Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Managing Your Writing Time

The number one question I'm asked when I tell people I blog is "How do you find time to write?" Everyone has heard the adage "You don't find time, you make time." I feel kind of stuck-up saying that even though it's true. So instead I simply say, "I get up at 5 am to write."

This repose is usually met with one of two responses.

1. I couldn't do that.

2. I have to go to work at that time so I can't.

If I hear answer #2 I get it--work has to come first, families need to be provided for. But #1? If you're going to complain about how you don't have time to write, then do something about it!

Yes, getting up at 5 is hard. I don't do it everyday. Sometimes my kids are sick and I'm up all night. Sometimes other obligations have to take precedence. But I try to do it every day that I can. More importantly, getting up to write is at the top of my to-do list for the day. If I don't do that first, it won't happen.

The other thing that's helped me through is having someone to write with. Mon-Fri at 5:30 am I meet James Duckett, Donna Weaver, and Shelly Brown at the iwrite chat room. We keep each other accountable so that it's harder to miss days.

The whole point is, if you want to write and blog you may have to sacrifice to get there. 5 am doesn't work for everyone, but there is something that can work for you.

I challenge you to find out how to make it all work. If you have to sacrifice a little blogging to work on your book, do it! I didn't blog for half of February becasue I was busy with edits. Make the effort and you'll be able to reap the reward.

How do you find time to write?

P. S. Please, Please, Please, check out this post by Leigh Covington about a donation bomb for Ben Wolverton this Friday. It's a great cause!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Secondary Characters!

On  may 28th Rachel Schieffelbein is releasing her book Secondary Characters! In celebration, she's holding a blog hop to highlight our favorite secondary characters from both books and movies. Co-hosted by Theresa Paolo, Kelley Lynn, Jessica SalyerJenny Morris and Suzi Retzlaff there's tons of cool prizes including signed copies of books from Kelley Lynn and Cassie Mae :)

Sometimes those secondary characters steal the show and when it comes to books no one steals the show better than Fred and George.

"You two just Apparated on my knees!"
"Yeah, well, it's harder in the dark --"
Every time Fred and George show up on the page, all attention is diverted to them, you just know they're going to something hilarious/mischievous. And their hijinks just get bigger and bigger. Who can forget the fireworks and the pop up forest in the middle of the school? Talk about genius :)

When it comes to movies, there's one secondary character that will always be in my memory. Darryl from Just like heaven.

"Do you have a diet anything? I'm like, ninety-nine point nine percent parched, here. I could really use a Col-la."

I don't know what it is (maybe it's just John Header's acting) but every time Darryl appeared on the screen the main characters took a backseat to his brilliance. And with a cast like Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo that's saying something. This movie is one my favorites for that character alone.

Have you seen Just Like Heaven? Is there another character you would have picked from Harry Potter?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Conference Recap, Twitter Style

In the past month I've attended two writer's conferences. I learned so much and I wanted to share that knowledge with everyone else. Many of you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to recap my bits of advice shared. I'm going to put all of my tweets below and if you have any questions, or you just want to discuss one of the points, leave me a comment!

1. When picking an agent, make sure they're hungry to sell your work.

2. The theme for this conference is writing from the ashes. Adversity strengthens us.

3. Make sure the readers know why we should care about the character from page one. Hardships aren't enough.

4. If it doesn't tell you something about the character, story or tone, then don't use it.

5. Make your words simple and sensory.

6. Creating back story before we write gives our characters more consistency.

7. Often people choose to avoid pain rather than seek pleasure.

8. Internal and external conflict should be happening at the same time. i.e. Luke losing his hand as he finds out Darth Vader is his father.

9. Food writing is a new trend. Food can be a great hook.

1. Edit your dialogue, subtext holds more weight
2. Keep a journal when you travel, you never know when you might use that experience

3. Why do others reject us? It’s because they’re struggling too, consciously or unconsciously, against their own resistance.

4. Adding mystery is not making things unclear. That's just confusion

5. Let your characters dictate to you. If you force it, it comes across as false.

6. More than ever people are looking for books with a champion.

What's the best conference you've ever been to?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Movie Remakes!

Once again the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh has come up with a super cool blog fest idea! It's time for -

I'm not a huge movie buff. I like movies, I don't get to see them as often as I would like. But I'm not one of those people who analyzes the in outs of movie trends, etc. I focus 100% on story. I only say this so that you know my choices are my opinion and you don't have to agree.

Best Movie Remake: Sabrina

I love Audrey Hepburn. Give me Roman Holiday, My fair Lady, and Charade and I'll make a day out of it. But Sabrina just fell flat for me. The ending was vague and kind of abrupt. The Harrison Ford version on the other hand... Wow! Talk about a griping romance. It's a movie that will forever be one of my favorites!

Worst Movie Remake: Superman Returns

Okay, so this isn't really a remake, more an extension of a series. But, I didn't think it was possible to take one of my favorite hero's and ruin him so completely. This movie did just that. If you ever get the chance to see it, run away screaming, or gouge eyes out. Seriously, any choice would be better than this.

What's your favorite Superhero movie?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Handle a Rough Critique

Maybe I should change the title of this post to "How I Handle a Rough Critique" becasue not everyone does it the same.

When I first got serious about writing I expected to be critiqued. After all, I had an awesome English teacher who showed me that writing is better when you have the help of others. Still, I thought I had a pretty good idea and I really hoped people would like the story.

Hahahahahaha (Pause for breath) hahahahahahahaha!

Okay so I was really hurt by my first few critiques and I kinda wanted to quit. Thank goodness I had already started blogging and came 'out of the closet' with the fact that I'm writer, or else I WOULD'VE quit.

Long story short, I've learned a lot these past two years, but sometimes critiques still hurt. Here's what I do to lessen the pain.

1. Walk Away. Whenever I receive a critique I read through the comments, then I set it aside. Especially if there's a lot of red. I cry a little, have imaginary arguments in my head, spend a couple of days justifying myself, and (when I feel ready) I read it again. Usually it doesn't seem so bad the second time around.

2. Pep talks. I don't tell myself I'm the greatest writer ever, that'll get me nowhere. I tell myself things more like, "They're just trying to help you." and, "This is their raw opinion without knowing me." Sometimes it takes the harshness of the words down a notch.

3. I read my previous work. I think it's good when you're feeling down to go back and see how far you've come. Then you'll have the strength to keep improving.

Hopefully you'll think of these the next time you get a hard critique, and if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, you know where to find me. Believe me, I understand!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Writing and Motherhood

Today I'm over at Julie Luke's blog talking about writing and motherhood. Come hop on over and say hi!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Friday Night Alibi - Cover Reveal!

Two cover reveals in a row, how cool is that? Today I'm super happy to have Cassie here with her awesome book Friday Night Alibi. I've read it, and it's amazing!!  Here's what it's about:

Rising star Cassie Mae introduces New Adult readers to a practical soon-to-be college freshman who seems to have everything—until a special guy shows her what she’s been missing.

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black, and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

Advance praise for Friday Night Alibi

“Totally entertaining with as many swoon-worthy moments as hilarious ones, Friday Night Alibi is a must-read.”—Jolene Perry, co-author of Out of Play

“A fun, funny, and fantastic story, this is one you will read in a day, and pick up to re-read again the next.”—Kelley Lynn, author of Fraction of Stone

Ready for the cover, are you? ARE YOU?? Okay -

Here's some stuff about Cassie :)

Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. Her angel children and perfect husband fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

You can buy this book HERE, and it takes you to all the places it's available.

Why are you still here? Go, buy, now!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Buttersmith's Gold

Cover reveals are some of the best things ever and I'm really excited for this one. Here's the deets -

The Buttersmiths' Gold

Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all. 
Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing.

Buy it on Amazon!

Cool, no? Here's more info about the first book in the series:

A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.

Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.

Don't forget to enter the epic giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway --

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG: Let It Out

It's the first Wednesday of the month! Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group!

I wasn't going to post anything today becasue I just got done with the A-Z madness and I thought I'd be all blogged out. However, my insecurities are taking over today and I need to vent.

Normally, I hate to be a downer. If I post something negative I at least try to leave it on a positive note, but I can't promise anything with the mood I'm in.

So this past month I've been doing a lot of beta reading (for me that is. I'm not Christa Desir). I haven't read a single published book becasue of it, even though I've been exceeding my book a week goal, and believe it or not, that's left me insecure.

I know this will go away, but right now I feel like everyone is better than me and I'll never amount to anything becasue I can't compare to the awesomeness.

Yes, I shouldn't compare myself. But... it's kinda hard when you put yourself out there and risk criticism from strangers.

In all seriousness, I'll get over it. I'll find a writing groove and think I'm a genius for about 5 seconds. Until that time I'm just going to fake it until I make it.