Wednesday, November 7, 2012


What? Nope, that's not a misprint. It's NANOWRIMO again!!!

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and I look forward to it every November. The goal is to write, write and write some more and hopefully at the end of the month you end up with 30,000 words and a novel or at least the beginning to a novel.

There's something magical about writing, taking the seeds of a story and watching them grow and evolve on the page. Even though writing can be a very lonely, solitary endeavor. And during Nanowrimo, I know I'm not alone, which is why I think I love it so much. Knowing there are other writings in that very moment you are writing, working on their novels, struggling with wording, trembling with excitement as their story unfolds, grabbing at their hair in frustration, all that encourages me to keep going.

So, for this month I will be working late into the night (which isn't that uncommon in reality)but my goal will be to get 40,000 words done on my new novel Tlaloc while also querying agents and editors about Honorable Disgrace, which is 95,000 words. I am so excited about HD and can't wait to find it it's home.

Good luck fellow writers, try not the let the candle burn at both ends too much and enjoy! I plan to! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012


Wow! Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly was fantastique! The writing was superb and you could tell the author had put a lot of thought, research and time into it. A YA Historical Romance, Revoltuion is set in current day New York, it opens with anger and pain and you get a feel for who Andi is right away. Something tragic has happened to her and as the story unfolds you discover why it is she wants to take her life, but you also see the reasons she hasn't. And she's saved by the story of a girl who lived over a hundred years ago in Paris during the French Revolutionary War. Jennifer ties the two worlds together with so many threads. Its a definite must read.

Rated with 4+ stars on Goodreads. To see what others have to say about this book and others visit

Friday, October 12, 2012

How Does This Feel?

For any writer whose agonized over every action, every thought, every word in their manuscript, the frustration of finding these words scrawled on it, "How Does This Feel?" or "How did he feel," or "What did this feel like?" could make anyone want to rend your clothing (okay not literally) I know its an editor's or agent's way to get us to think, to show not tell, but you think to yourself I thought I did.

Recently I was introduced to a wonderful, amazing, fantastic, marvelous, simplistic (too much?) book. I love synonyms and antonyms and instantly fell in love with The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman

In their brief intro, (which I loved for its brevity becuase I wanted to get straight to the meat of the book) they go over the importance of balance, stressing not to rely too heavily on anyone method in your writing, less is more. Emotion, what a wondorous, commanding, sometimes awful sensation. But it is most powerful when both verbal and nonverbal communication is employed. And always consider your setting to create organic and unique emotional responses.

Becca and Angela caution to be wary of these things:

* Backstory = empathy - but don't include too much backstory, it could slow down the
action if not done right.
* Dialogue and thoughts - This as another great way to convey the way a character is
* Melodrama - To avoid melodrama recognize emotions run along a contiuum of mild to
extreme and write accordingly
* Cliches - We all know them, find a different way to say "His grin stretched from
ear to ear" or "A single tear pooled in the corner of her eye and then
coursed down her cheek." They've been over used.
* Telling - And of course we've all heard, SHOW DON'T TELL. Which can be so very,
very hard sometimes.

With 75 different emotional descriptions, the authors do a good job of helping us out so we don't have to rely on over used phrases, reactions, and scenes. I highly recommend checking this book out. In my humble opinion, it will only help your writing improve. I know mine has.

Check out the Authors' blog here for more great writing tips or use the link on the side.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion

So, I've decided to make Thursday my book review day. Maybe someday, I will also put in author interviews and reviews of their books, but for now, I'll keep it simple and just summarize books I've read.

Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion is a sequel to Brandon Mull's Beyonders: A World Without Heroes, which coincidentally snagged me by the simple paragraph on the dust jacket:

By reading these words you have nominated yourself to recover the key word. Move swiftly. The knowledge you now possess marks you for prompt execution. The first syllable is "A."

Jason, a beyonder from our world is accidentally swallowed by a hippopotamus of all things and sent to an alternate reality, Lyrian, where he's thrust into the role of hero, meeting all sorts of well-crafted characters, one of whom is a beyonder like him as well.

In Seeds of Rebellion, Jason frantically tries to find a way back to his friends, to warn them the word is a fraud and to try to help Rachel return home. Returning the same way Jason came, he's shadowed by a torivor, plagued by nightmares, almost eaten by giants, narrowly escapes from a horde of zombies, and captured by Maldor's conscriptors again. And that's the easy part. At the conclusion Jason's new quest is to find the Seer Darian the Pyromancer without the aid of his most loyal friends.

Brandon is the author of two other series, Fablehaven and the Candy Shop Wars. He is an amazing wordsmith, conjuring a world that takes life on the page, transporting me into it. Through his humor and word magic and peril fraught adventure, I could hardly put it down.

To see a full list of Brandon's work visit or find him on facebook.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Writing Conferences - A Must for Any Serious Writer

This past weekend I attended the annual Montana SCBWI Fall Retreat at the 320 Ranch just past Big Sky. It was a sorely needed, much looked forward to experience.

As always, Michele Corriel, did an amazing job of putting together the event along with help from several others, some of which were Nora Martin and Sharon Glick. Presenters at the conference were Ruta Rimas, Abigail Samoun, Kent Davis and Emma D. Dryden through Skype.

Ruta is an Associate Editor for Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K McElderry Books, both imprints of Simon & Schuster and gave an amazing breakdown of what makes a book great, giving many examples from Antionette Portis's book "It's Not a Box" to Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief". On top of that I had a great time getting to know her and showing her a bit of Montana on a hike we shared with Abigail and Michele. With less than 20 participants at the conference, one on one time with the editors and agents was easily found.

Abigail Samouns, a new mother who managed to leave her adorable baby boy of only 3 months to come join us, is an agent out of California. She's the founder of Red Fox Literary. Her workshop focused on LESSONS FROM THE MASTERS OF PLOT, which were:
*Lesson 1 - Expectation = Tension
Tie a thread around the reader's finger - pull them along through
your story.
*Lesson 2 - Using familiar architecture to frame your story
Organic structures ie, a single day, spring, a school year.
*Lesson 3 - Three up, three down (Rule of Three)
*Lesson 4 - Hero's worst enemy is YOU! (the author)
Take your mc and make them suffer. Don't be too nice or they won't
grow and develop.
*Lesson 5 - Keep 'em waiting.
Suspense is a great thing, use it.

We also had a SKYPE session with Emma Dryden, founder of Drydenbks. The SKYPE sessions was something new, and although hard at times to hear her, I felt the import of her message. For any writers out there confused about whether or not you should have a web presence, you should. Regardless of your published status. Things I took away from her were, 1)The story matters most, 2)It's never too early to get a presence online, 3)it's important to 'brand' yourself. She literally bombarded us with information, but I felt these were the three most important to me at this time.

Kent Davis, one of our own local Montana SCBWI members, entertained and embarrassed us (not really, it was a lot of fun) with his workshop on Set Them Free: Letting the Characters Do the Work for You. Bringing a lot of his past experiences as an actor, writer, teacher and imrpov comedian he got us up and going, thinking outside of the box so to speak. (It's not a box)

Thank you Michele for everything you do to make these conferences happen and all of you out there need to plan to join us next year. Or find a conference in your area.

Links of interest (copy and paste into browser):
SCBWI Montana Website
Michele Corriel, Author
Sharon Glick, Author/Illustrator
Abigail Samouns, Literary Agent
Emma D. Dryden,
320 Guest Ranch,

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Goal

I am going to try to set a goal. We'll see how long I can stick to it. Maybe through your help, I will be more accountable.

I have posted to the side my progress with my books. I hope to have "Honorable Disgrace" 100% typed by the end of this month. It really is a feasible goal and I know I can do it. But the truth of the matter is I think I have a certain fear of completing my book(s) because then at that point it will be time to send them in and I wonder if I drag my feet because I fear rejection.

I know rejection is a ginormous part of the writing process, but try as I might I really worry about whether or not I really am good enough to be a writer. Well, I am a writer because I do write, but am I good enough to be a publishable writer?

During my blog surfing, I stumbled over a cute little site, "My Inner Fairy," and found just what I needed to help get over my self-pity party.

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing
guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity
is self-doubt." ~Sylvia Plath

Thank you "Inner Fairy" and I will endeavor to believe in myself. Until then I'll just be happy writing!

(You can visit "My Inner Fairy" here


What is consistency?

Do you have it?

I asked myself these questions and my answer is 'NO" I don't have consistency, unless my consistency is chaos. I am consistent with that. I am so inconsistent I want to scream at times.

Now ask yourself, how do you get consistency?

Have you figured it out?

Can you tell me please!!??