Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Haunted Hallows Eve!


It's here! It's here! It's here!
I hope you got into the "spirit" of the holiday and wrote a Haunted Drabble! You can still think one up real quick, right? Post it on your blog and link to it or just write it in the comments. I planned on writing a spooky, haunted tale, but if you know me, you know I can’t do the expected. Here is my scary Halloween story… May it never happen to you!

“Please, Mommy?”

Not today, honey. We need to get to the party.”

We weave through people and displays. Why is it always crowded when I’m in a hurry?

“Ok, sweetie. Which cupcakes should we get?”

I look down and Justin isn’t there. I whip around and don’t see him. My heart stops. “Justin?”

I start to panic. “Justin!” I call louder. I give a crooked smile to the condescending glance of an elderly lady. What did he want? Toys?

I keep looking, my pulse racing. “Justin!”

Then I see the tip of a ninja sword across the counter. I rush over and hug him.

“Here, mommy. I got you a free cookie!”

“You’re so thoughtful, sweetie.”

Tears well up with my relief. I take a deep breath. So what if we're late?

This kind of scene haunts me the most.
The treat(s) a surprise. Must see what everyone has to offer! And maybe I'll scare you with my costume later =) Be safe, everybody!

ps, Theresa is hosting a Halloween Haunt thru Nov 2 - lots of fun! go see!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

we interrupt this weekend to announce...

I want to know what people are being for Halloween! So I signed up for the Halloween Hop put up by Jeremy Bates (wonder if he's a descendant?)
My favorite Halloween story is "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" I'm just a kid and I don't wanna grow up. Don't scare me or gross me out! (but my favorite big person movie is Nightmare on Elm Street, the original)

And for Halloween, I'm going to be a tourist - complete with Hawaiian shirt, lei, white hat & nose, and flip flops =)

What about you?!

AND

For all you crazy kids out there doing NANO in less than 3 days! Charity Bradford & Elizabeth Poole have created a NaNo support site. Go for it! Good luck!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cruella DeVil and then some

Her name alone sends chills down puppies' spines everywhere!
From 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (originally the Great Dog Robbery) I present Cruella DeVil. She's rich, arrogant, manipulative, demanding, and oh, yeah, certifiable! All the characteristics of a killer antagonist, Daaah-ling! How dare anyone say no to her! I wish I had some henchmen to do my dirty work. And a great villain needs stamina, because if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself. No matter the cost to life, limb or car! (pic source)

That wraps up the Killer Character Blogfest! Thanks to E. R. Ward & Deana Barnhart for getting us all together!

I also wanted to mention a few things coming up next week - can you believe it's almost November!
  • I hope you have a fun/spooky/horror flash story for me on Halloween Monday! Depending on the turnout, I have treats =) and mine is truly scary.
  • Abby Fowers needs a pen name & is having a fun contest to find one. I would just say Abby Flowers - nice ring =) But I have a few more. I love making up words and names!
  • Wednesday, 11/2 is another session for the Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by Alex. Yay!
  • And I know I just complained about not having much time, but I'm going to do the November PAD (Poem a Day) challenge from Robert Lee Brewer at Writers Digest. I really enjoyed delving into the forms and topics in April, but we'll see how it goes since we are going to Disney for a week and then away for Thanksgiving, plus my bday is this month (and I have a fun surprise planned for that which I will introduce shortly)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Killer Bounty Hunter & A scary haiku

Day 2 of the Killer Characters Blogfest!
Choosing a killer protagonist was easy. Stephanie Plum is my all time favorite heroine. You can have Katniss and Jane Eyre and all the serious do-gooders and princesses and tough cookies! Stephanie is the one who keeps it real - she is totally flawed! She epitomizes what can go wrong by making bad choices, having more bad hair days than good, and attracting all the bad (and I don't mean good/bad) characters.

She is hilarious! She is a realist with optimism. Evanovich drenches Stephanie in the worst, most disgusting and embarrassing situations, but shows that there is always tomorrow! Stephanie is tough, tenacious, and testy. When things get bad, she doesn't give up! And she has true emotions to deal with - we feel for her and root for her and cheer when she triumphs in the end.

I just hope the movie turns out well. I have a feeling it will be overdone and in bad taste, but I could be wrong...Here's to Stephanie Plum! (pic source)

AND...
Jenn's Sensational Haiku Wednesday...scare

Never fear, Mom's here!
Children watch my performance.
Must be brave and smile.

Weather turbulence
Do they see my white knuckles?
Aerophobia

If you'll just be still
It will fly away, I hope
Apiphobia

And here are some other interesting phobias I found...

agliophobia - fear of pain
anthrophobia - fear of flowers
arithmophobia - fear of math
bibliophobia - fear of books
cacophobia - fear of ugly
dentophobia - fear of the dentist
ephibiphobia - fear of teenagers

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

haven't ranted in a while

A lot has been going on. Time is slipping away from me, taken up on all the necessities. There are so many things I want to do (and so many things I don't want to do, that I need to do!) I just don't have the time! I have a mile long to do list and more is added to it daily (plus blogs to read and editing to finish, will I ever?) besides all the crevices to clean and dishes and laundry that keep piling higher and higher.

And I don't even have time to complain about it! I was going to suck it up - again! and not bother writing a post today. But I need to unload. Things aren't bad, they're good. It's just been one of those days for weeks now. A constant stream of little annoying tasks needing immediate attention. You don't know because I put up my posts like a good little soldier. I don't like to complain, but I've had it.

Thanks for listening. You guys always make me feel better. Just knowing you're out there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kick start Monday - Killer characters & a Halloween tale

E.R. King's join if you dare!Killer Characters Blogfest!
On this first day we are to name killer supporting characters. What I love in a killer supporting character is a comlpimentary disposition to the MC. A smooth camaraderie, witty banter, encouragement, someone to bounce ideas off of and knock sense into. Best friends who would sacrifice themselves for the other. My favorite two are Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Baloo from the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and I had a hard time choosing, figuratively anyway...

AND

I entered this drabble in 2 contests/challenges over the weekend =) First, Janet Reid had one of her flash fiction contests w/ 6 words to use in a 100 word halloween story & Chuck Wendig @ Terrible Minds limited his Friday Flash challenge to 100 words about bullies. I love combo prompts! Here's my entry.

“One more house, Jaelyn?” She's a witch and I'm a ghost this year.

“Sure.”

“Oh, no! Bryce and Dane!” I point at the zombies.

“I’m not giving up my candy!”

“Me either! This way!”

The bullies chase us through backyards. Their years of torturing us kids end tonight.

I lead us to the playground and we hide.

“Come on out. We just want to play.” They laugh.

I blow my special whistle with no sound.

Unforsaken creatures appear and surround the fake zombies. Their deadly eyes hypnotize. The smell of decay overpowers. They slay the boys before they can scream.


I won't use this for my Haunted Drabble next Monday, I went w/a different kind of scary for that...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Writing a Book - You Name It

WVD – Special Edition

Where do writers find good names for characters? Baby name sites/books are probably used the most. I have also found sites for ethnic names, surnames, name trends of certain decades, etc. There are tons of ways to find names. Fantasy names are trickier because we want them to be completely different and still sound good and yet not be too hard to pronounce. The trouble for writers, and parents, is that so many names are common. Google your name, most are not unique.

So, here are some interesting suggestions for “names” that I have been collecting from my Word Verification prompts…(pronunciations are how I would say them)

Girls                                                       Boys

Latisina (La-ti-SEEN-a)                        Pater
Watoma                                                Billyza
Misci (MIS-ee)                                      Foree
Tratorma                                               Quals
Uniqua                                                  Brambler
Tatialla (Ta-tee-AH-la)                          Wiess
Fulla                                                      Derbil
Matera                                                   Sonsh
Salessea (Sahl-es-EE-ah)                        Jorph
Sprica (SPREE-kah)                               Flych
Eluri                                                      Quideris
Catavia (Ca-TAVE-ee-ah)                      Hende
Steria                                                     Fidecles
Aleti (Ah-LET-ee)
Leahe
Brexua
Frotta
Sooke
Gensi

And here are a couple of good online names: Foxylizi and LianNYC

Lastly, I have to pass on how to know your stage name (from Laura at the Daily Dodo): Combine the name of your first pet with your mother’s maiden name. I’m Peppy Parker! Too funny!

I may use one or two of those when I start working on my MG Fantasy again. Any fun names you’ve seen?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

rAndoM thUrsday! - Shiny New Blogs

To me, anyway!
I thought I'd highlight some of the new blogs I have found since participating in the Campaign, the Pay it Forward fest and the Insecure Writer Support Group. These are some blogs with spark that I didn't get to pass awards on to yet!

I also finished DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth over ther the weekend. A great book, with a disappointing end. I doubt I would read the sequel, not for a long time anyway. But my opinion is tainted because I read it too soon after HUNGER GAMES. These books are eerily similar, strong teen girl heroine in warped dystopian future who has to overcome odds to save the world by rebeling against the system with lots of violence. How's that for a one sentence summary? Anyway, they were both told very well and had opposite approaches to the romance so worth reading and each are great books that I would recommend, just don't read them close together!

And, if I make it in time, I am entering a mini synopsis critique contest put up by Cherie Colyer, one of those new fab-blogs I just listed. Spots are limited, so if you have a good query-size summary you want advice on, get over there!

Lastly, are you a word nerd? take this quiz at Writer's Digest to see =)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Haiku Wednesday

It's Sensational Haiku Wednesday, prompt - Debonair

Tree of Life

The young tree flowers
Inviting birds and critters
Spring is everywhere

Green suit for Summer
Laughs in breeze, catches a kite
Grows with savior faire

Fall leaves turn amber
Favorite ensemble yet
Dashing debonair

Now tired, work is o’er
And time has come to sleep while
Winter strips him bare



Forgive the rhyming, I blame Jenn for the rhymed prompts!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hawaiian Getaway

Campaign Time! Rachael's Third and final challenge - and it's a doozy! Details here, they are specific and crazy! It's 300 words minus title and opening =)

Hawaiian Getaway.

Some vacation.

My wife went to the spa and left me with our three whiners. At least they’re getting along, for now, and I can enjoy this tempting Kona brew that I’ve been craving since I woke up. I take my first sip of the bold, Hawaiian coffee. Ahh.

Maybe this isn’t so bad. Let Alexis relax and come back happy.

I should revel in this rarity of nothing to do. I recline in the cushioned chaise, my feet caressing the powdery sand. I close my eyes and let the cool sea breeze rustle through my shirt. The waves crash in steady rhythm and the sea gulls call,

“Daddy!”

Wait, that wasn’t sea gulls.

My eyes pop open. A shapely figure runs toward me. Am I dreaming?

I refocus and see she is carrying my seven year old.

I hop up and meet the nine year old ahead of them. “Daddy, Aiden got hit by a volleyball!” Alyssa shouts.

“I wan-tacise sorr-ai,” the young woman says in a strange accent. Aiden stares with glassy eyes at the wastopaneer of the girl as she sets him down. My 13 year old, Aaron, is transfixed with the same expression.

“It’s okay, Miss. He’ll be fine.”

“Bat I syn-batec,” she says and waves a friend over. I can’t understand a word.

“Your son was hurt?” the friend asks and checks Aiden’s eyes.

“He’s fine.” I say. Then a smell hits me. Something putrid, scrunching my nose. We all look around for it.

“Dad, what’s that smell?” It’s so bad Aaron’s attention is wrenched from the girl who has returned to the water. She walks up holding a huge fish covered in stinky seaweed and presents it to me.

“Who is this girl?”

“Dolphina. She was raised by dolphins.”

Alexis will never believe this.


I am confident I fulfilled all requirements. If you feel so inclined, you can send a vote my way (#19). This has been a great time! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kick start Monday - What a slew!

Hope you all had as awesome a weekend as I did!

First, Happy Bday to my little guy - he turned 8 yesterday! Some company came down to celebrate with us. We played games galore and visited a pumpkin farm - loved the hayride, cider, corn maze and all the pumpkins!

Second, I got a bunch of great news! I won a copy of M Pax's sci fi novel, Semper Audacia - Yeah! AND I won a beautiful journal from Christina Rains! But the biggest news I got was being published in an anthology called "Letters to My Ten Year Old Self" put together by Nina Pelletier and Drew Nicholson (it's free for now!) Next Nina is calling for short submissions for another publication about winter/holiday stories. Go for it!

Can you believe October is already half over? There is still so much to do!
  • SUBMIT! I mean, please send submissions =) I put my first post for Unicorn Bell up today and am asking for submissions to be critiqued. So if you have a section with pacing difficulties, send it to me (taratylertalks * at * gmail * dot * com) . And/or stop by and see if you can help out someone else =)
  • I found the October Blog Hop at Shelly's - with treats!
  • I'm still going through the humungous list for the Pay It Forward blogfest - not only do you find new blogs on the list, then you visit the blogs they put up and some of them are doing it and so on and so on...(remember that commercial?) Anyway, I'm continuing on as long as I can stand it!
  • Not forgetting the Campaign challenge coming up and E. R. King's Killer Character blogfest (10/24-28)
  • And I hope you will drabble me a 100 word scary short on Halloween!
  • Lastly, I know some of you crazy writers are taking on the NANOWRIMO challenge. That is a dare, a race, a stressfest I could not handle unless I prepared, had an outline and pre-researched with a stack of notes before I could attempt it. Maybe some day...But good luck to everyone brave enough to do it!
What did I miss? I know I've seen others and can't remember. Guess that means my brain can't handle any more than that. My sister-in-law said, "If I put more into my brain, something else falls out!" That's why I write stuff down! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Weather here was perfect for the pumpkin patch and football. Yee haw!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Paying Up Front

I mean, Pay It Forward! Blogfest! Time to list 3 (or more) blogs to recommend =)

Being the incredibly organized (aka, anal) person that I am, I arranged blogs into categories. I am afraid I went over the suggested 3 shout outs, so feel free to visit only 3 (but I recommend you visit them all – they’re worth it!) I would do even more, but I don’t like to ramble (she rambled).

Category 1: Informative
Category 2: Fun/Festy
Category 3: Challengers
  • Alana @ Writercize – hardcore, daily writing drills!
  • Nina @ Writing My Novel…and stuff – more daily challenges that make you really get to know your MC and WIP!
  • Jenn @ You Know…that blog – write a haiku Wednesday, you know you want to!
  • Unicorn Bell – join us! we help each other be better writers by critiquing and advising each other =) and PS - my first post over there goes up Monday! I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Bonus Category: Must See Cartoons
  • Bo’s Café Life – if you’re a writer, you will love this
  • xkcd – if you know anything about technology, you will crack up
Sorry for the lengthy list but three is such a small number (and I'm such a rule breaker!). I could go on and on. There are so many great blogs! Ok, I’m done. Gotta see what new blogs are out there!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rare Things

It's Sensational Haiku Wednesday again! This week's theme is rare.

Rare Things

Finding your soulmate
Personalities seemless
Complimenting minds

The perfect sunset
Time to sit and drink it in
With you by my side

Angelic siblings
Mutual respect bestowed
Voices melodic


I used this pic in a bc post called Meditation =)

May your joys ne'er be rare!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sorry!

Well, Aheila put her Drabble Day up late yesterday and was Sorry, so that is our theme =)

Sorry!
I used to like that game. Until I played with James. He kept landing on me. And it wasn't that he landed on me. It was what he did after.

“Sorry!” he would sing song at me with a huge grin on his face.
“Sorry, I got you again!”
“Ooops. Sorry!”
Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.
I can’t erase his fat face with his round glasses and his satisfied smirk. I just wanted to smack it!
But I’m no quitter. I finished the game and kept my mouth shut.
Just wait until tomorrow, James. We’re playing Aggravation.
“Good night, Suzie. Sweet dreams.”
“Good night, Mom.” Oh, I’ll have sweet dreams. Of sending James back Home crying while I say, Sorry!


PS, Robin Weeks is hosting a pitch contest. Check it out!

(pic source)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kick start Monday - Rewarding

I love awards! I love receiving, but I love rewarding more!


Last week, I got two more awards. Thank you, Cherie for the Brilliant Blogger award - new to me, yay! And Ruth who bestowed the Irresistably Sweet award, yay!





I will go ahead and list 7 obligatory fun facts, but with my own twist...

Costume Memories
1. First Halloween costume I remember, was Boo Berry
2. In 3rd grade I danced in a purple and white polka dot outfit
3. In my first musical, I was a singing camel
4. In my last musical I was the evil queen mother in Princess and the Pea
5. When I got older I loved making my own Halloween costumes, one year I was Calvin with my homemade, stuffed Hobbes
6. Another year I was the blue M n M (I never went for the sexy costumes)
7. In college I was Cleopatra

These days I just put on a witch hat and black lipstick. No one really gets into the Halloween spirit at my house but me. Ho hum...

And now I get to pass on these wonderful awards to some friends...

The Irresistably Sweet award goes to:
Julie @ rosewood pencil box - she has a cute blogfest going on right now!
Laura @ the Daily Dodo
Krista @ the Jellybeans of Writing
MJ @ My Pet Blog

The Brilliant Blogger award I am sending to:
Christine Rains - Writer
Chandara Writes
Amy @ the Ramblings of Amy
E R King @ Get Busy Writing - join her blogfest for Killer Characters!

And if you're still reading, I may add a drabble for Aheila's Drabble Day...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Writing a Book - Jon who?

Genre!
(that was bad, I know)

Choosing a genre is tough. I have been told and read many things regarding this necessary evil. The most prominent is "In what section of a bookstore would you shelf it?" Well, I'd want mine on the Best Seller shelf! Or at least the Recommended shelf! Ha ha!

Here are some problems I see concerning genre.

What you write matters. Some genres are avoided; some are new, unfamiliar, or made up; and some are trendy. Like Chick Lit was a fad that isn't as popular as it was several years ago. Now YA, Urban Fantasy seem to be hot right now, but I heard Dystopian is taking over, maybe? I wouldn't suggest choosing a genre because it's sought after, but reading agent interviews tells me the majority want those popular ones!

Agents can be fickle. As I research agents, I find a list of what they're seeking. But we need to check multiple sources to see what they really want, because they don't always keep all their sources up to date.

Where does my book fit? My book is a sci fi thriller. But it isn't "hard" or traditional sci fi, it's techno sci fi set in the near future with most things the same, but a bunch of new technology...and there isn't a section for that in the bookstore! So I get lumped into Sci Fi with the other worlds and robots and stuff. Stuff I like, but I feel that people who don't normally look in that section because of the stereotype might like my book. And agents might react the same way, Sci Fi? I don't do that - slush!

Here are some articles on genre that I dug up from names you might recognize:
Jessica @ Bookends, LLC - a Literary Agency
Jodie Renner of Jodie Renner Editing
Nathan Bransford
Janice Hardy from the Other Side of the Story
(these guys have lots of advice for writers!)

In the end, it all comes down to writing a great book and clicking with an agent (or just pubbing it yourself!) What do you think?

(pic source)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Takes Flair and a Young Mind

Due to the Insecure Group meeting, I am late with my Sensational Wednesday Haiku! Sorry, Jenn. It's got Flair!

Mandatory flair
To wait upon her tables
Bennigans waitress

Customers demand
She runs ragged to please them
They tip her poorly

Wearily heads home
To get refueled by loved ones
Smothered with kisses.

AND!
Thanks to Julie at Rosewood Pencilbox for putting together the "Oh, the Early Days" blogfest! It runs thru 10/14. It's short and sweet and fun to eat consume the early works of everyone. Here is the documentary of my youthful writing history.

As a kid, I was loud and bossy. So I became a teacher =)
Reading and writing didn't motivate me until much later. I loved to sing and did musicals and stuff. I didn't know I would become a writer, though I did write many things...

I wrote scripts for me and my friends in grade school (we were Charlie's Angels!) And I remember one fun assignment where the teacher asked us to use Personification - I wrote a story about a gumball's journey from machine, to mouth, to street, to stuck on a shoe, to the dump =) In junior high I wrote a series of non-fiction books called "Sign In Please" - surveys of data that got passed around to boys and girls to see who liked who, what and what not. "What's your favorite sport?" "Boys, rate these girls; Girls, rate these boys" I got a lot of 7's (nice friend). And in high school my friend and I were the queens of notes - we were very creative in word and folding. I also found out that BS was an artform I could master and English teachers loved it.

How did you get into writing? Join the fest =)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Help!


This meeting will now come to order. Time to begin another session of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Thank you Alex for establishing this institution. I motion that we come up with a 12 or so step process. Anyone have some input? Maybe we can put that together next month. For now: Help!

Dear Writing Ninjas,
     First, thanks for your encouragement last month! Since then I acquired a fabulous beta reader, Angie, who is inspirational. She is so awesome at critiquing, I barely feel it! She makes me want to be a better writer (movie?) and makes me want to dive into my edits.
     So in my editing I came up with my question for this month: How do I know when my WIP is done?
     When things are pointed out, I fix them and think how much better it sounds. And this goes for queries and synopsis too. Then I’ll come back again and tweak it some more. Again and again.
     In math – it’s right or wrong. Fix it, get it right and boom! It’s done!
     In writing – there is always room for improvement. When is it polished and ready to submit? How do I know?
                                    Sincerely,
                                    Eva Editing

Thanks for playing! And I will visit as many members as I can =) Meeting adjourned.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gumshoe

Aheila's drabble day prompt this week is "shoe" with bonus challenge to begin and end in the street. My word association produced this.


Gumshoe

I open my eyes to darkness.

Where am I?

I feel my head. Ouch! What a lump!

Think, Mason. What’s the last thing you remember?

The warehouse. To meet Melanie. Pick up evidence.

I got it all right.
 
So where am I? I get up and start walking. A sign. Highway 82, mile 43. IE, BFE.

Headlights approach. The car stops. It’s Melanie.

“Get in.” I do.

She eyes me. “Rocko followed me. I didn’t know until you arrived. I had to scram.”

I nod.

“Take the envelope. Jump out at this gas station.” Our eyes lock. “I’ll be in touch.”

She slows. I hit the road and roll.

Women.

BTW! M Pax's novel Semper Audacia came out today! Help celebrate!!

Come back here on Monday, October 31 to join in a spooky 100 word or so "Haunted Drabble" *insane laughter*

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kick start October Monday

Tis the season for fun, spooky, supportive blogging!

Check out what is going on in Blogutopia this month (I will find a way to make that word sound good!):

Meets 1st Wed of MonthFirst, the all important Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J Cavannaugh, is Wednesday (10/5!) I can't believe it's been a month already! I have so many insecurities to choose from...

Next is another encouraging event. On 10/14 Matthew at QQQE is hosting the Pay it Forward blogfest with over 100 participants! You choose 3 bloggers to advertise and go visit.

Then the week of 10/17 I host my first week of critiques at Unicorn Bell on the topic of (*yawns or oscitates*) Lulls in the Story. Come one, come all and see if I make a fool of myself! It'll be fun!

And to wrap it up, I'm glad I found the Killer Characters Blogfest (bwahaha), hosted by E. R. King 10/24-28. What's Halloween month without thrills and chills? Though this fest is for killer as in killer/awesome characters, so good you wish you could capture them in your own WIP.

Not to mention Rachael's 3rd and final campaign flash fiction challenge. Some people are still working on the 2nd challenge...and I'm still reading =)

But, just to make things more interesting, I may put up a challenge for a 100 word Haunted Drabble on the big day =) THINK ABOUT IT! *cues lightening flash and thunder crack*

And finally, for those keeping track, my boys went 2 for 3 this weekend. We were bound to lose some time and it was a tough loss in double OT, but we are still happy! And Youngest Son made his first TD!!! WOO HOO!! Whassup with you? I know there's more but this is my limit =)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October!

2008

ps, if anyone wants to play words w/friends, guess what my name is =)