Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Time

You'd think with the holidays coming and going so quickly that you'd get the time to do all the Christmas shopping, go to all the Christmas and Thanksgiving get togethers and get writing done.  So not true.  I've found I'm always busiest at Christmas time making gifts for others mostly.

This year though, I know my New Year's Resolution already.  It's been driving me crazy that I can't get any writing done so I'm just going to give myself all of next year to finish a story and get it edited and maybe, just maybe get a query letter done to send out.  Doubt I will make it that far, but we'll see how things go. 

I've been pondering lately on one of my vampire stories that I find most intriguing and pretty original.  I got a few new ideas for the story and can't wait to try and incorporate them (when I get the time to write at all).

Well, I got to get going now.  Lots to do before the big fun filled magical day with family next week!  Merry Christmas everyone and don't forget to stop by my review blog,  Ciao!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Blogs...

Well, I know I've been so so so lazy with this blog.  I really need to get a schedule down for updating my blogs.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I now have more than 1 blog. 

Actually I contribute to one already established blog and my other one is indeed mine.  I contribute to a blog called, "The Book Bundle" which is actually run by a couple of my online writing friends.  I have done a couple posts on there.  You can check it out here.  The Book Bundle

My other blog deals with more than just book reviews.  I started what you could call an "ET" or entertainment blog.  Right now I deal with movies, music, television shows and some entertainment news.  You can check this blog out here.  Evaluation Station

Just thought I'd keep you all updated on those things.  Check them out.  If you want to contribute to my ET blog, just let me know and we'll chat about it.

As far as my writing goes, well, these blogs keep me writing while I'm under my nasty nasty block.  For some reason I believe I need to work on my vampire stories but completely start over with new outlines and a new way to show my story and the characters that drive my mind batty.  But with the holidays and seeing as I didn't  finish NaNo this year...I think I will be thinking about how to handle my block soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

So Long Ago

Wow, it feels like forever (probably has been) since I've blogged about anything on here. I tried doing National Novel Writing Month for the 3rd year in a row but the plan was foiled by a trip to California for a few days and then being so behind I wouldn't be able to catch up unless I didn't take care of my family or slept.

But now that I am home and almost fully recovered from all the time changing in a short period of time, I am ready to get writing again and working on my blog more.

So for now, sayonara NaNoWriMo. I tried and failed once again. Next year, maybe something will come or maybe I'll just be working on all my current stories and finishing them up to be published, who knows really?

Ciao and I'll be back!

P.S. I promise I'll be back sooner rather than later this time. ;)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Here It Goes Again, Oh, Here It Goes Again

It's coming in 28 days! National Novel Writing Month is arriving quickly.

Well, this year I've been doubting myself a lot to do NaNo because well, the last two years I barely did anything. Although I have 2 stories now that I will continue to work on when the need comes.

But after my family's move and getting mostly settled, I'm going to do it. I am going to do NaNo for a 3rd year in a row. Usually 3rd time's the charm right? I sure hope so anyway. But I'm also very excited to do it. I get to work on the sequel to one of my current stories. Everything to prepare though for NaNo is what frightens me the most. So much plotting, character bios, my main character's family history, historical research from real history, and the outlining of the actual story to do.

And I promise to get back to the "Be's" next time. But if you're interested, get started to be ready to for NaNoWriMo 2009!

Monday, August 17, 2009

All These Promises...

Sorry to keep ya'll hanging for a while on these Beatitudes of Writers. I will continue them at a later date because, 1) I haven't been writing anything much lately and 2) in the process of moving and trying to catch with friends before going far away and packing up. I will definitely be back in another month though!

Monday, June 1, 2009

5. Be Persistent

My fifth "Be" is persistance.

I know I need this as much as everyone else does out in the writing world.

With writing, it is easy to give up. It is very hard to get your work noticed. But persistance is the key to it all. With any career really, persistance makes it all worth while in the end. It makes you feel as if you have accomplished something huge.

In writing, you want to be persistant but not to a point where it will drive you insane and time becomes unmanageable and you end up hospitalized from stress. That's just down right crazy in being persistant.

To start off with this a writer first needs persistance in their story idea. You have to believe in it and your characters to keep going. If you work on an idea you don't believe in--nothing will come out of it. It will be bland. That persistance to finish a bland idea doesn't pay off.

If you work on an idea that you believe in and can be published--that persistance pays off. As long as you work with it.

The biggest thing that is needed with persistance is the time to write. Create that time. Some famous authors have set schedules for writing every day. Others do it during the National Novel Writing Month held in November so that they have more time to edit. But no matter how you create the time--time is what is needed most in writing. Without it, a story cannot be born. You can keep on thinking your story is an awesome idea and belive in it and that someday it can be published but without that time created to write it all down, that story will not come to pass.

Along with being humble and learning more of your craft, there is persistance in this as well to perfect your craft. You can't become "perfect" overnight. No one is. Keep learning, keep writing, keep making time to learn.

One last thing about persistance. Querying to agents is tough. I have sent some a long time ago with a short story I wrote in my college creative writing course as the final for the class. They were all rejected. I had promise with one but it didn't go far at all. I didn't mind because I didn't want that story published because I didn't feel it really should have been. But with persistance, I have now written a full length novel and with more persistance I can get through editing and then sending it out to publishers and agents.

I know of a couple people who have been rejected so many times with querying to agents. Most people...give up. They believe their work will never make it after so many rejections. But only those who actually keep in their persistance and keep sending those queries out and keep editing their story with advice from peers...those are the ones that will be published in the end because they kept going and didn't get discouraged.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

4. Be Humble

Humility is something that a lot of people call a "weakness" in themselves.  Being humble isn't bad at all.  Being humble can get you a long way if you know how to be humble without it being prideful instead.

When in writing, be humble about your work.  Don't flaunt it like a diva but do show it to people who love you and care about you and want you to succeed with it.  Tell them thank you for reading it.  Back with the second "Be" with weaknesses, don't argue with people about what they think of your story.  Take it with a grain of salt and see if you can't do something while editing to really take some of their criticism and put it to good use.

The best way to succomb to the humility as a writer is to keep studying up what goes into your story.  Keep learning as a writer.

I saw something a long time ago that tells all the professions of a writer because of the studying and learning that goes on throughout this one career.

A writer is a doctor, a mother, a father, a drunk, a student, an airline pilot, a neurosurgeon, a lawyer, and you get the point.  

There are stories that I have where I have to learn about brain tumors, historical Italy, sky diving, the Civil War, horseback riding and the care of horses, emeralds, the political society and many more.  I have learned so much but to be humble, I don't go around acting like a "know-it-all".  Instead, I work it into my story.  That is where it will show my knowledge.  

Besides studying what is in your story to stay humble, you can also stay humble by attending workshops held by authors, seminars, and reading books on writing.  Keep learning your own craft.  See what others say about writing and take everything to heart. 

There is no shame in learning.  There isn't a measure on how much one person can learn in their lifetime.  There is no price on learning.  There is no price on the person who is humble.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

3. Be Innovative

One of my absolutely favorite television shows is Stargate: SG1. It ran for 10 seasons. Why do you ask did a science fiction show all on it's own, run for so long?

Well, because it had originality. The writer's were innovative, but also cliche on what would go on in the storylines. And a lot of the originality does come from the cast as well, but I have to say--they really do like to input into the show how cliche things are and how unoriginal some people are. Quite funny actually.

There is a moment in the show where the villains go on thier, "I'm your God and if you don't bow to me and worship me, I will destroy you." Well, Jack O'Neill (played by Richard Dean Anderson) would always come out and say, "Don't you have anything better to say? I mean, I've heard it from all you bad guys and it is so cliche." I believe the writer's really wanted to show how things are going unoriginal these days. Even Stargate gets cliche in some of it's storylines.

But lately, the newest fad in writing is vampire romance. How old is that going to get? How fast is it going to wear out? Just because we all are just regurgitating an idea. If you look at it, Stephenie Meyer has just regurgitated many other classics. She says that she was influenced by Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights and The Merchant of Venice. All classic tales of love, death, and deceit. Although I love Stephenie Meyer's "voice" in her writing, it is a cliche to have star-crossed lovers, love triangles, etc.

It doesn't mean that she wasn't original. Who could come up with the idea that vampires "sparkle" in the sunlight? There is originality in her story.

Writer's now are just regurgitating other stories. Even I notice how cliche some of my stories are and how I seem to be copying bits and pieces here and there into another story.

What I'm trying to get at here is "be original". Be innovative in your thoughts on your stories. Don't just look at your favorite book and decide you want to write something just like that--because you will basically hinder some copyright infringements when you do.

There are authors who really have been innovative and who really have sat down and let their subconcious take care of things for them. They let their stories twist and turn on their own. These authors have studied the backgrounds, they have learned of different things to do with their stories.

When I have been working on my stories, I always think to myself, "Am I being a copycat or have I been original in my thinking?" My first draft of a story I finished last May is, in my opinion, innovative. I have created a vampire race that can't be out in the sunlight without a certain jewel created by a witch in the 15th century. Why not have vampires who will vaporize but can be saved by something else? That story--I have other ideas in it that I believe are of itself, original. It doesn't mean the whole of the story is...I just have things to work on now to make it more "innovative."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2. Be Aware of Your Weaknesses and Do NOT Forgive Them

Sorry, I know I said I would write every couple days on these "Be's" but life got busy.

Anyway, moving on now.

Everyone has a weakness. It's in every person. There's no denying you have a weakness whether it be for caffeine, chocolate, great music that makes you swoon or even just a simple smell like fresh baked goods. It's in fighting the weaknesses that are bad that we want to focus on in writing. There are things that writer's do that don't want to accept and acknowledge they have a weakness in their writing but then wonder why no one wants to read their work because of their "God" complex in writing.

A lot of writer's actually will take a lot of criticism lightly. LISTEN! Take what you can from your critics. LEARN! Some beginning authors--and I do this--will write a story and then have someone critique and after a comment about some kind of grammar or such, will say, "Oh, I wanted it that way." or "It's no big deal."

EVERYONE! IT IS A BIG DEAL! We all have a weakness whether it be something big in writing like regurgitated plots, dialogue, or descriptions. It could be as small as using punctuation incorrectly or adding things that people can't really "say". Such as, "I need to get that from my brother's room although he's sleeping," she tiptoed quietly. These are little mistakes that can really mess up getting accepted by an agent or even a publisher.

Everyone thinks these days that whatever they start to do, any hobby they get into they don't have to learn from mistakes to get better and that they already are the best at what they do.

For example:
I've been trying to learn to sew for years. I actually was almost finished with making this dress for a costume and the day before I was supposed to wear it--I did a fitting and ALL the seams ripped! I cried and cried. I seriously was depressed for a LONG time. I'm barely getting over the fact that I know I did something wrong from the beginning--I measured myself. That's a no-no because you always seem to make yourself smaller than you actually are. I blamed the pattern for not being correct when all along I knew what I did wrong and didn't want to acknowledge that I needed to learn from it. I hadn't sewn anything but blankets since then.

Now though, I have picked up a slew of clothing patterns. Some I have high expectations for and know that I need to practice before making the pieces but I am willing to learn and try things the right way and ask for help when I need it.

That's how it should be for writing. Acknowledge your faults. Don't keep shrugging them over your shoulder like it's nothing to worry about. Things will work out if you listen to your critics and actually use their suggestions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1. Be Courageous

A lot of beginning writer's don't like to have their worked judged or to even tell people they are writing a story.

This is a big deal people! You are writing a novel, short story or poetry! Not a lot of people have the guts to say that they are writing a story. Stand up there. Be proud that you're trying something new or doing this to achieve a goal you set one, two, or even ten years ago.

I for one, do not like to show most of my work to anyone. I will show it to people I feel I can trust and give me good feedback. I have not shown most of my work to friends or even family.

I am really preaching this all for myself--we all usually talk about things to help others but realize that we need it for ourselves. (Sorry for that sidenote).

Tell your family you are writing a story. Some may think you're strange or crazy. Some will think it's magnificent that you are trying something that is very difficult: time wise and emotional wise. Share your work when you need feedback with someone close to you.

Quit hiding that manuscript under the mattress or diving at the keyboard when someone enters the room (I need to stop this too).

Another thing for beginning writers that we don't realize is that if we do become published--we're going to have to stand up in front of people to promote the story. We are going to be doing readings. Get into a speech class. Learn to wiggle away those stage fright jitters. Sometimes just an acting class may even help with this because it is more interactive.

Join writing groups. Talk about your story with them. Get the feedback needed. Take the criticism gracefully and then do what you want with it.

Writers are no cowardly lions. We are brave to even let our emotions flow inside a story that becomes so close to our hearts that we don't want to let it all go. Let it go. It's like when a parent watches their child going to a full day of school the first time. It's hard. Tears flow, sniffles start and that child is growing up. At some point even later, they will go to college or get married. You have to let that child go. They have to become their own person and it is the same with the novel. If you don't let it go at some point, it will never grow up to be it's own story.

Be courageous. Stand up to show off your stuff. Don't get cocky, just be proud of what you are doing. Ask for advice. Ask for feedback from close family. One thing I have noticed with fellow writer friends is that those who show loved ones their stories--write more stories. They are getting that support system in tow at an early stage. Unlike me and other writers who have the fear of criticism and aren't that brave to show off work at an early stage. I have noticed that I write less and less the more I don't show anyone my work. I, too, will have to become courageous.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Things to Learn as a Writer

Okay, so I receive regular emails from the author David Wolverton/Farland. He's a science fiction author and does workshops and such. He also does what I guess you could call it an "email blog".

Anyway, he's been writing on what he likes to call the "Beatitudes of Writers"

I am going to do a spin-off of this and use some things I've noticed that really help as a beginning writer.

So, over the next little while I will be doing the "Things to Learn as a Writer" instead of calling it the "Beatitudes of Writing".

Here is what I will focus on:
1. Be Courageous
2. Be Aware of your Weaknesses and Do Not Forgive Them
3. Be Innovative
4. Be Humble
5. Be Persistant
6. Be Convicted in Your Writing
7. Be in Charge of Your Writing
8. Be Studious

I'll actually just change the title of these items on the "8 Be's of Writing".

There are many more things you can do with writing and need to focus on but these are the ones I noticed from David's email blog and from other sites and books that really need to be focused on.

This will all begin shortly--I will work on one a day or so. Ciao!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Updates All Around

Okay--I've updated my blog! Ain't it so pretty?

Well, a couple changes--first, my music player is now on the bottom of the page and automatically starts--well it should do that.

Second background--it is just more me.

Thirdly--I finally am posting something! YAY!

I will seriously try to update again sooner!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Descriptions are a Piece of Cake

Wow--long time, no write. All due to the buying a house wonderfulness which has now turned into a house buying terror, nightmare, etc. (Whatever you want to call it. I'll post more on it later on my other blog).

Anyway, today and last night and for weeks upon weeks I have been tumbling over writing some things that help me do the writing I like to do.

I call myself a descriptive writer--I am crap at dialogue but I love descriptions. The tastes, the smells, the captive imagination that can seem so real at times and suck us in to those imaginary places.

I like to follow a few steps when doing descriptions and ask myself questions along with it.

1. What am I supposed to describe?
--Well, you really want to know what you're describing first when you start to describe something...duh. Now, to actually know what you're wanting to describe is a bit harder. You really need to focus on what is important in the scene.
You don't want to describe everything around the main character or a) you'll confuse the reader from the situation or b) your writing will get dull and boring and the reader will put your book down.

IE: Bob is noticing Sally's hair.

2. What do I want the reader to see, taste, smell, touch, hear from this description?
--If you've never eaten a grape, you're not going to know that some have seeds and some don't. You won't know that sometimes they are so tart that they can pull your cheeks in from the sides or that they can be as delicious as the best candy that has sat on your tongue and melted and makes you want to eat the whole bunch in one sitting. You wouldn't know that you could squish grapes easily or that even raisins are actually grapes--just wrinkled.
Using the 5 senses is HUGE in writing descriptions. Now, some things won't make noise, some things won't have a taste, etc. Once you've figured what you want to describe--make a list of the senses that would be necessary to show to the reader. Then from that list you can start writing your description.

IE: Sally's hair is: coarse, long, dark blonde, straight, and smells like coconuts.

P.S. If you need help with the 5 senses list--find pictures of the stuff you're trying to describe. Maybe more than one picture of the object. For example: If you're describing some kind of sword--use multiple photos to make your sword real to you first then make it real to your readers.

3. Now that I've got my senses list and my object to do I know what to look for in my writing a description?
--Adjectives. LOTS OF ADJECTIVES! Use them immensely. Don't use the "-ly" ones a whole lot because that can get tedious and make your description perilous because it will now sound like a horrible poem. Also, you will need to use commas correctly when using more than one description in a row.

IE: Sally had the most coarse, sandy colored hair.

Although that is a very elementary way of description--it's a good place to start. From then you can work from it.

IE: Bob ran his fingers through Sally's sandy hair. He felt the sleek, coarseness of it slide gently through them. He wrapped his entire hand through the straight strands and held it up firmly to his cheek noticing the smell of coconut rise from the pieces.

From there--I bet you can get the idea and put it all to use. Ciao! I'll to write more again soon!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Looky Look!

This is so nicey nice! And if you can tell me where I got the "nicey nice" from...I'll give you a kudos! And no, not the granola/candy bar thing.

Go look at my other blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Know Why

You walk around everyday screaming at people, "WHY? WHY? WHY?" And no one just seems to get it.

Today, I got it though. My writing slump is still in play--oh so ever big time play--but I have figured out why I just cannot write and why I hate writing.

First of all it is this--
1. High School Students who just don't GET IT! Come on all you high schoolers--go to class (ON TIME), do your homework (turn it in ON TIME), and quit coming to ask me if you are able to switch classes at the near END OF THE FREAKING 3RD TERM! School is almost out! Do what you need to do to GRADUATE! Or you won't be going to college. That's where part of our economy slump is and my writing slump combined...high school students.

2. Buying a house that is 1200 miles away. Yes, my hubby and I are trying to buy our first home and it is 1200 miles away from where we are living at the present moment. I never thought house buying would be so stressful--but oh believe me, if you haven't bought a house, you don't know what stress is.

3. Too much television. See, my friend and I love the show, Dead Like Me, about a group of grim reapers and their day to day living. She lent me the 2 seasons of the show on DVD and I haven't been able to stop watching.

4. Lazy. Yup, we all just slump into a laziness. I'll plump out of this soon enough though. I have work to finish!

5. Sophie Kinsella. I have to blame one of my now favorite story tellers just because her writing style is very very very very (did I mention very?) addictive and so are her characters. It's so hard to break away from her story telling descriptions and emotions that it makes it hard for me to write my own thing. But I will never stop reading anything.

There are my top 5 reasons why I am slumping and wallowing in my grief of writing. Hopefully I can get rid of this slump and work hard on something soon.

P.S. It also doesn't help that I hate my hubby hovering while I am writing. He says he doesn't, but I know he really does ;). I still love him anyway. But that's why I use the laptop in my room while he is gone or write while he is working and my daughter is sleeping.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Hate Everything Today and It Hates Me!

So, I have been wallowing in self-pity about my writing style the past--oh let's say--month and a half. And today has been the worst.

I STINK AS A WRITER! I totally have to get that out there, and boy does that feel good. My writing world is crashing down on me. None of my stories want to be written--and that's a lot of stories--and my characters only care about shopping for some strange hell-ish reason.

So, since I stink as a writer--and I did enter a contest just with my online writing group--and of course, the other entries rock. I realize that I wrote something really really sappy and stupid. I can't write, I just can't. Nothing right now could make me feel better--unless someone could ship Josh Groban to me--but still, not even my favorite music can console my desperate living soul that needs words to live.

But since I stink--since I started to say that earlier--I am going to try and just make some covers for all my stupid story ideas.

Oh and you want to know why I call them all stupid ideas? Because for some reason I can't write them fast enough--but someone else is getting them out there before me! I sure hope that their writing sucks as bad as mine does with those stories.

I know I shouldn't wish that upon other writers, but that is how I feel at the moment. And only Sophie Kinsella can cheer me up with her wondrous world of women in great careers but screw them up somehow and find love at the same time. I have seriously never even read about someone having a nervous breakdown, but Sophie Kinsella can write it in one chapter. How cool is that? I laughed the whole way through it. I love that woman's writing and always will! Thank you Sophie for keeping me laughing in my time of self-despair.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Too Many Ideas

Some say that it is impossible to have too many story ideas, but I disagree.

I say this because whenever I get into my mode for working on any of my actual started stories, I have a dream--that is a completely different storyline.

I now have started over six stories and two short stories with one screenplay to be in the works for the Script Frenzy in April. Only one, count 'em, one of the stories actually has one finished draft.

There are also many other ideas floating around in my head, but I have not written them down because I have a fear that those characters will take over and I will have more than ten stories being worked on at once.

Oh, and just so everyone knows, my friend is the publisher/editor of and I have been helping her out with writing reviews on movies, books, and music. You can go to her site now and see my review for Bolt, and the Twilight panel interview from Comic Con that I transcribed for the site. Hopefully, when I finish reading a certain book *coughInkdeathcough*, I will be able to help her more with writing reviews for books and then also television shows.