Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Interview and a Question - Is Talent Necessary?

First of all, I wanted to let everyone know that the awesome writing sisters over at Shooting Stars, Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton, are hosting an Authorly Journeys Week. Several writers are hosting these interviews this week, for those who haven't seen them yet :) Today, Suzy and Beth have an interview with me posted. Head on over to their blog and be sure to stay a while! These ladies are two of the most talented writers I know :)

I came across these quotes the other day and they got me thinking. So I wanted to pick your brains about them :)

Quotes for the Day:

Real seriousness in regard to writing is one of two absolute necessities. 
The other, unfortunately, is talent.
~Ernest Hemingway

I see the notion of talent as quite irrelevant. I see instead perseverance, application, industry, assiduity, will, will, will, desire, desire, desire.
~Gordon Lish

Two great authors, two differing opinions. I tend to fall in the middle. I think you can get quite a ways with sheer hard work and stubbornness. I do firmly believe that if you don't have the drive, passion, and work ethic to put in the time it takes, no amount of talent is going to help you. Perhaps if you have really good editors, you can get away with not having any talent, but you still have to put in the work to get those editors. 

I guess, in a nutshell, I think they go hand in hand. You have to have the will and desire along with the talent. Perhaps the more talented among us have an easier time in some areas - maybe they don't have to revise as much or have an easier time coming up with fresh ideas or new ways of saying something. While I don't think that talent is irrelevant, I also think that busting your butt counts for a lot, and may make up for a lack of some talent.

So, what do you think? Can you be successful in this business if you have no talent but complete drive and passion? Can you be successful if you have the talent, but not the work ethic? 

And here's another question for you - can talent be learned, or perhaps replaced with experience and hard work? Or must you have at least a drop of talent in the blood you shed over your manuscripts?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ten Word Tuesday...Times Four :D

A writer has to have some kind of compulsive drive to do his work. If you don't have it, you'd better find another kind of work, because it's only compulsion that will drive you through the psychological nightmares of writing.

~ John McPhee

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just Suck it Up and Do It!!!

There has been a lot of talk around the blogosphere lately about fear and pushing through it to meet your goals. So I thought I'd throw in my two cents, such as they are.

This is actually something one of my writer friends/crit partners/agent buddies/ real life bestie and I talk about constantly. Oh, if you could only read the emails that fly between us. *sigh*

However, we've more or less come up with the conclusion that all this emotional intensity (to use Christine's phrase) is just a part of who we are. I think creative people in general, and writers in particular, are just wired to feel things in that extra special, super intense way. It's a job requirement. You have to be able to feel in order to make your reader feel as well.

But, with that intensity comes a lot of fear - fear of failure, fear of success, fear that you aren't good enough, fear that you are but no one will know it...

All those feelings are valid and even good for your writing. I think that fear is what helps add the extra spice to your work, the special zing of emotion that has your readers laughing or crying along with you. And I think it pushes us to make our work as perfect as it can be....makes us revise time and again, makes us agonize over finding that exact right WORD.

The problem arises when the fear stops you from doing what you are meant to do. When your fear of finishing that manuscript becomes so crippling you shove it under a bed or Heaven forbid, hit delete. When your fear of rejection causes you to walk away from the computer instead of hitting send. When your fear of criticism has you tossing your manuscript away or sending something unpolished and unready into the world instead of having a crit partner look it over.

So how do you get over the fear? How do you make yourself push past it? Well, I, for one, chant my new mantra....JUST SUCK IT UP AND DO IT!

What, you're tired? Too bad! Just suck it up and do it!

What, you're afraid you won't get the edits right and will have to revise again? Well, guess what, you are probably right. So Just suck it up and do it!!

What, you're afraid your crit partners are going to take their red pens and SHRED your manuscript? They've done it before and they'll do it again. So Just suck it up and do it!

Fear has it's place in our lives, and it's not always a bad thing. But you can't let it stop you. Roll with it. Grab it by the hand and tell it you love it. Buy it some flowers and make kissy faces at it. Stick your tongue out or give it the finger. Do whatever you have to do to make peace with your fear....and then suck it up and just do it. Cause no one is going to do it for you and chances are, they wouldn't do it as well as you even if they could. Make fear your new BFF and show it what you're made of.

What about you? Do you have any techniques for conquering, or at least dealing, with your fears?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Funnies and an Award

First of all, I wanted to send a huge thank you to Zoe Courtman over at No Letters On My Keyboard, and Cheree at Justified Lunacy. Both lovely ladies gifted me with the Sugar Doll Award. Thank you so much! Totally made my day :) I'm going to pass this one along to five of my favorite people:

1. Christine Fonseca, without whom I'd never survive...seriously
2. Bonny Anderson, who I am missing like crazy
3. Bethany, who I am also missing like crazy, and her lovely sister Suzy
4. Kate, for always being a huge help with Blog Chain stuff
5. Cole Gibsen, for always being there when I need her

And now! On to our funnies for the day :)

Best Newspaper Headlines of 1998

1. Include Your Children When Baking Cookies
2. Something Went Wrong in Jet crash, Experts Say
3. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
4. Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case
5. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
6. Is There a Ring of Debris Around Uranus?
7. Would-be Women Priests Appeal to Pope
8. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
9. British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
10. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
11. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead
12. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
13. Miners Refuse to Work After Death
14. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
15. Stolen Painting Found By Tree
16. Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Line
17. War Dims Hope for Peace
18. If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
19. Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
20. Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
21. New Study of Obesity Looks for Large Test Group
22. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Space
23. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
24. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
25. Typhoon Rips through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thirty Word Thursday

~From Advice To Writers, editor Jon Winkour -
("On avoiding too many subplots, unnecessary characters, and the urge to put all you know in one book:")

Make not your tale of accidents too full;
Too much variety will make it dull.
Achilles' rage alone, when wrought with skill,
Abundantly does a whole Iliad fill.
~  Florence King

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ten Word....Wednesday?

Since our regularly scheduled Ten Word Tuesday was preempted by our awesome blog chain, I carried it over to today :) Enjoy :)

James J. Kilpatrick, on the secret of writing:

We must look intently, and hear intently, and taste intently.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blog Chain: He said, She said

This lovely round of the blog chain is brought to you by the fabulous Kate, who wanted to know:

Do you enjoy writing dialogue? Do you use a lot of dialogue in your writing (for our purposes "a lot" will be defined as more than a smidge and yet not so much that the quotes key on your computer is completely worn out.)? Do you have example(s) of dialogue you especially enjoyed from something you've read? Do you have example(s) of dialogue from your own writing? What about these examples makes them special?

*warning: the following post is, REALLY REALLY long. Mostly due to the two excerpts I included. In fact, I think I'll try and pare them down some :D*

The answer to the first two questions: yes and yes. I do enjoy writing dialogue, probably because most of the time when scenes pop into my head, it is of my characters speaking to each other. I spy on their conversations and even have a few of my own, just between myself and I, more frequently than I usually like to admit. So it's kind of fun getting those conversations down on paper.

And I do use a lot of dialogue in my books. I think dialogue is a great way to get information across without doing an info dump, and it's a great way to let the reader get to know my characters. I think you can learn a lot about a person (or a character) by how they speak.

As for an example of dialogue, this excerpt is from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. I like it for a few reasons: 1. It's an excellent example of using a dialect. The characters speaking are Scottish, and their brogue comes through brilliantly without being distracting. 2. The characters' personalities shine through - you can get a real sense of who they are. (there are two other characters in this scene as well, but it is rather long as it is, so I cut everything but just two of them. And 3. This scene had me both laughing and crying. Gotta love dialogue that can evoke emotions like that.

To set it up, Jamie and Jenny are brother and sister. They haven't seen each other in years. The last time Jamie saw his sister, she was being dragged into their home by an English soldier, Randall, who was intent on raping her, something she sort of volunteered for in order to save Jamie's life. Jamie has believed for years that she was not only raped, but had become the soldier's mistress for a time and had born him a child - both of which were untrue, as Jenny sets about telling him. Ian, Jenny's husband and Jaime's best friend, tries to mediate every now and then.

The excerpt begins with Jamie furious in his belief that Jenny had married Ian without telling him about what had happened.

"Did ye not tell him about Randall?" He sounded truly shocked. "Jenny, how could ye do such a thing?"

Only Ian's hand on Jenny's other arm restrained her from flying at her brother's throat...Then Ian put his arm about Jamie's shoulders and tactfully steered him a safe distance away.

"It's hardly a matter for the drawing room," [Ian] said, low-voiced and deprecating, "but ye might be interested to know that your sister was virgin on her wedding night. I was, after all, in a position to say."

Jenny's wrath was now more or less evenly divided between brother and husband. "How dare ye to say such things in my presence, Ian Murry!?" she flamed. "Or out of it, either! My wedding night's no one's business but mine and yours - sure it's not his! Next you'll be showing him the sheets from my bridal bed!"

"Weel, if I did now, it would shut him up, no?" said Ian soothingly.

(Ian and Claire, Jamie's wife, drag them off into separate corners)

Jamie rubbed a hand over his face, then raised his head, ready for a fresh round.

"I saw ye go into the house with Randall," he said stubbornly. "And from the things he said to me later - how comes he to know you've a mole on your breast, then?"

She snorted violently. "Do ye remember all that went on that day, or did the Captain beat it out of ye wi' his saber?"

"Of course I remember! I'm no likely to forget it!"

"Then perhaps you'll remember that I gave the Captain a fair jolt in the crutch wi' my knee at one pint in the proceedings?"

Jamie hunched his shoulders, wary. "Aye, I remember."

Jenny smiled in a superior manner.

"Weel then, if your wife here - ye could tell me her name at least, Jamie, I swear you've no manners at all - anyway, if she was to give ye similar treatment - and richly you deserve it, I might add - d'ye think you'd be able to perform your husbandly duties a few minutes later?"

Jamie, who had been opening his mouth to speak suddenly shut it. He stared at his sister for a long moment, then one corner of his mouth twitched slightly. "Depends," he said. The mouth twitched again..."Really?" he said.

Jenny turned to Ian. "Go and fetch the sheets, Ian," she ordered.

Jamie raised both hands in surrender. "No. No, I believe ye." .... (Jamie gives up the fight, but asks if Jenny knew that Randall would be unable to rape her when she went with him. Jenny takes offense at the idea Jamie would think that his life was a "suitable exchange for her honor" but wouldn't agree that she should give her honor for his life - implying that he loves her more, to which she replies:

"Because I do love ye, for all you're a thick-headed, slack-witted, lack-brained gomerel. And I'll no have ye dead in the road at my feet just because you're too stubborn to keep your mouth shut for the once in your life!"

Blue eyes glared into blue eyes, shooting sparks in all directions. (Jamie finally agrees he was wrong and begs her forgiveness. When she won't answer, he finally tells her he'll do whatever she wants. She tells him to stand up and take off his shirt. He refuses so she forcibly pulls his shirt out of his kilt. She walks around him, gently touching the whipping scars that cover his back.)

"Weel, and if you've been a fool, Jamie, it seems you've paid for it." She laid her hand gently on his back, covering the worst of the scars. "It looks as though it hurt."

"It did."

"Did you cry?"

His fists clenched involuntarily at his sides. "Yes!"

Jenny walked back around to face him, pointed chin lifted and slanted eyes wide and bright. "So did I," she said softly. "Every day since they took ye away."

---it's right about here that I start bawling in my Cheerios. :)

And, for an example of my own stuff, this is a favorite scene of mine from my first book. The book is set in 1850's England. My main character, Min, is a bit of a clutz but very intelligent. She has a huge crush on her dance instructor, Mr. Westley, who finds her reading in the library one day. I like this scene because in it, Min finally is in her element. She's not tripping over her own feet in dance class or accidentally choking on her peas at dinner. She is smart and gets to show it off.

Mr. Westley glanced at the stack of books on the floor beside her.“Jane Austen, Lord Tennyson, Charlotte Bronte, Robert Browning…” He cocked his eyebrow. “You have read all of these?”

Despite the anger building in her gut at his incredulous tone, she tried to keep it civil. “Yes, sir,” she said, taking her book back, “I have, several times.”

“No Shakespeare?” Now he was mocking her. The amused disbelief on his face as he settled back in his chair enflamed the familiar ire she felt whenever a man dismissed her as too weak and womanly to have a working brain.

“No, sir. I do not care for Shakespeare.” She shut her book with a snap and gathered the rest to her chest.

Mr. Westley’s smile was growing broader by the minute. “And why would that be, Miss Sinclair? Do you find him too difficult?”

Min took a deep breath through her nose and placed her books on the chair beside her. She turned to him and looked him full in the face. “Not at all, sir. He writes prettily enough, and some of his works are acceptable. But I do not care for his attitude toward women.”

Mr. Westley sat up, the teasing light gone from his eyes. He looked genuinely interested now. “I have always found the women in Shakespeare’s plays to be strong-willed, passionate, and powerful characters. In what way would that be displeasing to you?”

“If you’d really like to know, I have always thought Shakespeare’s view of women was too subject to the beliefs of the patriarchal society in which he lived. As those views were so much a part of his life and world, they were incorporated into his plays. As a writer, Shakespeare endowed his characters with traits he personally liked or disliked in women, depending on what type of a woman the character was meant to be. Yet, the base character would have been founded on the type of woman that Shakespeare lived with, the Elizabethan woman. ”

Min smiled as Mr. Westley’s jaw dropped and a rush of excitement flooded her chest.

“I do not care for Mr. Shakespeare’s portrayal of women,” she continued, “because strong-willed, passionate, and powerful or not, they all represented the type of woman that was ideal in the time in which Shakespeare lived. In short, women that were seen as inherently inferior and therefore in need of male guidance and protection.”

Min sat back and enjoyed the stunned shock on Mr. Westley’s face. Well, she thought, that will teach him to think I am some silly girl without a thought in my head but how devastatingly handsome he is.

He closed his mouth and leaned closer, his eyes alight with curiosity.“But many of Shakespeare’s female characters flouted their conventions, refused to marry their father’s choice, spoke their minds, chose their own paths. So perhaps, he was really an advocate of the independence and emancipation of women.”

“Perhaps,” Min replied, “but if you will notice, no matter if the women began the play as strong-minded, independent forces to be reckoned with, or as weak-willed, obedient slaves to other’s desires, by the end of the play, they always ended in the same place.”

“And where is that, Miss Sinclair?”

“Exactly where every proper Elizabethan woman should be, Mr. Westley. Safely married or dead.”

Min smiled, gathered her books, and stood. Mr. Westley continued to stare at her with a strange mixture of shock, amusement, and something else she couldn’t quite name.

“If you will excuse me, sir, I believe I should retire now.”

:) Sorry for the ridiculously long post. I think I have now beat everyone else on the chain LOL If anyone out there is still reading, tell me your thoughts on dialogue. Do you like it? Do you use it a lot? What are some of your favorite examples?

Be sure to check out Bonny's answer from yesterday, and stop by Shaun's blog to see what he has to say on the subject :D

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beth Revis's Awesome Celebration Contest

Okay, meant to unplug last week to post this, but better late than never :)

First, a HUGE congrats to Beth for her seriously awesome deal. Wooohoo!!!!!

She is holding a truly spectacular contest to celebrate. Head on over to her blog (HERE) for the details!

And be sure to see her awesome interview with Christine Fonseca over on Christine's blog :)


Happy Monday! :) And how was everyone while I was gone? Anything fun, exciting, awesome, scary, sad, etc, etc go on?

For me, I think I may be starting to get my life organized again. Absolutely amazing how long it takes to get back into the swing of things after you move...especially a major move like we did. Our schedules are completely different, so things are just...weird LOL

I watched one of my favorite movies over the weekend, Multiplicity,  and started to realize that the 4 characters Michael Keaton played were reminding me a lot

See, I have my workaholic side, like #1 - the side that wants to petition for a 36 hour day just so there is more time to write, write, and write some more.

Then I have my Holly Homemaker side, like #2 - this one wants to do nothing but putter around my house all day making sure everything is totally spotless, with home-baked bread in the oven and my adorable, shiney and well-behaved children playing happily under my feet.

And there is the "normal" side of me, the original version - the one that just tries my best to be a good wife and mother and writer and sometimes fails at all 3 but keeps on trying.

However, I often find myself like #4 - the copy of a copy of a copy - the one that just didn't turn out quite right. The one who has been stretched so thin the only things he can manage in a coherent sentence are "I like pizza" and "more Coke."

So how do I somehow combine all those personalities and make the perfectly balanced woman who can effortlessly juggle writing and mommyhood and wife-of-the-year?

Beats the heck out me. If anyone figures it out, let me know :D

In the meantime, I'll keep typing away, with the multi-colored plastic barrettes clinging to my unbrushed hair (my daughter made me pretty so "daddy will marry you" *snarf* gotta love kids...didn't want to break her heart and tell her that daddy's already married to me and stuck with me whether I'm pretty or not *Ha!* eh, can't hurt to let her doll me up...but I digress....) while my kids try to play Go Fish with the cat and I try desperately to remember that really important thing that I can't remember and wrote on a post-it note but someone opened the window and it blew down.....hmmm, hope it wasn't TOO important....

*le sigh* I may not juggle well, but I do occasionally keep a few of the balls in the air - and for now, it's enough :)

How is everyone else doing with their balancing act?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Unplugged Week

Happy Monday Everyone! I am going to sign off for the week, but I'll be back again next Monday. May everyone's week be full of progress :D

Friday, March 12, 2010

Submission/Critique Contest with agent Suzie Townsend of FinePrintLit

For anyone who hasn't entered yet, hurry to Bethany and Suzette's Shooting Stars blog. They are having an awesome contest with a ton of cool prizes, including a 40 page submission and crit by Suzy's agent, Suzie Townsend. Contest ends on Sunday March 14th, so don't forget to enter!!!

Friday Funnies

New Product Announcement

Announcing the new Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device, otherwise known as the BOOK.

It's a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Just lift its cover. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere -- even sitting in an armchair by the fire -- yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disk.

Here's how it works: each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. By using both sides of each sheet, manufacturers are able to cut costs in half.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. The BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The "Browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Most come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open the BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session -- even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers.

Portable, durable and affordable, the BOOK is the entertainment wave of the future, and many new titles are expected soon, due to the surge in popularity of its programming tool, the Portable Erasable-Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language stylus [PENCIL].

This one reminded me of the recent hoards of celebrities that are "writing" books these days...

Though fame is a help in selling books, it is of small use in writing them.
~Ben Hecht


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thirty Word Thursday

Bret Easton Ellis, on Why You Write:

You do not write a novel for praise, or thinking of your audience. You write for yourself; you work out between you and 
your pen the things that intrigue you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interivew with the Fabulous Leah Clifford

I first met Leah about three years ago on the then brand new forum. There were only a few of us back then and we formed a tight-knit group that is still one of my main sources for support and inspiration. We were all just starting out on our querying journeys back then, but it has always been evident that Leah has what it takes to be a rock star :) It has been a pure joy and thrill to see Leah find her incredible agent, Rosemary Stimola, and, most recently, land an amazing three book deal.

Her first book, A Touch Mortal, will be coming in Winter 2011 from GreenWillow / HarperCollins. I asked her to stop by and answer a few questions about her writing and new book.

MM: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

LC: I've known I wanted to be a writer pretty much forever. It sounds cliche, but my grandmother used to read to me when I was little, and as soon as I figured out the stories were made up by people, I knew that's what I wanted to do.

MM: How long did it take you to write your book?

LC: It took me about 8 months, with about 5 months of that lost to writer's block where I just couldn't figure out where the story was going. I ended up adding another POV and it changed the entire book and I was able to finish it rather quickly!

MM: I know some writers only like to write when the mood strikes them, and some have a set schedule. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

LC: Well, I have a day job, so I work on the writing during pretty much all of my free time. I usually wake up early to get a few hundred words in, go to work and get a majority of my writing done after. My prime hours are at night from 11pm until 2 or 3 am. I'm a night owl.

MM: We writers can sometimes be a strange bunch :D What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

LC: I *HAVE* to have a song for each scene. Until I find my song, I can't write the scene. Sometimes finding the song takes longer than the actual writing.

MM: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

LC: Wait...there's supposed to be downtime? Oops.

MM: LOL Well, I guess downtime can be optional for writers ;-D What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? 

LC: How a character can change your whole idea of what's supposed to happen. When I was writing A Touch Mortal, the characters just kind of took over and dragged me along with them. I've learned to just go with it. Fighting it was what led to my writer's block, and once I let go and let them tell the story, everything fell into place.

MM: You had several offers of representation – what made you choose your agent? 

LC: Ro (Rosemary Stimola) and I had very similar ideas of what an agent/client relationship should be like, which had me leaning toward her after our phone conversation. She just fit me best in so many ways.

MM: Can you tell us a bit about your book? 

LC: This is a mishmash of my query and the PM announcement...

Death isn't what Eden expected. Where the hell is her release? Her quiet ending? Not that Eden remembers the details of her final hours, but one thing is for sure--becoming a Sider, trapped between life and death, was definitely not part of the plan...

For Eden, nothing seems to be coming easy. Somehow, word's gotten around that her power can kill her own kind. With desperate Siders already camping out on her doorstep, the last thing Eden needs is the rumor to spread. Especially since it's true...

When her ability pulls her into a feud between Fallen and Bound Angels, she'll have to figure out who to trust and get to the truth behind her death, even if the answers will alter heaven, hell and everything in-between.

MM: Sounds like an amazing book! What can you tell us about your next project?

LC: The next project will be the second book in the series, which I'm working on in between edits.

MM: Thanks so much for stopping by, Leah. I have no doubt your series is going to be a huge success! 

For more information on Leah and her work, check out her website, and her awesome vlog group, The YA Rebels. You can also find her on her Facebook page and Twitter

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Contest, An Award, And a Blog Chain, Oh My!

Happy Monday! Okay, we've got a couple fun things going on. First off, Elana Johnson is running an awesome book giveaway contest, so head to her blog for all the details! She's giving away SEVEN SIGNED BOOKS (most of them personalized). Definitely go check it out :)

Next, the very sweet Laura Diamond awarded me with The Honest Scrap Award :D Thanks Laura!!! For this award, I'm supposed to tell 10 truths about myself. Soooo....

1. I prefer even numbers to odd - to the point that odd numbers kinda drive me nuts, especially when it comes to buying fruit - I always buy 6 apples, never five...weird stuff like that LOL

2. When I hit 30, my hair went curly instead of gray

3. It took me almost 10 years and 4 colleges to get my Bachelors degree...I didn't get kicked out or anything, I just moved a lot and kept losing credits LOL

4. I'm probably allergic to chocolate but just can't quit it

5. I read the first books in the Outlander and Clan of the Cave Bear series in one day (a piece, not one doay for both of them...I'm good, but not that good :D They are 1000 + page books after all LOL...couldn't put them down)

6. I've lived in seven different states, two on the east coast, one on the west, a couple in between and even an island (Hawaii)

7. One of the reasons I wanted to date my husband was because his family is Scottish and I had just finished reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and was completely enthralled with anything Scottish :D

8. I am the oldest of five kids - my last brother came quite a bit later than the rest of us, and my husband is quite a bit older than my youngest brother is the same age as my stepson :) And I apparently like the phrase "quite a bit" :D

9. I had an almost photographic memory...until I had kids. Now I have trouble remembering my name

10. Loves to dance but NEVER in public :D

Annnnd, I totally flaked on my blog chain duties - I was supposed to post my entry on Saturday and then promised I'd do it last night. Oops *embarrassed face* So, without further ado, my blog chain post :D

The awesome Eric chose this topic. He wanted to know:

Do you create characters that are larger-than-life or are your characters more like the average Joe?

I like larger than life characters, but when it comes to my main characters, so far at least, I create characters that are more like the average Joe. BUT, these characters are put in larger than life situations and do larger than life things. They find out they have special powers, or have ghostly friends, or end up on a treasure hunt in a life or death race for some jewels.

And I like to give them out-of-the-ordinary quirks. A proper Victorian lady who isn't so proper and is the least graceful thing on two legs; a sweet average high school girl who boxes on the weekends; a shy, quiet valedictorian who does extraordinary things when no one is watching.

So I guess I do a little of both. My characters are seemingly average - or they are average on the surface, but they all have a fun twist to them, whether it's something supernatural or just a cool quirk that isn't expected.

Be sure to check out the always extraordinary Bonny, who answered this question before me, and the amazing Mr. Shaun, who will post next :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Me :D

My wonderful friend and crit partner, Christine Fonseca, author of Emotionally Intense, did an interview with me. She's got it posted over on her blog today - check it out!

Friday Funnies


Three guys are sitting at a bar
#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?"

Q. If you were lost in the woods, who would you trust for directions: the publisher who prints everything you write, an agent, or Santa Claus?
A. The agent. The other two indicate you are hallucinating.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thirty Word Thursday

Sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do to get what you want to get. No prize worth obtaining comes easily. Revel in the journey. Success cometh.

*snort* (yes, I said cometh :D Hey, I only had 30 words - gotta do what you gotta do :D )

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

It's winner time!!! Thanks to everyone who entered. We'll have to do another contest when my book comes out :D

Now, we didn't quite get to 50 followers on the Papers, Prose, and Poetry Blog, but we got close and, well, I'm just in a really good mood.

So, instead of adding a second winner, I think I'll add a second and a third winner :D

And the new prizes:

A signed copy of the fabulous Jessica Verday's The Hollow and a perfume sample set with perfumes inspired by the characters in the book


A query critique done by yours truly and as many of my agented friends and awesome writer buds that I can get to weigh in on it (five of them have volunteered so far) :D

The Second place winner can choose if they'd like The Hollow Prize Pack or the query critique and Winner Three will get the prize Winner Two didn't choose.

And since we've also been celebrating the Olympics, we'll call them our gold, silver, and bronze medal winners. :)

And now....without further ado.......First place Grand Prize Winner, walking away with a query critique from my wonderful agent, Krista Goering, a copy of Elana Johnson's From the Query to the Call, and a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble (or Borders or Amazon if you prefer) is...


Congrats! Email me and I'll give you all the details on how to claim your prizes.*

Winner Number Two is.....


Congrats! Email me and let me know if you'd like The Hollow Prize Pack or the query critique.*

And Winner Number Three is.....


 Congrats! Email me and I'll get you the details on your prize.*

*Since the prizes include critiques that people have volunteered their time to do, please be sure to email me to claim your prizes within the next 48 hours. If I haven't heard from you by Thursday morning, I'll go ahead and choose a runner up winner.

Email me at

Congratulations everyone and thanks for playing along!!

Contest Closed

The contest is now closed. Thanks everyone for participating!! Stay tuned tomorrow at 7 am EST to find out our winners!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Monday!


All righty folks! I will be accepting entries until midnight tonight (EST) - Thanks so much to everyone who has entered and good luck!! I will announce our winner first thing tomorrow morning :)