Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thankful for Thursdays..Vacations

Oops. My post today is really late. My apologies.

I'm posting in connection with Oasis for YA Thankful for Thursday weekly meme.
I'm preparing for a big event: Vacation. Yes!!! Can't wait. Soooo excited ***ahem*** I've been looking forward to a small break. I'm running myself racket all day between three kids, school, blog, writing, maintaining the house, looking for a new job...

But if I can be honest with you a moment, I love the fast pace of my life. However, sometimes I do have to take a break. Yes, we can't always be Supermom or Wonderwoman (I would love to be Wonderwoman. No seriously. I would). Sometimes we have to just be - human.

Funny thing about my vacation is were going to Disney World, again. We've been a couple times before - but you never can see all of Disney. Right? The funny part is that I'll be up at the crack of dawn and in the bed when the sun starts to crest the horizon. No. Seriously, It'll be like that. My two best friends and their families are coming too. You know what that means. We'll be up all night gossiping discussing current events the first couple days. So I'll need a mini vacay from my big one...I won't get it though. That's okay. That's my life. I freaking LOVE it!!!

I'll be gone a little over a week but I'll still update the blog. I've already started the post for Wednesday of next week. I'll be talking about your character's goals.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Opening Line

On my last post, I discussed the troubles that plagued the first chapter. Well, I thought I’d explore a facet of the first chapter that I know many of us obsess over: The Opening Line.

What a great opening line does for your story:
  • It engages the reader
  • It sets up the voice of the story
The first line is essentially the receptionist for your novel. Have you ever gone to an office and the receptionist was…well, terrible. She smacked gum and talked fast. She threw her hands up to silence you because she was taking a personal call. She gave you the “how dare you interrupt me” look. Well, that’s kinda how some of our opening lines are.

We pull them from somewhere obtuse and smack them on our book. I’ve seen opening lines that have absolutely nothing to do with the book. A line floating from somewhere ominous and you wonder while reading the first page: What does that mean? What does that have to do with the story? You’re readers shouldn’t have to guess about things like that. If they do, they may not continue reading.

What’s a “good” opening line? Honestly, I can’t tell you that either. For every book, it’s different. What it must have, however, is:
  • Some relevance to the story – even if it’s a random thought, make it relatable to the story in some way
  • Something that will draw the reader in and hold their attention

However, I caution you. Don’t try to perfect the opening line while you write the first draft. It’s nearly impossible. Stories change into something wholly different at the end. You’re wasting your time trying to perfect a line at the draft stage that will invariably be different in the end. I changed my opening lines about 10 times. So wait until you’ve completed the first draft, stored the novel away for a while (getting your fresh eyes ready), then and only then will you be able to write an effective opening line.

I found an awesome article on opening lines here that has awesome examples of opening lines and why they are effective.

Some of my favorite opening lines:

“LISTEN TO ME” --- James Patterson, Witch and Wizard: The Gift -- YA

Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. ---Gayle Forman, If I Stay – YA (contemporary fiction)

I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes.—Stephanie Meyer, The Host, Science fiction (Adult)

Maybe if I had loved her less there would have been no murder – Andrew Klavan, Man and Wife, Thriller (Adult)

Streeter only saw the sign because he had to pull over and puke. – Stephen King, Full Dark No Stars; Fair Extension (story # 3) Horror, Suspense (Adult)

My opening line from my current WIP:

If the twilight zone was a place, I was there – The Chloe Chronicles and the Rebirth – YA, paranormal

What is your opening line? Are you satisfied with it? Do you have any tips on how to improve your opening lines?

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.

Friday, June 24, 2011

First Chapter Woes

Today I’m going to talk about something that eludes many writers. Something that makes us scratch our collective heads and sigh,“Will I ever get this right?”

The elusive first chapter.

My CP and I have gone many rounds trying to perfect the first chapter. But what’s the problem? Why are we having such a hard time? Just write the story. Tell it. It’s that simple. Right? But it’s not. Not at all.

What is a first chapter supposed to do?

  1. It hooks the reader
  2. It sets the story up.
  3. It tells the reader where the story is taking place
  4. Who the main character is
  5. It sets in motion our attitude toward the MC – do we like them –

What usually holds the first chapter back?

No hook. The readers need something to make them turn past the first page. I’ve read many agent blogs and most say it takes them until the second or third page of a story to tell if they’ll request to read more. But some don’t even make it off the first.

What do they want to see? Maybe this isn’t the best question. What don’t they want? Yeah. That’s a better question. Back-story – they don’t want to hear about what happened before the story actually takes place. They want what’s happening now. Don’t info-dump the reader in the first chapter. A good writer weaves back-story into the plot in small doses.

They don’t want action for no apparent reason. What do I mean: action with no dialogue, no insight into the MC, no introduction to the setting to ground the reader? Action is okay to start the story if it moves the story in a forward motion. It provides vital info about the MC so that the reader can empathize with them, and it’s clear who’s doing what and why.

Another culprit in the first chapter woes: The setting is not clear and neither is the genre of the book/piece. The readers have no way to ground themselves if they don’t know where the story takes place. Or what kind of story it is. This is a simple fix. Tell the reader where the story takes place. In addition, tell them what kind of story it will be. Caution: it should be revealed organically to the reader the setting and genre of the story.

I thought I’d share part of a short story here as an example of each element of the opening chapter I’m talking about.

Hook:  “Um…uh, hey…Rachel.” This is the very first line of the story. It does a number of things.  It tells us someone is reluctant to speak to someone else. Why? This should propel the reader forward. They want to know why this person is nervous about speaking to Rachel. And who is Rachel anyway?

Setting:  Someone says as I sit perched beneath a massive oak and wait for my sister, Melissa. I look up to see Sharon Potts standing in front of me. She blocks my view of the one-story school. I lower my head and take a deep breath. These are the next sentences in the same story. They establish a) that the story is in first POV b) the main character is Rachel because we’re in her head c) the story is taking place outside of a school d) which might mean that the story is YA (might). This also shows a little about the character, Rachel. She’s waiting for her sister to exit the school and is concerned that Sharon is blocking her view of it. Does that read as anxious? Her reaction in the last sentence says she doesn’t really want to be bothered. Great. There’s conflict immediately.

Setting the story up (more) and character development: I turn my attention back to her. Her throat goes up then down as she swallows hard. “Hi, Sharon,” I say. My stomach does a flip. Go away. I don’t feel like talking. I cup my hands over my brow to shield them from the glaring sun and Sharon’s searching espresso colored eyes. I glance around her to ensure Melissa hadn’t come out of the building with the small cluster of kids trickling down the front steps. Okay we have conflict – for sure. We’re in her head and she does not want to be bothered with Sharon. She is the one who actually seems nervous now. Why? We also have more information on the setting.

And more set-up and conflict: “Um, Rachel, I’m really sorry to hear about your mom. She was great.” She paused. The side of her mouth turns up into a small grin, well, half smile. I wanted to smack her. “You know…um…you can always come and talk to me…if you need someone to talk to…I mean. How are you holding up?” Her glance falls sideways, as if she does not want to hear the answer.

I’m not confident I’ll see Melissa exit despite my attempt to peer around Sharon. So I stand.  I wipe the back of my jeans to remove the dirt. And I reach behind and pull the band on my long ponytail to loosen it. My head aches. I inhale a deep breathe and exhale it slowly. Sharon is two inches shorter than I am so I don’t initially notice her standing there still. She is looking at me with wide eyes. Is she waiting for a reply to her question? I groan internally. Not again.  

All this sets the story up. It’s a short story so you have a limited amount of time to grab your audience. But the same goes for longer pieces. I set up conflict early and tried to incorporate tidbits about the MC’s character right away. I also included info about the setting: a school, the glaring sun (midday), a massive oak tree. There is also info about how Rachel looks,  a) long hair b) in a ponytail c) she sounds like she might be tall c) she has on jeans

The part of the story posted here gives the reader a lot to think about already and it’s only the first few paragraphs. I haven’t given away the entire story (good pacing) but I have given the readers enough to want to keep reading.

All the elements above should be in your first chapter to ensure your audience wants to keep reading your piece. Do you have any tips for starting the first chapter? Leave it in the comments.

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Totally Random

Today I feel a little random. So I'm going to totally ramble here:

I’m learning about the world of myths in school right now. Can you say “so excited.” I love the world of mythology! Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Theseus, Herakles…Yeah, I’m partial to Greek mythology. But I’m starting to broaden my taste.

I totally sucked at the Read-a-Thon last week. The timing just ended up being off and I didn’t read nearly as much as I usually did. I’m trying to make up for it – somewhat. But I was serious about pacing myself (not during a Read-a-thon, of course). I need to slow down a little when I read. I’m trying. LOL Hard.

I’m reading Maximum Ride by James Patterson and A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks (I know I was supposed to read the Sparks book for the Read-a-Thon but I didn’t get to it). Love both stories – very different though. Since there’s absolutely nothing on TV to watch, I’ll be reading until The Vampire Diaries comes back on in the fall. Not a bad trade for time though.

I just bought six books on Amazon last week. I'm eyeing four more. Help me: I have an addiction.

It’s raining, finally. It hasn’t rained in a while. I was starting to get nervous. They banned fireworks this year so we’re forced to go to the Festival to see them because of the drought. That’s a bummer!

My revisions for The Chloe Chronicles are coming along really well. I can’t wait to finish, but I’m not rushing it. I learned my lesson about rushing revisions.

I’m going to eat a bowl of Chocolate Shredded Wheat now. Yeah, it’s good.
    What’s happening with you today? Anything interesting to share? Leave it in the comments.

    Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Short Story...Breaking up is Hard to Do

    Today, I thought I'd share a short story I wrote with everyone. Enjoy!!!

    BY Dawn Brazil

         I faced the toughest decision ever: should I recycle, or not.
    I twisted to a better view of the hall. Colin could sneak up at any minute and ruin everything. I placed the call as quick as I could, though I didn’t understand how they could stand these shiny things with all the numbers on them. They were archaic – we hadn’t used them in ages.
          “I love you, Amy,” Colin said. He strolled over and traced his slender finger over my chin. I slammed the device shut. No time for a call now. I would have to make the decision without my audience’s help. I smiled despite the rise of fear that attempted to choke back what I knew I had to do.
          “Hey there.” I tried to sound normal. “We should talk later.” I refused to engage eye contact. I opened my locker and peered inside for my calculus book instead.
          “Let’s talk now,” he said. He seized me by the hips and pulled me to him. “We still have ten minutes before first period starts. What’s up?”
          “Maybe we should wait until after school,” I proposed, hoping he dropped it until then. I knew it was the human condition to be curious. Why had I opened my mouth? I clinched my fingers into a fist and dug a sharp nail into the palm of my hand.
          “Why? Is something wrong?” He drew my chin to meet his inquisitive gaze. His eyes were the handsomest shade of brown, like chocolate velvet. Regardless, I had to remain composed. I’d gotten the approval to dump my package, all I had to do was guide it home.
         Why did I even mention talking? Why couldn’t I have waited, I thought, souring inside. Oh yeah, because I was sick and loved to torture others, I reminded myself, with a nervous flutter of my abdomen.
          “Listen, I really think it’d be best to wait until after school. Plus all the extra ears.” I drew from his grasp to lean on my locker - away from his probing hands.
         The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. Drop it, drop it, drop it, I stormed in my head. I could not afford to do this wrong; tact and skill were my allies. This isn’t my first offense but it should be my last, I reminded myself.
         “Hey Colin,” came Jennifer Riley’s syrupy voice. “Looking good today.” She ran a hand over the collar of his light blue tee shirt. “How’s it goin?”
         “Oh…uh, hi, Jen,” Colin responded. He always got nervous around Jennifer Riley, all the boys did. If only they knew. “Hello, Jennifer.” I poked my head around Colin and peered at her with disdain. “Shouldn’t you be running along…somewhere else,” I said, through clenched teeth.
         “Amy,” Colin exclaimed, “be cool.” He reached over, grabbed my hand, and gave an encouraging squeeze. I pulled my hand from his grip. He was such an idiot.
         “Yeah, be cool, Amy,” Jen said. Her eyes glistened and I knew her audience hated me. They had every right to.    
         “Do you need something, Jen?” Colin asked.
         “I wanted to invite you to my birthday party.” She reached into her oversized bag and pulled out a hot pink invitation. As she slid the invitation to him, she ran her pink manicured nails over his hand, caressing and folding his hand into hers. She knew I was watching and she didn’t care. I was taking note.
         “Oh, thanks for the invite Jen. Amy and I’ll be sure to stop by,” he said. I’m fairly certain she would rather he drop me at the side of the road, or off a bridge on the side of the road before he arrived to her party. I stifled a giggle at her jealousy. How hilarious! How completely interesting!
         “Uh, Jen, Amy and I were about to talk about some personal stuff. Can we have a minute, please?” Always so polite. Just tell her to get lost. So weak. That was why he came up as a target I suppose.              
    “Whatever,” she replied deflated. She rolled her large ebony eyes at me as she marched off down the hall, eyes as black as the soul that possessed them. I observed her as she traipsed down the hall, every guy turned to ogle at her. She was beautiful but lacked discipline and charm. However, she did have potential. She was on her fifth offense. No wonder.
         Not wanting to get too ahead of myself, I turned to face Colin. He stared at me as if he were trying to pick the thoughts from my head. He was nervous. You didn’t tell a guy you wanted to talk. They always assumed the worst.        
        “Babe, you know I don’t care about anybody listening to us. I love you. You can tell me anything.”     
    “I still think we should wait. We can always talk later.” I sucked in a deep breath, and then exhaled slowly.    “I won’t be mad Amy, or upset. I promise. You can tell me anything. Did I…do something wrong? Are you upset about something…?”    
         “Colin just drop it.” Losing it, I bit the inside of my lip until a trickle of coppery blood tasted on my tongue. I was ready to go home; I didn’t need another strike on my record.
         “I can’t just drop it.” He wrung his hands through his thick hair. “It doesn’t work that way Amy and you know it. You put the idea in my head -”
          “I think we should break-up-” Dang it! I wanted to do that different. “Look what you made me do, you moron.” I took a step in his direction. Anger rose up the back of my neck and swelled in my chest.  
         “No,” someone in my audience yelled. I bit down on my lip again. Hard. Then I took a step back to calm myself.        
         I polished that line, now it was ruined. I did not have an adequate glimpse of his reaction either. I wondered if my audience had a good view of it. Maybe I could still salvage the moment. 
          “I think we should talk about this later.” I grabbed him and pulled my chin to his chest. I turned my eyes up in that seductive manner he liked. “I’ll come by later. We can talk then. Forget what I said, we can work it out.” I thrust my shoulders back and raised my chin, the epitome of self-control and confidence. But I felt a bead of sweat caress the right side of my face. I never perspired. What was wrong with me?
         “You wanna break-up,” he said. I sighed and backed up to the locker to peer at him in disgust. “Why? What did I do wrong?” With rough hands, he jerked me back to his side. “How can you expect me to concentrate after what you just said? We need to talk. Now.” His grip on my arm tightened and he dragged me towards the exit.
         Once outside in the crisp morning air, he released me. I did not move and neither did he. Though I tried arduously to keep my eyes diverted, I could feel his on me. With a lengthy stride, he was by my side and thrust me into his arms. He smothered me with kisses.            
         Shocked, I slapped him across the face. I bit the inside of my lip to stifle a giggle that was forcing its way to the surface.
        “What’s the matter with you?” he asked. He starred at me with large dejected eyes. “You don’t love me anymore? How could you not love me anymore?”
         “Let’s go,” I flung his hand away as he offered it for me to hold. Was he serious? I was ready to dump him. We walked to his Corolla parked in the student lot. I did not look at him, though I could sense his eyes drift to me every couple seconds. The longer I played this out, the better. I could finally get this right. I could do it. I knew my audience would be rooting for my success back home. 
        Once we reached the car, I climbed into the front passenger seat. I sat as still as stone. I was not ready for this, though I practiced what I would say repeatedly. We sat in silence, not looking at one another.
         “You don’t love me,” he asserted. It was not a question - he was starting to understand. I sighed softly, relief flooding me. It wouldn’t be so hard after all.  
         “No. I don’t. But, if it’s any consolation, I don’t love anyone. That’s my problem.” I looked at him to gage his reaction. Like everyone else I revealed this information to, he seemed confused. Unbelieving, everyone loved someone they all thought pathetically.
         “What. I…I don’t believe that.” He shook his head. I could almost see his head collide with his heart through his pathetic expression.
         “Amy was loving, not me.” I waited for this statement to penetrate. Every crevice of my body tingled with excitement. It would all be over soon.
         He turned and looked at me, his face scrunched in confusion. “You are Amy. What’s wrong with you? Are you in some kind of trouble or something?”
         “Again, I’m. Not. Amy.” I emphasized each word to ensure he understood. “Not Amy, do you understand that.” Of course, I knew he wouldn’t but it was riveting to see the puzzling scowl on his face. I suppressed another smirk. The potential for a real breakthrough was possible, if I could control myself.
         “Who do you think you are?” He gazed at me with the outline of tears in his eyes. How weak. Males were supposed to be the dominant gender, strong and hard. I broke him easily. I had to put an end to this charade.
          “Let me tell you a story,” I said. “A far more advanced human civilization exists in a far away galaxy, called Savoria. Citizens of Savoria come to Earth as part of their therapy. On my planet, I’m a Tessorian. On your planet that would be a criminal…a murderer. My anger often gets the better of me and it’s highly frowned upon.”   
         “A murderer…another planet-” He exhaled deeply and clasped his hands on his lap. “What-“         
         “I’m almost finished. Don’t interrupt me again.” I smiled to soften the blow of my words.
         “The purpose of my therapy is to rid me of my toxic thoughts and deeds. The patients’ assigned therapy on Earth are young. They often infiltrate the school system for their targets. Back on our planet, our doctors, family, and friends are rooting for us to complete therapy successfully. We call them our audience. We each have a target, we must find them and complete our acts and hopefully the aggression and anger that is within us dissipates.
         “Each Savorian is the equivalent of a walking television and can manipulate situations to create a better scene. It has become entertaining for my people, but it’s still used as a form of therapy. Of course, all of this is unbeknownst to the people here on Earth. We are strictly forbidden to kill or mutilate our targets; that would be the opposite of our therapy. After each ‘act’ the actors are given the option of recycling, which is letting the target go and wiping their memory clean. Or sending them home for research.” I released a deep breath, as if I’d been holding it the entire time.
          “Are you joking? That’s a sick story.” He squirmed and inched closer to the door.
          “What I don’t understand is, if you loved Amy so much how could you not notice the shift in behavior. I made it so blatant. She’s been lost to you for some time. She was such a wimp.”
         He raised his brow and squared his jaw. “I-I…don’t know.”
         “Well, we should get this over with. You’re my target Love.” I smiled proudly.
         I pulled out my receptor and pushed the red disenthrall button. A cloud of billowing gas emanated from two slits that appeared on either side.
         “What the… What are you doing to me?” His eyes locked on me and bulged so wide I thought they might pop. “I can’t feel anything.”   
         “My apologies love. I had to etherize you. This could get quite messy if I hadn’t”
       “Are you gonna let me go now?” His brow scrunched and creased together. “Wipe my memory clean.”
         “Um…sorry, I can’t recycle you. I’m not certain but I guess it’s your eyes. They are far too interesting.”
         His eyes bulged more and sweat broke out and trickled down his forehead. “I thought you couldn’t kill me.”
         “I never said I couldn’t, silly. But don’t worry, I won’t. You should be happy you got me and not Jennifer. She would’ve surely killed you.”                         
         “Yeah, she’s awful sick. Her birthday party wouldn’t have been a good thing. I think I’ll send you to Savoria, for research. I’ve been in therapy for some time and I’ve never sent anyone back. But I could never recycle you. Sorry, Love. Don’t take it personally; know that you’re performing a good deed. And after you’ve been researched, you will be used to fertilize our planet to sustain our crops.”
         I pushed the receptor closer to him. “Now, hold still please, this will hurt terribly, but only for a moment.”
         The End.

    What do you think? It was just for fun but I really enjoyed writing the story. I may even adapt it to a full novel - one day.

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

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Gotta Love it...Reading

    I’m in the throes of editing my WIP, The Chloe Chronicles, working on the first draft of another WIP, entertaining the kids for the summer, completing class assignments for school and reading.

    I listed reading last because it’s something of an obsession of mine. I take breaks but not much. I read something almost everyday but it’s not enough (at least for me). So I’m trying to streamline my daily routine so that I can read like a normal person.

    Usually what happens is, I find a book I love, and then I stay up all night reading it. It throws me off for days, which means, I don’t sleep, but I can’t keep doing this.

    So, I’ll devote the maximum of 2 hours for reading each day – no more. No matter how good the book is. No matter how much I want to know what happens next. I won’t stay up all night reading and obsessing over what the characters will do next. I won’t daydream about the characters while I’m supposed to be writing. I’ll read the book at a good pace. Once I’m finished reading, I’ll move on to the next book without breaking down every aspect of what I’ve just read.

    LOL Who am I kidding. I can’t do any of that! I’ll still obsessively read. I’ll finish every book with 48 hours. I’ll then deconstruct what I’ve read like a million times. I’ll daydream about the protagonist and try to think of news ways to get them out of danger or in more of it. And I’ll lament over not thinking of the concepts in the book myself.

    But you know what, its okay to do this. I think as a writer I’m supposed to do this (maybe not the no sleep part). As writers, we are required to breakdown the novels we read – in and out of our genre – to see what works and what doesn’t. We should have certain questions in mind while we read so that we can learn from everything we read.

    Some questions that you should ask yourself when reading:

    • What was my first impression of the story? Why?

    • What is the theme(s) of the story?

    • What literary devices did the author use to make the story more believable or memorable?

    • Do I like the voice in the novel? Is it unique? Why?
    • How is the pacing of the story?

    • Where is the inciting incident? What is the structure of the novel?

    • What POV is the story told from? Is it the best for the novel?
    These are just a few questions that you can ask when reading. Of course, there are a ton more. Use your imagination to deconstruct what you’ve read, especially if you really enjoyed it.

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

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Useful info, anyone

    Welcome SheWriter's from the Blogger Ball. To get back to the Ball Click here.

    I thought I'd share cool links to some awesome writing sites. And give a tip on the art of suspending your readers belief.

    Awesome Links for writers:

    Daily Writing Tips    

    Muse It Up Conference/Info

    Writing Tip:

    How to suspend your reader’s belief

    I write paranormal, science fiction, and, fantasy stories and my job is to make my readers believe what I write. No matter how far-fetched it may seem. How do I do this? I place my readers in a believable world initially, and have my protagonist react to that world in a realistic manner. Once my MC has credibility with the readers and has reacted normally, as my readers would to changes in their world, then I can add elements of fantasy, science fiction, etc. to the plot that the MC must overcome. But add those elements slowly. Don’t dump your MC into everything all at once and expect them to sink or swim…it’ll be too much. And your readers won’t believe it. I’m sure you’ve thought it, ‘Nobody could endure that,’ or ‘they’d go crazy or that just doesn’t seem believable.’ So sure go ahead and torture your MC, but do it a little at a time to make it more believable.

    Do you have any writing tips? Come on and share it with everyone.

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

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Stirring and Sidesplitting...all in one post

    I thought I’d tickle some funny bones and illicit some inspiration with my post today. So, laugh to your hearts content, then go write something.

    A Canadian psychologist is selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog's IQ. Here's how it works: if you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog is smarter than you. ~ Jay Leno

    You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

    When I was born my father spent three weeks trying to find a loophole in my birth certificate.
    ~  Jackie Vernon quotes

    Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

    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

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Smack your child every day. If you don't know why -- he does.
    ~  Joey Adams quotes

    Be obscure clearly. ~E.B. White

    The only cure for writer's block is insomnia. ~Merit Antares

    Manuscript: something submitted in haste and returned at leisure.
    ~ Oliver Herford quotes

    Only a mediocre writer is always at his best.
    ~  W. Somerset Maugham quotes

    Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself. ~ Roseanne Barr

    A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print. ~Unknown

    When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer. ~  Isaac Bashevis Singer quotes

    Children ask better questions than adults. "May I have a cookie?" "Why is the sky blue?" and "What does a cow say?" are far more likely to elicit a cheerful response than "Where's your manuscript?" Why haven't you called?" and "Who's your lawyer?"
    ~ Fran Lebowitz quotes

    There are only two things a child will share willingly: communicable diseases and its mother's age. ~ Benjamin Spock quotes

    Have a great day. Read a book and laugh

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Non-stop Reading...say what???

    This post is to announce that I'm participating in the Spring into Summer read-a-thon hosted by Enna Isilee of Squeaky Books.

    This read-a-thon is going to be so great! It's two days where you try to do NOTHING but read. The Read-a-thon starts Friday, June 17th @ 8 am (MST) thru Saturday, June 18th 8 pm (MST). That’s a lot of reading. So call the sitter over, order a pizza, lock yourself in your room or your closet, turn the cell phone off and read like mad. It's a great chance to get rid of some of those books that have been sitting on your TBR pile FOREVER!!!

    But that's not all! There will also be awesome mini-challenges and a TON of giveaways every few hours! And just for signing up you’re entered to win a $25 gift card to Amazon!

    SO GO SIGN UP!!!  And if you say that I, Dawn Brazil, sent you, you'll get 5 extra entries to win that gift card.

    All I’ve been reading is YA, so I thought I’d take a break from the kids and hang-out with the adults for a while. I’m in a romantic mood, thanks to my CP. The books I plan to read are:
    The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

    A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks

    Relentless by Dean Koontz

    Well, have you signed up yet? What are you waiting for? DO IT NOW!!!

    Have a great day. Read a book – or two or three and laugh!!!

    Thursday, June 2, 2011


    Today I'm inspired by the ladies at the Oasis for YA to discuss what I'm most thankful for. I thought hard about what to talk about...there's so much I'm thankful for that it's hard to pick one specific thing. Then I thought, what has brought me the most joy in my life and the answer was simple: my kids. But I thought, I'd take it a step further: all kids.

    So, I am most thankful All kids. Young adults, cute little newborn babies, the terrible twosters, terrific tweens, and fabulous fours...all of them. A lot of us write our stories based on their lives, why not pay homage to them.


    I write YA and MG so all my material comes from my children, my nieces and nephews, and the neighborhood kids. I sit down and talk to them all the time and the neighbor's kids don't think I'm the weird lady that lives in the middle of the block! They just think I'm nice. Some even think I'm cool. *gasp*

    They provide me with an endless amount of material to work with. They say and do things that I, nor most adults, wouldn't expect. They mess up, their loud, they are always hungry for something sweet, and they bring the biggest smile to my face. The late nights, the tears, the noise, the messes are all worth it in the end. Why? Because I can make money off their shenanigans!!!! LOL Just Kidding.

    But children are like fireworks. They are always popping off and jumping around and surprising us. So, in honor of "the kid" I felt this musical selection was fitting.

    Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Blogger Issues...Grrrr!!!!! And Randomness

    I've been having major issues with Blogger. I can't leave a comment on my own blog. I couldn't even leave comments on other blogger sites for a while also - and I read some awesome posts that I wanted to comment on. No fair. **slams fist on computer desk (ouch)** I've been trying to wait until it's fixed to post. But it's taking forever. Seriously!!!!

    Anyway, I've been editing my WIP, The Chloe Chronicles and reading (of course). I am so thrilled with the revisions I could kiss the computer. Chloe is coming to life before my eyes and I'm loving it. Developing my characters personality was very important to me and has been a major focus of my revisions. My main character, Chloe, is the coolest 16 year old I know!!!!

    I just finished reading, If I Stay by Gayle Forman and can't wait to read the sequel, Where She Went. It was a great book!!!! It was moving, romantic, and poetic. After I read the sequel I'm going to read, Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Can't wait to tear into it.

    Yesterday evening my youngest daughter and I sat down to watch E.T. together - just the two of us. In the end, she was curled up on my lap watching it. During the credits, she looked up at me and said, "Mom, I know this movie is fake." I smiled. Oh, I think, my baby is really growing up. She is 8 after all, I remind myself. Then she looks at me and says, "Yeah, Mom, because I know that aliens don't really dress up like girls and talk." My baby is back!

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