Saturday, January 29, 2011

My apologies to you, my wip...and the world!

Since my last post discussed my goal of 100 words a day, you might think my lack of posting meant that I was busy pounding out chapter after chapter of goodness.

You would be wrong.

I have pounded out a total of words.


Why? Well, like I said I went to this photography conference and ever since I've been immersed in my business. It's not that I don't think about my writing. In face I think about it all the time.

I replay certain scenes, scenes I haven't even written yet, so often that they have become real to me. Like memories.

I love doing this and it helps because when I finally get around to writing these scenes I know exactly what happens, the emotions, the looks. Everything.

Anyone else day dream there novels into life? I mean, obviously we all do this to a point...but I mean day dream them to death?! I have been day dreaming the climax of my next ms for the past 6 months!! It has changed a little. Dialogue has evolved, clothing, but the meat of it has stayed the same.

I often do this in the car! lol

Anyway, I'm almost done with photography stuff and then my brain can swing back to writing. Soon!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Manuscript Monday

I have to be accountable. From now on I'm going to give the world (or all 9 of you) an update on the state of the Manuscript every Monday morning. Right now it stands at 9,936 words. Not very much but it's getting there slowly.

I would like to write at least 100 words per day. Soooooo, that means next Monday I should be at least to 10,636. Lets see if I get there.

In other news, my kids have school today. THANK GOODNESS. I'm so sick of snow days I could lose my mind. (Did I mention I have 3 little boys?) Snow days are not conducive to writing, laundry, work, peace, enjoyment, quiet, or sanity.

p.s. i love my children more than anything! Really.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How do you read??

A few months back I was just a reader. I read for enjoyment...a LOT! I knew when I liked a book. I knew when the writing didn't flow well. I knew when it seemed effortless.

But still, I was just a reader.

A few months back I joined a critique group. I haven't been that many times and it has changed everything. I read differently now.

I read like a writer.

I didn't realize how much I had learned in this short period of time until recently. I started a new YA series and I have been scrutinizing it hard. The mechanics, the word choice, the flow. It's not necessarily distracting...I'm still enjoying it for the most part but I do notice things that I wouldn't have noticed before. Sometimes it bugs me.

Am I alone?? discuss.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


What a shame that I had to take a blogging hiatus when I was on such a roll. I missed it and all of you that have been joining me! :)

I was in San Antonio for a photography conference and it was so inspiring! Since my "real" job is also creative I'm struggling to find a balance between that and writing. I seem to only be able to focus on one at a time. It swings back and forth.

For example I got slow shooting at the end of the summer because it was soooo hot and used that time to become obsessed with my writing again. Then when Fall came back and I was crazy busy with work I didn't write for like 3 months almost.

I'm wondering if it is because my mind can't devote itself to two creative ventures at once, or I am just ADD and get distracted and can't balance myself.

I would like to make myself more organized and MAKE myself do a little bit of writing each day even when I'm really busy with work. My goal is to have my wip ready to query by the end of 2011...and with my business, 3 kids, a husband, a dog, 600 lbs of laundry, holidays, birthdays, family, and blah, blah, blah....I'm going to have to make myself do it!!!!!!

Anyone have anything similar??

On another note, does anyone have a running soundtrack for their novels as they're writing them?? I do...and this is a current one. Love it.

Friday, January 14, 2011


What in the world will I do on March 11th? Red Riding Hood now this?? This is one of my FAVORITE books of all time. I think I've seen all versions of this...and I have to say this one looks amazing!

Oh, and photos are edited, laundry is getting there, bags are not are somewhere in the house (but picked up from school!). It may be a late night...what am I doing watching movie trailers??????)

Procrastinating is my game!

It's true.

I hate that about me.

How do I change myself?

Today I have about 80 photos to edit, a house to clean, 10 loads of laundry to do, a trip to pack for, a dog to take care of, a child to take care of, kids to pick up from school.....Ugh.

I've had all week to get some of this done. I'm tired of telling myself I work under pressure...truth is I become a frazzled mess under pressure...but it is usually the way I work.

So, I think I'm going to have to turn off this "fun" computer and only leave on my work laptop. Work has to get done today.

Morning coffeemate....check
laundry started...check
Child fed and stuck in front of a TV/gaming unit...check

Time to get stuff done so I can get on a plane tomorrow to a warmer climate with NO KIDS and learn how to take prettier photos! :)

(Anyone else a procrastinator? Or better yet...what do you do to keep organized?)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I love *Books*

My reading obsession is sort of a problem. Just ask my dear husband...he could probably go on and on about this subject.

Actually no, he doesn't EVER go on and on...that is not his style. (This is whee we differ...greatly!) He would admit it's a problem though.

It seems appropriate to me to share my reading obsession here on my writing blog, because I'm going to guess anyone who cares to read it probably has a pretty decent reading obsession of their own. Yes?

So, I'm going to start by pointing out a few of my favorite YA books I've read the past couple of years.

The Luxe Series by Anna Godberson

First- I love anything remotely historical, so all I had to do was take one look at these and it was a done deal. I loved these books and loved the characters. Now. I had a slight issue with the way this series ended. I don't know if it's how I would have chosen it to end, but I have to admit that it was probably the right way to end. Make sense? Her new book Bright YOung Things is out now and I will be getting it soon!

Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray

I loved these. LOVED. Again, set in a historical setting but mixed with a fantasy world that becomes so real that I could probably draw a picture of it. In fact, just now I went to her site to get a link and she had a map of the school this is set in and it nearly matched what I saw in my head EXACTLY. To me that is real talent. She effortlessly makes everything so easy to see.

This was written in 1st Person/Present tense which I think would be soooo incredibly hard to stick with and to be honest it doesn't always work for me...but it totally works for these books. I was completely drawn in.

The Skylar Holt Series by Stephanie Morrill

I loved these books! Stephanie creates modern high school life perfectly and pulls a christian theme in without being unrealistic or goody goody. She doesn't leave out the ugliness of teen life or have her characters avoid it. Being a teen and a christian is hard and she deal with this so well. Skylar is a real girl, with real emotions and the secondary characters are wonderful, I loved and hated them at the same time. :) (Well, to be fair some of them I loved all the way through!!) I would be comfortable giving this to anyone I know between the ages of 14 and...well 100!

Her writing style feels effortless and it was fun to read because we live in the same town...which also happens to be the setting for this novel. :) Really enjoyed this. Oh, and Stephanie is a wonderful person and has a great blog for young writers HERE.

The House of Night Series by PC and Kristen Cast

On a completely different note...The House of Night.

Now. (pause for dramatic effect)

I'm kind of over the whole "I'm a teen, I discovered a secret power and am shipped away to a secret high school with other people who are weird like me and I then save the world."

That being said, this is the first one of "those" I read so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Oh, and I enjoy it so there!

(If you're writing one of "those" books...please ignore me. I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. AND, i'll probably still like your book. I just read too many of this theme in a short time period and had to take a break!)

Ok, on to these books.

I love that it's a mother/daughter team. I'm a sucker for a love triangle, and this is a love octagon or something. I mean, this girl is in a pickle when it comes to boys. (We've all had this problem right?;)) I love the world they have created, this books feels dark and the characters are yummy! I actually have the 2 last books to read still and need to get to them soon!

Many more that I could add...but my laundry pile is putting off toxic fumes so I must wrap it up! Any YA favorites????

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My husband will not go see this with me...

and I haven't even asked him. I just know! Which is fine, this one is a girl movie! Dark, love triangle, costumes...yay!

I know this trailer has been taking some heat online for "riding Twilight's coattails". My take is...who gives a crap!! I'll still go see it!

Sometimes Books Suck

I'm a mother of 3 boys.
I am a photographer.
I am a wife.
I have a home to take care of. Point being...I have a lot of things I should be doing.

I also really like to read.

Sometimes, I start reading a book and for whatever reason- it's not working.

What do I do? Well, I used to just finish it anyway. I felt bad for the author.

"Someone obviously liked this's published?" I would think to myself. "It will probably get better, I just need to give it a chance!" Or I would feel like I had already devoted so much time to it I needed to finish it to justify that time spent.

I don't do that anymore. If I'm not into the book....I STOP! I cant justify it anymore. I'm already lacking hours in the day, I already spend WAY too much of the hours reading or writing, (or internet browsing).

Recently I even stopped reading a book 2 chapters from the end! Everything that I cared about had already been resolved...I didn't CARE anymore. That's a big one, sometimes books aren't so much bad, but I just. don't. care.

I think that is a fear of mine...someone feeling that way about something I write. yikes!

What do you do when you're not feeling the book you're reading? Do you give that author another try later?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I love *Blogs*

This blog in particular. Well, Hello There Lover. I can't recall when I stumbled across it, a few months back maybe. But, it is so wonderful! Basically it's a single woman who is writing to her future husband, who she is already madly in love with. She is funny, and witty, and so romantic. I love everything about it. I want to write a story about's just so perfect.

Who knows, maybe she's really a 70 year old widow...or a 45 year old married woman with 3 kids. Doesn't matter, I love it!

Plus there are lots of fun old photos like the one below! check it out!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I might go insane.

Tomorrow my kids are home tomorrow AGAIN for a snow day. It's too much. I cant take it. I want quiet.

I think I'll do like I did today and write from 5am-8am. It was so peaceful, and I got about 300 words down which is a pretty big deal for me.

I really have way to much to do this week to spend it in front of the computer. I'm flying to San Antonio Saturday for a photography conference ( so excited), which is what my "real" job is. I'm a photographer. Excited because I have the first few Alyson Noel books loaded on to my e-reader. 4 days, no kids, learning, looking at new products, camera gear, margaritas, river-walk...sound like heaven!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I love *Characters*



LOVE them.

I know for a blog of a person that loves to write this should go without saying...but I'm saying it anyway. Because, I don't think you understand. I have an obsession with the characters that I love. Here is when it started.

When I was probably about 5 or 6 I watched many episodes of The North and South with my grandmother. I was in heaven. I don't know why, to this day I don't know why. I do know, that at the time a lot of big stuff was going on in my little world. My father was recently diagnosed with cancer and things were very hectic in my life. I was probably confused and scared, and this was a bright spot. I can literally close my eyes and hear the theme music and the opening sequence. The camera panning up the long drive to Mount Royal. *sigh*

That's when I fell in love with characters and also with anything historical. That's when I fell in love with the period drama period. (catch that one!!)

The characters names were Orry and Madeline. I still love them. I will ALWAYS love them. I can't pinpoint why I loved them so much. (If you've seen this should know why) But let me make it very clear. It was NOT because it was Patrick Swayze. This is how I know it's characters that I love, and not cute boys.

See, my husband of course knows of my love for these characters. In fact, it was a well known fact that when I gave birth to a girl her name would be Madeline Rae. There was NO QUESTION. He knew this. He knew (and knows) I love Orry. He has learned finally that I do not also love Patrick Swayze. (RIP) Do I like him? yes. Have I liked other movies he was in? yes. Do I think he was good looking? well yes. But that isn't why I love Orry. But in the beginning he would flip thru the channels and land on Dirty Dancing, or Roadhouse (blech) and say "there's your guy". He didn't understand that I didn't love Orry because he was cute Patrick Swayze, I loved Orry because he was Orry. And I admired and loved Patrick because he gave me Orry in such a perfect package...but that did not make me automatically want to watch him in other movies. Is that difficult to understand?

I was very happy to once open his autobiography and find where he had written how much he loved being a part of that show and was SOOO HAPPY!! If he would have said otherwise, I might have been severely crushed...because I wanted him to love it as much as I do.

Same with Leslie Anne Down. I have absolutely no desire to watch her on whatever daytime soap she is on. None. But I will always be grateful to her for giving me Madeline.

Ok, here is where the obsession part comes in. I remember SEVERAL times sitting in my room around the time I was watching this mini series and crying. Crying hard because I knew that I would never have Orry for me. Yes, at the age of 5 or 6. I wanted Orry to myself. I don't know if I was crying because I knew 1. I was a child and he was too old for me. Or 2. He was a fictional character from the past and for all intents and purposes, theoretically dead. I don't know, I just knew that he would never love me back and it broke my heart. I can still imagine it. I even had the TV schedule from our paper with the show's photo on the front and I hid it under my bed. At some point my mom must have found it because one day it was gone.

I still haven't recovered from that. I'm pretty sure it was this image here.

I cried real tears over that image! There have been lots of characters I fell in love with over the years. Not all in that "in love with" kind of way. But yea, some were. I guess my sweet husband has to accept that!

Some others I've loved are...

Mr. Darcy
Harry Potter
Madeline (in Madeline from Roald Dahl)
Ralph (Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory)
Edward (duh)
Edward Rochester
Logan (Babysitters Club)
Merthin (World Without End by Ken Follett)
Westley (The Princess Bride)

I know there is more...but I'm tired. I really think my love of history, stories, and wonderful characters was born right there. I would love nothing more than to have someone love a character I created!

Are characters that real to anyone else???

Writing is fun. Writing is Hard.

Writing a novel is not easy. It's very, very hard. It may be easy for some, but I don't want to think about those people. It's hard for me.

It's exciting, and fun. But I don't just sit down and it spews onto the screen all the time. Some scenes are like that, those are the best. But often it's intense and hurts my brain. The only thing to do is plow thru it. Force myself. Keep moving forward.

Or click over to Kiersten Writes and read her archives. She's hilarious and motivating. I have not yet read Paranormalcy...(I know, I know) but it's not because I don't want too. I will...soon!

Her blog is what fills my periods of procrastination.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I love TED.

Have you watched a TED presentation before? They are AMAZING. Well, all the ones I've seen are amazing.

TED is a non profit that holds conferences about spreading ideas. Ideas. I love that. I could go to the TED website and spend hours just watching videos of people giving their ideas. So many of them are so motivational.

I'll share more in the future, but I happened to catch this one yesterday when someone posted it on Facebook. I thought it was very approriate for this blog for several reasons.

The speaker is the gifted writer Elizabeth Gilbert. You may have heard of her most popular book...Eat, Pray, Love. Loved it. That book alone was very inspiring, but I love her talk here about the pressure we put on creative people, and how those people can learn to move past their own fears and have faith in their creative process. Take a listen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The First Post!!!

This is exactly what it says it is. My writing blog. As things stand, I am a mom, a photographer, a wife, and when I have time someone who likes to write. I wasn't going to have a writing blog, but some friends (yes, writer friends) told me it was probably a good idea to start one. So here it is.

Here is the problem. I have NEVER worried about my grammar on my business blog. I mean, I think about it...but I don't stress about it. On this blog, I already feel the writing cops hating me. But, I'm going to get over it.

A little background. I've always loved to write and for a long time just assumed that someday I would try to write a novel. Someday turned into having babies and really just not thinking about writing except for every once in a while. A couple of years ago, (2008 I believe) I started. I'm currently on my second "started" novel. The first one came to a standstill. This one I love. This one being the one I'm working on now. "Writer People" call that the WIP. Work. In. Progress. *I'm going to teach you these things.* I think the fact that it is closely related to RIP is not a coincidence. Anyway, I'm loving my "WIP".

One thing that I have realized, and wasn't happy about at first, was that I naturally write YA. Which stands for Young Adult. I'm not sure why I tried to deny this for awhile. I have nothing against YA novels, in fact I like lots of YA. I guess I just imagined myself writing for adults not teenagers. But, I've accepted it and embraced it. Lucky for me...YA is selling like hot cakes so it's a good genre to try to get into. (And not only teens are reading!) And yes, I am a moron...that is my goal, to sell the novel. I know it's hard, I know it's a long shot, but guess what? People do it. There is no reason not to try.

So, this will wrap up the first post. I promise they will get more interesting as time goes on!! :)
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