Friday, June 29, 2012

Writing a Book - Absolutely Fabulous


source
Ever see that show? Stinking hilarious!

Well, my fabulous friend, Jaycee passed the Fabulous award on to me and I am applying the questions to writing a book...

Five fabulous writing moments:
1. Finishing my first book
2. My first publications, a poem, a children's magazine article, and this fall a short story!
3. Finishing my second book
4. Having someone other than my family read my work - betas and CPs!
5. Going to my first conference, very fabulous!

Five things I love about writing!
1. Getting the spark of an idea for a story
2. Making the outline
3. Cracking myself up with how funny some of my lines are, ha ha
4. Finishing a round of edits
5. Feedback!
thanks, cassie!

Five things I hate about writing...
1. editing
2. writing queries/synopsis
3. rejections
4. not knowing if I should continue
5. the time I can't spend on it

I present this ribbon to these fabulous bloggers to do with as they see fit!
Kyra Lenon                 Kim Karras                 Stephen Tremp
                 Brinda Berry                   VikLit

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Give and Take Thursday

Do you struggle with showing the reader how a character reacts? Does your crit partner tell you that you need to show more? Have you heard enough about showing yet?

Well, listen to this...
After all these years of history, you;d think men and women could get along better. But I am here to say that men and women are still completely different and want different things. For the most part...

Men show.
Women tell.

Now, women show too. There is love in everything we do, right? Except maybe dusting. I hate dusting. Sorry, back to topic. Women are expressers of feelings. We like to talk. Talk about our day, talk with our friends, talk about our kids, talk, talk, talk. For women, getting out the words is cathartic and most of the time all we need is a listening ear. And a "you go girl!"

Men show. They take pride in showing their stuff. See my house? See my woman? See what I can do? No need to talk, just do. If there's a problem, they fix it. When men get together, action is happening. Simple. And a punch in the arm.

So, how does this apply to writing?
When you think about it, we are telling a story. Using words is telling. Once upon a time there was an MC, this happened, then this happened, the MC solved the problem and everyone was happy. But as a writer, we are trying to do more than just tell, we want to show the movie we see in our heads. We want the reader to enter our imaginary world.

Writing a book is a beautiful marriage of showing and telling. Using the right words to express action and emotion.

Here is an example...

Just telling:
Steve walked to the corner market and was surprised by the long line.

Just action:
Steve had his hands in his pockets and was mad he had to go to the corner market. Not watching where he was going, he almost ran into a lady standing in a surprisingly long line outside.

Spicing up the telling and showing with a touch of feeling:
With his hands in his pockets, Steve kicked the dirt on his way to the corner market. Why do I always have to run these stupid errands? Lifting his head, he stopped short just before bumping into a lady and took a few steps back to gawk at the long line extending into the parking lot.

Here is how I try to spice things up. When a character says or does something:
  • how do they feel about it? you can use a thesaurus and find many lovely terms for feelings, but wait!
  • now ask, how do they look when they feel that way?
  • and if you can't picture it, act it out! how would you react? Get a mirror. Describe what you see.
  • give a character a quirk - always rubs his chin while he thinks, tugs on her ear when she lies, etc
  • and dialog is an easy way to show how a character reacts or feels, use it!
If you have more advice, please share! Any links? I'll take 'em and post 'em! It's give and take Thursday.

PS - I analogized marriage because today is my hub & my 15th anniversary. Love you, honey!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Confidence is...

...trying, even when
you know the odds against
you are tremendous

...glaring enemy
in the face and laughing at
his taunts. Bring it on!
source
...submitting queries,
entering contests, posting
words for all to see.

Go for it!
Brought to you by Sensational Haiku Wednesday.

And for more inspiration, here is a quote from me...

"A strong person can do anything alone.
A stronger person can admit when they can't."


Be stronger!

Monday, June 25, 2012

ksm - some like it hot!

Here in the Western Hemisphere, it's HOT! But it's summer, so that's to be expected. My umbrella has become my best friend at the baseball field. Think we'll hit the pool tonight.

How are you keeping cool?



Well, there are lots of HOT bloggie events coming up...
 
Hold onto your firemen! Falling for Fiction, group crit site, is hosting the Hook and Hang bloghop!
Wait, sorry. My bad. It's the Hookers and Hangers blog hop. Ha ha! There are so many ways to go with that title! But seriously. All you have to do is share your first & last lines from some chapters. It's a learning experience to concentrate on those in your WIP and see if you are really able to keep readers on the edge of their seats! July 16 & 18.

Oh that Candilynn! Making me want to write! She has started a monthly "Follow My Lead" flash fiction contest. There's still a week this time around if you want to give it a go, and only 300 words. (by 6/30)

Don't forget next week it's that time again for the Insecure Writers Support Group AND it falls on the 4th of July, a wonderful day of celebration for us Americans =) So Alex is having the Group meeting on Tuesday the 3rd and Wednesday the 4th to accommodate.

And remember the post where I talked about memorable characters? You don't?! That's okay. Daisy has a super series for making your characters sparkle. Check it out!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Short Skirt/Long Jacket

***We interrupt this broadcast for a very important message***
I'm being interviewed at Falling for Fiction today! Whoopie!
***Now back to the regularly scheduled program***

That's my girl. Geri Harper. Miss Thang! (And in case you don't recognize it, the song I chose to represent her is "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Cake)

Time for the Girls Just Want to Have Fun Blog Hop! Thank you Jaycee and Victoria for coming up with this!

source
Earlier this year some of us participated in the WIP - The Movie blogfest! hosted by Kyra and Rachel where we picked actors and actresses to play our characters in a movie. That was fun! For my heroine, Geri Harper, I chose and still choose Reese Witherspoon. Sassy, confident, beautiful, vivacious, charming, and a total butt-kicker!


In POP TRAVEL, Geri is a rookie FBI agent on what is supposed to be an easy first case. But when she discovers carrying out her assignment will endanger innocent people, she has to make a choice. This interview takes place after the job is over.

Thank you for coming in, Geri. I know you have a busy schedule. This won't take long.

Geri - No problem. I have a few minutes to kill before I meet my new boss.

Great! Here's the first question: How would you describe your hero?

Geri - Don't get me wrong, but I don't need a hero. If you mean my, uh, boyfriend - first time I've called him that - I would say he is humble, handsome, and strong. He hides his machismo until he needs it. And we saved each other, by the way.

Aww, that's wonderful!
Next question: What's your biggest date horror story?

Geri - Well, it wasn't exactly a date, and it started out to be exciting when we found this secret tunnel. Then my entire outfit was ruined when we sludged through it, all the way down on our bellies at one point and digging our way through another. Not something I want to do again, in an evening gown anyway.

I bet!
Question 3: What turns you off from a guy the most?

Geri - stupidity and staring at my chest, usually those go hand in hand.

Ha! That's great!
Next question: Kiss on the first date?

Geri - not usually, but when you are undercover, sometimes it is necessary...

That sounds interesting. But I know you're pressed for time, so here is the last question: What is one thing you believe tells a lot about a person?

Geri - That's a tough one. I'd say a person's eyes. Eyes don't lie. Lips lie. Eyes confess.

Oooo, good answer! Thank you so much for sitting down with me! Hope you like your new boss!

Geri - You're welcome. I should. It's a woman. That's already an improvement.

Well, there you have it. Another fun blog hop and getting to know our characters better makes them that easier to write. Literally getting inside their heads!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wish you were here

ding ding ding! Lucy Adams gave the correct definition of the origin of "blog!" She wins a shout out!

Blogs started out similar to facebook. People posting families pictures, recipes, feelings, etc, like a diary to share with the world! Hence they were dubbed Web Logs -> weblog -> blog. We must abbreviate! And that opens another can of something I will save for another time!

Now, come away with me in a postcard for Sensational Haiku Wednesday!

Picture perfect place
Is any destination
Memories are made




Relax, enjoy, breathe
Worries wash away with tide
Take it to the beach




Having a great time
No responsibilities
Mind on vacation

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A blog by any other name...

Do you know the origin of the word blog? I have shared this information before, but let's see who remembers. (I'll tell the answer tomorrow) It's such an ugly word for our menagerie of words and sharing (menagerie is a pretty word!) Well, I came up with some alternatives that sound much nicer...

e-diary, ipost, hotspot, sharepage, posties
Do you have any ideas? Anything is better than, blechy blog?

Now as for lovely blogs, I must thank Sabrina and Sheena Kay! They are newer friends who gave me this award. Take a peek at their blogs!
and
Hope bestowed me the B&W Kreativ award. Thank you! Check out her co-hosted blog Falling for Fiction - they are announcing a new blogfest WEDNESDAY!

Uh oh. I feel a poem coming on. Must be creative and lovely to accept and pass on awards!

What makes a lovely blog?

It starts with a B
So start with Jessie!
If you love romance
Christine will enhance.
Emily's lace
Puts a smile on your face.
Looking for spunk?
Jenn brings the funk!
Positive vibes
Morgan provides.
And humor is best
Just ask Huntress!


If you want to follow the rules, see Sabrina or Sheena or Hope's blogs, it's up to you how you choose to pass on the lovely. Have a lovely day! Go Kreate!

Monday, June 18, 2012

ksm - sneak previews

So how was your weekend? Ours was normal - lots of baseball, some pool time, a couple of movies on the couch, and too much junk food. (It was so fun to watch the original movies, Die Hard and Superman, with my boys - old school! Amazing the  leaps in technology from the 80s!)

Notice I didn't mention writing. I got a little done - adding a new exciting scene to liven up a slow section and I'm very happy about it! But it's so slow going, with all of our activities. Summer to me, since I am a teacher, is like a very long weekend - bored kids and extra cleaning. Schedules are non existent. So writing is whenever I can squeeze it in.

How much writing do you get done on the weekends? Does your schedule change in the Summer?

And in the bloggy news:
  • Did everyone see this impressive, inspirational, ingenious cover by Chantele Sedgwick? I love it! And a story about a guy fairy trying to help an unbelieving girl is priceless!
  • Today and tomorrow only, Stephen Tremp is having his BREAKTHROUGH BUZZ - giving away free copies of his thriller. Grab it now, read it later. I know you have a bunch of books waiting to be read!
  • Later this week, Girls Just Want to Have Fun Bloghop - Interview your female heroine and see what kind of man she really likes! June 22
  • And here are the sneak previews:
    • In August, Deana is hosting her annual Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest. And since she just GOT an agent, she should have plenty of juicy details and advice on her technique in getting one!
    • In September, the mighty ninja blogger, Alex J will be hosting a mystery blogfest (a mystery because he won't tell us about it until August)
Got any other fests you know of? Hope everyone doing those Nanos this month are chugging along!
Keep writing!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Writing a book - takes character

Think of your favorite character from a movie, book, or TV. The first ones I thought of were: Sherlock Holmes, Han Solo, Jane Eyre, Katniss, and Tyrion Lannister.

Now think of some famous celebrities or singers or politicians. First ones that came to my mind were - Goldie Hawn, Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, and Nixon.

These characters all have something in common. They are all memorable!



Now think of the MC of your book. Is she average? Is he boring? Is she predictable? What makes her stand out? Are readers going to remember him? They don't have to be super, just different! Make your characters memorable. Make them stand out. Make the reader care about your MC or hate him or root for him.

Lynda had a great post about how to do this last week. Check it out =)

And my post has a second meaning for us authors. To be successful, I want to be read. And that means I need to stand out. My writing needs to be noticed, different, eye catching! So I will keep working at it until my voice is heard! How bout you!

To give you a boost into the weekend, I give you the famous Pen Monkey, Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds, infamous for his bare all, tell all, lay it all out there advice for writers. I really enjoyed this latest list "25 Reasons it's the best time to be a storyteller!" (he also puts out a weekly writing challenge on Fridays, check out today's prompt!)

Keep writing! And have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

you can't see me

No haiku today
My brain is totally fried
Thanks for stopping by

Sensational Haiku Wednesday - freestyle

What I would like to share today is
what I have learned from having sons...

1) they're dirty and stinky (I should own stock in oxy clean)
2) as they get older, they smell worse
3) they are proud of their smelliness, even sing about it
4) they make competitions about their ability to produce bad smells and gases
5) they like to punch each other
6) they make up games just so they can punch each other
7) they like to make up names for their punching games and smelly contests
8) they leave their cups everywhere
9) they also frequently lose their cup holders
(if you don't know what a cup is, you don't have boys)

and
10) the funny thing is, they like to take long showers!

Wouldn't have them any other way! Love my smelly, punchy boys!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

KSM - scary!


Have you been Shellified?
Now you have! Thanks for the scary good award, Shelly. You're too funny. Go visit her and Chad to get one. It's worth it!

And I'm afraid I have a couple more awards to thank people for. I'm running out of things to say! I'm just glad these are pretty easy...

Thanks, Tyrean, for the Great Commentor award. She's so sweet! Anyone who comments today can take one with them, cause you're great commentors!
Thanks to Ashley, Lady Gwen, CM Brown and Huntress!thanks Emily & Leigh!




And thanks, Julie for the Lucky 7 award.



Here are the rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript
2. Go down to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines.
4. Tag 7 others. (as the awards get around, this becomes optional)

I like the surprise excerpts that come out of this. I pulled this from the most recent version of my old chick lit, "Jacks and Jills and Jezebels" just for kicks. Ack!

“Me too,” added Jamie. “That does sound like fun. I’ve never been to a bicycle race before.” She helped Brenda turn around so she wouldn’t stumble, and got a “whatd’ja do that for?” look.
“We’ll see,” said Holly. She wasn’t excited about perspiring in the sun for hours, then going to a party as a stinky mess with a bunch of younger guys. Maybe I could just meet them at the party, or not go at all, she thought. She was tired of all the partying.

Now, I'd like to see the Lucky 7 MeMe's of...Deana Barnhart, Neil, L.G. Smith, L.D. Masterson, and Jemi Fraser

In other news...
Elana Johnson's book Surrender came out last week and her blogfest of Never Surrender stories is today - inspirational!

Don't forget to sign up for  Jaycee and Victoria 's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop" next week, June 22nd!

Keep writing you Nano-ers! Rooting you on as I finish my edits to be completely unencumbered in August!

Oh, and in August, Deana is bringing back her "Gearing up to get an agent" blogfest! Keep your eyes open for the announcement.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Writing a book - Analogy 1

Old MacAuthor had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on that farm he had a book, E-I-E-I-O
with a NANO here, and a NANO there,
here a NANO, there a NANO, everywhere a NANO, NANO...

Wait, now I sound like Mork from Ork! Ha!

But seriously! How many Nanos are going on right now? Bunowrimo, Junowrimo, Camp Nanowrimo...? June is crazy with new novel writing!

It's like spring is in the air! And love is all around. Love of a new, shiny idea for a book. Just like a fresh romance, writing down magical words and developing characters and backgrounds and worlds can be so exciting! Ah those first dates! Even when you finish that first draft and begin editing your words, and seeing your mistakes, letting your guard down that changes need to be made, it gets difficult and trying at times, but you stick with it, take the time, put forth the effort - if you want the relationship to last. I love my book so I will persevere!

Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan (The Breakthrough Trilogy)
get it here!
Hope you all are doing well with the new novel writing or whatever phase of the relationship you are in! I am still looking for that spark of a connection to choose which book I'm going to dive into in August. I'd love to hear about your new beau, or current love - what are you working on?

And PS! Here's the BREAKTHROUGH BUZZ!

Author Stephen Tremp  is making his super exciting book, BREAKTHROUGH available to download for free Monday and Tuesday, June 18 – 19th. For these two days, anyone and everyone can go to Amazon and download a copy of Breakthrough for no charge!
(I already bought mine!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Universe is the limit!

Today is the day for airing the dirty writing laundry of our minds. Let it all out. We're all friends here. No one will laugh - that you can hear. We're all in this Insecure Writers Support Group together!

My annoying characteristic this month is my inability to say the right thing or just keep my mouth shut. That's why blogging is so good for me. I can read over what I type and proof read and edit before anyone reads it. You can't do that in person. My mind moves fast, my mouth can't keep up and judgment is bypassed to get my point across, usually interrupting someone and not sounding as good as I thought.

The art of conversation is necessary for going to conferences, pitching, meeting agents and editors, and being in a critique group or book club. I need to refine my art and listen more. Any suggestions? I'm all ears! Thanks!

And this week's Sensational Haiku Wednesday is Universal

Baseball has been full of highs and lows - I've been to most of the lows and am starting to wonder if I'm the jinx here! Inspired me to write this...

Universal Truth:
Parents relive childhood through
kids, knowing more now

It means more to us
Victories and losses are
A matter of pride

but I must end on a light note!

Remote of power
Controlling the universe
Choosing a channel

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When it rains, it floods!

The awards are rampant. I got a few more...I apologize for the lengthiness in advance...
Awards make me happy because it gives me the opportunity to think of a fun way to share them and I get to pass them on to you all!

Two more Kreativs from
Jaycee and Ermie - Thanks, girlfriends!

And this new one, Fabulous!
from my spontaneous friend, Cassie - never know what she will say next, but it's usually hilarious!



And Amy, YA book reviewer extraordinairre, gave me the Stylish! Boop Boop Bee Doo!

To accept, I shall first answer the questions that came with them:

Kreativ Questions:
What's you're favorite song? for the moment, Everybody Talks by Neon Trees... It started with a whisper...
What's your favorite dessert? Toss up between chocolate chip cookies and brownies, yum! =P
Which do you prefer:  White or Whole Wheat? whole wheat, trying to be healthier
What do you do when you're upset?  Depends on how upset I am. Ranges anywhere from snark to temper tantrum (rare, but true. I am a Scorpio after all)
What is your favourite pet? Dogs. Obedient, loyal, unconditional love =)
What is your biggest fear? the economy crashing around our ears and people going insane and killing each other. seriously!
What is your attitude, mostly? I try to be positive, but every day is a battle! Why do little annoying things seem to outweigh the little nice things? Not to mention the big things! I try to remember how blessed my family is...

Fabulous Rules:
  • Post the rules on your blog. (check)
  • Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere. 
    • some people say when their kid is born, I say when all three were potty trained! Yes!
    • getting more than a handful of comments for the first time
    • making it through the first round of American Idol at Disney World!
    • having fun with friends, lots of treasured fabulous moments there
    • getting my book published (that's a future fab moment =)

  • Name five things you love.
    • God
    • my family (including parents, sister, etc!)
    • my friends
    • coffee
    • writing

  • Name five things you hate.
    • waiting
    • complaining
    • useless electronic upgrades - sit on it for a while before putting the next one out!
    • my degrading memory
    • aging!!!

  • Pass the Ribbon on to five other bloggers (see below)

And the info about me will be what I learned at the Reader/Writer Get Together!
  1. Writers are friendly! It's not a competition, there's room for everyone on the shelves!
  2. Romance writers are...let's say uninhibited and leave it at that.
  3. There is such a thing as too much chest - there was an abundance of male chests on the covers of the books, not in person! it wasn't that kind of conference! But really!
  4. Authors know how to dress the part - rabbit ears, frog hat, Victorian, high, high heels, and lots of pretty and unique necklaces and sandals!
  5. You need to have a business card. I was so glad I made some cause I traded a bunch. It was fun!
  6. Always be prepared for double entendre and "that's what she said."
  7. The latest audience is NA - New Adult, for college age and twenties. Maybe I will dust off that chick lit novel!
  8. Publishing tips: 
    • be flexible and don't have your heart set on one format, be open to all the many wonderful ways you can put your book out there!
    • book trailers aren't for everyone, best for created worlds to share your vision
    • end your book, but leave it open for related books - listen to your fans (fans, ha! love that!)
And I'm not stylish, but I will leave you with a picture of my fanciest shoes and match them to the bloggers I am presenting these Kreative, Fabulous, Stylish awards to! (take whichever award you like!)
Starting at the top left, going clockwise:
Lynn Proctor, sweet and smart!
Precy, because she revealed her name and is standing out on her own - shiny!
Dr. Faerie Godmother Rena, because the godmother is glamorous too!
Mish, unique and pretty in writing and personality!
Julie, sparkles naturally!

Monday, June 4, 2012

ksM! You Guys Rock!

Thanks so much for all your support this weekend! I had a great time at the Reader/Writer Get Together!




This is me and Jenna Bayley-Burke. She is a contemporary romance author all the way from Oregon! She was so fun =) Check out her blog!

There were so many people! It was great! I met a lot and got a ton of free stuff and learned a bunch too. Got recommendations on publishers, what groups to join, and display ideas. The signing was so huge!
Oh, you want to know about my pitch session? It went very well. Sue Grimshaw, editor at Random House for the digital publishing romance division, Loveswept, gave me wonderful feedback. I wasn't expecting a request for pages because I knew she was looking for romance, but she confirmed my MS is thriller. She even said I shouldn't bother mentioning sci fi or future in the query because they are secondary. She gave me lots of advice and said it was an original story and she liked it. All positives! I was thrilled! Had a terrific first conference experience!


Now don't forget!
Wednesday is the Insecure Writers Support Group meeting for June.

And if anyone lives near Muncie, IN, there is an awesome workshop coming up for all fiction genre - the Midwest Writers Workshop. Writer's Digest is sending some familiar faces and the sessions look awesome! It's July 26-28. I am trying to get my act together to go. We'll see!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wish me luck!

Is there a pithy phrase to wish good luck to writers? Break a leg is for acting. I couldn't think of anything else. Too anxious!

So let's hear em! I will need all the positive vibes I can get for this get together and my first pitch sessions!

One of the things Editor J. B. George (whom I am meeting with!) suggested to prepare was to write down a meaningful line from your MS on a note card. One that gives you a good feel for it. Here are a few I picked out from POP TRAVEL.

"Losing a loved one makes you do stupid things."

"As my grandfather always used to say, 'If you want something done right, don't screw up.'"

"The goal was to be undetectable to everyone, not just your mark."

"The heartless creature was clueless to what fate had in store for some unlucky travelers."

"They had already decided they were going through with it, signing their life away was just a formality."

Have a great weekend everyone!