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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

It's Friday again, which means it's time for the Celebrate the Small Things Bloghop, hosted by VicLit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Writer. Make sure to pop over to say hi and sign up to celebrate with us!

So, I was thinking of things to be grateful for and the first thing that popped into my head is one of the first things that always pops into my head when I remember what I have to be thankful for--my husband.

He is the best, most-supportive, awesome husband in the world. We've been married for twenty-five years last June, and I wouldn't be who I am without him. He has been the single-most defining force in my life, the one person I can always count on, no matter what. He is also a great father who is always there for our four kids.

I've been in love with him since I was fifteen and I only love him more now than I did all those years ago.

What about you guys? Married? Single? What are you grateful for this week?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thursdays Children...Inspiration...

So, it's Thursday again. Boy these weeks are going fast! That means it's time for Thursday's Children, hosted by the lovely Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez.

I spent a lot of tonight reading over what me and Chance, (my son) have written so far in our book. We're now 55,000 words in--so 2/3 of the way there. It was past due to see if the chapters were flowing together as a whole. And...they are. Yay! Haha...

And that's one of the things that inspires me the most about writing. Taking an idea and a character (or set of characters) and watching as, bit by bit, they transform into something new under your fingers. The whole thing really takes on a life of it's own, to where I'm almost looking back and going, "Wow. Did we really write this?"

And I don't mean that in a conceited way--the book is still in it's first draft, so obviously it will need a lot of refining. I mean it more in the way of just being surprised to see how completely real the characters are and how our ideas translate from our head to the page and somehow, on the journey in between, turn into something so unexpectedly alive.

 I used to think if I plotted a book out the whole, "coming to life" thing wouldn't happen. It seemed like that would be something strictly obtained by just flying by the seat of my pants and letting the story do what it would. Turns out I was wrong...

How about you? Do you plot things out or let your characters choose their own paths? Do you feel that your characters/their stories seem to flow from somewhere else when you're really in the zone? Somewhere so far inside of yourself that it almost doesn't seem like you at all? Or is it more of a methodical process?

P.S. Sorry for not putting the linky list up. Go HERE for it! John told me how to post it but it's two in the morning and I have a headache, so I didn't feel like messing with it. haha

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reintroduce Yourself...

Hi guys! Monday again after an awesome weekend. And today is a fun day, cause it's the reintroduce yourself blogfest, hosted by the awesome Mark Koopman, C.M. Brown, Elise Fallson and Stephen Tremp. Make sure to stop by all their sites to say hi!! 

In the meantime, things about myself: 
My favorite place is Disneyworld. My second favorite place is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Because of the two above-mentioned things, my house looks sort of like an ambitious thirteen year old decorated it. Tons of Disney figurines everywhere, a dragon shield in the dining room, and wind-chimes hanging in almost every corner. I don't know what the wind-chimes have to do with anything but I thought I'd mention them. I love it though. It goes with my family, which is loud, irreverent and about as unconventional as someone could get. My four kids, husband, rotten grandson and four doggies are all my favorite parts of being me.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Small Things...

So, today is my first week of the weekly "celebrate the small things blog-hop," hosted by VikLit's Writing Blog. I love the idea of celebrating small things that I've achieved and I'm happy about every week. It's always easy to think of things to be down about--particularly during the querying/contest process, but it's not as often that I get a reminder to give myself a pat on the back.

This week it's really easy for me to think of what I'm happy about because I'm a little over 40K in to my new book. It was pretty hard for me to get invested in a whole new story/new characters after working on the last book for over a year. And then, earlier this week, it all clicked and, suddenly, I had this book just pouring out of me like the easiest thing in the world--you guys know what I mean--when the characters start talking so loud you can barely sleep at night for listening to them and you can't wait to get up in the morning to get back to them.

Honestly, I really like the last book I wrote--but it didn't feel like this. I haven't felt this level of inspiration since the very first year I was writing. It's the first time in a really long time that the process isn't cluttered up with doubts and rejections and blah blah blah...None of that matters right now. Right now the story is the most important thing--and the story feels like magic.

And, so you guys can be happy too, here's something for you:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

18 things...

In order to celebrate the release of her first book, 18 Things, which is coming out in 2 DAYS!!! JAMIE AYRES  is hosting the 18 THINGS BLOGFEST

I love the idea Jamie came up with for her blogfest! Cause everyone likes goals, right? Everyone loves a bucket list!! I haven't looked at my list in a couple years and it really hit home how much more I have to accomplish and that I better stop being cowardly and get my ass in gear with the querying. So, thank you, Jamie. If you guys haven't signed up yet, you have till the end of January, and Jamie is giving away some awesome prizes. Make sure to go check out her SITE.

 Here is my 18 things...

Get published Technically, I already accomplished this one, so it should really read publish an actual book.

Go to a writer’s conference  Funny that I will never have the money to do this unless I make it writing, at which point maybe it won't seem as important anymore? But I still think it would be fun to meet a ton of people who are passionate about writing!

Swim with dolpins. Cause who doesn't want to swim with dolphins? 

Be an extra in a movie My son was in a Nickelodeon commercial when he was three. I can't have him being the only famous person in the family--it's just not right for him to one-up me like that. 

One of my most popular faces
Get a canvas I made hung in an art gallery. It would probably help this goal immensely to actually make said canvas. 

Volunteer face-paint at a children’s hospital I've volunteered for a million other things with my face-painting skills, but never in a hospital. One of these days...

Go snorkeling in Key West I only live eight hours from here. A hop, skip and jump. 

Work at a monkey rescue for a weekend.. Again, who wouldn't want to take care of orphaned primates???

Speak on some sort of panel about writing Unlike most people, I like speaking in public. I generally just like running my mouth. Having a room-full of people who have to listen to me would be awesome. 

Start business making/selling handcrafted mirrors and stuff This is one that requires my husband's help. He seems to need a swift kick in the ass for motivation.

Write/publish a book with my son Enough said.

I need to see the person who can do this
and not snap their body in half like a
See Cirque Du Soleil I've always been fascinated with this, but the tickets are horrendously expensive. I might just settle for watching the movie when it comes out. Does that count?

Go to California The geography fascinates me. CA has everything, if you're willing to drive around the state to find it. Mountains, deserts, oceans, snow, beautiful weather. Literally any landscape you could want. 

Visit somewhere outside the U.S. Preferrably Venice or Prague. Between Cassie Clare and Laini Taylor, I'm dying to see both these places. 

Take my family on a Disney Cruise There is nothing Disney that I don't like. Except their prices, of course.

Buy at least one of the beautiful Disney paintings they sell in the awesome gallery in Downtown Disney Again, pricey, but sooooo pretty. I love the oil paintings the most. 

Take my husband to a UFC fight! He's a huge UFC fan and I'd love to do this for him. 

This one kind of goes with the first but, since it’s my biggest dream by far; I get to say it twice. Walk into a bookstore and see my book on the shelf. Everyone reading understands this one completely...

In order to participate in this blogfest, I decided to forego my normal Teaser Tuesday post this week--but I'll be back next week! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Worst Beginning Ever...

So, MISHA GERRICK is hosting the WORD MASTER CHALLENGE. You can click on the link to get the details. Her challenge for this month is to write a horrible beginning to a novel, in less than 300 words. That was a challenge I couldn't resist and I had a ton of fun with it, so thanks, Misha, for coming up with this one!!

Can't wait to see next month's challenge! And, here is my try at the worst beginning ever:

 I am running, my feet sinking into the drenched, grimy earth! The moist texture of the terrane reminds me of the ambrosial chocolate pudding with crumbling towers of Oreo cookies that my sweet mama used to make. “Mama, can I stir?” “be careful, honey.” “I will be, mama” Stirring the pudding I am humming as warmth embraces me in it’s silky busom.

     My breath bounces from my lungs as I look behind myself, wretchedly wishing I was stirring pudding and singing beautiful songs,  instead of in this ebony coppice, that’s just like the forest from Snow White, in that part where the trees blaze to jagged life and grasp with emaciated arms! Only, in Snow White, it was her imagination. I only wish this is my imagination, but the undulating wailing of the hounds hunting behind me demolishes my hopes to shredded tatters of dreams.

     If the dogs capture me they will slash me to shreds as I shriek my last torn-apart howls of agony!! But still, I would slaughter that Lord again, even knowing that I would be dashing through this atramentous forest. The Lord was wrong to do what he did and somebody had to halt the evil that gushes from him like a river splashing into a gargantuan waterfall!

Someone had to be lionhearted!

And that someone was me!

     And I was glad, even as I flee with my heart now bashing against the stockade  of my chest, trying to pulse itself free with it’s steady punching pulse. 

     It pumps faster and I am panicking now, wondering what to do, but just then my eyes pop open as I bolt upright in bed, drinking in razor-sharp whoops of oxygen. It was a dream. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Me and Chance face-painted in Gryffindor colors
 for Harry Potter
So, really quickly, I'd like to start by saying to everyone that I'm sorry if I haven't been around on your blogs as much lately. I do my very best to keep up with everyone, but I am also hard at work on a new book and it's taking up a lot of my time. You guys all know how that is!!

Me and Chance being ridiculous together
at Target. I love how silly he is!
Which leads me right into what I wanted to talk about for this weeks Thursday's Children Post. For those of you who don't know, Thursday's Children is a weekly bloghop hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet at NEST OF WORDS  and KRISTINA PEREZ. It's a really fun bloghop, all about what inspires us as writers. I'm always surprised that more people don't join in, the linky-list is open and you guys can hop on board any week!!

So, lately I've been finding my inspiration sitting directly beside me, kicking my butt to write faster. haha...His name is Chance and he's my sixteen year old son. We're almost 30K into a book we are writing together and it has been an awesome experience.
He looked so cute here I had to include this one. This is
him and his oldest sister, Cait.

I was the one who got Chance interested in writing. As I've learned and grown as a writer, I've tried to pass those lessons onto him. Because I'm the one who taught him (my kids are homeschooled)  his writing style is close enough to mine that we mesh really well. We also tend to think similarly, especially when it comes to making up crazy stories. In fact, I'd venture to say that, out of all my four kids, Chance is the one whose thought process is the most like mine.

Chance and his best buddy Jace,
just hanging out like guys do
BUT--having said all that, he's not me. haha. He's far, far from me. And having his input into this book has taken it in directions that I would've never thought of going. This is--by far--the most action-packed thing I've tried to write. I'd say it's the first of my books that's equally plot and character-driven. It's much more raw than my last two books, and I love the grittier feel to it.

 It's also the first book I've written where the romance is strictly sub-plot, and that's been cool as well--venturing out of my comfort zone. Plus, Chance brings in the perfect authentic viewpoint of a teenage boy. Since the book is told in dual view-points of two teenage boys, that's a really handy thing to have.

Chance stealing my horse right in the middle
of the ride!! He just got on and pushed me out
of the way!
I had to include this one, just cause it's so cool.
Chance takes his Halloween costumes very
seriously. This is an amalgamation of
the Steampunk Giraffe Band Members

 Having Chance as my partner has been a truly amazing, inspiring experience. If any of you ever get the opportunity to write with someone else, I would highly recommend it. There's nothing like having someone else who loves your stories and characters as passionately as you do, who can help you plan when you get stuck, who can bounce ideas off you and dig you out of plot holes!!

And, if you can find a writer who you happen to love more than anything else under the sun, I'd definitely say that's icing on the cake!! Can you tell this guy is my best friend? :)

And, for anyone who's curiosity is peaked, I got tagged (again!) in the Next Big Thing bloghop, so I'll be posting more about me and Chance's book sometime this weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

So, it's time for Teaser Tuesday, hosted by Miz Biz at SHOULD BE READING. If you'd like to play, just grab the book you're currently reading, open to a random page, share 2 teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. Make sure not to include spoilers!!! Share the title and the author too, so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR pile!!

My book this week, Paper Valentine, is by one of my favorite authors, Brenna Yovanoff. 

This is her third book--following The Replacement and The Space Between

All three are excellent and I'd highly recommend them to anyone--but I think this might've been my favorite so far. It was deep and thoughtful and poetic and sweet and frightening and morbid and true. All at once. 

The afternoon is still fresh like a slap, and Finny Boone is probably a sociopath. A big, lighter-stealing sociopath. But his eyes are steady and complicated, and I haven't really taken the time to notice boys since before Lillian died. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Who doesn't love a good contest???
So, with the holidays over it seems like the contest season is starting up. I'm entering whatever ones I can because contests offer so much more than just the chance at an agent. I've met amazing people in almost every one I entered and that alone is reason enough to keep trying my luck with them.

Also, speaking of contests, I got a lot of really helpful answers on my POST about ABNA. I'd like to go on record as saying I wasn't asking because I have some overblown idea that I'm like a shoo-in for the finalist round or something... haha. It was just curiosity, which was well satisfied by the answers I received.
I am psyched about entering though! I know it's a huge long shot, but it's exciting in the same sort of way as playing the lottery. There's always that chance. :)

 I'm also going to try to submit to the Blind Speed Dating contest going on over at CUPID'S LIT right now. If you haven't checked it out, make sure to head over!! It's really amazing. There's going to be an auction, a kissing scene contest and even some sort of conference. Details HERE!

And, my entry is already for Pitch Wars. For anyone who is interested in pitching on Twitter, there will be a Twitter Pitch Party during Pitch Wars. Details are on Kimberly P. Chase's site. Even if you aren't interested in that, you should visit Kim's site anyway, just because she is awesome!!! People like her are the reason I enter contests. She is my Pitch Wars mentor (I am one of her alternates) and she has done  SO much to help me. I'm really, really lucky she chose me as an alternate and I know, whatever happens with the contest, I will stay in touch with Kim.

Exactly how I feel as I reach for the submit button
So, I'm buckling myself in tightly as I get ready to hit the roller coaster ride again. Anyone know of any other contests coming up? Are you guys entering any of these?

Best of luck to everyone!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Quick Question about ABNA

Okay...so, I never blog on Saturdays, but I have a  question for you guys. I am entering the Amazon Breakout Novel Award  in two days--as I'm sure a lot of you are. I was reading the rules tonight and I noticed that, when you get to the higher level (or maybe it was just the highest level--I'm not sure) that the winner is determined by popular vote.

I know there are no names/contact info. allowed on the entries, but--if someone got that high up--what is to stop them from telling all their friends/family to vote for them? Some people have a TON of friends and family. That could conceivably tip the vote. And, it seems like a lot of contests that are determined by "popular vote" turn into nothing but popularity contests.

Still, I understand that I'm talking about the biggest writing contest in the industry. So, I'm assuming they have some kind of safeguard in place for that? This cannot possibly be all on the good ole' fashioned honor system? Somebody please tell me it's not.

You guys might remember the Kissing Scene contest I was in a few months ago. I talked about it a lot. And, in the end, someone cheated so much that the whole thing ended up going in front of an impartial judge and the "popular" vote was discounted.

I was really happy I won, but it sort of tainted the experience. And made me a little wary about entering anything where the popular vote determines the winner. And that was for a three chapter critique by an agent. This is for a fifty-thousand dollar prize!!! Fifty thousand dollars. Hell, even the four first place winners get fifteen thousand dollars. People WILL cheat for that kind of money, if given any opportunity to do so. I'm sorry to sound all jaded and such--but it's the truth.

So, am I missing something here???

Does anyone out there have any information on how this is run, or any thoughts about it?
The motto of too many people


So, anyone who read my blog yesterday knows I was asking how long I should leave a partial with an agent (the LAST partial I had out, I might add) before giving her a nudge to remind her of my existence. A lot of people very kindly responded to give it another month or two.

BUT by some cosmic coincidence she got back to me last night. Again--weird, since I just put the post up yesterday morning and I'd been waiting three months.

Rejection. All very subjective, they can only take on so many people, wishes me the best of luck elsewhere blah blah blah

I took it well. Really well. But only if you compare how I took it to how my two-year old grandson takes being told he has to go stand in the corner. In that contest, I think (I hope) I came  out marginally better. I mean...I wouldn't put any money on it, but I can hope, right?

I just...wish I could curse on my blog. haha. There are certain things that only a lot of cursing conveys. But I'll refrain. I wouldn't have last night--which is why I didn't post about this last night. I did, however, find myself wishing that I happened to get rejected on the first Tues. of February, so I could at least cry about it in an IWSG post today.

But it wasn't--and I need to do some crying anyway. Sorry. I promise to try and keep it to a minimum.  I just really wish they wouldn't make you wait three months to hear a rejection. There has to be a better system than that. It's like...the longer it takes, the more my hopes raise, and the more crushed I am when they're knocked back down. Again.

There were (for the first time, I might add) serious thoughts last night about quitting this whole game. I don't know. People have different make-ups. It's not like I want to be a quitter--I just don't know how many more rejections--especially on things like partials and fulls--I have in me. Pouring your whole heart and months and months of you life into something, only to be repeatedly told it isn't good enough...sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking starting this whole thing.

But then I've got five years into this. Five YEARS. Ugh. I really want to curse. Oh well. I'll curse out loud,  and, for those of you that don't mind, just interject a lot of it as you read along. So I can't quit. Cause then I just wasted five years and, on top of that, this is the only thing I've ever been good at. Although, jury is out on that too--cause apparently I'm not that good. Not even good enough to get someone to read past fifty pages.

So, bottom line is, I don't feel like I can quit--as of today I am forging on-- but I don't know how many more times I'll be knocked down again before that changes. Maybe a lot. Maybe I'm tougher than I think--or stubborn enough to not want to lose the game I've been playing with my life. Or, maybe not. Maybe one of these days I'm gonna open my email, see a rejection, and that's just gonna be it. Game over. You lose. Better luck next time.

I don't know. And that's where I guess I'll leave it right now.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Funny story and Writer questions...

Okay...first things first. If you are still looking at the posts from the Beginners Blogfest (I know I am, I didn't get to read nearly enough of them) mine is HERE. Secondly, I'm going to forego my Thursdays Children post on Inspiration just for this one week, because I forgot about it and it is four in the morning, so I'm too sleepy to figure out what is inspiring me. haha BUT...I had to post for two reasons. One, I have a funny story I have to tell. I guarantee ninety-nine percent of the people who follow this blog will get it and laugh.

Okay...so yesterday, I was late putting up my post for the Beginner Blogfest. I'd forgotten, so I was determined to get it up once I remembered--but it was somewhere around two in the afternoon and I had a doctor's appointment I needed to get to. So, I was writing quickly. After finishing the post (which ended up being way longer than I planned, so now I'm running really late) I hit Publish.

The little hourglass thingy on my computer started spinning like it does when it's loading. But it spins too long and the computer ends up telling me there has been an error and the post can't publish. Meanwhile, in the thirty seconds or so it this takes, I open another window and find three perfect pictures which I decide MUST be part of the post, even if I am running late.

So, I go to add them but, as it turns out, the computer lied and the post IS published. I immediately hit "revert to draft," add my pictures, and hit publish again. This time it instantly works but, as the post pops up I see that somehow it already has a comment. That means the comment was put up on the original post, in the MAYBE thirty seconds it was online. Can anyone guess who the comment was from???

If you guessed Alex, you get a cookie. I burst out laughing and just shook my head. I now have this image of Alex, in his ninja cave, with a bazillion computers lining the walls, so he is never more than a footstep away from any of them, even if he is eating, sleeping or using the restroom. Whenever anyone post a blog, there is an alarm system that blares through the ninja-cave, alerting Alex. It HAS to be. How else does he do it? Is he magical??? Aaaah...the many mysteries of Alex Cavanaugh. I guess we'll never know his tricks...

Okay...so that is my funny story and I hope you liked it!

 One other quick thing. I have a writerly question for all you awesome people out there. I had a partial requested from a contest back on October 26th. By December 2nd I still hadn't heard back. In the intervening months--even though I thought I was done when I entered the contest--I ended up totally changing the beginning. So, I wrote to the agent, explained the situation, apologized and politely asked if she hadn't read the partial yet, would she mind if I sent her the revised version. I explained I was attaching it just in case. She got back to me the next day, (Dec.3) thanking me for updating her on the status of my manuscript. She said she'd only read ten pages of the original and had no problem disregarding that and reading the revised version. She said she'd get back to me as soon as possible.

That was the last I heard. It's now Jan. 10th--but, technically, she's had my partial since Oct. 26th. Should I be getting worried or assuming this is a rejection? Or--since it's a partial, not just a query--would I definitely hear back if it was a rejection? When would it be okay to drop her a line and remind her that I'm here? I know this whole process takes a long time, so I definitely don't want to seem like a nudge and I don't mind waiting longer. I am just getting antsy and wanted to know what you guys think I should do? Just wait? Assume I'm rejected? Drop her a note? HELP!!!

And now, before my husband divorces me for refusing to come to bed, I must go....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Beginnings Blogfest--sorry I'm Late!!

Oops. Dammit. I can't believe I forgot to put this up earlier. My excuse is that I was working on my 35 word Pitch for Pitch Wars last night and that got me so thoroughly aggravated I shut down my computer and went to bed. haha...(But, I did manage to write a pitch my mentor likes, so YAY)

Okay...beginnings. Fair warning that this is long, but--if you can read it--I promise its a good story. :) I thought I'd write about one of my favorite beginnings--the beginning of my life with Jace, my grandson. My daughter Cait was a horrible teenager. I mean, really awful. And yes--she could've been worse. No hard drugs--thank God. BUT--that doesn't seem like a huge blessing when your seventeen year old is staggering home at three in the morning, so drunk that you have to call the friggin paramedics because your afraid she's given herself alcohol poisoning this time.

And yes---there are people who are going to read that and think I'm crazy for putting it on a blog or think it must've been something my hubs and I did. And who knows? Maybe it was. But I tried. I mean, bending-over-backwards, reading parenting books out the wazoo, talking to people, counseling...everything.

I tried my best to be a good mom. Growing up, my kids had one--thousand percent of my time/attention. There was never an opportunity they needed to turn down. People thought I was like...supermom. And yet...my older two hit those teen year, got in with the wrong crowd, and years of family fun nights, camping vacations, trips to Disney....all down the drain for my oldest. Suddenly she wanted nothing to do with anything that didn't come in a bottle.

And that's how it continued for a long time. Tumultuous is not the word. And, everytime she seemed to be getting better, she'd backslide. And my husband and I just kept waiting, cause you can't live a life full of huge mistakes and not eventually make one that you can't bounce back from. And when she came home pregnant at nineteen, it FELT like she'd finally hit the motherload.

As far as I was concerned, there went her life. Down the drain. My daughter is a beautiful girl--seriously, it's not just because she's mine. She could be a model, no problem. I mention this because, in our society, looks matter. Sad, but true. And looks like hers open doors. People respond to her stupidly. Honest to God, when I was trying to get her HELP, none of the counselors really believed she had a problem. (She did) She'd smile sweetly at them, talk a little (she's also very articulate and smart) and they would tell me not to worry, that she'd be fine. I'm not going to say how many times this happened. It was ridiculous. I had more than one counselor point out, "She's so pretty." Like THAT mattered. At any rate, fair or unfair, the bottom line is that people naturally want to help girls who look like Cait. And that's a gift--a cosmic, not-earned gift that could really help her in life.

And, get the alcohol out of the equation and she's really sweet. Smart. Driven. Talented (she plays guitar and sings) And all those dreams I had for her...traveling, having an exciting life, trying to pursue some kind of career with music, all those dreams I nursed and sheltered and fertilized for nineteen years felt like they ended in one shrieking, crashing explosion. Suddenly her life was going to be that of a single mom, struggling to get by, having to put her own dreams on hold because, when you have kids--that's what you do. THEY come first. And I didn't want that for her.

And then she had Jace. My little grandson. And everything that I thought was true changed in one perfect shining moment of holding that baby in my arms. Cait straightened out. Got a good job. Got an apartment. Went back to school. And, while my worries over the drinking/partying aren't completely erased, they've eased considerably. Cait has eased considerably. Jace has grown her up. I think he is her second chance. I think, without him, whatever life-changing mistake she made could've been something really bad--something she'd have never come back from.

And that is my story. Much too long, I know. Sorry. But it's not the first time that something in my life that seemed horrible, that seemed like a huge ENDING, turned out to be a new and beautiful beginning. And I want everyone out there going through something tough to remember that. Life spins on a dime--and, even when the changes seem bad, you never know if the groundwork is being laid for something amazing...

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Pledge and Teaser Tuesday...

So, I came across this on WRITER'S ALLEY-- Sherri Lawson's site, and I thought it was really cool. I like the idea of it and would love to hook up with other people who have taken the pledge as 2013 continues.

If you'd like to take the pledge, go HERE for the details.

Also, today is Teaser Tuesday hosted by SHOULD BE READING
If you'd like to play just grab the book your currently reading, open to a random page, share 2 teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. Make sure not to include spoilers!!! Share the title and author too, so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR pile!! :)

My teaser this week is from an old Stephen King book. I have a million books on my TBR pile and this wasn't one of them, but I picked it up to see if it contained a scene I remembered from the first time I read it, which was about ten years ago. Next thing I knew, I was sucked in. King has a way of doing that to me!

We're not running, Jonesy said grimly. "This is our place, and we're not running" which sounded noble but left out at least one aspect of the situation: he was mostly just afraid the thing that was now in the toilet might be able to run faster than they could. 

Just as a quick aside--this was made into a movie back in 2003. From what I recall (and it was ten years ago, so that's not much) it was a really bad movie. Not surprising, since most of the King book to movie adaptations have been crap. However, if you saw this movie, don't discount the book. I promise it's way better on the page than on the big screen!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Unwarranted Praise...

So, something has been bugging me for awhile now. I debated on whether or not to blog about it, but I finally decided I needed to.

Here's the situation. At one point, while visiting various blogs, I came across one with a writing sample. It was something from the person's WIP--I'll call them Smith. And Smith's writing had a lot of problems. Too put it bluntly, it was bad. Not bad in a subjective kind of way, either--to where maybe I thought it was bad but someone else might like it. No. It was riddled with mistakes that anyone could see--abundant overuse of adjectives. Empty phrases. Lack of character development, unbelievable expository dialogue, a lot of purple prose,  a confusing set-up that made it impossible to envision where the scene was taking place etc...etc...

Every mistake was something that would've been easy to correct. Every mistake was the same kind of thing almost all beginner writers do. Despite the amount of mistakes it was easy to see that Smith has talent. What Smith needed was someone to go over that writing sample and give an honest opinion on exactly what was wrong with it. Because, how else do we learn, right?

Yet, Smith got over thirty comments on this particular sample--and every one of them said how great it was.  People talked about how well Smith writes. People said the scene was emotional. Intensely moving. There was raving. There was gushing.

 And nobody--not one single person--pointed out any mistakes. I thought about pointing them out myself and decided against it. The way I saw it, Smith just had thirty comments saying how great the writing was. If I came along, said it wasn't great and started pointing out all the things wrong with it, I'd have looked crazy. After all, everyone else loved it.

Except for that they didn't. They couldn't have. There is absolutely no way thirty or so writers read this sample and not one of them picked up on the amount of blatant mistakes in it. So, basically--they lied.

And I don't understand why. I assume they're trying to be kind. Everyone is so worried about offending people nowadays. And I understand that nobody wants to hurt someone's feelings. But being honest should never be offensive. And it's not a kindness to make someone think that what they're doing is good when it's not. Smith just lost a chance to learn. Worse, all Smith's mistakes were reinforced as the right thing to do. And I just don't get it.

So, if someone can explain it to me--please do. Have you ever said nice things about someone's writing, just because you couldn't stand the idea of hurting their feelings? Have you ever had people say things about your writing that you later found out weren't truthful? And how do you think I should've handled this situation when I came across it? Any opinions here would be great...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Need to WRITE!!

So, it’s Thursday again—which means it’s time for my first Thursday’s Children post of the New Year. For anyone who doesn’t know, Thursdays Children is all about inspiration. It’s hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. The linky list is open and we’re always looking for new people to jump onboard!!

This post is easy enough to write for me, because I just posted in IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) about not feeling inspired with my new WIP. The gist of my post yesterday was that I’m powering through it. 

Honestly, I've never dealt with writer's block, so
when I sat down to work a few days ago, I was mildly horrified that the words seemed to be super-glued to the back of my brain. Unsticking them long enough to drag them all the way to the keyboard had me breaking a sweat.

Do you ever feel in a rut?

But I did it, mostly because I’m working with my son on this book and—after putting off writing the entire holiday season—I’d promised him we’d start on the first. So, I told myself I had to get to 1,000 words. And guess what? Having the goal made it easier. And, the next time I sat down to do my thousand, the words came  a little faster. And today, they came as fast as I could type them and I didn't have to set a goal. Just those two days of having a reachable objective was enough. 

I think the problem was that I'd just gotten in a rut. I was doing revisions for months--which both is and isn't writing. I mean, it is--but it's not using the part of your brain it takes to create something NEW. And then I took a month off. Between the two things, my brain wasn’t sure what the hell I wanted it to do when I asked it to come up with something fresh. So, now I’ve learned my lesson. 
I'm trying not to let this be me!! :)

The plan from now on, is to always make sure I'm writing. Flash fiction. Short stories. Poetry. Whatever it takes to stay fresh.  

How about you guys? Have you ever dealt with writer’s block? Do you think revising keeps the mind as fresh as writing? Any tips on staying sharp?

Also, while I have you here--I'm curious. What is the one thing you have to have in order to write? For me it's either a frappe or some coffee/tea. I mean, it's not a have it or die thing...but it's close. haha You guys?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


So, today I have two things going on. First of all it's IWSG. For anyone who doesn't know, that's the Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by ALEX CAVANAUGH. It takes place on the first Wed. of every month and is an awesome group for any writer looking for some extra shoulders to lean on. If you're interested in becoming a part of it, the linky list is on Alex's site

I guess what I'm most insecure about right now is inspiration.  I’m working on a new book, trying to find my rhythm with it and finding it very difficult. It’s really easy to make excuses to put it aside. Too easy. 

I know making a career out of this is going to require me to write on all days, including the ones where each word I haul from my brain to the keyboard weighs a thousand pounds. So I'm trying to just power through and ignore my lack of inspiration. Hopefully, by the time the next IWSG rolls around, the words will be coming easily again.  

 But, that being said, if anyone has some good tips on finding inspiration again, I'd love to hear them!

Anyway...onto the second part of this blogpost...

The scene I chose to go with for the blogfest is from my first book, Skipping Time. 

In this scene, Jess (guy) and his best friend, Cacee (girl) are stuck in New York City, 1992 with no way of returning to the present time. They managed to get a cheap motel room until they could figure out what to do. The scene starts with Jess waking up. He's surprised to find Cacee snuggled up to him, sound asleep on his shoulder. He's lying there, daydreaming about kissing her, when Cacee wakes up. 

***Also, I feel the need to add that they'd both gotten up like a half hour before this and brushed their teeth. haha. I hate it when people write first-thing-in-the-morning kiss scenes and nobody brushes their teeth, it skeeves me out. 

Cacee stirred again and opened her eyes, tilting her head to look at him. She gave him a sleepy smile.   
Jess chuckled. “How do you do that?”
She answered in a drowsy voice, still lying on his shoulder. “Do what?” 
He swallowed. “Wake up looking so cute.”
Cacee’s eyes fully opened. He half expected her to roll away and shrug the comment off, given how upset she’d been last night.
Instead, she smiled shyly. “Since when do you think I’m cute?”
His voice came out husky. “Since always, Cace. I’ve never understood how you can’t see what you look like.”
He hesitantly pushed her hair out of her face. Surprising him again, she didn’t pull away. He let his hand rest on her head. “You’re way too pretty to hide behind your hair.”
Cacee gave him a tiny smile, “I don’t hide. I blend. There’s a difference”
Her lashes were lowered, but she stayed in his arms. Her tank top had ridden up to her waist and he didn’t have a shirt on. They were touching from shoulder to foot, her skin scorching his side, her head still resting on him. He could see her pulse pounding in her throat.
Okay. Something was definitely happening here. And God, he wanted it to happen. But that didn't mean it should. He knew that. How many times had he promised himself he wouldn't do this, even if Cacee  miraculously decided she wanted to? But, in all those arguments, he'd never seriously thought she'd want to. And now they were here and...and...The words fell from his mouth before he could stop them.“You don’t need to blend. You’re beautiful, Cace.”
Her lashes lifted and she stared at him, her eyes like the rainwater that dotted the earth after a summer storm, reflections of shadowy-blue edged in sunlight.
He rolled, so her head lay on the pillow and leaned on his elbow, looking down at her. He stayed close enough to feel the heat of her skin and let his gaze fall to her mouth before lifting back to her eyes, wordlessly asking. Cacee’s hands slid up his chest to wrap around his neck. 
It didn't matter that he knew what was happening. He still felt a shock of pure disbelief. He took a ragged breath and watched the desire that burned through him flare in her eyes. His heart stopped and then rebounded, pumping twice as fast. Some tiny part of his brain still blared warning signals and he hesitated.
As if sensing his resistance, and exactly what it would take to melt it, Cacee moved her hands again, trailing her fingers slowly down his back. The light touch inflamed him, and he made a low sound in his throat, suddenly fighting not to yank her mouth against his. He lowered his head, keeping the movement deliberately slow. 
Cacee whispered against his mouth, “We have to talk.”
He nodded and murmured, “Later.”
He felt himself nod again. He would’ve promised her his E-True Hollywood Story in that moment. He couldn’t think of anything but the curve of her bottom lip, less than an inch from his, couldn’t feel anything but need that pounded through him like liquid flame.
A loud knock at the door made them both jump. Shane leapt up and bared his teeth. Jess had never wanted to hit anyone as badly as he wanted to nail the asshole on the other side of that door.