Showing posts from September, 2010

Banned Book Week

I read tons when I was in elementary school. I loved biographies. I loved learning about Helen Keller and the Wright Brothers. I read fiction but most of it was Judy Blume who made me uncomfortable. Ironically, one of her books taught me to think for myself.

When I was in high school I couldn't figure out why anyone parent would come in to the principal and ask to have a book removed from the library. I was pretty sure there were no "bad" books in my school. then again, I wasn't big into books. I read what was forced and to this day can't stomach ANIMAL FARM, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, LORD OF THE FLIES, THE GREAT GATSBY and MOBY DICK.

After one year of college I went with friends to Asia to teach English and make scads of money (I came back with one nickel). It was on a tiny island that I started reading again for enjoyment. The first book I bought was JANE EYRE. I love that book. I read TALE OF TWO CITIES and GONE WITH THE WIND next. Loved those books.

I got marri…

WINNERS of Fall Giveaway

WOW! What a ride! Thanks to everyone who popped over here and participated and THANKS to all the new followers! I gained over 70 new friends this week! I tried to return the favor by following all of you.

Onto the winners:

DANYA (who is a chocoholic)


CAROL M (who has mittens)

Congrats to the winners!

There will be another contest next month and one over Thanksgiving so check back. Or just come and hang out anytime. I love havin' ya!


This was not the post I had scheduled for today. The post I had was brilliant, brilliant I tell ya. (Not.)
I'm taking a page from Dasher's blog and making a list:

1. My jump drive with over 60 edited pages of my WIP got fried by my new laptop. I had no idea that could happen! So learn from my stupid mistake (AGAIN!) and back up your stuff!

2. I had a "leaking" filling (isn't that a funny adjective for a filling?) and now half of my nose and upper lip are numb. I'm also starving. Eating with a numb mouth is awkward. I'm waiting until the numbness wears off before I eat so I don't eat my cheek.

3. I. Love. Castle.

4. I have writers AND editors block; I don't want to do either.

5. I just finished LINGER. Not sure what I think about it. I'll put up my review on my Book Addict blog in the next few days.

6. I'm going on tour! Walking tour, that is. With second graders. To see the working life of my great town. Should be fun trying to keep 28 k…

Writing Characters & Foto Friday

I'm on Elana Johnson's blog hop today.

I've pictured a house just like this in so many books I've read.
Does this house remind you of a book you've read?

I think an interesting story is when one of the characters is an inanimate object, like, say, a house.  To pull off that creativity, as with any character, the author has to write a strong voice. There aren't pictures in most of the books I read (except Calvin & Hobbes), so the voice is what sets the characters apart the most. Sometimes, without even seeing the name, I "hear" the character by the way they are talking or the slang they use, even if it's a house speaking.

What voice would you give this house?


Paul Stephens has it all--a wonderful job at the FBI, a new girlfriend, and a great apartment. Even when Jimmy, a friend from his past, unexpectedly ends up on his couch, Paul has no worries. But when arresting a corrupt judge puts his girlfriend's life in danger, Paul and Jimmy will do anything to save her. How far will Paul go to protect the ones he love? Filled with suspense and action, Defensive Tactics shows just how much the bonds of friendship can endure.

I was totally engaged in the book from the beginning.
I liked Emily, who was cute, smart and unsure of herself in her private life but not in her professional life. There are a few men who find themselves wanting more than a friendship. One in particular is scummy and I wanted to slap his egotistical face a few times throughout the book. But the other men who worked with Emily protected her from him. And you just know that one of them has to be on the wrong side, right? 

Emily has to help bring down an untouchable judg…

Welcome The Fall Giveaway!

I love fall! I love the colors, smells, sweaters and hot cocoa.
And in my happiness I want to giveaway a few books.
I decided to try a blog hop with Good Choice Reading.
I have three (gently read once) books I want to pass along which means I'll have three winners! The first winner gets their first pick, etc.

These are the books:
SIGNED The Unwritten Rule 
Girl likes boy; boy likes girl but is boyfriend to said girls BFF.

Love Your Body Great book with positive body image motivators, stories and tools. Queen in Exile  A princess, a handsome knight and magic.

Entering: Leave a comment on which book you'd like to win.  Make sure I have your email so I can notify you if you win.
That's it! Easy! I'll pick a winner on the 29th.
There are over 50 blogs participating in this blog hop. Check out their giveaways too!

Making Friends Monday

Tristi is an amazing asset to the writing community. She teaches, shares and pays it forward. She is such a positive influence to those around her. I'm grateful to know her.

Now you get to know a little about her too:

Tristi Pinkston has been blogging since 2006. 
On her main blog, she covers everything from writing tips and the life of a published author to kid funnies, spiritual thoughts, and embarrassing moments. 
She also has a weight loss blog, one for writing challenges, another for her fictional characters … and she lost count of how many others she has.  You can find the links for them on her sidebar.

Tristi is the author of five published novels and a whole kit ‘n caboodle of unpublished novels.  Right now she’s focusing on cozy mysteries, although she has written historical fiction in the past and plans to write more in that genre. 
She works as a freelance editor and a virtual book tour coordinator. 
She loves taking long naps, being charmingly annoying, and watching …

Foto Friday & Have a Great Weekend!

Message in a bottle?

Writing Quote

I really like this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote EAT PRAY LOVE. I lifted the quote right off Valerie Ipson's post from today (I like her t-shirt. I think a certain writing group should make and sell them)(just sayin').

"One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: "That's actually not my problem." The point I realized was this-I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows."

I Can Dream, Can't I?

I would LOVE this as a writing retreat!
A writer can dream, can't she??

I'll Never, No Never, No Never Forget


I Am Not Going To Educate Myself No More

Here's the deal.
I LOVE to read posts/stories/anything that makes me a better writer.
Thanks to Valerie's post here, I found myself looking at another way to see my story. Then I went followed a link from Valerie's post to Alexandra Sokoloff's blog.
People, if you haven't seen this blog, you must get over there! She has so many amazing posts like: Story Structure, Elements of Act I, Visual Storytelling and so much more.

Story Elements Checklist is the one I want to talk about right now. Because it is the one that pushed me over the edge. The one that made me bang my head on my (closed) laptop.
The one that might just make my story better!
And it did!
But the problem is I'm getting ready to query this story.
Which means I'm done.
(I am finishing up editing. But I figure by the time I get my query good enough to send out then start getting the rejections fights over my book, the editing will be finished.)
But the stupid Story Elements Checklist made me s…

Contests Around the Web

Wordbird is having a Megalodon Giveaway. She's giving away quite a few YA books. One that I want to read is IRON DAUGHTER.

Reading Teen is giving away a YA book a lucky winner can choose like, HALO, MOCKINGBIRDS, DUFF, and more.

And still more YA books! Carol's Prints is also giving away ARCS. You have to see it to believe it. Head on over.

Another HUGE YA book giveaway is being held @ In Which A Girl Reads. Check it out! By the time you enter all these awesome contests AND win, you'll be set up with new YA books to keep you busy all winter!

Fire and Ice is celebrating 600 followers with a give away of YA books so stop over here.

Starting next week, My Silly Monkeys is hosting Smart Chicks Kick It tour and giveaway with more YA books! Check it out here.

Did you think I was done with YA? OH NO! Babbling Flow is finishing up her contest for ARCs. Hope over there and see what's up for grabs.

Dragons & Have A Great Writing Weekend!

If you are writing a book starring dragons or really like dragons or just want to see some great illustrations, head over to 50 legendary Dragon Illustrations.

I put a few of the illustrations here to give you a taste of what you'll find.

Love this Picture! Have a Great Weekend

She walked through the city, coat hanging off her shoulders, unaware of the bite of cold or life streaming around her. Pain was her companion.

My Query Critique

Dear Ms. Messenger,18 year-old Mandy McAllister can’t wait to shake the sagebrush dust off her clothes and leave Holding behind when she goes to college. (Okay, this sentence is a bit too long and doesn’t feel like much of a hook. The one thing CJ drilled into me during her query workshop is that your hook should be one sentence that tells the agent the most special part about YOUR book. So saying Mandy can’t wait to get out of her town to go to college isn’t really setting your book apart. There’s hundreds of books where the main character can’t wait to escape her small town. What makes yours different? That’s your hook. It will be the hardest sentence you ever write, but you’ll be so glad when you’re done. And as an example—and I HATE using myself as an example, so I apologize--my original hook, which wasn’t actually a hook, was: Sophie Foster knew she didn’t belong. But a million kids don’t belong. I had to dig deeper. After hours of tweaking and brainstiroming, I finally came up w…

Need A Break From Writing? Clear Your Head? How About a Good Laugh? Watch THIS!