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Showing posts from October, 2009

'Tis The Season For Paranormal

Morning Folks, Halloween Day seems like the perfect time to announce that I have a book preview video (not great quality, but I'm hoping to either figure out how to fix the problems or have my younger brother who knows about a lot of media stuff might be able to help when he's in town for Christmas). You see, I don't have a Youtube account (I might end up getting one; but I'm not sure, yet) so I think maybe I'll wait until I have a website to put it up. But once I'm able to work out the kinks I think it's pretty good. The preview is for Surreal . Other than that I'm working more on Conjure A Man . I worked on Chapter 2 yesterday, but I'm not sure if it's just right or if I went overboard a different direction. I'll have to review it and if necessary, I'll make changes. But I do like Delaney's character better for this, now. I just didn't like having her appear so weak because I know that in all her life she was pretty stron

October Is Ending

Hi Everyone, So, this weekend is Halloween. Yes, we have a pumpkin, no we haven't carved it. It's been kinda busy over here. We've had a lot going on. But Halloween also marks the end of October. A month I'm rather fond of because it's when I start feeling more of the fall weather, my birthday happens, my dad's birthday, one of my sisters and her husband have their wedding anniversary, and it's just nice to see Fall breezing in. Kids of all ages look forward breathlessly to Halloween and everything they like about it (whether it's costumes, treats, parties or spooky movies) Halloween has a lot of things for people of all ages. I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween--whatever you celebrate or don't celebrate, or what Oct. 31st means to you, I wish you well. What does the end of October mean for my writing? Well, pretty much the same as it meant for every other month. Working, working, editing, revising, and improving and getting closer to q

Works In Progress

Morning All, I've got 3 manuscripts in the works: Surreal is in editing. It's my first finished full-length novel. You've got a parallel world (The Third Realm), shape shifters (I call them Man-beasts just to differiante from other shape shifting beings) jealousy, desire, fight scene, and love. This story is still in editing, and I'm waiting on the last pages from my free-lance editor. I've discovered other ways of fixing up this manuscript, too, by doing Todd Stone's 7 Revision Passes (starting on slide 6 of the link I provide). Conjure A Man has witches, warlocks, vampires, patronizing relatives, and Delaney Ryan (witch) risking imprisonment by The High Counsel when she brings a human into The Lands of Fantasy. She's risking being found out...not only that, risking her heart, as well. Heartbeats is the tentative title to the companion novel for Conjure A Man . It's not a sequel, but it has Delaney's best friend, Caruso Valetti (vampire)

Book Previews, Websites, and Building A Platform

Good Mid-Morning Folks, Today the sun is out, it's only slightly cloudy and the sun and shining and it's around 53-55 degrees out (Hello, Fall, where have you been?) Cooler weather has come back to my neck of Texas (or rather Southwest Texas, rather than a neck...probably more like the calf or something). Anyway, it's lovely and it's freezing in my house (guess it's not cold enough for the heater, but not hot enough for the air conditioner!) Hope the weather hangs around a bit (despite my allergies). So...let's talk platforms. No, I'm not talking politics or Miss American Pageants, I'm talking writing platforms. Writing platforms are talked about all over the place. By agents, by other writers, by readers (even though they might not call it a platform, they might call it a website or a book signing or something). In whatever case, it's a writer's reputation, it's information regarding the writer and his or her books/screenplay/poetry/e

Applying The Tricks Of The Trade

Morning All, All right, it's good that I look over things before posting them on here, because the title of this post was almost "Applying The Tricks Of The TADE" rather than "Trade". Yet, another reason for authors to proofread their work. Okay, so I don't have to cover proofreading (that's pretty straight forward anyway, right?) I don't know how you all feel about outlines. I personally don't usually do them. Every now and again I'll write up a synopsis when an ideas are just bursting out all over the place for me. But sometimes I start with a vague idea then it blossoms. Todd Stone's workshop helped me organize those vague ideas: If you go to slide number 14 on this link , you'll find a diagram that helped me organize those "vague ideas". This one helped a lot. I had an idea for Delaney Ryan's best friend, Caruso as a companion novel to Conjure A Man , but I only had a vague idea of conflict and possible o

"Overpowering Your Writing Goal"--Todd Stone

Morning Folks, Well, it's awfully yucky outside. Gray, dark, thunder, lightning and rain, rain, rain. Splat, splat, splat against the window panes (I suddenly feel very Dr. Seuss- ish LOL ... Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You? anybody know that book?) In any case, in the fine tradition of continuing a theme, I'm gonna give you some of the pointers I learned from the Todd Stone's Novelist Boot Camp. Todd Stone told us "Never fight fair" (and re- emphasized this at different times in the workshop). What he means is, if your goals are 5-10 pages a day and you're struggling to get it out, don't tell yourself "I have to do this!" And get all frustrated, consider lowering your daily goal until you get your rhythm. (even if this means you're writing 1-3 SENTENCES per day). His point? When you break your writing down to simpler goals, then your creativity has room to grow. Who knows, you could be up to 5-10 pages before the end of 2 weeks! T

Boot Camp Kicks Butt!

Hi all, If you haven't checked out link (in my previous post) about Todd Stone, please do so. There is a ton of information I got out of the workshop, that if I tried to post it all in this post, it would be insanely long. So, I'll give you all some short cuts: First of all, the workshop was called Novelists Boot Camp; the slides we saw are available in the margins of his website if you click here . Worksheets include this one (with the map) and several things from his book . Second of all, if you can get to a Todd Stone workshop, I highly recommend it. He's informative, he's fun, he's helpful and he's dynamic. He had us cracking up more times than I can count. But he offered great advice. I made more progress on figuring out what to do with the 3 scenes I brought with me (he has to bring 3 printed out scenes from a finished or work in progress) than I have in a long time. Granted, most of my pages now look like a war zone with lines and arrow

Bring On The Internal Editor!

Good Morning All, Today at the workshop we're working on revisions and this is the day we actually had to have our 3 scenes (from one of our own work) to work on. We haven't started, yet, but will be shortly. I'm not quite all the way awake, but it's already been fun this morning. If you can get to a Todd Stone Workshop I recommend it! He's really good. Also, if you can get to a chapter of the RWA for a meeting, go! Have A Scintillating Saturday!

Workshop So Far

Howdy Folks, Just a quick update...I'm at the's going great, getting a lot of awesome can get the information on the slides we see and everything here. We're about to start on the afternoon session. Have A Fantastic Friday!

"Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow" (Thank You, Shakespeare!)

Morning Folks, Okay, I'm not actually going away for very long (just one night and 2 days). I might have Internet access while I'm gone, but I'm not sure how much time I'll actually have. I'm actually not going far, but I'm going to be staying away from home so I can concentrate. I'm going to attend a Todd Stone Workshop that my local RWA chapter is sponsoring, it's Friday and Saturday so that's why I won't be available those days. (In short, I probably won't post a blog post for Friday and Saturday). This week has been so busy. I've been editing the 3 scenes from Surreal that I'm taking with me. Looking over the corrections my free-lance editor, Debbie wrote on the first printed draft. One scene is ready for printing and then I just got to do another look at the other 2 before I print, so that will be what I'm doing today. (Fortunately the other two scenes are shorter, so they won't take as long as the other one). But th

You're Too Tense

Hello One And All, So, today's post was triggered by what I read on the blog post for today on Bookends, L.L.C--Literary Agency . They were talking about what tense is best. Of course, third person, past tense is the most popular. But what happens when an author wants to write first person present tense (a la, my story, Surreal ). Now, when I was first going over it I wasn't sure it worked because of all the "I" in it (Regina, bless her, has taken a look at chapter 1 and has some comments for me, which I can only be grateful for a "fresh set of eyes" on it). However, in some parts of the book I'm wondering if it works. Breaking out of the "norm" isn't always easy for an author (as a lot of you know). Some authors never set out to be trailblazers but ended up doing just that. So, what about you? What tense do you think is best? Which one do you normally use? What do you think of the different tenses/POVs (Point of views)? Have A Wi

Voracious Reader

Howdy Folks, Okay, yes, that's the Texan coming out again LOL . In any case, lately I've been reading like a fiend. Books are like air, water and food to me in many ways, so reading as much as I can is a big deal for me. Plus, it gives me an idea as to what's out there, writing styles, and sometimes even inspires me in my own writing. I just finished the 3rd of the 3 books that was on my list to read. So, I thought today I'd talk about them: The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber was awesome. There's two books by her that have stood out in my mind (the most) and this is one of them. The other is Between Friends, which reminded me of the close friendship I have with Sarah J. The Perfect Christmas was a nice blend of holiday cheer, humor/mishaps and romance. I recommend it. I even think it's one my mom would really like. A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn was a retelling of The Sleeping Beauty . I love fairy tales, and this one didn't disappoint at all.

Got Talent?

Good Morning Folks, I used to operate under the assumption that those who were working to get published were those who were certain their work was "good enough". The misunderstanding that writing was about being the next Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, rather than an ability to transport a person into another world. There are all kinds of writers in the world. Some are better than others. Some published ones are better than others. Some aspiring authors are better than other aspiring authors. This means we can't compare ourselves to other writers. We have to research, read, and learn. These are things that will help all writers improve. One of my biggest pet peeves in coming across writers who are talented are those who are too scared to put themselves out there. Why? Several reasons: 1. At one time I felt that way. I got sick of living in fear and decided the only thing I could do is learn, grow, improve and put my best work out there. Meaning: sometimes having

Sprinkle In A Little Sunday

Afternoon One and All, Well, it's Sunday and a very pretty one at that. I love this time of year when the weather starts looking nice (and feeling nice). Love having it get cooler and busting out the sweaters, jackets and such. Feels so cozy when it's cold out and you bundle up in coats, hats and pants. I love this time of year. Yesterday's party was a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing all who came. Some of my closest friends (and some I haven't seen in a long while) were there. It was great. 30 isn't too bad. Just odd in the sense that it feels weird to think that this is the era where I'm 30 and years from now some other time period will be another person's 30 era. Time really is a strange thing to contemplate. Especially changes in music, movies, dress, you name it. Kind of like how the book business and the weather go through seasons, I think humans do the same. We all have our springs, summers, autumns and winters and it doesn't necessarily have

Saturday Saturday Saturday

Morning All, I only have time for a short post today because I have to finish breakfast and get in the shower and get dressed. Today is my birthday party (Oct. 15th was my actual birthday, as many of you already know!) My husband, myself and my son all have to go pick up 3 party trays and the cake, then get over to my parents' house (they're letting us have it there) and set up and decorate before the party starts. So I have a lot to do. Yesterday I got some writing done on Conjure A Man so that's good. What's your plans for today? Have A Splendiferious (Sarah J.'s word that I happen to like) Saturday! **(Kudos go to Sarah J. today for the great word!)

Five Favorites

Good Morning All, Today is Friday, so I thought for this Friday we'd have Five Favorites Friday (at least for this Friday). So, here we go: 1. Five Favorite Movies. Here's mine (in no particular order): 1. "A Walk To Remember" 2. "Cinderella" (Disney and the Whitney Houston/Brandy versions) 3. "The Princess Bride" (are we seeing a trend here...?) 4. "The gods Must Be Crazy" (both movies go on one line here) 5. "Bruce Almighty" 2. Five Favorite Pieces Of Clothing. 1. Capris 2. My new pair of heels (despite having to break them in) 3. My cloak or cape (I call it my cloak, but others call it my cape) 4. Scarf 5. My velvet pants (purple pair and black pair) 3. Five Favorite Phrases 1. "Snap" 2. "Howdy" 3. "Awesome" 4. "That rocks" 5. " LOL " 4. Five Favorite Cyber -Space Things (Like Facebook , Twitter, Et Cetera ) 1. Blo

Party On!

Hello Everyone, Today is my 30th birthday, so I hope everyone has a great day (well I hope that for every day, but especially today!) I haven't many plans. Workout, hopefully do some writing, maybe walk down to Blockbuster, enjoy the fact that it's not gloomy outside, hang out with my son and when my husband gets home from work, probably hang out with him! My younger brother called me today (wonderful birthday thing to receive) and we had a nice little conversation. He's a great guy (he's also getting married next year :-) No, I'm not in the wedding, but me and my husband and son are invited, of course LOL). My Facebook was alive with all kinds of birthday greetings. Took me a minute to answer them all, fortunately answers came to me quickly and I type pretty fast :-) I really appreciated it, though. As to writing, I didn't get any done yesterday. I don't remember why not. I didn't have a good excuse, so today I definitely have to crack down an

It's About Manners, My Dear. You Know, Professionalism

Morning All, I've probably touched on this before, but I'm doing it again (for the sake of anyone who doesn't know it) and for those who do to give their two cents. Yes, I'm welcoming everyone to add advice, suggestions or comments to this to help one another :-) If you're trying to get published (or that's your ultimate goal) remember your manners and professionalism. It's not that hard: 1. Agents/publishers are interested in what sells and what works. It's not to offend you, it's the way the business is. Despite what anybody might wish/want publishing is a business. 2. Just because there's not necessarily new ideas out there (just new twists on an idea) doesn't mean you're allowed to plagiarize another writer's work (i.e. take their characters, exact same situations, et cetera and write your own story and try to publish it). You have to come up with your own. This means knowing the rules, copyrights, and what flies and

Oh That Blank Page!

Good Morning Folks, Today's post is inspired by folk-rock group, Lowen & Navarro . Years ago, (my senior year of high school) I interviewed (via email) the members of Lowen & Navarro, Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro. I had met them when me and several of my family members had gone to a folk festival in 1997. They had given me their autograph and we had spent several minutes talking and laughing. Really talented guys and very nice to boot. (By the way, they're really great singers/songwriters, I have about 3 of their albums). In the interview I asked them about song writing and one of them said, "the agony of the blank page". That quote brings me to today's topic. (By the way, that image really got to me, I thought it was fantastic and it inspired me to write a poem that later appeared in my high school's literary magazine). Sometimes we writers get confronted by the blank page and how to fill that page up with a wonderful story, with great dialogue

For Those Who Don't Know...

Afternoon All, If you haven't already heard, Agent Nathan Bransford is holding an impromptu contest (which I'm thinking of entering and invite anyone interested to also enter). You can find the details (rules, et cetera), here . Have A Marvelous Monday Afternoon!

Books To Movies

Good Morning Everybody, Ever noticed the influx of movies that are based on books? Maybe this has been a trend for a long time, but lately I've been noticing it more than ever. For instance, Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a beloved children's book, one that I've read and many of my siblings have read and come October 16 th it'll be a movie. I found out that Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is an actual children's novel (by Judi Barrett). I discovered this one day when walking around Barnes & Noble. The Twilight Saga is expecting the second installment on November 20 th ( New Moon ) and the 3rd one on June 30, 2010 ( Eclipse ) and there's different speculation about the 4 th book ( Breaking Dawn ) becoming a movie (perhaps in 2 parts). Then, if you go to Stephenie Meyer's website, you'll find out her adult sci- fi , The Host is in the early stages of movie planning. Not to mention how many Nicholas Sparks books have

Light Bulb Moments

Afternoon Folks, Happy Sunday Sundae and all that :-) Ever had a moment when you're writing where you go "Oh duh!" Or "Hey! That's what I needed to do."? One of mine happened yesterday. I was frustrated with Chapter 2 and 3 in Conjure A Man having rewritten them several times and it still wasn't working. Then I thought, "Wait, what about the original chapter 2 from before I changed chapter 1?" I hunted up the file and to my great relief I hadn't deleted it. So, now chapter 2 is back and I can relax and think "It really works best there." I think chapter 3 will be easier, now. But has that happened to you? You have this moment where you've tried and tried and tried, only to realize the original was best...go find and and lo, and behold, there it is! Problem solved. Had those moments? Anyway, today's short and sweet (like a sundae, ha, ha, bad joke). Hope You Have A Scrumptious Sunday!

Retellings Or, The Former Story Is Now...

Good Morning Folks, Last night (well really after 1 a.m.) I finished reading Judith Ivory's Sleeping Beauty . Pretty interesting work, tying in the fairytale with a story of the author's imagination. Towards the end it really picks up as you find out about a huge betrayal and the hero finally gets the heroine as his bride. I've read a lot of retellings (and some references to well-known stories). Of course, there's some I like more than others. (I absolutely adore Cameron Dokey's Belle , a retelling of Beauty & The Beast and Robin McKinley's Beauty: A Retelling Of Beauty & The Beast ). Years ago I wrote a retelling of my own. Unfortunately, due to computer glitches (and my own failure to save more of it to diskette) I lost the majority of the story and mourned the loss of a character I had come to love. The story yet remains unpublished and rewritten. I have moved on to telling my own stories. I can think fondly upon the character I had really

The Wet Day To Whet Inspiration

Morning Folks, Once again I'm playing with words that sound alike--homonyms. (Anybody who regularly reads this blog knows I love words). In this case wet and whet. Wet meaning damp, and whet meaning excite, inspire, encourage (like "whet your appetite"). Today it's pouring down rain. The clouds are thick, white sheets in the sky. Very gloomy. Not exactly the type of day that lends itself to pepping up my spirit (I'm a sunshiny, fall weather type). However, some people love rain. I have a friend who likes the rain. While I see droopy leaves and gray skies, she thinks the world looks fresh and new. Generally the weather doesn't precisely inspire me, but I expect there's people out there who find the weather quite inspiring. So, if you do, what kind of weather inspires you and why? Do you like the rain or prefer sunshine? What season do you like? Have A Fresh Friday!

Missed Me?

Happy Late Night All, It's after 10 p.m. and I'm thinking bedtime thoughts, but I wanted to make sure I posted before Thursday leaves. Today has been super-duper busy. In the morning had to go to the doc's office (just allergies) and then run off to the bank, Blockbuster, and then later my parents came over. Mom had me go shopping with her, then had something to take care of at Church. I watched My Life In Ruins this evening and it was cute. I thought there was some funny moments. I'm working on finishing reading Judith Ivory's Sleeping Beauty ...I have about 150-200 pages left, and am trying to push through it because I have 3 other books on my list to read. Tomorrow I plan to start a regular exercise schedule. I'm resolved to be more healthy ( ummm does that mean no more chocolate, because I gotta have my chocolate...and coffee...yes, coffee is a must. Good thing I'm not a serious Dieter ). I started some rewrites on Surreal (thank you, Regi

Muddled Literature

Good Morning Everybody, Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamt there was a play that was a combination of about 2 or 3 Shakespeare plays (including King Lear and A Mid-Summer's Night's Dream ). Don't ask me how these two even remotely go together, but apparently anything can happen in dreams. (I'm not sure if there was a 3rd play mixed in there or what it was, but it's possible). In the line of retelling stories... I don't know if any of you have read Politically Correct Fairy Tales (I believe by James Finn Garner) but it's pretty funny. The prince, in Sleeping Beauty instead of marrying the princess decides to adopt something like the Lotus Position and meditate because he thinks that's what she's doing! LOL It's pretty funny. But it reminds me of my dream. Not exactly the stories you remember, but good for a laugh and entertainment. I suppose I should say that the dream inspired me to great heights, but all it did was leave

Turbulence--Fasten Your Safety Belts

Morning Folks, So, yesterday I finally got back to writing. I opened up Conjure A Man , cut part of what I originally had to take the story in another direction. Then I thought, "Wait, does this go with the rest of the story?" Today part of what I want to do is see if the new goes with the old and fix what needs fixing and continue with writing the story. Sometimes writing gets a little bumpy. You get jostled around as you try to pull your thoughts and inspiration into a coherent plot point. In some cases, you have to go back and take out something that seemed fine 2 days ago, but ends up not fitting. Then you have to go untangling knots and figure out what needs to stick around and what needs to go. Sometimes it's a matter of getting in touch with your critique partner (cp) and saying "What do you think? Does it flow or am I off-kilter?" Other times, you find out your new ideas are better than the old ideas or the old ideas are better than the new ones.

Moody Monday

Morning Folks, Well, it's rainy, gray, and gloomy outside my window and yesterday I was under the weather (still not feeling completely back to my normal self, but trying to get better, and definitely not worse). One of my sisters and nephew are fighting the flu, but fortunately her fever is low. One of my nephews seems to be getting better, so that's good. A friend mine mentioned something about some strain of flu and I know someone who said they had swine flu for awhile (but it was not a bad case). And another friend of mine knows someone who has swine flu. So, tis the season for the flu, regardless of the strain. Yuck! On a more positive note, like I said, I'm doing better. My ears are still bothering me, but hopefully they're mending. My son slept better than he has in days, so that's a blessing, as well. Neither one of us has had a fever so far, so I'm VERY glad of that. I haven't done a lot of writing lately since I've not felt my best. I pla