Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Weeeeel, to make a long story short, still editing, not getting too far  LOL Actually, I think I am making progress, but I've been rehashing a few chapters I thought were done :D You always find something else to change, right? :)

I finally got to read Blood Promise by Richelle Mead also. Loved it...not my favorite in the series, and she's breaking my heart with Dimitri!!! But great book :D

How is everyone else doing?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's Muse

First of all, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my adorable son, Connor. He is 6 today! My baby's getting big!! *sniff*

Secondly, I have discovered that I am going to very quickly run out of back-stocked poetry and for someone reason, the new stuff just isn't flowing ;-D So, Monday's are going to be reserved for poetry (mine or other people's) or just general musings.....because as much as I love my blog, I've got too much going on to let it become a source of stress :D

So for today, I will share with you a poem that choked me up a bit (admittedly, not a hard thing to do, but still, this is share-worthy) :) As far as I can tell, this is Anonymous. If I discover otherwise, I will update with author info.

Crabby Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . When you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . . . . . Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . . .With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . And makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice, 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . The things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . . . . With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . . . Who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . . With wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . A lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . That I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . To see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more, . . . . . . Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . Young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . . . And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . . . . . . . And nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . . Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . . . Grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . . . . . Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . . . . . My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . Life over again.

I think of the years . . . . . . . . All too few, Gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . Open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . . . . . Look closer, see ME!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Funnies

I think I did pretty well, considering I started out
with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.

~ Steve Martin

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
~ Alfred Hitchcock

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Titles, Titles, My Kingdom for a Title!

Well, with my novel winding down to completion, I decided it was time to give the poor thing a name. After all, I can't just go around calling it Untitled (although the thought does appeal to me, let me tell you!)

I generally suck at titles. Every now and then, I'll get lucky and one will present itself to me. I think I have the title of my next book all picked out, but then, I thought that before I started this book as well. However, it turns out that the book is nothing like what I planned it to be...and therefore, the title I had chosen no longer works.

So, my crit partners and I have been brainstorming and stewing and agonizing (at least on my part) over what to call this nice little stack of papers I've got going. And so is still nameless. We do have a few front-runners, but nothing concrete so far.

Now, I realize that if this book ever hits the shelves, chances are good someone somewhere up the line is going to change the title. So I try not to get too attached anyways. But still, a catchy title can help snag some attention. So, here I stew. If this keeps up, I may make this my next contest. Name my book and win a gift card! Hehe....I'm only half joking :D

How about everyone else? Do you have problems picking titles? Do you get attached to your titles, or do you just give it a name so you've got something to stick in the query? Anybody got an extra title they aren't using? ;-D

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WIP Wednesday and a Reading List Update

Still plugging along on the edits...chapter 3 is making its last round through the crit trenches, chapters 1 and 2 are as good as they are going to get (for now) and I have made it through chapter 12 on my own last run through (chapter 10 is in the second to last crit round) :D

The new blog is up and running.

And I managed to read this week! I finished The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner. Very interesting, great book. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good historical. And I am currently halfway through Diana Gabaldon's new book in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone. Loving it as I have all the others :D

How is everyone else doing?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to Use those Pesky Apostrophes

Now, I know these are simple rules that most people know. But, a refresher never hurts :) So, here we go.

To show possession:

1. Noun's that do not end in an "s"

In this case, simply add an apostrophe and an "s"


John's car; Stacy's house; Jerry's book; Lupe's lipstick; Frank's wife; Lisa's dress

2. Noun's that do end with an "s"

In general, you'd add an apostrophe and another s


The witness's testimony; the dress's hem; Chris's paper

But when the extra "s" makes the word hard to say, the apostrophe is just added to the end of the word. This has become a matter of preference as well. When it comes to words that end in "s," you can either add the extra "s" or just leave it with an apostrophe.


Mr. Rogers' house; Socrates' essays

3. Plural nouns

With plural nouns that end in an "s" or "es," add the apostrophe to the end of the word


The ladies' room; the teachers' meeting; the parents' appointment; the beaches' tubular waves :D

4. Plural nouns that do not end in an "s" or "es"

Add an apostrophe and an "s"


The children's library; the women's luncheon

5. When you are talking more than one person

This one used to trip me up. If you are showing the possession of something by two people, only the second person gets the apostrophe


Tom and Michelle's house; Jerry and Michael's car; Mike and Laurie's kids

6. Abbreviations and Years

When dealing with abbreviations and years, add an apostrophe and an "s"


the CPA's accounts; the FDA's ruling; the USSR's economics; the USA's treaty; The 1980's; the 1320's

Plural examples:

the RNs' graduation; the PhDs' dissertations; the MAs' classes


For contractions, the rule is pretty easy. Just use an apostrophe wherever there are missing letters.


Can not = Can't; Did not = didn't; Should not = shouldn't; madam = ma'am; Hide and seek = Hide 'n' Seek

Its and It's:

Its = possessive form of it. The book has a picture on its cover. The dog has a bug on its nose. The car has mud on its hood.

It's = contraction for "it is" or sometimes "it has." It's raining today. It's cold in the auditorium. I'm sorry you hate the rules, but it's always been this way. ;-D

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Muse

First of all, today is the launch of my new blog, Papers, Prose and Poetry. So if you need any help on research papers, essays of any kind, or tips for writing various forms of poetry, head on over!! No worries, I make those dreary assignments as fun as I can :D

Now, since I still haven't written anything new, here are a few more of those 20 word poems that I wrote for those contests. And I am still looking for another site that does this. I've sort of come up with a version of this myself. It's not as fun, since you can't move the word tiles around, but there are still a limited amount of words from which to make up a poem. Lots of fun :D

You passed a thousand streets
Never forgetting your way
Musty memories
Childhood friends
Love always despite the years

A summertime afternoon
Children laugh
Dangling feet in the cool brook
Rocking chair creaks
Delicious prairie breeze
Love at home

no peace from the drought
nor clouds
only strife
the sun ever watching
The end of life

struggling to move
limbs like logs
eyelids heavy -
push out of the sheets
I love morning

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blog Chain - Who and What Are You?

Blog Chain time again, and this time, it's my turn to start things. I was pretty clueless about what I'd ask for this round, but then our fabulous Elana and I got into a fascinating discussion the other day and I am really curious as to what other people think about this subject.

I'll save you the long backstory, but basically we were discussing my MC and her character and personality traits and we started discussing whether or not who you are determines what you do, or if you do what you do because of who you are.

So, my dear Blog Chainers (and anyone else who may read this post), what do you think:

Do you choose WHAT you do because of WHO you are? Or is who you are determined by what you do?

To say it a few more ways...Do the things you do determine who you are? Or do you do the things you do BECAUSE of who you are? Specifically as writers, do you write because of who you are, or did you become who you are because you write, or because you chose to become a writer?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Ha! Just kidding.

Honestly, I think there is a lot of overlap here. Elana and I had different takes on this. She used the example of her being a teacher. She is always a teacher, in all situations through out her life. She always finds herself teaching, and acting like a teacher, and treating others the way a teacher would. Being a teacher is who she is.

But she is working toward being a writer because it is who she wants to become. She believes that the choices we make help define who we are. I agree with that. I agree that in the quest to become writers, we pick up new personality or character traits along the way. For me specifically, I've become a little more patient (in some areas) :D I'm more outgoing, a little more confident in myself, that sort of stuff.

However, I'm more of a mind that I am who I am and always have been. Elana may be a teacher, she may see the world as a teacher, she may always be teaching, she may have always been a teacher from the day she was born, but the actual act of teaching is something she does BECAUSE of who she is. In my opinion. I think she would still think like a teacher and always be teaching in any profession she had chosen.

For me, I think being a writer may add to who I am, it may change me from being impatient introvert to a patient extrovert (hey, anything's possible!) but it doesn't change the basic ME. That while I might develop new personality traits over time, my basic self, the person I was born being...WHO I am...doesn't change. Who I am helps determine what I do. Not the other way around.

I am sort of a loner. I have an beyond overactive imagination. I love to read, get sucked into other worlds. I like to learn. I'm creative. I'm passionate. All of these things have been a part of who I am since the day I was born. I think I've been a writer since the day I was born. It's who I am. It's how I see the world. It's how I interact with people and with my environment. I AM a writer. I did not become who I am because I write. The actual act of writing is something I do BECAUSE of who I am.

If I had chosen to be a teacher (almost did and still might) or an archaeologist (my first degree is in history) or whatever else I may have chosen, I still would have seen the world and reacted to the world the way I always have, the way a writer does. I just wouldn't have written any of it down :D Or I would have found some other way to express it.

I may love other things, like music. I play piano (and was good at it once upon a time). I've played several other instruments in my life and was good at them too. I recently bought a violin and am learning to play. I would love to be a violinist, and in my quest to become a violinist, I may pick up more personality traits, it may change me in some ways, but it will never change WHO I AM. The basic core of ME.

And no, I do not think this is entirely black and white. As with everything else in the world, there is a gray, overlapping area. But for me, I think you do what you do because of who you are. You do not become who you are because of what you do.

I write and play music and cross-stitch and scrapbook and read because of the type of person I am. They do not make me into the type of person I am.

Yes, people's experiences and actions can change them. In rare cases, people can change their entire personalities and become totally different people. But I think for most of us, there is a basic core of YOU that never changes. A uniqueness you are born with that makes you YOU no matter what you may do over the course of your life.

I am writer because of who I am. I did not become who I am because I write.

Shaun is up next, so head over to his blog to get his thoughts on the subject :D

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ner ner ner ner ner ner ner ner...BlogMan!!!!!

I am very excited to receive the Blogman award from the wonderful Jamie over at The Variety Pages. This is the coolest award, very fun :D Thanks so much Jamie!!!!!

The rules for this one are:

1. Tell us your favorite superhero and why
2. Copy the badge and post it to your blog
3. Present the badge to five other worthy bloggers
4. Post links to five people you nominate
5. Comment on their pages to let them know they have been nominated

I'm going to take a quick rain check and tell you about my superhero and nominees in a few days. I've got a sick baby and the rest of us aren't feeling very well either. But I wanted to make sure I said thanks to Jamie for thinking of me. Made a not so fun day much better :) Thanks again!!

Thursday Funnies

Tomorrow is my turn to post on the Blog Chain, so our Friday Funnies got bumped up a day :D Enjoy!

Today's quotes brought to us by Oscar Wilde.

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. (The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895)

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I am happy to report that I am actually doing pretty well on all those nasty edits I've been slogging through :D I have now edited up through chapter 9 with chapters 1-8 making their way through their last round of critiques.

I think I might actually have this baby all polished and presentable by the end of the year LOL Woohoo!! Of course, I am aiming on having it done before then, but in an effort not to get ahead of myself, I'll just shoot for Dec 31st :D

I have also begun another project, a new blog called Papers, Prose and Poetry which focuses on...well, papers, prose (essays) and poetry :D It will work a little differently than this blog. I will only be posting three days a week over there, focusing on Papers on Mondays, Prose on Wednesdays, and Poetry on Fridays. (Starting on Monday Sept 21st).

My non-fiction book, From Papers to Poetry, will soon be making it's way through editors and this blog was created as a companion to the book. In it, I'll give tips for writing various forms of essays and poetry, discuss how to write research papers, give helpful hints on researching and writing these often painful assignments, and hopefully have a little fun with it all. I will be coming up with a few games and contests for my readers - I am looking forward to getting it started.

I would really like to set up a weekly poetry contest like the one they used to have on - I've posted some of the poems I came up with in the contest. It was just so much fun to be given a limited number of specific words and have to come up with something poetic :) If I can figure out how to do this on my own blog, it will definitely be there.

Anyhow, that was my week - how are all of you doing?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How To Outline - according to Jackson Pearce

As I am deep in edit mode, I am going to cheat a bit today and bring you another fabulous vlog entry from one of my favorite authors/bloggers/vloggers, Jackson Pearce. Enjoy :D

Monday, September 14, 2009

And the Winner Is........

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who entered, especially those who helped spread the word about Jess's and Elana's books. You guys are awesome, every single one of ya ;-D

And now for our winner!!! It will probably come as no surprise, since she had 12 entries!

Our grand prize winner is Laura Martone!!!

Congrats Laura! Email me your address (use the contact button on the sidebar) and I'll get your prize sent out to you!

I had so much fun doing this, I think I'll have to come up with some more contests :D Thanks again everyone!!

And just so you don't wither away from a lack of our usual dose of our Monday Muse, here is a clip of one of my favorite "poetry" scenes :D

From the Query to the Call Release Day!!!

The awesome and incredible Elana Johnson has written an absolute must-read book, From the Query to the Call. This book is a wonderful guide for any writer on the crazy ride to publication. It takes you step-by-step, with lots of awesome examples, through everything you need to do to snag an agent, from writing your query letter to what happens when you get the all important call.

And it releases today!!! This is an ebook, available for immediate download. I believe Elana is also working on making it available for download on the iPhone and iPod Touch (which is just too cool) :D

The price is $14.95 and there are opportunities for discounts as well. Click on the picture and check out the details! There is also a link on my sidebar that will take you to the site where you can purchase the book.

Congratulations Elana!!! This is an incredible book and I wish you much very well deserved success :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blog Chain - Breaking the Rules Baby!!

Quote of the Day:
There are three rules for writing the novel.
Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
~ W. Somerset Maugham

It's Blog Chain time! Our wonderful Bonny posted before me and Shaun is up next, so be sure to swing by his blog tomorrow!

Our topic for this round was chosen by Kate. She wanted to know:

What writing rules/advice - whether it was a matter of cannot or will not - have you broken?

Well, as most of the other members have stated, I've broken pretty much all of them at one point and time. Some purposely, others totally by accident.

I too am a fan of adverbs and adjectives, and I love a good prologue now and then. I start other projects before finishing the one I'm working on. I write different genres. I occasionally use long, complex sentences. Or short, fragmented sentences. And one word sentences or paragraphs. I even sometimes mix my tenses, tossing in a present tense line in a past tense book.

One rule I have a hard time breaking is the whole proper grammar thing. I'm an English major. Going through school, I used bad grammar at my peril.

But....when writing novels, especially YAs where you have a bunch of teenagers talking, you just can't stick to the grammar rules and have it come out sounding normal.

For instance, my crit buddies recently ran across a line of mine that I'm sure still has them rolling in the aisles. It read:

I peeked at him again. He looked like Ronan, sort of. Maybe like Ronan’s cuter older brother - if he had one. I hoped it wasn’t he.

Yes, I actually wrote the words "I hoped it wasn't he" coming out of a teenager's mouth. I knew it sounded horribly wrong, but it was grammatically correct! What's a girl to do???

I'll tell you what she should do - she should break the rules!!

Well, in all honesty, I try not to break most of them but sometimes they need to be at least bent, if not shattered.

Maybe it would be easier to pick a rule I DON'T break :D There is one rule I absolutely stick to no matter what. The POV rule. I'm a stickler for it. Mostly because when I wrote my first book, I was horrible (with a capital H) with this rule. I once had a paragraph, ONE PARAGRAPH, with FOUR POVS going on. Yeah. I was bad.

So now, I make very sure my POVs are straight - no head hopping allowed!! :D

How about you? Are there rules that you just love to break? Rules you are careful never to break?

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Award!

Danni at Romantic Harbor made my day and put a smile on my face for a week :) She recently awarded me The Lemonade Award, a feel good award for great attitude and gratitude. I am thrilled, thanks so much Danni!! :)

Now, I'm supposed to pick 10 blogs to bestow this wonderful award on and I've gotta be honest. I read so many awesome blogs, I just can't pick. I'd like to give it to someone who hasn't received it yet and several of the blogs I've thought of had already been chosen.

So I'm going to totally toss the rules to the wind and give it to every one of my awesome readers. That's right, if you are reading this post, you just got an award :) You guys are beyond awesome, your comments light up my days, and your blogs fill my hours with awesomeness.

Here are the rules so you can pass the award on yourselves:

~Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post.
~Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
~Link your nominees within your post.
~Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
~Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!!!

In Honor of Patriot Day

For those who were lost and those who remain - God Bless

Contest Is Closed

Thanks to everyone who entered!!! The contest is now closed. The winner will be announced bright and early on Monday morning!!

Good luck everyone and thanks again!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hi, My Name is Michelle and I'm a Rewriter

First of all, today is the last day to enter the Book Giveaway!! Click the pic to enter! I will accept entries through midnight tonight (MT). All you have to do is leave a comment on the original post (click the pic!)

Back to our regularly scheduled post:

(comic by Debbie Ridpath Ohi at - awesome site, click the comic to check it out!!!)

Quote of the Day:
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.
~James Michener

I love this quote. It is sooo how I'm feeling about myself lately. And it's good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. For some reason, when I sat down to write my current novel, I thought I'd nail, right up front. I spent so much time on my first novel, learning the ropes, all the tricks of the trade, that I figured I knew everything. I'd sit down, let the words flow, edit once or twice for the few minor tweaks the book would need, and that would be that. Perfection!

Okay, I wasn't that cocky about it. But really, I did think this book would be much easier, with fewer mistakes. Well, guess what? :D Yeah....boy was I wrong.

Now, I wasn't making the same mistakes, so that is good. Nope, this time I was making all new mistakes. A lot of them :) Of course, I am writing in a new genre (I changed from historical romance to YA paranormal - a huge shift). I'm also writing in first person for the first time.

The learning curve is just a bit more curvy than I expected :)

However, I am doing much better on the rewrites this time. Instead of rushing through them, I am actually taking my time, going slow, taking into account all of my critiques, changing and revising things, then going back over it again and again to make sure I'm getting all the elements in there I need in there. And I'm learning from my mistakes already. Woohoo!!!

As my crit buddies are going through my manuscript, a chapter or so at a time, I am learning from the mistakes they are pointing out, and actually fixing some of the mistakes I make regularly before I post my chapters for review.

Most especially, my poor little MC is as flat as a pancake most of the time...when she's not all over the map with her emotions. So, I am working on making her consistent, giving her back the personality I edited out on my first run through.

And you know what? I think it might be working. Yes, it has taken me a couple months of revisions and it will probably take me at least another month before I finish. But I spent two YEARS revising my first book, off and on. So three months for writing and 3 for edits on this new book really isn't so bad in comparison.

I have finally started to learn that writing a novel TAKES TIME. Whether I want it to or not. Rushing it is not doing anyone or anything (especially my poor book) any good. Once I got that through my ridiculously thick skull, it wasn't so painful to sit down and go through my book, sentence by sentence, to make sure it was right.

If I can keep this up, I may just save myself a year or two of revisions :) I just needed to learn that it's okay that I don't get the manuscript perfect with the first, or even the second, or third, or fifth, or tenth draft. It doesn't matter how long it takes me to get it right. As long as I keep at it. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WIP Wednesday and a Reading List Update

Edits are still clicking along. I now have 5 chapters edited. Two of those are still making the crit buddies rounds, so there will be more revising, but the first three chapters are, dare I say it, POLISHED! Woohoo!! Well, let's be honest, I'm always going to find something else to tweak, but I think they are pretty decent. Finally. Now....I just need to get the other 20 chapters all nice and shiney and we are good to go. Ha!

I got some more research done on my up and coming WIP - I'm excited about it! Which is why I have been pushing myself to get the edits on the current WiP finished. Time to focus on something else!! :D

Doing great on the reading list also. I read Scott Westerfield's Uglies series this week. Loved them all! I've also started reading The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner. I'm enjoying it, but I'm not sure I'm in the mood for an historical right now, so I may go book hunting again. Actually, I need to go get the new Vampire Academy book. That will be my goal for next week :)

How is everyone else doing? Read anything good lately? Getting those manuscripts written and polished?

Oooo, and Kat over at Words, etc. introduced me to a fun, new way to waste time :D Making a fake book cover! Here are the two I ended up with (I like the first one best):

To make your own, here are the directions:

1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click here.

The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or click here.

The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click here.

Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Photoshop, Picnik, or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.

5 – Post it to your site along with this text.

Have Fun!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How To Use That, Which, Who and Whom

As promised, here are a few more pesky words and how to use them.

Who and Whom

In most cases, “who/whom” refers to human beings. According to the American Heritage Book of English Usage, "Who is used for a grammatical subject, where a nominative pronoun [one that acts as the subject of a verb] such as I or he would be appropriate, and whom is used as the object of a verb or preposition."

Here is a helpful tip from The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation:

If you can replace a word with "he" or "she," then it is the subject of the sentence and you should use "who." If you can replace the word with "him" or "her," it is the object and you should use "whom."


She goes to my doctor, who is the best in town. To whom did you speak? Tom is the person with whom I spoke. (Though frankly, I find it easier to just say “I spoke to Tom.”) :D

When it comes to That and Which:

“That” is used when referring to things. “Which” should never be used in reference to humans and is often used to introduce phrases that give additional information or asides.


This book isn’t that interesting. The year that I was born, there was a big storm. (When it comes to “that,” you can often just delete it. “The year I was born, there was a big storm.”)

My book, which I published a year ago, is still a best-seller. (Ha! Thought I’d slip a nice daydream in there)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday's Muse

I was going through my files the other day, trying to find something to post that wouldn't embarrass me too horribly, and I found my file of short poems from the Poetry in Motion contests. (The site is now run by and as far as I can tell, they no longer do these little contests. Which makes me very sad; working on these was one of my favorite parts of the day).

Every day, a different selection of words and characters are listed. Sort of like a big box full of word tiles. There are maybe 100 or so words and you can choose up to 20 to create a poem with and submit them in the Poetry in Motion contest. I sort of prided myself on using 20 words, even though you are allowed to use less.

This is something I used to do every day, just for fun. I really need to start doing it again. It's a great way to work your brain a little. Especially when they give you all French words with just a few English :D Those days are always fun.

Anyhow, here are a few of the ones I came up with.

The reality of passion is an
Eternity of touch
Finding, exploring desire
My reality in love and spirit
Without end

The lonely heart survives cruelty
Nameless dignity in silence
The sea of light lifts the dark
A laugh found love.

Delicious memories quietly return
Each taste of love
Offers sustenance
My ripe mind gorged again
Flaunting our bounty.

The face of a man
Lines etched by the years
His life slowly filled
By love, laughs and tears.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Funnies And An Award!

I am honored to receive the Splish Splash Award for a dazzling blog from Dawn VanderMeer over at Plotting and Scheming. Thanks so much Dawn!!! What a wonderful surprise and such a pretty award!!!

There weren't any rules attached to this award, so I will let fate decide and randomly pick a few of my all time favorite blogs:

1. Suzy and Bethany over at Shooting Stars
2. Jess at Jibberings
3. Christine at The Musings of Christine Fonseca
4. Cole at Hair Dye and Samurai

And now, back to our regularly scheduled Friday Funnies :D

Today's quotes brought to us by Mark Twain

Get the facts first. You can distort them later.

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Book Lover Contest!!!

Welcome to my first ever contest! Well, drawing, I should say. As I said yesterday, it's time to make room for some new books! (Plus, I have a really bad habit of buying books and movies and forgetting that I already have them) :D

Entering is very easy. All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST and you are entered. That's it! You can enter any time from today to midnight on Thursday, September 10th (Mountain Time).

Opportunities for extra entries:

1 entry = for being or becoming a follower of this blog

1 entry = for referring someone here - make sure they mention your name in their comment!

1 entry = mentioning this contest on your blog/website/Facebook, MySpace or Twitter account (if you have all of the above, you will get one entry for each mention. So, if you mention this contest on your blog, your website, and Facebook, you'd get 3 extra entries and so on)

1 entry = mentioning Elana Johnson's soon-to-be released ebook From the Query to the Call on your blog/website/Facebook, MySpace or Twitter account (by the way, she will also give you a discount on her book for mentioning it - check it out HERE for details)

1 entry = mentioning Jessica Verday's newly released book The Hollow on your blog/website/Facebook, MySpace or Twitter account

Leave your total pointage in your comment. I will tally everything up and draw a winner who will be announced on MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14th!

Grand Prize:

(Almost all of these are new hardcovers)

Hunted by P.C. and Kristen Cast
Intent to Kill by James Grippando
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ravens of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson
Ice Trap by Kitty Sewell
Tribute by Nora Roberts
The Appeal by John Grisham
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark
The Memoirs of Helen of Troy by Amanda Elyot
The Book of Shadows by James Reese
The Lady Elizabeth
by Alison Weir
City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
A Painted House by John Grisham
The Summons by John Grisham
Midwives by Chis Bohjalian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian DVD
Le Divorce DVD (starring Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts)

And various other fun writer trinkets.

Hurry and get your entries in!! The contest will run for one week only! Good luck!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Well, still plowing through edits on the YA :) but making a little progress I think. My chapterage is all messed up at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I've got 4 chapters all nice and shiny, with hopefully another one or two done today.

The non-fiction book is finished, just waiting on a few endorsements and then I think we will be subbing it soon (terrified and excited) :D

And the new project is mostly's about all I think about, but I'm trying to be a little more organized and get the plot down first before I jump in and start writing too much.

How is everyone else doing?

For my reading list, I was finally able to read Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. I have mixed feelings about it. I really did enjoy it, as I have all the books. Maybe it's been too long since I read the first two - but I kept getting irritated with Ash's whining about loving Seth. I mean, I love Seth, I love them together, but she's a queen now.....suck it up and do what's best for your Court. Mwahahahaha - I'm so mean. But really, monarchs always marry for their country and then have someone they love (or at least a lover) on the side, so why can't she?

And *spoiler alert if you haven't read it* with Seth becoming a faery and having to spend what amounts to 6 human months of the year in Sorcha's court, it seems to be shaping up to be a Persephone/Hades type thing....maybe he and Ash will be together for the 6 months when he's in the real world (and Keenan can be with Donia) and then for the other 6 months Keenan and Ash can be together. Sounds like a perfect solution to me :D

Annnnyways :) speaking of the Persephone/Hades myth, next up on my list is Radiant Darkness, which is a retelling of it. *happy sigh* I love new books :D

Also, tomorrow I will be holding my first ever contest so come back for details! I'm, borrowing the idea from a few other bloggers I've seen to make some space on my shelves for all these new books I've been getting. I have a ton of books I've either only read once or haven't read at all, including one I just bought yesterday (I then came home and realized I already had it). So I will be giving away a ton of books, many that are brand-new hardcovers, along with a few other trinkets as prizes.

Details Tomorrow!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Release Day for The Hollow!!!!

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to my friend Jessica Verday. Her book, THE HOLLOW, is being released today.

CONGRATULATIONS JESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I first met Jess, 2 years or so ago, she was querying and now this awesome book is on bookshelves in stores all over the country. I am so excited for her!!
Click HERE to buy it!! I was privileged enough to read an advanced copy and I can't wait for the next one in the series!

How To Use Those Pesky Words

You'd think being an English major would help me out in this area, but even I have a hard time keeping track of some of these words. These words are part of the reason non-English speakers say that our wonderful language is one of the hardest to learn. There are so many words that are almost the same, but with totally different meanings, or sound just the same but are completely different. You gotta love English :D

In any case, I thought I'd go through some of the words that seem to be a pain for everyone (yours truly included).

A few of the pesky ones:

Acclamation: praise or, loud applause or approval, or an approving vote
Acclimation: to become accustomed to a new climate or environment

affect: to pretend; to influence
effect: a result

assure: to make certain, to give confidence to, to promise, to guarantee (such as with a person) – I tried to assure her everything would be alright.
ensure: to make sure, to protect (such as with a thing) – My mom checked her purse to ensure she still had her keys.
insure: to provide or obtain insurance

Note: insure and ensure can be used interchangeably most of the time, EXCEPT when referring to actual insurance (car insurance, dental insurance, etc). In that case, you must use “insure.” Example: I need to get my car insured.

Tip: a few hints from =
1. You assure a person
2. You insure your car
3. You ensure everything else

beside: at the side of
besides: in addition to

compliment: to praise
complement: something that completes

farther: actual, physical distance
further: to a greater extent

Note: Webster’s Dictionary uses these interchangeably, their definitions are the same. However, I usually see these used more specifically. Examples: Marianne stood farther from the rest. I wanted to explore the museum further.

lay: to place, which is always followed by an object
lie: to recline (also means to fib, but we will ignore that definition for this discussion)

Here’s a handy little cheat-chart:

present - lie
past - lay
participles - lying

present lay
past - laid
participles - laying

Examples: She lay the book on the table. She laid the book on the table. She is laying the book on the table. OR She went to lie down. She lay down an hour ago. She is lying down.

Tip: If you can replace the word with put, then use lay. Example: She put the book on the table (can be changed to) She lay the book on the table.

than: used to compare two or more things (Roger is stronger than Mark)
then: used for subsequence, time-related (We went to the bank, then the market; He was my teacher back then)

Homonyms – words that sound the same but aren’t

boar: wild pig
boor: a person with rude, clumsy manners
bore: not interesting

The boar had huge tusks. Marianne's habits were boorish. She was such a bore.

canvas: rough cloth
canvass: to examine thoroughly

The artist brushed paint across his canvas. Jake's commander sent him to canvass the area.

callous: generally refers to having an unfeeling attitude (She was callous in her treatment of her son)
callus : refers to a thickening or hardening of the skin (I have a callus on my foot)

His treatment of her was callous. I have a callus on my foot.

hoard: a stowed-away supply or cache
horde: a swarm or large group or crowd.

When I am querying, I have a tendency to hoard chocolate. When the chocolate shortage hit, the angry horde came to my house with pitchforks and torches.

lightening: removing weight or darkness
lightning: static electricity from the sky

(I just got creamed on this one :D My MC almost got struck by lightning in one scene, so I used the word quite a bit…only I spelled it lightening (which can also refer to what happens just before a woman gives birth. So yeah…my crit buddies had a good chuckle editing that section :D )

David took some of the wood from my arms, lightening my load. Kesi was almost struck by lightning.

palate: taste
pallet: a platform for transporting goods; a bed
palette: a selection of paint
palette: one of the plates near the armpit of an armor suit

Drink ice water between the dinner courses to cleanse your palate. The pallet was made of old wood. She slept on a pallet at the foot of her mistress's bed. The artist took up his palette and began to paint. The sword slid beneath the palette and pierced his flesh.

Stay tuned next Tuesday! We'll tackle when we should use That/Which/Who/Whom.

Are there words that trip you up sometimes? Or am I the only one that gets them mixed up occasionally? :D