Thursday, December 15, 2011

Has it really been almost a year?!

Ah, what to blog about? All the things? Only a few things? How about just one of the things? Yeah, let's go with that.

So, it's coming up on my one year blog-o-versary. Yep, I've been doing this crazy thing since December 22, 2010. Back then, I had an idea for a book. During the course of writing that book, I traversed a world I didn't know existed prior to December 22, 2010. I learned about writing via twitter and blogs. I learned about agents via twitter and blogs. I learned about the publishing industry via twitter and blogs.

Hmmm, I'm starting to see a trend here.

Now, I'm not a professional. Yet. I'm not the best writer I can be. Yet (and I'm sure that's something I'll forever be reaching for). But I wouldn't even be contemplating being an author if it wasn't for twitter and blogs. The internet is a vast and wondrous place rife with knowledge and support for people like me. The information is there, it just needs to be read.

Yes, the biggest step is actually writing. Twitter and blogs might help with the process, but they can't do that for you. And write, I did. Two manuscripts came from these fingers and this brain this year. One is on the shelf, poor thing. The other is my current WIP and I love it. I'm prepared to make it the best it can be no matter what. Of course, other parts of my life have suffered from my obsessive pursuit. Dishes and laundry have gone unwashed, floors have gone unmopped, flower beds have turned into weed beds, friendships have not been nurtured, BUT I'm making that step towards doing something with my life other than being a mother (which is the best thing ever, but still) and a wife.

This has all been pretty rambly, sorry about that, but my brain is fried from edits and revising. I guess the point is: twitter and blogs = awesome. Not giving up, still willing to go the extra mile = me even after a year.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Things For People...

So, there are a couple of things I'd like to bring to your attention this Saturday night. I gave myself a reward for reaching a critical spot in my WIP. The reward was being able to watch Crazy, Stupid Love. Normally, I'm a very critical movie watcher especially when it comes to romantic comedies. BUT since Ryan Gosling AND Steve Carell are in this movie, I let my critical nature take a backseat.

You guys.... such a wonderful movie. It is rare, in my opinion, these days to stumble across a sincere romantic comedy that doesn't just focus on how the girl and guy get together. To find one that has an underlying message that I can relate to is, for lack of a better word, crazy. Dear lord, I wish more screenwriters would make a note of this fact. We want romantic comedies that hit home, that make an impact, that make us relate. Not ones that basically come down to: hot guy meets hot girl, they copulate.

So, the first thing I think y'all should check out is Crazy, Stupid Love! Obviously.

And, if you're a YA writer, please watch Easy A. Emma Stone... I <3 her!

Next thing I'd like to bring you attention to is . Which has images like this:

Yeah, I know right?! So freakin' cute and hilarious. 

The last thing I'd like to make you notice is this:

This... Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssssss, has been stuck in my head all day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Get Unstuck...

It was Friday. My husband took the day off. I had plenty of time to focus on my book. I pulled up the document that morning, excited to get to work. Then it happened. I knew what needed to be done, BUT the words wouldn't come. I'd get up, try to distract myself with one thing or another, then I'd sit back down and... Nothing.

At around seven that night, I decided something had to give. This day would not be wasted. It felt like I needed a change. Then, an idea struck. The product of said idea is the picture. I piled pillows and a blanket into my tub and curled up in there with my laptop and Pandora.

It worked. I ended up making plenty of progress.

Now, I'm not technically saying that curling up in your bathtub with a cup of hot chocolate will cure your writing blahs, but I kinda am. For me, it wasn't specifically the tub that did it, it was the change in environment, the change in mind set, the total aloneness. Plus, it was really comfortable.

So, that's my advice for you NaNoWriMo people and just writers in general. If you get stuck, change your mind set; set up on top of the dining room table, in a closet, in the pantry, outside. Maybe change your playlist, choose a genre of music that you never would have expected to go with your book.

I realize this isn't the revelation of the century, but it's worth mentioning. We all get stuck in ruts and a lot of the time (most of the time for me) it's up to us to get unstuck.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kick Them While They're Down

So, yeah, this is me right now. I even have the same hair style. Kind of.

I was chugging along the other day, writing away, when, all of a sudden, I felt that something was off. And then, I was stuck.

"What is wrong? Something is wrong! Where do I go from here?" Then came the downward spiral of "my book is crap and I can't fix it".

Thank goodness for writer buddies. I sent Stefanie what I had up to that point. By the end of the conversation, I realized something VERY important. It was time to beat my character up. I needed to kick her while she was down. Which sucks because I really like my main character and, just like any person I like, I don't want to see her do something stupid. I don't want her to be an idiot or have someone treat her badly. But, you know what, if I didn't do that, then what kind of story would this be.

Harry Potter is always my go to when I feel like I need to learn a lesson about writing. Remember when everyone and their momma thought Harry was the heir to Slytherin? Remember when Harry and Ron had a fight in Goblet of Fire? When those things happened, you felt for Harry, you wanted him to succeed despite all those hardships.

So, the moral of this blog is: Don't be afraid to kick the sh** out of your character! Plain and simple.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

YouTube Tuesday

Charlieissocoollike! Watch and love :)


I wanted to do this quick post about yWriter5. It's a free program for writers and, um, I'm kinda in love with it. It's basically an outlining program where you can keep track of characters, locations, scenes, chapters, word counts of chapters, notes, descriptions of all these things, and you can even upload the pictures you might use for inspiration. But, my favorite feature is the reading feature. Just put your cursor at the beginning of your content and press the little play button and the computer lady reads your book to you. Of course, she's not perfect, but I've caught so many little errors and other problems so far that my eyes just didn't see. Plus, it's just plain fun to hear someone else, even if it is a non-sentient being, read my book.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writer Buddies

The other day I did that post on inspiration for writers here, but I made a big oopsie. I forgot one of the most important things. And I feel like such a goofball. I totally forgot about all my amazeballs writer buddies! So, since I forgot to mention them, I thought I'd do a big post and give you links to all of their wonderful stuff.

1. Juliana Brandt - Such a dear, cool lady! We are both at pretty much the same place in our first drafts so it helps to have someone to talk to about the dreaded middle of the story. Her story is awesome, she is awesome, go check her out (but not in a creepy way :P )!
Blog - I Aspire to be...

2. JJ Toner - A very cool dude with a straight forward critiquing style. I always know I'll get the honest truth from JJ. His new book, a thriller called St. Patrick's Day Special, was just released on Sept. 1.
Blog - Wild Thoughts by JJ Toner

3. Misty Provencer - Misty is super supportive and always willing to talk writing with me. She also just got repped by Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown. Hurray Misty!
Blog - Nothing Cannot Happen Today

4. Stefanie Gaither - Last but certainly not least, Stef has been my writer buddy for a while and we talk pretty regularly. We also device ways to distract each other, including trading pictures like this:

I want you to take these rhinestones and make it so they're my hair.
and videos like this:

All in the name of keeping each other sane as we traverse this thing called writing. Not to mention she's always willing to read my stuff and I'm always willing to read hers (cuz it's awesome!). I've learned so much about writing from her. She's a great critiquer (yeah, I know it's not a word, but it should be). She's a great brainstormer. Follow her, love her!
Blog - A Sort of Mental Squint

If you came to this post looking for ways to find writer buddies, I don't really have a tried and true process. I met Stefanie on the Absolute Write forums after posting that I was looking for a writer buddy. I met Juliana, JJ, and Misty after commenting on a blog that was setting up crit groups. They invited me in. The only advice I can give is to keep trying. You're not going to mesh with every person you trade chapters with or who responds to a forum post. But, you'll never find anyone if you don't try.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

YouTube Tuesday

Intro of darkness then redness then whiteness! 

Yeah, that doesn't really work as well on a blog as it does for TobyTurner.

This guy does lots of other YouTube channels (that I'll probably feature in a later YouTube Tuesday), but I really like his lazy vlogs. There's just something about watching him be completely rambley and easily distracted that just brightens my day. There's really not much I can say to fully describe Tobuscus' lazy vlogs. You just have to watch.

There you have it :) Do you have any YouTube addictions that brighten your day? Share them with everyone in the comments!

So, that's it. Bless your face! If you sneezed during the reading of this blog, bless you! Peace off!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inspiration for Writers

So, we all know about the normal resources for writers. There are awesome blogs done by everyone in the business from authors to agents to editors. Plus, there are certain books that every writer should have on their shelf like Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer by Browne & King. But, today, I'd like to talk about some of the unsung resources. Or, at least, I consider them resources, because without them I wouldn't be able to be as creative as I like to think I am.

I'm talking about inspiration, people. We, as writers, are in the business of creating. What we do is basically an art form. Heck, there's no "basically" about it, it IS an art form. So, here are some of the things that are must-haves for me as a writer.

1. Music - I like to figure out what type of music my characters would listen to or what type of soundtrack my book would have if it were a movie. With my last novel, it was mostly dreamy, quirky, pretty stuff like Ellie Goulding, Imogen Heap, and Jonsi. But my new book has a completely different feel. I went on Facebook and asked my friends for recommendations that had a certain vibe. People are always willing to share their taste in music. is a wonderful site for this. Just put in a couple of artists or songs and Pandora will play things similar to them.

2. Art -, people, check it out. Especially if you're writing fantasy or sci-fi, the pieces on that site are so inspiring, it's ridiculous.

3. Tumblr - You must walk a tightrope with this one, folks, because it will suck you in. Music, art, gifs, videos, it's all there.

4. Favorite things - This one might just be me and my weirdo self, but I find that if I have a box of my favorite candy or a tall glass of cherry coke sitting on my desk, I'm happy. And, I don't know about you but, a happy writer makes for a happy word count. I don't know how many times just putting on my fuzzy socks got me through a writer's block.

5. Friends & Family - For me, this is the most important. Sure, my husband might suggest a gem of an idea for that scene I'm stuck on, but that's not the real reason I need him and all the rest of my wonderful circle of people. I need their support, plain and simple. I need them to stroke my ego when I've just written a (IMO) beautiful sentence. I need their "It'll be okay"s and "You'll figure it out"s when I'm deadlocked. I need my kids to be cute for those times when I need a distraction.

So, that's it. The five things that are essential to my process. What kind of crazy things or not-so-crazy things are important to your writing? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

YouTube Tuesday

So, yes, I consider myself a Nerdfighter! NERDFIGHTERS HOOOO! Anybody get the Thundercats reference? If you did, you're cool. Anyway, I've been watching the Vlogbrothers for a while. John and Hank Green are the awesomeness! I can't express how much they've kind of, not trying to be dramatic here, changed my life. Their motto, don't forget to be awesome, might not sound that deep, but, really, it's a very complex statement. It reminds me that everyday we have a chance to be awesome. A lot of us, myself included, just float through life waiting for something to happen to us. Waiting for that one spectacular thing to change us and our life. But, what I didn't realize, is that if I just made an effort, if I took control, the amount of spectacularness could be increased from one to infinity as long as I DON'T FORGET TO BE AWESOME!

That said, I'd like to recommend the Vlogbrothers on this YouTube Tuesday. Here is their most recent video:

Also, can I just say that I LOVE Tumblr! I stole my writer buddies' (*waves* Hi Stef!) idea and created one that is pretty much dedicated to inspiration for my new WIP which I'm about a third of the way through with the first draft. So, check it out or don't or save it for later, ya know, whatevs: Also, go check out Stefanie's because hers is all types of alien awesoneness:

And that's it! Hope you all have an AWESOME Tuesday! And if you have any YouTube channels that you love, share in the comments :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 225: Turning a Sh** Gollum into a Unicorn

So, I'm still working on the MS. Polishing it, trying to make it sparkle. I've read and heard a lot of advise on revising and editing techniques and I think I've developed a process.

1. I read the MS out loud.
2. I remember that every sentence must do many things at one time. Each sentence should: read and sound perfect, further the story in the right way, and make the reader want to continue reading.
3. If at any point something sounds odd or just doesn't work, I highlight it in an unoffensive blue gray color.
4. If at any point I find a sentence that is particularly awesome and embodies my voice, I highlight it in a happy pale yellow.
5. If something strikes me and gives me an idea for later in the book (or books, in my case), I make a side note at that point or list it in another document.
6. After I've gone through a few pages in this manor, I go back and prod and poke and manipulate those places that needed fixing until they are perfect. And I mean PERFECT! No "Oh, that's fine," or "That'll do for now." No! I HAS to be PERFECT! *shakes fist at universe*
7. Once I'm done going from front to back, I will go from back to front, starting at the end of the MS.

And this is where my silly post title comes in. I love Kevin Smith and the whole ViewAskew universe. In his film, Dogma, there is a sh** gollum. It's the most disgusting thing ever. (I was going to put a picture of it here but it's just too gross) Of course, I don't look at my MS this way, I love my book (you hear that book, I love you, so give a girl a break, okay?). But, I plan on taking this thing that has practically turned into a monster and molding and manipulating and coaxing it into the beautiful thing I know it can be. A glorious unicorn, prancing through the valleys of representation and publishing!

Hey, what happened to that unicorn's corn?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 216: Man, I Hate Math...

That took way too much brain power to figure out what day I'm on.

Anyway, so, I'm doing this 1st Five Pages Workshop over at Adventures in Children's Publishing. Here's my most recent revision here. If you're interested in participating next month, keep an eye on the blog. Believe me, it's well worth it! It has been amazing getting feedback from other writers. My only problem is I had to cut like a chapter and a half off the beginning to get to this point. Which means quite a lot to my MS, because during this revision I've cut a lot of things. My MS is shrinking by the second. It's the INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BOOK!

If I decide to stick with this new edit on the first five pages, I'll have to do a good bit of reworking and mooshing and squishing to keep those words that I love. Very daunting, people... Not to mention I've given myself a deadline to have this MS in near perfect status... FOUR DAYS from now! *le sigh*

Enough pity partying. It all comes down to the fact that I will finish, this is not the end of the world, it is a good thing. I'm getting wonderful advice from encouraging people and I'm thankful. But, man, this is hard! Okay, that's the end of my whining, I promise...

And that's all I have for today.

Question: Have you ever gotten to a point in your MS that you thought "Yes, I love this," then you're told by a critique partner that "I think this needs to be totally reworked,"? How on Earth did you deal with it?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wow, It Has Been A While

Yeah, I've kinda been neglecting my blog. BUT, it was for a good reason... At least, I consider it a good reason. I've been working like a mad woman trying to prefect my MS and my query. Annnnndddd, I'm nearly there! I have 2 chapters left to really work on but I need to do a complete read-through so I can make sure I bring every little thing together in those last 2 chapters.

So, can I just talk about how unbelievably unnerving this whole process is? Well, I'm gonna.

My husband keeps comparing it to having a baby. I'm sure this comparison has been made before, but it's SO true! At first, you're excited but, also, scared out of your mind! Then, time goes by and things start to really suck. You're uncomfortable, you're starting to wonder if you're really ready. Then, it's almost time and all you can think is "I'm sooo over this! I'm sooo ready for this to be done!".

So, here I am. It's pretty much done and I'm still scared to death. I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's not stopping me, apparently. Like an idiot, I'm still going to go through with it. And, just like having a child, the anxiety and freaking out will never end, I know. But, you know what, this is the only thing I've found that makes my heart beat faster, makes my brain sizzle, makes me want to scream and laugh at the same time, makes me want to do this for the rest of my life! I want this! And I've always been the type of person that, if I really, really want something, I'll find a way.

Whew! Sorry, about publishing my own pep-talk but, hopefully, it'll get you pumped up, too.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Contests Everywhere!

Here's a biggie for all the writers out there! Over at Cynsations, Publisher Elizabeth Law is offering a 30 page critique of a manuscript plus a phone call to talk about it and ask your publishing related questions! Priceless!

There is a huge blog hop going on here, but hurry because it all ends on 5/31!

The Bloody Bookaholic is doing some spring cleaning and giving away 44 books!!!!

Hope is giving away Amazon giftcards!!!

Moonlight Gleam has giftcards for reaching 500 followers! I'm jealous...

The awesome travelers over at YA Highway are giving out some yummy ARCs!

Monday, May 16, 2011

T&M Review: The Secret Life of Backyard Bugs

In One Sentence: A great reference book for kids.

Description from Amazon page:

With this book in hand, readers of any age will discover — just outside their own doors, no matter where they live—a world they never knew existed. Stunning photography is combined with expert information to create an up-close-and-personal tour of the hidden lives of spiders, beetles, butterflies, moths, crickets, dragonflies, damselflies, grasshoppers, aphids, and many other backyard residents. You won’t believe your eyes! Each creature is shown in its natural setting, and many are shown progressing through the stages of their life cycles. This is a one-of-a-kind look at some of life’s most fascinating mysteries — surprising, captivating, and perfect for nature lovers of all ages.

Contests Everywhere!

If, like myself, you love to read but can't afford to buy all these wonderful books coming out here lately, check out these contests!
Pick out 3 books from an awesome list!

Here's another chance to pick 2 books from a wonderful selection!

Pick 2 books!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

YA Review: Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

In one sentence: An addictive, cute, quick read that I couldn't put down.

From the back of the book: 

Jane Austen never had friends like this...

"There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast." Julie knows from bitter experience. Her best friend, Ashleigh, veers wildly from one obsession to the next, dragging Julie along on her crazy schemes. Ashleigh's current fancy is also Julie's own passion: Jane Austen's great love story Pride and Prejudice. Dressed in a vintage frock and dragging her feet, Julie finds herself sneaking into a dance at an all-boys' prep school with Ashleigh, in search of heroes. Unfortunately, they both fall for the same one: the handsome and gallant Grandison Parr. Will Julie have to choose between loyalty and love? Or will Ashleigh's embarrassing antics drive him away before Julie gets a chance?

Friday, April 29, 2011

YA Review: Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

In One Sentence: That's it, I'm buying everything this woman has ever written!

Here's the description from R. J. Anderson's website:

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her.

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

T&M Review: Midway Monkey Madness (DC Super-Pets!)

In One Sentence: So darn cute!

Amazon Description: When the carnival comes to METROPOLIS, BEPPO THE SUPER-MONKEY isn't far behind. This CHIMP OF STEEL can't wait to chow down on chocolate-covered bananas and other fair foods. Unfortunately, the world's evilest ape, GORILLA GRODD, has other plans. He wants to turn this festival of fun into a day of destruction. With a little help from the WONDER TWINS and their space chimp, GLEEK, BEPPO must somehow stop GRODD'S midway monkey madness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

YA Review: Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

In One Sentence: It's different from anything I've ever read.

Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish is about (go ahead, make a guess...) Savannah Grey! Here's the description from Mr. McNish's page:

A monster's out there... Only one girl can stop it. But will love get in the way?

It's a difficult time for fifteen-year-old Savannah Grey - she's settled into her latest foster placement, but her body is acting oddly. Then other strange things begin to happen. Birds behave erratically; gusts of wind blow leaves so fiercely they seem to lure people away. And Savannah discovers she has supernatural powers.

Only new boy Reece Gandolfo thinks Savannah's powers are a special gift. No wonder she's attracted to him. But there's another force that wants to lure Savannah from safety into danger...

Paperback Dolls Blog-o-versary!!!

I love the Paperback Dolls and, now, I love them even more because they're doing an awesome contest for their ONE YEAR BLOG-O-VERSARY! Go here to enter to win lots of books and even a *dun, dun, duuuunnnn* KINDLE!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 122: Fantasies and Playlists

Ya know, before I got really into this writing thing, my daydreams were completely different. There was the one about winning the lottery. What I would do for the people close to me. What businesses I would start. What gadgets I'd immediately go out and buy. What scholarship fund I would start (one for mothers that would pay for child care). Then, there was the one where I inserted myself into whatever great book I'd just read or great movie I'd just watched. They were normal daydreams.

But now, my fantasies are about getting that call from one of my dream agents. Selling my book and doing a signing. Being able to tell people what I've written and at what store they can find my books. They're about being able to do this for the rest of my life and helping support my family in the process. When people ask my kids, "What does your Mom do?", they'll be able to say, "She's an author." I guess I don't really have a point to this whole ramble. Do you guys have these daydreams, too?

Anyway, on to another subject. I see a lot of writers putting up the soundtracks to their books and I thought it would be fun to do the same. So, here it is :)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fangirl Friday!

First off: Happy Birthday to Emma Watson, Seth Rogen, and Emma Thompson!!!

Oh, please. You know what I'm going to talk about today. Today is the DVD release of *trumpet fanfair* HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1!!! *cymbal crash*

I plan on not doing a darn thing other than sitting in front of the TV, perusing the bonus features. Mmmm, deleted scenes *drool*, behind the scenes interviews *double drool*, and, if I'm lucky, a sneak peek at Part 2 *catatonic drool*. I loved this movie! I did have one problem with it: the Dobby burial scene. I felt they left out one big aspect that made the whole scene. The part about everyone giving him pieces of clothing. Makes me ball every time. 

Oh, and there's this:

Our little wizard is growing up *tear*. But, doesn't this look goooood?!

Also, have ya'll seen this trailer?

I think it looks slightly campy, in a good way. Brandon Routh, as you all know, played Superman in Superman Returns... Don't get me started on that one. Anyway, I did like him as Superman, and in Scott Pilgrim, and in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and, well, in pretty much everything he's done. This movie also has someone I've talked about before here on Fangirl Friday: Sam Huntington.

Another huge thing, HBO will be adapting American Gods by Neil Gaiman into a series!!!..... I just plotzed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 110: Fangirl Friday!

Have ya'll seen this!?!?!?

Looks sooo good!

Also, someone is about to film the Ender's Game movie! I haven't read the books, but I intend to. The DH and B-Rye both love the books and have been bugging me to read them for years.

That's it. What are ya'll looking forward to?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 109: A Day in the Life of a Writer...

What's a writer supposed to do when they start reading a book and it seems like every other aspect of that book is incredibly similar to the book said writer is writing?

1. Freak the f*** out!
2. Keep reading said book because it is awesome.
3. Berate self for being a crap writer because this book is so well written, it is ridiculous, and there is no way self can do better.
4. Set awesome book down because it is now a ticking time bomb.
5. Call DH to whine about your predicament.
6. Throw manuscript in trash.
7. Write a rambling email to critique partner about how you're thinking of changing the whole vibe and voice of your book.
8. Read critique partner's amazingly inspiring response email that begins with "Deep breaths. Deep breaths."
9. Take said deep breaths.
10. Man up and finish reading time bomb.
11. Realize that critique partner is right. You shouldn't completely change your book just to be different from this other book. Just because there are some similarities does not mean you have to give up. 
12. More deep breaths.
13. Pull your manuscript out of the trash, dust off coffee grinds, and get back to making it sparkle. Because you've worked way too hard to get to this point and not finish.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 100: Happy Day 100 Dance!

I can't believe I've been doing this writer thing for 100 days! I don't think I've ever, ever, EV-AR focused on anything for 100 days. *pats self on back*

And I must report that some great things have happened this past weekend. Can I just say Hurray for! Lots of writer buddies have responded to my call for help! Speaking of writer buddies, a special shout out goes to Stefanie Gaither (@stefaniegaither on Twitter and her site is , follow her, love her). Her story is great so far and I'm really enjoying critiquing it.

Which brings me to this whole crit swap thing. I have a feeling that (hopefully) looking over others' work will make me a better writer. Huh, who knew? It's not really about picking it apart and finding bad stuff, for me, it's more about finding the good stuff. Realizing what is working in their manuscript, finding their strengths and adjusting my own work accordingly. I'm not saying copying the other person, but finding the will in yourself to notice where you're lacking and making it better. Hmmm, thought provoking ain't it... (yeah, I said 'ain't' :P)

Anybody want to show their crit partner some love or tell me about your experiences with beta readers? Put it in the comments, ya'll!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 96: Fangirl Friday!

Hehehehe, I love Fangirl Friday! It doesn't take me all day to figure out what I'm going to blog about.

Okay, so, let's start with *dun, dun, duuuunnn* American Idol!

I declare that Thursday night's epi was the best and worst one ever. The worst because... well... I lost a little faith in humanity when Casey Abrams was voted off by Americans.

Um, heelllooo, America?! What are you thinking? How could you not vote for this guy? He's talented, original, and cute as a button to boot!

I guess I can't bitch too much because I didn't vote. BUT you can be certain that I will be voting from here on out! Which brings me to why it was the best epi ever. The judges used their ONE save on him! His reaction was so genuine I just wanted to ball. I now officially like J-Lo.

Ok, topic #2: Will Ferrell will be replacing Steve Carell on The Office! Not permanently but for a few episodes at least.

I say "Huzzah!". Mr. Ferrell has made a few movies that I was not that impressed with, but his stuff on SNL was genius so I think a show like The Office will be a great vehicle for him. Although, Mr. Michael Scott will be sorely missed.

Let's see what else... Oh, Kevin Costner will play Pa Kent in the new Superman movie. I can see it. Maybe he'll get his film career going again and will leave the country music scene alone.

Oh, and then there's this!

Play games, look at extras, among other Harry Potter awesomeness. I haven't delved too far into it, but I've started my account. Its also on Twitter: @HPQuest. Click on the picture to go to the site :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 95: To Get Beta-Readers...

... or not?

So, I'm half way through editing my first draft. I started typing it up, making the changes I thought needed to be made. AND it's driving me bonkers! I think I went over board, changing every other sentence, every other description. I couldn't stop myself.

When I reread what I'd done to the first 3 pages, all I could do was shake my head. I got frustrated, discouraged, and flat out pissed! I believe I need some knowledgeable input.

Here's where I start looking for beta readers or crit partners. A while back I said that I loved writing this book because the research was either fun or not needed because I already knew a lot on a certain topic. Well, I was, in a way, completely WRONG! Sure, the book research was that way but the writing research is NOT! There is so much to research as a writer and it is easy to get bogged down in it. There's agent research, there's craft research (you know, character developement, story arcs, etc.), there's query research, and on and on. Now, beta reader research is the same way. I get sucked into the forums at sites like and I end up reading blog posts that have nothing to do with crit partners on And then, it's 2:30 in the afternoon and I have to rush to get ready (because I've yet get out of my pajamas) in order to go pick up the 4YO. *le sigh*

What's a girl to do?
I'm serious, what do I do?

See, I'm a very impatient person. When I want something, I want it now and I'll figure out a way to get it (hmmm, can you tell I'm the youngest of 3 kids and the only girl?). But, I want to do this whole thing right. So, I'll continue to read every blog post by every agent and author and publisher and editor and reader. And if any of you have advice for this spoiled brat, I'd appreciate it. Or, if you'd like to rant a little about how tough this writing gig is, let me hear it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 89: Fangirl Friday!

I am going to be in HEAVEN this weekend folks. ABC Family is doing a Harry Potter Marathon! So, before I huddle up in front of the television with my butterbeer, I thought I'd talk a little about the boy who lived and what he means to me.

Harry Potter has been a part of my life since 2000 when I picked up the first book. It has become one of those things that will never get old for me. It is something that everyone knows about me. 
"Leah? Leah who?" 
"You know, the Harry Potter nut." 
"Oh, yeah. Her."
It has brought me comfort when very few things could. In 2002, my father was fighting Pancreatic cancer. I stayed with him in the hospital the whole time. One particular day (very near the end), a lot of the family was visiting. They told me to go home, take a break, get some rest, try to relax. What did I do the second I left? I went straight to Tinsel Town for the first showing of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on opening day. When I saw that view of Little Surrey, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders for the first time since Daddy had gone into the hospital.

Of course, nothing could take away the pain and fear I was feeling then and now over losing my father, but, for those couple of hours, I was able to allow myself to try and not think about everything that was going on.

Bottom line: I love HP because the characters are wonderful and the story is fascinating, original, and sometimes heart-wrenching. 

Here's a clip that I've watched at least five times today. I also paused on different frames. I know, I'm a nerd. 

OH MY ALBUS! I mean, seriously! July, people. JU-LY! This is going to be so good. I mean, this is it. This is the end, the climax, the culmination of the whole shebang. At least, as far as we know (please, JK, write more). I loved the last book and Part 1 was great! Of course, I have my pet peeves with the movies (speaking of Peeves, I wish he was in the movies. Michael Palin would have been perfect), but I'll save those for another post.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 88: Random

Okay, so... Editing is hard! The first pages were especially hard. So much of the story has changed since I sat down that fateful Saturday to write those first 5 or 10 pages. I'm catching things that at the time I thought were genius, but now, I'm going "That character would NEVER do that" or "That comes off as an important detail at the beginning but never gets mentioned again. Delete!".

I'm sure there are better ways to do this editing thing, but my way has been working well for me so far. I printed out the whole thing and just went at it with a red pen and a notebook to take notes in. Most of my edits are about adding more description, rewording things, and making the sentences stronger, not so passive. Instead of "He began to make his way down her road." it should be "He stomped down her gravel road.". At least I THINK this is better.

I hope I'm right that I've decided to fix the most blaring mistakes first before starting on something like pacing. Right? RIGHT? Arg, this writing gig is tough.

How do ya'll approach editing and revising? What's your process?

Enough about that. I've been meaning to blog about this. Christina Dodd, an awesome romance writer, gave a speech a few years ago at an RWA conference. It is a super inspirational speech for writers and, really, anyone who's trying to succeed at something. Go here to hear it! My motto has seriously become "Keep walking!".

On another random subject, I've found that ever since I've taken this writing thing seriously, everything has a story hidden in it. Everywhere I look, I think, "That would make a great book." I've taken to jotting the ideas down. Does this happen to ya'll, too?

Okay, I'll stop rambling for today. Tomorrow is FRIDAY, thank goodness, which means it is FANGIRL FRIDAY! (*throws confetti and skittles*) I'll be addressing something very near and dear to my heart, so prepare yourselves and please join me for the geeky lovefest!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 82: Fangirl Friday

I enjoyed being a silly fangirl last Friday so much that I think I'll make it a regular post. Yipee!

First, I must talk about this amazing super awesomeness!

Come on, ya'll! Just tell a friend about it and you could win all 5 of these books... AUTOGRAPHED! *swoon, salivate, swoon some more*

kjfknknfvkjfdkjfdkjdnv *picks jaws up off of keyboard* Okay, I'll get it together now.

I've been DVRing Being Human on the SyFy channel ever since it started. The American version, that is. Yes, I want to watch the original British version but I missed my chance to record the marathon the other day.

Anyway... I LURVE IT! Stayed up until 1 a.m. watching episodes. Now, I've never been Team Werewolf. I've always been a bloodsucker girl. I even played some Vampire: the Masquerade back before I had kids. I was a paying member of the Camarilla (bonus points to anyone who knows what I'm talking about).

Knowing this, I fully expected myself to be swooning over the vamp character Aidan. Don't get me wrong, he's cool, too. BUT... I'm totally digging Josh, the werewolf.

Josh is played by an actor I've always liked who has never gotten much play, Sam Huntington. I liked Detroit Rock City, thank you very much. And 2009's Fanboys was a geek girl's dream movie, you should watch it (it also had another one of my fangirl crushes, Seth Rogen).

So, yes, Aidan the vamp is sexy and brooding and magnetic but I find his character weak and slightly selfish sometimes. I guess that just goes with the whole bloodlust thing, most of the time. Josh, on the other hand, has sacrificed so much and continues to suffer because he truly doesn't want to hurt anybody. He left his family behind, even a fiance (can't wait for her to show up).

I know I'm leaving out the other main character, Sally the ghost, whose character arc has been interesting but sort of expected.

So there you have it. Something else for me to be addicted to.

What new shows have sucked you guys in?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 81: Character Flaws

Last night was a #YALITCHAT and I totally stalked it. It was about those voices that, as writers, we all hear in our head. Those little buggers that just won't let you finish washing the dishes so you have to stop and find a notebook and jot down the idea before you forget it and then you end up getting your notebook all wet and wrinkly pages make me bonkers... sorry... got carried away.

Anyway, the chat got me thinking about what I remember most about a good character and I realized something. Very rarely do I remember a character for their good points. I always focus on the flaws. Does this make me a pessimist?

J.K. Rowling is a master at creating flawed characters and then using those flaws to further the story, to make the reader relate to them and cheer them on. Hermione Granger is the first one that comes to mind. What if she hadn't been so bossy and such a know-it-all? Well, those three wouldn't have gotten a damn thing done. Then there's sweet, meek Nevile Longbottom. Would I have literally let out a whoop of joy at the end when he chopped Nagini in two if he hadn't been such a wet blanket for most of the books? That would be a "No way, Jose."

Now I'm reflecting on my own characters. They have flaws but I don't think I made them obvious in the first draft. I realize now that their flaws have to help drive the plot. I'm so glad I realized this here at the very beginning of editing. Thank you #YALITCHAT!

What characters do you remember for their flaws?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 80: I Open The Red Pens *Dun, Dun, Duuuuunnnn*

I thought that when I finally finished my first draft it would be all unicorns and rainbows. The heavens would open up and shine down upon me, warming my writerly heart with relief.

Yeah, not so much.

I felt deflated. I felt scared and worried. Here I have this thick stack of utter crap which I must now polish and coax into a shimmering diamond. What the hell have I gotten myself into???

There are whole side plots that I know I want to add and I haven't even created them yet. I'm starting to lose confidence in my first five pages (is it really writer suicide to begin with a dream?). And on top of all this, I have to write the most amazing, spectacular query letter and a synopsis. I have to research agents, which is kind of fun at first but quickly becomes intimidating. I'm not even going to talk about all the mother/wifey stuff I still have to take care of. (But you just did talk about it, Leah. Yeah, I know. Hush.)

After discussing all this with the DH (who is completely amazing, BTW), he said, "Go take a hot shower and don't think about it for a while."

See, I have a theory about hot showers. I was watching Food Network one day. They were doing a special on spicy food and this scientist guy comes on and says something like, "The reason people like spicy food is because when the heat hits our mouth, the body interprets this as pain and sends out endorphins to help us handle it." I believe the same thing happens when you take a nice, hot shower. I believe this because during that shower I thought something I hadn't thought in weeks.

"I have a good idea. This is a good story. I just need to improve it."

Later, after everyone passed out, I grabbed my newly printed stack of utter crap, opened the brand new pack of red pens, and began reading. Next thing I knew, it was forty minutes later and I'd practically covered five pages in red ink. Let's see, 187 pages divided by 5 is 37.4, 37.4 times 40 minutes is 1496 minutes which is 24.93333333333 hours. This shouldn't be too bad.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes I freak out but in the end I know that I just have to do the thing that I'm freaking out about and get over it.

Suck it up, Miller! You better get back to reading every post on QueryShark and EvilEditor! You continue to stalk all those agent blogs! And, for the love of all that is holy, don't be afraid to strike through that entire sentence you slaved over last month because it just doesn't serve the story!

Good work out there, Miller, now hit the showers.

*As a side note, I'd like to give a big shout out to Myra McEntire whose blog is great. To know that she's about to release her first novel and it wasn't long ago that she was dealing with the same things I'm dealing with now, well... It just makes me feel a ton better. Plus, she's hilarious.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 79: Let The Celebration Begin!

I finished my first draft. Yes, you heard me right. I did it!

I don't know what to say about it. It was two months of frustration, epiphanies, and late nights, among other things. I'm lucky that my husband didn't divorce due to neglect. I'm lucky that any house work got done, at all.

I believe I'll let it simmer for a week and start researching agents. So, watch out all you agent blogs, I'm coming for you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 75: Fangirl Friday

I was sitting here staring at the blank post thingy, trying to think of something writerly to post about. Though I'm sure there are a ton of things I could post about, I can't think of a darn thing. So, I'm just going to do something different.

It is Mardi Gras weekend down here on the bayou (I don't really live on a bayou but I have been to many). So, LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER! (hands out Mardi Gras beads. Seriously, take them. I have like 3 Wal-Mart bags full from previous years! Please take them!)

My brother is going and more power to him. I've never been to NOLA for Mardi Gras and I never intend to. It scares me...

To celebrate this four day weekend I'm going to indulge my inner Fangirl. Here are all the things I'm excited about that will be happening soon:

*Expect lots of fangirly screams and SPOILERS

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 73: No, I Would Not Like Some Cheese...

So, here I am, just three or four more scenes from finishing my first draft and it is so hard. Not because I don't know what happens. Of course I know what happens. I've known that since I wrote the first word. Its because life is interfering.

Life, as in money troubles, keeping the house clean, giving my family the attention it deserves, money troubles. Oh, I said that already, huh? Anyway, all these things are weighing on my mind making it incredibly hard to focus on the imaginary world I've created.

What's a girl to do? And why didn't anyone tell me being a writer is tough? Oh, that's right, EVERYBODY has said this. It is addressed in every blog I read. *sigh*

*think, think, think*

Let's see, I have a few more hours before I have to pick up my son from school. Plenty of time to focus on pumping out a couple thousand words, right? Also plenty of time to fold some clothes. There's nothing I can do about the money situation at the moment. And the only family member here is my youngest son who is currently watching his favorite show.

OK, 2 hours of writing, 1 hour of laundry, pick up kid, do dishes, pick up living room, start diner, and while doing these chores I will multi-task by thinking about the rest of the book. Maybe if I stick to this plan, I won't spend the whole day worrying about junk I can't do a darn thing about (I have a big tendency of doing that, I blame my mother. You know its true, Mom. I love you, though.).

So there you have it. My whine, whine, bitch, bitch post. Hopefully, there won't be anymore of these...*crosses fingers*

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 72: Good To Be Informed, Right?

Ah, the internet. It is a never ending stream of information. It is an ocean of knowledge. It makes me want to pull my freakin' hair out!!!

I've read I don't know how many "How to get your book published" blog posts. The good ones, done by people I like and pretty much trust their opinion (Kiersten White and Gretchen McNeil to name a couple), seem to say the same things. Write, write, write, edit, edit, edit, query, query, query, and, above all, don't give up. Great advice that I intend on following! It's the query, query, query part that gets me frustrated.

I go through spurts of wanting to learn as much about the publishing industry as I can. I visit recommended sites like and and I search for YA agents. Agentquery gives me 346 and Querytracker gives me 342 (*at the time of this blog's posting). So, I start at the beginning, going to the first agent's blog. Lots of info to take in there which is good since a querying writer should investigate any potential agents thoroughly so said writer can tell if they will gel with said agents. I glance at her blogroll and notice a plethora of other agent and writing blogs.

"Oh, that looks good. I'll check it out," I say.

Before I know it, I have twenty tabs open and I feel more confused than when I started! *sigh*

After having this particular scenario happen multiple times in the past couple of months, I've realized some things.

1. I need to focus. Don't get distracted by the shiny blog about publishing trends or the fun website that can tell you what famous author you write like (I'm like Stephen King, woot!).
2. This calls for more new office supplies. (I can always find a reason why a new endeavor deserves a brand new notebook. Preferably one with college ruled paper, spiral binding, and very stiff backing. I hate a floppy notebook.)
3. This is going to take FOREVER!

So, I'll leave the agent sites alone for today because I haven't bought my new notebook yet (this purchase will also include some type of chocolate, I'm sure) and I'll get back to what really matters: THE WRITING. Because it doesn't matter how much research you do or how convinced you are that you've found the agent that will "get you". What matters is that you write that book! The book that will have agents chomping at the bit to represent you!

Well, a girl can dream...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 70: Reading in Preparation...

As I finish this last part of my first draft, I've decided to do some reading in preparation for editing. I really think it is helping. I started reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Really good so far. She has an interesting voice and I'm loving her descriptions. It is helping me see what is lacking in my writing. I'm already planning on how to make my stuff better. I also plan on rereading some books that I've found especially good recently. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate, among others.

I'm promising myself that I will NOT look at these awesome books and say, "I should just throw in the towel. This is so much better than mine.", like I did at the beginning of this process. I've come to believe I have a great idea and I don't think anything could put me off of it now *knocks on wood*.

I also plan on ordering the biggest, bestest Thesaurus available!

In other news, I have to put out into the intraweb universe that I LOVE An Idiot Abroad!

Happy Oscar Day, ya'll!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 68: I'm So Freakin' Close!

I can't stand it, ya'll! Finishing is all I think about. To finally have the first draft done. To have some raw material with which to work. To set down with a bunch of post-its and a red pen. To fix all these things that have been needling my brain. *deep sigh* It will be a dream come true. I've been working on this since the end of December and it is about to happen. Hopefully, in another week, week and a half, I'll be able to attack it.

I've also decided not to enter any contests that involve winning a critique until I've edited and revised a good deal of my MS. I jumped the gun when I first started getting involved in this online writerly community. Now I see that what I have so far is so not worthy of submitting to anything.

In other news, I came across the most amazing website. If you're checking out my blog, you probably already know about it, but I must link to this awesomeness anyway. The Bookshelf Muse is ssssoooo helpful! I'm pretty sure I'll have it up and running any time I'm writing from now on.

Alright, that's all I have for today. I intend on whipping the WIP's  butt today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aw, Shucks... I Got An Award!

The awesome ladies, Alicia and Miranda, over at Slice of the Blog Pie were sweet enough to give me one of these lovelies. *blush*

The rules are:
1. Acknowledge and link back to who gave you the award.
2. List 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to 10 other bloggers.

7 Things About Me
1. I can knit and crochet.
2. I dream of one day owning my own cupcake/dessert/coffee shop.
3. I breastfed both of my sons for the first year of their lives. I don't care if that's too much information, folks. I'm super proud of that :)
4. I am a huge Boston Celtics fan! I bleed green, baby!
5. I'm a horrible waitress due to being clumsy and awkward around strangers which is why I don't do that anymore.
6. When children aren't present, I cuss like a sailor. Its like I have to meet my quota before the kids come home again.
7. The first movie I can remember seeing in a theater is Willow.

And since I'm new to the whole Blog-O-Sphere, I'm only going to give this out to 5 people.

Melissa Dezendorf
Teralyn Rose Pilgrim
Deborah Burns
Veronica Gutierrez
Uncorked and Unwined

Day 65: Tedious Questions...

So, the end is in sight, people! Pretty soon my first draft will be finished and then I'll be ready to edit and revise FOR REAL. I do have a couple questions that I'll need to look into, though:

1. What is the protocol when it comes to mentioning actual movies, TV shows, music, etc.. in my book?

2. What about famous quotes?

I'm sure there's more but those are the two that concern me the most. I'm sure I could just google this but if anyone that's dropping by here has the answers and is feeling generous, I'd super appreciate the input :)

Anyway, today I plan on going to the store and buying a good red pen with a fine tip ('cause that's how I roll, ya'll) and I will promise myself not to open it until the MS is finished and printed out. Heck, maybe I'll tape it to the wall above my computer as incentive to get this sucker finished! Using an opened piece of office supplies as incentive is weird, I know, but I luuuurrve spankin' new office supplies.

I also have another kind of general question to ask: If you know it will take more than one book to tell your story, how far ahead do you plot? Are all the plot points planned out before you even query you're first book? Or do you just kind of see what happens and hope you'll be able to figure it out if the time comes?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 64: Sundays Rock!

Sunday is quickly becoming my favorite day of the week, because of our literary club. It feels insanely good for Melissa to read my work and hear her giggle or make an "Uh-oh" sound. Makes me feel like I'm on the right track. Her WIP is also coming along nicely. I read a scene of her's yesterday that was definitely heart wrenching. We have a lot of fun discussing different aspects of writing. What we could do better? "Is this character too over the top?" Etc... We talked about everything from the pros and cons of e-publishing to why we love Twilight so much. It just warms my heart!

Amazingly, she asked me if I had any romance novels. Now, I'm a firm believer in a well written Romance. I love regency romance, paranormal, and a few contemporary ones (Cruisie's Bet Me being one of my favorites). I don't have many actual books anymore because I kinda made the switch to ebooks a few years ago and took like two or three big boxes full of paperbacks to the local used book store. I have so much credit there, I don't think I'll ever buy something from there at the full price.

So, I decided to give her my old Sony E-Reader. That thing was my best friend for like two years, but it felt good to pass it on to someone I knew will take care of it. I loaded it up with some stuff I think she'll like: a couple of series from Mary Balogh (my fav. regency writer), some of Charlaine Harris's series (Mel liked the Sookie books), the Aisling Grey series, the House of Night series, and The Hunger Games (soooo good!), among others.

So, there you have it. Our literary club is a definite success even if it is just the two of us.

In other writing news, I hit 40,000 words on Saturday!!!!! I was so proud of myself that I had a few beers and got into a Princess Bride quote battle on Twitter with @thatwritergirl7. Go follow her because anyone who knows as much as I do about The Princess Bride has got to be awesome!

So, I'm about to start the third act, if you will, of my book today and I'm extremely excited! LET THE EPICNESS BEGIN!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 62: Epiphanies and Merlot...

...always seem to go together, don't they?

I spent most of the day yesterday writing. I didn't hit the 5k mark but I did get 2k and did some revising. I also did some thinking on improving the story. And after a slow glass of red wine, I had an epiphany! It is an event that will happen in the book that is so awesome and unexpected. I love the idea and can't wait to write it.

The kids were at Grandma's for the evening so the DH and I had time to talk about my book. And since he's the super amazing man that he is, he actually liked helping me out. He's always saying, "Yes, that sounds so cool. I can't wait to read it! Go write! Now!" I'm such a lucky duck, ya'll :)

I also realized last night that my book might not end up being the length that I predicted. That's nothing to be freaked out about, though. 80,000 words is a little on the long side for a YA fantasy, I think (but really I have no idea, being the big, honkin' newb that I am). Now I'm looking at around 65k to 55k. But, who knows what it'll end up being. I can't count on anything when it comes to this story because as I write, as I analyze it, parts of it get thrown away as I add things that I believe are better ideas.

I've been trying my hand at writing a book for many years now. But, as I think I've said before, none of those were ever as promising and complex as this one. I've never believed in an idea as much as I do this one. So, I want to do it right!

Anyway, I see a lot more writing in store for today. My coffee cup is almost empty which means the brain is about to start working double time. This is my favorite time to write. I guess coffee and high word counts always seem to go together.

Here's a song by a chick that I'm a little obsessed with right now. Her stuff is a little poppish which I'm not usually interested it, but her voice is unique and the music is a little quirky. Enjoy! (could say 'a little' just a little bit more, grrr)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 61: Time to Bust This Thing Out!

I feel very determined today. It feels like a 5k word day. Let's do this thing!

That's it. That's all I have for today. Peace out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 60: Music...

After reading Stephanie Perkins's blog post yesterday, I went on a music hunt. She posted a completely amazing song that hit a nerve with me and my WIP.

So, I thought maybe discovering some new music would get me out of this writing slump I'm in. I was looking for weird, unique, dreamy, and pretty music. I hit up my Facebook friends and got a lot of good suggestions. Here's some of the stuff I came up with.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Got anymore suggestions for me? Is there music that you always listen to when you write? Or does it depend on what you're writing?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 58: Moving On...

Thanks so much to everyone who gave me suggestions yesterday! I really appreciate it. You all know what I'm going through and it is such a wonderful thing that we are all able to communicate and help each other. I did take a break from looking at my WIP. I ended up having to take my kiddos to the doctor. I cooked dinner for the fam. And this morning I've made a decision: I'm going to leave that scene alone, I'll write it another day. I'm going to move on to some scenes that I'm really excited to write. Namely, a kissing scene *grin*. I'm also going to start editing and revising. I started rereading this first draft yesterday and realized it needs sssssooooo much work. But, that's what first drafts are for, right?

Here's another question. Do ya'll have any tricks that you do when you start editing? Certain words or sentence forms you look for? I know some of the classic tips like "get rid of all your -ly words". Do you guys follow those tips?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 57: Writer's Block Is A Bitch!

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

What the hell is going on here? The words have disappeared. They've flown away. They've packed their bags and left for Bermuda. "Don't forget to take a left at Albuquerque!" I yell and wave bye-bye.

I'm half way through my novel and I can't think of how to start this next scene. And things were going so well. *shakes head in shame* What do I do now? I can't even think of a way to just push through it. ARG!

Why is this scene so hard to write? Does that mean I shouldn't even write it? Oh no, I'm starting to doubt myself. My ability, my plot, my characters. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. I'm spiraling down.

How do I get past this? Any suggestions, all you beautiful, wonderful, supportive people?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 54: Intimidating Scenes...

I didn't get anything written yesterday, but that doesn't mean I wasn't working. See, the next scene is supposed to be a spectacular fight scene. And I mean, it HAS to be amazing! That's my problem. I can't stop thinking about how awesome it is supposed to be. It has become this intimidating scene that I can't seem to start.

I need ways to get pumped up to write this. I need good music or movies. I need inspiration!

What do ya'll do to get into the fight scene mode? If fight scenes are easy for you, what scenes are the intimidating ones?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 53: But I Don't Want To Be Trendy!!!

I read an article the other day about what might be trending and it just so happens that I am, apparently, smack dab in the middle of writing a "trendy" novel.

So what does this mean for me? Does it mean that even when I finish and polish it, the agency will automatically reject it. Apparently, this trend has just begun. That has to be the case since I have yet to see any books on the shelfs dealing with this idea. Does this mean I'm already too late? Even though I had no idea that this was a "trendy" topic, will my novel be labeled as "just trying to jump on the bandwagon"?

I still have at least 2 months of work ahead of me. AT LEAST. Will my idea be old news by then?

I love my book! I love my characters! I love my idea! I don't want to see it trashed because the agency is tired of seeing stuff with a similar topic.

I'm hoping that by the time I'm done with it, the "trend" won't have burned out. I'm hoping someone will see what's so special about my writing and my story. All I know is that I'm NOT giving up! If I have to self-publish I'll do it! Don't push me, man!!!

But I really want an agent... And that book deal... And that box of hard back books... I swear it's enough to make a girl cry.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 51: Huh? Who Knew?

Who knew that Bravo reality TV could help cure writer's block. I was watching Tabatha's Salon Takeover last night and she said something that really struck home. It was something like, "You can't get better if no one tells you what you're doing wrong." Plus, she's always so driven and disciplined. I think I've got the driven part but the disciplined part I'm still working on.

From now on, when I begin to flounder I'll just picture Tabatha standing over my shoulder.


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