Friday, December 30, 2011

Let it Snow!!! (and winners)

So yesterday I went to find snow. You see, in Arizona you have to go places in order to see a white Christmas. So my best friend and I took a little road trip. And we found snow, lots of it!

The significance of this is that it was the best kind of vacation. I started revisions again and my head is exploding. No, seriously, its a mess. A big messy mess. My mini vacation was only a day and half but it was pure heaven. You know how I know? Because my revisions are rocking. 
Anyone else take vacation (even a mini one) this holiday season? Where did you go? 
Now, I know you all dying to know who won our Holiday Giveaway. Well, here are the winners!
Deann Fox
Pao Parente
Jessica S.
You have 48 hours to reply to your emails or we pick new winners!! I’m off to my revising cave! Have a wonderful New Year everyone!!! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I hope you all had a great Holiday!  Mine went great!  I got some awesome stuff, including my beautiful new guitar, and I got to spend some much needed time with my family.  Was it just me or did it not feel like it was Christmas this yr?  Maybe it was because of the weather here in MO or maybe because it came and went so fast.  I don't know but part of me is glad it's over but another part of me wishes I still had time.  Any big plans for New Years?

You know how everyone sets new years resolutions and well, most people never stick with them?  Maggie Stiefvater lives by them and tries to succeed in each goal she sets for herself.  I can never recall setting any New Years Resolutions myself but I am seriously considering it this year.  I am thinking about this long and hard because if I am going to set resolutions, I want to make sure I don't put them on the back burner like the rest of America--this honestly isn't a diss to you all.  Alot of the goals I have set for my life I have accomplished but I haven't set any official writing ones.   Since I am all new to this Resolution thing, I don't know if it is taboo to say what goals you are considering.  I know Maggie doesn't say hers until the end of the yr but heck...what can it hurt.  I will only name a few that are topping the list:
  • Make more Writing time
  • Take this blog seriously and get more involved with promoting it
  • Learn more about vlogging and integrate it into my Wednesday posts
  • Finish my first draft, edit, and query agents (scary just thinking about that last part)
  • Learn guitar for when the writing doesn't flow well
So those are currently on the list.  I am going to try with everything I have to stick with them.  I love making goals so this is just a different kind.  Hope you all have a fun and save New Year and I shall see you again on the other side!  (btw...not the dark side...god I hope not the dark side LOL)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Micro Blogging: It is good for the soul

From Wikipedia: Microblogging is a broadcast medium in the form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregate file size. Microblogs "allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links".

As with traditional blogging, microbloggers post about topics ranging from the simple, such as "what I'm doing right now," to the thematic, such as "sports cars." Commercial microblogs also exist, to promote websites, services and/or products, and to promote collaboration within an organization.

My favorite micro blog other than Twitter is Tumblr. I only follow 100 or so people right now and my dashboard is constantly filled with beautiful pictures, smart text, and funny videos at all hours of the day. Writing can be a lesson in lonely, and I think that micro blogs like Twitter and Tumblr have given the writer a way to take a break and come out and play without ever really leaving the writing cave.

Micro blogging is there to help you reach your fan base or build one. To inspire you when your muse is on vacation and to give you a social outlet while you work. It is vastly better than being punch drunk Hemmingway. Tumblr is a free service like blogger but cooler. It has many cheap themes or free themes you can easily install with the click of a button. You can reblog friends, and your fans can reblog stuff about your book and it becomes this huge news outlet and your fans can ask you questions that you can answer publicly and that can then ... be reblogged.

Try to remember to schedule your Twitter/Tumblr time or you will never get anything written. Other than that have fun reblogging!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yep...I almost forgot it was Wednesday...

*Hits self over the head* is Wednesday...not Tuesday.  All of this Christmas stuff has me crazy mixed up.  It's the 21st for god sake!  How did this happen?  I'm still wrapping presents, let alone making some last minute gift decisions. Darn it for me being thoughtful with gifts.  It would be so much easier if I could just say, "hey...her ya go!  A fruit basket!"  (sorry if anyone is doing that as a gift...not hurt feelings intended)

Anyway!  I promise when the holidays are over my blogs will be more productive.  Right now my main focus is what picture frames go with my art photos I am giving to my family.  So for now I leave you with a question...

Have you ever done something you knew could turn out badly but did it anyway as research for your stories?

Monday, December 19, 2011

They love me! They really love me!

I have been bouncing in my chair cheerfully, grinning ear-to-ear for about an hour now. Why? Because I just got the very first full set of comments from one of my beta readers. I was crazy nervous about this, both because letting other people read your stuff is scary but also because this was kind of the make-or-break moment, wasn't it?

The first person to read this close-to-final draft. The point by which I'd done massive amounts of rewriting already, added and deleted characters and changed entire portions of the story, plot points, motivations. If the story still didn't work for my readers, I probably would have panicked.

And there's no guarantee - I may still have to panic, depending on what others say. But for now, it seems I am safe! My beta reader was hugely complimentary and gave me lovely notes, things she loved but also brilliant, succinct ideas on how to tweak the things she didn't - and those tweaks are small and pretty fast and relatively easy, considering the huge labor pains that involved rewriting this novel in the first place.

(Say it with me: If I got through that second draft, I can get through anything.)

Another writer friend - one who is quite busy with her own writing and quickly becoming Quite A Big Deal in her own right - also reached out today and offered to read my query.

I am floored by the outpouring of support from my friends and community. 10 months ago, I did not have a single writer friend. Today, I am so very blessed to be surrounded by some of the most amazing people I've ever met.

I know I've said this before, but it really can't be said enough: Having a community, as writers, is so important. I never would have kept my sanity, let alone gotten as far as I have, if it weren't for writer-friends, the internet on which we hang out, and the Twitter on which we congregate.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Once Upon A Time

       I was having a discussion earlier today with fabulous Leigh Fallon. Halfway through the discussion I realized we were discussing a show, and I was quite into it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love shows! I love movies. Anything with pretty pictures on the screen, sign me up! But what I find hilarious is how involved I get in these things. 
Stories. They get me every time.
       Then I started thinking, why is this show so interesting? What makes me what to go back to it, week after week? Is it the fairy tale aspect? Is it the awesome characters? Or how about the plot line of two worlds? But in truth, it is all of those things and more. Not one of the aspects I mentioned could be as gripping if they were a stand alone fact. 

Someone please bring him back!
That is what I want my writing to be. I want my characters to jump off the pages. I want my story to be so breathtaking that you want to turn to the next page. Most of all, I want something that will stay in your hearts forever like those fairy tales do. Yes, I want a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like those who don’t write don’t really understand how big of an undertaking something like a story truly is. Would you be willing to kill off a beloved character? Seriously, did anyone else NOT see that coming? This is what I’m talking about. Taking risks, pouring your heart into your work, being fearless. This is the kind of a writer I want to be. How about you? 
Much love, 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So it is Wednesday right?

This is what my head says EVERY Thursday. That it is Wednesday even though I watched American Horror Story last night. Which obviously airs on... Wednesday. So I am sitting here in my Iron Knight pajamas (yes, I haz those) when I get a tweet from one of the Warehouse wives... "Darling, did you forget its Thursday? :-)". You know how wives are, always reminding you of stuff... I don't want to forget anymore and I have a crap ton of commitments, and I have the plague. If I miss next week you will know I was taken in the prime of my life by the black death. Please buy my book postmortem. Speaking of commitments I thought I would give you the schedule of my day:

7am - up to rush husband and kids out of the door.
7:45am- coffee and email.
8:00 am- Facebook and Twitter.
9:00am - Musa Publishing work.
11am-Social media.
12pm- lunch and shooting any videos I need to do for InterrobangYA and such.
1pm- reviews and blog work at Bookalicious
2pm - go get daughter from school.
2:30pm - homework ugh.
3:30pm- revise my book.
5:30pm - cook dinner

Then after that I revise some more, do some more work or just watch TV (American Horror Story) with the husband. Weekends are all filled up with family time and there are tons of other things that happen on any given day. Packages, I start my new agent-y work in January and calling my Mommy. Yes, I call my mommy.

And now I will leave you with the most awesome video I have seen floating around online today. I love the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday's a cheater too...

Hey guys!  I am going to follow right behind Rick and be a cheater as well.  I know, I can't help it.  Currently I am trapped under pounds of wrapping paper and if I scream, please send a rescue team!  Sooo I am going to pass you off onto the Amazing Kristen Lamb's blog post on Taking Your Novel from Good to Great.


Monday, December 12, 2011

This is totally cheating.

But Monday is exhausted and braindead, and also forgot it was Monday.

So let's just all rap together:

Friday, December 9, 2011

The One Where We Give Away Books!

      So in case you didn’t notice, Holidays are here! I know, shocker right? If you’re like me it seems that your days I filled with things to do and by the end of the week you feel as if you have done a whole lot of nothing. I think its the holiday magic. It drains us until we are too weak to even think straight. That’s why we eat so much at Thanksgiving. The fuel is all gone before Christmas hits and then we all eat once more. Its a crazy vicious cycle!
Anyway, what I meant to say was, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays, and whatever else may be on your list this year! And since I’m in such a jolly mood I have some happiness to share with you.

We got Books!!! That’s right oh dearest ones, we, YA Warehouse crew decided to spread some holiday cheer and host our very first giveaway. 
The rules are simple. Fill our the nifty Rafflecopter, spread the word, and make 
sure to do something nice for someone this year! Our gifts include but are not limited to:
    • ARC of Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves 
    • Witch Eyes by Scott Tracy
    • $10 dollar gift card to Amazon/Book Depository
    • Swag

        Have a wonderful day!!! 
        Much love, 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Write What You Live

I know the concept isn't too hard to grasp but for a writer it is easier said than actually done.  Most writers--not all writers--like the home body kind of life. I like it sometimes as well.  What's not to like about it?  You get to chill on your couch for hours on end, read, be sheltered from the world, etc but that is just it.  You are sheltered from reality.  Yes certain things are scary but you know what, do them anyway.  Once you do, record everything about the event.  How did you feel?  What was the room like when it happened?  Who was with you?  What did they say or do in reaction?

I'm about to get personal up in here yo'

It's been awhile since I have had a serious relationship.  I got out a super long one a couple years ago and didn't have the heart to give to anyone until I could give it to myself.  I'll admit I was also scared.  I was scared of letting someone in.  Recently the love connections have started to pick up and one in particular has started to interest me.  (now stay with me...this is going somewhere)  I've been writing more in the Classified Novel but it has been hard getting my characters love connection just right.  I know they feel it but the words just weren't matching until the love connections in my life started escalating.  It seems strange until you really think about it.  I truly believe that all good writing has an author behind it who really grasps what the characters are feeling.  Yes, characters have a strong voice and some can do all the work for you, but I believe the best writing comes when you are connected to the subject.

I feel like I have refreshed my Well on love:  I know what I feel when someone brushes the hair out of my eyes, how my cheeks burn when he locks eyes with me, and how much you miss them the second they leave your sight.  Who would have known this would have brought just as much fire to my writing.

Lesson for the week, get out there and do something you wouldn't normally do.  You maybe surprised on how much you will enjoy it and how much valuable info you gain.    

Monday, December 5, 2011

For the World to See

I have returned from my trip, and despite being jetlagged and overtired and hungry at odd hours, I do think I'm making a good deal more sense than I was last week.

Since I got back late Friday night, I have been pretty darn productive. I unpacked, did laundry, cleaned my apartment, went grocery shopping, made new To-Do Lists and tossed old ones, and finished the third draft of the novel. (That last one's not as impressive as it sounds. I only had two chapters left.)

And then, my friends, I sent it off to my group of beta readers.

That's right. A whole group of people! Who are going to read a book. That I wrote.

Ruh roh.

I was talking to a dear writer friend about this stage of the process, and how both exciting and nerve-wracking it is. I mean, you want people to read your stories, right? That's why we write them! But at the same time, it removes all plausible deniability you might have had, from your friends or family or coworkers or casual Facebook acquaintances. You can't be all like "yeah I write sometimes there's this story that maybe someday IDK just give me the vodka".

Now you're all like, "Yeah. I wrote a book. That's a thing that I did. Shit."

There's a lot of reasons that's a good thing. There can be a few drawbacks, though. If your friends are anything like mine a bunch of them will be lining up going, "Oh oh oh when can I read it!" and you want to be all NEVER but then you'd feel bad and also, maybe they'll buy it when it's on shelves someday. But I'm not going to e-mail my book out to all 300 people who send me pleading Facebook messages.

My beta readers are writers - published and non - or book reviewers or avid readers in the genre that I write or, ideally, some combination of the three. The same way a painter would not be expected to make 3,000,000 photocopies of their own work and stick them in just as many envelopes to mail out to their friends, so too should writers not be expected to provide ON DEMAND access to our work.

Like, I want to sell that shit someday, yo. You want to read it, pony up.

But one way or the other, if we're successful, these people are all going to have the ability to read it someday.

And that's pretty cool.

How do you feel about sharing your work with the world? Does the idea excite you? Terrify you? Are you close to having to consider it as a Really For Real-Reals Possibility, or are you not yet to this RIDICULOUSLY TERRIFYING portion of the publishing journey? Please share!

Friday, December 2, 2011

In Which I Fangirl Over a Book!

Hello darlings!
So I had this whole post planned for today, but then lo and behold, a book I'm particularly in love with came out early. 5 days early! So instead of my wondrous amounts of wisdom, ya'll are getting a book review. I know, I must really love this book to sacrifice myself in this way. 

Starting over sucks. 

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. 

And then he opened his mouth. 

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me. 

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don’t kill him first, that is.


Well, hello perfection! No seriously, I cannot find a bad thing to say about this book (or any books Jen writes for that matter). But let’s start at the beginning. 

Katy just moved to a new town and her mom keeps pushing her to make friends. So she walks next door, where according to her mom’s still working eyes, a boy hotness will be able to direct her to the nearest store. The door opens and this is where the fun begins. Katy is pulled into a world of obnoxious boy, sweet but hyperactive girl, and a town full of secrets. 
Katy’s character is fabulous. She’s a girl who works at making herself more than she is. She doesn’t take crap from people, even if those people are a gorgeous next door neighbor Daemon. Awe, Daemon, how do I not drool as I write this review? I’m pretty sure just the name sends goosebumps up my arm. He’s definitely a league all of his own. Oh my Holy Franking Superman! Daemon is just so, wait, is this review supposed to be G-rated? But really, I think I tell Jen daily she has ruined any chances for me with “real” boys! 
Obsidian is hot, sexy, funny, and breathtaking beginning to a series. The action is fast paced, the storyline is fabulous, and the relationships are adorable. Every page will leave you wanting more, in every way imaginable. *Snickers* The characters are fresh and exciting. I’ve only mentioned two but every character in this story is a work of art. Jen takes a story that is familiar and moves it to a whole another galaxy. I’m already having anxiety separation! 
Obsidian can be ordered now from Amazon. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone! 
Jennifer's blog: 
(Follow her, she's fabulous! )

Buy links for Obsidian

Obsidian on Goodreads

Happy reading and much love,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday forgot it was Thursday

So I give to you a video of me, showcasing what happens when I get excited for an ARC.