A Few New Toys

•March 13, 2009 • 5 Comments

Hallelujah the tax return came! And with that extra boost of cash, we managed to acquire a couple of greatly needed technology items.

 

toshiba-satellite-a305

 

First off, a new laptop. Have you any idea how hard it is to write when you are constantly having to give up the computer so your teenage son can do his homework? Gah, irritating! I had to keep reminding myself that his schoolwork was important. And let me tell you, I am LOVING my new laptop!

 

nintendo_wii

 

The second addition in our home is a Wii system complete with Wii Fit. Woo Hoo! What great fun. This item was necessary as a physical therapy tool for Leighanne…the doctors have been on me for a year to get her one…check mark…done and off the to-do list. Everyone is enjoying this piece of equipment.

 

32gb_ipod_touch

 

The third toy is just for me… I’ve been saving all of my gift money and finally had enough to purchase my very own mp3 player. The iPod Touch 32g…wow, am I ever ecstatic!


So hopefully now, I will have better balance in my life…writing, exercise, and entertainment!

 

I would love to hear from you…leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

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On The Chain Gang #14 — Book Marketing

•March 9, 2009 • 9 Comments

My LINK in the Blog Chain

THE BLOG CHAIN is comprised of a group of fiction writers from Query Tracker and Rally Storm. We thought it would be fun and insightful to acquire differing ideas and opinions on a particular writing topic.

So, we work through the chain posting one-by-one with the same general focus, and then, we repeat the process with a new topic for discussion. Christine Fonseca, has posted before me and Elana Johnson, will be posting after me. If you’d like to read the chain from the beginning, start at the Heather’s blog..

All Blog Chain members are listed in the sidebar to the right.
My previous Link in the Blog Chain was on the topic of Character Torture.

 

This Round’s Topic is:

 

What plans do YOU have to market your novel? How will you make sure the public finds your work?

 

(Pssst, gang… this would be an ideal time to show us your book trailer, if you have one)

 

images

 

Marketing Smart-keting!

 

 

Marketing. What a fun concept to dream about! My fellow Blog Chainers have had some wonderful ideas for promoting their books.

 

Of course, this blog is a beginning in my journey in marketing. Social networking via writing groups and conferences, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are all stepping stones in building interest in myself as an author and my novels. But what fantasies do I entertain when dreaming about hitting the big time and getting my novel published?

 

For starters, I love the idea of doing a book tour and signings. Interviews? Bring them on. Advanced copies for reviewers? A fabulous tool of promotion. But what can be done to connect my marketing to my novel and thereby, my future readership? Well since my completed novel, THE GATEKEEPERS’ CHARGE, has a culinary component, it would be nice to tap into that part of the book by having a special recipe to handout, as well as a delicious treat to serve.

 

And, just because Heather asked…and I’m always willing to share…here is a version of my Book Trailer. This one has different music to it. Let me now what you think?

 

 

I think one of the most important things you can do to help promote your book is to have fun doing it. If you are excited about your project don’t be afraid to show it. Share your exuberance, be personable, be creative, and enjoy the ride.

 

I would love to hear from you…leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

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On The Chain Gang #13 — Character Torture

•February 26, 2009 • 13 Comments

My LINK in the Blog Chain

THE BLOG CHAIN is comprised of a group of fiction writers from Query Tracker and Rally Storm. We thought it would be fun and insightful to acquire differing ideas and opinions on a particular writing topic.

So, we work through the chain posting one-by-one with the same general focus, and then, we repeat the process with a new topic for discussion. Christine Fonseca, has posted before me and Elana Johnson, will be posting after me. If you’d like to read the chain from the beginning, start at the Newly Agented, Leah Clifford’s blog..

All Blog Chain members are listed in the sidebar to the right.
My previous Link in the Blog Chain was on the topic of Brainstorming: Procrastinating Effectively!.

 

This Round’s Topic is:

 

Show me your dark side…What do you do to amp up the conflict? What pins do you stick in the little voodoo dolls? How do you torture your characters???

 

tormented7

 

Torment Your Characters!

 

 

Who could possible connect with a Goody-Two-Shoes, someone who is perfect and has no troubles? Every reader, in every genre, in every age group, wants to feel an attachment to the characters of the story they are reading. The best and most effective way of accomplishing this is to make the reader relate to your character by giving your character depth. And just how do you do it?

 

A writer must pull out every weapon in their arsenal and go for broke…be merciless! Give your characters flaws, quirks, heartache, and troubles. Breathe life into them. Make them multi-faceted, let the reader peel away the characters’ layers bit by bit.

 

tormentedshill

 

Torture and torment your characters…ripping them away from loved ones, making them suffer embarrassing moments, injuries – from minor to catastrophic, killing characters, placing obstacles in their way, putting them in peril. Heartache, pain (physical and mental), struggles, dilemmas…all of these can and should be used in some form to strengthen your characters and give them depth. Be evil, be manipulative. Make your characters work hard to get the prize. Your story will be the better for it and your readers will be begging for more.

 

tormented-juli-reding

 

I would love to hear from you…leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

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On The Chain Gang #12 — Brainstorming

•February 12, 2009 • 12 Comments

My LINK in the Blog Chain

THE BLOG CHAIN is comprised of a group of fiction writers from Query Tracker and Rally Storm. We thought it would be fun and insightful to acquire differing ideas and opinions on a particular writing topic.

So, we work through the chain posting one-by-one with the same general focus, and then, we repeat the process with a new topic for discussion. We have a couple of new authors in the Blog Chain, and I am lucky enough to follow one who just posted her fabulous debut link in the chain, Christine Fonseca, be sure to check it out! My friend, Elana, will be posting tomorrow. And, if you’d like to read the chain from the beginning, start at Terri’s blog.. I would also like to welcome the additional new member of our chain, Kat Harris who’s already forged her first link!

All Blog Chain members are listed in the sidebar to the right.
My previous Link in the Blog Chain was on the topic of The Writer’s Elixir.

 

This Round’s Topic is:

 

Do you brainstorm with a friend when you are plotting, or do you prefer to be the only one who knows what your characters are going to do?

 

brainstorming

 

Brainstorming: Procrastinating Effectively!

 

 

I am a loner… well, that is if you don’t count all of the characters in my head. When story ideas are jumbling and jiving, sometimes it is all I can do to keep up with them and the characters sharing their perspectives. I can’t even imagine including any additional input during those times. These thoughts and characters are an unruly bunch, invading every aspect of my life. I can never know when something might strike and ignite a spark that sets my brain on fire.

I like to carry around Mead notebooks to jot down ideas, sketch scenes, grasp bits of dialogue, or whatever else might tickle my fancy. But even these neanderthal notes haven’t got a chance at being shared with anyone. No, ideas are strictly for those involved in the process…my characters and me as the author.

Sometimes I wonder if my so called brainstorming is just a way of wasting time. But I have come to the conclusion that it is not. Story ideas need time to cultivate and mature, so to me, brainstorming is just a way to procrastinate effectively.

Once I have a first draft completed, then I am more than willing (eager actually), to acquire feedback on my work. That is where I find my writing buddies to be a godsend. Reading, critiquing and editing…thanks for all of your help!

 

I would love to hear from you…leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

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On The Chain Gang #11 — The Writer’s Elixir

•January 26, 2009 • 16 Comments

My LINK in the Blog Chain

THE BLOG CHAIN is comprised of a group of fiction writers from Query Tracker and Rally Storm. We thought it would be fun and insightful to acquire differing ideas and opinions on a particular writing topic.

So, we work through the chain posting one-by-one with the same general focus, and then, we repeat the process with a new topic for discussion. I am the last to post for this round of the Blog Chain. My friend, Elana, began this link and will wrap it up in within the next day or so. So, if you’d like to read the chain from the beginning, go there. The previous post in the chain can be found at Sandra’s blog. And for some exciting news, our little Chain Gang will be growing as of next month to included a couple fabulous writers…be sure to check in and find out who! 🙂

All Blog Chain members are listed in the sidebar to the right.
My previous Link in the Blog Chain was on the topic of Writing In 2009.

 

This Round’s Topic is:

 

When you’re in a pool of writing funk, how do you get out?
And Elana also wants… A favorite funny and/or thing that makes you happy.

 

elixir2elixir

 

The Writer’s Elixir

 

 

Ah, that is the question, isn’t it? One for which every writer wishes s/he had an absolute 100% guaranteed cure all. But alas, there is no long secreted ancient elixir or magic genie complete with three wishes. So our insides twist with turmoil looking for the answer.

For me it seems different projects and different times seem to change what works best for me. Lately, I’ve been in hibernation mode (my daughter called it lock-down). Just closed myself in the room and didn’t venture out or let anyone inside much. It’s worked. I’ve gotten some great story ideas for my new WIP. It’s really starting to take a shape.

Other things I find myself doing is just getting away from the everyday stress of life. I’m lucky to live at the beach in Orange County, CA — what more perfect place could be found to drink in the beauty of our glorious planet. Sitting on the bluffs overlooking the ocean, the breeze ruffling in my hair,waves crashing, the salty smell, heavenly sunrises and sunsets, gulls squawking and flying lazy circles in the sky…I’m set!

I find that if I either just dig in and force something to the page or step completely away, that is when something will strike me and get me started down the right path again.

 

And as far as something fun to do…I love searching the web for pictures and fun facts that may relate to my stories, creating Book Trailers, BLOGGING, hanging with my writerly friends, and chatting with old and new friends on facebook. Vampire Wars has definitely found a spot in my routine…a bit of blood lust…may find its way into a book one day. 🙂

 

Don’t forget to leave a COMMENT. hmmm

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Getting The Hook…

•January 18, 2009 • 6 Comments

globalwarmingcactus

(This post has nothing to do with Globalwarming, but the picture fit my purpose.)

 

Why are QUERIES so darned hard to write?

 

Getting a literary agent to notice your query letter can be a prickly proposition.

 

Trying to summarize a story that is so full of life into a few minuscule sentences seems near impossible. You have spent months, maybe years, writing and polishing your novel. You know more about the characters, the plots, and the story-world than ever made their way into the prose. So how do you step back an take an objective look at your novel in order to craft those few words to explain it all? It almost makes your novel sound trivial — to think the hours slaved away can be summed up in one or two sentences.

 

But you sit down to pound out the query letter, and your characters, plots, and subplots jump to the forefront of your brain and demand a moment in the spotlight. “Don’t forget to mention me,” and “My plot line makes the whole book better,” along with a multitude of other ideas take over and pretty soon you are writing a book report instead of a query letter.

Well, my writer friend, Michelle McLean, wrote a fabulous post a few days ago… How To Write A Hook Line Or Logline. This is a MUST read! I found it so inspiring and motivating. She really sparked my think-concepts-not-details mind set.

After reading Michelle’s post, I stumbled across Colleen Lindsay’s Query in 140 Characters or Less contest (see this post). It seemed to scream at me that I needed to revamp my query letter. And believe me, trying to get the hook line into 140 characters was challenging, but I thought it would be a terrific exercise in writing hook lines. I came up with two that I thought weren’t too bad…

 

Abandoned in the mortal world, Stormy Reed teams with the magical Griffins to discover a destiny of revenge against the Nefarious Nobleman.

 

And the one I entered…

 

When Stormy Reed decides he’s crazy, the Griffins reveal his destiny of revenge and turn his mortal life into a magical and dangerous adventure.

 

Of course I had to replace the word “and” with ampersands twice to meet the 140 character limit. 🙂

Michelle’s wonderful reminder lesson on hook lines was just the kick I needed to get me excited about rewriting my query letter…again. I hope you will find it motivating as well.

 

So get practicing those hook lines,

and Happy query writing!

 

What do you think?
Leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

 

 

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The Write Quotations #4

•January 16, 2009 • 4 Comments

 

fantasy_blue

Fantasy in Blue by Josephine Wall

 

Vita Sackville-West

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.

 

 

Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.

 

 

E.L. Doctorow

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.

 

 

Elmore Leonard

I try to leave out the parts that people skip.

 

 

Toni Morrison

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

 

 

Logan Pearsall Smith, “All Trivia,” Afterthoughts, 1931

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.

 

 

Sharon O’Brien

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.

 

 

William Wordsworth

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

 

 

Do you have any favorite quotations?
Leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

 

 

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