Monday, July 26, 2010

So long cruel blog-o-sphere

Road trip with the sibs... except the youngest...who wasn't born yet.   Yes that is me on the right. 

I'm taking my WIP on a roadtrip.

Yes, I know, I know...we're not leaving until Sunday... but... we've got oh so much to do before them... and one of those things is finish my WIP so I can read it out loud in the car to my husband who said if he'd only read it if I made it an audio book...  (there is a strange sort of irony to that sentence) 

I'm whittling away my fingers just to type this post so I can go back to editing. 

I'm taking a blogging vacation from now until Aug. 18... 


Yes that's right.  Aug. 18


I know, will I be able to live without the internets for that long?  Probably not but I'm going to try...really really hard.  (My internet fast doesn't not include google maps) 

H.A.G.S.--I don't think I've written that since my 7th grade year book...I feel so nostalgic

Yes this probably sums up all road trips in a nutshell... 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WIP Thursday

I'm experiencing burn out...

I want to work on my WIP--I've had more major editing ideas/I'm still streamlining my MS... but it's just not working today.

I think it has to do with sleep deprivation and a busy/unpredictable schedule.

Time to pick out a book and recharge.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I had a different blog post in mind, but it seems really trivial now--after I read this about happiness in life and being a parent.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ODD: Glasses

The glasses slid down my nose as I drove with the windows all the way up.  The air conditioning was shot… and so were the small levers that powered the glass up or down.  I was being roasted whole.  I’d never make it to 7/11 in time.  That was my dying wish—a slurpee.  But the car wouldn’t go fast enough.   It sputtered up the hill before stalling out in the middle of the intersection.  I started moving back and forth thinking maybe, just maybe my momentum could get the clunker going again.   A  Jeep full of teenagers flew by and honked at my stopped Buick—they were all holding ice cold beverages…   laughing and guzzling…I envied their brain freeze. 

 I had done something to anger the slurpee god’s and now they were mocking me.       

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Monday: Unwind

Title: Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA Scifi
Rating: Amazing!  PG-13

What is Unwind... and Neal Shusterman's Face Book Page...and a Movie?

What I like:  This book was awesome.  There are three main characters, with very different backgrounds--all running from the same problem.  I loved the multiple perspectives, it really helped you understand what was going on from so many different angles.  I loved the characters in this book--they are multidimensional.  Each go through major metamorphoses and learn to turn their weaknesses into strengths...which is essential in their fight to stay alive when the world is trying to harvest their body parts.  I was so impressed with this book I already have a few other Shusterman books in my to be read pile!  Go check it out!  

The Heartland War has ended--but there are no winners in the second Civil War.  Trying to appease both sides of the pro-choice, pro-life debate--there is a new law in order.   Parents now have the option to unwind their children when they turn thirteen until they are eighteen.  Their lives will not end, but part of other human beings.  There are many reasons parents have elected to unwind their children:   delinquent behavior, not meeting potential or a religious tithe.  But once the papers have been signed there is no turning back.  

Conner, Risa and Lev are scheduled to be unwound.  Despite their different backgrounds and personalities, they try to band together to beat the system.

This story is so cool--I don't know how else to put it.  If you need a good summer read...this one won't last long.  I couldn't put it down.  It was a one day-er.    

Friday, July 16, 2010

Random Friday--POW

It's time for a Pearl of Wisdom:

Preparation is like a monocle chained to your vest, always there when you need it.

Ideas are like Cowboy boots--you never know where they'll end up.

Earmuffs are love for your ears.

Love is like sunblock, when applied thickly you feel warm and gooey, when spread get burned.

Most of these came from a writing exercise I did in the class I'm taking with the Flying DutchPig.
It's really fun all you need to start with is a list of concrete items and a list of abstract ones.

1. Pineapple                                                                          
2. Lemon                                                          
3. Shoe                                                              
4. Bunny Rabbit                                    
5. light bulb                                                                   

1. Hate
2. Love
3. Happiness
4. Peace
5. Success

And then you mix and match until you have a comparison you can throw in your WIP...

Hate is like a lemon, they both do ugly things to your face.
Peace is like a bunny rabbit, soft and quiet.
Success is like a light bulb, the newer it is the brighter it burns.
Pineapple is happiness.  Yellow and sweet.

You get the idea...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

OOD: Watch

Posted by PicasaThe watch stopped.  8:44 a.m.  Where am I at 8:44?  I was going somewhere, doing something.  But now it’s stopped.  And not just the watch I’m afraid.  Time is standing still.  I scream as I inch forward.  Time is not still but moving slower than it ever has before. 

The car is stopped, but the pieces are still moving.  I wear metal and glass as the hissing grows louder.  I close my eyes.  Whatever is happening doesn’t matter.  Wherever I was going doesn’t matter.  Breathing matters.  I try to suck in the air.   The airbag so forcefully knocked the oxygen from my lungs.  My neck burns from the seatbelt, my head pounds.  The only thing I can think is “Will someone please turn off that siren?

Link to an awesome Contest

I really want to read 'Anna and the French Kiss' by Stephanie Perkins... maybe you will too.
This is a contest by Myrna at Night Writer to win a pre-order of AFK and 'Paranormalcy' by Kiersten White 

The contest closes tonight at midnight!  So hurry on over!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I've been hiccuping on my WIP...

I worked hard for about a week, and then WHAMMO...I haven't worked on it in four days! 

My hiccups have been induced by having some awesome plot twisting ideas... and putting off making the changes. (I've been studying up on "raising the stakes" and character motivation) 

I'm on my 8th draft. 8th. 

And I just realized that I need to add two major threads to my story...

I had just successfully chopped my word count to:

79496 (which is still kind off long, I'm shooting for 75,000)

Bummer, because that's about to go back up.  Here's me putting on my writing hat...and then back to the chopping block. 

Yes.  That is my thinking sombrero and my lucky machete.  


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thale's Folly

Author: Dorothy Gilman (Famous for Mrs. Polifax series)
Title: Thale's Folly
Rating: PG, Thumbs up
Genre: light mystery... (yes I just made that up...but I have no idea how else to describe it :)

What I liked:  This book was really cute, I liked the characters, especially the protagonist and his transformation. 

Synopsis: (From back of book)  At the request of his father, New York novelist Andrew Thale tackles an odd assignment--to check out an old family property in Massachusetts, neglected since Aunt Harriet Thale's death years ago. But far from being deserted, Thale's Folly as Andrew discovers, is fully inhabited--by a quartet of charming squatters, former "guests" of kindhearted Harriet.  There is elegant Miss L'Hommedieu, Gussie the witch, Leo the bibliophile, and beautiful Tarragon, who is unlike any girl Andrew has ever met in Manhattan.

Andrew is entranced by these unworldly creatures and their simple life.  Yet all is not well in Thale's Folly.  A thief breaks into the farmhouse, an old friend of the "family" disappears, and Andrew and Tarragon are drawn into mysteries they cannot fathom...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Part 4: Fruit War (go back and start with part 1 first...)

Okay so this last video had nothing to do with Bruce, but while digging through little bro's youtube channel, I ran across this and thought it was so cool...

Anyway, I also wanted to extend warm welcome to Avner--my bro's new pet... who almost made me throw up just thinking about him... really you can ask my parents and brother about it. 

No this isn't really Avner--I think Avner is even bigger and blacker... but both make my skin crawl...


Part 3: Bruce and Matt

And more Bruce...

Part 2: Mattatouie

Pets have been on my mind with all the dog watching/adoption in the extended I couldn't let pass the opportunity to pay tribute to Bruce, my little bro's tarantula of three years.  And even though I couldn't attend the funeral, which I heard was really nice, I wanted to pay my respects and show the best memories I have of Bruce.  

Part 1: A tribute to Bruce

You'd think I was an animal person... we had so many pets growing up though, I think I was cured of it...

My sister, the Flying Dutchpig got a dog within the last couple of weeks.  Her name is Lovey, and we love to visit her, but I'm glad she stays at their house...

Especially after we had to dog sit for the other side of the family for the last two weeks--Meet Marshmallow 

and Gizmo... 

They seems like nice dogs--and they are, but still I'm cured of wanting a family pet (other than our fish) especially after they started fighting when baby-Pearl and I were trying to feed them... Baby was in between them, lets just say it didn't take long for the Mama Bear to pop out of me... I still haven't forgiven them for knocking down/stepping on my baby... 

Stay tune for Tribute to Bruce parts 2-4... 

Thursday, July 8, 2010


The string webbed through the mimosa tree, fern like leaves and feather like flowers.  I tugged on the string and the branches shivered, but nothing gave.  The dragon kite was perched on the highest arm laughing at me with bugged eyes and flared nostrils.  I stamped my foot as its tonuge slithered out mocking me.

I pulled up on the lowest branch and kicked at the trunk until I could grasp the next limb.  I shimmied up the tree.

The kite was only five feet above me--I could make it if I was careful.  The limbs grew smaller as I squirmed upward.  The swayed underneath my weight.  I held on tightly, my knees knocking at the precarious situation.
My arms became sore clinging for my life, my hands pinched and raw.  I was stuck.  The kite barely out of reach.  I was too high up to safely climb back down.

I bit my lip holding back my tears.

"Mom? What are you doing in that tree?"
"Robbie!  I took your new kite for a test run.  Go get your Dad--tell him to bring the ladder, the one we use for Christmas lights."

I swallowed the lump in my throat, as I watched Robert run towards home, help was on the way.  Darn kite.  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Query 911, does your query suck?

No my husband and daughter won't respond to Query calls... but the picture is so darn cute.  

Query 911:

Places to send your letter before querying: 
QueryTest (easy to use, fun, lots of response)
Query Shark (not for weenies)
Public Slush Pile (haven't tried this, but response level seems hit and miss)
Ask Daphne (query reviews on Fridays)
Nathan Bransford (does query reviews and first pages weekly)

How to write it:
Elana Johnson--awesome query writer...and gives great tips here, hook--here, setup--here, conflict--here, consequence--here, everything else--here   She just posted about how querying is a game
Pub Rants  goes through successful client queries and why they work
Anatomy of a query letter  by Caren Johnson Literary Agency

Author Query:
Heather Brewer (I found this when I was first trying to figure out what a query is, it's cool that she posted her letter...because it worked)

Finding Agents to Query:
Query Tracker
Agent Query

So I want to know...

What have you done to work on/perfect your query?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Writing Books

Three steps for writing a book:

1. Get idea (let it fester) 
2. Write (at least 500 words a day for about 6 months) 
3. Revise (until it sings) 

See writing a novel is easy... it's the whole publishing thing that seems to trip us up.  As I have not yet queried my novel I'm not sure how well these books work, but they have given me a lot to chew on... 

See Jane Write, a Girls Guide to Writing Chick Lit by  Sarah Mlynowski

This book got me started, it helped me set goals and see that the first step to writing a book is...duh writing it...but so many people quit before it's done, just by finishing your MS you are leaps and bounds ahead of millions of others who want to write a book... p.s. my novel is YA, not Chick-lit--this book can be applied to other genres. 

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
This is a really good book to help you develop your ideas, even if they are lame...into break out novels, by building a breakout premise--making something plausible, conflicted, original, emotional... it can take your writing to the next level--this book has given me so much to think about!  

The First Five Pages: A Writers Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman 
I'm still in the editing stages of  my MS and I want to make it the best I can--to do that I need to realize what my story is lacking, i.e. see the blind spots, this book can help you see the areas you are weak in... 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

slacking and rejection

So I'm slacking on my OOD posts, I had my writing class Tuesday and I did write one yesterday...I just didn't post it... but I'm still editing my WIP so all is well.

I just read this blog post about rejection and the comments have some good words of encouragement for those going through it!