Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Book Review for "Near Death"

This is my first book review, so bear with me and let's see if I can do justice to
                                "Near Death" By Richard C Hale.

First off, I am a big fan of Stephen King and rarely do I read books by other authors, but I had read a portion of the first chapter of "Near Death" in November on Richard's blog, and it made me cry, so I put it on my Christmas wish list and my oldest son bought it for me.

"Near Death" Is about Jake, who loses his wife in an accident and he goes on to develop a special technology to record other's near death experiences. (That's the only thing I am going to tell you about the plot.)


I did find two small parts in the beginning that I'll call hiccups. One was where he introduced Frank and the other was the part about the plane and the war. I would have put at the beginning of the plane part, "In the meantime, in a desert somewhere in Afghanistan" But that's just my opinion.

I also found myself agreeing with Teri about Maddy (Both characters in the book) That I didn't like Maddy, but I am guessing that's a jealous female thing. :-))

Richard didn't give a physical description to all of his characters, which I liked, because it let's the reader use their imagination as to how they see them. Sometimes less is more when writing.

Overall I give "Near Death" five stars!
I found the book quite enjoyable. It pulled me in and hooked me to the point that I didn't want to put it down.
I look forward to reading more books by Richard. Watch out Stephen King you have competition.
Oh! And as a new writer myself, I read a lot of help blogs and one thing they tell you is proofread...
There is one typographical error on page 97, but if you want to know what it is, you'll have to buy the book, because I'm not telling!

If you want to buy "Near Death" You can find it here...
 http://www.amazon.com/Near-Death-Richard-C-Hale/dp/098477890X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325022667&sr=8-1
and here for your nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/near-death-richard-c-hale/1107395403?ean=2940032835486&itm=1&usri=near+death+by+richard+c+hale

You can also follow Richard on twitter Richard_C_Hale
And find him on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Richard-C-Hale/165798456830067

Now quit reading my review and go out and buy his book!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stress? Me? Never! UGH!

First reason for the stress reduction kit...
The holidays are fast approaching!
And I'm NOT ready!

Second reason for the stress reduction kit...
I have been writing query letters and I have come to the conclusion...
I write Sucky Query letters!
The hook is okay. It's short, but says what I want to get their interest..
 I've got my contact information down to a "T"
But, It's that first part where you tell the publisher or agent why you are submitting to them. Do I really have to say why? I mean, I wouldn't submit to them if I didn't want to get their attention. I mean, I'm not sending out a million query letters, just a few hand picked chosen ones, that I have found in google search and that I have heard about through other writers and authors.

Okay well, most people request your query letter to be no longer than 1 page, so with mine they really don't have to worry, I think mine is a half a page long!
I know...But mine is short and to the point! It basically says, "Here's what I've got and here's where you can contact me." End of query. Hopefully, I will get better at it. I guess my main problem is, I'm not really good at sucking up, but will make you fudge and cookies to sweeten you up!

Well that's the reasons for my Stress Reduction kit. Feel free to print one up for yourself and use as needed!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Everyday there's a holiday!

Well not quite, but if it's someone's birthday, that could be a holiday too, right?

Hi Everyone! I had tweeted today about using plastic tablecloths for wrapping paper. Hey!
It works great for those BIG gifts. But here's something you didn't know, and that is that I love to use a twin bed sheet for a table cloth for a child's birthday party!

First, put a plastic tablcloth on the table, then put the sheet over it. Now with fabric paint, write Happy Birthday and the child's name, add some balloons, or frogs or whatever your child likes. (Don't forget to let it dry) Then when the guests arrive, leave some permanent markers or fabric paint pens on the table for the guests to write messages for the child on the sheet! After the party's over, throw it in the washer and Ta Da! The child has their own personalized bed sheet!




For great custom party sets, check out http://myuniquebaskets.blogspot.com/ 
Or
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.345025984459.188512.152122694459&type=1

How to write a book?

I have read 10,000 help blogs on "How to write a book." Well maybe only 500, but it feels like a heck of a lot more! And every single one of them tell you something different. Not only do help blogs tell you how to write books, but there's also the ones who tell you how to write queries and synopsis'. And then there are the submission processes of agents and publishers.
First you have people telling you, "No purple prose" If you don't know what that is you can find out about it here;
http://www.debstover.com/purple.html and yes, there is one small line in my book that has it, but in my defense, that part of my book took place in the '70's. And I didn't know what "purple prose" was until about 10 minutes ago!
Okay so now you are done writing and it's time to query.
First they tell you how to write a query and you would think it would be a simple process, but no it's not. It can be one of the hardest things you'll ever do and I think I just submitted the shortest query in history! Very short and to the point. Oh well. It was my first submission and let's hope I get better as I go along.
Second they tell you, "Don't query a series." So what if they are asking for series?

So here's the deal;
I've written my book. I wrote it the way the story played out in my head. I proofread it and did the edits and reread it. It's done! It might be only 55,000 words, but it is a tragic love story with closure and I cried through a major part as I was writing it. Hopefully that's because of the story and not my writing. No, it doesn't have a happily ever after. Not yet anyways, because it is the first book in a series of four books and then you get the happily ever after. Which, by the way, has been written also and is apprx. 93,000 words.

So the moral of this story is...
Write your way, in your own words. Take time to double check spelling. Make sure the story flows and comes together nicely and do your best on queries and the synopsis and if they like it.... Read the help blogs either before you begin writing or after finishing the first draft. And once you've submitted that book to the agents and publishers you want, take a deep breath and don't start stressing on what you think you did or did not do. It's been sent and it's up to the the people you queried now.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My 2011 Christmas Newsletter

I've never done a Christmas newsletter. Some people do and some don't. I have received them off and on, from family and friends. This year I received one from a friend of my dads. What do you put in one? I mean, you either have great news you want to brag about, or sad news, or, maybe you just want to get everything out and have a sympathetic ear, or shoulder to cry on. So I thought I'd do mine here, but do it more as a conversation between me and you. We'll see where it goes and what happens! :-))

Karen tells her readers, "Oh I hate the thought of a new year."
And they want to know, "Why?"
"Because it's always depressing."
"I don't get it. Why is a new year depressing when it's a brand new year, a new beginning, a way to start over?"
"Well for one, I'll be another year older! And then there are all the things we leave behind."
"What kind of things? I know, tell me how 2011 was for you."
"Well in January it's a new year! Haha! Sorry, guess I should be serious. There are all the decorations that have to come down which seem to leave everything looking bare and empty. And since I had my gift shop, there was double the work and emptiness. February wasn't too bad. No wait, I turned another year older and closed down my gift shop in February!"
"Oh I'm sorry to hear that. Why did you close your shop?"
"Well for one thing, my business partner started flaking out on me in August the year before. He was going through a nasty divorce and evidently hadn't been paying the rent, which I found out in February. Luckily I had an awesome landlord. Yes, I'm responsible for the back rent, but at least he's taking payments. I could have stayed open. I had someone else that wanted to come in and be partners with me, but I decided it was time to close that door."
"Well it sounds like you were dealing with it in a positive way."
"It was just one of those things. Everything happens for a reason, right?"
"What happened after that?"
"Well, March and April were pretty quiet, except my oldest son turned 35. May had it's good and bad.
On Mother's day my middle son called me to wish me a Happy Mother's day and in the next breath, told me his dog, Slick, had been hit by a car. Now Slick is my only grand baby, none of my boys are married, and I was devastated. I told my son, "I'll have to call you back, when I can compose myself a little", I did call him back later that night and we both spent some crying time together. But there was good in May also. I started writing. I was tired of cleaning and laundry. There's only so much you can do, you know, and I had this story in my head for months, so I thought, "Might as well put it on paper." And that's what I did. Actually finished the first draft of that book on the 30th of October. Right in time too, because I started NaNoWriMo on the first of November. But let's go back to June. My son got a new puppy and her name is Sandi. Now I have never been a lover of pitbulls, but she is sweet and shy and I have grown to love her. July, August, and September, pretty much flew by. (Both my younger boys had birthdays in September. One is now 27 and the other is 22.)  Writing tends to do that to you. You seem to get lost in the story and when you hit that final period, you look up and say, "Wow where did the time go?"
And this is Sandi, who loves to smile!
"So is there anything else about 2011 that you want to tell us?"
"Well let's see...Spent Memorial day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends in San Diego. Got my little dog Duggy, neutered the first week of December, and I finished writing and editing my second book! So will be submitting it this coming week, so hopefully next year's newsletter, will be a little more exciting and not soooo boring! And how was your 2011?"

This is Slick and Duggy

May you all have a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy, happy and Wonderful New Year!




Monday, December 12, 2011

No One Knows

I've been told that no one knows your book better than you!
So my question is, "How come it's so hard to write a query and synopsis?"

I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago. She is an English Lit professor and a writing instructor.
Right now she is grading and reading finals, but when she's done, she's agreed to read my book that I just finished. I told her she needs to be impartial.
 "Yeah right" she tells me. We've been friends for 18 years now.
Anyway, she was asking what my book was about and was trying to pull out all the details.
It didn't dawn on me until after I hung up that she was trying to get a synopsis out of me.
I should have realized this and maybe my synopsis would be done! Oh well. I'll probably get together with her next week and hopefully she can teach me some things about writing!

Have a great week everyone and if you get a chance check out my other blog on wordpress.
http://karensdifferentcorners.wordpress.com/

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just Write? Distractions?

Good morning and Happy Thursday! Let's take a journey through my mind today. Just remember to hold on because it could get quite bumpy and turn upside down and...




Okay first I love reading my horoscopes every morning. This is one of the many for today and I thought it might work for my blog post today...

You could toss hours of work at this project, and it would look only slightly different in the end. However, let it roll on without much supervision, and you'll deserve the righteous feedback coming your way.

I interpret it as JUST WRITE!




I want to talk about writing, especially if you are planning on becoming a writer.




I guess I should put my disclaimer in here! I am new to writing, I am not an expert, everything you read here is just my opinion and take everything with a grain of salt. :-))




I was 3 chapters into my first book when I decided, "Hey I should search the web and see, "How to write a book" Okay so I'm a little backwards."




And that's where my distractions began. If you have a story stuck in your head, my advice to you is either




#1 Sit down and write it, just write it however it is in your head. Write from your heart, your mind, and your soul. Don't go searching for writing tips, just write. Then after you have finished your story, then find all the help blogs and edit your story using all the tips you find.




or




#2 Before you even put that first word on the paper, search all the help blogs and make a short list as to what to look for as your are writing. POV, transitions, character development, etc. Then as you are writing your story, you can refer to your list.




NaNoWriMo has the concept right. Just write! No matter if it goes off in every different direction, just write, no editing, no deleting sentences, just write straight through.




And Stephen King agrees;







"Upon being asked by a fan how to become a writer, Stephen King replied, "Write."

Stephen King







We have enough distractions to deal with. There are the cleaning house, doing laundry, cooking, and all the other every day distractions that pop up.

Then you have your twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. And the blogs are my biggest distractions, because...

I follow a lot of writers, author's and agents help blogs. And when you are writing these tend to be big distractions because...You stop writing and start going back over what you have written and start editing. Wondering did I do this right, or should I have said he said/she said, or...




So either write first, then find all the help blogs and edit, or

Find all the help blogs first, then write your story.




A word of caution. Every person has a different writing style, everyone has a different way of looking at how stories should be written. You need to find your way, your inner voice and as Stephen King says,




"This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do -- not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less bullshit."

Stephen King, On Writing"

Stephen King




Anyway, I do love the help blogs and one of my favorites that I follow is Paul Dorset's Blog called "Utterances of an Overcrowded Mind"




He has written a book on becoming a writer and shares some great insights on how to write a book.


http://blog.pauldorset.com/p/wfs.html




Okay now that I've told you how I feel, Maybe I should be writing...Or finding another help blog to share to help you on your way. Nah It's time for me to get busy and write

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Duggy Shoes

My new shoes! Thanks dad!
I went to my dad's last Sunday. I wore a nice pair of jeans, a tank top, and a button down sweater and my Duggy shoes. Now for those of you that don't know what my Duggy shoes are they are my favorite tennis shoes, that my little dog Duggy has been chewing on since I got him. Anyway my dad called me Tuesday and wanted to know what size shoes I wear. I asked him why and he said he just wanted to know how big my feet were. So I told him a 10, (yes, I have BIG feet) Which seems unusual because I am only 5'5" and weigh about 135 lbs.
Now I am not poor, nor am I rich, and I have other shoes, but I like my Duggy shoes. They are comfortable.

Sorry back to my dad, He told me he went out and bought me a new pair of shoes, Sketchers to be exact, and paid $97 dollars for them. WHAT! I cringe if I have to pay more than $25 for a pair of shoes!



Oh well, wonder if they will go with my holey 80's look jeans....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Was it good for you too?

Okay now that I have got your attention...Get your minds out of the gutter! I'm talking about NaNoWriMo.

I've been seeing blogs and posts on comment boards, or is that comments on post boards, (Shaking head) Hmmm...
Anyway whichever way you look at it, Some say they enjoyed NaNo and some say they didn't.
Personally I thought it was a lot of fun and I'm kind of sad to see it done.
It was my first time...
I wasn't sure I could do it, but I prevailed and look forward to next year.

I wrote my 50,000 plus words. I decided my book would only have 4 main chapters, so I finished the first, third, and final chapter. And got the beginning and end of the second chapter, but need to fill in the center.

The hardest part about nanowrimo for me is writing in a straight line...beginning to end. I tend to skip around some.

The book I wrote is actually the first book in a series of four books. I decided to write it, because I had just finished the fourth book. But on the plus side I have started on the first chapter of book too and have the ending chapter of book three done! Did I mention I skip around a lot?

Oh Well, I hope to see everyone back writing next year!

Here are a couple of blogs from fellow NaNo writers! Check them out!

Simon's Blog This was his first year too!
http://simontall.com/2011/11/30/november-a-novel-and-death-of-the-author/



And Cheryl captures the writers block/procrastinator in all of us with her short videos! http://www.cherylreif.com/2011/12/01/for-all-you-fellow-wrimos/#comment-3843

Happy Dec. 1st You survived, you may all get up from your chairs now! Take a bow and pat yourself on the back!

For those of you that like the comraderie that goes with NaNoWriMo here is a link on FB where you can continue writing your nano
https://www.facebook.com/pages/IE-After-NaNo-Writers-Group/218931721510267

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Are Awesome!

"You are Awesome" Maybe that's not the best title for this post.
Maybe it should be,
 "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" or
 "Thinking of others" or
"Make a Difference"

The Christmas season is upon us. It's the final countdown to Friends, Family, Presents, and Holiday Cheer, But...
Every year I make the same plea. I post it on FB, My blogs, or I tweet it.
We were all Thankful on Thanksgiving, now it's time to give back.

There are people every where that don't have what we have. There are homeless, people in shelters, nursing homes, and many people out of work, struggling just to keep their gas and electric on.

So I am asking for everyone to help others.
Whether you donate canned goods to a soup kitchen, or give to Toys for Tots, is up to you.

If you're not sure who to help here are some ideas and some of my favorites.

Make A wish Foundation http://www.wish.org/

Candle Lighters http://www.ccfsocal.org/candle2/about_us

Leukemia Society http://www.lls.org/

Ronald McDonald House http://rmhc.org/

Your local hospital Children's ward- Books, CD's, crayons, Lego sets, slippers, and hats.
(My oldest son, now 35, had leukemia as a child. So these are personal faves of mine)

Do you knit or crochet? How about making a couple of scarves and donate them to the homeless shelter, or make some small lap blankets or slippers for a local nursing home.

I'm not asking you to donate a million dollars here. With dollar stores everywhere you can pick up a few coloring books for kids, socks for the homeless, or whatever you can imagine.

And one last plea, buy a couple of cans of dog food and donate to your local animal shelter, because they need love too.

I know times are tough for everyone and many of us can't afford to help at all, so for those of you, please share a smile, a warm handshake, a kind word, or just a hug. Or volunteer to help!
 It can be the best gift of all.

My apologies for those that don't celebrate Christmas. I wish all of you Happy Holidays!

No matter what religions we are, or what beliefs we have, it all comes down to, we are people, We share this world together and it is up to us to make it a better world.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

You are Awesome!

Do You Doubt Your Work?

This is my horoscope this morning... Cold Feet? Me? Yes, actually I do have doubts this morning.

I have been reading little excerpts from other writer and author's books. And for me that's a No-No.
The reason is, I tell myself, is I don't want to be influenced by other's writing while writing my current book.
But over the last few days I have stumbled upon little bits and pieces here and there on blogs that I follow.
The problem is I find myself saying, "That's awesome. That's great!" And because I might be in a slump on my own writing at the moment I say to myself, "Why would anyone want to read what I write?"
Then I go back to my current work and start reading through it again, and tell myself, "It's not so bad. :-)

Do you have doubts as you are plotting out that perfect book? Do you get cold feet?
What do you do to get your feet warmed back up?


Energy
Jupiter Trine Pluto
November 19, 2011 to December 17, 2011
The graph for Jupiter Trine Pluto
Don't wait a second longer than you absolutely have to. You have the power in your eager little paws. Don't get a case of cold feet now!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Feeling Philosophical

When I was going to college I didn't take classes on writing or business. Which frankly, those are the type of classes I should have taken, seeing where my life has taken me, but...

I took classes on Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology.
Mainly because I like people. I like to get in their heads and see what makes them tick.
See what makes them do what they do.
 I love meeting new people, sharing ideas with them and helping them achieve what they want in life.
Bottom line is...People fascinate me.

BUT...My post today has to do with being grateful. (But watch the rest will show itself, in some way or another it always does)

I am ashamed of myself for being lazy and not posting "What I am thankful for on Thanksgiving", but shouldn't we be thankful every day of our lives?

I was reading a blog this morning and it was titled, "Are you Thankful, Even for the bad stuff?"
http://chickletslit.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/are-you-thankful-even-for-the-bad-stuff/

I'm a firm believer in "Everything Happens For A Reason." And "When one door closes, Another one opens."
And the big one: "You have no one to blame but yourself."

Let's say your car breaks down. Well a car needs to be maintained to keep it running. That, I would think would be a forefront reason, wouldn't you say? But maybe it broke down, so that you wouldn't be at a certain place at a certain time. Ever stop to think about that?

As for one door closing, I was going to use your job as an example, but with our economy so messed up and so many people out of work, I'll use relationships instead. Maybe you finally break up, swearing never again, and someone walks through that new door, that you spend the rest of your life with, wondering how you ever lived without them, and this brings us to choices.

The choices we make shape our lives. You can choose to take that new job, or walk away from that old relationship, and with those choices you still have no idea how your life is going to change, let's say 10 years down the road. I tend to cringe when someone asks, "Where do you want to be in 10 years?" Normally this is a question asked for a business plan. Well, first off I don't want to be broke and homeless. But life happens, people change, family and friends, come into and out of your life. Things happen that we have no control over and sometimes it's other people's choices that affect our lives.

So I'm not thankful for the bad things, but I do understand that everything happens for a reason, even if I don't understand or agree with it.

As to what I'm thankful for...
My Family
My Friends
That I have a house to live in and food to eat.
My dogs and my son's dogs.
And all the other things that have shaped my life so far.
And I am thankful that I have the ability to make choices, whether good or bad, in my life.

Now how does this relate to writing, you ask..

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Genre?

I have to blog this morning. I wasn't going to, but I have to or I won't be able to move forward on my NaNoWriMo this morning. It's a brain thing....

I was reading the guidelines for a contest and am stuck as to what genre my NaNoWriMo falls in.
Here are the different genres! So many to choose from and yet my novel falls into 3 or 4
How do you choose!
http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=538&chapter=0

It is a tragic love story, with friends and family for support. There's some sex (Originally I wasn't going to have any, but it needs to be there) There isn't a happily ever after, but there is a closure. A feeling of content. It is actually the first book in a series, but can be a stand alone novel. The last book in the series is also the same way. It can be a stand alone novel and it does have a happily ever after ending. There's no traveling to foreign countries, or history involved so I don't have to worry about those genres.
Here's a link to someone else's blog and his problems publishing concerning genre.
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/your-job-is-to-write-not-worry?et_mid=526100&rid=232953210

And here is the contest link.
http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/contest/

Oh and the Q4U is, Do you query it as the series to agents and publishers, or do you take a chance on the contest?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do not let this happen!

Please do not let this happen! Be Honest!
Tell the truth!
You know you were bad this year!
Come on....
Admit it!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back up and Save, Back up and Save!

I can not say this enough. Back up and Save. Back up and Save everything!

I can't begin to tell you how important this is and yet....
Yep, that's right, it takes a near catastrophe to remind myself to
 back up and save certain things on my computer.

I purchased a brand new desk top PC in July 2006.
 I had just started my new business of creating custom designed gift baskets in Oct. 2005
 and needed a new computer for my new website.
That computer got a virus and crashed in 2008, the day after my virus protection expired.
Here's another thing to remember check your emails frequently,
 so you'll know when your protection is expiring!
(I still haven't learned this rule either, hence the 1500 + new unread emails
I have sitting in my inbox waiting to be read) And I am giving advice! Sheesh!

Well I got the pc to run in safe mode and saved what I needed.
And then my son brought his PC in and I started using it,
until Windows did their little thing of new updates need to be downloaded/uploaded whatever,
you know those little notifications.
Anyway his PC went through all of them at once and fried the hard drive.

Well to make a long story short. Oops! Too late for that. Sorry...
I have a new laptop. Well my son bought it for me for Christmas 2009.
It's nice and has Windows 7 but I'm cheap and when my trial ran out for MS Works...
And Windows 7 is not compatible with my Yahoo Sitebuider program for my website.
I use this computer for mainly surfing the web. Facebook, twitter, blogging, etc.

I have an old laptop, Not a lot of memory, slow processor, small hard drive,
But it has Microsoft works 2003 And I Type my novels on it.
Oct. 30th...I had just finished my first MS 200+ pages, 96,000+ words and was going to do a read through, so I decided I'd get my lap desk and sit on the couch with my feet, instead here at the dining room table, and my little dog Duggy decided he wanted to play. He got tangled up in my mouse cord and my laptop went flying across the room face down on the floor. He ran off and hid under the dining room table, scared him and on my knees I turned over my laptop and there was a huge section highlighted, my mouse wouldn't work, my eraser wouldn't work and I figured it had froze. OMG! What am I going to do, I had not backed up and saved all that I had written! I finally got another mouse to work and everything was okay.
Did I immediately back up and save? Nope!

I am doing NaNoWriMo and they tell you back up and save often!
I am 30,000+ words into it and get up this morning, turn on the computer, and what do I see,
A black screen with blue words telling me, There is something wrong with my computer!
OMG! Heart attack time!
It says shut it down and restart and if that doesn't work, blah, blah, blah
I didn't take time to read it all, I shut it down and restarted and as soon as it worked...
Yep, you're right, I BACKED UP AND SAVED! Both novels.
Grabbed my little memory stick and Did it right then and there!

Please remember to back up and save!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Success!

I think society places too much emphasis on failure, instead of each step of our success. For me, just sitting down and writing the book, saying I can do it, and then doing it, is the first step of being successful.
Success should be taken in baby steps.
1. Writing the book. If you told yourself you were going to write a book and you do it,
Pat yourself on the back.
You've just taken your first step and you were Successful.
2. Family and friends read you book and say, "WOW, you wrote this? This is awesome!
Be prepared, not everyone will like what you wrote. But don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back!
3. You get published or you publish it yourself. Either way it's out there now.
That's one of your baby steps, right? Give yourself Another pat on the back.
4. Your first copy sells! Awesome!
Boy my back is getting sore from all these pats,
 Oh wait, personally, I am still at step one, but to me, I am successful, so far anyways.

5.You will find naysayers along your way to success.
They are the ones who ask,
Are you making any money at this?
Is it worth your time?
Have you sold a million copies yet?
Are you rich and famous?

Success is what you want from what you do.
If you are writing that book to make a million dollars, or sell a million copies,
 then I have to say you are setting yourself up for failure.

Let's go back to step 2. Be prepared, not everyone will like what you wrote.
We all have our own tastes in life, whether it's what we read, eat, or watch on TV.
Not everyone will love Chinese, Italian, or even Indian food, nor does everyone read romance, paranormal, history or whatever genre that's out there.

I think the success comes from people liking what you create and coming back and asking for more.
Picture a very successful pizza joint in NY. Let's say they get Rave reviews and people are telling you,
"You have got to try their pizza! It's the best.
Yeah well maybe it's also expensive or you don't like pizza.
 (What! You don't like pizza? What is wrong with you?)
And there you have it. Not everyone is going to eat there, but their success doesn't rely on everyone.

Bottom line, "You can't please everyone."

I think that as a writer our success is sharing something that we enjoy. We want people to read what we write, we want to share our emotions, our thoughts and feelings. Give them a little glimpse into our heads, or share with them the beauty we see through our eyes.

So I'll leave you with this thought;
Take your baby steps, pat yourself on the back, and know that whatever you do, you are successful.

Happy Hump day everyone!

Oh and here is the link to read about Heather's success into self publishing.
Thanks Heather for sharing, because you helped me write my blog today and gave me inspiration  to succeed at whatever I do. So give yourself a pat on the back!

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/11/notes-from-a-self-publishing-success-story/

Had to share another link! http://www.genreality.net/stephen-king-fear-is-at-the-root-of-all-bad-writing/comment-page-1#comment-12407

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hi I'm Chipper! Number required!

Good morning and Happy Monday! It is going to be a great day today!

Why am I so chipper this morning?  I haven't a clue.
My house is a mess. There are dishes piled in the sink.
And let's not even talk about how bad-ly I need to vacuum!
And did I mention I just read my NaNoWriMo pep talk from Erin Morgenstern
Who is sitting on a beautiful beach somewhere, with a drink in her hand
that has one of those cute paper umbrellas in it
and she's waving at me, swimming 50 yards out, in shark infested waters
 and I swim like a frog!
Well maybe she didn't say exactly that, but that's what I read!
But what she did say was, "I love adverbs"
I read it! I swear I did! And I thank her for saying it.

But anyway, there's a fresh pot of coffee on!
Come in, sit down, and visit for awhile.
Oh and don't forget to have a number! (That will be explained shortly)


I read a blog a few days, weeks ago. (When I write I lose all track of time)
Anyway, I am also bad with names.
 People shouldn't have names! They should have numbers!
My son will challenge and test me
 till I am ready to scream and he does it just so he can laugh at me!
"Mom, whose the lead singer of Metallica?" 13 (That's my answer and I'm sticking to it!)
"And whose the guitarist?" 14. "Okay and who did he used to play for?" Wait, I got this one!
     OZZY!
Okay so I do remember someone, but if your name isn't
 Ozzy, Rob Thomas, or Stephen King,
You better have a number!
Now that I have complete-ly confused you, I should get back to what I was trying to say.
I read this blog post by somebody and she said you shouldn't use adverbs and she mentioned Stephen King in the post and something about he doesn't use them and I'm thinking...
So since I am a huge fan and have a collection of his books right over there,
 I pick up one and read a paragraph,
Well there's an adverb, pick up another book, yep there is another.
Why are adverbs so hated?
I just don't get it.
Here's an example,
"She gives him a kiss on the forehead as he lays dying in her arms"

Okay that works, but I prefer,

"She kisses him soft-ly on his forehead, tender-ly holding him in her arms,
as he closes his eyes, slow-ly taking his last breath."

Okay it's the little things that get me chipper.
She loves adverbs!



Have a Happi-ly Chipper Monday everyone!
Oh and I'm 5, it's nice to meet you. :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Emotions, Coincidences, You!

Good afternoon and Happy Saturday! Shh! I'm not supposed to be here, I am supposed to be on my other laptop writing, but I just had to stop by and visit for just a minute.

I want to talk about emotions, coincidences, you, and your writing, but first a message from our sponsor,
                                                 No wait that can't be right!
But first a little peek into my crazy mixed up head is more like it!

I finished my first novel last week, well there are a couple of paragraphs that I feel I need to tweak just a little.
When I started writing it I knew it could be a stand alone novel, ( It has a beginning, a middle, and a very Happily ever after, but it also has questions unanswered that would be answer in previous books),  even though in my head there are at least two more ahead of it and that should go with it, but at that time I decided not to write them. I didn't think they would have the impact like the third one. That is until I signed up for NaNoWriMo and figured I'd write the first one for the challenge.
                            Talk about emotional!
Here it is 5 days into it and I am at 15,340 words, And I have laughed and cried more than once. And I haven't even gotten to the saddest part. I get ready to go to the grocery store with the story swirling around in my head waiting to be written and I'm in tears....
"What can I say, I'm the emotional, sensitive type..."

Okay now for the coincidence. A line in my current writing has the heroine looking down at her big toe, peeking out at her from the hole in her shoe. The reason it's there is because her shoes are too small.
Okay, got that? Okay good.

Hours after I had written that line, I had put on my favorite tennis shoes. Looking down at them I had to laugh at my big toe peeking out at me. No my shoes aren't too small. These are my Duggy shoes and that hole has been in there for about a year now, ever since my sweet little dog Duggy chewed it there.

Okay now you.....

How much of "you" do you put into your writing?
Stop and think about it for a moment, and then let me know.

Well I have really got to go! Catch you all later!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Hump Day!

Good morning! Hope everyone is having an incredible day so far.

Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
How's it coming?
I wrote 3756 words yesterday and as soon as I get off this computer,
(I use the other laptop to write), I will be lost in the wonderful world of writing.

We have those awful Santa Ana Winds and they are blowing like crazy!
So that means it's a great day to stay inside and write.
And do some house cleaning, and laundry, and...

Maybe I'll venture out a little later and see where all my patio furniture ended up

Well I am off! Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Journey with Leukemia

I did a guest blog for Brian Hayden today and you can find it here  http://brha99.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/you-never-know-what-tomorrow-might-bring/

And after writing it, I thought I should try and add to it with a little more of the personal side of having a child diagnosed with leukemia.
I tend to "Just stick to the facts Ma'am"
 I'm not saying it's hard to talk about it, but it's hard to talk about it.
Does that make sense? :-)
Talking about it brings back memories, thoughts and feelings,
 that I haven't had in quite some time. But here goes.

   It was a Monday when I first took Bobby to see his pediatrician.
 He hadn't been feeling well, off and on for a few weeks.
He would run a temperature and feel achy for a day or two,
 be fine for a week and then start the process all over again.
That day was one of his "fine" days, but that night he spiked a fever.
Back to the doctors the next day
 for a more extensive exam and blood tests
and then you wait.
Thursday brought a call from the doctor to come back in.
More tests, more blood being drawn, and then after an exhausting day, some results.
"I believe he has some type of malignancy and I'm having him admitted to the hospital for further tests."
Now my first thought was bone cancer, simply because, it was Bobby's legs that were affected.
That's where his pains were and by the end of that day, his legs were so weak, he could barely walk.

    After a week of blood draws, lumbar punctures, bone scans, x-rays,
 and bone marrow aspirations, the diagnosis was in.
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia the doctor told us.
Why you wonder. When they are born the nurse shows you how perfect they are.
 Counting all their fingers and toes.
He had a healthy childhood.
 Of course he had the occasional cold or ear infection, but nothing dramatic.
At that point, life as we knew it, was turned upside down.
Now instead of school, bike rides, playing outside,
there was chemo, blood tests, radiation treatments,
 spinal taps, steroids, and side effects.
Oh and a Central Venous Catheter. (Which my son Adam told me, at the precious age of five,
 that never wanted to turn 10,
 because then you get one of those tubes put in your chest)

As for side effects, Bobby only got sick to his stomach once and that's because I asked the nurse to speed up his  8 hour cytoxin drip. He threw up in the car all the way home.
I never asked for her to do that again! Lesson learned :-)
He lost his hair twice. He had just been allowed to go back to school after 10 months of staying home and driving me crazy. (Hey! Cancer or not, he was still an 11 year old kid!) His hair wasn't quite in yet and he was allowed to wear a hat in class. The teacher was great. He explained everything to his students and let me tell you, 6 grade students are Awesome!
One day they had a substitute teacher and it was music day in the cafeteria.
 The sub left the class there and went and took his break. The music teacher not knowing, told Bobby to remove his hat, Bobby just stared at her. She threatened him with being sent to the office and of course worried that he would get in trouble, he removed his hat, even though his classmates told him he didn't have too.
What a shock it was the next day, When I got called into the principal's office!
That childhood feeling comes back real quick, "Am I in trouble?"
Half of Bobby's classmates went home and told their parents what had happened and those parents all called and wanted the music teacher dismissed, they were so upset that my child had to go through that!
And the principal wanted to know how I wanted it handled.
    "This is one of those times when your heart swells and the tears roll down your cheeks."
After talking to Bobby about it, we decided to just let it slide. His hair was starting to come back in, so he wasn't completely bald, but I do have to Thank all those kids and parents. They are wonderful people!

There are other side effects and other good and bad stories to go with our five year journey, but I think I've talked your ear off enough already. One day, maybe I'll sit down and write a book about it. I even thought maybe I'd use it for my NaNoWriMo, but no, I'm a romance writer. But then again,  I could put some romance in it, throw in a few doctors and nurses, Nah!
Thanks for listening and if you would like to know more about Leukemia you can find info here,
http://www.medicinenet.com/leukemia/article.htm
And there's a blog here

http://thecancerhealingguide.blogspot.com/2011/06/most-common-types-of-cancer-leukemia.html?showComment=1320002797609#c2498993197744633757

And don't forget to check out Brian's Blog for more on our journey.
Have a great day everyone!

It's the End!

Did I get your attention???
 Well it's not really the end, but this R.E.M. song
 "It's the End of the World As we Know it"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0GFRcFm-aY
 really does fit today!
 Especially if you are going to be participating in NaNoWriMo!
So do you have everything done?
In Place? Coffee, tea, or your choice of beverage stocked up and ready?
 Pens, pencils, paper, or the computer battery all charged up?
Have you done your stretching and finger exercises! Oh boy now I need a nap.....
Happy
          NaNoWriMo! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What do you Neglect?

You write. I write. Some of us make to do lists, while others make schedules.

There is always something that needs to be done.
Housework
eat
feed the dogs, cats, goldfish, etc
shopping
Oh and laundry, nah that can wait a day or two more, right?
I've only worn these jeans two days now and I'm not going anywhere.

The thing is, there's always something that needs to be done, which actually is a good thing,
because sitting at this computer 24/7 is really not very good.

Well, I have a confession to make.....
   "I neglect my car"
Yep you heard me right, I confess, I neglect me car.
I mean, it's been a month, no wait, maybe two, since I vacuumed and cleaned it out.
Good thing I'm usually the only one in it!
But then it's been a good month since I washed it too.
That's okay, I don't usually go anywhere.
But I can tell you when I get to the grocery store
 and pull up into that parking place and step on the brake......
        "POOF" There's a big cloud of dust!
You'd think that Pigpen from Charlie Brown, finally grew up and learned to drive.

Okay I admit it, it needs to be loved and pampered every once in a while.
So I'm thinking this weekend, since NaNoWriMo starts on Tuesday,
I really should clean my car,
even though I'm not going anywhere,
my neighbors will love and appreciate me again.

So What do you neglect??? Hmm....Curious minds want to know......

Friday, October 28, 2011

Choices

Good morning and Happy Friday everyone!
I'm going to go off topic this morning and just do some reminiscing.
I posted a Neil Diamond video on FB this morning, "Forever in Blue Jeans"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQLWF_ItzYs

And it started a conversation with a friend about how we only wear blue jeans and that we better be buried in them. No dresses, please! Anyway it brought to mind a friend I had as a teenager. His name was JoJo and he was 2 years older then me. He was a good kid. He went to church on Sundays with his parents, was kind, friendly and helpful. You could always find him out working on his car that he loved and You never seen JoJo in anything but jeans and a white t-shirt. JoJo was the first guy that I ever knew that had both ears pierced and his choice of earrings was a little gold cross.

      When JoJo was 18 he went to the big rock concert at the Ontario Motor Speedway.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4REs5xs4l1Y

 I didn't know until the next day that JoJo OD'd at this concert. In fact, I was at the hospital with my sister when they brought him in on the gurney and did not know it was him at the time, because of the oxygen mask and tubes, etc.

JoJo was only 18. No one forced him to take the drugs that day, it was a choice he made. A sad one, but still his choice.

   When we went to the viewing, us, his friends, were upset that his mom choose to put him in a suit and tie, that just wasn't JoJo. We did finally convince her to at least put his earrings in.

   I think we should be able to make our own choices and hopefully we make the right ones.
 Sometimes the choices we make reflect back on everything we do and who we become.
And there are times when other's choices for us affect how we turn out.
Then there's other people's choices that show us paths that we don't want to go down.

I wasn't really going to ask a question with this post, but if I did, it would be,

"What choices have you made that have molded the way you write and think?"

I

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Bloggers

Good morning everyone! Well it was until the dog decided to take over my writing chair! This is Duggy everyone. See what happens when you get up to get a cup of coffee!

I just want to write a quick blog this morning letting everyone know that I will be a guest blogger for Brian on Halloween! You can find it here
http://brha99.wordpress.com/

Also, Brian is looking for other guest bloggers that would like to share health/medical stories.
So if you are interested stop by and check out his blog!

I am a fiction writer and tend to have a hard time writing non-fiction.
My blog post on Brian's blog is about my oldest son and his leukemia.
My problem with writing non-fiction is....

  • I tend to stick to facts and statistics
  • I don't seem to put in enough of the personal side
  • And I get wordy :-)
I remember writing a paper on alcoholism nine years ago in college
and even though I received a good grade on it,
the professor wrote the comment that I needed to show more of the personal side.

So what I'm hoping to do on Monday is write on my blog,
 a more personal side in contrast to my guest blog post on Brian's.

So I hope everyone has a chance to stop by both blogs and let me know what you think.

Wishing you all a great day today!

Karen

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Query, Synopsis, Cover letter? EEK!

Okay, I know how to write the query.
I've figured out how to write the synopsis.
But what the heck do I put in a cover letter?

Yes, I know that should be the easiest out of the three, but.........

It's like my poor son, filling out job applications and he has no job history to report
 because he's never had a job!

Well that's me. I have written my first novel and yet have no history.
Nothing ever published, no awards....

So what do you put on that cover letter?
Do you list the blogs you write?
Your three facebook pages you have?
Your twitter account?
The guest blog you wrote for someone else's blog?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Twitter, Spam, Passwords

This is a subject that many people don't like to take about. It's like telling people you are depressed or have cancer. It's a stigma, something that many people are embarrassed about when it's really not their fault.

And that subject is, Having your accounts "Hacked into"

I like to help people. I share their links, their blogs, tweet about them and retweet. Well the Day before yesterday, I was helping someone get their blog noticed. I shared their blog on my blog, I tweeted about them and then when I went to share on my one FB pages,(After already sharing on my other fb page)  I had a warning notice pop up saying that this was either a spam or that there was something bad with this link. Thanks, now you tell me after I shared it everywhere


Now, I think my twitter account got hacked into. Sorry....

And the thing with getting your twitter account hacked into is then your followers start getting those messages, you know the ones that say, I found a funny picture of you. Or, Someone has said something bad about you on their blog. I've gotten those messages from other followers when their accounts have been hacked into.And because I have not been able to contact them other than a tweet, or twitter message, they have no idea they have been hacked. Then the only thing you can do is unfollow them and then block them from following you.

It is so sad that people do this kind of thing.
But, just to let you know, I have gone in, changed my twitter name and changed my password.
Also, I don't not send twitter messages, never have and never will, I will respond or reply to ones that have been sent to me, but I never initiate one. So that said, if you ever get one of those messages from me, please let me know via facebook or my email kkrafts58@yahoo.com.

The reason I am talking about this, is that I lost 17 followers within a few hours after sharing that one blog, which by the way has now been deleted off of all my pages.

So remember to change your passwords often and watch what you share with others
And now with that said and my mind finally uncluttered, I can get down to the task of writing!


Happy Monday Everyone!

.

Clutter!

I hate clutter! OMG I think I have an OCD! Well, maybe not that bad, but I do hate clutter.
I believe everything has a place, and everything should be in it's place. If it's not used, get rid of it!
 I do tend to get all jittery and irritated when there are things out of place, or that need to be done.
Take my house. Well not literally, but as an example. When I had some remodeling done, for months every time my niece would come over, she'd tell me that my house always looked like nobody ever lived there. Nothing was ever out of place. No dirty socks, newspapers, etc. And when I posted a pic of my remodeled bathroom, someone commented, "How pristine"

My biggest problem is the people I live with.
Two are pack rats, or hoarders, or whatever you want to call them.
One is the classic, The one with the most toys win, or I might need it someday, or the best one, it might be worth something. Yeah, but only if you sell it :-)
Then there is the collector slob. Who collects everything and is too lazy to take his dishes in the kitchen or throw out his trash. (We keep his door closed, so I don't have a meltdown)

Then there is the one who actually likes his room cleaned. Strips his bed every week, does his laundry, and runs the vacuum in there. Hey I like him!

But really my blog today, is supposed to be  about the clutter in your head.
I can't seem to focus on my writing when my head is cluttered up with what I want to blog about.
 Or tweet about, or even what do I want to post on fb!
I will walk around with mainly a blog post in my head and cannot concentrate on my writing,
 until the blog has been written. And today I have two in my head, so that's it for this one!
And my Q4U is, what clutters up your head and gets in the way of your writing?
 And how do you get rid of all that clutter?


Love to hear your thoughts and solutions!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturdays Are for FUN!

 I'm going to age myself here, but....

Remember waking up on a Saturday morning, hurrying through your chores just so you could run out and play with your friends? You'd spend all day out riding your bike, jumping rope, playing tag, and hide and seek with all your friends. Remember?? Okay so maybe I personally didn't do that but....

Or maybe your time was getting up Saturday morning and heading straight for the video games, and your mom would tell you, "Quit playing those video games and go out and do something! Now when I was a kid..."
Okay mom, we've heard those stories before. Along with, "I had to walk 3 miles to school in 3 foot of snow...

BUT it's Saturday!

Get off the computer and Let your inner child out today, even if it's just for a brief time.
 Go to the park, take a walk around the block and check out everyone's Halloween decorations, Play fetch with the dog in the back yard, or if you have younger kids, go out and throw the football around.
 Or if you are feeling really brave, pump up those bicycle tires and ride around the block, up and down the street.
It'll be good for you!
 Great exercise, your body will thank you and so will your mind.
 And while you are at it think of all the different things you can add to your book!
Happy Saturday everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What do you want to Achieve?

Good morning and Happy Thursday everyone! Hope your day is going well.

I was reading a blog by Lindsay Buroker  http://www.lindsayburoker.com/
And it got me to thinking what do I want to achieve with my writing....
Do I want to get rich from it?
Be able to make a living from it?
Be famous?

I think..."A"  Yes, I would like to see money come in from it. Get rich? Nah...
             "B"   Make a living from it? That would be nice.
             "C"   Be famous?   Nah, I mean if that happens, okay, but not mandatory.

I think what I would like to achieve is to write good books that people will enjoy reading.
Get Published.
And I really, really, want to do at least one book signing!
I have no idea why I find that exciting.
Considering I'm the shy, bashful type, but I do love meeting new people,
 I just get all tongue tied when trying to talk to them,
but I am an excellent listener! :-)

I mean that is why I decided to sit down and put all those words to paper and computer, right?
To get published, so others can see into my world of imagination?
 Otherwise, what is the sense of sitting here, letting my legs go numb and my eyes go all wacky!

I am loving what I'm doing, creating a whole different world for others to read, is exciting and fascinating!

What are your goals? Your hopes? Your dreams? What do you hope to achieve?
 Or what have you achieved already?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Confused yet?

Good morning and Happy Wednesday! Just wanted to clear up a few things about me.

When I tweet I'm http://twitter.com/#!/myuniquebaskets My Unique Baskets

When I write I'm http://www.facebook.com/pages/Different-Corners/282985538382248?ref=ts At Different corners or here!

And when I follow your blog I am usually kkrafts.

I have been thinking I need to get then all together and use one name, maybe "Just me!" or "Uniquely Me!" but thought it would just confuse everyone even more!

I also have two other blogs if you want to see what else I do in this very confusing world!
http://myuniquebaskets.blogspot.com/
http://kkrafts58.blogspot.com/
Have a great day everyone and Happy everything! :-)

Queries!

Aak! Eek! Ugh! Okay now that I've got that out of the way...I want to ask a question...At least I think I wanted to ask a question....Wait, let me think about this. I've got all these questions rolling around in my head.  Stop! Okay had to stop the roulette wheel and pick the one I wanted. Okay here's my question... No wait let me give you a little history first then I'll ask.

I am writing a series of 3 books. I am almost finished with the third. I just need to fill in a couple of gaps, tie it together, and make sure it's flows and keeps you reading. But the thing is I haven't written the first 2 books. They are still in my head. When I first started writing the third book I had no plans on writing the first two, because the third book has enough merit to stand on it's own, is a good read, and has the happily ever after, and yet leaves some questions unanswered, that would make the reader wanting more, which then I could write the first two books. I just feel that if any get published, I want it to be the third.

Okay so here's my question for you....

When sending out my query letter, Do I just query the one book as a stand alone? Or do I need to put in the query, that it could be a series?

Is there a difference in tactics when sending to an agent? Or a publisher?

As to that I mean... Do you tell the publisher that you are querying that it could be a series or not?

Do you tell the agent that it could be a series or not?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Illustrations

Good morning! Hope everyone's day is going great so far! I have a question, like that's anything new...

My oldest son is a natural artist and I want him to sketch some illustrations for my current novel to be used on different pages.
 Let's say your chapter title page is about phone calls or ice creams, or puppy dogs, I don't know whatever comes to mind.
 Anyway on that page I'd like to have a sketch along with the chapter name.

 I've seen it done on other books, but what I want to know is when you send your novel off to the agent or publisher should you have the illustrations on the pages that you want when sending it in.

 Or should that be something discussed when you are working on the details of the cover and publishing it?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Humanizing Your Characters

Just a quick blog post this morning. I have been thinking about this the past few days and wonder just how human are your characters.

I know we describe our characters. Fat, thin, short, tall, brown hair, etc. And we give them little traits such as nail biters, or gigglers, coffee drinkers, but where do they get that cup of coffee they are always carrying around? But the question is, Do you actually make them human, with basic day to day habits? Do they ever do the dishes, run the vacuum, strip the dirty sheets off the bed, and do a load of laundry? Or do they have a magical housecleaning fairy that comes in while they are sleeping? (I have really got to get me one of those!)

I know if the heroine is out fighting zombies, she's not going to stop and realize she forgot to shave her legs last night, and the zombies aren't going to care if she has a sink full of dishes, but not all stories are about zombies invading.

I really got to thinking about this when I updated my facebook status the other day. Telling everyone that I had to wash my hair and go to the grocery store. Yes I know I lead a boring life, but these are some of the day to day things we do without ever thinking about them.

I'm not saying throw everything in and make your story dull and boring, but certain things can be addressed that your reader can relate to. Yes we all want to live that perfect life where the kids don't come in while you are on the phone and yell at the top of their lungs, "Mom the dog just pooped all over the living room rug." But it's part of life and part of being human.

Well back to my perfectly boring life of cleaning house, doing, laundry, humanizing my characters and yes I really should shave my legs today! (Can't wait for short season to be over, jeans here I come!)

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Life! Isn't it Awesome!

I was really hoping two weeks ago to say, "YAY! Finished my first novel" But sometimes life gets in the way, which is a good thing!

The weekend I was hoping to have it finished I went down and spent two days in San Diego with my son and went to the Blue Angels air show, then last weekend my son came up here. His roommates grandmother had passed away and her funeral was that Saturday. My son also had a job up here in the area, and he brought his dogs and I got to puppy sit for three days! So with his two and my two wanting to run in and out, in and out, front door and back door, well lets just say there wasn't much time to write.

Well yesterday I finished up the "With this ring, I thee wed vows, and I can't tell you how happy I am with how they turned out! Yes it's an erotic romance, but to me it is a tender sweet love story, with some hot sensual sex thrown in :-)

This morning I stood in line at Barnes and Noble waiting to get my wristband for Ozzy Osbourne's book signing! Awesome!!!!!





And then this evening, I got my book signed and got to talk to Ozzy! I know he's not your regular type of author, but he's OZZY! Yes, I was excited, Did I tell you I got to talk to Ozzy! Okay enough, I'm sorry I tend to get excited, but I am a huge fan of Ozzy.

Something Different for Today!

I have a blog post that I have been wanting to type up, but I thought.... eh! Happy Friday everyone!

I am thinking this will be great on a spice cake or cupcakes
Pumpkin Buttercream Icing

Gluten-Free and Vegan

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups powder sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. gluten-free almond extract
1 Tbsp. almond milk

Directions

In a large bowl, whip butter until fluffy using an electric mixer. Slowly, add remaining ingredients for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.
Serve atop gluten-free pound cake, freshly sliced fruit such as baked apples and as a dip for gluten-free sugar cookies.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To Self Publish or Not

I have thought about Self Publishing, but to me it seems a little scary! I think for my first book, I want the help of an agent, then maybe on future work, if I have learned anything.... I was reading a friend's post on FB the other day and she has an agent, but her current book she has self published because she wants to enjoy the rewards now, and she's saving for a family vacation. Here's a blog I was reading this morning about another's viewpoint on self publishing. Check it out and let me know what you think.
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/10/theres-something-odd-about-self-publishing-books/

Q4U... Have you self published or thought about it? What would be the scary part for you to do that?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prioritizing My Priorities!

EEK! I make To Do Lists just to help keep me on track. I take a sheet of paper and list everything I want to accomplish that day and love the feeling of crossing things off my list.
Yesterday's list included, but was not limited to:
House cleaning, laundry,workout,sort through paper work and balance checkbook and update facebook, drag out Halloween decorations and while I was doing that, I found my computer speakers that I have been searching months for! Not to mention, Write, Write, Write!

But the hardest part of To Do lists and accomplishing everything is I get my priorities all jumbled up and end up not accomplishing everything I've set out to do, or not getting to the most important ones that really should be a priority!

When it comes to my writing...I am this close to having my novel finished and yet instead of writing yesterday, I started reading back through and did some editing and revising! I also start stressing on how to write a query or a synopsis and who am I going to send them to. Trying to find either a publisher or agent can be time consuming. And yet most authors, agents, writers, etc. tell me just get it written and then worry about the rest. :-) But I am happy to say that this morning I think I found the agent I will send my query to, because she is currently taking queries in my genre! So I am excited and now know what my priority is for the next couple of days! Write, write, write!

Here's wishing everyone a great day and happy writing.

Oh and if you get a chance you can see all the to do things I have been catching up with...
http://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Are-Awesome/233192996701952?ref=ts
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Different-Corners/282985538382248
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1161983753
And don't forget to tweet me!
And I did get out my Halloween Decorations and have started to decorate!


And now I have updated my writer's blog! Woohoo, I'm on a roll!
Now to hook up my speakers and crank up one of my favorite YouTube playlists and WRITE!
http://www.youtube.com/user/myuniquebaskets?feature=mhee

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Does this freak you out?

I wanted to quote Erin this morning, because I too have had this happen since our discussion! And it does tend to freak you out!

Erin Quinn "Not so much a style influence, but I've had issues where my ideas brush against someone else's --and that freaks me out."


You can check out our conversation here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Different-Corners/282985538382248?sk=wall

A friend commented on another friend's post on fb a comment that I had already written in the 2nd chapter of my book. And just yesterday I was reading an article on Yahoo about how people meet and I thought, NO WAY! because one of the couples met basically the same way my hero and heroine met! Now that's freaky!
http://yahoo.match.com/y/article.aspx?articleid=12353&TrackingID=526103&BannerID=860522
Have you ever encountered this with your writing?

What Influences You?

Good morning and Happy Sunday everyone! Today I'd like to find out, "Not so much of what influences you or not, but more so the creation of the emotions and feelings of your characters....I think!"

First, I don't read other's romance novels while I'm writing my novel. Mainly because, I don't want their words or emotions influencing my own work.

Our characters live in our heads from start to finish of our book and if we are writing a series they live there a long time.

I have been worn out the last couple of weeks and have had a touch of the flu and find myself projecting how I'm feeling onto my characters. I have been saying my heroine is exhausted and yet there really is no reason for her to be.

Do you find yourself doing this?

Let's say you've had a bad day and are in a cranky, snappy, mood, do you find yourself making your characters mood match your own?

How about sympathizing with your characters moods, feelings and emotions?
When your characters are stressing, irritated, nervous, or sad, etc.  do you find yourself feeling and expressing their emotions?

There is a part in my novel where my heroine is experiencing morning sickness, now I'm wondering if I actually had the flu or was just sympathizing with her, remembering all those mornings when I was pregnant with my sons!

I'd like to hear your take on this! It would be interesting to know that I'm not the only one experiencing these feelings.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time and Descriptions

Good morning from my Different Corners! Which feel very busy and confused this morning.

I was going to do my blog post on "Descriptions" this morning, But then I also wanted to do one on "How do you manage your time?" So I thought I'd combine the two.

A little history to help you along.

I have an 87 year old dad and an 88 year old step mom. Whom I love dearly. Dad is hard of hearing, even though he has hearing aides, he has a hard time understanding people on the phone otherwise he's in excellent health and full of energy. My step mom has had a few strokes which have affected her speech and some of her motor skills.So my dad has taken over all the basic household chores. They can afford to have someone come in a few days a week, but dad is frugal and stubborn. They live 35 miles from me, which isn't bad, but you have to take two major freeways to get there. Anyway my dad loves his computer. He can check emails, his stocks, and now bank accounts, but if he enters a wrong password and gets kicked out of accounts, he calls me. There are weeks where I am on the phone with dad, his stockbroker, banks, customer service reps, 3 way calling, trying to explain to everyone, who I am, and what my dad needs and then trying to take care of my own priorities.

I went down to San Diego over the weekend to visit my son and to catch the "Blue Angels" air show and there was an accident on the freeway on the way down which put me behind schedule an hour. While sitting in this massive parking lot that we call a CA freeway, my dad calls me and starts rattling off a phone # to one of his banks and because I am not at home, he gets mad at me and hangs up. (I'm used to that)
                                               And this is what the freeway looked like :-(


 I only took my writing laptop and not my internet laptop, (Yes, I use separate ones to keep me from getting distracted) hoping to finish up my novel so I can get it out to my proofreader. (and I hardly got any writing done.)
So for the first part, how do you organize your time? Do you set aside a certain amount of time for writing, cleaning, promoting (FB, twitter, blogs, etc), I see people tweeting, writing blogs, facebooking, and can't help but wonder, "When do they have time to write a novel, much less accomplish anything else."
         
            So my  first question for you is...Do you write a list or make yourself a schedule? 


Okay as for Descriptions... I was in a motel in San Diego over the weekend and sitting there at the desk trying to get some writing done, when I start looking around the room thinking, "How would I describe the room?" Just working on my description skills, something everyone should do, right? In my novel they are currently staying in a motel at the Grand Canyon. But I am not focusing on what the room looks like. I am putting the detail into their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and conversations. The most I've said about their room is, it has two beds, a sliding glass door that leads out to the pool area, and a single knob in the shower confusing a five year old, who is used to the customary 3 knobs. Oh and there must be a TV in there, because I did mention they were watching TV. To me, unless you are going to use the description later in the story, I really don't feel it's important, but is the reader going to want that bird's eye view of every detail?

This is where I'm confused. Every reader, just like every person on this earth has their own tastes as to writing, reading, even eating. We are all unique.  


And here's my second question for you......

How do you come up with a happy medium on details and descriptions?
Are you giving all those little details just to have filler or are they vital to your story line?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Writing Bug!



The "Writing Bug" has gotten a hold of me! I don't know about you, but for the past 5 months I live, breath, eat, and sleep writing. Family and friends, especially Facebook friends, wonder what's up with me.




A little over a year ago I was sitting in my gift shop and had this story going through my head, but didn't do anything with it at the time. For me, I always have stories going through my head and tend to dismiss them as fantasies I dream up. In February 2011, due to the economy and a business partner who disappeared into the night. I closed my physical gift shop but continued to create custom gift baskets and keep my online business going.

Five months ago, tired of laundry and housework, the story in my head was stronger than usual, I picked up a notebook and pen, and my journey began. Three notebooks, 4 pens running out of ink,more than 20 hand written pages that still need to be typed, and over 70,000 words typed so far (I only type with 2 fingers), I know the Writing bug has got it's hooks into me!

Some people are naturals when it comes to writing. Am I a natural writer? I'm not sure. I know I had over a notebook written, before I told myself to do some research on writing. Am I any good? Once again, I'm not sure, that would have to be up to my readers. I do hope, as many writers do, that my book will pull the reader in, get them hooked, and keep them turning the pages to the very end.




I have always had stories go through my head and a great imagination. (Tea time with Elvis was one of my best ones when I was about 5!) So here I am, a 53 year old mom with three grown sons and am starting on a new journey in my life. Yep, the writing bug has definitely gotten me. Either that or I have completely lost my mind, as some of my family and friends seem to think and I couldn't be happier.




My question for you is.... Have you always had the writing bug?

If not, what, when, and where did it hit you? I'd love to hear your stories.




Wishing each and every one of you a very happy writing bug day!