Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010, I will miss you.

The New Year always fills me with hope of new dreams for the upcoming year. New hopes, new goals.

This year is no exception. Except I have found myself looking back on 2010 with bitter-sweet feelings.

I didn't get as much done in my life as I wanted. My book is still in revisions, my school work still hangs over my head, my house is just as messy this year as last year. I've lost a few good bloggy friends, but made some that I really care about.

It's been a roller coaster year.

I expect this year will be just as tumultuous.

I've started a new cleaning program (I can do my laundry in 4 minutes flat...with a little pumped up music...it's the most awesome thing ever) (okay, it's a little more like 7, but still, I love it!).

I will get my degree this year. I cannot begin to tell you how difficult this has been for me. I have wanted to give up so many times, but I am only two classes away from smartness.

I've learned that writing vs revisions is something that is both exciting and tedious. A new idea is so amazing to get down on paper, but it isn't until I get into the  description and word building  that the story really comes to life.

So I am looking forward to this new year, hoping to achieve new goals that will teach and mold me.

It's going to be a great year!

What New Year's goals do you have?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." ~Harlan Miller


 I wanted to first thank you all for just being awesome and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season!!! This dance is for you!





Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Short but Sweet

courtesy of photobucket
Must. Not. Write. Creatively!

Must. Finish. Homework.

Urge. To. Create. Rising.

So I'm in almost done with homework and research papers, just in time for the Christmas break. But I still have a table full of work to do. So I leave you my friends with a quote, short and sweet.


No one is able to enjoy such feast than the one who throws a party in his own mind. 
~Selma Lagerlöf

Do you agree? 

Have a great week everyone!  Nine more days till Christmas! Woo hoo! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Here's to You

Here's to those who are creative,
Who think outside of the box,
even when the box wants to hold you in.

Here's to those who dream of things to come.
Who work on an idea that comes from thin air,
that see that being creative isn't just a way - it's a way of life.

Here's to those who see magic through the fog.
Who see faeries in old oak trees, life on other worlds, magic shoes that dance,
Those who see beyond normal realms of imagination.

Here's to you my friends-
Those of you chasing the dream.
The dream of creativity.

Because one day those dreams will be caught. 

~written by me. As I do my homework. Because I should be doing my homework, but this is so much more fun.  Woo hoo creativity!

Busy doing homework this week, but the thought came to me - what would I tell a friend who is struggling with his/her writing? 

The best advice I can give anyone would be to keep going. Persistence (and consistency) is the key. What do you think? What advice would you give a friend who is struggling to keep their dream alive?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Mean Three Hours of Sleep is Bad for You?

Woo hoo! I'm back! It's so nice to have a little holiday break!

Since I'm back online, I decided it would be a great idea to get organized. 'Cause I like organizing and stuff. I found this awesome calendar feature on my lappy. It has places to schedule things and what priority they are (high, medium, low priorities).

So I went through and organized all my times and activities. It was amazing and beautiful all at the same time. *wiping happy tear from eye*

But when I was done...(scary music here)...I realized not only was my day filled with activities, but every hour on my schedule was filled. (Except for the three hours I left for sleep - yeah, three hours. Sleep is so overrated. (Okay, I really need eight hours or I'm really grumpy. My kids know to stay away from me on those days.)

So I decided to look at what level priority they were. Most of them were high priority (school, laundry, bubble bath - you know that's high priority!)

And I found out I was spending two hours blogging each day. TWO HOURS! I can make three batches of cookies in two hours. Maybe four.

So I'm taking a second look at blogger and how I can improve my time here (because bloggy friends rock).

But I want your advice.

How much time do you spend blogging a day?

How do you keep up with all the awesome followers you have?

Thanks you guys! I'm going off to curl up on the couch now and sleep. (stupid needing-eight-hours of sleep. i have so much to do! i bet sparkly vampires never had a problem like this. lucky stinkin' vampires who don't need any sleep. *zzzzzzzzz*)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beware! They aren't just for dinner anymore!

So I wanted to post something cute and thankfully-ness for Thanksgiving (because I'm thankful for a ton of stuff), but when I went looking for something to share, this is what I found:

THIS-


AND THIS!




Now I'm just frightened of those crazy turkeys!!!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving everyone! I'm unplugged for the week...I'm hiding out from those things with a can of cranberry sauce in my hand (you know, back up). They scary me! Has anyone been attacked by a Turkey? Be honest, they are a little crazy aren't they?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carrot, Eggs or Coffee Bean?

Have you heard the story of the Carrot, Eggs or Coffee Beans? If you haven't take a look. Thanks to my writing bud for sending this to me.

(If you don't drink coffee, like me, you can just imagine the coffee beans are cocoa beans with lots of sugary goodness and the richest cream in the world added...no calories of course. Yay no calories!)

Good luck with the writing everyone! 

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee Beans Movie: "Carrots, Eggs or Coffee Beans. All of us at one time or another have experienced a difficult situation, had setbacks, or dealt with our share of disappointment. Most things that happen to us on a daily basis we can’t control and I can honestly say (with conviction) that it is not what happens to us that matters but rather, how we choose to respond."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here's to Re-posts and Rejections

Okay, so I'm a little late on getting my bloggy grove back on. So, I'm doing a re-post. 

I wrote this about two years ago (Oh man! Two years?) But I still find it fascinating!

If you haven’t heard the song, Pork and Beans, by the rock band Weezer, you'll need to check it out (embedded above).
“What?” you say, “does Weezer have anything to do with writing?” I will tell you, but first I want to contemplate rejection. *putting hand up to chin in thoughtful pose*

Did you know that Stephen King got so many rejection letters that he nailed them on a spike under a board in his bedroom? When he tried to get Carrie published, the publisher said, “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

Dr. Seuss’s work was rejected over fifteen times before he found an editor to even look at his work.

Madeleine L’Engle was rejected by twenty-six publishers before A Wrinkle in Time was picked up. It is now in it’s sixty-ninth printing.

J.K. Rowling was rejected by nine publishers for Harry Potter. Nine times!!!! Wha....?

What does this mean? Anyone who is in the writing field or publishing field will tell you, rejection is a part of writing. It is at every turn. Critique groups, publishers, editors, …the list goes on and on. But take heart you are not alone!

Which brings me back to the band Weezer.

Weezer was working with a label who wanted them to write catchier songs to make themselves more marketable (according to the producers), and rejected many of the songs they had been working on. Weezer left the them and with the inspiration of the meeting that day wrote the hit Pork and Beans.

Their video had 3.5 million views before even appearing on MTV.

So here's to rejection!  Whoop! It only leads to success.

Have any of you had a time when you were rejected, but kept working until the fabulous day came?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm a Fool for You...Blogger

"Sucked into the super massive." ~Muse - Super Massive Black Hole

Blogger: Um…soooo…. *longish kind of short pause* Whatcha doin?

Me: *typing away on lappy* My writer’s block is gone, so *shrugging shoulders* I’m writing.

Blogger: Oh. *Another longish pause—a little awkward*

Me: *Still typing*

Blogger: So I haven’t seen you hanging out for a while... It’s like you fell off the internet. *uncomfortable laugh*

Me: *stopping, looking up at Blogger* I really want to get this revising done. I’m on a roll. It should only take me a few days to be caught up.

Blogger: *pursed lips, tone defensive (a little annoying)* You didn’t even say you were unplugging or anything. I mean…what’s up with that?

Me: I wasn’t planning on unplugging, it just kind of happened that way. *putting fingers back on keys, commencing the writing*

Another awkward pause, really…really…realllly long. Blogger looks a little fumed.


Blogger: Be honest. Are you breaking up with me?

Me: What? *surprised at Blogger’s concern…and honestly, a little perplexed*

Blogger: Is it my hair? I knew it! You hate my hair! *little sob*

Me: Ah….no... It’s not your hair. I promise. I’ve just been so busy with the writing that I kind of…haven’t been blogging.

Blogger: So you’re not breaking up with me?

Me: No you silly. I’m not breaking up with you. I’m just unofficially unplugged. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.

Blogger: So we’re okay then. *wiping away a single tear (for dramatic sake)*

Me: Yes, we are just fine. I’ll be back next week.

Blogger: Whew.

Me: So… *making a funny face, not realizing the strangeness of it all* You have hair? Interesting.

Sorry I haven’t been commenting lately my awesome bloggy best friends. My writer’s block has broken and I’m sucked into the super massive writing hole. I promise I’ll be back next week (or the week after…you know. If this writer’s block stays away.)

But before I run off to write, how do you guys deal with writers block? Be honest, do you talk to blogger when it happens?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy 11th Lenny!

Photo from photobucket

Why am I posting a day early? Because today is my bloggy friends 11th B-day!!! 
Happy Birthday Lenny!!!!
If you don't know who Lenny is, please check out his most awesome blog. He is an amazing kid. 


In honor of said b-day, I am serving virtual cake.
Thank you photo bucket for your delicious virtual cake stuffs
So have a slice and wish Awesome Cool Lenny a great b-day.
I hope it's the best year ever!  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stinkin' Old Wonderful Corner Thingy

"Do you want this? I'm just going to set it out on the curb and wait to see if someone takes it."

In the back of the truck was an old broken armoire, the special kind that can snuggle in a corner. It was dingy and its cupboard doors were off their hinges, its frame torn from it's center.

Oh yeah! A corner wardrobe thingy. I had always wanted one. I had some tools -hammer, heavy duty staples, varnish, time. Maybe I could fix it up. Even if I couldn't get those doors back on.

So the next day, I got to work. I washed, nailed, re-hinged, added awesome new knobs.

And then it was finished (I even got the doors fixed). 

It turned out better than I thought. It was beautiful. (I cried a little.  I also did a happy dance which turned out more embarrassing than I had planned when the mailman walked in front of my window.)

Today, it sits in my front room corner, hiding all my stuff and making my room actually look clean (I love that! Plus I can hide my chocolate chips in there and NOBODY knows- mwa ha ha). All to the thanks of all my tools. Thanks tools!

Sometimes my wip reminds me of that old broken armoire.  I just want to set it on the corner outside and wait for someone to take it away. But deep down I know it can be fixed. I just need the right tools -crit buddies (super loves ya), revisions, rewrites.

It's going to be beautiful one day. And when it's done-I'm going to set that book down, inside the corner wardrobe thingy, where all my special stuff goes and do a super happy dance. I don't even care if the mailman sees me.

So how about you? How do you feel when you are doing rewrites/revisions? Do you feel like you can do it? do you feel like it's worth it?

p.s. I'm unplugging for a few days. The kids have school off and we are going to party (as long as they call cleaning out their rooms partying. Mwa ha ha)!

Have a great week guys!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

You Got Style, Baby

I’m back in school and working on the last of my degree. I hope to be finished by the end of this year of school. (Oh please, please. *fingers crossed*)

I‘m also in the middle of revising my dystopian TORN.

Plus, I post here on my blog. Which I love.  (Love ya blogger buddies!)

The funny thing is…when I write—in my book, for my school projects, on my blog—my tone of writing changes. Yup, my voice changes.

I try to be articulate when I write for school, making sure every word sounds elaborate and knowledgeable. (For example: “The obscure editorial's statistics do not calculate in favor of variation. Therefore, I conclude that it does not work.”)

When I’m writing in my book, I put myself in my character’s head, writing only words and thoughts that she would say. (Like, “Her voice was sweet. Too sweet. And she blinked at him way too many times for her eyeballs to be moistened.” She's a little jealous.)

On my blog, I write in more of myself. I like fun light things, so that’s how I write. (Plus I always add in a little random thought here and there, which sometimes makes no sense at all. But I can do it, because I’m a writer—at least that’s my excuse.)

See? My writing style changes.

I think as writers, when we are looking  more than one character in our wip, we need to look at the style and voice we want to give them. Because no two people are alike, neither are our characters or their circumstances. They talk differently, they act differently. That’s how you can differentiate them and give them style. 

What do you do to make your characters’ voices and style different?

p.s. Thanks Carolyn A (her name totally rocks!) for the awesome Strangely Irresistible ~ Yo Gabba Gabba award! I love it. I will pass it on, hopefully soon. =D

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Organization, awards, and Devastating Epidemics

This week I am getting my blog lists organized. Why didn't anyone tell me about Google Reader earlier??? You did? Oh. Well, I love it!  I'm putting all the blogs I follow into little folders so I can find your posts easier. It's awesome.

(If you follow me at Paper and Parchment, please leave a comment so I can follow you! I don't want to leave anyone out!)





I have to thank Quinn for the excellent award! I love the bloggy awards, I need to be better at posting them.
If you haven't read Quinn's blog, check it out (here). Thank you Quinn!

I am passing this award on to a few of my new bloggy buddies:
 Leisha Maw
Lisa M. Potts
Nicole Ducleroir
Terry Lynn Johnson
Ann Best
Charmaine Clancy
Please check out their blogs. They are all going places!


My new bloggy friend Elena Solodow (click here for her excellent blog) has informed me of a terrible epidemic. It' could be raging within your home town right this minute! It's quit frightening-- Please take a look.

(You'll have to go to Elena's blog to view the video. It's awesome! Go do it....do it....) =D

So tell me, what do you think we should do about this awful crisis?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Compelling Characters

Okay, so this is a speedy first draft blog post, because I'm a slacker this week and didn't get this written until this morning (but my laundry's done, so I'm feeling pretty good about that).

Elana J, Jen, and Alex have challenged us to write down what we feel makes a compelling character (for the full list of bloggers see Elana's post here).

I think, to make a compelling character, you need your character to be like my Aunt Betsy. Yes, Aunt Betsy.

First, she is super nice. She would give you the shirt off her back (if she wore one, but she is always wearing those floral dresses). She invites people in to visit, she makes meals for people in her neighborhood who are having a hard time. Yeah, she has a reputation of niceness.

 Now, something you should know about Aunt Betsy, which is kind of creepy. She has twelve cats. TWELVE! Which makes her house stinky, so she wears enough perfume to make your eyes water. It's kind of gross, but she's got that niceness thing going on and she can't stand to see any stray cats go without.

The cat thing wouldn't be so bad if Aunt Betsy didn't look so weird. I mean, she has blue hair. You know, the kind of blue that is fluffed up so high—it  makes you want to eat a big ball of cotton candy. That kind of hair (hey, at least it’s not pink).

Plus, she loves her make-up. I heard once Queen Elizabeth or Mary or some queen out there, wore her make-up without taking it off. It was so thick when she died that they had to use a chisel to find her actual skin. I think Aunt Betsy took make-up lessons from her. It wouldn’t be so bad, but that red lipstick’s gotta go!

There is something else you should know about my Aunt. I found out - that night - the one when Mom and Dad had to go to my little brother’s school play, and I had to stay at her house because I got in trouble for taking all the money from the family’s vacation jar to buy myself some doughnuts for school lunch (but that’s a completely different story).  

You see, Aunt Betsy has a fetish with that old movie Arsenic and Old Lace, you know, the one where the old women were killing off lonely old men and burying them in their basement. Well, she keeps a shovel in the basement. And the floor boards look like they’ve been pulled up. Plus it kind of stinks down there like a moldy sandwich that’s been kept in a lunch sack too long. It just makes me wonder. But I’ve never asked her. I mean. Would you?

So tell me what you know about my Aunt Betsy?

Let’s see. She is a weird nice cat lady, has big blue puffy hair (probably older with a little weight, because those are the only women I know with big blue hair), she wears much too much make-up and smells like the perfume kiosk at the mall. Oh, yeah, plus she probably has dead bodies in the basement. Gross.

Oh! And there’s one last thing you need to know about my Aunt Betsy. She’s totally made up. I don’t really have an Aunt Betsy. Aunt Sue, on the other hand, I do have. She is just as interesting as Aunt Betsy, (except for the dead body).

Description, likes dislikes, needed bonding with the reader/mc, what ticks them off, would they really react that way? How come they do that little raising thing with their shoulder? What are their little secrets?

Know your character! That’s how you can make your character more compelling. Any other thoughts you’ve learned along the Blog fest?

Thanks guys! I hope you all get tons of writing done with many compelling characters to interact with.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wow

First I should tell you I have not read this book. But there is a ton of controversy about it lately because a parent wants it banned. All I can tell you, is look into it yourself and find out how you feel about it.



All I can say is, "wow."
 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Catching Like Fire

"Like everybody else, when I don't know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds." ~George Jean Nathan

Everything’s fuzzy-my head, my hearing, my nose. Yes my friends, I tried to escape it with mega doses of vitamin C, but…it got me. I have a cold.

And not just any cold. It’s the kind that makes you write really boring stuff. The kind that won’t let you think of any kind of awesome action scene, because…let’s face it…I am just too tired to think of fast paced things right now when all I want to do is crawl under the covers and wish this cold away.

And the comments I’m leaving. Oh, why aren’t they more clever? More brilliant? Well, who can be brilliant with wads of tissue sticking out from their nostrils?

So my friends, if I sound too senseless or if I’m late checking out your posts this week, just remember…I am infested. And be careful, I hear it’s catching on.

So tell me, do you still write when you are sick? Do you sit next to your computer with a roll of t-p wads in your hand like me?

p.s. Sara B. Larson gave me a wonderful award this week. Thanks so much Sara (it’s already in my little award pictures)! You totally rock! Please check out her blog and pass on the bloggy love (not the awful colds).(Sorry Sara, I had that e and o mixed up--silly alphabet).

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where are the Plot Holes People?

Do you know what really makes me mad?

When you go to a movie, all prepared to pick said movie apart, and there are NO PLOT HOLES!!! What's up with that? I want plot holes people, poor writing, people screaming through the water (because some people forget humans can’t breath hundreds of feet under the ocean). I was truly disappointed.

We took our kids to a movie (I won’t mention which one) and it was good. I mean, the beginning was action packed, the loose ends were all tied up. What is with that?

I wasn’t disappointed at all! Which…is kind of disappointing. j/k

But honestly, there was one thing that came to mind as I was watching "no-plot-hole" movie. You can learn a lot about writing when watching the cinema.

For instance:

Does the movie catch your attention at the beginning?

Do you find your mind wandering in the middle of an “important” scene?

What about the ending, does it leave you feeling, “Oh yeah! AWESOME!” or “Why didn't she just pick up that stick and beat the bad guy with it?" Come on lazy girl! (That one always drives me crazy.)

What about the tension? Does the movie start with little tension and grow as the story continues (You know, do they make their character climb a tree and then start throwing rocks at them? Or do they just throw the rocks in the tree and forget the main character?)

Writing has the exact same elements:
good beginning,
moving middle,
realistic actions
disaster to make the plot great (because no one remembers the fun happy picnic in a story. They remember the picnic when the ants came and ate all the potato chips, which made Little Tommy run over to shoo them away, but instead he tripped and fell over Great Aunt Edna's famous chocolate fudge cake, *gasping for air to keep reading* thus imposing a trip to the hospital where the huge family fight broke out because no one remembered setting Great Aunt Edna's cake on the ground in the first place...That's what the reader will remember--btw, please don't use run on sentences in your writing. They are so hard to read (I'm totally out of breath now).

Okay there you have it. You can learn a lot from the movies and the movie doesn't even have to even be bad.

So what have you learned from the movies lately that can help out a fellow writer?

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's a Party...A Party, Party Weekend

Hi everybody! Karen G. is hosting a great party over on her blog. What a great idea! I'm bringing virtual cookies and blogging about keeping a positive attitude. This is so we can meet new awesome bloggy writers, so please check her site for more details.

Okay, the positive attitude thing is... hard. If you read my post this Monday, I kind of left you hanging. Things didn't go quite as I had planned. The national editor wasn't taking any new clients and the other was sick. So I was sent to a well known local publisher who said they wanted my ms, but they informed me they don't publish dystopian.

I was torn. Should I cry because the opportunity I had been working towards wasn't going to happen? Or should I cry because I was finally picked. I did the later. I was so thrilled just to know I had the talent to do it. All I had left to do was polish and query.

Sometimes things don't go the way we envisioned them. Sometimes plans are changed. Sometimes we don't think we can live up to the potential. It gets discouraging, but I believe there is always hope, if we just keep keepin' on.

But how do we keep our chins up as writers? I'm forming a list. So far this is what I have:

1. Eat lots of chocolate (or twizzlers if you aren't a fan of chocolate...although I'm pretty sure chocolate cures anything..except for finding lost shoes. Chocolate never helps with that).


2. Listen to songs that make you want to go out and get it! (Pork & Beans by Weezer, Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema.  *grinning* Oh there are just so many good ones I can't list them all!)

3. Spend time discussing (yelling, crying, gnashing of teeth, a little nose blowing) said discouragement with a trusted writing buddy. Writing friends know how it feels. They really do. Most of them have all been there. 

 4. Stop whining and start writing. (That's my big one. I took drama as a teen. I can wallow with the best of them.) 

There are my top four. Do you guys have any other suggestions? I'd love to know what helps you get over the writer blues.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It Happens in Little Steps

It was summer when I went to the writing conference. There was a rumor that only one student per class would be picked by the teaching author to visit with an agent/editor. But it was only a rumor.

But I knew it was true.

I had known of its truth for three years.

I cried each time I was passed up, knowing I wasn’t good enough, wondering if my invested time was wasted.

This year I hoped it would be different.

As I read, I hid behind my glasses, hoping the teacher couldn’t see the sweat forming underneath their rims.

It was quiet when I finished. All my peers’ comments were good. A few suggestions, but not many.

Had I done it?

I waited, but nothing out of the ordinary happened. My turn was over. It was someone else’s chance to read. I just had to try to keep calm, keep the crushing disappointment from overtaking me.

Time passed. I didn’t hear any news. It was happening again, but I wouldn’t let it get me down. I wouldn’t shed any tears.

I grabbed my things, tucking them away, getting ready to go. The assistant inched her way over to me, smiled, and began to speak.

Her lips moved. I could hear her words, but they didn’t make sense.

My ears weren’t the only things broken. Something was wrong with my feet. I knew because with each step I took, they didn’t touch the ground.

My friend noticed the difference too. She was the first to ask me. I had warned her about the sniveling, she should just expect it. We writers are emotional beings. But I couldn’t help it. I started to sob.

But it was different this time. Because I felt like I was a little bit closer. Because I had overcome what I had wanted to for so long. Because I knew I could do it. Somehow, the tears were okay today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Many Papers do I have to Sign?

AHHHH! Save me! I'm stuck under this pile of disclosures from my kids' classes! The one disclosure they promised turned into twelve. Maybe they don't add very well.

I'm going to have to unplug this week. Not that I want to, but because I have to. (My six-year-old just told me he had to wear pants to school. The underwear thing just wasn't cutting it.)

Have a great week. Let me know what your writing/signing disclosure goals are.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Da da da da!

Did you guess correctly?




So this is my girl. It's a modern day Alice in Wonderland with awesome fashionable boots. Lots of you guessed right! You guys are dang smart. =D

Thanks for playing guys. You did great!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guess that Character Blogfest

Woo hoo! It’s Guess that Character Blogfest! I’m so excited to be a part of it! Thanks to Jen Daiker for putting this awesome 'fest together. All you have to do is figure out what this character looks like from the description I tell you.

So here’s my description. Can you guess what she looks like?  Good luck guys. =D

What was it about him that made me keep getting into so much trouble? Was it his striking light hair, his incredible sense of time? Maybe I was just a sucker for a multi-pocket vest.

What did it matter? I fell for him and now I was stuck in his world. Now I would have to find my way out. Literally.

But I couldn’t go back the way I came. At least not in these awesome button up shoes. I’d hate to get them dirty. I’d have to find some help to get out of here.

I tried to ask his friends, but they don’t seem to be any help at all. There’s that one friend, who just sits and grins at me. When I ask him for help, he takes off. I can’t find him anywhere. His other friends party way too much. I bet they drink every night. To be honest, I think one of them has gone a little nutty. I mean really, why is he singing about bats? I am so much more sophisticated than that.

But I’m not snotty. I would be glad to ask anyone for help. Even if it’s help from the palace.


So there you have it. She gets into trouble, has button up shoes, sophisticated and keeps running into the wrong people. Wow, I think this is a little too easy.  So what do you think? Can you see what she looks like? Just put your description in the comments and come back tomorrow for the answer! 

Take a look at some of my other blogfest friends:
Shannon O'Donnell
Creepy Query Girl
Mary Campbell
Candyland
Don't forget Jen

Oh man! There are 49 more! Just take a look, everyone is doing a fab job! Happy Character Fest!

Oh and before I forget, Linda Garner is having an amazing get together for children suffering from child abuse. Please take a look at L.T. Elliot's blog for info and see if you can come. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Words of Wisdom...sort of


I wanted to thank everyone's well wishes and emails in the last two weeks. Thanks! Everything is getting back to normal, kids are bored with summer, laundry is piling up. *content sigh* Yup back to normal.


Ugh! I've started this post three times!!!

I wanted to write down some awesome words of wisdom, but nothing is sounding too wisdomy. So I've decided to write myself some short thoughts (because sometimes I forget):

1. Just do it!!!

2. Keep doing it!!!

3. You're doing great!!!

4. You're almost done!!!

Okay, There you go.

The number one word of advice for any writer--is to do it! That's what makes you a writer. Do you guys have any other wisdomy words of advice that you like to give yourself?

If you haven't heard around the blog-o-sphere, WriteOnCon is going on this week. Just go to WriteOnCon.com. =)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Best Plans Gone Awry

I really was planning on revising last week. I even got through the first chapter (which I have been told is the hardest).

But then life happened.

My daughter was bit by a beloved pet...the pet died the next day. We spent that day on the phone with the pediatrician and disease control making sure everyone would survive. Plus there was a shot. I think we are through with pets for a while.

Another day was spent in the emergency room with my son, by no fault of his own. There were a few traumatic days but everything seems to be okay for now.

Things are finally settling down. I feel the urge to write, but I know that there are some things that need to come first. So many other things. But I can't seem to break the feeling.

So I am left juggling life and dreams. I believe I can achieve both, if I can find that perfect balance. But it's like walking on a tight wire.

So tell me...How do you juggle life and dreams? Do you set one or the other aside from time to time? Do you spend sleepless nights trying to achieve the dream? What do you do?

You might not see me again this week. I'm really going to push for that revision, unless I spend another week on the phone and in the rooms of medical people (whom I am so grateful for!!! They have seen so much of me, they even know me by first name).

Have a great week everyone! I hope the writing is going well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Unplugged and Lovin' Every Minute of it!

Okay, well, maybe not every minute. But I taking an unplugged week this week!

I'm starting on my second round of revisions and I'm fired up to get it done! (This time I'm not going to take three months on it. I'm hoping only two months and one week...wish me luck!)

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Sweetness of the Interview



The Awesome February Grace (Bru) of Pitch Slapped has been gracious enough to interview me on her blog. (click here) (or here)


She is full of wisdom and humor. I like her a lot. Go check out her blog! She rocks! Plus you can find out a little about me and my ms.


What a great way to start the end of the week and the (almost) middle of revisions (okay, kind of the start).


Thanks again Bru! You are amazing!

Have a great week guys. (or you can even click here.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Because You Rock!

Okay, I’ve learned a couple of things about my awesome bloggy friends:

1. People do not like the word “Loser”. It’s true, it’s kind of a downer. I shall be erased from my blog terms. I will use anti-winner instead. That’s a little more positive.

2. I don’t write great blog posts at 5:30 in the morning. Things are misspelled and some things don’t even make sense. At least not to most people. That weird lady with the superhero cape doesn’t count (oh wait, that’s me).

3. I have super bloggy friends. Have I told you lately that I love you? (Remember that song?) Anyways, I do, I totally love having bloggy friends and I need to thank a few of you for the awesome blog awards that I have procrastinated posting (sorry about that). But I appreciate you all and all your great comments. *super hugs*

4. Strangely, you guys are okay with me posting about stinky shoes, football boy’s hemorrhoids and my chocolate cravings. Because you’re cool like that. I like that about you.

5. And finally, I get to glean from other awesome blog stuffs. Wow you guys are wise. I love reading about your writing goals, things you’ve learned and writing tips. It keeps me motivated and encourages me to move forward. Thanks guys! YOU TOTALLY ROCK!

And because of that, I want to pass on this award to all of ya! Woo hoo!





So tell me, what do you love about bloggy friends?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Learning You're a Loser

photo from flikr.com

What do you do when you lose? Point fingers, throw a temper tantrum, or do you try to get better?

I heard on the radio this week about a jr. sports team where they didn’t take score of the game. That way, no one would have his or her feelings hurt and no one would be called “loser”.

I found it very interesting.

Not that I would want people to be called loser, but I think losing builds character. People learn how to cope with one another, even when they feel bad about the way they have performed. They learn to be gracious winners, good sportsman or sometimes that they are jerks when they win and need to learn to be a little more humble.

The same thing goes for writing. We write, we get critiqued, we get rejected, we quit or we improve and start writing again. But this time, we learn what we are doing wrong in the craft and build upon that. See? Character building.

I just think losing gives me the drive to try harder, to improve myself to be the best I can. If I lose, I hope I’ll try again (Yeah, my mom had this try, try again rule in our house. I guess it stuck with me).

So the next time someone gives you that good old finger and thumb on the forehead, remember, it’s a good thing. It just means you are getting better and better. Sweet!

Have a great week guys, if you don’t hear from me much in the blog world, it’s because I’m using my super powers to conquer the pile of laundry overtaking my basement (I’m a little scared)!

JFYI: I’m going to start posting the same post from my personal blog as my group blog (at least through the summer). It just gives me more time to write. And I love the writing! =D

Monday, June 21, 2010

Writing for Young Readers...I Survived

Well, I just got back from my conference and it was fantastic! This is the year that I felt I took a step up in my writing. Which made me super happy.

I mingled with friends, I learned about the craft and I also met Yamille! Hi Yamille (who is dang cute!) My friend put together this amazing video all about it.

And take a look at Alane Ferguson dancing! So awesome!

BTW: I don't read well under pressure (unless it's Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham...I totally rock reading those books).



I'll be catching up on blogs the next few days (after my long, long nap).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You're too Fluffy!






I know, I know I’m too fluffy. Sometimes I post things that are so fluffy, you can get static cling from just looking at the title.

But it makes me happy. And it keeps me positive (because you writers know how hard it is in this business! I’ve never experienced anything like it before, and I used to work in an insurance office. And they were harsh...and brutal…and mean.)

So I hope you don’t mind the fluff and will keep coming back when you feel the clouds of despair coaxing you to eat yet another comfort food for relief. (Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this.)

On to other things. Next week, I will be here at the WIFYR conference. *extra excited laugh*
This is my most favorite conference of all time. I always feel like I can do it when I leave this conference. I will be working with the ever talented Alane Ferguson! I went to a break out class last year and she was a hoot!

So if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because my brain is soaking in those amazing writing tips, writing critiques and writing recommendations (plus I’ll be mingling with agents! *happy squeal*)

Question for thought. Who in the writing industry have you wanted to work with? It can anyone.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hey, Check This Out!

Okay guys. If you don't know Nathan Bransford is having a contest called (drum roll please):
The Rock Paper Tiger chase/action writing contest extravaganza!!! (Whew, that's a long name!)

In honor of Lisa Brackmann's novel Rock Paper Triger (which I have not read yet, but is now on my TBR list...#2 of 324 books).

This is what you need to do:

"Write the most compelling chase and/or action and/or suspenseful sequence. It may be something you have written for the purpose of the contest or from a work in progress."

You should enter!

He is an awesome agent and very well liked. So do it... do it... Plus the prizes are breath taking. And awesome. (--because everything is better with awesome.)

Have a great weekend guys! I hope to see your entries!!! btw, let me know if you entered, I'd love to read some of you wips!

Oh no! I have 30 more minutes to enter... I've gotta get typing!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Think She's Talking to You

So how did you do on your revising?

Um…are you talking to me?

Yeah…I’m talking to you. So how did it go?

Well, I got the garden planted.

Okay. That’s great. But what about the revising?

Hey! We made s'mores last night. Yum!

Oh... I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to avoid me. Well guess what? Since I’m your conscience, you can’t. HA!

Okay, fine. I only got through one-third of my ms. There. Now you know. *making a sad puppy dog face*

One third? That’s not bad.

*tilting head, trying to clear ears* I think… *trying once more to clear ears* I think I heard you wrong. Did you say that wasn’t bad? *looking at self in shock*

Yeah, I did. One third is a lot of work.

Yeah…yeah it is! *smiling overcoming sad face* I totally got my garden planted, ate s'mores AND revised one third of my ms. Woo hoo! I’m on a roll!

Now. How long do you think it will take you to finish that last two thirds?

Well…*nervous coughing* …Hey, I have an idea. Do you want to come make s'mores with me?

*eyes narrowing* Are you trying to distract me with your delicious chocolaty treat?

Would I do something like that? *seesh*

Yes. Yes, I believe you would.

Then, yes I am.

Oh, well in that case. I think it’s a great day for s'mores and revising. What do you say.

Chocolaty goodness AND getting work done? *laughing in delight* I give it two thumbs up!

Alright. Let’s get to work.

On the revision or the s'mores?

Good question.

Hey guys! I’m glad to be back. I’ve got one third of my ms finished. (But I can’t stop making changes! What’s wrong with me?)

I have one question for you. How long does it take you to do your revisions and what are the best treats to eat during the revision process? A girl can never have too many treats. Glad to be back! Whoop! =D

Monday, May 24, 2010

Unplugged and Dancing! Okay, I'm Really Revising

We break this scheduled blog post to broadcast an important announcement:

I am unplugging this week to finish my revisions. (Okay, so not that important, but if you don't see me around this week, you'll know why).

I'll miss you guys. Have a great week!

Note to self: Get back to work!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Be the Pretzel

*sitting in yoga pretzel pose* Take deep breaths and visualize. Good. Now think about your writing goals. Stop making that cringing face…you can totally do this. *falling out of my yoga pose and stomping away*

Okay, so I am really into goal making. I love setting goals, organizing goals, seeing goals through (Yeah, I’m a little OCD with that). But it has really helped my writing.

When I was a young teen, I read a book (I read lots of books, but this one was one of those “Goals and Their Destiny” books – or something like that). Anyways, it had all these steps to achieve your goals. I really can’t remember all of the steps, but there is one I remember and have used over and over.

Visualize. (Please read in breathy awe inspiring voice…thanks.)

To achieve your goal, you have to visualize yourself getting to the goal. Really. See yourself getting the goal in mind. (I know weird, right?)

Like my writing. I used to write on my couch (with my handful of chocolate chips and my cup of hot cocoa by my side…man I really do love that chocolate). But I wasn’t getting much writing done.

Then one day it hit me. If I had an agent and was writing full time, would I really be lounging on the couch, chomping on chocolate chips and painting my toenails (warning, please do not paint toes and write on laptops at the same time. It turns into a sticky mess).

NO. I always saw myself at my dining room table, sitting up straight with the sun shining through my front window as I typed my awesome stories (maybe with a pencil tucked behind my ear – for style).

But I wasn’t acting like that at all!

So the next day, I hooked my lappy up at my table and started writing. You won’t believe what happened! I typed twice the amount of words I had planned to. Yeah, I know, Sweet! And the best part…I was doing that amount of words everyday! (Plus I gave myself a deadline – like we will have when we have agents and publishers. Right? Right!) (Please remember there were always setbacks, but that made achieving the goal even better.)

I’m at the revising stage and have had to rework my goals (and working on those setbacks). But visualizing and tracking my progress has made all the difference. (Oh yeah! I so see some beta readers in my future.) I don’t know if this will always help me in my writing, but it has really helped my current wip. (I just hope it works next time, too!)

Now that you’ve heard what I do to help me reach my writing goals, what do you do? (Please say it doesn’t include eating chocolate, because I really need to cut back on that stuff…tomorrow. Hee hee hee. Maybe chocolate covered pretzels. Mmmm.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Doing the Hard Things...continued

Some of you that know me know that I am trying to take up running. (I’ve been trying for about five years now. ;p) The problem is I don’t have the body of a runner, and I like to eat like a food critic or a gourmet chef (lots of real butter. Mmmmm, my fav).

When I first started running. It was hard! I mean...super nose bleeding hard for me! Plus I would sweat! Ew...Gross! I hate sweating. I got shin splints and the more I ran, the more stinky I'd get (Yuck! I am so not about the stink).

There were times I stopped because it was HARD!!! (I mean, what was I thinking? Running?)

Now, I'm at two miles at least three or four times a week AND I'm seeing results (okay, just a few). I'm not super skinny (um...please see food love above) and I still stink when I run (so stand back when you see me in sweats...really, this is not a joke). But I'm doing it (a little at a time).

I won't lie, it's still hard.

Elana J. mentioned this in her presentation a few weeks ago regarding writing the query. She said many times, “You can do the hard things.”

It was one of the best bits of information I had heard at this year’s conference. You can do the hard things, querying, finishing that first draft, revising for the umpteenth time, getting that critique back with uber stuff written in red (and then accepting it)…you can do the hard things.

It won’t be easy, you may want to quit from time to time. But all this will make you and your writing better. And you won’t even sweat while you do it. (Well, maybe a little, but you won’t be super stinky.)

So just remember…You CAN do the hard things! Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Poor, Poor Characters.

It's sad really.

Come check out our group site. I'll show you what I do to my characters. I feel sorry for them.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So Much Bloggy Love!

You guys rock! Thanks so much for the awards and the tags!

I have known Nichole Giles since my first conference, she is an amazing person and writer. She is very cool. She has given me the 10 Things that Make me Happy award. Thank Nichole!!!




Okay, so here are my ten things:
1. My hubby
2. My kiddos (when they aren’t fighting...oh, even when they are fighting. They're so cute.)
3. My bff
4. My bloggy bffs
5. My old smelly tennis-shoes (They are great for running!)
6. Chocolate (Um…that was a given!)
7. Awesome books
8. Crappy books that make me smile at awesome books
9. Playing in my garden (even when everything is dying)
10. Going home from the dentist with no cavities (I mean…can anything be better?)

Now I get to pass these on to 10 awesome people! I’m so excited. Here we go:

1. Candace from Candyland
2. Jaydee Morgan
3. Carrie Harris
4. Danyelle
5. Sherrie from Solvang Sherrie
6. Yamile
7. Jen Daiker from Unedited
8. Shannon O’Donnell
9. Becca Wilhite
10. Amparo Ortiz

If you haven’t been to these awesome ladies blogs, go check them out. They are all incredibly amazing.

The second award I received is from the ever awesome (and I don’t use that ever part lightly) Amparo Ortiz. I love her blog plus we have so much in common (she loves chocolate, ice cream and she watches Bones, too! She’s so cool!)

She has passed on the Blogger Buddy Award (which makes my heart happy) and I would love to pass it on to these lovely bloggy friends:

1. Creepy Query Girl
2. Jennifer Shirk
3. Jamie Burch
4. Sheri Larsen
5. Shelly Sly

Lastly (is that even a word? It sounds so strange), Candace of Candyland tagged me. Okay, she is incredibly cool (and when I say cool, I mean uber cool) so go check out her blog.

Question 1: Where were you 5 years ago?
- Deciding it was time to go back and finish my college degree. (I’m almost done.)
- Taking care of my little guy who was just a baby
- Trying to organize my kitchen
- Buying my first treadmill
- Writing mg stories about children with disabilities (I never showed them to anyone…and then I lost them.)

Question 2: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
- Um…done with that stupid college degree thingy.
- Published and writing super wicked stories for YA everywhere.
- Eating lunch with all my blog buddies
- Have an organized kitchen
- Able to run 5 miles (that would be so cool!)

Question 3: What is (was) you to-do list today?
- Run that three miles (I only ran two, I ran out of time.)
- Get kids off to school.
- Blog.
- Revise.
- Pick up kids from school (I know, my life is an adventure...I tell ya!)

Question 4: What 5 Snacks do you enjoy.
-hee hee hee, I can’t stop laughing…Chocolate (need you ask?)
- 100 calorie snack bags (because I eat too much chocolate *looking down at floor with embarrassment)
-yogurt with frozen blueberries mixed in (it’s delish)
- frozen fruit
- Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. (Ummmm…skinny cows)

Question 5: What 5 thinks would you do if you were a billionaire?
- 1st I would totally buy a house for my parents. They are hard workers and I would love to help them out.
- Give some to charity
- Help out those who really needed some help to get back on their feet
- Get those college funds set up for my kids
- Not tell kids we had money and teach them how to work, so they won’t be spoiled.

There’s my five answers. =) That was harder than I thought! Here are the five people I’m tagging:

L.T. Elliot
Mary Campbell
Lola Sharp
Shari
Tess Hilmo

If you’ve already received these awards or have been tagged already…I’m still giving them to you. And if you didn't receive an award, you just wait! I wanted to add more people, but to be honest, my fingers and eyeballs hurt trying to get everyone's link on. But never fear! You guys are all super cool and you guys rock! =) Oh, and if the links are wrong, please let me know, because I hate that when that happens.

Have a great week guys!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Doing the Hard Things and Looking for You

I spent last weekend in conference classes, learning about the craft of writing and hanging out with amazing people.

The first class I took was all about becoming computer wise as an author. I'm trying to do better, but I must admit, I'm still struggling (especially with that whole Twitter thing. I wanna be a Twit too). But I'll keep working on it until I get it.

One of my goals was to catch up on my blog-buddies blogs (*whew* that's a lot of Bs). So last night I spent a few good hours reading posts and adding new people to my list of reads. I must admit, I was really pleased with all the great writers out there in the blog world. I'm so excited to meet new authors/writers! (p.s. I missed reading all my good bloggy friends' posts...You know who you are - if you don't - it's you.)

I also went to Elana J.'s class on writing queries. She was excellent, not only did she keep us awake with wise and witty humor, she passed out candy!!!! Most awesome class! When she comes to your town, you'll have to check it out.

I learned I am a solid writer (that's good right? A solid writer?) But reminded myself that I should not bring a first draft with me to have the editor critique...bring the polished funny one (what was I thinkin'?). But now I know...I'm solid.


Another thing I learn was - pack more than one pair of pants! (I accidentally left them on my bed, waiting for the suitcase along with my clean underthingies. Yeah. I shouldn't pack the day of a conference...there's too many things to forget.)

L.T. is a great person to share a room with (but we didn't get room service, maybe next time - we did get subs and talked for hours about writing after the conference. (I love rubbing shoulders with awesomeness.)

I think the most important thing I learned this year is that I can do the hard things (quoted from Elana J's class). It's true. Writing is hard, trying, time consuming. Plus all the difficult stuff that comes with querying, critiquing....the rest...but we (as writers) can do the hard things. I'll post more on this next week.

Tell me...what has been the best advice/stuff you've learned in this journey of writing?

Okay...I'm off to do the hard things (yes laundry, that means you. Stinkin' pile of dirtiness). Have a great week everyone! =)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Conferences 2010..oh yeah!

So… *looking around the room like I’m trying to keep a secret* …I’m getting ready to go.

Yeah, I’m cleaning out the old statistics bag and filling it with important stuff – first chapters, notebook, pens, chocolate. (BTW, I totally passed that stats class. Mwa ha ha! I’m so glad.)

Why? because it’s conference time! Whoop, whoop (that’s my happy cry). I am on my way to mingle and meet with other awesomely cool writers, editors and agents. I’m very excited.

But also a little bit nervous. I won’t lie, last year after the conference I left discouraged. I didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be in my writing. I wanted to be further ahead in my craft, I wanted to be querying, I wanted to be pitching my story to the professionals. Plus I totally lost that 1st chapters thing. *wiping tear from eye*

Well, now it’s a year later, I am writing my last chapter of my dystopian (I know…last chapter! Whoop!) I am revising my Incognito Burrito (and other things I did on my trip to Mexico). Things are looking up. I hope I can go to this conference and feel like I am getting on top of my game. Plus L.T. and I are hanging at our most righteous hotel room together this year (I love that girl!), so she will have to hear all my complaints and wishes (we may have to order midnight room service….do they have midnight room service? Oh, I hope so)!

This year will be great! And I won’t cry this time. Promise. Well, maybe a little.

So I am curious…Are you guys planning any awesome conferences this year??? I’d love to hear which ones, where they are and if you plan on getting room service. We should compare menus.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

TMI my friend...TMI!!!!


I was about twelve or thirteen when I rode home in the back of my neighbor’s car on the way home from the amusement park. The mom who sat in the seat in front of me had just finished nursing school and was telling everyone in ear shot about her son’s bout with hemorrhoids. After listening to a half hour lecture of how hemorrhoids form, what they look like, and how to correct the problem; I knew three things for sure.

1. Listening to hemorrhoid talk + motion sickness = urge to vomit.
2. Pre-teen girls have a hard time looking football playing boys in the face after learning about their difficult trials…um…underneath.
3. Last, but not least, I knew I would never become a nurse. *cringe*

How could I remember the vivid workings of this hemorrhoid-otic talk after so much time? Was it the way she discussed her football playing son not being able to sit on his tooshie for a week (and how did he feel knowing I knew about his toosh and its problem)? Was it the way her voice echoed through the car so that all the young girls present knew of the torture and treatments of such dealings? (Oh man! That poor football playing boy!)

No my friends, it was the way she described the on goings of things falling out of places we really don’t want them to (the nausea and urge to vomit may have contributed). But mostly - the detail she used in each disgusting detail.

She used colors in her description and smells (I’m serious *gag*). She even gave a detailed description of the ointment that was used in the horrific incident. How could I forget?

What does this have to do with writing?

Well, when writing, what kind of detail do you use? Do you use sight, smell or touch to describe your scenes? Does it make the writer feel like they are there in the scene sharing the moment with the character?

Do you add too much detail, making the rider of your book ask for a bag so that they will not heave over the backseat of your newly cleaned writing upholstery? It happens sometimes.

Details are important to use. They can leave a reader feeling that they know the places you are talking about and the characters you love - OR - They can pull the reader out of the story, searching for a garbage can for book deposit. This is something all writers learn to balance.

I'm sure there are many ways to fix this situation, but the best advice I can give is to:

1. Have someone else who loves to read look over your MS and listen to their feedback.
2. Put the ms away for a few weeks and then take a second look at it.
3. Read, read, read how other writers write.

My last bit of advice for the day – remember - when in a car with a group of pre-teen girls, don’t talk about your football-playing son’s hemorrhoids (I don’t care how cute you think he is). Ew. Gross.

p.s. I finished the challenge and missed you guys. I’m glad to be back!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Are You Asking for a Challenge!?





The family and I were sitting around yesterday, enjoying some quality time together, when somebody mentioned how much time we spend on the internet/tv/ipod/ etc....

So my oldest child offered his dad a challenge - no computer games/tv shows for a week.

I sort of tuned out at that moment as the kids all laughed and upped the wages of the challenge. Soon everyone was involved. My daughter vowed to no ipod, my son no video games, etc...etc...(I secretly laughed, because I was not involved in the crazy challenge of no media week. Sweet! I'd be watching TV and playing my tunes while eating fudge as I sat in a super huge beanbag - which I don't have, but still....it would be awesome).


Then I heard the dreaded words, "I think Mom should give up Blogger for a week!"

"NOOOO!" I screamed (making everyone jump a little). I thought had so cleverly adverted the situation. Wrong! (Please sing as you say wrong, and emphasis the "g". For dramatic effect. Thanks.)


"I don't think she can do it." I heard, making the competitive part of me rise to the top.


"Oh yes I can," I snarled, giving them my oh-you-wanna-play eye-look thingy.


Everyone laughed again (I wasn't sure why this time, but I was sure it was because I was suckered into something ).


Then somebody said, "The winners will get pizza and rootbeer floats as an award." (Oh man, I was so there.)


So my blogger buddies, if you don't hear from me for a week, (yes, I will be unplugged from Tuesday to Tuesday - *cringe*) it's because I'm proving to my awesome family that yes, I can unplug - and they can too!

I will miss you! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dear Lucky Agent Contest....Sweet!

How do you get your work out there? How does anyone find out who you are?

You need to take a few risks. Have people look at your work, see how people feel about the writing. A great way to do this is through agent contests. Here is one I feel is worth sharing (plus I'm considering entering):

The "Dear Lucky Agent Contest" for middle grade and YA writers (with Regina Brooks).

WHAT TO SUBMIT
The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of middle grade or young adult fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.
(paragraph copied from Guide to Literary Agents)

PRIZES
Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com. (paragraph copied from Guide to Literary Agents) *squeal!* Why not try!

If you write for middle grade or YA, I suggest jumping on over and taking a look! The contest ends April 14th, so time is running out! Yikes, I'd better get my stuff on over! Good luck guys!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shout outs, Happy days, and Awards

First.




I want to wish everyone a very Happy Easter this weekend! I’m hoarding my marshmallow bunnies and chocolate eggs even as we speak.

Second.

My good writing friend Sara Larson has just signed on with *** of *** (I put those stars there because I don’t know who!!!! Plus I don't know if Sara is telling anyone yet. Sara, who is it????). Anyway, she’s got a fabulous agent. How do I know Sara? I’ve been in a writing group with her for almost a year and I can tell you, her book - excellent!







Here we are (Sara, me, Carla) hanging out and laughing (about something I’m sure was super funny).

Sara writes YA. I am so excited for her and cannot say enough good things about her amazing writing (plus she bought Girl Scout cookies from us, so you know she’s awesome!). She has started her own blog site, so please check it out here or here or even here. You won’t be disappointed. (Way to go Sara! Whoop!)

Third.

Awards!!! I want to thank everyone who gave me awards in the last little bit. Shannon. (Shannon is more than amazing and love to stalk her blog – sorry Shannon, you’re stuck with me now), Jen (who is very cool and an amazing writer – I’ve read some of her stuff on her blog. Excellent!) and Mary (Oh my golly-gosh-willakers, Mary is just awesome. When are we having dinner again?) I cannot begin to express how much I enjoy these three gals. Thanks you guys!

So I’m passing these on:



Awesome Jen awarded me the It's like we're Soulmates Award, which is so true. I really enjoy Jen (and her blog). Plus you should have seen us at Vegas together. It was a blast!

The rules:
1. Choose five followers/commenters that 'get' you
2. Write something fake (preferably not too mean) about them
3. Link to them, and link back to this post to comment your receipt of the award.

Patti - Patti and I were in an underwater basket weaving class together. She got an A and I got an F. Plus my basket turned out really really soggy. I should have asked her for more help.

L.T. Elliot - L.T. and I are secret superheros. She flies around in the sky while I sing. I can shatter glass with my high pitched squeals, enabling her to swoop down and capture the bad guys. We also fold freshly laundered clothes at the speed of light.
Mary C. - Mary and I are W.O.W. (world of warcraft) buddies. She's a sleek elf with mighty arrow flinging ability and I'm a kick-butt dwarf that shots fire blots from my high heel boots. We play every Thursday from 9-12 midnight.
Shannon - Shannon and I are both apart of the ELOGW, yes, the Evil League of Genius Writers. We meet the third Wednesday of the month. Unfortunately, we aren't that evil. We are more of your sunshine-and-lollipop kind of evil. And that's the worst kind. Plus we have a cool theme song.





Thanks Shannon for the Sunshine Award! She is just all around awesome. Her blog makes me smile and she is just C.O.O.L. I get to pick out a handful of writers. I have decided to give these awards to some of my new followers (thanks you guys for following me! It totally makes my day!)

Here they are:




Last but not least- Mary gave me The Sugar Doll Award (that just sounds yummy!) Thanks so much!!! I’m passing this one on to three of my new friends:
I want to thank my old friends and my new friends for all the great comments and support that have been offered on my blog. It means so much to me. Thanks. =)
One last thing (I know, this post is so long!) Linda Garner, has written a fantastic book, Some Secrets Hurt. She is hosting a run/walk-a-thon to prevent child abuse. You can get all the info at our group blog (just click on Linda's name there). There will be cotton candy and I believe hot dogs. So you can eat and run all at the same time (okay, don't do that, I would hate to hear on the news about a group of runners choking during a run/walk-a-thon. That would just be sad). But the run/walk will be awesome!

If you haven’t heard from me yet on your blog, don’t worry. Stats is over in three weeks and I plan on catching up with everybody (my Professor would be so proud that I made it through the class – she’s an excellent teacher).
Have a great week guys! Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Favorite Word, What's Your Favorite Word?

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” ~ Robin Williams

(First, I need to give a special thanks to Jen and Shannon for the awesome awards they have given me. I will get those out to some of my bloggy friends in a little while. I am in the middle of the last part of Stats and am working my tail off to get a decent grade. Thanks guys!)

If you haven’t seen Word Girl on PBS, you’re missing out. She is a witty super hero who goes around fighting crime and correcting words that are used incorrectly (kind of like my thesaurus, but better).

At the end of the show there is a segment called Favorite Word, where… *momentary pause while thinking how to describe*….well, here - take a look:



After running around one morning trying to get my kids out the door, I heard this segment coming from the other room and thought, “Hey, what’s my favorite word?” Being a writer, I ought to have a favorite word, right?

I thought and thought.

There are so many words. Some roll off the tongue: loquacious, fabulous, splendid.

While others burst out in amusement: chunk, rutabaga, aghast. (Okay, maybe not that funny, unless you said, “That fabulous rutabaga left me aghast.” Nope, still not funny.)

But I think out of all the beautiful and words there are, I believe awesome is my favorite. ( definition from http://www.merriam-webster.com/: Expression of awe -- inspiring awe/terrific -- extraordinary)

You can tell I love this word, because I use it so much. You’re awesome. That is an awesome view. Did you read that awesome book?!

My favorite word might change next week (because I’m fickle that way) -- I may love the word rutabaga, but for now awesome is it.

So as writers and readers, what are some of your favorite words? (Crackers? Exquisite? Rutabaga? That is kind of fun to say.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tennis Shoes vs Fat-fudge Filled Goodness


“Hitch your wagon to a star.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I fell off the wagon. It’s true. I fell off the treadmill/eating foods-good-for-you wagon.

Remember when I had lost weight, fit in my skinny pants and thought I was doing great?

Well, old habits started to sneak back into my life. Like eating chocolate bars, just to make sure they tasted good (Don’t tell me you haven’t done it before. *looking down at floor ashamed* Okay, maybe it’s only me).

But anyway, then I got that nasty cold (now I’m fighting the sinus infection. Curses!) and decided I should lay off the treadmill for a couple of weeks. Bad idea. Why?

Because Midnight cookie eating + No exercise = big bottom girl.

Yes, I gained weight. (And when that really cute skinny girl walked past my house last week, I teared up a little.)

So I’ve rededicated myself. I’m watching what I eat (no more fried cheesecake with fudge filling for me) and I’m back to running my two miles a day. I haven’t lost anything yet, but I’m feeling so much better.

Unfortunately, I have to do the same thing with writing. I sometimes get discouraged because I feel like I’m not a good enough writer or my story line isn’t doing what I want it to - and yes- sometimes I feel like quitting.

So I have to rededicate myself. Block out time to write, not worry about the stories imperfections (yet) and stop comparing myself (which I do way too often – stupid skinny girl, walking past my house, with awesome tan – I am SO adding you into my next book - and you're the bad guy. Mwa ha ha).

But you know what? I always feel better when I am dedicated and working on my goals. Maybe rededicating isn’t as bad as I thought it was. (Still - I’m going to miss taste testing those delicious candy bars when I’m supposed to be writing.)

What do you think helps to rededicate oneself?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You're Posting Twice in One Day?

Yes I am. I know - spooky.

I just wanted to check in with all my bloggy friends and warn you....I made my goal last week (12,000 words). BEWARE (oooohhhhh). Now you know anything is possible.

And

I love plotting. Why didn't anyone tell me about plotting before? I mean - really? Oh, wait, yes you did. Sorry for not listening. You were right. Plotting rocks.

Dan Wells gave an excellent presentation on plotting at LTUE. He has posted it on his blog and even has a video you can view. Just go HERE and you can click on whatever link you are interested in.

So now you know. Plotting is cool and my fingers are on fire (Ouch!) Have a great week everyone!

And the Award Goes To....

I promise I’ll be fast on the awards, but I just have to thank Shari for giving me the Humane Award. Shari is very cool (I love hanging out with her and her peeps at conferences. They totally make me spew milk from my nose, plus Shari is my good friend).

I want to thank Suzette for giving me the Silver Lining award! For those of you who haven’t met Suzette yet, she is a remarkable person. Plus she makes everyone feel at home (a talent I wish I had).

(btw, some of you I couldn't get a hold of, so I hope you are checking out the blog today. =) )

Drum roll please……(Wow, I kind of feel like I’m at the Academy Awards. I hope I’m wearing something awesome. And shiny!) Okay, sorry, I’m back.





Those who I would like to award the Humane bloggy Award are:


Michelle, because not only is she a courageous woman, she always has something positive to say. She is amazing.



Kimberly Job, did you know she is the awesome mom of ten kids?



Karen H. I just found this out, but she fostered and adopted two terrific boys who were brothers. How can you not admire her?




Stacey, because she is always smiling. I love that!



And Heidi A. because she is an amazing mother/caregiver/person. I am always astonished how much she does for her family. Very cool!


Those who I would like to pass on the Silver Lining Award goes to:

Nichole G. who first helped me get my name published and is just a great person all around.


Lotus Girl, I just started stalking her blog and I like her a lot! Plus she just has to write and so do I. We have awesome things in common!



Kasie W. She is just so fun. Did you know she drove a ton of hours to go to LTUE?



Jen, Her blog is incredible and I love hearing her journey as a writer.


Cindy, because she once challenged me to a pizza eating contest. We both won, but were sick as dogs. She’s awesome.

Thanks everyone! I love the awards and love to give them. You guys are the best!