongs pass through him...and slam into my heart.

Excruciating pain. Roaring pulse. Flash-grenades of memories and emotions that aren’t mine. My face hovers before me. But not the weak, bruised girl from my mirror. This girl has a bright smile, autumn-sky eyes, hair like sunlight. In Jacks eyes, this fearless girl is me.

I crumble. The pain slips into numbness. Calloused hands help me stand. Only…my body’s still on the ground. Strong arms surround me. “Don’t be scared.”

Jack’s breath is warm. He’s solid. Alive. I’m not.

He turns me. “Look.”

I gasp. An archway hangs in the air—showcasing a Technicolor world. Jewel-like birds trill in kelly-green treetops.  Puddles of rainbow flowers splash the emerald hills. Cobblestone ribbons unspool towards the horizon.  

 “We’re free, Mori.” We step towards the doorway together.

My father breathes. “It worked.”

 I turn back. He’s smiling fanatically. He doesn’t see his dead daughter--just the doorway.  In killing me, he finally opened it.

Jack and I move like one person. In some ways, we are. I feel his emotions, see his memories. When my father hit us with that current, part of our souls…melded.  Jack loves me. It’s all I feel, all that matters.

To my father, we’re invisible. He steps towards the door. Jack and I thrust our hands towards him. The whole, “ghostly-moving objects” is crap. Ghosts don’t have enough life-energy to move dust. My father should walk right through us.

Instead, he flies backward, crashing to the floor. For a split-second, our eyes meet. Somehow, he sees me. I flip him off and slam the door. The handle melts. Maybe I am extraordinary.

My father screams.

 Jack laughs. “Nice! Now come on!”

As we step through the archway, it disappears. The grass is downy-soft. The air smells like I’d imagine starlight would. But I’m not looking around. I’m looking at Jack. He leans in. My whole world becomes his mouth, soft and hot against mine.  

So, it turns out my father was wrong. Heaven’s no myth. It’s right here in front of me.