Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Anyway, the decision that I'm still hesitating to even type out is that I won't be keeping up with this blog or any of yours. I really want to, but I just can't. If we're friends on facebook, I'll still be keeping an eye out for your awesome accomplishments and I'll still be writing my own novel. I just don't have the time to come up with not-so-clever blog posts. And reading all of yours? It's just not happening. There are hundreds of blogs I love. I'm so sorry! I wish you all the best and maybe in a couple of years when I'm NOT homeschooling, I can jump back on the wagon. Wow... That seems like eons from now.
I'm not going to lie. This post has been HARD to write. I've loved my on-line journey with the writing community and I've learned so much! Thank you all for being so supportive and amazing.
Time to go do a little science experimenting in the which I mess with the space-time continuum...
Thursday, September 9, 2010
After writing my first book, I sent it off to a friend for my very first critique. She didn't come out and say it, but through her comments (which were awesome and oh so helpful) I realized how boring I'd made the back. All backstory and feeling, very little action. So I decided to start the story earlier. A lot earlier! (Like 10 years earlier. Granted, the timeline keeps changing now and I'm going to start the story up where this book leaves off now, but I'm bird walking...) Anyway, I wrote this second one out and it was so much better! I've had a couple people read it, and for the most part my pacing was dead-on. Not boring at all!
The problems were in a couple of characters that my crit partners weren't connecting to.
1. Show the Second's plans in more detail.
2. Make Syrent more likable.
3. Connect Syrent's story to the main character's story earlier in the book.
My three main goals. At first, these seemed like easy fixes. Add a few chapters here and there. Enlighten readers with more thought process. Etc. Last week, it hit me what I've done. I spent so much time on action, action action that I had left out the emotion. Particularly with Syrent. So my new goal to add to the above three is to make sure my characters are letting their feelings be known. The trick comes in not adding too much so I don't slow down the pace. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
To go out with a bang, I'd like to pass on my latest award. Thank you, Kayeleen, for giving me the Silver Lining Award! I find that quite a few of your blogs help me to see the silver lining, but I can't list all 100+ of my favorite blogs (and people). I figure you have all summer to look over this list, so I am going all out. I've picked 40 from my favorite's list- ten for each month I'll be away. I had to narrow it down somehow! (For the most part, I grabbed the first blogs google reader brought up.)
Sara McClung - Funny, cute and she's running a vampire contest at the moment! Go check it out!
Cheree Smith - The title of her blog is Justified Lunacy. Enough said.
Christine Fonseca - She's sweet and honest. You'll love her!
L. T. Eliot - Always has great posts.
Natalie Whipple - This woman has more talent in a single strand of hair than I have in my whole body and it's safe to say I'm not exaggerating.
Kelly Lyman - She is one of the most determined people I have ever met. It's truly inspiring!
Beth Revis - Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in a high school English class? You will after you check out Beth's blog. She's amazing! ;)
Wendy Paine Miller - Wendy is one of the most thoughtful (as in deep thinking) people I know and I guarantee you'll instantly feel welcome at her blog.
Christina Lee - For a load of writing fun and fashion, check out this blog. You'll love Christina too!
T. Anne - Each post ends with a thought-provoking question, which I love.
Lisa and Laura - Hilarious. Every post is an adventure!
Shannon Whitney Messenger - It's always fun to read about her journeys into publishing.
Kiersten White - She is quite a storyteller and her blog shows her talent. I can't wait to get my hands on her upcoming book!
Terresa Wellborn - I don't know where she finds the photos, quotes and poems to go with her thoughts, but they're always spot on and amazing!
Laurel - One of the most kind people in the blogosphere and that's saying a lot because there are a lot of kind people in the writing community.
Tricia J. O'Brien - Not only is she a very talented poet, but she sure can point and click! Her photo/haiku combinations are breathtaking.
Sarah Bromley - Sarah is an amazing person with an amazing blog.
Rachelle J. Christiansen - Check out her book "Wrong Number" if you love a good mystery. It's great!
Jaime Theler - For a new word a week, run to her blog. It's a lot of fun for the word nerds out there like me. :)
Suzette and Bethany - These kind and funny sisters write awesome posts and host sweet contests.
Nichole Giles - Go here for a healthy dose of happy!
Ali Cross - She might be taking a blogging hiatus, but she's still getting a spot in my list because she's awesome!
Elana Johnson - If you don't know how cool Elana and her blog are yet, go now! Run, don't walk!
Michelle McLean - Friday just wouldn't be as great without the funny gems Michelle digs up!
Jeannie - Her blog isn't called Jeannie's Happy World for nothing! I love her Monet Mondays.
Elizabeth Mueller - She deserves a prize for being the sweetest blogger in the blogosphere. And she's got talent too!
Danyelle Leafty - Have you ever read her words? They're memorizing, enchanting! Another blog to run, not walk to.
Danyelle Ferguson - One very uplifting blog.
Christine K. Bryant - Between her great blog guests and her own awesome posts, this blog is well worth your time.
Shannon O'Donnell - She's more like pure gold than silver lining. I don't think even the dreary gray clouds could stay that way for long around her.
Shelley - One amazing author. We're all big fans at my house.
Katie Ganshert - If you ever have trouble counting your blessings, go to Katie's site. She is so kind and uplifting!
Windy Aphayrath - Her blog is a fun and informative kind of random. I love it!
Amalia T. - Besides having a gorgeous name, she is queen as far as knowing mythology goes. Her blog fascinates me. Plus, she's an amazing person. Don't you love extras? ;)
Lynette LaBelle - Her fun Fridays are my favorite, but all of her posts are great!
Daisy Whitney - Daisy is one of the coolest people I've never met and her blog is definitely a favorite.
Mercedes M. Yardley - She's quirky and creative. You'll love her blog and her whimsical horror.
Angie Lofthouse - Her posts are informative and inspirational!
And as a bonus, here are four of the best book review sites I've found:
Kristi at The Story Siren
Rachael at Book Love: Teen
The Literati Read and
Searching for a good read?
I hope you all have a fantastic summer!
Friday, May 7, 2010
The Community Foundation
Do the Write Thing for Nashville
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Come to the Edge by Christopher Logue:
Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
Come to the edge!
And they came,
and he pushed,
and they flew.
I don't think I need to explain my feelings on this one. We as writers experience this a lot and I just wanted to share it with you. I hope you're flying high!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
To get a complete list of participants, go here.
This is where I insert whose book I'll be reviewing, but first I'm going to get real honest with you. This is my first book review. I'm actually a bit nervous about what to write. I have done more reading this year than I've been able to do in a long time. Three books stood out to me among a dozen or so. The first was The Dark Divine by Bree Despain and the second was a cute story by Ally Carter called I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You and the third, the one I'll be reviewing, is Brandon Sanderson's Elantris. (See how I cheated and got in a plug for three great books there? Yeah, I'm terrible.)
I've rambled enough, you say? Time to review? Okay, deep breath...
Welcome to the city of the Gods! Sort of... The book begins ten years after this magnificent place has been cursed. No one knows quite what happened, but the lingering effects are deadly. At least, that's what Raoden, Prince of Arelon, and his people have always been told. Raoden finds out the hard way when he too mysteriously contracts this killing curse. A crying shame too, since it happens the night before his soon-to-be bride, Sarene, arrives. Not one to sit idly by with the rest of the ladies and gossip, Sarene pushes her way into the political circles of the court. Not an easy task, as women are looked upon as frivolous in Arelon. Throw in Hrathren, a very devout high priest, hell-bent on converting the whole world to his religion and you have an exciting fantasy novel, full of mystery and intrigue.
Plot: Fantastic, fast-paced, fabulous ending
Characters: All likeable - strong female protagonist, kind, intelligent male protagonist, wicked awesome villain(s). Fun secondary characters as well.
Content: Clean enough that I'd recommend for 10 and up. No swearing, no sex, mild violence.
Moral: Love conquers all.
World-building: Not only is the world unique and complex, but I never felt overwhelmed or confused by it, making it a great read for someone who is new to the genre. It has more of a fairytale quality to it than full-on high fantasy. Though it has elements in it that make it feel epic as well.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
- I had the opportunity to perform a leading role at the Boston Opera House and had to take a flight out there. I ended up meeting my future husband to boot! This one is not true. Not anything about it... But I did throw in the idea of it being true earlier in the post by informing you that I flew somewhere and met my husband for the first time. Wow! That worked better than I expected.
- I have stepped foot on all seven continents and must say that Antarctica was my favorite! Not true either. I've only been to North America, Europe and Africa, but how cool would that be if it were true!
- I spent four (this should have been three. We dated for four years total. My bad!) years telling my now husband that I just wanted to be friends before I finally married him. It took him chasing after someone new to get me to overcome my commitment issues. This one is actually true and someday I'll tell the whole story. James was/is my first and only love and back then, I thought I needed to make sure he was the "one" by dating around. Yeah, I was pretty nuts. (Still am, but now I'm a wiser variety of nut.) (So even the truth wasn't the truth? Boy, I'm terrible...)
- I once met Richard Marx and got to talk about writing lyrics with him. It was so cool! I wish! He is one amazing lyricist/song writer and I admire him a lot!
- I speak five languages fluently. French, German, Italian, English and Arabic. This would be true except for the fluently part... (I suppose that's a big part!) but I do speak them all to one extent or another.
- I had the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall, but turned it down as I was making wedding preparations at the time. My vocal professor was actually the one flying out to Carnegie to perform while I was planning a wedding. I wish I could have been there for her performance!
- My husband and I had our first date in St. Louis, our second date in Boston and our third in Salt Lake City. He decided to move to Utah after the third date and we were married a moth later. This is also partially true. We did have our first three dates in these places, but when he moved out to Utah, #3 began.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sandra Ulbrich Almazan!!!!
What inspires her? Read on:
E-mail me your address and I'll get your prizes shipped off ASAP! (nisa79 AT gmail DOT com)
Thank you all so much for participating! It seems I'm not alone in my favorite inspirations: Nature, Music, Family and God definitely came up a lot. I'm going to post them so that you can get to know your fellow bloggers. And because they're all great answers, but to keep the posts short, I'm going to do it in three segments. I hope their answers continue to inspire you this week!
Friday, April 9, 2010
So this week has been fun for me. It's not likely to happen again for...a long, long time, but I enjoyed sharing with you what inspires me. Of course, there is more. There's always more. I could have gone into the dreams I have or the history, photography, cultures... But I chose my top four: Nature, People, Music and today? Faith - I believe it to be the root of all inspiration. It doesn't matter what your religion, simply that you believe in something bigger than yourself. I always loved that saying "Seeing isn't believing. Believing is seeing" because I find it to be true. Beautiful things happen to me when I let myself believe.
And when I don't? Another of my favorite sayings is "fear is the opposite of faith". As writers, and for life in general, there is a lot of scary things we need to face down, a lot of new experiences to undertake and a lot of doubters. The cool thing is that if we put that saying into practice, we can overcome all of those things with a little faith. Faith in our talents and in ourselves. So what are you waiting for? Go write something fantastic! I believe in you, so now it's your turn to believe in yourself! Happy writing, everyone!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
(Not the best version, but the only one I could find on short notice.)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Perhaps the most inspiring people are not the strangers we see as we walk between downtown shops, but those we hold near and dear to us. My husband and two little boys are by far the most inspiring things in my life. But inspiration isn't singular. I also feel most creative in my associations with friends - in the which I include all of you. To that end, I want to thank several of you for your kindness and inspiring thoughts directed at me. This post has been a long time in coming and it is lengthy so bear with me! I really need to show my appreciation for the blog awards I have received.
*"From Me to You Award" from Christine Danek
- Nobody can pronounce my real name. Thus Nisa was born.
- I love opera, classical music.
- My grandpa owns his own big band and they perform all over southern Utah, thus my love of jazz and jitterbug was born.
- I am a terrible liar as you will soon see.
- I love change. Love it! Moving around every 2-3 years suits me just fine.
- I have this dream of performing the role of Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera and Marguerite in The Scarlett Pimpernel.
- I gave up chasing #6 for my ultimate dream - to be a mom.
* "The Sunshine Award" from Stina Lindenblatt
* "The Quillfeather Award" from Laurel Garver - I like my eggs over easy.
* "Butterfly Award" from Tamika - I have to mention that I love butterflies!
* "Prolific Blogger Award" from Emily Ann Benedict
* "Super commenter Award" from Lindsey Edwards
* Lesa's Bald Faced Liar "Creative Writer" Award from Shannon O'Donnell, Jemi Fraser,
Laura Diamond, Angie Lofthouse, Danyelle Leafty
Apparently, a lot of you want to see how well I can lie... For this one I'm to tell you 5-6 outrageous lies and 1-2 outrageous truth, so here goes!
- I had the opportunity to perform a leading role at the Boston Opera House and had to take a flight out there. I ended up meeting my future husband to boot!
- I have stepped foot on all seven continents and must say that Antarctica was my favorite!
- I spent four years telling my now husband that I just wanted to be friends before I finally married him. It took him chasing after someone new to get me to overcome my commitment issues.
- I once met Richard Marx and got to talk about writing lyrics with him. It was so cool!
- I speak five languages fluently. French, German, Italian, English and Arabic.
- I had the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall, but turned it down as I was making wedding preparations at the time.
- My husband and I had our first date in St. Louis, our second date in Boston and our third in Salt Lake City. He decided to move to Utah after the third date and we were married a moth later.
And if you've made it this far, wow! I'm impressed! Go enter the contest I'm hosting this week. You deserve it!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
As for the rules, first of all you need to be a follower of this blog. Second, the reason I blog is to make connections with people. I really enjoy getting to know YOU as an individual. As much as I love math, I'm not going to make you tally up points for the many ways you could spread the word about this contest. Whether you do this or not is your choice. All I would like you to do is leave me a comment telling me the number one thing that inspires you.
1. Follow my blog
2. Leave a comment with your #1 inspiration.
So easy! Hard work is inspirational too, but I just came off of a long break and I'm easing my way back into things. ;)
I will announce the winner Monday, April 12th and I will include a list of what inspires each of you. I'm hoping this will be both fun and motivating. Who doesn't need a little push to get that muse out of his/her easy chair? ;)
Also, Danyelle of myth-takes is hosting her once a month "Let's Have a Ball" contest. Go check it out. Her blog is fabulous and she is a very lovely person. If you don't know her, get to know her!
Friday, April 2, 2010
I see important events as they happen. I have for as long as I can remember. I must admit that I used the knowledge to gain prestige, but I didn't fully understand that what I saw was important. Now I know what my gift means and it scares me. - From the journals of Adelycea, Bard of the King's Court.
Power pressed itself against the Second’s skin, gripping him. It was as tangible and cool as an autumn wind. The brisk wave rushed though him, pouring into every particle of his body from flesh to soul. It increased his awareness, slowed time to accentuate each rapid beat of his heart, quickened his reactions, heightened his senses in every aspect and filled him completely for the first time. He had only just caressed the Power before, now he kissed it, became one with it. It was heady and dizzying.
This was what his storage of emotion was meant to do. This was why he was a Hoarder.
All the doubts in his mind were decimated with one violent slash. He pulled his silver blades free from the sinews of his victim and wiped them clean of the blood. He held on to the Power for several moments more, relishing in the euphoria, before stifling it with emptiness. He didn't mind the numbing of his emotions that followed. It was merely one sacrifice to bring about greater ideals. Ideals that he knew, in good time, would prevail. He could be patient. He had been patient.
Inspecting his bloody hands, he knew it wouldn’t be the first time he’d have to cover them in the sticky, red substance to get what he wanted. He hoarded the pleasure that came as he stripped the body of any identifying objects just as Felic had taught him. Three years of pretending to revere the old man to get what he wanted had been well worth it. He had even taken to calling him Felic, the Fool and those who knew the second well laughed with him.
He was becoming well renowned on the streets in general. Of course, few knew who he really was and he would be taking care of those few very soon, including poor, old Felic. The man who had taught him about manipulation and subterfuge would be the next to bloody his hands, though not for some time. Others would die before Felic’s turn would come, though he would not offer the killing blow. He knew just who to hire to further that portion of his plan. Sometimes it was prudent to let others get their hands dirty.
He brushed his palms against a lily-white handkerchief and let it drop into the large keg that rested at his side. They were still stained with blood. He left a bit behind on purpose.
Shoving the body into the barrel, he rolled it to the back of the alley. The dead rich man wouldn’t be found for quite some time, but once the keeper of the pub discovered him, it wouldn’t be long before the Piks identified him, even without his crest