Thursday, September 29, 2011

A New WIP Snippet

First of all, I might have bought, like, four books in the last three days on my Nook. Can you blame me?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Lola and The Boy Next Door

The Name of the Star

Everybody Sees the Ants

So. Many. Good. Books. Coming. Out. Can't. Breathe.


I wrote this little exchange today. A rough snippet from My New Lovely Sparkly Romantic WIP:

"It's possible to go through life without being completely love-crazy you know."

Emma's blue eyes sparkle. "True, but it's a lot less exciting that way."

Is it FRIDAY yet?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Chosen One

So I have chosen a new story to pursue! HOORAY! It's a YA Contemporary Romance. I do love my dark paranormal stories, but after my last manuscript, I need something light and fun to chew on for a few months. Let's put it this way: Nobody will die horrible painful deaths in this new story. Again, Hooray!

Disclaimer: Okay - don't hold me to that. Because who knows where the story will go!

So far, I have written 7,000 words. Aw, the first 10,000 words fly by, don't they? This time, I'm writing whatever scene I want to write. It could be in the middle, or the end. I've even started writing the last chapter. You see, I have a problem with middles and endings. I love beginnings. I obsess over beginnings. But then I let the middle sag and the ending disappoint. But if I use some of that fresh energy I have when first starting a story and put that into the middle and the end, I'm hoping this might help solve my problem. So I guess you could say I'm kind of outlining. But I'm outlining by writing out the scenes. And then I'll sew them together later.

I don't know if the idea is something that would "sell." That's not my job to know that. I have no way of knowing that. All I know is that I like my characters, I like the plot, and I'm having fun writing this baby. It makes me laugh. I want to hang out with my main character. I wish I could call her on the phone. I wish I could invite her over for a BBQ. I'm still getting to know everyone else, but I'm hoping to make every single person come to life.

I love starting a new story. This one is already brightening the dreary fall days, which is perfect writing weather. I imagine I'll use November to keep writing this one, although I know that's technically cheating for NaNo. Even though this story doesn't have magic in it, it feels magical to me.


Don't you love the start of a new project, when fresh butterflies sprout within your fingertips, itching to just write, write, write?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Identity Crisis?

In case you can't tell, I'm having a bit of an identity crisis around here. Don't mind the changing templates as I try on some new outfits.

My blog background tends to match the current WIP I am immersed in. =)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Days

I've been listening to this song all morning. It makes me happy:

I'm looking forward to this:

No writing will be happening after October 18. I can pretty much guarantee that.

And I'm off to grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Happy. Smile. Happy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Can't Choose!

As I've mentioned before, I've been bouncing around between a couple different manuscripts, not quite finding a steady rhythm in either of them yet. I love both, in that I-Just-Met-You-Oh-My-God-You're-So-Hot-Way. But I'm finishing up a completely-for-fun screenplay, trying to get it out of my mind and off my plate, and then I've got to choose which manuscript I want to pursue next, as in try-to-get-published.

Manuscript #1: A YA Contemporary Romance

Manuscript #2: A Middle-Grade Adventure

I've done the YA Contemporary before, which crashed and burned, never quite becoming what I hoped it would. Middle-Grade Adventure is very, very new to me. I'm very nervous that I'm not doing it right. I read middle-grade from time to time, but not nearly as often as I read YA. It's been a while since I've been a teenager. But it's been even longer since I've been a kid, naturally.

I don't want to be insulting.

I don't want to sound stupid.

I don't want to be boring.

Who ever said writing for kids was EASY? God, it's so freaking nerve-wracking! Anyway - I'm finishing up the screenplay first. It's an idea that's been itching me for a few years, and I want it done, gone. This will be my break, but at the same time keeps my writing muscles in shape. In the mean time, I might write a bit in both manuscripts, here and there, and when November rolls around, hopefully I'll be ready to use NaNo to go full steam ahead!

How do you decide which idea to pursue? It's a big decision, knowing how much time and effort goes into one book. It could take up your entire year!

Monday, September 19, 2011


For a while there, I was in a major reading slump. Every book I picked up, I couldn't stand, couldn't finish. I was just in one of those moods. Finally, my slump was broken by Nicholas Evans The Divide. I love all of his books, so I'm not surprised that he finally got me going again.

But now I've got 2 books that I'm reading that I am completely obsessed with. Guys, I am in love with these!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
(technically not out yet, but Nook provided a free 14 chapter preview that I am devouring).

These books are so magical, so beautiful, that I seriously think I should give up writing because I will never be able to write this kind of loveliness. Check them out. They will both transport you to another world.

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Guilty Pleasures I Watch and Second, Third, and Fourth Chances

Do any of you watch The Rachel Zoe Project? Okay, I do. This year, I have turned into a major Bravo junkie. Pretty much any show they put on the air, I will watch. My favorites are The Real Housewives, Flipping Out, Top Chef Just Desserts and The Millionaire Matchmaker. Yes, I watch way too much reality TV, and it all comes from Bravo!

Anyway - back from that tangent - back to Rachel Zoe. On the last episode I saw, she was getting ready to launch her new clothing line. Do I know anything about fashion? Nope. Which is why the show fascinates me. But Rachel said something along the lines of, "If no one buys my collection, that's it. I'm done. I'll have to stand on a street corner and ask people passing by if they want to buy a jacket from me."

Rachel Zoe has her own TV show. I think it's safe to say she's established. But even she was freaking out about putting her creation out into the world. But the part that caught my attention was that if she failed, that was it. She got one chance to sell. ONE. (How true that is for her, I don't know, but from what I can gather from also watching The City, it seems to be this way in the fashion world. One chance.)

At least we get more than one chance. In fact, we get many chances. If one book fails, we write another. We aren't shut out of the publishing world forever. Agents will look at a new project.

Another example is from the movie Airheads. For those of you who have not seen this classic piece of cinema, I suggest you turn off your mind and rent it. It's about this band called The Lone Rangers (yes, that is meant to be plural) and they want what any band wants: A Record Contract.

At the beginning, Chaz (Brandon Frasier) sneaks into a record company and tries to hand off his demo to a record executive, who, of course, won't take it. And then some things happen and la-dee-da before you know it The Lone Rangers are holding up a radio station (with water pistols, however) until the radio station plays their demo and hilarious and idiotic things ensue.

Publishing is hard. But at least publishing professionals give aspiring authors a CHANCE. They give our demo a LISTEN...and then reject it (kidding, um, but not really?). And there are so many contests and opportunities for writers. There's self-publishing. It seems the chances are endless for a writer to get work out there.

PLUS you can always hand out your manuscript on the street corner to people passing by! Hey, the options are endless!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Moon Dog Inn Snippet

I really like to share my writing. I do. Even if someone hates it, I like to put it out there every now and then because, well, just because! Perhaps this is why I am pursuing (whoa, it took me a minute to remember how to spell that word) publishing! Sometimes it can feel like everything is so secretive in the writing world, so here's my heart on a platter. Just kidding.

Here's a little snippet of The Moon Dog Inn Rewrite:

Chapter One

The purple man standing on the other side of the desk smelled like peanuts. As he yawned, revealing his sharp teeth, I tried to swallow my panic. I was deathly allergic to peanuts. The smell alone triggered symptoms, although Ma would say it was all in my head. But I felt the hives forming. I felt my throat closing up...

"Excuse me?" the purple man asked, tapping his fingernails along the wooden desk. His touch scattered glitter across the reservations book. "Can I please get a room sometime before the sun rises? As you can see, my glamour has faded, and I would like to keep my head, thank you very much."

I coughed and brushed the glitter away, plastering on a smile to hide my annoyance as I opened the dusty book and checked for his name. Ma would call me a terrible actress. When I'm irritated, it's written all over my face, no matter how hard I try to hide my feelings, and guests don't like to know how annoying they are. Ma, on the other hand, parades around here with an air of happiness despite the werewolf hair constantly clogging the shower drains and the smell of blood-flavored pillow mints hanging around the storage room. Her attitude, while comforting to our often running-for-their-lives guests, makes me wonder how we could possibly be related. But the guests love Ma. I guess that's why she has won employee of the month every month for all seventeen years of my life. That, and I'm her only competition.

I swiped a silver key from the wall behind me, and said, "You've been upgraded to The Fairy Suite this evening, Mr. Tinkerbell." His name, I hoped, was a cover. "There will be no additional charge."

"But I requested a standard room," Mr. Tinkerbell said, flapping his purple wings. Glitter flew everywhere. As he leaned across the desk to get in my face, the smell of peanuts caused my throat to close up again. "I don't need special treatment," he spat. "Do I look special to you?"

For a fairy, no, he didn't. Bright, colorful skin. Glittery wings. Predatory teeth. A sharp dresser, wearing a pin-striped suit and a silver tie. Glowing, yellow eyes that gave me the chills. He also carried a complex many supernaturals had these days. Supernaturals wanted to be normal. They didn't want special treatment. They didn't even know how lucky they were. What I wouldn't give to trade my average, frumpy looks for a pair of wings and purple skin.

"As you are probably aware, sir, there was a full moon last night," I replied, as calmly as I could. "Your standard room is no longer available, unless you like your furniture shredded by cranky werewolves, in which case, sure, you can have your original room. Be my guest."

The fairy backed away, and tilted his chin upward. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a half-empty bag of peanuts, popping a few into his mouth as if they were pills. He chewed obnoxiously and shrugged. "I supposed the suite will do, " he murmured.

Damn right.

As he followed me down the maroon-carpeted hallway, candles flickering along the stone wall, a chill rubbed the back of my neck. I shivered and pulled the sleeves of my over-sized sweater over my hands. The Moon Dog Inn had a serious draft problem because the various creatures who stayed here all enjoyed damp, cold places. Probably because they were forced to hide in them to avoid the hunters. As I opened the door leading to the basement, where all of our suites resided, the fairy decided to speak to me.

"Why do you dress like that?" he asked, practically breathing down my neck. "You've got curves, girl. Show them off."

It took all of my will power not to slug him in the face.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

As fall descends upon us, I like to curl up with a scary book or a scary movie. I love scary movies, but the old-fashioned simple horror type, maybe even a little cheesy (as you might see from some of my choices below!) I do not like human centipedes or houses on the left, if you get what I'm saying. I like psychological horror over pure torture. Scare me, yes, but let there be a point if you are going to cross any lines. I like to be scared, a little freaked out, but not scarred for the rest of my life, thank you very much. I am a sensitive soul.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite scary movies, in no particular order, of course.

The Descent
(I cannot remember ever being so scared in a movie theater. My adrenaline was pumping throughout this movie!)

The Grudge

(Is this considered horror? Well, it was scary.)

I Know What You Did Last Summer

The Dawn of the Dead

The Silence of the Lambs

Pan's Labyrinth

The Ring


The Sixth Sense

And there you have it! I'm sure I missed some.

As for books, you can't go wrong with Stephen King, in my humble opinion. But fall breeds a plethora of good books, scary or not, so there is rarely a drought!

I'm currently diving into The Night Circus.

Do you have any scary movie suggestions for the season? Any good book suggestions out there?

Friday, September 9, 2011


Man, I can not keep working on one manuscript. I am all over the place. It's kind of driving me crazy. I wish I could focus but I keep dipping into old works, new works, screenplays, flash fiction. I guess this is the fun part, trying to worm my way into a comfort zone with one. I'm manuscript-speed-dating right now.

Today, I started re-writing The Moon Dog Inn. Any old followers remember that one? I loved that little book, but the manuscript was a mess. I figured a total re-write couldn't hurt, and even if it's too late for anyone to be interested in it, it could be good practice, a reminder that over the last year I have learned some things about writing, that I know how to improve, to keep moving forward.

I do this same thing with reading. I jump from book to book until I find one that I can settle in with. Speaking of, there are so much great releases coming up this fall. Have I mentioned that I love this time of year?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why the Synopsis Doesn't Have to be THAT Evil

I'm bouncing around between a few different projects right now, kind of depending on my mood. I've been spending the most time with a new middle grade project, which is explosively fun for me. I've only written adult (okay, that novel is about ten pages long and eternally unfinished) or young adult (a few manuscripts), so I'm excited to try a new genre.

I've noticed that a main problem that I have with my stories is that I let the middle sag. I suffer from that boring middle syndrome, so I thought I would try sort-of outlining. I've started working on a synopsis for the middle grade book, and I'm kind of loving it because it forces me to push the story forward, to make it exciting, and hopefully when I get to really working on it (about 4,000 words in right now), I won't wander away from the focus and let things get boring. It's also the first super-action-packed book I've written, which could be why I'm having such a blast with it. I tend to write softer, more psychological stories, I guess? But this one certainly isn't staying in one place.

So maybe using the synopsis as an outline will help. It sure has gotten me excited about the story. I keeping thinking, "I can't wait to write that scene!" I'm definately not a detailed outline person, but writing a few pages that describes the story event-by-event will remind me where I'm going, and why. Otherwise, my characters may end up sitting around and simply talking about stuff. Boring!

We've got some great, dreary writing weather here now. I love grabbing a Pumpkin Spice Latte, slipping on my sweater boots, and letting words fly from my fingertips.

What's cooking in everyone's writing oven this fall?