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?