Monday, February 27, 2012

Little Scribbles

I like to play search and destroy when editing. I write a list of the not-so-good words dominating my vocabulary, jot down the page number they show up in my manuscript, and reduce them to a reasonable number of appearances. It's sort of a game to me, making the process slightly more fun. But by about the fifteenth round and the thirtieth use of looked, I start to get a bit discouraged.

So, I'm working my way through these subtle demons, turn over the piece of notebook paper I've written my list on and find SOOBEDOO! written across the back in huge letters. I'm sure this is my daughter writing her admiration for Scooby, and how could she resist with a full-sized piece of paper and many colors of ink to choose from?

She does this all the time. I have my million and twelve sticky notes organized neatly in rows of what I need to do and what is coming up in my writing world where she likes to scrawl her name, draw hearts, and scribble right over my neatly categorized agenda.

When she comes up to talk to me, it's as if the pen is in her hand and moving over my organization without her consciously aware of the havoc she's wreaking, leaving a mass of illegible to do's in her wake. It's a bit maddening knowing I now have to guess as to what I wrote beneath her layers of ink trying to decipher the meaning and blog location.

But how can I get upset when SOOBEDOO! is there to remind me of my sweet darling girl and her uncanny ability to make me smile even though she frustrates me to no end?

She's a precious one!

Out of her reach, I have stuck three sticky notes to the top of my laptop screen. One is from my doodling daughter saying I LoVe You Mommy! written from top to bottom. One is from my son saying I Love my MOM! with eye balls drawn into the o's. And the other from my husband saying h, I love you, HR as if I'd forget who he was. The things we need to stay sane :)

I think I'll have to hang SOOBEDOO! behind my screen to remind myself to smile when I figure out I've used smile 36 times and just 82 times and that 497 times and eyes 111,111 times...

Do you have unnecessary words that repeatedly sneak into your writing? 
What tricks do you use to keep you sane through the editing process?

Friday, February 24, 2012

She shoots, she scores!

I scored a goal last night! Picture that at about 10:30 pm under the lights. Yep, that's what my shot looked like. It was so pretty! I did a tiny jump of victory--I can't help myself, I know it's not super sportsman like, but it happens so rarely I get a bit besides myself with shock and giddiness. 

I've played soccer since I was a wee-one and I can count the number of goals I've scored on my fingers and toes. My soccer skills sound astounding right? Don't let my goal tally fool you. I'm a defender, my job is not to score, but to keep others from scoring. And I LOVE IT! Especially when playing coed. There's nothing like flat-out stopping a dude who thinks he's gonna juke me. It's awesome! 

My friend and teammate likes to call me the underestimated one cause I'm not big. My soccer pants were purchased in the boys' section at Target and I ordered my shoes from the kids' catalog. So when a guy sees me sprinting toward him, his thoughts are not of intimidation. And I'm not the least bit afraid that this guy has 75+ pounds on me and plans on running me over or shooting the ball at my head. I get more calls against me than for me. 

So although my goal felt very good, okay sooooooooooooo very good, stealing the ball at my end of the field from the feet of a cocky male who doesn't even have me on their radar is way better :)

The real point of this blog post is to remind people they have a few hours to attempt the Manuscripts to Movies trivia challenge at Cinema Challenge Cavalcade. Answers and point totals will be posted at midnight and then Joshua's trivia challenge begins. He has a special tribute to the Oscars for the upcoming week. Please won't you come and play?

Cinema Challenge Cavalcade

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kissing Winners

Wow! Steamy, romantic, sweet, hot, on fire Valentine's day! 
Thanks everyone for sharing your scenes with us and thank you Cassie for co-hosting with me!

My awards (I could have given one to every entry, they were fantastic!):

The Tastiest Kiss Award--#3 Emily and #7 Roland
The Where is My Kleenex Award-- #5 Kelley, #31 Sara, and #41 Tracy
The Glad I'm Human Award-- #6 Jenny and #79 Rachel
The Hottest Kiss Award-- #10 Jade
The Funniest Kiss Award-- # 60 Lynn
The Happy Valentine's Day Kiss Award-- #54 Morgan
The Kick-Ass Kiss Award-- #44 Lori
The Wipe the Steam off the Windows Award-- #9 Trisha and #71 Lynn(e)
The Wish I Had That Affect Award-- #53 Crystal
 The Sacrificial Kiss Award-- # 38 Amber --she wins my 14 page edit :)

Cassie's awards:

The 'Oh my gosh, that was super sweet!' Award: #3 Emily
The 'Holy crap, need a cold shower!' Award: #7 Roland
The 'I'm totally okay if I break the bed that way!' Award: #10 Jade
The 'I need some air after that one!' Award: #42 Lisa 
The 'I'm too immature to read this without giggling!' Award: #65 Kiru
The 'That was the funniest kiss ever!' Award: #24 David
The 'I only wish my spouse were home!' Award: #57 Kelley
The 'You big tease! The master of the fade-out!' Award: #27 Joshua
The 'AWWWWWWW!' Award: #49 Jack
The 'Holy awesome make-out!' Award: #5 Kelley
The 'Please put me in your manuscript!' Award: #6 Jenny
The 'That was the most well-written awful kiss in the world' Award: #60 Lynn
The Winner of the 14 page edit from me, and the title of 'That was so hot, I think I fogged up my computer screen' Award: #11 Cortney

This was a lot of fun! I enjoyed reading every kiss! 
And thank you writers, I've learned so much from reading your words! 
The next time I go to write a kissing scene, I'll be a lot better at it :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Toilet Swirlies

We've all had those moments where flushing our writing down the toilet sounds like the smartest thing to do. How many times can we read the same scene, the same chapter ending, the same line of dialogue before we feel like giving our words the swirlie they deserve? 

There are many days when I think my writing is crap. I feel like no matter how much editing, tweaking, and re-writing I do, I need to accept that it stinks and send it floating to the septic tank.

On second thought, maybe I need a toilet this big...

This is usually the point where I start whining to my critique partners. And because they are the most wonderful people in the world, they reassure me that my writing is not sewage and promise to help wipe away the waste.

Hopefully you have a few critique partners like mine--fellow writers that make your writing sparkle. If not, GET THEM NOW! Network, hook-up with wordsmiths like yourself, get some feedback from people who are riding the same swirl. We need each other!

And while they're spinning their magic around your prose, it's time to get your toilet brush out and start scrubbing too.

You can do it!

Read a story written by an author whose writing style inspires you or peruse your favorite book on the craft of writing. Search the net for editing check lists and agent how-to's. Check out other blogs and read about their stories of rejection, getting "The Call", and upcoming publishing dates.


So if your fifty-eighth query rejection just hit your inbox and when you opened it, this is what you saw

That's self doubt talking. There is no image in your email. The agent does not want to flush you and your writing down the crapper.

Keep these wise words in mind:

"You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist." Isaac Asimov

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail". Ralph Waldo Emerson

And remember to have a really strong scrub brush :)

Have you ever wanted to give your writing a toilet swirlie?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Manuscripts to Movies

Cinema Challenge Cavalcade

Lord of the Rings
Alice in Wonderland
Romancing the Stone
The Color Purple
Die Hard
The Chronicles of Narnia
Harry Potter
Get Shorty
Planet of the Apes
The Princess Bride
Schindler's List
The Shawshank Redemption

All of these were once WiPs that evolved into manuscripts and then into novels and into film. Some movies do their novel version justice. Some, not so much. Do you have a favorite  novel-turned-movie? Would you like to see your WiP on the big screen?

Head over to Cinema Challenge Cavalcade to test your movie trivia know-how on this week's challenge: MANUSCRIPTS TO MOVIES

And if you feel like critiquing my first page, scroll down and give it a go :) THANK YOU!

Friday, February 17, 2012

First Page Critique

Jamie Ayers is hosting a First Page Critique contest where you post your first page on your blog and then hop around to the other entrants to read and comment on their first page. Five people will receive a critique from author Heather Burch who has a debut book called Halflings. You can read Heather's interview and more information about the contest on Jamie's blog here . You have until Wednesday to email Jamie and post your first page for critiquing.

Here is my first page of MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING

Going to the river was forbidden. I knew this, yet it didn’t keep me from stepping off the gravel path or walking into the field.
My heart banged against my ribs. The space in my lungs folded in on itself. I sucked in a shallow breath, enough to nearly taste the crisp grass beneath my feet.
Stop your feet, Eri.
The early moonlight sparkled off the few remaining patches of snow, even it knew better than to dwell there.
A gong sang out across the village, ringing through my insides. The warning bell.
Half way between the nearest cluster of cabins and the safety border, I glanced over my shoulder to find the dark smudges of people fleeing for refuge, their shouts dying across the distance growing between us. I should have turned back. But the charcoal sky and inky river invited me forward.
An overwhelming need tumbled and collided like the rapids crashing against rock. Conflicting thoughts swirled through my head and I reached up to steady myself, squeezing my eyes shut against the confusion. I pressed my hands over my ears, begging the pounding inside to leave me alone.  “Please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop—”
A current of adrenaline flooded my core. The blood tsunami in my veins propelled my legs faster, rushing through the forbidden, content to ruin me. My brain searched for one sane thought, something to stop my muscles from carrying me out there.
Suicide. This is suicide.
Something broke through the tree line. Blurry with speed, eerily dark within the dusk, features impossible to decipher.
A blanket of anger draped over my world, muffling sound, wrapping me in rage. 

What did you think? Any feedback would be awesome, thank you!!!

Tag, I'm It!

Okay, I've been tagged three times so I have 33 fantabulous questions that I get to answer :)  Thanks Lisa, Ninja Girl Reads, and A.E. Martin for passing this fun game on to me :) Then I get to make up 11 questions and tag other writers out there, you could be next!  

Lisa's questions:
1.  What is the first line of your current WIP?
Going to the river was forbidden.
2.  What is the most overrated "classic" that you ever read?
Great Expectations--read that freshman year in high school and I still hate it.
3. What is your guilty pleasure?
4.  If you could win any literary prize, what would it be?
A published novel (does that count?)
5.  What historical figure from any time period would you most like to meet and hang out with?
I hate history, so right now my mind is flashing images from Bill & Ted's Excellent adventure, ummm Billy the Kid?
6.  Most consecutive hours without sleep because you were in a writing frenzy?
That doesn't happen, unless you count time I spend trying to fall sleep while my head ceaselessly spins story lines, and that is every night for at least an hour after the lights go out.
7.  What are your three favorite movies?
Impossible question, I love movies! I'm gonna stick with titles that start with the letter D and go with Die Hard, Dirty Dancing, and Defiance.
8.  Name one fictional character whose ass you'd love to kick.
Oh, I'm gonna get in trouble for saying this, but Bella Swan. I couldn't stand when she was so wishy-washy and Kristen Stewart's monotonous portrayal of her really deserves a smack down.That being said, I loved the Twilight saga and am thankful for reading it because it opened up my reading world to YA.
9.  Would you rather have one book published that becomes a classic or have multiple books published that sell well but eventually go "out of print"?
Multiple books that sell, I'm writing what I hope is a series :)
10.  What was the weirdest moment of writing inspiration you've ever had?
The dream that came after sushi and Fast & Furious--a girl, a beast, and a Protector--spurred my WiP.
11.  If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
You're So Cool by Hans Zimmer (from the movie True Romance)

Ninja Girl's questions:
1. What's your favorite color?
2. What's your favorite name?
Cort and Quynn
3. Cat or Dog?
Cat if I had to choose (they aren't as smelly), but really I'm both :)
4. If you could be anything, do anything, what would you be/do?
A traveller, I'd like to see the world
5. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Flying-it'd save a lot of time and money
6. What was your first blog post about?
Why I started my blog, the origin of my ms
7. Favorite song lyrics?
Just Breathe lyrics by Pearl Jam
8. Favorite line from a book/poem and why?
Going to the river was forbidden. This is the first line of my ms and someday it will be a book (I hope) :)
9. If your life had a soundtrack, what would be the title tracks?
You're So Cool by Hans Zimmer (me)
Stand By Me by Ben E King (my husband)
Delilah by Plain White T's (my son)
Halo by Beyonce (my daughter)
10. What's your latest obsession?
Friday Night Lights on Netflix
11. If you could recommend any book/series, what would it be and why?
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, incredible writing with a poetic intensity 

AE Martin's questions:
1. What is your biggest fear?
snakes and never getting published
2. What would you wish for if you had three wishes?
An agent, a publishing deal, and my own book in my hands (wow, I'm starting to sound obsessed)
3. What's your favorite childhood novel?
Half Magic by Edward Eager
4. What's your earliest memory?
Either the time when a slug fell out of a tree and plopped on my shoulder, or holding a dead mouse up in front of the window for my mom to see, or the time a mole ran up my pant leg. I think these all happened around when I was 3-4 years old and had lots of traumatic grossness!
5. Would you rather be the hero or the villain?
Hero for sure, I don't like bad people
6. Vampire, Witch, Werewolf, Mermaid--which would you be?
Witch, they seem to blend in better with the rest of the world while holding secret powers
7. What's your favorite song?
Right now, One and Only by Adele
8. Would you rather go back 50 years to the past or 50 years into the future?
The future for sure!
9. If someone could tell you how you were going to die would you want to know?
I would want to know if it was something like by a falling tree or poisonous snake bite so I could avoid those things :)
10. Are you more spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
I like to plan, there are three calendars in front of me and a whole slew of sticky notes
11. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Since I'm a mommy, I'm going with the chicken.

I asked a few fellow writers if they had been tagged yet, a couple had already been tagged a few times, so I'm not going to pass this on to specific individuals. Instead, consider yourself tagged and answer any of the following questions or any of the above questions in the comments! I'd love to get to know these silly tidbits about you!

1. What do you think is the hardest part of writing?
2. What is the easiest part of writing?
3. Sun or snow?
4. What is your favorite movie quote?
5. What are the names of three characters in your WiP?
6. Salt or sugar?
7. What is the title of your WiP?
8. How are you like your main character in your WiP?
9. Dialogue or action scenes?
10. How many WiPs have you started?
11. Do you have a favorite joke? Please share :)

If you love movies as much as I do, don't forget to hop over to Cinema Challenge Cavalcade , you still have a few hours to test your knowledge on A Little Night Music  and tomorrow a new challenge will begin-- Manuscripts to Movies :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Yay!  It's finally here!

Happy Valentine's day! Here's a steamy kiss for ya ;)

            “What?” I asked.
            “You’re cute.” The corner of his mouth curved up in a half smile crinkling his eyes at the edges.
            “Cute? What am I, twelve?” I crossed my arms over my chest. “Cute. That’s not a very tough word for a Protector.”
            “You don’t like cute, huh? Well, how about pretty?” His voice lowered and he took a step in my direction.
            “Nope,” I said turning toward the darkness.
            “No? Hmm, do you like lovely better?” Voice deeper, body closing the distance.
            I shook my head and tried to ignore the wings in my chest.
            “How about beautiful? Is that better?” Another octave lower. Another step closer.
            I shrugged my shoulders.
            “Gorgeous?” His voice a husky whisper behind me.
            No response.
            His feet shuffled and he turned my body to face him, taking my hands in his. “What would you say if I said you are so stunning, I have to catch my breath every time I see you?”
            My body flushed fire. I dropped my gaze to the floor draping my hair over the flames lighting my cheeks.
            He put one hand gently under my chin, lifting my head until I looked into his eyes. The emotions swimming there promised to drown me.
            “You take my breath away, Eri.”
            The heat reached my lips before his brushed mine. Soft, together, heaven. Strong arms encircled my waist and pulled me into his heart. Lips opened. Desire flowed. My head swam as Grayson’s mouth guided me down the river of intensity. I no longer needed air, only him.
            Halfway to beyond, he broke our connection and backed away.
            Eyes closed, mouth open, hands out, I was barely able to draw breathe, my body ablaze from our kiss.
            “Sorry,” he said from the opposite side of the watchtower. 

There's still time to share one of your favorite kissing scenes from a book you've read, from your own WiP, make one up, or write about one of your own memorable kisses. Then hop around to feel how sweet, romantic, or downright steamy other characters are getting smooched!

Post your kiss story TODAY (February 14th) and add the Is it Getting HOT in Here? blog hop picture to the top.
2 lucky kiss stories will receive a 14 page edit from both Cassie Mae and me :) 
Don't forget to heat up your Valentine's day with all the other kisses!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Thanks D L HammondKatie MillsAlex J Cavanaugh, and Matthew MacNish for hosting this blogfest! Hop over and check out all the other writer origins :)

I am a wielder of words, a teller of tales, a deliverer of dialogue, and a painter of pictures. Be careful, for I will monopolize your mind with letters and punctuation, taking over your thoughts with images and emotions. That is my super power. You have been warned.

Memories of Writing

Sixth grade--Mr. Smiley (yep, that's really his name) our principal, shakes my hand and gives me a certificate for outstanding writing. My story was about a cat (big surprise) and it was good enough to get me up on the stage for the monthly writing award. 

Junior year High School--Mr. Kelley calls me back to his desk in Advanced Writing Composition, showing me my paper. A large red B looms at the top. My pulse zooms and my heart's pissed. I deserve better than a B. He tells me he will be grading me harder than the rest of the class because I'm capable of writing better than what is expected. His back-handed compliment did the trick. I tried harder. But now I realize he probably pulled everyone back to his desk throughout the semester, feeding them the same line. Touche Mr. Kelley, touche!

Freshman year UW--My Creative Writing TA (for those of you who didn't go to a giant school, you have a lecture once or twice a week from a professor and a smaller-group session headed by a TA two or three days a week with whom you learn more from than the actual professor) tells me almost the same thing as my high school English teacher. I need to push myself and spend more than fifteen minutes writing to the weekly prompts, then I can 'earn' the 4.0 I'm getting.

2004--I have been a stay-at-home mom for sixth months now. My days full of smiles, dirty diapers, the rocking chair, giggles, HGTV, board books, bottles, cooes, wet wipes,  kisses (millions of kisses), excessive cleaning, burping, sleeping, you get the picture. My brain was starving for a higher level of stimulation. As soon as my husband walks through the door every evening, I hand him darling baby boy and plug into my computer for hours of MS Word therapy. What was born from that much needed neural activity now resides in a box in my attic. 

2009--With the shelving of my first experience of 'really' writing, I don't expect to ever sit down and attempt it again. But after my husband and I go out to sushi with the Chambers and see Fast and Furious, a vivid dream sends me back to the computer for another round. Long-time friends, raw fish, and Paul Walker are the origin of my current WiP--My Protector.                                                                                     
     +   = 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cinema Challenge Cavalcade

Cinema Challenge Cavalcade

Another movie trivia challenge is singing out now! 

Strum over and play  A Little Night Music :)

Last week's movie trivia answers are up and player ranks are posted. How well did you do? Can you beat your score this week?

Friday, February 10, 2012

80's crush take two

Thanks (again) Nicki, Suze, M Pax for the fun blogfest!

Since I'm a spaz and accidentally posted this back in January, you can check out my 80's crushes here. This time, I'm opting to show some THEN and NOW heartthrobs. Enjoy :)

1980  Richard Gere and American Gigolo

1981  Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones

1982 Sean Penn and Fast Times at Ridgemont High

1983 Matt Dillon and The Outsiders

1984  Kevin Bacon and Footloose

  Paul Walker and Highway to Heaven

1986  Val Kilmer and Top Gun

1987  Johnny Depp and 21 Jump Street

1988  Christian Slater and Heathers

1989  Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Saved by the Bell

Leo just missed the 80's, his episodes of Growing Pains aired in 1990

Yeah, the 80's were full of hunks...

Were any of these heartthrobs your 80's crush?
I think one of the men above is the most gorgeous man on the planet, can you guess which one he is?

Two awesome blogfests in one day! Scroll down or click here to read my Emotion Flash Fiction for the I'm Hearing Voices blogfest.

I'm Hearing Voices Character Blogfest: Emotion Flash Fiction

Cassie at Reading Writing and Lovin' it and Angie over at Live to write…edit when necessary. are hosting this awesome blogfest, check 'em out :)

Today: Emotion Flash Fiction: Emotion is the engine of the story. Pick an emotion and in a flash fiction piece of 250 words MAKE us feel it! 


Space in my lungs folding, folding, folding with every breath. My heart pounds against its cage of ribs, trying to break free. Thoughts tornado through my head and I reach up to steady myself, squeezing my eyes shut against the confusion inside. I suck in a shallow breath, almost tasting the crisp grass beneath my feet. My feet are moving.  

Why are my feet moving?

My eyes search for a sign telling me to stop. But the charcoal sky and inky river only invite me forward. Emotions tumble and collide like the rapids crashing against rock before a flood of anger settles over my world, muffling sound, wrapping me in rage. 

What is happening?

From the twilight behind me, a gong sings out across the village. I know it’s the warning bell, but knowing doesn’t touch this. The darkness before me begs my body’s acceptance. Something within me seeks what lurks among the black shadows.

A surge of adrenaline rushes through my ears. The blood tsunami in my veins propels my legs faster, crashing through the forbidden, intent on ruining me. 

My brain searches for one sane thought, something to stop my muscles from carrying me out there. 

Suicide. This is suicide.

Fury erupts through my core and I’m sprinting toward death.

Then I see it. The thing I’m destined to destroy. 

But how?

Click HERE to read my Dialogue Introduction post and HERE to read my Characters on the Couch post :)

Hop over to Cassie's blog and Angie's blog to read the other voices in their fun blogfest!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm Hearing Voices! Character Blogfest: Dialogue Introduction

Cassie at Reading Writing and Lovin' it and Angie over at Live to write…edit when necessary. are hosting this awesome blogfest, check 'em out :)

Today: Dialogue Introduction: Have two characters introduce each other using only dialogue--no backstory, no internalization, just dialogue between the two. Max 250 words.

"This girl next to me," nods head to side, huge smile, nudge in the ribs,"she's the toughest person I know."

Blushes, looks away. "Whatever, Finnley."

"Seriously, even though she's the size of newt, Eri could kick your butt in a duel any day, she's kicked mine plenty." Winks and a nudge.

"That's because you're too busy smiling or blabbing to try very hard." Eye roll, tucking hair behind ear. "Too bad your running speed isn't matched in your sword fighting skills." Teeth showing.

"You'll never beat me there, little one." Wink.

"I bet your mouth runs faster than your feet!" Stiffling a giggle.

"Ha ha, funny girl! Do you want to bet again?"

Laugh. “We’ve been through that one before, no need to go there again.”

“I had to find some way to get you to admit you had the Calling just like me.”

“I can’t believe I fell for that.” Shakes head, mouth trying not to smile.

“That’s not the only thing you’ve fallen for.” Laughter, huge smile.

Looks away. “Whatever, Finnley.”

“Oh come on, like it doesn’t go both ways. You know he has feelings for you, too.”

Mumbles, “He despises me.”

“Yeah right. He’s fighting it almost as much as you are.  When you’re a Protector, you’ll see.”

Chin drops, brows furrow.

"Sorry, Eri." Arm around shoulders. "It'll happen. We won't stop til it does."

Hop over to Cassie's and Angela's blogs to read the other voices and find out about this fun blogfest!

***If you're having trouble commenting (please, pretty please don't give up), click on the title of this post and it should take you to the comments section. Blogger has a mind of its own with this blogfest for some reason :( ***