Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blog Chain: Where do you write?

Lin at Lin Wang - Teen Writer started our blog chain this week asking the question "where do you write?"

I feel bad that I'm posting so late in the evening and that it's a short response but I'm majorly sleep deprived (that reason why will be a fun post tomorrow!) and had to work today so I'm behind pretty behind compared to my usual schedule.

So, where do I write?
That's easy to answer because I only write at home. How boring, right? The only thing that switches up for me are the places within the house where I write. But it's always one of the following: big comfy, brown leather chair in the living room, (usually only when American Idol or Grey's is on) in bed or outside by the pool.

I'd love to have a writing office, preferably with a nice view with lots of trees outside so I could open the window when its warm outside. I'd want a desk to do most of my writing (since I think I've been messing my neck up lately with the way I sit while typing )and an over sized chair and ottoman for the days I want to cozy up and think.

Be sure to check out what the other girls had to share about where they write.

Lin Wang - Teen Writer
Girl With a Notebook
From Elysium
And wrapping us up for the week...
Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two goals and a concert

I'm feeling pretty good about goals I set for myself with a writer friend yesterday. We've agreed to push each other along and check in daily on both revisions and writing. I've set my goal to write at least two new chapters a week for my sequel and revise at least two chapters a day in Sage. Yesterday I did just that, off to a good start! (Love our incredible critique group!)

I also have a second set of eyes reading behind me since I'll no doubt miss things in the revisions. It helps sooo much to have someone else do that because I hear it in my head the way I want to but it doesn't always read that way. I tried to use the program that reads text aloud to you but ugh, that robotic voice and oh man is it slow! So I think I'll stick to the old fashioned way for now.

One the agent front, no word yet on the revised partial I sent back last week. But it's way early in the game. I really have no idea how this will work. I said nothing about it being exclusive this time in my email and she didn't reply asking for one so all I can do is wait again. I know I should be proactive and querying again but I do feel like I owe this agent some time since she gave me the personalized feedback that has already helped my story tremendously. Plus the fact that I really want to work with her!

Side note:
Yay! Today's the Blue October concert in Philly. My sister got me a ticket for my birthday so this is something we've both really been looking forward to for months. Unfortuntaltely this means I won't be meeting my writing goals today...but heck, this sure is a good excuse!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Most random mix of a post ever

I couldn't decide what to post on so I thought I'd just do a little of everything while trying to get this down before the toddler wakes up.

Airline Miles
I am totally disgusted with them. I have more than enough miles for a round trip anywhere in the country though sadly I'm unable to us them before they expire this week. Ok great so I found out I could transfer them. Here's the thing - it would cost 330 freaking dollars to do so. Uh is it just me or is that more than most tickets cost? WTF is the benefit here Delta? So out of anger and principle I ordered 20 magazine subscriptions for my family and myself. Seriously. 20. And yes just so you know I will recycle those thousands of magazines over the next year. On a much kinder and gentler note I used the remaining chunk of miles as a donation to Make A Wish. Yeah, I know I should have used all of them for that purpose but I was so caught up in my pissed off rant that I didn't. Shame on me. Look forward to posts in the future being inspired from magazine articles.

I was flying high on the revisions I made to my first five chapters (the ones I sent to the agent) but when I took a look again last night I saw things I could improve. Grrrr! Is this how anyone else feels? Like there will always be something you would change? Oddly enough that's not the case with the actual plot or characters but more so the whole show vs. tell thing etc. I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed with doing this to the rest of the book which is about twenty more chapters that need editing. The critique group will never get through it as fast as I need to since we do one chapter a week and I need to be ready in case I get a request for a full. So I am guessing I need to just do my best myself. It's not that bad, it just needs to be polished up. Any advice out there? I know I should have had all this done before I queried but at the time I thought I was and now that I've made all these changes I know I need to make the rest as good as the beginning which of course I still think needs a little spit and shine! Am I nuts? Possibly.

For the moms
Ok so I know there are some moms that read my posts so I thought I could share this though its a little nasty and random to say the least. My son is 18 months old, clearly still in diapers. My issue is now with the warm weather he's not wearing one of those super trendy white cotton leotards or better known to the world as a onesie, under his clothes. They used to catch the run off from the diapers. Who knew I'd have to worry about poop on my pajamas now? No really. This morning he was sitting on my lap watching a video on the computer (he insists on this every time I check my email when he's awake and its usually Life is a Highway from CARS!) and I put him down to find a nice brown spot on my thigh. Eww. I hated onseies and only used them to keep him warm but now that spring has sprung it looks like I'll be missing that little cotton number. Who knew they served such an important function as this age? Poop catcher. And so I guess I'll either have a sweaty kid with a onesie under his t-shirt all summer or be on poop watch every time he sits down. Hmmm. I'll have to ponder that one.

I have never before this past week been a multiple book reader. I liked to read them straight through before going to something new. So what the heck is up with me having not 1 or 2 or 3 but 4 books started? Yikes. Something isn't right with that. Either the books just aren't holding me or I have issues with staying focused lately. FYI only one of these is my new books that arrived Friday but this is the exception since I only read like three pages.

I better stop there. The little guy is awake and no doubt in need of a diaper change!

Monday, April 27, 2009

30 things I love about summer

Like my food list, this has not a darn thing to do with writing. But who cares - sometimes it's just fun to talk about warm and fuzzy stuff right? And with temps in the 90s here in PA I can't help but think about the coming season.

1. Swimming
2. Picking strawberries
3. Stargazing
4. Driving with the sunroof open and the windows down
5. Farmers Markets
6. Lush green leaves and grass
7. Fireflies
8. Sleeping with the window open
9. Eating dinner outside
10. Watching Nathan discover things like bugs and clouds
11. Picnics
12. Walking in the grass barefoot
13. Flying a kite
14. Watermelon
15. Seeing my freckles come out
16. More hours of daylight
17. More time with my niece and nephew
18. Blueberries
19. Vacations
20. Laying in the sun
21. Not needing a coat
22. Corn on the cob
23. Flip flops
24. Walks at sunset
25. Frozen cocktails
26. Reading by the pool
27. Sidewalk chalk
28. Fireworks
29. Sun+fresh air=good nights sleep (especially for kids!)
30. Listening to crickets and peepers at night

Guess you can tell we live in the country. I'm loving this week in spite of the ridiculous temp change ahead, 92 to 65, how sick is that? Even though it's going to cool down all the trees are blossoming and the grass has finally turned green so it looks incredible. I can't wait to spend the evenings outside with my laptop writing my sequel.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New books!

I was thrilled to get a package today. My new books! I got a B&N gift card for my birthday so I used it for three books I'd been hearing great things about.

The Hunger Games
The Time Traveler's Wife

I know a few of you have read these but any thoughts you might want to share? I don't know which one to start with! I'm pretty excited that two of them are written in present tense. Since I'm pretty intimidated with writing that way so I hope to be inspired to give it a whirl if these stories are as good as I hear.

I don't know too many other things I'd rather get in the mail than books. Great way to start the weekend! Oh no - I just realized I have City of Bones, Marked and Bloodfever all started...all good but they aren't 'keep me up all night' sorta awesome. I hope one of these new ones hooks me like Forest of Hands and Teeth or any of the Twilight series did!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I resubmitted - time to sleep!

I made it through the revisions - yay! I cut two entire chapters from the beginning and moved a major part of the story up to the front and trimmed a few things down and I'm thrilled with it all. Thanks to Sara, Nova, my sister Jenn and especially Jamie (the queen of line editing) I have a brand spanking new partial. (and of course the dead on input from the expert agent) It wasn't easy but it was worth the loss of sleep and hours of staring at my laptop screen to get there. The fact that I sent it at 1:30 am says it all.

Now I can get back to blogging and seeing the light of day. Just kidding about the light part but definitely not the blog. I can't wait to get back to my daily rants. Besides I have a lot of 'lists of 30 things' to catch up on. I'm missing my daily reads of the blogs I follow too. It's funny how content you get with a routine. But I knew I had to make some sacrifices to get my partial done this week. I thought it was best to get my work back to the agent while she still remembered me. Now it's on to getting the entire thing in tip top shape, which shouldn't be too bad based off the feedback I've bad from those who have read it all so far. At least I don't have to do it in a week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Out to lunch

I was all set to write a new list of '30 things' but I was just too busy last night and will be today. I'm reworking a lot of the beginning of my manuscript to resubmit to the agent that suggested I consider revising parts. Thanks to a much needed shove from Jamie, one of my new awesome writing group partners, I have a lot of the changes made. If only she'd stop finding more edits! Kidding of course, I want it to be perfect so I'm willing to work as hard as I need to.

I will likely be MIA the next day or so until I get finished. I want to get this emailed this week while my name and story are still fresh on the agent's mind. I think if there was ever a reason to skip a day or two of posts on a writing blog, it's to actually write a book - or in the case revise it.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blog Chain: What made you start writing? When?

It's my turn to start the weekly blog chain so here's my question:
(this is a selfish one since I am dying to know other peoples stories!)

What made you start writing? When?

This is super easy for me since it was not so long ago. Now, before I tell you the real deal, I must say how hard it is for me to put this out there knowing many people will laugh. Not at the fact that I started writing but the trigger. But since I'm feeling especially honest today I thought I'd share the entire story.

I read Twilight (yes go ahead and scoff if needed) at the end of last summer and finished the entire series within that week. Let's say it was the end of August 2008. It was somewhere in between New Moon and Eclipse that I knew I needed to start writing. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I was truly blindsided by the alarming desire to write my own story. Something within told me I could create something that might keep people up at night the way these books were doing for me. I lost an entire week of my life thanks to the Twilight saga and that my friends is when I knew I was going to be a writer.

The reason I don't like to share this little tidbit is because I don't want people getting the idea I was inspired to be like someone else. No. I wanted to try and give the gift back the world, that I'd been given so many times before. Stories that make you lose sleep and want your kids to, make you skip cleaning the bathroom for a week, fail a test because you didn't study or forget to eat. I adore Twilight but I don't want to be Stephenie Meyer. I want to be me. I sure as hell would like to enjoy her success though.

I listened to that not so subtle voice in my head and started to write. Which by the way if you have read my older posts you know I just happened to have bought a laptop not long before this hit for a blogging job I ended up quitting. Something I like to say is serendipity! Anyway, I wrote and wrote like mad for two months and ended with 102,000 words. I was shocked that I'd actually done it. I'd written a novel, and a long one at that. I edited and edited and edited and edited and ended another two months later with 92,000 words which may soon be 90,000. I "cut the fat" as I've heard it called.

Before I wrap this up (I actually have to go revise the work I speak of) I should tell you before that day in the midst of reading Twilight at the age of 29, I never had even the slightest bit of desire to write anything more than an email or assigned blog post. I liked my English courses and did well but it was never my thing then. I was an artist for as long as I can remember, the painting and drawing kind then I became a visual artist when I found a career in visual merchandising (dressing mannequins, doing window displays etc.) So creativity is nothing new to me but writing was just something I wanted no part of. Even my mother told me I should write back when Harry Potter came out and I was over the moon with it. I laughed and said never.

Yes, I have officially eaten my words. I truly feel that I've found my calling and its no coincidence it was this late in life. I had other things to experience, things that would shape and form me to who I am today - to help me write. So in the span of eight months I wrote my first novel, edited it, queried it and have had one request to read a partial that I could resumbit with changes...not too shabby. It's way more than I dreamed of when I started typing away on this trusty green laptop. And this is only my first shot.

So thank you Stephenie Meyer for taking a risk and giving the world a story that did more than just entertain me. Pretty interesting she was also 29 and a stay at home mom when she wrote her first novel.

Be sure to swing by the rest of the awesome bloggers on this blog chain.

Tuesday: Lin Wang - Teen Writer
Wednesday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom
Thursday: Girl With a Notebook
Friday: From Elysium

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm so mad I could...write!

I am having more drama in my personal life, thankfully this is limited to one person, but still I'd much rather have none. It feels as if my life is this nice calm, mirror looking surface lake (an exciting and awesome one at that but still peaceful and serene) but this person just loves to come and make waves. I mean giant, nasty white capped sorta waves. You get the picture.

I know I should retreat to the always silent and still waters available deep below but I tend to get right up in those waves and kick and scream and fight back. Hmm or maybe I need to find a floatation device of some kind so I can learn to ride them out without having to hide. Interesting idea.

When these waves get to churning it makes me want to work even harder on my writing. Not in the inspiring kind of way of a story line or anything but it makes me want to succeed. Since the waves have everything to do with my future and security I want to work at succeeding. I want to tear into my manuscript and revise the hell out of it (thanks to my new fantastic critique circle I have the feedback to do it).

I don't know about others but there are two sides to my goals when it comes to writing and one is becoming a published author. Now before that comes across wrong, let me say that when I write I don't plan my story according to this. I write from the heart and worry about whether or not it will appeal to enough people to be worthy of being published. Still, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting this. I didn't sit down one day and say "hey let me write a book so I can make some money!" No way. The idea that I might earn money from writing came later and I have to say that I like the idea. That would give me the lifestyle I have come adore- raising my son myself and having the ability to decide how I spend my days. I know it isn't all peaches and cream when you become an actual author and success nor wealth is not guaranteed but is sure as hell doesn't hurt to try. People accomplish this and who is to say I can't get there someday.

I have seen people I deeply admire carve out a living doing what they love. An art teacher I had lives and breathes her art, painting and teaching art, when she could easily have a "day job" while doing what she loved on the side. Millions of people do it. Its hard work to achieve that but people do it. And since I currently have the life I desire in so many aspects I want to maintain it. I want to do what I love and have it sustain me. Whats the worst thing that happens? I try and don't make it. So I go and get a full time job if I have to. But at least I tried...

I have read soooo many articles and such that tell you its nearly impossible to be a full time writer, that most published authors must continue to work even when they enjoy success. Well of course they do. ( I don't at all mean to disrespect those that have to balance the two!) There is every imaginable scenario happening out there right now. People are living life, breathing and writing and chasing their dreams in every shape and form and some find it harder than others. But since I know for a fact there are those out there that have found the destination I desire, I know its possible. How can you be a fiction writer and not believe in that? If we can write about dragons, living in space, saving the world and all that glorious stuff - we sure as hell have to believe anything is possible when it comes to real life. You have to believe that you can get there, that you can have what you truly, deeply believe in your heart. You have to work for it because no one will do it for you. This of course runs far deeper than getting your work published. It's life in general. You can have absolutely anything in life you desire if your motives are pure, the problem is we give up too soon. (please read The Traveler's Gift for a life changing view on this

And so...all these waves stir me up and get me good and mad but they also drive me to be more, do more, for me to find a way to be the person I want my son to look up to. I want to live my dream so that he can see its possible. I want to provide a secure and balanced and joyful life full of love and though I can do much of that without a single cent I need some money for other parts. I hear this person tell me often that my head is up in the clouds. I'm proud of that because I can see the sun from there, way above all the dark ominous storm clouds he is sending in. I am practical when I need to be and I have no problem should I need to return to a 9-5 but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't at least try to accomplish what my heart and soul are telling me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stop driving in circles

With spring finally on its way (making its true arrival with temps reaching 70 today) I have been taking my son outside a lot more. He begs to go out. Literally. He will stand at the door and point outside while yelling out names of objects he knows like "car, bubbles, kite, bike..." It's hard to resist even if Mommy would like to stay in and write her blogs or wait for query replies. Joking of course.

There is this little red and yellow car that my niece and nephew used when they were little (they are now 7 and 9!). Well, Nathan loves it. He only just started to want to ride inside of it rather than pushing it like before and beeping the horn. So he got in there, mind you there are no pedals or floor, its sorta like a Flintstones car, and started going crazy backwards in circles. It was hilarious to see him moving like crazy and not getting anywhere. He was super excited with a big smile on his face at first then the inevitable toddler frustration began. His brow furrowed and he said his signature phrase "OH NO!" Of course like a good Mama I tried to help him do it right. I pushed the car forward and did my best to teach him how to go straight and use his own feet to move ahead instead of backwards - the source of his irritation. It seemed like he got it.

Nah. He got all geared up and started moving those little legs only to go backwards again. Poor kid.

As I stood there watching him it occurred to me how often I do that sort of thing. You know, think I'm ready to try something, get started and end up driving in circles - backwards. Part of childhood is being taught and helped along the way. Sure, some stuff they pick up all on their own but you most of it is through observation and education. Kids learn to speak by hearing older kids and adults talk, not always the right words but still this is the way it works. But kids aren't the only ones who learn this way, we could be doing the very same thing and actually we should be!

This is all comes back to writing. I am a new writer and I sure as hell find myself spinning in circles backwards. I want to be going ahead in a straight line but I need help. Of course I could allow myself to keep going round and round and round and learn the super hard and long way but there is so much help out there just waiting to be called upon.

Things like...
reading books in every range from best sellers to flops - there is something to learn from success and failure, you can see what to work towards and what to avoid. Joining writing circles and getting FREE critiques from people living what you live as a writer, they need help, you need help - bingo - help each other! I just started this and already I can see the tremendous benefits it can have in one chapter alone. Doing research daily by reading industry blogs that range from editors and agents to published and aspiring authors and reading articles and books about writing, querying, editing, etc. Reaching out to other writers. In doing this I have "met" some incredible people through blog comments and forums. Who says writers are solitary beings that shy away from the world? No way, well not the ones I am meeting! These connections are amazing and super helpful.

Take minute and look at what you're doing. Are you driving in circles? Backwards? Stop and think about what you can do to fix that and take advantage of what's out there. Unless of course you are trying to go backwards...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The news I've been waiting for

It finally happened. Today I got a response on my partial! The wait is over she said...NO.
Sadly that's a fact but I am sooo okay with it because of her comments which were just what I was hoping for if she indeed passed. (Is it wrong to be this excited with a rejection?)

Here's s little inside info into what she said...

There was a lot she liked but I had more going on than needed. She listed the part of the story she was interested in as well as the one part she was not. She then said if I should revise using her suggestions she would invite me to resubmit. Holy cow...that last part did it for me!

I kept thinking I'd hear that I needed to refine my craft or something - meaning my writing revealed my inexperience but no, she clearly thought my writing was there just needed to ditch a part of the storyline. Though she passed on what I have, I feel validated. I feel great actually!

But no I will not be making this major change in the book just yet. This is one persons opinion and though I greatly respect it, I also happen to love this part of my story. Now, if I hear this again or reach the end of the road with my list of possible agents, I will rethink this idea and resubmit.

Aren't you happy to know you don't have to hear about the exclusive partial anymore? I am! Relief all around. And so the quest continues but with an extra shot of confidence knowing my writing is pulling its own weight. Funny how three sentences in the form of rejection can add to your self confidence isn't it? That's what I freaking love about life - there's always a silver lining, you just have to know where to find it.

And to think I was preparing my "nagging" follow up email to send Friday...another reason to rejoice. I get to remain slightly less annoying for a day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blog Chain: The hardest part about writing

This is our first week with the blog chain and Icy Roses over at From Elysium kicked us off with a great question. What's the hardest part about writing? Be sure to stop by her blog and see what she had to say - good stuff!

I thought about this question and was surprised at my lack of answers. I thought I'd have a whole list! I'm thinking this is a positive thing. Since writing is my passion I'm liking the idea of not having too many road blocks in the way. Here it goes...

What is the hardest part of writing?

1. Distractions
Without a doubt researching the industry, blogging, emails and all that have been a major bump in the road for me. I wrote my first novel in a few months in one straight shot of staying up till all hours of the night every night then revising not long after. Once I started connecting with other writers and sending out queries and now especially with waiting to hear back from an agent, I've gotten sidetracked. Big time. I've started five new books but keep getting stuck on waiting on the first ones fate. I know, I know, you have to write it, get it out there and move on and keep writing! I'm working on it. At least I'm distracted by things related to writing. That's gotta count for something.

2. Editing
I had no idea how hard it was to edit your own work. Really hard for me. It's torture to look at your work with an outsiders eye. I tried to read through my manuscript as a "reader" and found it nearly impossible because I was so critical. It doesn't help that I'm not the best at knowing the proper places to use commas or get confused on the whole then/than thing and that sort of stuff. I ended up getting help from my incredible sister who sat with me until 1am a few nights and read the whole book aloud so we could make the edits needed on my laptop. Thanks Jenn!

Seriously that's all I have, just two things! Pretty good huh? I have no problem coming up with ideas, characters or pulling the plot together. If I could get over my issue of being distracted I'd be golden. The editing thing is a much easier fix. Gee, maybe I should get my sorry self off this blog and get some writing done.

Be sure to check out these other writers blogs this week for their response to this question. It's really interesting to see what we each struggle with. I'm betting distraction will be a common theme.

Monday: From Elysium
Wednesday: Girl With a Notebook
Thursday: Lin Wang - Teen Writer
Friday: Somewhere Nowhere in My Kingdom

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh to be a kid again

As an adult the holidays (even Easter) are still wonderful but behind that for me there's always the lurking idea of how they used to be when I was a kid. You know, that whole "wow, this is a lot smaller then I remembered" feeling when you revisit a place you haven't been in decades. Celebrating holidays takes on a whole new meaning when you have kids and since mine is only a year and half I haven't gotten to do the whole anticipation part with him yet since he doesn't really get it completely. That time will come and I look forward to it while still loving the experience now but...I get nostalgic of my own time as a child and how special everything, and I mean everything, used to feel.

Yet another reason I'm drawn to write young adult stories! It's funny how these epiphanies strike me randomly these days because when I started writing I would have had trouble telling you why I was writing YA aside from the one reason - cause I want to. I love discovering these little nooks and crannies in myself and observing fragments of what makes me tick, especially as a writer.

My longing of childhood and appreciation of the magic of those days help me write what I think teens might want to read. Well, I sure hope they do at least. My own teen years were awesome in many ways but were as equally challenging. I hated some days and months back then as I struggled to find myself while thinking I knew it all. The young adult years are an incredible period in your life even if you have no idea of it at the time. I know I had no idea. It was appalling to read an old journal I got as a birthday gift when I was 16. It was horrifying to see how many times I bitched about a boy or a friend or even my family yet looking back I have fond memories. I guess they couldn't have been that bad then!

YA has become a massive presence in most book stores and its no wonder because being a teen now is far more challenging than it was even when I was and I'm only 30. They have concerns that I never dreamed of having. So there are books that cover every imaginable experience, real and imaginary. The ones that seem to do the best are the ones that go to the extreme on either side of the spectrum. They might be so real and raw it hurts or they're so out there and things we wish we could be or do that they help us escape boring or painful realities. Now what are my favorites tend to be what combines the two. I love books that take exciting fantastical places and plots and weave them into ordinary peoples lives. I can relate to the story and characters while being swept away into some glorious love story or grip the edge of your seat adventure.

Missing the freshness anticipation and possibility of being a kid is a good thing in many ways. A very good thing for most of us and yes, especially if you happen to be a writer who is trying to capture what it felt like to be back in that time of our lives. While I never wanted to be a rock star at the age of 18 or even now at 30 or to fall madly in love with not one, but two amazingly sexy guys from another planet, I sure as heck think it sounds like a whole lot of fun. And so I write about just that very thing.

So I don't think I'll ever stop wishing I could wake up on Easter morning to a giant basket full of yummy candy and gifts or even what it feels like to spot the boy of your dreams on the dance floor during a night of dancing with your girlfriends. Not so sure the Easter bunny will be showing up with anything for me in the years to come but I'm sure I can hit the club if I find a babysitter! But at least I can write about it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good things ahead

I'm feeling good about some things I've started to do or will be starting to do I should say. A blog chain with fellow YA writers, a YA critique group (different YA writers than the blog chain) and an outline for the next two books that will be part of the series I started with Sage.

I've been bursting at the seams with ideas for these new books as well as other ones outside of the series so now I just need to kick it in gear and get writing. I'm psyched about the writing group so that once I get through Sage with them I'll have to be on top of having a new chapter to share each week or every other week when I start the others. Accountability is an amazing incentive isn't it?

I'm still doing my best to relax on hearing back from the agent on my partial. Too bad the Easter bunny doesn't deliver emails too! In all honesty I'm cool with it, I have a game plan and for now I'm focused on spending a weekend enjoying my family and the holiday.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

30 of my favorite things to eat or drink

This has nothing to do with writing. I'm just writing it because it sounded fun!

1. Sushi rolls
2. Arizona Stress tea
3. Breakfast sandwiches
4. Grilled salmon
5. Green apple martini
6. Cracker and cheddar cheese combos
7. Rice
8. Cadbury mini eggs
9. Baked sweet potato
10. Avocado
11. Fountain soda with crushed ice
12. BLT pizza
13. Hibachi
14. Sour Patch Kids
15. Sesame chicken
16. Wine (red or white)
17. Blueberries
18. Vanilla yogurt with granola
19. Chicken fajitas
20. Peppermint Altoids
21. Soft ice cream
22. Raisinets
23. Cranberry juice and Grey Goose
24. Angel hair pasta, marinara sauce, mushroom and zucchini
25. Homemade Chex mix
26. Sicilian pizza
27. Buffalo bites
28. Peaches
29. Cool Whip
30. Chocolate mousse

That was a little too easy to write...and now I'm hungry!

30 of my favorite books

Since a couple people thought the 30 books list would be good I decided to start with that because let's face it I love talking about books, especially ones I love! This is going to be tough but here I go...

30 books I love (or in some cases really liked) in no particular order

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
3. Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
5. The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews
6. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
8. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
9. A New EarthCheck Spelling by Eckhart Tolle
10. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
11. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
12. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
13. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
14. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
15. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
16. The Shack by William P. Young
17. The Epic of Gilgamesh by ????
18. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre
19. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
20. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
21. Eldest by Christopher Paolini
22. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
23. Sage (my book) by Rebecca Sutton
24. Abarat by Clive Barker
25. The Alchemist by Paolo Cohelo
26. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
27. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
28. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
29. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
30. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

That was too easy...I could have gone on and on...what don't you try and see what you come up with and see how fun or hard it is for you.

30 never sounded so challenging!

With today being my 3oth birthday I thought I'd do a series of posts that are lists of 3o things. Like "30 things I've learned about writing" or "30 favorite inspirational quotes" etc. At first I thought 3o was a little too many things to include in a list but than I realized that meant I had to do this. It's a challenge! So look out for my new series of posts and let me know if you have any suggestions of what sort of lists you'd like to see. This is what I have so far...

30 things I've learned about writing
30 things about me (this sounds chuck full of ego but its really because I want to know about other writers so I better be willing to put myself out there too)
30 inspirational quotes
30 ways to become distracted from writing
30 favorite books
30 blogs I follow

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Stars I can reach

This is the opening to the Blue October song Sound of Pulling Heaven Down

Somewhere, far away from here
I saw stars, stars that I could reach
It was a midnight, a silent twilight
Fell down, beyond the ocean beach

I love this because it's an awesome song but lately it's taken on a new meaning. Actually it happened the same day I got the my first email from an agent requesting the partial of my manuscript. It's the line I saw stars, stars I could reach. Everyone has dreams but as a writer who has finished a 92,000 word novel I feel like I found my star I can reach.

Let me explain.

We've all heard the saying "reach for the stars" and know it means go for it, chase your dreams. But what I see in most people is a want for something they make no effort to have. So for all you writers out there that write, I mean really write and are genuinely on the path to finishing a book or have finished, you're star is within reach. But only in reach if you want it to be. (and anyone taking actions towards a dream) Writing a book doesn't mean the same thing for everyone. For some it means becoming a successful author, for others its the sense of accomplishment they feel for doing it with no intent on sharing it with the world. Whatever your intent is - who cares! Just be sure to take the steps to pull that star a little bit closer each day.

The day I got that email and heard these lyrics I knew my star was that much closer and I don't plan on it fading anytime soon. It meant I'd done something right and I was one step closer to my dream. It may takes weeks, months or years but that star will be in the palm of my hands someday and I'll have a big fat smile spread across my face when it is. In the meantime I'm happy because though I want to see that star, I'm making sure to smile everyday star or not!

Here's a link to a live video someone posted on youtube if you'd like to hear this song for yourself. I tried to put the video right on there but had issues and gave up!

*Eek- can't wait to see Blue October live this month!!!

What the heck do you want?

I mean this in the nicest way. What do you people want? No, really. What do you want to read about? I started this blog with the intention of sharing my journey as an aspiring writer working to get published and hopefully writing about things people want to read. I have no idea if I've accomplished any of that but I'd sure like to know what you want to see.

So please speak up and leave a comment on stuff you might already like that I'm doing or things you want to hear about from little old me. What kind of blogs do you like? What kind don't you like? Come on and in and tell me all about it!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dont miss this bit of inspiration! Daily Guru 4-6-09

I was in love with this group of quotes I got in my Daily Guru message today. Amazing! Hope they inspire you as much as they have me...

“Don’t discard your fantasies as merely wishful thinking. Honor them as messages from the deepest part of your being about what you can do and directions you can choose.
-- Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born."
-- Dale E. Turner

“Everybody builds a dream in their lifetime. You’re either going to build your dream, or somebody else's. So build your own!"
-- Christopher LaBrec

These and more incredible quotes available from

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In honor of my 50th post...

Yay, I made it to a full 50 posts in a very short time as a new writer/blogger! In honor of this accomplishment I'm going just ramble on about whatever it is I feel like.

It's been quite a weekend with a rather dark point I'd rather forget but know will only get worse with time. Sadly this involves a turn for the worse in a relationship that can be ended but never really end since a child is involved. Talk about a lesson in patience and courage! Which is just what I need right now in more ways than one since I'm working on my professional email to the agent with my exclusive partial who I haven't heard back from in over twenty days.

Everything in life can help us grow whether it's part of a professional situation or as personal as deciding to end a marriage. We never stop growing and sometimes it just plain hurts. There are days it would be easier to take a break from all this darn growing and evolving and just sit back and relax but the next day you might just find yourself working doubly hard to catch up or worse, your growth could be stunted! For me its gonna hurt like hell to do some of the growing I need to do but I'm ready. Here's whats on the agenda for the week...

1. Turn 30 on Wednesday (YAY!)

2. Explore legal options for the personal ickyness (sp?) discussed earlier (EW!)

3. Follow up on the exclusive an agent has of my partial

And that's just the big stuff. Who knows what else will come my way and especially as a result of two of the things and I'm not talking about the first one! Some pretty awesome stuff could come my way and then again it might not. The point is I need to be ready for it. Number two is just plain icky and number three is the one I'm working on now. I'm getting my shiny and professional email ready to send and lining up a writing group to help me work on my manuscript in the event she passes.

And ya know what? I'm sending the much anticipated follow up email a day early in honor of my 30th birthday. With any luck I'll get some news whether it be a rejection or a request for the full manuscript.

This week is a time for moving on and suffering through growing pains. Wish me luck!

*Disclaimer - this may not actually be my 50th post. I just realized I have one or two sneaky little drafts hiding in my edit post box! *gasp*

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Could I ever make a grown woman and a 9-year-old girl cry with the same story?

I just finished reading the last chapter of the 6th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, to my 9-year-old niece. She cried just like I did when I finished it the first time. How many books out there can accomplish such a feat? I mean really, making a child and an adult cry, really cry together! Amazing.

This is what I wish I could give to the world in my writing. *sigh*
It's one of the reasons I started writing...I find books to be one of the best gifts the world has to offer and I want to give back what I've enjoyed all my life.

The thing is that though I adore the sort of books that cross generations and would love to write them but they aren't what comes out of my wacky little brain. I'm on the edgier end of the YA genre, writing for older teens. Funny how you might want to do something but just don't seem to get there. I'd love to write something that my niece and nephew could read but it ain't gonnna happen anytime soon. Let's face it I was up til 1am writing a love scene that takes place on another planet involving two bodies separating with an orgasmic intensity into sparkling strands of, yeah not something kids should be reading. But it sure sounds good to me.

Is there any sort of effect you'd love to have on your readers that isn't what actually write? Like, say you write romantic comedy but secretly wish you could scare the crap out of your readers?

Anything is possible and I'm all about stepping outside your comfort zone to try something new but you know what I mean. Sometimes we seem to be wired for something specific. Like me I'm YA fantasy all the way baby!

For now I'm sticking with the 15 to 18-year-old female audience. I'll save my quest to include kids for later. Yet again the power of JK Rowling leaves me in awe. Not sure I can think of any other book that spans about six hundred pages that a third grader could read on their own in two weeks. (she would have finished sooner if it weren't for her waiting to read the last part with me me!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Critique Groups. In one? Want to start one?

I've heard some wonderful things about critique groups or writer circles or whatever else you want to call them. I've made connections with some fabulous fellow writers and we've swapped some work but I've have yet to be a part of a working, breathing network of writers as I'm up to my neck in my writing. So...if the agent reading my partial passes I'd like to get in a group to help me polish and refine my manuscript.

Anyone in a group? What are your thoughts and advice? How did you find each other?

Anyone not in a full group? Want to start one? I'm a super fast reader that isn't afraid to say it like it is but in a nice way and I'd love to help others on their journey to publication.

This is a little random but do published authors continue to work in these groups if they're pumping out sequels that need to be kept under wraps? Just curious!

Please share any and all thoughts you have on this topic.

Daily Guru 4-1-09 (not April fools)

This mornings Daily Guru is fabulous...

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
-- Dr. Seuss (via Elena)

“What you must dare is to be yourself.”
-- Dag Hammarskjold

As usual these quotes need little explanation. You get the drift. Love that two of them are writers!

Daily Guru available on