Friday, January 16, 2015

Poetry Friday

Time for Poetry Friday. My poetic well dried up this week during MOP. I wrote some poems...that pretty much stink. So I give you a poem that sprang out of the dry well. It doesn't stink quite as much as the others. Go to Live Your Poem (What a cool name) to see the other Poetry Friday thoughts. Irene Latham hosts this week. (She eats words for breakfast.)

I search my mind
for a great rhyme, 
I only need
one perfect line.
Just an ode
or a word
lyrical preferred.
A song or long verse
because nothing's
than a poet
who doesn't
know it.

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Poetry Friday

A grassy canal 
the crocodile's domicile
eyes glaring at me.

Thanks for reading. 

The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

YO PEOPLE! It's Time For Stephanie Faris's 25 Roses and A Giveaway (I'm at the hospital with Christopher. Will check in when I get home.)

I wanted to be involved in the blog tour. I just didn't think about it being the same day as Christopher's appointment. I will check in tonight. Enjoy the excerpt that follows the blurb. What a cute book. I love Stephanie's writing. There's a giveaway, y'all. $25.00 Amazon gift card. See the Rafflecopter below.
25 Roses

Stephanie Faris


Mia moves from the shadows to the spotlight when her matchmaking plans go awry in this contemporary M!X novel from the author of 30 Days of No Gossip.

Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.

Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year—and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy—and neither is being in the spotlight. 

Here's an excerpt. This is book is so much fun. I'm going to have to buy it. Check this out.


To: Stanton Middle School
From: Mia Hartley
This place could use a real-life Cupid.

I don’t ask for much. A ride to school without listening to my big sister Kellie gabbing on the phone with her BFF Margeaux. Maybe a few minutes where Mom actually listens to me instead of Kellie. Oh, and extra room in the back seat to set a box full of notecards to attach to chocolate roses so I don’t have to hold it in my lap all the way to school.
Unfortunately, none of those things were happening. My sister was doing the whole, “And then I said, and then she said” thing while my mom ignored my questions about dropping me off at school first. The cards in the box on my lap had to be filled out for our Valentine’s Day sale, which was a huge deal in my school every year.
Why did I have the box? Blame it on my desire to be liked. I signed up to help sell these because my BFF wanted to do it. And because if you did things like this, people knew who you were. It was nicer than being invisible, I figured. 
Why was the box on my lap? Good question. Because my cheerleader-slash-homecoming attendant-slash-most popular sophomore at Stanton High School sister had to have a place for her stupid science project. Which she’d probably get an A-plus-plus on because, in case it wasn’t obvious, she’s perfect—the golden child.
I, meanwhile, have never gotten a carnation, rose, or even a pile of fake doody from a boy. Today my best friend Ashleigh and I sell chocolate roses before school, then tomorrow—Valentine’s Day—we hand those roses out in first period. That was when things would really get boring.
If this year was the same as last year, we’d take orders for cards, only to find they were all for the same eight people. But this year, instead of watching other people hand out the cards, it would be me and Ashleigh. We’d have to pass out roses to those same eight people while people like me, my best friend Ashleigh, and most of the rest of seventh grade would be left sitting there, looking like nobodies.
Kellie was yelling at me from the front seat. “What?” I asked loudly. If she was going to yell, I was going to yell, too.
“You’ll be at the game Friday night, right?”
I frowned and wrinkled my nose. It was an automatic reaction to her “game requests.” If Kellie had been looking at me, she would have been mad. I went to six football games last fall because they were ‘big games.’ Now it was basketball season and a new round of ‘big games’ was about to start. Gag.
“I have a sleepover,” I said. I didn’t, but I was pretty sure I could get one together. I just had to talk to Ashleigh about it.
“But it’s the biggest game of the year,” Kellie whined. “You’ll miss my back handspring.”
I’d seen Kellie’s back handspring. And her round off. I’d also seen her back layout with half twist and every jump and split known to man. I had a pretty good feeling I knew what it looked like. Besides, after a while, all that showing off made it look like someone flopping across the gym floor to me.
“Sorry,” I said with a shrug. “I have a life, too, you know.”
It was kind of a rude thing to say, but it felt really good. A surge of adrenaline actually shot through my body when I said it. It was about time I tried to point out that out to everyone because, even now, I would swear my parents think my world revolves around Kellie like theirs does.
“Mia!” Mom scolded. I’m not sure why she was whispering, since Kellie was sitting closer to her than I was. But the good news was, while my brain was working overtime trying to come up with a way to get out of this without apologizing, the car slowed to a stop and I realized we were in front of my school.
“What’s with that box?” Kellie asked. “Some super-secret spy stuff?”
I could tell she was being sarcastic, but I guess I deserved it after what I’d just said. “Valentine’s Day stuff.”
“For the roses,” Mom added. “Mia’s selling chocolate roses for Valentine’s Day.”
Kellie perked right up. “I did that once,” she said. “Ours were carnations in different colors.”
“White for friendship, red for love?” Mom asked. “We did that when I was in school.”
“What was yellow?” Kellie asked Mom. “I thought yellow was friendship.”
While they hashed that out, I opened the box and looked inside. Stacks of cards, all ready to be filled out. We just had to sell them.
“Mia’s going to win a lock-in,” Mom announced.
I hadn’t been listening to the conversation, so I wasn’t sure how that had come up. I just kept going through my cards, making sure they were all stacked evenly.
“You mean one of those things where you spend the night in your school gym?” Kellie asked.
“This one will be at the sportsplex,” Mia replied, feeling a little defensive. “There’s ice skating and pizza and all kinds of other stuff.”
The lock-in would be fun, but if anyone thought that was why I was fighting to sell more roses…wrong, wrong, wrong. Winning the lock-in would show everyone I could do something. I’d be something besides invisible for a change. I really, really wanted that.
“And Mia’s going to win,” Mom said.
“It runs in the family,” Kellie said. “Our seventh-grade class won a big pizza party-movie day when I was in charge of sales. It’s so easy to do. Tell the guys with girlfriends if they don’t buy flowers for them, their girlfriends will be mad.”
I frowned. I didn’t know very many guys with girlfriends. Even if I did, that wouldn’t work. Even in seventh grade, Kellie had been drop-dead gorgeous. All she had to do was walk up to a boy and he’d buy all the flowers she had.
“I’ll have to give that a try,” Mia said. “Thanks.”
“Get your friends to buy roses for you,” Kellie said, spinning around to look at me. “I got five roses in each color. That made us so much money. It works. Try it.”
I stared at her for a long moment. As annoying as Kellie’s perfectness was, she was a super-good sister. How could I ever be mad at her? Plus, she seemed to have no idea that I was a total loser compared to her. She always seemed to think I should be able to do whatever she did. It was annoying—and it made me feel bad for being annoyed.

Thankfully, Mom had pulled up in front of the school by then. “Gotta go,” I said, reaching for the door and jumping out, balancing the box under one arm as I closed the door. I took off for the front door so fast my backpack bounced against my back in an annoying way.

See? What'd I tell you. A fun, fun read. Good on you, Stephanie. 

Stephanie Faris:


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, both with Aladdin M!x. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Buy (Autographed)
Buy (Amazon)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 5, 2015

Do YOU Want To Win??

Then head over for Kidlit's birthday bash. They're giving away prizes including a fabulous critique package. I think Elaine and Sylvia have a winner on their hands. WELL DONE, YOU TWO. YEAH. Go here Kidlit 411

Thursday, January 1, 2015

MOP (Month of Poetry) Has Arrived.

We're posting to our blogs most of the month for MOP. That's a poem a day, peeps. Here's my first offering.

The first winter snow
peacefully surrendering
silence is golden

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas and We Have a Winner!

YO! J Lenni Dorner is the winner of the critique from Sharon Mayhew. Congratulations, woman! Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a safe and happy celebration. I'll see you all in 2015.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Path To Publishing, Y'all!

Writers, today I am going to tell you about a venture that Jill Corcoran (boy howdy, it is THAT Jill Corcoran) and Martha Alderson (yep, The Plot Whisperer herself) are involved with. They have built a writing how-to. A how-to for novels and one for picture books. Take your pick.  I have rented the videos for both. So I am speaking as one who rented them and watched them.  My review is after the info on the videos. Read on, people!                                

I'm so excited to Host 2 amazing ladies on my blog today, along with the fabulous program they have put together to help authors get their book published and to learn how to revise their own novels in a manner that will make manuscripts shine!!

Let's Introduce you first to this program!


We offer writers two video series with more in production:

1) PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month

8 videos, 5.5 hours + 3- hands-on exercises

Congratulations! You have written a draft of a novel. You’ve accomplished what many
writers merely talk about and dream of doing – you have written an entire story from
beginning to end. When you finish celebrating, it is time to revise: to re-envision and
rewrite what you’ve written into a novel that agents, editors and readers will devour.
Writing a great plot involves craft and skill and know-how. Before you undertake a major
rewrite, first consider your story from all angles with the help of step-by-step instruction
and daily exercises. You know you’re ready to rewrite when you’ve checked all the
essentials elements for creating an exciting story with compelling characters and a
meaningful plot.


2) How to Write and Sell a Picture Book with a Plot

7 videos explain how to plot, write and sell picture books + provide exercises how to
immediately integrate the concepts into your own unique story. Learn about all the
different kinds of picture books, examples of character-driven and action-driven picture
books, how to develop winning picture book concepts, what are the major turning points
in every great picture book with a plot, writing, voice, character goals and motivation,
how to revise, testing your theme and take-away, who to submit to and so much more…

Here’s How the Video Series Work

Each video includes an in-depth look at the specific elements promised and how to
consider these essential story principles as you write, revise, rewrite, sell your story.
Writing assignment(s) guide you with step-by-step instruction.
Whether you decide to watch all the videos in a row and then go back and do the
exercises or jump right in to the 1st video’s exercise, work at your own pace and take
more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. The series are designed to fit into even
the busiest of schedules. Sign-in and watch video lectures, complete homework
assignments, and ask questions in a public forum on a timetable that fits your needs.

Shout Outs:

**The 1st draft you let yourself write any old way. Now revise your story from every angle

**Can't seem to #finish your #novel? Ready to give up? Before you do, revise!

**I’m finding the revision process FUN! Did I actually say that? Loving this process, thank you!

**Friends don't let friends ‪#revise alone

Let's introduce you to Jill and Martha now!!

Jill Corcoran bio
Jill Corcoran is the founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency and co-founder of A Path A Publishing

Martha Alderson bio

Martha Alderson, author of The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, is known as “The Plot Whisperer” for the help she offers writers worldwide. She is the founder of PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month and the award-winning blog The Plot Whisperer

These ladies not only brought us these amazing author tools, but also offer another service with 2 levels of Participation (Participants and Observers):

Office Hours
2nd Thursday of every month
9:30-11:30am Pacific

Active Participants and Observers

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS: 8 authors each have 15 minutes to work with The Plot
Whisperer Martha Alderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran on whatever you want help
with. Read part of your manuscript, query, discuss energetic markers, concept, brainstorm
plot, characters, etc and receive feedback you can immediately apply to your work.
Active participants must watch either Plotwrimo: Revise Your Novel in a Month or How
to Write & Sell a Picture Book Videos. This gives us a common language and baseline
understanding of underlying plot and story concepts for better communication.
Receive a critique of your First Pages, Query, Concept, or get help with your Characters,
Where to Start your Story, Crisis, Climax, etc. It is your time...your choice

***OBSERVERS: 15 observer spots. As an observer, you do not participate/read your
work, but listen and learn from others during these sessions.


Reviews of the series:

"The amount of time, heartache, frustration, and hell that these videos are saving me from
is immeasurable."

"Don't wait until you have a first draft to get the video series. If you have an inkling of a
concept, get the video series. The videos will show you how to define your energetic
markers. You'll learn the difference between crisis and climax. The 8 videos constitute a
'top to toe' writing course. 
Jill Corcoran & Martha Alderson, thank you for giving me
the opportunity to call myself a writer with pride." Dolly D Napal

"I have been writing, writing, writing, and reading about writing, but I knew I was still
missing the mark. How I write and rewrite books will be forever changed for the better. "
Wendy McLeon MacKnight

"I felt overwhelmed with my latest revision. I feel like a weight has been lifted and I'm
just on day one."

Last, but not least, these ladies offer a fantastic workshop to help people actively learn from the

A Path to Publishing Workshops:

We often tailor-make an advanced workshop for writers who have watched the series to
ask questions and receive feedback on your own individual story.
A Path to Publishing Facebook Group

Everyone is welcome to join A Path to Publishing Facebook group created by Literary
Agent Jill Corcoran and Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson as safe, smart, fun alcove for
writers and illustrators to share and learn about the craft of writing and the book biz. This
is NOT a place to sell your books, but a wonderful forum for us all to advance our skills,
our creativity, and our dreams plus learn about what Jill and Martha are up to at A PATH

My review:

The videos are well worth the cost. I have learned a lot with them. The thing that really cements all of this is the homework which is so comprehensive and thorough. It validates everything in the videos and then some. I never knew how to use the energetic markers. Now I do. I feel confident that even after my year with the videos, I'll be able to revise my novels on my own because of what I've learned. I am revising my MG using the information from the videos. It is much stronger and tighter.

You can watch all the videos and then go through the homework or watch them one at a time completing the homework for that particular video moving to the next one. Move along with your time schedule. You have them for a year.

Jill and Martha have a conversation with you. It's not like your typical instructor/class. Jill and Martha talk directly to you. Like it's just you and them. Of course, in a way it is. They do not talk down to you either. Which is very important. Another very important thing is the fact that Jill Corcoran is a powerhouse agent. I mean BRICK POWERHOUSE! Martha isn't chopped liver either (snort). Her Plot Whisperer books have sold like hotcakes and have helped many a writer become published.

The picture book videos are also very good. There's also a list of picture books for you to study. The thing I like about the picture book videos is that they help you learn how to study other picture books. SO IMPORTANT! I had never learned to do that before the videos. That's my biggest takeaway. It is the best thing about the picture book videos. If you can read published picture books and figure out why they worked then you can write books that will work too.

My take? Rent the videos. You'll be so glad you did.

Be sure to follow along and see what others are saying about these services and how they have helped them! Read individual reviews and more information about how this video series can help you!

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December 5Susan P


Thanks for reading, y'all. Are you interested in the videos? Write on!