Saturday, March 31, 2012

pardon my mess

yes, trying to finish up renovations for the a-z fest, but i came across 2 awesome opportunities happening tomorrow only!

writer's digest annual april fool's day headliner contest

and

operation awesome mystery agent contest!

back to work...*hammer, hammer*

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fiction - How we make life livable

Science fiction, whisk
Me away to other realms
Mystify my mind

Fiction entertains
                                                            Written possibilities
                                                                           Breaking boundaries
Questionable

Maybe we're the stars
Fiction to higher power
Acting in a play

Fiction for Sensational Haiku Wednesday - probably take a break from the haiku for A-Z Insanity!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Guardian Tree

Here is an excerpt from my story for the Unicorn Bell blogfest, "A Picture is Worth 1000 Words"


The Guardian Tree

Our tree has a secret.

Three years ago I was a simple farming elf. Every day after working in the fields I would pat our sturdy jale tree’s trunk on my way in to dinner with my wife and two children. Simple.

The purple storm was the forecast of change. A thick wind blew in from the Northern shores of Kanch and bellows of thunder called for our attention. The lavender blasts of electric strikes and the deep violet clouds tumbling in our direction mesmerized us in the fields.

I ran home and had my family huddle under the eating table, prepared for the worst. But when the storm arrived, it had weakened to a spring lilac drizzle. Outside, the sun had a plum hue and to this day, the grass retains burgundy tips.

The elders met and pronounced it a natural phenomenon. Unsatisfied with that explanation, rumors spread of the Dark Sorcerer’s return.

That night, I pat my tree as usual and paused. The tree had given me a shock.

“Hey, old friend tree. Did that storm bother you, too?”

The tree rustled in the breeze, as if answering. I laughed at my foolishness. Talking to a tree.

As I tucked my children into bed, I saw the restraint in their eyes, holding back a thousand questions. I sighed.

“What do you want to know?”

They exploded. Prattering and chattering, louder and louder to be heard over each other. I raised my hands.

“Bless my ears! Hold! That’s better. Chinney, you first.”

“Thank you, Father. Who is the Dark Sorcerer? And is it coming to get us?”

“Hey! That’s two questions! No fair!” Bana said.

“Sorry, Bana. You may also have two. The Dark Sorcerer Indigo is a legend of 1000 years ago. He was evil, using his powers to warp and twist innocent creatures into hideous beasts to serve him. His goal…”

“To rule Chromatia?” Chinney asked.

“Yes. Luckily, his twin sister, Sage was good and just as powerful. They had a great battle. Sage finally tricked Indigo and locked him in a prison.”

“In the caves of Kanch? With the trolls?” Bana asked.

“Quite right,” I said and tapped her nose.

“So is Indigo trying to escape?”

“I doubt it. It’s just a legend. One last question.”

“What do we do if it is Indigo?”

“Your mother and I will protect you. Now go to sleep.”

“But, do you have magic?”

“No more questions. Time to dream of happy things. Good night, children.”

I shut their door, but wondered what we would do if the legend was true. I shook my head and went to bed.

I woke with a start, in a cold sweat. I had dreamt that ugly little creatures were attacking our house. The window let in the lavender glow of a full moon. The wind whispered outside and my tree waved at me through the window. Feeling strangely assured by the tree, I almost fell back to sleep until I heard the crunching of grass.

I leapt to the window. The creepy critters from my dream were real! Half beetle and half possum, with an armored back, six furry legs, sharp claws, and long snouts. Small and harmless if only a few, but there were hundreds! They lurked in every yard, scratching to get into the houses, waking everyone. The odd thing was the little vermin weren’t harming anyone. They just sniffed the residents and moved on. I stepped out to help and several sniffed me. That sent them into a frenzy. They spun around, making clicking and clacking noises that reverberated through the lot of them, then they all ran away to the North.

We looked at each other, scratching our heads, with puzzled expressions. I shrugged and went back to bed.

“What was it dear?”

“I’m not sure, but it’s gone now.”

When the sun glared into the window the next morning, I felt a steady rocking motion.

“Dad! Dad!”

My children burst into my room.

“Go back to sleep, children. It is resting day.”

“But Dad! We’re moving!”

“No we aren’t.”

“Dear. I think we are.” My wife tapped my shoulder and pointed out the window. There was my familiar tree, but through the branches, clouds flew by.

I hopped out of bed and lost my balance, grabbing the window ledge to steady myself. Our tree had picked us up and was transporting us! Impossible!

“Where are we going, Father?” Bana asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Why don’t you ask the tree?” Chinney suggested.

I scrunched my brow at him. Logic of a child. I wonder.

“Tree? Could you be so kind as to tell us where we are going?” I smiled at the children, feeling silly for talking to a tree. But it was walking, so why not.

To Sage. It spoke in my head! I looked at my family. They would think I was crazy!

Who are you? I asked back, hoping it heard me.

I am your bondmate, it answered.

The full story is 2600 words, so I don't qualify to win. I don't usually get so carried away, but this was very fun! If you'd like to read the rest of the story I have it on a page...here

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break Monday


Started Spring Break right by seeing Hunger Games with my boys. Sure didn't disappoint! Edge of your seat, dramatic, and heart breaking! Bonus - I love that Lenny Kravitz is Cinna! (only critique, why so many closeups? Do I need to see every crack in her big lips? Really!) 

Previews - Avengers = awesome! Prometheus = promising. And Johnny Depp as a heroic vampire in Dark Shadows is killing me! Can't wait!

Short Story BlogfestI've already written my "A Picture Worth 1000 Words" short story for Unicorn Bell bloghop going on right now and I will post a bit of it tomorrow (sorry, it's >1000 words).

And I've got half my a-z posts done, so those will be no brainers - it's the visiting that will take time and I hope to get to as many as my time will allow. Hopefully most of you will take the advice of the A-Z site like

  • keeping it brief
  • removing captcha's (for human verification)
  • and simplifying the side bar for easier and faster loading (somebody tell me if mine takes a while!)
I am really looking forward to finding out themes! Or just seeing what folks come up with!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Interview with a Scientist

note the goggles! love it!
That's DR Fairy Godmother to us!

I met Rena through some blogfest or maybe the insecure writer's group and she floored me with her humor and wit and story! After reading a pithy comment she left on another site, I had to ask her to sit for an interview so I could tell you all more about her. And look! She got a new picture for the occasion!

Now please allow me to introduce Rena Ford!


So, Rena, I love your bio blurb - you put your writing on hold at 17 to be a scientist and are just about a PhD? That needs elaboration!

I started out with every intention of being a writer. I wrote my first full length novel at 12—no it wasn’t very good, StarTrek fan fic—and I took writing classes by mail (I grew up in a town with 850 people in it). I even submitted stories for publication when I was 16. But I kept getting the same feedback: go live a little, then write.

That’s pretty hard advice to take as a 16 year old. I wanted to write, why couldn’t anyone just accept that? And if I was supposed to live life a little, what was I supposed to do in the mean time? Wait for life? I don’t think so. So I went with plan B. And this is how you can tell I’m an overachiever: plan B was become an astronaut. The path to astronaut was pretty simple, either join the armed forces and go as a pilot, or go the scientist route. I love science, and I’m pretty nerdy, so I figured science was a great way to go. I’m nearly done with a degree in geology with an emphasis on cosmo-chemistry (doesn’t that sound awesome? I’m not even making that up, it’ll actually say that on my degree… if I ever finish).

WOW! You want to be an astronaut! That is so science fiction!
So now that you've lived a little (ha!) How has your writing evolved from when you were younger?

You mean other than not writing StarTrek fanfic? The biggest evolution is my love affair with villains. I used to make villains a terrible monolithic evil that no one could ever triumph over, like Sauron, or the Borg. Now, I try to make my villains like normal people who have been through some bad times and made some bad choices. I know we aren’t really supposed to have sympathy for the devil, but I like to give my bad guys some redeeming qualities. I want them to be real.

That is a great way to do villains - I love a sympathetic, human villain that we can secretly root for (not to die, anyway).
The premise of your WIP is stupendous! Could you tell us about it? And what phase are you in?

Oh man, my WIP. I could seriously talk forever about that. So, I’ve been reading a lot of YA novels lately, and I kept feeling disappointed because I’m too old to get my super powers according to YA novels. If it happens to men, it can happen later in life, but if it’s a girl, pretty much teenager, or normal forever. When it does happen to men they’re either rich or mentally devastated, and the parents are never there, conveniently eliminating the need to waste valuable time and effort protecting them. I’m interested in a regular person who gets super powers. Someone who still has to explain to grandma how saving the world was more important than making it to Easter dinner, and let me tell you, my grandma would make a person feel guilty that they’d chosen world saving over Easter dinner! I like to think of the tone of my WIP as what you would get if ONE FOR THE MONEY got together with a Green Lantern comic and had kids. Here’s the query blurb:

Despite juggling a research career and children, Chrissy King feels like life has passed her by. At thirty-five she has a job, two kids, and a steadily more distant husband. When an alien detective falls out of the sky and smashes into Chrissy’s car, she has a choice: take up the job as an interstellar detective, or continue with her normal life.

Chrissy takes life by the horns and joins the interstellar detectives, the Knights of Mourning, to figure out who is murdering the Knights, starting with the one who smashed up her car. Now Chrissy has to navigate a society full of aliens, space ninjas, and celestial intelligences to find the killer, but in the real galaxy, even murders are more complicated than on TV: the murderer has started killing stars.
And Sol is next.

(I know, that ending should have a “duhn-duhn-dah” just in case a potential agent misses the drama).

I’m currently still in the drafting phase, about half way through. I started out just having fun, but I quickly realized that there was too much in my story to do it by halves. I stopped and started over again from scratch. Right now I’m about halfway through the first draft (yes, I write my query letters before I write my novels, it helps me focus).

You describe so many of us writers! I'd love to take a vacation and hunt bad guy aliens for a while - my family would probably have more respect (or fear) for me when I came back in triumph! And your query is your outline!
Your scientific thinking showed through when you gave advice on getting motivated. You called it the carrot/stick method. Please share it here! It's worth repeating!

All people are motivated by one of two things, the carrot or the stick. People can either be driven by the possibility of a reward (the carrot), or the threat of punishment (the stick). When it comes to writing, sometimes we need motivation. For the carrot method, I set a daily writing goal and I give myself a reward for making it, usually something like video game time, or a cupcake, or maybe stationary (sorry, I have a nerdy love of stationary).

If I’m sitting at the keyboard and just staring at the cursor, I give myself a time limit, either I start writing, or it’s time to go do one of the awful chores that pile up around the house. For me I use things like cleaning the litter box, scrubbing toilets, or other terrible chores to get me going. If I don’t start writing, then it’s time to clean up dog poop and scrub toilets.

The key with the carrot/stick method is follow through (yeah, it is just like raising children). But really, without follow through, you won’t take yourself seriously. If you promise yourself a carrot, be sure to make good on it. For me, I set goals on a weekly basis, and if I’ve promised myself some video game time that evening but life gets in the way, I put that time into the bank. It’s mine, I earned it just as hard as any other job, so it only seems fair that I get it.

I love stationary (it appeals to writers, too!) Perfect. Yes, follow through is key. My primary reason for not exercising...
Before we sign out, do you have any other advice for writers?


Someone asked me how long it takes to become a good writer once. I thought it was a pretty strange question for me to field because I wouldn’t consider myself good, which meant I didn’t really know. But the first thing that flashed into my mind was one of my fencing maestros from Santa Barbara. I’d been fencing there for a while, and we were having a lunging critique. He asked me “How many lunges does it take to lunge correctly?”

Me: “Um, 10,000?”

Him: “No! Tim, how many lunges does it take to get it right?”

Tim (another student): “All of them!”

And that’s just it: it takes all the words you write to be the writer you are (is that Zen enough?). If it only takes a few words for you to be the writer you want to be, then more power to you. If it’s hundreds of thousands, that’s still pretty early. Most authors will tell you that the first million words or so are complete rubbish. If that doesn’t shake a little reality out of your trees, then think about this: most of the great books I’ve read in the last year were written by authors who said “I wrote ten books before I got my agent.” So, like all the other advice about writing, just stick with it, the road is very long.

That was very deep. And so true! I would have answered that I would let them know when I got there =)

Thanks for inviting me over, Tara!

Thanks for coming, Rena! It was great getting to know you better! 

Check out her blog! And have a nice weekend/Spring Break, everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

RandOM tHuRSdaY - anXious!

Hunger Games tomorrow!!!
Anyone going to the midnight show tonight? Not me! I avoid crowds. I will go with my boys next week during Spring Break, unless their friends ask them first. Then I will drag my hub!

Anyone have big plans for Spring Break? We are staying home and getting stuff done. Nice not to be going anywhere. We will also plan our Summer vacation.

And as we enter Spring Break season, is anyone else hot? It's been almost 90 here! Come on! Is Spring going to be by-passed and overtaken by Summer? I hope not! But I wouldn't be surprised.

I also hope to get serious work done on one of my other WIPs. While the big one is at CPs and queries are out, I can't sit still! I've got the bug to move on. But which one? The MG Fantasy or the YA Paranormal? Hmmm.

And lastly, do you speak tweet? Been reading about it lately. I'd like to get a quick survey:
  1. Do you have a twitter account? 
  2. If so, how often to you check it?
  3. How often do you actually tweet?
  4. Care to share how many you follow? how many followers you have?
  5. Do you like it? Why or Why not? 

And here are some twitter-isms from my point of view:

"Twitter is like shopping at Marshall's, you have to sift thru a lot of junk to find the best deal."

"Twitter turns us into four year olds, 'Hey, look what I did! Look at me!'"

"Twitter is facebook on speed."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

G vs E

Today's Sensational Haiku Wednesday, is a call to arms on battle!

Good vs Evil

Eternal struggle
Worldly gain, wealth, and power
without love, nothing

Defeat temptation
Seek peace, patience, and kindness
For happy endings

And a fun one...

Bad Hair Day

Weapons of battle
Dryer, brush, comb, and hairspray
Frizz will not prevail!



Monday, March 19, 2012

ksm - are you ready?

First let me tell you about a couple of stupendous contests!


  • Erin is giving away a headshot! What a fabulous prize - something that can make us look good!


  • And Jessie is having a contest to show she's not a B word, contest snob =) With a GC prize! She is so funny!
Now, are you ready for...

Gimme an A! Gimme a 2! Gimme a Z! 
(that's better than the whole alphabet, right?)

Have you started your posts? I know some crazy people who have already finished! I am finally getting into gear. And I can't believe how big it has become this year! Themes, videos, a slew of moderators, and a dedicated A-Z web page! Woah! So exciting! Really looking forward to seeing what everyone does.

But with so many participants it may seem impossible to visit everyone. I plan to use the same technique I used last year that worked very well. [And I did the 2011 PAD (poem a day) challenge too - don't ask what I was thinking.] To visit the max people possible...
  • I have a plan - I visit alphabetically and try to reach an average of 30 blogs a day (so that's a total of 900 blogs!). Blogs/entrants starting with A on the first day, then B, etc. And "A," "The," and "My" don't count. Some letters have more than others, but it all works out, especially with Sundays off and the fewest towards the end.
  • I have a notebook - I love my notebook and use it for every fest I do. I write down who I visit and note if we follow each other. Then when I see who has visited me, I can check my notebook if I've already stopped by theirs.
  • I have fun - Even if I don't visit everyone, I enjoy the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds that I do get to see. I can't believe how many people there are with writing/creative blogs. It's really amazing! I met the majority of my current blog friends through this fest last year. They brought me out of blogger obscurity and taught me tons. And I keep meeting more!
And lastly, if you have a hankerin' to write a short story, don't forget Auntie Tara's March prompt and Unicorn Bell's A Picture's Worth 1000 Words blogfest (3/26-28)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

happy paddy day

I didn't think I could add much to Mark's bonnie Irish fest, until Rachelle Gardner put up a haiku challenge on writing or St Patrick's Day. Of course I incorporated both. (contest open until 3/18! awesome prizes!)

Starting to query
Fingers crossed. Sure could use some
   Luck o' the Irish!   


And here's some March Madness, a 50 word challenge from Cafe Muravyets using the bold words.

He looks left. He looks right.

He plucks the ball like a plum before it can ripen and dribbles down court.

Under a downpour of cheers, he makes his move.

He shoots and is snagged by moronic defender. Mercifully the ref calls foul.

Two shots, all net.

We win!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Writing a Book - Feedback



Last session I talked about the invaluability of CPs. Feedback is crucial to a successful book. What about other forms of feedback?

Betas. I consider betas equal to CPs, especially if they are writers. But friend and relative betas can go either way. Some will give awesome, productive words of advice, constructive critism, and praise, of course. But I have found that sometimes they don't say anything. Either they didn't read it, didn't like it, or don't know what to say. When my 17 year old niece read a few chapters and honestly said she liked it - that was an awesome feeling! Teenagers are the most readable, they can't hide their attitude.

Source
Reviews. Oooo. Extremes are good here because they get noticed, average reviews don't sell books. Again, the friends and relatives usually give the best ratings. Then there's those who just can't give a positive review. But I'd say most reviews are honest opinions. Honest is what we need. We have to accept that not everyone is going to like our stuff and not everyone is nice. Easy to say, hard to hear when it happens.

Comments. Who doesn't love comments! We encourage, give kudos, and pass on advice. As for feedback, comments are sweet, but how helpful are they? Like when we put up pieces of our work? The thing about comments, we all want to be positive and nice. We want to be liked, we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so we keep negative opinions to ourselves.

I want honesty. Tell it like it is, but say it with kindness. Constructive criticism. On the blogs I hold back from negativity and can be guilty of over-praising sometimes, because I like to be nice, too. Is that bad? What do you think? Can we be honest? Really! Don't sugar coat it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why all the excitement?

I can't believe I only have haiku on Sensational Haiku Wednesday! Exciting!

Anticipation

Spring about to bloom
     Warm sun, fresh rain, singing birds
          Exciting senses

Gift wrapped boxes filled
     With mystery. What could be
          Inside? Excitement!

A knock at the door
     Barking frenzy erupts from
          Excitable dog 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Halloween in March

Laura at the Daily Dodo is doing a fun blogfest for her blogaversary - Bloggamonsta!
We send her pictures of (clothed) body parts and she mish mashes them like Dr. Frankenstein!

Here is my entry =)
Now I have to work!
1) Picture Worth a Thousand Words for Unicorn Bell, my story is way too long!
2) A to Z posts
3) finish the crit for my CP!

What are you up to?

Monday, March 12, 2012

ksm - award season

It's blog award season!

First I want to give! Thanks to all who participated by telling me their blurb! Here are the winners of my little 300+ follower contest:

Carrie won Divergent by Veronica Roth 
and
 Erin won Janitors by Tyler Whitesides
The best part of last week was being recognized for my writing. I won a crit from Rach's first campaign challenge! Just getting past the first round made my day, but this & all the wonderful comments I got from the Kyra & Rachel's WIP - The Movie blogfest Friday make me want to send more queries! I think I will!

Starting with the infamous agent Janet Reid and the Liz Norris Pay it Forward Writing Contest. You all should try it too. But hurry, last day for entries is 3/15!

Now I would like to thank Kevin at Graphophobia (which means fear of writing!) I won the book Septimus Heap: Magyk in his 100 follower contest! Go visit him!

And finally, I got a few awards too...Thanks, you guys! I love awards, but I am way behind, so I will make this as concise as possible. It's more about the shout outs!

from Ashley Nixon and Lady Gwen and CM Brown oh, and Huntress!

I like this MEME! Here are the rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 authors.

Cooper was a smart guy. And he was becoming a big pain in the ass. If he didn’t have his high relations, he’d probably be dead.
By the time Cooper removed his coat from the webcam, Nate had refreshed the tracking map, the satellite link frame, and the video feeds from the hotel. He was ready for action.
“Good morning, Cooper. Where are we going today?” Nate asked and took a sip of VitaCoke.
from Leigh
No single person launched my writing dreams. Influencing authors were Michael Crichton, Janet Evanovich, and Piers Anthony. But the wind beneath my wings was my parents - encouragement extraordinaire! Thanks, Mom & Dad!
and from Leigh and Chandara
1. Favorite Color: purple
2. Favorite Animal: doggies
3. Favorite Number: 2
4. Favorite (non-alcoholic) drink: coke
5. Facebook or Twitter: FB
6. My passion: music
7. Getting or Giving presents: giving
8. Favorite Pattern: swirlies
9. Favorite Day of the Week: Friday
10. Favorite Flower: Gerbera daisy

and chandara also gave me the Kreativ Blogger award in which you list seven things about yourself, but I think the above answers covers that =)

Now more giving! So many of you have already received, but I found a few to pass these on to...


The Sunshine Award         The Lucky 7 MeMe
to bloggers that make        to authors I'd like to
me =)                                hear bits from!
Angela Brown                      MS Hatch    
Deana Barnhart                 Brooke R Busse
      Kevin                            Christine Rains
    Samantha                       Sarah Belliston
Jessica Theirren                 Laura Josephsen
Joyce Lansky                     Angie Cothran
Dana                                Tyrean

The Dream Launcher goes to bloggers I admire:
Huntress           Donna Weaver            Heather G          JA Bennett

Thanks, you guys! Do as you will with them and keep writing!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wouldn't it be so cool!



i can dream, can't i?

Thank you, Kyra and Rachel for hosting the WIP - The Movie blogfest! I love it! I have sometimes thought of how unbelievable it would be to see my book as a movie! We all have dreams. But first I have to get it published. And before that, I should get an agent. So much to do!

Anyway, here is my dream cast, for now, and a little about the main characters from my techno thriller novel, Pop Travel...

Leonardo DiCaprio
J. L. Cooper - Once a dynamic lawyer, Cooper's fear of pop travel laser teleportation cost him his wife and his confidence. Now a reclusive small town detective, his initiative is sparked by a mysterious client giving him hope of proving his fear of pop travel is not unfounded.



Reese Witherspoon

Geri Harper - Spunky and smart FBI Agent sent undercover to extract evidence from Cooper and protect celebrity inventor, Hasan Rakhi, and is surprised by what she discovers.


Aziz Ansari
Hasan Rakhi - Super genius, The Creator of pop travel, and a prisoner in his own plantation paradise, Hasan is a dramatic, joking, and sincere young man being used by the corporation he helped found.


Had to add a song - "New Low" by Middle Class Rut. It's futuristic and an upbeat, down on your luck song. Perfect for Cooper =)

A smash hit, right? Thanks for stopping by! And if any of you wonderful stars are interested...Call me! (ha ha, still dreaming =)

PS - Today I have a teenager. Dun, dun, daaaaa!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

BFF

Auntie Tara's Short Story Prompt - Writers for Animals

BFF

This cage is no fun. I want to run, run, run! So much barking, I can’t understand a word. The other dogs scare me. I wonder what happened to my brothers and sisters. One day we are playing and nipping, the next I’m in this cage. And humans keep looking at me. I don’t like it one bit. Whimper.

A human pulls me out and puts me on the floor. Good, I have to go.

“No! Oh, well. He’s just a pup.”

“He’s so cute! Do you have a name for him?”

“Yes. I picked his name when I decided I would get a black lab puppy as soon as I could move into a house with a yard. It's Cody. Here, Cody!”

She seems friendly. I’ll go sniff her.

“See? He knows his name already! Don’t you, boy!”

“His paws are huge. He's going to be a big dog. And he has a tear on his ear. Are you sure about this?”

My brother did that. But I got him back.

“He’s perfect. Let’s go home, Cody.”

õõõ

I like my home. Now that I’m two years old my human lets me do more. I’m a good dog. She tells me all the time. She’s so nice. She gives me lots of treats for doing the silly tricks she taught me, especially for pooping outside. I didn't know that was a trick. Humans are so easy to please! And I can make them laugh just by carrying all my toys around in my mouth. Humans are weird.

Life is good. Me and my human do all sorts of fun things together. I love to ride in the car. We go hiking, to parks, and visit friends. I never know where we’ll end up, but there’s always new scents to discover and new dogs and humans to check out. She lets me roam the huge backyard too. It has a creek and is full of tall trees with so many interesting smells. I haven't caught a rabbit yet, but I will!

I think my favorite thing to do is get a bath. That’s right, I said bath. I love water! I have my own little pool to splash in and afterwards I get to attack the water from the hose. It’s tricky! I chomp it and chase it and bark at it. I could play with it all day. Then my human gets out the towel to dry me. More fun and games. Hide and seek and tug o war. And I love that rrrrrip sound!

Yeah, life is good.

õõõ

My human has a mate now. He’s fun, too. He plays rougher than my girl human. He's great at fetch and wrestling. We all have more adventures and more car rides. Longer drives to visit more humans. And we have moved homes a couple of times. It’s hard to mark all the new territory, but exploring it is fun. As long as they take me and my food with them, I don’t mind.

õõõ

I’m six to my human and really liking this new home. There’s a cute girl next door named Cali and lots of free space to run around.

My humans also got a tiny new human pup. I have to be quieter, which is hard, especially with so many visitors ringing the doorbell. Woof! But I'm easy. The pup is cute. And it’s special to my human, so I care for it and watch over it. We are a family.

õõõ

We moved again and got another baby. That’s what they call it. I miss my friend Cali, but I have a new friend Cyrus. He’s smaller and not as friendly, but he’s okay.

I like the colder weather here. Lots of lickable white stuff. And the yard is a good size, even though it’s fenced. The older human pup likes to play chase with me. I go slow because he is still wobbly. And making him laugh makes me happy. I love my family.

õõõ

We moved again. I hope we don’t anymore. I’m tired of figuring out the rules of new places. There’s no fence here, but lots of houses. I'm not allowed to roam here. The humans keep me chained up when I go outside, even though I wouldn’t go very far.  Some of the other human pups are afraid of me, too. Imagine that. I wouldn’t hurt a human. Especially a pup.

And my humans had another baby. They should have just had a litter to begin with. I said humans are weird.

I don’t get much attention anymore. The human pups require a lot of supervision. They all play with me when they can and we still have our bath time. But mostly I like to just lie with my humans more now anyway. I know they love me.

õõõ

A couple more years have passed. I’m really feeling my dog years. I’m so tired. My food doesn’t go down like it used to. And I’ve been to the V-E-T more lately.

My human cares for me and does her best to make me comfortable. I’ve had a wonderful life. Couldn’t ask for more.

Don't be sad, human. It’s okay to let go.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Start this way! No this way!

Meets 1st Wed of Month
Yes, I'm confused. That is why I take part in the  Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by the popular blogmaster ninja, Alex!

Here is my problem this month...

Dear Fellow Writers,
     I've been saving this dilemma to ask you all with your infinite writerly wisdom!

How do you feel about prologues?

     What I've learned from the majority so far is:
  • the MC should be introduced right away and
  • start with action or intrigue
     These are important tips, necessary to hook readers (and potential agents)
     The problem I have is that my first chapter (which could be a prologue) is an incident showing the root of the problem in the book and the character dies (not the MC). My MC doesn't show up until chapter 2, two years later on a regular day that introduces him with his mysterious client showing up at the end of the chapter. My questions to you:
  1. Should the incident be a prologue or is it okay to be chapter one?
  2. When someone asks for pages (and for query submission guidelines) do you send the prologue?
     Does it even matter? Am I stressing over nothing?
     Thanks in advance for your answers, you are always so helpful!
                                                         Sincerely,
                                                         Stressy Bessy

And to ease some of my stress, I haiku. I present Sensational Haiku Wednesday on Nature - getting back to haiku roots (hee hee)

Survival

Ambling vines stretch
Up dilapidated wall
Kudzu will outlive

After destruction
Green emerges through concrete
Weeds overtake earth

Thinking, reasoning,
Imagining, Exploring
Human nature blooms

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Auntie Tara's Short Story prompt - March


Now that we've warmed up our short story brain juices, let's try submitting for publication!

I found this worthy cause at Madeline's blog Scribble & Edit. (It has Heather's name written all over it!) It's called Writers for Animals - they are looking for true or fictional, heartwarming animal stories for an anthology to raise money for animals. 1000-4000 words. Your chances for acceptance go up if you write about animals other than dogs (oh, well, mine's about my last doggie) The publication is in Great Britain, but we are eligible to enter from over here. Published is published! And the deadline is March 31. Purrrfect!

Mine will go up Thursday. As always, post a link in the comments here to your story or an excerpt from it. And if you want the details on submitting, email me and I'll forward them to you! (taratylertalks = at = gmail = dot = com)

Looking for some interesting tails, I mean tales =)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Worth Saving?

I expected more from this job. I know CPR. I have on my hazmat bodysuit. I’m ready to save someone!
But at Scud Beach, there are no vacationers with debris from all the bombings littering the shore.
“Hey! Get out of here! Private property!” I yell at some local urchins picking around for anything they can sell. I’m more of a security guard.
I see a little guy chasing a ball on the crumbling cement bridge overpass. Another scavenger, no doubt.
The ball bounces down the stairs and stops, like it’s waiting for him. The kid calls to it like a pet. Weird! Before I realize it they are both in the water! The kid is flailing and goes under.
This is it! I run and dive into the waves. I can’t find him. My only rescue all summer and I’m blowing it!
I look deeper. Something scrapes my leg. I try to keep searching but it hurts like hell! Images swirl and I sink.
I wake up leaning on the rusted bridge support. The kid smiles at me.
“Thank you,” he says.
“Who are you?”
“I am the Pearburst sent from Mother Earth to see if hope remains.”

That was my Campaign entry. It was a real challenge! And here is another part - a poetic blurb about the story.

Mother Earth has been abused
She has naught left to give
Her pearburst she sends out to seek
If man deserves to live.

In the form of boy and ball,
Pearburst with protector
Gather fruits of worthiness
But mostly sour nectar

Ragamuffins fend for selves
The rich ignore their pain
When lovingkindness can’t be found
It’s time to start again.

Until a youth brings hope to bear
A selfless act he makes
He gives his life to save another
Do more have what it takes?

kick start monday - spring is on the horizon!

Now for the news.

Exciting weekend of basketball - all three boys did extremely well in their tournaments! Yay!

And here's some announcements to get us up to speed in the blogosphere!
In February it seems that being cooped up led to extensive need to blogfest!
I am glad March will bring a more normal schedule, especially gearing up for A to Z insanity in April!

There are a few fests this month and I am excited about them! How do you all keep coming up with new ideas to inspire us?!

March 9 - Kyra and Rachel have come up with the WIP - The Movie blogfest where we pick movie stars for our WIP! I love this!


March 12-17th, Mr Hawaii Koopmans is hosting a Got Green? blogfest sounds like quite a shenanigan!


March 26-28 - Charity from Unicorn Bell (awesome crit group site) gives us several inspiring scenes to choose from and write about for the A Picture Paints 1000 Words blogfest. The pictures are gorgeous! I already have an idea for a couple!

And don't forget Auntie Tara! Tomorrow's writing prompt is for submission to an anthology for a great cause.

Two last things!
  • My Spaced Out title is to remind you about Alex's CassaFire book launch - one more week of touring!
  • And it will be up until I announce the winners of my 350+ followers blurb contest on Friday 3/9!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Writing a Book - Crit Partnership

Hey! Happy March!

First a big heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie from Auntie Tara to Manda Pepper and Nicki Elson for their great short stories! This month's prompt will make you howl for a good cause. Tune in Tuesday!


I'm glad things have settled down somewhat, even though the next Campaign challenge is around the corner. After all those February fests, I finally get to post about writing! Not that I didn't have a great time!

So, I have come to that phase of writing where I have edited my MS several times and my brain is tired of reading it. I know this story inside, outside, upside down (thank you Dr. Suess!) I must take a break from it and let someone else advise me on what it needs, or doesn't need. I have found a sweet CP willing to do it and I'm excited to read her MS as well - give and take!

Many of you have done this before and even if you haven't, you will soon! So I have a few questions for you, like:
  1. How many crit partners have you had? How many is a good number?
  2. Do you crit the same genre you write?
  3. What do you look for when critting? Are you a line by line or a broader, general critter?
  4. What is most helpful to you?
Whatever stage you are in on your WIP, I hope you are writing like mad! Because April and the A to Z challenge will be upon us like Tom on Jerry (pic source) - then Jerry will outsmart Tom and Aunt Jemima will scold him for wrecking the kitchen... What was I saying?

Oh well. Write on! and have a great weekend!