Saturday, December 15, 2012


I titled my post Sadness because I honestly wasn't sure what to call it. Plus, I'm full of sadness tonight. I've posted many times after a tragedy and the one that happened in Connecticut yesterday is no exception.

It almost was. I mean, really, I don't want to hear about it anymore. Not because I'm so heartless that I don't care. No, quite the opposite. I care too much. It's too close and so wrong. I hate the bad things that exist in this world, hate that we have to have bad things happen all the time. I don't understand it, nor do I want to. I just want it to go away.

It hurts, it makes me cry and makes me want to know why. And it makes me thankful even more that I could go to my kids right now and hold them in my arms. Makes me so happy that I got to pick my kids up from school, take them to the movie they've been asking me to go to, put up a Christmas tree, wrap their presents, everything. I'm just thankful.

That's it really, I meant to only write something brief and then post a poem I wrote because I write when I'm emotional. Since my sadness does not belong in any of my three current WIPs at the moment, I wrote a poem. So, here it is.


Life unlived
Experiences missed
Milestones passed
Without chance
Knowledge ungained
Beauty unchanged
Graduations planned
Never allowed
Firsts unknown
Innocence stolen
Promises avowed
And unbroken
Unfair choices
Misplaced sorrow
Angels born
Who deserved a tomorrow.

That's it. And I'm actually hoping to have a special post coming up soon, so I'll see you again later this week. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a good weekend. ((((((hugs))))))) because I think hugs are really nice, especially right now. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

NaNoTGIO and Ali Cross

Whew, November FLEW by. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing about starting NaNoWriMo. Now, here it is, 3 days into December and NaNo is over.

What was my first NaNoWriMo like? CRAZY. I didn't really have a lot of expectations for NaNo. I wanted to win, hoped I would win, but I wasn't expecting anything other than getting my motivation back.

So, did I get my motivation back? Yes and no. Yes because I want to write now. My NaNo WIP will be put aside for now and I'm going back to the WIP I was working on before I lost my motivation. But no because I'm still behind on things. I'm not caught up on critting and not sure when I will be. I need to read, need to write, need to catch up.

But am I happy I did NaNo? YES! And I'm planning to do it again next year. It was good for me and that is all that matters. I needed something to get me in gear and NaNo did it.

Let's get to the real question on everyone's mind. The one that matters most. Well, maybe not *most*, but the one that is up there...Did I win? Did I end the month of November with 50k words written or not? Well...YES! I did it. I barely made it, validated my word count at 11:59pm on Friday, November 30th. BUT, I MADE IT!

My NaNo novel isn't that great. It's going to take some major editing, especially on the last half, but it's done. I wanted to win, wanted to get it done, to reach the 50k goal, and get my motivation back. I did that, so I'm a winner. :)

I have more news I wanted to talk about today...I'm subscribed to Ali Cross' newsletter and I just got something in the email this past weekend that is very exciting. :) Coming in this month is the third installment in her Desolation series. WOOT! I haven't had a chance to get to the second book, but still very excited that there is a third one coming out soon.

Also, there is now a website for the series. Yay! Check it out: There's also a Tumblr and Pinterest for the series. Yay, yay, yay. Lol. Yes, I'm excited. This series is one of my favorites and Ali is too. :)

Here's something else, straight from Ali's newsletter :

December 1st-15th, I am participating in an online signing party! This means you can buy my paperback books at discounted prices, and pre-order your signed copy of Destined (Desolation #3). Just visit my blog and order using the Paypal button on the right sidebar. 

Desolation number three will be released on December 12th. So, check it out. If you haven't read Ali's books, go get them. And if you're not following Ali or didn't even know about her...Go to her blog now. It's great, the series is great, and Ali is greater than great...She's AWESOME!!

That's all for today. Hope you all have a wonderful Monday. :)


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I'm not sure that anyone is going to be thinking of reading blogs today, but I'm posting anyway.

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you're having (or already had) a fantastic day. I'm going to an early black Friday sale unfortunately, actually two different stores. One in the AM and one at midnight. Really good deals, so I've got to brave the madness.

Anyway...This is day four of my week of thanks and today I am thankful for my family. We have our problems sometimes, but what family doesn't? And I love them even when they're not being very loveable. Family has always been really important to me and I'm spending my day with mine. I hope all of my online buddies celebrating Thanksgiving are getting to spend time with theirs as well.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks, Day 3

 (Late posting this. Just now realized I hadn't hit the publish button...)

Today I'm thankful for life. I've had and still have health issues, but I can move past those. It sucks to not feel well, but it's better than not feeling at all. I don't always have great days, but as long as I'm waking up each day, that's what counts.

Short and sweet I suppose. Nothing to really elaborate I, lol. So, day three of my week of thanks, I'm thankful to be alive.

I hope you're all having/had an awesome day. And I for anyone who will not be online tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Week, Day 2

I'm thankful for my CPs and crit group over at Agent Query Connect. If it weren't for them, all of them, there's a good chance I would've given up writing. They all showed me how to improve without tearing me down and making me feel worthless.

Caterina Torres is now the best friend I've ever had. She's there for me when I'm struggling with getting the words out. Even when I kept redoing my first MS, she kept recritiquing it. We talk every day and when we don't I feel lost. She picks me up when I'm down, knocks sense into me when I'm being stupid, makes me laugh, and everything else that a real friend is supposed to do. She's like a sister to me and I don't know what I'd do without her, but I know I never want to be. What makes her so much more than my CP is that she's there for me in general, not just writer stuff, but life stuff. I love you, chick and thank you. :)

Kendra Conine is a close second to Cat. It's funny that I call her a CP-she hasn't really critiqued critiqued my stuff, but she's given opinions and she's awesome. We BS about everything not writerly and we still manage to squeeze some writerly talk in. She also is there for me when I have silly requests that most people would find annoying. You're really awesome, Kendra. I'm glad I wasted time in the AQC chat room so that I got to meet you. :)

Lori Sjoberg, Gina, Jen, and Cami are my critique group and had it not been for them, that first MS wouldn't have been rewritten 500 times. And I'd be the idiot with a terrible MS, no conflict, no real plot, and no chance in this business. These ladies told it like it was, called my MS out for all the tons of flaws it had. I'm thankful for all the harsh words that need and needed to be said. I'm thankful that Gina sent me a message all those months ago telling me about the group because I need you ladies and I'm glad I met you. (The inspirational views that Lori posts for us are a fantastic bonus :P )

Okay, now that I've gushed on and on about these fabulous people. That's what I'm thankful for on day two of my week of thanks. CPs and friends are wonderful. Especially when they're both and can still shred your work without a second thought about it.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Week of Thanks...

I had a plan for the month of November for the blog, but it didn't happen. The plan was to write a post everyday leading up to Thanksgiving about what I'm thankful for. Since it didn't happen, I'm going to do a few this week.

Monday: I'm thankful for my followers and all my writer friends (all of which are online friends). Each of you have been there, helped out, made me laugh and smile, you notice when I'm MIA and you're all just so great.

I'm going to spotlight someone right now, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate everyone else just as much. But really, Alex J Cavanaugh deserves some special recognition on this thankful post. Even when I'm busy and having trouble getting to blogs, I still try to stop by and read his. But even then, I never get the chance to leave a comment. For all he ever knows, I just don't get over there at all. Yet, every time I post, he's here, commenting and supporting me, and to me that's beyond awesome. The fact that he still takes time to stop by my blog when he's got SO MANY, means a lot to me and I'm really thankful for that. I don't get a lot of comments, but when I see his, I feel like I've got thousands. He's such a special person and I'm thankful I found his blog and 'met' him. So, THANK YOU ALEX for being the AWESOME person that you are.

It's not a long thankful post, but I just wanted to let you all know that I'm thankful that you stop by to see me, tweet me, chat with me, and everything else. You're all wonderful.

Happy Monday everyone. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Well, I'm a little behind on the NaNo goal, but I'm working on pulling out of it and getting back ahead. I didn't post my update on Thursday like I planned because I was really hopeful that in a day or two I'd be back on track. I'm not yet, but I know I can do it.

I really don't have much else to update, so here's a poem to fill the space.

Emotions running high
The smell fills the night
Wondering where to place
Something so easily erased
Pain from the heartache
Sadness for all to take
Revel in the despair
Of it all, with no care
Hatred deeply rooted
Evil left unmuted
A seed that, once sprouted
Will spread outward
Lustful minds
Passionate times
Coming then going
And leaving you growing
Love in your heart
Adore from the start
Is it true that’s all we need
To overturn the misplaced seed

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend and that you have a great week. Happy Sunday :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

One Week Down

I intended on posting this yesterday, but I got busy and forgot. It sucks, not having time for the blog. I miss my blog, my followers, and the blogs I follow. NaNo is helping pull me out of my funk completely though. I'm writing, getting back to critiquing, and even doing better finding time just to read. Which means soon I'll be back to blogging more and reading blogs. Yay. :)

One week of NaNoWriMo gone and my total word count is 16,524. I'm slightly ahead, which is good because last night I fell asleep before I got any writing in. If I didn't have that cushion, I'd be disappointed, but I do, so it's all good. I'll be writing today and with any luck, maybe I'll gain even more cushion.

It took too long to come out of my funk and I'm still on the border of falling back into it and not. I don't want to be there again. Not writing wasn't good for me. The more I didn't write, or critique, or read, the more I couldn't motivate myself to do any of it. I don't like that place and I'm glad you all stuck with me. Everyone gave me good words of encouragement and you made me feel better, thank you. I have some pretty amazing online friends, you all rock.

Last thing, I realized that I forgot about the Insecure Writers Support Group, so let's call this update post, my IWSG post for this month. Better late than not at all.

I hope you all have an AWESOME weekend. :)

How about you...Are you writing? Revising/editing? Doing NaNo? What's going on in your life these days?

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Okay, for the first time ever, I've jumped in and decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. My hopes are that this will help me to be more motivated and that I'll finally get some decent writing in. Since I am doing NaNo, there's a good chance I will post on here even less than I thought. Originally I'd planned to start getting back to my blog, but I don't see it happening while I'm trying to write a 50K word novel in a month, lol.

So, just wanted to give a little update and tell y'all what my plan is for the month. I'll see you all soon.

And on a completely different note...

Yesterday morning, a seven year old boy was hit and killed by a car while he was walking to his bus stop. I didn't know him, and I don't know his family (and I hate to talk about something so sad), but I wanted to ask that everyone please pray for his family and friends (or whatever it is you do when someone has had a loss like this). Also, the driver honestly didn't see the little boy, and they've ruled that it was an accident...So please, pray for that driver. I can't even imagine what they must be going through and feeling. But I can imagine that it's not something that will go away easily. I'm sure it will be heavy on that driver's heart for many years, if not always. So please, send out some positive to the driver as well. And keep this tragedy in mind as a reminder that you just never know. You never know when someone will be gone, so hug them tight, love them with all you've got and more, and cherish every minute.

Sorry, for the sad note for a minute, I just wanted to get that out.

Thank you for coming by to see me. Have a great Thursday. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

That Moment When...

You realize that you've been trying to make yourself find time to write blog posts because you've built up readers and want something for them to read.

I've made statements on here about how I'm going to be doing this, or I'm going to be doing that and it never happens quite like I was planning...

So today I write this post to say, I'm so thankful for the followers who haven't gone away. I really appreciate you guys. I've realized that I can't promise a time when I'll get back to my schedule, or have a new one because it's just not happening. I know it will happen, sooner rather than later I hope, but not this week. I'm done making empty statements about when I'll be doing something on here.

I will say that I'm not abandoning my blog or my followers all together. The day is coming when things will be back to normal, it will happen...Just not today and probably not at all this week.

Life outside of the writer world gets tough sometimes, but I'm getting through it and everything will work out soon.

Thank you again for sticking with me.

Have a great Monday and an awesome week. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Wonderful Woman

And one of my best friends...

Caterina Torres, author of Zombie Whisperer, and fan of the undead :P Her book is great, book two is great (not published yet), and she's got an awesome book she's querying and one in the works. She writes like a madwoman and is awesome at it. Oh, and she writes a short story segment on her blog (usually about once a month give or take).

Cat is also my critique partner and I'd be lost without her. She picks me up when I'm down, talks sense into me when I need it, and is there for me for everything in between. She sweet and caring, giving, smart, and full of tons of awesomeness.

Like my Monday mention (JeanO), Cat is into social media. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her website. And if you're on AQC, you can find her there too. I did a TAG! with her too.

For anyone who hasn't read Zombie Whisperer, or hasn't heard about it-go check it out. It's not your typical gory braaaaiiiiiins kind of zombie book, it's a unique take and very cool.

Hope everyone has a fantastic day. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Time to Get Back to Mention Mondays

Since I still haven't quite gotten my crap together to be ready to post better, I've decided to use a few days to mention some people that I haven't talked about in a while. I feel bad not posting my Mention Mondays and there are so many people I think everyone should know. (I also figured what better time than after Friday's awesome post. :D ) I'll be spending this week and next mentioning a few awesome peeps. (Mon/Wed/Fri)

So today it's all about the fantastically awesome woman who is in the social media scenes big time-Jean Oram. She is a writer, handing out writerly advice and helping hands/eyes/etc to all writers, all while working on her own writerly things. But that's not all she does, she also runs a website dedicated to kids play, all while posting fun ideas to get kids active, independent, and for people to just get involved with making sure the kids in their life are happy and having fun.

Wait, that's not it...Jean is also SUPER Mod over at Agent Query Connect. Yep, she finds time between all the other amazingly awesome things she does, to be even more amazingly awesome. She volunteers as super mod. Helping other writers and helping to keep the site in order.

One last thing, she does all of this amazing stuff while taking care of two kids, one being a toddler...

Yes, that's right, this woman is AMAZINGLY AWESOME. (In case you didn't get that yet :P ) She's one of the best people I've met since diving into the writerly world and I'm so happy to know her. I've learned a lot from her, things that help my writing, things that help keep my kids entertained, and even that there are people out there who can be so fantastic and still so giving and thoughtful.

So, there it is. Jean Oram is awesome, go check her out.

Jean's blog
She also posts on From the Write Angle blog
Jean's writer Facebook page
Jean's twitter
It's All Kids Play
It's All Kids Play Facebook page
Kids Play on twitter
And if you'd like to know a little bit more about Jean, here is her TAG.

If you don't know Jean,you should. And if you do know her, well, you must already know about her awesomeness and therefore sorry for writing an entire post about something not so new to you. :D

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. (See you Wednesday for the mention of another awesome person) :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Grave Intentions

And this is what made me want to spend some days mentioning some awesome folks...

It's time for a COVER REVEAL!

GRAVE INTENTIONS by the AWESOME Lori Sjoberg is coming soon and I'm bringing you the reveal of her extra sexy, fantastic cover.

Oh yeah, isn't it magnificent :D I myself think it's pretty nice. ;)

Here's a little blurb for you:

He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual—the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent—and now he’s got more than his soul to lose…

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper—an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good. Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers—even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. Her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living—and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.

Sounds awesome, right? Yes, of course it does because it is :P

Here are some social media links for Lori:

And here's a link to her TAG! with me :)

One more thing that Lori would like to add:

Thanks so much for hosting my cover reveal, Kela! You've been a great friend and a great supporter, and I really appreciate you taking the time to promote Grave Intentions, scheduled for release on January 1, 2013. Now let's get you published so I can return the favor!

Thank YOU so much, Lori. You're an amazing woman and I'm glad to know you. I'm so happy that you're being published, it's VERY well deserved.

Very deserved, y'all. She's an amazing writer.

I hope you all enjoy the cover, and please do remember GRAVE INTENTIONS out Jan 2013.

Have a fabulous day. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Life and My Funk...

This is an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. For more info, check out the awesome Alex J Cavanaugh's blog.

I normally would've posted this yesterday, but since I forgot it was the first Wednesday of the month...I'm posting it a little late.

With this funk I've been stuck in, writing has taken a backseat for too long. It's like the more I couldn't get in the mood to write, the farther away my love for writing drifted. I got lost in real life-cleaning, cooking, kids, etc-and I couldn't find my way back to the fantasy world I like to dive into. The voices in my head went silent, the ideas running rampid were non-existent, and I couldn't have cared less whether I opened up a blank document to tell a story ever again...

But I kept dreaming. Literally. I kept having dreams of these people and places that only exist in the made up worlds that only writers can create, things happening that couldn't ever be real...

I realized, it wasn't that the voices in my head were silent, I wasn't listening. My ideas didn't leave, I chose to ignore them. And it wasn't that I didn't care about writing, I was forcing myself to not care. Forcing myself to only pay attention to things outside of writing...

And that's when I knew-I wasn't in a funk, I was buried so deep in life that I was silencing my creativity. I was trying to get rid of the ideas because I was so sure they weren't there. If I just did other things, I wouldn't think of writing since I couldn't anyway. I threw myself into everything non-writerly because I was convinced I'd lost my mojo and that everything else was too time consuming, but I was wrong.

Yes, life happens, Yes, I have kids to take care of, cleaning to do, everyone must be fed, and errands must be ran. But I've always done all of those things and still found time to write. So, now that I figured out the issue, I'm working on it. I think I'll be able to be back on track for real this time. Thanks for everyone who keeps hanging with me.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. See you tomorrow for an awesome cover reveal. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's Been A While

Hey, everyone! How's it going? Been a bit since I've posted. :-/

I have some ideas for posts, but I just can't find the time right now. I've got my fingers crossed that life will smooth out very soon. I should be back and ready to go by Monday (Oct. 1), with any luck I can get something posted sooner. A huge thank you to all my followers, new and old, for still following me even with my lack of content these days.

On my to do list I have 'catch up on genre blogfest' - that one, from last week? Yeah, I'm still planning to get around to them. So, if you stopped by here and never saw me on your site, no worries, I'll be there asap.

I'm having another bit of a funk of sorts. But it's not lack of desire or drive, it's lack of time to do everything I need to. I've got a list of things to get done-writerly and non-that's a few pages long. So, I will see you soon with a post-a real one-very soon.

In the meantime, how have you been? I've noticed a lot of writers in a funk. Has it hit you? I hope not. And to my non-writer(and writer) friends, has life seemed to get in the way for you at all lately?

Happy Wednesday, see ya soon. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

Woot! Time for another blogfest.

Genre Favorites

Hosted by the AWESOMELY AMAZING Alex J Cavanaugh

What does it mean? Post your favorite genre in the following categories:
Plus a Guilty Pleasure from one of these categories.

My favorite movie genre-which I'm pretty sure I've said before-is horror. I've loved it since I was 2.

Music is a tough one. I listen to pretty much anything. I like rap, classic rock, country, classical music, rnb, pop, hip hop, soft rock, hard rock...Really-I listen to them ALL. My playlist right now has all of those on it. But if I had to pick just one to listen to, I'd go country. My reasoning is that country has songs that could almost fit into each of those categories-in a sense.

My favorite book genre is a little bit easy-I read anything with supernatural/paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi elements. Some of you may be saying, those are not all the same genre, so how is it easy? Simple, I consider anything with magic, vampires, witches, wizards, aliens, reapers, angels, demons, made up worlds/planets, etc to be one genre. I hate the genre labels. If I had to name one, it'd be paranormal. But I read books labeled Urban Fantasy-which, um, is fantasy and those have vampires in them. So, I don't know. I mean, really-they're all the same genre-Fantasy. So, whatever genre you want to call it, that's my favorite. (Though I will read anything if it's good-I'll try anything if I think it might be good)

Guilty Pleasure from any of these categories would probably, Idk. I'm not secretive about anything. I do read Erotica. One of my favorite authors is someone who writes African American/Lesbian, Gay, Bi/Erotica books-her name is Zane-her books are SEX-and I've read a good majority of them and love them. I don't talk about the fact that I read Erotica, so I suppose it would fit in the GP category.

Make sure you stop by Alex's blog-check out the other peeps signed up, follow his blog, read it-love it-because he's quite awesome.

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone. And what are your favorite genres? :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Okay, y'all-this is my 200th post. WOOT! I'm even more excited that it's a good one...

My giveaway has ended and the winners are:

Kendra C-won an eBook of Terri Bruce's HEREAFTER
Robin H-won an eBook of Terri Bruce's HEREAFTER.
Mayumi H-won a swag pack (scroll down to see pics of the swag)
TJ-won a swag pack (scroll down to see pics of the swag)

Congrats y'all-awesome book and great swag.

Yes, this concludes the most awesome 200th post ever. I know it seemed to go on forever, but hey, I got to make my 200th nice and long...Okay, lol, I know it's short, what can I say? How long have y'all been waiting for a short and sweet post from me? Long time, right? :P

(One thing I'll mention before I go: The boys over at Pineapple Lighting are holding a pitch contest which will give you writers (with a completed MS) a chance to get your 20 word pitch judged by an editor and also a chance to win a copy of HEREAFTER by Terri Bruce! :D Enter fast, contest ends 11:59 Eastern time)

Winners will be contacted shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered. Make sure to keep an eye out for my next giveaway...I feel one coming on soon. ;)

That's it. Happy Tuesday! :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

What I Did Last Summer-Fact or Fiction Reveal

I've been ready for this post since Monday, lol. So, here goes:

On Monday I posted about Fire in the Hole. Let me start by saying, we did go to Silver Dollar City a lot when I was younger, and Fire in the Hole was and still is a for real ride. That story had truths in it. Such as-my sister made fun of me, in fact, my entire family made fun of me. I was terrified during the ride. In tears by the time it was over. There was no malfunction however, and there was no jerk. That year, I vacationed with my grandparents, aunts and uncle, cousin, parents, and my sister. I rode sitting next to my grandpa, and although I loved him dearly, he was the jerk doing stuff to scare the crap out of me. There was someone behind me doing/saying things to scare me, but I can't remember who or what exactly they did/said. That ride also did scar me for life. I have never rode another coaster and highly doubt I ever will. ANYWHO-That story was FALSE,

Which means my ride from hell was TRUE. Oh, so true. And scary. Jeez, so many things went wrong on that trip. There were other minor details that I left out because it would've put me way over the 500 words. Let's just say, that trip made me a bit afraid of road trips. It was bad. And the hail was seriously that scary.

Most people guessed that story number one was true and story number two was false...Which makes me happy that I successfully fooled so many. :D

Thanks for this blog hop, Emily and Melodie, it was a lot of fun.

I'm behind on getting to some of the blogs, I still plan on getting to them all though. Thanks for stopping by.

And (shameless plug) don't forget I'm hosting a giveaway! (Details here)

Happy Friday, Everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Double Up

I decided that double posting was not a great idea, which led to the decision to repost my rafflecopter entry form today.

Check out the guest post from Terri Bruce. The rafflecopter giveaway is located on that post, but here it is again. Enter and spread the word. It's a pretty awesome book. :D

Happy Thursday, Everyone. :)

(PS-I'll be back to my Thursday TAG! posts next week.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Road Trip and IWSG

Okay, here's story number two of the 'What I Did Last Summer Blog Hop'

A couple summers ago, a friend of mine came to visit from Ohio. I decided to drive her back-with my sister so there would be three of us to alternate the driving. I rented a brand spanking new and oh so pretty car, and we headed out that night.

We drove from Oklahoma, through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and finally Ohio. I won't say the trip went smooth, but it wasn't too bad until we hit Indiana. Because as soon as we were nearing the Indiana/Ohio border, a MEGA storm hit. Rain was pouring down on us at first, which made driving a bit difficult considering the busy highway, but it wasn't too bad.

Suddenly though, the rain became tons of hail bigger than softballs. Driving was near impossible, but we were on a highway and there were no overpasses or anything to take cover under. So, we pushed forward, very slowly, and just prayed the hail would stop soon.

It didn't stop soon. No, it started pounding the roof and windows of the car. My friend was in the backseat praying that we'd make it through alive, my sister was driving and trying to keep her composure, while I was calling my kids and my niece and nephew because we honestly feared for our lives and wanted to tell our kids we loved them.

As the hail pounded the windshield, cracks began forming, and we started freaking out even more. Semis were swerving all over the road, sight was near impossible, but finally we found reprieve at a gas station.
We stopped, waited out the storm, and continued on our way.

Finally, we reached Ohio, dropped my friend off, and turned around heading back for Oklahoma.
My sister and I were certain the return trip would go well, we were wrong. But it wasn't that bad, well, okay it was.

We were driving along in the dark when-BAM!-out of nowhere we hit something, hard. After stopping to look back and make sure there wasn't a dead human body behind us, we kept going. It was dark, the area was unknown territory for us, and there were no stores around. By the time we reached a gas station, the car was acting weird. Being still nighttime, we didn't spend much time looking it over though.

The next stop we made, in the daylight, we popped the hood to check out the car. Whatever we hit had pushed the radiator back.

Oh well, nothing to do about it, we were still miles from home and with the wild trip, it made more sense to us to just keep going.

I returned the car, battered and beaten-no longer brand new and pretty-to the rental place. Luckily, I spent the extra to have insurance, so no cost for the damages. And that's a huge luckily because that car was totaled.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I'm a big not-fan of too many topics in one post, however my Monday double post did not go well. I still have a LOW number of visits to my guest post from author Terri Bruce. Which sucks even more because there's a GIVEAWAY on that post. If you missed it, go check it out.

So, I'm posting the IWSG post in this same post. Which is okay really because I kinda whined in that one post a week or two ago so I don't have a lot to say.

As many of you know, I spent a lot of August (and really, it's been going on for a while) being unmotivated. I struggled to accomplish much of anything. Last week though, I found my motivation and got back to writerly things. I'm caught up on crits and I sent my completed MS to a couple people for a read through. Now I just need to get back to my wip, keep caught up on crits, and get some reading done. Plus, I need to get back to my blogger friends, I've been neglecting y'all too much lately. :(

I may have found my motivation, but keeping is proving to be a challenge. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed though that I can get back to 100% though and next month's post will be awesome.

Happy guessing and writing everyone. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

What I Did Last Summer Blog Hop - Fire in the Hole

Please make sure you stop by my first post of today. I've got author Terri Bruce and a giveaway!!!

Okay, y'all, it's time for another blog hop. YAY! :D

Here's how this one works:

Monday, Sept 3-post one summer story, 500 words or less, true or false.
Tuesday, Sept 4-check out the other blogs taking part and see your competition.
Wednesday, Sept 5-post one summer story, 500 words or less, true or false depending on which you posted on Monday.
Thursday, Sept 6-check out the other blogs taking part and vote in the comments for which is their true story and which is their false.
Friday, Sept 7-reveal which story was true and which was false.
Late Friday/early Saturday, Sept 8- PRIZES!!! (Hop on over to Emily or Melanie's blog for complete rules and details.)

So, onto the blog hop.

One summer when I was about five years old, my parents took my sister and me to an amusement park. I was super excited, after all-it was my first amusement park and a chance to put a stop to my sister's endless taunting about how big of a sissy I am. (My sister and I are eight years apart, btw.)

So, we get to the park, ride a few BS rides and then get to the one. Ya know, that ONE roller coaster ride that every amusement park has guaranteed to rock your socks, make you puke/terrified/both/etc etc. I've always been short so when I saw the 'you must be this high to ride this ride' sign, my spirits drooped a little. I slinked up to the sign; shoulders slumped and pout on my face. The ride attendant laughs at me and says, “Go ahead and see, but I doubt a shorty like you will even come close.” That got my attention; I perked up, straightened my shoulders, and stood as tall as I could. I made the hight limit by one inch. YES! I was in.

My dad, my sister, and I make it through the line, climb into the cart, and are strapped in. Now, let me tell you about the ride. It was called 'Fire in the Hole' and was inside a building. There were scary things on the side of the rails, water that got dumped on you at different points, fire of course, and twists/turns/ups/downs. With my huge Kool-Aid smile on and hands gripped tight on the bar holding us in, the ride begins.

The thrills the ride promised were true. And although I was scared, I was determined to prove to my sister that I was not a big baby. I bit my tongue and tried to enjoy the ride. Then, halfway through-the ride halted. Wth?!? "Dad, why did it stop? Is it supposed to do that?!" "Of course, it's all part of the ride, honey, just relax." Then some ass in the cart behind us, leans up, grabs my shoulders, and says, "Don't listen to your dad, little girl. Scream and be terrified, because this ride just malfunctioned. We’re stuck, who knows what will happen now." Oh was my dad pissed, and damn was I scared. But, the ride started back almost immediately after.

Unfortunately, after the incident, I didn’t enjoy the ride one bit. I was horrified, crying, screaming, and almost pissing my pants. I couldn't get off the ride fast enough. I ran to my mom balling, as my dad cussed the crazy guy out. Crazy guy laughed it off and walked away, my sister made fun of me, and my dad laughed as he told my mom that I wasn’t ready for big kid rides and maybe we could try again in a few years.

Once my fear eased, anger and embarrassment kicked in. But, that experience scarred me for life; I hate and fear all roller coasters.

Ghosts and the Afterlife in Film via Terri Bruce

(My blog hop post is here, if you're looking for that one. But you should read this first, there's a giveaway! :D )

Hey, y'all-it's a blog tour!! This is my first one ever, so I'm excited. And it's even more exciting that it's someone as awesome as, Terri Bruce author of HEREAFTER. Terri's going to tell us her top ten movies containing ghosts and the afterlife.

Terri’s Ten Favorite Depictions of Ghosts & The Afterlife in Film

Spirited Away
I think hands down Spirited Away is my favorite movie about ghosts. I love Miyazaki films anyway, and then when you add in the rich and beautiful spirit world he has created in this movie, this one becomes one of the richest depictions of the spirit world on film. I especially love the idea that the spirits need a bath house—a place where they go to relax and rejuvenate.

Just Like Heaven
Now, (SPOILER!), technically Reese Witherspoon is not a ghost in this movie, but we (and she) don’t know that until the end. Not only is this movie super sweet, but the scenes of the various psychics that Rufolo calls in to rid his apartment of Witherspoon are hysterical! It’s fun to see the “ghost’s” reaction to all of the ghost repellent charms.

Defending Your Life
This may be one of my all time favorite movies and probably my favorite depiction of the afterlife. I love the idea that the entire point of everything is live without fear, though I cringe at the thought of having to re-watch certain parts of my life and then defend my actions or choices. Hopefully, I’ve grown and improved over the years, but that doesn’t make the places I’ve stumbled any easier to relive!

Ghost Town
This movie has a very interesting take on ghosts—I love how, at first, they are just hanging around. No one can see them or hear them, so being a ghost is obviously extremely boring. They have unfinished business and they can’t move on until they complete it. What I find particularly fascinating was how the ghosts seem to have extremely little interest in the world of the living. They’re dead, they know they’re dead, and they all seem perfectly fine with that. They just really want to finish up their business and get going.

Beetlejuice seems to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from Ghost Town—these ghosts DO want to interact with the world of the living; or, more precisely, they want to hang onto their earthly/worldly possessions. There is no “moving on” here; the Maitlands are apparently stuck in their house until the end of time and they have no intention of sharing with the living. What’s also funny is that in this version of the afterlife, the dead are trying to exorcise the living, rather than the traditional other way around.

One Magic Christmas
My husband thinks this is a terrible movie—Mary Steenbergen is lead to believe that her husband dies, that she loses her job, and that her children are kidnapped (and nearly die), just to teach her about the spirit of Christmas—but it’s always been one of my favorites. In this movie, we have the idea that the dead serve as guardian angels, watching over the living. Harry Dean Stanton as the “angel” is a strange and fabulous casting choice—who can resist?

Sixth Sense
Here we have the traditional “unfinished business” view of ghosts with the added twist they can interact with the physical world—they can open and close doors, cabinets, even drawers. We also have the element that some people can naturally see and talk to ghosts (as in Ghost Town—there, the ability to see ghosts is created by the character’s near-death experience. In this case, it appears to be a natural ability), which has been used in other movies, such as Ghost and the Frighteners.

The Innocents
Here’s a movie (based on the James Joyce novel, “The Turn of the Screw”) where the ghosts aren’t the main characters—this is not a story of the living battling the dead or of the dead reconciling themselves to death. Instead, what we have here is a story in which the “ghosts” are symbolic representations of the Victorian fear of death, repressed sexuality, and mental instability. In fact, the ghosts may not even be real. In some ways, that is much scarier than an actual horror movie, where one knows the ghosts are real. It’s hard to fight external forces when you’re not clear if they exist or you’re simply imagining things.

The Ring, Tale of Two Sisters, Re-Cycle
Now I hate to stereotype, but hands down, the South Koreans are the king of horror movies—they make some damn scary stuff! All of these movies scared the beejeebers out of me, particularly The Ring. Here we have some typical “horror” type depictions of ghosts: ghosts are scary, malevolent, and have supernatural powers (super speed, super strength, ability to fly, crawl out of televisions, and hide under kitchen cabinets).

Here ghosts are depicted as simply annoyances to be removed, akin to roaches or mice. We see a variety of spirits—some that are clearly dead humans and some that don’t appear to have ever been human—but the movie remains extremely tight-lipped on the existence of an afterlife and what happens to us once we die (does everyone hang around as a ghost or just some people? If just some people, why do those people end up here, rather than moving on?).

Some good movies up there, thanks Terri. :)

Now, here's a little something about Terri and her book:

Terri Bruce
Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?
Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.
This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The only problem is that, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

About the Author

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats.
Contact Details
Email: tbruce[at]terribruce[dot]net
Goodreads: Terri Bruce
Facebook: Terri Bruce Fan Page
Twitter: @_TerriBruce

(I also did a Thursday TAG! with Terri in May, check it out here.)

Wait, there's more. :D

I'm hosting a giveaway!!!!! YAY! Y'all know how I love my giveaways. :P

Using the Rafflecopter form below, enter for a chance to win one of two eBook copies of HEREAFTER up for grabs, or one of two swag packs. (Swag packs contain: 2 postcards, 2 bookmarks, & a set of two afterlife-related, blank note cards with matching envelopes - various designs. Click here for pictures of swag)

That's it...What're you waiting for? Enter the giveaway and spread the word!! :D

(Giveaway ends at 11:59PM Sept. 10, 2012)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 31, 2012

Slowly, but Surely

So, as many of my regular followers may have noticed, I didn't have a Thursday TAG! posted yesterday. There was a reason for that...

I'm still working on what I want to do that's more related to my genre, but I have many things that will stay the same. My schedule won't be back to normal until Monday, September 10.

This coming Monday, I'm not only participating in a blog hop, but I've also got a second post scheduled.  And then on Wednesday, I've got the blog hop still happening on top of the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. (That one should be exciting...). Because of the double posting on Monday and Wednesday, those are the only days I'm posting next week.

But, come Sept 10, I'll be back on it. I've got a little motivation back and I'm going to push myself to find the rest. I don't know where this funk came from, but I'm crawling out of it-even if it's a slow-go.

Anywho, that's all. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Friday!!! :D

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday - Motivation

Well, I've been barely posting lately, and I hate it. I like my schedule, but I honestly have trouble asking people to read and comment on my blog when I can't get to theirs. I've been so busy and it's my fault. I lost motivation somewhere in the last few weeks. Critiques are backed up, no writing has been happening, and of course-no blogging except Thursdays most of the time.

I don't know where my motivation went. This funk I've found myself in sucks and I don't know what to do to get out of it. I start to, I get a crit done and think, YES! One down. Then I look at the long list of crits and I'm done. I get lost in cleaning or organizing the house, browsing the internet, procrastinating on AQC. My friends have been supportive-even the ones who're waiting and waiting for their chapters to be critted. I've got some of the best cheerleaders and yet, I can't seem to just get things done.

I'm writing this post because I've neglected my blog and my readers, and I don't like that.

So, I ask you, my loyal readers, does this ever happen to you? Do you lose your motivation to do writerly things? Other non writerly things? Do you ever just feel like you've lost your mojo and have no clue how to get it back? What do you do (if anything) to help get yourself back on track?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday TAG! - R.C. Lewis

Eeep! This tag is-of course :p - EXCITING!!! R.C. Lewis is a math teacher, an awesome woman, always helpful, moderator over at AQC, AGENTED!, oh yeah and she's got a TWO book (six figure) deal! Yeah, did I mention she's AWESOME!?! :D

You can find R.C. on her blog, Twitter, and AQC. And make sure to keep an eye out for STITCHING SNOW(coming Summer 2014). The query is awesome and I can't wait to read the novel itself.

(EDIT: I forgot to add that RC also posts over at From The Write Angle Blog. It's an awesome blog for writers, go check it out. :)  )

1. When did you start writing?
I began writing my first novel in August 2009.

2. What made you want to write?
I was discussing some YA novels with my sister. We talked about how some had so much potential but fell short because of this or that. I thought, "It's easy to complain, but could I do any better?" Then once I got started, I discovered how much I love it.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
That first novel started out as an experiment to see what happened if I tried. I felt like what I ended up with was pretty good, so I started looking into what it takes to get published.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Always YA, mostly sci-fi, and I have some veering toward fantasy, plus one contemporary.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
Sci-fi and fantasy have long been my favorites to read (and watch when it comes to movies). So mostly because I'm a geek. I veered to YA because I've been surrounded by teenagers for a while with my day job, and I like the psychology that comes with that period of our lives.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
It varies. I'll often jot a note or two before I start, then add to those notes as I go and things start fleshing out. Other times, I'll have a more solid idea of the whole plot from the beginning, so those "jotted notes" are more of an outline.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Straight to computer.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
I've written seven novel-length manuscripts so far, one novelette, and four short stories.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
No, never.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I'm on Twitter (@RC_Lewis) and I blog (, plus I'm a moderator at AgentQuery Connect.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Really, any advice that's presented as absolute makes me cringe. The various forms of "to be" aren't inherently evil. Neither are adjectives and adverbs. If you go a day without writing, that doesn't make you not a real writer. Everything should be considered individually, with moderation and balance.

14. What made you choose Snow White to revamp for STITCHING SNOW?
It wasn't exactly a decision to revamp something. There's a line in a Florence + the Machine song about "Snow White stitching up your circuit-board." That conjured an image, and the story started to form from there.

15. Why did you decide to set it in the future and in space?
I lean toward sci-fi anyway, and that line of lyrics already got me in the mindset of Snow White juxtaposed with technology, so it made sense.

16. How does it feel to get a (not prearranged) call from an agent? Followed by four others wanting you too.
The cold call was startling, but fine—largely because the agent was very personable and disarming from the beginning. As for five agents offering, it's extremely flattering on the one hand ... but it was also gut-wrenching. They were all stand-out, awesome agents, and I had to figure out which of five amazing choices was the right choice for me.

17. How did you react when you got that call? (Were you cool about it-"Oh hey, Ms Agent, what's up?" or OMG!)
I guess I was pretty cool about it, at least outwardly. My outward reactions tend to be kind of muted—not exactly the jumping-up-and-down type. Inwardly, though, I had mile-a-minute thoughts, especially because I was sitting in my classroom during prep time and had to violently shift my brain from math-teacher mode to writer mode.

18. Is there any specific reason you prefer to write YA?
There are a lot of reasons. I like the transitional aspects of teenage-hood. It's a fascinating (and in turns fun, dismal, exciting, and maddening) time of life. Probably a lot of the same reasons I like teaching teenagers so much. And I like writing books that I wish I could've read as a teen. Hopefully my books will reach some teens so they don't have to wish.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I teach math! Up until recently, I taught high school kids at a school for the deaf. Now I'm back to hearing kids and will be teaching eighth and ninth graders this fall.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
I covered the main thing in #13. :) But also, there are a lot of options to consider these days. Don't rush. Take your time to figure things out and do it right.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Charlee Vale

I know I keep saying this lately about all of my TAG!s, but...This is one I'm SUPER excited about. :D

Charlee Vale is a YA(at the moment) writer, who is absolutely fantastic, helpful, and a great woman and friend. I met her on, well I'm sure y'all could guess :P, AQC. You can find her on her website/blog, Twitter, or AQC if you're there.

1. When did you start writing?
I started writing in my teens, with a close friend of mine. It was one of those things where one of us looked at the other and said ‘Let’s write a story!’ We worked on that story for almost three years. Later it became the basis for my first novel.

2. What made you want to write?
When I started writing, I was in that awkward stage of life where you feel like you belong in a different skin. The story I wrote with my friend was purely fantasy, and the characters were our alter egos. For a long time I wrote because I could write my own adventures and escape the boredom/drama of high school. I put it away for a little while, but after I started writing in college, it morphed from just a stress reliever into something I truly loved. The characters were no longer me, but I still craved to tell their stories. It’s something hard to explain, but I’ve loved it ever since.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
It was a kind of natural evolution. I don’t ever remember a moment when I decided, ‘I want to be a published author.’ It came from a lot of people boosting me along. My friends in college, professors, my mentor, they all told me I was a good writer and should go for it. When you have a great support system, it’s only a short step from thinking something is crazy to following your dream!

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Currently I write Young Adult fiction, though I am not opposed to writing in other age levels or genres in the future.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
There’s a beautiful immediacy to YA that I really enjoy. I also feel that there is more freedom to be unique within the genre (or rather competition, if you think about it). So many people from so many walks of life read Young Adult literature now that it’s a great time to be a part of the YA Lit movement. Plus, being a young adult myself, I can relate!

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
No, not really. As many people have said before me, there is no one way to write a book. And each book itself is a different process that kind of dictates itself, according to what that book needs.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
I am so NOT an outliner. Typically for me I have a core of an idea, and the story spirals from there. I’m patchwork writer, so I write all the scenes out of order, and then put them together when I’m finished. Though like I said, every book is different. For my latest WIP I actually did write a three page synopsis before I started writing, because the details were flooding into my head so quickly that I was afraid I would lose them all.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
TEA. Having hot tea, (especially Awake by Tazo) majorly helps boost my productivity. Also I found that if I’m going to work I must be sitting upright at a desk or a table of some sort.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
It’s funny, I used to write exclusively on paper. My first novel was written in black and white composition notebooks. I still have them all. But although I enjoy writing by hand, it takes double the time because you then have to transfer it. So in the interest of time I now type it straight in. I’ve gotten used to it. (Go Scrivener!)

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
I’m in the process of writing my third novel. I’ve written maybe twenty short stories and probably fifty poems. I’ve also written a few stage plays, and am in the process of writing one for my graduate thesis.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
Oh, yes. I think there will always be those people. I still hear stories NYT Bestselling authors who are told kindly that they should ‘keep looking for a real job.’ But you have to know in your heart that it’s your passion, and if you cling to it hard enough, the rest of the world will catch on.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
Indeed. Twitter is my main hangout (@charleevale), and my blog/website ( I also have a Facebook fan page, tumblr, and actual Facebook, though I don’t use them nearly as often and are more on the personal side. So your best bet to get in touch with me is on twitter or my site.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Honestly, I think the worst kind of advice is the kind that is forced on you. Since the writing process is so subjective, it’s your job to be discerning about which advice to take. However, if someone is telling you that something is THE ONLY WAY to do something, it’s probably wrong, or just right for that one person.

14. Since you work for Entangled Publishing, is it easier for you to work on getting published? Or are you going the regular route and querying agents/publishers?
Because I work at Entangled, and have quite a few friends in the industry, I will admit that I am more connected than the average writer. However, I am going the traditional find-an-agent, research my brains out, query, and panic, route.

15. Between a Master's program and reading submissions for Entangled, where do you find time to write?
My sleep suffers. I wish I were kidding. I've been really lucky this Summer. I've had a BUNCH of writing time, which allowed me to finish the first draft of my latest novel. That puts me in a better place for the school year, since revising is easier than drafting in terms of creative brain power. (for me at least)

But to truly answer the question, I believe that if you love something, you will make time for it. I have to fit writing in on lunch breaks, I write in my car on the way to work/school, I always keep a pen and notebook on me. ALWAYS.

16. What is it about a tragic ending that pulls you in?
I wouldn't say I love a completely tragic ending, but more a bittersweet ending. For some reason, happy endings that are wrapped up in a perfect bow have always rung a little false to me. In my experience, there is rarely a happy ending without sacrifice, or loss.

For whatever reason, I'm addicted to that elusive feeling of catharsis that comes with an imperfect ending. You all have been WARNED. I like bittersweet endings, what does that tell you?

17. What do you like about being a non-linear pantser?
It's a very free method of working. I can work on whatever part of the story I feel like, at any time. Some people marvel at how I can put together coherent story if I write out of order AND pantsing, but somehow it works for me.

If I'm stuck, I don't have to work on that scene until I'm banging my head bloody on the keyboard. I just skip somewhere else, write a scene that I've been thinking about, or maybe a Candy Bar Scene. That usually helps me work through plot problems.

18. What scene was your favorite to write for your latest wip? (First, last, middle, etc) And at what point (word count) did you write it?
Oh my goodness, you had to ask this. There were so many scenes that I enjoyed writing. I mean, I have a costume party, battle zones, and future New York. BUT I really think my favorite scene to write was the very last one. I figured out what I wanted the last lines of the book to be, and they struck me so deeply that I knew that I had to write that scene right away.

And I wrote it about 3/4 of the way through the draft. My draft is about 60K, so I guess I wrote it at about 45K? But yeah, writing that scene will stay with me for a long time.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I’m currently getting my Master’s Degree in Theatre Performance and Playwriting, and I’m an Editorial Intern at Entangled Publishing.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
Yes, absolutely. FEAR IS A LIAR. There are so many fears that plague us as writers. Will I be good enough? Will people like my stories? Will I ever get an agent? Will I ever be published? Will I be thought of as silly for writing? Am I crazy? And so many more. But we have to remember that these fears are nothing but barriers holding us back from our dreams. There is no excuse for sabotaging yourself. If you don’t believe, no one will, so discard the fear and grab that dream.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What Do I Write?

On Tuesday I asked y'all what I write. I wanted to see if anyone knew what genre and topic I write. Some people got the genre which is Adult Paranormal Romance. No one got the topic...

First off, let me tell you the answer to that: My completed MS, titled CREATED WITH LOVE (which I'd like to be book one of a series), is about vampires. My WIP, titled UNBIND ME (which I'd also like to be book one of a series), is about shape-shifters. Actually, more specifically, it's about rugarus, puca, fairies, and demons. (Anyone surprised by this/not expecting that to be the answer?)

Now, let me tell you what made me ask: I know many people broadcast what they write, which is good. It helps them make a name for themselves before they publish. It's branding and I have apparently been sucking at it. I know I do. I mean, how often do I post about vampires, shape-shifters, or fairies? Never really.

So, I've decided to rework my blog schedule to fit in posts relating to my genre and the topics I write about. I'm not sure what I will do or what will change, but I'll post about it once I've got it figured out.

Thanks to anyone who gave it a shot or just commented to tell me they don't know. And thanks Kendra and Cat for not giving the answer away since you both already know what I write. <3

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend.

Happy Saturday! :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Brighton Luke - Act II

Okay, here is Act II of Brighton Luke's interview. (If you happened to miss Act I-click here.)

14. When did you start writing screenplays?
What made you want to write them? Probably high school I think. I wrote the script for a short a few friends and I filmed as our final project for AP English. I love movies, even more than books, to me there is no better entertainment than a well made film. So I’ve always been interested in filmmaking and I’ve always had so many stories swimming around in my head it made sense to write them down, and to me some stories either just fit a novel or a film better so I just go with whichever one, and for some I write two versions like in What the Water Gave Us I wrote that first as a screenplay and then I also thought it would make a good novel so I rewrote it as one. Movies have such a big impact on me when I watch them, so I’ve always wanted to have that same impact on people. I’m currently (we start shooting August 15th) directing and producing my first feature length film, American Dreamsicle, so even though it’s completely stressing me out I’m finally really discovering how much it’s something I want to do. Every obstacle that has come up I’ve really buckled down, found a solution and felt reaffirmed in my conviction that this is what I want to be doing, what I should be doing which is exciting. I’ve often longed for that, the conviction of feeling like I’m certain that I’m doing the right thing, and wanting something badly enough to have the dedication to reach excellence (haha I sound like I’ve been watching way too much Olympics, not that there is such a thing as too much Olympics).

15. Screenplays vs. Novels: how alike/unalike are they?
Screenplays are much more strictly structured, both in format and plot wise, which I think some people could probably use a little more of in their novels, I think learning how to properly structure a screenplay has helped me with writing tighter novels. You have so much less room in a screenplay everything has to have a purpose that moves the plot forward and it all has to be visual, if you can’t see or hear it on screen you can’t include it (well you could but it’d be pointless). One advantage I like about novels though is that added freedom, and you have way more room. I was able to add back in some of my favorite parts of the story that there just wasn’t room for in the screenplay version of What the Water Gave Us when I rewrote it as a novel, and a novel has to be the whole house, it is the final product, where as with a screenplay it’s just the blueprints, so it’s not done until the film is done. So finishing a manuscript is much more satisfying than finishing a screenplay.

16. Why did you pick a virus to write about for WHAT THE WATER GAVE US?
It fit the plot. That’s not a very exciting answer but that’s what happened. If anyone wants to know what we’re taking about you can read the query for What the Water Gave Us here.  My original spark that inspired this novel was witnessing an event where someone did something many considered unforgivable, and then watching the fallout and reactions I got to thinking about the nature of guilt, and how it changes people. I also really wanted to address the ideas of being so blindingly focused on achieving a righteous sort of goal which for Anton is eradicating this virus that you will do things otherwise considered to be bad, but in the pursuit of something good. There are some things that we as a society like to think are only done by monstrous people, but if you look at history and real life, that’s not at all the case, and I think it’s really interesting and dramatic to explore the lives of characters walking those lines. I wanted someone with almost absolute power who is consciously aware of not wanting to be corrupted by it, and how probably the most pure thing about him, his love for his wife and family, that ultimately corrupts him for reasons that would give away a major spoiler, but that was generally what I wanted to write about. So as far as the virus goes, I needed both a reason these people had so much power, and I also needed to set up a moral conflict for Anton, and I just thought it was cool to have a family whose power came from immunity to a virus. Kind of taking the metaphor of the power being in your blood for royalty literally, because it really is an unimpeachable power it gives them, I think much more so than just oh we’re the monarchy it’s tradition and we have military might. It puts them in the position of being non-virtuous saviors, forced saviors. Plus epidemics have always fascinated me. One of my favorite books when I was in high school was The Hot Zone, about the marburg virus, which inspired some of the symptoms of the virus in my story.

17. What's your favorite screenplay you've ever written and why is it your favorite?
Probably What the Water Gave Us, because I like the characters so much, they are like my friends, but I also really like the musical I wrote based on the music by The Killers, and a new project I’ve been working on when I have the time, Young Blood, I rarely write comedy, but people are always encouraging me to, so this one is a dark comedy/ satire. It’s about a woman who is a very successful blogger whose blog is about hot college athletes. Some of the guys prominently featured on her site start turning up murdered right as she’s on the verge of hitting the big time (she’s gotten the opportunity to write a cover story for a major magazine about a rising college star) so even though the police easily figure out it’s not her, public opinion really drags her though the mud, so she works on clearing her name and gets pulled in deeper to the underlying drama behind the murders. Most of the stuff I get most excited about are because of the characters, I like to think about the most interesting people I could imagine and then write their stories.

18. What happened to the Pineapple Wafers?
They still exist, in our hearts and on random grocery shelves. (Seriously if your store has them or the coconut kind, try em, they’re amazing. Go goya!) For those who have no idea what we are talking about the Pineapple Wafers are a band I was in, though I use the word band loosely. We were really an Outhouse Racing team (it’s a huge 4th of July tradition in Bristol, VT, where you race outhouse shaped things on wheels down Main Street as hundreds of people cheer on and bet on the races to raise money for charity) pretending to be a band that sang comedy songs about snack foods, and then when we did well and won our heat and made it to the finals the newspaper and tv started interviewing us and the woman from the Seven Days paper in Vermont wanted us to send her some of our music. (No one realized it was all a joke) so instead of informing them it was a joke we went with it and went and wrote some songs about food and candy, filmed a music video, and sent it off, they used the song in the video about the race, and then also wrote a thing about us predicting that our music video would become a viral internet hit. We then filmed a few more videos. Good times had by all.
Here are some links that tell the story better.

Stale Starburst Love music video

Outhouse racing

If you feel like you must hear some of our other songs (be forewarned that our motto was No Talent? No Problem!)
We might film a few more videos someday. So yeah, my personality is kind of all over the map, the Pineapple Wafers is a good representation of my goofy side. It balances out the much more serious side I tend to show with what I write in my novels. I can be a little high strung sometimes and take things and myself too seriously so it’s good to let loose and be silly sometimes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Brighton Luke - Act I

(If you missed my Tuesday post, please go check it out. I asked a question that no one answered fully...Do you know?)

Brighton Luke is so full of awesome, that he needs an Act I and Act II. Today will be questions 1-12 and tomorrow will be 13-20. Brighton is an awesome guy who knows how to make light of any situation-he'll bring a smile to your face when needed. He can perk up a group of people with his wit and he's such a great person.

Mr. Luke is not only a writer of novels, but screenplays as well. You can find him on his website, blog, Twitter, and if you'd like to see some of his humor-check out this YouTube page here.

1. When did you start writing?
I don’t remember.

2. What made you want to write?
I’ve always told myself stories, I’d often spend my “me time” decompressing from the rest of the world by having an ongoing story, or a few of them depending on my mood I’d dive into various ones. It was like having a TV show I’d watch every night before going to bed. Sometimes people would want me to do something or go somewhere while I was having my story time, and I’d be like: “go away, I’m busy, I’m thinking” and that’s what I’d be doing. I still do that actually. There are some stories that I keep for myself as my own entertainment, but I started having ones that I wanted to tell other people. I started off telling friends or my parents or coaches the stories while they were stuck with me on the chairlift skiing, and my dad was always encouraging me to write them down. Eventually I did. Though it’s still fun to have a captive audience on the chairlift.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
Growing up I knew successful, published writers, who’d been on Oprah’s book club and had bestsellers and their books made into movies. They were friends of my parents, so I think I grew up with the assumption that if you were a writer, that’s what you eventually did, was get your stuff published and be successful, but I also pictured it as something adults did. I had a hard time picturing myself as an adult ever, haha, so now that I’ve just graduated college, I’ve hit the oh I’m kind of adultish now, I should work on this whole getting published part. I wish I had made an effort to do so earlier though. Because it’s such a long process, but also because back in 2005 I wrote a YA dystopian novel, and if I’d gotten in published back then I’d of been ahead of that trend haha. So that would have been cool.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Literary fiction with a dystopian/ political bent, though some of it is a bit science fiction. I also wrote a novella under a pen name that was a satire and a huge departure from how I usually write, I think I have it posted on my website. (Which kind of defeats the purpose of a pen name, haha, but it’s more that, that’s the character I was writing it as, my more devious alter ego). Everyone tells me I should write comedy because apparently I make them laugh. So that’s a goal, to write a comedy at some point. I also have a much wider genre spread of what I write for screenplays than I do for novels. Everything from a terrorism thriller to a musical. It’s a big goal of mine to direct that someday, it’s called Jenny Was A Friend of Mine. It’s based on the music of The Killers, kind of like how Mama Mia was based on the music of Abba.
I find some stories just feel like they are a better fit for a book and some feel more like they’d make a great movie.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
I love politics. Well maybe not love, but it fascinates me, thats what I studied in college. I also get entertained by how riled up everyone gets about it, I can be quite vulcan like when it comes to politics, I think the only productive way (for me at least) is to approach it with logic and not emotions. That enables me to see all sides of it, and really helps in writing, though in order for other people to be as open minded I also don’t have my novels take place on earth. Kind of like how westerns, or science fiction, (or really any fiction) were used to address larger social and political issues using a far removed setting. I want to write things that will entertain people, but I also want to make them think and feel. And I think there are certain things that are best explored via fiction, because fiction has more power to open peoples minds to seeing things a different way, and getting past their preconceived notions. But I also enjoy just blowing stuff up and that kind of action, so it’s all a balance.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Haha, uh… no. Yes. Some weirder than others. I have Aspergers and have kind of rituals or routines for everything. Some are probably fairly common. I prefer to write in the dark. I also have a file called CHARACTERS on my computer, which I originally intended to put photos of people who reminded me of all my characters, (which I think a fair number of people do) but this failed, the start of the file is that, but mostly it’s somehow turned into a file full of photos of Jennifer Connelly and Hugh Dancy haha, and now I for some reason have to have that file open on the screen while I write even though it’s not filled with images of various characters, even if I’m writing about people who could by no stretch be represented by either of those two, I still have to have the file open.) I also get into the mood for writing by watching certain video montages I’ve made. I guess they are sort of equivalent to those fan made trailers you see on youtube, only I make them for my own WIPs (and they don’t get posted online so I don’t complete embarrass myself haha. But they really do get me in the zone and psyched up to write). That and I love editing videos.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
Outline, extensively. Once I think of an idea and mull it over in my brain for awhile, I sit down and just write all of my ideas for it. And then I close the file, and open a new one and do the same thing, just write another outline straight through, and I do that a few times. And my outlines are long, about 40 pages. I keep doing that until I have the plot and characterization making sense. I then do a beat sheet for it. And finally I’m ready to start writing the actual story. At which point I don’t write in order at all. Since it’s already so heavily planned out I just write whichever scene I’m feeling at the moment.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
Pretty much the stuff I mentioned in question 6. The proper music, proper pictures, proper lighting (I have yelled at people who have come in and turned on lights while I’m in the zone writing “you don’t need the lights just walk slow!”) the videos.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Drop open markers on a sheet of paper and shake it around, thats what my handwriting looks like. I write on the computer.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
A lot.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer? No, not that I can remember. I am often told I am wasting time, but never said in relation to my writing. Generally when I am found watching the same movie for the third time in a weekend. (In my defense it was only playing that one weekend!)

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I tweet (@brightonAwesome), I facebook, I use tumblr probably more than is healthy, and I am quite active on certain IMDb boards (I’m super into movies). I like social media because it’s more about connecting with people based on certain similar interests, where as my “real life’ friends are awesome and we have fun together, but they might not necessarily be passionate about all the same things I am. If I want to talk about writing for hours on end I can go to AQC, if I want to find people are as excited about the shooting locations of Darren Aronofsky’s new film I can go over to IMDb or twitter and what have you, it’s like that for any interest. Plus there are tweet-a-long’s on Twitter where you watch a movie or tv show at the same time as a bunch of other fans and all chat about it on twitter, those are tons of fun.

(Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Act II :D  )

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday - I'm Curious...

I wasn't going to post anything today just because of the craziness and the fact that I haven't been able to get around to commenting on everyone's blogs. But, I hate that I'm straying from my schedule. I'm too OCD about things like schedules-it makes me crazy that I'm not sticking to mine.

However, since I didn't plan to post anything, I haven't thought of a topic for today.

So, I'm just going to toss out something I've been thinking of doing on my blog.

There is a wonderful person I know-she's an awesome chick, great writer, fabulous CP, and one of the best friends I have. I've mentioned her before-Caterina Torres. She's the author of Zombie Whisperer, a zombie book that is unique in its genre. Her zombies aren't your typical decaying and grotesque undead. And I'm mentioning her because she is great with working on branding. She talks about zombies, tweets things about them, blogs topics about them...and just in general if you know her you know she writes zombies. You also know she writes undead in general. (If you don't know, know you do. :P )

This brings me to a question I'd like to pose to my followers. I know I have some who follow my blog and don't normally comment-that's fine, I'm just happy to have you reading. However, I'm going to ask a question today and I will post my reason for this question on Saturday.

So I ask you awesome people one thing...

What do I write about? Genre and topic. Answer with one or both of these, depending on what you know about my writing. (BTW-If you do not know one or both of these, feel free to guess based on what you think ;)  )

Happy Thinking :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

High For Today Is 111

It's actually *supposed* to be 2-4 degrees cooler today. Yes, 111 is *cooler*. This past week and actually the week before has been SO HOT! We've been hitting highs around 113-115(with heat index being even hotter). It's ridiculous.

What does this have to do with a weekend wrap-up? Everything...

I don't know about y'all, but when I'm hot-I'm exhausted. I don't like to freeze, but I would rather need a blanket wrapped around me than to be burning up and sweaty. The heat this week has left me hot, irritated, drained, unfocused, lazy, and unproductive. Plus, I've got a migraine from hell that I can't even get to ease up some. It's so frustrating.

I can handle migraines, but this one is adding to the unproductiveness. (Yeah, that's not a word, but ah well). So between the migraine and the heat, I've done almost nothing all week. I even had to skip my Thursday TAG! post. (Of course, that worked because I'm doing something a little different with the one I had planned anyway.)

So that's pretty much been my week, hot and exhausting. My kids start back to school on Monday and I've got to switch from Summer schedule to school schedule. There are good things and bad things about school starting back up. Good-with my kids at school from 745-245, I'll be able to get more cleaning and writerly things done. Bad-I've had a lot of fun with my girls at home these past 6weeks(I think it's been). I'll miss them not being with me all day.

Anyway, that's all really. Hopefully this heat will ease up, my migraine too, and then I can get caught up.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.

Happy Saturday. :)