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Showing posts from January, 2010

Upcoming Workshop Schedule

Over at my Writing Workshop site, I've posted two new classes.

1. How To Write A Killer Synopsis--includes training on formatting, Voice, and how to identify the plot arcs and emotional landmarks to include in a synopsis along with three in-depth critiques of your synopsis and subsequent revisions. Registration closes February 14th.

2. Query Workshop--includes training on how to format a query letter, how to target the right agents for your manuscript, how to write a stellar hook, and multiple in-depth critiques of your query and subsequent revisions. Registration closes February 28th.

3. Critique Docket: For those interested in purchasing a 25 page manuscript critique, I have five slots remaining on my February critique docket.

Goodbye, Baby Girl

I'm heartbroken to announce that my gorgeous Tinks died early this morning, surrounded by me and the boys. She'd been sick for two weeks, and while we had signs of improvement over last weekend, she suddenly went downhill again yesterday. She was my loving, cuddly girl, and I miss her terribly.

Regular blogging will resume on Monday. I don't have it in me to write anything this weekend.

Throwback Thursday

For today's Throwback Thursday post, I'll take you all back to a day where blowing up, running in traffic, and finally using a police baton to my advantage were all definite possibilities. As the 9-4 has now been put out of its misery, I don't have to worry about repeating this sequence of events any time soon.

The Usual Suspects!

Part of the Cupcake Characters idea is for me to interview authors and make a cupcake in honor of their latest book. (They can work with me to pick a design. Thank God I don't know any intrepid Were-platypus authors out there.)

The interview itself will be conducted by their choice of one of the blog's Usual Suspects. They can choose to be interviewed by:

1. The blog's mascot: the Were-llama

2. Captain Jack Sparrow

3. The Spork of Doom

It's highly likely a few authors I approach will run as fast as they can in the opposite direction. More cupcakes for the rest of us that way. :)

Consider Your Options

The Cupcake Characters poll is still alive and kicking. Team Were-Platypus has taken the lead with 50 votes (as of this post), but they've also admitted to stacking the ballots. Team Jack Sparrow is fighting to narrow the gap at 31 votes. They've admitted to cheating too, but hey! He's a pirate. He's totally down with that.

I thought perhaps some visual aids might help in deciding the outcome. Will each team please present their mascots?

TEAM WERE-PLATYPUS



Name: Wally the Were-Platypus
Occupation: Fighting underwater crime
Hobbies: Eating sushi, listening to show tunes, and polishing his bill
Special Attributes: He can turn into a duck-billed, web-footed platypus at the drop of a hat. Or when he wants to show off for the women's' swim team.


TEAM JACK SPARROW



Name: He's Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?
Occupation: Pirate
Hobbies: Stealing ships, seducing women, and outsmarting everyone.
Special Attributes: Um...have you looked at his picture? Plus, he carries a sword and h…

A Harbinger Of Things To Come

1. The Cupcake Characters survey is well under way, and I find the results ... surprising, so far.

2. How is it possible that the Were-platypus cupcake idea is beating out Captain Jack?

3. I mean, he's CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW. Savvy?

4. If you haven't yet voted to correct this wrong, please do so.

5. Of course, it doesn't escape my attention that many of you are voting for the Were-Platypus (Thank you SO MUCH Shannon) just to make my life difficult.

6. Someday I hope to return the favor.

7. Daredevil tried to get past me in the kitchen the other day, and we sort of danced around each other until he finally looked at me and said, "Go on with your bad self."

8. So, I did.

9. The January query workshop starts today.

10. I always love diving into other writers' projects and helping them make their queries shine.

11. Always makes me wish I was a literary agent so I could request manuscripts.

12. Of course, I'd totally suck as a literary agent because a) I live far too much …

The Cupcake Characters!

Lately, I've been a little preoccupied with cupcakes. Not with eating them. My lemon bar fetish is safe from all competition. However, I've become obsessed with the idea of turning cupcakes into characters for the entertainment of my blog readers.

Like a ninja:



Only minus the turtle.

Or like a Were-llama...oddly enough, I couldn't find a single pic of a llama cupcake online. A valuable niche market being under-exploited by everyone on the planet!

Or I might make characters from my books, from movies, or from pop culture. (Yes, that means a Richard Simmons cupcake is in your future, dear reader. Tremble.) You get the idea.

Naturally, since I royally suck at arts and crafts, and this sort of qualifies, I'll need help. How fortunate for me that my hubby is amazingly skilled at cake art. I'm sure he'll help me. Who wouldn't want to put both a llama cupcake and a Richard Simmons cupcake on his resume?

So, if you have cupcake characters you'd like to see, leave a…

Top 10 Reasons I Won't Read Your Next Book

1. You barely skimmed the surface of your main characters. I love to sink beneath the skin of your characters and live in their heads for the duration of the book. If your heroine has the emotional capacity of block of wood, don't expect me to care if she gets put in mortal peril in chapter twenty. At that point, chances are good I'm rooting for her to bite the big one and put us all out of our misery.

2. Every character in your book is stunningly beautiful and perfect. I have a confession to make. Stunningly beautiful/perfect characters bore me to death. If you have an entire cast of them, I'll wonder if some cruel trick of fate has landed me in the middle of an episode of America's Top Model. I was about to say the only thing worse than reading an episode of ATM would be doing a workout with Richard Simmons, but at least he makes me laugh.

And he's not afraid of sequins.

3. Events happen that go against what a character would authentically do/choose simply so you c…

Casserole, Anyone?

1. Someone recently asked me why I do the list thing so much on my blog.

2. My answer? It's my blog, and I'll do what I want.

3. Also, I live a crazy-busy life, my post gave-birth-to-three-boys-in-four-years brain resembles a colander, and this way, I can share a bunch of random tidbits in one post (Hey! Convenient!) for the enjoyment of all.

4. It's like a C.J. casserole.

5. Everybody loves casserole.

6. If you don't, hie thyself to another blog.

7. I'm trying to convince my hubby to make a cake for our resident blog mascot, the Were-llama.

8. I want the cake to resemble the Were-llama.

9. With glowing red eyes.

10. Cool, yes?

11. Even cooler if the cake spits from both ends!

12. I'm all about the details, folks. And you know you want to see a sparting (spit+fart = spart...stay with me, peeps) Were-llama cake.

13. We could make a video of its construction.

14. Any suggestions for a Were-llama cake theme song?

15. Were-llama says NO to anything by Brittany.

16. Also, Were-ll…

Can't Think Of A Title To Save My Life

1. In my zeal to thank my awesome CPs for helping me make CASTING STONES the best it can be, I forgot to thank one very important person.

2. My hubby.

3. Without his tireless support of me, this book would still be unfinished.

4. He spent hours doing housework, cooking dinner, riding herd over homework time and bed time so I could go off by myself and write. Sometimes, I spent ALL day at the bookstore writing. Not only did he not complain, he cheerfully encouraged me to stay as late as I needed and was excited to mark every chapter's completion.

5. I can't really express how much his belief in me and my dreams means to me.

6. Thank you, Clint. I love you too.

7. That concludes the mushy portion of this program.

8. We will now return to our regularly scheduled mayhem and silliness.

9. *is waiting for inspiration to hit*

10. Daredevil's Sunday school teacher sent me an email this past weekend. Apparently, the class was discussing the tabernacle. The teacher asked the students, "…

Also

I want to publicly thank my CP team for hours of reading, catching my lack of commas or word repetitions, understanding my characters and falling in love with them too, and pushing me to make CASTING STONES the best it can be.

Thank you Katy Wagers, Myra McEntire, Keli Gwyn, and Heather Zuerner. You make me a better writer.

Typing THE END

Last night, at midnight (No, really. At midnight.) I typed The End on CASTING STONES. It came in at about 90k. I'm really pleased with it. I'm doing a final read-through and polish and then sending it to Holly tonight.

Also, the title is going to stay the same. I'd considered changing it, but after discussing it with my CPs, I've decided the title CASTING STONES works.

To meet the deadline for this, I had to work like a ditch digger these last two weeks. I wrote 50k in TWO WEEKS. Yes, that's insane. But I'm really glad I now know I can do that. =)

36 "Really? This Was Worth Sharing?" Facts

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 36. In keeping with the weird list tradition I seem to have inadvertently started on this blog, I thought I'd think of 36 random facts about me you might not know.

1. It's highly probable most readers of this blog will find less than half of these to be interesting and/or edifying.

2. And no, I don't think #1 is cheating, even though I said this was a list of random facts about ME, because it was discussing said list and it was on my blog, ergo, it was about ME. In a convoluted sort of way, of course, but if you're unable to appreciate my logic, you probably aren't a regular blog reader anyway, so what do you care?

3. I was raised in a family where the Swedish side thought a dessert called Prune Whip Pudding was acceptable celebratory fare for a Christmas Eve celebration.

4. As I firmly believe prunes, whipped or not, don't qualify as dessert, and as I'm not about to stick brown jello in my mouth, I avoided this delicacy li…

Next Workshop Registration Open

If you're interested in any of the following, head to my workshop site for more info:

1. The next query workshop starts in three weeks. Registration is now open.

2. I have four spots left on January's critique docket. If you want pages critiqued, please see the sidebar on the workshop site.

3. I'm now offering a synopsis critique as well. I will accept up to a ten page synopsis. Info/purchase button is on the sidebar.

Hinky Mountains, Nasty Goat Facts, & Danger to the Eastern Seaboard

1. As it's now 2010 (and has been for four days now, but whatever), I should probably post something profound, inspiring, and reflective.

2. ...

3. Hope that worked for you.

4. I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore because a)I constantly set and revise small goals for myself every month and b)I'm still working on taking over the world and really, shouldn't I accomplish one resolution before moving on to the next?

5. Eastern seaboard, be warned. I'm starting my bid for world domination with you.

6. This has as much to do with my desire to own a vacation house on the North Carolina beach as it does the fact that I need to get Washington under my belt before the rest of the continent can legitimately be mine.

7. Honestly, I really was going to post something ... well, maybe not inspiring, per say. But at least interesting and thought-provoking.

8. I got derailed by Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs.

9. (Speaking of which, maybe he should do a show on shoveling out the …