Wednesday, September 28, 2011

8 years ago today I became a mom. Best. Job. Ever. :)
Happy Birthday to the sweetest little man in the whole wide world :) 

(His Dr. Evil impression LOL)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Release Day to Bethany Wiggins and Shifting!!

Today a very dear friend is celebrating the release of her debut novel. I posted about this at Operation Awesome on Saturday (head over there if you haven't yet because I'm giving away a SIGNED COPY - you can enter up through midnight tomorrow) but I just couldn't let this day go by without giving a huge shout out and congrats to Bethany Wiggins and her awesome book Shifting.

I've got something special planned in a couple weeks that you won't want to miss, but for today, I just wanted to wish Bethany all the best and implore all my lovely readers to go buy this book. I love this book, and I'm not just saying that because I'm friends with the author :D

This book has it all for me: weird happenings, cool (and creepy) mythology (made even creepier by the fact that it is based on legends about the area where I lived at the time...and there were plenty of local stories about the stuff in this book...and yeah...I'd get freaked out A LOT after talking to Bethany lol), romance, and mystery, and really really bad guys, and an awesome MC who may just be one of my favorites EVER.

Seriously, you all need to check this book out :) Here is the Amazon blurb:

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

You can find Bethany at her WEBSITEBLOG, on TWITTER, and on FACEBOOK. And you can buy Shifting HERE  :) Stay tuned for even more fun stuff in a couple weeks ;-)

And CONGRATS Bethany!!!! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Odd Inspiration Moment

I love love LOVE when something about a WIP finally clicks. I was struggling a bit figuring out the backstory of my book, and since the backstory is a HUGE part of this particular book, this was kind of a problem. There were several things I was struggling with:

  • why my MC had ended up where she had
  • why her love interest was also there
  • how he got there, and how he came to be her love interest in the first place (I needed their families to be against their being together, but I didn't want it to be too Romeo and Juliet with all the hate and family feud issues going on)
  • and there were several other issues about my MC and her family/background/personality/character, etc that I just was having a really hard time figuring out.
So, needless to say, work on this WIP has been pretty slow because I needed this stuff worked out before I could really dive in. Oh, and add to all that the fact that I've been toying with making this book a partial verse novel (and hence needed to decide when and where to use poetry...and what type of poetic form(s) I wanted to use) and yeah...issues LOL

And then last night, I was sitting there watching Drop Dead Diva (awesome finale, can't wait for next season!!) and all the answers just fell into place. And I'm not really sure why. There was a murderer on death row on the show. He'd killed somebody = he was bad. But he loved his sister, wanted her to have his heart after he was executed, and he seemed genuinely sorry for what he'd done = maybe he wasn't so bad. 

And something about his character sparked an idea and everything about my story that I was struggling with just fell into place. I'm not even sure what it was because I'm not going to make my MC (or her love interest) a murderer or anything like that. It wasn't in any way a literal "ooo I'll do the same thing." 

But something about that character's story, the conflict in him, tweaked the right creative thread and the issues I was having in my manuscript were suddenly were their solutions. 

I grabbed a notebook and wrote out 2 pages of notes. And for the first time in a long time I am excited to start writing :D

Have you ever had a weird inspiration moment? Where something totally unexpected inspired an idea or made that problem area you'd been working on suddenly fall into place?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contronyms Part Deux

Some more awesome wordage :D

Handicap: An advantage provided to ensure equality, or a disadvantage that prevents equal achievement
Lease: To offer property for rent, or to hold such property
Left: Remained, or departed
Let: Allowed, or hindered
Literally: Actually, or virtually
Mean: Average or stingy, or excellent
Model: An exemplar, or a copy
Out: Visible, as with stars showing in the sky, or invisible, in reference to lights
Out of: Outside, or inside, as in working out of a specific office
Presently: Now, or soon
Quantum: Significantly large, or a minuscule part
Quiddity: Essence, or a trifling point of contention
Quite: Rather (as a qualifying modifier), or completely
Ravel: To entangle, or to disentangle
Refrain: To desist from doing something, or to repeat
Rent: To purchase use of something, or to sell use
Rock: An immobile mass of stone or figuratively similar phenomenon, or a shaking or unsettling movement or action
Sanction: To approve, or to boycott
Sanguine: Confidently cheerful, or bloodthirsty
Scan: To peruse, or to glance
Screen: To present, or to conceal
Seed: To sow seeds, or to shed or remove them
Shop: To patronize a business in order to purchase something, or to sell something
Skin: To cover, or to remove
Splice: To join, or to separate
Strike: To hit, or to miss in an attempt to hit
Table: To propose (in British English), or to set aside
Temper: To soften, or to strengthen
Throw out: To dispose of, or to present for consideration
Transparent: Invisible, or obvious
Trim: To decorate, or to remove excess from
Trip: A journey, or a stumble
Unbending: Rigid, or relaxing
Variety: A particular type, or many types
Wear: To endure, or to deteriorate
Weather: To withstand, or to wear away
Wind up: To end, or to start up

Can you think of any others? I LOVE these words! :D

(The original post came from Daily Writing Tips HERE)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Contronyms = Coolest. Words. Ever.

My lovely friend Toni Wilson forwarded this list to me a few days ago. It's absolutely awesome :D Especially for someone who writes kids books and poetry. Because nothing is more fun than using the same word but having it mean two completely different things. And not just different things, but opposite things. The same word with contradictory meanings. Too dang cool. Gotta love the English language, huh LOL

The list had 75 words. I'll just post a few of them today and post a few more another day :D

1. Apology: A statement of contrition for an action, or a defense of one
2. Aught: All, or nothing
3. Bill: A payment, or an invoice for payment
4. Bolt: To secure, or to flee
5. Bound: Heading to a destination, or restrained from movement
6. Buckle: To connect, or to break or collapse
7. Cleave: To adhere, or to separate
8. Clip: To fasten, or detach
9. Consult: To offer advice, or to obtain it
10. Custom: A common practice, or a special treatment
11. Dust: To add fine particles, or to remove them
12. Fast: Quick, or stuck or made stable
13. Fine: Excellent, or acceptable or good enough
14. Finished: Completed, or ended or destroyed
15. Left: Remained, or departed
16. First degree: Most severe in the case of a murder charge, or least severe in reference to a burn
17. Flog: To promote persistently, or to criticize or beat
18. Off: Deactivated, or activated, as an alarm
19. Give out: To provide, or to stop because of a lack of supply
20. Hold up: To support, or to impede
21. Overlook: To supervise, or to neglect
22. Oversight: Monitoring, or failing to oversee
23. Peer: A person of the nobility, or an equal
24. Put out: Extinguish, or generate
25. Puzzle: A problem, or to solve one

(The original post came from Daily Writing Tips HERE)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What I Got During My Last Trip to Borders

Okay, I've had a few people ask me this so I thought I'd post a list :D Yes, they are mostly fantasy paperbacks and several sequels (and I haven't read the first books). I had limited funds and time so I grabbed anything that looked interesting :D

Grace - by Elizabeth Scott
The Faeman Quest - by Herbie Brennan
The Hidden Goddess - by M.K. Hobson
Candle in the Storm - by Morgan Howell
Law of the Broken Earth - by Rachel Neumeier
Bloodhound - by Beka Cooper
Palace Council - by Stephen L. Carter
Last Sacrifice - by Richelle Mead (for giveaways since I already have a copy)
I Remember Nothing - by Nora Ephron
and a 2 CD + 1 DVD blooper reel Ultimate Sports Mix

Grand total (including tax) = $5.30  :D

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Funnies - Karma....and My Last Trip to Borders

So I was out shopping today with the hubs. We were debating on whether or not we should run by Borders one last time. I knew they were closing, but couldn't remember what day. We almost didn't go. But then I decided that since I was a good little writer and wrote shiny new words yesterday that I could have a bookalicious treat :D

We walked in around 1pm...and heard them announce that they had just entered their very last hour before closing. The store would close forever at 2 pm. This made me very sad. As did the fact that the store was almost completely empty. Just a few boxes of books here and there and a few shelves scattered around holding their remaining stock.

Then came a really awesome announcement. Something I decided was just good karma coming back around to me for being a good little-shiny-new-word-writer writer person.....everything in the store was now $0.50. 50 cents people!!!

Every seen a cat on catnip? Yeah....that's pretty much how it looks when a writer is in a bookstore and has just been told everything they lay their inkstained hands on is two for a dollar.

I had fun....just sayin'  ;-)

Funny Pictures - Cat Gifs
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Update: You know that brand new 7th bookcase I got not too long ago? :D Looks likes it's time for bookcase #8 #gottaloveabooksale

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mystery Agent Contest at Operation Awesome!

Time for another Mystery Agent Contest!! Head over to OA with your one line pitches. First 50 entries will be accepted. This time around our agent is looking for:


  • Urban Fantasy 
  • Paranormal Romance 
  • Contemporary 
Women's Fiction
Commercial Fiction
Multicultural Fiction

Good luck everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I Learned from R2D2

I realized this morning that it's about time I take my own advice :D No matter what the situation, I find that taking things little by little, one piece at a time, baby stepping it, makes this so much more manageable. I tell people that all the time. Whenever my friends are feeling overwhelmed I tell them to just take things one step, or more often, one word at a time.

Yet I've been sitting here staring at my computer for 2 weeks files are open, but I haven't managed to get anything done. Well, okay, I wrote 162 words the other day. Progress? I guess...technically. Good progress? Not really.

I always have the hardest time starting new projects (well, I started this one a while ago. I'm 20k into it, so this should be easier, but it hasn't been). I think it's because I tend to be a "big picture" person and the thought of all the work ahead, all the obstacles, is daunting. 

I actually realized I wasn't following my own advice as I was looking at birthday cakes for my son. He's a Star Wars nuts. Wants a Star Wars cake. I found an R2D2 cake online. It looks crazy hard. 

I thought "yeah, it's awesome, but there is no WAY I can make that thing!" And then I looked at the steps. Broken down one simple step at a time, it doesn't look that hard. I mean if you look at each piece individually, it really doesn't seem so bad. I think I could probably do it. Granted, it probably won't look that good LOL But still, I think I could pull off a decent looking cake.

So...I think I need to apply that logic (that I am so fond of telling other people) to my writing and quit be overwhelmed. I just need to take things one little piece at a time. One word, one sentence, one paragraph at a time. And maybe I can get writing again :)

How do you tackle overwhelming tasks?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Read for Relief

Read for Relief is a writing community auction site set up to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Irene. Check it out if you haven't already. There are so many awesome things up for bid, including signed books and writer/agent/editor critiques.

And up today - a 30 page critique by the ladies of Operation Awesome! :D If you'd like me and my fellow OA ladies to crit your first 30 pages, stop on by and bid!

You can also donate directly if you don't want to bid, but seriously, there are some awesome items so go check it out!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Dark and Stormy Blog Chain

It's Blog Chain time again! This time the lovely Christine decided to get our creative gears rolling. Here is her topic:

Since we are all writer's, I thought it was about time for us to stretch our creative muscles and do a little writing. So, take the following topic and go crazy! Show us what you've got. 
Your story can be as long or as short as you choice. 

The topic: A dark and stormy night.

Okay...since I have incredibly lax on doing anything poetry related lately, I decided to do a sestina. (For those who don't know what that is, a sestina is a poem that has six 6 line stanzas and an envoi. The ending words in each line of each stanza follow a specific repeating pattern and the three line envoi uses all six words (usually two words per line) The lines usually contain 10 syllables each. ) :)

Anyhow...I've been really sick this week and with the flooding out in my neck of the woods the kids have been home from school all week. So...I'm definitely not bringing my A game LOL you go:


We are hidden in the dark, moonless night.
I welcome the rain as it strikes my face,
cool drops washing away my tears, my blood.
“Breathe,” he pleads, his lips brushing mine. “Please breathe.”
I shudder, my breath escaping at his
command. “For you,” I sigh, “only for you.”

He holds me. “I won’t let them reclaim you.”
Shouts roll with the thunder through the night.
Only one life matters to me now. His.
“You must leave me.” The horror on his face
breaks my heart, but he must run. “Go,” I breathe.
They can’t find him with me, covered in blood -

Mine, his…theirs. His pained howl rips through my blood,
burns his image on my soul. “I love you,”
I whisper, shattered, unwilling to breathe,
unable to stop. They’re coming, the night
rife with vengeance. Once more I touch his face.
“Go!” I cry. One last look and he runs, his

tortured fury echoing through me, his
pain my own. They come, find me bathed in blood.
“Where is he?” they ask. But I turn my face.
They lift me. “Your father’s waiting for you.”
Others fan out, searching into the night.
They won’t find him. He’s gone…and I can’t breathe.

They carry me through dark forests. I breathe
grudgingly, praying the storm hides him, his
trail. My father’s fortress looms in the night
and too soon I am before him. My blood
freezes. “Thought you could run from me, did you?”
His drawn sword scrapes across my face.

They drag in my love; blood drains from my face.
Our eyes lock and I forget how to breathe.
Father’s rage unleashes. “Traitors! Both of you!”
The sword strikes, but my eyes never leave his.
Father screams, his vengeance soaked in our blood.
He fades. I see only my love, my knight.

“I love you,” we whisper. He strokes my face.
Our blood mingles, our lives entwine, mine and his.
The night is ours. And one last time…we breathe.


There are some really great entries on this chain, so I'd highly recommend starting from the beginning with Christine's post. Our fabulous new member PK posted before me, and another awesome new member, Tere, will post tomorrow.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Funnies


Dormitory = Dirty Room
Desperation = A Rope Ends It
The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
Slot Machines = Cash Lost in 'em
Animosity = Is No Amity
Snooze Alarms = Alas! No More Z's
Alec Guinness = Genuine Class
Semolina = Is No Meal
The Public Art Galleries = Large Picture Halls, I Bet
A Decimal Point = I'm a Dot in Place
Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one
Contradiction = Accord not in it

#1: "...Yeah, I make $75,000 a year after taxes."
#2: "What do you do for a living?"
#1: "I'm a stockbroker. How much do you make?
#2: "I should clear $60,000 this year."
#1: "What do you do?"
#2: "I'm an architect."

The third guy has been sitting there quietly, staring into his beer, when the others turn to him.

#2: "Hey, how much do you make per year?"
#3: "Gee... hmmm... I guess about $13,000."
#1: "Oh yeah? What kind of stories do you write?"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creative Goal Tackling

Sometimes unexpected (and unwanted) things occur and you just have to find a way to deal with them. For example, when we moved to PA, our moving truck (through a series of irritating and sometimes tragic circumstances) ended up being a month and a half late.

So, instead of getting our house set up, and putting our previously outside dog outside in her kennel where she belonged (the kennel was on the truck), she got to stay in the (empty) house with us (much to my dismay...and the cat's).

Now, I love our dog. But I don't like her in the house. She sheds like crazy. It's a pain. But after a month and a half of indoor living, our dog decided the outdoors was no longer good enough for her and pretty much has a stroke every time we try to put her in her kennel.

So...she now lives inside. A circumstance I really didn't want. But, I found a way to live with it. Instead of sweeping my kitchen (where she stays), I now vacuum it. It keeps the hair away and allows us to live in peace with each other. (Before I figured out the vacuum thing, I was sweeping up enough hair to build myself another dog every day. I was not having fun).

What does this have to do with writing? Well, sometimes we come across things we aren't expecting, we don't like, and we don't want to have to live with. And we don't always have a choice.

If you want a better story, sometimes you have to add in that new plotline thread that is going to take FOREVER to weave in. If you want an agent, you are going to have to query. If you want your book to sell, you are going to have to help market it. Sometimes, in order to accomplish your goal, you have to do things you might not want to do.

So do what I did. Find a way to make it not so bad. Find a way to do what you need to do in the most painless way possible. Take those revisions a small chunk at a time and set up a fun reward system for yourself. Gather a group of also-querying writer pals and help keep each other sane. Find aspects of marketing that you enjoy (or at least don't hate) and focus on those. If you don't like public speaking, maybe set up online workshops instead of school visits or pre-tape presentations instead of doing live chats. Facebook instead of blog or Tweet instead of Skype.

Bottom line: there are things that you are going to have to do to succeed in this business that might not be things you want to do. So find a way to accomplish your goals that you can live with. Do I enjoy vacuuming my kitchen every day (and sometimes twice a day)? Nooooo. sure beats sweeping it 4 times a day and I get it done a lot faster.

Sometimes you just need to get a little creative :)

Have you found any creative ways to get a not-so-fun goal accomplished?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Funnies

(a couple of these are a little outdated, but funny) :D
You know it's time to turn off the computer when ... 
 1) You forgot how to work the TV remote control. 
2) You see something funny and scream, "LOL, LOL!"
 3) You meet the mailman at the curb and swear he said YOU'VE GOT MAIL.
 4) You sign off and your screen says you were on for 6 days and 45 minutes.
 5) You fall asleep, but instead of dreams you get IMs.
6) You buy a laptop and a cell phone so you can have AOL in your car.
 7) Tech support calls YOU for help.
 8) You beg your friends to get an account so you can "hang out".
 9) You get a second phone line just to call out for pizza.
 10) You purchase a vanity car license plate with your screen name on it.
11) You say "he he he he" or "heh heh heh" instead of laughing.
 12) You say "SCROLL UP" when someone asks what it was you said.
 13) You sneak away to your computer when everyone goes to sleep.
 14) You talk on the phone with the same person you are sending an instant message to.
 15) You look at an annoying person off-line and wish that you had your ignore button handy.
16) You sit on AOL for 6 hours for that certain special person to sign on.
 17) You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
 18) You end your sentences with..... three or more periods
19) You've gone to an unstaffed AOL room to give tech support. 
20) You're on the phone and say BRB.
(from from IBLaffing and

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Follower Appreciation Celebration at Operation Awesome!

I'm over at OA today spilling the deets on a giveaway of awesomeness! To show some love for our Operation Awesome followers, we are giving away SIX fantastic prize packs. Winners will be announced next week, so stop on by and enter by leaving a comment!!

We will also be holding another Mystery Agent contest on Sept 15th so get those pitches polished!