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Showing posts from 2013


I'm still on hiatus, but I said I might pop in for something important. A friend's book release qualifies. And in this case, three! Julie Flanders and Lexa Cain both have new releases this week, and they are hosting a blog hop together to celebrate. Julie's The Ghosts of Aquinnah releases today, and Lexa's Soul Cutter releases tomorrow! You can add ' Ghosts ' to your Goodreads here and Soul Cutter here . There's a giveaway, too, so be sure to check their blogs. Today is also release day for Loni Townsend's debut fantasy, Thanmir War .  Loni is one of my critique partners. Unfortunately, I met her too late in the process to finish Thanmir War , but from what I *have* seen, I can assure you it's worth your time. Loni is a talented writer, and I'm blessed to have her as a CP.   The Earth Clan has declared war and a landscaper is at the dead center of it. Derek thinks his chronic headaches are the worst of his

Taking A Break

Two announcements... Mark Koopmans is hosting an event on Dec. 24th called 50 States of Pray. You can find more information on his blog . You can also follow on Twitter with the hashtag #50StatesOfPray. I'm taking a break for a while, both to spend time with my family over Christmas and to get some writing done. Save popping in for an important announcement, I'll see you sometime next year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  :)

Something Fun

I had an idea for a meme months ago. I stuck it on my list of things to do and finally got it put together when the kids went back to school. With the holidays coming up, I figured this was the perfect time to unveil my idea. Gah. Not another meme . *frowns* I heard that. Untwist your Fruit-of-the-Looms and stop aggravating your TMJ. It's not what you think. I won't ask you to answer 1,011 questions or hyperlink 250,000,000 of your closest friends. This meme is simple. It knows you don't have a lot of time. *smile* Really? Yes. May I present the... The rules are: Copy these rules and include them in your post. Display the blog button, link the person who tagged you, and answer the three questions they asked. Come up with three new questions of your own; one serious question, one fun question, and one sentimental question — or just use the same ones. We're all busy, right? Tag three other bloggers and pass on the meme. See? I told you it

Giving More Than Thanks

I wasn't going to post again until after Thanksgiving, but a woman always has the prerogative to change her mind, so I did. ;) Two years ago, my daughter cut eleven inches off her hair and donated it in honor of a family member who was dying of cancer. This past summer, it had grown to below her shoulders again. I asked her if she'd like to get it cut, citing a shorter style would be cooler in our sweltering Houston climate. She declined, saying she wanted to grow it out and donate it again this November. Like mothers do, I nodded and agreed, figuring she'd forget or change her mind by fall. I was wrong. Last week, we went down to the local salon at daughter's insistence and had her well-past-shoulder-length hair cut to just below her chin. She mailed it off to Locks of Love , an organization that makes hairpieces for children with long-term hair loss from things like alopecia, brain stem radiation, and burns. Donating is easy ($$ or hair). You just go to

Speed Writing (Eleventh hour help for all you NaNo people)

A few weeks ago, I tried something new, and it really sped up my drafting.  After reading about how--doing basically the same thing--Ava Jae over at Writability Won NaNoWriMo In 9 Days , I thought I'd post this for my writer friends who are struggling to make their word count. I typically write very clean, meaning I'm a picky polisher in my initial draft. It's closer to publish-ready than most, but it takes me forever. Besides research, the main thing that slows me down is coming up with fresh ways to describe emotion, movement, facial expression, etc.  I decided to try something different if I found myself really stuck. ( You know....when you sit there for twenty minutes , debating about a single phrase or word, and draw nothing but an icky cliche or a total mental blank. :P )   I started putting a note-to-self ( e.g. Show Harrison's outrage. ) or a cliched/bad version of what I was aiming for in brackets, and then letting go and moving on. I've left

Someone Thinks I'm Sweet

Al Diaz, better known as Father Dragon , bestowed upon me The Sweetest Blogger Award . In fact, he nearly made me cry with the kind things he said. The truth is, Al has left quite an impression on me. I was thrilled to find his blog and surprised to discover that 'Mother Dragon' was his mother and not his wife. Father Dragon exhibits talent and wisdom far beyond that of most young men. If you don't already follow his blog , you are missing out. Truly. Abrazos para ti, mi adorable dragon . :)

Sad news on the blogosphere tonight

Author and editor Nick Wilford lost his stepson Andrew over the weekend. Those of us who know Nick and contributed to the anthology for Andrew are especially feeling the loss. Kyra Lennon is taking donations for the family via Paypal ( kyralennon [at] gmail [dot] com). Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Nick. 

IWSG November - The Me I Don't Let You See

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for November.   For more information about the group, see the bottom of this post. Alex's awesome co-hosts for November are : CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan,   and Michelle Wallace! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you. I sometimes dislike the tone of my blog, and I've been pondering how I can change it. Other bloggers post encouraging, lighthearted content that makes me laugh and smile...and makes me envious. If I could stay positive and look at things from a different perspective, I could be like them, too. Problem is, it's hard to have an upbeat attitude when fate keeps throwing you curve balls and you're largely unhappy with your life.

Grammar Police Monday - Seize Control of English Usage

Overtake vs Take over To overtake means to catch up with and outrun, such as in a race. To take over means to seize power, usually of a business or government. Oversee vs Overlook To oversee means to control and manage a process or activity. To overlook means to forget about something entirely.  ### Thanks for visiting. :)

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged in a meme by J. E. Oneil over at Still Writing . The Questions What are you working on right now? A historical romance set in 1850's America, titled Come Back . How does it differ from other works in its genre? Hm. Well, both of the leads are virgins, not just the heroine.  Also, they don't meet in chapter one. The delay was necessary for the story. How does your writing process work?

Commas Are Not The Antichrist

I feel like ranting about commas, so I'm doing that for Grammar Police today. Commas give lots of writers fits. I know this. The rules governing some commas make their use optional. I also know this . The problem is, I've seen a trend in fiction of eliminating commas as a way to streamline the prose — to the point it breaks rules and stumbles readers. Not a good idea. I agree that writers should avoid using unnecessary commas, especially in fast-paced scenes; but , for Pete's sake, don't take an indiscriminate hatchet to them! The English language needs commas. Let me repeat: The English language needs commas . Why?

Calling All Authors

I have a favor to ask. One of my kids is in theater arts. At a parent meeting this week, the teacher informed us one of the ways we could help was to donate books--used or otherwise. Apparently, they have the kids turn stories into plays for an assignment. For what it's worth, I don't think they act these out on stage. They just do the writing part to study how to make scripts.

3:00 AM Musings

Some patients just stick with you. As I sit, holding one of my four-pound charges, I can't help but wonder about her future. She just finished eating. Her head is resting in the crook of my arm and her eyes are closed. A milk-drunk smile curves her rosy lips. One of her hands pushes free of the blanket and her slender fingers splay open, then clasp reflexively around my thumb. "You're destined for greatness," I whisper.  She must be.

Book Tour - COURAGE by Carrie Butler

  To celebrate the release of her second book, Courage , Carrie Butler is visiting my blog today with a guest post on interpreting CP comments. * thinks back over critiques I've sent to Carrie *  0_0   Gulp .  I'm not sure I want to do this.  Um. Carrie? I know you've been working day and night on guest posts for your tour and all, but can we change the topic to something else...? * Carrie glares at me with bloodshot eyes and snarls * Never mind.   Here's Carrie...

Cover Reveal - Dragon's Game: Moonsongs Book 4 by E.J. Wesley

Today, I'm posting a cover reveal for E.J. Wesley's new book. Isn't it cool! Available Monday, October 22nd!

Book Release Announcements Times Two! - Courage by Carrie Butler & The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick

As I mentioned yesterday, Carrie Butler's book Courage , book 2 in the Mark of Nexus series, releases today! Congratulations, Carrie!!! :D You can find out more about Courage and add it to Goodreads here . And you can buy Courage here: Amazon Barnes & Noble   Smashwords   Carrie is currently touring with Grapevine Book Tours. She will be visiting my blog on Friday with a fun guest post on the subject of interpreting CP feedback. Gah! None of my comments are safe!  0_0 **In celebration of Courage 's release,  Strength (book one of the Mark of Nexus series) is FREE October 15th-18th !**

Grammar Police Monday - Pure Gold

Before I get started, I have to comment on the drawing.  My daughter is currently taking German. She had to complete a project listing all her family members, including a few details about them (in German, of course). She drew pictures of us, too. You guessed it. This is me...complete with glasses.  As my husband said about his drawing, "I wish I was that skinny." :P So what do you think? Should this become my new Grammar Police avatar?

Book Blog Tour - Secrets of the Ash Tree by Siv Maria Ottem

To Celebrate the release of her book, Secrets of the Ash Tree , Siv Maria Ottem is taking the Norse Gods with her on a blog tour from October 7th - 14th. Make sure to stop by her blog and see what kind of Birthday Giveaways she is raffling off! Today, Norse goddess Freya is visiting. This is quite meaningful, actually, because the day Friday is named after her. She is the goddess of love, fertility, and sexual desire. ( We'll do our best to keep this PG-13. *grin* )   Mouth slightly open in awe, I half walk, half stumble into the most opulent bedchamber I’ve ever seen. Thick velvet draperies frame stained-glass windows, and rich fabrics sweep down from a stately canopy bed and cover its lofty mattress. “What happened to my blog?”

Does Writing Fiction Make You Talk Funny?

I've been writing fiction for three years, and I've noticed something. I talk funny. Not funny-ha-ha, funny-different. In those early days, I wrote the way I always had, then edited later. ( Not that it improved my writing much, but humor me here. :P ) As I learned more about fiction writing and honed my craft, I began to self-edit as I write. Now, that lingual self-awareness comes so naturally, it has altered the way I speak. Has this happened to you? ### Thanks for visiting. :)  I'll be hosting Siv Ottem with a special post on Friday.  Hope you can make it.  Does writing fiction make you talk funny? ( click to tweet )

IWSG October - Gone Fishin'

Or something like that. If you're here for   Insecure Writers Support Group , sorry I missed you. I'm taking a break from IWSG this month.  See you in November. :)   IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome.  We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list. 

Cover Reveal - The Ghosts of Aquinnah by Julie Flanders

Real quick — Nick Wilford has a big announcement. For more information, check his blog . Now here's Julie's cover reveal. :)

And The Winners Are...

I'd like to thank all of you who took part in Follow Fest - my first blogfest to host, ever. The hop went better than I ever expected, and the response was overwhelming! Not in an unmanageable sort of way, but in an unexpected-number-of-participants sort of way. Once word got out, people just kept signing up! There were some speed bumps: the Linky Tools site went down for a while the very first day (*gasp!* I about died. LOL ), and a few posts were hindered by technical difficulties, family emergencies, and newborns — both human and feline. But, all in all, things went swimmingly well. And that's thanks to YOU. I wish I could give you all prizes. You're all winners, that's for sure. It was a fun, busy week and I'm exhausted, but I'm already toying with the idea of doing a repeat next year. So if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. :) Ready to find out who the prize winners are?

Follow Fest - Day 5 LAST DAY!

Welcome to Follow Fest !   Today is Day 5, the last day of a 5-day blogfest!!! I don't know whether to be sad or relieved! :P Each day, I've posted the Linky list for the current and previous days, so today you'll have THE ENTIRE LIST. ( The deadline for entering was midnight last night. )  Did you make it in time?  If not, don't worry. You can still visit blogs on the Linkies. Now on to the fun...

Follow Fest - Day 4

Welcome to Follow Fest !   Today is Day 4 of a 5-day blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time, but not much!   The deadline for the last Linky is tonight at 11:59 PM CDT. Each day, I'm posting the Linky lists for the current day and the previous days. 

Follow Fest - Day 3

Welcome to Follow Fest !   Today is Day 3 of a 5-day blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. :) Each day, I'm going to post the Linky list for the current day and any previous days. Need to sign up for a day not shown? No problem!  All the Linky lists are available on the Follow Fest information page . Just click, scroll down, and sign up. Now on to the fun...

Follow Fest - Day 2

Welcome to Follow Fest !   Today is Day 2 of a 5-day blogfest. Don't worry. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. :) Each day, I'll post the Linky list for the current day and any previous days. Need to sign up for a day not shown? No problem!  All the Linky lists are available on the Follow Fest information page . Just click, scroll down, and sign up. We had a frustrating couple of hours yesterday when the Linky Tools site went down. Hopefully, all that is behind us. Whew.

Follow Fest - Day 1

Welcome to Follow Fest !   Today is Day 1 of a 5-day blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. :) Each day, I'm going to post the Linky list for the current day and any previous days. Need to sign up for a day not shown? No problem!  All the Linky lists are available on the Follow Fest information page . Just click, scroll down, and sign up. Now on to the fun... Let's all give a running high five to Carrie Butler . To celebrate the opening of her new business...