Showing posts from 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014!

I've been busy since Halloween! Almost every free moment has been stolen by my desire to write 1,700 words a day for NaNoWriMo. I participated last year and had such a great experience (and I might be addicted...) that I had to join in again for word mania! ;)

Because I did NaNo last year, I'm doing some things a little differently this year.

At the end of each day, I scribble down what I need to write about the next day. This has been super helpful for me. I highly suggest doing the brainstorming the day before to save time staring at the computer screen.If I can, I try to write half of my word count in during the day and half after my kids go to bed. This helps what I call BRAIN DRAIN. I should do brain crunches or something to help eliminate this problem, but I haven't figured out how to do that. I'm writing editorial notes as I go. I can't completely shut down the inner editor, so this is my compromise. Right now, I'm guessing that half of the names for peo…

Happy Halloween!

I couldn't pass up Halloween and not write about my love for vampires! It all started when I watched Interview with a Vampire and all the Blade movies a long, long, long time ago. I literally had to drag my friends with me to watch them. Next came Queen of the Dammed and Bram Stroker's Dracula and then...Twilight, a totally different kind of vampire (and my friends willingly went with me!) as was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Daylight was an interesting take on the undead as well as Let the Right One In. The TV shows True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Dracula are always fun to watch too. I haven't seen the most recent Dracula movie, but it's on my must-see list.

As much as I love movies and TV shows about vamps, I also love books about them. Some of my recent favorites are Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in ColdtownJulie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series, and Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White is al…

Magic isn't just for witches and wizards

I so wanted to post last week, but life happened! My oldest son broke his arm and as mommy, I was more than happy to press pause on everything else to make sure my dude received all the help he needed adjusting to life with a cast. Now he's back in school, and I have the time to give a shout out to...


Unlike zombies, I haven't read any genre mash-ups with witches or wizards, but if you have, please tell me so I can put those titles on my TBR list. :)

Why do I think witches and wizards are awesome?

They have power(s) to change the world around them and influence people whether for good or bad. Their choices make a difference in the world that they live in.

And my answer got me thinking. I want to make a difference and influence people. I want to change the world for good, and I can! You can! We have the power of happiness, kindness, goodness, the ability to build confidence in others, eliminate their loneliness, heal their wounds, and give them hope. Those …

Classics and Zombies

To celebrate my love for Halloween, or really, all things speculative, during the month of October, I've decided to elaborate on some of the things I adore. I'll open with this:

I was on an airplane from the U.S. to Germany when I read this and received several weird glances, but I didn't care. If you put two of my favorite things together, I'm going to be proud to show off the creepy, fantastic cover. Now, for the next.

I'm a HUGE fan of AMC's The Walking Dead. Season 5 starts this Sunday, October 12!!! I'm sooooo excited!! There's a marathon all week, so I can get a full dose of zombies and the intriguing people that kill them before the premiere. Thanks, AMC!!

Now, because I'm a writer and things must orbit either writing or reading, there's an unconventional book publisher out there that favors the same things I do. Quirk Books. Go check them out and see all the awesomeness happening over there and their new releases. So. Much. Fun.
And just…

Fragile Reign Cover Reveal!!

I'm so very, very excited (*happy dance*) to help reveal the cover for FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O'Neale! Check out the cover below, and let's gush all about its awesomeness in the comments! ANDenter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or B&N gift card!
Details about the cover, from author Stacey O'Neale: In case you're curious about the cover, the model represents Marcus. The background represents the woodland court and the caves at the bottom are where the members of the royal family live. I chose caves because the woodland court protects the forests of the world. I didn't think they would choose to cut down trees to make a castle, so the massive caves worked out nicely. If you zoom in, you can see where the doors and windows are cut out. The inside is very lavish. If you read FRAGILE REIGN, you'll learn all about it. FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2)by Stacey O'Neale | November 18, 2014 It’s been a week since a…

WriteOnCon 2014

Tuesday and Wednesday, August 26-27

To writers everywhere -- I LOVE WriteOnCon!!!

It's a super wonderful conference just for children's literature including: picture books, middle grade, young adult, and new adult!

Here's a quick list of the fabulousness I enjoy:

I meet new writers!There are critique forums for query letters, 1st 250 words, and 1st 5 pages.I found one of my super critique partners there in 2011! She's brilliant. I met her through the critique forums, but if that doesn't work, there's a CP match maker forum too!It's FREE!! YES, FREE! They post the days events online so I don't miss anything! That means, if I have to be out of the house, I can check in at night and still be a part of the awesome.Archives from 2010+ are also posted. So I can benefit from the coolness of past years! YAY!Tons of agents browse the forums and can request my ms!! Double YAY!I can submit my pitch for agents to see! Yes, yes, I can! 

Another great thing about Writ…

Fear Can Eat It

Eat what exactly? I don't know....

Unicorn poo. ;)

For the first time since I've started the journey of writing toward publication, I woke up in a state of panic. It might have been a panic attack. I'm not sure. I've never had one. 

What does this feeling tell me? I care too much what others think.

Yep. Said it.

Does that mean I hate criticism? No! Never! Well, sometimes. I really L.O.V.E. my critique partners. They are AMAZING!

Actual querying is different. People I haven't met, except for stalking them online, will see my work! (At least the first 5, 10, or whatever amount of pages they want with the query.) *wink wink*

I've met some of the agents on my list at conferences, so I'll be devastated if they pass on my book. I know it will happen. I'm prepared for the form rejection letters that are sure to flood my inbox. Publishing is subjective. I don't always like the books I pick up either. I understand!

Point is, I hate being negative. Heck, I hate havin…

Giving your time to help others succeed

Time is one of the most important and precious things you can give.

This past weekend, my superstar husband gave me an entire day to research agents, polish my query, and give my submission pages one last glance.

I was so overwhelmed! It was incredibly generous of him (we have three kids, two cats, and a dog!) and worthy of acknowledgement.

Has someone done something similar for you?

Many people gave their time to help me hone my work in progress. When I first started sharing my book, more than a few people gave me great suggestions. They took the time to teach me what they knew. I listened. I read the craft books they recommended and I learned. I'm so very thankful to each of them.

My current critique partners are super awesome! (Amelia, Cheryl, Henry, LaWanda, Marlana, Michelle, and Rina!! *hugs*) Every week, they schedule time to review my submission when they could be revising their own. Their advice is invaluable. My writing is better because they take the time to make thoug…

That Queasy Feeling

My stomach is all uneasy as I'm putting the final touches on my manuscript. It feels like saying good-bye to a really good friend you know you won't see again for awhile. It's silly. I'm not letting my novel go or deleting it. Good-bye isn't happening. But it feels that way! 

I wasn't expecting to have any emotional outpourings during final edits. Yet, here I am getting some strange feels. I've read where writers say that their novels are like children to them. That unique sense of attachment hasn't presented itself so far, but something like it. I had all sorts of nervous twitterings when I sent my first two kids off to kindergarten. I missed being with them all the time. In a way, sending my manuscript off to agents gives me that same butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling. Except that agents will judge my book worthy of their time or not. Teachers have to take my kids! ;) 

Here's what I've edited during the last spit and shine.

1. Repetitive words