Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Chance to Enter!

My 200 followers contest ENDS TONIGHT (7/31) AT MIDNIGHT! So make sure you get your entries in.

And I've had a fabulous week--I won an ARC of Halo on Wednesday! Thanks, Alexandra!--so I'm feeling generous and I decided to add two more pens to the mix. So there will be three winners.

One lucky person will win:
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
A fab new notebook
And these awesome glowy pens.

And two others will each win a red glowy pen (black ink)!

Go here to enter.

Good luck, everyone! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Contest Update

I just realized I've reached 200 posts in the last month and thought this deserved some recognition. I do have the 200 Followers Contest going on, after all. So I decided to add another prize in celebration. Another book! Shocking, I know. :)

So, in addition to
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
A fab new notebook
And these awesome glowy pens
(I LOVE these pens!)

The lucky winner will also receive Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl!

If you haven't entered yet, there's still time. :) Contest ends Saturday, July 31st at Midnight PST.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shame, Shame, I Know Your Name

Okay, kids. We're all grown-ups here, so I'll say this as plainly as I can and hope I don't offend anyone. If I do, well, maybe you should consider why you're offended.

I'm holding a contest right now to show my appreciation for all my loyal followers. Yes, part of my motivation is to drive more traffic to my blog, but the main point is to say, "Hey, you all are super awesome, and I couldn't do this writing thing without you."

So to the person (or persons) adding extra entries under made up profiles to up your chances, please stop. It's not fair to all the others who are playing by the rules and it's only making you look bad. And yes, I'm positive this is happening. Don't ask me how I know. Maybe I'm psychic. My kids think I am. ;)

I have comment moderation on for that post, and the additional entries have not been posted, so, if it's not you, don't bother looking for them and trying to figure out who it is. You won't find anything to give them away.

So, that's all I wanted to say. One set of entries per person (not profile), according to the rules.

If you feel you're above the rules, you will be awarded this scarlet C to wear not so proudly on your blog. I'm kidding. But really, people, don't cheat. It's not cool.

And if you want the badge, feel free to take it and use it for your own nefarious purposes. >:)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blog Chain: Revision

It’s blog chain time again! This one was started by Sarah. She asked:

How do you handle revisions? Do you revise as you're writing, or do you wait until you've gone through beta readers and crit partners to revise? How soon after you finish do you begin your revisions?

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you probably already know this, but I love revising. That’s when everything gets all shiny and pretty. I’ll take that over drafting any day. In fact, drafting is so far down on my list of priorities right now, I had to make a rule that I can’t buy any new books until this draft of my WIP is finished. Granted, I can still get books at the library, but they never have the ones I want, including a few that just came out. This restriction is helping. A little. :)

It’s impossible for me to write without revising. I wish it wasn’t, because it makes the writing slow at times, but what I end up with is usually pretty close to the final product. Well, until my crit partners get hold of it.

And I revise everything again, usually until I’m sick of it, before sending it to my crit partners. Because what if I miss something and then I’ll be mortified that I missed it and everyone will die or something else super dramatic? Seriously. This perfectionist thing is really a pain sometimes.

So, yeah. I revise constantly, regardless of what stage of the process I’m in. Just like I’ll read through this post at least fifteen times before I publish it.

What about all of you? When do you revise? Do you need time away from your words before you can revise?

Be sure to check out Shaun’s post from yesterday and Cole’s tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday

So, I've whined a bit over the last couple months about being stuck. Like really stuck. First it was because I didn't know how my story was supposed to end, and when I figured that out, it still didn't feel quite right. There were actually four endings I came up with before finally settling on the one I have now. And this is the first one that hasn't felt like something was lacking. So I knew the ending about a month ago. So what's been my problem?

Action scenes.

Well, and perfectionism, but discussing that could make this post excruciatingly long.

Action scenes are the hardest for me to write, and it was that niggling fear of failure that kept me from even wanting to look at it. I kept trying to write it in my head before sitting down at the computer--which I can do with pretty much any other scene--but this one just wouldn't form.

So last week I decided that I would have to sit down at the computer and force my way through it, regardless of how awful it turned out. And then I procrastinated. My Google Reader and I have been very cozy this past week. And very unproductive. Apparently, I needed an intervention.

It came yesterday. In the form of a very long power outage. Now, I know that doesn't really seem like a good thing and (as my friend, Tere, put it so perfectly) my kids threw sticks and bones at me from the other side of the cave to stave off boredom while I huddled around the glow of my fully-charged laptop. Seriously. Power outages are so not kid friendly.

Anyway. Without the distraction of email, blogs, and all things internet, I finally wrote that dreaded scene. And it is indeed awful, but it's done! Yea! It's so nice to actually have some progress to report. :)

What about all of you? How are your projects coming? Anything exciting to report or share?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Light My (Blue) Fire Contest

Some of you may remember, last year I won an ARC of The Shifter by Janice Hardy. My review is here. The sequel, Blue Fire, is coming out October 5th. I'm so excited! And now Janice Hardy is giving away an ARC on her blog! Of course, I have to have it, because I'm sure it's going to be even more awesome than The Shifter, and so, you know, both my copies match. ;)

So I would appreciate it if all of you would please stay away, just to solidify my chances of winning. ;)

I'll be doing an interview with the author in September, so keep watching for that. :) And if you haven't checked out her blog yet, you're missing out. She's got lots of great writing advice over there. Well, and chances to win free ARC's, but I think we've already decided you all won't be going over there for that, right? Right?! Dang. I knew this post would work against me.

And if you're a fan of science fiction and fantasy, you should check out Panverse Publishing and contribute to their Kickstarter program if you can. You can check out one of their short story anthologies, Eight Against Reality, here. Janice Hardy is a contributor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Writer and Her Inbox

I'm a little slow in my blog reading these days, so you all have probably read this already, but... it's made of awesome, so you have to check it out. Have. To.  

A Day in the Life of a Writer on T.H. Mafi's Querypolitan blog

My favorite:

19. RUN BACK TO YOUR INBOX because it's been a WHOLE 5 MINUTES YES YOU COUNTED and expect to find yourself completely overwhelmed by the full requests/agent offers/book deals/free money/etc. that have been waiting ALL THIS TIME for the exact moment you take a 5-minute bathroom break to appear in your inbox. TRICKSY INBOX!

You know you want to read it. Think of all you'll be missing out on if you don't! ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Time's Almost Up...

Cynde L. Hammond is giving away an autographed copy of ROSE: A True Lady by Diane L. Wood and

A $15 Amazon Gift Certificate!

Hurry over! Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, July 11th. Be sure to tell her I sent you.

And my contest is still going. Click on the link above to enter. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Last Chance to Enter...

*THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED* Today's the last day of Tere Kirkland's Witchy Woman Birthday Giveaway! Go now and enter before it's too late!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blog Chain: Where the Magic Happens

Two posts in one day? You’d think I’d pay a little closer attention to my schedule when I’m signing up for things. If you’re looking for my blogfest post, just scroll down.

So it’s blog chain time again already. Where the heck did June go? Bonny started this chain. She asked:

Is there a place you like to write that's extra special? Have you carved out a writing niche? Is there a certain time of day (or night) when the words fall into place, and your brain is focused on nothing but writing?

Well, I don’t have a place that’s extra special. And the time I write just depends on the day, especially with the kids out of school. Usually, if it’s quiet and I can focus without being interrupted every three minutes, I’m good.

Sometimes I write at my desk.

This is usually when the kids are at school or sleeping.

And sometimes, I grab my husband’s laptop and write at the kitchen table.

I have a nice view of the backyard, and I don’t have access to my email, which is always a good thing. ;) Plus, for some reason—maybe it’s the fact I’m right there in the middle of them—my kids interrupt me less when I work at the table than when I’m holed up in my bedroom, working at my desk.

So what about all of you? Where do you write? Do you have a special place? Special time?

Shaun posted yesterday about his happy place. Be sure to check it out. And his debut novel, The Deathday Letter, was released on June 15th. I wish I was done with my WIP so I could read it. It sounds awesome. I imagine his happy place is pretty happy right now. :) Congrats, Shaun! Cole's up tomorrow. Head on over to see where and when she makes it all happen.

Share Your Darlings Blogfest

Michelle Gregory is hosting the Share Your Darlings Blogfest today! :)

Finding a scene to post for this blogfest was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It's not like I don't have a whole manuscript of cut scenes from my current WIP, Embrol, but going through them, it was difficult to find one that (1) I loved, (2) didn't give too much away about the story, since I'm currently doing a full rewrite, (3) the writing wasn't awful, and (4) wasn't way too long. So, I finally settled on another discarded opening. This one I liked, but it just wasn't working as an opening.



My art teacher says the eyes are the window to the soul. Apparently, I don’t have one.

I studied the self-portrait lying on my desk. Dull, lifeless eyes stared back. Definitely soulless—next thing I knew, I’d be wandering the streets in search of brains. The stiff paper crumpled beneath my fingers. Why can I draw anyone, anything else, but I can’t draw myself?

I pulled a drawing of my mother from my portfolio. Maybe I could pass it off as me. Her straight, auburn hair was only slightly darker than mine, and her deep blue eyes had the same shape and color, but I knew Mr. Harper would see it for the fraud that it was.

Olivia, this isn’t the quality of work that earned you a full scholarship to Pratt, he would say and frown. In his mind, everything I drew had to be a masterpiece.

Whatever. I pushed my chair back. I don’t care anymore. One F shouldn’t affect my grade that much.

A faint shimmer lit up the air around me as I got to my feet. I blinked to clear my vision, thinking I stood up too fast. The shimmer thickened, coalescing into a gelatinous mass around my legs, then my arms and hands, slowing their ascent as I lifted them to my eyes. It felt like my mind was stuck on fast forward, as if time had slowed down, retarding my movements but not my brain—or my heart, hammering against my ribcage.

“Wake up, Livy,” I mumbled, trying to pull my arms free. It’s not real. Just a nightmare. A very realistic nightmare. “Mom!” It should’ve been a scream, but only a strangled whimper escaped. I twisted my body as the glistening mass moved upward, molding itself to my chest, my neck. Wake up. Tears rolled down my face, my breath coming in short, erratic bursts. Wake up! I fought to breathe, forcing a deep, shuddering breath. “MOM! Hel—”

In an instant, the mass solidified, expanding to cover my entire body. It filled my gaping mouth, tasteless and smooth like a glass marble on my tongue. My heart pounded in my ears as the mass pressed against me, halting the trembling waves coursing through me. My eyes rolled and burned as they rubbed against the iridescent surface, slick with my tears.

Seconds passed, maybe it was minutes. It could’ve been an eternity for all that it mattered. Escape was hopeless.

Not real. I fought the fog forcing its way into my mind. A heavy ache spread through my chest as shadows crept in around me. My heartbeat slowed. Just have to… A cloud passed over my eyes. Wake up.

I thought I heard my name, muffled, like hearing it through a wall. Mom. Help. One last beat of my heart and darkness overwhelmed everything.


Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out all the other entries here.

And registration is open for WriteOnCon, the fabulous online writing conference happening next month.