Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm Resolute!

Okay, I have to admit that I never make New Year's Resolutions (never say never. I'm sure I have at some point or another... but bear with me) only because I'm usually setting goals on a weekly basis, but there are some things I would LOVE to accomplish this year, so I'm going to write them out publicly. It's easier to hold myself accountable that way. Plus if I write them down, I might remember them... ;)

  • I am going to spend five hours a week composing. I've gotten out of the habit and I really need to get back into it. I've sort of been setting it aside to write, but I can work on both! I miss it a lot and one hour a day isn't that much time.
  • I'm also going to spend five hours a week writing. It doesn't matter if it's on lyrics or my novels. This is my freebie goal to me. We all need an easy one, right?
  • Find a critique group! I'm not sure why this one has been so hard for me, but everyone I've sent it to has left me hanging (except one). Either I'm a terrible storyteller or my friends/crit buddies are extremely busy! (Just for the record, I'm sure it's the latter. :P)
  • Revise Power's Touch, repeat several times, research and write a query letter, get it on submission!
I will be setting smaller goals, but these are my roots. Broken up like that, it doesn't seem quite as daunting. I can do this!

Happy 2010!

Wishing you the very best! Go write and make your dreams come true!

*I have to amend this because it's bothering me. I do set yearly goals, just not at New Years. There. I feel much better now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday in Ten Words or Less

Rewriting: The Grip of Dreams.
Reading: The Well of Ascension

*I feel like this first one needs an explanation so I'm breaking the rules this once. Every Tuesday I'm going to be doing a post in ten words or less thanks in part to Elana's brilliant post, which I couldn't agree more with, and a conversation with Mercedes. For the record, there are times when long posts are necessary and informative, but there are so many great blogs I want to read and keep up with and I can't do that when every post is a novel. Anyway, I think saying what's on my mind each week in ten words or less is going to be both fun and challenging. Feel free to join in if it catches your interest. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I've watched this several times already this season and it just never gets old for me. Words and music, what a lovely combination! I'm a sucker for all things historical as well. I hope you enjoy it.

From my heart to yours, have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank You and You're It!

I was so surprised, pleasantly so, at all the comments I received yesterday. Thank you all so much for stopping by, for clicking the follow button and for commenting. It really made me smile. I hope I got back to all of you. If I didn't, give me a nudge and I'll head on over to your blog.

I'd also like to thank Danyelle for the tag and thinking my blog is awesome. She's just sweet like that. So here goes:

1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

I just finished the first novel in my "Touch" series or whatever it ends up being called. The first thing I ever wrote are some lyrics called "Rescue Love" clear back in Jr. High. If I knew how, I would totally play the song on my blog, but I haven't got a clue how to do things like that. I'm still learning.

2) Write poetry?

If lyrics count... I say they do.

3)Angsty poetry?

There's lots of it out there. Oh, did you mean do I write it? Well, that's half the fun. The other half is the non-angsty stuff. ;)

4)Favorite genre of writing?

Fantasy, most definitely. I love creating and with this genre, I get to start from scratch.

5)Most annoying character you've ever created?

Gramble, as attested in yesterday's post.

6) Best plot you've ever created?

Well, I only have two. I'm going to have to say the plot in the "Touch" series, though it's not finished yet... 2 plotted out of 4 books planned. And the second needs to be totally rewritten.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

You can't expect me to give away all my secrets!

8) How often do you get writer's block?

Is that those wooden blocks with alphabet letters carved into them that my kids use to build towers on a daily basis?

9) Write fan fiction?

Oh my, more secrets. Okay, I'll tell this one. Back when I was high school, I discovered the Star Wars books and became a huge fan. I used to mentally write myself into all those books. Does that count?

10) Do you type or write by hand?

As much as I love reading about centuries gone by, I prefer writing in this one because, honestly, I can barely read my own hand-written scratches at times.

11) Do you save everything you write?

Yes, I do! It's great fodder for gleaning new ideas and practicing revisions. ;)

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

See question 11.

13)What's your favorite thing you've ever written?

Lyrics entitle "Sleeping with Ghosts". Oh yes! Love them and I'm not afraid to say so.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?

I honestly don't know.

15)Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

Not so much. I have tried to wipe those years clean from my memory. :P

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?

You know, I don't dwell on setting as much as I should because my characters monopolize my pen.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

One thing at a time! I can't focus on more than that and stay sane. Hmm, maybe that's my problem. I'm trying to stay sane...

18)Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Back in my school days, but back then, I never thought I'd ever want to be an author.

19) What are your five favorite words?

Infinitesimal, plethora, miasma, capricious and cheese. Who doesn't love cheese?

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?

Nakine. Though, I think they all have little pieces of me.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

My head. :P

22)Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Yes! I have a short story that was a dream first and my second novel idea as well. I've dreamed some of my scenes from Power's Touch before I wrote them too. I dream a lot...

23) Do you favor happy endings?

Yes, I believe in them and I love endings that are hopeful.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yeah, I so am. I can't turn off my editor. The sad thing is what bad shape the first draft is in even with that!

25) Does music help you write?

Sometimes, as long as there are no words. If someone is singing, you know I'll be singing right along with them.

26) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head:

This is from The Grip of Dreams

“You’re awfully forward for someone who should be dead.” She smirked.
“It’s only a gash to my shoulder,” he replied, “If you had wanted me dead, you should have aimed first.”

As for tagging others, well, I've seen this on just about everyone's blog lately so I'm going to totally cop-out. If you are reading this and haven't done it yet, you're it! Just leave me a comment so I can read your answers!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blame It On the Mistletoe

Sherrinda is hosting a fun day today and I'm kind of excited about it. Today is Official Kissing Day in Honor of Mistletoe and we're supposed to post a kissing scene from our WIP. Mine is from "Power's Touch". In this scene, Nakine, the MC, is following her friend, Dreiyn, who is in turn following Gramble. I think it would be more interesting if you knew the history of the characters, of course, but I hope you enjoy regardless!

      Her skin began to rise in tiny bumps as she realized too late what was happening. Gramble had disappeared near the pavilion and her thoughts had distracted her from seeing where he’d gone. Dreiyn’s expression of confusion warned her that he hadn’t noticed either. He was walking into a trap! No sooner had she formed the thought than Gramble was on top of him, knife to his throat.
      “Spirit and Flesh,” she swore.
      “Why are you following me?” Gramble hissed.
      She moved swiftly from her own hiding place, strutting to them with one hand on her hip, before a plan had even come to her.
      “I would never try and follow you, Lehnan,” Dreiyn said confidently.
      “I don’t believe you,” Gramble’s eyes narrowed to cat-like slits.
      “Boys, boys, play nice. There are ladies present.” She let a flirtatious smile adorn her lips as she took them both in.
      “This isn’t your affair, Nakine.” Gramble eyed her suspiciously.
      She smiled seductively, “It was supposed to be. Dreiyn asked me to meet him here for the promise of an,” she hesitated and hoped she sounded alluring as she continued, “an entertaining evening. I would hate for you to ruin that for me.”
      With a sinister leer, Gramble said, “You two eh? I always suspected as much.” He rubbed at his chin and then withdrew the dagger from Dreiyn’s neck. Dreiyn blinked in confusion, but took the opportunity to stand.
      “I would hate to ruin the fun.” He took a few steps toward Nakine then, taking her chin in his hands, “Perhaps you and I should meet here at a later time.”
      She smiled at him, brushing her fingers across his cheek, “I’m not opposed to the idea. I like a man who can hold his own.“ She winked. Dreiyn’s mouth dropped. She ignored him.
      Gramble’s sick grin became even wider before turning to Dreiyn. “You’re lucky this one is here to vouch for you. If I ever find that you really are following me…” He let the glint of his blade emphasize his meaning. “Next time, I won’t hesitate to just kill you.”
      Dreiyn nodded and flashed a congenial smile. “I would never get in your way, Gramble. I know better.”
      Gramble snorted, unimpressed. “See that you don’t. Lieutenant or no, you’ll be dead. Maybe we’ll replace you with Nakine.” He seemed to think this was a great joke and laughed as he walked away. Nakine watched his every step from the corner of her eye. She saw him duck behind a few trees, but a bit of cloth hung to one side. He’d stayed to watch. She wanted to roll her eyes.
      “Maybe I should save him the trouble and kill you myself,” she muttered under her breath.
      Dreiyn stepped in front of her with anger’s fire lighting his blue eyes. He opened his mouth but before he could say anything, she wrapped her arms about his neck and kissed him firmly on the lips, pulling him into a tight embrace. He did not step away like she thought he would, but the kiss ended all too soon.
      “What are…”
      She cut him off with a harsh whisper, “Gramble is watching.”

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our *Many* Traditions!

Anytime I hear the word "tradition", I immediately break into song. I just can't help it. Though I have to say that today's topic is a lot happier than what poor Tevye went through in "Fiddler on the Roof". (I love musicals! Bet you never would have guessed...) I've been thinking about our family's Christmas traditions of course. (Bet you never would have figured that out either. :P)

We have a lot!

I guess it's because I believe traditions are so important, though a bit of an irony if you ask me. They don't happen often and yet they are repetitive. How can something that happens over and over again be very special? I believe it's because these annual little events build up cherished family memories. I have so many fond childhood moments that I can look back on, which makes my lips curl into a smile and my heart beat faster in anticipation of sharing them with my two boys.

After the Turkey and stuffing have been downed and we've wallowed in a pool of gravy-covered mashed potatoes, we kick the season off with - No, not football - a viewing of "White Christmas". This is something my mom and I enjoyed and it's not quite the same without her, but the boys all humor me knowing that the next day is their day to celebrate. They love decorating the tree and hanging stockings. Well, James not so much, but he humors us all. ;)

Of course, the Christmas music is blasting and we're all (okay, just me usually) singing at the tops of our lungs! It doesn't get better than that, or does it?

December is a month of giving and that means teaching moments. Throughout the first couple of weeks in December, we have the boys choose and collect toys to give away to kids who don't have as much as they do. I love being able to teach them this form of charity. It helps them to realize how important it is to give of themselves to others. Growing up, we would always do the twelve days of Christmas as well and I want to start this tradition again, but this year it didn't work out. Back home, we would pick someone or a couple from the senior citizens in town and then we would go and visit with them Christmas day. Oh I miss that so much! So many of that generation have passed away now and going home just isn't quite the same without them.

On Christmas Eve, we have a series of traditions. Growing up, we'd always have a little Christmas concert. This is another tradition that has gone by the wayside, but I hope we can start again someday. Instead, we start the evening off by role-playing the Christmas story. No, not the movie. The one in Luke chapter 2! ;) James reads from the scriptures and the rest of us divvy up the parts. After that, we read a Christmas book - Last year, it was "The Giving Chest" by Dan Farr and Dick Van Dyke. This year, it's "The Christmas Sweater" by Glenn Beck. Finally, we let the kids open one present and then we send them to bed.

We even have a tradition about what we eat first thing Christmas morning. I'm just funny like that. What can I say! After we force breakfast down they're throats, then we do my favorite Christmas tradition of all. We have a special stocking that holds cards we had written on the year before. These little notes contain our gifts to Jesus. After we assess how we lived last year, we then write out our new gifts to Jesus - our goals on how we can live this year better than the last. Of course, then the kids jump to the Christmas tree to open their own gifts.

This list doesn't include the traditional sugar cookie gifting, party mix, caroling and light-seeing expeditions. And what Christmas wouldn't be complete without reading "The Forgotten Carols" and listening to the beautiful songs that go with it. Not to mention, SheDaisy's album "Brand New Year". Oh I love Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! (And happy holidays to all those who don't celebrate it!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All is Calm. All is... Wait... Calm?

As I sat down to write today, I kept getting distracted by the cacophony streaming through the baby monitor. No nap again today? You've got to be kidding me! You're not even two! Where in the world do you store all that energy?

That got me thinking, "A dangerous pastime, I know". (Love Disney's Beauty and the Beast!) What can I do to not get so distracted? Really, E is safe and sound upstairs and I can hear him so I know. I really shouldn't be letting him keep me from concentrating on my revisions. He's happy (very happy - yelling "Oh! Oh! Oh!" at the moment in his little singsong voice) and I need the release that my novel brings. It's sort of a longing that I shove to the side more often than not and it's time to just sit down and focus.

Then it hit me, I just needed to say it out loud. E is okay, where he is supposed to be right now, so focus. Am I the only one who tries to make things too complicated? How do you all focus when life (or child, dog, work, husband watching TV in the background) gets really loud?

I think as we sit down to write, there are a few things we need to remember to do first. Here's my list:
1. Turn off the phone. If you miss a few calls, the world is not going to end.
2. Don't worry. If you have to, write what is worrying you down on a piece of paper and push it aside. That way you don't have to worry about forgetting the things you are worried about. You can have worry time after writing time. Yes, I'm serious. ;)
3. Don't answer the door! If you know someone is coming around such and such a time, the pizza delivery guy or whoever, wait to start writing after they've left so your mind isn't clutter with thoughts of gooey cheese and spicy pepperoni. That leads me to number four.
4. Eat, drink and use the bathroom BEFORE you sit down to write. Seriously, I'm not turning this car around!
5. Write well rested. I am a believer in the magical, mystical power of sleep. Now I just need to find some. I wonder if it got lost in the pile of dishes on the counter...

Now before you think I've gone nuts, these are actually for me, not you. Yes, I need the reminders. So really, what do you do to help yourself focus?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas"

Since music is my outlet (and boy do I need one) and Christmas is just around the corner, I present to you my version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" or "Ode to My Superhuman Husband". You decide.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a happy home full of family.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me comfort and peace, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the fifth day of Christmas. my true love gave to me a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me help with my critiquing, a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a meal I didn't cook, help with my critiquing, a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a break from the doing laundry, a meal I didn't cook, help with my critiquing, a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a side-ache from laughing, a break from the doing laundry, a meal I didn't cook, help with my critiquing, a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a win in Mario Kart, a side-ache from laughing, a break from the doing laundry, a meal I didn't cook, help with my critiquing, a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me meaning in life's madness, a win in Mario Kart, a side-ache from laughing, a break from the doing laundry, a meal I didn't cook, help with my critiquing, a call just because, a clean kitchen, an afternoon free, an empty trash can and a happy home full of family.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Whoever anonymous is, thank you for writing this beautiful and true poem. It can be so hard for me to take risks, but if I don't step out of my comfort zone, where will I have gone? The answer, of course, is nowhere.

(Sorry, I don't know how to change the margins and make it look nice.)


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your dreams, ideas before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave: they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is truly free.

- Anonymous

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Never Argue with a Reading Woman

Okay, I have to admit that I got a good laugh about this forwarded e-mail I just received. Since writing and reading are so closely related, I thought I'd share it with all my writer friends. I hope it gives you a chuckle!

Never Argue with a Woman

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?'

'Reading a book,' she replies.

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.

'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'

'Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.'

'For reading a book?' she replies.

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her again.

'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with Sexual assault,' says the woman.

'But I haven't even touched you,' says the game warden.

'That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.'

'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

Yeah, my mom sent that one to me. You have to love her...

Friday, December 4, 2009


So I discovered this beautiful piece of technology called google reader. I know. I realize I'm probably the last to know, but hey! If anyone is a little less than tech savvy, you have my empathy and instant friendship because I obviously didn't hear about this baby when it first came out and I'd love to let you know how helpful it is. I am actually keeping up with all the blogs I follow now. It's amazing! I love that I just have to go to one place and it's all there. Check it out! One more reason to love gmail.

Now to keep up posts on my own blog. My biggest problem is that I'm just not sure what topics should be covered here. I update my WiP status every now and again, but what is it that makes someone interested in returning to blogs for more. I can think of two things that drive my love of certain blogs. 1. Information. Really, I am sort of devouring all the info on this business that my sweet, little brain can handle and since I am just learning, I really don't have much to offer most people in this area. 2. Humor. Oh my gosh, there are some hilarious people in this world! I love to laugh and funny is a bit of an addiction for me, but putting it into my own blogging? For some reason, I struggle with that.

I guess what I'm wondering is where do you come up with your ideas/inspirations for your posts? I could use some creative juice over here! I've got mango and pineapple but I'm fresh out of creative... All the sunshine is going to my head. ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The End of November and Nano

All right, I'm a few days late as November is now over and done and so is NaNoWriMo, but I haven't reported my progress. It's because I'm a tad ashamed to say that I didn't finish. I definitely hold myself to a higher stander than anyone else would hold me to and I tend to dwell on the things I don't accomplish. In light of that, I am going to revel in what I have succeeded in doing. I made it over halfway, 26K+, then I switched gears. I went to work on revisions for "Power's Touch". I guess I'm a bit single-minded. After a two week break from this novel, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I had to jump back into it and now the second draft is finished! I'd say that was worth it. Plus I started rewriting the second book in the series - my nano novel last year, "The Grip of Dreams".

Yeah, it doesn't just need revisions. It needs an overhaul, but I'm excited to do it. It's a labor of love that I know many of you can relate to. It is a bit overwhelming though. Where to begin. I read through and fixed portions of the first three chapters, but I need to do even more. I think I'll start by writing an outline. I didn't do this the first time through, but I think it will help the narrative flow and keep it connected to the first book better. Since the second book was written first, I'm afraid of the confusion that might ensue otherwise. Have you ever written a series? What do you do to keep track of everything? I'm a bit of an organizational nut and would love to hear your ideas!

Happy December! It's my favorite month!