Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do you argue with your characters

I got into a fight with my protag the other day and after it was all said and done she won the battle...but I won the war!!

I realized the big tug-o-war match we were having was because I wanted her to react the way I would react.

I've been learning through a tedious process, that when we as writers really come out of our shell, one thing we will do, is let our characters go off into this big ole' world on their own and be who they were meant to be.

So yeah, I shed a few tears, but in the end, I think I grew a little more as a writer.

What about you, do you ever get into fist fights with your characters because you want them to do something they wouldn't really do?


Just a little update: I haven't forgotten about my agent spotlights. I will be starting them soon, so stay tuned!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Writers Butt--Update #1

Welp, this is my first Writer's Butt update and I really wanted to find the perfect picture for the occasion but I couldn't find one. If anyone knows of any hilarious pics (in good taste) that would relate to Writers Butt, I'd love to hear about it.

Now, onto the update....

As I said in my beginning of the year goals post, I am determined to get my tail in shape this year and rid my life of Writer's Butt. I am under the impression that being accountable to you all is going to help me reach my goal.


It has been 26 days and here is what I've done:

- Joined Weight Watchers (I have actually been a member for awhile, but was horrible at doing it. Now I'm better!

- Started working out. I'm trying mix it up be doing some P90X, Dance 2 and Adventures on the Kinect and cleaning. And I do this BEFORE I start my writing.

- Eating smaller portions.

By doing those things I have LOST 8.2 POUNDS!!!

I'm feeling pretty good. Nope it isn't Biggest Loser numbers or anything, but it is coming off which makes me feel better every time my butt plops in the writing chair.

What about you? Are you trying to rid your life of Writer's Butt? If so, what are you doing? How is it going? What about other goals, how are they coming along?

Before I say adios for the weekend I want to thank all of those who helped me out and encouraged me through the crappy synopsis. I also want to give Sharon Bayliss and Robin Weeks a shout out and a big thanks for both giving me the Kreative Blogger award! You two are slammin' in my book:)
Now for 6 random things about me (some of these may be repeats so I'm sorry if you've heard them before...
1) When I was a child I lived in a tent with my dad for about 6 months.
2) I was attacked by my brothers big dog and my husband--then boyfriend--saved me and was attacked. To this day both of us have scars and nerve damage in our arms.
3) I've moved way more times than I can count. 30 times give or take is what I'm thinking.
4) A brown recluse bit me when I was a teenager and I almost lost my leg.
5) I was a baton twirler for the Tennessee Twirlers when I was a kid and made the state team in Tennessee and we got to travel and perform all over.
6) My great uncle was in the Guinness Book of World Record for pulling a train with his teeth. No lie!

And I'm passing this award on to just a few of my favorite bloggers out there (I wish I could pick you all!):

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Dreaded Synopsis

Well, I've ho-hummed about this for a week and I am still pulling my hair out. The synopsis shouldn't be this hard. But it is! For me.

But numerous people have given me this link so it must be a good one. So I thought I would share.

How To Write A 1-Page Synopsis

I've been working on some editing and today I am sending my kiddos off to school and will write this darn thing! Even if it kills me. And it just might.

Wish me luck:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Free-For-All Friday! Contests! Bloghops! Awards!

What a week! I'm all about the hectic week though, because I kinda like to be frazzled. There I said it. It's a love/hate thing I suppose.

Here are some highlights:

-My van is a piece of junk. Did you know it costs over a $1000 bones to fix junk? And then, when I went to pick up the fixed junk, it wouldn't start. Darn batteries.

-I took my Grandmother to the doctor for a check-up on her skin cancer. It was gone. Yes! But a new place showed up. That woman is a fighter I tell you. She has dealt with years of Lymphoma and now skin cancer yet she still manages to curl her hair and put lipstick and jewelry on when we go out. Love her:)

-These two boys I don't know came to my house freezing and needing a ride, I felt so bad for them so I gave them a ride to their house. Now they are coming on warm days asking for rides. Umm....

In my writing world:

-I am still looking for two more betas, so if anyone is interested please let me know:)

-ER King (Get Busy Writing) has been brave enough to be a beta reader and she just sent me some fabulous suggestions!

-Monica (Love YA) just critiqued my first 1000 and again, more fab suggestions!

-I entered some contests and in Jamie Ayers agent contest, I got excellent feedback from Nicole Resciniti from the Seymour Agency. Can I just say she is soooo cool! She asked everyone who entered for a partial and a synopsis (except for two, who she asked for fulls).

-Which brings me to the next item on my writing 'to do' list. A synopsis. I would rather gouge my eyes out with red hot coals. Maybe.

-I blinked and went up a hundred followers! Not sure how that happened, but thanks so much to my new lovelies:)

-I was given the Versatile and Kreativ Blogger awards from the uber-fantastic Kelley over at Between the Bookends. I'm supposed to tell some things about myself, so I am going to call my bullet list above 'my things' and pass these awards on to...
ANYONE WHO COMMENTS ON THIS POST (because I seriously can't pick I love you all!)

And one last item of business for the Free-For-All

Writing Contests I've heard about:
Query Tracker Logline/100 words-Jan 30th
Cupids Connection Query/250 contest Ends today!
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest Jan 23-Feb 5

Bloghops I'm Doing:
Flickerfest Bloghop - Can't find the link to this, but I wanted to do it. If anyone knows, I'd love to know.
The rest of the bloghops I'm doing are in the left sidebar under "Things I Love". I'm excited for them all!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Debut Author, Tawdra Kandle Interview and Chance to Win a Kindle!

I don't usually blog on Wednesdays anymore, but one of my great friends, Tawdra Kandle, is starting her book tour today and I am super excited for her. You should really check out her book, Fearless and the tour because she is giving away a free Kindle, plus if you sign up for her newsletter you get a free e-book of her second book in the series, Breathless! Whaa...? Yup, I said it:) Check out the details HERE
Now, on to the interview...

DB: Tell us a little about yourself and your book? 

TK: I’m a wife and  a homeschooling mom.  Two of my kids are graduated, and two are still homeschooling. I’ve also been a mother-in-law since this past June! And of course, I’m a writer.  I’ve been creating characters and stories in one form or another since I can remember.  Those tales saw me through some tough times.  My first short story was published in the magazine “A Child’s Life” when I was twelve years old.  After I was married and had children, I veered away from fiction for several years to concentrate on non-fic work, mostly columns and articles on parenting and homeschooling. I also wrote some homeschool curriculum.  I began seriously writing fiction again in 2008, and that year I finished my first YA novel, FEARLESS, which grew into the King series.
FEARLESS tells the story of Tasmyn, a seventeen-year old girl who has spent her life hiding her ability to hear minds. When she moves to the town of King, Tas is faced with first love, a rumor of blood sacrifices and a chem. teacher who seems to be more than she appears. The King series follows Tasmyn’s journey from a shy and cautious girl to a young woman confident in and comfortable with her powers.

DB: Wow, published at 12! You are destined for great writerly things:) And having read Tawdra's work, Fearless is one you don't want to miss!
You recently went the indie publishing route and I think your story is one that many writers might resonate with. Could you share your journey and how you got to where you are now?

TK: Like most if not all writers, I began this journey fully confident that I would go the traditional publishing route.  Once FEARLESS was completed, I began querying agents.  In retrospect, I started that process too soon, burning contacts before the book was really ready to be seen. Querying can be  demoralizing, but I didn’t really lose heart.  I was encouraged by agents telling me that they loved my writing but that my story wasn’t quite what they were looking for at the moment. 
I attended a writers’ conference in New York in the fall of 2010, and it was there that I realized that the world of publishing was in the midst of a revolution. Agents and editors weren’t saying as much in their seminars, but privately, they were much more vocal. I also recognized that finding an agent was going to be much harder than I had anticipated, as our small group received directly contradicting advice from each new set of agents we met in the roundtables!

I began chatting online with some of my favorite well-known authors, asking their advice on the whole process.  Several told me that if they were new writers today, they would definitely go the route of indie publishing, because it provides more creative and financial control. It took a little time for me to accept that going this way was not giving up; instead, it’s just taking a different road to the same destination. It does require more work in the realm of promotion and publicity, but even those authors who are traditionally published are often on their own when it comes to that part of the business.  The days of book tours and readings for every new author are over!
DB: I love hearing your story, and I think this is a great route. I commend you for it and can't wait to see your success:)

Time management seems to a big theme in a lot of blog posts I read lately. Can you tell us how you time manage writing with promotion, being a mother, wife, and all the many other duties you have?
TK: This is a huge topic of interest for me; I even have a page on my website called “How Writers Stay Sane” and post weekly about different strategies. I am blessed to have daughters who are very tolerant of my writing.  They frequently pick up the slack in the housekeeping and cooking department.  I try to keep running lists of what needs to be done when, different lists for each part of my life.  I have a wonderful friend, fellow writer and advisor who prods me to keep up the promotion end when I slack off.  And I don’t sleep nearly as much as I would like! It’s amazing the things you can accomplish after midnight.  Now having said that, I miss the amount of time I used to be able to give just pure writing—not editing, not promotion or anything else associated with books—just pure, wonderful writing time.  I have books that need to be finished, and I might have to run away for a week to make that happen.  But shhhh. . don’t tell my family that!

DB: Your secret is safe with me:)
What is the next step for Tawdra Kandle?

TK: Other than running away?    Once I’ve launched that, I am going to concentrate on editing RESTLESS and the final book in the series, which I think will be called TIMELESS (but that is a working title).   Then I have to finish the first book in my adult series, which is as yet untitled.  It’s much lighter than the King series, and I am having a lot of fun with it.  I think it has series potential, but we shall see.  After that. . .Nell wants her own book, and I have the work up of a sort of prequel to the King series, about Gravis King, the man who founded the town, and Sarah, the witch he rescued from being burned at the stake in Romania.  So many characters, so little time!
DB:Well, it doesn't sound like you are giving yourself any time to run away!  

Now let's have a little fun....
Favorite food?

TK: Aside from anything chocolate, I love beets with goat cheese and spiced pecans.  I know. . but it’s good for me and I love the juxtaposition of flavors!!
Favorite book?

TK: You might as well ask me about my favorite child. Gone With the Wind was the first real book I remember reading, when I was about 7 or 8.  I love Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow. Just about anything Anne Rice writes. . .and Stephen King. . .Diana Gabaldon. . .oh, I could just go on and on!
DB: Favorite author, and if you were trapped in an elevator with him/her, what would ask?

TK: My favorite author right now is probably Diana Gabaldon, just because I love her style and her unapologetic defiance of book length maximums! If we were trapped in an elevator, I would ask her how she keeps all her story strands straight. . .and how she integrates them so well.
DB: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

TK: England. 
DB: Where do you see yourself in five years?

TK: Still writing, hopefully with more finesse and style, and also I hope with more understanding of the promotion and publicity process.  I would like to have a loyal readership who enjoy my books.  That,  a happy and healthy family, and I’ll be satisfied.
DB: Sounds like a perfect plan! Tawdra, thanks so much for visiting today!

And for all you potential Tawdra fans, go get her book HERE. It's awesome!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is Blogging Important to Your Writing?

I've heard both sides of this question very thoroughly debated, and I have come to the conclusion that...well, it depends.

When I first decided I would try this novel thing out, I hadn't the first clue about blogging or websites...or writing anything for that matter. All I knew is I wanted to write. And I did.

As I wrote, I read. And as I read, I began to become more and more interested in the author behind the story, since I wanted to be one myself. I headed to the Internet to learn more, and low and behold, author blogs were born to me.

My eyes were suddenly opened to a whole new world of writing 'dos and don'ts', as well as the camaraderie I so desperately craved from other like-minded people.

So I began a blog of my own.

Did it make me famous? No.

Do I expect agents to come knocking down my door because they love my blog? Umm, no.

Do I expect my massive following of 468 (of which I may be lucky to get 30 or so of them to check out my blog daily) to push my sales through the roof when I finally do get a book deal (I'm an optimist, what can I say:)? That would be a big fat no as well.


Has it done those things for other authors? Well, sure.

Has it taught me oodles of information on the craft, the writing market, finding a critique group, what a beta is, finding an agent, getting published, not giving up, querying...and the list goes on? Heck yes!

So is blogging important to your writing? I can't answer that for you. But, for me, I would have to say a big resounding, YES! I have learned so much through the outlet it provides, I don't know what I would do without the blogs I browse to teach me. I wasn't lucky enough to get a degree in Creative Writing...or even finish college for that matter (though I hope to one day). So I consider what I learn through blogs, sites and helpful links, my schooling. Of course the occasional writers conference doesn't hurt either. And when I go there and meet people, I go home and check out their blogs if they have one.

I love blogging.

I know it isn't for everyone. And even if it is for you, there is a fine line between blogging to help you write and blogging taking away your time to write. We all have to learn our limits.

What about you? Is blogging important to your writing? And if so, how?

Friday, January 13, 2012

On the Horizon

Now that my 2012 goals are in place, I thought I would use my blog as way to help me achieve them. So I've got a few new things I'm going to be doing that I'd like to share with you.

Writer's Butt Updates:
You may remember a post back in September about how sitting in my computer chair day-in and day-out has done a number on my tail? I called the dilemma, Writer's Butt. Well, this year, I am bound and determined to remedy this issue. To help, I will be doing a monthly post on the last Friday of every month, about what's working, what's not, and my progress (or lack thereof), to keep me accountable. Feel free to join me on these Fridays. Together, we can rid the world of Writer's Butt! Or at least have fun trying:)

Friday Free-For-All:
On Friday's I'm going to give myself permission to have a free day. I'll talk about my life, my writing updates, how my cat (Totally flubbed that up. It's my dog. That is what I get for writing this post at midnight:) wears booties in the snow because she doesn't like her feet to get cold. No joke. Anything and everything will be up for grabs on Fridays.

Agent Spotlight:
My other blogging day is Tuesday, and I am going to try to keep that centered around writing. I'm talking, the craft, getting published, marketing, the ups and downs of the journey, you name it. And since I'm going to be querying soon, I thought it might also be nice to add in some spotlights for new agents, or ones I've come across in my research that I think are super cool.

Are any of you bloggers out there changing things up in your neck of the woods? I'd love to hear all about it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby Got Back

And by back, I don't mean a big ole booty that jiggles when you walk. Though I do have one of those too.

Nope. I mean, one sturdy, iron steel back bone. Because it's what you must have in this writing world right?

I'm getting mine nice and chiseled for next week, because I'm going to send my manuscript FOR THE FIRST TIME to a group of beta buddies.
Edit: Okay, scratch the "very first time" bit. I just realized that I have had a beta buddy before with the very first manuscript I ever wrote. Jordan McCollum (who is going to have her debut novel out in 2013!) She was one who thrashed me...in a good way, she was very kind through it all. But it was the most helpful thing I think I've had on my writing road thus far. I will be ever grateful for her:)
For those of you just starting out on your writing journey, a beta is basically a reader with fresh eyes. They haven't critiqued your work line by line, like your critter group. They haven't read any of it really. They're there to pick up on plot holes, pacing, the real nitty-gritty kind of stuff. The stuff that makes a book a page turner vs a dusty old thing forgotten on a book shelf.

So yeah.


I'm four days away from sending my baby out into the world. Am I scared? Heck yeah! But you know what? I'm more excited than anything else, because I'm ready to get the thrashings I need in order to make my book the best that it can be. I can't believe I've finally made it to this point. It feels sooooo good!

So what about you? Are you tough as nails when you send your blood, sweat and tears out into the world? Or are you so protective over it, that one negative slash to your pages will send you in a downward spiral? Maybe your somewhere in between? I'd love to know how the beta process works for you all.

Friday, January 6, 2012

That was Then, This is Now

That was Then

Last year I had a couple of solid goals:

1) Finish my novel

2) Get in shape

Did I meet them?

For the first goal. I did. But in a way totally unexpected. Mid-year I decided to shelve the novel I was working on, for an idea that had been swimming in my brain for a couple of years. I will be sending it out to beta buddies in the next two weeks. So YES! Goal met.

As for the second one, getting in shape. Did I meet it? Not so much. I digress.

This is Now

There is something about this year that has me giddy with hope and excitement and anticipation. It could be because my plan is to begin querying in February, and I haven't yet experienced the drudgery of waiting, accompanied with utter rejection. Over and over. But I'll tell you something, even with that notion on the horizon, I'm still totally pumped up for 2012!

So without further ado (and praying I don't bore you because this is quite possibly your 100th goals post you've read for the new year) I give you my goals for 2012:

-Query 10 agents at a time until I decide whether my query and/or manuscript is working, or is a total bust and in need of a rehaul.

-Land my dream agent (yep, I said it)

-Write another book and outline a third
-Get my dang finances in order

-Get organized--like, every junk drawer, and closet cleaned out. For real this time.

-Get my writers butt in shape. I know, I know. I said this one too. But seriously. I'm going to do it this year.

-Develop more meaningful relationships with my kids. Not just talk to them while my face is glued to the computer screen.

-Throw an even bigger 'Gearin' Up to Get an Agent Blogfest' (Oh yeah, it's coming back!)

-Get a website

-Do something new with my blog, or possibly start a group blog with like-minded writers (If anyone reading this has been thinking the same thing, let's talk:)


That's it. You think I can do it? What about 80% at least? I'm shooting for 95%.

What about you? If you haven't worn this topic into the ground, what are your goals for the new year?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012!!

Happy New Year my peoples! I sure hope whatever holiday you've been celebrating has been wonderful!

I can't tell you how happy I am to be back in the saddle, so to speak. I've had a terrific little break and I've spent a lot of it reflecting on this past 2011 as well as picking my New Year resolutions for 2012.

This week I'm going to be sharing those because, like most of you, I think it's important to see where I've come in a year, and where I'm headed...or at least, would like to be headed.

Before I get into that, however, I would be remiss if I didn't first rattle off some of the many blessings I received over the holiday break. And as I share them, I think it's important to note that before some of them became blessings, they started out as nightmares. Thats' life though, I suppose.

My Blessings

1) I realized how completely supportive my family is about my writing when, for Christmas, I received not one, but two laser printers and a trip to the LDS StoryMakers conference in May!

2) Twenty pages from finishing the third edit of my novel, my computer crashed. I didn't know what I was going to do...until a new lap top showed up on my front porch. Literally! Querying agents in February is still a go!

3) The night before Christmas Eve, my seven year old daughter woke me up with the 24 hour puking bug. I spent the entire night holding her hair back and rubbing her back. In those wee hours of the morning, I realized how completely blessed I am be able to love and comfort my children when they need me.

4) This is the first year, in many, that we live close to family and didn't have to kill ourselves travelling from one place to another with loads of luggage.

5) I love my family and they love me. Probably the best blessing of all!

What about you? Amidst the goal setting, and reflecting on the past, have you taken the time to count your many blessings? If so what are some of them?