Header

Header

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Monday Folks,

I hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day. No big plans here. Just gonna put some beef in the crock pot with some Balsamic Vinegar and seasonings and roast some red bell peppers in the oven for dinner. Otherwise, mostly just chilling out.

We were sick over the weekend, but seem to be getting better--which is a real blessing.

For anybody who knows someone who has died who was in the armed forces, you have my heartfelt sympathy and I hope their souls reside in Heaven with God (I realize not everyone believes in God, but I do, so that's why I say this). I have family and friends in the armed forces (Army, Marines and a cousin who's husband was in the Air Force and my paternal grandfather is a veteran of WWII). I salute our troops and God bless them and their families.

REMINDER: TOMORROW IS CHRISTIE CRAIG INTERVIEW DAY! One lucky commenter on that post will receive a signed copy of her book, Shut Up & Kiss Me (I took a look at it in a book store and even the acknowledgements/dedication made me laugh, she is such a witty writer!) Again, that interview is for tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

ANOTHER REMINDER: The NWHRWA's Annual Lone Star Contest is receiving entries until June 6, 2010 at midnight Central Standard Time. Check here for details. (You only have about 6 more days left to enter!)

Have a wonderful rest of the Holiday weekend!

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Happy Wednesday Everybody,

Things are picking up (in terms of what's going on). The Lone Star Contest will be closed to entries on June 6, 2010 at midnight, so be sure to get your entries in BEFORE June 6th at midnight (you have 11-12 more days). The early entry discount is closed (it closed on May 23rd) but you can still enter the Lone Star Contest. Click here for details.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, JUNE 1, 2010! (that's next week, folks). Why? Because I'm posting an email interview I did with author, Christie Craig in honor of her newest novel, Shut Up And Kiss Me being released. She's announced the interview on her website and one lucky commenter to my blog will get an autographed copy of the book! (If it wasn't a conflict of interest, I'd ask if I could be a part of this contest LOL, but it wouldn't be fair since this is my blog). So be sure to be here on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 to read the interview and comment because you could win a free copy of this book. (Only those who comment on that interview post will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Christie Craig's book, Shut Up And Kiss Me--and I won't be posting the interview until June 1st, so sorry, no early bird entries on this give-away you have to wait for the interview post).

I have a crazy week. My kid is sick, I had a couple of appointments and Thursday I have something else going on in the morning, so I've been swamped this week, so please pardon me if I haven't been posting as often...things are kinda busy on my end.

Have A Way-Cool Wednesday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Quirky Gem Awards

Happy Friday Folks,

Yesterday's post had a couple of gems in it. Specifically "The Great Llama Escape" and 5 cups of coffee. I don't know how I'm ever going to top myself. I mean I came up with the whole manne-vamp idea awhile back.

I don't know where these things come from. Like I've said, I have a goofy sense of humor and sometimes things just pop into my head and I think, "Wow, that's actually hilarious." Other times I wonder if I try too hard.

This time, the Gem Award (something I've made up for those who come up with something so cool, so funny, quirky and fun that I just have to give it recognition...hence, the Quirky Gem Award) goes to my friend, Ryan. He suggested "a story about Pious Monk Ninja Kitties" So I absolutely have to give him credit for that. He gets a Quirky Gem Award.

So...now, I'm opening this up to everyone. In the comment section of this post come up with the quirkiest, goofiest, funniest idea you can either for a story or a saying (pertaining to writing or a story idea) and I'll post it on my blog (in the margin on your right-hand side as you look at this blog). I'm going to call it The Quirky Gem Awards and I'll credit you. I'm closing entries by 6 PM Central Standard Time (on today, Friday, May 21, 2010), so be sure to get them in. (If you're a little late getting in your entry, don't worry...I'll look at the time stamp and give a grace period).

This is your chance to be your quirkiest, goofiest, funniest best. Take advantage of it! It'll one of those rare moments people will actually applaud you for being quirky!

And if it's really popular I'll pick someone for a Quirky Gem Award every week. But it depends on how many people comment how often I give this award :-)

Have A Funny Friday!

Get On The Right Side Of The Paper

Happy Thursday Everyone,

A writer gets to his or her computer and starts typing away merrily, in a complete good mood and totally sane. Wait...what's wrong with this picture?

You're missing the part where the writer is trying to write before the first cup of coffee or perhaps the first bit of sugar hit (or whatever it is that jumps start an author into writing).

You're also forgetting the writer's block. Or the dazed stare at the blank screen with the blinking cursor.

You might have even forgotten the part where said writer is talking to his or herself in fragmented sentences "...yank from the cupboard...no, no, that doesn't work...jerked? Hmmmm....oh wait, I know!"

My husband has walked in on me doing that. He once walked into the room while I was editing and heard me talking to myself. He said "What?" I said, "I'm trying to figure out if this sentence is all right or if there's another word." He shook his head while I scrambled through my Dictionary/Thesaurus for the right word.

Just like people will say "Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?" You might wonder if a writer got up on the right side of the paper or if he or she went to the wrong side and that's why said writer is tearing their hair out muttering unintelligibly.

Or maybe the author is actually having a good day. Doesn't mean it's less of a spectacle: said writer (like me) might be sitting there going "Yes! Yes, that totally works! Oh why didn't I think of that in the first place?" Or maybe suddenly they got hyper and get this evil look in their eye, saying, "Aha, I get to torture my characters!"

Yes, we writers are known for our eccentric behavior. However, speaking as a writer, I actually like it. Eccentric is fun. It means you're quirky...a little odd, sometimes people might look at you like you're from outer space (or, like my mother used to say "Don't look at me like I'm Donald Duck!" I like that one...I've used that one on my own kid). But, it's part of who you are as a storyteller.

The thing is, without a writer's particular brand of eccentric behavior, you wouldn't have that particular story.

A writer might have 5 cats, 2 dogs, and 15 llamas, but without those 5 cats, 2 dogs and 15 llamas you wouldn't get to hear about "The Great Llama Escape"(--speaking purely for example purposes, that is. I don't know of a story called that or a writer with 15 llamas). In any case, you get the picture.

Each writer has his or her own little quirk that brings the spark of storytelling to life.

In any case, whether you're on the right or wrong side of the paper today, as long as it ain't illegal or immoral or unethical, I see no reason why you can't let your eccentric behavior manifest itself. Just cut yourself off at 5 cups of coffee. You're starting to shake.

Have A Timeless Thursday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Plugs, Recommendations, Etc...

Happy Monday All,

If you have something ready and want to enter a contest, the Lone Star Contest is still accepting entries...accepting all the way until June 6, 2010. The early-entry discount ends on May 23rd. This is a $5 discount on the entry fee. Please check here for details. Who knows? Maybe your story is the next big thing!

If your reading list is getting a bit thin and you want some recommendations I have a few (in no particular order) Oh yeah, and this is just a short list of books I could (and would) recommend...

PARANORMAL:

Shadow Guard Series by Kim Lenox

Love At Stake Series by Kerrelyn Sparks

ALASKA-SETTINGS FOR ROMANCE:

Midnight Sons Volumes 1, 2, & 3 by Debbie Macomber

The Royal Series by MaryJanice Davidson

INSPIRATIONAL:

Learning To Let Go by Elizabeth Pina

Conceived Without Sin by Bud MacFarlane, Jr.

REGENCY ROMANCE:

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

MYSTERY:

Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs

Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanna Fluke

Domestic Bliss Mysteries by Leslie Caine

YA NOVELS (It's occurred to me that these could also go under paranormal):

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn

Jennifer Scales Novels by MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi

SCI-FI(with some romance):

Celestial Dragon by Ciara Gold

FANTASY:

Beauty: A Retelling Of Beauty & The Beast by Robin McKinley (this one could also be YA).

OTHER:

The Shadow Of The Bear by Regina Doman


If those don't keep you busy...there's always getting on DVD old TV shows; I'm currently collecting Sabrina The Teenage Witch. I've got seasons 1 & 2, and hopefully before the year is out I'll get Season 3.

Other old shows I saw that are DVD (perhaps you might recognize a few):

He-Man

She-Ra

Voltron

The Cosby Show

My husband has all the Seasons of Highlander on DVD and I know someone who has all the seasons of Magnum P.I.

Oh yeah, and the other day, I was in Half Price Books and I saw the DVD of one of the seasons of Punky Brewster on sale.

By the way, for all you Steve Erkle fans, you can find Family Matters on DVD on Amazon.com, too.

Seems you can find almost any old show on DVD these days. There's even DVDs of Bewitched, I Love Lucy and I Dream Of Jeanie.

Anyway, happy reading and watching and writing :-)

Have A Merry Monday!



Friday, May 14, 2010

Hang On But Not Too Tight

Happy Friday All,

We writers are told to believe in our stories, but also be willing to "let go". This means we have to love what we write, but we also have to be willing to change what might need changing. That one scene you fell in love with, but it doesn't move the plot along? You might have to cut it, or "perform surgery" on the entire story to have it fit. In some cases it's better to let go of a scene that doesn't work, rather than trying to fit a piece where it doesn't go.

Having a work critiqued isn't always the easiest thing for a writer. Sometimes comments are taken too personally, whether positive or negative. One of the things I was told when talking about critiques is that positive and negative comments are subjective. What one person loves, another person might hate. What one person can't stand, another person might think is the greatest thing ever. (Example: One person once told me a line I have in one of my stories wasn't very good, but someone else told me they liked that line).

What we have to do as writers is sift through everything and find out what helps us become better writers and better story tellers. Because the goal is to have our stories be the absolute best we can possibly make them. (This means, with the example above, I have to sift through what both people told me to decide if the line is what's best for my story overall).

We have to work with our stories to make sure every scene, every line, character and everything fits together to move the plot along. Sometimes something doesn't work and sometimes someone makes a suggestion that you didn't think of that improves the story. The important thing is to make the story the very best you can.

Believe in your story so you can confidentally pitch it, but also be willing to make it the absolute best you possibly can.

Have A Fruitful Friday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plans, News, Et Cetera

Happy Thursday Everyone,

Today I'm spending time with my parents (they don't live far from me) and so that will be fun. My son likes seeing them and so do I.

I did some editing last night and for some reason the early chapters are reasonably easy to edit, which is good. It means things get done a bit faster, more smoothly and I am in a good place mentally. Always nice when writing and editing.

I also am delighted to say I've got 3 authors lined up for email interviews. One interview is a wife-and-husband team (yes, both wife and husband are writers, so 2 authors in one interview) and they already have the questions, the other one is someone I've heard speak on writing and brainstorming and good. I'm sending that other author the questions by Friday, already have most of them written, so I'm happy.

The Lone Star Contest is definitely in full swing, at least as far as I've heard. There's STILL time to get the early-entry discount (May 23rd ends the discount, but you enter all the way until June 6, 2010). So, even if you don't get the early-entry discount, you still have until June 6th to enter the Lone Star. Please click here for details.

Also, I recently have looked at the Silk And Shadows blog...it looks really good. If you're into Paranormal I recommend having a peek.

So what's your news?

Have A Talented Thursday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Around...

Happy Wednesday All,

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking (well not kicking literally, but you get the idea). Yesterday was busy with errands and such, so I didn't get online until later in the evening.

I did finish reading Kim Lenox's Darker Than Night and it was very good. If you like paranormal, and historicals, then I imagine you'd like this series. I find it quite imaginative and very interesting. She has some incredible ideas, and that's what makes it fun for me. So, yes, I recommend her books. (Her first one, Night Falls Darkly features Jack The Ripper as one of the bad guys).

I'm now reading Debbie Macomber's Midnight Sons Volume 3, the last in the Midnight Sons stories, and looks like it's going to be very good.

I'm also in the 2nd and so forth rounds of editing. Chapter 1 is pretty much done, although I'll probably go through it again and I'm planning to get some advice regarding it, because I have a few questions, so I'm gonna be getting some critique help to see if I'm right about something or if I'm wrong. The edits are going pretty smoothly. So that's good.

Anyway, like I said, if you don't hear from me as often, those are the reasons. I hope everyone else is doing well! Best wishes :-)

Have A Warm-Hearted Wednesday!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Super Hero Writer To The Rescue!

Happy Monday All,

Do you like super-heroes? I do. I've liked watching their shows and some of their movies. It's fun to imagine "what if" I could do that? Or what if I knew someone who could?

So, I propose we authors have a superhero of our own. But that super-hero needs a name, a costume and powers.

I'm thinking super-sonic editing skills (edit an entire book in 3 seconds flat! It's all set and ready to go out to agents and publishers, who adore it)

What about super-strength to break through writer's block?

You all tell me what powers, costume, and name a super hero writer would have. Cape or no cape?

I'm thinking the super hero should be able to fly to the rescue of authors everywhere.

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's Friday :-)

Happy Friday All,

Not much to report except more edits and more reading. I put up the author interviews in the margin so that people can get to them more easily and I'm hoping to get more author interviews set up, soon. I was given one idea by NWHRWA member, so that's good :-)

Anyway, this weekend is me and my husband's 6th wedding anniversary, so we're hoping to spend the day together with our son, and have a steak dinner (he said he'd grill them. Yay!) Sunday my in-laws are coming over. So that's pretty much my weekend plans.

Happy upcoming Mothers' Day to all the mothers out there! I know I'm grateful to have my mother. She's a wonderful, generous, loving person and I don't know where I'd be without her.

What do you all have planned for the weekend?

Have A Fun Friday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

YAY!

Happy Thursday Everyone,

Celebrate with me! The FIRST round of edits are done! I still have more to do, but at least the first round is done. I don't have to get started editing, because it's started. Now I just have to continue.

I'm still reading Kim Lenox's Darker Than Night...which due to the editing process hasn't gone as quickly as it normally would. Generally, I'd have finished reading the story already, but under the circumstances it makes sense I wouldn't have finished.

Entries to the Lone Star Contest are still welcome. There's time to get the early entry discount (up until May 23rd). Click here for details. Best wishes to all contestants!

So, what are you all up to? Writing? Editing? Brain-storming? Feel free to share :-)

Have A Thrilling Thursday!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shhh! Creativity In Process

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

I haven't drunk all my coffee, yet, so I'm waiting for my brain to "kick into gear".

Lately you've probably noticed my posts are very short and not as much information in them as in days past. There's a very good reason for that:

I'm in editing...my brain is in editing, except when I'm reading, tending to my family or doing some other thing like emails, helping with a contest or doing email interviews.

I'm not going to neglect the blog, but if there's a day I don't blog, it's because I'm tending to some of the other things I have going on.

As you know, the writing process can take time. So when creativity is in process, we have to respect that. The good news is, if the author is lucky, the story gets published, then we get to enjoy it. :-)

Anyway, wherever you all are at in the creativity process I wish you success and hope it goes smoothly! Best wishes :-)

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Reporting In

Happy Monday Everybody,

I hope y'all had a good weekend. Mine was pretty fun. Did some shopping, then Saturday had an NWHRWA meeting and in-laws came over. On Sunday, I slept in, went to Church, and hung out with my family.

The NWHRWA meeting was fun. We talked about judging contests and critiquing other writers' work. One of the pieces of advice was basically about giving constructive criticism. Telling people how to improve something rather than just saying it sucks...or even telling someone why something is good.

I've been reading Kim Lenox's Darker Than Night and so far so good :-) It's good.

Hope you all have a good week :-)

Have A Melodious Monday!