Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Imagine Dragons

It's been quite awhile since I've spoken about music and I know you all are just dying to see what my latest obsession is (ha!) Even though that may not be the case I couldn't contain myself from telling you about the Imagine Dragons.

Their album is one of the best I've heard in ages. Ages, I say! They don't just have one good song. Each song is different AND each song is good. It doesn't get better than that. Here is their first single from the album Continued Silence EP called "it's Time".  I love this video because speaks to me of their artistry -- for them it's all about the music.

Good no? Now go give the whole album a listen, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Should your Author Blog be About Writing?

I read a post the other day (and I wish I could remember who wrote it!) about how writers shouldn't be writing blogs about writing.

The author of the blog had several valid points such as, "Are you reaching your target audience" and "Is your blog lost in a sea of other writing blogs?"

While I somewhat agree with these statements, I also beg to differ. My audience is anyone who is going to read my book, and guess what? Writers read! Not to mention the amazing support other blogging writers give to friends who are launching books (free publicity anyone?).


I have a mantra for this blog and that is, write what I feel. I'm not going to come on here and not talk about writing becasue certian "experts" think I shouldn't mention the 'W' word even though I am a writer.

I didn't start this blog becasue I want to talk about my kids. I started this blog becasue I wanted to become a better writer, and how can I do that if I never discuss the subject of writing?

Yes there are lots of other blogs out there about writing, but that doesn't mean my blog doesn't have it's own voice. It doesn't mean I can't stand out in a crowd if I don't want to.

It's my obligation to put honest and useful information out onto the internet and how can I do that if I'm not being myself in my blog posts?

So here's my advice, if you want to blog about writing, do it!


P.S. The winners for the giveaway on my blog and Tasha's blog where chosen. Congrats Jen R. with a copy of Everneath, Nicole MC with a copy of Midnight in Austenland, and Joshua for winning $20 in gift cards!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yet Another Addiction

Sometimes I get caught in internet social crazes (i.e. blogging -- *ahem*).  The google plus excitement came and went. I was enjoying pintrest until I discovered that every time I went I left either really hungry or sad that my house doesn't look like a magazine cover.

And even though I frequent Facebook and Twitter I feel the need to get involved in yet another social networking disaster.

No, scratch that, I didn't feel the need to get involved in this, it just happened. You see, I asked a question on Yahoo! Answers. It was blogging related question. Most of you know that I'm pretty up-to-date about blogging. I really would not have asked the question if I didn't think there was tech-guru out there with a serious answer.


Instead I get some smart comment with a completely useless suggestion that I was dying to give a thumbs down. I don't like to be negative, but really, this answer deserved it. Only one problem. I didn't have enough 'points' to give a thumbs down.

Yahoo! Answers has a completely stupid rating system where basically you have to answer 5,000 questions before you're allowed to give a bad answer a thumbs down (or a good one a thumbs up). For the heck of it, I decided to look in the Authors and Books sections to see if I could answer any questions. I could earn points, then I could let the person that answered my question know how deficient they where.

And I got sucked in. So many questions reminded me of my first attempts to write a novel. These people need my help, I thought -- and now I'm addicted.There's something about feeling like you have a bit of knowledge to share, and sharing it.  Not to mention the thrill of getting best answer. It's a nice warm fuzzy.

Now I can hear you asking -- What is wrong with you? How is this addicting?

Let me give you an example question and dare you not to want to expel your expertise.

Am I the only that feels the burning need to answer this? Please tell me I'm not crazy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

200th Post Giveaway - Feat. Tasha Seegmiller!

I bet you didn't know that today is a special day. Okay, it might not be special for you, but it is for me! Today marks the 200th post that I've written between this blog and my previous blog, A Book, A Girl, A Journey.

Not only is today special for me, but today is special for Tasha Seegmiller becasue she's passed 200 followers! In honor of the awesome 200's we are swapping blogs and giving away prizes.  

Just by commenting on the end of this post you can win a copy of  Everneath, and if you comment on both this blog and Tasha's blog you can win a $20 gift cardYou'll want to go to Tasha's blog anyway becasue I'm giving away a hardcover copy of Midnight in AustenlandThat's something you won't want to miss.

Without further ado, here's Tasha --

I’ve always been good at writing. I had notebooks of stories, would make them up with my current crush and me falling madly in love, but always using pseudonyms that only started with the letter of mine and his first names so no one would ever know (yup, sneaky).

The problem is when I was in high school I had lots of really good writers in my class (hello, Ally Condie!). My writing always got good marks, but never vocal attention giving praise because there were just so many good writers. There was one time in high school that I remember accolades for a love story I wrote about two teens going to prom (me and my crush at the time. He’s gay so you can see that my stories really didn’t come true). But I got glares instead of congrats from so many people in the class, that I decided the silent on the paper for my eyes only kind of praise was more for me.

Skip forward 6-7 years when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life after spending a good academic year as the president of the Major of the Month club. English was my passion and I still was decent…adequate…getting A’s but not many people knew. Then, I took a class from David Lee. He has a passion for literature that I have seen met in few, a passion that came out in all the emotional manifestations.

And he loved my writing.


I took a class from him that studied Milton’s Paradise Lost for an entire semester, a class that had bruised many a GPA, a class that I just had to try. This class pushed me – hard, and I LOVED it. Dave started the class indicating he had taught it a dozen times, during which he gave three A’s.

Now might be a good time to mention I’m competitive. I wanted that A. The feedback I got was beyond what I thought I could receive – they had always been comments given to my classmates. The more I wrote, the better the feedback and I caught the bug to research and write.

That semester, David Lee gave out two A’s in his Milton class. I was one.

I have loved to write since. Actually, I have been in love with writing since (don’t worry, my husband knows. It’s okay – he’s in love with golf).

And five years ago, I remembered that I knew how to write things besides research papers, dabbled a bit but really got serious about it six months ago.

Best decision ever.


Tasha Seegmiller is a high school English teacher by day, writer by night, mom and wife everywhere through and in between.  She is working on a contemporary Women’s Lit dealing with death, heaven and selfishness.  She blogs at Tasha Seegmiller, with her critique partners at  Thinking Through Our Fingers,  and as a rotating instructor at The Writer’s Dojo . Tasha can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1st Campagin Challenge : 2 Hot 2 Handle

 Rachael Harrie has put together the first challenge for Writers Campaign! The rules are as follows:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count. 
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
  • end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
  • include the word "orange" in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!
And here is my entry --

Shadows Crept across the wall, the signal of the sun rising through the blinds. Shay already had her bag packed and her hiking boots on. It was going to be a good day.

Not that Shay liked to hike, she had never really done much hiking before, but she did get to go with Lance. Plus it didn't hurt that she got to hit up Eddie Bauer for the first time her life the day before. Because, where else can you find authentic hiking gear in the mall?

The doorbell rang and Shay scrambled down the stairs, poofing her hair as she went. She opened the door and leaned on the frame, biting her lower lip. "Hi Lance."

"Are you wearing shorts?" Lance said pointing at the carefully picked cargos that highlighted Shay's long legs.

"Well, yeah."

"It's like twenty degrees out here, and it's going to get colder towards the top."

Shay looked out over the snowy landscape and orange horizon.  "I'll be fine!"

Even though she said the words she didn't believe them. Her hands shook as she took her first step outside. Those one-hundred dollar hiking boots didn't hold up. She slid on the ice and everything faded.


P. S. Last Weeks giveaway winners are - Jenny Morris with a copy of Everneath, David Powers King with a copy of Pride and Popularity, and Larissa Hardesty with the $10 gift card. Congrats to the winners!

P.P.S I'm doing another giveaway tomorrow, so be here or be square.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

14 Questions

I was tagged in the question meme, twice! Since I'm sucker for these things, I couldn't pass the opportunity up :)

First, Melissa Dean over at the Guardian Writer has me answering 11 questions of her choosing.

1. What type of genre do you enjoy writing the most?

Young Adult, I like fantasy and  paranormal elements in my writing. My current work in progress involves time travel, which is uber fun and uber hard since so many people have different opinions and views on what the rules of time travel should be. But I don't let that stop me!

2. Describe one of your characters.

 Chrissie is the Main Charter in my WIP, she has been teaching herself history, and learning to kick butt at her fathers Dojo so that she can travel through time. Oh and I did I mention she speaks eight languages? Her family exposed her to a lot of culture when she was young. Plus she's a bit snotty and sarcastic. I love her.

3. Who is your dream agent or dream publisher?

Whomever believes in my book as much as I do.

4. How long have your been writing?

I can't really put a date on when I started writing. I started believing in my writing my senior year of high school thanks to a really awesome teacher. But I didn't get serious about writing until I started blogging last April. 

5. What writing accomplishment are you most proud of?

I try not to be proud of my writing becasue I believe there is always room for improvement. I'm only happy when I find myself doing better, but I still want to push harder.

6. If James Cameron directed a movie of your life, what would be the title?

Oh gosh, this one is hard. Ask me again after I've made it big and I might be called something like "Never Stop Dreaming" I don't know...

7. Plotter or Pantser?

I'm little bit of both. I write a very loose outline and then I let the story drive me where it will.

8.  Where do you get your writing ideas?

Anywhere I can. Life is full of opportunity's for inspiration.

9. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? (Hehehe, get it? Night Writer! Knight Rider!)

Lol. I am Knight Rider, thank you very much! No really, I used to get up at 4:30am, but now that I'm prego

I don't have the energy for that, so I write before bed.

10. What actor do you see playing a part in your novel/movie adaptation?

I don't like to pin down actors, it limits me too much. But here is a Picture I found of someone who kind of looks like Chrissie --

Just thin her eyebrows out a little and make her hair wavy. Oh and put her in black or purple, white does not work for her.

11. Favorite character in a book (not your own)?

I can't pick!! I think I would have to say Miri from Princess academy becasue she makes the best out of a tough situation, and never stops trying to improve herself.

Next, I got three more Questions from Hannah Hale --

1. Favorite traditionally published and indie books you’ve read?

Traditionally Published? I could name at least a dozen. Harry Potter, Enders Game, Artemis Fowl, Divergent, Variant -- I could go on and on but you get the idea.

As far as Indie books go, I have a neighbor who is a fabulous writer (and a great critique partner!) She writes LDS romance, but I really like her books. Her name is Roseanne Wilkins if you want to hop over to her blog and say hi! 

2. All of you are regular bloggers and Tweeters and writers. How do you balance social media and writing time?

This one is tough to do, and I'm no master at it. But I do social media during the day where I can, then I spend the evening with my family. When Ten O' Clock hits, it's writing time. It's the only time during the day I can devote full concentration to my book. I haven't been great about lately becasue I'm so tired from pregnancy, but I will get this book done before the baby is born!

3. If you could pick anyone as a writing partner, who would it be (and why)?

Anyone? Anyone in the world? There are so many people to choose from (including some amazing bloggers) but I think I might say Shannon Hale. She's just so positive, and I think it would be a blast to work with her :D

Now, I'm suppose to tag people and make up my own questions, but I don't really like to play by the rules. Instead, I want everyone who comments to pick one question (from the ones above) and answer it for themselves.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

100 Followers Giveaway

It's been three weeks since I started this new blog and already I have a 100 followers. Thank you so much! I just couldn't let this awesomeness pass without a giveaway! And lucky for you I've been buying a few signed books that I think you'll enjoy.

First up is EVERNEATH by Brodie Ashton. The first time I saw her cover I was head over heals in love --

Pretty, no? And yes, it's signed.

Next we have the too fun and too cute Pride & Popularity by Jenni James. Can I tell you, Jenni is one of the nicest people, EVER. She is so full of life and it reflects in her writing. Any Austen fan would love this book.

And since I can't send these puppies overseas I'm also giving away a $10 gift card to any place of the winners choice (it doesn't even need to be something to buy books!)

So how do you enter to win the fun? Just comment below and tell me which prize you would like! Feel free to spread the word if you want to. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is it Getting Hot in Here?

Happy V-day everyone! Love is in the air! I went on my first date with my hubby on V-day, and married him six months and two days later. So I guess today is good luck!

Anyway, what would V-day be without a few kissing scenes? Cassie May and Hope Roberson are hosting the Is it Getting Hot in Here? blogfest. I'm joining in with a scene from the book I am not working on (Earth Song), but I still love this scene so why not put it out there for all the world to see?

"What right do you have to be here? You abandoned me when I needed you the most. I know I said some harsh things, but that gave you no excuse."

Brenton stepped towards her. "Marion, I had good reason. I ---"

"I don't want to hear it," Marion said taking a step back,  hoping the sound of the river would block out anything Brenton had to say.

She had been alone, frightened, and unsure of what to make of her new-found powers. She could think of no good reason why they had been bestowed upon her, but she knew Brenton had something to do with it. She couldn't trust him for that reason alone.

"It's about your Aunt."

She looked down the slope to the river. There would be no escape here, not without going around him.

"Could you please move."

He stood his ground, his fists clenched at his sides. "If you'll just let me, I can explain everything. I didn't want to hurt you, but I had little choice."

Marion tried to walk around him, tried to ignore the pleading in his eyes. He took her arm as she walked past, forcing her to take him in. The bronze hair, the dimple in his chin. She wouldn't fall for it, not now. She had to be strong.

"Your Aunt wants to send you back to Falls Church."

Her jaw went slack. Hadn't she been longing to hear those words since the day she arrived in this nothing of a town? But right now, looking at Brenton, she couldn't imagine leaving. They had a score to settle, even if she was resistant to talk it out. She couldn't end things like this.

He closed the gap between them, not letting go of her arm. "I want you to stay."

Three things happened at once -- 1. Marion felt a weight lift off of her shoulders and she let control of everything she had pent up inside. 2. Brenton leaned in for a kiss 3. The earth moved, literally.

Forgetting that her emotions controlled her power over the earth she found herself tumbling, Brenton beside her, down the slope and into the river. It was shallow enough that she landed on her back without the water taking over.

Brenton landed half-way on top of her, his chest to hers.

Panting, Marion said just what she was feeling, "I want to stay, for you."

Fire was the only word Marion could think of to describe how it felt to have Brenton's lips on hers. The water flowing around them would have frozen her to the core had the fire not consumed them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Turn Off Word Verification on Blogger

Welcome to another happy Thursday! Today I want to talk about something plaguing the blogging society, and that is word verification. It's time consuming and unnecessary! Blogger has an awesome spam folder that WILL catch anything before it's published on your blog. You may get a few spam hits at first, but it will die down.

When I started this blog I thought I had word verification off. Turns out, I didn't. Blogger's new format doesn't allow you to. So in the interest of other bloggers ridding themselves of word verification I thought I would give everyone a little how-to on fixing the problem.

Start on you blogger dashboard and click on the little cog -

This will give you a drop down menu. Select 'Old blogger interface'

You will return to your old dashboard. Find your blog and click on the 'Settings' button.

Once there, click on the comments sub-button.

Then scroll down until you see 'Show Word Verification for Comments' and Check the 'no' box

You can go back to the top and change your settings back to the new interface.

Everyone should check to see if they are using word verification. It will never ask for verification from the author of the blog so you might not know you have it.

Anyone else have blogger pet peeves?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ink Blot

This week I'm joining in on the "I'm Hearing voices" blog fest. Hosted by Cassie Mae and Live to Write... Edit when necessary.

I’m Hearing Voices

The Challenge for today is a follows:

Dialogue Introduction: Have two characters introduce each other using only dialogue—no backstory, no internalization, just dialogue between the two. Max 250 words.

And here is my best shot --
"Why are you holding that Quill?" Irving said, pointing at Marda's ink-stained dress

"I'm writing, why do you think I'm holding it?"

"Yeah, but what are you writing?"

"A Fairy Tale."

Irving huffed. "It's so typical of you to be lost in your own imagination. When are you going to come back to the real world?"

"And live life like you? No thank you. I'd rather have my stories."

"Of course you would, because you don't want to deal with the fact that our parents are dead."

Marda slapped down the ink bottle in her left hand blackening the parchment where her story was taking shape. "This is how I'm dealing with it. At least I'm trying to live life with a smile on my face. Look at what your reality has done to you. All you do is mope. That's not living to me, and I think mum and dad would want us to be happy, no matter what."

"You know what dad told me just before the sickness took him? He told me I was the man of the house. 
Men do not have time to be dabbling in ink speckled stories."

Marda was on her feet now, quill still in hand. "That's good then, because Mrs. Mcallister just told me we are being given to separate homes. So why don't you just go be a man by yourself?"

Irving reach out his hand, but Marda turned her back. "I'll fix this," he said, "because that's what men do."


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Have Super Powers

Yes, you read the title right. I have recently acquired some new super powers. Sometimes they are a delight, and other times they can be quite taxing.


What Super Powers do I have? A heightened sense of smell for one, along with that comes a sensitivity for foods and a delicate palate. Oh yes, and I now have the ability to need a nap, all of the time. What? That's not a super power? Okay you caught me. I guess I'll just have to confess.

I'm Pregnant

Yep, what I thought at first was sudden surge in super-prowess turns out to be a baby. I'm due in the middle of September. 

Why do I bring this up on a writing blog? Because I now have extra motivation to get my book done. I would be working on it more if it wasn't for that dang sickness and my unlimited napping powers. Here's hoping I get something accomplished before then.

Go ahead, tell me your big news of the week. I'm dying to hear ;) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

January Mini-Reviews

First let me give a big thank you to all who commented yesterday. I have decided that what I've already written is okay becasue even if you don't see the characters flaws at first, you find them out later in the book.

Those of you that followed my old blog may have heard a thing or two about my goals in 2012. If you haven't, you are about to be enlightened.

One of my goals is to read a book a week. That will add up to 52 books in a year. In order to hold myself accountable, I plan on doing mini-reviews of the books I read the previous month. So buckle up and get ready for a little ride ;)

Artemis Fowl:

  The Arctic Incident      The Eternity Code     The Opal Deception

I feel like I should tell you about all three of these books together becasue they all relate to each other. If you haven't heard of Artemis Fowl and you write MG or YA, it's time you heard about it. Who doesn't love a boy genius bent on being a criminal Mastermind? Especially one who likes to steal from magical Fairies. Got your interest? Good. Pick these ones up, they are worth it.

The Kane Chronicles: Throne of Fire.


This is the second in the Kane series, but I didn't have the chance to get to until now. Once again Riordan tells a hilarious and peril-wrought journey of the Kane siblings, and once again leaves us guessing. I wouldn't say it was my favorite novel from him, but it was worth picking up (and maybe even picking up again).

Servant of a Dark God

If you followed my old blog then you might know how long I've been wanting to get through this one. I met John Brown at a writers conference and bought his book. And let me tell you, it was wonderful. He writes like George R. R. Martin only in a more young adult style. Fantastic read.

As you can see, I actually got through five books this month (wahoo!) but I'm not quite sure I can keep it up. We'll just have to see how the rest of the year goes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Character Depth

It's the first Wednesday of the month which means another go around of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This month I want to keep it simple and ask you guys a question. I have a character, whom I love very much, that is a naturally good person. The only problem is I've had some people tell me this character is a little flat. So here is my question --

What would you do to make a character, that is naturally good and nice, have more depth?

I really want to flesh out my story and make it strong, but sometimes I get stuck. Thank goodness I have you guys around to help me become a stronger writer. :D