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.