Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting better

We all have to room to grow. And I mean all of us. From the newbie writer typing their first words to a best selling novelist, each and every writer evolves and learns with each word they write. At least that's my opinion. I started thinking about this after reading Lin from Flames and Shadows question for the blog chain this week when she asked what advice we had to help writers improve their work.

There are a lot of ways to improve like Lin already mentioned (reading books on technique, taking classes, etc.) but I think I think I'll stick to what's worked for me.

  1. Read. Read. Read. I love to read and I read every chance I get with the exception of when I'm in first draft mode. It's one of my personal quirks to keep my head clear and focused when I'm really in intense creation mode, but aside from that I read constantly. Reading is like studying for a test. The more you do it, the better your score will be. I personally stick to reading what I love but I think as long as you read something of quality it doesn't really matter if it's the same genre you're working in or not.
  2. An extra set of eyes. Or two. Or three. Finding critique partners was one of the best things that ever happened for me as a writer. I can't imagine where I'd be without them. I shudder to think of it! Not only did their comments and edits make my work 1000% better. I learned volumes from critiquing their work too. It's helped me read my own work with a fresh eye and to revise in a more confident and effective way. I also recommend having a handful of beta readers and writing buddies so you can get different views on what's working or not working.
  3. My first novel. I was sure my first book would be the one, but oh how very wrong I was. I, like 99% of writers found out that my first attempt at a novel wasn't my best work. I wrote several drafts, queried, had agent feedback, revised, queried some more, then finally set it aside. That was over the course of a year, and though there were times I wondered if I could have done things differently, I realize now it was all part of the process. I write slower now. I think about my words before typing them. I outline. I send chapters as I write them to some of my readers. I take my big ideas and kick them down a notch.

There are more things I could ramble about, but I'd love to know what you guys think. Any advice on what's helped you improve?

Visit Flames and Shadows, From Elysium, Girl With A Notebook, and Somwhere Nowhere In My Kingdom to see their advice on improving your craft.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reading a big girl book

The other day I went out and bought my mom the book Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. It's a dual memoir written by mother and daughter while they travel through Greece and France as they both struggle with changes in their lives. There are two reasons I bought this. One, my mom is a big fan of Sue Monk Kidd's other books like Dance of the Dissident Daughter and The Secret Life of Bees. Two, I opened a magazine to a mini interview about this book, and knew instantly that my mom had to read it. But that's another story. I should also note that this is a mother/daughter memoir. Another reason it was perfect. You can read more about the book here.

Nerd confession time.

We decided to read it aloud to each other. In my defense, this isn't my normal routine with books, but there is one exception - Harry Potter. I read that to my mom on a road trip once, and I have read the entire series to my now 9 yr old niece, of which we're only half way through book seven at the moment. (so please don't tell me how it ends!)

Anyone else read this way? Because you really need to try it. It's fun. And I mean reading to someone who isn't too young to read for themselves. I do that pretty much every day when I read to Nathan. (who is turning 2 this month!) There's something really special about reading to a fellow reader and sharing in the story together. My sister and I had good intentions of reading Catching Fire aloud but that didn't work out due to timing, but can you even imagine how stinking fun that would have been? Because let me tell you how incredible it is reading the last Harry Potter book for the first time with my niece. I get to experience it with her instead of knowing what's ahead like I did with the other six.

No pun intended, but it's magical.

I hope I get at least one of you to try reading to a friend, a boyfriend, an older child, a co-worker, the babysitter, the cable man...I don't care who, just give it a shot. And I'll share more thoughts on Traveling With Pomegranates as we go because I think the fact that a best selling author opens her heart on trying to reconnect with her writing is going to be pretty inspiring. And aren't wondering where the hell the title came from?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Calling all YA Fantasy fans!

*In case you missed my post a few weeks ago, my sister and I started a fansite for Becca Fitzpatrick's incredible debut novel Hush, Hush, called Fallenarchangel.com. I thought I better mention this since the rest of the post would be a bit confusing...

This week I stumbled upon a treasure at my local Barnes & Noble....the hard cover of Hush, Hush! Quite a shock considering it wasn't supposed to be out until October 13th. I bought it, and as of yesterday afternoon it's on its way to the thrilled winner of our Twitter contest. We randomly selected a winner once we hit 100 followers. We're trying to do the same with our forum but the pace has been a bit slower considering it involves registering not just clicking the follow button like you do on Twitter.

So I thought I'd spread the word here since I know some of you have already read Hush, Hush and that many of you are YA fantasy fans. Once we hit 100 users on the forum at www.fallenarchangel.com we'll choose someone at random to win Hush, Hush and we'll send it out right away. This is especially awesome since many people are saying their local stores have not put it out yet! We're itching to get that book in the mail this weekend and I'd love for it to be one of you, so please stop by and register.

Have a great weekend! *sigh* I'll be working all day Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So, what's new?

Since I'm all about new goals and ways of doing things this fall, I'm excited that Kim asked the blog chain this week to talk about what was new in our writing lives.

  • I set a firm deadline of when I want to complete my current WIP. It's a much shorter span of time than my first experience, but since I work extremely well under a time restraint and I want to beat all you NaNoWriMo people to the punch in getting my query out in November instead of the hectic December (which isn't so hot due to the holidays anyway) I went with a very ambitious goal to be done, as in ready to query done, by the end of October. Ok, so maybe I gave myself a couple extra weeks, but don't tell my WIP that because it thinks it only has another month!
  • In an effort to complete my WIP in the time frame mentioned above I'm using a new approach to writing. Instead of just letting the words pour out like I've done in the past, which left me with some hefty revisions -ugh, I have been taking my time with each and every sentence. So far this has been a good thing, it honestly does mean less rewriting since I'm aware of things like not starting too many sentences with "I" or adding in just the right amount of detail. I won't truly know if this is the way I'll continue to write until I finish, but right now it's looking pretty promising in spite of the slow daily word count rate.
  • There's an idea that refuses to be ignored and wait its turn in line, it's insisting on moving to the front of the line right behind my current story. The thing is, it's not a YA fantasy, it's a YA romantic comedy! *gasp* I struggled a little with the idea of writing something so completely opposite my other work, but this idea is just too good. SO my next WIP after I complete Let the City Burn, a story full of magic and danger, will involve romance, cowboys and hot pink boots (not on the cowboys). See why it scared me? Oh but I promise it's super fun and refuses to sit quietly and wait its turn, so...

There you have it, three of my "new" things happening with my writing this fall. What about you? Are you starting anything new? Any ideas harassing you too?

See what the other bloggers in the chain have going on...Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom, From Elysium, Flames and Shadows, Girl With a Notebook Oh, I also need to apologize for missing my turn last week in the blog chain, sorry! I'll post this week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I just didn't connect with the story. Wait, that's what...

Who hasn't read a book that didn't exactly knock your socks off? It's happened to me many times over the course of my reading journey. The thing is, it doesn't happen all that often with books in my genre of choice. I can think of about two times I either didn't finish a book or just plain didn't like it when I did make it through. Because let's face it, some books don't seem as great until you shut it and digest the story. Still, I have on the rare occasion stopped reading. Ouch, right?

A month ago I read the first book in a series (which I have chosen not to name) and liked it but didn't love it. Didn't even come close to loving, actually. For me it was just OK. Since this story is very popular I decided to give the next one a chance. Still just OK, and now I'm considering not finishing after only a few chapters because my time is so limited with trying to finish my own new story, and I have books like Catching Fire and Evermore waiting on my bookshelf. Books I know I will love.

Now, does any of this sound familiar my fellow writers? Because it really struck me that this is EXACTLY how it is for agents/editors. Aha, the light bulb moment! How often do we hear agents saying they just didn't connect with a story even though it's a genre they are currently looking for and the writing was strong? When it's our own story its pretty tough to hear that someone didn't connect with our work, but as a reader we should all remember how true this can be. I personally know people who love the book I am considering quitting reading. It's what you'd call a very successful series. Just not for me. And that's ok.

Not everyone is going to love every book and as reader that's a pretty disappointing fact when you pick a book and find you don't want to finish. Even the part about shelving one book to focus on the ones you are more drawn to is the same. Readers can only read a certain number of books so we want the best. Agents can only take on so many books, and they really have to go with the best because they not only have to love it and enjoy it, they have to sell it.

But, as a writer it's a good thing to remember. Even more important is recalling this simple fact of life during the query or submission process. One of the most frustrating things is to hear from an agent who says they didn't connect with your story without a shred of evidence of what you can improve upon. Up until my little epiphany with the book I'm referring to in this post I felt like the whole not connecting thing was an excuse. That surely there had to be something they could point out for me to consider changing. It took a good knock on the head to get it but now I hear it loud and clear. There honestly are times when a reader won't connect with your story and they may not have a single reason to explain why. And since agents and editors are readers it makes perfect sense. Duh. Why didn't I get this before?

In a couple months I'll be back in the query trenches and I truly feel that I'm armed with a whole new way of seeing things so even if those vague form rejections come rolling in I'll be able to shrug them off and keep smiling. Because what really matters is believing in that one person it takes to connect with your story so that it can end up in the hands of the other thousands of readers who will to.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's hear it for YA books with male main characters!

Since beginning my new WIP with a teenage male main character, I took the advice of a trusted writing friend and picked up Paper Towns by John Green for some killer first person writing. With what else, but a teenage male main character. Awesome book. Yes, Jamie you were spot on with this recommendation, thank you! I've heard the name John Green on twitter, review blogs, etc. but I'd never read any of his work. After picking up Paper Towns I can safely say I plan on getting my hands on the rest of his books, because it was that good.

Green's story of Quentin, a seventeen-year-old who has a less than predictable end to his senior year, kept me on the edge of the seat, but not in the high action fantasy sort of way I'm used to. It was so completely believable I had to remind myself it was a novel and not a memoir. The fact that one of the key words on Amazon for this book is 'beer swords' tells you there is a healthy dose of humor in place. I kept thinking "oh, so this is how teenage boys talk," or "eww, do they really act this way?" Green captures so much of what high school is and does it brilliantly considering he allows us a glimpse into a diverse cast of high school stereotypes, like the band geek, the popular bitchy girl, the jock, and more. I highly recommend Paper Towns for a read that has no bells and whistles, it's just a really great story with characters you want to hang out with and laugh with, and even slap around once or twice.

For more fun info about Paper Towns and John Green's other books visit his site here.

I'd heard a lot about The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan so I decided to pick that up at the bookstore as well. As you can guess this too has a teenage male MC. (more research) Oh, Nick! While it's not written in first person, Ms. Rees Brennan had no problem snatching me up and carrying me away into Nick's mind. I thought I had him figured out with his dark emotionless behavior. But, how very wrong I turned out to be. And that's just one of the reasons I loved The Demon's Lexicon. Sarah's ability to tell a story that twisted and turned me upside down at the last minute. As I've mentioned before, I am very difficult person to trick when it comes to movies and books, but she got me. And, good. Of course I won't say any more on that aspect since I refuse to give the least bit of information away.

I'm a huge fan of Young Adult Urban Fantasy so I had high expectations of the Demon's Lexicon, especially with that beautiful creature on the cover, and in no way was I disappointed. There is so much I can say about this story, the wicked and dark world, the characters who you know and trust only to discover they too have secrets, ultimately though you just plain need to read this book if you're a fan of any kind of fantasy. And better yet, it's the first in a trilogy. Be still my heart. There is nothing sweeter than a kick ass series.

To read more about The Demon's Lexicon and Sarah Rees Brennan herself click here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second time is a charm?

Last night I hit 18k in my WIP, so that on its own is enough to make me smile, but I also realized how much more on track I am this time around. It's one of those things that you have to see to believe. Since I started blogging and following the whole world of writing I've heard it repeated over and over again how writers pushed their first novel aside when they had the agent door slammed in their face. Like most newbies I thought this wouldn't happen to me, my book was going to be one of those rare stories of success. Um, no. I was clearly wrong about that. I am not one of those uber talented lucky writers who wrote a best seller with my first book. Far from it.

While I did make some great progress on my query journey I decided to quit while I was ahead and start new instead of sending any more queries. I quit at about 80 since my request ratio wasn't nearly a good as it should have been and I had rejections on two fulls. But I did learn from it and I got feedback that has helped me tremendously in revising my first book and starting my second. I'm in awe of how much I've learned in a year so I've decided to take that knowledge and put it to good use with a brand spanking new story that's free of all my beginner mistakes. That's the plan at least. I had some doubts this week but a friend of mine (Sara!) set me straight and assured me what she has read so far is spot on. And since I trust her I'm going to leave the beginning alone for now and keep blasting away.

I have two writing buddies that have proven the theory of the second book to be true with hugh request rates and already I see how much smoother it is. The title came to me right away, the hook was immediately clear, I found photos of my characters without any trouble. So I'm curious about what the rest of you out there have experienced. Anyone else suffer the delusional new writer syndrome? Any advice for the second time around, or maybe the third or fourth or fifth?

Now, off to write...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kicking my goals ass and the VMAs

Wooohooo! I just hit 15,000 words in my new WIP (Let the City Burn) a few minutes ago. For someone who works in segments to meet a word count, I am truly pleased with my progress tonight. Ahhh, I can rest easily knowing I have one big milestone down. Especially considering it's going GREAT. Really great. The feedback I have had so far from my favorite beta readers has been fantastic. Yes, gasp, I let them read it before I even did one ounce of editing. I'm just crazy like that. I know it's not the best idea to let anyone read your work (get this, I didn't even run spell check on it before sharing it!) in such a rough state but I am determined to streamline my process this time around. I want to know it's all fitting into place and kicking ass before I put a month of my time into something that will require major revisions. So far this new theory is working well, but I'll keep you informed whether it holds true or not.

I can't wait to introduce you all to Cameron and Skye...get ready to meet one bad ass chick. Best of Skye isn't even the one telling the story. Oh poor Cam, he has no idea what's in store. Is it wrong that I love being inside a fictional boy's head?

P.S. Who else watched the VMAs? WOW in both a good and negative way. To summarize quickly - Kayne was a dick. Pink is far more talented than anyone knew. The New Moon trailer rocked my world. And, Beyonce deserves far more respect than I've been giving her.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quirks. We've all got them.

Blog chain time! How fun, Icy Roses wants to know what sort of quirks we have when it comes to writing. I've never considered myself quirky, but the more I thought about I guess I am. Check out my list below to see what I mean.

  • I have to check my email and blog list before I can start writing. This is both practical and a time waster since I get to knock that one task down before moving on to my writing mode, but I get sucked into responding and reading instead of the actual act of writing. I've learned to just stop feeling guilty for doing this so now I can embrace it as a quirk.
  • I can't lose myself in other books when I'm writing my first draft. It's like my head can't allow all that in while my mind is busy concocting my own story.
  • I always talk about writing some place besides home but never do it. Part of my issue is that I am always home with my son and always busy when he can be watched. Now I'm wondering if this too is a quirk. Am I a homebody writer? Hmmm.
  • Having the TV on helps me write. I do better with it on low in the background than I do even with music! It's odd because I'm not really a TV watcher aside from the one time when I should have peace and quiet.
  • I have a list of ideas that would make for amazing and very marketable YA novels, yet I start them and can't move past the first few pages unless they have a fantasy element. How silly is that? I'm hoping I can go back to them after I get all these urban fantasies written because they would be fabulous books.

So that's all I can think of now but I'm certain there are more just waiting to be discovered. I'm not so sure that's a good thing. Go visit the other great blogs in the chain to see what sort of quirks they have. From Elysium, Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom, Flames and Shadows, Girl With a Notebook

And ladies for next week here's the schedule. (sorry for any repeats I threw this together fast!)Monday: Girl With a Notebook Tuesday: From Elysium Wednesday: Sometimes Nonsense Thursday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom Friday: Flames and Shadows

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fallenarchangel.com Revealed!

I've made it no secret how much I adore Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick so since my secret project has everything to do with her I thought I'd use her own words from her blog post today to reveal my news. (and yes, I am obviously the Rebecca she is mentioning!)

Speaking of HUSH, HUSH news...the book has a fansite! Rebecca and Jenn, two sisters who read the ARC, loved the story enough that they wanted to start a fansite. I'm so amazed and impressed and flattered. Thank you, Jenn and Rebecca! Everyone is welcome to join, and since there is a forum, I'm planning on dropping by as often as I can to talk about the book and answer questions. But enough from me. Here's the site: www.fallenarchangel.com (love that name, btw). I've been watching the Patch and Nora thread with interest, because people are posting pictures of actors they envision playing the characters, and there are some goooood ones. Yum.

I know it might seem a bit strange for a grown woman who is an aspiring writer herself to be running a fansite with her sister for someone else's book, but if you've had the good fortune to read Hush, Hush you understand why. It's just that good. And Becca is incredibly sweet, (obviously super talented) approachable and supportive.

I've visited other fansites here and there but never really got all that into forums or anything but after finishing Hush, Hush and loving it so much, I realized how cool of an experience it would be to create a way to connect with other fans and support such a great debut author, so I suggested the idea to my sister. A month later Fallenarchangel.com was born! Jenn is of course the brains behind the site and forum setup of which I think she did a spectacular job. YAY Jenn!

We just went live this week and already we have fans who have joined from all over the globe, California, Brazil and Australia. How cool is that? Like Becca mentioned there's some awesome pics already up of how we see the fabulous Nora and Patch. And best of all Becca is going to be popping in to answer questions and join in on the threads. See how great she is?

So, that's the big secret project I've been working on and now that it's out there I can get serious about getting more chapters in my own WIP and having fun meeting the new fans joining the site and chatting about Hush, Hush. The crazy thing is we still have a month until the actual book is released so it's only going to get more exciting. I didn't intend for this to be a shameless plug for our site I'm just super excited to share the news and wanted to share it with all of you who I know have read the ARC. We even have a contest with prizes that include items Becca has signed, t-shirts and more.

Ahh, I feel better getting my secret out...my name is Rebecca and I'm a writer, a blogger and a fansite administrator. ; )

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Howdy partner!

(Sorry about the pic quality - taken with my phone.)

So, we live in the country according to most folks but going to the county fair is always a reminder of how not country we are. I won't get into the ugly truth about how frightening some of the fellow fair goers were, just try to imagine for yourself, then multiply that by like a hundred. We're talking Diet Coke in a 1-year-old baby's bottle type here. Once you move past that aspect there is a lot of fun to be had, including petting giant cows, watching grown men race tractors (the kind you mow your lawn with), eating french fries and funnel cakes, throwing ping pongs to win a gold fish, riding the ferris wheel, ahh and this year buying cowboy hats...

Yeah, I'm not exactly the cowgirl type. But watching those girls ripping around on their horses sure makes me feel like a wimp! I have secretly always wished I grew up around horses, but in reality I'm always afraid to walk behind them in fear of getting a kick to the jaw or feeding them a carrot and getting my thumb bit off. OK, so maybe I know enough not to do those things since we had relatives who owned a bunch of horses and ponies when I was growing up. They also had dogs, barn cats (ohh they are super mean kitties!), some sort of pheasant bird things, a baby deer (or fawn if you want to get technical), a turkey at some point and other random creatures - yes, I loved going there.

Back to the hats...

My mom was the one buying the hats for the kids and when Nate came back wearing an extremely large hat, which is actually the same size as his 9-year-old cousin's hat, I was a bit surprised. Turns out that's the one he insisted on having. Not the one that fit him and looked like his cowboy idol Woody from Toy Story. Go figure. Nope, he had to have the big one like his cousins. And really why shouldn't he? He'll grow into it at some point and it sure as heck made him happy. More than happy - thrilled! This picture doesn't do justice to show the joy on that kid's face when he showed us his shiny new GIANT hat.

Being that I am a big nerd my brain came up with this inspirational connection on the ride home.
If you know what you want, go for it. Don't let anyone tell you you have to settle for what fits at the moment, because eventually you will outgrow it. Aim for the biggest goals you see before you because they are out there just waiting to be claimed, if you don't claim them someone else will. Don't be afraid to look up to those who have what you want and work to get what they have. If they can get there so can you. Never be ashamed to be proud of what you have achieved and if someone laughs at you for wanting what you want, laugh with them because they're the silly ones.

Can you imagine I got all this from my son who's a month shy of being two? I learn more from him than just about anyone I know. He just wanted that hat and didn't care what anyone said. If only we could live that way in every aspect of our lives without fear like kids tend to do. Of course there is often some stomping, yelling and tears involved, but still you get the idea. Who knew I'd find the inspiration I need to kick ass on my new book from my son wanting a cowboy hat. Oh yeah, another reason to love the county fair that doesn't involve eating something that's deep fried and coated in powder sugar. Now let's just hope he doesn't get too attached since mommy isn't all that into him rocking a huge white cowboy hat at the grocery store or mall. Like I said we may technically live in the country, but if my child plans on wearing that hat out in public again he better be riding an actual horse or trick or treating. (No offense to anyone who does! Remember I said I've always wished I was horse person!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where the hell are you?

I know I'm flattering myself by thinking anyone might ask this question but I figure I better fill you all in on where I've been since I haven't been reading, commenting or posting much this past week. The thing is I'm trying to read two books and write my new WIP in addition to working with my sister to get our exciting new project ready to launch this Saturday. (more on that coming soon!)

I think I'm going to just go with what happens each day but I'm pretty sure I won't be around as much again until I get well into my new novel because I've set some pretty lofty goals. Normally I don't share things like this in the early stages but since I'm hell bent on meeting my goals I want to put it out there. It's sort of like someone who plans on losing some major weight, they definitely shouldn't tell people unless they can really stick to it because everyone will see them fail if they don't. And really, who likes to make a fool of themselves on purpose? So, when I tell you I plan on finishing my new book by the end of October I do so in the hopes you'll all stay on me about actually doing it. I want to feel the pressure of making a fool of myself if I don't succeed. It's killer motivation for one thing and I know I have the best support system in the world in all of you who read and comment here. I'm also excited because my hook is already light years stronger than any I had with my first book. I'm hoping to share that and an excerpt soon.

The new book is another YA Urban Fantasy possibly entitled Let the City Burn, only this time I've got a male main character written in first person. So as you can imagine this is stepping out of my comfort zone, no it's more like I'm diving into a fast car and leaving my comfort zone in the dust, considering I'm a thirty year old female. What do I know about being a guy's head? As scary as it is I am loving the challenge and I adore this guy so I really do believe I can pull it off. It's just going to take some extra courage some days and a couple male beta readers.

I'm also psyched about writing something new armed with all that I learned with Sage. Thanks to all of your blogs, my kick ass writing buddies, my sister, and all the research and experience I've obtained from writing hundreds of thousands of words with all the drafts I produced with Sage. Right now I'm reading Paper Towns by John Green at the advice of my rock star friend Jamie, and The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan because it sounds like an awesome YA fantasy (my favorite!) but primarily because they are both about male teenagers. I need to get a good feel for how other writers have managed to tell a strong story with a great male MC. So far I'm loving both books and can't wait to finish so I can just focus on my story. Did I mention I have to finish in two months? And I expect all of you to hold me to it!

So now you know why I've been slacking on my blog time. Pretty good reason, right? So the less you hear from me the better I'll be doing with my progress. Now off to read so I can spend my night writing. Anyone else out there tackling a big goal or reading any great books with a male MC? Please share! Or maybe you want to join me in taking on a new story?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Feisty girls and fast cars

Jenita from Girl With a Notebook created the topic for the blog chain this week, and asks what our latest obsession in our writing is. For her it's steampunk and psychological disorders. How fun is that? I'm afraid I'm not so interesting. I had to sit there and think about it for a minute, and you know the only thing I could come up with? Feisty girls and fast cars.

Everything I write has some smart mouthed chick and a sexy sports car. The car isn't always for the girl but its in there somewhere. Sorta weird since I'm not really sure why I keep writing those two things in. I'm smart mouthed sometimes but I sure as hell don't have a snappy sports car. But I sure wish I did so maybe that's why I give them to my characters.

Just last night I was researching which fancy car my MC would have. He's not the smart mouthed chick but she's there right with him for most of the story. I'm super excited about this one because I get to really showcase her as the bad girl instead of having a bad boy like usual. It will be fun writing about a girl saving a guy's ass for once. But of course he'll return the favor at some point. Speaking of that...I need to get writing because I've set some pretty lofty goals for myself and if I don't stop blogging and start blogging I'll never get there.

Stop by the other awesome blogs in the chain this week.
Flames and Shadows, From Elysium, Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom