Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy faces in little boxes

I have to confess to getting a little excited when I get comments on my posts. It's fun and helps me know I'm writing about things that interest people. So thank you for taking the time to comment!

If you're not a follower I would cordially like to invite you to do so. I like seeing those little faces in the boxes to the right of the screen! If you're already a follower - thank you for that too. It's awesome to know you're out there. I'm all about connecting with fellow writers and just interesting people out there so I've been so excited to start following some of the awesome blogs out there.

One last thing...I'm so interested how you found me if it wasn't due to me becoming a follower of your blog. If you get a chance I would love to hear from you.

Time to finish watching American Idol then get some reading done.

Expert opinion wanted

I might catch some slack for the decision I made when I granted an agent an exclusive on reading a partial of my manuscript. Apparently some frown upon this sort of thing, stating it limits your chances of finding an agent while you allow one person to lock it up.

Hmmm...I went with my gut on this and made the call I felt was right at the moment. She's a reputable and successful agent with a great agency based in NYC. (yes, I'm intentionally leaving the details out) These things added to my instincts are what allowed me to agree with her request for exclusivity.

One mistake I did make was not capping the time frame. It was never discussed in our email exchange. And so it is now going on close to three weeks with no word and I'm getting very anxious.

Of course I've researched the topic and found a number of thoughts but the one that stuck out was on a site that said it could take months for them to reply to a partial. Oh lord. Since it's an exclusive and the time frame was not addressed, I feel it's completely appropriate to send her a brief email. I'm just stuck on how long to wait before doing so.

And so here is where I ask for that expert opinion...How long do I wait before contacting the agent?

I have the four week mark in mind. But I'd love to know if anyone out there has some input. I'm still praying her reply includes a request for the whole manuscript but aside from that I'm super anxious for feedback on what made her pass. Either way I'm anxious to hear something. Anything but a form rejection, please not that!

Why all the focus on negativity? Seriously WHY!

I am posting my first official rant...and it's not even writing related.

Why the hell does the media focus 95% of its attention on bad stuff? Really, I want to know! It makes me sooo icky inside when I see all this crap on not only the front page of the newspaper but about the entire first section and then some. It's no wonder I skip to the horoscopes and comics.

I just don't get why they think or why so many people read, all this negative stuff. Today it was about how high the unemployment rate is and how the FBI was involved in getting some accused murder of the roof of an abandoned building and everything in between. Bad news everywhere you look. Sad.

I've heard from many people in the recent past that have said they think the media could help boost the economy by simply stopping the downers for a day and show what's right. There are places that are hiring, there are businesses that are succeeding. I mean come on - there are people getting married and babies being born every freaking second and we stuff that in the next to last section of the paper?

Show me the signs of life. The good stuff. Why must we feed into the negativity? Shouldn't we focus our attention elsewhere? Aren't we just adding to the big ugly pool of ickyness in the world?

I can't speak for everyone else but most of this news does little to change my life. Sure, there are things we need to know about but most of it- not so much. If we never knew a killer was on the loose why do we need the front page devoted to catching the scumbag? Talk about the guys that caught him but not him!

I'll wrap this up so I can get back to my day full of kittens and rainbows. I don't even watch the news on TV and like I said I skip through the ick in the newspaper. I commend the homepages I see everyday like yahoo and aol who post whats necessary (ick is mixed in time to time) and for showing things like cities that are booming and cool stuff like fish with clear heads and how to find your perfect man (ok that last one isn't so cool to me but someone out there is all over that).

What do you think? Is there too much bad news being reported? Do you follow the news? Thoughts?

Rant complete. Back to regular blogging full of joy and sparkle.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Damn these good books!

It's a little after 8 am and I'm really stinkin' tired. This is all my own doing of course, I can't even blame my son for waking me up crying. And I owe it all to one awesome book that kept me up way later then I wanted. My eyes were burning but I kept turning those pages. I was hooked. I AM hooked. I've got the book right here with me now so while my son watches Sesame Street and eats his cheerios mommy can read all about the zombies trying feed on human flesh. (boy, there's one theme I don't think I'll see Elmo discussing anytime soon)

Just to clarify I am in love with this book which stopped me from precious sleep long after I shut down my trusty laptop. The book is The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and I can safely say I highly recommend it even with only being a little more than half way done. It's creepy and dark but just so captivating! If I hadn't bought it because of what I'd heard from a a fellow blogger Beth who went to the book signing (thank you!) and from reading the author's blog and knowing this was her first published novel and wanting to support her- I'd be definitely be buying it after seeing how much I liked it.

This has been a great week for reading for me. I better hope the next one becomes a good week for writing! I'll no doubt be posting my entire impression of this book once I finish in the next day or so.

*Here's a little something that might make you laugh on this Monday morning. When trying to tell my sister about this book I must have said every possible combination of wrong words and she just kept looking at me like I was nuts and asking what the hell the name really was! Here are some of them...

The Forest of Feet and Hands
The Forest of Feet and Teeth
The Forest of Hands and Feet
The Forest of Teeth and Hands

No people it's The Forest of Hands and Teeth - say it with me...
Once you read it you'll see why. I won't be messing the title up again after getting in this deep. So awesome!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Shack

I've heard quite a bit about The Shack, how its some sort of crazy miracle that went from a gift for friends to family to a full fledged top selling published book. I also heard it was a religious story and though I am spiritual it seemed like it might be a little too intense (in the wrong way) there for me.

*I must note that I never planned to discuss politics or religion on this blog but this is a very special circumstance. (Ohh that made me think of Tally - anyone else get that reference to a certain awesome YA series? )

Back to the book...My mother ordered it and offered it to me to read knowing I'm a book junkie. I was apprehensive even after reading the back since it was out of my safe little teen fiction world I've come to love and adore the past couple years. I have to push myself to read much outside my genre of choice now! (funny how that I didnt even read as much YA when I was a YA!) But I did feel drawn to find out how this little story became such a success.

Loved it. Loved all of it. I cried, I cringed, I laughed, I pondered, I cried again and I even had to read parts out loud because they were just that deep. The imagery was incredible and the story was great. Yes, there was a major message in there but it was done in a way I never expected. I'll say it again - loved it.

It might be hard to get through in parts if you aren't all that religious but there is so much there to appreciate. If you believe in God in any form then I highly suggest reading this book. Heck, even if you don't you should check it out because they way God is presented just blew my mind! I can see why this book became a hit. Its dark and disturbing then light and profound all at once.

Loved it. What more can I say?

Has anyone else read this? Thoughts - good or bad?

I of course expect there are others out there that would say quite the opposite of my view on this book. The funny thing is when you take something like Twilight, people aren't afraid to speak up as a fan. I am proud to flaunt my love of that series but I stalled before writing about this book and for one reason only...because of the religious side. Then I thought about it and because I feel it is such a brilliant book and has an interesting story I should write about it on there. I'm a writer and this my blog about that aspect of my life so when I read a good book it shouldn't matter what its about. Good books are meant to be shared, whether or not you want to read it, well that's up to you isn't it?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Here borrow mine..."

First off let me begin by saying how much I love books. I mean really love books. Even when I don't have the extra money to spend I'll still buy a book if I love it. Of course I've purchased some that I have later come to regret spending any money on. (sorry to those authors!) But those are the minority in my book collection, which I might add is mostly in storage. Ahh, but that's a whole different story and one I think is best left for a day when I feel like opening my chest and pouring my heart out to the world) Aside from being too personal too share I also try to block out the books (and other great possessions) being in storage thing because they have been there for close to two years, which means they may just be piles of mush by now. *gasp*

Too painful to consider!

Moving on...books, well actually my take on borrowing books.

I'm a fan of sharing a good book but since moving into the realm of the aspiring writer world, I'm torn. (No pun intended!) What does book sharing mean for an author?

More people read your book and will hopefully then want more. A beautiful thing indeed. Isn't that we all want? More readers? Heck yeah.

But...how do we know these readers exist if they haven't bought their very own shiny new copy of your book? I have to state that I've done no research on this topic nor do I know a darn thing about it aside from my own opinions here but from what I see in the world of publishing - its all about the numbers. Sales speak. The more a book sells the more opportunity will be handed to the author.

I'm curious as to how many people out there either lend or borrow copies of books? I do! I love sharing a great story and I adore getting one. (just got one yesterday!) Let me give you an example of how I roll when it comes to a book that rattles me to the core - in a good way of course.

If you're not a fan of this particular series sorry but if smitten.

Twilight. My sister read it and told me it was great. I asked to borrow it. I read the first half and went out and bought the entire series. I know I was late in the game since they were all released before I even started reading the first one but it was awesome not to have to wait. I was in no place to throw down a chunk of change as big as that at that moment in time. I had to, I had to have those books in my possession. And it was a good thing since I read them so fast I couldn't have shared with my sister since she was still reading them herself. Then my other sister borrowed mine after listening to me obsess about the series for months and got her own. You see the point here.

The moral of the story is without realizing it I played a role in ensuring Stephenie Meyer's success. Late in the game I know, but still I contributed to the figures the publisher and all the other people involved look at. This means more money for her and more new books for me. ( I hope since I did also love The Host) I can't take the credit since she wrote stories captivating enough to force me to want my own copies.

Before I end this chaotic rant on book buying, I want to point out something. Not everyone can afford their own books. Take the millions of teens out there that these books are aimed at, there are a lot of parents that can't shell out over twenty dollars for a new release. That's one of the reasons so many kids borrow a friend's copy or hopefully hit up the library. I get that but my message is for you out there that can afford it, especially if you're an aspiring author or even a published author. Borrow as many books as you want but when really gets you going (in a good way!) go buy it. Support the author so they can in turn pump out some more awesome books for all of us.

This is even more important in today's economy. The better books sell the more chance us hopefuls have of getting a shot at seeing our own books on those shelves. What better way to stimulate the economy - buy a book! (no I'm not being paid for this endorsement)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For all you HP fans out there

I've been crazy in love with the Harry Potter series since back before the first film came out. I read those beast of a books so fast it would make your head spin. Now here's the crazy part...I have yet to read the 7th and final book! Something I have trouble believing myself. I do have one very valid reason and one that's just so so.

Valid reason #1
My niece who will be nine tomorrow (happy b-day Jess! her gifts from me consisted of a HP bag, HP t shirt and a three headed dog) and I have been reading all the books together the past year or so. I begged my lovely sister to let me read them to her when she was old enough and so here we are. One thing I would like to brag about is her incredible drive to read just like her auntie. She read just about the entire 6th book on her own and is now waiting for me to finish since I made her stop right near the end of it. For anyone that's read them you know why!

Valid reason #2
I don't want it to end. There I said it. But really, I was in no rush to end something I'd been faithfully addicted to for years. I sobbed at the end of book 6 for obvious reasons but also because it was coming to an end. Eek - one more book left. Am I a pleasure delayer or what? I'm one of those people that saves my favorite flavor for last when I eat something like sour patch kids. Orange anyone?

And so we are about to end book 6 and finally venture into the final book in a series that we both adore. (how sick are we? waiting until summer when we have more time together?) A 30-year-old and a 9-year-old gaga over the same book? That's exactly why this series has sold over 400 million copies.

So far my all time favorite book has been Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and my favorite movie has been Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

What about you out there that share my fondness for the messy haired wizard? What's your favorite book and movie? And please do not spoil anything for me!

Excuse my mess

With all the talk of my website I started thinking about my blog layout. Thus the changes you might see if you're a regular visitor. If you are - thank you! I'm sure I'll test a few layouts and maybe even try my own sassy ideas. Consider yourself warned. Feel free to comment if you see something hideous here or if you happen to like the old layout or whatever else you want to say.

You'd think someone who went to school for graphic design would have an easier time picking some silly colors huh? It kills me how much harder we are on ourselves, if this was for someone else I'd be done in a few hours. What silly creatures we humans are.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Website coming soon

My awesome sister is helping me get a website up and running - so excited! I will of course post all the info when its ready so you can check it out. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions on what you like to see on sites? Or maybe even what you don't like to see.

Right now we have the standard stuff...

SAGE (finished novel I'm currently working on finding representation for)
Contact me

Within the SAGE section there will be a play list, an excerpt, character info and whatever else we dream up in the meantime. Any ideas on what you'd like to see here?

I can't promise any suggestions will or will not be used but I'd sure like to see what people think before we make this public.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Daily Guru March 3/22/09 AWESOME!

“If you're having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up -- to know that there's life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can't find it anywhere else.”
-- Natalie Goldberg

Oh I stinkin' loved this quote from the Daily Guru today. So appropriate for writers.

I'm working on finding the right speed. I seem to move way too fast or too slow. Anyone else have that issue?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Twilight comes home

I know there are as many non-fans as there are fans of Twilight but I confess, I am a big fan.
I say it with pride...I love Twilight! (and Edward Cullen) Yes I am officially a thirteen-year-old again.

So tonight is the night the dvd is released. My sister and I are heading out to pick my copy up at midnight at a local store for so we can watch it with a group of other women tomorrow night. For those of you that are not fans you are probably thinking how silly this seems and if you are a fan well, then you get it out without further explanation.

I feel the need to say that the books (which also have their faults) are much better than the movie. And even if you don't like either of them that's cool, we all have our opinions. But one thing you can argue with is the huge success the series has had the past couple years and it looks to only get bigger with more movies on the way. As a writer I see where some of the criticism comes from in the books and movie but clearly there is something done very right or millions of people wouldn't be obsessed with them.

But enough of my rants on what is and what isn't good about them. I love them for the way they suck you in and for the very fact that I lost a week of my life reading them. Seriously, it was amazing my child got fed! Kidding about that. I can only wish to write something powerful enough to keep a mother up all night when she knows she has to get up at 6 am to a screaming baby!

And so it's with much enthusiasm that I share my joy over finally getting a hold of that dvd tonight. Most of my excitement for watching the movie again is looking at Rob Pattinson as Edward! Ohhh so worth the cheesy scenes to see him. *swoon* Even when he looks like he smelled a pile of #!@* in biology class he looks good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cool things in the news

I've seen two things in the past week that got me inspired. One is a little odd but still interesting in its own way.

Bat Hitches Ride to Space on Shuttle Discovery from Fox News

Love this even though the poor thing died a horrific death if stayed on long enough to leave. Still isn't there something that catches your attention with this? I had a bunch of crazy ideas where I could include this sort of thing in one of my books. And yes it would be very science fiction based. I'm thinking something coming back on the outside of the shuttle as opposed to leaving with it...

Flying car lifts off in maiden flight from msnbc.com

This is so darn cool! My mind is all over the place with this image. Of course I immediately have visions of The Jetsons. Loved that show too. Just think of the possibilities of having a car you can drive then fly. You're driving along and spot an awesome view. Just pick up some speed and go flying above that beautiful valley. And I'd like to see the cops catch me speeding ever again. (sadly I have had a few speeding tickets) I could finally drive as fast as I wanted to! Not to mention the incredible story ideas this provides. I know this is nothing new, people have been writing about flying cars for a long time but seeing it in real life just seems to make it all the more interesting. What would this do for my road rage? Would 16 still be the legal age to drive? Prepare for the future people!

I love seeing random things in the news that inspire me and even more than that I love good news. Give me a story about a bat or flying car over homicide and a failing economy any day.

Late bloomers

All my life I've been one of those people that always knows what they want and goes after it. I have no problem chasing my dreams. What I do wonder about are late dreams. The kind of things you discover as you get older and wish you had desired earlier.

I've had a few of these...

Art teacher - A few years ago I found myself wishing I could go back to school to become an elementary art teacher or even teaching private art lessons for kids.

Writer - This one is pretty obvious being this is a blog about me being a new writer. I of course wish I'd been able to major in English or something of the sort in college.

Again these are wishes not actual regrets. I was a different person back then and I wasn't ready for these dreams. There's a reason we discover new goals and passions as we get older. We change and because we change, we find new pieces that make up who we've become. It does no good to dwell on what might have been. If I really really wanted to, I could go back to school and become a teacher or learn how to finally spell receive right the first time and maybe even become a better writer. But I really really cannot imagine investing the time or money in that at this stage of life. I'm turning 30 next month, which leaves me with plenty of time to pursue those sort of things but I think I'll find my way without school. (funny how my what ifs have to do with college majors!)

I admire people that find that one true calling at an early age and live almost their entire lives doing that one thing. I thought I was that person when I started art classes in elementary school. I took private lessons for about 10 years and knew it was my destiny, or so I thought back then.
I majored in art in college and then came a big surprise. I found visual merchandising, which is dressing mannequins, creating display windows, that sort of thing. I went back to school for that and felt it was again my destiny. I had am amazing seven years with a company that brought my incredible relationships and a successful and rewarding career.

In comes writing. When I quit my job to become a full time Mommy I really had no idea what was next aside from being a mother. I am an ambitious person but I was content to be with my son for the most part. Out of nowhere I found this intense desire to write. It literally happened overnight. I read a book and woke up the next day knowing I needed to write a book of my own.

So after two awesome so-called "this is my destiny" experiences I can safely tell you why writing is different. It's been about 9 months since I started and in that time I've completed a 92,000 word novel and have started four more. Like many people I get all excited about starting something new and get into it then the excitement sadly fades. Not this time. I love to write and I have not had the slightest bit of desire to stop. My passion hasn't faded. When I was an artist full time (taking classes etc.) I would go through phases and have to really push myself to finish things and many times I didn't even do that. I have a lot of half done paintings out there!

To bring this back the whole late bloomer idea. I believe there are things we are meant to find later in life. And though I'm still in the early stages of mine, I can see why I found writing later. The experiences I've had have shaped me into a writer. The books I've read, the people I've met, the jobs I've held, becoming a mother, living all over the country...and much more. The point is though we might wish we have found something (or someone!) earlier in life it's good to stop and see that it wasn't meant to be that way. If I hadn't done the things I'd done earlier I might not have ever found my love for writing. It's interesting to think of it like that.

I wonder what other joys I'll find down the road. I was the girl who only had vodka and Doritos at my apartments when I was single and today I love to cook and take on all sorts of new recipes. I adore taking picture of both people and nature, especially clouds and sunsets. So who knows maybe I'll end up as a gourmet chef who takes pictures of people eating my food in front of sunsets so I can write about them after doing a painting of the whole damn thing and creating display in a store of it all. Oh and of course I'd have to teach a class to kids on how to draw that wouldn't I?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A decided heart

I read a book about four or five years ago that has stayed with me. It's called THE TRAVELER'S GIFT by Andy Andrews and is about a man who's life falls apart and who finds himself on a journey which ends with success while finding meaning in life, you get the idea. I highly suggest reading this!

Anyway. One of the things that stands out to me now as I'm on this journey as writer is this...

"I will not wait. I am passionate about my vision for the future. My course has been charted. My destiny is assured. I have a decided heart."

Love the last line.

I have a decided heart.

This is exactly how I feel about becoming a writer and where I see it going. Enough said.
(If only everything in life could feel this certain!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Where have I been?

I was pretty busy this weekend but still - what the heck happened to me with my goal of posting at least once a day? Not doing so hot with that!

I realized I was kind of laying low while waiting to hear back on the partial request I had last week. Silly I know but at least I realized what my issue was. That's always brings me comfort when I find myself acting "off."

What better thing to post? And so here I am even if I'm not really sharing anything useful! Maybe the fact that I'm neglecting things is helpful since I'm sure everyone finds themselves here in one way or another. The strange thing is that I'm not avoiding something I don't like doing. I love writing and I've really enjoyed starting this blog and have not had one ounce of trouble posting since I got that darn request. At first I thought I was afraid of blabbering about that or maybe even jinxing myself. But then I wasn't writing about anything. I would start and save for later, then start something else and save that. You get the idea.

And so I'm working on finding a way to keep myself grounded and not get all off track again. I was giving myself the freedom to slack off and obsess but really what good is that? If this agent likes my work and wants to sign me then what? I'll slack off again waiting to hear back from her on finding a publisher that likes it too? And then if its published I'll be in agony waiting to see if its successful. OH NO that doesn't sound like a good plan at all.

My new goal is to handle each phase in the same way and keep up with the life I was living before I started this process. While I've done a good job of not checking my email every second watching for the response on the request I've just been acting funky and that needs to stop. Fast. You hear advice about not living our life for the next big thing to come, not thinking the grass is always greener on the other side and living the "if only..." I was careful to avoid that so I was pretty surprised to see myself acting this way. Half the battle is seeing what you're doing wrong.

What am I doing sitting here writing this? There's a beautiful sunny day waiting for Nate and I (when he gets up from his nap) and dinner to make and birthday presents to wrap and American Idol to watch, not to mention stories to be written! All of which gives me an idea for a post later...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Crossed my first bridge

I'm happy to report that I'm still waiting on the queries I sent. Maybe that's the wrong way to put it since technically I am waiting only this time it's to hear back on the 50 pages I sent to an agent yesterday! Ohh it feels good to say that.

I crossed the first bridge of many in this magnificent dream. I'm one stop closer to holding that book in my hands.

No surprise to see I'm over the moon with this news but what is surprising is my attitude about the less favorable outcome. Something I'm excited to feel. Whatever happens I win. I clearly win if offered representation for my novel. But I also win if rejected. I win because I had the opportunity to have an expert review my work. I now know I did something right in my query letter and the concept of my story. That is a gift in itself. And if it is rejected I know what to work on - mainly writing. And for that I will be grateful. I can rest assured knowing I did one main thing right. I can go back and revise again knowing I am spending my time on the right thing.

I went into this knowing rejection is part of the process. The good thing about that is that you learn from it. You may not be ready just yet and that's okay. But crossing this first bridge means I am ready in some way and with any luck I'll get some personalized feedback on what it is that made her pass. Of course I'll be sad but I'll be happy to know something. I won't be dangling out there wondering where to channel my efforts.

Story concept - interesting enough to get a request
Query - professional and effective enough to get a request
Writing - ???

Now that's comforting. It feels like those very very long road trips where you become overjoyed with the sight of a sign for a city that's midway to your destination. You feel that relief and excitement at seeing you've made it halfway. That's how I see a request. I'm halfway there. And one day when I find representation I'll start a whole new journey.

But the important thing is taking a journey to begin with. Go somewhere, anywhere, but at least go. Like my 17 month-old-son says when he's ready "Go. Go. Go." I hear you baby!

I might have to take a pit stop and work on things at some point but at least I'm going. I'm just happy to feel there are no wrong turns on this particular road.

OK. I'm done with the cliches for tonight. Here's to a weekend of waiting in a whole new sort of way...this time my smiles a little bigger.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Living in the present

Something that changed my life.

from Eckhart Tolle's A NEW EARTH (amazing book I highly recommend to anyone)

"By realizing that your entire life journey ultimately consists of the step you are taking right at this moment. There is always only this one step, and so you give it your fullest attention. This doesn't mean you don't know where you are going; it just means this step is primary, the destination secondary. And what you encounter at your destination once you get there depends on the quality of this one step. Another way of putting it: What the future holds for you depends on your state of consciousness now."


"When you make the present moment, instead of the past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do - and with it the quality of your life - increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being. When the creative power of the universe becomes conscious itself, it manifests as joy. You don't have to to wait for something "meaningful" to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The "waiting to start living" syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daily Guru March 8th - Imagine!

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
-- Albert Einstein

“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.”
-- Napoleon Hill

Oh these are perfect for anyone in the process of writing...sometimes all that knowledge can get in the way. Go for what feels right. Write from the heart.

This blows my mind

I saw this image a couple weeks ago on my aol homepage and it stuck with me. I thought it was something fun to share since it seems like something straight out of a sci fi novel. If a fish can have a clear head what else is possible? I'm thinking this could be some good stuff for one of my next books.

Hmmmm...if you HAD to have one part of your body be see through, which would it be? I think I'd have to go with something that goes under your clothes since I'd want to stare it at all the time!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free time isn't just a goal we should have for our kids

I read an article in the newspaper today that said parents around the world agree that kids don't get enough time to be kids, they don't get enough free time. Amen! I agree 100% with that.

I need to give my sister, Jenn some props here for ensuring her kids get this free time to play, read or do whatever without the TV on. Great job and please don't give in as they start to get older!

Back to what this story...

I started to think about the lack of time to just be for not only kids, but all of us. The silly thing is that while kids have parents who hopefully guide them to make time for fun, who do us grown ups have? I can say with certainty that no one tells me to make sure I stop each day to take some time to do what I want. I do that but only because I choose to. There are bosses who tell us when to be at work and what to do with the eight plus hours we spend there, friends and family who tell us what to do with the time out of work, the list goes on and on. American society tells us we aren't successful if we aren't busy doing things. Huh? No flippin way!

I consciously make an effort to stop cleaning or checking emails etc to sit down on the floor and play with my son or to just take time to breathe deeply in a few moments of silence. He's only 16 months old but he can sense it when I'm distracted or upset so I do my best to have those focused moments to just have fun with him.

When I have "me" time I spend most of it these days writing or doing things online that relate to writing. Never did I imagine writing novels would become my number one choice of things I want to do in my spare time! But I truly love it. I have to make myself put my laptop away to watch a movie with my family or to just hang out with friends (something I really need to make more an effort to do!) My hope is that I can always enjoy writing this much, even when I become an author with published work and deadlines. But like everything, it's a choice we have the ability to make.

Eekkk there I go again, not even sticking to the point!

Kids. Play time. Hello?

If you have kids please make sure they have time to just be kids. To have fun building forts with the couch cushions and getting dirty in the mud. And don't forget that you need play time to just be with no scheduled activities.

Every human being needs time to just do whatever it is they feel like doing at that exact moment. For me it happens to be writing this blog! Go figure.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The definition of serendipity - the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

The reason I posted this definition was to remind everyone of this fabulous word. Serendipity. Isn't just fun to say? I happen to think the meaning of the word is pretty darn fun as well. Who doesn't love to find something good in an unexpected way. Like when you're looking for a receipt in your coat pocket and find a ten dollar bill? Love that. I might also note the film by this name is cute.

Now, on to why I'm posting this on a writer's blog. I have been able to chase my newly found dream of writing a novel because of this word.

Let me explain.

Never, ever, ever before this past summer did I have even the slightest desire to become a writer. Sure, I liked my English courses and I am a HUGE reader but I didn't have any desire to write. The funny thing is my Mom has told me many times over the course of my life that I should write. She'd say that after reading an email or card I wrote or even after hearing me go bananas over some fantasy book I stayed up all night to read. She'd say "you should write a book, you have such a way with words and with that imagination of yours..." I'd scoff at her remarks and tell her I had zero interest in writing, let alone a whole novel. I'd cringe at the idea of putting together ideas in that way. I could not understand how someone could even attempt such a feat.

Pretty sure anyone reading this knows I went on to eat my words being I recently finished a 92,000 word novel. I have the follow up started and about five more book concepts brewing in my ideas folder. Yet again I stand corrected. Mama really does know best.

Back to the story.

I went on through life still wanting nothing to do with writing. I was happy as a clam to pursue my love of Visual Merchandising as my chosen profession and paint in my spare time. That was until I got pregnant, moved home to be closer to family, stopped working to stay with said baby and started reading like a mad woman again. In the middle of all that I did an online job helping a family website create content (an awesome job by the way) by creating a profile, pics, journals etc. I took the journaling part pretty seriously and found that I loved it. That project ended and so I found a new one - a blogger. It seemed the best job in the world at the time. I was writing about interesting and fun things, I worked from home whenever I wanted to and I made great money. I even bought myself a laptop!

Let's just say that didn't work out due to promises being made that were not upheld. Sad. It wasn't a business scam or anything just a person saying one thing and doing another. Not wanting to deal with that I politely excused myself from that position. There I was with my shiny new green laptop and no job. Which yes, I did have buyers remorse for, I mean here I was quitting a job after putting this pricy computer on a credit card! For what?

Oh I'll tell you for what....writing a novel! It was a very short time after all this happened that I found myself completely and fantastically obsessed with writing. It was honestly like one of those moments when the clouds part and a brilliant beam of light shines down on you. I read a book, which shall remain nameless, that was so fun and so captivating in spite of some faults made me realize my dream.

I HAD to write.

And write I did, on my shiny green laptop. I wrote and wrote like some crazed woman for days and days and after about three months I finished a 103,000 word young adult fantasy. Then I went back and rewrote several more times until I ended up with 92,000 words. I "cut the fat" as they say.

So that is why I chose to write about serendipity today. After all that's what happened for me. It was the right time, the right place and the right shiny green laptop.

On a side note...last night I was reading a book while feeling slightly concerned about my own work (mainly my finished novel entitled SAGE) when I had a little more serendipity come my way. One of the very minor character's names was Sage. Not exactly a common name. I smiled and took it for what it was, a friendly reminder that all is as it should be.

Thank you shiny green lap top!
(Don't worry one of these days I'll be giving credit to the actual people that helped me on this journey)

This isn't the first time a big unexpeted slap in the face came my way. When I moved out to LA the engine in my car blew up on the way to a job interview. This happened on the freeway when I was going about 70 miles an hour. Yikes! I missed the interview and they filled the position. Wait not so bad - I got an interview with a different company and got the job. I met some of the best people and moved to five different cities with them, one of which was Orlando, where I met my husband, who then became the father of my incredible baby, who caused me to stay home...you get the picture.

Keep your eyes open, you never know when serendipity might come your way. It aint always pretty in the beginning but stick with it!

Another great Daily Guru quote (actually quotes)

“When emotions are managed by the heart, they heighten your awareness of the world around you and add sparkle to life. The result is new intelligence and a new view of life.”
-- Doc Childre and Howard Martin

"Learning to be aware of feelings, how they arise and how to use them creatively so they guide us to happiness, is an essential lifetime skill."
-- Joan Borysenko

No, I'm not advertiting for this site. I'm just a big fan of the free inspirational quotes!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daily Guru quote March 2nd

I had to smile when I read my Daily Guru quote (available from http://www.thedailyguru.com/) of the day this morning...

"Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you."

-- Shakti Gawain

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A real life mermaid!

I don't know if it's the fantasy fan in me or because when I was a kid swimming in the pool I loved to pretend I was a mermaid, but I think this is so cool!

Movies vs books

Right now I have the last movie in the Lord of the Rings series on. I really like these movies and think they did an incredible job making them. The special effects are awesome! Now why the heck couldn't they do what they did here for Eragon? I'm still pissed off about the mess they made of that movie. I read the book about four or five times and was sooo excited to see the film. Sadly, I was disappointed. The guy who played Eragon was great and Saphira was pretty darn good too but the special effects were lacking in places. My greatest sadness was in the lack of similarity in the settings. Where were the mountains so high you couldnt see the tops? I missed a lot of what was so freaking cool in the book.

It makes me wonder about my work. If my dreams come true and my work is published, what if it they made it into a movie? Would I like what they did? Can an author have enough say to ensure their vision is brought to live correctly? Hmmm. So many movies seem to be based on books and almost all of them fail to live up to their inspiration. In my opinion books are better than movies. Period. Of course I'm partial to the written word, though I do love movies. There's something about seeing the worlds and characters in your mind. The way we all start from the same description yet see them in our own way. I don't know what science says on this subject but reading has got to be more beneficial overall for your mind. It requires more of us it would seem. Don't get me wrong I'm not bad mouthing movies or anything but if I had to choose I'd take a book anyday. Let me correct myself - a GOOD book!

What about you...any disappointments in books brought to life?

A Man's POV

So for one of my next projects I'd like to write a YA novel from a male point of view. I have a great plot and characters all lined up but I'm a bit nervous about sounding believable as a 19 year old guy! Does anyone out there know of any books that are seen from a guy's perspective but written by a female?

I'm talking about first person, inside your head kind of stuff. I have an intense love of books that make you feel as if you ARE the main character and seem to find that I only want (or at least try) to write this way myself. I could easily write the same story but from the girl he falls in loves with side right? Of course, but then it wouldn't be the fun, complicated, honest story I envision it to be. When the idea came to me it was clear that it needed to be told by this guy or not at all. He is not up for negotiating! That's one of the awesome things I've discovered since beginning to write this past year, the characters tell their own stories. I had no idea this would happen but boy does it!

I myself have not read a YA novel like this. (Again, if you have please share so I can check them out!) The only books that come to mind that are even about males that I've read or enjoyed are the incredible HARRY POTTER and ERAGON series. I adore those stories but they aren't told in first person. They are great examples of successful YA series with male leads but they don't go into the intimate thoughts of their main characters as I'd like to go with mine. And yet this is the part that worries me, can I write something that goes deep enough as a girl pretending to be a boy? Sure I feel I can be a fifteen year old girl, after all I've been there. But a boy? Would teen girls like it? Would boys?

I guess there's only one way to know..write the darn thing and find out. That's pretty much the answer for many concerns isn't it? Give it a shot!