Thursday, March 29, 2012


Last week my writers group got together and had a brainstorming session. It was good that there where only four of us, because we took 20min + each to talk about our books. I went in not really expecting to talk about me. I mean, I've already written my book once. I'm re-writing it to iron out the bumps. I thought I knew where my story was going.

I was wrong.

Something about hearing everyone's ideas compelled me to share my own story. I had no idea how many lose ends needed tying up. They even helped me think about what to put in the second and third books.

I discovered that brainstorming with other writers improved my story line in ways that I could have never done on my own.

We are so lucky to be surrounded by writers in the internet. You might even find a few that live near you. Take the time to get to know them and pick their brains when you get a chance. You never know how much they can help you become a better writer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teen Romance

I'm a sucker for the romantic. A big sucker. I love the tension that builds to a relationship. I love it when those relationships get tested and the couple comes out okay. I love it when people fall in love.One of the best things about being a Young Adult writer is getting the chance to create those love stories.

When I was a teenager I wanted to date, but I never really got asked out. I had one boyfriend and we only lasted three months. It wasn't until I got to college and met my husband that I ever had a true romantic relationship. He was my first and only love.

The idea of two teens falling in love and spending forever together, though romantic, was foreign to me. I was surprised to see some of my high school friends marry other people from my high school. I thought it was awesome, but I just didn't get it.


I want to be real in my writing, and I do believe love can be found in teenagedom, but can it really last? The fact is, even though it may not be true for my life, I believe in it enough that I write it into my books.

The idea of there being one person who is right for you is so romantic, how could pass that up in my writing?

Of course my characters are real, they don't just fall in love with no reason behind it. There has to be things that push them together. Heck, if I was dealing with half the stuff my characters have to go through I would cling to the one person that helped me through it as well.

The point is, love needs to be true, but it doesn't have to just be true to your life. All your book needs to do is be true to who your characters are. If you do that your readers will swoon right along with you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Look at the Time!

Wow, never in the year that I've been blogging have I just not been able to blog for a week. I wish I could say I was typing away at the keyboard and getting my re-write done, but I wasn't. I was just busy. Still am actually.

The funny thing was, I needed that time. Sometimes life just piles up behind you when you are writing, and blogging, and doing social media. I need way more than a week to catch up on life. But it was good to at least get some things done.


Time management is not a strong point in my life (who is an expert in that, really?) but never did I imagine things slipping away from me so abruptly.

Anyway, I'm back now. I'm not going to get as much writing done as I wanted to this month, and I'm not sure how I ever thought I was going to all that writing done considering I'm dead on my feet at my usual writing time of 10pm.

So here's to a fresh slate. I'm starting over this week and I'm saying "I can't do it all, but I'll do what I can".

How do you manage your time?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Impact of Reading

2011 was crazy. I started my first blog. For the first time I considered myself a serious writer. I got all giddy about the caliber of writers I was meeting. Somewhere in the mess I stopped reading.

The thing was, I didn't think I had time. Blogging swallowed me whole. Not to mention the thrill of writing and learning about writing. I was so naive and clueless before blogging it hurt.

It took me eight months to figure out just how much I needed reading in my life. Many of you know that I had a little breakdown and stopped blogging all together. That time was good for me. It wasn't long, but it was just long enough for me to stretch my wings and figure out what I needed to do so blogging wouldn't rule my life anymore. It also gave me the chance to pick up a good book (or two).

I still love blogging. I still love visiting other blogs and seeing my friends succeed in the publishing industry, there is nothing more thrilling. But I needed to claim my reading time back.

Let me tell you, reading a book a week has changed me. When you become a serious writer, when you study out the rules, you figure out what works and what doesn't.

Reading not only spawns ideas,but it fills you with the power of creation. It makes you believe in literature again. It's easy to lose that faith when you become a cynic of writing. But the truth is there are so many good books out there that can teach you about writing and what your book is missing.

Read. Read in your genre. Read to enjoy and read to learn. We cannot become excellent writers without reading. You can set a little blogging aside. You can set a little writing time aside. Reading is important. It will make your writing better, and will fill your life with the stories we writers crave.

Make it priority. Start today, and never stop.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness Day 14

March has been crazier than I ever expected it to be. I thought getting 30,000 words would be a breeze compared to the 50,000 I did in November, but it's proved to be a harder challenge than I imagined.

As of right now I've written 12,000 words. I'm almost halfway there and halfway through the month. I can do this right? But the thing is, I'm easily distracted.  My house is a mess, or the book I'm reading is too good, and I just can't put it down.

I know, my excuses are lame. I can be better. I need to be better. So here's my question for you -

Are you struggling to write as well? If so what are you doing to push through it?

Everyone have a great Wednesday, we'll see if I get any writing done seeing as I'll be hosting 11 eight-year-olds for scouts in a couple of hours. Heaven help me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Libraries, Stalkers, and Other Random Thoughts

I love my local library. Besides being a place to get awesome books without breaking my budget, my Library has so much more.

My favorite time of day to go the Library is just when school is getting out. My library has a big play area for the kids right next to the children's books. Windows take up the entire left and front wall and you can see everything happening outside, but the outside can't see in.

I like to be there when school gets out because the Library is right across the street from the High School. Call me a creeper if you want, but I call it research. It's interesting to watch the High School kids get out of school. It's fun (and sometimes depressing) to make up stories about the teenagers that walk by.

Taken from my Pinterest Page

 Some are holding hands and others look lonely and dejected. The other day I saw a boy and girl walking together, then about fifteen minutes later I saw the boy walk back past the library. He had a huge grin on his face. I knew he must have walked his girlfriend home even if she lived in the complete opposite direction from him. How cute!

The other thing I love about this time of day is how many of those teenagers come to Library straight after school. Where I live, the library has a lounge in the Young adult section. With bean bags and places to plug in laptops, oh yeah, and books. I would totally hang out there if I didn't LOOK like a creeper ;)

I just love seeing our youth crack open a good book, and there has been more than one occasion when I've had to hold my tongue about book recommendations. There is something about being in the library and watching those teenagers, you can see how much they want to be a part of the action.

Friends, books are changing lives. They are helping those lonely and dejected teenagers find place in the world. Go to your library and (discreetly) look in their eyes. You'll see a whole world there waiting to be discovered.

As authors we have an opportunity to bring our worlds to them. Let's not waste that. Now get writing!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I have gotten so much love lately that it's time some awesome bloggers got recognized. First up I wanted to mention one of my newest blogging buddies the awesome Jayrod Garrett. Go check out his blog, right now. I mean it!

Anyway he gave me the Kreativ Blogger award --

I'm supposed to list Ten things about myself, but I'll stick to one for time's sake

The due date for my son was the same day as my birthday. I was really worried about having the same birthdays, but luckily he came ten days early, just in time for spring.

Alyssa at Life is Good tagged me in the 11 questions meme. Again, since I don't want to drag this on, I'll only answer one question --

If you could choose any superpower what would you have?

This one is a no brainier for me. I'm so busy I could use the skill to duplicate myself. I would spend time with my kids, get all my writing done, and have an immaculate house. Then I would be able to be one person while I slept and keep all the good memories. Sigh, wouldn't that be awesome?

Cherie at Cherie Writes gave me the One Lovely Blog Award like forever ago, and I totally forgot to thank her. She is buckets full of Awesome. Thank you Cherie!

Angela at The Starving Novelist Tagged me in another question meme, and again I'm going to only answer one question:

Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
I love surprises and I love to do things spur of the moment. I guess that's the pantser in me :D

Last, but not least, Hope at Writing with Hope Tagged me in the Lucky 7 meme:

Here are the rules:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current WIP
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next seven lines or paragraphs and post them as they're written

             Chrissie couldn't give up, wouldn't give up, even if the situation was dire. "Climb down!" She screamed.
            Her foot hit Ashton's fingers when she went down a rung. Perhaps he hadn't heard her. She looked down to see the ground surrounded by the black-clad men. She started up the ladder again, but now one of the men leaned down over the edge of the building. Chrissie hadn't seen it before, but the guy had the letters ATTIC sown into his vest. This was it then. Chrissie swore under her breath.
            She climbed closer to the top and extended her hand. It was a sign of surrender, but the man pulled her up to the top and slammed the side of her face before she knew what was happening. She fell to the ground in a heap.

I am sure you are all aware of how how these things need to be passed on, but I love everyone so much and I feel like when I tag people I always leave someone out. I hope you enjoyed anyway and felt the love <3

P. S. - I have this sinking feeling that I missed someone along the way, so if you gave me an award, please remind me so that I can mention you. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Madness

If you read my post yesterday you know my editing woes are gone. I came to terms with the fact that I need rewrite two-thirds of my book. So I decided I'm going to treat March like another month of NaNoWriMo. I can't say that I'll get 50,000 words becasue I'm already woefully behind, but I hope to write at least 30,000 words.

Luckily, there is something to help with that. It's called March Madness --

Basically it's a chance for people to set any writing or reading related goal in Mach and get lots of support from fellow authors. And yes, there are prizes. Go here to learn more.

I'll be talking about this on twitter using the hashtag #wipmadness come join us, and be motivated!

What are your goals?

P. S. If you're here for the IWSG I voiced my woes about editing last week, should you want to take a look.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

February Mini-Reviews

First, let me say a big 'Thank You!' for everyone who commented on my last post. You guys raise me up. I got over my slump, but more about that later...

Another month has gone by which means it's time for another round of mini-reviews. My goal is to read a book a week (52 books this year) So let's see how I did this month, eh?

The first book I read was Enders Game. I know I'm way behind the curve on this one, but better late than never, right? Seriously one of the best books I have EVER read. It made me want to be a better writer.

Faithful - I LOVE the cover to this book. I know, you can't judge a book by it's cover. But I did. This book has a great premise. A girl in the early 1900's who wealth is stolen and she's forced to go from high society to living inside Yellowstone. Does she find love?

I wish I could tell you, but I didn't finish it. It was very wordy, which made it somewhat long winded. The story was interesting, but there wasn't enough conflict. I was halfway through when it fell behind my couch and I could find it for a week. When I discovered it, I had no interest in finishing. It wasn't a terrible book, it just bored me. I'm only counting this as 1/2 read.

I read an article by this woman and then proceeded to buy her book. Bringing up Bebe is an insightful look into French Parenting. Some things I agreed with wholeheartedly like teaching our kids patients and making them eat real food.

But other things I vehemently reject, like why Day Care is a better choice, and how we are just fooling ourselves to think breast feeding is a better option for our kids.

I think it was worth the read, but I don't endorse everything in it. Although I would recommend parents read it and judge it for themselves.

I borrowed The Tale of Depereaux from a friend about a year and half ago and forgot I had it. (She has some of my books too, so it's okay) Anyway I thought it was about time to read and return. I am so glad I did. The movie (from what I remember) actually followed the book closely, so I wasn't surprised at anything coming, but the writing kept me hooked. Of the best written books I've ever read.

I really wasn't expecting to read another book in February. I had already read 3 1/2 books which was plenty to stay with my goals. I started Shatter Me on the 29th and ended the book on the 29th. (Thanks for the extra day, leap year!)

I was hooked from line one and it didn't let go until the end. One thing I really loved about this book was how different it was. I could just see a critique partner saying things like --

"You can't use strike through's all the time."

"You can't have repeat words over and over like that."

"You can't internalize so much. "

You can't 
You can't
You can't

Well Tahereh Mafi took the words 'you can't' and did this - you can't and it was amazing. The. Entire. Way. Through. It got me over my little editing slump and has me writing like a fiend again. 

Friends, don't be afraid to take risks. Don't lose your voice to rationalized editing. Be bold and your readers will lap it up.

What did you read this month?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finding the Will to Edit

When it comes to writing I become a bit of a perfectionist, therefore I freak out a bit in the editing process. It seems like every comment I get back on my work makes me cringe. I want my book to be the best it can be, but that goals seems unobtainable.

I get to a place in the editing processes where I get stuck. I know it's not good enough, I know what kind of it work it's going to take to polish everything and I just get stuck. Then I don't do anything. Then I get writing withdrawals and my brain starts feeding my shiny new ideas.

I know I shouldn't chase these ideas. I know I need to sit down and be disciplined enough to edit.


I love my book, really I do. I want to see it through to the end. I want to submit it to agents and publishers and I want to hold it in my hands someday and know that I accomplished something. But I just can't seem to get past the thoughts of how flawed everything is.

Does anyone else have this issue? What have you done to work through it?