Monday, April 29, 2013

A to Z Challenge: X, Y, Z

I hope it's not against the rules, but I had to combine my last three letters into one final post. Partings are so hard to do, but alas, it must be. It's time to say goodbye to the challenge until next year, right!

X is for xerophytic 
Y is for yawn
Z is for zoster

Xerophytic is the ability to survive a drought. How appropriate for a writer. I couldn't help but think of writer's block and how necessary it is to  keep at it. Keep writing, even when the well is dry. It will rain again, and when it does, your best piece of writing will appear. As if by magic. Well...not really, but when the drought over, your writing will come back clear, crisp and ready for some wowing:)

During those times of drought, you may getting sleepy, causing a YAWN. But your biggest fear should be causing your reader to yawn, which is something you never want to do. Boring reading means you're on the verge of losing a reader. This, my dear friend, is bad for business. It takes stamina to be a xerophytic. trust me on this one. Don't write just for the sake of moving the pen. Dry seasons come, but they go, too. While in the middle of a drought, writing that produces YAWNS is easy to do. So just enjoy your days o dry weather. Rest, or do something besides write. This will keep the yawns away from your manuscript, and your readers will thank you:)

Dry periods not only bring sleepy yawns, but it can put a ZOSTER on your creativity and inspiration. A zoster is a girdle. Feeling tight around the pen and paper? Or do you suffer from lack of breath? a zoster can make you feel sleepy so during those dry spells, take extra care to loosen the girdle that binds your mind and your creativity.

I know. My last A to Z Challenge was a corny piece of writing. Don't throw tomatoes! Maybe I need to throw this stupid ZOSTER away, stop my YAWNing and be a good little XEROPHYTIC. I will survive this drought. Watch and see:)

Thanks so much for your faithful visit, beautiful guys and dolls. I really appreciate how you take the time out of your busy schedule to visit my blog:)

THANK YOU!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Celebrating the Small Things and A to Z: W

Happy Friday beautiful guys and dolls! Yay for the weekend and yay for family time!!!


I'm happy today for THREE things.

1. My mom is out ouf the hospital and doing better.
2. My brother came in a for visit this weekend.
3. I am now a literary intern for Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

More happy news coming soon....*smiles*





A to Z Challenge: W

W is WRITING mommy

I love writing. But I love being a mommy. I homeschool my little angels, so I love teaching, too. Dividing my time between all my duties is hard to do. It really is. Because teaching my kids isn't anything to to take easy. I am responsible for teaching them to read, write, math, and all the other fun things school has to offer (yep. I said fun, just in case any of my kiddo's read this post..)

But writing is important, too, because if I don't spend time researching, studying, actually writing, then revising and editing, my dream will go no where but to sleep.

Of course, I have all my other duties as a wife and home maker, and life in general.

So, being a Writer Mommy is no easy task. What things do you do to organize your time to include writing and life?

As always, thank you, Vikki, for coming up with such a brilliant blog hop!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

A to Z Challenge: U and V

Understanding Ventriloquism

A ventriloquist is a person who can speak or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else.

Being a writer requires you to be a ventriloquist, too. Why? How? Because you, the author, must make each character sound like someone you are not.

You may not be a fifteen year old drama queen, but you've got to make you 15 year old teen girl sound real.

What? You're not a lab technician, working on a unique case for the FBI? How do you make your MC real and believable? By understanding ventriloquism and putting it to use as a writer.

Creating characters who are 3 dimensional and original. That's ventriloquism in writing, not speaking.

Do you understand ventriloquism? Can you make a character, talk and sound real, without the reader hearing you, the author speak?

Blog Tour for A SUREFIRE WAY BY J.T. BOCK

Author Interview from J.T. Bock!! If you've ever wanted to ask an  author some serious questions, I've done it for you! Enjoy!!

1. What inspires you as a writer?

“What if?” inspires me. I read Discover magazine where they breakdown scientific advances, theories, and discoveries in layman’s terms, which in turn gives me ideas for story scenarios involving time travel, world-destroying possibilities, and superhuman abilities based on real-world science. I love watching and reading stories about paranormal experiences from a family’s haunted house to a town’s UFO sighting. Recently, I got sucked into the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens and found it fascinating how some people are trying to make connections between certain historical, mythological, and biblical events and UFO visitations.What if all those events really happened because of aliens? Talk about a ton of book ideas right there!

2.  When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I wrote plays for my friends and I to act out. I also loved writing short stories for school in which I used my fellow students as characters. I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. In college, I studied advertising design and writing. Unfortunately, not many fiction writers make money right out of college, so I worked as a graphic designer doing some copywriting and then started a business with my husband to build a nest egg. I continued to write short stories over this time until a friend spoke about writing a full-length romance, a genre I enjoyed reading. In between building a graphics business, I wrote three novels. The third is A Surefire Way, and I finally found my voice with this story—my “ah ha” moment.

3.  What is your writing process?

In the past, I’ve been a “pantser.” I picture a scene—usually inspired by a “what if” scenario from an article I’ve read or a documentary I’ve seen. I have no idea about the characters in the story or even the plot at this point. I just write the scene out and build a story around it, no plotting or planning, just writing by the seat of my pants and letting the scene organically form. However, now that I’ve gotten a world built and a series began, I need to do more planning to make sure I keep the characters and world consistent.

4.  Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?

My hero Raven in A Surefire Way is one of my favorites. He has Ryan Reynolds’s build and boyish charm with a sarcastic sense of humor. He’s based on the men I find attractive: hot geeks. He’s a snowboarder, loves and quotes pop culture, likes video games, and deep down wants to find that one woman to share his life with. He is smart, successful, and heroic. I never related to romantic heroes who had more money than Bill Gates and who were so mature and alpha and treated the heroine more like a child or someone to be taken care of. Seriously, I wouldn’t have anything in common with them, and they’d probably make fun of me for still watching The Flintstones. When I’ve gone to comic conventions, I’ve met some of the nicest (and attractive) men who were successful scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, writers, artists—you name the career—and who would make perfect heroes. Just like my husband. J

5.  What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the next book in the series, which centers on Pax and Oracle, characters introduced in A Surefire Way. Pax is Surefire’s boss and Oracle her mentor. Pax and Oracle used to date and in A Surefire Way you can see the sparks are still sizzling between them. In this next story in the UltraSecurity series, Pax finds himself in Mexico to pay back a favor by battling a female drug lord who is using her special powers to deal out a vendetta against men who had harmed her in the past.

6.  Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?

That is hard to narrow down! I have many favorites across genres, but I’ll go with those that changed me. For favorite author, it’s a toss up between Anne Rice and Margaret Atwood. Rice because her vampire and witch series truly took paranormal stories to the next level and added a human element way before the current trend. Atwood because her language flows so well, and her descriptions are like poetry. My style is completely different than these two authors, but I admire them and their books transformed my outlook on life and writing. My favorite book is The Outsiders. I read this book when I was thirteen, and one of its scenes has resonated with me ever since and impacted the way I try to live my life. In the scene, Ponyboy’s best friend Johnny is dying after being severely burned saving children from a fire. He is struggling to understand Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” After Johnny dies, Ponyboy finds a note from Johnny where he figured out the poem about not losing the “gold” glow of wonder you have when you’re young and keep that golden perspective throughout life.

7.  If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?

I recently saw Pink in concert, and she totally rocked. She’s a fantastic singer with a kick-butt style and such a strong body. During the concert, she did acrobatics, hanging from wires over the audience and stage. To be that free and soar above a crowd and expose your soul to an audience just screaming for you is truly awesome, and it would be amazing to experience that feeling just once in my life.

8.  Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?

A few years ago, I saw Joss Whedon speak at the San Diego Comic-Con. He answered a question from the audience about someone not wanting others to review their work, afraid of getting negative feedback. Whedon replied a writer needs to believe in their work and be able to defend it. If they can’t do either, then they need to reevaluate their story and career choice. With A Surefire Way, I received a lot of positive feedback from my critique partners and writing contests. I knew that I had a good story and could defend my choices for character, motivation, and plot if any came into question—and I’m sure that there will be reviewers who will happily tear apart my story and others who will love it. That’s the chance you take when you expose your work to a larger audience. So that is my advice for all writers: believe in your story and be able to defend it. When you can do this, then you and your work are ready for primetime.

9.   Where can your followers find you?

You can find me on the web: website: www.jtbock.com, twitter: jtbockcom, and facebook: J.T. Bock, and email at jennifer@jtbock.com. Currently, A Surefire Way is available in ebook and paperback through Amazon.

10.    Any last words?
 
Stay gold.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A to Z Challenge: T

T is for Tailor Made Characters. Talk to them.

Designing characters is like designing a dress. There is a pattern you start with but you are free add lace, replace buttons with a zipper, and use a different type of fabric than what the pattern calls for in the directions. Feel free to subtract inches and in-seams if necessary. Use elastic instead of string. It's your dress! Follow the pattern, but improvise! Tailor made characters are the best of the best because you created them to be different than the rest.

Have you created a character? Have you given him or her a problem?

Okay, the next thing in designing a character is to make sure your character has a very gripping and compelling need. The kind of need you give your character may change before the story ends, but without a need that drives your character forward, the will be no need to have a story. And the need may be different than the problem he or she must work through. Or it may be the same.


When I read a book with riveting characters and the sequel finally hits the market, reading book two often feels like I am meeting a group of old friends again after a long interlude.

People want to read about characters and many readers fall in love or hate with the characters inside the pages of a book. I have often read books that lacked a good plot but I finished the book anyway. Why? Because the characters were interesting. I became mentally involved with the characters as if they were real. These characters drew me into the book and I could not stop caring for them. I was not satisfied until I made it to the end of the book and learned how my characters turned out from beginning to end.

Here is a tip I use: When developing my characters, I write about them like I know them. In other words, I imagine the people in my book have been long time friends, or enemies, and I know them well enough to help my readers know them.

How can you write about a character if you have never met them? It's time for you to meet your characters! Interview them. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Talk to their friends and family. Ask their co-workers and boss questions. Get to know your character so your readers can know them too.

This is the best and easiest way to Tailor your characters into perfection. What have you talked to your character about today?

Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z Challenge: S

S is for Sound

How do you engage audio learners in your story? Many readers are visual people. They like to see things, and thus enjoy reading. (Which, by the way, I am a visual!) Audio people enjoy books on tape, music, and all things connected to the ears!

In order to draw your reader into the world you created on the written page, it is most imperative you entice them with their senses. Engagement of your readers happens with sound words. This is otherwise none as onomatopoeia: words that sound like are written. Please include words with flavor, resonance, texture, aromas, and pictures in the mind. Your readers will come back again and again when they know they can step into your world and feel as though they are actually living in the pages of your book.

Call out to your readers who love sounds in a way they can relate!

Here is a wonderful list of sound words for inspiration:

clink, clang, clatter
boom, burst, explode
crunch, crackle, crinkle
gurgle, garbled, groan
murmur, cooed, whispered
plunk, splash, dripped
sizzle, splatter, splat
rumble, rick-a-shay, echoed
rattle, bang, creaked
whiz, whee!, whoa
thud, ker-plunk, drizzle
zing, zip, zoomed

Do you struggle with sound words? Or do you have some favorite sound words you'd like to share?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A to Z Challenge: R

R is for Red pens and ReWrites.

It happens to all writers. You've written a fantastic story and it's time to send it off to your critique partner or editor. They return the manuscript with so many notes your story won't be the same.

It's time to ReWrite.

That's right. Get out the big, fat eraser and start deleting. Maybe you'll start with your MC. Character development is one thing I need the most help with, so I generally ReWrite my character, using the notes from my CP.

When I first began writing, I thought I could just sit down and write the story. For a beginner, that worked fine, I guess. I generally start my stories with a character in mind and a situation to work through. My stories ended very quickly because once my character got past the situation, that was it.


I have since learned that in order to make my character real and believable, I needed to create a CHARACTER for my character. It's like reading a biography. The person writing the biography learned as much about their character as possible, maybe even interviewing him or her more than once. Getting to know your character will enable you to write a better story. In order to do this, you MUST know the CHARACTER of your character. Who is she? What made her so happy? Angry? Bitter? Scared? What made him so strong mentally? What happened to him that caused him to be mean, insensitive, careless? Why is he such a gentleman?

Let's learn about your character. It's time to give your character some CHARACTER!

First step: Your character needs a problem he or she wants to see resolved or fixed. As an example, I will create someone, give them a problem, and together we will create a character. Someone who readers will want to read more about. Someone who will leap off the first page of your novel and capture the audience from the first page.

So, get your RED pen and ReWrite that character:)

Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Q and Celebate the Small Things

It's impossible to think it's Friday already. Today's post is going to be long. I have the A to Z challenge, Celebrate blog hop, and a special post from a guest. You ready for it all??

Celebrate the Small Things:

I am happy to have a home, safe and sound and secure. I've not been attacked, there's no tornado or hurricane or earthquake threatening me, and I'm not suffering the loss of my home, family or friends.

My thoughts and prayers are with those in Boston and Texas.

Q is for QUERY contests: (Guest post from ELLIE HELLER)

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This is an excellent time to be a writer!

Not only do you have lots of publishing opportunities, from the traditional agent model to indie e-presses to self publishing (you really should go check out the Dahlia Adler's blog on the various options here: http://dailydahlia.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/choosing-your-pub-path/) but amount of support you'll find online from other writers is astounding.

You're not alone, there's a growing community of writers online and you can find someone (or two or three or more people) to encourage you and support you on your journey.

Writing is, at its heart, a solitary profession. One person sits and writes. No hanging out by the coffee pot for a chat, no popping into the lunchroom to sing happy birthday to a co-worker, no charts with the betting pool for a current sporting event in the break room.

One person. A computer (or note pad or typewriter – but that last one is pretty rare these days!).

But it doesn’t have to be that way, not any more. While of course you'll need 'alone' time to write you don't have to be alone while writing.  Facebook groups, twitter hashtags (like #1k1h – one thousand words in one hour) and online sites such as CPseek all are great aides to meet other writers, make friends, and to not feel so alone.

To me, though, the best way to meet people is to enter pitch and query contests. In this regard, not all contests are created equal.  Some are merely send in your pitch and the agent/editor will choose from the submissions. No comments, no notes (but a decent way to get in front of an agent/editor!).

However there are also multi-level contests where first you go through a critique period where other people comment and help, then you resubmit a finished product for the agent/editor round (if you are wondering why I keep saying editor, when a press like Entangled or Carina is involved in a pitch contest it's their editors who are judging the pitches).

These multi-level pitch events are the best place to meet fellow writers. You can read their writings, what they have to contribute to the discussion and get a great feel for who they are and where they are at in their journey. Along side the events there's often a twitter element where you can discuss the different rounds and support each other, which is another great place to hang out and 'meet' people.

Best of all, the hosts of these events are fantastically helpful people. Seriously! Running a pitch event takes a lot of work and coordination, exponentially more so when there are several rounds. You have to be a generous spirit and working to help others to commit that much time and effort to the event.

That's how I found Ink in the Book– I was participating in Operation Agent Ink but ended up pulling out because I got the offer from Crimson Romance on A Matter of Fate! (The good news is she's thinking of running another one over the summer.) Even though I didn't complete the course, she was kind enough to reach out and let me come visit to promote the very book that caused my withdrawal.

This is exactly the type of response I've found repeatedly, and show just how great the online writer community is at supporting each other.

So go out there, don't feel like you have to 'go it alone' as a writer, because you don't!  Find a critique partner, follow your favorite authors on facebook, an indie publisher you like, join a multi-level pitch/query contest.

Get some support, make friends and be sure to have fun!


A MATTER OF FATE

Blurb:


 Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.


Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.


First, though, they need to stay alive.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors



Ellie Heller
Stories tingling with romance, magic and suspense

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A to Z Challenge: P

P is for Prayers of Peace

In light of the terrible news this week, it is difficult for me to blog about my life and the happiness that surrounds me. So many people are suffering and hurting. Our nation is once again thrown into disarray and shock and sadness.

And the natural disasters from storms in the south have added to the loss of lives, too.

This week, I am praying for peace.

The PROMISE of hope.

 For those who are hurting, I am praying for you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A to Z Challenge: N and O

I want to begin this new post with a quote I recently discovered. The original post and interview of this fabulous author can be found here at Christi Corbett's Blog.

“Do your thing. Do what you love. If you want it badly enough, you’ll find the time to put in the necessary work to make it shine.” author Moriah Densley.

I was encouraged when I read her interview the other day, and this quote seemed like a flashing sign of hope. Almost like one of those signs you see in Las Vegas. If I want it badly enough, I will find a way to make it work. Never. Give. Up. Never.

On no account.

There have been times I have felt like quitting. After so many rejections and no's, it's easy to think WHAT"S THE USE?

But with passion and desire and the determination to never quit, on no account, for no reason whatsoever, it will happen.

It may not be the way you expected. It may not turn out how you hoped it would.

But it will happen.

Never. Give Up. On no account.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A to Z Challenge: M is meeting with Krystalyn Drown

Hey guys! My A to A challenge today is MEETING. As in interview with a character by an author with Entranced Publishing. (By the way, I'm an intern for this fabulous publisher!!!) woot:)

Spirit World, by author Krystalyn Drown is a fabulously written book.You wil be on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next.

The story starts out gritty. You immediately feel the emotional pain and confusion of the MC, Riesa.

So I've decided to let you MEET her! I asked her some very personal questions and she graciously agreed to answer them.

Riesa Adair MEETING: Spirit World MC

1. Where did you grow up?

Northern California


2. What's your happiest childhood memory?

One weekend, when I was four or five, my parents took me to the beach. We built what I thought was the tallest sandcastle ever. It probably wasn't that big, but at the time, it was big enough for me to crawl inside. My dad still called me a princess back then, and I still believed I was one.


3. What's your scariest childhood memory?

The day my dad left.


4. What activities do you participate in school?

None really, unless you count going to parties at Jen's house. A lot of the other kids think I'm crazy.


5. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

I would be a normal teenager without all that noise in my head.


6. What's your favorite TV show? Movie? Why?

TV show - Doctor Who. Longevity, amazing story lines, fascinating actors, I could go on.
Movie - The Thing (1951) It's far and away the superior version of that film. Although Connor will never admit it.

7. Do you wear designer clothes? Why or why not?

I mostly wear t shirts and jeans, because it's what I'm most comfortable in. My shirts come from places like Woot, Tee Fury, and Think Geek. On the rare occassion I do dress up, I wear the stuff my mom sells in her boutique. It's designer, but I ignore the labels and go for whatever doesn't itch.


8. Describe yourself to me.

I'm pretty plain actually - long, brown hair, brown eyes, pale because I watch too much TV. As for my immediate hopes and dreams, I wish that someone would release The Tomorrow People on DVD, I'm waiting for the invention of a caffeine IV, and I live for the weekends when I can just chill out with Connor, drink Pepsi, and eat Red Vines.

Thanks, Riesa. And thank you, Krystalyn, for putting together Riesa's answers.


 Krystalyn Drown

Legasea (Curiosity Quills)
Spirit World (Entranced, Coming April 2013)
Short stories -- http://fictionfemmefatale.blogspot.com/


Book Title Spirit World
Author Name Krystalyn Drown
Series Title (if applicable) n/a
Genre Young Adult
Length of Book in pages or word count: 111

Publisher Entranced Publishing
Blurb
All Riesa Adair wants is a normal life. With the end of high school only months away
and an outstanding GPA to bolster her college plans, that doesn’t seem like too much to
ask.
Unfortunately, the voices screaming in her head keep getting in the way. Somewhere
between her summer in a mental institution, and her stepfather’s attempt at an
exorcism, she’s learned to keep quiet about her situation. But, pretending to be normal
hasn’t prevented the spirit world from taking notice of her. Both sides of an ever-present
war have focused in on her. Now she’ll need all the help she can get to escape a
powerful spirit threatening to fulfill a prophecy that engenders the entire human world.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBln1fy145k

Author Bio
Krystalyn spent the past thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of
roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as
well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there.

Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an
elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the
evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author.

Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie
with a Napoleon complex.

Author social media links

Author Website: http://krysteybelle.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrysteyBelle
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KrystalynDrown/info
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6480737

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Celebrate Small Things and A to Z Challenge: J, K, L

So sorry I was missing in action. Again. I've been gone visiting my daughter and believe it or not, we got snowed in! In April. The middle of April. Yikes!

My daughter lives 24 hours away from me, so when I get the opportunity, I will spend as much time with her as possible.

Also, we just found out that a very, very dear friend passed away yesterday. He was a WWII vet in the South Pacific and he was so precious to us. He was 92 years old and lived such a wonderful life. He was a hero I will miss him dearly. He lives up here where we are visiting, so we plan to go to his funeral before we return home.

So, again, I'm posting a small post. So sorry you beautiful guys and dolls! I promise to get back to my regular scheduled posting by the end of next week.

I am thankful I had a few extra days to visit my daughter, even in the snow.
I am thankful to have known such a wonderful person as Glade Lindsay.

For the A to Z challenge, here's what I'm saying for letters J, K, L:

Don't JUMP ship. Stay with it. Never quit. There is no place for quitters.
Instead, KICK it in the rear and determine you will finish. Be faithful and it will come to pass.
Because you LOVE it, it makes it easier to stay with it until the end.

Thank you Vikki for hosting the blog hop and I'm sorry I missed yesterday's posting!

Thank you Mathew and Alex for introducing me to the A to Z challenge and for letting me participate!

Here's the other participants in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop:)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A to Z Challenge: I

I is for INGENUITY

As a writer and a teacher, it's important to hold this quality close to heart. What does ingenuity mean?

Clever.
Original
Unique
Inventive
Creative
Artistic
Thinking outside the box

Just to name a few!

Agents and publishers are looking for unique and original ideas. That's almost impossible, right? Everything has been done before. How do write something new? Something original?

I'm not for sure if I know the answer to this. I'm being honest, okay. Every time I think I've hit on an awesome idea, I find someone else has already written it.

Grab a-hold to ingenuity. Pet it. Love it. Nurse it. and when you've found the answer to how to write, get busy and write the next best seller.

That's what I plan to do.

How about you, beautiful guys and dolls???

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A to Z Challenge: H

Hiya beautiful guys and dolls! I know I've been missing in action for a few days, but traveling is hard.

H is for HONESTY.

Be honest with yourself.
Be honest with your family.
Be honest with your friends.

I know there is a fine line between honesty and kindness. WHAT??? Yes, I said that. Why? Because, there are times when I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. Maybe their writing is way off, their characters are flat, and the plot is terrible. But they are m friend and I don't want to hurt their feelings.

Is that a license to not be honest and say, "This is great! Just a little tightening up and you've nailed it!" Rather than be honest, it's easy to skirt around the issue and "be nice."

This can go so many directions. It doesn't only apply to critiquing.

Is her outfit really hideous and you just can't find a way to say it?

Do you really not want to go to the party, but it's been planned for months and you don't want to hurt his feelings? So you say your sick.

I had an opportunity two weeks ago to do something. I could have changed some of the smallest things about my manuscript and I would be saying today, "My book is getting published!"

BUT...

I would have had to been dishonest to myself. I would have had to change somethings I didn't want to change. I thought about it and decided I would be true to myself and my story, to be honest with my heart and my desires. 

So today, I challenge you: just be honest. I pays off in the long run.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

A to Z Challenge f and g

Yes. I am posting 2 letters at once. For one, I'm traveling and two, I don't blog on Sundays. And yes, my post will be short because I am terribly pathetically slow when I type on my phone:) F is for forgiveness. Sometimes it's not easy to forgive. And it's always evident when you can't because people tend to grow bitter and hateful. My thoughts: do I want to go through life with a bitter attitude and hateful words? Nope. So I choose to forgive when it is possible. Even when it seems like I can't I try my best not yo hold a grudge. G is for good. Simply put, just do good. It makes the world a better place. It makes our kids happier. It mashed our heart lighter. It spreads sunshine and cheer. You never know how many people are blessed by your goodness:) Until Monday, beautiful guys and dolls:)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Celebrate AND A to Z

It Friday, again, and there's so much going on in my life I think my head is spinning!

Okay, let's start with Celebrate the small things blog hop. Thanks to Vikki!

What am I happy about? That's easy!

1. My daughter's birthday is today. She's 17 and ready to face the world with her beuaty, charm and grace. Happy Birthday, my little tootsie wootsie:)

2. I get to visit my oldest daughter this weekend, who is expecting my first grand DAUGHTER:) Woot!!

Have a happy Friday celebration, beautiful guys and dolls:)

A to Z Challenge

EXCELLENCE

The dictionary defines the word excellence as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

This is the type of character trait I want to teach my kids. Extremely good. Not goody two shoes, mind you, just seeking the best and trying their best. To be excellent in speech and conduct. To be an outstanding person. That's what I want to teach my kids. That's what I strive to be myself:)

Happy Friday everyone! I will post my Pixar Challenge tonight, okay? I know. I said that yesterday. But I will do it tonight!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A to Z Challenge Day #4

DEVOTED

You can be devoted to so many things, but what is your #1 devotion? Think about it. You can be devoted to:

work
family
kids
church
watching tv
the computer
writing
reading
playing
drinking

What are you devoted to?

I'm sorry the post is so short, but I'm traveling. And do you know how difficult it is to type a blog post on a phone?

Pixar # 9 will be later, gators!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ISWG April

Holy cow! I almost forgot this month. I remembered last night and thought of a good post, then got up this morning and it completely slipped my mind! Yes, I'm getting old. Wait! Who said that??

So, my thoughts tonight. I hope I don't get any rolled eyes or snickers:(

Does anyone else ever feel like they just don't fit in? Like a fish out of water? Like a third wheel?

Well, I do. Sometimes I think "What's the use trying. I'm little ole me and no one really cares. I don't fit in, I don't have loads of friends hanging around, tweeting me, responding to things I say. and so on.

I get the feeling maybe I'm trying to hard. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Maybe I should just close up shop and get out of the cyber world.

Not long ago, I had a great thing happen to me and the blog. Then all of sudden, out the no where clouds of blue, it all fell apart. Was it me? What did I do to turn "it"away? Was I not kind enough? Was I overbearing? Was I too much of pansy? Or did they just. not. like. me.

I don't know. But I do know. I love my blog, my followers, my friends, my family.

And they love me. and that's all that matters:)

A to Z Challenge Day #3 (Pixar #8)

CARE and COMPLETE

What do you CARE about? Do you put enough CAREful thought in the words you say? The words you write?

I've found that the internet has mad it so easy to blurt out things. Why? I think it's because most of the time, you never have to worry about coming face to face with the general public. So who CARES if you say something that not really you.

The things you write may be easier because no one sees you, who you really are.

But, I have resigned myself to really CARE about the things I write. To be true to myself and write the things I believe in. I hope to awaken something fresh and new not only in my own heart, but in the hearts and minds of everyone who reads my books. my blog posts. My thoughts.

I'm tired of writing to fit in with the crowd, to gain more followers, to look "big."

I want to CARE about how and why I write and hope that i can make a difference in the life of those who read my words.

For Pixar #8, I'm choosing the word COMPLETE. Yikes, I preaching a choir here! Finish your story, even if it's not perfect. You've got to wrap it and get to a place where you can put a fork in me I'm done. Once it's COMPLETE, then you can go back and revise and edit.

There's nothing like finishing something, especially a book! The feeling is incomparable, really. I have so many started novels, and quite a few finished. But those inCOMPLETE ones stare at me like, "Hey you! I'm still laying here, needing the perfect ending."

So today, beautiful guys and dolls, I put out a plea, a call to action. CARE about what you write and COMPLETE the things you start.

Are you with me?

I have four fabulous friends who are also participating in the Pixar Challenge.  Don't forget to visit their blog and see what they have to say about #8:)

Kate
Regina
Alex
Mary

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A to Z Challenge Day #2 (Pixar #7)

Good morning you beautiful guys and dolls! As you can see, I am combining 2 challenges, the A to Z challenge and the Pixar blogging challenge. I hope you don't mind, but I have tried to combine them in a way so they just mesh together:)

Letter B is for BELIEVE

This could go in so many directions.

BELIEVE in yourself. You have talent. You have skill. BELIEVE in your abilities and techniques.
BELIEVE in what you do. Have some passion and desire and be confident that what you do is worth doing.
BELIEVE in your faith. Don't back down. Don't be embarrassed. Hold on to it.
BELIEVE in the end result of what you do. Why do you write? Teach? Paint? Sing? Whatever you do, you must BELIEVE that your final goal is worth the trouble, time, and tears you pour into what you are doing. There is an end. Why are you you pressing in that direction? BELIEVE.


Pixar Challenge day 7 is also about the end. The end of your story. Write your ending before the middle. In your story, think about the end result? What is you want your MC to learn, to discover, to make? Think bout that ending and BELIEVE in your MC enough to know they are going to make it to the end. They are going to overcome such a great obstacle, the ending of their story will be fabulous.

Writing the end first will also excite you as the writer, to create a great middle. Why? Because you BELIEVE in your story enough to have that great ending and to keep the fire lit from beginning to end. Fabulous beginnings are sometimes easy because you have an awesome idea to start with. Ending can be a bit tougher because you want to end with bang, but you also need it to be complete and satisfying. So, if you have an ending that is amazing, right from the start, then you have a goal to work for. something to BELIEVE in while writing the middle that sometimes slows or sags.

So today, my friends, I want you to take a marker and a few index cards and write the word BELIEVE. Tape the cards in various places where you will be reminded today, this week, this month, to BELIEVE.

Thanks for visiting! What is it you believe in today?

Please be sure to visit others in the A to Z Challenge. The link is in my top sidebar.

And PLEASE visit the other beautiful dolls participating in the Pixar Blog Challenge!

Kate
Mary
Alex
Regina

Monday, April 1, 2013

A to Z Challenge Day #1, (Pixar #6)

Hi everyone! I'm so glad you stopped by to visit Ink in the Book! And I am thrilled to be part of the

A to Z Blog Challenge! 

It's a huge, gigantic list of participants, so I have added the linky list to the right sidebar, over there --->>> for you to click that will bring you to the post. If I posted the linky every day, well I guess you can figure out why I'm only posting once...

Yes, this is my first year and I am so excited I remember seeing it around last year and thinking "What is this?" I read a ton of posts and and realized I had missed a great thing! I'm happy to be here, and I'm even happier to meet you!!

I'm a writer and a teacher, so my theme this month will be....learning the art of writing! Or something like that:) Actually, I've planned a series of blog post on a variety of ideas, inspirations and learning. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing these. 

For my letter A, I have chosen the word

AWAKEN

How do you inspire yourself? When you run into a brick wall, what is the best way to see light again? I don't recommend busting through it. That might hurt! But you can climb over it, or possibly dig under it. You can AWAKEN your creativity through ordinary surroundings.

New writers, as well as established authors, occasionally walk around in the dark, needing some creative light to spark their pen! That is not always easy. What can you do to motivate your thought process? How do you AWAKEN the inspiration already there, when the only thing that stops your learning process is a blank canvas you want to desperately to fill with beautiful colors?


For starters, take a look around you. What do you see?
Flowers?
Old books?
Cars?
People?
Billboards?
Your inspiration could be right in front of you~

Look for fascinating colors, intriguing art, peaceful lakes, or rustling streams. Your sight has the power of  innovation through seeds of beauty.
Or anger.
Or fear.
What scares you? Heights? Then take a look at tall buildings, or climb a mountain for views of height.

Visit museums and look at the objects and artifacts on display. One small arrangement of jewelry, statutes, utensils, or tools might AWAKEN your imagination enough to pull you over that wall.

And, while we are discussing the word AWAKEN, let's take a look at Pixar's Blog Challenge #6, getting your character into deeper circumstances, out of his comfort zone, and pushing him to AWAKEN those choices he needs to make.

As you plan your novel, or while you are revising, keep this thought in the forefront of your mind. A character with no conflict to work through may be a boring character. Why are you writing him into your story? Is it because you came up with an awesome name and wanted to write that name over and over because you liked the way it sounded, or the way it looked on paper? If so, well, my advice would be to start over. You must AWAKEN the conflict, the motivations, the desire to overcome dire circumstances.

A page tuning story is one that brings the MC to the brink of disaster right when you think things couldn't get any worse. The conflict doesn't have to be action. It can be emotions, passion, decisions, or any such thing. Yet, if you don't AWAKEN the character and his turmoil, you may loose the reader.

Thanks for visiting today. You know, I think you're all beautiful guys and dolls, right?

The A to Z Challenge Linky list