Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Words on Wednesday

First of all, I’m LOVING WriteOnCon this year! The theme is Back to Basics, and I’ve learned more than I thought I would. I’m not saying I think I know it all or anything, but I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about the basics at least. I. Was. Wrong.

Seriously, there’s always more to learn because everyone approaches writing differently. There are some amazing suggestions on the site. Check it out if you have time (last session of the Con is tonight, but the stuff will still be there for you to enjoy at your leisure).

One thing I saw at the conference and wanted to share (I got permission) is this fun trailer for The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas (she’s such fun to watch and you should watch her presentation on Do It Yourself promotion from Tuesday’s session of WriteOnCon).

I’ll be sad to see the conference end tonight, but my family will be glad I’m no longer glued to the computer.

How has your Wednesday been?

Write on!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Words

It’s here! The kids are off to their first day of school. While I’m excited because it means I’ll be able to get back to a writing schedule/routine, I’m also a bit nervous. Not sure if it’s nerves for the kids and the new school year for them, or nerves for myself and my writing. I’m not sure why I should be nervous about diving back into a regular writing schedule, but I think I might be. This is the first time in a long time that I’ll have Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for nothing but writing. I won’t be going back to school myself this semester, and (so far) I’m not signed up to do any volunteering at the school library. My days from about 9:00 until 3:00 are all mine for writing!

Of course, Wednesday isn’t in the list above because hubby is off on Wednesdays, and it’s hard to write when he’s home watching TV. But today, he had a meeting in Flagstaff so he’s gone too (won’t be home until after the kids are). I’m going to get some writing done today! It’s not that I haven’t been writing at all during the summer—I did a bit here and there when I could, but it was hard with kids home—but there’s a part of me that wonders if my lax summer habits will be easy to break (played lots of games during the summer). I’m hoping I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things (this blog post might be considered an effort to procrastinate, but I think it’s more of a “breaking the ice” type thing) right away and accomplish quite a bit of writing.

The first project I’ll be tackling is finishing up the rewrite of the MG I’ve been doing. Once finished with the rewrite, I’ll be revising it based on feedback from critique buddies. I’m setting a deadline and planning on having it all finished and revised and ready to send to my wonderful agent by the end of September.

What are your plans for this wonderful Wednesday?

Write on!

Monday, July 16, 2012

July Recent Reads Reviews

It’s time for some reviews on books I’ve read recently (well, since my last reviews in April). As a reminder of my new scoring system, I’m using emoticons. Here’s what they mean:

Open-mouthed smileWOW—I loved this book and will talk/have talked about/shared it with others.

Smile--Not totally in love, but this was a great book and I may talk about/share it with others.

Thinking smile--This was okay. I enjoyed reading it, but it’s not my favorite.

Sad smile--This wasn’t for me. I stopped reading and couldn’t bring myself to finish.

Steaming mad--How did this get published?

If you happen to be the author of one of the books I review, please remember this is my honest opinion. Don’t hate me if I don’t give your book a great big happy grin. I am only one reader in the whole wide readership and I’m sure there are those who’ll love your work—it just wasn’t me.

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel--Open-mouthed smile--I picked this up at a book fair at the middle school last year. It sat in my TBR pile for quite a while—not because I didn’t want to read it, but because there were so many other books I had added to the pile first (yes, I’m reviewing out of order). I passed over some of the books that had been in the pile much longer and picked up this one. I guess I was in the mood for something dark. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I loved how Oppel treated Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein and other characters. The idea of showing Victor’s earlier years is brilliant! It looked interesting when I picked it up in the book fair, but I may not have if the librarian (a trusted friend) had mentioned she picked herself up a copy. I’m glad I bought it! Oppel’s tale is rich with beautiful prose, and he handles the dark mind of Victor in a sympathetic and engrossing way. This is one I’ve added to my re-read pile.

The story—Sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein’s twin brother, Konrad, is ill and the doctors can’t seem to cure him. Desperate to save his brother, Victor enlists the help of his friend, Henry, and his beautiful cousin, Elizabeth, to help him find a cure. They think they’ve found the answer when they stumble on a secret library filled with Alchemy books. The practice of Alchemy is against the law, but Victor is willing to risk it when he discovers a recipe for the Elixir of Life. Certain it will cure his brother, he’s willing to make great sacrifices (I won’t tell you what and spoil it) to get the ingredients and see the potion made.


Dangerous Favor by Joyce DiPastena--Open-mouthed smile--While this wasn’t a “recent” read, I don’t remember reviewing it and wanted to. I love how DiPastena gives a brand new story and characters while still blending in past characters from her novels, Loyalty’s Web and Illuminations of the Heart. This is another sweet (and clean) romance that transports the reader to the middle ages. I loved traipsing across medieval France with Mathilde and Etienne!

The story—Mathilde’s family was thrust into poverty when her father was accused of stealing from the king. Mathilde knows he’s innocent, but without a rich and connected husband, she has no way to prove it. She’s set her sights on Lord Therri and is determined to win his hand—and money and connections. She sets out to grant Therri her favor (an embroidered white ribbon her brother let her borrow) for the knight’s tournament. Instead, she’s tricked into granting her favor to Therri’s friend, Etienne. This sets in motion a chain of events that puts Mathilde and those around her in danger. Etinne is smitten by Mathilde and determined to save her from the dangerous nightmares of her past.


Drawn by Marie Lamba--Open-mouthed smile--Lamba’s great characters pulled me into the story, but it was the fascination of time travel/ghosts of the past that kept me reading. I’m a sucker for castles and loved the one in Drawn. The twining of past and present was brilliantly done, as was the romance and growth of the characters in both time periods. There were a few things I figured out before they were revealed (including who the “bad guy” was). I’ve been known to stop reading books when they are too predictable—but there has to be an eye-roll factor present for me to put it down, and there wasn’t any eye-rolling while I read Drawn. Even though I figured it out, Lamba’s characters and world were interesting and real enough to keep me reading.

The story—Michelle De Freccio isn’t sure she’s going to like living in England with her father or attending Wallingford Academy, but she’s willing to give it a try. Especially since no one knows her, and she won’t have the embarrassment of being known as the daughter of a psychic mother and schizophrenic brother to deal with. She’s making a new life for herself and enjoying drawing the mysterious man who’s showed up in her drawings—until she comes face to face with him. She’s immediately drawn to him, but things get complicated when she discovers who he really is. When she tries to unravel the mystery of him, it changes her future and his.


Those are some of my recent (or not so recent) reads. There are more I’ve read and need to review, but this is already a long post so they’ll have to wait until next time.

What about you? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What books have been your favorite reads recently?


Read on!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I’m Free to Write

Today I’m grateful for those who fought to win American independence and those who continue to fight to keep us free. In honor of these amazing and brave people, I’m going to exercise my freedom of speech and using the morning to write. Yay!

After the kids are up, we’ll have our flag ceremony (our Cub Scout is excited). Then the rest of the day will be pretty boring. The kids promised to clean their rooms (we’ll see if it happens), and I need to do a load of dishes and a load of towels (amazing how fast they get used in summer when kids are playing in the pool). Maybe we’ll have a barbeque for lunch, but basically everything we do is distraction to keep the kids from constantly asking me if it’s time for fireworks.

Yes, despite the extreme fire danger, our town does fireworks every year. Only because they do the fireworks out on the lake in Green Valley Park. Once again, the sky is cloudy and it looks like rain (it seems to rain here EVERY July 4th). I’m not sure how much of the fireworks we’ll be able to enjoy if it’s pouring down rain (though we did watch the fireworks in a light rain a couple of years ago). Still, we need the rain, and I’m grateful whenever it falls.

We aren’t sure where we’ll go to watch the fireworks this year. We used to have a spot up by the airport but over the years, others in the town have discovered what an amazing vantage point it is and it’s been super crowded the last couple of years.

We don’t go down to the park because it’s WAY too congested down there with all the people and traffic. Still, we’ll enjoy celebrating our independence today however we manage to do it.

But, as I said, I’ll be using the morning to do some writing.

What about you? If you’re here in America, what do you do to celebrate Independence Day?

Write on.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Five

1. Another day of peace and quiet (at least till hubby comes home from work). I’ve done a little writing and then had to stop and do a lot of plotting (hey, sometimes these things need to be planned). I’m taking a break to blog and then get lunch before diving back into more writing.

2. On my break, I discovered the amazing Dawn Metcalf is celebrating the first anniversary of her book, LUMINOUS!

I can’t believe it’s been a year. Wow. In celebration of the anniversary she’s holding a giveaway. Go here to check it out and enter.

3. Though I’m enjoying my quiet time, I do find I’m missing my kids. Crazy, I know. The house is just so quiet. No one is banging on my door or yelling “Mom” from somewhere else in the house. And there aren’t any little arms to give me hugs. We’ve been keeping in touch with Facetime (the kids all have their own iPods and hubby and I have our iPads), but it’s not the same. I’ll be glad to have them back—but I’m sure I’ll miss the quiet time when it’s gone too. The grass is always greener and all that.

4. I can’t believe this month is almost over! It was full of fun with us taking the kids to the zoo and science center and Lowell Observatory. And oldest son, E, turned 19 on the 22nd!! July will be here in a few more days and with it J and JR’s birthdays, mine and hubby’s anniversary, and the kids will be going back to school! Crazy!

5. What plans do you have for the end of June and the first of July this weekend?

Write on.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Things

My house is quiet.

No, I didn’t murder my family and bury them in the back yard or anything.  It’s quiet because hubby and oldest son are off working today. “But wait,” you say. “You have three other children. What about them?” Ah, fear not, my friends. Last night we dropped the three youngest kids off at the in-laws in Flagstaff where they’ll stay until Sunday. This means quiet time for me. Yay!

So, what am I doing with my first day of quiet? Well, I spent the morning catching up on emails and such. I thought I’d spend the rest of the day catching up on housework (cleaning the kids’ rooms while they’re gone), but another plan has formed instead.

Since it’s hard to get any writing done when the kids are home—they think they need their mother for other things, silly beasts—I decided to use this rare kid-free time to get some writing done.

Granted, it would be easier to clean their rooms while they’re gone so they aren’t looking over my shoulder and begging to keep things I want to throw away, but it can be done while they’re home (even if it means keeping a few things that would normally be thrown out), and writing can’t.

So, after I get something lunch-ish to eat, I plan to tackle a couple of critiques. Once I get those done, I’ll be able to dive into my WIP guilt free—at least until I have to walk down the hall for something and see that the rooms really do need my attention. I guess I’ll just have to avoid the hallway. Winking smile

Hope you all have a happy Thursday!

Write on.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Five

1. I love this post by Dawn Metcalf about beginnings and endings. Beginnings are hard for me. Endings can sometimes be hard too, but at least there’s the satisfaction of reaching the end. With the beginning, there’s a blank page staring at me, daring me to fill it. It’s usually a struggle. I rewrite/revise my beginnings countless times, but the endings usually don’t require much revision/rewriting. What about you? Do you prefer beginnings or endings?

2. I’ve been slacking again. Not only have I ignored my blog (sorry) and Facebook (not a bad thing, necessarily), but I’ve been ignoring my writing (a very bad thing). Okay, so things have been busy with the start of summer and family obligations, and crafting obligations (yes, it’s an obligation—I’m paying for a space in a local store and I needed to fill it), and everything, but really, I COULD have done some writing if I really wanted to. I’ve just been too lazy. Even now, I’m blogging to avoid working on my WIP (I WILL do at least one chapter today, I’ve promised myself—and now you). Is it harder for you to write in the summer?

3. Father’s Day is Sunday, and I haven’t done a single bit of shopping. I don’t even know what to get hubby. I’m making a shoe rack for my dad and still need to buy the wood and stuff to make it. I had no problem coming up with a gift idea for my dad, but it’s more difficult to figure out something for hubby. *sigh* I know my dad needs a shoe rack (and decided to build one instead of buy one), but I can’t think of a single thing hubby wants/needs. We always get him lame things like a tie or DVD or something. Although, now that I think about it, he has mentioned wanting a new speaker system for the bedroom TV/DVD/BlueRay. Hmm . . . problem solved—well sort of, I still have to take the kids shopping to buy it and that can be a HUGE problem (kids don’t shop well—always ask for stuff and stress me out). Winking smile What are you planning for Father’s Day?

4. Vacationing is exhausting. It was more of a day trip, really, but it was still exhausting. We went to the Phoenix Zoo AND the Arizona Science Center on Wednesday. We will never do it again! One or the other, but never both in the same day. I have never walked so much in my life, and my legs are S-O-R-E. Okay, so the exercise is good for me and all that, but DANG!

5. Even though there are more blogs to catch up on and all that, I’m going to resist temptation and get to work on my revising/rewriting. Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.

Write on.