What’s Up Wednesday (#3)

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with our blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

I’m still not through with ORIGIN. It’s fallen by the wayside in favor of beta reading a fabulous manuscript by my friend Tori. I love her story. Her characters, the world, the journey – all of it is so rich and vivid. There are big things in store for her. I can tell.

What I’m Writing

To be honest, I haven’t done much on the writing front (unless you count rewriting my resume). I’m making a feeble attempt at a query letter, but even that is falling short for me. I’m not sure if I need a recharge or what, but it’s frustrating. I hate having this feeling about writing. I know we all have our peaks and valleys, and now I must travel through the valley and climb to the peak once again.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Right now, the warmer weather is really refreshing. I wish I had my patio table done so I could sit outside and write. I love the warmth, the fresh breeze, and the springtime temps we’ve had. I know summer is pretty unrelenting here in Texas, so I plan to enjoy spring as much as I can.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I haven’t been up to much else lately. Soccer season is drawing to a close, and I’m thankful for that. Our roof is being replaced tomorrow. Kiddo also has a field trip tomorrow and I have the honor of being one of the chaperones. It should be a fun time.

Thanks for stopping by! I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to. 🙂

Ciao kittens!


The Writing Blues

I’ve reached a hiccup in my writing journey. A bump in the road that has me in a bit of a funk. I have “writing blues.” I’m not sure if that’s actual terminology, but for me that’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling.

When I began writing my current manuscript, I was full of passion and ideas. A flame burned bright within me for this story. I loved the characters, the villains, the world, the story. Everything spoke to me. I had trouble sleeping because characters wanted to chat endlessly. I wrote when I could, which was never often enough. It took me almost 1.5 years to finish the first draft of my novel. When I typed “the end,” I nearly cried. While I was thrilled I had finished my novel, the happiness was shadowed by some gloomy thoughts.

“Why did it take me so long?”

“This is a complete pile of crap, but it’s MY pile of crap.” 

“This isn’t good enough for any agent to love.”

“This is probably the manuscript that will get rejected over and over. No matter how much I love this story, it will probably NEVER see the light of day.”

Still, I was so excited, I pushed the gloominess away in favor of thinking positively. I’d done something I could be proud of. I finished a book.

Then came the next part — letting other people read it.

I’m fortunate to be a part of a fabulous writing group. The ladies I write with are unbelievably talented. They are all at different stages of the publishing process and bring fresh perspective to the table. I’m in awe of them. We traded manuscripts.

I waited, choking on my own nerves.

I started reading what they sent to me. And I wanted to cry…again. Not because I begrudge them their amazing talent. I can promise you are going to see some incredible stories come from this group. They are SO good.

For me though, the doubt crept in again. “Will I ever be this good?”

Surprisingly, I received some pretty favorable feedback to my MS. Renewed in my love for my story, I attempted to tackle editing with gusto. It was a failed attempt.

Fear led to uncertainty. I’m stuck in that “everything I write is awful” rut. I feel as if my words don’t translate well to the page. My characters don’t speak to me. The world, once so vivid, is hidden behind a veil. The flame that burned so brightly sputters and flickers in the whirlwind of doubt.

It’s hard.

I heard a song recently. It doesn’t have a whole lot to do with what I have going on, but there was one lyric that stood out to me.

“Don’t be so scared of the things you love.”*

I love this story. I will stoke that flame until it burns brightly again, and it will be beautiful.

*From Waves That Rolled You Under by Young Summer

What’s Up Wednesday (#2)

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Still working on Origin. I had to take a break from it to read The King by J.R. Ward. 

*sighs and swoons* 

It’s been a while since I’ve visited the world of the BDB, and The King did not disappoint. Confession: I skipped Tohr/Autumn and Blay/Quinn books but I couldn’t resist returning to Wrath and Beth. Love them.

What I’m Writing

I’m still editing HACKED. So here’s a giggle for you…

I thought I would love editing. Here was my opportunity to clean things up and make everything pretty. I could add the details and the nuances. It was going to be AH-MAY-ZING!

Yeah…not so much. 

This is me.

And this.

And this.

Okay, maybe not so much with the blood and flying eyeballs, but you get the point.

Still, we must soldier on.

What Inspires Me Right Now

I’m not sure if it’s inspiration or motivation, but I’m attending DFWCon in 25 days. I’m pitching my novel to an agent. I need to get it into some semblance of “ready.” 

I’ve also been really inspired by the music of this great new band I found, of Verona. I’m absolutely in LURVE with this artist. Their music has a haunting quality that sticks with you. 

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I’ve been up to a LOT in the past week! Friday brought a much needed gathering with wonderful friends. I’m truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life. 

Backing up a bit, Thursday brought Spring: Texas Style. We had one heck of a storm, complete with tornado warnings. While the tornado decided to stay north of us, we did get a hail storm. Yay, spring!

Here’s some pics of the final product. Go Mother Nature! (<— more sarcasm)

hail stones
hail on back patio

So what are you up to? Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Ciao kittens!

What’s Up Wednesday (#1)

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Right now, I’m reading Origin by Jessica Khoury. This book has been on my TBR pile for a while, and I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it. Jessica has such an amazing writing voice, and this idea is so fun, it’s easy to see why this book was published and optioned for a movie! I’ll be excited to see this one on the big screen. 

Reading is a luxury that I’m only getting to at night, mainly because writing has taken priority. This leads me to…

What I’m Writing

Earlier this month, I finished my first draft of my first novel. 

I was so excited to finally see the the end of what was both a labor of love and the bane of my existence for about a year and a half. So now, HACKED is in the first round of revisions. Initial feedback from my betas showed the story has a lot of promise, but like most first drafts, there are many holes to be patched and filled. It’s a tad overwhelming, but I’m looking forward to revising the story and making it stronger than before.

What Inspires Me Right Now

There’s so much that inspires me, but right now I’ll have to go with my discovery of the “Beat Sheet” from Save the Cat! Throughout my writing process, I knew there were “things” inherently wrong with my draft. The pacing was a really big issue for me and truth be told, I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I’d tried so many methods of plotting but none of them worked for me. Until now. I revisited my story with a beat sheet, trying to navigate the beat to find the pacing. And voila! The gaps became apparent and I revisited to see what needed to be cut. Needless to say, I was quite inspired to start right back into editing and I’m even more in love with my story than I was before. 

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I’ve discovered the joys of navigating first loves with my 6-year old son. Though it’s been a while since we’ve had “girlfriend drama,” my son and I had the following conversation on Monday on the way home from his after-school program. (NOTE: For the friends who have seen this on Facebook, I apologize for the repeat.)

Kiddo: Girlfriend and “other kid” were not being nice to me today. She hurt my feelings.
Me: Okay. What happened?
Kiddo: We broke up.
Me: You broke up? What happened?
Kiddo: Well, I thought she loved “other kid.” And she didn’t love me. And she was talking to “other kid.”
Me: Did you break up with her or did she break up with you?
Kiddo: Well, I broke up with her. Then she broke up with me.
Me: … Okay.
Kiddo: Yeah. I have drama.
Me: You have drama?
Kiddo: Yes. I have some of the drama. And do you know what? When she was with me, she didn’t even want to be with me.
Me: Who told you that?
Kiddo: My friend. He told me.
Me: He said that?
Kiddo: Yeah, he said “You have all the drama. You need to take a day off and just don’t worry about girls for a little bit. You need be by yourself for a while.”
Me: …
Kiddo: And he said, “Yeah, you can’t invite girls to your house all the time. And if you don’t be by yourself for a while, girls can be loud, and yell, and be noisy, and break stuff. And they might even mess up your house. They might even mess up your TV by breaking it.”
Me: … (I really have no words at this point because I’m laughing and almost in tears)
Kiddo: So yeah, that’s what happened.
Me: So you and girlfriend are broken up?
Kiddo: Nah. We fixed it. We’re together now.

*facepalm* I think I’m in trouble when he gets older. 

Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Ciao kittens!

Writing Craft – Creating a Premise

It’s been well over a month since I last posted here, and as you can see, I’m WAY late to welcoming everyone to 2013 and saying Happy New Year!  Schedules, school, writing and of course life in general all seem to have made for a busy December and first half of January. 

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time going back to the basics of writing craft.  I’ll be honest, I’m no expert on this topic, but I did spend a good year immersing myself in all the “rules” of writing before I started my book.  You would figure that this would have helped me when I dove into my NaNo manuscript.  Nope.  Rules out the window.  It was just words and ideas scribbled (or typed) furiously into the work in progress.  Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing because it really helped me figure out some of the direction that I wanted to go in with Kinetic and it took me to places that I never thought imaginable.  During this process, I also discovered that I am not a hardcore “pantser,” so I really need some solid direction to get this story back on track and finish the first draft of this manuscript. 

So, step one – write the premise.  Any author should be able to sum up the premise of their book in one or two sentences.  What is the story about? 

Take this premise for example: 

“A young FBI agent must barter personal information with an imprisoned psychopathic genius in order to catch a serial kill who is capturing and killing young women for their skins.”  (Taken from Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff). 

Care to guess what it is?  Okay, well since I can’t really hear you guessing, the answer is Silence of the Lambs.  In that one sentence, you get a feel for what the book will be about and what is at stake for the protagonist. 

So, I took a stab at it and wrote down the premise for Kinetic.

In the not-too-distant future, an orphaned 16-year old girl accused of murdering her guardian reluctantly partners with her genetically modified enemy to fight against the organization that raised her in order to uncover the truth about the murder and save her own life – discovering secrets about her own past and an unknown hidden power, along the way. 

Okay, so it’s not perfect, but it should give you an idea of what the book is about and some of the conflict that might occur.  There’s some pretty high stakes here – fighting for your life and trusting an enemy, all to prove your innocence.  So, is this enough to draw readers in?  I really hope so. 

So now that I’m done with my premise, I think it’s time to outline.

Happy writing and reading! 

Writing, Reading and the Elusive Relaxation

Well, Turkey Day has passed and Christmas is upon us!  This is definitely my favorite time of the year.  I’ve got my tree up, my stockings hanging, and my letter to Santa has been stamped and put in the mail.

Writing has been keeping me busy this past month as I furiously scribble down my first YA novel.  I’d have to say that if you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, or if you’ve started but find it slow-going, then definitely sign up for NaNoWriMo.  Heck – you can even challenge yourself to write 50,000 words in one month.  It’s no easy feat – especially if you have a lot of other stuff going on in life.  So I’m just under 16,000 words away from hitting my goal for NaNo and I really think I can do it.  The end is in sight.  And it’s a relief.  But it also shows me that I need to keep writing because this book is a hoss and it’s not even halfway done yet.  Of course it’s all messy full of gaping plot holes, typos galore, and complete disconnects – but there are some shiny sparkly moments in there too.  🙂  Once I wrap it up and give it a once over, I’ll start sharing tiny snippets. 

So in between all this fantabulous writing I got going on, I’m reading one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks.  It’s The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams and so far it’s pretty good.  If you like fae urban fantasy, I definitely recommend it, but you need to read The Shadow Reader first. 

So with all this going on, relaxation is elusive.  Or at least it has been for the month of November.  But I have a nice little vacation coming up in December.  And this weekend, the hubs and I are going to a fabulous Christmas party filled with casino games, drinks and fun times.  That will be relaxing – I hope. 🙂

So, what are you reading, writing or doing to relax?

Ciao kittens!

It’s Been BUSY!

Well, I must say that things have been VERY busy here on my end, which is both good and bad. Good, because I’m making progress on my NaNoWriMo manuscript, I’m getting out there and rubbing elbows with some awesome people, and I’m having a lot of fun doing all that.  Bad, because I haven’t been able to blog as regularly as I like.  But lots of exciting things are on the horizon.

First, this past weekend I was at Readers & Ritas, an event hosted by Fresh Fiction, that allows readers to connect with some of their favorite authors while discovering some new ones.  I had a blast hanging out with so many people.  Most notably Victoria Scott (no relation, but her book The Collector comes out in March 2013), Rachel Harris (her book My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is out now – buy it!), Tracy Deebs (author of the Tempest series and her new novel DOOMED – love it!), and Lynsie Buchanan (up and coming author of The Healers).  Additionally, if you like historicals, I got to hang out with Eloisa James, Sarah MacClean, Sara Ramsey, Jade Lee…so many wonderful authors.  And next year is going to be even better – Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love, and Shannon K. Butcher!  Wow!  It really was an awesome experience and I look forward to more events where I can hang out with some great authors and learn more about my favorites.

I’ve also been hard at work on my NaNoWriMo project.  It is my first novel and is the first book in a trilogy (ambitious, I know).  The name of the first book is called Kinetic and it’s a YA futuristic, sci-fi thriller.  Since this is my first book, I’m really hoping that I can translate all these amazing images in my head to the page because I really, really love it and it’s such a blast to write.  Hopefully one day, I’ll see my name next to all these great authors that I love on the bookshelves at Barnes & Noble.  One can only wish!

Finally, the holidays are upon us so I can only imagine what a busy time it is for everyone.  Next week I get to cook my second Thanksgiving turkey (pray for me) and spend some time with family, and of course write and hopefully read.  I hope to get back to blogging as well, sharing my most anticipated book picks and reviews of what I’ve read. 

If I don’t tell you later, here it is now – HAPPY TURKEY DAY!  Hope that you have a wonderful day filled with love and blessings galore.  Happy reading!