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Showing posts from June, 2009

Holey Rear View, Batman!

1. The other night I came home from work and Starshine ran to give me hug.

2. After hugging me, he pulled back, frowned at me and said "You smell like pancakes."

3. I work at Cracker Barrel. Pancakes are a way of life.

4. He then patted my arm and said, "Don't worry, Mom. It could be worse."

5. *eye roll*

6. I'm surrounded by boys. I know worse.

7. I was in our local Books A Million Saturday night with Myra, trolling the YA section, alternately looking for new titles to read and stopping complete strangers to recommend Demon's Lexicon and Shiver when I stumbled upon a Wonder Woman comic.

8. Long time blog readers will know that in Paul's honor, I simply couldn't pass it up.

9. I grabbed it, started reading, and found the following line (from WW herself): "I won't stop until I put your head on a pole and post it near our latrines."

10. I think she's on to something.

11. The threat of beheading and pole-posting shame isn't nearly as sc…

They're After Me!

1. I am terrified of moths.

2. Here's proof.

3. I can't explain this phobia--I've been like this as long as I can remember.

4. Two nights ago, I came home from seeing a movie with Myra and sat on my front porch with my hubby and kids as night fell.

5. The kids were catching lightning bugs--thankfully Starshine no longer "catches" them by clapping his hands together.

6. Daredevil threatened to put one of them on my arm and while lightning bugs don't inspire the same level of hysteria that moths do, I still don't want creepy crawlies (or creepy fly-ies) on my body. Ever.

7. He took one look at my face and veered around me to torture Clint instead.

8. So we sat, me with my purse in my lap, Clint with his laptop, and watched our children play while the sun sank below the treeline and lightning bugs lit up the world with their butts.

9. Idyllic, right?

10. I thought so too but I was wrong.

11. W-R-O-N-G.

12. I didn't know how wrong I was until the next day, when I r…

Writing With Depth

Layers.

When I begin a story, I take time to get to know the characters that populate the story's world. For me, that entails watching conversations between the characters (Yes, these take place inside my head. Yes, if you aren't a writer, you find that incredibly strange.) and asking questions about the characters so I can learn them from the inside out.

It's important to learn them from the inside out. Characters, like ogres, have layers.

Or they should.

Few things turn me away from an author faster than characters who are simple parodies of the basic character archetypes. Or worse, characters who behave in ways clearly meant to help the author stick to her synopsis. These are cookie-cutter characters with zero depth and I'm simply not interested in reading unless I can sink beneath a character's skin and live there for the duration of the story.

How do writers avoid creating cookie-cutter characters? By asking questions. Then asking another. Then another until we win…

Pigeon Mafia Strikes Again

1. Yesterday, I channeled the Pigeon Mafia while visiting our local electronics store and emerged victorious.

2. It all started on Friday, when my hubby took me to that same electronics store to hunt for an affordable laptop.

3. Turns out you don't need a Shiny New Laptop Fairy when you have a loving husband.

4. We were looking at several notebooks--all of which have ridiculously tiny keyboards AND screens. The keyboards I could probably get used to. But I wear reading glasses OVER my contacts. A small screen is not my friend.

5. A salesman came over and pointed us to a refurbished laptop that was just a bit more than the notebooks and told us, and here I quote, "The notebooks don't come with Office installed but THIS one does."

6. We confirmed this salient point with him several times, looked over our options, and decided to purchase.

7. Our first sign of trouble came the next day when Clint tried to open the Office program only to learn it was a TRIAL VERSION.

8. Say what…

Eyes Like Stars - Act II

When we last left author Lisa Mantchev, she was bound with licorice ropes while four very mischievous fairies romped across her galleys, leaving frosted footsteps in their wake. Today, the saga continues:

Peaseblossom: So, here's the deal. Lisa's got revisions on the second theater book.


Cobweb: Perchance to Pudding.


Moth: No... it was something about sleeping.


Mustardseed: To sleep, perchance to pillow-drool.


Cobweb: I wasn't going to say anything, but she totally does. And snore!


(There's a hail of giggling before a chorus of thumps and "ow!" from the boys.)


Peaseblossom: (with an angelic clearing of her throat) So she asked us to do this guest blog thing on her behalf.


Cobweb: The licorice ropes were totally her idea.


Moth: They weren't, but they are for her own good.


Mustardseed: Otherwise she gets on that Tweeter-thing and totally forgets about us.


Peaseblossom: (over the top of the boys) What they mean to say is, writers have some Very Bad Habits.


Moth: Not as …

Life Lesson #487

If one is foolish enough to remove one's contacts directly after brushing one's teeth, one should be absolutely certain one has removed all traces of minty freshness from one's fingertips before sticking said fingertips into one's eye.

Upcoming Contests

The Golden Pen:

The 11th Annual Golden Pen contest is now accepting entries! Receive first round feedback from published authors and RWA® Golden Heart® finalists.

FINAL ROUND JUDGES:

Series Contemporary Romance: Susan Litman, Editor, Harlequin
Single Title: Jennifer Enderlin, Executive Editor, St. Martin's Press
Historical: Allison Brandau, Assistant Editor, Berkley
Paranormal: Kerry Donovan, Associate Editor, NAL
Romantic Suspense: Megan McKeever, Associate Editor, Pocket Books
Inspirational: Melissa Endlich, Senior Editor, Steeple Hill
Young Adult: Regina Griffin, Executive Editor, Egmont USA
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements:Valerie Gray, Executive Editor, Mira

***Final round judges are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.***

Entries must be submitted by August 15. We reserve the right to cap entries at 150 total, so please enter early to secure your spot.

Visit http://www.thegoldennetwork.com/goldenpen.html for more information.


Melody of Love

My home chapter's contes…

More Random Than Usual

1. I'm guest blogging today on how to write an excellent hook. Go forth and comment.

2. Many of you know my not-so-secret ambition to one day take over the world using nothing more than stilettos, pickled okra, and my titanium spork.

3. Yesterday, Spastic Kitten proved beyond a doubt that all one needs for successful world domination is estrogen and mental instability.

4. If I were the curious sort, I might wonder at the half-eaten slice of pizza resting on my bathroom floor this morning.

5. Fortunately, having boys has cured me of that pesky "I'd like to get to the bottom of this one!" attitude and left me with a firm belief that ignorance is often the only way to get any sleep at night.

6. I've got all of the content for the Fate Trilogy website outlined and organized.

7. Now, I just have to write and/or gather it together.

8. Can't wait to show off the finished site!

9. Yesterday, while teaching Sunday school for three-year-olds, I overheard one little girl say to…

Eyes Like Stars

When I told Lisa Mantchev I was fascinated by the idea behind her upcoming book, Eyes Like Stars, she offered to send me an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) to see what I thought. I loved it. Wholeheartedly and unreservedly. It's a fascinating concept, a visual banquet, and the kind of book that lingers in the imagination for days. Seriously, how can you not love a book with Hamlet's Ophelia, the fairies from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and a girl who dyes her hair cobalt blue but forgets to let it dry before she jumps head-first into her next adventure?

I loved it so much, I invited Lisa to be a guest on my blog for several posts leading up to July 7th, the day you can head out to your local bookstore and pick up Eyes Like Stars for yourself.

Lisa Mantchev grew up in the small Northern California town of Ukiah. She can pinpoint her first forays into fiction to the short stories she thumped out on an ancient typewriter. Playwriting came a few years later with an ad…

Essential Mom-Of-Boys Skill #27 -- Kung Fu

1. I didn't blog Fri-Sun. I didn't really Twitter. I barely answered email.

2. Why?

3. Because Clint was in L.A. for TNT's summer drama kickoff and I was here.

4. In my house.

5. With three boys.

6. The entire weekend was a cross between Mary Poppins and Apocalypse Now.

7. I'm still trying to recover.

8. The boys have a new game on the computer called Plants vs. Zombies.

9. It may be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

10. One of the levels is titled "All Your Brains Are Belong To Us" which just cracked me up.

11. No Zombie Goats on the game, though, but I guess the game-makers couldn't think of everything.

12. I've been busy working with my webmistress on the Fate Trilogy site and it's going to rock.

13. =D

14. Anyone looking for a fantastic YA author (paranormals written in gorgeous, liquid prose) should read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver. Her earlier work--Lament--is amazing too.

15. Off to take Starshine to karate class. Hi-yah!

Guest Blogger: Author Beth Trissel

Beth, a fellow Pixie, had a busy May with three book releases! Her writing is rich in historical detail and vivid descriptions that transport her readers to another time and place. Daughter of the Wind is already garnering rave reviews and winning contests and I asked Beth to give us a peek into her own rich family history and how that influences her passion for the past.




As Galadriel said to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, “You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone.”

To be passionate about history so that you feel it in your very essence and long to commune with the past is often to be alone. One profound way I’ve found to connect with those who’ve gone before me is through my writing.

Years ago, while researching family genealogy, I gained the inspiration to write historical romance novels set in early America. Raw, powerful, the colonial frontier drew me with stirring tales of the French and Indian War, Pontiac and Dunmore’s War. My ancestors had interacti…

Seek And Ye Shall Find!

Time once again to look at the interesting, enlightened and downright bizarre search terms readers used to find this blog.

1. What does don't start something you can't finish on your own mean?: I appreciate an honest question and will strive to give you a helpful answer. It means don't start something you can't finish on your own. All clear now?

2. Pirate Comic Cakes: Oh, this is a fabulous idea! I might be in love with you, just a little.

3. Randy Jackson Action Figure: Um, seriously? You want one of these? Couldn't you just grab a regular doll and say "Yo, yo, yo...so check it out, dawg" a few times? No? Well, I don't have a Randy Jackson action figure but I do have *drum roll* Pregnant Padme!



You know you want one.

4. Zombie Natural Predators: Now this is a search term I can get behind! While every region has their own go-to methods for destroying zombies (The South is partial to soaking Redneck Tank Tops in moonshine, wrapping them around an arrow, lig…

Lexicons, Contests, and a Man's Scoop

1. I've had a busy weekend and missed my usual Monday post.

2. I have good reasons. I'd love to tell you those reasons but as that would reveal my location to certain ... ahem ... law enforcement officials, I must demur.

3. We took the kids out for dinner the other night and allowed them to get a scoop of ice cream off the kid's menu for dessert.

4. Daredevil looked at our waitress and said, "I don't want a kid's scoop. I want a man's scoop."

5. When the waitress brought his ice cream, Daredevil looked at it and said, "I didn't order this! I ordered a man's scoop. It should be big and bold."

6. Oy.

7. My friend Katy is giving away a copy of Yasmine Galenorn's new release here. Go check it out!

8. I commented once on The Five Randoms last month and just got an email saying I'd won their commenting contest and would get copies of the four books they reviewed in May, including Melissa Marr's FRAGILE ETERNITY which I'd planned t…