Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big Dear Editor contest

Now. I only whisper about this contest since I want to win the prize, but SHANNON are you listening chica? :) Picture book edit. Nuff said? Here's the link:

Check out Jody's awesome interview over at Karen's place

And win a copy of Jody's most awesome book, The Preacher's Bride. You have to have this book. I promise you do. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wicked contest over at Roots In Myth

You gotta have a copy of this book, don'tcha? Let me tell you, I read this book from  the first draft and man what an awesome read it is. So head over and try to snatch the ARC. Go on now. Before it's too late. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Prayer for Kate and Banned Books Week

I have blogged about Kate McRae before. She's the little girl in the picture on the sidebar and I know many of you have lifted her up to God. This summer went great (no sign of the brain tumor) for her and she finally was able to start kindergarten. But this weekend she began vomiting and seemed very lethargic. Please pray that this is just a normal virus. Pray for her mom and dad. They have had a taste of almost normal family life this summer and now might be thrown back into the depths of the cancer black hole again.

 This is from the ALA website:

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

 Here are some links on Banned Books Weeks.

We all have the right to read. While I don't believe in reading certain material, I defend your right to create and read that material.

It's all about free speech. Fight for it. Thanks for reading. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010


Happy National Punctuation Day. Lots of celebrations going on around the country. Here's a link to THE National Punctuation Day's website.

It was started by Jeff Rubin seven years ago. This year there is a Haiku contest going on. Your entry has to be in by September 30. Good luck and remember, ' it's not possessive. (^_^)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Contest over at Jenna's house

Lots of books to be had. Race over and check it out. Here's the link: 

First Drafts

First drafts are a way for me to find out exactly (almost) what story I am telling. It isn't for finding the greatest way to tell that story, that is left for the later drafts.

I am writing a first draft. But the main characters have been developed, their stories told in the book I just finished. This is not a series, though. Just another story using the same main characters as my last book. (These characters won't leave my head.)

In all relationships there are conflicts. Mother, daughter, husband, wife, boss, employee. The key to writing a great book is creating real relationships. In life, we all have our differences. We can't get along every day. There are going to be disagreements, because we're all human. Our characters in our books are humans, too.

Internal conflicts shows what our character wants or what he/she feels. This is hardest for me. In SEVENTY TWO HOURS, Anna's external is easy. She's lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her best friend Claire. They want to find their way home. Internal was harder. Anna's pride and independence overrules her common sense. Anna wanted to feel proud and independent, yet she wanted to admit she was vulnerable. Two conflicting feelings pulling at her.

Which brings me to another point. Anna's name before it was Anna, was Sarah. There's nothing wrong with the name Sarah, but the first draft went faster after I changed the name. Scarlett O'Hara's name in the first draft was Pansy. I think Scarlett just works better, don't you? :)

Pacing. Very important. Slow things down when you need to and speed things up when you have to. Big things need more time. Move a little slower. Dig a little deeper.

Any advice on first drafts that you want to mention? Speak to me. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010



Friday, September 17, 2010

Blogfest, YEAH!

Our sweet, cherished friend, Patti Nielson is hosting a great blogfest which starts on my birthday. At least I won't have time remembering the date. hehe

From her blog:    

Write down every minute or hour you spend writing or editing. Starting on Monday, September 27 and ending on Saturday, October 2.

Join the fun, spread the word. You in??????

I had to add this to my post. Great one by the LOVELY Nathan Bransford.  You have to read it, if you haven't already.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poisonous Gas Pumped into Afghan Girls' Schools

Please click the link and then help spread the love and the word by sharing the links wherever you are on the internet.    Thanks for reading. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I'm glad that children's author KP Bath, author of The Secret of Castle Cant, was sentenced to six years in federal prison, but I wonder if it could have been more. The author was found to have a large collection of pornographic photographs and video clips of children in his Portland, Oregon, home.  Bath's publisher, Little, Brown, abandoned another book from Bath, because of the allegations against him. This is disgusting. He is disgusting. *celebrating*

Did you know that Laura Lippman's new thriller, I'd Know You Anywhere, sold more ebooks than hardcovers during its first five days on sale?             announced in recently that it was selling more ebooks than hardcovers. Authors and publishers are now also starting to see ebooks outsell hardcovers. The Digits post says some experts believe ebooks could be 20% to 25% of publishers' total revenue by the end of 2012. The Ebook version outselling the hardcover version of a new novel will probably be a common occurrence by then. SAY HUH???? 

Outselling the hardcover version of a new novel=common occurrence?? I'm just sitting beside myself here. :) I thought this might happen, SOMEDAY. Not in a year or two.

On the last post, most of us agreed that actually touching the pages and smelling the sweet aroma of our hardcover books means a lot to us.  Will hardcover books go the way of the old eight track tapes? Help us all!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Great Post Over At Cassandra's place

Laura Diamond discusses scheduling writing time. Please check it out. Then hop over to Laura's house to read what Cassandra has to say females in fantasy. Follow the links. It's a blog chain people. (^_^)

Friday, September 10, 2010

This really is a business

Did you know that is selling more Kindle books than hardcover books? Say what? Uh-huh. That amazes this NON (never will) Kindle user.

Over the past three months for every 100 hardcover books has sold, they've sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month for every 100 hardcover books sold, has sold 180 Kindle books. They sold 3x as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009. This includes hardcover books where there is no Kindle edition, but this is still simply amazing.

Five authors- Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books. Say what? Uh-huh. Okay, now I'm really amazed.

E-book sales grew  207 per cent year-to-date through May. Kindle book sales exceeded that.

 Am I the only one that finds these numbers incredible?

I like to feel the book, smell it. But lots of folks love the convenience of a Kindle. These numbers prove that.

So this really is a business isn't it? :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Love the links and plotting = UGH

     Plotting. A big fat UGH. I didn't plot SEVENTY TWO HOURS, and I paid the price during my 5000 revisions. So with this next book I have a synopsis and I am plotting my way through.

     So how do I plot? I'm using Storybook. It helps you with structuring your book. Managing scenes, characters, locations. And keeps it all in one place. The best part? FREE! The hubby loves that word. ;)

Need help with plotting? Here is a free toy that should help your plotting time be a pleasurable experience.

Here's a great link for children's writers. Great posts, interviews, just fun stuff. I love that place. I'm not from Utah, but this is a great blog. Check it out.

Short post today, but home-school is just starting and I am plotting away. *wink*

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Are Your Strengths As a Writer? And An Announcement. :) I HAVE A TITLE, PEOPLE!

First, let's get to the good stuff. Drum roll please. :)  :)

The winner of the title contest is: Candy Ganger, Silent Stables: The Disappearance of Fancy and Rundee. You have my email, lady. So shoot me one with your mailing address. Congrats. She wins a $30.00 Barnes and Noble gift card and a sweet little basket of goodies from Village Coffee. 

The second place winner was right on Candy's heels (only missed it by 6 votes. And believe me, I counted ten times.) so I will send Doctor Lydia Kang, Gone in a Gallop,  a $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card. Thanks and congrats Lydia. Email me with your contact info.

Check out these blogs. These ladies are amazing.

Thanks everyone for all the wonderful title ideas. Dang, you people are GOOOOD!

What are your writerly strengths? Weaknesses? I'll go first. My strengths? Voice. Dialogue. Weaknesses? Voice. Dialogue. Yep. You read that right.

I love to write. I love to write for kids. And I have been told I have great voice. And not so great voice. I have been told I'm a whiz with dialogue. And I've been told I write too much dialogue. My strengths and weaknesses are the same. So I must find the right balance. 

The problem with my dialogue can be summed up like this. Sometimes I go to the extreme. Trying to hard. And I get so into writing dialogue that five pages later I go, "Oops." I have really been trying to use lots more description and not so much dialogue. But I have to be careful, lest I write an entire book with dialogue. :)

I must remind myself of these things every once in a while: 
Always be careful not to use phony dialogue just to get where you are going. You know, to advance the plot. I would never say to a friend, "Where are we going?" That is just for the readers benefit and the reader doesn't like it. :) Or "what's up with that?" *groan*
Never sound like another writer. I have my own voice. And it's very nice. :) 

Suffixes. Ness words. The reader doesn't like them. They make the reader trip. He/she has to come back and reread. And we can do without them. 

Smart quotes. Use them. The agent will have to change over to smart quotes, anyway. 

Commas, those little buggers. I sometimes don't like to put them where they go, because I don't like the pause they give. Put them. Punctuation is very important. Learn the rules. :) (I'm still learning.)

I have a little problem with pacing that I am correcting. *CONFETTI*  It can be too smooth. Too just so. I need to remember to shake it up. Or it can be too uneven. YIKES. Speak the scene out loud. You'll know, because you'll hear it. Very important.

I'm just glad that I can admit my faults. Shhhh, don't tell hubby.

Two great books? Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter, both by Heather Sellers.

Do you know what your strengths as a writer are? Your weaknesses? Care to show? And show how you fixed it. Someone else might need to know. :) I love you all. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The winner...

     I will announce the winner of the title contest on Friday. I have to finish counting the email votes. I have been busy with home-school stuff. We start back next week and yesterday I found the most AWESOME math books in the world. Totally awesome, tremendous, most wonderful math books. WOO-HOO! I'll say that again: WOO-HOO! *happy dance* 

    Oops, sorry. But I still can't believe how TOTALLY happy I feel at having found these books.

    On to the post for today. Yep, I do have one. :)

    Do we need social media? What say all of you?

     I think we do. My reasoning for my quick response is this: (it was quick, you'll just have to believe me.)

     A. Connecting with other writers, agents, editors=learning as much as we can about the publishing world.

     B. When that GLORIOUS day arrives and we have our baby (BESTSELLER) in our hands, we think book sales. A lot of authors have blogged about how many sales come from social media connections or folks that heard about their books from social media sites.

     C.  Uh, my pal Tess recently joined Facebook. WHOA!;) BTW, she's doing a month post on book trailers. Pop over. LEARN.

     Which is better? Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn? Or are they all about the same? I am on Twitter and Facebook. My blog is where I most like to connect, but Facebook is faster.

      Do these sites take up too much of your time? Promise yourself to only spend x amount of time on them. The writing is THE most important thing. And why connect if you're not writing? What say all of you?

      Short post, but sometimes shorter is better.