Monday, April 30, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter Z


Holy smokes, the blogger challenge has come to an end! I don't know about you all, but I had a blast, even though I went a bit incognito toward the end. I love all you crazies who took this challenge on. You've really inspired me!

Now, to close, I'd like to share a quote with you from Hansel in ZOOLANDER, because...well, Z is a hard letter to think up...and some days when I tell people I'm a writer, this is kinda how I feel.

 "I wasn't like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, I was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere's a real hero of mine. Sting. Sting would be another person who's a hero. The music he's created over the years, I don't really listen to it, but the fact that he's making it, I respect that. I care desperately about what I do. Do I know what product I'm selling? No. Do I know what I'm doing today? No. But I'm here, and I'm gonna give it my best shot."

As far as getting back to my regular blogging...
I am taking the rest of the week off because I'm leaving for a writer's conference Wednesday. So, for those bloggers going to StoyMakers, I'll see you there. For those who aren't, I'll see you when I see you (which will be next Tuesday on my blog if you want to join me:)

Have a great week!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter Y


Through this whole A to Z blogging challenge, you've heard so much crap about me that I thought it would be a nice change of pace if we turned the tables. So what about it? Tell me anything fun, happy, interesting, boring, average...whatever you want...just tell me about YOU!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter X

Dang it! I'm so mad! I had set up this post and with the new blogger thing, it never went up. Sorry about that A to Z bloggers. I guess that makes this post that much more meaningful:)

 This means an ill tempered woman. Been there. Done that. Nuff said.
When do you show your Xanthippe side? (Sorry quys, I don't know what your word equivilant would be...even though I'm fine with you acting like an ill tempered woman if you want.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A to Z Blogget Challenge: Letter W

Writer's Butt Check-In

So much for banishing Writer's Butt this month. Too much going on (which is hardly an excuse, but it's all I've got). Still, I have to be accountable like I said I would, so you get the ugly truth.
How about you? Are you still hard at work banishing you Writer's Butt? If you have one, that is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter V


That this month is almost over!

The A to Z Blogger Challenge has been fun, but WOW! I am VERY anxious to finish it. It's really put me to the test. For those of you who blog every day and return the love to your visitors...YOU'RE AMAZING! I don't see how you do it. I feel like I've run a marathon or something:)

I'm also excited about the month coming to an end because I'm headed to the StoryMakers Conference next Wednesday! I'm so VERY ready to get a fire under my butt for my next WIP as well as meet a lot of my blogger buddies in person. I can't believe how many are going! It should be a blast.

Is there anything you're VERY HAPPY about in your life?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter U


Writing dialogue can be tricky for me because I tend to write like people would talk. And don't misunderstand. I'm not patting myself on the back. This is not a good thing.

Here is why...

When people are having a conversation, a lot of the time they think out loud as they speak.

"So, what's up girlie?"

"Oh, you know, same ole, same ole."

"Well, I heard Jake's having this killer party tonight. You wanna come?"

"UM, sure. It's cool with me."

Did you catch those filler words (so, oh, well, UM) used as these two processed the conversation in their heads as they spoke?

I'm pretty sure we all do it. I know I do, especially on my blog. A lot! Please don't judge:)

Maybe we don't do it to process the conversation in our heads, as much as we do it out of habit. And so what? It's fine to do...when you're talking to your friend about going to the grocery store or telling your mom about some shoes you want to buy.

But when you're writing a novel, everyday speaking isn't always necessary.

I had a hard time digesting this when I first heard it. You mean to tell me we're told to bring the characters to life, make them realistic, but their dialogue isn't supposed to be natural?

That's exactly what I was being told and when I thought about it, it rang true.

I know people, especially us writers, are a cool kind of people. Go ahead. Toot your horn for a second. You're cool and you know it.

As amazing as we all may be. Our dialogue is more often than not--boring. Filler words are boring. They stall the reader rather than move the story forward. Characters in our stories don't need to meander on a subject for an interminable amount of time like we do in real life. They have killers to run from, relationships to terminate and a freaking world to save! They don't have time for a bunch of UMs.

So, (see I just did it) next time your finger is hovering around the 'find and replace' button on your computer, search out those filler words and get rid of some of them.

Yes, you did read right. I said some of them. In my personal opinion it's good to a have a few fillers sprinkled here and there. I've read some pretty fabulous books where they're used sparingly just to give the book a certain flavor. And it's magic. Just like an ice cream sundae is great with chocolate fudge. But if you douse that sundae in fudge, you lose the taste of the ice cream and it isn't all that good anymore (not the best analogy since some would prefer an ice cream sundae that way, but you get the picture).

Now it's your turn. What's your opinion on the filler word? Do you love em' or would you love to rid them from your writing for good?

Monday, April 23, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter T


I love the THESAURUS! When in need of a cool synonym to spice up a word, head to the THESAURUS! It is my go to when I'm having a brain fart.

HERE is the link to my favorite one.

What about you? Do you use the THESAURUS?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter S

There are times that I wish I could say I was above sitting my butt on the couch at the end of the day and vegging out infront of the TV. Maybe instead I could be writing, or writing or, I don't know...writing. But I'm just not that cool. I'll just say I'm gaining inspiration. How about that?

Here are my favorites:

American Idol
Yes, I think the group-singing is the cheesiest thing since velveeta, but individually these kids are killing it!
My favorites:
Phillip Phillips (that is his real name) and Skylar Laine

Not only can these southern cuties rock out, but I love them so much they have been the inpiration for my MC and protag in a southern, magical realism piece I've been working on. Told you I'm gaining inspiration.

      The Voice
Aside from the fact my hubs can't peel his eyes away from Christina's boobs hanging out on almost every SHOW (Who are we kidding, I can't either. It's quite the distraction). There is some major talent on this SHOW.
I still like too many to pin down just two yet.

Vampire Diaries
I don't want to like this SHOW, so I don't. I love it!

The Fringe
Eventhough my brain sometimes feels like it may internally combust after watching this SHOW, I can't get enough.

The Walking Dead
I know the season is over and some of the SHOWS drove me absolutely batty this year, but it is still one of my favorites.

This SHOW just proves that I do like reality too.

That's it. I'd say that's enough. I want to like some comedies. I really do. But for now I guess Walter Bishop's sanity on a string will have to do. 

What about you? What SHOWS do you like, if you like any at all?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter R


It's Friday and I feel like a smile so I thought I would post something RANDOM and make you smile too. You've probably already seen this, but if you're like me, it doesn't get old.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter Q


I am enamored by smart people. Seriously. It blows me away how there are some in this world who retain knowledge like a sponge.

I often wonder, is it their genes? Did they listen really well in school? Get a masters?

Maybe they just weren't afraid to ask QUESTIONS.

I'll admit, in school I wasn't the kid sitting up straight in the front row, pencil at the ready. I also haven't finished college (yet) or feel I know as much as the next person about History, Science, politics...I could keep going on. Back in the day, when I was young and foolish, it didn't matter. Now it does, and the learning I missed out on makes me sad. But I still have one thing going for me. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and ask QUESTIONS. And I have a load of QUESTIONS to ask.

In my opinion, there are no stupid QUESTIONS (unless you mean for them to be stupid) because for you, at that time, it's what you need to know. And if you are willing to learn, in my book, you're as smart as any book genius, any day. Knowledge is power right?

Relating this to the writing industry, it's a big industry. There is still so much I don't know that many of you may already know. And there are things I've probably learned that some of you haven't yet. We are a smorgasbord of knowledge just waiting to be tapped into by each other. Let's take advantage of that.

Don't be afraid to ask QUESTIONS. And don't let anyone look down their nose at you for asking. As smart as the smartest person is, they were once in a similar circumstance and asked QUESTIONS too. And if they think they're too smart to ask QUESTIONS anymore, or that they're better than you because you ask them...well, they probably aren't that smart to begin with.

Sound off. Do you have QUESTIONS? Or answers to QUESTIONS you've asked that may help others?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter P


A while back I was picked to be a part time contributor at Ali Cross' dojo for writers. Today is my debut post and I'd love for you to POP ON OVER there and see why POSSIBLE is the P word of the day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter O


A lot of us writers out there don't get paid to write. We don't have a deadline looming (except our personal ones) and this isn't our day job per se. Writing is OPTIONAL. Yet we continue to do it day in and day out. We shed tears and lose sleep, take time away from those in the real world to create those in a fictional one. The only thing we may ever get out of it is the satisfying sound of fingers clicking away at the computer or the scribbling of pen to paper. It may always be OPTIONAL to us.

And we will still do it.

For me, writing is OPTIONAL on paper. I don't get paid to do it. I don't have an agent or crazy deadlines. I don't have to get up in the mornings and write. But I do. There is no other choice. I can't imagine not writing. And if my hands were ever cut from my body, I would have to get a voice recorder and do it that way.

Though I would hate losing the hypnotizing sound of fingers tapping away on the keyboard.

I love more than anything to get inside others heads, so I am dying to know what you think about this. If writing is OPTIONAL in your life, why do you do it? And if writing isn't your thing, do you have a passion that you just can't give up?

Monday, April 16, 2012

At to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter N


To say my daughter is infatuated with Justin Bieber would be a slight understatement. What seven year old isn't, I suppose. Why not? He has a cute smile, rhythm, he tweets and more than anything, he is constantly telling kids...or people in general, to NEVER SAY NEVER.

That's right. He had a dream and worked his tiny little tail off until he made it a reality. Now he promotes the idea, that with hard work and some skill, you should NEVER SAY NEVER to whatever it is that you lay in bed at night dreaming about.

How motivating to my little girl? And, well, to me. As a writer there are many days that I wonder what it's all for. Should I keep on keepin' on. And the answer is, yep. I will NEVER SAY NEVER.

What about you? Do you have something in your life you will NEVER SAY NEVER to?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter M


It was one of those Saturdays where you don't have a second to breathe, so today I MISSED THE MARK with getting my letter post in.

I'll do better Monday. I promise:)

Have you ever MISSED THE MARK?

Friday, April 13, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter L


When I get the urge to write, it starts as an itch that I can't get rid of until I sit down at my computer. My initial feeling is to pound out the story with reckless abandon. Just thinking about it now makes me absolutely giddy.

But I don't.

I pause and let the feeling of fear overtake me. I think, "What if I write like a crazy person and it sucks? I have to think about what I'm doing. I have to remember everything I've learned and apply it as I'm writing."

These are just a few of my thoughts.

I don't know why the perfectionist in my gets in the way. I know all about editing and how you should write first then think later, but something always stops me. I wonder what would happen if I just let my muse take over? Do you think I should take the plunge and try it?

What about you? Do you LET GO when you're writing...or doing whatever it is that you love? Or are you methodical about the whole process? 

I also wanted to take a second and tell all my visitors how sorry I am for not visiting the past couple of days. Between personal issues, hunkering down with beta reads and having a daughter doing rehearsals for two upcoming performances, I have been sucking on returning the visiting love. I do still love you, and I promise to play catch up very soon.

Will you forgive me for LAGGING BEHIND?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter K


Since the day I discovered Diana Gabaldon's Highlander Series I discovered my love for a man in a KILT. There, I said it.

And it had to be said.

How could I not after being introduced to Jamie, the character who hijacked my heart the whole time I read the books.

Have you ever read the series? If not, I highly recommend it. But warning: There are moments of extremely steamy moments so if you have a bad heart....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter J

When a movie is so jarring you have nightmares for weeks, avoid certain spots and the tune from the movie permeates your brain for a lifetime, it's worth mentioning.

Jaws is the reason I won't stay in an ocean for long periods. It's why I even check a pool sometimes before I jump know, just in case.

All I have to say is...
da da

da da

da da

And you all know what I'm talking about don't you?

Thanks, Steven Spielberg, for a movie we won't soon forget!

Do you have a movie that has left a lasting impression on you?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter I

I love the letter I because it's so INCONSPICUOUS. It's like the underdog in a basketball tournament (yes, I still have the UK win on my brain:). So many other letters have fantastic words like T and S or R even. But I?

Yes I!

I words sneak up on you and blow you away with their awesomeness. I love coming up with a good I word when I'm writing.

Here are a few of my favorite:

Irrevocable-Not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered; final

Iridescent- adjective 1. displaying a play of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow.
noun 2. an iridescent cloth, material, or other substance: new fall dresses of imported iridescents.
Idol- 1. a. An image used as an object of worship.
b. A false god.
2. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
3. Something visible but without substance.

Ignacious-possessing qualities usually attributed to a reptilian creature known as an iguana; often applied to human beings resembling such creatures.

Irrefutable- Impossible to refute or disprove; incontrovertible

What are some of your favorite I words?

Monday, April 9, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter H


For me, reading a fantastic book is like admiring the art in the Sistene Chapel or taking in the majestic Niagara Falls. Words in novels take my breath away. I am astounded and awed by the beauty of them and how, if placed just so, they flow off my tongue like poetry. I am HUMBLED by them.

It is also a very HUMBLING thing to be a writer. To strive for excellence through voice, while it is already so prevalent in the world. To wonder if I could ever write something as elegant and soft, or harsh and choppy as others seem to have nailed with ease. 

To be a writer isn't the easiest of roads when there are so many others who are equally as blessed with the gift and vying for the same attention I seek. I am daily HUMBLED on this journey and can't help but wonder if years down the road: Will someone read my work and be HUMBLED too?

What about you? Are you HUMBLED by anything you do? 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: G

I'm all about paying it forward and the lovely Heidi Bolton (aka Barbara Brooke-pen name) did a pretty awesome thing for me awhile back. You might remember the Writer's Butt illustration?

Yep, that was her. She recently published her book Glimmers. What better way to say thanks for the Writer's Butt than to show as many bloggers as I can, her cool book.
Here is a little blurb about it:
A simple touch, and suddenly Paige is in the past - living someone else's life, seeing the world through her eyes, and feeling her deepest emotions.
Paige used to think memories only existed in the mind. But now, she knows better. She can't explain how or why, but she experiences "glimmers," special moments that have remained behind - clinging to a letter, a ring, even a worn-out pair of boots. 
When Paige returns from each glimmer, a small part of her has changed. Who is this gourmet cook, fashion designer, feisty lover? And how is she supposed to explain this to her family without them thinking she has completely lost her mind?
Paige thinks her new talent is a gift until . . . she is suddenly transported into her sister’s memory and catches a glimmer of her sister's secret life.
Take this humorous and romantic journey, as Paige learns about true love through the lives of three extraordinary women.
And here is where you can go to buy it:
Glimmers ($2.99 Kindle and $9.99 paperback)
And here is where you can go check out how cool Heidi (Barbara) is:
Enjoy the read!

Friday, April 6, 2012

At to Z Challenge: Letter F


Many times during the year my family packs our van full of fishing poles, guns and grungy clothes and we head to my dad's FARM.

The Blue Haven 
(my dad's a UK fan too, hence the blue:)

This place is full of opportunities for our kids to make lasting memories. .

And boy do we!

We ride the horses
Take hay rides
Fish in the two ponds

Roast marshmallows by the fire

Feed the chicks

Watch the goats

And shoot guns

I wanted to add pictures for all of these but one negative to the farm is that the internet connection and upload time is soooooo slooooow. Which can be good because it also leads to some good writing time.

There is plenty to do on the farm and we love every second of it...except picking the ticks off...and the spiders. I could go my whole life without either of those.

Where do you like to go to get away?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter E


Last week I told you I had an EPIPHANY pertaining to my writing and that I would tell you what it was this week.

Today is that day.

It's simple really. I was losing sight of why I write. I don't write to be published. I write because the thought of waking up one day without being able to put down the ideas floating around in my head would be catastrophic. I write because I love it. It's a part of me as much as my fingers and toes are. The rest will come. And if it never does...
I will still write.

There is my EPIPHANY for you. I told  you it was simple. I had just lost sight of it for a moment.

What about you? Have you had any EPIPHANIES lately?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter D

What does this word mean you ask?
Here is the definition:
The French male form of damsel; a young man not yet dubbed a knight
I love a good book where the woman saves the man.

What do you prefer: a damsel in distress or a Damoiseau? Can you think of any great books where the man is the Damoiseau?
Join in on the other A to Z blogger discussions by clicking the icon below.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter C

For those of you that stopped by yesterday, you will know what I mean when I tell you...The Wildcats won!!!! I couldn't be more proud of those boys:) Woohoo!!!

Now on to the letter C...


I got this quote out of a fortune cookie and it is one of my favorites:
Real courage is moving forward when the outcome is uncertain.

As a writer these are words to live by. You never know where your words will take you or what the industry and the readers might think of your work. But for me, continuing on is the only real way I will ever know. And that is scary. It is also COURAGE.

What does COURAGE mean to you?

Join in on the other A to Z blogger discussions by clicking the icon below.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter B


Today's post has nothing to do with anything but my pure unadulterated love for the Kentucky Wildcats. If you know anything about me, you know I love UK. And if you follow college basketball at all, you know they've made it into the NCAA final championship game (happening tonight for anyone who cares) and I couldn't be more thrilled for my Kentucky boys!!!! So besides the fans burning couches and taking the celebrating a bit too far, I love living in Kentucky right about now. What can I say? I'm proud to be BLEEDING BLUE!!!
GO UK!!!! 
What about you? Do you follow college basketball? Were you rooting for a team to make it into the championship game?

If you want to check out other bloggers B word for the day click on the icon below and join in:)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A to Z Blogger Challenge: Letter A


The challenge has begun! The lovelies over at A to Z Blogger challenge have put us bloggers to a test:

Start, beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. It doesn't even have to be a word--it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Sounds easy enough...except for the part where you need to blog daily! *eye pop* I'm up for it. I think. I'm ready to rock this challenge:)

You know why? Because I'm choosing to have a good ATTITUDE about it. For me, in writing and in life, ATTITUDE is a huge part of being successful. At least it is for me. If I have a crappy attitude, chances are I'm not going to write that day, or want to clean my house, or help someone in need or...well you get the picture. So I'm starting off this challenge with a kick butt ATTITUDE that I hope continues through the month!

What about you? How important is ATTITUDE to you in accomplishing your goals?