Friday, December 31, 2010

An Interview with Lorelei Bell.

Happy New Year people! I know you're all just as busy as I am around the holidays, so I've decided to keep the following interview up for a few days. As a writer, its always interesting to me to witness the road to publication for fellow writer's. It's also a time when I rejoice for a fellow writer. Take Elana Johnson for example and her 12 month trip to actual book. The post shows  her holding her book for the first time. I teared up for her. Truly I did. Elana's trip was traditional, well equipped with a stellar query letter, the landing of an agent, then signing that book deal with Simon Pulse. Sounds great doesn't it? But it was also filled with all the blood, sweat, tears, and bacon she could find. Much like the rest of us. The road for all of us is very similar, the destination may turn out differently, but reaching that destination is why we're all here. And for me, it always helps to see how others find their way to whatever destination they may choose. And Lorelei Bell has been gracious enough to share her trip with us. I hope you enjoy.

Lorelei, how did you decide to become a writer? 
Long story short, I took a creative writing course in high school. I liked it so much that I took it again the next semester and then I took one in college. I found that I loved writing better than art.
What was your founding inspiration?
I can't really pin point it. I think i was inspired by other writers, the idea of becoming a published author, and having that distinction. Once, I 'd joined a writing group and one of the members was published by Zebra while I was there. I was in awe to be in such company, plus there was one published poet and a few that dabbled in other things, and our teacher had been published multiple times. That was in 1983. However, instead of being inspired, it sort of backfired; I felt I would never measure up. I quit writing for a full year, and returned to it, because the need to write was so great. 
What made you decide to self publish your books?
Well, by the time I'd reached my fiftieth birthday, and having tried so many times to get a book published, or getting an agent, and having goner through so many rejections that I simply couldn't face opening them up anymore-you do reach a breaking point. So, the question was "do I want a book published?" The answer was yes.
How hard has that decision been for you?
It wasn't a hard decision to make at all. The difficult part was to find a publisher that wasn't going to try and trickle in little expenses here and there-because many of them do. So, I began checking out different POSs. My first book was with Infinity. They didn't charge a great deal, and their contract was very simple. However, this time I went with Copperhill Media, who charged me nothing and they work just as hard to get my book noticed, or they make no money. In my opinion, it's what a POD should do, but so few do it. I would suggest to all who are seeking to be published, to try it the traditional way first. Try to obtain an agent, and go from there. But always remember there are other options when you're done receiving rejections. 
How many years have you been writing?
Since 1972-you do the math.
What are your aspirations?
To retire comfortably with at least a dozen books out there. I don't wish to be rich, I merely want to share my writing with people who would enjoy what I write. I think that's the ego of the writer, more than the money-but I love the royalty checks too!
What advice can you give to some of us who might want to consider self publishing?
Check the company out thoroughly. Check them on warning sites. Check the contract carefully. If you can't get a copy of their contract online, ask them for it. And don't sign if there's anything on it that either makes you feel uncomfortable, or that they refuse to explain. If you can, have another person such as a lawyer review the contract as well.
Who are your favorite authors?
It's a cross section of different genres, because I think a writer should read different genres to get a feel of how to write before they try to emulate anyone. But J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich-these authors are my favorites. 
Can you give us a snippet of what to expect from Vampire Ascending?
Sabrina Strong is a Touch Clairvoyant who knows a secret. She knows her mother was turned into a vampire when she was ten. Now that she is grown up, a powerful magnate in the Chicago business world hires her to reveal the identity of who relentlessly murders vampires in his ultra-modern stronghold of a hotel. 
Sabrina is not thrilled about the aspect of working for vampires, but she needs the money, and she wants to find the gorgeous and mysterious vampire who has been turning up in her dreams. Is he the one who bit her when she was ten, marked her for his own, and turned her mother so long ago?
Little does Sabrina know that her whole life is about to change as her best friend becomes a victim, too and Sabrina is the only one who can find her. Her friends fate intensifies the desperate need to find the murderer and, consequently, brings her into contact with a rouge vampire. 
Sabrina is quickly immersed in romantic trysts and dangerous situations involving scheming vampires, shift changes, and werewolves. 
Now for a little need to know information about Vampire Ascending:
Vampire Ascending can be purchased here or at Amazon. You should check out the reviews she been getting at Amazon. Here's the latest:
Vampire Ascending is a captivating blend of action, intrigue, romance and the supernatural. Lorelei Bell has incorporated humor with a fast-pace that makes for exciting reading, and has developed a heroine that is engaging, quirky, and appealing. If you are a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse Series, I believe you are in for a treat. I didn't want to put this book down and I look forward to more from Lorelei Bell.”

~~ Yolanda Campbell reprinted from

How cool is that?
You can check out Lorelei's blog at or if you're around, she'll be holding a book signing at the Borders in Dekalb, Il from 3-5 pm on January 8th. 

Lorelei is currently working on books 2 and 3 of the series. She hopes to have Vampire's Trill out this spring. 

Lastly, I would like to say that I wish Lorelei all the luck and success I can offer. And thanks for sharing your story with us. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Writer Needs a Village.

Over a year ago I sat down to write, I mean really write. I'd always scribbled things here and there, but to write an actual book, I'd never truly attempted. But then everyone around me thought I had lost my mind. I couldn't blame them really. I was sort of talking an awful lot about faeries, and unfortunately, it's been documented that insanity has been known to follow such ramblings. But I wasn't losing it (come on that ship has already sailed). I was following a dream and dreamer's have built every single thing around us from the ground up. But I began to struggle with this concept after awhile. I found myself in a moment where I wondered if dreaming were actually just a foolish pastime. I even felt irresponsible at times. But thankfully, I didn't struggle for very long. No-dreaming is a gift, and we should never take it for granted because not all of  us are blessed with the ability to do so. But all dreams have a beginning and an end. A cost sometimes filled with pain, ya know, the blood, sweat, tears, and alcohol (the alcohol purely for medicinal purposes). They start out at ground level- like, dug- out potato cellar level for some of us, but hey, it's a start. And it's up to us where we take ourselves from there. But we're not alone. We're a unique group of people-dreamers. And we've found each other for a reason. What would the journey be without partners in crime (shudder)? I wouldn't want to know. So this week, I'm going to help (or try to anyway) a fellow partner in crime-Lorelei Bell. On Friday, I'm going to post a special interview with Lorelei about her brand new book called Vampire Ascending. Lorelei has been brave enough to step out there and follow her dream and I can only admire her for her courage. I hope you'll join us for the interview, after all, it really does take a village in this business. In the meantime, tell me what you've been up to people. I'd love to know.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not Cool!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was wonderful. The hub did absolutely awesome! He's my special Santa. He even surprised me with THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY box set amongst other things. He definitely knows how to score himself a few brownie points. Our pup Cooper had an awesome first Christmas. But I'm not sure if he'll ever forgive me for this. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"The Others"

Sorry for becoming a blog abandon-er! Things are way too busy this time of year but I'm so loving it. I haven't had the opportunity to even open my WIP, but on a good note, the presents are all wrapped and under the tree. My kids are too old to believe in Santa, but the hubby seems to have fallen for the Elf on the Shelf thing. Hey, whatever works. I've asked for a lot of books this year. I'm so excited to see what he came up with. He's usually the best when it comes to surprising me. I spent a little time in Barnes and Noble myself, and of course, being a nerd and all, I talked to quite a few of "our kind". It's so funny how you can spot "the others" a mile away. Ya know, the people who don't read (shudder). I know it's hard to imagine but you've seen them- out there just trying to blend in with the general reading population, but it never works. We can spot them a mile away. They're usually the ones perusing the store, totally lost, and silently waiting to pick up whatever you just checked out because the last book they read was actually the cliffs notes for The Catcher in the Rye for that eighth grade English assignment. Hello! Not fooling anybody! So, in general conversation, I discover that most of them just pick up whatever looks good. They don't even read the back. Omigod! THEY DON'T EVEN READ THE BACK! I nearly smacked someone! Not really the Christmassy thing to do people. Then I got to thinking about my own choices when picking out a book. Sure, my choices may be based on some stellar book review from one of my fav bloggers, or a Goodreads BFFs suggestion, or the blurb on the back of a book, but cover plays a big part too. One out of four doesn't make "the others" totally wrong. Does it? So, it got me wondering. What makes you pick up a book at random? On another note, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating this holiday season. Enjoy your friends and family, drink much, laugh much, and love lots. We'll write later. I'll be stopping by your blogs as I can so bare with me. Merry Christmas everyone and be safe!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Short and Sweet!

Today's post is gonna to live up to it's title. If none of it should make any sense whatsoever, please forgive me. I have a house full of family members trying to get ready for Christmas shopping, an incredibly spoiled one hundred and ten pound puppy on my lap ( he thinks he's a shih-tzu),everyone's talking at the same time, two phones are ringing and I can't find either one of them, one daughter is blaring what sounds like Eminem while the other one is blaring Slipknot. I should be feeling angry at the moment, especially, given the music I'm being subjected to while I'm sitting here trying to indulge in my second cup of coffee. But instead, Cooper and I are just watching the ciaos unfold, and I'm feeling like Chevy Chase in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation ( I just love that movie). So as I watch life happen throughout my house, I'm reminded that I need to make it happen throughout my WIP, because life does just that. It happens. When one complicated moment gets conquered, yet another is sure to follow. It's the good stuff and the bad stuff that keeps us on our toes. And occasionally, things will just blend together on their own, however impossible they may seem. After all, I think I just heard Eminem and Slipknot harmonize something unintelligible but it sounded pretty good. I feel so inspired. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cause and Effect.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about setting up the scene in a novel. Ya know, giving your reader all the tools necessary to envision your characters, their surroundings, touch them, feel them, relate to them, love them, hate them. The whole enchilada (just so happens we were having Mexican). So, after dinner I dropped her off and headed home with some obnoxious curtain of guilt, determined to squash any hope of basking in the afterglow, after having way too much guacamole (never, ever, ever, look up the fat content in guacamole, just saying). Naturally I started thinking about cause and effect but not in a way that you might think. I immediately went from apologizing to my thighs (yet again) to thinking about how important cause and effect is in our writing. Then fate stepped in. I get home and decide to flip through the mail (hoping for another free breakfast coupon from Denny's, same as you) and find my brand new January edition of Writer's Digest. So I smile at my lot and dive right in. And there on page thirty seven was an article called....3 SECRETS TO GREAT STORYTELLING by, Steven James. You thought I was going to say Cause and effect didn't you? Well I am, only it wasn't the title, and it wasn't on that page. It was on page thirty eight. I'll give you his number one secret. "Everything in a story must be caused by the action that precedes it." Boy don't I know it, especially, after having the enchilada supreme with extra sour cream Mr. James. Preach on! And just like how I stayed up till way past two this morning reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, thinking I'm off and I have nowhere to be. I can sleep til nine and leisurely enter into my day with Cooper( household pup) and coffee. But who gets pulled from a perfectly good conversation with a fallen angel who simply asked for directions ( hey its a dream, not like I have any control over them) at seven o'clock in the morning (that's a lie it was 8), all because somebody was in the bathroom, using somebody's straightener and it wasn't fair. Humph! I had a whole list of not fairs to offer two teenage girls this morning. So, now I've been up all night reading, talking to angels, thinking about my own WIP, and too much guacamole. So I'm sleepy and maybe even whiny and I'm convinced someone put my pjs in the dryer for like...ever. But on a good note, I've learned so much from all of this and awareness is everything, right? So, does everything in your WIP have an action or event that precedes it? Are you showing reaction before you explain motivation? If you can find the article or order Writer's Digest, do so. It's chocked full of goodies to aid in your craft and you'll be glad you did. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

So Much To Do, So Little Time.

This week has been super busy. My daughter's basketball games have increased to three times a week and I'm happy to report they've been winners all week. Sorry for my absence on the blog. We're traveling to some of the games, so time (I don't even know what that means anymore) is nonexistent. On a good note, I've finished reading Blue Moon by Alyson Noel, and have now moved onto HUSH HUSH, by Becca Fitzpatrick. At least my reading hasn't been neglected as much as my writing. I have, however, come up with a system to help me feel more focused and not as overwhelmed by my WIP. I've started to look at my manuscript as though each chapter were like it's own little book. It makes revisions much easier and they seem to flow along faster this way. I don't know why I never did this before. I always tried to look at the whole thing. All 82,000 words of it. A little much to say the least. It usually left me feeling like progress was impossible, but by concentrating on a chapter at a time, it seems like I'm getting somewhere. Maybe I'm not, but at least I'm pacified by allowing myself a start and a finish. I even open up a new doc, paste a chapter, fix it, and paste it back. It's cool to look down at the bottom of the doc and see 10 pages as opposed to 300. I guess I'm psyching myself out, but hey, whatever works right? What's your method for revising?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Coming Together!

Hey guys, sorry I've been out of the blogging world for the past few days. I'm about to go blog hopping this morning and I can't wait to find out what everyone has been up to, which brings me to a request. I am so thankful for every one of my followers. I haven't been in the blogging world for very long and I'm so pleased at how fast my blog is growing. A big happy thanks to all of you. *Hugs* In return I want to be sure I'm following all of my followers who have blogs as well, so if you're new to my blog, please leave your link. I've noticed that occasionally links aren't showing up when I click on your new pic. Don't know why, but I wouldn't want to miss anyone, so if I'm not following you back, it's not for lack of trying. If you don't see me on your blog, let me know and I will be right on over;)
Now, in other news, basketball season has started for my daughter and with the holidays rapidly approaching, (I'm so not ready) it's been a hectic few days. I've barely had the time to open up my WIP and I'm missing my characters terribly. But I was able to spend just a few minutes on Sunday adding a little here and there. It's amazing what just a few moments can do for your story, and in turn, I was able to walk away feeling a little rejuvenated. I was having one of those moments where everything starts to come together. I'm sure all of you know that moment I'm referring to. You spend all this time writing your heart out and yet there's this nagging little voice inside of you that keeps screaming "your missing something-HELLO"! (are we supposed to put quotation marks around the voice inside our head?) *Shrugs* Well, it was one of those moments. I've felt like I've been on pause for months because of that voice, and then just like that, it all comes together in a matter of minutes. I guess all in all, writing is something that just can't be rushed, and to some extent, we don't always hold the wheel when it comes to this road. So, if you're having one of those moments where your story is taking it's sweet time, let it. It will work out when it's ready, and for reasons you won't be able to see or understand until it all comes together and believe me, it will.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Guys, this is serious business. If any of you happen to come across an ARC of PASSION by Lauren Kate between now and whenever I finish losing my mind, send it my way. Seriously, I've got a couple of perfectly good kidneys over here that my teenagers will never miss. I never read a series until all of the books are out because I know I will hate the wait. But this time, I didn't look ahead. Nope, I just zipped through FALLEN, soaked up TORMENT in like, two days (I know, I know, some of you read an entire book in like an afternoon. Apparently I'm mentally challenged because it takes me two days, so be it) so I finish both books, totally loving them then head on over to Amazon to order number three, only it wasn't there. IT WASN'T THERE! OMG! What am I supposed to do now? So, what are you guys reading that may or may not keep me sane between now and June when it's supposed to come out? Gimme some goodies;) Currently I'm pouty but reading Blue moon by Alyson Noel (my lovely daughter finally brought it back home, she's such a book hoarder). So far, it's pretty good but I'm still in Torment. Have an awesome weekend guys!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Um...I Don't Know.

How many times have you heard, "When is your book gonna be finished?" Like...why haven't you printed it out  and sold it already? Come on people, get to your computer, print out that masterpiece, grab some crayons and construction paper, color your little heart out, and get that thingy on the shelf already. If it could only be that easy (for me it could never be, I generally color outside the lines anyway). But do you ever find yourself trying to explain this whole lengthy, complicated, and draining process to the people around you, only to watch the light behind their eyes pack up shop into a miniature suitcase and pull the cord because they truly do not understand a single word you just said, nor do they even want to understand. They just want to see the book. Spare them the boring non-essentials. What-ev. I swear I'm just going to buy a little pocket tape recorder, record my answer and hit play every time someone asks me this question. It should be short. I'm thinking something along the lines of, Um...I don't know, or your guess is as good as mine, or my absolute favorite, the voices inside my head keep telling me to look to the east every evening at twilight while eating Cheetos ( no idea why this is important) and as I look to the east, a cloud will form before my eyes and take the shape of a book. When the book cloud flips open, I will know that it's time to submit. I bet that one will get the light back on. How about you? What do you say to this?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Losing My Smarts!

Ya know, as a wannabe writer and all, one would think I'd be expanding on my vocabulary. Ya know, learn new and impressive terms to wow my audience into submission while they "ooh" and "awe" in delight when they see that I have used magnanimous in a sentence. Well, let me tell you that as of late, there will be no "oohing" and or "awing" coming at me from any of you. Nope! Not gonna happen. In fact, if you could hear me now, you'd think I were trying to recover from a mild stroke. You see, I'm trying to write. Hoping to, wanting to, needing to. BUT...I like a moron, thought that it would be just totally awesome cool to put up a Christmas tree and own a Great Dane puppy at the same time. Now I'm saying things like aaaaaaaaaaaaat, noooooo, noat, fristidit d tree, ooh, I'm gona, arrrrrg, and many other incoherent, crazy person ramblings, shaking fits, and rants that I'm sure by now he thinks he's doing something good for mommy while he tries to eat my freakin tree people! "But is it so bad?" my husband asks while he secretly laughs at me behind my back (I feel so betrayed). Well no, it's not that bad...puddin. I mean, I should be able to concentrate while an animal desecrates an angel on the oriental rug, but instead, I just get this gnawing feeling that I should cross myself even though I'm not even Catholic! But ya know, I will try to recover from this and become imperturbable. After all, it's not like I'm trying to rank up there with Jane Austen or anything, but I'd rather not sound like a drunken pirate either. Wish me luck people, gotta go retrieve a violated Missus Clause from the jaws of Cooper de Grinch.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Award!

I'm totally stoked! I just received the Life is Good Award from my book blogging friend Caroline, over at Words and Whispers. Caroline posts some of the best YA book reviews out there and she's trying to accomplish 365 book reviews in 365 days. How cool is that? I'd be legally blind and mumbling in some darkened corner somewhere. But there's no reason to bring up my misspent youth. Speaking of youth, did I mention that Caroline is a junior in high school. Hello, nothing like having your target audience (if your writing YA) doing book reviews and becoming one of your blogging friends. But there's a downside to all this. Now, every time I dust around the space that's been consumed by one of my teenagers, I look at them and say, "why can't you be more like Caroline and do something useful with your time, like-go read a book or something"? (Okay, one kid reads but she's on my hit list, she steals my books and doesn't return them in like forever)That's generally about the time they look at me with that *OMG mom has lost her mind, we don't have a sister named Caroline sort of look* but they just don't ask. So, now my teenagers think I have an imaginary friend and I think they have brain damage (probably shouldn't have sat so close to the microwave while I was pregnant) we're even. So to Caroline, whose mother apparently sat a good distance away from the microwave, thanks so much for this award. Here are the rules for giving and receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers( I'm going to do 8 since Caroline gave me two awards and I already had one of them) who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.

 So, here's the questions:
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?   I don't blog anonymously and I'm so glad I don't. I want my future, hopefully potential readers to know me as much as they can know me virtually.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
I retrieved my manuscript out of the trash nearly a year ago and I haven't thrown it out since. 
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror? Hum...this one is hard. I see an area or two that could use a little more age defying Clinique. I see big frizzy hair that needs to be restrained and I'd trade for thin and straight, ready to go, any day of the week. I see distinctive green eyes filled with determination and a woman who is growing as a person everyday. 

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink? Sangria with lots of fruit-preferably from Abuelos Mexican restaurant. 

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do? I read, write, or have dinner with a friend.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it? I want to obtain an agent, see my book published, finish college someday, be a better editor of my work or an editor at all would be nice.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?  I was the class clown, and yes, I was always ditching school for what I thought were better things. My love of  learning came much later in life, but I'm glad it finally showed up. 

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see? The birth of my daughter.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events? Oh yeah! I'm so me. I love writing about other people, but I don't mind lending out posts on my life for those who don't mind reading about it. 

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?  For the most part it would have to be reading. I just love it but talking on the phone is sometimes necessary.

Okay, so here are 8 bloggers who totally deserve this award:

Michelle Davidson Argyle 
Amie Kaufman 
SA Larsen 
Terry Towery 
Casey McCormick 
Anna Claire 
Mary W Jensen 
Abby Annis 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Couldn't Stay Away!

 I tried to stay away, I really did. I had no intentions of posting anything today. No way! It's a holiday and I just wasn't gonna do it. But let me tell you, this post is right up there with everything else I wasn't gonna do today. Um-Hum, I'm totally disappointed in me right now. I had the pep talk. You know the one. I'm not eating more than I should. One piece of pumpkin pie ( it was sooo good) and since I made two of them from scratch, I had to have one piece from each pie just to be sure they were equal in all their goodness and could be served to the guests). Then who has pumpkin pie without homemade whipped cream? Someone smarter than me with a smaller waistline that's who. But  the whipped cream was so perfect, I was actually eyeballing my hazelnut flavored coffee for the possibility of just a dollop or two. I'm telling you people, there is just no end to my weaknesses, so now I'm completely consumed with guilt and about to panic. If I don't pull it together and get on the treadmill in the next hour or so, it will be too late. Those pies will have their way with me and I'll be changing the profile pic for sure. But that's not all that's been going on today. Oh no. You see, I felt a little down after dinner. There I was in the midst of self loathing, stuffed, sleepy, and guilty when suddenly I started questioning all my choices. Yep, right down to my WIP, which I might add, I have not had a moment to even open the file containing WIP for nearly a week.  I've also had very little time to read blogs, or read at all. I was too busy baking those damned pumpkin pies among other things. So I started to wonder if I should even be writing anything at all. I mean, it takes a really strong person to be a writer. And I couldn't even hold true to the level of self discipline I had promised myself I would have today. So I came home from my mother's, put away the whipped cream, and opened my file. By the end of the first chapter, I remembered why I write. And I knew then that I had just been missing it and without it, I'm not me-bloated or not. That's when I knew that writing is a necessity, not a choice. It's a bubble of inspiration that can never be explained to someone who doesn't do it. But until that pen meets the paper, or those fingers meet the keys, it almost hurts when you can't do it. Then again I may have a pie cramp coming on, I don't know. But I do know I'm supposed to be here, just like you're supposed to be here. Right here with all of us-dreaming, laughing, learning, loving, and writing all throughout this journey. And I'm thankful for every single step, every single one of you, and I'm also thankful that my daughter just ate the last piece of pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving! I'm headed for the treadmill;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Winner Is....

Okay, so the votes are in and as you all know, the contest was meant to help us all in discovering new possible titles for our works. I'd like to add that there were a few titles mentioned during the contest that are currently being used as titles for WIP for several followers. Me included. I'm sure we all agree to hold those titles off limits with professional courtesy. If not, we will know who you are. We will form a mob and show up to ruin your first book signing. We will claim that you wrote the book sitting naked in your car while parked in front of an elementary school. The doors of Borders and Barnes and Noble will look like flood gates for your would be fans. So, lets all be good to each other and nobody ends up on a national database for sex offenders. (just kidding about most of that)Now, to announce the winner. (drunken midget steps up to the microphone and inhales not one but two doses of helium from surrounding balloons at the winners circle, clears throat)
The winner is Lorelei Bell who chose the title Ember. (drunken midget realizes there are more balloons out back and stumbles off stage) Congratulations Lorelei! I will need your address to send you the gift card. You may email it to me at and I will get that in the mail for you.
Now, I promised a list of other possible titles that I thought up. All of these titles are up for grabs as far as my research has allowed me to know. Meaning that I haven't found them to have been previously published, nor do I know of anyone currently planning to use them.


That's all I could come up with. There are a few words listed here that I could see plastered across some awesome looking book jacket, but others just don't seem to resonate. I hope you find them interesting to play with. I'd like to thank everyone who participated in my first contest. I promise it won't be the last. And I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving( for those that have Thanksgiving). This will be my last post until Friday or Saturday. I have pumpkin pies to bake and family to attend to and I'm sure I'll be hungover As will all of you, I'm sure. So, all of you be safe if you're traveling and enjoy your time off. I'll virtually see you in a few days:)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Voting Day Is Here!

Hey guys, it's finally here. Yup, voting day for the "Title Envy Contest"! And it's not going to be easy. Everyone who participated had so many great ideas, and that's why we're voting. How could I possibly pick just one title and one winner. If I had my way I'd send out rewards to everyone, but I'm a starving writer for the moment. (that's not entirely true, never missed a meal in my life but there's no need to bring my hips into this) So lets recap, shall we? The rules were to try to come up with a title that has never been published and it could only be one word. The winner will receive a $25 dollar gift card to our favorite support group-Barnes and Noble. So, I'm going to list the names I thought were the best of all the picks and then wait for all of you to comment back with your favs. The title that gets the most votes wins. Ready-GO!


Okay, so now you can all give your best vote, and I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning along with some titles I came up with. Have a great day guys and keep those pages comin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

  Welcome to my blog. Today a lot of great blogers are banding together for a blog jog. This just happens to be my first jog and I was quite grateful that it's only meant to be a virtual one. Brisk walking is exercise enough if you ask me. I hope you take a moment to look around my blog. I generally like to talk or rant about the path to publication or insanity, whichever comes first, and just the overall life of a writer with a family. We can't have too many friends to talk us off the ledge from time to time. Or in my case, to be close enough to the few who may encourage ledge walking on occasion. Those are the best friends to have, after all, it's through true honesty that our thick skin may be revealed. So, take a look around then jog on over to a blog called Writers Creative Studio to pick up another friend and some added help on the treacherous road to publication, or you can find plenty of friends at The Blog Jog Day Blogspot  As you look around, I encourage you to try your hand at the Title Envy Contest that I'm extending until November 22nd. Tomorrow night I'll gather all the great titles and hold a voting day on the 23rd. I'll announce the winner first thing Wednesday morning. The winner will receive a $25 dollar gift card to B&B. Hows that for something to be Thankful for?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My 1st Award!

Oh my gosh people! I just got my first blog award. Yup! It's true! The ever colorful Margo Kelly, just gave me the "From me to you!" award. Is that not just awesome? gets better. I also got the

award from the lovely Christina Lucas. I would like to thank the both of them for being  followers and most importantly... new friends. It's nice to know that the rocky road to publication, will be paved with friends like them. Makes the whole trip much better doesn't it? Now, I'm supposed to list seven things about myself then pass this award onto seven other people. But since there are two awards, I thought I'd better list fourteen, so here goes.
1. I have two daughters and a wonderful husband.
2. I love mushrooms. (the legal ones that come in jars) And I often eat them right out of the jar just to gross out my husband. (Ah-good times)
3. I'd love to have dinner with Oliver Platt. I have no idea why. No physical attraction. He's just Oliver Platt.
4. I drink sweet tea like I lived through the Boston Tea Party and I'm fearful of a repeat.
5. Sometimes I listen to classical music while I cook. (Oh shush it, it's cool and you know it.)
6. I'd rather give gifts than get them. (awards don't count-love em!)
7. I once had a dream where I saw Joe Pesci naked. It was horrible. (but I still love him)
8. I have a fear of flying. I've done it before, but doubt I'll do it again unless I'm tranquilized.
9. I sometimes envision myself playing the electric guitar in front of thousands of people when I listen to music. (I don't even know how to play the guitar or any other musical instrument)
10. My favorite band is "Evans Blue"
11. I love, love, love coffee ice cream with caramel and pecans from Cold Stone Creamery.
12. I don't like reality shows. (there is enough reality in my own house)
13. I hardly watch T.V.
14. I once ran into a closed patio door at the beach and had to endure my husband laughing at the imprint of my face on the glass for nearly two days.( yes, alcohol was involved)

Alright, so there you have it. Seven more little things to make you worry about me even more. Now onto passing these babies along to other amazing bloggers. Drum Roll......
 The "From me to You!" Award goes to:
My peeps: PK Hrezo 
Susan Antony
Mary of Waibels World
Regina Kennedy Linton
Trisha Leaver
Melissa at Through the looking glass
Jennifer Daiker

Okay, now for the winners of the Versatile Blogger Award:
Christina Lucas
Elena Solodow
Kristi Chestnutt
And I'm struggling here to find someone who doesn't already have this. More later, I promise;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Almost-Not Quite There.

Good news people--I'm starting to feel better but nowhere near my usual blissful state. I just poured myself a nice highball of 7-Up, climbed into the chaise, and tucked myself underneath a delicate but warm cashmere throw. Ah-this feels delightful. And guess what? The dog has to pee. Of course he does. No ones here, it's rainy outside and he's looking at me with that look, ya know, the one that says * it's up to you, I can go right here, but we both know how you feel about that* kind of look. FINE! Give me a minute......................................... I'm back! But now the bottoms of my jammies are wet and I'm nowhere near as comfy as before. What if this effects my writing later? What if I contracted the horse flu and I end up whiney forever as a lasting side effect? This is worse than I thought. I should rest more........with chocolate. Crap, chocolate doesn't even sound good anymore. This may be the end people.  On another note, I just started reading FALLEN by Lauren Kate. My daughter won't turn over BLUE MOON, the second book in the Immortals series, so I've turned to something else while I wait. Teenagers! What she doesn't know is that FALLEN takes place at a reform school. She might want me to read BLUE MOON instead. Oh well, it's her bus ticket. Hey, looks like my ability to scheme up an evil plan on a whim is still intact. Whew! That's a load off;) Am I the only one who reads multiple series at a time? My daughter thinks this makes me weird and I CANNOT believe that's the only thing about me that would make her come to that conclusion.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm still here. I promise I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, although,  it certainly felt like I had. I've had the flu all weekend and haven't had the strength to open nor focus on the computer. I'm so far behind on reviewing all of your blogs, and I assure you, I will be catching up as quickly as I can. So, I thought today's post could be a request. Since my life has been on hold for several days, I'd like to hear about your weekend.(yeah-it will help me to live vicariously through the memories of your life this weekend) What were you up to?(I'll spare the details of mine) How much writing did you manage to accomplish? For those of you competing in NaNo, how far have you made it? And I hope all of you had a much better weekend than me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday.

Okay, so you all know I'm in the middle of revisions- if you didn't, you do now. And this ain't the first time people. But now... it's like... all of sudden-no blinders. They're gone! I can see my MS a little differently now(if it were printed out-you'd think I was designing paper dolls). Anyway, it's during the revision process that I look back on those first days of writing and I remember how the story originally formed then I look at how much my writing has changed. (I always picture Gracie, my 4 year old cousin clicking her tongue with disapproval as she reads through my MS. Hey, it could happen--kids a genius) So going back to the beginning is more than just a moment of reflection, it's also embarrassing. (I actually showed it to people) So I thought we could share in horror stories for Flashback Friday. I'll go first. Okay, so I finished my MS and I was so excited I started querying agents. Yep, that's right. No revisions, no beta readers, nothing. Just sent out a few emails. Oh, and should I add that I even sent one to Nathan Bransford. Yup-I did it. He was so sweet though.  He even got back to me the same day. Impressive huh? Now I wonder if he was being sweet or if he thought he was talking to a ya know..."special person". I'll go with the latter. Oh, wait, it gets better. Then I figured I'd go for the gold, ya know, the imbecile of the year award. Caren Johnson Estensen of said literary agency, held a pitch session on her blog. I actually spelled "fairy" ferry. I then sat in the garage with the car running until my husband made me feel even better, by telling me that you cannot end it all if the garage door is open. I'll have you know that the imbecile of the year award is gleaming on the mantle right now as I speak. So, if any of you should run into these people in any way, you do not know me. Never heard of me. Now it's your turn to flashback. What's your most embarrassing moment from way back when?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day is Everyday.

I wanted to post this earlier, but I ran short on time then thought if I posted late, it could carry on into tomorrow. Today is Veterans Day-well, tonight is too. And in my opinion it should be everyday. I come from a military family. My father is retired from the Army and my brother served his country as a Marine. I doubt they truly know how very proud I am of them and their service to this country. I'm also blessed to have uncles, cousins, and dear friends who have served or are serving as well. (be safe Danny) And at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where our opinions fall. What side of the political aisle you're on or what religious belief you may have or don't have. What matters is that it's because of the brave that we get to have an opinion at all. And for that gift alone, if for nothing else, I am eternally grateful.

Letting Go.

Okay, so I'm in the land of dreaded revisions. At least I dread them. I know I shouldn't frown at the prospect of tightening up my MS, but writing just feels so free and exciting in that first draft, and I love watching how the story unfolds before me. But revisions are more like work, the serious stuff, no more writing with reckless abandon. Now it's time to remove all the overwriting and press the delete key a lot more than I would have ever imagined. (A whole lot more) And it's in these moments of revising my work that I tend to second guess myself the most. I used to wonder if this was normal. Did J.K. Rowling, Alyson Noel, or Stephanie Meyer ever stop and ask themselves: "What am I doing-I actually just created a football game for broom riding wizards, a vampire who reads people's thoughts and feeds off the blood of animals, and an immortal something or other, when I really should  be vacuuming." Well, of course they did. And self doubt is just another ingredient that makes us human. Without it, we'd walk around feeling superior and our work would suffer greatly. We'd never attempt to fix something, if we felt it wasn't broken to start with. It took me awhile to realize that we must learn to feed off of our self doubt. It is, after all, the driving force that makes our work better. The voice of self doubt is not an internal whisper trying to persuade you to quit. (mine sometimes like's to scream and say inappropriate things-truly hateful) It's actually a powerful asset forcing us to persevere and we must lean on that voice, use it, and allow it to mold us into the writer's we are destined to become-published or not. (published would be better than not) So tell me, have you made your peace with self doubt? If you're still battling it out, that's okay. You can tell us that too. It's what we're all here for. (Jeeze, I'm all serious today. Worry not people-it will not last;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Write...Right!

Allow me to set up the scene: Calculating young fiend (my teenage daughter) comes into living room and announces that a friend (evil looking cretin who ends every word with an " A" due to attitude, worry not, she knows I perceive her in an aura of complete darkness ) should be allowed to visit. Then she proceeds onto her selling points. "It's not as though you should mind such a visit." she says "It's not like you're going to be doing anything except sitting around all day and writing (folds her arms, seems pleased with her argument)". And that's when I stopped mid-sentence to glare at young fiend over the top of writing machine, and at that moment, I was hoping to conjure up a brain producing laser beam to hurl into her empty head. No such luck. But I had to wonder, is this what she thinks of writing? That we just sit around all day in fantasy land, plotting the demise or the happily ever after of fictitious characters, producing scenes filled with crime, mayhem, lust, mystery, oh and kissing....we cannot forget the kissing- people? Well, what a "Who-Ra" of a time we've all been having haven't we. Bunch o' smut type 'rs!
Don't worry- I clued her in, brain notwithstanding, however, do you ever wonder if those around you really understand what goes into your writing? The research, the networking with other authors, the stalking of agents, the countless hours studying the do's and dont's of the publishing industry, the stalking of cats and dogs that belong to agents, the building of your brand, and hopefully, a following of fans to come whenever you do get that call, but most importantly the nurturing of those friendships you've made along the way. Then, and only then, when all of that is done, are you able to sit down and write. But then, damn it all, it's time for bed. I think it's safe to say after young fiends little life lesson on what is okay, and not okay to say to Mommy, she now views me as a superhero, I mean, how could she not. I get most of that done in a day, plus dinner, cleaning, work, and laundry. Heck sometimes, I even go all out and shave my legs and paint the toesies. I'd say that makes us super-heroes, don't you think?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Title Envy Contest!

Scroll down to join in the Title Envy Contest. Some interesting titles have already been listed. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. In other news, I've heard that Nathan Bransford is no longer going to be a literary agent. This is such a shock. Some of you have already blogged about this, but for those who haven't heard the news, there you have it. He's still going to keep his blog, so if you are a follower as I am, rest assured, he will still be among us. We have not been abandoned completely. That's a relief.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Titles

I thought I'd post some of my own titles. A few that I have found to be cool and a couple that I'm already using. I'm not a part of the contest of course, so these titles are opted out, but here is my tiny list of possible titles for a YA paranormal romance:
Now onto the names of my current works in progress:

CRAVENNESS (formerly CHANCING MIDNIGHT): Sixteen year old vampire-Jada Craven, must discover who murdered her father and find his missing journal-a journal that holds a breakthrough that may reverse the curse of immortality and change the vampire world forever. 

CANEBRAKE:  In the darkened woods of Canebrake Mississippi, people have been disappearing  for decades, and detective Ashley Morgan has her hands full of bad leads and haunting tales. But as she digs deeper into each case, she discovers that each victim has something in common; they are all criminals. Now it's up to her to figure out how a patch of trees, or what's within them, has the power to discriminate or even kill.

WILL OF THE WALKERS:  Not a one worded title and I can't even begin to summarize this one. This baby was my first novel and it is so dear to my heart, but it's a little bigger than me for the moment, so more on this one when I figure it out.

So what do you guys think of my titles?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Title Envy Contest!

The weekend is almost here and manuscript number one is still in revisions(sometimes it's under the chaise or I contemplate feeding it to Cooper). It seems revisions never end. Manuscript number two is moving along very well and in between working on the both of them, I read books, other blogs, and review examples of query letters previously accepted by agents. That's just how I roll. I know, right up there with skydiving...which is never going to happen unless there's a fire aboard a plane (please note: if anyone ever hears of me skydiving, please call the police, I've been drugged and placed upon a plane against my will). But when I'm not busy with all of that, I'm wondering if I've chosen the right names for either MS. I wanted it to be a one word title. They're just so intriguing. It's like in music when you hear the name Madonna, Sting, Beyonce, or Usher (nothing like that usher at church who used to pretend he was making change for a twenty, we're onto you Mr. Name Redacted) And there's nothing like extensive research (Google) to discover the perfect name-or NOT! They're all taken! All of them! At least the one worded freaking awesomest (well aware that's not a word) ones ever as far as I can tell. So I've decided to have a contest. Can you think of a name for a YA Paranormal Romance that's not already taken? The winner will receive a $20.00 Gift Card to be used at Barnes and Noble. In addition to the gift card, we may help someone in picking out the most awesomest name ever for their own book. How cool would that be? The contest will start today and continue until the 20th of November. On the 21st, I will pick the top ten titles and post them for a vote on the blog. Together, we'll decide who came up with the best title. I will announce the winner on November 22nd. Let's see who can bring on the most envy...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Alive and Back!

I'm still alive and I cannot tell you how happy I am about that. The weekend was spent with a swollen teenager and a blender. Worry not people. I was making broccoli and fettuccine smoothies for the wee one. I wasn't mixing drinks or anything. Although, it could have made all the whining easily tolerable. Not being insensitive, but surprisingly enough, the wee one wasn't in all that much pain after having four wisdom teeth cut out. She was bored out of her mind and whining for a double cheeseburger. There are some things that I refuse to put into a blender. It's just not right. On a good note though, my husband and I carried out several acts of vengeance in return for all things stupid and vile she has done or has yet to do as a teenager. We ate Reese's peanut butter cups in front of her while listening to her mumble incoherent profanities. We'd ground her but we can't prove she actually cursed. Good times!
On another note, I was able to tear away from said blender long enough to work on my manuscript, which then made me want to add things to said blender and mumble incoherently along side of swollen teenager. This brings me to the days question. What do you do when a story seems to be getting bigger than your main characters? Do you know of a published book where the story was the main character? If so, did you enjoy it?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Away For the Day!

Tomorrow I will be out of town. It's the much anticipated trip to the oral surgeon's office so that my daughter can have her wisdom teeth cut out. She's had quite the imagination this afternoon. I'm a little inspired by her level of creativity. She feels that we should donate this surgery to some other teenager who is unfortunate and in need. When that didn't work, she seems to have contracted a sudden cold and may be too sick to travel. What if her nose is stopped up and she loses too much oxygen and has brain damage because the nurses didn't know her nose was stopped up? Then there is the fear of dehydration, after all, she cannot consume a Coke for the next 12 hours and humans are not able to function, apparently, without it. I did not know this, so as you can imagine, I'm now fearful of her possibly shriveling into a giant prune by tomorrow morning. So, keep your fingers crossed that all goes well and I will be back tomorrow night to catch up on all of your amazing blogs. I wouldn't want to miss anything. Oh-and lets hope there is not a shortage of Coke and potato soup for the wee one when this whole thing is over with. Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stalking the Masses!

Happy Tuesday*wave from the chaise* Before my post, I thought I'd recommend yesterday's Pub Rant from agent Kristin Nelson. Still have a red spot on my forehead after reading this one. FYI-If you've done this before, close your lap-top or move the keyboard before you slam your head into it. If you don't do this, the space bar will leave a weird looking mark and you'll look like a dork.
Now, with that said, onto today's post:
As writers, we create new worlds, characters, and images that entertain and inspire the minds of our readers. At least that's what we're hoping for. Doesn't always turn out that way but that's the goal. We all have different ways of conjuring up a story. But where do your characters come from. At times, I feel like I'm stalking the masses. I find myself watching people in the check out line, at the gas station, a restaurant. Don't worry, I'm not wearing dark sunglasses, whilst hiding behind a magazine, shrouded in a gaudy scraf . I save those outfits for surveying my teenagers on Saturday nights-that's different.  Wherever I may be, I'm always making a mental note when I see a peculiar twitch, an exaggerated grimace, a blank stare, a comical mishap. The list could go on forever. It's as though my brain never takes a break. I'm not sure if this is a blessing or a curse. But all of it comes together for me when I'm inventing the personalities of my characters and I love watching them evolve before my eyes. How does this happen for you? Do your characters favor you and your own idiosyncrasies? Are you stalking the masses too? Let me know how you tick or if I'm just really weird. Trust me, it's been said before.

Monday, October 25, 2010

*For Rob*

We all have a support group of some sort. A friend who edits your work or offers to proofread your masterpiece for free-all while offering words of encouragement along the way. I'd like to say thanks to the guy who threatened to gouge out the semi-colon from my lap-top with a screwdriver. Worry not though, he's moved away and the lap-top is safe until he comes to visit. Thanks Rob, we miss you already and this is for you-;) Oh and; hugs to you; and to Carol. :-)

No Crossdressing Required Unless Preferred.

A happy but dreary Monday to you all. At least it's dreary here-Blah. I'm happy though, in spite of the rain, and that's always a good thing. Most of all, today I'm happy to be a chain blogger, celebrating a milestone for a very special group I'm fortunate enough to be a part of. It's called YA/Crossover- a group full of super-talented writers within the Writers Digest Community. You couldn't ask for a better group of supporters when it comes to your work and we've just surpassed 100 members (happy dance).The focus of the group is to shed some light on what we feel is a growing demand within the Young Adult genre-the YA Crossover. Anyone who writes YA has heard the publishing definition of what age a protagonist should be in order to be deemed a young adult novel, if you haven't, it's usually between 13 and 18, although, this opinion varies amongst agents and publishers. The YA Crossover is more on the lines of 18 and the early twenty's. The sub-genre focuses more on ones journey into adulthood rather than ones journey through high school, but can still have all the challenges most teenagers face, like homework-only it's from college, or struggles with love-only it's edgier and sometimes more provocative (ooo-lala), and it can even have a few mythical creatures from time to time, amongst other issues a young adult may encounter while taking those first steps into adulthood (Yikes). The group is a great place to be if you need any information to help with your work. There is always advice to be shared and when you start to feel like a failure, they'll give you a kick in the keester if need be, but most importantly, they will be there as your biggest fans on the day all that perseverance truly pays off.  Weather you write YA, read YA, or not, we invite you to join our group of growing friends. After all, there's strength in numbers-aye.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sick and Tired?

Hello to everyone and I hope you will excuse my absence over the past two days. I've been consumed with revisions, reading, writing, a date day with the hubby, and off on a 130 mile adventure to the oral surgeon. My 16 year old daughter is ecstatic that her wisdom teeth have decided to become impacted. She's glowing to the point of inspiration (although it could be inflammation)and I'm certain it will be all she can do to contain her excitement between now and next Friday when they cut them out. Rest assured people, my devious mind is already at work. I can't wait to put broccoli in the blender and I'm going to throw in some peas too, she'll never know. She best be an angel all week, or I swear she'll be drinking brussel sprouts through a straw. I can't be trusted with a blender. I just can't.
So-now onto what I was really going to blog about. The writing world is full of opinion (shock) and thus everyone has their own preferences when it comes to reading and writing. But what are you totally sick of? It doesn't have to be genre, although, I'm sick of people who read non-fiction or poetry blabbing that they're sick of vampires. Well-duh! You never liked them to start with. Go back to reading Ann Coulter and Frost (not knocking Frost-his work is AWESOME)and leave the rest of us tucked cozily away in nether-land. We like it here! So, are there not enough monsters, too many shape-shifters? Are you sick of vampires? What about beautiful people, or clumsy little girls who wish they were popular? Or-I know, how about serial killers stalking unsuspecting women at night-in parks for Christ sake("shudder")?Personally, I'm not. I would love a mix up though. Like-what if we could have a slightly overweight vampire who talks with a lisp and has learned to survive on milk, only to discover he's lactose intolerant, and now has to struggle between his allergy and killing innocent human beings. Oh-but then as fate would have it, he stumbles upon a slightly overweight goddess divine who happens to be a speech pathologist, and she's standing right there in the soy milk section of a supermarket("Awe"). They fall madly in love over a carton of Lactaid and live happily ever after. Now that's a vampire novel I want to read! Okay-now your turn. What are you sick of.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Sentence? For Real?

Okay, so you've completed your first manuscript, and now you would much like to see it in print. Ah, but there is the query part (sigh, manuscript seems to grow arms and shrug). Not to worry though, you've been reading query shark, the query tracker blog, queries that agent's have been so kind to post, queries that author's have been so kind to post. You've joined a critique group like WD Query Critique. You've been doing your homework (manuscript seems to grow little feet that pat the floor impatiently). You're on your way though, and soon that query is going to be nothing short of stellar. You can feel it. Oh but wait, you need one more sentence. And this particular sentence is extremely important. You must be able to sum up your entire story with one sentence (rude little manuscript that is starting to look like a fiend, topples over on the hardwoods and laughs profusely). What now? How can this be done? Not only do you have to master what seems like the impossible but your own manuscript has turned against you. What has the world come to? Okay, so how have each one of you been able to master this part of the writing craft. While I wait for your answers, I'm going to go to the fridge for some decaffeinated tea (might need to back off the coffee a bit) and retrieve my manuscript out from under the chaise;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

YAY! Follower 21

I'm so excited to have the fabulous Elana Johnson as my 21st follower. She is a YA author-among other things, and has an awesome blog here. I highly recommend it. Her debut novel POSSESSION is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2011 by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster). I can't wait to read it. I think we should all have a drink to celebrate her debut and listen to inspirational songs by Bette Midler. Should we start now or wait for the day of actual release? I say both! After all, we can all be flying like eagles people! Be the wind Elana.

Unique or Not?

A great Tuesday to you all. I want to thank everyone for following my blog. I'm almost at 20 followers. How cool is that? Is it still cool to say cool? Anyway, being new to the whole blogging world has been nothing but fun and I'm stoked to have electronically met all of you. I love your own blogs and could literally spend every waking minute reading and commenting on all the different subjects that make each one of you unique. And speaking of unique, I was wondering how each of you determine if your story is original? Has it ever been done before? Is it similar to what someone else has done but you have a spin or two that makes it slightly different? It's nearly impossible to be certain but I'm sure each of us has a way. What's your research method and has it worked for you in the past?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Little Help From Our Friends!

The wonderful Jessica Faust, an agent over at Bookends Literary Agency has posted a plea for help from our family of authors. You can read her post here. I think we should shoot for a book surplus. Let's make sure that every child goes home with a book in their hands. You can mail a book to this address:
Valle Vista Elementary
Attention: Bertha Torres, Bookroom Coordinator
1700 Mae Avenue Southwest
Albuquerque, NM 87105
Hurry- the last Friday in October is closing in on us fast!
Thanks Guys!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Next On The Shelf

While waiting for the UPS angel to bring me the second book in the Evernight series, Stargazer by: Claudia Gray, I've decided to move onto the Immortals series by: Alyson Noel. Evermore is the first book in this highly reviewed series and I can't wait to see what lies behind the prologue.
Now for my review of Evernight:  It was a slow build to the center which then left me gawking at the page in an "I can't believe this just happened" moment. In retrospect, the slow build was considerably necessary. The mouth dropping moment would not have been so profound had the slow build to the climax not been there. I love trying to figure out what's to come but then being blown away when all my theories are proven to be wrong. I anxiously look forward to Stargazer's arrival and hope to be just as surprised by the many twists and turns it's likely to hold. What    have you read lately that has truly left you rereading that last sentence while saying, OMG out loud (don't do this in a coffee shop, people will stare at you and think you're weird)? I wouldn't know what that's like but I wouldn't want it to happen to you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One With Nature!

Just the other day, I had the opportunity to spend the day with my  7 year old nephew who loves to spend time with Cooper, our 5 month old Great Dane. At some point, my husband and I allowed my nephew to take Cooper out into the backyard to do what puppies do in backyards: lick everything imaginable, eat strange things, chase the cats, and ultimately do his or her business. It was during the business part that my husband noticed two streams of water flowing freely onto the back yard. He looked around the deck for further inspection to see my nephew peeing along side of Cooper. When my husband inquired as to what he was doing, my nephew replied: "just man stuff in the country uncle Mike." This would have been perfectly acceptable if we lived in the country, however, we don't. Kids are just awesome!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Not far from my home is an old bookstore called Givens books. I could spend hours in this store, mostly due to the musty scent of the place, and the long conversations with the store's owners about politics and the overall rudeness of teenagers these days. Every book in the store is haphazardly filed and stacked nearly to the rafters. How on earth the owners can produce a copy of anything within seconds of request is beyond me, but they can and they do. I couldn't imagine never walking into that store again. I just feel a sense of loyalty when I walk into Givens or even Barnes and Noble. Sure, I'm paying top dollar at the latter store but I'm helping to produce royalties for an author and I'm getting something I hope to love in return. If there were no more books, what would places like Givens do? So where does the Kindle or the I-Pad fit into all of this? Why do I feel compelled to hold pages and even smell them on my own shelves(this is weird, I know)? Articles like this one say that I should e-publish my own book. Can I do this? Have you done this? If you have, do you sleep at night? I guess all in all I wonder, if we e-publish, are we hurting or helping the book industry? Does a book have to have pages made with paper to really be a book? What's your take on it?

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Write Of Day!

Okay! So I'm in the shower and this new novel idea just pops out in between the shampoo and conditioner routine. By the time I was decent enough to enter the living room, the idea had sculpted itself, and the characters to the point of first names, plot, and many other things I won't bore you with at this time. There will be plenty of time for that later. So, in the midst of revisions to MS one and two. Now it seems I have a third project on the brain as well. So at the moment, I'm pondering if this sort of cluster creating ability is in fact a clinical condition that has been overlooked by my practitioner. If so, I wonder if I could sue for such an oversight. I could use the money to write said MS one, two and three. Then I wouldn't be here scrambling to find a moment in between Cooper who wants to play, a husband who just parted with an unruly tooth at the dentist office, two teenagers who need to go somewhere, and the grocery store who called and asked where I've been. Apparently the kids called to let them know the pantry is in dire need of food. You run out of Pop tarts and the whole world is against you! All of this, when I just want to write. When I get home, I'm going to hide in the pantry with trusty lap-top and eat the new box of Pop tarts. I shall then be right with the world. What's your favorite hiding place?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vision Without Execution Is Delusion...Thomas Edison

Ah, but where is the line? When it comes to writing, execution can take an eternity or at least feel like it. Ever heard the question, "Why is your book taking so long to write?" And you, for being the genius that you undoubtedly are give the concise because. Well just roll with it! Those people who may begin to look at you as delusional can soon become the antagonists in your work, (we all know the bad guy never wins) thus helping to settle the score (just change the names, they'll never know).  You can't rush perfection, not that it would ever be conceived as that to start with. Somebody's going to hate your work. But the many twists and turns of a story are just that, and without enough time, your work will be unrecognizable even to you. If you don't know what I'm talking about then you've never had the glorious experience of starting a story then being amazed yourself at how it ended. Those are the best kinds, especially, when you were the author. So let your work simmer for awhile. Take breaks and go back to it. You'll not only see it differently, you will able to apply all the things you've learned while you were away because that's what we do. While we step away from a project we feed on knowledge and that when applied is golden. As my daughter always says: "Don't worry Mom, Rome didn't fall in a day and it took that Michael Angel dude more than a day to paint the 16th chapel." Ah...nothing like a public education. I am so proud!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand?

Currently the nightstand has been expanded to include Evernight by: Claudia Gray. For months I've been completely entranced with The Outlander Series by: Diana Gabledon. A truly worthy collection of books to behold for sure, but as a writer within the young adult/crossover genre, I was beginning to feel a little detached, possibly even fearful of growing up. Phah! Like that could ever happen! So I'm still on an outlandish adventure-say in the evenings, but I shall dance with vampire's by night fall. Who knows, my next novel may include a kilt wearing, Gaelic cursing vampire, who lives on the blood of sheep then turns into a sugarplum after midnight. Any thoughts on possible titles will be greatly appreciated. Also, let me know what's on your nightstand? I'm feeling very creative today...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who's Your Critical Angel?

Please allow me to introduce you to Cooper. My ever faithful, loving, and yes-Critical Angel. Most writers have a sounding board of some sort. A network of internet friends to proof read your work and offer useful bouts of advice on prose, punctuation, and plot structure. Just like the ones at  Writer's Digest one of the greatest communities for writer's and I'm proud to say that I am now a member. Or an old friend who knows you well enough to be thoughtless in manner when delivering a critical blow to the last paragraph in your blossoming chapter one. We all have someone who listens to our stories weather it be a small fan base of friends and family or an entire group filled with friends  we've never met before. Do you feel supported in your writing? What drives you to read that next novel, research that next setting, conjure up that next plot? What are your inspirations? I'd love to hear what moves you to write. As for me, I've read Cooper my latest query  letter  and as you can see, I'm feeling a re-write coming on. I wouldn't want to ever see an editor in such misery after reading my work.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Dear Lucky Agent" Contest

 I found this great contest over at

I am a huge fan of this site and as you can see, you can check out all of their latest and greatest news and advice from via my blog-roll. Good luck guys!

The Quirky Gene

As writer's we all have a lot in common. A compulsion to follow words throughout the day and well into the evening. An automatic response to everything around us that inadvertently leads us to some creative new story. This expected response is why we have notebooks scattered everywhere and ink pens ready to launch into the next bout of random scribbling without a moments hesitation. It's those notebooks I fear the most if something dreadful were to happen to me. Surely, if someone were to open any one of them, my sanity would be questioned immediately. Most of them resemble the walls in Jim Carrey's movie The Number 23. Ultimately though, we pull it all together into a tight little ensemble of words and we label it the manuscript. We know that the random word "chagrin" in the middle of a page is meant for description and we know where we intend to use it. We may pass a bill board on the side of the road and see a name unique enough to steal for our heroine and instantly envision facial features, hair color and quirks. Maybe she'll tap her fingers or chew on her bottom lip as she mulls over her many challenges all with an arched and quizzical brow. As a writer, it never ends. Even in moments of slumber, our minds are working overtime, touching us with a dream, lending us an expression, willing us to move to the lamp and grab another notebook for fear of forgetting the dream by daybreak, thus losing our new heroine forever. We are the initiators of every quizzical brow. We, by way of shear blessing or curse have our own idiosyncrasies that only we as fellow writers can understand and appreciate. We are a group of individuals capable of viewing all things in life with potential, for we understand that everything is meant to be a scene worthy of being shown. Some with colorful tones powerful enough to inspire the most weary of hearts and others capable enough to delve into the soul for an almost lifelike experience of formidable consequence. It is in our blood as well as our minds and we must persevere which is what I intend to do. We must welcome and nurture our quirkiness so that we may at least resemble brilliance. In the end, we can always burn the notebooks.