Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back . . . looking forward

This year has been one of both endings and new beginnings.

Looking Back

At the beginning of the year, I ended my job. This was bitter sweet. I loved my job (archivist), but I missed having time to write.

After I quit my job, I had plenty of time to write, but felt like I should be doing something more. After much thought and discussion with hubby and kids, it was decided I should go back to school and work toward Elementary Education. This was a new beginning for the entire family. It has gone well so far and 2010 will see me back in school.

While this has taken up some of my writing time (homework), I'm happy with how it is going. Also, my mind seems to work better. LOL

In 2009, I attended the SCBWI AZ Welcome to Our House conference. I learned so much from the critique I received (thank you, Bradford Hees from Blooming Tree Press!) and also from the workshops and talks from the faculty. What a wonderful experience!

I became the ANWA newsletter editor and what a fun experience that is!

I volunteered in my kids' school on a regular basis (Fridays).

2009 also saw the release of some fabulous books, and I enjoyed reading many of them. Unfortunately, I didn't get to all of them and I still have a huge pile waiting for me.

Many other wonderful things happened in 2009. I made new friends and got to know old friends a bit better. I embarked on a journey into Twitterland (it's almost as strange and bizarre as Wonderland).

Looking Forward

And now it's time to look forward. What will 2010 bring? I suppose it depends on what I want it to bring. I must seek what I wish to find. No treasure was ever found without first searching for it. I mean to find me some darn good treasure in 2010, and 2009 helped get me started along the path.

Every year is an adventure and I'm completely looking forward to the experiences I'll enjoy as I follow the paths of 2010. Hopefully I won't make a wrong turn. =D

I look forward to some awesome releases in 2010 (you can see my list over on the right and I'm sure it will grow).

Dreaming Big

As inevitably happens, a new year is a time for new goals. These are some of mine (because if I don't share them, I won't be accountable).

Some Writing Goals:

Write at least one new novel

Send out queries on my other works

Attend at least one writing conference

Write at least one day a week (giving myself some leeway with school and all that)

Get a Macbook Pro (I won't be getting it in January as I hoped) and learn to use it

Enter at least one writing contest

Update my blog at least once a month (yeah, I was bad with that in 2009)

Keep up with my critique groups

Do at least one full MS exchange with someone new (meaning someone outside my critique groups)

Some Personal Goals:

Read all the 2010 books on my list (on the right)

Add at least one more book to my list

Pass my classes with a C or better (which requires a few smaller goals to reach . . . like do my homework on time, not miss class, etc.)

Reach level 44 on Farmtown (stupid Facebook games)

Not spend so much time on Facebook games (I know this seems to contradict the previous goal, but really it doesn't. I'll just have to cut down on all the other games I play and concentrate on Farmtown hee hee hee)

Go on a date with hubby at least once a month (2009 was light on the date front)

Learn to use my new camera

What are some of your 2010 goals?

Write on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to me

Okay, I know it's a bit early, but I've already received my Christmas present . . . Sort of. A link on Twitter led me to Jennifer Cruise's blog to read the structure  post. While I was there, I read more of her blog and was thrilled with the post about revision and discovery in the new year. Within that post was a link to where I could sign up for a revision class taught by Lani Diane Rich.

It sounded fabulous and I thought it would be perfect for me. I begged hubby to let me have the class as a Christmas present. I didn't really think he'd let me, but he said, "Okay. If that's what you really want, but you won't have anything to open on Christmas morning." I said I didn't care about having something to open (but the kids might so we decided to make up a coupon or something to put in a box). Anyway, I've signed up for the class (it starts in January) and I'm looking forward to seeing what wonderful things I'll learn about revision.


My only concern is that I also go to school full time next semester so I'm wondering how insane I am to have added one more thing to my already overflowing plate. I really hope I can eat everything on the plate without getting an upset stomach. ;-)

Now I'm off to finish up some submissions and get them in the mail today (Merry Christmas to the editors hee hee hee).

And in case I don't get back here before Friday, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! (sorry I didn't get cards sent out this year . . . bad Joan, bad!)

May your day be fabulous, and may your children (if you have them) not fight/argue/whine/complain/annoy each other/etc. for an entire day (now THAT would be the best Christmas present ever)!

Write on.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hooray!! A celebration.

No, I didn't get an agent or a book deal, but I DID finish my semester of school yesterday. That's definitely cause for celebration!

I even managed to pass all my classes . . . I think I may have even passed all of them with an "A."

I now have two weeks of break before I go back for the spring semester. Unfortunately, I'm taking four classes (full time) next semester and I'm worried about how I'll manage to do it with everything else I have going on. *sigh*

I even managed to get some Christmas shopping done today . . . yeah, nothing like waiting until the last minute. We still haven't decorated, but that will happen on Saturday.

Seriously, this Christmas really snuck up on me! Now I'm scrambling to get everything done in time. CRAZY!

One more thing before I go. There is still time to enter the contest for a chance to read an ARC of THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON by Joni Sensel (the sequel to THE FARWALKER'S QUEST).

Celebrate on!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sharing TIME . . . a contest

It's here, the moment you've all been waiting for (you have been waiting, right?)!


In my last post, I reviewed this sequel to THE FARWALKER's QUEST. If you missed the review, go ahead and check it out. When you're done, come on back.

Doesn't that sound like an awesome book? My mere words don't do justice to the world and characters Joni has created. I'm in awe.

Because I love these books so much, I'm honored Joni allowed me to run this contest to help promote THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON.

Go here to my LJ blog to read about the contest and enter.

Write on.

Novel Novel Review

It's that time again!

Here's a quick reminder of my rating system

A+--I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book. In most cases, I passed it on to my child/teen.

A--I enjoyed this book and I might pass it on to my child/teen.

B--I liked this book, but probably won't pass it on to my child/teen.

C--I thought it was okay, but I won't pass it on to my child/teen.

D--I didn't like this book, and won't allow my child/teen to read it.

F--I hope I never have to go here. =D

I will give reasons for my rating in my review, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you find your book here, don't panic if I rate it below an A. These are my personal preferences and I'm only one small person in a large market. =D

I was thrilled when Joni Sensel asked if I'd review the sequel to THE FARWALKER'S QUEST for I love the characters and world Sensel has created and couldn't wait to dive into THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON.

Here is my review:

The Timekeeper's Moon by Joni Sensel

Rating: A + (and more)

Category:  Fantasy

The moon calls to Ariel Farwalker and urges her to embark on a quest. Leaving her best friend Zeke behind, Ariel and her guardian journey to new friends and distant lands. Ariel hopes to find the sender of the telling darts, if she lives long enough.

I fell in love with this world and characters in THE FARWALKER'S QUEST. I thrilled at the prospect of reading the sequel, but I did have some nagging concerns. Because the first one blew me away, I feared nothing could compare.

THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON not only compared, but managed to thrill me even more than FARWALKER. Adventure, excitement, and wonderful new characters greeted me with each page turn.

THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON pulled me in and kept me moonstruck through the entire novel. When I had to put the book down, I felt the story tugging at my mind and urging me to return. I couldn't get back to it fast enough!

Like THE FARWALKER'S QUEST before it, Sensel has a way of bringing her characters and world to brilliant life, making me wish I could stay immersed in Ariel's story forever. The only disappointment I had was the ending, but only because the book was over.

Whenever I look at the moon, I'll think of Ariel Farwalker and wonder where her feet will lead her next.

Write on.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

School days, school daze and sharing TIME

Whew! One more week and I'm finished . . . well, until January.

Sorry I've been absent. But I'm back now. Unfortunately, I'm too exhausted to do a post of any relevance what-so-ever. My brain is so full of information I'll need for final exams next week that I can't think of much else.

However, I do have some good news . . . ready?

THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON contest will be launching on or before Sunday!

It's true. I had a few minutes between classes to check the mail yesterday and was thrilled to see a package from Joni Sensel among the bills (wasn't so thrilled to see the bills though). Inside this wonderful package was an ARC of THE TIME KEEPER'S MOON as well as some other fun items (to be revealed later).

I'll launch the contest before Sunday if possible, but I have one more project for school that needs finishing . . . and I'll be at the kids' school for the Holiday Store all day today, tomorrow, and Saturday. If I get time in the evening, I'll do it.

Joni tells me the other two ARCs are on their way, so we'll have three copies going out. I'm thrilled to death to be able to do this contest for her, and I really hope it goes well. That means I'll need lots of help to spread the word. You guys will help me spread the word, right?

Now I must dash to get the kids to school and get my stuff together so I can go back to the kids' school and set up my little store. I hope a lot of the online store stuff sells so I'll have room in my shed for other things. I also hope the jewelry and bookmarks I made sell . . . I'd hate to think I spent so much time making them for nothing.


Sell on. ;-)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's time . . .

for a contest. But I'm not quite ready to launch THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON contest so here's a link to another great contest for you to check out in the meantime.

Cheryl Herbsman is having a contest with some truly cool prizes for the winning. Be sure to check it out and also check out her Q&A video session to learn more about what inspired her to write BREATHING as well as some insight to the characters.

Go on, check it out and then head on back if you want to keep reading. Or maybe you want to read on now and then go to the contest later. That's okay too.

Another thing it may be time for is reconsidering my educational goals. I spent today in my daughter's second grade classroom. I wasn't volunteering, but observing the classroom management for my Intro to Education course. My eyes have been opened and I have a newfound respect for all the teachers out there.

D2's teacher did tell me that this class is much more rambunctious than any class she's ever had and not all of them are like this.

THANK GOODNESS! Because I was seriously considering changing my field of study.

D2 had informed me that it was often hard for her to concentrate on her work in class, but I thought she was only making excuses. I apologized to her after school today.

Tomorrow I'm observing a kindergarten classroom so we'll see how it goes.

Study on.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge

I've decided to participate in the Debut Author Challenge. I'm sure I'll be adding more to the list as I go, but you can see the ones I've got in the sidebar. Did you find it? Over there on the right. Go on, take a look, I'll wait for you.

Ah, you're back now. Great! Aren't those some awesome books? If you'd like to participate, click on over to The Story Siren and sign yourself up!


Go on.

Read on!

Write on.

Book Trailer

Have you seen the awesome book trailer for Magic Under Glass?

You've got to see it!

Want to win a hardcover of MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore plus more prizes? See for details!


Write on!