Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Day!!!!!!!!!!!

This is it folks. The last day to enter Candyland's contest and soothe aching bodies and souls in the process. Hop over will you? She's probably got a pot of coffee on to go with all those excellent prizes. Come on! Give from your heart. Click here>  

Or click to the right at the top of the sidebar. Just click! You'll be glad you did. 
Happy weekend. Smile , laugh and love peeps!

Friday, July 30, 2010

How do you define success in your writing?

Don't forget to vote. Go here:   Or you could just scroll down from this post. hehe

Two more days to visit the MOST AWESOME Candyland's house and give from your heart. And a chance to make a difference in this world. Let's keep hope alive and give, so that these woman can be independent. The non profit Joy 2 the World generates micro-credit loans for the women of Ghana to encourage independence. Taken from Candyland: This organization helps build wells for clean water (as opposed to river water), create pre-k schools with hot meals, give loans to women for small business start-up and awards scholarships to those attending school. So dig deep and there are lots of ways to give. And you have a chance to win a most amazing prize in the process. We writers loves us some prizes. SWEET! Click this link or the one at the top of the sidebar. Puuulllleeeeaaaassse! You'll be feeling great and walking on air all day. Thanks!

How do you define success in your writing? Is it:

Snagging cool, awesome agent

Getting a humongous advance

Becoming a clone of JK?

Having a feel good feeling when you're in the bookstore and actually watch someone pick up your book and buy that wondrous thing?

Being invited to Oprah. (Come on, admit it.) *wink* *wink*

Just writing your stuff, no matter the outcome.

Actually all these are possible. But for me it's just writing the novel and having a chance for it  to be published. Just the chance. How about you? Oh, and er, yeah, the Oprah thing too. *wink* *wink*

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sliding Rock
That's BC heading down Sliding Rock and Ivy is at the top getting ready for her turn. What fun! What icy mountain water. We had an awesome time.

Please, please, hop over to the most awesome Candyland's blog and feel the love and share the love. It's all about giving of ourselves. Giving whatever we can give. Sharing whatever we can share. Click on the I Heart Joy Like BR80 on top of the sidebar and it will take you where you need to be. This is about giving folks. And the chance to win some AWESOME prizes. And I mean AWESOME prizes. Plus, you'll get that feel good feeling in your tummy. That's the best prize of all. The non-profit, Joy 2 the World, generates micro-credit loans for the women of Ghana to encourage independence and empowerment. Now that's a feel good thang. And leaving the world a little bit better than we found it. Come on folks! It's a love thang. =) Contest runs through July 31st. So time's a wastin'! Let's get rolling.

Now on to the title contest entries. Lots of excellent, amazing, and awesome titles here folks. So, let's commence the voting. Voting for the ten favorites will last for a week. Then the ten with the most entries will be back up next Monday. You will choose the winner. Drum roll, please!

1. "Stolen"
2. "Searching For Fancy" 
3. "The C.I.A."- Grand Larceny - Horse Theft (C-laire, I-an, and A-nna)
4. "Gone In A Gallop"
5. "Stolen Canter"
6. "Stolen Fancy
7. "Silent Stables: The Disappearance of Fancy and Rundee"
8. "The Horse Ring"
9. "Swindled"
10. "The Horse Pirates"
11. "If Horses Could Cry"
12. "Horseshoes & Hijinx"
13. "Fancy Free"
14. "Horse Flesh and Goose Bumps"
15. "Ranch Thief Round-Up"
16. "The White Pines Kidnapping"
17. "Snatched"
18. "Spirited Away"
19."To Catch a (Horse) Thief  
20. "A Bid For Fancy"
21. "Traded Thoroughbreds"   
22. "A Tale Of Two Horses"  
23. "Stealing Fancy"  
24. "Horse Stolen"
25. "The Stealing Ring"  
26. "Chasing the Wind"
27. "Thieves in Their Pockets"  
28. "House Thief"  
29. "Captured"
30. "Horse Burglar"
31. "Horse Finder"
32. "Masterminds"
33. "A Gift Horse"
34. "Stolen Freedom"  
35. "Take Hold of the Reins"
And there you have the entries, folks.  Vote in the comment section of this post using the number or name. Number being the easiest, I guess. And a HUGE thank you for all the super fantastic title ideas. I love 'em! I know the font size is different on some titles GAH! I've had so much trouble with this post. I gave up. PHOOEY ON YOU BLOGGER.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Have You Shared The Love?

Don't forget to enter the title contest to win a Barnes & Noble gift card + a goodies basket from my local coffee shop, Village Coffee. Thanks to everyone who has entered. I loves ya!

Also, have you shared the love? If not, please click on the banner at the top of the side-bar. It will direct you to the ever so cool and awesomely beautiful Candyland's house. It's lovely over there, where the love and compassion churns baby churns. So click on over and read the story of Matt Brady and New Medicine and Joy 2 the World. After leaving there, your day will be sooo sweet. Please give, create, listen, buy, or promote. So many ways to share the love. And so many prizes to win. Even a prize from my  fab crit pardner Beth Revis. (A special pre-order of Across the Universe.) So come on folks, make your day by helping the cause. It's a feel good thang, yanno? 

Verbs! We need those super fantastic action words. I mean we're writers. This link will give you lots of verbs to choose from. I used it while finishing up SEVENTY TWO HOURS.

Click over to Deanna Carlyle's, 1000 Verbs To Live By.

Need a thesaurus??  I gots ya covered. Click over and download this free wordweb version. It's sooo much more than a thesaurus.

Hugs and love to everyone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't forget to enter the title contest to win a Barnes & Noble gift card + a goodies basket from my local coffee shop, Village Coffee. Only one more week to enter. People! I've only received FIVE entries.

Also, please do not forget to check out Candyland. This contest has loads of great prizes, and FOUR ways to enter. Plus, you'll be giving to this incredible non profit that  provides micro-credit loans to the women of Ghana, West Africa.What can be cooler than that. Can you imagine their delight in making their own money? Come on peeps. Let's do our part. There is so much hurting in the world. So many needs. We can't do it all, I know. But we can do one or two. Give to this cause and in the process WIN a prize. What could be better? NUTTIN! So click on over to her house and check out the non-profit and the blog. You'll be glad you did. And you'll leave with a smile on your face and a feel good sensation in your tummy. I loves me a feel good sensation down deep in my tummy.

I have a question. When you first began to write, seriously write. What are the things that surprised you the most about writing, finding agents, the publishing world in general? What have you learned?

When I started writing and received my critiques back, I would get right to work. Changing everything to suit the critiquers. Say what? Yup. I thought I was supposed to do that. Yup, I was a dummy. 

 I have since learned that if I AGREE with a critiquer or beta reader, then I will make the change. But I NEVER make all the changes. NEVER. Because I know what is best for my story and there are parts that I want to keep. In the long run, I have to live with my story. It's my baby.

Beth is a fantastic help. My betas are fantastic help, and I value their advice more than I can say. But they are giving their opinions. So it's my job to figure out what to use and what to pitch.

What have you learned? Do tell?  Thanks for reading.  

Title contest, y'all

Robyn has finished SEVENTY TWO HOURS. She needs a title for the MG book she is working on now. Still about Anna, Claire, and Ian. (They won't leave my head.) But this time they are after the thieves that took their two beloved (and worth a lot of moolah) horses, Fancy and Rundee. Snatched them right off the ranch where Anna and Ian live. They head out after the slimy burglars and end up captured themselves. BTW, they discover a ring that is stealing thoroughbreds and selling them to the highest bidder. Now pass the word about this contest and you get THREE extra points. Facebook, twitter, yanno the drill. Also, if you add it to your sidebar, another THREE extra points. I will post all title entries on the blog on the week of July 26th. Then you will vote on your favorite. Uh, nope, can't vote for your own title. I have Ivy on the case. She's a super-sleuth. =) The entries with the most points, because they facebooked, etc, will be at the top. 1st place, 2nd, etc. Top ten entries will be voted on by you. The most lovely folks in the universe. You will pick the winner. When my book comes out, (and come out it will) providing the publisher allows, the winner will receive credit as being the said titler if they use it. Prize?? Say huh?? ^_^ A $30.00 Barnes and Noble gift card and a basket of yummy Village Coffee stuff.

I only have five entries. Contest closes the morning of July 26th. If I don't get any more entries I will just post the five I have.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Super Cool Lady Having A Super Cool Contest.

Check out Candyland to see the awesomeness of this fine lady and to help a wonderful cause. Plus lots of super cool prizes for writers. So everyone wins. Win, win, YANNO?

This is taken directly from The Misadventures in Candyland:

They're an incredible non-profit who provides micro-credit loans to the women of Ghana, West Africa. Not only do they help empower these women, but they also use donations to help the community as a whole by building wells for clean water (as opposed to river water), pre-K schools for children, they provide buckets ($40 donation) to encourage hand-washing to prevent the spread of germs and disease, and present scholarships for students attending school.

Come on peeps, let's throw our hat in the ring and leave some goodness in this world. (And boy does it need some goodness.)

Here's the link:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tension in our writing

Don't forget to enter the title contest to win a Barnes & Noble gift card + a goodies basket from my local coffee shop, Village Coffee. Only two more weeks to enter. 

The horse show was super fantastic. We had such a great time and Ivy made all of her jumps and patterns. She did an outstanding job. Ans she vows to go back next year, too. =)

Tension! We all face it in life. It's a given. Some of us daily. (If you have teenagers.) Especially girls.

Think of old movies. Every second of tension in a old horror movie is captured for our viewing pleasure. Even in old romance movies there is a lot of tension. Tension makes us watch on. Tension holds us to our seats. We can't wait to see what will happen next.

The same goes for our writing. Tension! Showing every second of the danger and action. Let your scene unfold in your head like a movie. Play it out. What made you grip your seat? Write it! 

I once read that interrupted action adds to the tension for the reader as much as the actual cliffhanger does. It causes stress and that's exactly what we want. =)

Distraction. It stops the action and adds even more tension, because now the reader must wait to see what will happen. More stress for the reader. Lovely isn't it?

Help the character to make mistakes. Now that can really add to the tension. A mistake can be as simple as saying no instead of yes. Or loosing an important email, that gives the oh so important phone number. Plot situations that boggle the mind. And make the reader read on.

Do shorter sentences help create tension. You betcha! What about word choice? Uhhuh. Words with harsh sounds in them, "shut up!", create tension. While words with a more softer feel and sound bring the reader into their happy place.  She longed to be kissed by him as he draped his arms around her. Okay bad example, I'm not a romance writer. =) But you get the message. I hope.

There a lots of ways to bring tension into your scenes. And add stress to your reader. And that's what we all want.   Thanks for reading. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good luck Ivy!

Ivy and Shamrock are competing in the 4-H state horse show championships this week. Go Ivy, go Shamrock! We leave for Raleigh Wednesday morning at 5:00AM. I'll let you know how many ribbons they bring home. ;)

Contest over at Karen's place

Click over to Write Now and check out Karen's lovely interview with Sarah Sundin and have a chance to win a copy of her super book, A Distant Melody. Here's your ticket over there:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Will you writeoncon?

Do you writeoncon? I'm talking to all writers. Not just kidlit. There promises to be something for everyone. Now this FREE online conference is awesomely cool, ultra exceptional, uniquely extraordinary, and is calling you to head on over and register. Uh, did you hear me? Dude! It's Free!

Thank you to Jamie Harrington, Elana Johnson (dude, you're so cool) Casey McCormick, Shannon Messenger, Lisa and Laura Roecker, and Jennifer Stayrook thank ya, thank ya, thank ya for giving back.

You want to go in your jammies? Can do! It's online. You want to attend while eating chocolate chip cookie crisp? Can do! It's online.

When: Tuesday – Thursday, August 10 – 12, 2010
Here's the line-up of agents and editors:

Michelle Andelman

Regina Brooks
Catherine Drayton 

Daniel Ehrenhaft

Mandy Hubbard 

Mary Kole

Jennifer Laughran

Steven Malk

Mark McVeigh

Martha Mihalick

Molly O’Neill

Kathleen Ortiz 

Anica Rissi

Holly Root 

Elana Roth

Joanna Stampfel-Volpe

Suzie Townsend 

Now! Go! Register! You know you wanna. Here's the link:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Point of View

Don't forget to enter the title contest to win a Barnes & Noble gift card + a goodies basket from my local coffee shop, Village Coffee. Come on folks. Let's get lots of entries here.

Working with point of view has been the most challenging thing for me to learn (besides the DREADED punctuation)  as a writer. I slip out easy. Though now, I can immediately see it and most times I never leave the POV in my story anymore. Now I don't profess to understand it completely, so if you see something here that I missed, feel free to shout it out.

In a lot of manuscripts, First Person or Third Person Limited are the most useful because the reader can identify with one main character. The reader knows who the story is about, and who he/she will be following through the book. Then, you need to settle on how much info the readers need as they read your fabulous book.;)

With first person we really know the protag deeply, because we can experience what he/she is going through personally. The author is the character. You can add personality, because you are that person. It only gives the perspective of one character's world view. Limited viewpoint.

But don't you agree that YA books dealing with emotional topics are far more strong in first person, because the readers see what the narrator is going through and can identify with that? A lot of writers love using this. And it is super effective.

Second person is the hardest to write. I don't even read many books that use this style. Winnie the Pooh the exception. The author talks directly to the readers.

Third person writes about the character using names and he/she. Isn't this the most common style? It is very familiar. Easier to write. But harder to express emotion.

So which one do you like to use? And we didn't even get into discussing  past, present or future tense. Yikes! A lot to learn. Aren't we lucky? To have the chance to write and make money too?

Anything to add? Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends. Eat lots. I know Scott M. will. He's going to grill, I bet. ;)