Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gone to the doctor today with my beautiful son

It's another one of those days for me. I will comment on your blogs later though. I hope I can get a little writing in while waiting and waiting and waiting.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Me and Beth

This is Beth and I at our coffee shop. Now we don't actually own the coffee shop. We just have our meetings there every other Saturday.

Why am I smiling so big, you ask. Dunno. Kind of looks weird doesn't it? No matter how hard I try to take a good picture, they always turn out like this. As a matter of fact, I kinda expect it now. I'd be shocked if I took a pic, without that dumb lookin' smile. Beth on the other hand looks FANTASTIC!

Davin, I did get her away from that tree though. *she high fives Davin* Yeah!

I hope everyone had a GREAT and productive unplug week. I got a lot written on my WIP. And today I'll look up agents to send my query to. It's polished. I worked on it yesterday. So now the wait. UGH! *she bites off last fingernail*

I'd love to hear how your unplug week went. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's unplug week

Blog's a goin' dark. See everyone next week. Have a most wonderful, safe week. And smile A LOT! :)

I received this awesome blog award from the MOST AWESOME
BJ Anderson. BJ, thank you so very much. I will treasure it and it is such an honor. *wipes tear*

Without further ado, here are the formalities:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy buds.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. That would be my bud and yours BJ.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which will explain The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Yeah! Now this part is hard! I need to pick only five? How can I do that? All my bloggy buds deserve this honor. But here are my five awesome blogs:

1. Beth of writing it out

2. Danyelle of Myth-takes

3. Amy of The Virginia Scribe

4. Jessica of BookingIt

5. Liana of Liana Brooks

Thanks for all the lovely blogs in the blogosphere. I want to pick them all, except that would mean I'd be sitting here for a very long time. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

I've been with Zelda today

Zelda isn't looking too good. I'm afraid for her. I'm hoping that with time she'll heal but it looks like a bone is out of place. I'm not a vet, but she probably will never be under saddle again. If she lives, she'll be a pasture horse. That is every horses dream. I love that girl. And she's only twelve. Got a lot of years left, if she can make it through this.

I didn't make my 10,000 words, but I got more written than I thought I would. I am going to be at the hospital this next week a lot with my son, but I will take my laptop! Plus it's unplug week. How many of you are going to take the plunge and unplug?

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


What keeps you from writing your precious words every day? For me there are three main hurdles that I must fight with daily.

1. Time

2. Distractions

3. And this is the biggie--doubt.

I have to find a way to defeat these monsters day after day after day. My laptop helps with my time issues. If I'm at the hospital, I can write while sitting in waiting rooms. If hubby drives, I can get a lot down in the four hours it takes to get to the hospital.

Distractions are hard to deal with too. If I'm writing at home the internet disrupts my writing. In the car someone talking to me can interfere with me and my words. I do have my trusty ear plugs which I frequently use.

But doubt can freeze me. It makes me distrust that my words have meaning. I begin to think thoughts like, I have no business doing this. Who will ever want to read my words? I question my story, the way I'm writing it, and I could loose all my confidence if I linger with doubt for too long.

So what are your obstacles?

I'm trying to write 10,000 words today. I know I won't reach that goal, but if I can get half that, I'll feel satisfied. Megan joined the challenge. That's how I heard about it. Even if you can't get 10,000 words in, throw out the excuses and write something today. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I know that I've been MIA

Between my son's health problems and the horse I've been MIA or MIB(missing in blogosphere). Then today I heard of a mother in our area whose husband left her and the three kids and went back to Ohio. Good riddance to BAD, BAD RUBBISH! He left them homeless, with no car and the wife has no job. A church has put them up in a motel for a week, but it's one of the most disgusting motels in our area. Drug dealers and prostitutes frequent this place. But the church is poor and had no money for one of the nicer motels. So I've been trying to figure out what we at this house can do to help. I can't stand the thought of this woman and her children going through this.

I'm going to comment some and I'll blog tomorrow. Prayers are needed for this family. I'd love to run into this fellow sometime. Hmm, he wouldn't stand a chance. I'm putting him in my book. I'll kill him off! Yeah! *she shakes fists at this vermin*

Monday, July 13, 2009


Hmm, I didn't major in marketing. And I just want to write books. So...why do I have to concern myself with marketing? Shouldn't my publisher(when I get one) do this for me? Did they do it back in the day? A lot of writers believe they shouldn't have to concern themselves with it. They think the publisher's job(when I get one)is to take care of this.

Publishing is a business. And the author needs to understand the business side of publishing, just as much as he/she needs to understand grammar and sentence structure. My book is super(resisting the temptation to use uber here) important to me. Not so to my publisher. Sales of my book are important to them, just not as critical as they are to me. I want my book to sell as many copies as possible.

When I do finally find a publisher, I need to be available. Building a brand is not just for non-fiction writers anymore. Blogging is building a brand. Anything that shows my public self. And there are a lot of things that a publisher won't do, that I can do to help in the sales of my books. Cafe Press is an affordable way to wear your book cover design on your t-shirt. Bookmarks are another inexpensive way you can market your book and go beyond publisher's marketing plans for your book. Because a publisher doesn't do as much as we need to do in this day and age. What say you? :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Characters need a story

Easier said than done. My idea always comes first. My thoughts on what the story will be about, and the way that the story should go. I always ask questions. Who is my MC? Male, female? Age OF MC? Where does he/she live? What's his family like? Both parents? Single parent? Siblings? What could go wrong in his life? This is actually my way of plotting. And there are many more questions to ask. But this helps shape the story in my mind. Interviewing your character is fun too. Asking him the questions actually brings the story more into focus for me. His answers are always better than the answers I think he should have.

And talking to him/her always leads me to his internal problems. The external is easier, but there has to be the inner troubles. That is the meat of the story. The core. Show the character digging deep to understand what he/she is made of. In children's writing that is not obvious. What I mean is, the character growth is written in a way that the reader sees it, but it doesn't seem like a lecture to them. Kids hate a lecture.

That difficult choice that the MC must make shows the growth in a way that we all understand. I force the character to look inside his/herself. Then write the scene. I love writing. All of the brainstorming. The adding scenes and deleting scenes, all to make the story flow like a river. Any thoughts would be very welcome. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

More on characters

I write for children. This means that I need to learn what makes a child want to read. Is it the plot or the characters? Plot stimulates the growth of the characters. But characters are what bring kids to read the stories. Characters have to overcome certain challenges. The motivation of my characters drive the story. If all it took was a good story, then kids would watch a movie instead. The kids identify with the characters. It's magic. The author creates people that these kids either love or hate. And the characters remind them of kids that they know. The characters come to life in the pages of my books. They are real to me as I write about them. Then (hopefully)the reader grows to love them and wants to hold on to them. Characters think and feel. The reader wants to share in those thoughts and feelings.

Writers write books. Writers need to read books too. Read what you write and everything else in between. It gives a writer a feel for the way books are written. And characters don't have to say what they think. In life no one says everything they think. But the reader knows what the protagonist is thinking and loves being able to get into his/her mind.

One of the best books ever written is The Music of Dolphins By Karen Hesse. At the beginning of the book the first-person narrator is nonverbal. She must work to learn plain language, but her thoughts are expressed in the contrasting print.

Any thoughts on characters are greatly appreciated here. No matter what we write, we need characters. Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Creating my characters

I'm so excited as I start my new WIP. Now I know that there will come a time when I will be knee deep in revisions and worn out from said revisions. Not now. Now my characters are creating themselves. I started out with a picture in my head of how I see a certain character. The next thing I knew, the characters were changing my idea of how they should act and react. It's so much fun to have these new people entering my head.

The set of qualities that I had originally given to my MC, Michael have blossomed. Yesterday I said to Michael, "I didn't know that about you." Yes my family thinks I'm WACKO for talking to my characters, but I'm surprised at certain things about Michael. His thoughts and feelings aren't what I envisioned them to be. I started out with a bad guy type MC and now I have this scholarly good guy, who for reasons that become clear as the book goes on, becomes a bit bad due to circumstances in his life.

In my last story, the characters were who I thought they were the entire time I wrote the book. This is quite different for me. But very exciting as I open up yet another new street on this highway called writing that we're all on together.

Have your characters changed significantly as you were beginning a new book? I know they grow and change throughout, but I've never had this happen at the beginning. I'm glad Michael changed. I like him better now. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yesterday the vet came out.

The vet came yesterday. He had me walk my sweet Zelda around. Just a few steps. He's encouraged. She still isn't out of the woods yet, but we're hopeful. She probably will never be able to be ridden again. And when she gets better, after we turn her back out into the pasture she could damage it again irreparably. So for the rest of her life, I'll probably be on pins and needles. He said it's like an athlete injuring a leg. The athlete never knows if the leg will hold up until he gets back out there and plays the game.

That made me think of writing. Yesterday, I tried to make every excuse in the book to avoid sending a query out. But then the vet made me think of just getting out there and doing it. I sent two. WOOHOO! The icy waters I put myself melted away.

It felt really good after hitting the send button. I did forget to add that I wanted to query simultaneously though. Shouldn't I stop until hearing from these two and then pick it back up again? After adding the sentence I overlooked, of course. Providing one of these two agents say nn nn no. UGH! That word has NO place in a writer's vocabulary.

Thanks for all the responses I had yesterday. It does a writer good. :) And thanks for all the good wishes for Zelda. She loved hearing about them. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blog tips

I hope everyone had a safe holiday. This is the day that the vet comes out to check on my horse. If he has lousy news, I will get a second opinion. No doubt.

I read an interesting interview of Michael Hyatt CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing over at So You Want To Be Published. He talks about a lot of interesting things but the one that caught my eye, was this one on Tim Ferriss. Timothy Ferriss is the author of The Four Hour Work Week. In it Michael gives eight blogging tips from Tim. There are some pretty good ones. I really like number five using Google AdWord. I tried it and it's easy to use. If you type in a key word or phrase, it will give you an idea of how popular that would be if you posted about it on your blog. Pretty interesting stuff.

I'm going to add to my agent list today. I'm adding Alyssa Henkin. I'm also going to add Jill Corcoran. She accepts queries and the first ten pages if you're a member of SCBWI or a published author. Question for my bloggy buds. How many agents should I query? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? What say all of you? :)

I queried Ms. Henkin. So my first one is completed. It felt great too. Thanks for all of your help on my question today. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Trust say huh?

There have been a lot of posts this week on trust. Who do we as writers trust the most. Glam did one where most of the answers were hubby/wife, kids, mom and dad. Then Jessica did a post on trusting ourselves. Now this is very important to me because we all know I'm getting ready to query. *she reaches for a cigarette and remembers she doesn't smoke*. I want to trust myself that I've minded my p's andq's, researched, and done everything right.*thumbs up*. Scott even did a post on trust too. It made me ask myself, who do I trust in my writing? I gave a big YOU, as my answer. I trust all of you. It has been my great pal and writing buddy Beth that helped me get my MS ready. Glam has even helped me some on that. Then all of you that weighed in on my query. I trust all of you totally and completely.:)
Thanks writing buds. You'll never know how much I appreciate it. Hmm, I guess you do.:) Happy 4th of July!