Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Book Series

It's Thankful Thursday Meme, courtesy of Oasis for YA.

What book series are you most thankful for and why?

I, like Jessie over at Oasis, had the hardest time narrowing this down. I love The Hunger Games but she used that one already. So, I had to come up with something original. I choose, The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. It is about a family of witches, The Mayfair's. The books are grouped as, The Mayfair Chronicles. The Witching Hour, is the first book; Lasher, is the second; and Taltos, is the third and final book. They aren't YA but they are a great read!!!

I love this series because it cultivated my love of all things paranormal. And that's what I write now, and overwhelmingly what I read. I do like other genres, but Anne Rice put paranormal on the map for me!

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Blog Award...Yay Me

Yes, that is my stylish blogger award. Thanks!!!***ahem*** Isn't it pretty. I received this striking award from Judy @ Among the Pots and Pans. Thanks so much Judy!!! Please stop by and visit her wonderful blog.

Now according to the rules I am to write seven facts about myself. Next I am to give the award to other deserving blogs.

Seven Facts about me:

1. I like to write and read...LOL, I know I'm not really giving too much away here, am I.

2. I have a son who is in the fifth grade. He once saw a picture of me when I was his age and commented, "Mom, your mother must not have liked you that much to let you take a picture with your hair like that."

3. My youngest daughter, aka "The Diva" once exclaimed to a female cousin I hadn't seen in over 10 years, "You are a lot bigger than my my mom."

4. My oldest daughter, "The one who wants to date" said proudly at the tender age of six, "I want to be a police officer when I grow up because they get to eat all the best donuts."

5. My husband has a nickname for someone we know: slobber. The embarrassing part is it's a grown person. He whispers it to me when they are around and we both howl with laughter. Of course, this is unbeknownst to that person.

6. I think maybe my house is haunted. If so, that's cool with me. But every niece or nephew that comes over is scared to go upstairs by themselves. Even the ones that are bigger than me!!!

7. My son to me: "Mom, why do you write so much if you don't get any money for it." Me: "Because I love to do it. But some people do actually get money for it. Some get a little but some get a lot. Like the ladys who wrote Twilight or Harry Potter, those were books before movies." My son: "Really. Oh, Wow! Keep writing and I'm gonna pray for you to hurry up and finish."

Do you see what I'm dealing with here. Loads of material - in-house!!!

The blogs that I've chosen to give the award to are:

Please stop by and visit these great blogs. Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog Hop and Randomness

Hello, fellow She Writers!!! Glad you could stop by:

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!

I thought I'd list some random things about my family and myself and offer a writing tip.

  1. I have a teenage daughter. She recently came to us (the hubby and I) and wanted permission to date. So, you can imagine what my life is like right now!!!
  2. My youngest daughter (8) is a total diva. She often looks at me crazy when I suggest clothes or hairstyles that she doesn't like. Seriously, I can't understand whose child she actually is. She's been picking out her own clothes since she was 2.
  3. My husband is a hoot. He keeps me laughing and that's probably the biggest reason I keep him around. Oh, and the help with the kids is invaluable.
  4. My family and I love playing card games, especially Phase 10.
  5. My oldest daughter (15) is in love with Casey Abrams from American Idol. Seriously. She loves music and singing and she says he is the best "artist" on the show. Ever.
  6. My favorite TV show of all time is "Lost." Of all times, no others even come close.
  7. I think I have a super power. Seriously. I do. It hasn't fully materialized, but its there, lying dormant until the moment that I need it the most.

Okay, now for my tip.

Pacing is very important in your novel. If done right it can transform your work. I know that many people aren't fans of Stephanie Meyers, Twilight, but I am. For the simplest reason of all - the pacing was great. She didn't give everything away in chapter 2. No, she made you wait and languish over what would happen. Will they end up together or not? Another great YA novel that has awesome pacing is The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (my favorite YA book- right now). Study both books and you can learn a lot about pacing. Even if your not a fan of either - you can read to learn.

The thing about pacing is it keeps your reader engaged. If you give everything away in the first chapter, what are they to keep reading for? Give them hints of what's to come (foreshadowing) but don't give away the big moment. And don't just give us one big moment. Give us a couple. Each time make the stakes even bigger and make us bite our nails with anticipation over how the MC is going to solve/get out of this one.

 Pacing’s the star of the show.

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Little Inspiration

"Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams. Just go head let your hair down..."
Go ahead - you really should relax a little. You're dreams are coming. It's okay to take a break sometimes.

Have a great day. Read a good book. Relax. And laugh.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blog Award

I received this award from awesome Jennifer over at Serendipity's Library. I am to thank the person who gave me the award - check. Provide a link to their site - check. Write seven things about myself - check, see below. Get ready to be dazzled and delighted by yours truly - check.
  1. I love chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I'm not a chocolate lover by itself though.
  2. I moonlight as a supermodel and I have three obnoxiously beautiful kids. Okay, just joking, they're not that good looking.
  3. When I was younger I read books that were highly inappropriate for my age. While other little girls were sneaking to play with their Barbie's I was reading Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews under my bed. A book I stole from a cousin.
  4. I love to cook. Unfortunately, me and food aren't on speaking terms right now and haven't been for the last six years. Well, I'm kinda in love but I keep getting the cold shoulder.
  5. I love American Idol. This is my first year watching and I want to slap myself for it.
Now I have to give the award to other deserving blogger. This was the tough part for me. There are so many great bloggers. I tried to give the award to new bloggers, like myself, but admittedly most of these bloggers have been around for a while:

Beth's Blog
The Mother Centurion 
Departing the Text
The Daily Harrell
Fi’s Magical Writing Haven
The Scribblers Cove
Carpe Keyboard
Writer’s Blog
YA’s the Word
T.G. Ayers Blog
Creepy Query Girl
See Heather Write

Please visit these wonderful blogs. Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm not finished, yet?????

Every time I think that I couldn’t possibly edit my WIP anymore, I find something to correct. I’ve compiled a list of things that are sure signs that your MS is not ready to send to that agent yet.

You’ve never had a critique partner. No, sorry folks, mommy dearest doesn’t count. You need an objectionable person with knowledge of writing to critique the story. It’s like when mommy said you looked pretty for your 8th grade dance with the fuchsia puff dress, purple headband, green stockings and white dress shoes. She didn’t want to tell you you looked like a mix between Punky Brewster and Rainbow Bright. She’ll do the same to your manuscript. Trust me!

You enlist the “Find” feature in Word and discover that you’ve used “was” 30,000 times. Um…clear sign you’ve probably overused other words also. Grab a thesaurus and have a go at it. But don’t go crazy with that thing. ***ahem*** I’ve had that problem, well still do. You're not writing a dissertation. Remember that.

You’ve never had a beta reader. Now you can get mommy to read it. You need a regular lay reader to read it and tell you what they think. If you write YA or MG, you should get a young person to read those. Don’t ask your grandpa to read your YA romance with a female protagonist. What’s the likelihood that any grandpa anywhere would be reading a Gossip Girl type book? Not very likely. ***I’m just saying*** But I guess it could happen. Maybe???

You need a dictionary or another writer friend to explain what some of the terms in this post mean. If you don’t know what YA, MS, WIP or MG is then you may not have done your research on the craft of writing enough either. I know that may seem harsh but it is the truth. Do you have to write a perfect MS? Yes. As perfect as you can get it. But you can’t do that until you know:  how to edit, how to revise, and use proper story structure. So, if you’re having trouble with this post, then you’ll have problems in your MS.

You've only deleted 10 words from your first draft. If you’ve deleted at least 1500 words of the original MS that’s a good sign you’re on your way. This is just a "me" thing, but I can’t see how you could edit/revise your MS and not delete at least 500 words. I always make my draft considerably long, with too many unnecessary words and phrases, and too much backstory. I have a lot of cutting to do in the end. You should too. If you can’t cut some of what you’ve written because you’re emotionally attached to the words, then that’s okay. You won’t be able to sell it but you do have other options. Print your MS and use the pages to line the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. It’ll save you money and time since you won’t have to get cabinet liners. ***I’m just saying***

I hope you find inspiration to keep editing. It can seem a daunting task but you can do it. If you feel that you can’t then I have one last tip. ***You could print the MS and wallpaper your office with it. It might actually look nice if you used colored paper. Ask your mother, she'll tell you if it looks good.

 Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Little Inspiration from Carrie Underwood

Love this song. It embodies the position that I'm at in life: my temporary home. No, I'm not homeless, but I'm at a cross-roads. Many of us are. I'm not published yet, but I know I will be. It's my permanent home. So don't get discouraged, know that "unpublished author" is your "Temporary Home".

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Who are you? "Um...I'm your MC..." -- Answers

It’s that time. Time to find out how the teens answered the questions posed. The answers might surprise you.

I thought I’d provide a little background on the teens polled. There were 6 teens polled, male and female, with diverse backgrounds. The age of the teens raged from one 13 year-old, one 14 year-old, three 15 year-olds and, one 16 year old.

How would you say?

Chloe’s Answer
 “Sorry” or “My bad”


“What the…”

“What’s your deal?”

“I’m jammin’…” 

“Crush” or “boyfriend”

The real teen answers for this were predominately the same. I was thoroughly surprised. Soul mate was the one word contested the most. But not by the guys - the girls. They felt that soul mate was not the correct word and opted for words: bestie or lover. Yes, lover. LOL

 Chloe’s Answers

 Flip Flops  -- 5 tennis shoes and 1 flip flop (1 g)

Sherbet – 4 ice cream and 2 sherbet (2 g)

Books – 4 kindles and 2 books (1 g, 1 b)

Music –4 music and 2 TV (2 g)

The Hunger Games – 3 Hunger games (2 b, 1 g)

Action – 3 action (2b, 1 g) and 3 romance (g)

Comedy – comedy (all)

PB and J—5 pb and J and 1 ham and cheese (1 b)

Zeus – neither (2 b) and Zeus (girls, 1 b)

Drama – comedy – all

1 or 2 friends – 5, 1 or 2 friends and 1 popular (1 b)

Nerd – 3 Cheerleader/Jock, 2 nobody (2 g) & 1 nerd (1 g)

Mints – gum (2 b, 2 g) & mint (2 g)

Science – Health (1 g), Social St. (1g), English (1), Math (1 g), World His. (1b), Biology (1 b)

Latin – English (2 b)Reading (2 g), Algebra (2 g),

***Bonus question (actually I just accidently left it off the first post) –

*Hero or Villian --- this was easy…they all wanted to be the Hero

Q and A

How do you feel about PDA?                    
Chloe: I don’t want everybody in my business so I keep it to a minimum.
Teens polled: All teens but one boy thought it was okay to display affection in public.

What do you do on the weekends for fun?
Chloe: Shop with my two best friends.
Teens polled: Two girls and one boy hung with friends and one person did nothing – a girl, and one person played sports - a guy.

When did you start dating?
Chloe: In the 8th grade. 
Teens polled: Never dated (1 – 15, 13 girl), three teens said the 7th grade (2 b each 15 & 1 g 16), and one teen said 4th grade (1 g, 13 years old)

Do you and your siblings get along?
Chloe: Sometimes but he’s a snob and I’m not.
Teens polled: Four of the teens said sometimes (2 b & 2g), and two girls said no (13 year old & 14 year old)

Would you cry in public?

Chloe: I try not to get too emotional in public. My mother would have a heart attack if she knew I was crying in public.

Teen polled: Four of the teens said no (2 b and 2 g) and two girls said maybe, it depends.

Would you follow your friends if they were doing something wrong or would you do the right thing?

Chloe: It depends on what they were doing. I wouldn’t hurt anyone physically. But I’d be down for a practical joke even if it were on a teacher.
Teens polled: Five of the teens polled said they would do the right thing. One teen, a girl, said she’d go with her friends.

Was this eye opening at all? Yes, actually it was for me. I hope you gathered some info from this exercise to help with creating your YA character.

Have a great weekend. Read a book and laugh aloud!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Who are you?" "Um, I'm your MC..."

I’ve seen character sketches before, but I wanted to do something a little different. Do you know your MC? I’m going to see how close to a real teen my protagonist is. How you ask? I’ve randomly selected things to test my knowledge of my character but also to see how close I come to what real teens think.

The second part of this post will be on Friday. Then the fun starts. I’ll compare my answers to real teens. I’ve surveyed **well, my daughter has** 6 teens (3 boys and 3 girls from her high school) and she’ll get the answers tomorrow from them. I haven’t seen them.

I know every character/teen is different. However, I think there are some similarities inherent in most teens. It would be fun to get the teen perspective on some things/issues.

My character:

Chloe Carmichael is 16 years old. She lives in New York City with her parents and older brother Matt. She attends a private school. Many of the students’ parents at the school are celebrities or in politics. Chloe’s father is a senator and her mother is an attorney.

How would you say:
“I’m sorry”
“I can’t believe you did that.”
“I can’t believe that happened.”       
“What’s wrong with you?”    
“I’m listening to music”          
“Soul mate”         

 Chloe’s Answer

“Sorry” or “My bad”
“What the…”
“What’s your deal?”
“I’m jammin’…” 
“Crush” or “boyfriend”

 This or That

Flip flops or tennis shoes
Ice cream or Sherbet
Kindle or books
Music or TV
Twilight or The Hunger Games
Action or Romance
Comedy or Suspense
P B and J or Ham and Cheese
Zeus, Hades, or Neither
Drama or Comedy                           
Popular or 1or 2 friends
Cheerleader/Jock, Nerd, or Nobody          
Gum or mints                         
Favorite subject in school:
Least favorite subject in school:

Chloe’s Answers

Flip Flops
The Hunger Games
PB and J
1 or 2 friends

Q and A

How do you feel about PDA?                    
I don’t want everybody in my business so I keep it to a minimum.

What do you do on the weekends for fun?
Shop with my two best friends.

When did you start dating?
In the 8th grade. 

Do you and your siblings get along?
Sometimes but he’s a snob and I’m not.

Would you cry in public?
I try not to get too emotional in public. My mother would have a heart attack if she knew I was crying in public.

Would you follow your friends if they were doing something wrong or would you do the right thing?
It depends on what they were doing. I wouldn’t hurt anyone physically. But I’d be down for a practical joke, even if it were on a teacher.