Friday, January 29, 2010

Yay for awards

The Honest Scrap award was given to me by Laurel over at Laurel's leaves Laurel, thank you for this honor. I so appreciate it and greatly treasure our friendship. :-) Y'all visit her blog if you don't already. It's wonderful.

I think I'm supposed to share ten things about myself. And they are:

1. I home-school my kids because I want to give them the best chance in life. It's a personal decision and I know not everyone can do this.

2. My son Christopher, who y'all have been praying for, was born with a very rare brain disorder called Sturge-Weber-Syndrome. Right now he is having problems associated with that syndrome. He is my life. We all adore him.

3. I was born and bred in the Keys. Key Largo to be exact.

4. I am a FANTASTIC water skier.

5. I love coffee. God made a wonderful thing when he created the coffee bean. :)

6. We have SIX boys and Ivy. Yes. She is a little spoiled.

7. I am a trained accountant. What on earth was I thinking? ECK! I really wanted to be an Oceanographer. Why didn't I? Dunno. But if I had, I may not have gotten into the writing thing.

8. I LOVE HORSES! They are so super fantastic. :-) My next favorite animals are sharks, alligators, and crocodiles. Remember, I grew up on Emerald Lagoon, Blackwater sound and next to the Everglades.

9. My family hails from Ireland. I have always thought I was really born there, instead of the Keys. :-) But it says Florida on my birth certificate. SHOOT!

10.My favorite books are, Black Beauty and The Black Stallion.

Now for the nominees:

Lee over at tossing it out

Emily over at Benedictions

Karen over at Write Now

Jill over at Jill Kemerer

Tamika over at The Write Worship

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What I Wish I knew Wednesday

This is another what I wish I knew Wednesday. And I want to tell you about Writing-World. This is an excellent writing community chock full of tips, contests, and free stuff for writers. I love visiting there and I always come away happy and glad I visited.

I wish I would have known about it when I first started writing, but alas, I did not. There is something for all of us whether we write for adults or children. They have an e-newsletter too. And the cost for all of this? Well it's free. YAY! You really can't beat the price. Writing-World also sends us to websites that might interest us regarding research. Such as the new one for researching the Victorian and Edwardian periods. And the site that has writing exercises or tips every day. They even have a bookstore. So check out Writing-World you'll be glad you did. Did you know about Writing-World? :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We're at the hospital today

Long day today. Long, long day. I'll catch up with everyone at supper. Please keep my sweetheart Christopher in your prayers. And thank y'all so very, very much. (^_^)

And don't forget my interview with super fantastic YA author Mandy Hubbard in a couple of weeks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why do you blog?

First of all, it's great to be back from unplug week. I missed everyone. I hope you got a lot accomplished. I know I did. *grin*

In a couple of weeks I will have an interview with talented YA author Mandy Hubbard. I can't believe it myself. She's letting me interview her? YAY! She is a very nice and super gifted writer. Hope y'all join me for that interview.

The past couple of weeks writers have been blogging about, well, blogging. Asking questions like, "is it part of your marketing strategy?"

I decided to write this post, because when I first started blogging I wasn't sure exactly why I was doing it. My writing partner Beth, (who recently got an awesome, super cool agent) mentioned I should think about it. That was March 2009. Fast forward to January 2010 and I could not list all of the things I have learned from fellow bloggers. So for me, blogging isn't just about marketing. It is about making relationships with folks that are on the same road I'm on. It's about learning and giving, just as I do with all of the people in my life. It's a circle of life and friendship (think Lion King here) that I absolutely need to do. I have become a much better writer. I listen to the advice. And it's all wonderful. So that is why I blog. I have to visit with my pals daily or in some cases every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. ^_^

Not every post has to be long. I'm trying for quality here. A lot of my posts are short. I hope I'm giving back as much as I'm getting. (sometimes I wonder)

I am very thankful for all of you who have made this path so enjoyable. Thank you fellow bloggers. I could never repay all that you have done for me. :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010


I AM unplugging, really I am! Just stopped in to let you know about a contest going on over at The Write Words. Stop by and check it out. See you next week. :0)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Unplug week

It's the first unplug week of the new year. :) I plan on writing lots. I hope everyone has a great week. WRITE ON! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wanna get paid for writing while working on your novel?

Here are two great ways to earn a publishing credential and put a little money in your pocket. I think I will look into this too. While querying, and working on my next project, I would love to have something published in a magazine. First off is Mad Magazine. They want to see your silliness. I think I will check this one out. You know how much I love silly. :-)

And Hunger Mountain is taking submissions too. They accept poetry and with all the poetry that writers were posting yesterday,(check out Shannon M. she started it.:-)) I thought you might be interested in this. Oh, and Shannon, I didn't know about it until late last night or I would have graced you with some of my poetry. Alas, it's probably better left for my eyes only. :-)

A lot of doctor visits coming up. Please remember my sweet Christopher in your prayers. Thank you. :-)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scenes Or Chapters. How do you write?

I want to take this time to ask everyone to be in prayer for the people of Haiti following the deadly earthquake they had on Tuesday night. The stories coming out of there are horrendous. Please take time out of your day to lift these people up to God. He can and will use our prayers. And if you are led, give to the relief effort. Samaritans Purse left Wednesday morning for Haiti. I know because I'm one of their volunteers. And I know I don't have to remind you to pray. I just felt like I needed to say this. The people look so lost. Thank you.

Do you write in scenes instead of chapters? Scenes hold reader interest. Everything we write happens in an exact time and in an exact place. I read an authors take on the debate with chapters and scenes. She said, "chapters have no structural meaning. They serve no dramatic purpose, and therefore add nothing to your grasp of your story. And during the first draft, chapters can lead you astray." Hmmmm

We all have to agree that chapters are linked together scenes.

Some writers connect the chapters last. They link all the scenes together when they have completed the first draft. They claim that writing in chapters adds a mushiness to our writing. They say you can hide blemishes inside a chapter. This happens and that happens but did we give each scene a goal?

They claim that writing in chapters makes it easy to add a lot of unimportant stuff. That we don't pause long enough to give that emotional impact our stories need. And that we don't plan out the scene's purpose, setting, and climax, because we were not aware that the scene was a crucial chunk of drama. It was just another episode in the chapter. But that can happen no matter how we write, if we're not careful.

How do you write? I write in chapters. It's just easier for me. I try to be aware that every sentence I write matters to the story. Oh sure I get carried away. But writers that use scenes instead of chapters have to revise too. They have to edit, cut unnecessary words the same as I do.

The debate moves forward. What's your take on it? :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wish I Knew Wednesday

As you know way back in November I joined Tess for these Wish I Knew Wednesday posts.

Today's post is my MOST favored writing aid that I have ever discovered. I blogged about it when I first learned of it and I thought it needed repeating today. If you have never used or known about document map, you are in for a nice surprise.

It is so cool, no more scrolling through your entire manuscript to find a certain page. You simply click on view, then click Document Map and your chapter numbers appear on the left side. Say you wanted to go to chapter sixty two. No scrolling through, searching for that chapter, just click on chapter sixty two and it takes you right to where you want to go. It is an amazing little thing sitting right there in your word. And it only takes a second to get to where you want to go. Mac users, there is one for you too.

I really recommend using document map. I have used it for almost a year now, and I couldn't write a novel without it.

Did you know about document map? :-)

And I wanted to link to this wonderful post from the other day. It was written by Lee over at tossing it out. It talks about blogs and asks why do we have them. Check it out. :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Passive writing

I'm trying to find ways to wipe out passive writing. I don't want my readers to be bored to death. I want to involve them in my book with active voice. Now I know once in a while a passive voice might actually be needed, but those times are few and far between. I've decided to avoid passive writing by identifying weak verbs as I write my first draft. Search for verbs preceded by "would" (would go, would sleep, would eat) replace with went, slept, ate. Also look for actions that seem to happen out of thin air. "The door was opened" is passive, because the sentence lacks a "doer". Remember, the reader needs to visualize what's happening in the story. "The wind blew the door open" is better, because the action can be attributed to something, and it puts the most important element (strong wind) at the beginning of the sentence. Simply rearranging the words ("The door blew open from the wind") puts emphasis on a door that won't stay closed, making that the subject of the sentence.

Robyn's stomach was growling because she hadn't eaten all day. Now I see that this sentence can be fixed to make it more interesting. Robyn's stomach growled. That is really all that is needed. I write this post to help MOI. I am using the little word was more times than I care to count. I have committed to actively think about each sentence I write to combat this was problem.

I also don't like hadn't, couldn't, and didn't. Weak, lifeless verbs get deleted most of the time. I want my writing to be vibrant, active, and sparkling.

I've decided that it isn't easy writing a book. But the more we write the better we get. When we write our books, we become our own teachers. I read great how to write better books, but I learn the most from MY writing. Every day I discover something new. And I learn from my blogger buds. I have a wealth of information when I visit y'all everyday. Thanks so much. :-)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Critter Corner

Do you need a beat reader? Need help with grammar, plotting? Need to be accountable? The Critter Corner is for you. Not your corner drugstore, it was started by my pal Kristi Faith. It's a place to go for ALL things writerly. The Corner is a good place to go to hang out and see what's going on with all your writerly friends. You can get that extra boost you need to get you back to writing or keep you writing. It's all about getting down to the basics. Just write baby. With someone to keep you mindful of your goals, you won't get bogged down in guilt about no time to write. You WILL make the time. You will want to make the time.

So pop over and give it a visit. You'll be so glad you did. :-)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Christopher

This is Christopher. Today is his birthday. We thank you all for your prayers and hope you continue to pray for him.
This is some of our gang. We have six boys, not all in the pics. The one with the STUPID smile is me. Ivy is the only girl. She's very proud of Christopher. He's strong in the midst of the unknown.
Happy birthday Christopher. Many, many more. May we find out this year what is going on with you. I love you.
Sorry about the way the pics are positioned. Blame blogger. *shakes finger at blogger*

Friday, January 8, 2010

Contest for MG YA writers, Read up!!

I have blogged up this AGENT before. Mary Kole is hosting a contest on her kidlit blog, inviting writers to submit the first 500 words of their finished young adult or middle grade novel. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2010. The prizes are as follows:

Grand Prize Winner: A 15 page critique
First Place: A 10 page critique
Second Place: A 5 page critique
Third Place: A 2 page critique
Honorable Mention(s): A critique of the first page of your novel

So let's get our entries in to her people. You know how Jody has blogged about contests and how important they can be. This one is a great chance for all of us to connect with an agent and get a critique on the important first pages of our novel. Good luck to all of us. :0)

Thanks to all of you that commented on the death of my Scooby. I know it will take time to heal. I'm still not over Blue's death. I really appreciate your stories of your own experiences on this life event. Thank you, thank you so much. You helped me more than you will ever know. And Ivy (who was very close to Scooby) read the comments and they comforted her too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Win $100 In Our New Slogan Writing Contest!

This is from If you're good at things like this(I'm not) why not try it.

Think you can write a slogan? Pennwriters, Inc. is running a contest for a new slogan for its Online Courses service! It's part of an effort to take the highly-rated service to new heights in 2010 with even more course time, more teaching, and more attention.

Contest deadline is 1/31/2010. Winners will be announced to the public through various media outlets by 2/28/2010. Slogans should be no longer than 7 words. The contest is open to everyone, so spread the word to your writer friends and post it on your websites. Contest entry is easy and FREE. To enter, go to:



You might remember my cat Blue that died in November. This is his younger (by three months) brother. He was so sad when Blue died that he mourned himself to death. He died Tuesday. I wanted to honor him. I have more pics but Scooby was either eating or wanting to go out and play.

This is the three of them together. Scooby in the front. Their mama is fourteen. I wonder how long she will be with me. Thanks for reading. I'll have another post later. I just had to respect my sweet Scooby.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Woo-hoo another contest. Man what a great year already

Shannon over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe is having a Follower Appreciation Week. (Dang! Wish I'd thought of that.) Anyhoo, she is holding a contest all week. Every day this week she chooses a winner from the previous days commenters. Shannon is not commenting as usual, so as not to throw off the outcome, or throw the contest which would be SO NOT COOL!

The best part is, you don't have to do anything but comment. And you have a chance to win. Cool! I'm just doing a blog post about it, to let you guys know. And you KNOW I'm all about spreading the word. So good luck and here's hoping you win. (If I don't win, that is.) :0)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Please help a needy writer

I know we're in a recession. I know people aren't making the money they have in years past. We're not, so I know. I completely understand that lots of money isn't readily available for most of us. But I was struck by compassion when I hopped over to The Lit Lab and read Davin's post about the Writers Emergency Assistance Fund. One example was a mom who feared foreclosure after her son's Potential life-threatening illness shattered her savings. These people at The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund to the rescue. This is near and dear to my heart, because of all that we are going through with Christopher. And believe me, the stress can wear you down. This woman was single and a widely published magazine writer. They helped relieve the financial strain so that the boy could stay in his home while he recovered.

So I'm askin' a favor. Just pop over and visit with them a spell. Or click over to The Lit Lab and read about this group. And if you can, and if you're so inclined donate, please. I am going to in February. So there! I made a public statement that I will do this. We never know if we'll ever need assistance. Let's do it. Any amount will help these writers in need.:0) Thank you. And kudos to Lady Glamis for finding this wonderful organization. Thanks again.

Contest alert!

Another contest and this one is over at Shooting Stars. And the prizes are wickedly awesome. I'm talking two people win a crit of their first five pages and two people win a crit of their query. One person wins an autographed copy of The Dark Divine. This contest is DIVINE. And you get to pick. How cool is that? Click over. You know you want to. :0)

Welcome 2010

2010, I welcome you with open arms. I am thrilled that you have finally arrived. You are my destiny. I will find an agent within your months. I will finish another novel by the time you come to an end. I will live happy and strong as I travel through you. Take your time. Don't move too fast. Our schedule is one that can be broken or we can make substitutions should the need arise. So let's live slower, dream higher, and never forget to count our blessings. Welcome friend. I have long awaited your blessed arrival. :-)

How are you greeting this beautiful New Year?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Click over to Book Dreaming for a chance to win!

Shannon over at Book Dreaming is holding a very cool contest. Click on over, will ya? :-)