Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to my mother :) And what does a broke writer give to her mother? Why, a poem of course! :) Hope your birthday is awesome, Mom. Can't wait to see you!

A Mother’s Pantoum

A mother’s job is never done,
Even when her kids are grown.
Her loves shines brighter than the sun,
Her children will never be alone.

Even when her kids are grown,
She’ll toil for each and every one.
Her children will never be alone.
She’ll be there whether they’ve lost or won.

She’ll toil for each and every one,
Despite all the chances they’ve blown.
She’ll be there whether they’ve lost or won.
Hers is the truest love they’ve known.

Despite all the chances they’ve blown,
Her love shines brighter than the sun.
Hers is the truest love they’ve known,
A mother’s job is never done.

Love you Mom!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A friend emailed these to me. Too funny! :D

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey be plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have never a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blog Chain - Priorities

I've got a stack of boxes and a roll of bubble tape ready and waiting :D But am very thankful for the opportunity to procrasinate packing a little longer in order to do this round's blog chain. And it is such a great topic for my life right now :)

The awesome Amanda would like to know:

How do you prioritize? How do you balance paying attention to your writing, critiquing for friends, spending time with your family and earning a living?

Well, to be honest, sometimes I don't - the balance goes out the window and everything is a huge mess (like now). :D

But mostly, my priorities are simple - family first, everything else next, sleep - last.

I do try to schedule my time so I can make the most of what spare time I have. I am lucky enough that I don't work on top of being a mom. Frankly, I have no flippin' clue how people who have families and work full time do it. 

For the most part, I try to write when my kids are in school or asleep and my husband is at work or asleep (or veging out in front of the tv or otherwise occupied). Sometimes I attempt to do it all at once. I'll bring the kids downstairs (where most of their toys, the tv and the Wii are) and try to write while keeping an eye on them. I generally critique during the same quiet moments, or I'll print pages out and read while I eat or cook or keep an eye on the kids

This is also where writing by hand comes in handy (I'd use a laptop if I had one - it's on my list. I've been a good girl this year so hopefully Santa will be nice) :D For some reason, it doesn't bother my kids to see me sitting on the couch scribbling away. They ignore me and go on about their business. If I'm on the computer, no such luck. Suddenly their lives are in chaos and I'm the only one who can fix it.

One thing that has me very excited about our impending move is that kindergarten in PA is all day (it's half day in Utah). Which means, come September, both of my little ones will be in school all day :D Part of me is sad about that, which was a huge surprise. But the rest of me envisions long, quiet days...just me and my computer...the printer spitting out novel after novel after novel *happy sigh*

Yes, I know things aren't going to turn out quite so perfect :) But it will be nice to have a solid couple hours in a row to write instead of snatching moments here and there wherever I can :)

In any case, sorry about the huge long ramble to a very simple question :) I think, bottom line, if you want to do something badly enough, you'll find the time, find a way. You might have to sacrifice things like hygiene and sleep, but hey, it's worth it. Right?

:D  Be sure to stop by Sarah's blog and see what she had to say, and check out Shaun's repsonse tomorrow!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Funnies

(packing or not, I've got to post the Friday Funnies :D Enjoy!)

"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -Thomas Mann

"A writer should have another lifetime to see if he's appreciated."
-Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Need a Few Spare Hours In The Day :)

Well, as much as I've tried to avoid doing this, I may have to take a bit of a hiatus. I'll still post as often as I can, but trying to house hunt from 2000 miles away, get my house packed up and juggle my children on my own, and still keep up with everything else life likes to throw at me, has left me a bit on the frazzled side. I usually remember somewhere around midnight that I haven't posted anything yet :)

So - I will try and post at least once a week, but for the next several weeks, it might be a bit of a hit and miss or a few short and sweet Hi How Are Ya's :D While I am busy fiddling with boxes and tape, I hope you are all out there busily writing, editing, and querying away!!! Drop me a comment and let me know how you are doing. I'll try to do the same :)

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm a Little Late But I'm Still Thankful.....

Real life is rearing it's head all over the place lately :) Yours truly is getting ready to move. I will try to keep up over here, but I may have to take a few weeks off as we get ready to move across the country. Well, "we" isn't really correct LOL My poor husband is off in PA already working and trying to find us a house while I am back in Utah packing up the house and trying desperately to let the kids "help" while preventing them from doing too much damage. :D

In any case, today on the thankful list - something I couldn't do without and wouldn't have gotten as far as I have without...writer's forums, groups, and websites. Most especially, and

Every close writer friend I have, including all my critique buddies, I have met through one of these sites. I tried a lot of writer's sites and forums - many had a lot of good information. Many had nice people who were glad to help a new writer learn the ropes. But the writers I met on Querytracker, and then Rallystorm, were beyond supportive. They took me under their wing and have become another family. They share my successes and failures with me. They cheer for me and support me. They shred my work and help me rebuild it.

I don't know what I would do without them. This is always the one piece of advice I give new writers. Find some writer friends. They know what you are going through. They understand the journey and the wonderful madness. I am so grateful for each and every one of my writer friends, and without wonderful sites like QT and RS, I never would have met them. (In a weird twist of fate, my closest real life writer friends, the ones who live just down the street...I also met them through QT :) We didn't even know we lived in the same town until we got to chatting on the QT forum one day :D What a crazy, awesome thing to happen) :D

Not only can you meet amazing people on these sites, but there is a ton of really good information. Help for query letters, critiques on a few pages, info on agents, agencies, and publishers, help on research, and answers to just about any question about writing and publishing that you can think of. If you are a writer, no matter where you are in your journey, just starting out or publishing your 50th book, I highly suggest finding a good writer group, forum, or website.

How about everyone else? Do you have any favorite writer sites? Where did you meet your writer friends?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Funnies

"After being turned down by numerous publishers, he had decided to write for posterity." -George Ade

"The ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding."
-Francis Bacon

 (being an OCD picture straightener myself, the following picture had me rolling on the floor)

"Stories have a beginning, a midlle and an end. But not necessarily in that order."
-Robert Silverberg

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wanna Win a Kindle?

The fabulous Lisa and Laura are giving one away!! Head on over to their blog HERE and check out the deets. The contest ends tomorrow, so hurry and enter! Good Luck!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

Today I am thankful for our veterans. I know that doesn't really have anything to do with writing, but as it is Veteran's Day, I think I'd be horribly remiss if I failed to thank these incredible men and women for keeping our country and way of life safe.

I have a comic-a-day calendar with that crusty old Shoebox lady :) Today's comic said "You're free to thank a veteran today. And for that, you should thank a veteran today."

So I'd like to send out a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to all our veterans and active duty soldiers. Because of them, I have the freedom to sit at my computer and write whatever I want about whoever or whatever I want, be it boring, offending, or (hopefully) entertaining. :)

The spouses and families of our veterans and sevicemen and women also deserve a huge thanks for the numerous sacrifices they make so that their loved ones may serve our country. To those who hold down the fort at home - THANK YOU! (and thank you to Cole for reminding me how awesome these people truly are) :)

Happy Veteran's Day everyone :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Today I'm Thankful For.....

My wonderful followers, readers, and commentors. 

Today on this brisk and clear Monday morning I'd like to express my thankfulness for all of you awesome folks. Without you guys, I'd be floating along in the blogosphere chattering away to myself with nary a friend to share with :) You guys are incredible and I feel a little thrill of glee every time I see a comment from someone or get to welcome a new follower.

To show my appreciation for all you fantastic folks, I'd like to pass along the One Lovely Blog Award that was given to me recently by the fabulous Natalie Murphy over at her blog The Sound of Rain. If you have a blog, post this award with pride.

And thank you all so much for all your comments and support and for taking the time out of your busy days to read what I have to say. You make posting on this blog every week worthwhile and sometimes are the only reason I keep going :)

Also want to send a special shout-out to Michelle Gregory - there is an interview with me over on her blog Beautiful Chaos and on her website Check it out! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

The F-Bomb by Jackson Pearce

Yet another awesome vlog by author Jackson Pearce:

Friday Funnies

"Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination."
-Louise Brooks

"I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter." -Blaise Pascal

"Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."
-Samuel Johnson

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blog Chain - Draaaaaama

This round's topic was chosen by the ever fabulous Christine. She would like to know:

How do you create a wonderfully dramatic story? Are there any questions you ask yourself, or specific things you keep in mind to ensure that you have the level of tension necessary to propel the story forward?

You know, the first thing that came to mind when I read this question was something I learned from someone in this chain a while back (and I apologize because I can't remember for the life of me who brought this up, but it turned into an awesome discussion - I am pretty sure it was in the chain about the mean things we do to our characters :D ).

Anyways, the thing I took away from that discussion that I try to use as I write my stories in order to create drama and tension is - whatever your character wants, say no. 

I think that simple phrase is incredible. SAY NO!

They have a dream, a goal, a desire, a need? Take it away. Play hard to get. Make them work for it. Make them suffer. Make them grow and stretch themselves. Challenge them. Don't give in. Don't make it easy. SAY NO!!!! 

If you do this, then the journey toward the end of the story is full of drama and tension. If everything is easy for your character, just handed to them, there isn't any drama in the story. This is something I sometimes struggle with, especially in my lastest book (we won't go there - that one is sitting for a while so I can play with something new for NaNo :D ) But it is something I try to do in all my stories. 

Just say no. Simple. Sweet. Drama inducing. Tension maker. Just say no.

The wonderful Bonny answered this question before me, so be sure to go back and get her view on this if you missed it, and the awesome Shaun is up next so head over to his blog for his thoughts!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today I Am Thankful For......

One of the most valuable groups of people in the writing world are agents. They are definitely worthy of a thankful post :) I am extremely thankful for my agent, Krista Goering. For non-fiction, many publishing houses will accept unagented submissions. However, while I could figure out how to send a query and proposal, after that, I'd be pretty clueless. I certainly wouldn't be able to negotiate better terms for my contracts or make sure I'm getting the biggest advance or royalty possible. I have no contacts in the non-fiction world and pretty much no idea who would be the best editor to contact or the best house to query. Krista handles all of that for me.

Not only does she handle all the paperwork, she also helps me with my projects, editing, coming up with new ideas, finding ways to get my name out there, be more marketable. She's always available if I have questions and quickly gets back to me no matter what the reason for my email.

I think agents are some of the hardest working people out there. I know writers often get frustrated, especially during the query and submission process, with non-responses or slow responses. But think about it from the agents' perspective. They get thousands of queries every year, hundreds of submissions - and that is on top of all the work they must do for their clients. And they don't get paid for most of the time and effort they put in. Agents are simply incredible and I, for one, am very grateful they are out there.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thankful Awards

The super sweet Mary Anne Gruen over at the Starlight Blog awarded me and the rest of her followers with the Icing on the Cake Award recently. And I tell ya, this is one of the things I am incredibly thankful for - awesome fellow bloggers who take the time to do things like this. I am grinning ear to ear and drooling over the yummy award LOL

Thanks so much Mary!!

So, I want to pass on the Icing love - if you are a follower, commenter, reader, or what have you - consider yourself Iced! :D Post this award on your blog and know how wonderful I think you are that you take the time to read my ramblings. Can't tell you how much I appreciate each and every person who stops by this blog. Thanks to all of you!!!

 On a down 3 of NaNo and I'm already behind :D How's everyone else doing?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today I'm Thankful For....

Since November is Thanksgiving month, I thought I'd focus this month's topics on the things in my writing world that I am thankful for. I am, of course, always grateful for my family and friends and the love and support they give me. But the world of writing and publishing is sort of it's own little...well, world :D

And it got me thinking about what things specific to my writing I am thankful for. First and foremost in my mind - crit buddies.

I don't know where I'd be without mine. My critique partners are quite simply some of the most awesome people I have ever met. Not only do they give up their time to go through my books, but they care about me enough to be brutally honest when necessary. They shred my manuscripts and then help me pick up the pieces.

They are always around to support me and brainstorm with me. They hold my hand while I query, console me when the going gets rough, and party with me when good things happen. They read revision after revision and are patient with me when I just don't get it. They don't give up on me and don't let me give up on myself.

They are sheer awesomeness and my life would be bleak without them.

So, my wonderful crit buddies, I just want to tell you how thankful I am for each and every one of you. I wouldn't be able to navigate through this crazy writing world without you :)